i called the altE store to see if i could get a shipping quote on a solar water heater kit for my father. for years now he's been trying to install a system. he even imported one from china that ended in disaster when most of the evacuated tubes arrived completely smashed and the water tank was lost in transit. but finally this might be the year, helped in part to our china relative who forwarded some funds for the project. solar equipment can be delicate and i thought it'd be thousands of dollars worth of shipping but it was only $450 plus an additional $125 packing fee, not that bad. the store is actually based in hudson, MA but unfortunately all the merchandise comes from a warehouse in florida. i also asked about the taxes, but apparently solar equipment for personal use are tax exempt (just need to fill out a form). i talked with amy (who's featured on some of their company videos), who was super helpful.
in the early evening i went to lecture at the HMNH about the biology and evolution of mollusks, to coincide with a new mollusks exhibit at the museum. giving the talk was their chief malacologist professor gonzalo giribet, a catalan with a passion for invertebrates. did you know that mollusks are the 2nd largest animal group? far behind arthropods (who are like 75% of all animals on earth), but well ahead of vertebrates (in 3rd place). also, one of the longest living animals on earth is the ocean quahog (Artica islandica), whose shell rings reveal specimens as old as 400+ years. giribet talked about his own research with the living fossil Neopilina galatheae, a deep sea limpet thought to be extinct but rediscovered in the 50's; using DNA analysis he determined that they might be the ancestors for all cephalopods.
it was starting to drizzle when i went to the museum and the light rain continued when i returned home. for dinner i made some pasta with vodka prosciutto sauce (gave me a chance to take a few swigs from the bottle). too bad my roommate wasn't home yet otherwise i would've shared with her. i also started some no-knead bread, for no reason other than to show off. my roommate didn't come home until after 9:00.