Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bonsai experiment phase two

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Baby Lyuba: Woolly Mammoth Meets the World

Lyuba has become the world's best-preserved woolly mammoth, and an exhibition in Hong Kong has brought the creature out to the public eye!

As mentioned in the Huffington Post, this find actually dates back to 2007, when a reindeer herder found the one-month old baby's body---frozen for 42,000 years. The frigid river muck kept the mammoth so well preserved that during its Chicago exhibition in 2010, one observer remarked it "is almost perfectly intact, right down to its baby fat." All moisture is now removed from the body by means of specially designed "dessicative packaging."

Another mammoth named Yuka, with strawberry-blonde hair was found recently as well, frozen after a cliff fall, apparently, in Siberia. This one is about 11,000 years old. Its body contains signs of being cut upon by ancient people. If well-preserved sperm can be recovered, it's possible scientists will be able to clone this long-extinct creature.

The Russian reindeer herder found the older mammoth sticking out of the permafrost. Four years after the find, the carcass was recovered, brought to regional capital Salekhard, and preserved from further decay.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

First new Bonsai sprouts

Marc is overjoyed: the five seeds germinated for three weeks yielded a sprout noticed Easter Day!

For thirty two days, these seeds were planted and kept in the refrigerator.

Cold stratification is the process of activating a seed's germination. The process feeds the seeds the information that they have experienced season hibernation; by bringing it into warmth, sprouting occurs quickly. The condensation of the greenhouse gave her much excitement; the plant is taking root.
She asked me what to name it; I was in the mood to sing the words "Monster River" like an imitation of "Old Man River" I suppose. This was the ninth day of results after taking the soil into sunlight.

But then, a nice surprise. Monster River has two siblings! Since the Rising and Advancing of the Spirit is making Marc Kane so happy, I thought I'd call one "Shang Chi"; the other's called "Zeitgeist" for now. Here they are, noticed today.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Devil Slayers!

This is the second scene preview to my Mystic Order of Defenders pitch coming up this summer at Comic Con. I'll link to the first scene last summer.

Scene two
Devil-Slayer steps from his swirling Shadow Cloak into a well-kept, modestly-furnished office. His clothing becomes a simple dress shirt and pressed pants, and with a flourish, he snaps the cloak once, revealing a doctor’s coat, which he dons.
“Blessed toothache,” he thinks, as he puts his hand to his jaw. “No reason I couldn’t heal this, myself…but there’s just been no time to stop between my secret war…”
“and my responsibilities.” He stands in profile beside a plaque, certifying Eric Simon, Psychiatric Doctor. He closes his eyes, focusing his energies inward to cease his pain. “There really is little time for pain…and less so for Eric Simon Payne…that lost soul…”
He touches a calendar page, featuring a Matisse flower. “…who would celebrate, today, his wedding anniversary, in a saner world. But a mercenary, a cultist…a mystically-trained assassin…if the man Corey needed is somewhere inside such a morass of complications, it is nonetheless too late for such recriminations.”
Outside, a gaunt, white-haired man in his late fifties, glances up at a windmill in the daybreak as leans over a wooden fence for a bucket of goat’s milk left a moment before. He passes into a red barn, where he eyes a somewhat abused 1959 Triumph motorcycle standing in filtered sunlight, sitting on the tarp next to a tool box. “Looking good, Rosie,” he says to the vintage bike. He puts a handful of pesos into his battered blue jeans from the dresser of a small converted loft, adorned with a mirror and a silver crucifix. A made-up twin bed sits in the corner. An antique book sits on the pillow.
On his way through the yard, an eight year old boy comes up to him. He seems to have Down’s syndrome. “Senor Quijano!” he says. “Vamos a pescar?”
*”Soon, Emmanuel, “he replies. “I am glad you are using your words now! But you remember the promise I made you. If you will use the bathroom like a big boy, and keep using your words to talk to your mom and dad, I will take you fishing again with your brothers. “
“Bueno,” says Emmanuel, smiling lightly. “Trabajo con mis palabras hoy?”
“After lunch,” Quijano replies, “like every Thursday.” *
*En Espanol; es translado---Ed.
He walks into the back entrance of the kitchen, where a cook puts on a huge stew pot to boil. “Buenos dias, Al,” he says. “Buen mattina,” he replies genially, sitting the pail down on a counter. He reaches for a plate, which he fills thoughtfully with hash browns, chorizo and a corn cake made with sun-dried tomatoes. He slips two cups of black coffee onto the tray, then slips into a panel in the wall, revealing a dumbwaiter. He crouches inside it, tittering, then pulls a rope that releases a counter-weight, taking him up a floor, inside the wall. “Every since I began helping here at St. John’s, I have discovered more than one fun little secret passageway,” he thinks. He steps out of the wall with the tray, just outside Dr. Simon’s office.
Dr. Eric Simon picks up a file and sighs. “My present to those time-lost newlyweds comes late in years, but the gift of a saner world…a different viewpoint on my powers, my approach to the demons haunting everyday life…”
Simon exits his office, still musing :“if it is no redemption, perhaps it is a light to …”
“Buenos dias, Doctor,” says Al, smiling.
“Ah! Well! Good morning, Senor Quijano! How are you?”
“I had noted you arriving so early lately---or, at least, found you already hard at work, without note of your entry---breakfast begins by sunrise, and while everyting is hot and fresh…?”
“How thoughtful of you,” replies Simon, taking the cake in his hand. He thinks: “without fail, Alonso Quijano has been a faithful addition to our community efforts as well as some aid in the daily functions of the clinic…yet never have I been able to get a “fix” on his thoughts, as if he lacks…”location” in a conventional sense…and that is highly unusual, for one of my…perceptions."


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Google Glasses; wear your phone on your nose Haven't had time to give you a science update as yet; I have, however, started writing prose again! Enjoy the article, if I get to nothing else with this.