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Friday, December 9, 2011

Laughing matters: fossil fun OR Why it's important to listen in class

Ideal landscape of the eocene period

I'm not sure if today's post belongs to the Laughing Matters category, or if Crying Matters would be better suited. I'll let you judge by yourself.

The blog has now reached more than 2000 page views (thank you readers!), and that brought back to my memory an anecdote that I thought I could share.

I have, at home, a plaque with a fish fossil that my mom gave us a few years ago. The name of the fish is Diplomystus Dentatus. It looks like this:

Once while I was chatting with a guy (who does not read English, so don't you be worried), the conversation branched off to fossils. I can't remember why and how. Perhaps we had mentioned, in the list of Nova Scotia's touristic must-sees, the fossil site of Parrsboro. Anyways. I thought it would be cool to show him our fish fossil.

He admired it for a while, then turned it to read what was written in the back. Apart from its name, the little sticker said "Green River Formation, Wyoming" and "Eocene (36 to 58 million years ago)".

I personally think it's pretty awesome to hold a fish fossil dating from millions of years.

But apparently, my interlocutor thought differently. With a skeptical look on his face, he turned to me and said "But how could it be 36 to 58 million years old? This is only year 2011!"

I was so NOT expecting to hear those words, I almost fell from my chair. But I quickly reminded myself of the Number One rule of interpersonal relationships: never let anyone lose face. I wiped my startled look as fast as I could, and I rapidly changed the subject.

Some conversational pieces hold dangerous powers!

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