Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween !!

This year we had a competition in the department - students paid $1 for the Breast Cancer fund drive, and they got to vote for a professor to wear a costume on Halloween. Agustin and Ian tied. Ian came dressed as "Tinker Bell Gone Bad" and Agustin as a "Banana Ecosystem." I have an Ian picture that I'll post later, am still trying to track down Agustin (these pesky classes get in the way!) It's a fun idea, the students seem to love it. I think we have the start of a tradition.

In the meantime, here's a little something for your reading pleasure:

Star Trek Gadget? 'Tractor Beam' For Cells Developed
ScienceDaily (Oct. 31, 2007)

Apple's Microsoft-Devouring Jungle Cat: How Leopard demolishes Vista
By Harry McCracken

Oct. 31, 2007,

And now for something completely different:
Move your mouse over the fish pond to "feed" the fish. Click your mouse to leave food. Fun diversion.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Can you feel the excitement in the air?? That sense of anticipation?? The nearness of the high holy day of osteology??

One more day till Halloween!!! Wooo Hooo!

And as important, the day after Halloween when all the skeleton stuff goes on sale ;-)

Notre Dame Could Learn From This...

Notre Dame might want to consider adding this to their play book. Texas Trinity made 15 lateral passes to score the winning touchdown. The video quality is not so good, but you definitely get the gist of this play:

Bushism of the Day

"I fully understand those who say you can't win this thing militarily. That's exactly what the United States military says, that you can't win this military."—on the need for political progress in Iraq, Washington, D.C., Oct. 17, 2007

Video (comment at 18:35)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Early Riser

I got up at the crack of dawn this morning. Not "dawn" in Sue-land (just before noon), but for real (6:00 am). I was on the road by 7:30, and people were already up and about!! Who knew?? Indeed, there was what might pass for traffic in South Bend, took me a good 7 minutes to get to campus rather than the usual 4. Not sure what possessed me to be out and about at this hour, probably has to do with the high sleep quotient of Fall Break ;-) Anyway, this seemed a monumental enough occurrence for a blog entry ;-) (I figure this'll get a comment or two...)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Unmade Beds

Finally, justification for not making my bed!! Be forewarned, this article might make sleeping tonight a bit difficult. Excuse me while I go vacuum my bed...

Untidy beds may keep us healthy

Saturday, October 27, 2007

New Dots

Well, I might not be gettin' much love in comments, but I got a bunch of new dots on my map from Sweden, Greece, and Russia. Thanks Tracy, you jet-setter.

While I can account for most of the dots on the map - the northern Norway and Hudson Bay area viewers remain a mystery.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Forgotten and Unloved

I haven't had a 'Comment" since October 17th, I feel so lonely (as I sit here writing on the forget that fact for a minute).

Come on (sniff) - no Notre Dame jokes?? Mac-bashing? Ooo-aahhs for wild boat rides?? Jealousy about Fall Break?? Impressed-ness at my plethora of skeleton action figures?? Blogging is no fun without a little feedback occasionally (sniff)

Citizen Paul

My brother-in-law became a US Citizen this week, here are some pictures of event. The first is Paul the American with the kids, the second is my father and the kids saluting a flag outside the house. It's been a banner year - Full Professor and no more green card! Mabruke & matzel tov!!

Wild Ride!

Here are some pictures my folks sent about a wind storm and its effects on the ferry they take to travel from their home on Whidbey Island to Seattle. The price they pay to spend time with their grandkids!!

PS -- they didn't take these pictures, nor were they on this particular ferry ride - but still, credit where credit is due ;-)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lookin' Good

One day and counting...

New Treats and Tiny Tweaks Make Mac OS X Leopard Spot On
By Scott Gilbertson
Wired 10/25/07

The iPhone might have grabbed all of this year's headlines, but Leopard may well prove to be Apple's most revolutionary product release of 2007.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tonight Show

Tonight we made Leno's monologue in two jokes. Had to chuckle. These are close to quotes:

1. To avoid further embarrasment, the Vatican approved a massive payout...for Notre Dame season ticket holders.

2. Notre Dame suffered further embarrasment today when their leprechaun was beated up by a Keebler elf.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Harry Potter Revelations

Apparently JK Rowling made several statements yesterday that have attracted attention, particularly that Dumbledore is gay:

Q: Did Dumbledore, who believed in the prevailing power of love, ever fall in love himself?

A: My truthful answer to you... I always thought of Dumbledore as gay. [ovation.] ... Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was. To an extent, do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love can blind us to an extent? But, he met someone as brilliant as he was, and rather like Bellatrix he was very drawn to this brilliant person, and horribly, terribly let down by him. Yeah, that's how i always saw Dumbledore. In fact, recently I was in a script read through for the sixth film, and they had Dumbledore saying a line to Harry early in the script saying I knew a girl once, whose hair... [laughter]. I had to write a little note in the margin and slide it along to the scriptwriter, "Dumbledore's gay!" [laughter] If I'd known it would make you so happy, I would have announced it years ago!

But as Keith Oberman stated tonight, the real takeaway message is to question authority, always. Shame this part didn't get the same amount of press, but hopefully it got thru to the kids reading the books.

Here We Go Again

Oiy, they're at it again. From the mouth of our Vice President:

"The Iranian regime's efforts to destabilize the Middle East and to gain hegemonic power is a matter of record. And now, of course, we have the inescapable reality of Iran's nuclear program; a program they claim is strictly for energy purposes, but which they have worked hard to conceal; a program carried out in complete defiance of the international community and resolutions of the U.N. Security Council. Iran is pursuing technology that could be used to develop nuclear weapons. The world knows this. The Security Council has twice imposed sanctions on Iran and called on the regime to cease enriching uranium. Yet the regime continues to do so, and continues to practice delay and deception in an obvious attempt to buy time.

The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course, the international community is prepared to impose serious consequences. The United States joins other nations in sending a clear message: We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.

Here's the whole speech if you really want to give yourself a sleepless night (or at the very least, raise your blood pressure a few hundred points...) The poster above might become reality if this isn't just so much chin music.

Vice President's Remarks to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Office of the Vice President
October 21. 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Here We Go Again

Oiy, they're at it again. Sen David Vitter slipped a $100,000 appropriation into an education bill for the Louisiana Family Forum (LFF) to "develop a plan to promote better science education." Only problem is, part of the LFF's charter says that they want to "persuasively present biblical principles in centers of influence, including schools." Apparently in the past, LFF has advocated teaching creationism in the science classroom to accomplish this goal.

Groups Ask Senate To Remove Earmark Promoting Creationism From Spending Bill
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
From Americans United for the Separation of Church & State

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Su-prise, Su-prise

Hmmm, there was no predicting the outcome of today's game...

Maybe if they recruit a few of the cheerleaders?? Or some of the stockier band members?? Perhaps keeping 'em here for Fall Break to, I don't know, practice ??!

Evolution Of The Pocketbook
A fun theory on women's handbags:

"If one thinks anthropologically, handbags may be a vestigial expression of women’s biological desire to nest. We need to feel that all the necessities of life are immediately within reach — and these necessities have increased in number as civilization has grown more complex. By the same token, the handbag may only be a shrewd invention on the part of patriarchy to keep women enslaved. The dead white male who invented it knew that it was an accessory that we wouldn’t be able to resist."

The Handbag
By Paula Marantz Cohen
The Smart Set, Drexel University

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fall Break !!

Yippee!! .

Near Eastern Fun
Our summer NSF-REU program studies Early Bronze Age remains from southern Jordan, and as part of program we have them read The Epic of Gilgamesh. While listening to Harry Shearer this summer I heard a new song by the group They Might Be Giants called "The Mesopotamians" and sent it around to all the students. Yorke & Morag just posted the video for the song at their blog, and I've blatantly stolen it for any REU-ers that might be checking in.

You gotta love a song that uses Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal and Gilgamesh in its lyrics. Here ya go:

They Might Be Giants - The Mesopotamians

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Blown Away

Today is a seriously windy, albeit bright sunshiny day. Kinda cool, in a Wizard of Oz sort of way. Hel-lo tornado watches tonight I'll bet. Might have to herd the cats down to the basement...always a fun activity (not).

UPDATE 10:30 PM – Wiley saved the day!! I fell asleep about 5:30, just dead -- about 9 pm Wiley jumped into bed and was absolutely relentless about waking me up. I got up assuming his food dish was empty and he was near starvation (!), when I heard the sirens start. Turned on the TV to find Jaime’s Crush Mike Hoffman the weatherman telling us about two big waves of storms coming through.. So, I opened the basement door – down went the boys, even Maz. Apparently the rain was coming down at 3” per hour, which Jaime’s Crush tells us is pretty exceptional. Thanks to Wiley my hero, I moved the car into the garage before the hail came. I wonder what they sense ?

Silbury Hill
Here's a post from Archao News about Silbury Hill. Other than meeting Jane Goodall and visiting Aspinall's gorillas, Avebury/Silbury Hill was my favorite trip while teaching in our London Program in 2004.

Coast presenter Neil Oliver will explore the interior of the largest man-made mound in Europe in a one-off documentary for BBC4. In Lion Television's Silbury Hill, the archaeologist will team up with social anthropologist and Castaway presenter Mary-Ann Ochota in his attempt to find out why Silbury Hill was built and to uncover the story of the people who helped build it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Oh Please!

Apparently James Watson (yes, of Nobel Prize double-helix fame) has trumped his previous dumb statement about a woman having the right to abort a fetus if she finds out it's homosexual -- a comment equally offensive to pro-choice & anti-abortion supporters alike! Now he's talking about his concerns for the continent of Africa due to the lower levels of intelligence in blacks. To quote: "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really." Apparently he's been reading too much Vince Sarich...

Black People 'Less Intelligent' Scientist Claims
By Helen Nugent
17 October 2007, Times Online

Colbert '08

Last night Stephen Colbert announced that he's running for President of the United States, in South Carolina. On both the Republican and Democratic tickets. Here's a link that talks about the validity of that approach. Could be fun, 'specially if they have a debate...

Candidate Colbert
By Jacques Steinberg, NYT
October 17, 2007


Fall is coming, many of the trees around town are lookin' pretty colorful. Was I out enjoying them on this sunny day?? No! I was working on the Bab edh-Dhra' collection (I can hear Jamie saying "oh cry me a river, would ya!!") First Meredith and I spent some time trying to make sense of Mike Finnegan's field notes (I have no qualms about using his full name...add this to the list of things he screwed up with this collection!)

Then Matt and I put together skulls. Normally my skills in this arena are non-existent, but today I was in 'the zone.' Matt's savant-like skills must have been washing over me while in his presence (tho' I should point out that he got bupkis put together in comparison to my uber-skull reconstruction output. Now, if I can have another 827 days like today, I might catch up to him...)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wooo Hoooo !!

Apple's New Operating System, Leopard, To Go On Sale Oct. 26
Associated Press, IHT

Get ready Vista to get blown out of the water!! Yeah Mac (and, it's about time Steve Jobs!!)

Obviously this post is for the 'enlightened'-- PC users need not read (and weep).

Monday, October 15, 2007

OMG !!

Tonight the NBC Nightly News had a story about an alarming new trend -- kids texting while driving. "How STUPID do you have to be ??!" I thought to myself, when one of the kids commented that probably 75% of students do this regularly. Here's the video segment:

Driving under the influence of a keyboard
Driving under the influence of a keyboard

By Janet Shamlian, NBC News Correspondent
Monday, October 15, 2007

And second, in the interest of "fair and balanced"'s a post about a UK judge calling some of Gore's statements into question:

Al Gore’s Inconvenient Judgment
Lewis Smith
October 11, 2007, The Times

PS -- my dad made me do this...:-)

PPS -- this is a picture of Justice Burton, the man who made the judgment... does "Mr. Bean" come to mind for anyone else?? A Monty Python Christmas Special?? (sorry)

PPPS -- check out the previous Times story that occurred on October 3, telling how this came to a head because a lorry driver sued to have the film monitored.

New Additions

I've added a few things to the sidebar -- Alicia has begun a new blog about her time in Bangladesh, worth checking out. And there's now a new "Anthro Fun" section with several websites that deal specifically with anthropology-related issues. The first one - Skull-a-Day - is just for fun, tho' admittedly quite inventive at times. 'Archaeo News' has a nice list of recent discoveries, and 'Bonobo Handshake' is a journal of a woman studying our near-neighbors at a Bonobo reserve. 'Savage Minds' has an interesting discussion of the recent controversy over anthropologists working with the military in Iraq.

If there are others I should add to this list, just let me know.

NY Times Op/Ed

Yorke/Morag mentioned a recent Op/Ed in the New York Times this weekend by Stephen Colbert. I'm posting it here - VERY very funny.

A Mock Columnist, Amok
Published: October 14, 2007, NYT
I called Stephen Colbert with a dare: if he thought it was so easy to be a Times Op-Ed pundit, he should try it. He came right over. I had staged a coup d’moi.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Is it just me?

Does something sound a bit amiss in this story, or am I being too jaded?

Israel Struck a Nuclear Project in Syria, Analysts Say

Published: October 14, 2007, NYT

Bushism of the Day

"More than two decades later, it is hard to imagine the Revolutionary War coming out any other way."—Martinsburg, W.Va., July 4, 2007

see video (quote is at 5:59)


1 and 6. Really, is that soooooo bad??? There are still several more games. I mean, what are the odds that Duke will win?? (actually, I'm not putting any money on it...)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Jodi Foster, Get Ready

This is pretty cool. Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft) has funded a large SETI project to search for extraterrestrial signals. They expect to find life by 2025. Let's hope it's not for another 465 days 20 hours and 21 mintues or the aliens are doomed!

My guess is that they'll pick up radio signals from the Battlestar. Let's hope they don't find Cylons close behind!! (yes, I'm a geek. I think the daily skeleton action figures pretty much cemented that fact already)

Skies to be Swept for Alien Life

Nobel Prize

I joked after Gore's movie won the Emmy and Oscar, "what's next? A Tony??" (see Sept 16th "Emmys" post) The answer -- "no, a Nobel Peace Prize!!"

Tho' as Matt points out -- "yeah, but he's no George W. Bush!"

(in case it's too small to tell, the picture to the right is Bush holding a closet full of skeletons closed. No implied message...)

Antibacterial Overload

This is a pretty interesting article.

Eat Crap: Why Americans Should Ingest More Excrement
By Kent Sepkowitz