Mama’s Boys

Male Chimpanzees Always Need Their Mothers     Motherhood is intense. A new mom not only has to recover from the birth and start breastfeeding, which is behaviorally and physically demanding but she also (usually) becomes life for a growing toddler. Children start out greatly dependent on their mothers, but that attachment wanes as kids grow up and become independent. But mothers can have a deep and lasting effect later in life when they contribute financially, allow adult children to live at home, or give emotional support even when their kids are…

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The Evolution of Waiting

  How Westerners Fail at the Waiting Game   So now we wait.   Yes, we’ve already waited ten whole months, but now we have to wait even more to get the vaccine that will save us from Covid-19 and break us out of this time of suspended animation.   But why is it so hard to wait?   We should be used to waiting; we do it all the time as we wait for the bus, a companion to show up, at the doctor’s office, a baby to be born, a…

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Anthropologists In Space

The Otherworldly Tale of Anthropologists and Space Aliens     On October 4, 1957, Russia launched the first satellite, the first human-made object, to orbit the earth, calling it “Sputnik” which is Russian for “traveler.” America wanted to be the first in space — after all, the Cold War was raging, and the space race was part of that war — but it took a year before they launched a similar U.S. satellite. Those launches, and the space race in general, were signs of a massive, universal, culture shift for the human…

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Why Numbers Matter

    Numbers are drawn symbols, or figures, that represent something else. The sign 2 is not just a slinky line; it is a collectively recognized and agreed upon symbol for two of something. Throughout history, that representation has made life a lot easier for transactions among people — it’s a lot easier if I write “I owe you 2 cows” than bringing the cows physically into the conversation and parading them around and forcing you to see that there are indeed 2 cows. Numbers are also the symbols used in counting, a numerical…

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