Stephen Bodio’s Querencia: Doggie Disaster and bleg

Stephen Bodio’s Querencia: Doggie Disaster and bleg.

We ran over and there was Irbis, lying down with an obviously broken leg…it was dangling from the rest of his leg, and he was bleeding where the bone had come through the skin.

We’re feeling very depressed at the moment — we can hardly bear the thought of his losing a leg, especially as he’s just 11 months old. So we’re asking you, our friends, if you can help in any way, even with a small amount — they add up quickly. If you want to contribute, the best thing would be to call the vet’s office with a credit or debit card number — they expect to be paid IN FULL by Tuesday afternoon when we go to pick him up after his surgery. We need at least $1700(we have come up with loans of $800) to get him out, and need to repay Jackson and Niki, though they are infinitely patient. The phone number at Petroglyph Vet Clinic is 505-898-8874 — they’re a 24 hour operation. Ray Hudgell is the vet and the account number for Irbis is 4116.

The Avatar post

Saw it. Liked it.  There may be spoilers from here on so proceed at your own risk. If you go expecting a great story line, you may be disappointed – on this continuum, I’d put it right between Star Wars (classic quest yarn, well realized) and The Phantom Menace (wha?). That may actually be a decent analogy – Terminator was an edge of seat experience when I first saw it, just as Star Wars was; since then both Cameron and Lucas have been having fun with tech at the expense of storytelling. Cameron hasn’t gone all the way – there is a narrative in Avatar. I’ve got to agree with Annalee’s critique of the movie, though I do think that Sully’s (easily anticipated) final choice is a variation that helps rescue things a bit. So, what did I like?

Critters! Yes, they’re bilaterally symmetrical and often look a lot like beasts here (blue space horsies, anyone?), but I’m a sucker for just about any kind of speculative exobiology. Cameron could have been a LOT more daring in his critter design without going as far as Eganesque info-processing Sierpinski carpets (tough to relate to) but you gotta take what you can get . While I’m on the subject, let me recommend a few good specbio picture books – After Man, Expedition and Worlds. When I see Avatar again I’m planning on ignoring the bipeds most of the time and concetrating on hammerhead peacockotheria, tubewormplants and their ilk.

Tech! The best CG faces ever – they avoided the uncanny valley altogether. This one worried me – I’ve seen snatches of The Polar Express on teevee – it’s horrifying. 3D – I stopped consciously noticing depth about 5 minutes in. Part of my motivation for the second view is to try to figure out whether good 3D makes a difference – I’m going to see the non-3D version.

Action! Cameron does good action scenes – there were no surprises in the big final battle, but it was quite exciting anyway.

Neither here nor there – Avatar has the McGuffiniest McGuffin ever – although, unsurprisingly, the thing that motivates all the conflict fades into obscurity damn quick. The name? The notion that anything is worth transporting over interstellar distances given light speed/energy constraints? Wow.

That’s it – light entertainment with oodles of ‘ooh, shiny’.


Amy Stein at the HMNH

This looks like a date to mark on the calendar – Domesticated: Modern Dioramas of Our New Natural History – Photographs by Amy Stein opens at the Harvard Museum of Natural History on January 22. Bonus – a talk by the artist at 4 PM. The questions around human/wild categorization continue to fascinate me; I’m pretty firmly in the ‘there is no us and them’ camp, but exploring what happens when what most think of as two worlds confront each other looks to be good stuff. Then there’s the whole diorama thing (Akeley lives!). See you there.


‘Howl’ © Amy Stein

Thanks, Blue!