Third Time’s A Charm

Kage Baker was always intrigued by the phenomenon of suddenly finding references to a new object or topic everywhere.You know – or maybe you don’t. But it happened to Kage all the time.

She would find some new topic interesting, and want to learn more about it. And suddenly, there would be references to it everywhere, when it had never been noticeable to her before this. Someone would reference it in an email;  I’d find an article in a magazine; there would be a special on television about it. This happened over and over to Kage – something caught her fancy, and abruptly she was inundated in facts, photos, action figures, marshmallow shapes in cereal …

This happened for things as disparate as silent movies and favourite candies. EBay, when it rolled around, turned out to be a huge resource – an alternate universe where everything that had ever intrigued Kage was to be found. Walnuts dipped in grape juice? I scoffed, but Kage found them on EBay. Same with Glasswax, aluminum Christmas trees, and bone knitting needles.

While I am not as attuned to this invisible storage facility where everything you ever loved has gone to hide, I do get infrequent glimpses of it these days. Not so much the goodies I merely want, as the things that I probably need. Mostly , though, it’s just weird stuff that I saw once or twice and then abruptly began to find everywhere.

I was hilariously thrilled to find the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect. Then I was even more amused and amazed to find another news item about it – it’s apparently well on its way to become the poster bug for insects snatched from the edge of extinction. It’s not too surprising when you consider the high weirdness of its discover (which I am sure, Dear Readers, you all recall): these guys are just packed with interesting oddities. They’re huge, they’re shiny black, they disappeared from one weird island and then got found on an even weirder one … well, it you missed my previous expose of tree lobsters, do check out my previous blogs: Back to the Island (7/18/2012) and Son of Lord Howe Stick Insect (9/20/2012).

But now! Amazingly, someone has made a cartoon of their adventures, the plucky little bugs. Well, the plucky nerve-shatteringly huge bugs, I guess; but the point is, there is charming little animated film about them now:

http://scienceblogs.com/sciencepunk/2013/01/06/sticky-an-animation-about-the-unextinct-giant-insects-of-lord-hoe-island/

Feast your eyes, Dear Readers. (Or peak through your fingers.) When something gets a cartoon made of it, it’s going mainstream for sure. And the stick insects are a lot cuter (or at least a lot less horrific) as cartoon heroes. Take a look. Show your kids, especially small ones – little kids love bugs, especially cartoon ones that cannot show up unexpectedly under their beds. But the pattern persists for me! Once again, whatever eldritch current brought Kage news about re-discovered strains of teosinte and obscure Australian children’s books has brought me news of the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect.

Maybe I have a budding power … just in case, I’m gonna start concentrating on tigers. I’ve gotten two unexpected references to white tigers in my news feed this week – if I can find a third one, it might mean they are being considered for unanticipated survival by the Muse of the Unexpected. And tigers really need the help. Maybe 25,000 of them will suddenly show in a distant Asian valley, as all those mountain gorillas did several years ago.

Dostoyevsky said the the best way to think of something was to tell yourself not to do it – his example was a blue-eyed bear. So, Dear Readers, let’s try not to think about blue-eyed tigers. That practically guarantees they will surface in astonishing quantities. And that would be very fine.

PS: I begin on year 4 without Kage, Hard to believe … sleep well, kiddo.

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About Kathleen Bartholomew

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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3 Responses to Third Time’s A Charm

  1. Tom Barclay says:

    Yes, we will not think of them.

    Yes, it is that day.

    Like this

  2. Allison says:

    There must be an algorithm that accounts for the sudden interest in something previously obscure.
    Imagining a wedding between a stick insect, and the one that looks like a leaf.
    Re – reading The Best of Kage Baker today. It is that day.

    Like this

  3. Kate says:

    Allison – I like the image of the insect wedding. Maybe a stick insect and one of the floofier mantisoids … some of the tropical ones are arrayed like the lilies of the field.

    And yes – it is that day.

    Like this

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