Trilobites by the Bucket

Outside of Toledo Ohio is a park where you can go and dig for fossils, for free…
“Trilobites by the Bucket”
Not in a place such as this though, but I have gone looking for fossils (in a paleontology course). I didn’t find that much (a few brachiopods and the like) but a classmate of mine on that trip DID find a trilobite.
Me, I think most people know (and if you don’t, now you do) that my favorites are ammonites, anyway. Heck, people like Bridgette and the Olsons have given fossils of them to me as gifts.
And, “just because”, in my Rebma in Strange Bedfellows, the real critters are still alive and thriving. In real life, ammonites (the closest living relative is the Nautilus, with which you might be more familiar) died out 65 million years ago. Other cephalopods related to the ammonites are squid and the octopus (which have basically lost the shell, although the squid has an internal one)
See? Not just the Dinosaurs were wiped out by that extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous period. Ammonites were another (albeit less famous) victim.
The Natural History Museum in England has a virtual exhibit on these amazing creatures.

More stuff on books(Book Review VI)

Surfing a bit here as I work today, I can across an entry back in May from Kevin Drum on his Blog, aka The Calpundit.
He talks about books and solicits recommendations. I’m really posting here to remember the link so I can clip and save this when I get back home.
I’ve finished my latest book, MOONFALL, by Jack McDevitt and found it a passable quasi-thriller. I don’t think its up to the standard of his archaeological SF (eg. Engines of God or Ancient Shores) but it wasn’t bad, either. Its set in 2024, a presidential election year AND a solar eclipse. And of course, an unexpected, extra-solar comet that is on a collision course for the Moon. Given the equation for kinetic energy is 1/2(M*V*V), the fact that this comet is coming at a train-wreck speed spells curtains for the Moon…and of course the fracturing of the Moon can’t be good for the Earth. It’s one of those books in the LUCIFER’S HAMMER mold, a large cast, characters killed off left and right. For those who like that sort of genre, I recommend it, but otherwise you don’t “need” to go and read this book.
An interesting line from the book I have now started:
“Something was lost, long, long ago, before the beginnings of history.”
“Few remain who would recognize it, fewer still who would know the secret of it’s use.”

Sounds like a good opening for a fantasy scenario (be it Amber or otherwise), don’t you think?

Melancholia of Disappointing Players II

Well, since a couple of people have asked in comments how the “situation” is going, I will share.
Well, I feel a bit better, I’ve calmed myself down. I do work myself up in a lather sometimes, as anyone who has spent real time with me can attest. I am not going to be bloodthirsty and kill off Hadrian, although that whole line of conversation did give me an idea, though, and I am going to run with that.
As far as the issues brought up in the Epistle of the unhappy player to the GM, they are still there, and I will try and keep them in mind. Even if the criticism is not useful per se, the next time a scene like the Fount comes around, I will try and catch myself. Some of the personal concerns addressed–I will try and work on.
Oh, and I ordered that Robin Laws book. I have to thank Ginger for mentioning it. I sort of knew it existed, but since it seems to be so well received, I will bite the bullet. Besides, I’m overdue from ordering a “care package” from Amazon 🙂

So who DOES read my blog?

In a comment, Ginger posited:
You might be surprised to find out who reads your blog if you asked the same question. (I’m surprised and interested by some of the entries so far, and expect I will continue to be.)
So, let me ask, then. Who are you people, who read my Blog, and why? I can bet just about no one reads the football entries, but what do you read my Blog for, anyhow? (considering its a veritable trail mix of things). And what do you think about me, Paul “Jvstin” Weimer, based on this thing that I call Blog, Jvstin Style?

Who reads the Blog

Peverse Active Memory on Blog visitors and links
Ginger talks about who reads her blog, links to it and all that stuff. Its a natural sort of thought for the blogging world. After all, its not just the content, but the crossplay between blogs.
She also points me to Technorati and an analysis of my own blog there reveals just a dozen inbound links. I never thought (or think) of myself as a hotspot of the blogging world anyway, BJS is pretty much a backwater. Some might say its a vanity thing, even.
On the other hand, a discussion with Jim the other day revealed that my blog, and in particular my entry on the unhappy player, became a topic of conversation during the last TKC game. So, a few people certainly read my blog, but I am willing to bet its an insular set. But that’s okay, if I had LOTS of readers, I might get writer’s block/stage fright anyhow. I’ll leave “popularity” and recognition to those who truly deserve it, both in our circle, and in the blogging world in particular.

A tiny bit of character trait exposure

Checking my email at work let me see that Arref, who plays my character Marcus’ sister Agacerie in Bridgette’s Age of Retribution, came off with a line that helps encapsulate who Marcus is. They’ve all been through a nasty experience, and Marcus has found his way to where Agacerie and a few others are…
Cerie laughs and gives her brother a quick kiss on the cheek. She laughs again and squeezes his shoulder. “I can tell you are all right. You’re asking questions.”

Space impact “saved” Christianity?

BBC News Story
An interesting hypothesis, that the celestial event that the Roman Emperor Constantine saw in AD 312 that swayed him to a conversion to Christianity was really a large meteorite impact…and a group of scientists think they have found the crater.
Constantine’s conflict with Maxentius is not a new idea for a turning point. I remember reading, years ago, a alternate history story set several hundred years after Constantine loses the battle at Milvian…and thus the knowledge of the Roman Empire is lost, its glory in complete ruin as there are no Christian monks to keep the knowledge alive and growing in this dark alternate world.