Friday, January 29, 2010

The Lord Geekington: The Many-Finned and Cladistics, etc

As Cameron/L.G. would tell you, too, please

The Lord Geekington: The Many-Finned and Cladistics

Photo is found at:
and is listed as: Oarfish Regalecus glesne September 1th 2007 Isla San Marcos B.C.S. Mexico

The Lord Geekington: Captain Hanna's Mystery Fish

Monday, January 25, 2010

Zarjaz!: More Betelgeusian fun

A cursory review of Google references to Betelgeusians has revealed the following, to suppliment previous discussions in this blog.
My own familiarity with Betelgeusians began with a Star Trek novel by Christopher L Bennett, Ex Machina, followed by the vintage Mego action figures. The official canon appearance in TMP is so very minor I think it can safely be passed over as far as useful information is concerned.
To the information I have already accumulated (canon and non) I have discovered one more tidbit: Betelgeusian cigars are a well-known export, although perhaps not highly acclaimed. (SCE eBook: The Art of the Comeback)

The most well-known instance appears to be from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Some of the characters are Ford Prefect and his semi-half cousin, Zaphod Beeblebrox. In the Hitchhiker universe, a mysterious catastrophe took place on the planet of Betelgeuse Seven many years before the novel, and Ford's father was the only man to survive. This cataclysm known as "The Great Collapsing Hrung Disaster of Gal./Sid./Year 03758" roughly mirrors the factual doom scenario revolving around the star Betelgeuse and the interstellar diaspora of the Trek Betelgeusians.
Also, I learned that aliens escaping earth in Men In Black sing the Betelgusian death anthem (from the Hitchhiker radio series).
I found this online (whether it is accurate, I don't know):
The ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ says the following about Betelgeusians:
Due to their carnivorous ancestry, beings from any planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse are extremely protective of anything they view as ‘theirs’. Though they are normally perfectly accepting of hitchhikers and quite happy to give them a lift, it must be noted that hitchhikers who find themselves on a Betelgeusian spaceship uninvited are advised to immediately hand over all alcohol to pacify their hosts.

They are also advised to keep away from anyone a Betelgeusian is romantically involved with. Any sign of romantic favour between their partner and another being is seen as a threat. Betelgeusians are renowned for eliminating threats by any means necessary.

N.B. Signs of romantic favour include; touching; hugging; kissing; waving at; smiling at; winking at; passing an object to; asking the time of; sitting next to when there are no other seats; or generally being within a five-mile radius of the aforementioned Betelgeusian’s partner. Be on your guard.

The British sci-fi comic 2000 AD provides some Betelguisian words, invented at the whim of that comic's editors.
(The word exclamation zarjaz! comes from this lexicon, a word which roughly translates as "coolness!" or "fantastic!")
The character of Tharg the Mighty is the chief vehicle for these words, in that he is a major character who also purports to be an editor of the comic. Tharg hails from the planet Quaxxann, in orbit of the star Betelgeuse (but he works in the publisher's office in England.) A favorite food is said to be polystyrene (Styrofoam) cups.

This comic 2000 AD is also known to have inspired the 80's rock record label Zarjazz as well as the fanzine Zarjaz in the early 2000's.

2000 AD is a British sci-fi comic franchise first published in 1977, and has been published in various incarnations up until the present day. It is also the source of the iconic perhaps-more-familiar Judge Dredd character.

In another franchise fated with limited exposure, I refer you to the Bucky O'Hare cartoon and the Betelgeusian Berserker Baboons.'Hare.php
I have to wonder if these nasty tempered simians are made competitive and unpleasant due to their dying star system? I know it'd make me moody.

Interestingly, the unpleasant "Ghost with the Most" Beetlejuice is another derivation. You can summon him by repeating his name three times. The inevitable cataclysmic destruction of the real star Betelgeuse seems to have spawned a number of superstitious associations.

And, of course, the real star Betelgeuse is a scientific reality. It is indeed considered to be approaching a supernova. The time-table is under heated debate (haha... supernova... heated... I kill myself). It is doubtful the timescale of such an event is within the realms of humanity's projected lifetime, although the fiery end of Betelgeuse has been listed as the the cause of human extinction in at least one sci-fi franchise.
Among other plausible etymologies, evidence suggests Betelgeuse is a Westernization of Arabic words meaning "Orion's Armpit." Betelguese is the star representing Orion's right shoulder.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Welcome to the Commentariat

From Strategist's Personal Library:

Haha. I loved this part "A younger, more vocal, more online audience simply doesn’t like Mr. Leno’s show, which has gradually come to represent an entire pre-digital, Middle American culture that the Internet commentariat wishes would just get out of the way."

I had never run across the phrase "Internet commentariat" before. What a cool term!

I am assuming Commentariat would refer to the "[generally] younger, more vocal, more online audience"
with a heterogeneous mix of self-styled Bohemian intelligentsia. Although, personally, I make an effort to value all points of view, including reactionary, as part of a "healthy" mix.

Consider: I am sure we have all met people we considered to be "close-minded": but have you EVER known anyone to identify themselves that way?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Monster Stingray off Thailand- biggest freshwater fish


I should have said, "reported as" biggest freshwater fish ever caught using a rod.

I found this listing of Cryptids online:

Ray: Giant freshwater ray, unknown species
Reported from Mekong River, Thailand and Laos
Sehm 1993-1996

This bears further examination. I do not know if the above article/photo corresponds with "Sehm". Whoever "Sehm" is, I want to find out.

I'm getting closer...
Sehm, G.G. 1993-1996. On a possible unknown species of giant devil ray, Manta sp. Cryptozoology 12: 19-29.
The Waitoreki of New Zealand - Marsupial or Monotreme? in Tuatara: Volume 30, Issue 1, December 1988
Krumbiegel, I., and G. G. Sehm. 1989. The geographic variability of the plains bison. A reconstruction using the earliest European illustrations of both subspecies. Archives of Natural History 16(2): 169-190.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"It’s a Betelgeusian Berserker Baboon!" said Bucky O'Hare.’Hare

I still prefer Dinosaucers myself.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

my first subpoena!

The former neighbor that stole my car is gonna get what she deserves (I hope).

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chris Mantle aka 'Mental' Mantel, local artist

My friend out in Tulsa Oklahoma, been there for years but raised Cajun in Louisiana and still speaks with quite an accent.

I tried to look up some photos of his artwork today, with a little luck but not much.

I'm new to blogspot. Did I upload pics alright? testing...
This isn't his best work, but it's all I've got right now.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bajoran Hasperat: zesty burrito

I'm not sure where they got the "briney" part from, but I give them many kudos for effort.
I have seen some invented (yet practical) recipes to include a base of hummus, although I always thought a cream cheese substance seemed most similar. Of course, served as a wrap or burrito or "sandwiches"
Of course the closest thing to an "official" recipe comes from Neelix's The Star Trek Cookbook. However, this isn't at all faithful to the original description in my opinion. It's a fairly mild-sounding cream cheese/green pepper/red pepper/watercress mixture.
This dish uses horseradish flavored hummus or tabasco sauce to achieve spicy heat while the saltiness comes from soy sauce.
This dish achieves spice through "hot pickled veges" as well as a spicy sauce mixed into the cream cheese base. A briny sensation comes from the pickled veges.
This dish uses ONE AND HALF TEASPOONS CAYENNE PEPPER for the heat mixed with cream cheese, while the brine comes from (I never expected this) diced shrimpies.

I have an idea of my own: throw in some dried seaweed (found in your local Oriental Grocery). Exotic AND briny all in one.

Since this is an "imaginary food eaten by imaginary aliens on an imaginary planet" as one chef has said,
I don't see any need for the recipes to be labeled correct or incorrect. Besides, it has been noted that hasperat is a regional dish, with many varieties.

Note: "Sriracha chili sauce" even SOUNDS Bajoran

Also for reference:

a blog of interest in natural science

I ran across this blog entry by virtue of my pastime of science fiction:

How Long Could Luke Survive in a Tauntaun?

On the Zeray Gazette: i.e.,

As a mental exercise for those inclined toward natural science, zoology, hunting, or even simple thermal dynamics, this is interesting. Obviously the scenario is entirely impractical, involving invented creatures and speculative worldscapes from Star Wars, and yet I found it refreshing (i.e., fun) to read. "Hard SF" appeals to me.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snoopy's Novel, 12 July 1965


Part I
It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed.
Suddenly, a pirate ship appeared on the horizon!
While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.

Part II
A light snow was falling, and the little girl with the tattered shawl had not sold a violet all day.
At that very moment, a young intern at City Hospital was making an important discovery. The mysterious patient in Room 213 had finally awakened. She moaned softly.
Could it be that she was the sister of the boy in Kansas who loved the girl with the tattered shawl who was the daughter of the maid who had escaped from the pirates?
The intern frowned.
"Stampede!" the foreman shouted, and forty thousand head of cattle thundered down on the tiny camp. The two men rolled on the ground grappling beneath the murderous hooves. A left and a right. A left. Another left and right. An uppercut to the jaw. The fight was over. And so the ranch was saved.
The young intern sat by himself in one corner of the coffee shop. He had learned about medicine, but more importantly, he had learned something about life.


What have you read by Herman Melville? Dante? Cervantes?

I have been given to understand that Melville wrote quite a bit, although I have only read his most well-known work, Moby Dick.
My ever-fluctuating reading list incorporates a design to "hit the high spots" of so-called classic literature, world literature, science fiction classics, contemporary fiction, along with whatever else strikes my fancy.

It is funny that I mention the term contemporary fiction, because that's part of what makes Moby Dick so interesting to me. It was contemporary when it was written in the 1850s, but it is now anything but. I suppose the same holds true for so many "classics" but with Moby Dick I somehow felt the connection even stronger than usual. The time period was so very real. Melville had lived in this world of whaling and seafaring and American ideology, and the world he creates lives and breathes in a very powerful way.

Dante Alighieri wrote The Divine Comedy (or Commedia) in the 1300s. It is a work in three books. I have only yet read Dante's Inferno, the first part, which is understandably the most sensationalistic, having to do with hellfire and torment of the damned. It cannot really be classified "contemporary" at the time of writing because of the supernatural events and setting. This was written in Italian, and it quite steeped in cultural Roman Catholicism. In fact, it is quite steeped in pretty much everything about the author's world, despite the setting. Local Florentine politics, Italian geography, and Dante's personal grudges.

Miguel de Cervantes wrote Don Quixote in the 1600s. This was a book I set out intentionally to find and read almost immediately after college. I don't recall the reason. I think perhaps I just was aware of my literary defeciencies, and knew Don Quixote was a good place to start. It has been heralded as "the first modern novel in Western literature." (For a time it held the title of "first ever in the world" but that is now disputed by other works, such as the Tale of Genji.)

I read Moby Dick about 6 months ago now, and I need to approach some more of the "classics." I still have many to read that I have already purchased laying about, including Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Collected Works of Emerson.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Oy... the sure cure for boredom or suicidal tendencies

My throat still burns, and I'm still a bit woosy in my stomach. (Or would I spell it "woosey"? not that it's a specific word anyway)

I have some friends real into health food, organic food, etc and they like to drink a vinegar/honey mixture in the morning before breakfast. As "detox". Apple cider vinegar, specifically. A teacup of the stuff. Then they follow it with tea and breakfast to distance get the aftertaste.

I had joined them for breakfast a few times, and thought it might not be a bad idea to incorporate for myself.

This morning, I tried it.

I couldn't find honey, but I had plenty of apple cider vinegar. While I brewed my morning tea, I poured myself half a teacup. No sense in starting off with a full teacup of unknown properties, right? So, one quick gulp, down the hatch, like a barfly with a bitter shot of whiskey....

Well, suffice it to say, if you are laying at home moaning about being bored, or have a friend doing the same, give it a try. I promise, your mind will become otherwise occupied.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

what have you read by Chrispher L. Bennett?

Hah. Perhaps that's an unfair question. His books cater to a rather specialized demographic. He's an author of the current generation of Star Trek books, and one who I am really enjoying. I just finished Titan: Over a Torrent Sea. My favorite book by him is a toss up between Buried Age (Lost Era: Picard) and Titan: Orion's Hounds (Captain Riker). Many many Star Trek fans do not have the time to read the books, or don't have the interest, or have lost interest, or simply aren't readers at all. And even for someone who does read the books, they often pick and choose what they have time and inclination to read. I myself have ignored various series of novels out of sheer necessity.

I was having a conversation about his books recently (about a phenomenon he mentioned offhand called Cerenkov Radiation), and I found out that he has a physics degree. (By the way, I had no clue whatsoever what the Cerenkov Effect referred to until I looked it up.)

I wrote the following on the TNB (The New Buzz).

"Perhaps I should actually read up on authors that I write about ;-)

It makes a lot of sense, actually. Judging from his books, they do indeed lean quite towards "hard SF."

I also learned something else about Bennett from this book, or rather learned more, or rather guessed more. Bennett dedicated this book, Torrent, to his deceased house cat. That, and he reads *a lot* of time-consuming scientific periodicals. From that, I am guessing he enjoys being at home a lot. A sci-fi fan a learned introvert? Who ever heard of such nonsense ;-)

I have also supposed that Bennett is notably kinky. I have seen a steady development in his expression of romantic wildness since his earliest books, such as Ex Machina. My suspicion is that the editors are giving him greater freedom as time goes on, and that he himself may feel a bit more confident. I can give plenty of examples of this (which I consider refreshing if questionable) but if you read the books, you'll see what I mean.

Don't at all infer that I am judging him: I have an enormous respect for the guy. More than that, I respect his choices and/or nature. Even if I didn't see their value as I do. Being a well-read home-body has a certain elegance to it. And being kinky, well, zest for life is admirable in its own right. Again, all these are mere suppositions that may be dead-wrong.

He is also quite the trivia buff and genuine Trek fan. His return of major characters long unseen has been a high spot for me (examples might be spoilers, so I won't go into detail. Unless, you want me to). I loved how he brought back moments of episodic Trek (the Fabrini, [TOS "For the World is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky"] , the Ressikan flute and Picard's time as Kamin [TNG "The Inner Light] and Soren's philosophy [ST Generations], and the space jellies [TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint"]). It has made me smile to see Bennett flesh out various Federation species that were never well seen: the Betelgeusians and the Rhaandarites (both from TMP), among others."

Official website:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Betelgeusian Star Cruiser

Star Cruiser

I came across this graphic this afternoon (I find it relaxing to explore sci-fi trivia)
Rob Mayer is the author and the artist, and his work is astounding to behold. It begs to be used in the Trek literature, as far as I'm concerned. The artist describes inspiration from Phoenician and Aztec influences.

The Betelgeusians are my personal favorite conjectural species in Star Trek, and I enjoy seeing their developments in the books, such as Ex Machina or Titan: Over a Torrent Sea. Apparently author Chrisopher L. Bennett is fond of this species, and I am glad to have him on my side ;-)
While this species is believed to be essentially avian, I have to wonder if they are flightless. I would assume so, since I have seen no evidence of wings...


In the book Ex Machina the species is described as having abandoned their homeworld as it became unstable, living primarily on ships and other space facilities, living a nomadic lifestyle. Some would even call them peregrine (yes, that was a pun). One Betelgeusian character muses that the V'GER incident demonstrates the intrinsic flaws in living on any one planet. In real science, the Betelgeuse star is indeed supposed to be approaching a supernova. The timescale for such an event is debated; it could be within humanity's experience or in the order of several millennia.

I also found this website, which is a direct duplicate of the design for the former artist rendering, although the graphics are different. (As I understand it), a resourceful man named Gustavo Munoz asked permission and took the pure art and turned it into a playable model for the computer game Bridge Commander. This elegant craft can be appreciated from many angles and in many environments:;99927

Interestingly for me, I discovered why the Betelgeusians of Star Trek had a name reminiscent of a sophomoric movie, Beetlejuice. Apparently, the real star Betelgeuse is so famous that is has spawned numerous references in fiction of all sorts, including comic films.

A Romulan battle fleet of conjectural designs was also very much worth a look:
Oh, and it's in the bottom left corner.