Saturday, April 02, 2005

(And here’s where all the lapsed Catholics take guilty offence.)
The death of the Pope is going to be yet another massive media mortality binge, moving at the speed of the 16th century, and will have us screaming before the smoke comes out of the chimney from the College of Cardinals. Like the death of Ronald Reagan writ even larger. We haven’t had a pope death in quite a while, and the last one, poor old John Paul I, left us with a big fat conspiracy theory and Godfather III. The jokes and rumors will abound soon enough – as in the tale that there’s not only a Papal Dead Pool inside the Vatican in which participants can bet on the exact hour of the pontiff’s death, but also that Opus Dei already has it fixed.

From no less than Pravda online...

AND THIS IS JUST PLAIN FASCINATING (I could watch it for hours)

The secret word is Infallible

Frank Perdue, the chicken king, is dead. He didn’t like unions and killed a fuck of a lot of chickens. Did his own commercials, too. Looked just like Ed Koch.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Still working on finishing the damned novel. (Or maybe novel of the damned – what else is new?) But last night found me sprawled on the couch in front of a three hour PBS special on String Theory. (And I’m so fried I’ve forgotten the title, but it’s 3 hours long and the only one currently around.) I’d be a liar if I said I actually understood String Theory, but the graphics were exactly what I want on my TV screen when it’s considered as part of the furniture, and, or course, for many years, I have moved and manipulated characters around multidimensional space-time (the most notable being Yancey Slide and the DNA Cowboys), and so, while hardly comprehending the math, I felt wholly at home and comfortable with concept of string closing up the holes in the warp and of infinitely vast cosmic branes colliding and producing constantly repeated Big Bangs. This wasn’t all of it, though, I was also mightily impressed with the mathematicians who have spent the last 20 years and a million donuts on the elegant equations that led to the M-Theory, and who now wait for the great Fermi Lab atom smasher to come up with a single graviton to either prove their theory or the lack of it which will mean they have magnificently wasted their time. What courage, and how much more valiant and intrepid than these vicious Christians with their absurd creationism, and their atrophied imaginations that leave them unable to conceive of any God-Creator who is not as miserable, stupid and vindictive as they are. (But the creationism rant will be in next week’s LA CityBeat, and you’ll have to wait until next Thursday.)

The secret word is Awesome

The current bookslut has an hysterical interview with our old Lower East Side homie Richard Hell in which he attempts to explain (I think) to an idiot that poetry is not a career and it might be an idea if fucking poets had some life experience to poet about. (Or maybe I’m projecting my own beef.)

In keeping with the Doc40 policy of bringing you all the best in cute but extinct critters, kaymo sends the following...
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Just as dinosaurs started getting really big 150 million years ago, a little rat-sized mammal scurried around eating termites, U.S. scientists reported on Thursday. They found the fossil of a completely new type of animal in Colorado, and said it apparently resembled an armadillo and would have eaten bugs. But the fossil animal, named Fruitafossor windscheffelia, is not related to anything alive today and shows that anteaters, armadillos and other creatures that dig up insects evolved their specialized abilities several times during the history of the world. This is known as convergent evolution. Zhe-Xi Luo and John Wible of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh said the mammal's limbs and hollow teeth resembled those of some of today's specialized termite-eaters, including aardvarks, anteaters and armadillos."The dental convergence of Fruitafossor to modern armadillos suggests its diet may include termites, other insects, invertebrates, and even plants," they wrote in Friday's issue of the journal Science. Termites and their close relatives -- cockroaches -- had evolved millions of years before Fruitafossor lived, they said. Like anteaters, the Fruitafossor had tube-like teeth because it would have sucked in and swallowed its prey virtually whole, Luo and Wible found. Its four-toed limbs suggested it scratched in the dirt. Dated to the late Jurassic period, it would have lived alongside huge dinosaurs such as the brachiosaurus, stegosaurus and allosaurus. The name comes from the town of Fruita, Colorado, where the fossil was found, with "fossor" for the fossorial, or digging, specialization of the forelimbs. "Windscheffeli is in honor of Wally Windscheffel, who discovered the holotype specimen," the researchers added.
Plus a kaymo comment...
Of course, dinos were already huge 150 mill ya, which is late Jurassic, but this is a very old "mammal", and a neat example of convergent evolution. I say "mammal" but I bet it looked more like a fat lizard crossed with a possum, in other words a hairy kind of lizard. Not that it was a lizard, or even closely related to them, just looked like one.

CRYPTIQUEYou don’t have to be a retired buccaneer to write poetry but it sure improves the poems, Jim lad.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The last couple of days have been unrelenting work. A column for LA CityBeat on the religious revolution, a retrospective on Robert Johnson’s King Of The Delta Blues singers for Mojo, and off course on with the novel. Too burned to say much except today is Christopher Walkin’s birthday, so maybe we should go around all day spontaneously tap dancing, talking without punctuation, and playing Russian roulette.

The secret word is Polymath

CRYPTIQUEJohnnie Cochran is dead.

(NB The ancient communal comments board has, like Lassie, come home. See top right.)