I want to go home tonight and write; and then tomorrow I want to do ALL THE PLANTING AND GARDENING.
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I'm about a third of the way through on Satan: A Biography and enjoying it so far.
I've been finding it hard to make progress on Meddling Kids, though, as despite being really excited by the premise, the book itself is kind of disappointing so far. The writing itself is not great, and the story is not making up for it. I'm hoping it'll get better as it goes along, though.
I also started Beezus and Ramona and am about a third of the way through that, too. I downloaded all the Ramona ebooks a couple years ago to do a reread and then never did, but then iTunes was updated the other day to remove ebooks and apps from the interface, and when I finally figured out how to add ebooks to my phone the new way, I tested it with this book, and then since I wasn't feeling Meddling Kids, just started reading it.
What did you recently finish reading?
Volumes two through five of Giant Days, as well as a bunch of single issues after that (I still have a handful of issues to read before being completely caught up, and then I will be sad because I love this series so much).
What do you think you'll read next?
The rest of Giant Days, for sure, and also volume 10 of You Will Hear the Voice of the Dead came out the other day and I'd already preordered it so it's on my ipad awaiting me.
Sitting in front of a screen, fighting codeine-generated nausea and an increasingly bleak mood, listening to Steely Dan warble about crossing one's old man back in Oregon, pleading with an unseen authority figure, "don't take me alive" ...
... is not necessarily a shining example of emotional hygiene.
Perhaps it's time to go to bed.
Yes, I know it's only 7:50 p.m.
Pinch Hit #12
Fandoms: Degrassi: Next Class, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, GLOW, The Good Place, Big Love
Medium/s: Fanart, fanfic
( Review and Discussion )
Bonus review-let: Forced.
( Forced, Gamification of Games, Player vs. Designer )
So, yeah. I am learning something about gaming, game design, or myself from every game I play, and I am glad I seem to have broken through the mountain of shame (OMG, so much stuff I've never played, best never look at them) and guilt (OMG, so much wasted money). I no longer feel compelled to 'give every game a fair chance' just because I once spent money on it. (Frequently, in bundle deals, I did not even set out to buy all of the games.)
Overall, I spend less than £5/month on games and, overall, I enjoy gaming. I'm not going to get the same amount of fun out of every game, but if I can average a couple of hours of fun for every £5 I pay, that's actually not bad value for money.
Tufts Administration Building (TAB), 167 Holland Street, Senior Center, 2nd Floor
Join the City Planning Department for a special update and discussion on the Davis Square Neighborhood Plan. We’re excited to present this meeting with the help of a facilitator who specializes in a meeting format designed to give participants control of the discussion topics. First, city staff will offer an update on the plan started in 2013/14 as well as a look at next steps. Then, to address outstanding topics and ensure that any new ideas and goals are identified, our facilitator will use the Round Robin meeting format, which asks participants to bring up topics for small-group discussions. In short, participants will set the agenda for the night and also shape topics for the next meeting.
At the second meeting in this series on October 19 (at the Community Baptist Church, 31 College Ave. 6-8 p.m.), we’ll take a deeper dive into the community-selected topics and identify action steps to address the goals and needs related to each. City staff will bring in resources and experts on the topic areas selected in the first meeting to serve as a resource during discussions.
Whether your concerns are open space, traffic, parking, streetscape, bicycle infrastructure, housing or more, we hope you’ll join us.
Unfortunately we cannot monitor this page, so if have any questions or need any more information, please contact us at email@example.com
For more information about Davis Square Neighborhood Planning visit https://www.somervillebydesign.
Illustrating long-extinct creatures is difficult, but important work. With no living specimens to observe, it’s up to “paleoartists” who draw, paint, or otherwise illustrate the creatures of prehistory as we think they might’ve been. Their work is the reason that when we talk about velociraptors, stegosaurs, or even wooly mammoths, we have some idea of what they looked like.
But since all we have to go on are fossils, deciding how a dinosaur would have looked is as much art as it is science. And there’s at least one paleoartist who thinks we might be getting things wrong.
C.M. Koseman is an Istanbul-based artist and author (along with John Conway) of the 2012 book, All Yesterdays: Unique and Speculative Views of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals. A long-time creature designer, Koseman had always had an interest in dinosaurs, but he embarked on his book with Conway after they began to realize that something was a bit off. “We were both dinosaur geeks, but the more we looked at these skeletons, and the more we looked at the pictures, we noticed that most mainstream dinosaur art didn’t look at dinosaurs as real creatures,” says Koseman.
Most serious paleoart bases itself on the detailed findings of paleontologists, who can work for weeks or even years compiling the most accurate descriptions of ancient life they can, based on fossil remains. But Koseman says that many dinosaur illustrations should take more cues from animals living today. Our world is full of unique animals that have squat fatty bodies, with all kinds of soft tissue features that are unlikely to have survived in fossils, such as pouches, wattles, or skin flaps. “There could even be forms that no one has imagined,” says Koseman. “For example there could plant-eating dinosaurs that had pangolin or armadillo-like armor that wasn’t preserved in the fossil. There could also be dinosaurs with porcupine-type quills.”
Rarely do we see that type of variation in depictions of dinosaurs. In many ways, there is a certain amount of uniformity in the way we think of dinosaurs, which creates some common tropes in paleoart that Koseman thinks could improve.
One of his main points of contention is the way that we consider dinosaur heads. “The reference has always been crocodiles,” says Koseman. “The biggest thing is teeth and facial fat. Readers have to be aware that all dinosaurs they see in all media, and especially in popular culture, seem to have their heads flensed. They’ve always got these weird grins with only the teeth visible.” As he points out, most animals have lips and gums and lumps of facial fat that change the profile of the head, and cover the teeth. But in many predatory dinosaur illustrations, these are usually missing, making them look fierce, if improbable.
“Another trope is what I like to call the ‘roadkill hair’ trope,” says Koseman. Some fossils show signs of hair, which Koseman says can lead to artists illustrating their creatures with hair only on the parts where it was found on a fossil. However, it’s possible that some dinosaurs had much more hair that they are usually shown to have. “Imagine if you found a raccoon, and only half of the tail was covered in hair, so then you carry that over to a living reconstruction.”
A similar issue occurs with the relatively recent trend of giving dinosaurs feathers. While it is a good way to add some color and flare to an illustration, the placement and length of dinosaur feathers is often based more in fantasy than any past reality. “We have full-on wing feathers erupting from distinct places on the head. Or things like a raptor dinosaur jumping like a ninja and his feathers are coming out of his elbows or knee joint or those weird things,” says Koseman. He thinks that sometimes dinosaurs are over-feathered, with plumage where it doesn’t belong, or under-feathered, being too conservative with the overall coverage.
There is also the practice of what he calls “feather dressing,” where an artist will transfer the color palette of a living bird’s feathers over to a dinosaur. Given the diversity and unique colorations that belong to single varieties of birds, it’s unlikely that any dinosaur shared the same hues. “The feathers of a green-headed mallard exist only once in nature,” says Koseman. “There’s no way in the world that a specific bird’s clothing would be replicated in a dinosaur in the past.”
Then there is the issue of proportion. Koseman says that there is a tendency to exaggerate the heads and claws of dinosaurs. Certainly many dinosaurs had large claws, and fearsome heads, but in many pictures, they seem to be almost cartoonishly huge. “Artists sometimes do this semi-unconsciously because they want to depict the head and the claws, the business end of the thing,” he says.
None of this is to say that paleoart is failing at its job. Many of the more improbable aspects of current dinosaur illustration make the beasts seem rather more sensational, and in some ways more attractive, helping to keep future generations interested in paleontology. Dinosaurs look cool.
And the problems with depicting the creatures of the past aren’t going anywhere. It’s likely that far-future paleoartists will have similar problems with creatures we take for granted today. It’s conceivable, for example, that future paleoartists will speculate that turtles once left their shells, or that frogs, with their weird legs, used to run around upright. “There’s going to be all sorts of reconstructions with reindeer antlers having strange membranes or juvenile reindeer jumping from cliffs, using their horns as paragliders,” says Kozeman.
Short of a Jurassic Park-style clone scenario, we might never know exactly what dinosaurs looked like. But until that day, we have artists like Kozeman to continue dreaming up the endless variations of the prehistoric animal world, by taking a cue from the creatures in our own backyards. “Do not imitate them, but see what other shapes they could take.”
For more paleoart goodness, check out our discussion about illustrating ancient sharks with Allen John Gregory.
Natsume's no ordinary boy. Like his grandmother Reiko he has the ability to see youkai... who flock to him and demand to have their names that Reiko stored in the Book of Friends returned. At Colors, Natsume is visited by some of our past deck releases who would like to have their cards returned!
Every week, one of the releases is picked at random. You can exchange up to five cards from that release for choice cards from that release. You will lose the cards you turn in.
For example, if the chosen release is Release 001, you can turn in an Asobot card and get a choice Logic, Dragon or Optimist card in exchange. Specials can only be gained by turning in other specials!
To get multiple cards from one deck, you need to turn in multiples from another deck as well. You can't get two Logic cards but turning in an Asobot card and a Smile card, but two Asobot cards would work.
Please use this form.
Since the prizes for this game are all choice cards and there's no need to pass them out, you can just log them after posting your comment!
This round closes on Thursday, September 28th!
Pinch Hit #11
Fandoms: Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse, Doctor Who, Political RPF - US 21st cent., Crossovers
Medium/s: Fanfic (plus fanart for Crossovers)