This is an artists' rendition of Pegomastax africanus, a 200-million-year-old dinosaur that is the subject of a new peer-reviewed research paper out this week in the journal ZooKeys.
It's a great face, and a fascinating species. Couple of things here that I think are worth highlighting:
First, despite the fang-y teeth Pegomastax africanus is sporting, the scientists who wrote the paper think this animal was actually a vegetarian. Or, at least, mostly a vegetarian. At LiveScience.com, the researchers told journalist Charles Q. Choi that the dinosaur had a parrot-like beak, its fangs weren't positioned well for cutting through meat, and its back teeth look like the kind of chompers plant-eaters use to slice through leaves and roughage. All of which suggest Pegomastax africanus ate more seeds, nuts, and fruit than flank steak.
The other cool thing has to do with when Pegomastax africanus was found. While the paper describing the fossil was published online today, the fossil itself was pulled out of the ground in the 1960s. In fact, the paper's main author — paleontologist Paul C. Sereno — first noticed the neglected fossil in 1983, and only recently got around to examining it more closely. Think of it this way, a successful dig might come out with lots of potentially cool rocks and fossils. The fact is that there are often more artifacts than there is time for one team to closely work with all the artifacts. The researchers who did the digging will focus on the ones that are most interesting to them. Read the rest
Before you start worrying that some unworthy person is going to try writing a sequel to The Princess Bride, let it be known that the man who wrote the original, screenwriter William Goldman (who also wrote the original novel), has actually been trying to write one himself for years. What's stopping him? He's having trouble coming up with a good story. Last night at the New York Film Festival, Goldman made it sound like this has been floating around in his head for years:
“I’m desperate to make it and write it and I don’t know how... I would love to make it, more than anything else I’ve not written.”
It's reassuring that any story about a sequel to The Princess Bride is a story about Mr. Goldman and not some other writer preparing big-budget fan fiction that everyone will probably protest with fire and rage. Goldman, who also wrote the screenplays for All the President's Men and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, is the only person who is allowed to talk about writing a Princess Bride sequel as far as I'm concerned. Such a beloved and delicately crafted kingdom of characters should only come from its creator, at least in this case. So if the mood ever strikes Goldman and he does come up with a new adventure for Westley and Buttercup, I'm sure I'm not the only person who will think it was worth the wait.
The rise of the machines has begun. Apparently, dozens of washing machines from numerous brands are "exploding" and UK consumer product watchdog magazine Which? is investigating. The typical story involves the glass door of the washing machines violently shattering, possibly caused by the drum splitting apart while the machine is on high spin. From The Telegraph:
"Consumer watchdog investigates exploding washing machines"
Adrian Porter, Home Product Researcher at the watchdog said the problem first appeared 18 months ago but the number of cases had risen sharply in recent months.
The forum Whitegoodshelp has been collecting stories from those who say they have been affected…
Mr Porter said: "This hasn't happened to any washing machines during our lab tests, so we have been unable to observe it in laboratory conditions and follow up with a proper analysis. "But going through the accounts, there are theories ranging from hair cracks in the glass, or even that the glass is just thinner than it used to be. Still, nothing has been confirmed."
Favorite tidbit from the interview...
CLAY FERNALD: Were you the first of your friends to get published and get attention for your work?Optic Nerve put you on the map as a young man.
ADRIAN TOMINE: You assume that I had friends! I actually started doingOptic Nerve in response to being an unlikeable teenage loner, so it wasn’t like I was part of some cartooning community then. And when I did eventually make some friends in the comics world, they were basically already seasoned veterans, so any little accomplishment I might’ve experienced wasn’t anything new to them.
The interview also included a link to a fan-made film based on on of Adriane's stories, "Smoke."
I admire the work of illustrator and cartoonist Mike Maihack. His simple line art, subdued color palette, and quietly humorous illustrations remind me a bit of Seth, if Seth liked to draw female superheroes. I just found out Mike illustrated a kids' novel called Geeks, Girls, and Super Identities. Check out a few of his illustrations here.
Throughout last year I Illustrated a fantastic book by author Mike Jung titled Geeks, Girls, and Super Identities -- and that book is officially out this week! … The gist is this: superhero fanclub, giant robot, school-yard crush, evil plot, exciting twist, lots-of-action.
I illustrated the jacket and 40 or so interior illustrations for GG&SI, most of wich consisted of drawing said giant robot, a beefy superhero, a goonies-esque trio, and one punky young gap-toothed girl. Oh and pizza. I also drew a bunch of pizza. It was a great gig. I know I’m biased but I can’t recommend the book highly enough. It’s just super fun.
Here's a Monkey Jesus/restored icon cosplayer in full regalia. The identity of the person behind the mask is the source of controversy: it was posted to Reddit by OhioUPilot12, whose description implied that s/he was the creator of the costume. However, when Spinjump posted that this had been her/his Anime Weekend Atlanta costume, OhioUPilot12 backpedaled and claimed that the original description was an unfortunate misunderstanding.
[Video Link] Salon: Among “abortionists,” Akin said in a floor speech in 2008, “you find that along with the culture death go all kinds of other lawbreaking: the not following good sanitary procedure, giving abortions to women who aren’t actually pregnant, cheating on taxes, all these kinds of things.” Later in the video Akin accuses death culture doctors of killing imaginary unicorns. Read the rest
Blue Skies is a great start to Matthew Mather's Atopia Chronicles. In just a few pages he introduces you to believable future and a character I immediately identified with.
Olympia is an advertising exec run out of steam, but she can't admit it. She is past the edge of a nervous breakdown and needs to find some control. She doesn't like to use drugs but agrees to test a new technology, nanobots embed 'smaticles' into her nervous system and give complete control over the reality she perceives -- bots aren't drugs! With the help of her new poly-synthetic sensory interface, or "pssi," Olympia learns one of those "be careful what you wish for" lessons.
or consider the entire collection:
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L'Engle's justly loved young adult novel about children who must rescue a dimension-hopping physicist who has been trapped by a malignant intelligence bent on bringing conformity to the universe.
Hill and Wang's A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel is Hope Larson's really wonderful and worthy adaptation of the original. Larson is very faithful to the original text, and the graphic form really suits the story, as it allows for direct illustration of some of the more abstract concepts (such as the notion of folding space in higher dimensions to attain faster-than-light transpositions of matter).
But Larson does more than capture the abstract with her graphics. L'Engle's charm and gift was in her ability to marry the abstract with the numinous -- to infuse stories about math and physics with so much heart, heartbreak, bravery, sorrow and joy that they changed everyone who read them. Larson does a brilliant job of capturing this crucial element of L'Engle's style.
I read this book aloud to my four year old daughter over a couple weeks' worth of bedtimes. There were plenty of times when I was sure that the nuances of the story were going over her head (she didn't come out of the experience with any sense of what a tesseract is!) but her interest never, ever wavered. That's because Larson's illustrations do such a fine job of showing the emotional arc of L'Engle's characters that even a small child could not help but be drawn into the drama. Read the rest