Wednesday Round Up #152

Bogotá is such a great city to visit! That’s a shot of the cathedral in the Plaza de Bolívar in the heart of Bogotá. It comes from a well-done travel article/guide by Jeremy Kressmann, Latin America On A Budget: Bogota, Colombia.

I also found this spectacular image below at the Wikipedia site for the Plaza de Bolívar. Christmas at 8000 feet – and near the equator. In an old, old city that now numbers more than 7,000,000 million. And affectionately known as the “Athens of South America.”

If you can’t travel to Colombia today, you might make it to the National Mall in Washington D.C. between June 30-July 4 and July 7-11, where the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival will feature Colombia: The Nature of Culture.


Science Daily, Chimp, Bonobo Study Sheds Light On The Social Brain
*Although chimps and bonobos are closely related, they are different when it comes to certain behaviors, such as aggression, sex, and empathy. New findings from an Emory Univeristy study show that brain structures may partly explain these differences.

Eric Michael Johnson, Ariel Casts Out Caliban
*Well written, deeply literate, and full of anthropological insight. Johnson provides a great essay on the differences between chimps and bonobos and where humans fall within the spectrum of primate behaviors.

David Dobbs, Bonobos, Chimpanzees, And Nasty, Peaceful Humans
*Praise, as well as critique, of the above post. Is it appropriate or constructive to compare humans to chimps or bonobos? Plus I loved this summary of how to approach journalism:

A key maxim in journalism is that you must justify the decision to publish any story by answering two questions: Why this story? Why now? If you can’t answer them both, you usually can’t sell the story. In this story, Johnson answers the second question — that is, he provides topicality — by providing a wonderful read of a recent PLoS Genetics study of the genomes of 186 primate species that seems to strengthen the argument that we’re closer to bonobos.

But the PLoS study, as valuable as it is, really serves almost as a coda to this article, which is eminently worthy based on just the first question above: Why this story? The recent PLoS Genetics study merely supplements and brings to date Johnson’s deeper historical look at how our views of human nature color our analyses of scientific findings about chimps, bonobos, gorillas, and other close relatives… I hope people take heed, for it shows how powerfully a historical and literary perspective can illuminate the way we do and interpret science now, whether the interpreter is a scientist or someone who tries to understand science.

Jason Antrosio, Anthropology, Ambushed
*Anthropology once again made the news, this time in an e-mail response to a Republican college group campaign, which included an expletive. Read about how anthropologists have been misrepresented and misquoted in the mainstream media.

Paul Mason and Roger Short, Neanderthal-Human Hybrids
*Paul got the ball rolling on this new article in his post, The Neanderthal Romeo and Human Juliet Hypothesis. Now read more about the possiblity of interbreeding between humans and Neanderthals.

Paul Mason and Roger Short, My Great-Great-Great Grandfather’s A Neanderthal
*Why only female humans and male Neanderthals produced offspring whose descendants are still alive today – the popular version of Paul’s article

Mason Liang and Rasmus Nielsen, Q&A: Who Is H. sapiens Really, And How Do We Know?
*Paul recommends this piece for some answers to common questions about humans and neandertals by researchers at UC Berkeley.

James Derian et al., Human Terrain
*Trailer for a movie on the Human Terrain System, including experts and anthropologists commenting on the program’s faults.

John Horgan, Beware The Military-Psychological Complex
*Another troubling collaboration between the U.S. Army and psychologists on strengthening the “mental resiliency” of soldiers.

Ronnie Ellis, How A ‘Tough-on-Crime’ State Became Smart On Crime
*Surprisingly progressive criminal reforms in Kentucky that has bipartisan support.

How Feeling Socially Connected Can Make Strangers’ Hearts Beat Together
*Interesting findings from a study of social connections between strangers.

Jonah Lehrer, Contagious Habits: How Obesity Spreads
*More on how our social networks can influence our risk for obesity.

Patrick Clarkin, Public Outreach
*Strong and insightful post on the need to broaden the reach of anthropology.

Robert Martone, The Neuroscience Of The Gut
*The influence of bacteria in our gut on our behavior.

Sabrina Tavernise, Ohio County Losing Its Young To Painkillers’ Grip
*Growing problem of prescription drug abuse in the Midwest, which is affecting the young and leading an increasing number of deaths.

Michael McWhertor, See The Sims Creator Will Wright Deliver A Dizzying, Fascinating Talk About Video Games And Education
*Watch this fascinating talk from the The Sims creator, which will challenge you and blow your mind away.


Kathryn Clancy, AAPA Symposium On Evolution Through The Life Course
*Great post on Clancy’s recent presentation at the AAPA on menarche, birth control, and teen pregnancy.

Teaching Archaeology To Undergraduates
*Excellent resource of papers on teaching archaeology to undergraduates and grades K-12.

Alma Manzanares, Anthropology Professor Explores Curanderismo
*Fascinating story of an anthropologist who trained as a folk healer because of her research.

Joseph Milton, Chimps Give Birth Like Humans
*We’re not the only primates whose infants are born facing backwards. Get the video!

Kristina Kilgrove, Women And War
*A recently uncovered mass grave from pre-Roman times provides insight into the death toll among women and children during war.

Matthew Tuttle, Anthropology Community Mourns Loss of Father of Modern Archaeology
*A tribute to the passing of the eminent archaeologist Lewis R. Binford, who is known as the Father of Modern Archaeology.

The Economist, Wisdom About Crowds
*A shift in crowd models – actually treating individuals as humans and not molecules.

Janny Scott, Obama’s Young Mother Abroad
*In-depth article on Obama’s mother, who was an anthropologist, on her life in Indonesia.


Sarah DeWeerdt, An Ape With Autism
*A bonobo with signs of autism and differences in his brain from other bonobos.

Lorimer Moseley, Neuroimmunology For Idiots
*Part of a series on the brain, this post on how the immune system plays a role in neural plasticity.

Neely Myers, Book Review : Jonathan Metzls’s The Protest Psychosis
*Fascinating and disturbing book on how schizophrenia became a “black disease.”

Deric Bownd, Outsourcing Self Regulation
*Some contrary findings on the usefulness of looking to a partner for support in keeping goals.

Jon Simons, Exercise May Be Good For You, But It Doesn’t Boost Your Memory
*Claims that exercise improves memory may have been overstated.

Radke S. et al., Mistakes That Affect Others
*Study using fMRI imaging to gauge brain activity in response to errors that impact other people.

Sarah Oriel, Recovery vs Neurodiversity – Why Can’t We Accept Both?
*An insightful and heartfelt post from the mother of an autistic child, who says the level of discord within the autism community needs to be reduced.

Dirk Hanson, Is It “Inhumane” To Take Cigarettes Away From Schizophrenics?
*Surprising findings on why smoking is common among schizophrenic patients and that is may be a form of self-medication.

Science Daily, How The Bilingual Brain Copes With Aging
*How bilingual brains adapt to aging and processing languages.

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