I just flew in from Boston, and boy are my arms tired. No? Not even a small smile? Okay, in all seriousness, I've been traveling so my selections for this week cover the work done by bloggers last week as well:

  • Overcrowding. Pollution. Safety. There are real concerns about life in urban centers, which are sometimes heralded as reasons to not choose to live in densely populated areas. However, Tim DeChant's most recent discussion at Per Square Mile on population density suggests that there may be real benefits that could have contributed to the development of complex societies.

  • At The Primate Diaries, Eric Michael Johnson shares recent research demonstrating that chimps display prosocial behaviors, and will lend a helping hand (or share rewards). For a long time, scientists have maintained that humans are uniquely altruistic, however, it seems we are not alone in this regard.

  • The author of This Is Serious Monkey Business highlights the intensity of female-female competition among baboons. Among humans, this sort of behavior would likely be termed jealousy and dismissed, but there are some definite parallels here that stem from more than the author's catchy title.

  • We tend to get so wound up over sex: Are we doing it enough? Am I really satisfying my partner? Am I hot enough? Is she faking it? What would people think if they knew I liked X? I can't be attracted to Y because I'm committed. And the list goes on. eHarmony Labs has a post up that explores how openness and equality in the bedroom can increase satisfaction across the board.

  • Among Gambian women, there may be a connection between birth size and twins: Elizabeth Preston at Inkfish discusses a longitudinal study that finds women who have twins tend to have bigger singletons as well. The reason may be traced back to hormones called insulin-like growth factors. Preston concludes with a nice reminder of the importance of context, reminding readers that these findings may not apply across the board.

I'll be back next week with more from the social sciences. And a PSA announcement before I go: There's a new carnival in town! The Roman Archaeology Carnival's inaugural edition is up at Powered By Osteons, so head on over and take a look.