Friday, November 23, 2012

Lovecraft: 1. Everyone Who Laughed At His Giant Penguins: 0

This just in: penguins over six feet tall really did exist.

From "At the Mountains of Madness" (H.P. Lovecarft, 1931):

"For it was only a penguin - albeit of a huge, unknown species larger than the greatest of the
known king penguins, and monstrous in its combined albinism and virtual eyelessness."

"All the birds had flown away, save only the great, grotesque penguins."

"Their size reminded us of some of the archaic penguins depicted in the Old Ones’ sculptures..."

So that's some fiction. Now here's some science:

Giant penguin fossils found in Antarctica

(Source: AFP)

BUENOS AIRES — Argentine experts have discovered the fossils of a two-meter (6.5 foot) tall penguin that lived in Antarctica 34 million years ago.

Paleontologists with the Natural Sciences Museum of La Plata province, where the capital Buenos Aires is located, said the remains were found on the icy southern continent.

"This is the largest penguin known to date in terms of height and body mass," said researcher Carolina Acosta, who noted that the record had been held by emperor penguins, which reach heights of 1.2 meters (4 feet) tall.

Lead researcher Marcelo Reguero added that the find, announced Tuesday, will "allow for a more intensive and complex study of the ancestors of modern penguins."

In its next expedition to Antarctica, during the region's summer, the team will seek additional fossils of the newly discovered species, as well as information about its anatomy and how the giant penguin might have moved.

Previous finds from prehistoric penguins indicated they did not sport the iconic black and white feathers the birds are known for today, but had reddish-brown and gray plumage.

Feckin' Awesome.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Whoa, where has the time gone?

Yea, one day you're drying Lavender and the next a month has gone by.

In the past few weeks, I have done a lot of packing and unpacking and moved to a new place on the opposite side of where we were in Auckland. The difference? When Jen and I walk into the supermarket people stare at us. I kid you not.

Anyhoos, the new place has a nice big multi-fuel burner, which we have already used a few times because Auckland cannot decide whether it wants to be hot or cold. All I want right now is to have all the boxes unpacked and my clothes out of bags.

In the meantime, I've been proofreading academic essays, writing, proofreading and writing. I'm finally getting round to some reading as well. Last week I finally picked up a copy of House of Leaves, which I aim to read at leisure. Otherwise it might kill me.

Right now - and I have to share this, as I'm typing this, I am watching an episode of Magnum, P.I. on Youtube. I'm enjoying it way too much (I blame nostalgia), but I have to say -  Magnum, you're pants are too stone-washed and way too tight. But Tom Selleck sure has pretty eyes.

Sold a short story last week, but remaining mum until I've done some minor editing. Mumzy.

Man, Magnum was so much better than Knight Rider.