Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Amazing Discoveries

From an article in yesterday's NY Times on anthropologist Nina G. Jablonski, author of SKIN: A Natural History:

Q. You made news in 2004 when you discovered the world’s oldest chimpanzee fossil. These were chimp teeth about a half-million years old. Where did you find them?

A. In a drawer at the National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi. I was rummaging through this bag labeled “fossil monkeys” and I saw it. “This doesn’t look like monkey,” I thought. It turned out they were from an early chimp. That find proved important because there had been no chimpanzee this old in the fossil record. By analyzing it, we’ve learned that chimpanzees in their current form have probably existed for longer than previously thought. (Laughs) Since my find, people have been rummaging through dusty museum drawers everywhere!

I'm convinced that the answers to every historical mystery--maybe even the eternal secrets of the universe--are sitting in drawers and stacked in piles around the planet. Some of those piles are in my very own office.

Since going to Barcelona five years ago, I've been raving about a Basque tapas bar there. It was so good we ate there twice, and even now whenever anyone mentions Barcelona, the Boy Wonder gets misty-eyed and sighs, "Fig ice cream...with chocolate sauce..." But no way I could remember the name. Yesterday I opened some of the moving boxes that have been sitting in my office for the past year. Lo and behold! I found the business card for that very restaurant:
Txapela Euskal Taberna
Passeig de Gracia 8-10, Barcelona
Tel. 93 412 -0289
("X" is pronounced "ch" in Catalan; "Euskal" is Basque for "Basque")
Today I started clearing out my overflowing email In box. No secrets of the universe there (yet), but I did find a classic joke I received a couple of months ago:
A struggling screenwriter comes home to find his neighborhood in a chaos of fire engines and police cars. He approaches his house, which is engulfed by flames. Jumping out of his car, he identifies himself to the nearest cop, and demands to know what's going on.

Cop says: "Your agent broke in, raped and killed your wife, torched your house and fled."

Says the writer, with a big grin: "My agent came to my house?!"


meleah rebeccah said...

In lieu of it being "DELURKING" week (or so I've heard, over in blog land) You are supposed to comment on blogs you read all the time but never say anything.

I have never commented, so, I wanted to take the time and let you know even though I don't comment, I READ you all the time, and LOVE THIS BLOG! so, um, thanks.

Eric Riback said...

Maybe you'll find my missing pants in one of those drawers.