In the midst of a crisis that may have reached a breaking, point Tuesday afternoon, linguists, and grammarians, everywhere say they are baffled, by the sudden and seemingly random, appearance of commas, in our nation’s sentences. The epidemic of errant punctuation…
Out in the AJHG, is the next in the National Genographic line of studies. This one, by Behar et al. assesses 624 mitochondrial genomes from Khoisan hunter gatherers in Africa (doi). The abstract says:
The quest to explain demographic history during the early part of human evolution has been limited because of [...]
isn’t there anything that Wikipedia does not know? Phylogenetics, is, of course
Keep up the good work, Mrs. Smigala! All joking aside, phylogenetics is a hard topic to pick up. Students tend to get swamped pretty quickly with jargon [...]
Jared Diamond in the New Yorker discusses what tribal societies can tell us about our need for vengeance:
In 1992, when Daniel Wemp was about twenty-two years old, his beloved paternal uncle Soll was killed in a battle against the neighboring Ombal clan. … Soll’s death demanded vengeance.
Daniel told me that responsibility for arranging [...]
In a wonderful move, the Max Planck Institute and Michael Cysouw have placed their World Atlas of Language Structures online. WALS, for those who don’t know, is a large database of structural information about languages (e.g. phonological, grammatical, lexical).
Here’s the page of info for Maori, and, to choose a feature at random, [...]
Phylogeny of Sabicea (Angiosperm) with American subspecies encircled. From Wernham (1914) and Lam (1936).
Wernham, H.F. (1914). A monograph of the genus Sabicea. London: British Museum of Natural History.
Lam, H.J. (1936) Phylogenetic symbols, past and present: Being an apology for genealogical trees. Acta Biotheoretica, 2:153-194.
There’s a rather fascinating article in Marie Clare (!?) about Kayan refugees in Thailand being forced to show off their native dress in a “human zoo”:
Zember, a quick-witted young woman with a cheerful, oval face, doesn’t want to be a human exhibit. Ever since she was 5, she has worn brass rings [...]
Lee Berger defends himself against the attack on him by Nature (which we mentioned a few days ago):
In fact, it is Mr. Dalton’s attempts to find a story where there was none that may have done damage to our ability to conduct research on human remains on Palau. We who do field [...]
University of Iowa neuroscientists studying spatial learning and the effects of stress on memory announced Tuesday that a little son-of-a-bitch mouse ruined an experiment on cognitive performance by effortlessly navigating a maze that researchers spent nearly a year designing and constructing.
The test subject, a common house mouse, briskly traversed the complicated wooden maze [...]