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The Global Social Media Impact Study goes Open Access

As an undergraduate, I was deeply impressed with Daniel Miller’s Material Culture and Mass Consumption — in fact, in one of my first published articles I used Miller’s concept of ‘forging’ (which implies both making and faking) to help understand the transformation of landowner identities around customary land registration. Show More Summary

Political Arrangements

The thing about work that stands out most, reading through enthusiastic future forecasts on the one hand and stories of worker distress after the Sriperumbudur Nokia manufacturing plant closure on the other, is how one context obscures the political arrangements that make work possible, whereas the other brings them to light. Show More Summary

An Anthropologist among Future Seekers

[Savage Minds welcomes guest blogger Deepa S. Reddy] For a few years now, I’ve been working in the space of future imagining—seeking out trends and rationales by which to extrapolate them or use them as jumping-off points as provocations...Show More Summary

Too many dinosaurs

Maggie Koerth-Baker has a very nice piece in FiveThirtyEight about the high proportion of dinosaur genus names that have eventually been discarded over the years: “All Those New Dinosaurs May Not Be New — Or Dinosaurs”. She focuses on...Show More Summary

Link: Prairie dogs kill ground squirrels

Ed Yong writes about a long-term study of prairie dog sociality that demonstrated a surprising behavior among females: they kill dozens of ground squirrels: “Adorable Prairie Dogs Brutally Kill Baby Ground Squirrels”. The consequences of the kills were even more extraordinary. Show More Summary

Neandertal sex acts are beyond counting

I’ve given a lot of thought over the years to the genetic ties between today’s people and ancient populations. Just last month, I wrote a lot about the relationships of Neandertal and modern human populations (“Earlier mixture from modern humans into Neandertal populations”). Show More Summary

The foramen magnum does not point to locomotor adaptation

Aidan Ruth and colleagues in the Journal of Human Evolution have an interesting paper with the seemingly counter-intuitive result that foramen magnum orientation does not relate to locomotor pattern. They consider several mammal groups in which some species have more vertical or orthograde posture and others a more horizontal posture. Show More Summary

Bronze Age war in northern Germany

Slaughter at the bridge: Uncovering a colossal Bronze Age battle About 3200 years ago, two armies clashed at a river crossing near the Baltic Sea. The confrontation can’t be found in any history books—the written word didn’t become common in these parts for another 2000 years—but this was no skirmish between local clans. Show More Summary

Did the Belgian Authorities Purposely Trigger the Brussels Attacks?

Among the dense clouds of speculation from mainstream journalists and the many supposed national security experts whose expertise lies in repeating nothing (“I have been briefed, but I cannot say anything further as it would compromise...Show More Summary

Link: Zika virus set to infect up to a fourth of Puerto Ricans

Donald McNeil, Jr., reports in the New York Times on the impending spread of Zika virus into Puerto Rico: A quarter of the island’s 3.5 million people will probably get the Zika virus within a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and eventually 80 percent or more may be infected. “I’m very concerned,” Dr. Show More Summary

Link: Peanut origins

Peanuts have an interesting origin: “Modern Peanut’s Wild Cousin, Thought Extinct, Found in Andes”. The modern peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is the result of the hybridization of two older types of Andean peanut. It has 20 pairs of chromosomes—the total from both old species, which have 10 chromosomes each. Show More Summary

Pointing to advice on making better scientific posters

The meetings of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists are coming next month, and students and professionals are starting to prepare their poster presentations. On that subject, some good advice on posters from Jeremy Fox: The big mistake almost every scientific poster makes. Your poster doesn’t need an abstract–it is an abstract. Show More Summary

Nativistic Movements

Originally published as: “Nativistic Movements” By Ralph Linton and A. Irving Hallowell American Anthropologist, 45(2), 1943, pp. 230-240 NATIVISTIC MOVEMENTS By RALPH LINTON ———-page 230———- AT THE time that the centennial meeting of...Show More Summary

Link: Michael Eisen comments on open access and PLOS financials

Michael Eisen writes about the economics of running PLOS in two blog posts, both worth reading for those who care about the future of scientific publishing. The posts follow after some Twitter conversations about the finances of PLOS. In...Show More Summary

Link: The mysterious end of Erebus and Terror

A fascinating Sunday story by Leanne Shapton in the New York Times Magazine about the mysterious end of the 1845 Franklin expedition to the Arctic: “Artifacts of a Doomed Expedition”. The contemporary Franklin narrative continues to dismiss Inuit testimony, as Dickens did. Show More Summary

Neandertal and Denisovan DNA from Melanesians

Admixture models are out of control these days, with 4 inferred archaic introgressions into three groups of Eurasians (Europeans, East Asians, Melanesians). The model on the left has to be a simplification/incomplete/wrong in some way...Show More Summary

Adaptation in the light of ancient genomes

Nature Communications 7, Article number: 10775 doi:10.1038/ncomms10775 Human adaptation and population differentiation in the light of ancient genomes Felix M. Key, Qiaomei Fu, Frédéric Romagné, Michael Lachmann and Aida M. Andrés The...Show More Summary

Quote: Johanson on the thread of ancestry of Homo

Again from Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind today, Don Johanson describes his thoughts upon the question of whether to place the Hadar jaw remains (later attributed to Au. afarensis) in the genus Homo: With a kind of mental blink IShow More Summary

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