Around the Web

Around the web in 80 links. Well, no… not exactly 80, but you get the picture.


  • Sociological Images turned up this ad campaign usurping human rights discourse to sell deodorant. Reminds me somewhat of Verizon’s “Rule the Air” commercials where earnest young women hail the inherent equality of cell phone communication.

Human Terrain

  • Montgomery McFate has resigned her position as HTS Senior Social Scientist, Zero Anthropology reports. This following the resignation of HTS Program Manager Steve Fondacaro earlier this summer. The leadership of McFate and Fondacaro was instrumental in establishing the HTS program.
  • I’m interested in seeing this documentary “Human Terrain” which Savage Minds readers have clued me into, but unfortunately it seems to still be in a very limited release. C’mon Brown University! Let this pony run.

Criminal Justice

  • El Blog del Narco is a Spanish language blog (with built-in online translators) about drug trafficking, gangs, and violence in Mexico and beyond. The author of the blog seems to imagine this work as a kind of unfiltered communication and antidote to what he believes to be the insufficient and sanitized communication of the Mexican government.
  • The Drug Enforcement Administration ran a job ad for nine “Ebonics” translators. Gawker has the picture. Ebonics? That’s so nineties! What’s next the return of “politically correct”?
  • A jail in Los Angeles is now the proud owner of an invisible pain beam that authorities say can be used to break up fights among inmates by causing an “intolerable heating sensation”. It may not be cruel but its certainly unusual.
  • And in Arizona, two years after being cited for the “dumping of waste” in an imperiled wildlife sanctuary, Daniel Millis of has had his littering conviction overturned by a federal appeals court. Millis and other activists leave gallon jugs of water for immigrants crossing the desert through Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in hopes of averting death by dehydration.

Prestige and cultural capital in academia

  • Here’s an agreably ornery blog post about the disciplinary values attached to conference papers and journal articles versus what they might actually be worth anywhere else but in academia. “So much of what goes on in conferences is so obviously kabuki theatre: many panels are ill-attended – even the high-status ones like invited and regular sessions – because the audience is the least important part of the system of value-creation.” I LOL’d repeatedly. I really have to work on my snide one-liners. This guy’s got me beat by a mile.
  • Its time for those damn college rankings again. These things are for entertainment value only friends, so is right to poke fun at UCLA for getting beaten by USC. But where is Chico State? “I think because the big kids thought that they would lose if it came to any measure of undergraduate education.” Ouch! Well it turns out that this year US News does have a Best Undergraduate Teaching ranking (I think it may be a new feature).
  • Around my homestead the US News Rankings are something of a parlor game as my wife and I jokingly compare our undergrad alma maters (this year she’s #38 and I’m #99, damnit!). But the Princeton Review rankings for “Birkenstock-wearing, tree-hugging, clove-smoking, vegetarians” is so much more colorful (where she’s #1 and I’m #4, still can’t win!). *props up filthy bare feet and lights Bidi*

Making nature into culture

  • In one of those fads that seem to be generated just so anthropologists can study them, some Chinese pet owners have taken to dying their dogs’ coats so that they look like tigers and pandas. On one level its a kind of amazing to see the groomers’ artistry, the animals look absolutely beautiful. I’m reminded of the Japanese bento creations where riceballs and vegetables are sculpted into all sorts of fantastic objects. On another level, like what the hell? This is totally freaky!
  • Earlier this summer, Around the Web directed you to this think piece: Do animals keep pets? Well check out this photo gallery from the Telegraph of a macaque keeping a kitten in Monkey Forest Park, Bali. Unfortunately no additional context is provided.

Recent archaeology finds

  • At the site of the largest earthwork in northern Europe, near the North Sea/ Baltic Sea Canal in Germany, archaeologists have uncovered what they say is a gate in a massive masonry wall built by Vikings in the 7th Century.
  • Archaeologists in South Africa have dated arrowheads to 64,000 years old, a discovery that pushes back the earliest date for archery by 20,000 years.

Now museums, now you don’t

Charles Darwin, terra-former

  • This one is all ecology and not about humans, but its so cool I had to share it. A seldom told story from Darwin’s voyage on the Beagle that has the young scientist on the remote South Atlantic island of Ascenion. Towards the end of his voyage as the crew headed north to England, Darwin found Ascenion Isle to be barren with little water. Working in concert with the botanist Josheph Hooker the two men succesfully transplanted vegetation to hold water in the soil and today the island is a lush forrest.

Around the Web needs your links! Have you seen something that you’d like to share with the Savage Minds community? Email me your links 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.

6 thoughts on “Around the Web

  1. Thanks to everyone who sends me links for this column. Practically all of them come from SM readers, SM editorial staff, and my Facebook friends. The next one can be yours!

  2. I agree with Michael. And this long standing feature of Savage Minds, and the other great (massive) roundups done by Neuroanthropology and others, have inspired me to launch my own, beginning next Monday. Now that I have started, I appreciate what a considerable amount of work and time is involved in preparing these mini-magazines.

  3. I recently discovered your blog/website and have actually enjoyed reading this and some of your other posts. I thought I would dive out from the shadows and leave my first comment. I’m not sure what to say other than I’ve enjoyed reading and will continue to visit as generally as I can.

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