After several years of resistance fueled by disinterest, I signed up for Foursquare because I was at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and my friend discovered that if you check in there, you get a free ticket to the Cockrell Butterfly Center (otherwise $8). I'm still skeptical, but the butterflies were pretty: 
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free butterflies
Either way, if you haven't been to the HMNS in a while, you should go. The new hall of paleontology, which opened this summer, is fantastic. It has T. Rexes, triceratops, stegosaurus, diplodocus, quetzalcoatlus, mastodon, megalodon, Slothzilla, a dinosaur that defended itself by being too fat to tip over, and a suite of very good narrative placards that explain how the fossils were found and how the scientists reasoned from what they discovered to what the dinosaur might have been up to IRL. It would also be a good source of inspiration if you're in the market for a social media/online dating nickname (Bambiraptor?). There's also a special exhibit on the Maya that includes some lucid explanations of Maya writing and counting. The placards for that one, charmingly, include phrases like, "the woman is holding either a mirror or a severed head." Good fun all around, and you have to go before December 21st, because that's when THE APOCALYPSE happens. See? I learned how to count like a Maya. :) 
 



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