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ANTH 240 experimental archaeology inspiration

While most of you are well on your way with your term projects, I thought I would share this website for an annual experimental archaeology conference as inspiration.  It presents the abstracts for papers and posters presented at the conference, and these are organized by themes (for example, jewelry, food, etc…).  Have fun designing your research, I look forward to seeing your proposals next week.

I just wanted to alert ANTH 204 students that I have posted resources on our course page that relate to last night’s material.  They are not required by any stretch, but many of you seemed interested and I wanted to make additional information available for you!  I have put it right under the information about assignments.  Thanks for your questions and contributions last night, there is always so much more to talk about!

Anthro nerd moment at the box office

As a food anthropologist, I am interested in the premise of a new movie hitting theatres this week.  In the movie Martian, actor Matt Damon plays a botanist stranded on Mars tasked with figuring out how to survive as he awaits rescue- several years in the future!  Of course a critical piece is going to be food: is the movie total sci-fi fantasy or grounded in scientific possibility?  Here is an article you might enjoy that checks in to some of these plot lines.  NASA is busily working on how to grow food in space as this is critical to space exploration in the future, keep your eyes open for more cool examples of this research.

Sasquatch Science meets graphic recording

Want to take another look at Jody Isaac’s cool graphic recording of our Sasquatch lecture in ANTH 104-002?  She got it scanned (mostly, the paper was a bit too wide, she’s learning too) and has passed it along to the class.  I hope this was a useful opportunity to think about note taking, as well as applying critical thinking.

Human microbiome

As promised, here is the link to the Human Food Project, also known as the Anthropology of Microbes.  This is exciting new work to start deciphering the complex connections between our gut flora, our diets, and our overall health.  You can subscribe to the website to get alerts when there are new posts , always an interesting read when it arrives in my IN box.  Jeff Leach, the lead on this project, is the author of a new book called Rewild that may also be of interest (I have already had one conversation with a student about this book this term!)  check out the “About” section in the website to learn about the key objectives of the project, this is a GREAT example of applying anthropology.

Follow up about orangutans

Thank you to everyone who sent me emails with comments, questions, and resources about orangutans after Friday’s class!   As promised, I am passing resources along to everyone, this is a good platform for continuing these interesting and important conversations!

1. Birute Galdikas’s Orangutan Foundation International’s website.  this charity scores 92% on the Charity Navigator website in terms of accountability.

2. The movie Green is a silent movie following one orangutan’s journey.  It is violent in places, and hard to watch, especially when you think about the source of demand for palm oil.  Oreo cookies, anyone?

3.  Another resource sent my way is The Orangutan Project website where donors can adopt an orangutan.  I have not looked in to the specifics of this organization to know things like the percentage of money that gets where it is most needed (always important to do a bit of homework!!) but their website has a good set of resources about palm oil.

And finally, Jane Goodall is coming March 19, 2016 to the McPherson Playhouse.  Tickets start at $50 and seem to be going quickly, even though they just went on sale on Sept. 14.

Cultural revitalization and the hula

I want to commend you all in ANTH 104-002 for an engaging and interesting discussion yesterday about cultural commodification and appropriation.  It was a shame we didn’t have more time to dig into these important concepts in more detail.  We didn’t have very much time to consider cultural revitalization, and my specific examples from Hawaii.  Here is a 6 minute video that I would have shown in class if time had permitted; it considers the cultural importance of hula, the link between language and hula, and the connection between the revitalization of both on the Hawaiian islands.

Welcoming a new family member to the story of human evolution

Last week, a team of scientists announced a fascinating new find: the remains of numerous individuals from a brand new species of hominid, called Homo naledi.  Once again we are reminded that this story is still very much being written, and new finds every few months make us rethink parts of the story.  This find also gives us a chance to practice critical thinking, especially in terms of conclusions that are made by the media.  This article from National Geographic does a good job of summarizing what we know at this point, and some of the criticisms and concerns being voiced by fellow anthropologists.  You may also be interested in National Geographic’s summary about human evolution (especially if you are an ANTH 104 student learning about this in the coming weeks!!).  Here is a link to this useful resource.