Archive for March, 2011

Life’s tough choices

I’m back from San Francisco, and there will be more about that when I gather it all together, but here’s a cute photo of some public invert-related art I saw while jogging on the Embarcadero.

Meanwhile, I repeat, life has tough choices. This entire weekend, for example, is the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, a competition in which I’ve been an enthusiastically mediocre contestant over the years. On Sunday, there is also a meeting of the New York Paleontological Society, during which there will be a lecture on early molluscan evolution. The talk is by Jakob Vinther, who also authored some of the very cool papers that came out recently about pigment in dinosaur feathers. He thinks there’s evidence that chitons body plans are actually quite derived, and not primitive as other research suggests. I certainly want to hear more about this.

Plus chitons are just so lovely. Here’s an incredible photo of a faceoff (if you could call it that) between a nudibranch and a chiton.

Limacia & Friend
(photo: ken-ichi)

I’m really going to try to go to both tournament and talk on Sunday. Wish me luck with timing and transit.

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I’m going to San Francisco! Tomorrow, in fact, for the National Science Teachers Association conference. I’ve been furiously browsing the schedule to figure out what sessions will be best for me to go to, but I was delighted to find quite a few sessions that focus on mollusks! There are not one but two sessions about squid dissection, one about the Queen Conch Research Refuge Ranch (which there doesn’t seem to be information about online), and one about seashell taxonomy. Weirdly I also can’t link to the individual sessions, but in any case I’ll report back if I make it to any of these. I’m hoping my proximity to the Pacific Ocean may also facilitate a mollusk encounter of some fashion. And, holy cow, am I going to eat a burrito while I’m there.

During my flights and downtime, I hope I’ll finish these mittens I’ve been knitting. Snaily!

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