Anthropology

Category archives for Anthropology

I heard yesterday that my friend and former advisor Irven DeVore died. He was important, amazing, charming, difficult, harsh, brilliant, fun, annoying. My relationship to him as an advisee and a friend was complex, important to me for many years, and formative. For those who don’t know he was instrumental in developing several subfields of…

This is nice. Karl Eccleston and Fiona Pepper are amazingly good actors. The writing is excellent as is the directing. The subtext. THE SUBTEXT IS BRILLIANT. When I was living with the Efe Pygmies in the Ituri Forest, they would imitate French and English speakers while ranting about specific people who had annoyed or amused…

I gave a talk at the Brookdale Public Library last night as part of the celebration of DNA day. DNA Day, or DNAD for short, was created about the time of the “completion” (more or less) of the Human Genome in 2003, and is set to be on the date of the publication of the…

Meat Eating in Human Prehistory

All human hunter-gatherer groups that have been studied incorporate meat in their diets. Studies have shown that the total dietary contribution of meat varies a great deal, and seems to increase with latitude so that foragers in subarctic and arctic regions eat a lot of meat while those living near the equator eat less. It…

Napoleon Chagnon spent years living among the Yanomamo of Venezuela and wrote, among other things, a classic ethnography still used widely in anthropology classes. It came to pass that Chagnon and his ethnography came under scrutiny, actually a few waves of scrutiny, from practitioners of cultural anthropology in part because his monograph depicted the Yanomamo…

What the heck is Vocal Fry?

Until a few minutes ago, I didn’t even know what the heck Vocal Fry is. Apparently some people have gotten really annoyed about it, as it is a speech mannerism that has emerged among young folks, who are always annoying, and especially females, who are always annoying. Apparently. (I also did not know that until…

Following on discussion arising from this post, here is a revised discussion of throwing in human evolution. The question of diversity in science, and more specifically, success for women, is often discussed in relation to bench or lab oriented fields. If you read the blogs that cover this sort of topic, they are very often…

NOTE: Please pay attention to the comments at the end of this post. Historians of the era tend to deeply disagree with what I say here. I still contend that the list of witch killings tends to skip the 13th century, and that major events in that century almost certainly led to genocide level loss…

The Feast (A Thanksgiving Day Story)

Today is Thanksgiving in the US. Happy Thanksgiving. Let us being with a word of advice: TAKE THE TURKEY OUT OF THE FREEZER NAO!!! And now … a feast.

Over the last few weeks I’ve run into a few misconceptions about tobacco, as well as some interesting news, so I thought I’d share. If you already know some of this, forgive me, not everyone else does. First, tobacco, Nicotiana tabacum, is a member of the Solanaceae family of plants, which from a human perspective…