Friday, February 5, 2010

Lobsters never die. Sort of.

I was thinking last night while I lay in bed, failing to fall asleep. Time is usually divided into two periods, those being “B.C” and “A.D.” Now, I’ve heard those don’t actually mean “Before Christ” and “After Death” but that’s generally how they are viewed. If so, we need a new time period.

A man stumbles into a small town after being lost in the desert for years. After getting lots of water and a cheeseburger (because everyone who has ever been lost when asked what they most want to eat they inevitably reply with “A McDonalds cheeseburger.” Well, they usually say a Big Mac, but those hadn’t been invented yet.) He approaches a man and says “I’ve been lost for so long, what is the date good sir?”

“Why it’s Tuesday, August 5th, 11 D.C.”

“D.C? What’s that?”

“See that boy over there? That’s Jesus Christ. For some reason, the years started with him. When he was born we stopped counted the years in negatives and started over at one. No one knows why. So right now, we’ve gone from “Before Christ” to “During Christ.”

I guess what I’m saying is, how do you catalogue those years when Christ was alive? B.C. was before he was born and A.D. was after he died…

I am fascinated by lobsters. Do you know that they are one of the few species that scientists believe will only die due to injury, illness or predators? They actually get more sexually potent the older they get and they never die of old age. In one of the parts of my book I mention viewing a white lobster in a tank in Madrid and had to look up what it was. Turns out lobsters come in all sorts of colors, the albino or “crystal” lobster being the rarest color mutation with only one in every one hundred million lobsters being white.

Yes, we are back in Madrid and I have been busting my ass editing my book that I thought I was done with; which is why I had to go look up lobsters again. Turns out it still needs more editing. I ordered a proof that was formatted incorrectly and I’ve been told by a couple people that quoting from Wikipedia and other sources detracts from the story and it should be told in my own words. So, I have to re-write a ton of stuff, like the lobster pigmentation thing and the Look magazine thing on Juan Carlos, Spain’s king and other stuff. It took me TWO DAYS just to fix the formatting errors in the book.

So… tired… of not having anything new to market.


Someone once said “Writing a book is like building a house. Except a house is less work, takes less time and you know it’s going to be finished someday.” Never has that seemed more true to me than now. The books are just never good enough. I have written and revised hundreds of thousands of words and it always needs more editing. Wendy has Marilyn's Story and (rightly) has a bunch of changes she thinks should be made, the European book is being edited by Dave Meddish, my mom, Chris McMahon and I've collected two hundred pages of Quest for the Pro Tour II and have edited some of that to try and make it a cohesive story but NOTHING IS FINISHED! I've been working on this shit forever and have NOTHING to show for it.

I quit working on writing at 8:00 last night, completely fried and loaded up “Dragon Age.” Best damn game I’ve ever played. Well, solo game, since nothing can beat MMORPG’s but I’m sick of those right now. Playing Dragon Age as a human noble, the beginning feels like I’m playing through “A Song of Ice and Fire” dog sidekick and all. The voice acting is superb, the graphics insanely good, the combat strategic and involving. I am LOVING it! Thank you Wendy for getting it for me for Christmas.

I played until Wendy quit working on wedding stuff at 10:00.

Just wanted to give you all a quick update, not very amusing or interesting, I know, but I can’t go weeks without having an entry. After I finish up all the edits sent to me I’ll hopefully have something more amusing to post. Wendy’s birthday is this weekend so I should have some good stories to tell on Monday.

Oh well, gotta put my back against the grindstone again and get back to the book.

Have a good weekend all.


  1. Definition: 1. Abbreviation for Anno Domini - Latin for The Year Of Our Lord - used in the Gregorian Calendar to refer to the current era. A date such as 1945 A.D. literally means 'the 1945th year of our lord', the lord in question being Jesus Christ, providing a religious context and clearly distinguishing the time from an earlier era, where B.C is used instead. The use of A.D. was popularised by Bede.
    Modern historical research suggests the current A.D. date is actually wrong, as Jesus was born 4-7 years earlier than the year 1 date the Gregorian Calendar works from. However, in the modern age the actual meaning of A.D. is widely forgotten or misunderstood and the term simply signifies a different era from B.C.

  2. Doesn't "injury, illness, or predators" apply to everything? It's not like we have an expiration date, and even when a really elderly person dies, it's not due to 'old age', but to 'heart failure' (i.e., disease) or something like that.

  3. Hi Doom, actually in the lobster's case it doesn't, they do not age like other living things do, I was just listening to the NY Public Radio, Radio Lab podcast last night and it was about mortality and the role genes play on cell division and they did mention the lobsters as some kind of anomaly in that they never get old. For us, getting old means being much more vulnerable to heart disease and so on, and it seems like our cells do have an expiration date, they can only divide so many times before they die.

  4. I see your point Doom but Lena is correct. Lobsters cells don't weaken as they get older, unlike almost every other living thing.

  5. I guess, but if you open up a biology book and look at a picture of a cell, there's no 'clock', or any mechanism for determining how many prior divisions take place.

    An old cell and a new cell are identical.

    Obviously, 'something' happens with lobsters as they age, since they get bigger. I'm more inclined to think they're more resistant to aging (not that we know what, precisely, that is), as opposed to theoretically immortal, especially since no lobster in captivity has come close to living forever, or even more than a few decades (I think a 200+ year old turtle, taken by a famous navigator, died a few years back) it better to possibly get old and live 200 years, or immortal and die in 50? ;)