Becalmed In The Dog Days in The Horse Latitudes

Kage Baker was closest to total torpitude in the latter half of August. It’s too freaking hot to do nearly anything, there is usually a lot that needs to be done, and Summer had usually replaced all Kage’s bones with swizzle sticks by this time.

It’s the dog days of Summer right now. People are getting in their far-flung vacations where they can.  Many of my dearest friends are preparing for this year’s Casa de Fruita Renaissance Fair (September 17th to October 6th – get your tickets now!). It’s also when far too many Californian kids and teachers are going back to school obscenely early; and since a lot of my friends are also either teachers or students, they too are busy right now.

Which means that not too many folks are sitting around reading and writing blogs. Between heat, ennui, vacations, rehearsals and “creeping like snail unwillingly to school”*, me and my audience are not wildly active these August days …

So, August being officially the Silly Season – Kage’s very favourite season – here’s a sort of clip show, Dear Readers, for your amusement and edification.

Two years ago today, I changed the URL of this blog to Dr. The blog celebrating that is here:,  and it still tickles the heck out of me.

One year ago today, I published a blog illustrating  several various examples of the wonderful things that inspired Kage to invent the Company in the first place, and that blog is found here:   It contains references to one of my favourite creatures in the whole wide rolling world: tabby lobsters, which also tickle the heck out of me.

These are the Dog Days because of the helical rising of Sirius, the Dog Star -it’s in Canis Major, down by the right heel of the Hunter, Orion. (Kimberly had a cat named Sirius … the mascot of Silly Season, in our household.)

The two bands called the the Horse Latitudes are called that because ships often reached them when it was time to get paid again, and celebrated by throwing a mock dead horse overboard. Or because horses on board ships died in those latitudes a lot due to there being little wind. Or because the only way for ships to make headway through them was to be “horsed”: to hook up with a current, and get pulled out of them. In any event, a high degree of helplessness is associated with them; which Kage considered quite appropriate for late August.

A new study indicates that 90% of animals in the deep ocean bioluminesce.: glow in the dark. These include the appalling but well-lit ninja lantern shark. Nice, otherwise I suspect we’d never find ’em. And wouldn’t that be a shame?

A venomous, foot-long, aquatic centipede has been discovered. Somewhere, here in 2016,  the Plague Club is trying to breed them back to 6-foot size, like in the Permian era.

At least 8 species of tarantula are bright blue. and no one knows why.

There’s a new weird object in the Solar System – one so far out and above the ecliptic of the rest of the Solar System that it’s being called “Niku” – meaning “unruly”. Of course. no one knows what it is yet – dwarf planet, asteroid, comet – so it may well be an alien space craft buzzing us. Those things don’t file flight plans.

Also, the next Martian Rover (mission launches in 2020) will have an on-board microphone. Whoo-hoo!

And, last, there may well be a rocky, Earth-sized planet orbiting Alpha Proxima – the very  closest star to us! We could get there in maybe a generation.

So there’s some interesting and hopefully amusing tidbits for anyone who glances this way. I’m not going to indulge in politics or the Olympics – those have been bringing out the worst in too many people.

I want folks to enjoy themselves on these long, hot days …


About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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