In part 1 of this post, I recounted how in the middle of a moment of domestic bliss (doing dishes) I was brought up short by an exchange on Science Friday.

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Do you see it, readers? The steam pouring out of my ears? Picture this. It’s last Sunday night. I’m doing dishes and listening to some podcasts, scrubbing away not exactly merrily, but efficiently and contentedly, when I heard this: “I happen to believe that we should teach ‛intelligent design’ in classrooms. I think it’s a perfectly reasonable thing to teach.”

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Last week I opted to manifest, yet again, my undying love for xenarthrans to help get you through your Friday. This week’s particular photo was a zoomed-in view of what I think is definitely a top contender for my #1 favorite xenarthran of all time: the glyptodont.

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If I had my way, the world would shift to three-day weekends just before Thanksgiving until after the New Year. Regardless of holiday traditions or lack thereof, it just seems like a cruel and unusual punishment to have to work on Fridays in December. With a miles-long to-do list and a longing for all the merry activities I’d rather be doing, I find that every minute of a December Friday spent at my desk feels like an hour.

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The vertebrate paleontologist is a peculiar creature—half geologist, half biologist, half lunatic, it spends as much time as it can in the hottest desert or the coldest tundra, all in the passionate pursuit of the interesting inedible. As many of you know personally, and others of you have no doubt inferred, they’re even more peculiar en masse. One of the things I miss most since leaving academia is attending the annual Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) meeting. Apart from the fact that it’s among the booziest meetings around, SVP-ers are just … goofy and delightful.

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