Cardinals Win the Series!

Strangely enough, the sun is out this morning in St. Louis (no that is not a metaphor, we finally have some sunshine after a week of clouds and rain). The Cheerful Oncologist has some great pictures (Celebrate!) and Orac links to a well written explanation of what when wrong from the point of view of a Tigers fan…

Neanderthal Genomes and the Domestication of the Horse

The two are not, of course, related. As I pointed out recently there seems to be a race to sequence the Neanderthal genome. National Geographic has a story on it, which focusses mainly on the work of James Noonan. It doesn’t add much to what we already know about the story. It does drop one interesting tidbit from Svante Paabo:

Based on his results to date, Paabo expects to see some surprises as his project proceeds. “Neandertal DNA is degraded in specific ways that we had not anticipated, and in some ways Neandertals actually look closer to humans than we had expected[emphasis mine – afarensis],” he said.

It would have been nice if they would have asked a follow up question like “Could you explain what you mean by that?”

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Shut Up and Sing

I’m not really much of a country music fan, and I can’t say that I have ever heard a Dixie Chicks song, but I do love free speech and think the way the Dixie Chicks have been treated is a travesty. Even worse is how our supposed “free press” has caved on the issue. NBC, for example, is refusing to air an ad for the new Dixie Chicks movie “Shut Up and Sing”. NBC claims the ad is “…disparaging of President Bush…” It would be nice if our national media grew a backbone…
At any rate you can find the commercial here.

Intelligent Design and the Alaska Governor’s Race

Just when I thought it was safe to go to Alaska I find this news via Evolution Research – General Evolution News:

The volatile issue of teaching creation science in public schools popped up in the Alaska governor’s race this week when Republican Sarah Palin said she thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the state’s public classrooms.
Palin was answering a question from the moderator near the conclusion of Wednesday night’s televised debate on KAKM Channel 7 when she said, ‘Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.’

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Devonian Lamprey Fossils

This comes from nature as well. Apparently, lamprey fossils dating to 360 million years ago (at least 35 million years older than previous finds).

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Speaking of Chemicals…

I’m sure you all remember the discovery of soft tissue in a dinosaur that created such a fuss a while back. Science Daily has an article on the discovery of complex organic chemicals in 350 million year old crinoid fossils.

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Student Blogging Scholarship

Via Pharyngula comes news of a $1,000 dollar scholarship for student bloggers. I mention it here because I know a few anthro student bloggers who could probably use the funds…Not to mention the anthro academics who read my blog who could pass the info along to their students – who could probably use the money to pay for the mound of required textbooks (kidding)…
More info on how to apply can be found here. The requirments are:
* Your blog must contain unique and interesting information about you and/or things you are passionate about. No spam bloggers please!!!
* You must be a U.S. citizen;
* 3.0 minimum GPA;
* Enrolled full-time in post-secondary education; and
* If you win, you must be willing to allow us to list your name and blog on this page. We want to be able to say we knew you before you became a well educated, rich, and famous blogging legend.
Oh, and you can nominate yourself! So there is no excuse to procrastinate…

Ancient human hunters smelt blood on the breeze

That is the title of a short article on New Scientist. I’m not sure what to make of it – not being a chemist. Here is an excerpt:

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New Phorusrhacid Skull

Phorusrhacids were large flightless birds native to South America. The larger species were top predators and the entire group is frequently referred to as “Terror Birds”. An article in Nature announces the discovery of one of the largest Phorusrhacid skull ever found.
[Added Later: Darren Naish has two excellent posts on the subject:
Terror Birds and More on phorusrhacids: the biggest, the fastest, the mostest out-of-placest]

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Presenting the First Edition of the Four Stone Hearth

The first edition of The Four Stone Hearth is now available at Check out the bloggy anthropology goodness…