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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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  • Why do we need to have so many meetings?

    A model of my calendar for the week of Oct. 6. Client details have been removed, and meetings classified by function.

    These days my calendar is a source of stress. My morning routine of reviewing my appointments for the day during my commute often leaves me dreading the coming workday—and frantically looking for 15 minute blocks that I can hold to catch-up on email or return phone calls if needed. It’s not uncommon to find myself [...]

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    Why did Pirates Fly the Jolly Roger?

    Photo by eddiemcfish. Click on image for license and information.

    The “pirate brand” has long been tied to the skull and crossbones—the Jolly Roger—as a symbol of terror on the high seas. A 2011 article in The New York Times hails the ominous design as a magnificent exercise in collective hybrid branding, noting that economics drove pirates to adopt a version of this particular symbol [...]

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    Is data really changing the nature of wearable technology?

    Fitbit and other health trackers.

    Do you have a FitBit story? Last November, S came home with a Fitbit Flex. For those of you who don’t have one of these increasingly ubiquitous devices, it’s a small, plastic band that you wear on your wrist (there are other tracker options as well). It tracks the number of steps you take each [...]

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    Green Thumbery: Cultivating Culture

    Photo by KDCosta, 2014.

    One of my goals this year—with a solid year of gardening experience under my belt—has been to try to make my garden pretty as well as practical. I’ve partially succeeded. The Bachelors Buttons and Rose Campion I tried to intersperse among the vegetables became too weedy and too needy for my liking, so I pulled [...]

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    How will today’s technology change our concept of “work”?

    View of New York City at night from the 30th Floor of the Millennium UN Plaza. Photo by Luigi Crespo. Click on image for license and information.

    Change is hard. We meet it with some trepidation and skepticism. This is certainly true when it comes to technology. Each wave of technological advancement has changed the economy; and in each age where it has done so, the there has been a ripple effect. For example, did you know that one of the reasons [...]

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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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