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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘anthropology

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about the good and the bad of freelancing.
  • Centauri Dreams wonders about the technical issues associated with the Encyclopedia Galactica.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper speculating on how Jupiter would appear if it was an exoplanet.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes a paper examining the tumultuous planetological history of Venus.
  • A Fistful of Euros argues that Cyprus’ engagement with the Euro has been marked by the government’s willingness to hide shady behaviour at all costs.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the death of out 60s pop icon Lesley Gore.
  • Language Hat deservedly celebrates its author’s return to health and blogging.
  • 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.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • blogTO notes a Toronto vigil for the Jordanian pilot murdered by ISIS.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about friends and age gaps.
  • Centauri Dreams draws from Poul Anderson</a. to consider the far future.
  • Crooked Timber considers trolling.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper wondering why circumbinary exoplanets are so detectable.
  • The Dragon’s Tales looks at robots: robots which put out fires on American navy ships, robots in China which do deliveries for Alibaba, robots which smuggle drugs.
  • Far Outliers notes Singapore’s pragmatism and its strong military.
  • Language Log notes the language of language diversity.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders about the prospects of the Euro-tied Danish crown.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes the approach of Ceres.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer considers scenarios for a profitable Nicaragua Canal and notes the oddities of Argentina.
  • Registan looks at Mongolian investment in Tuva, and other adjacent Mongolian-influence Russian regions.
  • Savage Minds looks at Iroquois linguistic J.N.B. Hewitt.
  • Seriously Science notes how immigrant chimpanzees adapt tothe vocalizations of native chimps.
  • Spacing Toronto talks about the need for an activist mayor in Toronto.
  • Torontoist examines the history of important black bookstore Third World Books and Crafts.
  • Towleroad notes many young gay/bi students are looking for sugar daddies, and notes the failure of Slovakia’s anti-gay referendum.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes a new Bosnian Serb law strictly regulating offensive speech online.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the collapse of the Russian world, suggests Russia should not be allowed a role in Donbas, argues that a Ukrainian scenario is unlikely in the Latvian region of Latgale and in the Baltics more broadly, and looks at the growth of fascism in Russia.

[LINK] “Humans met Neanderthals on way out of Africa, skull suggests”

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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.”

The study in question is here.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 9, 2015 at 11:21 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • blogTO notes a leaked E-mail from Target Canada suggesting that liquidation sales will begin Thursday the 4th.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper wondering if the unusually close orbit of Kepler-78b is a product of a stellar close encounter.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes Russian interest in a BRICS space station.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the worsening of Sao Paulo’s water crisis.
  • Otto Pohl links to a paper of his noting the role of borders in resettling Soviet deported peoples.
  • Savage Minds started a series about indigenous anthropologists.
  • Torontoist maps biking and running across Toronto.
  • Towleroad notes the beginning of a gay scene in North Dakota’s oil patch.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that the first court heard by the Iowa supreme court saw a slave be freed.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes yet again how privatization does not make things better.

[LINK] “Ethnographers as Writers: Write First Drafts in One Go”

Savage Minds’ Kristen Ghodsee has some interesting advice for writers.

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.

More at the site.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 27, 2015 at 9:58 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Centauri Dreams considers the perhaps implausible magnetic sail.
  • Crooked Timber looks at William Gibson’s new novel, The Peripheral.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that half of all red dwarf stars might host Earth-like or super-Earth-like planets.
  • D-Brief looks at the latest findings from Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
  • Joe. My. God. notes Irish same-sex marriage activists turning to their Irish-American counterparts.
  • Language Log considers the distinction, in official Chinese, between “accident” and “incident”.
  • The Planetary Society Blog considers the dynamics of the geysers and subsurface ocean of Enceladus.
  • Savage Minds notes that the 17th of February is national anthropology day.
  • Towleroad notes that Scotland has hosted its first pagan same-sex wedding.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes an odd dispute, one parent suing another for writing a book about their moderately famous autistic son.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Russia’s proposal to try a Russian soldier accused of murdering an Armenian family in a Russian court in Armenia, and points to armed unrest in Turkmenistan.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Centauri Dreams argues why manned deep space missions are important.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the solar-type stars may share a common origin in the inner galaxy.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper speculating as to the origin of Mars’ water in wet periods.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks forward to same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders if Denmark will join Switzerland in breaking its currency’s Euro peg.
  • Out of Ambit’s Diane Duane is very unhappy about Internet websites which claim to be libraries without sharing in their responsibilities towards authors like herself.
  • Personal Reflections shares some interesting links.
  • Savage Minds considers the importance of the endnote in writing.
  • Torontoist and blogTO both note impending TTC fare hikes.
  • Towleroad notes Colin Farrell’s support for same-sex marriage in Ireland, motivated at least partly by his gay brother’s experiences.
  • Transit Toronto shares speculative maps as to what an improved TTC network might look like.
  • 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.
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