Slightly off-topic from my usual topics, but I recently made a video about being an adult and what it means, and I want to share.  I think I’m doing adulthood fairly well for my circumstances.  I have a job (and potentially more than one).  I have grad school.  I’m about to finish a beautiful internship at the Missouri History Museum.  I live with my family, and it’s a very long drive to the nearest city, so I feel very disconnected from everything, but I’m beginning to get a better grip on life again.  I’m beginning to feel like a real adult, and I like it.

What makes you feel like an adult?  Let’s chat about it in the comments!


Around The Web

This is the first installment of something I’m trying out.  I’d like to share some nerdy links with you guys, and I’ve been collecting them this week.  Here goes.


This is in no way a nerdy link, I just really like this picture of my dog.


Perfect for this time of year, The Evolving Face of Santa from Smithsonian Magazine.  Not only does this have a cool slideshow of past Santa images, but it gives you a basic intro to Santa in the US.

Why do we wear white wedding dresses?  Because Queen Victoria did.  Try explaining this one to your very old-fashioned grandmother, I dare you.

Did Civil War soldiers suffer from PTSD?  I’d wager that most historians, or anyone who’s ever studied the Civil War in an academic setting would say yes, this is not surprising.  But I’m quite glad it’s being talked about, because it may help to remove some of the stigma from modern cases of PTSD.


The Pantheon has withstood an awful lot of earthquakes, invasions, and weather over the last two thousand years.  How?  Apparently, it’s all about volcanic ash.

The oldest organized town in Scandinavia might be even older than anyone thought, from Archaeology Magazine.

Also, archaeologists have identified the oldest dated bronze item in Britain: a dagger found in 1989.  It was found with Racton Man, who stood more than six feet tall, and was older than 45 when he died.


Just For Fun
Things We Believe In Our Twenties That Aren’t Actually True – from Business Insider

How To Roast Tomatoes (do you know how long this task has been put off in my Any.Do?  DO YOU?  No, you probably don’t.  At least 45 days).

The Orphan Black Season 3 trailer is here!  Let’s freak out together!

Scorch Marks: A Poem


Interesting Reads

I’m off at work/internship today, so instead of a well-written original post (okay, even I couldn’t write that with a straight face, well-written?) let’s chat about what we’re reading.

Lately I’ve been reading a lot about paleontology and extinct human species.  So I thought I’d share the last two weeks of reads with you guys.


Since I finished The Casual Vacancy I needed something a bit less dramatic.  Saxons, Vikings, and Celts by Bryan Sykes is just what I needed.  This is all about the genetic ancestry of the peoples of the British Isles.  Or, as I like to call it, the sweet spot where history and science meet.  I also picked up the book All The Lovely Bad Ones from my local library, and it’s meant for kids about 13, but it’s a fun read.


I started reading Science Magazine’s website, and found that they have a HUGE section on paleontology and fossil humans. For a random sampling: How We Domesticated Ourselves | Pregnant Fossil Mare & Fetus | Profile of Rachel Watkins (my favorite anthropology professor)


Early Europeans Weathered Ice Age | BBC World News recently posted this article, which is super interesting if you’re like me and into this sort of thing.

Ice Age Babies Surrounded by Weapon Found in Alaska | Smithsonian Magazine is always good for science, anthropology, and history articles.

The Long History of Disease and Fear of the “Other” | In this time of crazy outlandish fears about Ebola, it’s important to remember the cultural history of disease and othering.

George Washington Didn’t Have Wooden Teeth | I touched on this a bit in my American April Misconceptions video, but the myth about wooden teeth is just that – a myth.


Kim Kardashian Doesn’t Realize She’s the Butt of an Old Racial Joke | This article from The Grio sums up exactly what I thought when I saw the photos of Kim Kardashian from the Paper Magazine photoshoot.  The images reminded me very much of Saartjie Baartman, also known as the Hottetot Venus.  They conjure up a long history of the exploitation of the bodies of women, especially women of color.  On the other hand, I’m not about policing what another woman does with her body – mother or not.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Response | Just for good measure, the Met weighed in with an art history comparison and it’s good to remember that everything has a longer context than the last few years.


I’ve been incredibly into slam poems recently, and Button Poetry is my current favorite channel for them.  Some personal faves?  The Tampon Poem | Thighs | The First Time I Met His Mother | Fantastic Breasts And Where To Find Them | Khaleesi | Sleeping On God | Girl Code 101 | The Nineteen Text Messages To You Stuck In My Drafts Box | Mother of Dragons | One Side of an Ongoing Conversation with Sharon, My Therapist

(I also shared a very short slam poem called Scorch Marks and you should definitely go watch it.)

Scorch Marks | Poetry

This morning, I shared a spoken word poem on my YouTube channel called Scorch Marks.  I wrote it to be read aloud, but I think it can stand on its own two feet as a written word poem.  You can watch me perform it here.  Sharing a spoken word poem on my YouTube channel was one of my Revised 25 By 25 goals.

I want to paint my name in the sky

The clouds as brushes for my artist’s eye

I want to be a constellation,

Connect the dots of the stars above,

Be the star of legends for generations.

I want to scorch the earth

Leave fires burning in my wake.

I want to see the bottom of every ocean,

And make sure burns aren’t the only marks I make.

Holiday Strife: Families

The holidays can be incredibly painful for a lot of people.  They bring up feelings of anger, sadness, and pain.  As much as I wish they were, holidays are rarely as beautiful as sappy movies make them out to be.  If you’re feeling complicated and painful things this holiday season, your feelings are valid.  This is actually such an important topic to me that I made a video about it.

Anthropology Toolbox

On my YouTube channel I create videos on lots of topics.  One of those is Anthropology.  I was an anthro minor, and I spent a lot of time on anthropology as an undergrad.  Part of me still wants to study fossil hominids.  One day I’d like to expand my videos into this area, but for now, I’m filling the anthropology toolbox.

Anthropology Toolbox

But what is an Anthropology Toolbox?  Well, it’s the metaphorical box where you store your theorists, theories, terms, and other tools for anthropological analysis.

I started referring to the anthropology toolbox while I was an undergrad, when writing anthropology papers and choosing which way to analyze a situation, event, or culture.  I’d pick and choose from the tools I had – like functionalism, structuralism, or Durkheim’s theories – and put some of them into use when appropriate.  Not all tools are useful in all situations.  You wouldn’t try to loosen a stripped screw with a sledgehammer would you?


The Enormity of Time

Today I released a video on my channel entitled “Enormity of Time” about just how ancient the world really is.  History is incredibly ancient, and incredibly enormous.  When I have existential crises I often think about just how old the Earth really is, so I’m going to share it with you.  In the form of a timeline, and a video.

The Roman Empire was formed in 27 BCE.

Boudicca led the Iceni revolt in 60-61 CE.

Nero fiddled in 64 CE.

The Colosseum was constructed from 70-80 CE.

via Flickr

Parthenon via

The Parthenon was built between 447-438 BCE.


Stonehenge was built between 3100 BCE – 2200 BCE.

Great Zimbabwe via Jan Derk

Great Zimbabwe via Jan Derk

Great Zimbabwe was created, flourished, and crumbled between the eleventh and the fourteenth centuries CE.

Harrappan civilization flourished between 3300 BCE and 1900 BCE.

Mohenjo Daro was founded in about 2600 BCE, and had city-wide sewers before anyone else.

Civilization in the Indus River Valley developed irrigation around 2500 BCE.

Cleopatra and Caesar by Jean-Léon Gérôme

Cleopatra VII was born in 69 BCE.

The Great Pyramid of Giza was constructed in 2584 BCE.

That time difference is 2,515 years.

The first moon landing was in 1969 CE.

That time difference was 2,038 years, which puts Cleopatra’s birth 477 years closer to the moon landing than to the building of the Great Pyramid.


Let’s get way more ancient.  We outlived Homo Neanderthalensis 25,000 years ago, and Homo Floresiensis 12,000 years ago.  The humans who would become Europeans, Asians, Americans, Australians, et al began migrating from Africa 125,000 years ago.  Humans have only been on the planet for 200,000 years.  Which seems long until you put it in context.

Homo Floresiensis Reconstruction by John Gurche via

Hominids developed about 15 million years ago, but didn’t develop bipedalism until 3 million years ago.  So for 12 million years our hominid ancestors were quadrupedal.  Before hominids though, there were other primates, and they developed 85 million years ago.  But primates are only part of the mammalian class, which developed 256 million years ago.


How incredible is that?  Seems pretty ancient now huh?  Well I’m about to blow what’s left of your mind.

This streamlines evolution, but is a great illustration. via

Life migrated onto land 360 million years ago.  But before animals adapted to live on land, they had to develop brains right?  But they developed brains 190 million years before they became adapted to live on land.  Which means brains developed 550 million years ago.


To me what’s incredible is how short some things are in truly ancient prehistory.  It took 550 million years to develop from fish with brains to modern humans, but it only took 50 million years to develop from primitive multicellular organisms to fish with brains.  Multicellular life developed from single-cellular life 600 million years ago.

And the final way that I’m going to blow your mind is this: the Earth is 4.54 billion years old, and life began on the planet 3.6 billion years ago.


Boom.  Is your mind blown?  Mine is.  I’d really appreciate it if you’d watch the video above, because I’m incredibly proud of it.  And if you like the video, please subscribe to my channel here.