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Posts Tagged "Halloween"

Anthropology in Practice

Clowns, Zombies, and Luck: More Halloween Favorites From Anthropology in Practice

Photo by Thomas Scilia, CC>

Haven’t had enough of ghosts and ghouls yet? Here are some favorites from Anthropology in Practice: Why are we afraid of clowns? Tricksters have a reputation for being bawdy, antisocial, and clever. They’re characters with whom many of us are quite familiar—Bugs Bunny, for example, is a trickster. Anansi the spider, Hermes, Loki, and Rumpelstiltskin [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Social Lessons from Our Favorite Horror Movies

Photo by Paree, CC.

I’m a fan of scary stories. With a few hours to spare, I’ll gladly spend them with Richard Matheson or Shirley Jackson. If I don’t have a few hours to spare, I’ll pass the time with whatever horror movie I can find playing in the background while I work. Yes, they can be campy. Yes, [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

We’re All a Little Irish, Even on Halloween

Turnip O'Lantern. | Image by kayepants, CC.

On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone claims to be a little Irish. But did you know there’s a strong Irish influence on the traditions that surround our favorite costumed holiday? It’s true. Halloween in the American colonies was a scant affair. While southern colonies were more likely to mark some sort of Halloween celebration than the [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Why is American Folklore Overrun with Phantom Hitchhikers?

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Jerry was driving home late one night when he saw a young lady waiting by a bus stop. He stopped his car and told her that he didn’t think the buses were running so late at night and offered her a ride. The fall night air was getting chilly, so he took off his jacket [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Happy Halloween from the SciAm Blog Network!

SciAm bloggers have been busy delving into the dark to explore things that go bump in the night and make your hair stand on end. Here’s a collection of the spooktacular posts you will want to investigate (with a flashlight): Revenge of the Zombifying Wasp Blithe Spirits: Science Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts The Vampire [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Why Are We Afraid of Clowns?

Ed. Note: What better way to round out Halloween than by considering why it is that clowns can strike fear into our hearts when they’re supposed to be harmless? Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns. And I’ll admit that they make me nervous. I’m not totally crazy about hanging out with folks who think wearing [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Anatomy of a Superstition: When Your Eye “Jumps”

Ed Note: Our foray into the spooky and superstitious continues with this look at a popular West Indian belief. This post originally appeared on AiP on October 25, 2010—and it was selected as a ResearchBlogging Editor’s Selection! Trinidadians have a rich collection of superstitions, many of which found their way to the island via colonialism. These [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

The American Fascination With Zombies

Ed note: As Halloween rapidly approaches in the US, AiP will be exploring superstitions, beliefs, and the things that go bump in the night. This post originally appeared on AiP on May 17th, 2011, in response to Zombie Awareness Month—oh, it’s real all right. It’s been slightly modified for this posting. I think I must [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

What Makes a Rabbit’s Foot Lucky?

Ed note: As Halloween rapidly approaches in the US, AiP will be exploring superstitions, beliefs, and the things that go bump in the night. [Evil laugh.] At some point, most of us have likely had a token that we believed would protect us or bring us luck. It could have been a baseball cap, a [...]

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Compound Eye

13 Horrifying Ways to Die (If You’re an Arthropod)

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Scared of insects, spiders, and other leggy arthropods? It could be worse. You could be one of them. At that size you face an array of dangers unlike anything you know from your comfortably large human existence. Here are just a few of the many perils you worry about as an arthropod. 1. Your guts [...]

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Compound Eye

13 Horrifying Ways To Die (Arthropod Edition)

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Scared of insects, spiders, or other leggy arthropods? It could be worse. You could be one of them. At that size you face an array of dangers unlike anything you know from your comfortably large human existence. Here are just a few of the many perils to worry about as an arthropod. 1. Your guts [...]

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Dog Spies

Three Ways Dogs Fail At Halloween

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Halloween is a peculiar holiday, especially for dogs. We two-legged beings all look different, and what’s with the constant doorbell-ringing? Weren’t you just here. Oh, I’m sorry. You’re Batman. He-Man was just here. My bad. I’ll keep barking. Dogs don’t exactly excel at Halloween, and here’s the lowdown on dogs, costumes, tricks, and treats. 1) [...]

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Not bad science

Top 10 Horror Movies Featuring Animals (and Behaviour)

One of my guilty pleasures is sci-fi movies featuring animal behaviour, especially when it’s done terribly. For something different from my usual articles, I decided that for Hallowe’en I’d highlight my top ten favourite good-bad movies that feature animal behaviour as a main theme (even if not intended that way).   10) Piranha 3D In [...]

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Roots of Unity

Zombie Fever: A Mathematician Studies a Pop Culture Epidemic

Helpful information for surviving the zombie apocalypse. Image: Todd Hryck, via flickr.

Zombies. They’re everywhere. My dentist and his assistant spent my last visit and chatting about The Walking Dead while drilling into my head, and it seems like every reasonably large town hosts a zombie run. Science education is getting in on the trend, too. Colleges have classes about zombies, AMC (the network that broadcasts The [...]

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Symbiartic

Stone-faced Birds Staring Out From Beyond the Grave

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The best Halloween stories are true. There is a lake in Tanzania, Lake Natron, that is so hostile to life that only two species, alkaline tilapia and blue-green algae can live in its deadly waters. For the rest of us, its water is so caustic it will burn your lungs (and melt the ink off [...]

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Symbiartic

Happy Hallowe’en from Symbiartic!

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Kalliopi, Katie and Glendon wish you a spooky Hallowe’en! Watch Symbiartic for more spooky science-art!

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Symbiartic

Parasite Got You Tied Up in Knots? Call in Alexander the Great

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Have you decided on your Halloween costume yet? If you haven’t already put many hours into this year’s costume, you might consider a new take on the old standby: the zombie. But not your average bloody, bandaged abomination… and for the love, not a mustached, hipster kind of zombie (judging from the prevalence of random [...]

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Symbiartic

T. Rex or Treat!

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Spooky paleo-papercraft from Tiffany Miller of deadraccoon.com ! (edit:) Here’s  a bit more about papercraft from Tiffany: The paper sculptures are created with found specialty papers. Minimal altering of color and pattern may be done. A drawing is carefully made, and the papers are cut and formed by hand to create a three dimensional collage. [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Real Life Werewolves? Dog Bites and Full Moons

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Happy Halloween! I decided to revise and repost this piece from November 1, 2010, on dog bites, full moons, and confirmation bias. Click the archives icon to see the original post. Our story begins in March 2000, when Dr. Simon Chapman and colleagues from the University of Sydney published a paper in which they assessed [...]

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