The Primate Diaries

Archives for March, 2010

                 Coca-Cola sucks India dry.      Image: Carlos Latuff / Wikimedia CommonsThe marketing executive who came up with Coca-Cola’s popular slogan in 1908 most likely never expected it would be taken so literally. However, a hundred years ago there probably weren’t many who imagined a term like “water wars” could exist in a region that experiences annual monsoons.…

Darwin and Spencer in the Middle East

It is a common argument by those who are opposed to evolution’s implication for religious belief to label Darwin as a social Darwinist and a racist. Adrian Desmond and James Moore’s book Darwin’s Sacred Cause has gone a long way towards dispelling any claims that Darwin sought to justify black inferiority (in fact, as they…

Haiti-born hip hop artist Wyclef Jean has been one of the leading artists promoting Haitian relief since the earthquake. In this Creole version of his song “24 Heures a Vivre” (24 Hours to Live) on his 2004 album Welcome to Haiti: Creole 101 he asks the following: Et si t’avais 24 heures à vivre Aurais-tu…

Repost: An Anthropologist in District 9

In light of the Oscars this Sunday I thought those of you who missed it would enjoy my review of District 9 (which is up for four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay). Inexplicably, a UFO appears over one of Earth’s remote cities. Hovering a few hundred meters above the terrified citizens,…

Nuuchaanulth Ceremonial Curtainfrom the Family of Naasḳuu-isaḳs of the Hupacasath Nation Human beings around the world honor their dead and the memories of their relatives. We have enacted special rituals related to the handling of human remains from the sacred funeral pyres of India to the professionalized aseptic embalming practices of the United States. Even…

Top Posts in February

Bonobos and the Child-Like Joy of Sharing Haiti and the Loan That Wasn’t Can You Solve This Nearly 300-Year-Old Medical Mystery Teaching Evolutionary History An Academic Love Story

Nature Network Has A Brand New Look

Think you know Nature Network? Wait till you see what they’re up to now. The members of my former parish have now unveiled their long awaited MT4 platform and you can re-experience all of their wonderful science blogginess updated afresh for your viewing pleasure. The administrators announced the news yesterday at Schemes and Memes: Nature…

Why Is Liberia Being Robbed?

Yesterday the BBC aired an investigative report documenting how American “vultures,” such as New York-based Eric Hermann at hedge fund FH International, bought up debt from Liberia for pennies on the dollar and are now forcing Liberia’s impoverished government to pay in full. This is at the same time that Western governments have been erasing…

Darwinius Is Not a Human Ancestor

      Artist rendering of Darwinius.        Image: Julius T. Csotonyi Last year’s publication of the fossil primate Darwinius masillae claimed it to be the oldest haplorhine primate ever discovered and a multimedia blitz campaign touted the find as the ultimate “missing link” (an erroneous term that should forthwith be forbidden to all science journalists). Brian Switek at Laelaps…

Animal Testing Statistics and Perspectives

In light of the recent discussion on animal testing and animal rights I thought a few additional points would be valuable. It is a fact that animal testing leads to some necessary medical advances that save lives. Anyone who would say differently doesn’t have the slightest clue what they’re talking about and should be dismissed…