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April 11, 2003

Tyrannosaurus rex, and other rumors
Posted by Teresa at 05:16 PM *

Following last year’s discovery of Tyrannosaurus rex remains in Cambridgeshire—a particularly fortuitous find, since the same falling tree that did for the T. rex also dripped sap all over the animal’s left big toe, encasing the 85-million-year-old tissue specimen in a protective coating of amber—the T.rex International Palaeontonomics Experiment (TRiPE) have been using the remains for gene sequencing studies. This year they’ve announced that they’ve produced the first T.rex draft assembly.

It’s all very lighthanded. I liked the part about how
The assembly consists of large supercontigs aligned to chromosomes using a Monte Carlo heuristic. The supercontigs are extremely long; this is believed to be due to the large size of the organism.
But Emmet O’Brien, who sent it to me, says the funniest bit is the Glycosylated Endonuclease Sequencing Strategy discussed in the press release. Speaking of interesting revelations made on the first of of this month, I hope no one missed Locus Online’s Small Press Report, and its assorted news stories. The latter are a lot like the standard SF gossip, only different: Clarion Recalls Classes of ‘96 and ‘98; Michael Swanwick to Write 200 Short-Shorts Based on Lord of the Rings Characters; Baen Books Announces Product Placement Deals with Microsoft, Coca-Cola; and James Cameron to Make $100 Million Film From Barry Malzberg’s Galaxies, which last concludes:
Lightstorm Entertainment bought the rights to Galaxies outright for an undisclosed seven figure sum. However, due to the terms of Malzberg’s contract with original publisher Pyramid Books, he will receive none of the money from the movie sale. Also, given how markedly Cameron’s film will diverge from original novel, there are no plans to reprint Malzberg’s book for the film’s release. Instead a separate Galaxies novelization will be contracted out to another writer, as was done with Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Alan Dean Foster and Terry Brooks are reportedly among the finalists for the assignment. When asked to comment on the story, Malzberg’s only reply was “Typical.”
Comments on Tyrannosaurus rex, and other rumors:
#1 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2003, 06:15 PM:

Good gravy, woman, it's taken you this long to get around to this stuff? I knew you've been busy, but jeez...

#2 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2003, 06:50 PM:

On the first of April I was busy making fun of the Cheneys. By the eleventh of April one can see which other jokes haven't gotten blogged to death, and recommend them.

And yes, I've been busy. I've been dealing with a joke so big that I can't even talk about it.

#3 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2003, 07:48 PM:

If they are having trouble with their Monte Carlo-method heuristic routines, Steve Brust and I (and I am sure Alan Bostick as well) would be delighted to assist.

My guess would be that they're running SPSS (Statistical Package for Stunned Saurians) on an array of Fast Repetition Utility Iterative Trial machines. This has proven extremely productive in UK installations, as the MTBP (Mean Time Between Pints) is reduced to near zero.

JMF, Professor of Applied Combinatorials
Invisible College, Caesars Palace Campus

#4 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2003, 08:52 PM:

novelization for the first Lord of the Rings movie, right?

I particularly enjoy Chapter the 37th, and the part I particularly enjoy in Chapter the 37th is when the Nazgul shouts, "I'll cut you, bitch!"

#5 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2003, 08:53 PM:

Darn it, I meant to say, "You saw the novelization for the first Lord of the Rings movie, right?"

This error on my part causes me to use strong language to express my frustration. Darn it! Shucks!

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