Sat. 19th February: Scientists to attempt the cloning of a mammoth!

It’s not quite Jurassic Park yet, more Pleistocene Park. An international team is to extract DNA from a frozen mammoth and inject it into the egg cells of an African elephant. They reckon they’ll succeed within six years. Read about it here. I want to see an African Forest Elephant (the ones used by Hannibal, now extinct)!

Talking about mammoths, I remember visiting the most incredible site in South Dakota, in the USA. The museum is built on the site of a prehistoric mud hole into which mammoths fell when trying to get water. If I remember correctly, more than 30 mammoth skeletons have been discovered there. If you ever find yourself in South Dakota, DO NOT miss going there. It’s incredible. Check out their website here.

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  1. leslieianjones
    Posted 20 February 2011 at 08:28 | Permalink

    Just because you can do something like clone a mammoth doesn’t mean you should. Lets say we had 100% proof that hair samples found were Julius Caesar’s. Should we clone him? What other notables from history would we like to see….

  2. benkane
    Posted 20 February 2011 at 18:34 | Permalink

    Hmmm, good point. It’s not quite the same thing cloning Julius Caesar versus cloning a mammoth, but I agree with the sentiment of not everything that can be done needs to be done. It would be fascinating, but the mammoth would quite likely end being completely deranged, as so many animals in zoos do. Expecially when it wouldn’t have a huge herd of wolly buddies to hang out with.

  3. John Salter
    Posted 22 February 2011 at 14:12 | Permalink

    How’s the book going Ben? On cloning, I think if ‘humanity’ doesn’t do something about the population size, scientist will have to clone animals eventually on a regular basis.

    If we were as advanced as some think we are, we’d have already gone beyond the solar system by now. Instead we’re still busy smashing each others bounces in so probably don’t deserve to boldly go…

  4. benkane
    Posted 22 February 2011 at 15:26 | Permalink

    @John: Spartacus? Pretty good, thanks. It was a shaky start, but I feel like I’ve really got the bit between my teeth now. Today, Spartacus has just arrived in the ludus, the gladiator school, and has been instantly attacked by another fighter. He has to fight back savagely, to show everyone that he’s not to be f*cked with. Good fun writing it!

  5. John Salter
    Posted 22 February 2011 at 16:42 | Permalink

    Yeah Spartacus, haha sounds good. It’s great when it starts to flow eh, it’s the stodgy bits that hurt! Have you seen the new series, Spartacus: Blood & Sand? It’s out in May on dvd and has a lot of good reviews on Amazon, only a few whingers slating it but they do with anything some folk!

    I popped into town at lunchtime to find out if the local Odeon was going to be showing The Eagle but they couldn’t tell me, plonkers. Only a couple of weeks to go!

  6. benkane
    Posted 22 February 2011 at 18:31 | Permalink

    @John: I’ve seen the first two episodes – if you want to tempt yourself, go to the Starz website, where you can watch them free of charge. They’re very good – a la 300 style, but better in my mind. I deliberately haven’t watched the rest, because I didn’t want to ‘pollute’ my mind. Damn it, that means I won’t be able to watch them until well after the DVD is released. Oh well.

    The Eagle, the Eagle – I can’t wait either, but the reviews on romanarmytalk and on are not promising. Far from it. I think I’m going to be disappointed. Have you read the book? I posted about it here.

  7. John Salter
    Posted 23 February 2011 at 09:49 | Permalink

    I’m going to wait until Spartacus comes out and then watch the lot one weekend, thanks though. I’ve done the same with The Tudors another great series. The reviews sound good. 300 although a bit cartoony and far fetched was still a great film for entertainment value. I’ve got a Spartan javelin in my office!

    The Eagle of the 9th, I read the original book years ago but it vanished somewhere during all the house moves abroad so I’ve re-ordered it. Just have to decide whether to read it before I watch the film.

    The advert looks good but as you say there are some dodgy reviews. I don’t understand how really good books don’t translate into good films especially on this subject. The film The Last Legion was the same, hopefully The Eagle will live up to expectation!

    Gladiator managed to capture everyones imagination and shows that they can be really popular. The opening sequences are the best parts of the film for me!

    I’ll have a look at the reviews you’ve mentioned thanks.

  8. John Salter
    Posted 24 February 2011 at 09:42 | Permalink

    I see what you mean about some of the Eagle reviews Ben but you know what opinions are like! A lot of the people who have reviewed it seem to be film buffs with no real interest in the subject. We’ll soon see eh?

    I’ve had sometime to catch up with The Road to Rome. Can’t believe poor Romulus has been found out as a former slave again and has been put back in the ludus, just as the fella gets back to Rome as well! 😉

  9. benkane
    Posted 24 February 2011 at 11:44 | Permalink

    We will soon see…oh gods, I hope it’s not a real disappointment!

    Poor old Romulus! Just wait until he meets the ‘Ethiopian Bull’. . .

  10. leslieianjones
    Posted 24 February 2011 at 14:16 | Permalink

    Ben, for security reasons I will not name them, but is my suggested ‘roman character’ featuring in your Spartacus. I need my name in print 🙂

  11. benkane
    Posted 24 February 2011 at 14:31 | Permalink

    @Les: possibly! I haven’t got anywhere near that stage of the book, but I am thinking of using the character. I’ll have to see how the plot is panning out, however. I’ll let you know nearer the time…and have no fear, if I use him, I’ll give you full credit!

  12. leslieianjones
    Posted 25 February 2011 at 14:12 | Permalink

    Good enough for me! Remember that nobody else has used him so go for it! 🙂

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