Thursday, June 13, 2013

Eldritch News From Around the World--#2

Analysis and Commentary from a Lovecraftian Perspective

Let me again apologize profusely for the lateness of this dispatch.  On my way back home this evening, I saw that a shoggoth had tied up traffic in various places on the interstate.  This necessitated a circuitous detour.  I can still hear the sirens from my window.

Vigilant readers are probably already aware of the recent discovery in eastern England of a number of pterosaur fossils.  The bones were over 100 million years old, and contained the remains of at least 14 distinctly different species of this giant flying reptile.  One species was probably the largest flying creature that has ever lived, on this planet at least.  It had a wingspan of over 30 feet and may have weighed close to 600 pounds.  Scientists were especially impressed with diversity of pterosaur forms: some sported crests on their heads, while size and shape varied considerably.  Most had large, sharp teeth at the tip of their snouts and probably ate fish. 

However, a few others had smaller teeth, suggesting different feeding preferences.  One of the smaller species, approximately the size of an adult human, was remarkable for its bat like wings and complete absence of a snout or other discernible facial features, even eyes.  Unlike the other pterosaur remains, this one bore evidence of having horns.  Dubbed “Ludodactylus edwardgoreyi”, scientists are still uncertain ‘out of what [prehistoric] crypt they crawl.’

From Connecticut comes news of a plan to construct an artificial bat cave, to serve as a hibernaculum, in a limestone quarry near the town of New Milford.  Local bats now occupy an old abandoned mine shaft in the quarry, and it is hoped that the bats will soon move into the hibernaculum and allow work to proceed in other areas of the property.  Evidently, there are several of these artificial bat caves in the Constitution State, a well intentioned though conceivably perilous venture.

An attempt to build a hibernaculum further south, in Tennessee, has mysteriously failed.  Its builders intended to create an attractive and hygienic home for bats near the town of Clarksville, but not a single bat will stay there.  Playing recordings of ultrasonic bat calls did not entice them into the experimental, man-made cave.  One theory is that the hibernaculum was completed too late in the year for the bats to find it and settle in.  Or perhaps the cave was already occupied by something else...

Finally, just a few months ago, neuroscientists at Brown University developed a method by which computers can begin to predict the visual content of a sleeper’s dreams. By analyzing brain activity in waking and sleeping subjects, and comparing similarities in patterns, scientists were able to predict with some accuracy the images of common objects seen by sleeping subjects while they are dreaming. Excited by their findings, scientists plan to obtain new experimental subjects from local state psychopathic institutions, pair them with medical interns, and determine whether dream images can be shared or transmitted successfully between them.  The research department is currently seeking an astronomer to join the team.

Lovecraft wrote:  “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”  Yet it seems we had better continue trying...

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