I have a few erasable white boards on my desk that I use to keep track of, well, everything. Although they are frequently commandeered by my 5-year-old to practice her letters, the boards do a pretty good job of reminding me of all I have to do. In one corner is a list of languishing blog topics. Among them, “Stated Clearly.” I can’t remember how these two words came to be on my to-blog list, but there they have sat for some time.

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Well-established by now on this blog is my love for and obsession with xenarthrans. So let it be a sign of my devotion to getting the upcoming issue of RNCSE out on time and full of awesome that I allowed not one but two xenarthran stories in the news to pass without comment. This then is the first of my xenarthran catch-up posts.

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Cards, showing all four suitsImage by Enoch Lau, via Wikimedia Commons under a CC-BY-SA license. Take a card deck (no jokers). Pull out a card. What’s the probability that you’ll see a spade?

25%, right?

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"Darwin" tells us about his voyage.

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A month or so back, NCSE got an e-mail from John Pollock asking if we'd be interested in reviewing his new app, and it somehow ended up in my lap. Now, I’m not really an app person, but this app was right up my alley: The Darwin Synthetic Interview. Basically, Pollock and his colleagues have brought Darwin to life—on our portable devices, anyway—and made it possible for us to ask him questions.

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Valerie First is a docent at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, in Sanford, Florida, and the Orlando Science Center. She earned her BA degree from the University of Florida and is a member of the Florida Fossil Hunters, Tampa Bay Fossil Hunters, the Florida Paleontological Society, and American Association of Physical Anthropologists. Over the years as a docent, she has had to battle misconceptions about evolution and been confronted by a public unsupportive of the science.

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Way back last summer, I wrote a four-part Misconception Monday series on evolutionary trees (part 1, 2, 3, 4). What I couldn’t tell you back then was that the inspiration for the series was a new section of the incomparably fabulous Understanding Evolution (UE) site. At the time, the UCMP folks asked me to hold off on advertising the section until they got their evaluations back from external assessors. Grudgingly, I held off. Then, when the site went live in September, I was swamped and didn’t do what I should have done—loudly sing its praises on the blog. It’s true that some of my extra workload involved writing Evo in the News articles for the UE site, but I still feel pretty horrible that I haven’t championed its new triumph yet. My guilt ends today. Everyone, get ready for awesome and go explore The Tree Room!

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