Languages of the World’s Asya Perelstvaig notes that sdhe has an online course on languages available.
Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the lessons of Uruguay’s José Mujica for the left, and suggests that putting populists on pedestals is a losing strategy.
The Map Room’s Jonathan Crowe approves of the recent book Unruly Places.
Marginal Revolution shares a revisionist take on the 1943 Bengal famine.
Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw considers the role of community gardens in modern-day Australia.
The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders if Grexit will be triggered over so little.
Savage Minds shares tips on better writing for students of the social sciences (and all people, really).
Window on Eurasia notes the shattering of the post-Soviet space, suggests further advances into Ukraine are unlikely, argues that Lithuania would be much more likely to face conventional aggression than Estonia or Latvia, and notes Russia’s outlook to the European far left as well as the far right.
The Associated Press report carried by CBC is one news item among many pointed to our species’ rich and diverse history.
A partial skull retrieved from a cave in northern Israel is shedding light on a pivotal juncture in early human history when our species was trekking out of Africa to populate other parts of the world and encountered our close cousins the Neanderthals.
‘It is the first direct fossil evidence that modern humans and Neanderthals inhabited the same area at the same time.’- Bruce Latimer, Case Western Reserve University
Scientists said on Wednesday the upper part of the skull, the domed portion without the face or jaws, was unearthed in Manot Cave in Israel’s Western Galilee. Scientific dating techniques determined the skull was about 55,000 years old.
The researchers said characteristics of the skull, dating from a time period when members of our species were thought to have been marching out of Africa, suggest the individual was closely related to the first Homo sapiens populations that later colonized Europe.
They also said the skull provides the first evidence that Homo sapiens inhabited that region at the same time as Neanderthals, our closest extinct human relative.
Tel Aviv University anthropologist Israel Hershkovitz, who led the study published in the journal Nature, called the skull “an important piece of the puzzle of the big story of human evolution.”
Many doctoral students fail to earn their PhDs because they never finish their dissertations. They complete their coursework, pass their qualifying exams, and do all of their research, but writing the thesis proves an insurmountable barrier. Why does the dissertation present such a challenge? Because students can’t push past the first chapter. Too many dissertators start with their introduction and find that they have nothing to say. Or they realize they have no idea what they are trying to introduce.
In Anne Lamott’s brilliant book, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, the author advises all would be writers to embrace what she calls the “sh*tty first draft” (SFD). Decide what you’re going to write, and then write it straight through without stopping. If you need an article, spend some time thinking of an abstract that captures the essence of your argument and the data you have to substantiate it. You can take a few days to put together a really good abstract. Once you have it, use it as you introductory paragraph and start writing.
Keep putting words on the page until you reach what you think will be the end. Never go back and read what you have already written. This may seem difficult, but you can learn to let your thoughts flow. If you find yourself stuck at a section or in need of a particular fact or reference not at hand, leave placeholders in your text. Phrases like “insert quote here” or “discuss relevant studies here” litter my first drafts. If I need to stop working for the day, I always type the letters “XXX” in my electronic document. When I come back to the file, I open the document and search for the “XXX,” thus bypassing the text I’ve previously written.
Writing straight through presents bigger obstacles when working on a dissertation or book. My colleague Doug Rogers understands these challenges and still insists on writing as much as he can without revising:
Given all of the revising and reclassifying that I practice and recommend, it’s imperative for me to keep going, to put off the urge to re-write and re-classify until it will be most useful. I could revise some paragraph or section forever, but I won’t know if it’s right until I see it in the larger chapter context. So I try to push through a whole chapter before I dismantle it. At some point, even if I’m a bit dissatisfied with it, I leave the chapter and move onto the next, so that I can revise at a higher level (two chapters together [and] eventually the whole book) later on.
Understanding Society examines the networks associated with the formation of elites.
Window on Eurasia argues that Ukrainians destroying Lenin statues paradoxically make Lenin more of a status quo fiogure among Russians, and commemorates the anniversary of the ill-fated Black Friday Soviet armed intervention in Azerbaijan.