Thursday, October 7, 2010

My work here is done...

Like a lot of people, I'm fascinated by the weird and wonderful wildlife found around our planet. So I was really interested when I heard/read a story about a recent survey of deep-sea creatures and the new species they had found. I love reading about new species—it's a reminder that there's always something left to discover, even if you think you know it all—and besides, new species are usually some of the freakiest-looking creatures you've ever laid eyes on.

I was really impressed by this recently discovered hydromedusa jellyfish, Bathykorus bouilloni, that they had nicknamed the "Darth Vader Jellyfish." (I'd reproduce the photo here but it's copyrighted, so here's a link to the National Geographic pic.) This critter was a jellyfish that looked like Darth Vader's helmet, round on the top with that crazy flared brim at the bottom. I shared this fact with Boy, since I thought he might find it amusing (and yes, I'll admit I'm desperate to have a conversation with him that elicits more than a grunt).

ME: "Oh, did you hear about that new jellyfish they're calling the Darth Vader jellyfish? It kinda looks like his helmet."
BOY: "Is it black?"
ME: "No, it's white, but it really has the same shape."
BOY: "If it's white they should call it a Stormtrooper jellyfish."
ME: "Stormtrooper helmets aren't the same shape. They don't have that flared thingy at the bottom."
BOY: "But the Vader helmet is based on Stormtrooper helmets."
ME: "????"

Every parent hopes that some day their children will grow up to share their interests and values. Yesterday I had a pointless, nerd-tastic argument with my son involving science fiction trivia. I think I've done my job!

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