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A week or so back, one of the weekend papers ran a story on just how many beers someone needed to drink before they’d be legally too drunk to drive. The Significant Other & I were staggered to find that the answer was, A Lot. (Around 9, as I recall.) Speaking for myself, about 2 would do it for me – after that, I wouldn’t feel safe to drive. And yet, as Christian Jarrett points out in BPS Research Digest, most people are hopelessly bad at recognising the signs of inebriation in others.

Those of you preparing for Level 3 or Scholarship exams at the end of the year will (among other things) be learning about human cultural evolution. Some of the evidence for the development of culture comes in the form of carvings, including of the human form – the various ‘Venus’ figurines are a good example. Over at Gambler’s House, teofilo presents information on another type of representation: human effigy vases.

And on Deep-Sea News,  Kevin Zelnio writes about a beautiful arthropod fossil, new to science but very old in the scale of arthropod evolution. Just occasionally palaeontologists find spots (lagerstatten) where the fossil assemblages are rich and amazingly well-preserved. From one such site in China comes Yicaris, an ancient crustacean, and one that’s probably very close to the point at which crustacea diverged from the other arthropod lineages. (The late Stephen Jay Gould would have loved this one!)

I do like being on leave – it’s nice to have the chance to roam the science blogs more widely :)