November 14th, 2009

Ann Vole

Gorilla teeth and pigment

While waiting for X-rays on my knee to be done, I thumbed through a National Geographic and was surprised that every tooth in every gorilla in the article was pitch black and shiney... even on the infants. This means that it is a pigment in the tooth rather than anything wrong with the teeth. Many rodent species have pigment in the enamel part of their teeth (which is only the front side of their "buck" insissor teeth so when the softer back side wears away, the front part gets very sharp). I wonder if humans have any possible tooth pigment genes that are not being used.
Ann Vole

Rodent enthusiests' knee

The doctor said my swollen knee was called something like "planter knee" but I think now it is "planters' knee" or specifically a condition that happens often to people who plant things or do other activities while on their knees. I am on my knees a lot interacting with pet rodents... there is a slight chance that is the cause of the injury to the knee if it is infact an injury rather then an infection. I just got X-rays done yesterday which will be delivered to the doctor's office by my appointment next Thursday which should determine if there is injury-related damage or a pocket of (antibiotic-resistant) infection and treat the knee accordingly (either surgical repair or stronger antibiotics).

There were two kid's show producer types who got together to make a half-hour show called "Tales From the Riverbank" staring real rodents. By what I have heard, they may have stopped making the show because to put the cameras on dollies, they had to build the sets on tables and too many animals got injured or killed from jumping off the tables. Both of these two went their separate ways and made their own version of the original show. Both also did their production differently so the animals were now on the ground level and gear was used to get the cameras to rodent-height. Puppets that interact with humans also need that sort of duel height scenario but not for the camera but rather to have room for the puppeteers below the puppets. Jim Henson's crew solved this problem on Fraggle Rock with the use of remote control puppets allowing many puppeteers to control a rodent-sized puppet while the puppet was on a remote control miniature vehicle and the whole thing being wireless. The biggest project I want to do is specifically a room that has a camera set-up to film very small sets and characters in low light conditions. If I am using puppets, low lights mean plastercine parts do not melt or get sticky and if I am using rodents, they can feel more natural and comfortable in a night-like set. The "camera" will just be a small simple lens with a prism glass to turn the image 90° which will be aimed at another prism at the top of the room to turn the image beam horizontal again. With very large lenses that are very far from the subject, I will be able to get a longer depth of field (how far in front and behind the character remains in focus) inspite of the lower light (lower light reduces the depth of field, longer distance between camera and subject and bigger lenses both increase depth of field).

The other key project of mine is to teach animals to communicate using some sort of complex language. This will also reduce the need for humans to be on hands and knees trying to train the rodents. A third project is small-scale robotics as needed to control doors and toys for rodents to learn communication skills but those same robotics can be used for puppets that will free the puppet animator to be able to use a computer to actually move the miniature puppet with wireless robotics and the animators never need to get into the set themselves.

In conclusion, I will point out that everything I want to do with my life (including children's books or webcomics) has to do with making animals talk whether they are real or fictional animals. Alternate energy stuff is purely to make my facilities and animal care to be free of bills while developing film or book projects. The safety of aniimals is also important in the event of power failure so making my own energy eliminates that risk too.