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    Krystal D'Costa Krystal D'Costa is an anthropologist working in digital media in New York City. You can follow AiP on Facebook. Follow on Twitter @krystaldcosta.
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  • How Did Patterns Help Reveal an Older Origin of Mummies?

    Coffin and Mummy of Nesmin (Around 250 BC). Photo by Daniel Decristo. Click on image for license and information.

    I want to talk about patterns. We take them for granted but they shape our lives. That morning coffee you need to start your day has more meaning than you think. We build our sense of self on repetition, and we draw upon continuity to shape our society. Patterns can provide valuable clues about our [...]

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    What will the future of education look like?

    In the absence of a traditional classroom, learning goes on in Mexico. | Image by JIji Lee. Click for license and information.

    Scientific American’s August supplement takes a look at the changing landscape of education in the face of emerging technology, and asks the question, how do we increase interest and engagement in STEM initiatives? Learning in the Digital Age tackles issues of using big data to better understand students, the validity of online courses, and the [...]

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    Does death change our online networks?

    Photo by ashley rose. Click on image for license and information.

    A good friend of mine passed away in June. John had cancer. Before you offer condolences, you should know he did not want to be mourned. It’s been a hard request to follow, but he felt he had lived a full life. As the cancer progressed, we fell into a pattern of exchanging semi-regular emails. [...]

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    Why is the grass always greener on social media?

    Image by Kitty Terwolbeck. Used without alteration. Click on image for license and information.

    Are you on social media? I’m willing to bet you’re on at least one channel (and it’s probably Facebook). In December 2013, 73% of adults online were using a social networking site of some sort. You’re a part of that number. And as our world grows increasingly connected, and the need and ability to share [...]

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    Green Thumbery: Water, Sunlight, and Data

    Peas in bloom. Photo by KDCosta, 2014 Garden.

    All of those concerns I had at the beginning of the season have disappeared. My plants are healthy and flowering—and they’re slowly taking over the backyard, much to my delight. Now, if only I were home more often to enjoy them. My Flower Power has kept watch these past months and it’s been helpful is [...]

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    What can teeth tell us about our prehistoric ancestors?

    Photo by Justin Mclean.

    Our distant past is just that: the distant past. It’s this murky place that science is slowly filling in but the landscape still largely exists just on the periphery of our imagination, and it’s dominated by raw, somewhat violent natures. And in this distant past, we’ve cast our ancestors with personalities and traits to match [...]

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    “Rethinking Home” with Citizen Anthropologists

    A traditional Samoan fale overlooking the water. Photo by NeilsPhotography.

    There is something to be said for having a space that you call home. It grounds you in social and cultural ways. As much as your home is a reflection of who you are, it also becomes a mirror for larger social observances. While we may add our own personal touches to our homes in [...]

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    Green Thumbery: Flower Power

    Planting officially underway!

    Things have been quiet on the Green Thumbery series because I’ve been watching my plants anxiously. The lengthy winter we experienced has made for a sluggish start and it was touch-and-go for a few weeks. But I’m getting ahead of myself; I should take a few steps back and bring you up to speed. We [...]

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    Why are we sleeping with our phones?


    When you woke up this morning, did you reach for your cell phone? Was it right next to the bed? Or under your pillow? Did you use it as an alarm clock? And if you did what was the first thing you did after you disabled the alarm? Read email? Check Facebook? Tweet? If the [...]

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    True Calling Interview: Anthropology in a Non-Traditional Path


    Last week I was interviewed by Renee Masur of Sokanu as part of the “True Calling” series, which looks at people who have found careers (allegedly) doing things they love. I am definitely fortunate to be one of those people, although my path has been far from the norm. I get to meld anthropology with [...]

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