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"I knew nothing, and I persisted in the faith that the time of cruel miracles was not past."

— Stanislaw Lem, Solaris

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Thursday, September 9th, 2004

I know now why artists don't record the details of their creative processes in public. The inbetweens look bad, no one is seeing you at your best, and every little mistake in thought or approach becomes part of a permanent record of imperfection. Recalling, however, that Harlan Ellison once undertook to write a story while on public display in the front window of a bookstore, I remain nothing daunted and vow to continue...

Eaie skull - front and side views As promised, here's an Eaiean skull. (This is a draft version and is subject to change.) Frontal view is on the left (as you probably guessed due to the symmetry) and side view is on the right. The front view is very confusing at present; the side view reveals the most detail.

The large lobe at the top of the side view is not the home of the brain, but of a structure that's a cross between sinuses and lung. Instead of a large bladder with multiple branchings for maximum surface area (mammalian lung), this sinus lobe pumps the air continuously over involuted folds of skin and cartilage. Air flows through a 'blowhole' at the top of the skull (not visible above) and is expelled through the side holes, which is also how the critter sounds the alarm in times of danger.

Eaie looking at a human The hollow between the sinus lobe and the sounding tubes is home to a vestigial eye that would, if fully present, function similarly to our eyes. The Eaie, having gone through a multi-millenial period underground, have lost their lensed eyes and developed large forehead segments that respond to lower frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum, with the result that they can 'see' your heart beating and your brain thinking. (Obviously they can't see 'thoughts,' but they can detect general neural activity in the brain.) A preliminary sketch of how this might look is to the right. The arched supports at the front of the skull underlie these enlarged eyes.

The bottom lobe contains the brain. The Eaiean brain was once a swelling in what passed for a spinal column, and the braincase began its evolutionary history as a couple of specialized vertebrae.

The jaw is made up of three sections, bony hinges covered with dense rasping teeth.

I'm still drawing the flesh to put on these bones... I should have these drawings next time, along with some more commentary on how such a surrealist potato as this came to my mind...

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