Wednesday Round Up #81

Back on Wednesday with a beefy one. Favs up top, drink and drugs, mind, anthropology, and then health. Enjoy.

Top of the List

Beatrice Golomb, This Is Your Brain on Politics
See Beatrice’s talk on how politics and drug company money trump science in the development, use and marketing of pharmaceuticals

Pamthropologist, Those Pyramid-Building Aliens
Frontal assault on bad archaeology and stupid cultural beliefs

Scicurious, Never Go Grocery Shopping Hungry: The fMRI Study
Those fMRI magnets really play havoc with your credit and debit cards… Or, actually, how being hungry or not changes what parts of your brain lights up when you imagine a restaurant menu

Lorenz Khazaleh, The Anthropology of Suicide
A call to research and examination of what we do know from something that takes a million lives a year

Raymond Tellis, Darwinism without Darwinitis
Looks like a brilliant talk – get the lecture and the slides here

Bird Dog, Don’t Ever Talk to the Cops
A police investigator tells you why you shouldn’t talk to the cops. Lots here about verbal interaction, besides the reflections on law and police procedure

Drink and Drugs

Michael White, The Science of Scotch
Good science, sublime taste

Clare Wilson, Better World: Legalise Drugs
New Scientist piece on why the war on drugs makes the world a more dangerous place.

NY Times Editorial, What Will Mexico’s New Drug Law Do?
Room for Debate feature – five prominent people with differing views comment on Mexico’s new decriminalization law

Louisa Lim, Widespread Alcohol Abuse Clouds Mongolia’s Future
Alcohol abuse has gotten dramatically worse in recent years with difficult economic times; that abuse now limits the country as a whole

Dirk Hanson, The Medicalization of Legalization
“Punish the crime, treat the disorder”

Lawrence Rosenblum, You Drink What You Think
And sommeliers think a lot better about it

BBC Weird Nature, Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys!
Witness the vervet raiders on the Caribbean island of St Kitts – some love alcohol, others are teetolers (except the last statement about heavy drinking and good leaders – surely the BBC has heard of Winston Churchill?)

Reuters, Train Misses Drunken Teen Napping on Track
Passed out on the tracks and train goes right over him

Rachel Godfrey Wood, Talking About Legalization, Part I: The Legalization Debate and Drug Consumption in Colombia
Informative analysis over at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. I even get a mention for my work on the “paradox of Colombia”. You can find part two here.


Peter Stromberg, What Is Psychological Anthropology?
The answer over at Sex, Drugs and Boredom

Jane Brody, Play and Necessary Ritual: Losing One of Our Own
Reflections on death, loss and acting over at the blog Myth, Mirror Neurons and Stanislavski. “The quality of live theatre itself involves a sensual, nearly fleshly exchange between the spectators and the actors. Whether behind masks as for the ancient Greeks, or behind grease paint, or naked-faced, or dancing in front of a dying youth in a hospital room, actors exist biologically in the same space as the audience but separate from it.”

Gretchen Reynolds, Phys Ed: What Sort of Exercise Can Make You Smarter?
The same sort of intense aerobic exercise that improves physical performance

Steve Genco, The Hidden Persuaders: The Best Book I (N)Ever Read
Revisiting Vince Packard’s 1957 book The Hidden Persuaders and updating its ground-breaking arguments to today

David DiSalvo, If You’re Feeling Warm and Fuzzy, It Might Just be the Coffee
Got embodiment?

Cory Doctorow, How We Decide: Mind-blowing Neuroscience of Decision-making
BoingBoing on Jonah Lehrer’s new book

Jon Hamilton, Brain Scientists Misled By Squid
Misestimating human energy use from those super-big axons

Nicolas Langlitz, Dreaming in and of Neurophilosophy
Over at Max Planck: “An Anthropological Investigation of Brain Research and Philosophy in the Sleep Laboratory”

The Neuro Times, Critical Response: Fernando Vidal, “Brainhood, anthropological figure of modernity”
Examining the cerebral subject in today’s day and age


Saghar Daeeri, The Young Women of Tehran
A fascinating online exhibit at The Morning News from this Iranian artist, complete with an interview with the painter

Vaughan Bell, Fifty Years of Madness and Civilization
Mind Hacks on the 50th anniversary of the publication of Michel Foucault’s Madness and Civilization.

NPR, Mongolia in Transition
A week-long series on changes in Mongolia

Art Babble, Exhibition: Natural Selection
Vaughn Bell now does art (just kidding – this is Vaughn Bell, not Vaughan Bell of Mind Hacks) – in any case, looks like a fascinating exhibition in California

Keith Hart, A Cosmopolitan Anthropology
It’s a changed world, globalized and all. Guess Immanuel Kant was right about anthropology.

Eli Thorkelson, Gender Imbalance in Anthropology
Looking at anthropology in academia, and the shift from male to female demographics, over at Decasia.

Research Digest, The Tantalising Potential of Mobile Phones for Social Research
Research goes mobile – getting at relational and behavioral dynamics

Jonquil, Heinlein: Wrong Again
An armed society is a polite society? Wrong –a fascinating new book looks at the history of dueling

Tim Jones, Flax Fibres Dated to 34,000 Years BP Found at Dzudzuana Cave, Georgia
Clothes and more a long time ago!

Lance Gravlee, Screening and Discussion of NO!
Get the trailer for the powerful documentary NO! The Rape Documentary, on sexual violence in the African American community

Mary Batten, Science Hero: Magdalena Hurtado
Nice profile of the anthropologist who has done so much with the Ache in South America

Phillip Carl Salzman, Post-Subjective Anthropology
An interesting discussion over at the Anthropology Cooperative. Being completely honest, I’d actually like research that really focused on human subjectivity, instead of texts and ideologies about human experience

William McGrew, With a Little Help from My Friends
Review of Sarah Blaffer Hrdy’s new book, Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding.


Michael Pollan, Big Food vs. Big Health
NY Times editorial – it’s our food system that is broken, and that drives a lot of the problems in our health care system

Ryan Anderson, Health Care as a Human Right
Paul Farmer says yes, Donald Sensing says no, and Ryan looks at the space between. For more from the new anthropology blog Prism, see Stacie Gillmore’s U.S. Health Care “Reforms”?: De Facto Barriers

PBS, Susan Devore, CEO and President, Premier, Inc.
Interview with the head of a company doing some ground-breaking health care in the US

Bill Moyers, Dr. Jim Yong Kim
The co-founder of Partners in Health with Paul Farmer, this doctor and anthropologist is the new president of Dartmouth.

Robin Young/Here & Now, Chronic Disease on the Rise in Africa
Interview with Dr. Michelle Holmes on the emerging chronic health problems, like heart disease and obesity, in sub-Saharan Africa

Hanna Kienzler, Fassin and Rechtman’s Empire of Trauma
Somatosphere review of the new book on the discourse and experience of trauma around the globe

Sabina Faiz Rashid, Poverty and Health Policies: Listening to the Poor
“The assumption often among policymakers is that mere provision of health services and better choices will improve health of the poor. However, throughout my fieldwork, I was confronted by overwhelming structural and social inequalities which have led to high unemployment, crime, widespread substance abuse and the breakdown of family networks and marital relations in slums; all of which critically impact on poor women’s lives and reproductive health. Acute poverty and competition over scarce resources in slums force many poor married adolescent and older women to tolerate bad marriages, abuse, forced and unsafe sex, multiple pregnancies, and coerced abortions. Poor women construct a “political economy of the body” in their reproductive and sexual health negotiations, often at a cost to their bodies and health.”

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