So around 12:30 we went over to see Autumn. I left Jeff to commune with her and cut Paul’s hair.
He approves; in a couple of days we’ll get custody so the young person living with her gets a proper goodbye. This also gives us a chance to somewhat catproof the house, as we’ve been living with a cat that couldn’t jump onto a counter unless a JATO bottle was strapped to her ass, and I suspect from her build and the evidence of my own eyeballs that she is gonna be one impressive jumper, like top of the fridge with no apparent effort jumper. We’ll keep her in for a couple of days and then, she’ll be an outdoor kitty again.
Then Jeff and I helped with their move (they were both there and heaving and what not, and I mostly did useful but not as move-y type things). Jeff worked like a navvy there for a couple of hours.
Then Keith and I picked up Katie’s shower gifts and had a very pleasant time there. Nita and Mike were there, and it was lovely to see Nita. The GLD was in fine form, being passed from hand to sweaty hand without showing much signs of being bothered by it. Ah, Alex. His facial features are more defined and his eyes really look at you now. He’s mothering strong. I didn’t take pictures because it wasn’t really that kind of gathering; we were making real memories, not digital ones. Really good to see the folks.
Then Keith drove me home.
and a thinky thought or two plus a review.
I never really expected to get this old. Even as a teenager I expected something like the singularity to happen; not that I would necessarily conquer death but that the essential part of my brain that apprehends and manipulates the world to make art would still remain.
A body is entirely necessary for this, I have learned. Nothing else is as efficient. I am stuck with it, as well or as poorly as it functions inside the haphazard collection of coincidences that any human body is. I am thinking along those lines because of a documentary I just watched.
Jeff and I’ve just watched the second episode of Your Inner Fish, which is so superior to most contemporary documentaries that it’s hard to pick the most excellent bits out for comparison.
Let us start with the script. Lively, engaging, colloquial without any sacrifice of accuracy, it moves along at a goodly clip and only recapitulates at key points. From there we proceed through the outstanding use of three dimensional modeling to render the evolution of various features common to everything that’s come along since fish. The soundtrack is pedestrian without being annoying, which is all I truly ask of a documentary. The closeups of the various fossils are mindblowing. There were critters I had no idea existed; some have been found with so much detail that you’d be forgiven for thinking they were recently deposited. Some of them are tiny, no more than the size of a paper clip, and yet that tiny critter – with a brain half again as large as anything else then alive of that size – or something very like it, was the ancestor of every human being you have ever loved or hated.
Your Inner Fish showed science as tedious and glorious, backbreaking and cerebral, fun and scary, but mostly it showed science as the kind of thing a passionate and intelligent human being can throw every aspect of the self into; as you peer into the research of each scientist you see what it is about what they are doing that makes it good work, and get a sense for how the research is connected.
You travel from New Jersey to the Arctic, and from Nova Scotia to South Africa, which is where the best bones from the transitional periods between fish and amphibians, and amphibians and reptiles can be found, so it’s a bit of a travelogue as well.
I am really looking forward to seeing the conclusion.