Four Stone Hearth: Number 117

Welcome to the 117th edition of Four Stone Hearth, the blog carnival in which only those hosting ever actually participate!  I hate to start my post with such a barbed introduction, but not a single FSH reader contributed this week.  And last weeks session was completely vacant!  I hosted the carnival just over a year ago and cited the same fundamental flaw; the lack of participation.  So this time, I’m not sugar coating it.  Shame on you for not sharing exciting news and research with Sexy Archaeology this week.

As a token of my affection for FSH (and blog carnivals in general), I’ll be checking my inbox over the next few days in hopes that the community will take action and participate.  There is no limit to the amount of content one edition of FSH can contain, so please send stuff my way.  That being said, let’s get the stones rolling.

———————–

Let’s start with archaeology.  This week saw a bomb drop in the ongoing debate regarding Neanderthal and human interaction, nearly a year after publication of research that seemed to indicate Neanderthals and humans bred on two separate occassions.  According to a newly released report in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a newly refined method of radiocarbon dating has found that Neanderthals died off much earlier than previously.  According to this refined method, the date could be off by 10,000 years meaning that Neanderthals and modern humans possibly never interacted in Europe.

This is where the debate begins, as geneticists reported last year that 2.5 percent of the modern human genome is derived from the Neanderthal genome. There is evidence of Neanderthals co-existing with humans in the Near East some 100,000 years ago, as well as in Europe 40,000 years ago. With the new carbon dating timeline, it is now believed that interbreeding between the two did not occur in Europe but rather during that first Near East encounter.  Innnnnntersting.  We’ll have to see where this debate goes.

Next up comes a thoughtful commentary on trust in science from Danial Willingham at Scientific American.  In a 2008 survey by the National Science Foundation, more respondents expressed “a great deal” of confidence in science leaders than in leaders of any other institution except the military. Yet we the people are still inundated with bad science and non science throughout the course of a day.  And what is worse is that some of us still buy it!  I cringe every time I hear someone saying they got caught up in an “amazing” episode of Ghost Hunters last night, or overhear someone say they aren’t sure if they are going to get their child immunized because immunizations cause autism.

It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t dig up a story that somehow fulfilled the requirements of FSH and capitalized on the name Sexy Archaeology.  That’s why when I stumbled across an article about our sexual desires when no one is looking, I knew I had to share it.

What we want when nobody is watching!

This interview with Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, two computational neuroscientists and authors of the just released A Billion Wicked Thoughts touches base on their research into human desires and what they call the largest and “most in-depth study of human desire since Kinsey.”

That brings us to linguistics, the seldom used arrow in my anthropological quiver.  In my search for the perfect story, I stumbled upon numerous linguistics blogs I feel are worth sharing.  Little linguist, Ideophone, and Kre-8-iv Speill!nk are all good fun.  But the prize for best linguistics blog has to go to Wordlustitude based on sole entertainment value.  I don’t know, maybe my linguistics humor is a little off kilter, but the Threat Level Smurf post had me laughing.

———————–

That’s all!  Let’s hope the next edition (#118) sees some participation.  In order to provide fodder for the blog carnival beast, I’ll be applying the hash tag #FSH to all of my archaeology related Twitter posts.  With any luck, a few other savvy souls will have the same drive and the contributions will start rolling in.

Advertisements

Four Stone Hearth: Number 117

Welcome to the 117th edition of Four Stone Hearth, the blog carnival in which only those hosting ever actually participate!  I hate to start my post with such a barbed introduction, but not a single FSH reader contributed this week.  And last weeks session was completely vacant!  I hosted the carnival just over a year ago and cited the same fundamental flaw; the lack of participation.  So this time, I’m not sugar coating it.  Shame on you for not sharing exciting news and research with Sexy Archaeology this week.

As a token of my affection for FSH (and blog carnivals in general), I’ll be checking my inbox over the next few days in hopes that the community will take action and participate.  There is no limit to the amount of content one edition of FSH can contain, so please send stuff my way.  That being said, let’s get the stones rolling.

———————–

Let’s start with archaeology.  This week saw a bomb drop in the ongoing debate regarding Neanderthal and human interaction, nearly a year after publication of research that seemed to indicate Neanderthals and humans bred on two separate occassions.  According to a newly released report in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a newly refined method of radiocarbon dating has found that Neanderthals died off much earlier than previously.  According to this refined method, the date could be off by 10,000 years meaning that Neanderthals and modern humans possibly never interacted in Europe.

This is where the debate begins, as geneticists reported last year that 2.5 percent of the modern human genome is derived from the Neanderthal genome. There is evidence of Neanderthals co-existing with humans in the Near East some 100,000 years ago, as well as in Europe 40,000 years ago. With the new carbon dating timeline, it is now believed that interbreeding between the two did not occur in Europe but rather during that first Near East encounter.  Innnnnntersting.  We’ll have to see where this debate goes.

Next up comes a thoughtful commentary on trust in science from Danial Willingham at Scientific American.  In a 2008 survey by the National Science Foundation, more respondents expressed “a great deal” of confidence in science leaders than in leaders of any other institution except the military. Yet we the people are still inundated with bad science and non science throughout the course of a day.  And what is worse is that some of us still buy it!  I cringe every time I hear someone saying they got caught up in an “amazing” episode of Ghost Hunters last night, or overhear someone say they aren’t sure if they are going to get their child immunized because immunizations cause autism.

It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t dig up a story that somehow fulfilled the requirements of FSH and capitalized on the name Sexy Archaeology.  That’s why when I stumbled across an article about our sexual desires when no one is looking, I knew I had to share it.

What we want when nobody is watching!

This interview with Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, two computational neuroscientists and authors of the just released A Billion Wicked Thoughts touches base on their research into human desires and what they call the largest and “most in-depth study of human desire since Kinsey.”

That brings us to linguistics, the seldom used arrow in my anthropological quiver.  In my search for the perfect story, I stumbled upon numerous linguistics blogs I feel are worth sharing.  Little linguist, Ideophone, and Kre-8-iv Speill!nk are all good fun.  But the prize for best linguistics blog has to go to Wordlustitude based on sole entertainment value.  I don’t know, maybe my linguistics humor is a little off kilter, but the Threat Level Smurf post had me laughing.

———————–

That’s all!  Let’s hope the next edition (#118) sees some participation.  In order to provide fodder for the blog carnival beast, I’ll be applying the hash tag #FSH to all of my archaeology related Twitter posts.  With any luck, a few other savvy souls will have the same drive and the contributions will start rolling in.

Four Stone Hearth: Number 91

First, I want to say thank you for visiting Sexy Archaeology, I hope you’ll find my blog enjoyable and consider adding it to the sites you visit regularly.

It is a great honor to be hosting this edition of the Four Stone Hearth, especially the day before my birthday.  Four Stone Hearth is a unique endeavor.  It thrives on a collaborative effort between professionals and enthusiasts who share content and communicate all under the banner of anthropology.  Speaking from experience, Four Stone Hearth has helped introduce me to a variety of websites and individuals which have been beneficial in both my private and professional endeavors.

However, I, like A Hot Cup of Joe, was let down by the lack of submissions for this edition.  Now I don’t want to sound all preachy, but in order for Four Stone Hearth to operate we need to ensure that we’re contributing.  Here stands an amazing resource in which you are openly invited to participate, by all means utilize it!  So before we go any further I went you to pledge that you’ll contribute to the next edition on May 12th.

Deal?

Without further hesitation, let’s get started!

—–

What can we learn from Neanderthal DNA?

Archaeology’s hottest celebrity couple has always been Neanderthals and Humans.  We know they co-existed nearly 30,000 years ago, but the looming question has always been did they interbreed?  Genetic evidence is beginning to tip the scale in favor of yes.  And not just once.

Last week, I linked to this article which outlined how recent genetic evidence may indicate humans and Neanderthal’s bred on two separate occasions.  Now, Penn State professor, Webb Miller, has taken time to explain what it is exactly that we can learn from the DNA of our barrel-chested cousins.

Climate Crank Inadvertently Does Archaeology a Favour

One clever son-of-a-gun in the UK managed to undermine European dendrochronology labs.  I was not surprised to learn that labs keep their information hush-hush in order to pull in often exorbitant fees (after all they ARE businesses), but it’s good to see the little guy slipping one by for once.

The Five Points Then and Now: Ghosts of Tenements Past

Krystal D’Costa has penned up a smashing article on the Five Points section of New York City.  Her examination of the location at the time of its establishment vividly describes what conditions were like 200 hundred years ago; a truly fascinating piece for anyone who has ever visited this area.

The Linguists

I learned something this week: of the world’s seven thousand languages nearly half will disappear by the end of this century.  My inner anthropologist trembled at the thought of this.  The extinction of these languages means the end of entire cultures, traditions, and histories.

At the recent Sundance Film Festival, a film, The Linguists, chronicled three linguistics expeditions to highlight the often treacherous work that goes into preserving the languages of the world.  The film has received remarkably positive feedback thus far.

This past week, the film’s producers sat down with Anthony Brooks of On Point to discuss the film and importance of the work that they do.  It’s an interview that is certainly worth your time.

This one from England: a new project referred to as A Time Traveler’s Guide to Bristol will combine audio and visual media to recreate the city of Bristol through different periods in its history.  A Time Traveler’s Guide to Bristol will be launched this summer with a free website and iPhone/iPod Touch app.

Ah, the blending of history with endless applications of new media technology!  What an ideal place to end.

—–

And that’s it folks!  Thanks for reading this addition of Four Stone Hearth.  The next edition will be hosted by Sorting Out Science.  See you May 12th!