Day 454: duckens again

Day 454

One of my duckens has taken to following me all over the place again. It seem to be some kind of random trait, like an odd genetic mutation, because the bulk of them don’t really care whether I’m there or not. This one has been following me for three days and I’m trying really hard not to pay attention to it because duckens die so easily.

The chamber I’m working in has a lava fall which I’ve glassed up to protect the bird, who I’ve named “Idiot” because you’d have to be an idiot to follow me anywhere.

Duckens die easily from head injuries, which makes them easy to hunt (whack them on  the head with a rock or a shovel and you’ve got yourself some cooking meat) but difficult to keep in caves. Plus for some reason they like to jump onto ledges. So most of the other followers I’ve lost jumped onto a ledge, tried to jump off the ledge, banged themselves on the head, and died.

I’m not holding out much hope for Idiot. But it is kind of nice to have someone nearby I can talk to who isn’t trying to kill me, even if they’re covered with feathers and supremely bad at survival.

Day 453: Amazing silence

Day 453:

My “friends” the exploding giraffe-corgi have been giving me a wide berth as of late, and I’m assuming it’s due to the slimes. Maybe they don’t get along. Maybe slime puts out explosions. Maybe giant gelatinous jumping cubes just don’t like to get bits of exploding giraffe-corgis in their… torsos?

Anyway, I didn’t see a single slime today but I did see a herd (flock? pack?) of exploding giraffe-corgis instead.

I managed to dispatch all of them without a single explosion, possibly because they were so far away they couldn’t get to me in time.

I’m kind of proud of my arrow-making (fletching? I think it was called fletching) abilities… my arrows are flying further and with more power. (The power might be the bow.) Can’t say I ever thought I’d be a fletcher, but one becomes what one needs, I suppose.

The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions by Peter Brannen

I wasn’t one of those kids that was enamored with dinosaurs, and we didn’t really explain that birds were dinosaurs until I was well outside the age where my clothing shopping took place in the kid’s section. I became interested in dinosaurs and their extinction because I was one of those kids who was fascinated by plate tectonics and geology, and the plate tectonics and geology kept bouncing against the paleontology and, well,  eventually one takes a hint.

Thus I’ve found myself becoming interested in dinosaurs somewhat unexpectedly. I watch PBS Eons and read things about how chickens are actually dinosaurs.

And on the other side of the science debates, I numbly agree that yeah, humans are causing climate change, but do we know what could actually happen? Do we have any models?

Turns out we do. Not the models we would have chosen, but definitely actual research-driven mind-adjusting models. They’re called the mass extinctions.

The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions by Peter Brannen scratches the geology itch, the plate tectonics itch, the biology itch, the paleontology itch, even a touch of anthropology near the end when the humans show up. It skips all those long “boring” stretches when everyone’s living just fine between the ends of their worlds. It puts significant attention on those times when multiple things, like a perfect storm, go horribly wrong. We don’t just learn about the mass extinctions. We learn about the places on our own roadsides where we can see the evidence of those extinctions – juts of ground that were the bottom of seabeds, cliffs that were volcanos, rocks that were animals.

This is the most in-depth look at what rises and falls in CO2 levels actually do to the Earth – its oceans, its land masses, and its atmospheres – that I’ve found anywhere I’ve looked. It’s the first time I’ve gotten an explanation of how the planet does its best to self-regulate its temperature (and it turns out to have a lot to do with dissolving the mountains) and the first time I’ve gotten a good idea of the time frames involved (really really *really* really long).

So will there be another mass extinction? Eventually, and it will probably involve CO2 levels. Whether that’s soon enough for our society to remember it, or far enough out that we’ve moved off-planet remains to be determined by our own behavior over the next 100 years.

In the meantime, this very readable, very relatable book will help you see far in the past and possibly imagine far in the future.

Day 452: cleaning up my messes

Day 452:

Today’s been a day of seeing where I left off on things… particularly on things like “did I ever smoke that fish?” and “Where does this passage go?” and “Why didn’t I build more doors?!”

In other words, I discovered that past me has left things a mess at this end of the caverns in attempt to get wool socks and now that I need diamonds to get the wool socks I’m giving myself a  stern talking-to.

Lots of lifting stone into place for floors and ceilings leads to painful backs and  strained necks. I’ve tried making my armor a little more supportive but so far my choices seem to be armor that it’s easy to maneuver in or armor that keeps my back from collapsing.

Good to see nothing has changed over thousands of years… well, except for the mag belts and inertial dampeners I don’t have access to anymore.

Day 451: Obsidian and slimes

Day 451:

I’m killing gelatinous cubes every time I have to pass between where I’m mining the obsidian and where I store it.

I’m starting to wonder if there’s a way to get the cubes to pick up the obsidian dust and shards… maybe lure them over my work area? but then everything would be slimy there instead.

I have noticed if too much of their glop piles up it gets kind of springy. I wonder if I can find some kind of use for it other than making everything i own gross.

Erasers would be nice. Although that would mean creating pencils.