Daniel Lende’s top 10 of 2009

Daniel’s been a busy boy this year, and he’s snowed under right now, so it falls to me to do a few year-end house-cleaning type chores. One of the easier ones (thanks to WordPress) is for me to compile a brief list of our top posts for the year. Rather than put them into a single posting — and thereby reveal that Daniel’s probably got way more of the more popular posts than I do — I’m going to take the liberty to do at least two separate 2009 lists with a bit of commentary, in case you missed these the first time around. I’m also going to leave out the posts that Daniel put up that were written by his students (they’ll be on another list); these were some of our most popular of the year.

My statistics may be slightly distorted by the fact that I’m a few days pokey getting around to doing this, but here’s Daniel’s most popular posts of 2009, starting with the one that got the most traffic:

1. Wednesday Round Up #47 — Leading off in January 2009 in high style, Daniel put up our second most popular post of all time (second only to Jim McKenna’s widely read piece on Mother-Child co-sleeping, an article that draws constant readership). The normal Wednesday Round Up was extraordinary because it focused on the inauguration of Barack Obama, providing an extraordinary wealth of links to posts about many aspects of his life, thought, and character. This post still ticks over constantly due to the depth of the list that Daniel provided.

2. Encephalon #71: Big Night — Daniel can’t take all the credit for this one, as the moving feast that is Encephalon came to Neuroanthropology.net, but he did all the heavy lifting on this blog carnival, offering a really remarkable edition of the blog carnival of the brain.

3. Trance Captured on Video — One of the more startling postings on Neuroanthropology.net, Daniel’s posting provided a single place to find a series of videos of trance states discussed on the Medical Anthropology listserv, as well as his own notes. If you haven’t checked it out, you should – there’s some great stuff on the list! It’s become a point of reference online for those interested in the anthropology of altered states of consciousness.

4. The “Best of Anthro 2008″ Prizes — Daniel asked me if I wanted to attempt a 2009 version of this post, but there’s simply no way that I could have even attempted it. It’s a monumental collection of the best anthropology online of 2008, all recognized for each one’s distinctive contribution. If anyone attempts this again, this post from 1 January would have to lead the list.

5. Sex, Lies and IRB Tape: Netporn to SurveyFail — This post exploded on us, taking off when the Slash fiction community discovered Daniel’s analysis of an online research project that simply blew up on the researchers when it became clear that the project evidenced some serious ethical lapses. This post sparked off several from us, and we were amazed at the response.

6. Silent Raves — A short post, but a great subject; ‘silent raves,’ or a kind of dance party in which everyone’s listening to their own music on headphones. It’s just a bit of pop culture, but one that sticks with you.

7. One Day at Kotaku: Understanding Video Games and Other Modern Obsessions — I have to admit: I did NOT get this post when it first went up. A day in the life of one of the most popular gaming sites reveals the ways that people interact with each other and with the ‘material’ culture (actually, virtual culture) created by game designers, but it also reveals the interaction of gaming culture with psychological disorder and obsession.

8. Gravlee et al: Race, Genetics, Social Inequality, and Health — This post discusses an article by Lance Gravlee, Amy Non and Connie Mulligan in PLoS ONE on genetic and social contributions to high blood pressure in Puerto Rico, in which social status and racial category correlated in unexpected ways to produce high blood pressure. Daniel touches on some themes that run through his own research, such as the way that social inequality affects health and epidemiology.

9. The Relevance of Anthropology – Part 1 on the Best of Anthro Blogging 2008 — This post, companion to #4 above, and continued in part 2 (Daniel’s logical like that) probably should have gotten even more attention than it did. Daniel compiled an overarching discussion of the range of posts included in the ‘Best of’ list, highlighting certain recurring themes and the application of anthropology to public issues, to everyday life, and to the question of what it means to be human.

10 & 11. A couple of related posts nearly tied for tenth: Good Sexual Intercourse Lasts Minutes, Not Hours, Therapists Say and The Sex Round Up. The first deals with the ‘ideal’ among of time spent in sexual intercourse (apparently 7-11 minutes) in both serious in humourous fashion and the second is Daniel’s round up treatment of sex-related blogging and science on the Internet.

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Trained as a cultural anthropologist at the University of Chicago, I have gone on to do fieldwork in Brazil and the United States. I have written one book, Learning Capoeira: Lessons in Cunning from an Afro-Brazilian Art (Oxford, 2005). I have also co-authored and co-edited several, including, with Dr. Daniel Lende, The Encultured Brain: An Introduction to Neuroanthropology (MIT, 2012), and with Dr. Melissa Fisher, Frontiers of Capital: Ethnographic Reflections on the New Economy (Duke, 2006). My research interests include neuroanthropology, psychological anthropology, sport, dance, human rights, neuroscience, phenomenology, economic anthropology, and just about anything else that catches my attention.

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