I’m Stuck! Please Send Comments

Tanystropheus - Wikipedia

I had just fallen into a doze last night when my wife, reading my new book, The Wind from Heaven, woke me to ask, “What the dickens is this?” She’d just read the scene in which Ysbott the Snake espies a Tanystropheus fishing (as it were) in a little pond in the depths of Lintum Forest. She read back to me my description of the creature, which I must say accords very well with the picture, above. But what could I say but, “That’s a Tanystropheus”?

Ordinarily that would have inspired me to greater literary efforts. But I’m afraid writing about Sicilian caecilians today used up something vital in my brain… and now I’m stuck. Can’t think of anything else to write about, even though I’m a good 50 views behind where I ought to be at this time of day.

In short, I need assistance from my readers. Comments, suggestions, urgent pleas for more information, light-hearted observations about this or that–I need ’em all. Because I’m stuck. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does… not even a Tanystropheus can help me.

Waiting to hear from you–

‘Nother Experiment

Moschops - Wikipedia

It probably doesn’t show at your end, but here at mine, I’m trying to master new techniques that have been imposed on me without my consent. There’s a lot of that going around lately.

If this post is successfully published, you will see a Moschops, from South Africa, and the silhouette of an unidentified woman who is taking it for a walk. You can try to decide which animal was weirder, this or Tanystropheus. The latter enjoys a cameo appearance in Bell Mountain No. 13, The Wind from Heaven. Moschops last appeared, fleetingly, in The Missouri Breaks with Marlon Brando.

If the post is unsuccessful, you’ll probably see nothing at all.

Holy Moly! Finished!

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I’m a little behind in my posts today, but never mind–The Wind From Heaven has been written! Finito! Bell Mountain No. 13 is ready to have its final chapter set typed up and sent to Susan for editing.

Just in time, too: the weather’s getting too cold for me to sit outside and write.

Will this go down in history as “the Tanystropheus book?” I mean, because there’s a Tanystropheus in it? But that’s only one of its attractions, and the only one I’ll mention by name–don’t want to spoil any surprises. Susan has read the first five chapter sets and says you’re gonna need a seat belt to read this book.

But first we’ve got to get His Mercy Endureth Forever into print, and to make that turn out right, we need Kirk DouPonce’s cover art. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with this time.

And I just remembered I’ve got to do something about Joe Collidge today–so see you in a bit.

It’s Tanystropheus Time Again

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Do you really want to read about the first “same-sex romance” on some reality TV show? Do you think I want to write about it?

It’s Tanystropheus time!

When the nooze is just too disgusting to bother with, it’s time to imagine going for a swim or playing Parchesi with one of those impossibly long-necked reptiles of a bygone age. They’re back in Lintum Forest now, if you can find the way.

Speaking of which, I think I’d better head out there myself. We have another doctor visit this afternoon, two or three hours of my work day lost… So please take the opportunity, dear readers, to browse around the blog archives for all sorts of cool stuff.

It’s Tanystropheus Time!

All right, I give up on the nooze today, I totally give up. I’m old enough to remember when serious people used to run for president, but now it’s a freak show. I know it’s part of my job to cover nooze, but I’m sick of writing about these people. Bob Knight has a column on townhall.com today about questions he’d ask them if he were moderating one of their debates. I would ask, in addition to those, the following:

“What are you doing out of your straitjacket?”

“How many times a day do you sing ‘Imagine’?”

“What terrible thing happened to you in your childhood, to make you turn out like this?”

And so enough’s enough. And that means… well, what time is it, boys and girls? What time is it?

It’s Tanystropheus time!

I’m so happy I finally found one of these in an unexplored, uninhabited region of Lintum Forest. I don’t bother with the evolution fairy tales: this animal was just plain cool. Nothing like it before or since. It makes its debut in the story I’m currently writing, The Wind From Heaven–which, I say, is galloping like mad to some destination yet unknown to me. I can hardly wait to see what happens next.

Mr. Nature: An Improbable Critter

Image result for images of tanystropheus

Jambo! Mr. Nature here; and today our safari takes us to an unexplored corner of Lintum Forest, by way of the Triassic Period. It will feature in Bell Mountain No. 13, The Wind From Heaven, which I’m writing now.

Behold Tanystropheus, with its improbably long neck. This fossil was so weird, that when its first pieces were discovered, the scientist thought it might be wing bones from a pterodactyl. But eventually enough pieces were found to yield the reconstruction pictured above.

How did this animal live? There’s nothing even close to it around today, no living creature to compare it to. Did it squat on the shore and use its long neck as a kind of fishing pole? There aren’t enough bones in the neck to make it very flexible. So the answer is, we just don’t know.

Our Lord is a highly versatile Creator!


‘Tanystropheus’ Nickname is Racist

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Activists are demanding that Hormad High School drop its ‘Tanystropheus’ mascot because, they say, it’s racist.

An extinct reptile with a startlingly long neck, the Tanystropheus has been the nickname of Hormad High’s sports teams for some 600 years. The students’ favorite cheer is “Tanystropheuses, go, go, go!” But that has to change, says the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“The image of this disgusting creature is offensive to our nation’s ethnic minorities,” said Fernando Gesundheit, a spokesbeing for the Hormad City chapter of Antifa. “It is also a slap in the face to Settled Science. Drop it, Hormads, or you’ll be sorry!”

The students are unhappy about this. “Do they have any idea,” asked Rodney Podney, captain of the Hormad High curling team, “how much it cost us to get those Tanystropheus outfits for our cheerleaders? I mean, the necks kept dragging on the ground! It took us a full 200 bake sales to raise enough money to get that fixed.”

Why is the image of a Tanystropheus racist?

“Because we say it is!” explains the SPLC Office of Browbeating America.

No one has yet suggested an alternative mascot for the school.



About that Reblog

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Gee, maybe it got lost on the way down…

Well, WordPress has also fixed my reblogging feature, so now it works again. The test has been successful.

But it was more than just a test. We enjoy a lot of Michael Graeme’s blogs, and I think you will, too. Please do not interpret the reblog as an endorsement of dowsing. I just like to see know-it-all science fundamentalists tearing their hair out when they can’t get people to believe them.

Here’s the Skeleton

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Mr. Nature again.

Some of you don’t think Tanystropheus could have been real: there must have been some mistake in reconstructing it. Not an unreasonable suspicion. In fact, the first scientist to study the fossil, in the 19th century, reconstructed it as a flying reptile. He soon conceded that that was a mistake.

So here’s the skeleton. A number of Tanystropheus fossils have been found, all pretty similar, all with those crazy long bones which are now interpreted as neck bones, leaving us with an animal that’s very hard to understand.

If you can think of a better way to put these parts together, go for it.

The Tanystropheus–at Last!

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Hi, Mr. Nature here, with that Tanystropheus I would’ve shown you yesterday if I’d only remembered to do it.

This was one of the most unusual creatures ever to walk the earth. Supposedly it lived in the Triassic Period–which was less a real thing than it is merely a way for geologists to talk about earth history. Anyway, there are no more Tanystropheuses.

Marvin (I thought it needed a shorter name) was about 20 feet long, and 10 feet of that was just his neck. Marve is often depicted with this snaky neck that can practically tie itself into a sheepshank, but that would have been impossible: there were only 12 or 13 bones in that long neck, severely limiting its flexibility. A giraffe has only seven neck-bones, and you see what they have to go through if they want a drink of water. Marvin’s neck would have been almost as stiff as a giraffe’s.

He’s also depicted, often, as living mostly in the water–probably because scientists just don’t know what to do with him on land. We have no evidence for this. Some of the fossils suggest a lot of muscle in the pelvic area, which would have counterbalanced the weight of the neck. But how this animal actually lived is a mystery to everybody. Don’t be too hard on paleontologists for not having figured it out. There are lots of things in the fossil record that no one will ever figure out.

What did God do with these strange and spectacular animals He created–the ones that aren’t here anymore? Well, frankly, we don’t know: He hasn’t made it known to us.

Maybe someday He will.