Holy effing crap

I’m sure many of you have read/heard about the Ardipithecus papers released last Friday. I got the papers Friday while I was heading to the middle of nowhere Missouri, but haven’t gotten a chance to read them all yet. Just as it appears that Ardi preferred a forested habitat, I tried my own hand at a more foresty lifestyle while camping this weekend.

The major thing I’ve taken from what I’ve been able to read about Ardi is that it has an abducted big toe–unlike any other fossil hominin foot we’ve seen so far. More on this, other Ardi anatomy, and the implications of the fossils to come…

The problem:

Spiders. Or at least one rather large, fast-moving, and intent on web-building spider that successfully terrorized Kristen and I out of the lab this afternoon. Yes, that’s the other problem: at 4:30 in the afternoon in the summer, Kristen and I are the only ones around, and neither of us are quite brave enough to deal with little Boris. To be fair, Kristen did almost manage to get him onto a board, which she claims she would then have left in the hallway for a less arachnophobic individual to deal with. Sadly, Boris was too smart for the board trick and instead escaped into a box under the table. I, meanwhile, was doing a trendy new dance in the hallway to the tune of “oh gross oh gross oh gross” – the hot dance number involves much jumping up and down and shuddering in repugnance. As such, we have both sworn off touching, moving, and certainly cleaning any of the boxes under the tables until someone brave enough to squish and/or extract spiders and other creepy crawlies is in the room.

If anyone is interested, we’re going to attempt to reclaim our territory tomorrow at 1:30, so as to continue the work we are getting paid to do. If anyone wants to show up as spider protection, I at least would be grateful (I don’t want to drag Kristen into my pathetic woe). Alternately, if someone would like to lie and tell us that they were in the lab tonight and saw poor Boris, and “rescued” him to outside West Hall, I will enthusiastically believe the falsehood in favor of my mind’s well-being. Hint, hint!

Oh, and this might put a damper on the camping plans proposed in the last post’s comments…