November 28, 2010

New Vietnamese Lizards w Old Woolly Mammoths

Good evening! Thanksgiving break is over so I've returned to the lab (this blog.) ;p

Tonight there's no tale of woolly mammoth cloning to tell yet there is a related news story: a previously unknown sort of lizard has been discovered in Vietnam and it's self-cloning!

Hope scientists won't leave a known self-cloner alone in the lab with a woolly mammoth fossil, or worse...a mammoth skeleton. After all, you wouldn't want your woolly to get fancy ideas before his scientific debut.

Now how do you do feel about adding two new Odes to a Woolly Mammoth to your collection? As if!

Oh woolly mammoth rest assured
your reputation's stellar
but if you bother me i'll want
to keep you in the cellar.

Whenever woolly mammoths come
into a conversation
their DNA reconstituted
causes a sensation.

jc 2010

Thanks for dropping by, and do pass on a woolly mammoth link to your friends if you dare!

November 22, 2010

Odes to a Woolly Mammoth: genome sequencing

Do you know that Scientific American has information on the genetic sequencing of the woolly mammoth along with other of his data which I doubt he'd want posted on his FaceBook wall?

There's a cool photo of a mammoth skeleton there as well but the pic won't make the best avatar for Mr. Woolly Mammoth, I'm thinking, should he ever join FB. Perhaps someone could PhotoShop the image for him, the poor old sot!

Now since my work and blogging week will be shorter than usual thanks to the holiday, I'll post 2 more Odes to a Woolly Mammoth now while I have the chance so you won't miss me as much ;p when I'm out of town with family, chowing down on you-know-what (not a woolly mammoth roast or steak, of course. Why, even extra cranberry sauce couldn't disguise and make that palatable!)

So here we go in spite of all indications to the contrary...

To party with a woolly mammoth
would be quite a trick
if scientists can pull it off
they'll be a Nobel pick.

Geneticists are publishing
their woolly mammoth scoop
but who will take them for their walks
and clean up all their poop?

jc 2010

Wonder if poop-scooping for a resurrected woolly mammoth will one day qualify as a 'green job'?

If you're here in America I do hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving Day!

November 21, 2010

The Uranian grooviness of Weird Science

Woot! Well, I am happy to report to you that the Woolly Mammoth Chronicles poll to your right, upper, is now adorned with a few readers' opinions! The tally shows that most people are partial to the 1st answer: Asleep as always, God willing.

Do you perchance agree?

My line of thought on the matter follows what Jeff Goldblum's character bespoke in
Jurassic Park: "Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."

Troubles are often self-created, aren't they? And not stopping to think if one should do something shows a lack of respect for the boundaries of natural law. The blow back such a fire-stealer experiences by way of unintended consequences and vengeful reactions from others can be crippling.

Perhaps moral considerations about cloning really are the key though many scientists often disagree with such an assessment. For accepting such precepts would place limits upon their actions and research experiments. Mankind does have boundary issues on so many levels, doesn't he? And arrogance within certain ivory towers of academia and in the research juggernaut of an industry is demonstrated by strong egos and iron wills the world over.

Some tend to act as laws-unto-themselves so why not bring to life a dead prehistoric beast? Or at least create some wounded semblance of it, empty shell though its enlivened carcass may turn out to be.

If you speak astrologese, this branch of endeavor would be signified by the electrical planet Uranus with its techno vibes and creative genius implications. Of course, Saturn is another planet associated with scientific endeavors, for a container (Saturn = form; boundaries) is always needed into which Uranus' creative genius (Plato's Ideal) may be poured into life and being. It's the Angel's 'pouring' gesture immortalized in the stars of the constellation Aquarius as the Water Bearer teaches us by modeling the archetype how not to spill a drop of the precious spirit of life!

And now I am proud to bring this to your notice: Woolly Mammoth Chronicles has garnered its first-ever Follower which is fabulous encouragement when one is blogging into the cyber-void where hollow echoes are so often a blogger's only reply. Thanks, Donny!

Well, let's proceed to a glance at 3 of my Odes to a Woolly Mammoth, okay? For when one Ode simply isn't enough, why not have yourself a little more?

No witch's spell can brew a clone
of woolly mammoth size
yet scientists may do just that
before our very eyes.

Don't fret you woolly mammoth you
stay sleeping in your cave
your time on Earth has long been past
though once you were a fave.

If woolly mammoths start to graze
upon your lawn so green
remember Science set them loose
like Doctor Frankenstein.

jc 2010

Now here's a link to a Science Daily article with a gaggle of links from recent years when woolly mammoth discoveries were happenin' fast. Several articles are linked in which we find that DNA was first sequenced in 2005; other notable milestones along the trail toward resurrecting the Big Guy back into the flux of space and time are included on an info-packed page.

Talk about feeling outdated and out of touch! Old Mammuthus primigenius 'resembles that remark' even as he haunts our collective dreams as a leviathan in his own inimitable way and reminding us of the Collective Unconscious and the mythology of Cetus the Whale.

Now the alpha star of Cetus is Menkar whose key phrase is a victim of the unconscious, a reference to the story of Jonah Swallowed Up and trapped for days in the Belly of the Whale. In other words, if you have something to say which must be said, it's late days so get thee busy!

Then there's eScienceNews which tells us more about the genome connection between elephants and mammoths, two behemoths who certainly look like first cousins to me!

Now I wonder if the first-ever mammoth to be successfully cloned will look around the lab and behave something like an indoor cat that suddenly finds itself outside and becomes totally disoriented and freaked out because its eyes can't focus on long distances that it isn't accustomed this what that 80s movie and song meant by Weird Science?

Probably not.

Presenting a video from the popular Music and Film of 1985: Oingo Boingo's classic, Weird Science! No hairy woollies were harmed in the making of this video to be sure, but the teased-out hairstyles fit our 'hairy woolly' criteria almost as well...hope you enjoy this 80s version of grooviness for it captures a certain test tube kind of vibe, don't you agree?

Washington DC's Woolly Mammoth Theater!

Did you know that Washington DC, one of my previous cities of residence, sports the Woolly Mammoth Theater?

Well, perhaps you did. But I did not and considering that this is a brand new blog with news of, and odes written to, woolly mammoths everywhere, the theater's link fits nicely here!

So if genetic scientists are successful in cloning a woolly mammoth to walk the planet once again, will the big hairy fellow automatically receive a free ticket to attend a performance at the Woolly Mammoth Theater?

Certainly a matinee could be quite appropriate though several seats may be required, and annoying paparazzi might be determined to snap such a special guest.

For after all, the fabled woolly mammoth has his own Wiki bio if you wish to check out his credentials. Not every critter, extinct or otherwise, can boast that! Plus, if you click, you'll discover a link to the Wiki page of a Washington DC stoner metal band...and I suspect you can easily guess the band's name, right?

And now it's time for a second helping of one of my Odes to a Woolly Mammoth:

To resurrect with DNA
a woolly mammoth snoot
will be a coup for scientists
both balding and hirsute.

jc 2010


Note: if you wish to read this blog's first-ever post, check the sidebar; you'll find five Odes to a Woolly Mammoth published therein (Nov 20, 2010.) And please take a mo to answer the Woolly Mammoth poll in the top right corner!


November 20, 2010

'Woolly Mammoth Chronicles' begins 11.20.10

Hello all you fabulous fans of the Woolly Mammoth!

Today, November 20, 2010, I am creating a new blog called Woolly Mammoth Chronicles in an attempt to keep up with news about mammoth fossils and their inherent possibilities as Science prepares to restore the woolly mammoth to life through DNA (and perhaps with a little impetus from Mary Shelly's Dr. Frankenstein as their muse.)

My Odes to a Woolly Mammoth will be featured as well for hopefully you may enjoy a bit of rhyme added to your woolly mammoth ponderings. And do leave a comment, if you wish, for your on-topic article links will be much appreciated here since one person cannot possibly keep up with all the happenin' mammoth news. Plus, do feel free to offer your own Ode or woolly mammoth verse, if inspired.

So yes, 'tis true: genetic scientists envision a woolly mammoth specimen coming back to life! Does this project excite you? Or perhaps, like me, you are horrified by the thought of a massive, disoriented, reconstituted wild animal stomping upon the earth again, a relic from man's prehistoric past, and thus giving us something else to worry about in our difficult New Millennial world.

Don't we have enough stompers already?

Why, just yesterday, news turned up on NPR that mammoth, mastodon, and bison fossils are being discovered in western Colorado, providing scientists with new vistas of the Ice Age in the Rockies to consider.

And back in 2003, CBS did a story on Japanese scientists' plans to 'clone prehistoric DNA' of bones found in the Siberian tundra in 2002 which may have been from woolly mammoths. They stated then that, "- it could take years to actually produce an animal."

No hurry, fellas! And all seemed well for a while...

But then, on November 20, 2008, a feature on CBS' 60 Minutes aired with a subsequent video from their website detailing mammoth hairballs with DNA intact in a story prophetically titled, Return of the Woolly Mammoth:

Here's a link to the January 7, 2010 60 Minutes report presented by Lesley Stahl.

Yes, scientists have been busily working on their genetically induced dream of restoring the ancient woolly mammoth to walk-about, and yet one thing is certain in 2010 and beyond: with polar ice caps melting, snow and ice could be in short supply for the Big Guy's deja-vu stroll upon our planet.

Methinks this mega-sized time traveler may be disappointed with his new digs!

So today, on the 2nd anniversary of the airing of the CBS piece, I hereby publish the first installment of Woolly Mammoth Chronicles with 5 Odes to a Woolly Mammoth to begin a record of my own worst fears, frets, and fantasies enmeshed within a silly brand of 'mammoth poetry'.

So if you're ready, let's begin our Odes to a Woolly Mammoth series with its poetic perspective which may hopefully soothe a few of my own (if not your own) woolly-mammoth-walks-again misgivings:

If woolly mammoths come again
i hope they stay in cages
they're much too wild to roam about
and chase me in their rages.

When woolly mammoths find new life
a party shall be thrown
their DNA will be renowned
for making such a clone.

A woolly mammoth in a zoo?
'twill bring a heavy sigh
i wish they wouldn't clone them
and let sleeping woollies lie.

i'm younger than i soon shall be
life's turned a lot of pages
if woolly mammoths rise again
they'll boast about their ages.

When Science has its way
a woolly mammoth will be cute
they'll use its DNA to clone
a hairy substitute!


There! I feel a smidge better already and hope you'll soon return to Woolly Mammoth Chronicles for more Odes, info, and news links concerning this exciting yet disturbing genetic project. Fair Warning: I've got an assortment of rhymes already composed just for a woolly mammoth fan such as yourself!

All Woolly Mammoth Odes herein are copyrighted by their author, Jude Cowell, 2010 and beyond. Links to any of them are much appreciated but do play nice with my creative content or who knows? A grumpy woolly mammoth clone may come and getcha!

Note: Ode #1 above has been previously published on Gather; all other Odes are and will be first-published to this blog, promise. jc ;p