Weird Science (or What do Boys Dream?): Brook Barnes at The New York Times filed an article on Disney’s new marketing campaign for boys, including upping the science content on its channels and online. The article centers around consultant Kelly Peña and her team of corporate anthropologists’ research, which discovered interesting ethnographic tidbits to be included in future Disney programs. For instance, “Actors have been instructed to tote their skateboards around with the bottoms facing outward. (Boys in real life carry them that way to display the personalization, Ms. Peña found.)”
Comically Relevant: Scott Eric Kaufman at Acephalous wrote a really enjoyable post on how he teaches historical context to his students through an examination of Batman comics. The post is at once a stimulating photo essay, discussion of pedagogy and method.
Where the Action is At: Speaking of cool graphics, Maximilian Forte’s post last week on Open Anthropology about the worldwide distribution of searches for anthropological terms led to some interesting discoveries. Did you know that Ethiopians are more likely to search “anthropology” than any other nation on Earth?
New Podcasts and Blogs: As antropologi.info and Somatosphere have already reported, there are a new set of SfAA podcasts from the 2009 annual meeting. Also, the AAA blogs have been reorganized into one central blog. And, while not so new, I just found the blog aboporu, a blog on citizen ethnographers from around the world. Finally, a new graduate student blog on Language and Societies. Check them out.
Picking the Good Fight: Over at his blog on the Chronicle of Higher Ed, John L. Jackson has been questioning the conservatarian ‘academic freedom’ organization FIRE, who have successfully lobbied Virginia Tech into removing ‘contribution to diversity’ as a criterion for tenure and promotion. FIRE posted a retort, which Jackson posted and to which he will respond soon. I can’t wait.