Tuesday Night Notes

Things have been pretty busy lately; between schoolwork, my job, and reading I've been booked up over the past few weeks, making my blogging a little less prolific than I'd normally like. Here's a quick rundown of some recent personal news, though, that either didn't fit into anything else I wrote or might provide fodder for upcoming posts.

  • I've been able to rip through three books since the weekend; Dawn of the Dinosaurs: Life in the Triassic, Science Talk, and Discarded Science (expect a review of Science Talk within the next 24 hours). Tonight I picked up The Red Queen, although I'm already starting to take issue with some of the statements made by the author despite the fact that I'm only 13 pages in, so I don't know how much I'll like it. I'm sure I'll get through it over the Thanksgiving break, at which point I'll move on to On the Origin of Phyla, which I was able to obtain for only $30! Valentine's heavy work might have to wait, though, as I'm expecting a certain delivery that I am looking forward to (and will share with you all when I get through it); Prothero and Foss' new book The Evolution of Artiodactyls.

  • Some of you may know that I'm working on my own book on evolution, taking a more personal perspective of natural history. My goal is to at least get the first draft finished by my 25th birthday in February, and I have about 50 pages in Word completed to date. Most of these are the skeletons of ideas that need more explanation and fleshing out, however, so I still have quite a bit of work to do. Still, work is moving ahead and hopefully I'll have something substantial together soon.

  • I'll be heading back to the AMNH on December 1st with the evolution class I assisted there earlier this year. Yeah, I just was there this past Saturday, but there's no good excuse for me not to go.

  • I'm proud to announce that in February I'll be presenting a talk to the Congregation of Humanistic Judaism of Morris County for "Evolution Weekend," the talk primarily focusing on contingency and evolution. I'll add more details as the date gets closer, but I'm definitely looking forward to it. I'm hoping to organize a larger Rutgers event as well, although I don't know if this will come to pass.

  • Hermes, the kitten that was with us last week, may have found a home. I miss the little guy, but there's a new little fuzzball in the apartment that needs some looking after and socialization, a ginger kitten named Cole. Hopefully he'll be adopted soon as well, but for now he seems to enjoy chewing on my books/fingers while I read.

Part of my recent blog sluggishness also has to do with the current aspects of the season; it gets dark at 4 PM, the past week being especially overcast, generally making me feel a bit down. On top of this yearly change, many of the trees still have leaves (some of them are even still green), so it doesn't quite seem like November is already more than halfway over. Hopefully the next few days off from school and work will allow me to get some work done on my book and get through my reading, but overall I generally do not feel as productive (or even happy) as I do between May and September. Perhaps it's all in my head, though, and I'll try to keep the whining to a minimum.

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I doubt it's in your head Brian. Most people feel at least a little blue during the winter months. And for some people it manifests itself as full on Seasonal Affective Disorder. I keep meaning to buy myself a few daylight light bulbs (much cheaper than a light box) - if you put one in your reading light it might help perk you up a bit.