linkfest – 05/14/13

Emergence of Individuality in Genetically Identical Mice“Our results show that factors unfolding or emerging during development contribute to individual differences in structural brain plasticity and behavior.” – the nuture side of nature-nuture. – see also Mice, Men, and Fate.

Mysterious Minoans Were European, DNA Finds“[T]he research team analyzed DNA from ancient Minoan skeletons that were sealed in a cave in Crete’s Lassithi Plateau between 3,700 and 4,400 years ago…. The researchers found that the Minoan skeletons were genetically very similar to modern-day Europeans — and especially close to modern-day Cretans, particularly those from the Lassithi Plateau. They were also genetically similar to Neolithic Europeans, but distinct from Egyptian or Libyan populations.” see also dienekes.

Chinese project probes the genetics of genius“Bid to unravel the secrets of brainpower faces scepticism.”

Dogs and Humans Evolved Together, Study Suggests“[B]oth species underwent similar changes in genes responsible for digestion and metabolism, such as genes that code for cholesterol transport. Those changes could be due to a dramatic change in the proportion of animal versus plant-based foods that occurred in both at around the same time, the researchers said. The team also found co-evolution in several brain processes — for instance, in genes that affect the processing of the brain chemical serotonin. In humans, variations in these genes affect levels of aggression.”

How to spot a murderer’s brain“Do your genes, rather than upbringing, determine whether you will become a criminal? Adrian Raine believed so – and breaking that taboo put him on collision course with the world of science.”

Clark/Frost Domestication“Thinking about the response of the pacified and submission Roman population to barbarian invaders immediately brings to mind the response of contemporary North Americans and Atlantic Europeans to barbarian invaders. It reads just the same: ‘welcome new neighbor!'” – from henry harpending.

Ovulation and politics“‘Ovulation led single women to become more liberal, less religious, and more likely to vote for Barack Obama. In contrast, ovulation led women in committed relationships to become more conservative, more religious, and more likely to vote for Mitt Romney.'” – from mr. mangan.

The Personality and Geography of the Entrepreneur“German psychologists Martin Obschonka and colleagues…used Rentfrow’s [big five personality] data to create a measure of Entrepreneur-prone personality profile for the different states in America.” – another really cool post from staffan!

Linguists identify 15,000-year-old ‘ultraconserved words’“A team of researchers has come up with a list of two dozen ‘ultraconserved words’ that have survived 150 centuries. It includes some predictable entries: ‘mother,’ ‘not,’ ‘what,’ ‘to hear’ and ‘man.’ It also contains surprises: ‘to flow,’ ‘ashes’ and ‘worm.’ The existence of the long-lived words suggests there was a ‘proto-Eurasiatic’ language that was the common ancestor to about 700 contemporary languages that are the native tongues of more than half the world’s people.”

The Mating Advantage of Male Musicians: Women Find Guitars Sexy“Studies from two countries suggest women are more attracted to a man if he’s holding a guitar.” – more science proving what everybody already knows! (~_^)

More men than women harassed in the military, often by other men – from the awesome epigone.

Redheads are at increased risk of skin cancer even if they DON’T spend time in the sun

Children with Autism Hypersensitive to Motion

Privacy protections: The genome hacker“Yaniv Erlich shows how research participants can be identified from ‘anonymous’ DNA.”

Tajikistan to Ban Cousin Marriage“Formal prohibition unlikely to stamp out widespread tradition.” – h/t anatoly!

Tutankhamun’s death and the birth of monotheism

bonus: USG Pushing Unconstitutional College Speech Codes“The government which rules over Americans is trying to further reduce free speech on college campuses…. Evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller, author of The Mating Mind, sees this new federal mandate as a threat to the ability to teach the truth about human nature.” – from parapundit.

bonus bonus: Could Lighning Come from Space? – that would be FRIGGIN’ AWESOME!!

bonus bonus bonus: from the u.k. – Former minister admits Labour deliberately engineered mass immigration and A fifth of murder and rape suspects born abroad, shock survey finds.

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Immigrant workers undermine wage growth“Immigrant workers, mainly from other Nordic countries, have a negative effect on the pay checks of Norwegian employees. Workers with minimal skills and little experience are the most vulnerable.”

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: First land animals kept their fish faces

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Genome shows macaw is one smart bird

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Study: Plants communicate with each other via underground fungi

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logan wasn’t alone

Egypt’s women face growing sexual harassment
By Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times
February 23, 2011

“On the night Hosni Mubarak fell from power, the crowds that rejoiced in Cairo’s central square were so dense, so roiling and rowdy that Mohamed Assyouti couldn’t push his way through when his girlfriend, Mariam Nekiwi, was assaulted several yards away.

“‘A group of men surrounded her from four directions and closed her off,’ he said.

“First someone grabbed her groin, she said. Other hands groped the rest of her body, pinching hard and yanking at her clothes. She was shoved one way and then the other. The frenzy was so sudden, the crush so stifling, that she could barely see. She shouted, and then screamed. The reaction was swift.

“‘People started yelling at me to be quiet,’ recalled Nekiwi, a 24-year-old video editor, still shaken by the ordeal. ‘They said: “Don’t tarnish the revolution. Don’t make a scene.” They said: “We are men. We’re sorry. Just go now.”‘

“Later that night, Feb. 11, CBS News correspondent Lara Logan came under what the network later described as a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating by a mob of unidentified men in another part of Tahrir Square….

“In 2008, Komsan’s group polled 2,020 Egyptians and 109 non-Egyptian women. The results: 83% of Egyptian women and 98% of foreign women surveyed said they had suffered sexual harassment. About half the women said they were harassed every day.

“The research showed that more than two-thirds of the women reporting abuse wore traditional Muslim head scarves or robes. Some even wore a flowing body-length black burka, with veil and gloves. Fewer than a third of the women wore Western attire.”

previously: sexual harassment and rape in egypt…

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sexual harassment and rape in egypt…

…has been a major problem long before lara logan got there.

back in 2006, an incident very like logan’s happened in cairo only with egyptian women. it was during the eid ul-fitr festival which marks the end of ramadan. here’s one description of what happened:

“The story is as follows for the those of you who didn’t hear about it: It was the first day of Eid, and a new film was opening downtown. Mobs of males gatherd trying to get in, but when the show was sold out, they decided they will destroy the box office. After accomplishing that, they went on what can only be described as a sexual frenxy: They ran around grabbing any and every girl in sight, whether a niqabi, a Hijabi or uncoverd. Whether egyptian or foreigner. Even pregnant ones. They grabbed them, molested them, tried to rip their cloths off and rape them, all in front of the police, who didn’t do shit. The good people of downtown tried their best to protect the girls. Shop owners would let the girls in and lock the doors, while the mobs tried to break in. Taxi drivers put the girls in the cars while the mobs were trying to break the glass and grab the girls out. It was a disgusting pandamonium of sexual assaults that lasted for 5 houres from 7:30 PM to 12:30 am, and it truns my stomach just to think about it.”

u prolly never heard about these incidents ’cause, for one thing, they were never widely reported in the egyptian news (let alone our lamestream media). at least not at first. not until some egyptian bloggers starting reporting on it. this was one of the first instances when egyptian bloggers really flexed their muscles. (go bloggers!)

in fact, sexual harassment and rape of women in egypt has been increasing over the last few years. (or maybe reporting has increased?)

a lot of explanations have been put forward for why.

exposure to things from western culture, like scantily clad women, affecting egyptian men’s brains in a negative way. actually, there’s prolly an element of truth to that. it doesn’t follow what works ok-ish in our society (western women don’t get harassed 24/7 even though they go around relatively scantily clad) will work ok everywhere else on the planet. egyptians are different. they have different biologies, different histories, a different cultural background. suddenly being able to download free pr0n whenever they like might just unhinge a lot of egyptian men.

another reason suggested for the upswing in bad behavior by egyptian men is that they’re frustrated ’cause it’s become so expensive to marry and settle down these days. egyptian men are, the thinking goes, sexually and reproductively frustrated. i think there’s something to that, too. having to delay marriage until ur in ur 30s and having little access to women otherwise. sure they’re frustrated!

the particular incidents of the eid festival 2006 and lara logan happened during emotionally heated, pumped-up-on-testosterone moments. the eid festival celebrates the end of a month long time of abstinence (including sex) and, in the 2006 case, the young men were all worked up after their looting of the movie theater. in logan’s case, the men there were obviously worked up after a couple of weeks of anti-mubarak protests. like i said over @ ferdinand’s:

“my first thought, too, when i read about this was wtf was she doing there?!?! no, that is NO place for a woman to be. no place at all. especially not an attractive woman! h*ll, i wouldn’t even want to be in a crowd celebrating a lakers nba championship win let alone in a crowd of middle eastern men pumped up on testosterone! good lord.”

i’d like to throw out there one other reason why i think sexual harassment has been increasing in egypt lately. it’s prolly ’cause increasing numbers of women have been moving to urban areas (i.e. away from their homeplaces) for college or work or whatever. they’ve been moving to places where they are not very related to the men, unlike back at home.

recall about the effects of inbreeding on social behaviors:

“the MORE you are related to your relatives (for instance, ’cause ur clan members have been inbreeding for generations), you’d think the MORE you’d favor them.”

and, conversely, in an inbred society, the more you are NOT related to your neighbors, the more you are likely to treat them harshly.

egyptians have become more mobile and are increasingly moving to urban areas away from their extended families. but the level of inbreeding has not yet caught up with (or, rather, ratcheted down to) this new living arrangement. the population is still one of very inbred clans, but the members of the clans have become more disperse. i would think this would create all sorts of problems for a while. i would expect that all sorts of crime have gone up, not just sexual harassment.

this dispersal of clan members into urban settings probably (at least partially) explains the increased sexual harassment AND the increasing use of the hijab in the country:

as stanley kurtz wrote about the sitch in afghanistan:

“The Taliban’s code of womanly behavior was intentionally directed toward the cities. The aim was to ‘purify’ those areas of Afghanistan that had been ‘corrupted’ by modernization. But the Taliban never bothered to enforce its rules in traditional areas. Actually, in most Afghan villages, women rarely wear the burka. That’s because villages in Afghanistan are organized into kin-oriented areas, and the veil needs wearing only when a woman is among men from outside of her kin group. A rural woman puts on a burka for travel, especially to cities. Yet just by exiting her home, a woman in a modern city inevitably mixes with men who are not her kin. That’s why the Taliban prohibited the modernized women of Kabul from so much as stepping onto the street without a male relative. So the real problem with the veil in Afghanistan was the Taliban’s attempt to impose the traditional system of veiling on a modernizing city. Yet, remarkable as it may seem, many modernizing urban women throughout the Middle East have freely accepted at least a portion of the Taliban’s reasoning. These educated women have actually taken up the veil — and along with it, Muslim fundamentalism.”

mating patterns matter. biology matters. ’nuff said!

update 02/23: see also logan wasn’t alone

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