All Hail the Atlatl

Woman the Able Hunter     As we have been culturally taught, women are considered the “weaker” sex and yet given the chance, women can easily rise to the challenge of unscrewing a jar, opening a stuck window, and moving furniture using a little ingenuity. And now, a recent study of an archaic tool called the atlatl, or spear thrower, proves that this kind of female ingenuity has been serving women for centuries and making them competent hunters alongside men. The atlatl is a simple J-shaped piece of carved wood with a…

Continue Reading All Hail the Atlatl

Do Big Brains Make Us Smart?

The Answer is No     Humans have the largest brain-to-body ratio of any animal. We have giant, complicated, brains that should make us the smartest animals on  Earth. But oddly, we spend so much of our time trying to dull that intelligence—we drink alcohol, take drugs, go shopping, have sex, watch TV, look at our phones for hours, read, talk to each other a lot, and spend most of the day with useless thoughts wandering through all those brain cells.   In other words, we have big brains but can’t handle…

Continue Reading Do Big Brains Make Us Smart?

Everything on Earth

How Natural History Museums Around the World Are Dusting Off Their Vast Collections to Answer the Most Critical Questions of Our Time   The group of third graders being led through the Hall of Biodiversity at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City have no idea. The couple from California admiring the stuffed African elephant standing proudly in the rotunda of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington D.C. is clueless. The group of older visitors taking the “Nature Walk” to view various recreated animal habitats at the Chicago…

Continue Reading Everything on Earth

10 Reasons Why It’s Better to Teach at Abbott Elementary than Cornell University

I’ve Watched One and Done the Other, so I Know     Not all teaching is the same. I know this because I went to school from kindergarten through five years of graduate school and experienced all kinds of teachers along the way. Also, for over 30 years I taught anthropology at Cornell University, day after day, month after month, year after year, decade after decade, everything from giant classes of 120 students to small seminars with four or five students. In addition, I am the parent of a daughter who went…

Continue Reading 10 Reasons Why It’s Better to Teach at Abbott Elementary than Cornell University