Posted by: LucidMystery | December 12, 2008

A $100,000 Education Put to Fabulous Use

encyclopedia

So this is what I’m doing instead of working on my take-home final for cell and molec. (Honestly, though, my brain was so worn out just from question number 8 that I almost started crying in frustration at Panera. That’s embarrassing. Suffice it to say, I needed a break.)

Anyway, so I was mulling over any tangible way to combine my private school (ie, life-time debt-inducing) science education with my flights of fancy, and eureka! This will make my parents proud, fo’ sho’. I can write a total encyclopedia of all the variations of mythical creatures I come up with, and it all will be true to scientific form! I can include the morphology of the organism, its ecology, life history, and historical and modern populations. I could have an entire chapter devoted to my interpretiation of each of the following categories: gnomes, dwarves, fairies, and last but not least, the illustrious dragons. I’d have other stuff in there too, but this is just what’s been popping in and out of my head while theoretically doing homework.

What need is there in the literary world for such a book as this? Well, great need, I must say! Most people haven’t a clue that sea dragons, when on land, are very awkward and walk like crocs or lizards, with lateral undulation. Their frilly “collars” are actually their gills (think juvenile salamanders) so they can remain underwater for years at a time, but they have lungs as well. And with one claw-swipe, they can control mighty tidal waves of water capable of destroying ships! Compare those with fire dragons who walk with more mammalian dorso-ventral undulation (their legs underneath them like your dog as oppposed to out to the side like iguanas). Also, it is the fire dragons and night dragons who have wings, though fire dragons’ wings have a higher wing load than night dragons which makes them better fliers. Other fun fact differentiation: only fire dragons can breathe fire, obviously; but the night dragons scales are made of pure silver, which leads some people to mistake these nocturnal creatures for shooting stars.

Some other clarifications that are desperately needed by the modern people are information about dragon eggs. Harry Potter books would have you believe that dragons offer parental care when in fact, dragon eggs lay dormant for hundreds of years! Their mothers have completely forgotten about their eggs by that point! Baby dragons are hatched the size of English bulldogs and have to be relatively capable of taking care of themselves, though they aren’t really, which is why dragon infant mortality is so high. Baby dragons’ best bet is to be found by a human, a dragon tamer one would hope, who is willing to care for the baby for 2-3 years until it is an older juvenile. By that age, it’s size of an SUV if it’s a fire dragon, but only a Jetta if its a night dragon. As for sea dragons, well babies are very rarely ever spotted since they spend most of their time deep underwater.

By the way, if you’re reading this and thinking “Wow, she’s kind of a dork…” uuuuummmmm DUH.  😉  I am fully aware of the geekiness, but I make no apologies for it. One of the richest women in the world also has one of the most active imaginations in the world (good ol’ JK Rowling), so obviously it has served her well. I don’t go around thinking my imaginary worlds are true (that’s where the problems would really start), but daydreaming is my favorite pastime when I’m bored…and this is where my daydreaming goes. So just laugh along with me and tell me to get back to my studying.

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