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Hanging By My Tale

Mar. 3rd, 2009

09:45 pm - What's a Poppet?

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Lisa Snellings has been producing wonderful artwork for years now, but in the last few years she's turned her attention to a small figurine called a Poppet. She's been exploring all of the strange permutations that Poppets can undergo, and has found that they're bigger on the inside than on the outside.

My daughter and I have done some stop-motion animation of her Poppets. Those videos are on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Aliapoppets

I've been lucky to have been able to help Lisa on occasion with some videos of her Poppet creations. Here's a link to that video:

http://gallery.me.com/davidkirkpatrick44#100007/PoppetVision&bgcolor=black

If you want to find out more about Poppets, here's the place to start:

http://slaughterhousestudios.blogspot.com/2009/02/what-we-know-about-poppets.html

Current Location: Home
Current Mood: artisticartistic
Current Music: Amazulu: Montego Bay

Jan. 28th, 2007

11:20 pm - Explanatory Interstitial

For those of you wondering what's up with this blog, a quick word of explanation, so you don't have to go all the way back to the first entry to figure things out...

I am posting, on an irregular basis, short stories. Each story must be exactly 100 words in length. Further, within the story, any word can only be used once - no duplications are allowed. I miss the small stuff the most - 'the', 'and', 'a', 'an', etc.

It's a fun little puzzle; if you are interested in writing, give it a try sometime.

Now back to our irregularly scheduled blog, barely in progress....

Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: XTC: Respectable Street

Dec. 20th, 2006

12:34 pm - TS #13 (Carl Sagan Blog-a-thon Day)

In honor of Carl Sagan, I'm posting a new 100 word, no repeats, Tiny Story:


It isn’t often you see internet bloggers almost universally agree about something. However, today many blogs will center on Carl Sagan’s life, whose impact cannot be overstated. He boosted science’s prestige tremendously within everyone’s minds. Additionally, his books introduced masses of people to basic astronomical or cosmological principles, leading them into seriously considering humanity’s position in the universe. Innumerable scientists, myself included, owe him our careers. How can one adequately measure this man's role as a model, inspiring budding researchers everywhere? Talk with any researcher who grew up at that time; they’ll mention ‘Cosmos’ and Sagan reverentially, for good reason.



No time limit on this one, as it was a special one and I wanted to get it right.

I'm still swamped with the last details of teaching, but I'm hoping that after the New Year I'll have more time to post more stories, as I won't be teaching in the Spring. There'll be grants and papers to submit, but they don't subsume all of my time the way that teaching does...

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Peter Gabriel: Games Without Frontiers

Sep. 22nd, 2006

11:29 pm - TS #12

Eons-dead clams, crynoids or horn coral remained embedded in muddy silt until time and pressure fossilized them. Much later their rocky grave broke apart. They tumbled into Lake Huron, where centuries of grinding surf smoothed out all rough edges. Differences among the minerals making up each animal’s new form rendered subtle patterns across every fossil, nearly invisible except when wet. Walking along Huron’s shoreline, I search for these ancient remains. It is a sobering thought, realizing how long ago those animals were alive before having been granted nigh-immortality as fossils, only to have that permanence ground away by mere water.

Started: 10:35 PM
Ended: 11:18 PM
Elapsed time: 43 minutes

This one was re-constructed from another I had written on vacation, but seem to have lost. Time for posting has been almost non-existent, with teaching and the beginning of the school year. I'm not sure when it'll get any easier, too....

Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: Pete Towshend: Secondhand Love

Sep. 17th, 2006

12:50 am - Meme

greygirlbeast tagged me for a meme:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

The closest fiction book was Norm Partridge's 'Mr Fox and Other Feral Tales' from SubPress. Page 123, fifth sentence, and following four:

Chet laughed. "Hey, Stevie, where do lifeguards go after summer vacation?" Steve didn't answer. He hadn't told Chet and Pete about the awful things that lifeguards had to do. He wasn't going to tell them now.

Actually, the closest book was the Genetics text, written by Rob Brooker, that I'm using with my undergraduate class this semester. Page 123 and 124 are full-page diagrams; the fifth to ninth sentences on 125 are, fittingly enough given my research topics, concerned with using recombination frequencies to determine map distance:

As mentioned, a tetratype contains 50% recombinant chromosomes, a nonparental ditype 100%. Therefore, the map distance is computed as: Map distance = [(NPD + (0.5 x T)) / Total number of asci] x 100. Over short map distances, this calculation provides a fairly reliable measure of distance. However, it does not adequately account for double crossovers. When two genes are far apart on the same chromosome, the calculated map distance using this equation underestimates the actual map distance due to double crossovers.

By a funny coincidence, that section is from the lecture that I'm just finishing up for Monday's class...

Current Location: in bed
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: Star Wars soundtrack

Aug. 27th, 2006

12:00 pm - TS #11

Walking along Lake Huron’s eastern shoreline, my feet pressed first into damp brown sand, then hard, slick pebbles. An enormous storm had roared through last night, rearranging every beach feature. Lines of rock ran parallel to water’s edge; the largest rocks rested farthest from shore. They were left far away, as a big stone requires significant force before it’ll move. Each was rounded, smoothed by constant pounding and tumbling, glowing soft white with occasional pastel shades after drying. However, when water lapped across stones, it brought out their brilliantly colored stripes. Rarely, ancient fossils or tumbled sea-glass could be found.

Started: 11:18 AM
Ended: 11:59 AM
Elapsed time: 41 minutes

This one was actually done on the 22nd of August. I've been away a lot the last month - at a scientific conference for a week, at a graduate student retreat for three days, and then on a family vacation for ten days (completely without internet connection - withdrawal symptoms were definitely felt!) I've got a couple of other Tiny Stories to post from the trip, but I'll spread them out a bit.

Current Mood: workingworking
Current Music: The new Doctor Who theme song

Jul. 19th, 2006

01:20 pm - TS #10

At first she thought they were insect bites spaced closely together on her upper arm. However, gentle probing revealed a solid core to them, as if splinters lurked within. “Maybe I haven’t been bitten, but stung?” Connie wasn’t really concerned until stiff black hairs began sprouting from every pore in that area, which became tender and tingly, spreading outward. Worryingly, each hair grew remarkably quickly; cutting did not slow its growth. Could imbedded stingers cause such wild reactions? When heavy insectile scales appeared it was too late for any doctor’s help, although by then the new queen no longer minded.

Started: 12:34 PM
Ended: 1:06 PM
Elapsed time: 32 minutes

I enjoy monster movies, especially the man-into-monster subgenre. I grew up watching some of the cheesiest ones on Saturday afternoon TV - The Wasp Woman, The Alligator People, The Reptile, The Amazing Colossal Man, etc. This is a bit of a homage to those B-movie scenes.

Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
Current Music: George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

Jul. 10th, 2006

10:32 pm - TS #9

Sleepiness, drowsiness, it creeps up when one isn’t paying attention, sinking impossibly thin needle-like claws into your brain, smoothly injecting dreamstuff until coherent thoughts drift and fall apart. Thought paths which once were straightforward begin turning upon themselves, spiraling down through areas resembling nothing you’ve ever seen before. But worst is that convulsive jerking head bob, resulting from a sudden falling feeling, ripping cobwebs away, thrusting the world back in your skull. For short moments of time those dreamscape pathways lie clear, then become foggy, indistinct, impossible to follow, eventually fading entirely, not leaving anything behind except swiftly evaporating mist.

Started: 9:32 PM
Ended: 10:14 PM
Elapsed time: 42 minutes

I love those first few moments after waking up, or coming back to reality after beginning to fall asleep, because then I can remember the pathways of my dreams. However, the majority of those dreams fade rapidly, no matter how much I try to hold onto them. Even worse, the feeling of the dream disappears too, even from those sections of which I manage to retain knowledge.

Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: The Dixie Cups: Iko Iko

Jun. 26th, 2006

05:14 pm - Explanatory Interstitial

For those of you wondering what's up with this blog, a quick word of explanation, so you don't have to go all the way back to the first entry to figure things out...

I am posting, on an irregular basis, short stories. Each story must be exactly 100 words in length. Further, within the story, any word can only be used once - no duplications are allowed. I miss the small stuff the most - 'the', 'and', 'a', 'an', etc.

It's a fun little puzzle; if you are interested in writing, give it a try sometime.

Now back to our irregularly scheduled blog, barely in progress....

Current Mood: mellowmellow
Current Music: Roy Orbison: Running Scared

12:16 pm - TS #8

The most remarkable advance in modern plant biology has gone essentially unnoticed by everyone, scientists included. Grasses used on virtually all neighborhood lawns now appear capable of wide-scale communication; individual plants coordinate coloration with their neighbors both spacially and temporally. These coordinated changes can easily be seen when walking through suburban neighborhoods. Almost every lawn possesses amazingly regular twenty-four inch wide stripes, each having differing green hues. Moreover, color swaths are not static; they have weekly periodicity, peaking at weekend’s end but fading rapidly thereafter. Such patterning implies high order communications between individuals, far exceeding any previously suspected interactive ability.

Started: 11:31 AM
Ended: 12:08 PM
Elapsed time: 37 minutes

As a reasonably rational individual, it really irks me when someone comes up with a ludicrous explanation for something when a much simpler explanation is available. Usually the person making up such contrivances has a vested interest in the simple explanation being incorrect, and sometimes even appears to be willfully blind to the very existence of the simple explanation. Such a person could easily overlook the existence, effects and usage pattern of lawn mowers....

Current Mood: crankycranky
Current Music: UB40: Red, Red Wine

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