Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

If philosophers were cooks
I was always a lackluster philosophy student, so this is a challenge better suited to Odious' talents. I'll merely note that the, oh let's say, chile relleno greater than which no chile relleno can be conceived obviously exists, inasmuch as an existent relleno is clearly greater than a non-existent one.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A successful first ascent of the Shark's Fin on Mt. Meru in the Gharwal Himalaya: looks like quite a route! Jimmy Chin, probably the world's best climbing photographer, was on the expedition, so it'll be worth looking for more images of this one.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Were the corpses of Nevada ichthyosaurs artistically arranged by an enormous cephalopod? No, seriously:

"It became very clear that something very odd was going on there," said McMenamin. "It was a very odd configuration of bones."

First of all, the different degrees of etching on the bones suggested that the shonisaurs were not all killed and buried at the same time. It also looked like the bones had been purposefully rearranged. That it got him thinking about a particular modern predator that is known for just this sort of intelligent manipulation of bones.

"Modern octopus will do this," McMenamin said. What if there was an ancient, very large sort of octopus, like the kraken of mythology. "I think that these things were captured by the kraken and taken to the midden and the cephalopod would take them apart.....

Even more creepy: The arranged vertebrae resemble the pattern of sucker discs on a cephalopod tentacle, with each vertebra strongly resembling a coleoid sucker. In other words, the vertebral disc "pavement" seen at the state park may represent the earliest known self portrait.

I've enjoyed a couple visits to Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park over the years, but the next trip will be seriously enlivened by the possibility that it's a fossilized kraken lair.

Update: In the unlikely event the exercise is beyond any of our readers, National Geographic and Pharyngula take some Occam's razor to this story. They focus on the self-portrait idea, though, which is pretty damn out there, but don't much mention the the notion of the midden, which seems much less bonkers, even if it's not overly endowed with evidence.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Elisha Joseph Frishman

I'm not sure O&P has any readers who don't also read the Querencia blog, but on the off chance such a person exists, here is my son Eli, born October first (his actual due date!) at a whopping 9 pounds 12 ounces. We were trying for a home birth, but it eventually became clear that the western medicine safety net was warranted, so he came via C-section in St. Vincent's Hospital, the same place I was born. A second generation honky native of Santa Fe is a fairly rare thing.

Here he is with his state-of-the-art baby monitor:

He's named after Eli Tripp, my departed and much-missed best friend from my Montana years. Steve posted an excellent tribute to Eli a while back, and I'm not up to matching it. Joseph is a family name from his mother's side, and also a nod to Steve, who shares it as a middle name.

Eli and daughter Phoebe, sharing her father's wicked grin:

And for good measure, here's the last picture with our Eli on the inside, two Mondays ago in our local mountains: