Query plus ‘stuff’

i. My birthday is in two months, so I’ll probably be sending out a wish list in a couple of weeks (the kinds of books I usually want have to be sent from other parts of the world and that takes a lot of time…). Which means that now is a good time for you to recommend books and other stuff to me.

After reading this article on ‘The Real War 1939-1945’, (it’s quite long, don’t start reading it if you have but 5 or 10 minutes at your disposal – and thanks for linking to it Gwern!) I decided to add this book to my list. The author died just 6 days ago.

ii. A very good chess ressource. Also, this.

iii. Maybe the ‘good cholesterol’ isn’t all that good after all.

iv. A paper on the effects of alcohol on behaviour which some readers might find interesting.

v. Another one of Steven Farmer’s pharmacology lectures – Antimicrobial Agents 1:

vi. I read two whole chapters in The Human Past today, as well as part of a third. It’s a textbook, so (2,3-2,4?) chapters corresponds to ~10 hours of reading or so (one of the chapters was quite short). I decided to just add some related links from wikipedia below, in no particular order. This is some of the stuff I’ve been reading about:

Domestication of the pig
Terrace (agriculture)
Talheim Death Pit

City formation
Post-glacial rebound
Younger Dryas
Maglemosian culture
Beaker culture
Varna Cemetery
Linearbandkeramik (LBK) / Linear Pottery Culture (LPC)
Hallstatt culture
Lindow Man (featured article)
Ötzi the Iceman (people who read Razib Khan regularly will probably remember his posts on this one)

The climate-related stuff I found fascinating, but there’s only so much of that kind of stuff you can put into a book about ‘the human past’ so naturally the treatment of this subject was not as detailed as I’d perhaps have liked. Did you know that before the end of the last ice age, Japan wasn’t separated from the Asian mainland? Or that Tasmania was part of Australia? That you could walk from Britain to France? Do also read the articles on Sundaland and Doggerland and recall that not that long ago, you could walk from Asia to America… Also, “faunal evidence indicates the presence of domesticated cattle in the central Sahara by at least the 5th millenium BC. Only during the 3rd millenium BC did climate patterns change and the Sahara begin to take on the desert-like character it has today” (p.181) The world isn’t what it was, it’s very different, and you don’t actually need to go very far back in time to get very surprised at what has happened and how much things have changed.

Sorry for the infrequent updates.

May 29, 2012 - Posted by | alcohol, Anthropology, Archaeology, Books, Chess, Geology, History, Infectious disease, Lectures, Medicine, Microbiology, Personal, Pharmacology, Wikipedia

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