after some oatmeal for lunch i went to market basket to get some groceries. i made a reuben sandwich for dinner. later i tried my hands at making stovetop popcorn. i scorched the first batch, smoking up the whole kitchen. i opened a window and ran the fan, but had to close it when it got too cold. the second batch was a little better because i used medium heat, but there was still some scorching. now i get to enjoy the smell of burnt popcorn for the next few days.
in the early evening i went down to the harvard museum of comparative zoology for a lecture on tiktaalik, the missing link between aquatic fish and land-dwelling tetrapods (like us). the talk was given by neil shubin, one of the discoverers, and sponsored by the harvard class of 1958. that would explain the crowd of silverfoxes filling the lecture hall, the most people i've ever seen, all in town for their class reunion. there were so many that there weren't enough seats and some people had to stand in the back. the lecture was great: funny and multi-disciplinary, involving paleontology, fish biology, comparative anatomy, and even winter wilderness survival (the dig site was up in the canadian arctic). however, the people asking questions were mostly morons. the first question was from a middle-aged woman asking shubin about what he thought about the recent face transplant operation in boston. shubin, to his credit, didn't just laugh at the sheer random of the question, but told her it wasn't part of his discipline and he knew nothing about the case. another person asked why prehistoric plants don't get as much attention as dinosaurs, and somebody else wondered what shubin would do if he saw a living tiktaalik.