The spotted handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus), an amazing creature that walks the ocean floor, is a rare Australian fish from the family Brachionichthyidae. It is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List 2002. is the first Australian marine species to be threatened with extinction.
The greatest threats to the handfish appear to be siltation and invasive species. The Derwent Estuary where the fish lives is highly urbanised and industrialised, and a range of marine pests have been introduced through shipping. One key pest is the Northern Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis), a particularly large and voracious predator that is now abundant in the estuary. Studies by CSIRO show that the seastars eat the stalked ascidians that the handfish use to attach their eggs.
“My younger brother killed himself when he was sixteen. He found my Dad’s old gun in the ceiling panels of the office. The strange thing is, when he came home from school that day, my grandmother was cooking in the kitchen, and he asked her to make him a plate. Then before she could finish, he was dead. So we wonder, maybe he was just playing with the gun and it accidentally went off. There wasn’t a note or anything. My biggest regret is that he’d recently asked me for money to sign up for Tae Kwon Do lessons. And I always gave him money when he asked. But this time I didn’t, because I was newly married and we were pinching pennies. I always wonder if he’d have learned something in those lessons that would have changed his view of life.”
Happy Birthday, Octavia E. Butler, born 22 June 1947, died 24 February 2006
10 Octavia E. Butler Quotes
I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell.
Fantasy is totally wide open; all you really have to do is follow the rules you’ve set. But if you’re writing about science, you have to first learn what you’re writing about.
First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.
I was attracted to science fiction because it was so wide open. I was able to do anything and there were no walls to hem you in and there was no human condition that you were stopped from examining.
You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.
A workshop is a way of renting an audience, and making sure you’re communicating what you think you’re communicating. It’s so easy as a young writer to think you’re been very clear when in fact you haven’t.
When your rage is choking you, it is best to say nothing.
Write – every day, no excuses. It’s so easy to make excuses. Even professional writers have days when they’d rather clean the toilet than do the writing.
I think writers use absolutely everything that happens to us, and surely if I had had a different sort of childhood and still come out a writer, I’d be a different kind of writer.
Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyse yourself, get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it.
Butler was an American science fiction writer. She was a multiple-recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula awards. Her novels include the Patternist and Parable series. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Fellowship, nicknamed the Genius Grant.
If I try to understand what it means to be a Christian, I look at the two instructions that were given in the Bible that are paramount, and those are to love God with all your heart and mind, and to love your neighbour as yourself. That’s it.
Obit of the Day (Historical): John Dillinger (1934)
It was a hot day in Chicago on July 22, 1934. So John Dillinger along with his girlfriend Polly Hamilton, brothel owner Anna Sage and another woman headed to the air-conditioned Biograph Theater on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago. The feature film was Manhattan Melodrama, starring William Powell, Clark Gable, and Myrna Loy.
The foursome left the theater at about 10:30 p.m. FBI agent Melvin Purvis, hiding in the shadows of a nearby alley lit a cigarette - a signal for his team to apprehend “Public Enemy #1.” As they approached Dillinger, shots were fired. When the smoke cleared, Dillinger was lying dead in the middle of the street.
Ms. Sage*, a Romanian immigrant facing deportation had told the FBI where Dillinger would be. She hoped by helping the FBI some of her past indiscretions might be overlooked and she could remain in the United States. She was deported anyway.
The Dillinger killing was huge for the Bureau. For nine months Dillinger and his gang ran rampant through the Midwest robbing banks and police arsenals and leaving a trail of bodies along the way. Ten men were killed and another seven were wounded by Dillinger or his men. By the time of his death, Dillinger was nearly taunting the FBI by living out in the open on Chicago’s North Side.
The public saw Dillinger differently. By choosing banks as his main targets, Dillinger was a folk hero hurting the industry that most felt cause the worst of the Great Depression. While Dillinger’s body lay in the middle of Lincoln Avenue, local residents and bystanders ran out to dip their handkerchiefs in the deceased criminal’s blood.
Dillinger’s body was brought to the morgue where the FBI allowed the press to take photographs and visitors to see the body. It was considered a deterrant for other potential criminals.
John Dillinger, who died on July 22, 1934, was one month past his 31st birthday.