London innit. Mainly reblogging stuff. Would be happy to add/correct credits for any post, just send me a message.
John Wayne Gacy’s clown suits at the Crime & Punishment Museum
Fun times in Bristol!
Rik Garrett - Symbiosis (2010-11)
"An integral concept of Alchemy is ‘Solve et Coagula’ – dissolve and combine. This is the secret key to manifesting the Philosopher’s Stone, Elixr of Life and immortality. This ideal is represented with the image of the Rebis – a two-headed hermaphrodite that holds the assets of both genders."
I’ve seen a lot of hoo-ha on my dash and in various dinosaur tags lately about feathers on non-avian dinosaurs, so I thought some people might find this useful.
This is a diagram on feather evolution I did a while ago for a book I co-authored and illustrated (which is currently in press, stilllllll). The “stages” represented here are highly simplified from reality (the “interlocking” and “non-interlocking” barbule stages are basically combined into one, since it’s not really possible to tell them apart in fossils) due to making it as easy to understand as possible to a lay-audience.
The description, as written by the editor:
Stage 1 - Simple fibers: Hollow unbranched fibers, with no barbs or barbules. Found on Sciurumimus albersdoerferi.
Stage 2 - Bundles of fibers: Groups of unbranched fibers, each attaching to a central point. Found on Sinosauropteryx prima.
Stage 3 - Unbranched barbs: Rows of unbranched barbs attached to a central shaft. Found preserved in amber alongside troodontid teeth.
Stage 4 - Barbs and barbules: Rows of barbs attached to a central shaft, which branch further into barbules. Found on Protarchaeopteryx robusta.
Stage 5 - Fully-developed flight feathers: Barbs and interlocking barbules; asymmetrical shape. Found on Microraptor gui.
Some things to point out relevant to aforementioned dash hoo-ha: large, non-volant dromaeosaurs, including Utahraptor and other large genera, are most likely to have possessed stage 3 or 4 feathers. In life, these would have appeared similar to the remiges found on modern flightless birds like the ostrich, which has fairly shaggy vaned remiges on its arms.
Two important points: 1) As per phylogenetic bracketing, there is no reason whatsoever to assume that larger dromaeosaurs did not have these primitive sorts of remiges. 2) As per common sense, there is also no reason to assume that non-volant dromaeosaurs had asymmetrical stage-5 flight feathers, which are ONLY known from animals (both living and extinct) that had at the very least some rudimentary flight or gliding capabilities. Asymmetrical remiges are not “accurate” on large, obviously non-volant dromaeosaurs.
To illustrate the point, the modern kakapo parrot appears to be clearly in the process of losing its ability to fly, evolving instead a preference for a largely terrestrial lifestyle. It is considered “mostly” flightless. And, curiously, its remiges are also much less asymmetrical than related volant genera.
This is not a coincidence - in feathers, asymmetry, interlocking barbules and the mechanisms for maintaining them are more costly to produce, and these traits appear to slake off when a lineage loses volant capabilities.
Feathers did not evolve for flight, but stage 5 asymmetrical feathers (probably) did!
1. Cthulhu’s Legend
2. At the Mountain of Madness
4. The Hunter in the Dark
3. The Necronomicon
Location: the Anza (Main and Ontario), after the glorious Spit party.
Good times, awesome times! It is good to go out, for a change. Once the party was over, I helped around with clearing the space. Since the music was out, all the lights were on, and quite a few people were still around, this gave me the chance to collect a tattoo story. I spotted some traditional-looking tattoos on his arm, and decided to approach him. He was immediately into it and we sat down in a booth and told me the story not behind those on his arm, but about this one on his chest (the one that reads ‘Pas de chance’, which also made for a really cool picture.
“The story behind that one… it is an old French story, I think it is originally by Jean Cocteau, he was an artist and a writer in the early 1900s in France. He tells the story of how he has ‘PAS DE CHANCE’ tattooed over his heart, it means ‘Out of luck’. He meets this French sailor in a bar, and this guy has just gotten out of prison —he was on a ship that did mutiny, so the entire crew had gone to prison, even though he hadn’t really participated. He ends up taking this sailor back up to his room, and they spend an amazing night, telling each other all kinds of things, and the next morning he wakes up really early and for some reason he’s like ‘meh, you know what, I just got to get out of here’. Without waking the sailor up he gets up and sneaks out, and once he’s on the street he realizes he has left his gloves behind. They were expensive, so he goes back up, and he hears a sound. He sees through the keyhole and finds the sailor had already woken up, and he was sitting on the bed, holding the gloves, sobbing. So he just backs away quietly and leaves.”
I was impressed by the story. You must have guessed by now that I hadn’t heard of it or read the book before. Then I started to wonder if the ‘Pas de Chance’ tied in with more elements of it, so I asked.
“Oh, yeah… so ‘Pas de chance’ or ‘Out of luck’. Well, he had this tattooed over his heart and in the course of the night, while he is making love to this sailor, the sailor takes a pen and crosses ‘out of luck’ out and draws some good luck symbol. Trying to tell him that his luck has changed. And even though they shared this amazing moment, he still gets up and leaves the next morning.”
I was speechless. He then told me more about this story, it was a very very cinematic narration, that I sure will read. It is called ‘The White Book’ by Jean Cocteau. This was amazing, just when I thought the night couldn’t get any better, I found this story. :)
Félicien Rops (1833-1898) - Les Masques