Discussion:
The Arm of the Starfish (Poly O'Keefe, book 1) by Madeleine L'Engle
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James Nicoll
2020-01-26 15:37:10 UTC
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The Arm of the Starfish (Poly O'Keefe, book 1) by Madeleine L'Engle

https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/cruel-summer
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
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Garrett Wollman
2020-01-26 17:51:06 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
The Arm of the Starfish (Poly O'Keefe, book 1) by Madeleine L'Engle
https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/cruel-summer
I am pretty sure that my library, like James's, had this book. But
I'm nearly certain that I didn't read it. I *did* read A RING OF
ENDLESS LIGHT, which crosses Adam over into the Austins timeline, and
I still have the Dell Laurel-Leaf MMPB I bought in about 1984. (Never
read MEET THE AUSTINS, either. I think I may have read THE MOON BY
NIGHT, once.) The front endpaper of MANY WATERS has a useful
concordance of characters -- it's not in my copies of AN ACCEPTABLE
TIME or TROUBLING A STAR but is in the interior front matter of my
copy of A WRINKLE IN TIME and presumably other recent reprints of the
"Time Quartet".

I tend to think of L'Engle books as being mainly about relationships.
The science is pretty rubber and doesn't bear close inspection,
especially in the light of fifty years' increase of knowledge.

-GAWollman
--
Garrett A. Wollman | "Act to avoid constraining the future; if you can,
***@bimajority.org| act to remove constraint from the future. This is
Opinions not shared by| a thing you can do, are able to do, to do together."
my employers. | - Graydon Saunders, _A Succession of Bad Days_ (2015)
p***@hotmail.com
2020-01-26 21:11:03 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
The Arm of the Starfish (Poly O'Keefe, book 1) by Madeleine L'Engle
https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/cruel-summer
I find on Wikipedia that Gaea, the Portuguese island on which the story
is set, is fictional. Is there any mention of the ethnicity of the locals?

Peter Wezeman
anti-social Darwinist
James Nicoll
2020-01-27 03:13:33 UTC
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Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by James Nicoll
The Arm of the Starfish (Poly O'Keefe, book 1) by Madeleine L'Engle
https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/cruel-summer
I find on Wikipedia that Gaea, the Portuguese island on which the story
is set, is fictional. Is there any mention of the ethnicity of the locals?
There is this:

"They're a gentle people, a mixture of original islander and Portuguese, with a touch
of African thrown in."
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Carl Fink
2020-01-27 14:10:09 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
The Arm of the Starfish (Poly O'Keefe, book 1) by Madeleine L'Engle
https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/cruel-summer
I also found this in the library as a young teen. And I couldn't get through it.
Bounced right off--it was surprisingly boring.

Yeah, echinoderms are as closely related to us (to the extent that's meaningful)
as a squid is to a tubeworm.
--
Carl Fink ***@finknetwork.com
https://reasonablyliterate.com https://nitpicking.com
If you want to make a point, somebody will take the point and stab you with it.
-Kenne Estes
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-01-27 16:08:30 UTC
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Post by Carl Fink
Post by James Nicoll
The Arm of the Starfish (Poly O'Keefe, book 1) by Madeleine L'Engle
https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/cruel-summer
I also found this in the library as a young teen. And I couldn't get through it.
Bounced right off--it was surprisingly boring.
Yeah, echinoderms are as closely related to us (to the extent that's meaningful)
as a squid is to a tubeworm.
In context, it goes deeper than that.

If you've already seen my rant on protostomes vs. deuterostomes
Doctir Who, and the Urbilatarian, hit 'n' now.

Every multicellular animal begins as a single cell, a fertilized
ovum. That cell divides again and again, till it becomes a lump
of many cells. It then hollows out into an empty sphere whose
wall is one cell thick.

Then the cells on one spot of its surface start dividing faster
than the rest of it, and those cells don't turn into an
additional lump, but grow inward till the embryo resembles a cup,
with a wall two cells thick. If the animal is going to grow
into a sponge, it takes it from there; more complex animals grow
a third cell layer between the first two, and the three layers
develop into different tissues, but I won't go into that here.

Here's the very young animal, with an opening into its interior
(technically called a _stoma_, Greek for "mouth"). The animal is
now going to develop another opening at its opposite end, so it
can have a gut that takes in food at one end and gets rid of
waste at the other.

Most phyla of animals, called protostomes ("mouth first"), turn the
first opening into the mouth and the second opening into the anus.
Another group, called deuterostomes "mouth second") do the other
way around.

The deuterostomes consist of the chordates and the echinoderms.
All the others, from worms to arthropods, are protostomes.

So, in the context of all those phyla of protostomes, starfish
really *are* closely related to humans.

Which is why I mutter imprecations at the computer whenever I
watch one of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who, "The Lazarus
Experiment." In which a mad scientist messes with his own DNA to
become younger, and instead turns into a ravenous monster, half
human, half scorpion. "He's regressed to some primitive
ancestor," says the Doctor.

"No!" I say each time, "humans are deuterostomes, scorpions are
protostomes; he would have to regress to the Urbilatarian, the
ancestor of both protostomes and deuterostomes, whose existence
we assume but we've never found any fossil evidence for it."

And then I say to myself, "This isn't science. This is Doctor
Who."
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
D B Davis
2020-01-27 17:06:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
Post by James Nicoll
The Arm of the Starfish (Poly O'Keefe, book 1) by Madeleine L'Engle
https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/cruel-summer
I also found this in the library as a young teen. And I couldn't get through it.
Bounced right off--it was surprisingly boring.
Yeah, echinoderms are as closely related to us (to the extent that's meaningful)
as a squid is to a tubeworm.
In context, it goes deeper than that.
If you've already seen my rant on protostomes vs. deuterostomes
Doctir Who, and the Urbilatarian, hit 'n' now.
Every multicellular animal begins as a single cell, a fertilized
ovum. That cell divides again and again, till it becomes a lump
of many cells. It then hollows out into an empty sphere whose
wall is one cell thick.
Then the cells on one spot of its surface start dividing faster
than the rest of it, and those cells don't turn into an
additional lump, but grow inward till the embryo resembles a cup,
with a wall two cells thick. If the animal is going to grow
into a sponge, it takes it from there; more complex animals grow
a third cell layer between the first two, and the three layers
develop into different tissues, but I won't go into that here.
Here's the very young animal, with an opening into its interior
(technically called a _stoma_, Greek for "mouth"). The animal is
now going to develop another opening at its opposite end, so it
can have a gut that takes in food at one end and gets rid of
waste at the other.
Most phyla of animals, called protostomes ("mouth first"), turn the
first opening into the mouth and the second opening into the anus.
Another group, called deuterostomes "mouth second") do the other
way around.
The deuterostomes consist of the chordates and the echinoderms.
All the others, from worms to arthropods, are protostomes.
So, in the context of all those phyla of protostomes, starfish
really *are* closely related to humans.
Which is why I mutter imprecations at the computer whenever I
watch one of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who, "The Lazarus
Experiment." In which a mad scientist messes with his own DNA to
become younger, and instead turns into a ravenous monster, half
human, half scorpion. "He's regressed to some primitive
ancestor," says the Doctor.
"No!" I say each time, "humans are deuterostomes, scorpions are
protostomes; he would have to regress to the Urbilatarian, the
ancestor of both protostomes and deuterostomes, whose existence
we assume but we've never found any fossil evidence for it."
And then I say to myself, "This isn't science. This is Doctor
Who."
In other words, in human cell division, the blastopore becomes bunghole?



Thank you,
--
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``.
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-01-27 20:14:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
Post by James Nicoll
The Arm of the Starfish (Poly O'Keefe, book 1) by Madeleine L'Engle
https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/cruel-summer
I also found this in the library as a young teen. And I couldn't get
through it.
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
Bounced right off--it was surprisingly boring.
Yeah, echinoderms are as closely related to us (to the extent that's
meaningful)
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
as a squid is to a tubeworm.
In context, it goes deeper than that.
If you've already seen my rant on protostomes vs. deuterostomes
Doctir Who, and the Urbilatarian, hit 'n' now.
Every multicellular animal begins as a single cell, a fertilized
ovum. That cell divides again and again, till it becomes a lump
of many cells. It then hollows out into an empty sphere whose
wall is one cell thick.
Then the cells on one spot of its surface start dividing faster
than the rest of it, and those cells don't turn into an
additional lump, but grow inward till the embryo resembles a cup,
with a wall two cells thick. If the animal is going to grow
into a sponge, it takes it from there; more complex animals grow
a third cell layer between the first two, and the three layers
develop into different tissues, but I won't go into that here.
Here's the very young animal, with an opening into its interior
(technically called a _stoma_, Greek for "mouth"). The animal is
now going to develop another opening at its opposite end, so it
can have a gut that takes in food at one end and gets rid of
waste at the other.
Most phyla of animals, called protostomes ("mouth first"), turn the
first opening into the mouth and the second opening into the anus.
Another group, called deuterostomes "mouth second") do the other
way around.
The deuterostomes consist of the chordates and the echinoderms.
All the others, from worms to arthropods, are protostomes.
So, in the context of all those phyla of protostomes, starfish
really *are* closely related to humans.
Which is why I mutter imprecations at the computer whenever I
watch one of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who, "The Lazarus
Experiment." In which a mad scientist messes with his own DNA to
become younger, and instead turns into a ravenous monster, half
human, half scorpion. "He's regressed to some primitive
ancestor," says the Doctor.
"No!" I say each time, "humans are deuterostomes, scorpions are
protostomes; he would have to regress to the Urbilatarian, the
ancestor of both protostomes and deuterostomes, whose existence
we assume but we've never found any fossil evidence for it."
And then I say to myself, "This isn't science. This is Doctor
Who."
In other words, in human cell division, the blastopore becomes bunghole?
Acu tetigisti. (Latin for "you've hit the nail on the head,"
sort of.)
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Carl Fink
2020-01-27 17:37:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
Yeah, echinoderms are as closely related to us (to the extent that's meaningful)
as a squid is to a tubeworm.
In context, it goes deeper than that.
[snip]
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
So, in the context of all those phyla of protostomes, starfish
really *are* closely related to humans.
My examples were not chosen randomly. Tubeworms are bivalvular molluscs.
Squids are cephalopods, another clade of mollusc.

Arguably, squids and tubeworms are in fact slighly closer together than
humans and sea urchins or sea lilies, but I was trying to avoid
exaggeration, and categories like "phylum" (Echinodermata and Chordata are
different phyla, Mollusca is one that contains both bivalves and
cephalopods) are to some extent arbitrary.
--
Carl Fink ***@finknetwork.com
https://reasonablyliterate.com https://nitpicking.com
If you want to make a point, somebody will take the point and stab you with it.
-Kenne Estes
Carl Fink
2020-01-27 21:46:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
Yeah, echinoderms are as closely related to us (to the extent that's meaningful)
as a squid is to a tubeworm.
In context, it goes deeper than that.
[snip]
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
So, in the context of all those phyla of protostomes, starfish
really *are* closely related to humans.
My examples were not chosen randomly. Tubeworms are bivalvular molluscs.
Squids are cephalopods, another clade of mollusc.
cephalopods) are to some extent arbitrary.
Crap. Shipworms are bivalves. Not tubeworms. Stupid fingers.
--
Carl Fink ***@finknetwork.com
https://reasonablyliterate.com https://nitpicking.com
If you want to make a point, somebody will take the point and stab you with it.
-Kenne Estes
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