Monday, April 26, 2010

Giant Salamanders and Hellbenders

This is one of my favorite cryptozoological mysteries, although it needs to be explained that correct identification is as important as the discovery of "unknown" animals.

Willy Ley in his books has mentioned Giant Salamanders of the American West, known to early settlers, but extinct by the time that scientific minds had moved to that region.
He suggests that there are many references to giant salamanders of the Rocky Mountains area written by dubious first-hand settler accounts. I want to find some of these, some day.

There are species of documented very large salamanders in Asia. It is not without precedent that they could have had a North American cousin.

On the other hand, misidentification and hearsay and legend and exotic nonnative species are also very real possibilities that need to be examined. Further, some instances may have been legitimate while others not.

River Monsters!


One of the few perks on my current job, I'm privy to late-night cable programming, something I am generally skeptical if not dismissive of. Aside from the Daily Show and it's subsidiaries, of course. Anyway...

Not too long ago, I found River Monsters, a fun fun fun show on Animal Planet. Well, it's fun fun fun for me anyway. My favorite episode so far happens to be the first I got to watch, about the goliath tigerfish of the Congo River. If anyone isn't clear on what that is, Google it. I'm in a hurry.

Anyway, the season 2 premeire was last night, and features the Giant Freshwater Ray of Southeast Asia (Thailand, etc.). Wow! 400 pounds, 17 feet across AFAIK or can remember. If anyone recalls (except for me), I blogged on this very creature a tiny bit back about half a year ago or so. I forget the exact blog title; I can look it up later. Maybe. I had tried to figure out the natural history of this creature, to ID the animal I found in pictures, but I wasn't quite sure. Now I am.

It was only been known to science about 20 years, says the show, and is still little known, AFAIK. And I can believe it, to an extent, judging from the shallow information I have seen online.

Now I know what I was looking at before. Whee!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate

What do Korea and James Brown have in common? they both have Seoul.

It's a Long Way From Amphioxus

It's a long way from amphioxus
It's a long way from us.
It's a long way from amphioxus
To the meanest human cuss.
It's good-bye fins and gill slits
Welcome skin and hair.
It's a long way from amphioxus
But we came from there.

--attributed to Philip Pope

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Expendables - starring Charisma Carpenter

Well, Charisma (of Buffy and Angel fame) isn't quite the biggest face in the movie, but she is to me. As far as I can tell without doing my research, this is one of first silver screen movies she has done, if not THE first. Previously, it has been all TV shows and made-for-TV movies.
But, The Expendables sounds like a movie I want to see! Stallone, Schwarzenagger, and Jet Li! Coolness! Just missing Jackie Chan to make this really something. says:
Watch the latest movie trailer for the upcoming film “The Expendables” by director Sylvester Stallone (Incredible Love, Rambo, Rocky Balboa) and starring Jason Statham (Crank, The Brazilian Job, Death Race), Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler, Iron Man 2), Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brittany Murphy (Sin City 2), Jet Li (The Forbidden Kingdom), Eric Roberts, Steve Austin and Charisma Carpenter. Synopsis: Sylvester Stallone gears up for a men-on-a-mission film with the Nu Image/Millennium Films war picture The Expendables. Jason Statham and Jet Li co-star alongside the brawny filmmaker as a group of mercenaries who undertake a near-impossible operation to overthrow a dictator in South America. Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Terry Crews, and Ufc star Randy [...] »

Friday, April 2, 2010

politics in America

I still think presidential elections should be a boxing match on Pay-per-View, or perhaps a more bloody alternate sport.
But then the Presidency might devolve to mere boxing champs.
So, how bout a rotating method of election, picked at random from a hat by a blindfolded monkey chosen at random from the National Zoo? There's a reason we have a National Zoo, y'know.
So, dueling and boxing are two methods, Scrabble a third, standardized testing (i.e. SAT), poker, and ooh a week or more of primitive survival in Alaska. Eating nuts and berries and raw fish, and seeing who survives the experience. Talk about exposure!
Of course, actual partisan debate and vote taking would be one of the rotating alternatives, so the presidents would have to be experienced politicians.
And, to include a level of democracy, of course we vote in primaries and such.

April Fools' Winged Cats Clade: the Pantheropterygines


Marooned - Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror books on Mars: The Critic: H. G. Wells gripes about copyright infringement in 1898 letter to editor

Marooned - Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror books on Mars: The Critic: H. G. Wells gripes about copyright infringement in 1898 letter to editor