• Africa is not a big country
In a letter to the editor of The New York Times concerning an article on the global war on AIDS, Steve Black zings it for totalizing “Africa.” He writes, “Now just imagine what would happen to investment in the United States if articles did not distinguish between the United States and Colombia and discussed “American drug lords”?” Black spent a year in Durban, South Africa, while pursuing a Ph.D. in anthropology. See also this.
• The tragedy of trachoma
Infectious trachoma is widespread among the indigenous peoples of Australia. Some eye care specialists argue that services in remote areas to provide eye care should be increased. Peter Sutton, an anthropologist, responds that spending more on services is questionable when much of the burden of trachoma could be prevented by improved facial hygiene.
• Let’s face it
A French proposal to ban full face veils for women has prompted much media discussion. The Daily Star (Lebanon) quotes Abdelrhani Moundib, a professor of sociology and anthropology at Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco: “The West has the right to preserve its secularism … As a Moroccan Muslim, I am against the burqa. I see nothing in it that relates to Islam or chastity.”
• Talk to me
Just hearing your mother’s voice can raise levels of oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone,” according to an experimental study conducted by biological anthropologist Leslie Seltzer of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
• Jaws are us (guys)
Human males have thicker jaw bones than human females. The interpretation of this difference, provided by biological anthropologist David Puts of Penn State University, is based in evolution. Physically superior males were more attractive to females as mates, and male jaw bones were part of the selective mix: “Males have thicker jawbones, which may have come from men hitting each other and the thickestboned men surviving,” he said. “Things are different for us now in many ways.” Blogger’s note: I hope he’s right about things being better now.
• Makerere University drops archaeology B.A. degree
Scrapped programs on the main campus of Makerere University, Uganda, include the B.A. in archaeology. In all, 20 programs were dropped including the bachelor’s degrees in dance, tourism and wildlife health and management, and the master’s program in ethics and public management.