Four Stones Worth

remote central has put up the latest Four Stone Hearth. Even on short notice (Tim took over for a blog that deleted itself), it’s a great version. Here are just a few highlights.

Puss ’N Boots slices his way through the evolution of mind and language.

If Inca neurosurgery is your thing, check out this nice square skull incision.

Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosome Adam get it on!

How about battle forks? Eat and fight at the same time! (Though I am personally more interested in the combo toothpick/earwax spoon.)

Neanderthals often get a bad wrap, but here’s the real deal about our bigger-brained cousins

The Swedes are swooning for their locked away booze

And finally, bite into some enamel chemistry—watch out, you were what you ate.

Wednesday Round Up #12


Alexis Madrigal, Is Meth a ‘Smart Drug’?
Got to do my own promo… Wired is pretty cool

Not Exactly Rocket Science, Brain-enhancing Drugs Work by Focusing Brain Activity… For Better or Worse
A more brain-based take on the same thing: cognitive enhancers and context

Jonah Lehrer, The Hidden Cost of Smart Drugs
“Enhancement” and the loss of creativity

Vaughan Bell, How Neurotech Will Change the World, One Brain at a Time
“drugs and devices to cure diseases and optimise our brains”

Natasha Mitchell, Quitting the Habit: Neurobiology, Addiction and the Insidious Ciggie
The latest on smoking—quite a good show. Note that the transcript has lots of good links.

SparkNotes, Theories of Addiction
SparkNotes are study guides put together by Barnes & Noble. This one provides an overview of some basic psychobiological models.


Andy Coghlan, Religion a Figment of Human Imagination
Anthropologist Maurice Bloch argues that religion driven by imagination, not social cohesion

Scott London, The Ecology of Magic
Interview with David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous

Scott Atran, The Religious Politics of Fictive Kinship
“friendship and others aspects of small group dynamics, especially acting together, trumping most everything else”

Heather Smith, Procrastinators without Borders
“Did perhaps just one anthropologist ever think to ask a penis-gourd-wearer if he wakes up some days and thinks he’s going to make a new penis gourd, but instead this happens and that happens, and making the new gourd just gets put off, along with everything else that he’s supposed to be doing, until he feels terrible and the only option seems to be to move to a place where no one notices that his gourd is outmoded?”

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