The Primate Diaries

Archives for August, 2009

Today in History: Emmett Till Murdered

An op-ed in today’s Los Angeles Times discusses the legacy of the murder that became a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement: Fifty-four years ago today, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Chicago boy visiting family in Mississippi, was abducted, mutilated and slain after he allegedly whistled at a white woman. Several days later, his horribly…

Well, not really. He just wants to sell some books there. But don’t tell that to the editors at The Times. None of Professor Dawkins’ books, on evolution as well as religion, has ever been translated into Arabic, and his work has been heavily censored in Turkey. In an interview with The Times, he said…

A “Public Option” Would Be Bad

From McClatchy, DC

It took the threat of nuclear annihilation between the two greatest powers of the 20th century to solve one of the most profound scientific controversies of the 1800s. In 1952 Dr. Harry Ladd, a researcher for the US Geological Survey, convinced the US War Department to drill holes deep into the Bikini and Eniwetok Atolls…

“They say rather than cursing the darkness, one should light a candle. They don’t mention anything about cursing a lack of candles.” – George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring the Porkchops? In Unscientific America, Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum (the latter of whom I consider a friend) are deeply concerned that the American system is…

Allow me to lay it out as simply as I can. It is my view that religion and science are incompatible in a very specific and important way. I say this as someone who previously drank the Kool-Aid and spent countless hours studying what was described to me as the Holy Spirit. I have been…

Top Posts This Month

In case you missed some of these, here’s the posts I’m particularly fond of from this month. The next week or two may be sporadic as I make the big move to Canada. But not to fear, I’ll soon be right back in the swing of things. The Evolution of Potty Training Politics, Communication and…

The Evolution of Potty Training

This will be my first foray into baby blogging (technically it’s my second, however the first ended up being somewhat accidental). What I hope to explore through these posts will be child development through the lens of anthropology and primatology as I observe my child going through various stages. I first wanted to explore a…

In a huge breaking story, The New York Times is reporting today that the CIA, with Bush administration authorization, used the private military firm Blackwater (who changed their name to Xe Services after controversy erupted when contractors killed Iraqi civilians) in a program intended to hunt down and assassinate suspected Al Qaeda militants. Congress was…

The Crypt of the Capuchin Monks

Mark Dery, guest blogger for Boing Boing, has a piece up on the “philosophical investigation into the paradox of horrible beauty and the politics of ‘just looking.’” In it he highlights the 17th century crypt where the Capuchin’s (the religious order, not the monkey) buried their deceased brethren. I visited the crypt when I was…