Part of my online life includes editorial duties at, where I serve as the Social Sciences Editor. Each Thursday, I pick notable posts on research in anthropology, philosophy, social science, and research to share on the News site. To help highlight this writing, I also share my selections here on AiP.

This week on

  • Is there a relationship between language density and habitat diversity? Tim DeChant explores this question at Per Square Mile with respect to Italian dialects.
  • A post at EvoAnth reports that four genes for skin tones have been discovered, shedding further light on this variable physical trait.
  • At Greg Laden's blog, readers are treated to a bit of botany related to tobacco and we learn that physical evidence has been found linking the Maya to tobacco use.
  • Navajos don't eat fish, according to teofilo at Gambler's House—and the taboo may apparently be traced linguistically.
  • At Body Horrors, Rebecca Kreston discusses the dangers of unsanitary shaving practices that mark an important Hajj ritual that may be leaving devotees susceptible to a blood-borne disease.

I'll be back next week with more from anthropology, philosophy, and research.