(Oh, did you want to see a picture? Of the badlands? El Husbando is currently holding our personal photography--such as it is--hostage. But it was definitely cool to look at. Like someone had taken a paint brush to the hills and the stone and turned them all into sunsets. You will have to make do with this image from wiki commons* for now! It kind of washes out a lot of the color, but it gives you an idea I guess.)
Badlands, South Dakota, USA. From : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Badlands.jpg
As far as the old news goes, while I was away a fabulous twitter-friend sent me an awesome link to an article of ANOTHER facial reconstruction from a found skull. This time, a young Athenian girl from ~430 BCE. It takes forever to load the page but the image is fascinating, I'm particularly interested by the fact that they chose to give her red hair.
In a similar vein, I stumbled across a series of pictures of facial reconstructions from our ancient apish ancestors to the present day a while back, which I found to be COMPLETELY THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER. Or at least a really fascinating look at the evolution of the human face. And apparently I am a sucker for putting faces on the long dead. (Still hoping for the Headless Vikings to get their faces back!)
And speaking of Neanderthals (kind of), did you know the majority of the human race is part neanderthal? 1-4% of our genes! Interbreeding! The Stuff Stories Are Made Of!
While searching for those links, I also found this one which is from an article dated way back in 2007 claiming that some Neanderthals were red-heads, which brings us back to the red-headed Athenian girl. I wish they explained why they thought she had red hair! Apparently they're going to do facial reconstructions of another couple of skulls for a museum exhibit. I'm dying to see the results, personally.
Putting a face on these people seems to me to be a strong parallel to what we do as writers, giving stories to characters, historical, mythical, and imaginary. Or maybe it's the fact that when I create characters of my own, or even find characters from mythology attaching themselves to my writing, I don't SEE faces myself. I know I would recognize my characters on the street, if I saw them, but imagining the face in my mind just doesn't work out at all. Either way, facial reconstructions of ancient people is just one of the coolest things ever, in my opinion!
So there you have it! The official return to hiatus post! Now with MORE Links!