Around the Web

Around the Web, your weekly tour through anthropology blogs, human culture in the news, and ocassionally links to weird stuff my Facebook friends post on their profiles.

New paleolithic evidence also the oldest

  • A recent article in the journal Nature makes the case for stone tool use at 3.39 mya, contemporary with Australopithecus Afarensis and the oldest date yet affixed to this technological breakthrough. John Hawks has praise for the discovery
  • cries foul, err… crocodile, I mean.

Human evolution datebase

  • Also at John Hawks, an extensive bibliography of human evolution. There’s a nice introduction here and you can search the real deal here. Caveats abound as their are 11,000 entires and likely some mistakes and omissions. But the whole thing has been accomplished through volunteer labor and is a work in progress. Does anyone know of anything comparable for other subdisciplines of anthropology?

New primate species

  • As if it wasn’t enough to discover a new mammal, we have now, in the Columbian Amazon, a new monkey. Wow! Meet the Caqueta titi monkey, that’s Callicebus caquetensis if you speak Latin.

Globalized mass media and popular culture

Haiti, still

  • Anthropology grad student and earthquake survivor Laura Wagner reports from the tarp cities of Port-au-Prince and hits the beach with her friends. “I am told that the American reading public has ‘Haiti fatigue,’ that they don’t want to read stories about the disaster and its aftermath anymore. Part of me wants to retort, ‘You know who else has Haiti fatigue? Haiti.'”
  • The medical need in Haiti is still so great. Some new flip-flops can help.

Food and culture, in Flushing, Queens

  • Now a commercial hub for a growing East Asian community, Flushing, Queens, is home to many Asian grocery stores. But non-Asian residents are angry that their supplies of Boar’s Head and bagels are drying up. “They were asking for a deli; we actually don’t have much experience with delis,” said Mr. Chen.

In vitro fertilization, in India

  • The Washington Post reports on the number of Indian women over age 50 seeking out in vitro fertilization. Despite a national population of 1.2 billion and growing, some older women still desire to give birth after a lifetime of being infertile or to have a son after conceiving only daughters.

Standing in line, in India

  • This report on queuing as a cultural practice captures what is best about the anthropology of everyday life. When you think about how much time is spent in lines, what temporal percentage that might be in our lives, it is apparent just how much discipline and repetition, not to mention ideology, is devoted to this most mundane task.

Revolutionary politics and art

  • Boingboing ran links to some absolutely amazing contemproary Oaxacan street art. I only wish they had communicated more contextual information about where this graffiti is as the power of the art stems not only from its imagery but from significance of its location as well.

Around the Web gets meta: Yes folks, it was just a matter of time before Savage Minds’ own weekly round up of web links started including other blog’s weekly round ups of web links. It’s like Cliff Notes for Reader’s Digest!

Pre-Timewaster: In this very blog I linked to the good, giving, and game sex advice columnist, Dan Savage, who was gushing (tee-hee) over the new book, Sex at Dawn, about how primate evolution continues to play a profound role in contemporary human sexuality. Now another enthusiastic review of the same book has turned up again in an unusual place, Gizmodo.

Timewaster: Hat tip to Teaching Anthropology for turning up this gem.

Seen something around the web that you’d like to share with the Savage Minds community? Oh yes you have! Email me at mdthomps AT

Matt Thompson

Matt Thompson is Project Cataloger at The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia, and currently working on a CLIR ‘hidden collections’ grant to describe the museum’s collection of early 20th Century photography. He has a doctorate in anthropology from the University of North Carolina and a Masters in information science from the University of Tennessee.

5 thoughts on “Around the Web

  1. i know that in some places in America “biological anthropology” is still a branch of anthropology (in other countries not so much, and in the US too, at least one bio anthro wing I know has split, claiming they were doing “real science” unlike socio-cultural anthropologists), but does it have to be 40% of the “around the web” column every week? Is there nothing else going on?
    and is there no critical eye when we report about evolution and monkeys?
    Sorry, but I really miss those old “around the web” posts.

  2. Mostly I just try to keep things current, whatever happens that week I put it up — more like news. If people are interested in more themed columns please let me know. Also if you’ve got good links, send ’em to me.

  3. “I only wish they had communicated more contextual information about where this graffiti is as the power of the art stems not only from its imagery but from significance of its location as well.”

    A lot of this art comes from groups that are really active in and around Oaxaca City. As the link states, much of this protest art stems from the violence and social unrest that took place starting around 2006. There was a huge reaction against the government, specifically governor URO (Ulises Ruiz Ortiz), who many claimed took office under fraudulent circumstances in 2004. In 2006 there were violent clashes between the government and Section 22 of the SNTE (teachers union), in what initially started out as a protest about teacher’s salaries. The teachers protested, and the government reacted by trying to forcefully remove them. Other groups joined the teachers in protest, resulting in a pretty substantial political conflict. Of course, it was anything but a clear-cut political issue. When I was there during the summers of 2007-2008, the streets were filled with all kinds of social and political art/graffiti, from the kind of work pictured above to murals, stencils, and spray painted political epithets and messages. There was a good amount of media coverage about these events. Check out the March 2007 issue of Anthropology News for some short articles by Ron Waterbury, Lynn Stephen, and Deborah Poole. I think that Kristin Norget may have written about some of this as well in a 2009 article.

  4. Thanks for that video. Very funny. I’ve been showing it around. I imagine that scholars and some archaeologists are just as full of shit when they talk about the past with conviction on the Discovery Channel. I always thought it would be a little to easy to sham as a paleontologist: “Yeah, the archaoloapelatasorosis was really pink with feathers and it raised it’s young.”

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