Cataloguer. A profession for which the ideal qualification is to know everything in the universe. I'm working on it ...
Have been reading, for the first time, Mike Resnick's four-volume "Widowmaker" series over the past few days. It's entertaining, basically a space western as most of it takes place in the author's vast Inner Frontier setting.
But volume three, "The Widowmaker Unleashed", deserves special mention for revealing an interesting quirk of the title character: along with banking much of his bounty money for his old age/retirement (a chronic health issue changes his plans and triggers the events that are the series), the man has stashes of real paper books (he doesn't like "reading pixels") stored on various planets which he plans to send for once he settles down so he can spend his time reading them (along with gardening and birdwatching). When he buys his first house, planning to live out his remaining years there, one of the priority renovations is building bookshelves in anticipation of his collection arriving. It's impossible for me not to love a fictitious character who does that. :-)
Prothero-irreverence love ...
"Sloths and armadillos and their kin are the two most familiar families of the Xenartha. The third are the anteaters, which are placed in the group Vermilingua, which means "worm tongue" in Latin. (There is no known connection to the villainous Grima Wormtongue in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.)"
And the section on the mammals with evergrowing incisors is, of course, titled "Rodents of Unusual Size" ;-)
Overall a nice little book not deep or overly detailed but one of those informative, engaging (and fun) overviews that puts the general evolution of known large South American faunas, ranging from early protomammals of Gondwana to recent mammals, birds, and reptiles, in ecological and historical perspective and serves as a guide to things to find out more about (lots of critters that don't often get a mention in the more-usually-North America/Euro-centric-with-an-occasional-
Now I have a strong urge to grab my copy of Conan Doyle's "The Lost World" to re-read it ...
A marvelous start to the second "season" of "The Witch Who Came In From The Cold". Allies-by-circumstance are now looking at each other with suspicion for a variety of reasons. One being that there appears to be a third player in the magic game, competing with both the Ice and the Flame.
Fascinating and packs a lot of info into its mere 144 (heavily illustrated) pages, thus proving that concise and plain language is a far better and efficient use of one's text space than showing off with unnecessary syllables and flowery phrases. An excellent beginner's introduction to exactly how snow crystals form and then become snowflakes or one of a myriad of other forms of particles that make up snow. Also includes instructions for capturing and "fossilizing" snowflakes to prevent them melting (hint: involves glass slides and superglue) and photography tips, plus how to make synthetic snowflakes in a chest freezer.
And the photographs! Incredible, beautiful photographs! Even if you don't read a word of this book, it's worth having just for the photographs.
Authors have created Snow Crystals.com which also contains a lot of info and gorgeous photos (some from the book). You'll never be able to look at snow the same way again.