Wednesday Round Up #47

shepard-fairey-barack-obamaThis week, in celebration of Barack Obama’s inauguration yesterday, I have put together a collection on how Obama intersects with the themes of this site. In other words, Obama is a neuroanthropologist!

Let me just start off by saying that Barack Hussein Obama hit it right in his speech yesterday when he said, “The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works.” We are switching from party and field-specific ideologies to seeing what works and what does not. As you’ll see below,a diverse background proves a great help for engaging in that process.

His Parents and Their Legacies

Paula Bender, Legacy of the President’s Mother
A profile of Stanley Ann Dunham, an anthropologist, from her alma mater, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Janny Scott, Obama’s Mother – An Unconventional Life
More on Obama’s mother, with this tagline “Anthropologist disliked ethnic barriers, sought to aid world’s poor”. For more, see her Wikipedia profile.

Ruth Behar, The Anthropologist’s Son
A good portion of the well-known anthropologist’s Chronicle of Higher Education piece on Obama and his anthropologist mother. John Jackson reacts and reflects in his piece, America’s Anthropological President

Sally Jacobs, A Father’s Charm, Absence
An extended profile of the “self-confident, complex dreamer”, Barack Obama Sr.

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Wednesday Round Up #46

An against-the-grain top, then the brain, science and teaching, and anthropology.

Top of the List

The Neurocritic, Voodoo Correlations in Social Neuroscience
Edward Vul and those too remarkable correlations in brain scans make their best appearance yet, along with Sponge Bob and voodoo dolls. A great read.

Philip Dawdy, Study: Psychiatrists Try To Explain Away Huge Placebo Effect In Child Depression Trials
Give drugs to 10 kids to affect just one: “It’s time for researchers and clinicians to face facts: the day of using anti-depressants in kids is drawing to a close and continued use of these drugs in kids and teens must cross some high hurdles or you are coming damn close to engaging in malpractice.”

Jonah Lehrer & Javier Zarracina, Hack Your Brain: How to hallucinate with ping-pong balls and a radio
Why should those brain training folks have all the fun?

Greg Laden, Autism Study Examines Cause of Apparent Rise in Rate
Environmental causes get indirect support in some of the latest research on what explains the rise in autism. Greg provides some extended commentary on science, policy and what data mean.

LiveScience, Study: Exercise Won’t Cure Obesity
Dietary intake matters more than energy expenditure – some of the latest research


John Tierney, Anti-Love Drug May Be Ticket to Bliss
The simple equation, drug=love=marriage. Somehow the real world of relationships got lost along the way. But don’t tell Larry Young and his prairie voles. He’s hooked on oxytocin in a scientific way.

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Wednesday Round Up #45

Happy New Year to everyone. I wanted to start out 2009 with some entertaining pieces, so that’s the focus of the top of the list. Then it’s some extensive anthropology and the brain, and three really good pieces on evolution at the end.

Top of the List

Alexandre Enkerli, Brewing Tips and Tricks
Some informed advice on homebrewing beer – “brewing wisdom” and experiencing beer in that new way

Jeff Scher, You Won’t Remember This Either
The NY artist shares his latest painted video, this one about his second son as a toddler. Besides being delightful, what I find interesting about it are all the additional images and snippets that pop up around his walking son. It’s an interesting way to think about how culture surrounds a child. Scher’s previous video “All the Wrong Reasons” also sparked some thought for me about culture.

Greg Laden, Fuck this!
Planet Earth – telling it like it really is. Very funny.

Mike Fahey, A Field Guide to Second Life Animal Hybrids
Your anthropomorphic guide to furries, nekos and tinies in the online user-created world of Second Life


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Wednesday Round Up #44

This week we cover the Human Terrain System and a great new site for bloggers, plus the usual favorites, brain, and anthropology. Happy New Year to everyone!

Top of the List

Vaughan Bell, Voodoo Correlations in Social Brain Studies
Correlations too good to be true between brain activity and social behavior and perception. Mind Hacks calls this statistical debunking a “bombshell of a paper.”

Maximilian Forte, The Two Terrors of 2008: End of Year Post
Open Anthropology wraps up the year with a meditation on terror and trust, and brings us the Italian Nobel Laureate Dario Fo. He highlights many posts from the past month there, including this powerful one on “uncertainty” and governance as reflected through Christmas-time messages.

Once Upon a Time an Anthropologist Wrote, Banking on Education
Pedagogy of the Oppressed meets social networking, or why students are passive, waiting to receive the next deposit of knowledge

La Guayabita, “Capt. Nemo”: Ghettotech Designer of Colombian Homemade Drug Subs
Local ingenuity and a great photo. Resistance and profit undermine the drug war’s hoped-for panopticon.

Human Terrain System

David Price, The Leaky Ship of Human Terrain Systems
One of the main critics of HTS makes his argument

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Wednesday Round Up #43

This week, after some great favs, we have war and violence, brain development, anthropology, and the brain. And Happy Holidays to everyone!

Top of the List

Carl Feagans, Alien Skulls? Not Even Close!
The shaping of skulls by the Maya. Wow.

Benedict Carey, Psychiatrists Revise the Book of Human Troubles
The DSM-V – politics and money infect the creation of the next psychiatric diagnostic manual. For reactions, see Mind Hacks and Furious Seasons.

Julian Baggini, A Piece of iMe: An Interview with David Chalmers
A discussion of the extended mind over at The Philosopher’s Magazine

Furious Seasons, Seattle Snowball Fight
With lots of snow, two neighborhood bars get it on in these YouTube clips. Very funny.

Archaeoastronomy, If You Put a Snail Shell to Your Ear Can You Hear the Sound of Your Thoughts?
Snail shells, human ornamentation, and the evolution of the human mind

War and Violence

Mudhafer Al-Husaini & Erica Goode, Prescription Drug Abuse Rises Among Iraqi Troops
Internationalizing both PTSD and functional drug use.

Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, Rural Afghans Resistant To Official Judicial System
NPR on tribal councils, power, state development, and the administration of justice in Afghanistan

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Wednesday Round Up #42

This week it’s eclectic – my favs, then some great pieces on the art of blogging. Next health, the brain, animals, and finally anthropology.

Top of the List

John Tierney, Tips From the Potlatch, Where Giving Knows No Slump
The Kwakwaka’wakw Indians and the importance of gift giving for our economy

Cultural Anthropology – Academic Careers Wiki
If you are searching for an academic job in sociocultural anthropology, check this out!!! Wiki updates on the status of job searches from the people most affected, the job seekers. Help shed the light and share the word!

Laurie Edwards, It’s Always the Season for Books, Part 2
A holiday list that has some great reads

Wray Herbert, The Lure of Tomorrow
Why we procrastinate – we make things seem psychologically distant. But doesn’t this mean we focus on the all-important now? (Yes, yes, I procrastinate…)

Pamthropologist, Prehistory World Sim: The Ice Age Endeth
The Prehistoric Life Toob and World Simulation Exercises!

Lance Gravlee, Working with MAXQDA – Episode 1
Lance explains how to work with the qualitative data analysis software MAXQDA. Includes video! Follow up with episodes two and three.


Andrew Walker & Nicholas Farrelly, Academic Blogging Opens Up New World
The two professors behind the Southeast Asia blog New Mandala outline the benefits of blogging for academics

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