Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Irish Mythology


I decided to branch out in my reading. That's why I'm reading a book of Irish mythology. It's called "The Tain" and it's pretty freakin' cool. The story is a little disjointed at times, but overall it's nicely translated and good fun.

The main themes of the story seem to be fighting, death, sex, drinking, and heroic feats. These are all things I firmly believe in and find hugely entertaining. Especially the sex and drinking.

And I know you want to ask me: "But Sebastien, all that sounds great, but is there any head chopping in this story? Without head chopping, I just can't get into a story." I understand your concern, and let me reassure you that there is lots of head chopping in this story. A whole heck of a lot of head chopping, mostly executed by a hero named Cuchulainn. Cuchulainn is a little crazy if you ask me, he could have benefitted from some heavy duty therapy sessions or some tranquilers or a stay in a mental institution. I mean, this guy does so much head chopping that it's a bit too much, even for me. And Cuchulainn is also very full of himself, he's got a big ego, and he feels he's entitled to everything. Kind of reminds me of the modern day rock star... except instead of biting birds' heads off he chops humans' heads off.

Now here's a question for you:

Do you have a favorite mythological story or a favorite fairy tale? What do you like about this favorite story? or if you don't have a favorite story or can't think of one, feel free to create your own wacked out story in your comment.

86 comments:

mist1 said...

I get most of my mythology fix via Tarot. Every once in awhile, I see some symbolism that I never noticed before. Then, I get all wrapped up in the stories.

I despise many, many fairy tales. Especially Grimm fairy tales and their Disney counterparts.

MONA said...

NOW I know who has invaded my nightmares all these years!!!

CUCHULAINN!!!!!!!!!!

Sebastien said...

Mist1: I'm not familiar with Tarot... You say you despise fairy tales!? Why is this? Are they not violent enough for you?

Mona: He's like Freddy Krueger. Cuchulainn is such a villainous villain. I'm going to get two more German Shepherd guard dogs to patrol my dreams so that I don't have to worry about Cuchulainn coming to get me in my sleep.

taarzaan said...

I like the greek myths muchly--Dionysis is fave.....I always liked the story of the 3 billy goat brothers that got the best of the bridge troll.

Sebastien said...

Dionysus is the coolest. I wish I was the God of alcohol. That would give me something to be proud of!

Crashdummie said...

Basically all mythologic has similar themes : Norse, Roman, Greek, Egyptian, you name it. Common ground?

Hmm I know I have a book abt celtic mythology somewhere. Just gotto remember where.

Favorite mythology? Well I know a lot about Norse mythology, and the God of Thunder, Thor, who is the most powerful Norse god, if my favorite. He has this wicked hammer, Mjölnir, which he uses when he battles against the giants, and which when thrown at a target, returns back to him – cool boomerang huh?

Otherwise, I’m a sucker for Greek mythology.

SeaRabbit said...

I love the King Arthur legend. You get everything in them...

Babybull40 said...

I got to say that sounds like a really cool book.. I like the Alice In Wonderland .. Is it really a fairytale though? I suppose it is but a modern version... I also like King Arthur and his Knights.. Actually the most recent movie mentions that Arthur was Roman....or something and they had recently discovered this prior to the movie..So it may be that he wasn't so much a fairytale after all..

Katie McKenna said...

grinning at sex and drinking... the Celtic people truly know what's important in life!

No favorite mythology here.. although I love the old stories....

MONA said...

sebastien! ever thought Of a dream catcher? It is something that will catch & filter out cuchulainn at the entrance itself!

Let us make a dream catcher shall we?

(((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))

M said...

Excellent choice! I love myths, folktales, legends... from all areas. But I always go back to Robin Hood and King Arthur as my favourites (in book, not movie, form). They were more substantial than most legends, and I liked getting into it. For shorter fairy tales, "The Little Mermaid" and "The Seven Swans" are pretty memorable. Oh, now I want to leave work and read!

MrManuel said...

Loke Greek Mythology. My last year in college, I even got to take a whole class on mythology. That wa sa lot of fun and a good way to finish out my college career.

Tara said...

While in my last year of college, I needed one more credit of English, so I decided to take Western European Literature, or something like that. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I had accidentally stumbled into a course in Greek mythology. Those were some very interesting stories. I was so glad I found that class.

tkkerouac said...

No, Hansel and Gretal, always wanted to eat the house. ox

Babs said...

I think you would like Morrigan. She can take the form of the raven and pluck out your eyeballs. Ok, not really.
She's the Goddess of war and death. However, that's the dark side that is emphasized. She's really about cleaning up so that all can be reborn. The Crone part of the Triple Goddess. At least, many Pagans believe this. But there's some cool mythology associated with her.

And back in those times you're reading about, that's pretty much all the Celts did... sex, booze and war. Scared the crap out of Caesar. Now that's pretty cool.

And you don't have your own Tarot deck?

Sebastien said...

Crashdummie: Hi! Thanks for the visit! It's very true that there are lots of similarities between different cultures' mythologies... I don't know much about Norse mythology, but Thor sounds pretty awesome. Thor's use of the hammer makes us realize that any household item can become a magical/powerful weapon if used in the right way :)

Searabbit: So true! I haven't read those in ages, I remember really liking those stories.

Babybull: Oh yeah, Alice in Wonderland is the best! It's such an amazing book, the imagination and everything, the word play, the themes, just perfect...

Katie: Awww, no favorites?! Seems like the Celtic people really knew how to party!

Mona: Yes! We need to create a dreamcatcher, that is a wonderful idea! What kind of a creature shall this dreamcatcher be?

M: I really got to reread all these King Arthur stories, it's been too long and I've really forgotten them... (by the way, you totally should leave work and go read :)

Mrmanuel: I bet that was fascinating! I wish I'd taken some mythology classes in college.

Tara: Yay for Greek mythology! I like Odysseus, I always thought he was pretty great.

Tk: I haven't ever read that story, I've been meaning too.

Babs: Wow, Morrigan sounds way cool! I need to look into that mythology... nope, I don't have a Tarot deck, maybe I should get one?! I know nothing about Tarot though...

WAT said...

Greek mythology is very fascinating, as were the Aztec, Mayan, Incan beliefs.

That story of Quetzalcoatl coming back one day from the East as a bearded white man and then the Spaniards coming into Mexico for real, is quite creepy.

yellowdog granny said...

you weren't a reader when the Goddess used to have a question and answer period..just for you..I will ask her to come back and answer questions so that you, yes you...Sebastien can ask the Goddess fyrea any question you would like..make it worth her while..she's been off on a semi/vacation..plus she's been busy taking the dead soldiers to valhalla...She'll be answering questions tomorrow...just for you..

Leiselb said...

Now Sebastien, how did you KNOW I need to have a lot of good head chopping in my stories??! You are so clever that way.....and to prove I'll tell you I did have to see 300 twice because well, there's that great moment when the severed head hovers in the center of the screen and spins around spewing blood everywhere.....could it get any better than that?

I think not. ;-)

Sebastien said...

WAT: That is a cool myth, I've heard quite a bit about it... we talked about it in an art class I took, it was nice learning about the mythology of cultures in Mexico and South America through their art.

Yellowdog Granny: Questions!? This sounds fun, how do we go about this, shall I drop by your blog and leave a question for the goddess?

Leiselb: Leisel, you know I know you and your need for head chopping in a story! I haven't seen 300, so it was good? Sounds like it must've been because there was so much excellent artistic head chopping!

Zhu said...

I used to know a lot of legends when I was living in Britanny because of all the celtic background. My favorite were about l'Ankou, the death angel. It used to scare me sooo much !

PS: for head-chopping, gotta see the Maya or Aztec history. They have a strong background !

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

I love Greek mythology...though, stangely enough I never read any Homer. I know, I should be punished. I used to like Beowulf but then my college lit professor ruined it so much for me that I had to drop the class. I was too traumatized.

By the way, I "think" there's a song called The Tain by a band called The Decemberists. I'm 90% sure that the song is by them and not by a similar band...but even so, The Decemberists are very awesome and worth checking out regardless if they have a song called "The Tain" or not.

Heart Of Darkness said...

Oh, thank God somebody else out there is as spaced out on mythology as I am...! I was beginning to think it wasn't normal. LOL


Nice blog - how's your art? :)

Mike M said...

Great post. I will be back for more!

-0-0-

Mariana said...

Chopping off heads is all well and good, but that Cuchulainn dude will never have rock star status until he starts dating some models and throwing hotel furniture out the window.

My favorite hero is Ulysses, his adventures rock! I read his story incessantly as a kid.

Sebastien said...

Zhu: I'm going to look that death angel up, sounds very cool. I've never been to Brittany, but have always wanted to go... So true about the head chopping, the Aztecs and Mayans definitely were prolific in that area!

Silver: No Homer! Oh no, you should read the Odyssey some day... I'm planning on rereading it. I remember reading Beowulf for class and it was no fun, but that's another book I'm planning on rereading. I've heard so much about the Decemberists but I have yet to check them out, thanks for the heads up on them. I even think there is a band called The Tain.

Heart of Darkness: Hi there! Mythology tends to be quite crazy, no? Just the way we like it, haha! With my health, I don't always get to create, so I haven't been able to make too many drawings the past weeks, but hopefully I'll be able to get some done soon, I have lots of ideas!

Mike: Thanks, see you around.

Mariana: SO TRUE! He needs to trash hotel rooms, that is a must. Oh yeah, Ulysses is great, doesn't he get massive revenge on everybody in the Odyssey? Quite cool if I remember correctly...

fringes said...

When I was younger, I loved the On A Pale Horse series. I'm glad you're posting again. I was missing you.

Pod said...

i love the film 'jason and the golden fleece'...that's not a myth though is it? podbrain strikes again! i love the crappy effects and the skeletons and the glowing fleece hanging on the tree. the greek myths are great. i had a little ladybird book of greek myths when i was a podlet, and though it scared me a bit, i also got excited by it.....

ooh....

Zhu said...

I can give you the name of a book which really freaked me out when I was young : "Contes et Légendes de la mort chez les Bretons Armoricains". Okay, the title is bad, but it has all the Lankou's stories ! ;)

Zhu said...

For l'Ankou :


Story in French

Wikipedia

Légendes de Bretagne

Do not read before sleeping... ;)

Shaymus O'flatulence's Blog said...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=amWoC8DlCJU

reminded me of your little friends

Gary said...

Oh, now you are getting into my territory! I am in LOVE with Greek Mythology and Greek Tragedies. Lots of severed heads (think Medusa), bloody eyes (Oedipus Rex), manipulation, revenge, quests, heroes, twists and turns and eternal life lessons. It is very hard to choose a favorite but I am rather fond of Antigone. I always admire a strong woman who defies authority to defend what is right and just. Excellent post my friend. I would love to see you direct some of this fascination into your artwork. It seems a perfect match!

Mariana said...

Yeah, Ulysses is the hero, he faces everybody: the one-eyed giant, Circe the witch, the mermaids... Mind you, you havent' read the original by homer, which I'm told can be a bit boring for mdoern readers. I read a children's version, but the story is great.

Faz the Cat said...

Jason and the Argonauts for me! FAZ

l.b. said...

Revenge, revenge, revenge. Anyone throwing around their bad karma in the world of mythology better watch their back, because payback is a beeyotch.

Mau said...

A myth that always makes me giggle: when Zeus in the form of a dove gives some chick a golden shower from which she miraculously conceives Perseus. I even saw an illustration of it on an ancient urn. Classic.

Kurt said...

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Crashdummie said...

thor is da bomb! Norse mythology is very fascinating, you should definetly look into it. Good luck!

Ak-Man said...

Rumplestiltskin was a bad ass!

Scary Mo Fo, but a bad ass none the less. Don't think he chopped any heads though, doesnt seem like the kinda guy who could even hold in own if push came to shove.

Bad ass nonetheless.

MONA said...

Sebastien ((((HUGS))))

Josh said...

I love myths and may some day change careers to study them exclusively and talk about them continuously. Making up new ones is just as enjoyable as reading the classics. Personal favorites are Greek (woo Orpheus) and Norse (woo Loki), and the somewhat universal myth of the world serpent, known as many names in many cultures. I'm unfamiliar with Irish myths, I'll have to do some more investigation on this.

Heart Of Darkness said...

See, I've got the opposite problem - no ideas what so ever. If somebody put a pen in my hand and told me to draw to save my life, I'd be pretty much toasted... :)

Mythology... most people barely acknowledge it's existence. t's a sisyphus labor to get people to talk about it! ;)

Qelqoth said...

You can always rely on the Irish to provide the sex, booze and ultraviolence.

Sebastien said...

Fringes: Haven't heard of those stories, I wanna check them out! Thanks!

Pod: Jason and the Golden Fleece? I have read stories about golden fleeces, supposedly golden fleeces are pretty cool?

Zhu: Thanks Zhu, sounds awesome! I will be checking out the links!

Shaymus: That was excellent! And I loved the music too.

Gary: Antigone? Now that brings back vague memories... I really really gotta read up on all these stories, I have forgotten so much! Hehe, would be fun to find a way to do drawings of these stories, sort of like William Blake did for Paradise Lost except way more childish and silly!

Mariana: Oh yeah, lots of fighting in that story, Ulysses rocks! He's an old-school version of Stallone's Rambo.

Faz: You're the 2nd one to mention the story, I must read it!

LB: Haha, sooooo true! Revenge is what it's ALL about...

Mau: Hi there! Haha, gotta love Zeus, what a kinky crazy god!

Kurt: Of course!

Crashdummie: I will! I have so much to read, but I'm going to see if I can't find a book on Norse mythology one of these days.

Ak-man: Rumpelstiltskin, I can't remember that story, but I feel like I know it. But no head chopping? That's too bad!

Mona: Hugs to you!!

Josh: World serpent? Not familiar with that... myths are cool, it's definitely fun creating our own and frightening people with our crazy thoughts! muhahahha...

Heart of Darkness: No ideas!?! Oh no! But scribbles are creating too, you could scribble and make lots of crazy abstract shapes? Haha, yeah, mythology isn't exactly a hot topic in an average day's conversation, that's for sure. Paris Hilton, I guess she's a current myth/notorious legend, wonder if that counts...

Qelqoth: Thank god for the Irish!

Leiselb said...

Methinks you're sick again, eh? Poor thing...I do hope your strength returns ASAP! Until then....enjoy the dead bodies and violence...

Sebastien said...

Hey Leisel! I'm feeling better, but there are ups and downs ya know... and I guess I haven't been blogging too much... hmmm...

I finished the Cuchulainn story, it was murderifically wonderful!

Gary said...

Oh, William Blake! You keep tapping into all of my favorites on this one. I went through a serious Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience phase (The Garden of Love is amazing).

Pod said...

hope you're ok!

shaymus said...

hey dude...I have just been watching the first episode of "masters of horror"
http://www.tv-links.co.uk/
freaky!!!

Ak-Man said...

Nah... No head choppin.

He stole a baby and rapped the mother . . . making her do chores and shit.

He said he'd only free her and give her her baby back if she could guess his name...

Well thats the jist of it, i dont remember the story too well myself but there wasnt no head choppin.

That McCloud dude from High Lander wopped off a few heads.

MONA said...

sebastien? i am curious! did they kill chuchulian in the end?

alexgirl said...

I was always partial to Medusa. She was one crazy biatch!!!
Irish mythology is pretty cool too. I'll have to check out that book.
and ps-Puerto Rico was awesome!

Moonbeam Baby said...

I loved the Odyssey, and I love American folklore and mythology too.
Are you familiar with the story of the Jersey Devil? Very cool...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jersey_Devil

And of course, there's always Bigfoot... you can't forget Bigfoot.

Moonbeam Baby said...

Check out http://www.pantheon.org/

It's the Encyclopedia Mythica - encyclopedia of mythology, folklore, and religion.

Dan said...

I never much liked fairy tales when I was a kid. Ironically, I still don't. :)

How's it going buddy?

ZACL said...

I picked up your blog through a link on Graylenses' site.

I never gave the 'Tain' a second thought till I read your blog. There is an area called Tain about 85 miles south of where I live in Scotland. It is historic and has a good guided walk (taped or on disk);it has a museum called Tain Through Time. I have done some of the walk but not visited the museum. Now you've got me thinking and I shall have consider this name a little more.

As for blood and guts, there's plenty of it for real in this world and society of ours; too much for me to want to fantasize about it through a book, even if it is cloaked in 'historical' garb. Plus ca change, as the French say.

MONA said...

Sebastien? Hey buddy! I DREAMT that we both had made a dream catcher!!!
what a dream to have...

Love you Sebastien! Take Care!

SeaRabbit said...

Hi there... are you ok??? It's been a while we didn't hear about you... Hope everything is fine...

Rahul said...

Loved ur blog. Something I wrote earlier but the blogger ate it up, I guess. I read some of your stories (like the spaceship one) and well,this might sound silly but I think ur writing reminds me of william saroyan, with perhaps a little bit of Roald Dahl wickedness.....whatever the case ur stories are very readable......:-)

MONA said...

Sebastian! (((( HUGS ))))

Sebastien said...

Gary: William Blake is unbelievabe! I love his artwork. I'm really not familiar with his poetry, I remember reading several long ago in class.

Pod: Thanks Pod! I'm doing ok, been spending a little less time on the pc but I will be around, just taking a lite-break.

Shaymus: Cool, thanks, I will check it out!

Ak-man: I gotta read this story. This fellow sounds like one bad dude.

Mona: It sucks, I was wondering about your question, and it turns out it's in another story that Cuchulainn dies. And I read about it and it's not a happy death... tied up and left to the birds... icky. And we made a dreamcatcher!? That is super-duper awesome! What was it like!?

Alexgirl: So happy to hear your trip went well! Ohhh, Medusa, yeah, she was sexy.

Moonbeam baby: Thank you! I will check out that story! Always love discovering new things!

Dan: Doing ok thanks! Just been spending a little less time on the pc of late, but I will be on again! Don't like fairy tales!? That is terrible. You didn't even like the murderous ones?

Zacl: Hi there! Thanks for the visit and comment! How cool that you live in Scotland, and near a place called the Tain, that is really cool. You make a very good point about the violence. There is too much of it in the real world. I am somewhat ashamed now. But only moderately so :)

Searabbit: Searabbit! I haven't stopped by your blog in a while! I've been taking a little break, but I will be back very soon! And my health is doing ok, thanks for asking!

Rahul: Wow, thanks so much for the kind words! I really appreciate your comment and the visit!

Desiree said...

Being that I'm Irish... I'm thinking I should read up on this stuff, eh?

Stratocat said...

Decide to get a real tan, instead of a monitor tan?

MONA said...

SEBASTIEN! REALLY? did he really die in the end???

Well the dreamcatcher was like a big web, & we had placed various heroes & warroirs all around thye bed to be able to fight & capture the dream when it came. & then you were the king who slept in the bed & these warriors were your protector. There had to be a proper strategy to it all. & Perchance, if the dream mangaged to escape & get to you, then you being the king were al might enough to vanqish & kill it in the end. You see, the warriors had already weakened it before so it was not difficult at all!

Pod said...

hope you're managing to squeeze some sex and drinking in...

Maritza said...

Me too! I love Irish mythology and all things King Arthur (not Irish but full of sex, head chopping etc)

MONA said...

Sebastien! We all love you very much! Hang in there! (((HUGS)))

Pat VVV Caza said...

Happy Birthday Sebastien
have a nice one!

Zhu said...

Hey Seb, how are you ? Hope your health get better :)

Christine and FAZ said...

My best friend's Irish and she is very good at fighting, sex, drinking and heroic feats (all of which are associated with fighting, sex and drinking). She's not big on death though. C.

omninaïf said...

I always found the story of Prometheus interesting.

Good for Me said...

seb - hope you are okay. been thinking of you and when i came to visit i saw that you haven't posted in a while. hugs to you!

Good for Me said...

glad to know all is well. a haiku for you :)


sometimes it is good
to step away and breathe a bit
lest we lose our breath

tkkerouac said...

Oh
I love that above quote
and I'm going to heed some
of that advice.

I was just wondering if I could
post your drawings one day

Take care of yourself
you are not alone
Do you ever notice
that alot of bloggers have
some sort of illness?
CHRON'S
FIBROMYALGIA
MS
BIPOLAR
CANCER
CRONIC FATIQUE SYNDROME
DEPRESSION/ANXIETY

just wondering if its the human condition in blogland or the outside world is the same.

Have a great day!

Good for Me said...

tkkerouac - i think it's the human condition, but not everyone feels the need, or the freedom, to put it out there.

jos said...

hey there sebastien. just noticed that you haven't been posting for quite some time now. hope you're alright.

have a great weekend =)

MONA said...

sebastien! it is 13th august today & we havent seen you since so long!
I hope you are well! I pray to God for your well being.
I miss you & i miss your drawings!

(((HUGS)))

Pat VVV Caza said...

ha
you meant "a summer break"...
thats cool

mes meilleurs voeux et j'ai bien hâte de te voir réapparaitre avec tes aventures, t'en auras surement plein de nouvelles à nous conter

Bonne journée Seb'

NastyPredator said...

hey there, I enjoy reading your blog. It makes me think.
I would be pleased to get a comment from you once in a while on one of my posts that you like.

http://nastypredator.blogspot.com/

MONA said...

Sebastien...How are you doing my friend...

MrManuel said...

Ummm...you doin' ok man. Been a while!

Pod said...

when.....sniffle...will you....sniffle.......be back....sniffle sniffle?

Mrs. Big Hairy Woman said...

we miss you terribly.. When do you think you will be back...

Lirun said...

yeah umm define soon..

MrManuel said...

Lost your email man and want to email you. Send me a line...

pokermanuel@hotmail.com

weird science said...

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In the early '80s, Virginia Tech profs Tracy Wilkins and David Lyerly studied the diarrhea-causing microbe Clostridium difficile in sample after sample after sample of loose stool from the disease's victims. They became such crack dysentery docs that they launched a company, Techlab, dedicated to making stool-analysis kits. Today, Techlab employs 40 people, 19 of whom spend their working hours opening sloppy stool canisters and analyzing their contents in order to test the effectiveness of the company's kits. You'd have to have a pretty good sense of humor, right? Well, fortunately, they do. The Techlab Web site sells T-shirts with cartoons on the front (two flies hover over two blobs of dung; one says to the other, "Pardon me, is this stool taken?") and the company motto on the back: "Techlab: #1 in the #2 Business!"
BARNYARD MASTURBATOR
Researchers who want animal sperm —to study fertility or for artificial insemination—have a suite of attractive options: They can ram an electric probe up an animal's rectum, shove an artificial vagina onto the animal's penis, or simply do it the old-fashioned way—manual stimulation. The first option, electroejaculation, uses a priapic rectal probe to send electricity pulsing through the animal's nether regions. "All the normal excitatory signals that stimulate ejaculation, like touch, sight, sound and smell, can be replaced with the current from the probe," says Trish Berger, professor of animal science at the University of California, Davis. "It's fascinating. Of course, this is a woman talking." Electroejaculation generally requires anesthetizing the animal and is typically used on zoo dwellers. The other two methods—the artificial vagina, or AV, and the good old hand—require that animals be trained to the procedure. The AV—a large latex tube coated with warm lubricant —is used primarily to get sperm from dairy bulls (considered the most ornery and dangerous of bovines). The bull gets randy with a steer; when he mounts the steer with his forelegs, a brave technician, AV in hand, insinuates himself between the two aroused beasts and deftly redirects the bull penis into the mock genitalia, which he must then hold tight while the bull orgasms. (Talk about bull riding!) Three additional technicians attempt to ensure this (fool)hardy soul's safety by anchoring themselves to restraining ropes attached to a ring in the bull's nose. Alas, this isn't always absolutely effective: Everyone who's wielded an AV has had at least one close call, and more than a few have been sent to the hospital. The much safer "digital pressure" is used mostly with pigs, who are trained from an early age to mount a small bench while the researcher reaches around with a gloved hand and provides appropriate pleasure—er, pressure.
CARCASS CLEANER
Natural history museums display clean white skeletons or neatly stuffed animals, but what their field biologists drag in are carcasses flush with rotting flesh. Each museum's taxidermist has his own favorite technique for tidying things up. University of California, Berkeley, zoologist Robert Jones swears by his strain of flesh-eating buffalo-hide beetles and has no problem reaching his bare hand into a drawer to pull out a rancid shrew skeleton swarming with thousands of these quarter-inch bugs. Jeppe Møhl at the University of Copenhagen Zoological Museum deposits sperm whales and dolphins into vast empty tanks and lets nature take its course. And then there's the boiling method, useful for chemically preserved samples that bugs won't touch—an approach favored by archaeologist Sandra Olsen, who has done her own skeleton work. She recalls a particularly vivid experience boiling down hyena paws: "It felt like inhaling the gases would literally kill us." Nah. It merely gave her a lung infection.