Saturday, September 29, 2007

September Skeleton Action Figures

I'm signing off the web until I finish my NSF report, so here's the September Skeleton Action Figure redux (in no particular order) a bit early:

Hope The NBC Execs Aren't Watching...

They said we were the 21 point underdogs. By halftime ND was down by 23 points. I should just turn off the TV. Boy I hope we still have MANY years left on the NBC contract... I could wax poetically about our 95+% graduation rate for football players...however, this year seems to be far more problematic than a smaller pool of candidates. We have some great local high school teams. I'm starting to think we should borrow 'em...

Infant Extraordinaire

Here's one for Alicia, Jaime and Lesley. I do believe it is our little friend from Prague. Anybody remember what the red outfit represents?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Yeah Team (Again) !!

The Tomb Team again, not the football team. Katie and Matt were both awarded full funding for their UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program) grants, which will buy some equipment, pay for xrays, and permit them to travel to the AAPA meetings in April.

Now their professor needs to get off her butt and finish her NSF report, or she'll need to take out a loan from her students...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Forensic Anthro Books

Last semester I received a grant to design (and teach) a 'Forensic Anthropology' class. Students have been asking for it for years, so I decided to bite the bullet (so to speak). I want to incorporate popular presentations of the discipline in the class, so I've been reading novels that include a forensic anthropologist. I've come to a surprising conclusion: they just aren't very good.

Either they do a great job of describing the forensic issues, but have the literary depth of a newspaper article (Jefferson Bass), or they are fun to read but really gloss over the discipline (Thomas Holland). The exception seems to be Kathy Reichs.

For my ASOR/Jerusalem friends, check out her newest book called "Cross Bones." Kinda creeped me out -- she acknowledges (and has characters that clearly represent): Azriel Gorski, Jim Tabor, Shimon Gibson, etc. I'm still working thru it, but you just know Joe Zias is going to show up ;-)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Burma/Myanmar Mea Culpa

It pains me (greatly) to admit this, but I fear I owe our President an apology. Yesterday I was listening to his comments to the UN and he repeatedly referred to Myanmar as Burma. I was struck by two thoughts: "not only does he needless invade countries to tell them how to govern themselves, but now he's telling them what to call themselves as well," and "thank God he didn't have to say the word 'nuclear'."

Later last night, I noticed that NBC and the BBC used Burma as well. So I did some homework. To the Burmese, the two names mean the same thing. However, when the junta decided to call it Myanmar, San Suu Kyi (Nobel Prize-winning activist who was compared to Ghandi & Mandela today on NPR) said her party would continue to call the country Burma until a popular vote could be taken on the new name. The United States followed her lead.

Turns out Burma is a cause recently adopted by Laura. I wrongly assumed W was just outta touch (by 19 years) on the matter. Doh!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

For Mom & Dad

I found these comics while looking for skeleton jokes (the TAs offer one each day in Osteology). By way of explanation -- my father says he's donating his skeleton to my lab when he departs this mortal coil, so he can "keep an eye on me for the rest of my life." The second comic? My mother is a serial killer of snails in her Seattle garden. Try tho' we might to convince her they are "the pugs of the insect world", 'tis of no use...

Monday, September 24, 2007

What The ??

Today my calendar said it was the second day of Fall, however the weatherman said we hit a record high of 92°. Something does not compute.

And apparently we are 21 point underdogs to Purdue this weekend. With a record of 0-4 on the season thus far. This REALLY does not compute.

Clearly, we are trapped at the nexus of a dilation/warp/rift in the fabric of the space-time continuum. That's my theory, I'm stickin' with it...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

1st Day of Fall

Happy autumnal equinox!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Got on the Board at Least...

Well, it's the end of the 3rd quarter. Looks like the offense forgot to come back after half-time, so I'm calling it quits. At least they got a few touchdowns this game. That's a definite sign of improvement. Small steps...

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

Last night I saw an amazingly powerful video about environmental degredation, consumerism, and the power of art. It was a segment on "Bill Moyers Journal" - the overall piece was about Rachael Carson and the anniversary of "Silent Spring." But the final portion focused on the work of photographic artist Chris Jordan. Extremely powerful images, at first beautiful, then disturbing. I highly recommend watching it. Here's the link to that 8 minute segment:

(It takes a minute or two to load, so don't worry that there's a blank space on the screen for a wee bit. Worth the wait!)

Here are a few examples of Jordan's photos.
I've included human scale models to show the size of the work:

This is the number of flights passing over Seattle in one 8 hour period, with a corresponding closeup:

This is the number of plastic bottles used in the US in a 5 minute period:

This might be the most powerful -- the number of plastic bags used in the US in a 5 second period (60,000):

And this one is infuriating -- the number of $100 dollar bills spent by the US in a one hour period on the war in Iraq ($12.5 million):