Weird convergence: Extinct wildebeest cousin and dinosaur shared noses  

Posted by Tama Boyle in ,


I have two tickets to this coming Tuesday or Wednesday's showing of Cirque du Soleil's 'Quidam', if anybody wants them. I think it's got something to do with Latin grammar, so it should be interesting. (Precedence will be given to those who can provide a full declension of 'quidam' and full conjugation of a deponent verb of their choice.)

NATURAL CURIOSITIES (@naturalcuriosities) • Instagram photos and videos  

Posted by Tama Boyle in ,


My first bit of news is that "Lord Bodner" isn't anybody and never was. possibly this guy (http://bit.ly/1lGjsQT), but probably this guy (http://bit.ly/1QrGqbh).¹ I can tell you your octopus was one of hundreds of anatomical drawings by the French zoologist Jules-César Savigny (http://goo.gl/yp5qA7). He was among the 160 or so scholars to follow Napoleon on his campaign to Egypt² and document that country's history. The resulting work—"Description de l'Égypte" (http://goo.gl/TsLzWN),³ first published in 1809—ran to 37 volumes by the time the last book of the second edition went to print in 1829. Drawings of the octopus and his bits were engraved in 1812 by a Swede named Christian Didrik Forssell (http://bit.ly/1lGjqbH). The plate appears at the beginning of the second volume on natural history, published in 1826.⁴ ² ³ ⁴ ⁵ ⁶ ⁷ ⁸ ⁹ ¹ Which is a pity, really, because the manufactured story isn't nearly as interesting as the real one.⁵ ² This is the same expedition during which the Rosetta Stone was discovered and Lord Nelson was shot in the head. ³ This is a digitized online version of the entire work, preserved through the diligent efforts of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina's rather unfortunately named International School of Information Science, a.k.a. ISIS (http://goo.gl/sGIzoE). ⁴ The translated inscription reads: N[atural].H[istory]. Zoology. CEPHALOPODS. by J[ules].-Cés[ar]. Savigny. Pl[ate].1. OCTOPUSES. DRIED. Designed and Engraved in 1812. Forsell Sc[alpsi]t. ⁵ Which goes to show, I think, that just because you can hot-glue one bit of crap to another bit of crap doesn't mean you're creative and just because you can get away with charging thousands of dollars it for doesn't mean it isn't tat.

Alan Rickman, giant of British film and theatre, dies at 69  

Posted by Tama Boyle in ,


He won't be joining us for the rest of his life. :'(

Nobody needed this Mashup  

Posted by Tama Boyle in ,


My favourtie part is the bit between the beginning and the end.