Wednesday Round Up #129

I’m off to New Orleans for the American Anthropological Association annual meeting early today. Hence the photo of a Louisiana oak that caught my eye. It comes from Air Ninja.

It’s been really busy for me the past few days, so this round up is a bit messy. But still good stuff here! The tops, PTSD, mind, anthro, drugs, the internet and design, and some extras at the bottom.

Top of the List

Neely Myers, Call for Research: Ethnography, Psychosis and At-Risk Groups
*A call for research that actually focuses on the research!

Robert Sapolsky, This Is Your Brain on Metaphors
*The brain runs the literal and the metaphoral, the physical and the psychic on the same circuits – or evolutionary neurobiology meets the meaningful brain

Ed Yong, Butchered or Trampled? Gloves Come Off in Bone Mark Debate
*Some heated debate over the meaning of bone marks millions of years ago in human evolution

Scott Jaschik, Too Nice to Land a Job
*Gender in letters of rec: You might want to ask your references to use more “masculine” terms when praising your work.
-A study found that faculty search committees may rank candidates higher based on certain words used to describe them in letters of recommendation.

TED, Keith Barry Does ‘Brain Magic’
*Magic or foolery? you decide!


UCSF, Can Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Be Stopped Before it Begins?
*Fear conditioning and preventative treatment of PTSD – how the army is attempting to stop PTSD before symptoms appear.

Vaughan Bell, An Uneven Distribution of Traumatised Soldiers
*How the “stiff upper lip” attitude among the British and recruitment practices decreases the rate of PTSD among British soldiers in comparison to Americans.

Emily Anthes, Soothing Traumatized Children
*Coloring as a counseling tool for children who have experienced trauma in their lives.

NPR, Psychologist Craig Bryan: Treating Vets For PTSD
*Both disturbing and enlightening.
-Getting vets to deploy, dealing with suicide, and the background stresses that help drive PTSD – a frank interview with an Army-employed psychologist

NPR, PTSD: Not A New Ailment On ‘Wartorn’ Battlefield
*Interview with the makers of the HBO documentary, Wartorn 1861-2010, which examines PTSD in the armed forces starting from the Civil War.

The Neurocritic, Tetris Helps Prevent Unpleasant Memories of Gory Film in Happy People
*Sometimes researchers are responsible for distorted results, which the media report on without critically examining the methods used.
-Check out Neurocritic’s breakdown of what’s wrong with this particular study.
Here’s the original paper:

HBO, Warton 1861-2010
*The official website for the documentary about PTSD in the military.


Maria Turner, On Music and Pleasure
*Why do we enjoy listening to music? A look at how music is received in the brain and our preference for certain genres.

George Lakoff, The Brain and its Politics
*Lecture on human reason and its implications on politics.

Natasha Mitchell, Why Everyone (Else) is a Hypocrite: Your Modular Mind
*Evolutionary psychology: modules as smart phone applications.
-While I don’t agree, Robert Kurzban is very clear about explaining the evolutionary psychology position in this interview over at All in the Mind

John Timmer, Literacy May Have Stolen Brain Power From Other Functions
*And here’s one reason why the evolutionary psychology view is not sufficient.
-fMRI research shows “literacy does take over some new areas of the brain, with mixed effects on other areas of cognition.” Where does this leave modules?

Sharon LaFraniere, Life in the Shadows for Mentally Ill in China
*Disturbing report on the state of the mental healthcare system in China.

Hannah Critchlow, Documentary Award for Cambridge Neuroscientists Imaging Appetite
*A documentary which showed how the brain controls appetite and how this might alleviate the stigma surrounding obesity.

Jonah Lehrer, Self Comes to Mind
*Excellent interview with neuroscientist Antonio Damasio on how his conceptualization of consciousness has changed over the years.


Linguistic Anthropology Listserve, Transferring Audio Tapes to Digital Media
*Find out different ways to get your old tapes into the digital age.

Coralie Chevallier, Picture of the week: West African Masquerade by Phyllis Galembo
*Amazing pictures of masquerade traditions in West Africa.

Six out of Ten
*Actor Gael Garcia Bernal interviews Honduran migrant women working in the U.S.

MoMA, Dinka: Legendary Cattle Keepers of Sudan
*Beautiful photo gallery of the Dinka in Sudan.

Aaron Huey, America’s Native Prisoners of War
*Moving talk and photo essay on poverty among Lakota residents of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Kerim, Ethnogenesis: A Radical Constructionist Case
*Book review of The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia by James Scott about the strategies people employ to resist centralized state control.


Mo, Neurocriminology in Prohibition-Era New York
*Fascinating biography of the first neurocriminologist, Carleton Simon, a psychiatrist who was involved in enforcing prohibition laws.

David Kroll, Alcoholic Energy Drinks
*Caffeine and alcohol = a dangerous combination.
-New energy drinks containing alcohol have been showing up at convenience stores, however, the caffeine in these drinks can mask the effects of alcohol making people believe they can drink more.

Dirk Hanson, New Warning Labels for U.S. Cigarettes; Big Tobacco on the Rampage
*Big tobacco is now suing countries!

Loan Grillo, Mexico’s Lost Youth: Generation Narco
*The new tribe of young people who neither work nor study: los ni nis or “neither nors”

Nina Lakhani, Drugs Linked to Brain Damage 30 Years Ago
*Startling news that drug makers were aware of the side effects from tranquilizers on the brain.

Carl Zimmer, Beer, the Foundation of Civilization
*Interview with Charles Bamforth at UC Davis on the chemistry of beer and the role of microbes in its production.

Emily Anthes, Another Tale of Alcohol and Reptiles
*Interesting story of a how the discovery of a new reptile species was nearly thwarted by a drunk diner.

Design & The Net

Megan Garber, Meet “The Hub,” a Virtual Clubhouse for Community Nonprofit News Sites
*A new virtual meeting spot for individuals involved in nonprofit news.

Sara Felsenstein, ‘The Hub’ Sparks Academic Dialogue
*More on the “hub” recently created at the University of Notre Dame and reactions to it.

Travis Kaya, CUNY Social Network Mixes Scholarship With Facebook-Style Friendship
*The City University of New York recently launched a website to foster discussion among its 28 campuses.\

The Oatmeal, How a Web Design Goes Straight to Hell
*Hilarious pictorial depiction of what some clients ask of web designers.

*Check out this website containing news stories on the U.S.
Now Public

Posterous, The Easiest Way To…
*Here’s a great resource for those of you looking to start blogging.

Kevin Carson, Why Self-Organized Networks Will Destroy Hierarchies — A Credo

Dylan Tweney, The Undesigned Web
*The Internet is standardizing the way in which information is formatted or at least giving us more control in how we view pages.

Micah White, Google is Polluting the Internet
*Corporations may have taken over how we search for information on the Internet.

Patrick Meier, Democracy in Cyberspace: What Information Technology Can and Cannot Do
*A scathing, sarcastic critique of peer reviewed articles on information technology.

Jakob Nielsen, Photos as Web Content
*Useful guide to what images should be included on webpages.

Jarel Remick, The Ultimate Dropbox Toolkit & Guide
*Another great web guide – this one on drop boxes.

Zadie Smith, Generation Why?
*A review of sorts on the film The Social Network and the book You Are Not a Gadget, but also a meditation on life in our increasingly social networked, media saturated, Internet available world

Alexis Madrigal, Literary Writers and Social Media: A Response to Zadie Smith
*Three reasons the writer might not see the meaning in Facebook

Martin Fenner, Beyond the PDF – It Is Time for a Workshop
* “PDF has become the standard way we consume scientific papers, but in fact is not a good format for this purpose at all.”
-Looking at what a new standard should do

Trip Gabriel, Learning in Dorm, Because Class Is on the Web
*E-learning is taking off.
-And it’s going to change academia.


Robin Givhan, A Tuxedo On a Woman: What It Says and What It Means
*How the tuxedo has become a symbol of battles over gender roles and sexuality.

Morgan Smith, Psychologist in Terror War Is Subject of Complaint
*There’s been a fierce debate among anthropologists regarding involvement in the War on Terror, which is going on among psychologists.
-Read about how one psychologist may lose his license due to his participation in designing interrogation techniques.

David Bornstein, Fighting Bullying with Babies
*In the news we’ve heard about adolescents committing suicide in response to bullying, which has led to parents and educators searching for ways to address bullying.
-An organization called Roots of Empathy has advocated a different approach involving the use of babies in the classroom.

Carolyn Butler, Sex Survey Shows Growing Diversity, But Cliches About Men and Women Still Apply
*Researchers at Indian University recently published a national study on sex, which dispelled some myths about sexual experimentation and condom usage, but it also confirmed stereotypes some gender stereotypes regarding sexual practices.

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One Response to Wednesday Round Up #129

  1. Pingback: Prader-Willi Brain Scans | Channel N

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