Holiday Harassment

Rough two days. Coming down off the cold interval – and yes, I acknowledge that cold is a sensation and not, very NOT, a thermodynamic observable, but when I have to rouse myself bihourly to adjust preventive measures and get NO REM sleep, that is the archetype of "cold" – I survived an abbreviated expedition to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill for provisions,, at minimum, and then yesterday, chilly but not cold – also admittedly a sensation – was a medicalist day. So no blot on either day. This can be labeled/named "the year that lacked a Fall" with ample accuracy. I have in a few weeks gone from wearing tee shirts to long sleeved shirts under sweaters. And cursing the politician-denialists who will do nothing about climate change except to sabotage any effort to ameliorate, much less correct, it.

So we come into the boundary of week out and the leading edge of the holiday plague. And I am discontent already. Whatever happened to last year’s plans to go hide in a hole during this season. It is too late. Next week we have to observe the workaholic holiday of thanksgiving which at least has the merit of being originally American and secular even if largely appropriated by the religionists. Pepper spray and roasted fowl. And perhaps the increasingly empty promise of sandwiches with Miracle Whip (R). Even that joy is not sufficient to dissipate, however briefly, the carbonite that is the holiday season and the bitter temperatures stretching forward several months.

To cheer things up, I am using a saved article [Link] from some time ago about some paleontology work at Flinders U. Seems the boffins there have discovered the first vertebrates to sexually reproduce with a male organ. Yes, that one. The work deals with Placoderms, the earliest vertebrate ancestor of we naked apes, specifically Microbrachius Dicki who have "claspers" to transfer sperm from male to female.

This is a truly wonderful bit. First, the name of the university is excellent. I am envious. Contemplate the impact one would have by stating "I have a degree from Flinders U." A truly massive name. And the first (known) vertebrate to have a penile organ. Although I do wonder if the animal’s species, "Dicki", is a pun of some sort. If so, it is brazen and excellent. I wonder if one could compose a suitably bawdy beer song about this species to the tune of the Popeye the Sailor tune? The organ pun is intentional, it is, after all, Freya’s day which is also punday.

And the best part? These fossils are 385 MY old and found in Scotland. This is also wonderful. It substantiates that age old claim that the Scots invented sex (as well as whisky!), tried unsuccessfully to explain it to the English, and then had their copyright ignored by the French. And that they then invented golf in retribution. Ah well, I fear the first two are sufficient for me. But if only they had invented physics as well!