Wednesday Round Up #150

That’s the face of Sahelanthropus tchadensis, nicknamed “Toumai,” one of the earliest hominin species yet discovered – a potential ancestor dating back 6.8 million years ago.

That image kicks off the great series of face and head reconstructions of past hominin species created by Sven Traenkner and compiled by Discovery News – Faces Of Our Ancestors


Hampshire College Program in Culture, Brain and Development, CBD Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cultural Neuroscience
*Two year postdoc in interdisciplinary studies in cultural neuroscience. Review of applications starts immediately, position starts July 1, 2011.

Michael Smith, Types Of Archaeological Blog
*The many categories of anthropological blogs. Where do you fit in?

Robert Sapolsky, Biology And Human Behavior
*An earlier version of Sapolsky’s class on human behavioral biology

Michael Munger, 10 Tips On How To Write Less Badly
*Some excellent tips on improving your writing – it takes a lot of practice and editing.

Ethnografix, Writing Matters
*A response to Munger’s post on writing and some additional tips on improving your writing. Remember, your first draft won’t be your best, but keep at it and you’ll get there eventually.

Casile A., The Mirror Neuron System: A Fresh View
*New research findings on how mirror neurons regulate motor actions and social abilities., Two New Studies Using World Of Warcraft From Colorado University
*A rare study of the positive effects of video games, with research led by anthropologist Jeff Snodgrass. Researchers examined how video games can be a relaxing and meditative outlet for players.

CBS News, The Common Bond Of Animal Odd Couples
*An unlikely friendship between a deer and a dog. If you think that’s unusual, watch the entire clip to see other examples of interspecies bonds.

Barbara King, Minute TV, Or, Doing Public Anthropology
*Post by the anthropologist featured in the previous video on her experiences filming the shot and the anxiety of condensing years of research into a minute.

Jacquelin Cangro, Book Review: Being with Animals, by Barbara J. King
*A glowing review of King’s new book on human-animal co-evolution and relationships

Understanding Society, New Ideas About Structure And Agency
*Different perspective of structure and agency, which attempts to dissolve the separation of the two.

Tim Johnson, Cocaine Lab Found In Honduras Signals Big Shift In Drug Business
*The Colombian drug trade is spreading into other countries, including Honduras, where cocaine is now being processed.

Open Folklore, Enhancements And Accomplishments Announced For Open Folklore Project, Portal Site
*New additions to the Open Folklore Project to make it more accessible and encourage collaboration among folklorists.

Kathryn Clancy, If I Objectify You, Will It Make You Feel Bad Enough To Objectify Yourself?
*Thorough critique of a study on how hormone levels affect a woman’s shopping choices. Clancy says the researchers might be onto something, but studies need to expand beyond Western, undergraduate students in order to be generalized.

Felicity Barringer, Taking On Climate Skepticism As A Field Of Study
*Timely interview with Andrew Hoffman, on the importance of social scientists getting involved in climate change debates.

Pew Center for Global Climate Change, Communicating Climate Change
*Some tips on communicating about issues regarding climate change.

Culture of Poverty

Anat Shenker-Osorio, Do You Think The Poor Are Lazy?
*Discourse: how we talk about income and inequality influences our misperceptions of it.

Mario Small, On Culture And Poverty
*Rebuttal to a Boston Review article on a recent issue of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences on the culture of poverty. The Review stated that the Academy was calling for a resurrection of the culture of poverty, which is the exact opposite of their actual intention in publishing the issue.

Stephen Steinberg, Poor Reason
*The link to the Boston Review article.

Chauncey de Vega, Ol’ Dirty Bastard Is For The Children
*Excerpts from Mario Small’ writing, which paint a rather depressing picture of poor African Americans.

Joseph Stiglitz, Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%
*Vanity Fair on the increasingly concentrated wealth in the US, and the detriment that flows from that – or, how a culture of wealth also leads to poverty

Lauran Neergaard, Govt Announces Plan To Reduce Health Disparities
*Government initiative targeting the health of minorities, which includes a recognition that good health starts outside of the doctor’s office.

Julie Mack, Do Republicans In Congress Think The Cycle Of Poverty Will End Without Help?
*Heartfelt and realistic defense of government assistance to the poor. As Congress debates cuts to programs, such as Head Start, they should consider the ramifications for poor families.

John Thompson, The Stress Of Talking About Race Is Nothing In Comparison To The Stress Imposed On Poor Kids
*Brutally honest article on how debates about poverty are failing to actually do anything and feeding into stereotypes regarding poor families.

Russell Simmons, Dear Mr. President, Forget The Poor, Lose Your Soul
*An open letter to President Obama asking him to remember poor Americans, in particular African Americans, who have higher poverty levels than any other ethnic group.


Phil Gast and Sarah Aarthun, Scientists Speak Out To Discredit ‘Gay Caveman’ Media Reports
*A male skeleton buried in a traditionally female position in the Czech Republic was touted in the media as the first “gay caveman.” Anthropologists, among them John Hawks, have quickly shot down this claim, pointing out that burial position is not indicative of a particular sexual orientation.

Living Anthropologically, Neandertals, Denisovans, And Anthropology 101
*Good starting point for professors looking for textbooks on evolution. Includes a review and suggestion of some the textbooks out there.

Erin Alden Smith, Evolution of Human Social Behavior – Sources For Presentations & Bibliographic Essays
*Excellent list of sources for this Biological Anthropology course at U of Washington.

Deb Rotman, Historical Archaeology Of Irish America
*Deb is a former Notre Dame colleague, and this report outlines her archaeological project examining the lives of Irish Americans who settled outside of urban centers.

Sadeq Rahimi, SPA Panel On Political Subjectivity
*Recordings from a panel on political subjectivity at the Society for Psychological Anthropology meeting.

NPR Staff, Egyptian Mummies Diagnosed With Clogged Arteries
*Heart disease among the affluent was a problem for Egyptian royalty according to diagnostic CT scans of mummies., Study: Men And Women Look More Alike Today
*Anthropologists at North Carolina University say that sexual dimorphism in human skulls has decreased.

ABC Action News – Tampa, Who is the ‘Preacher Man’?
*Story about identifying the remains of a local homeless man, with help from my colleague Erin Kimmerle, a forensic anthropologist

Peter Smith, GOOD Asks The Experts: Is The “Paleolithic Diet” Really Better?
*Great interview with anthropologists that study early humans on the Paleolithic diet and its nutritional value.


Stephen Casper, Neuroscience On Art And Law
*The neglected spine and why it deserves more attention in the neurosciences.

Christian Jarrett, My New Book, The Rough Guide To Psychology
*New book on current research in psychology, insights into human behavior, and many other interesting topics are covered.

Bruce McEwen, 2010 S4SN Conference: Importance Of The Social Environment
*Recording of McEwen’s presentation on how environmental stress affects the brain and body.

Virginia Heffernan, Miss G.: A Case Of Internet Addiction
*Case of a student who says she’s addicted to the Internet, but is she really? Or is she another student who keeps long hours?

Adam Cole, Even Beginners Can Curb Pain With Meditation
*Findings showing the benefits of meditation, even for novice students, when it comes to relieving pain.

Virginia Hughes, Researchers Track Down Autism Rates Across The Globe
*How stigma and lack of awareness have contributed to misdiagnoses of autism in Korea.

Mark Lachs, Want To Live To 100? Try To Bounce Back From Stress
*Shrugging off life’s inevitable set-backs and a sense of humor are key to a long life.

Philip Moeller, The Key To A Long Life: Conscientious Habits
*Another characteristic important to a long life: conscientiousness.

Marlowe Hood, “Molyneux’s Question” Gets Answered after 300 Years
*Perception and philosophy of mind, now answered by neuroscience – and really fascinating research on how children blind from birth learn to see again when surgery corrects their vision problems.
-For more, see this piece from MIT on Shedding light on a long-standing puzzle

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