My thanks to everyone who's left birthday wishes today. Really. I think I might hardly have noticed it has been my birthday, otherwise (though Spooky did give me a drad Chistopher Eccleston/Doctor Who action figure).
Tonight, I am very grateful for the existence of Tiger Balm patches. I have no doubt I will be twice as grateful this time tomorrow.
Somehow, despite all the packing, I managed to finish Ronald Rainger's An Agenda for Antiquity (1991) today, a biography of paleontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn. It's an extremely well-documented and unbiased examination, warts and all. I'm not a great fan of Osborn's, for too many reasons to list, but I think Rainger sums it up nicely in his closing paragraph:
Osborn's legacy is ambiguous. In certain respects it is easy to dismiss him as a pompous and rather ridiculous figure whose interpretations had little or no influence. His status and authority derived largely from connections to wealthy and powerful New Yorkers. His scientific interpretations failed to incorporate the leading conceptual and methodological developments of the day and were influenced by social and political values. Yet he played an important role in developing early twentieth-century American vertebrate paleontology. Osborn, particularly in his later years, was a bloated, egotistical figure whose views required reinterpretation; nevertheless he established the institutional foundations and promoted the scientific research that would effect that reinterpretation.
Byron dropped by to help with some heavy lifting, but couldn't stay long. I changed our Netflix account to the new street address in Providence. Spooky got me a cake (I'd told her not to).