Chlamydoselachus anguineus

This video shows rare footage of a frilled shark in shallow water. The frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus) is a primitive shark species, sometimes called a “living fossil” because it resembles extinct species of sharks. Frilled sharks are usually found at depths of around 2,000 feet, but this one somehow found its way into shallow water off the coast of Japan, where it was captured and taken to a nearby marine park. In poor condition, the shark died soon after this video was shot.


When I was a kid, I wanted to be a marine biologist. No, this is not a Seinfeld reference. I was obsessed with sharks and whales, and used to imagine epic shark vs. whale undersea battles, not dissimilar to the epic battles in Return of the King. Of course, the sharks were evil and the whales were good.

I imagine the Chlamydoselachus anguineus to be like, the king of the sharks or something. It looks wise.

Music, apparently, makes the people come together.

What are you talking about?

So here is March. Without looking, I have no idea what day. I think it is Sunday (?) and last night’s wonky “too early” daylight savings has messed up all my clocks. One says it is 08:00, another 10:00, another says it is 11:00. Needless to say, this is only adding to my sense of confusion.

Over the last few days, I have been marking student blogs almost non-stop for my Media course. I am finding that I am frequently cracking up, as some of my students are really funny. For example, this passage struck me as hilarious:

Because the theatre was so full I was unable to secure a buffer seat on both sides of me. So I ended up sitting beside a teenager and his younger brother. Seeing Nicholas Cage’s head turn into a flaming skull was apparently something they could bond over. The movie began with a mood setting if somewhat lame introduction, which gave me time to ponder how near I was to a stranger. I have not been in such close proximity to an adolescent boy since . . . well since I was an adolescent girl. If we had both turned our heads at the same time we could have kissed.

Yes indeed.

In the last class meeting, I had them all bring a piece of music (the class was on the social meanings infused in music). Then, throughout my planned lecture, I had “face off” slides, where two students had to come to the front and play their song. After both played, they had to tell the class the song name, who sang it, and why they love it so much. Then, the class had to anonymously vote for the favourite of the two.

I think this went off well. Due to the blogging nature of the course, I get instant feedback, and there was lots of it this week. One student clearly hated it:

So, first thing is first, people in the class have terrible music taste.  Maybe it’s me with the bad taste, but I honestly can’t say I liked too many songs

This really got me worried, as it was the first review I read. Yet, everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves, such as the following, which has to be the best complement one could ever get:

That was probably one of the single best university classes I have ever been to. I thought it was really cool to listen to a bunch of new music I had not heard before.

Like everything, you win some, you lose some. All I know is that when I teach this class again, I am moving the music lecture to the front, as I think for many students it was a weird sort of “bonding” exercise. When you hear something you obviously think is terrible, and then you hear someone explain what it means to them, it breaks down barriers.  Like Madonna (or whoever writes music for Madonna) said: Music / makes the people / come together.

Less Ill

I was recently tested for type-II diabetes. For a number of events, recent happenings (my eyes, odd blood sugar readings), my Dr. requested that I get tested.

Last Friday, I spent a few hours in a hospital, and frankly, I was concerned. Nay, freaking out. I know that as I have been working out lately, that I have had problems maintaining a level blood sugar, and on and on.

On Monday, I got a call from my doctor’s office, requesting that I called them back. As I was in Calgary, I didn’t. I didn’t want to know, I couldn’t deal with the consequences of having it. I couldn’t figure out how to fit something like diabetes into my life. Would it propel me to stop fucking around and start taking better care of myself? Or would I ignore the consequences and continue my gradual self-destruction?

Finally, on my very dull drive back to Lethbridge this morning, I was bored enough to call. I was told “you don’t have diabetes” on the phone.

So, great! I don’t have diabetes.

Yet, as has been happening a lot this year, I feel really stupid. Perhaps silly is the right word? Which is strange, because you would think that I would feel releif? Sure, there was relief. Yet, mostly I felt stupid. For not calling back on Monday, for making this into (perhaps?) a bigger deal than it was (at least in my own head). For thinking that, in a way, it would work perfect if I had the disease because it would focus my research for my dissertation…. All of these things.

Zodiac

I saw Zodiac tonight. It was the kind of movie we just don’t get enough of; namely, it kept me in its world for the entire running time, and I was sad to have it end.

“All good things must come to an end / the bad ones just go on forever”

One scene in particular was of note: the Zodiac killer is tying up a young couple lying on a beach. The woman tries to negotiate with this man, dressed in black, with a bag over his head (see picture below: the scene was very creepy). She says, of her male companion:

“He can help you…. He’s a sociology major!”

I can say that this line proviked rawkus laughter from myself and my two collegues (who are both sociologists). After the man and woman were tied up, they were both repeatedly stabbed. Can I have on record that I don’t want to die from being stabbed to death? It seems like a terrible way to go.

For whatever reason, the sociology line stuck with me through the remainder of the film. I started to see it as a metaphor for what I do: chasing something that I can never get my hands on, to the point that I start driving everyone in my life away (in a variety of ways) as part of an obsessive quest for… well, I am not sure of what. At a certain point, it becomes something bigger than a carreer.
This provoked the following questions: What drives me to push myself? What do I get out of it? Where is this going to take me, and how far will I get with it? What am I even chasing? If I find “it” – what then? Do I get to go home?

I am sure that these questions will haunt me until I die. I hope I remember to keep asking them.

The best and worst musical instruments: a list

Worst
1. The acoustic guitar
2. Fretless bass
3. Sitar
4. Children’s choirs
5. Paul McCartney chewing vegetables for percussion
6. Feedback
7. Simmons drums
8. The voice of Mariah Carey
9. Flying V guitar
10. Side of pork which Scott Walker punches for percussion on The Drift

Best
1. The vocoder
2. Double bass
3. Glass harmonica
4. Mellotron
5. Sousaphone, as played by John Simon with the Band
6. The Pet Sounds box of fun
7. The voice of Björk
8. The Flaming Lips’ boombox orchestra
9. Roland TB-303 bassline
10. The melodica