A Small Report From The Edges of Reality

Kage Baker wasn’t fond at all of consensus reality. Considering, as she did, that reality was what you make it, she had a low opinion of the reality on offer – the group view, the mass of humanity view, the purblind, self-obsessed tunnel vision that does constitute the consensus of the majority of human kind.

So she largely used her own. A lot of people who do this have slipped over the edges of recognizing any reality, and forged far over the border of being able to live in anyone else’s. But Kage was imminently sane, and practical besides. She was on excellent terms with the input from her own senses; she just didn’t care to rely on what other people told her that was.

Kage was never any good at doing what she was told to do. Her usual technique was to listen quietly, make no response, and then ignore the orders she did not like. No loud defiance, no obstreperous argument; she just held still until no one was looking, and then proceeded to do what she wanted to do. And it worked pretty well; if anyone ever noticed again, they tended to forget what it was they’d told her to do in the first place. And Kage sailed on, defining herself just the way she wanted.

One of the reasons she refused the consensus reality was that she felt it missed too much. Details matter, and reality cannot be accurately determined unless you look for and integrate those details. Can you know everything about everything? Probably not, although Kage wasn’t ever willing to bet on that. She was deeply aware that things are always stranger than what we are told. She wanted all the information she could get.

I always felt the same way; we spent years collecting weird facts from all over. not only for Kage’s stories but for our own amusement. For years now, friends have sent me articles about the kinds of glorious weirdness we liked; they still continue to do so, which is a source of endless delight to me. I can’t find everything that floods through the aether, after all. Just today, my old friend Mark Shanks (a genuine scholar) send me a fascinating article on a mummified moa claw. (https://tinyurl.com/prnpnzdh). This came from a bird that was 10 feet tall, mind you. One look at this, and you can understand why the Maori hunted them to extinction. It is always an impoverishment when a species goes extinct, but in this case it was pretty clearly either the moas or the Maori.

Here are a few more mentions of interesting weirdness from the last few months.

A Senor Elfrain Cab, who is pretty much a Mayan still living in the original Mayan lands, has dedicated his life to saving the rare, stingless Mayan honeybee. They produced (and still produce) a potent honey that was once a staple of the Mayan diet. It’s still sought-for, and still just as good. The bees were almost exterminated by the Spaniards – as were the Maya – but both groups still survive, and mean to remain. Find them here: https://tinyurl.com/2ppsk7yz , and maybe buy some Mayan honey.

For the first time in years, new baby ravens have been born at the Tower of London. This is nice news for the Raven Master of the Tower, who is fond of his enormous charges; also nice news for the monarchy, whose continued existence is said to depend on the ravens being maintained at the Tower of London. https://tinyurl.com/268pwwz3 And in my opinion, you can never have too many ravens, anyway.

The genome of the platypus has finally been pretty thoroughly mapped! See here, with an adorable photograph: https://tinyurl.com/czwh58un . I thought it would have been done before now, too, but there is so very much to be studied in Australia! Most of which would also love to kill you, which must make life extremely interesting for Australian researchers … but, anyway, it appears the platypus really is a missing link, between reptiles and birds. This is especially fascinating because actually finding a real missing link in very rare – in my scholarly days, in fact, we were taught never to expect to lay our greedy hands on anything so obvious and distinct. But, you know, Australia …

I had more to share, but the WordPress program has evidently slipped over some edge of reality itself – I can barely get it to respond to the most ordinary of commands, and it has in fact devoured – devoured, I say! – a few hundred pearls of wisdom in the last hour. The more I try to save, the more it loses.

I am going to quit, post and publish now, before I disappear up my own paragraph block.

Until tomorrow, Dear Readers.

This would be holding YOUR drumstick …