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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why humans went hairless

A very cool blog from the New York Times explaining recent theories proposed as to why humans are the only hairless primate.

The new idea? To get rid of fleas!

I HATE fleas, so I say good riddance!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

C'mon, get happy!

Why? For one thing, your smile predicts how happy you'll be in marriage. However, love at first sight might be genetic, so don't take it too hard if you don't feel immediate sparks.

If you need help getting happy and connecting with others, try playing. Why? Because play is the glue that keeps societies together, according to Peter Gray.

"Hunter-gatherers used humor, deliberately, to maintain equality and stop quarrels, Gray contends, and their means of sharing had game-like qualities. Their religious beliefs and ceremonies were playful, founded on assumptions of equality, humor, and capriciousness among the deities. They maintained playful attitudes in their hunting, gathering, and other sustenance activities, partly by allowing each person to choose when, how, and how much they would engage in such activities."
Just remember, play is important to your social well-being.

You know what also works? Tickling and scritching.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

How does photography change culture?

Photography is a love of mine, and how people use photography and how it effects them is also an interest. A couple of blogs are talking about the Smithsonian Institute's new exhibit "Click! Photography Changes Everything."

I grabbed the post from blog Material World. Check it out.

From the post:
"The Initiative is collecting and sharing images and narratives that shed light on how photography influences who people are, what people do and what people remember. Has a photograph been used to document property loss, inspire a hairstylist, sell a house, beat a traffic ticket or helped with the decision about where to go on vacation? Has a single photograph ever influenced what someone believes in or who someone loves?"

The exhibit is also inviting viewers to participate by choosing photographs that affected them and explain why. This is a cool social experiment in itself; what types of photographs do people deem noteworthy and why? How do these pieces of paper or collection of pixels shape how we see the world? Why is seeing an image so much more powerful for most people than verbal explanations of it?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Latest news on female primates, of the human and non-human variety

The latest and the greatest about women primates!

1. hot climates tend to produce more girls

2. Márta Daróczi-Szabó, an archaeozoologist at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, recently lead an archaeological dig that found up to 10 dogs sacrificed and buried near house foundations, apparently as a way to ward off evil. Dogs protecting the home, in a somewhat odd way.

3. And finally, the slightly annoying practice of my mother-in-law constantly stealing food from her son's plate actually had an evolutionary reasoning behind it: by stealing food, female orangutans test the patience and hospitality of males to see if they'd be good mates. So all those years of stealing actually trained my husband to be a good mate. Thanks Judy!