She daily effuses
the close-mouthed
tantrum of her fevers.

Hog-tied and lunatic.                        
Born toothsome,
unholy. Born uppity.        
Blue-jawed and out-order.  
Watched her sculptor                  
split her bitter seam        
with his scalding knife;
mauled through the errant                
flesh of her nature

and hemorrhaged mercury,
molted snakeroot, a smoke          
of weeping silver.

She, accused.
Sprung from the head
of a thousand-fisted

wretch or a blood-dark                                  
cosmos undoubling
her bound body.  
Vexed shrew. Blight of moon.        
She, armory. Pitched-milk pours
from her gold oracular.

Bred in her nest a lone                          
grenade, prized, unpried
its force-ripe wound.

She, disease. Often bruised
to brush the joy of anything.
Zombic. Un-groomed.      

Her night slinks open
its sliding pin. One by one
these loose hopes

harpoon themselves
in, small-ghosts alighting
at her unwhoring.    

She, infirmary.
God’s swallowed
lantern, tar-hair and thick.

Her black torchstruck.
A kindling stick.
No sinkle-bible fix

to cure this burning.
Shrill hell. Jezebel.

Isn’t it lonely.

Safiya Sinclair, “A Bell, Still Unrung”

Ancient “Supershark” Fossils Found in Texas

Even before the age of dinosaurs, enormous, toothy predators were roaming what is now Texas. New work led by the American Museum of Natural History shows that giant sharks were hunting in the shallow waters that once covered most of North America for much longer than previously thought.

Researchers from the Dallas Paleontological Society recently discovered a pair of fossil braincases from massive, and now extinct, relatives of modern-day sharks in rocks from Jacksboro, Texas, that date back 300 million years. The researchers, Mark McKinzie and Robert Williams, donated the fossils to the Museum and worked with John Maisey, a curator in the Division of Paleontology, to estimate how big the sharks would have been by comparing them to smaller, more complete fossils of closely related sharks.

The results suggest that these two Texas ‘supersharks’ measured between 18 and 26 feet in length (5.5 to 8 meters). The largest of these specimens would have been 25 percent bigger than today’s largest predatory shark, the great white.

“Everything is bigger in Texas, even 300 million years ago,” Maisey said.

These new fossils indicate that giant sharks go much further back into the fossil record than previously thought. Prior to this find, the oldest giant shark specimens had been recovered from rock dating back just 130 million years. The largest shark that ever lived, C. megalodon is much younger, with an oldest occurrence at about 15 million years ago.

The fossil braincases may belong to an extinct species of shark called Glikmanius occidentalis, or they may represent a larger related species that is new to science.

The researchers presented their findings on the new Texas “supershark” at the annual meeting for the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Dallas on October 16.

This story was originally published on the Museum blog. 

Image: © AMNH/J. Maisey

Year-end Thoughts

I fell in love with baking ever since I was a little girl, watching my mom bake yummy treats for us, especially during our birthdays and the Christmas season. When I was old enough to bake alone (this includes manipulating our extremely moody oven), I’d bring some of the products to school as my baon (snack). My classmates and friends would usually approach anyone with food, thus they got to taste my treats. I was so excited and happy to see them respond with sheer delight over my cookies and cupcakes! My friends and family always encouraged me to turn this little hobby of mine into a small business, so, on the 23rd day of January 2013, I officially started receiving orders. My mom was so supportive of this little home-based business. She bought me materials and helped me decorate, even if it meant losing precious sleeping time. (Thanks Mom :) )

Looking back, I can see how much we’ve progressed and developed our skills.

(April 2013)

I would bake our best-selling chocolate cupcakes and my mom would decorate them. I’d bring these (refer to picture above) to school and sell them during my free time.

Over the years, my mom and I checked out some blogs for tips when it comes to decorating and for inspiration. 

Here’s what our cupcakes look like a year after the ones above were made:

(April 2, 2014)

These were made for my 18th birthday last April. My mom and I spent the entire evening placing flowers on the cupcakes and preparing royal icing flowers on toothpicks for the cake. I can really see the difference of what our cupcakes used to look like, and what they are like now.

Although making these cupcakes drain every ounce of energy we have, it really satisfies us when the people who receive/order from us end up with big smiles on their faces once they see and taste the cupcakes. :)