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  • June 6, 2011
  • 06:00 AM

Trench Fever and Plague in 14th Century France

by Michelle Ziegler in Contagions

The Marseille plague group has been suggesting for some time now that human lice could be a major vector of medieval plague. To test their hypothesis the group devised a multiplex PCR screening method to rapidly screen many aDNA samples for seven pathogens that could cause medieval epidemics, including relapsing fever and trench fever transmitted by human lice. ... Read more »

  • June 6, 2011
  • 03:56 AM

Save the Planet by… Becoming a Vegan! Do I really have to?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

Veganism – it’s just something for middle-class ‘hippies’ right? Vegans are those tree-hugging, hemp-wearing festival-goers who say ‘man’ far too much. Well perhaps it’s time for a rethink on that stereotype. At least if you care about environment, that is. If you had thought you could do your bit to fight global warming by getting … Continue reading »... Read more »

Gidon Eshel and Pamela A. Marti. (2006) Diet, Energy and Global Warming. Earth Interactions, 10(9), 1-17. DOI: 10.1175/EI167.1  

Fengxia Dong . (2007) Changing Diets in China's Cities: Empirical Fact or Urban Legend?. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University. info:/

  • June 6, 2011
  • 02:45 AM

Supply Chain Risk: Product Design Changes

by Jan Husdal in

Supply Chain Risk Management has emerged as an important source of competitive advantage and an effective method of reducing vulnerability in a supply chain. One vulnerability or risk that is often overlooked are product design changes to an already existing manufacturing process. [ ... ]... Read more »

Lin, Yong, & Zhou, Li. (2011) The impacts of product design changes on supply chain risk: a case study. International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, 42(2), 162-186. info:/

  • June 4, 2011
  • 04:26 PM

Decoding Frazer’s “Golden Bough”

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

Few books in the history of anthropology are better known (but never read) than James George Frazer’s The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion. First published in 1890 (2 volumes), Frazer published a second edition in 1900 (3 volumes), and a rolling third edition between 1911 and 1915 which ballooned to 12 volumes.
Though [...]... Read more »

Ackerman, Robert. (1975) Frazer on Myth and Ritual. Journal of the History of Ideas, 36(1), 115-134. DOI: 10.2307/2709014  

  • June 3, 2011
  • 05:29 PM

Religion and support for torture

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

So, what do you think? Are the religious in America more or less likely than average to support the use of torture?

To find out, Arial Malka (Yeshiva University, New York) and Christopher Soto (Colby College, Waterville, Maine) used data from a couple of opinion polls, one conducted in 2004 for ABC News/Washington Post and a larger one (nearly 2,000 people) conducted in 2008 (the 2008 American National Election Studies time series).

Here's an example of what they asked (this is from the 2004 ........ Read more »

  • June 3, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Offer “calculation assistance”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

If you travel on business even a little, you’ve seen the signs in your hotel bathroom urging you to help them save water by reusing your towels and sleeping on the same sheets for your entire stay. Many of those signs are based on the idea that if we know others do this, we are [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Don’t tell me what to do!
Simple Jury Persuasion: The Omega Strategies
Simple Jury Persuasion: How to be more likable
... Read more »

Seiter, J., Brownlee, G., & Sanders, M. (2011) Persuasion by way of example: Does including gratuity guidelines on customers’ checks affect restaurant tipping behavior?. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41(1), 150-159. info:/

  • June 3, 2011
  • 04:01 AM

Political Suicide

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

When is killing yourself not suicide?In the British Journal of Psychiatry, two psychiatrists and an anthropologist discuss recent cases of self-immolation as a form of political protest in the Arab world:Since ancient times there has been a difference between suicide (an act of self-destruction) and self-immolation which, although self- destructive, has a sacrificial connotation. Self-immolation is associated with terrible physical pain (burning alive) and with the idea of courage... It is, howe........ Read more »

Cheikh IB, Rousseau C, & Mekki-Berrada A. (2011) Suicide as protest against social suffering in the Arab world. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 494-5. PMID: 21628715  

  • June 2, 2011
  • 03:02 PM

Natural selection and economic growth

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

As I have focussed my PhD research on the link between evolution and long-term economic growth, for months I have meant to blog on the core paper in this area, Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth by Oded Galor and Omer Moav. I have held off writing this post pending finalisation some of [...]... Read more »

Galor, O., & Moav, O. (2002) Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117(4), 1133-1191. info:/10.1162/003355302320935007

  • June 2, 2011
  • 02:37 PM

Lost in (Western) Translation

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

There is a sense in which we are all cultural narcissists. By this, I mean that because all of us are acculturated at a particular time and in a particular place, we have a strong tendency to view other times and places through our own cultural lens. These lenses are prismatic and what we see [...]... Read more »

  • June 2, 2011
  • 12:07 PM

Don't Wear The Black Hat Lightly: You're Not the Bad Guy Because You're at Fault, You're at Fault Because You're the Bad Guy.

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

According to soon to be released research (Nadler & McDonnell, 2012), the public and members of juries don't assign blame independent of assessed credibility. Being the party wearing the black hat isn't so much a consequence of being found to blame, it is a precursor. Blame is often a result of low opinions. This post takes a quick look at the research, and also look at what defendants can do about it if there is a risk they'll be the ones wearing the black hats in the courtroom.

... Read more »

Janice Nadler . (2012) Moral Character, Motive, and the Psychology of Blame . NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW PUblic Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series, 11(43). info:/

  • June 2, 2011
  • 07:44 AM

Language revitalization and liberation

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

I’ve recently come across the story of Chibana Shoichi, who burnt the Japanese flag in 1987 to commemorate the Okinawan victims of WWII Japanese militarism. The story is intriguing not because of the flag-burning incident but because Shoichi also keeps … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 2, 2011
  • 03:00 AM

False rape allegations: centuries of disbelief embedded in institutional cultures and practices

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

The (in)credible words of women: false allegations in European rape research From Violence Against Women This research considers the issue of false allegations in rape cases and argues it is important to recognize the ways in which rape law and its interpretation has historically problematized “the words of a woman”. This voice was considered inherently [...]... Read more »

  • June 1, 2011
  • 12:39 PM

Committed Americans and Trusting Germans

by Jan Husdal in

Selecting the right third-party logistics provider (3PL) for your supply chain is an important decision in supply chain risk management, and Americans forge such relationships in a very different manner from how Germans do. [ ... ]... Read more »

  • June 1, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Women who stalk: Who they are and how they do it

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

When we hear about stalkers, we generally think of men. But there are certainly women who stalk [estimated at 6% to 26% of stalkers] and now we have some research to give us information on identifying them. Like their male stalker counterparts, women who make threats are more likely to be violent; women who write [...]

Related posts:Women and true crime tales of rape, murder & serial killers
New research on men: What do we know now?
Voir Dire: Do you like tall extroverted men?
... Read more »

Meloy JR, Mohandie K, & Green M. (2011) The female stalker. Behavioral sciences , 29(2), 240-54. PMID: 21351135  

  • June 1, 2011
  • 03:15 AM

Calling all science writers and bloggers… Is anyone listening?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

I considered giving a health warning with this post. Today, I abandon my usual calm demeanour and embark upon a part-rant, part impassioned call to action. As I climb onto my soapbox, be advised, things might get ugly (well, relatively – I am British after all). Over the past 20 or so years, millions of … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • June 1, 2011
  • 01:26 AM

Pain behaviours persist…

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I’m taking a tiny detour from the world of catastrophising – but only a tiny one because catastrophising is associated with greater levels of pain behaviour, and of course, discussion about pain behaviour is how I came to begin my exploration of catastrophising anyway! There have been several schools of thought, or models of treatment, … Read more... Read more »

  • May 31, 2011
  • 05:11 PM

Autism Diagnoses Spread Through Social Networks

by Lindsay in Autist's Corner

A recent analysis of California data on births since 1997 and use of that state's Department of Developmental Services shows a spatial pattern of autism incidence --- the closer a child lives to another autistic child, the likelier it is that that child will be diagnosed with autism, too. ... Read more »

Liu KY, King M, & Bearman PS. (2010) Social influence and the autism epidemic. AJS; American journal of sociology, 115(5), 1387-434. PMID: 20503647  

  • May 31, 2011
  • 04:14 PM

Vaccines Cause Autism, Until You Look At The Data

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

According to a much-discussed new paper, vaccines may cause autism after all: A Positive Association found between Autism Prevalence and Childhood Vaccination uptake across the U.S. Population.The author is Gayle DeLong, who "teaches international finance at Baruch College, City University of New York", according to her profile as a board member of anti-vaccine group SafeMinds. She correlated rates of coverage of the government recommended full set of vaccines in the 51 US states including Washi........ Read more »

  • May 31, 2011
  • 12:25 PM

Ghostbusting with Gozer

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

According to the Ghostbusters Wiki, Gozer the Gozerian (known also as Gozer the Destructor, Volguus Zildrohar, and Lord of the Sebouillia) is an ancient entity who “was originally worshiped as a god by the Hittites, Mesopotamians, and the Sumerians around 6000 BC.” When not visiting retribution on New York in the form of the Stay [...]... Read more »

  • May 30, 2011
  • 09:50 PM

Black Women Perceived as Being More White Receive Judicial Leniency in the United States

by Michael Long in Phased

Skin tone correlates with sentencing and time served for recent black female prison convicts in North Carolina (United States).... Read more »

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