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  • June 25, 2015
  • 01:53 PM

Commenters exposed to prejudiced comments more likely to display prejudice themselves

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Comment sections on websites continue to be an environment for trolls to spew racist opinions. The impact of these hateful words shouldn’t have an impact on how one views the news or others, but that may not be the case. A recent study found exposure to prejudiced online comments can increase people’s own prejudice, and increase the likelihood that they leave prejudiced comments themselves.... Read more »

  • June 25, 2015
  • 11:07 AM


by JB in Bone Broke

I’ve been reading a lot of research on the bioarchaeology of violence of late, thought-provoking pieces by Haagen Klaus, Deb Martin and Gwen Robbins Schug that detail the ways in which the ideology of oppression is mediated by physical and structural violence. In theory, this leaves me spending a lot of time thinking about how structural violence has molded human social interactions since complex, multi-tiered societies first arose. In practice, this means I’ve spent a lot of time sitting in cafés and poking parts of my skull while furrowing my brow, palpating the paths of blunt and sharp force trauma described in text.... Read more »

Schug, G.R., K. Gray, V. Mushrif-Tripathy, and A.R. Sankhyan. (2012) A Peaceful Realm? Trauma and Social Differentiation at Harappa. International Journal of Paleopathology, 2(2-3), 136-147. info:/

  • June 23, 2015
  • 02:40 PM

Justice system chips away at women’s rights

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Arrests of women increased dramatically in the past two decades, while domestic abuse laws meant to protect female victims have put many behind bars for defending themselves, a new paper argues. These trends suggest evidence, at least in the justice system, of a “war on women” — a term coined during the 2012 election that refers to attempts to limit women’s rights.... Read more »

  • June 22, 2015
  • 05:06 PM

Manning up: men may overcompensate when their masculinity is threatened

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

From the old Charles Atlas ads showing a scrawny male having sand kicked in his face to sitcom clichés of henpecked husbands, men have long faced pressure to live up to ideals of masculinity. Societal norms dictating that men should be masculine are powerful. And new research finds that men who believe they fall short of those ideals might be prompted to reassert their masculinity in small but significant ways.... Read more »

  • June 21, 2015
  • 10:49 PM

Hohokam Astronomy

by teofilo in Gambler's House

Today is the summer solstice, so I figured I would take a break from my (slowly) ongoing series of posts on the Pueblo I period in the northern Southwest to take a look at evidence for ancient astronomical knowledge in a different part of the Southwest. This is in part an outgrowth of my recent […]... Read more »

Bostwick TW. (2010) Exploring the Frontiers of Hohokam Astronomy: Tracking Seasons and Orienting Ritual Space in the Sonoran Desert. Archaeoastronomy, 166-189. info:/

  • June 20, 2015
  • 03:47 PM

Liar, Liar: Children with good memories are better liars

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Children who benefit from a good memory are much better at covering up lies, researchers from the University of Sheffield have discovered. Experts found a link between verbal memory and covering up lies following a study which investigated the role of working memory in verbal deception amongst children.... Read more »

  • June 19, 2015
  • 05:00 PM

Study links heartbeat to female libido

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Sexual dysfunction in women can be linked to low resting heart rate variability, a finding that could help clinicians treat the condition, according to a study by psychologists from The University of Texas at Austin.... Read more »

Stanton, A., Lorenz, T., Pulverman, C., & Meston, C. (2015) Heart Rate Variability: A Risk Factor for Female Sexual Dysfunction. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. DOI: 10.1007/s10484-015-9286-9  

  • June 19, 2015
  • 04:01 AM

A hike in the Prealps and Mesolithic on the Jaunpass, Bernese Oberland

by M. Cornelissen in hazelnut relations

Mai, June, early summer. For those loving the mountains, latest by now it starts to itch again. Summer has slowly arrived in the lowlands, but at higher altitudes there is still snow in places. The Prealps, or Voralpen in German, … Continue reading →... Read more »

Crotti, P. . (2001) Campements mésolithique d'altitude sur le Jaunpass (Simmental, canton de Berne, Suisse). Annuaire de la Société Suisse de Préhistoire et d'Archéologie, 119-124. info:/

  • June 18, 2015
  • 02:02 PM

How ‘science popularizers’ influence public opinion on religion

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Two prominent scientists with drastically different views on the relationship of science and religion – Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins – have an equally different influence on these views among people who are unfamiliar with their work, according to new research from Rice University and West Virginia University.... Read more »

  • June 18, 2015
  • 01:59 PM

Not-so-guilty pleasure: Viewing cat videos boosts energy and positive emotions

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If you get a warm, fuzzy feeling after watching cute cat videos online, the effect may be more profound than you think. The Internet phenomenon of watching cat videos, from Lil Bub to Grumpy Cat, does more than simply entertain; it boosts viewers’ energy and positive emotions and decreases negative feelings, according to a new study by an Indiana University Media School researcher.... Read more »

  • June 9, 2015
  • 10:39 AM

What Happens When 28,000 Volunteers Are Set Loose in the Virtual Serengeti

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

What's a scientist to do with 1.2 million photos, most of grass but some containing valuable data about endangered animals? Turn the whole thing over to the public, if you're the creators of Snapshot Serengeti. This project caught the attention of tens of thousands of volunteers. Now their work has produced a massive dataset that's already helping scientists in a range of fields.

Most online citizen science involves a degree of tedium—counting craters, tracing kelp mats. But Snapshot ... Read more »

  • June 9, 2015
  • 08:37 AM

Importance of Field Work: Sifting to Recover Bones

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

Continuing with our theme of focusing on excavation and field work in mortuary archaeology, let’s look at another important step of the process: sifting. While the excavation is progressing, the […]... Read more »

  • June 8, 2015
  • 10:51 PM

The health effects of homophobia

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Homophobia, since people are (finally) stigmatizing racism, it’s just another excuse to be able to treat people who are slightly different like they are garbage. To that end, I have bad news for gay and bisexual men living in European countries with strong attitudes and policies against homosexuality are far less likely to use HIV-prevention services, test for HIV, and discuss their sexuality with health providers, according to research led by Yale School of Public Health (YSPH).... Read more »

  • June 8, 2015
  • 07:00 AM

11,500-Year-Old Bison Butchering Site Discovered in Oklahoma

by Blake de Pastino in Western Digs

A stretch of floodplain in northwestern Oklahoma, already known for its profusion of prehistoric hunting sites, has turned up new find: a scatter of butchered bison bones dating back nearly 11,500 years — extending the evidence of bison hunting in the area by centuries, archaeologists say.
... Read more »

  • June 7, 2015
  • 01:10 PM

Babies who can resettle are more likely to ‘sleep through the night’

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Good news, for parents who see their babies “resettle” when they wake up. According to a video study, young infants who can “resettle” themselves after waking up are more likely to sleep for prolonged periods at night. Okay, maybe that’s bad news for parents who don’t have a baby who “resettles,” but it’s still good information.... Read more »

  • June 5, 2015
  • 05:21 PM

Lomekwi  3 and the Invention of Technology

by Andrew White in AndyWhiteAnthropology

Last week I wrote a post about the 3.3-million-year-old pre-Oldowan stone tool assemblage reported from the Lomekwi 3 (LOM3) site in Kenya by Harmand et al. (2015).  As I was writing that, I remembered a 2004 paper by Sophie A. de Beaune titled "The Invention of Technology" (Current Anthropology 45(2):139-162) that I had read in grad school.  That paper takes a long-term view of the evolution of technology focusing on the development and proliferation of different kinds of percussion.& [...] ... Read more »

Harmand S, Lewis JE, Feibel CS, Lepre CJ, Prat S, Lenoble A, Boës X, Quinn RL, Brenet M, Arroyo A.... (2015) 3.3-million-year-old stone tools from Lomekwi 3, West Turkana, Kenya. Nature, 521(7552), 310-5. PMID: 25993961  

  • June 5, 2015
  • 05:09 PM

Why good people do bad things

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Honest behavior is much like sticking to a diet. When facing an ethical dilemma, being aware of the temptation before it happens and thinking about the long-term consequences of misbehaving could help more people do the right thing, according to a new study. This is the first study to test how the two separate factors of identifying an ethical conflict and preemptively exercising self-control interact in shaping ethical decision-making.... Read more »

  • June 5, 2015
  • 07:59 AM

Importance of Field Work: Careful Excavation and Archaeothanatology

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

During the month of June, I will be the teaching assistant for the Michigan State University Campus Archaeology Field School. This is a unique field school because it gives students […]... Read more »

Littleton, J., Floyd, B., Frohlich, B., Dickson, M., Amgalantögs, T., Karstens, S., & Pearlstein, K. (2012) Taphonomic analysis of Bronze Age burials in Mongolian khirigsuurs. Journal of Archaeological Science, 39(11), 3361-3370. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2012.06.004  

  • June 4, 2015
  • 03:15 PM

Eating the placenta: trendy but no proven health benefits and unknown risks

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Celebrities such as Kourtney Kardashian blogged and raved about the benefits of their personal placenta ‘vitamins’ and spiked women’s interest in the practice of consuming their placentas after childbirth.

But a new Northwestern Medicine review of 10 current published research studies on placentophagy did not turn up any human or animal data to support the common claims that eating the placenta — either raw, cooked or encapsulated — offers protection against postpartum depression, reduces post-delivery pain, boosts energy, helps with lactation, promotes skin elasticity, enhances maternal bonding or replenishes iron in the body.... Read more »

  • June 3, 2015
  • 04:49 PM

What musical taste tells us about social class

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Love the opera? Hungry for hip hop? It turns out that your musical likes and dislikes may say more about you than you think, according to UBC research. Even in 2015, social class continues to inform our cultural attitudes and the way we listen to music, according to the study. “Breadth of taste is not linked […]... Read more »

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