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Editor’s Selections: Traffic, Wine, and Vikings

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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It’s Thursday! Which means it’s time for my ResearchBlogging.org Editor’s Selections.

Here are my picks for this past week:

  • Can linguistic diversity be hazardous to your health? Sean Roberts at A Replicated Typo ran a series of statistical analyses on traffic patterns in Africa and found that the rate of road fatalities could predict linguistic diversity. Sean notes that being able to understand when someone shouts “Get out of the way!” has its benefits, and he has gamely released his data for others to review and duplicate.
  • Elsewhere on the web, Greg Laden ponders the origin of wine. It’s more than a natural process where grapes ferment on the vine and birds and small animals get drunk–wine is a social and cultural experience as well. There is a meaning to wine, which may date to about 8,000 year ago stemming from the southern Caucasus. Cheers.
  • And finally, Viking women have been in the news of late and at Powered by Osteons, Kristina Killgrove delivers a stellar analysis on the paper that has woken the media. Kristina takes issue with the language used to ascribe relationships and status to the female skeletons, which reflect more of our own social norms than anything else.

I’ll be back next week with more from the social sciences.

Krystal D'Costa About the Author: Krystal D'Costa is an anthropologist working in digital media in New York City. You can follow AiP on Facebook. Follow on Twitter @krystaldcosta.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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