Around the Web Digest: Week of November 22

Happy Sunday, readers. Don’t forget to send me links to content I should mention here, at

It’s a linguistic link! HuffPost Women characterizes a controversial Jeopardy contestant’s verbal tic as “upspeak” and sketches out the gendered dimensions of how women are penalized for their forms of speech: This ‘Jeopardy’ Contestant’s Voice Has The Internet Freaking Out (I’m hedging because it doesn’t strike me as classic upspeak).

It’s a physical anthropology link! This Nautilus post describes how the low-fiber Western diet seems to be limiting the diversity of microbiomes women pass on to their children at birth: How the Western Diet Has Derailed Our Evolution. The microbes that flourish in the guts of people on a Western diet, specializing in breaking down fats, sugars and protein, are also those that attack the mucus lining of human guts, which can cause chronic inflammation.

Nautilus also featured this piece on Lee Berger, who used Google Earth to refine his site search and Facebook to find cave archaeologists to excavate it, leading to the discovery of Homo naledi: The Man Who Used Facebook to Find an Extinct Human Species

This post on CultureBy – Grant McCracken pairs nicely with the classic Savage Minds post on anthropologists’ obsession with scarves: My Tribe is an Unsophisticated People

Anthropologists may be ostentatiously anti-fashion, but some recently did a turn as models, as this Anthropology News post discusses: Painting Anthropology. The observer becomes the observed!

The Finnish Anthropological Society YouTube featured this interview with Anna Tsing in which she talks about her new book, Mushroom at the End of the World, and breaks down the importance of the Anthropocene: An Interview with Anna Tsing

According to this NY Times article, the advent of agriculture in Europe 8,500 years ago created significant genetic changes in these populations, including the development of lighter skin to compensate for the loss of the vitamin D taken in from foraged meat: Agriculture Linked to DNA Changes in Ancient Europe

All I can say is “holy crap”…  Radar Scans in King Tut’s Tomb Suggest Hidden Chambers. National Geographic reports that there appears to be an abrupt transition from bedrock to artificial material, suggestive of a void behind the wall.

Second Nexus reports that a team of researchers is using CT scanning to examine the organic material within the plaster casts of victims preserved in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius: The Victims of Pompei Cast in a New Light 

The CASTAC Blog describes an experiment in which anthropologists explored the dimensions of “the field” by tweeting from their fieldsites: What Can Twitter Do to/for the Field?

See you next week!

Rebecca Nelson

Rebecca Nelson is the executive director of América Solidaria U.S. She recently graduated with a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on volunteer tourism in Guatemala and how it is opening up new avenues for tourists and hosts to develop more cosmopolitan understandings of the world (as well as opening up new forms of friction over the circulation of knowledge).