Monday, August 26, 2013

It's Monday

noun: serenity
the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.
"an oasis of serenity amidst the bustling city"

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Great Mother's Teeth

After my grandmother passed away, 
my dad and his siblings found a box she had in her dresser
marked "sharks teeth".
Inside were several old teeth.
My dad thought it was something the Brat Child would like to have 
to remember his "Great Mother" by.
We were all a little perplexed
over why in the world she would have a box of shark teeth 
in her jewelry box.
After reading up on all the fossil teeth in the area of the Rappahannock
and seeing the condition of the teeth (they look pretty old and beat up),
I'm fairly certain they're teeth she and my grandfather found.
The Brat Child, 
well, he thinks it would be cool to pull out his own teeth and replace them with these.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fake Facts

I came across this article online about Discovery's shark week show

Apparently, the Discovery Channel felt ratings were a bigger priority 
than maintaining their usual standards of scientific reporting.
And people are pissed.
I don't blame them.
So, just remember, 
Discovery Channel Mock-u-drama 
on Megalodon
My blog post on Megalodon

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Did Megalodons Roam the Rappahannock?

The quick answer is: yes.
The Rappahannock River is part of the area known as The Yorktown Formation
which includes the Rappahannock, Potomac, Piankatank, York and James Rivers.
It is highly fossiliferous 
(that's an actual word. I love it).
While the most common fossils found are those from bivalves 
(clams, oysters, mussels, scallops,etc)
there are those lucky people who have managed to find Meg teeth
(Currently there is a megalodon tooth from the Rappahannock
 for sale on eBay for $2,300).

So far, the only teeth I've managed to find
were small ones
but I'm still hoping for that big Meg tooth find.

Monday, August 5, 2013

It's Shark Week

Let's start with Megalodons.
Smithsonian Natural History Museum Washington, DC
I realize I'm sort of copying the Discovery Channels premise that Megalodons could actually still be alive in the earth's warmer oceans.
But it's a thought I personally have had for several years.
Not that I'm any kind of shark expert
or have seen an ominous 60 foot dark shape swimming by my boat
(seriously, if that happened I'd crap my pants if not die of a fatal heart attack right there).
But I did once read a book of fiction written by Steve Alten
called Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror.
The novel was about a diver who sees a Megalodon 
while on a top secret deep sea dive to the Mariana Trench.
He isn't believed so he becomes a paleontologist to try to prove what he saw.
Everyone thinks he's a kook
until he goes on another dive to the trench, is attacked by a male Meg,
has his friend eaten and ends up getting the Meg tangled in some cables.
As he's dragging the male Megalodon to the surface, a female (you saw this coming right?)
attacks the body of the male.
She follows the warm blood of the male up through the "cold water barrier"
(the bottom of the trench is warmed by geothermal ducts, Megs thrive in warm tropical water and the novel claims that the Megs are kept at the bottom of the trench by the cold water zone between the trench and the warmer surface waters).
Of course the female goes on a feeding rampage
eating whales, boats and the protagonist's ex wife. 
The female gives birth, the baby is captured and that's the end of that book.
There are more in the series, but I didn't read them. 
So is this a plausable thing?
Can Megalodon still be alive?
In 1875, 2 Megalodon teeth were dredged up during the expedition of the HMS Challenger.
They were dated as only 10,000-15,000 years old-
meaning their extinction (if it happened) happened within the age of modern man.
In 1918- several fisherman in Australia refused to work after a giant shark destroyed their gear and age their catch.
These men were experienced fishermen, familiar with the areas sharks and whales.
So what scared them so bad they refused to return to the water?
Recently, the History Channel's MonterQuest team 
went in search of a monster shark in the Sea of Cortez. 
It's been reported a large shark is decimating the marine mammal population.
While they didn't see a Megalodon,
many believe that it's the perfect area for one to thrive in.

Is it really possible they could still be alive today?
Who really knows, but some points to ponder:
We've only recently begun to see photos and video of the Giant Squid.
The Megamouth shark was only discovered in 1975
and the coelacanth was thought to have gone extinct 65 million years ago until one was caught in 1938.
This is known as the Lazarus Taxon which is when a species is  thought
 to have gone extinct but is eventually found alive. 
This typically happens when there's just a small population of the animal/fish
and locals are familiar with it but scientists haven't bothered to officially identify it.
There have been many reports of a giant shark.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Queen Anne's Lace

In the language of flowers, Queen Anne's Lace represents sanctuary.
This is one of my favorite flowers.
The legend is that Queen Anne, wife to James I,
was challenged to make lace as beautiful as a flower.
While making the lace she pricked her finger.
It's said the red flower at the center of Queen Anne's Lace
represents a droplet of her blood.
It's also sometimes called Bird's Nest
because of its tendency to curl inward resembling a nest.
Queen Anne's Lace is also called Wild Carrot
because it is, a carrot.
It was actually used to create the domesticated carrot.
(I learned that in a Ranger Rick magazine)

Queen Anne's Lace

Her body is not so white as
anemony petals nor so smooth—nor
so remote a thing. It is a field
of the wild carrot taking
the field by force; the grass
does not raise above it.
Here is no question of whiteness,
white as can be, with a purple mole
at the center of each flower.
Each flower is a hand’s span
of her whiteness. Wherever
his hand has lain there is
a tiny purple blemish. Each part
is a blossom under his touch
to which the fibres of her being
stem one by one, each to its end,
until the whole field is a
white desire, empty, a single stem,
a cluster, flower by flower,
a pious wish to whiteness gone over—
or nothing.
~William Carlos Williams