monkey's uncle

notes on human ecology, population, and infectious disease

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Entries Tagged as 'Uncategorized'

Africa Is a Big Place

September 6th, 2014 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Africa has been in the US news more than it usually is (which isn’t saying much) because of the ongoing outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in West Africa. One of the things that is always shocking when a new place appears in the news is the degree of geographic cluelessness of Americans. When it […]

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(Text Processing) Paradigms Lost

April 11th, 2012 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Tom Scocca has wrote a brilliant essay in Slate today on the absurdities of Microsoft Word being the standard text processing tool in the age of digital publishing. I struggle to get students doing statistical and demographic analysis in R to not use Word because of all the unwanted junk it brings to the most […]

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On Newspaper Front Pages

July 18th, 2011 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Expert wrangler of predicaments Phillip Mendonça-Vieira has put together a very cool time-lapse movie from about 12,000 screenshots of the front page of the nytimes.com.  The movie is interesting to watch in a Koyaanisqatsi kind of way, but what I find most poignant is his commentary that accompanies the movie. Mendonça-Vieira writes, Having worked with and […]

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You'd Think There'd Be More Snow

February 7th, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized

We here in near-coastal California have been getting more than what seems like our fair share of rain recently.  Perhaps my perceptions of the local weather patterns have simply been conditioned on the very dry weather we’ve experienced over the last several years.  When I checked on the snow water content in the Sierra, I […]

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Extreme Disappointment in Virgin America

March 6th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

When one becomes an anthropologist, one expects to have travel adventures.  Somehow, I never expected to have a travel adventure when plying my trade as a panelist for the National Science Foundation in the wilds of Arlington, Virginia.  Bear in mind that Arlington is just across the Potomac River from Washington DC and is served by two […]

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More on Science in the Obama Times

January 27th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

As a follow-up to my post on science and the Obama Inaugural, I wanted to note a terrific essay  by Dennis Overbye on the civic virtues of science in the New York Times. He argues that virtue emerges from the process of science: “Science is not a monument of received Truth but something that people do to look for truth.” […]

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Data, Statistics, Science, Imagination and Common Purpose

January 22nd, 2009 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

In President Obama’s Inaugural Address, “data” and “statistics” were the 247th and 249th words spoken. Science was very much foregrounded in the President’s address: We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its costs. We will harness the sun and the winds and the […]

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A Great Career for a Biological Anthropologist

January 9th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

The fabulous Cambridge-based singer-songwriter, Mieka Pauley turns out, like Pete Seeger and Bonnie Raitt, to be a Harvard graduate.  Mieka attended Harvard when I was a grad student, concentrated (Harvardese for “majored”) in biological anthropology, and took a class I taught when I was a lecturer there for the 2000-2001 academic year.  I just got back in touch […]

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What Module is This?

December 23rd, 2008 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

We at monkey’s uncle (i.e., me) try to keep things serious, devoting our attention to matters of scientific import and technical interest.  Every once in a while something comes along that I can’t but help writing about.  This is one such occasion, by way of blogadilla. What in the Pleistocene could have possibly selected for […]

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Disturbing Tag Cloud

December 15th, 2008 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Using the tag cloud widget for WordPress, I find that my most commonly used tag currently is “economics.”  How can that be?  It’s not even one of my categories. Perhaps it is my broad definition of economics?  Perhaps it is my frequent discontent with the way that human behavior gets discussed in the economics literature? […]

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