architecture · creativity · play

Fish-shaped Building Inaugurated in Hyderabad, India

The newly opened National Fisheries Development Board building in Hyderabad, India, designed to resemble a fish.

via Fish-shaped Building Inaugurated in Hyderabad, India.

I like the playfulness of the Fisheries team, at least. And it’s actually clever advertising to boot. Hopefully they won’t want to move for a few years, since I’m not sure who else might need a fish-shaped building. But it sure is a fun thing to see as you walk into work everyday.

anthropology · architecture · community · creativity · culture · design · environment · happiness

The Most Colorful Cities In The World

Living in the Pacific Northwest I can definitely appreciate the idea of adding more color to one’s life! Interestingly, it tends to be warmer climates that have the more colorful buildings, although Denmark and Finland has some of the most colorful interiors (and now exteriors) I’ve seen. Color has an amazing effect on human mental health and mood. People often talk about getting back into nature to see all the colors. Now, the colors can come to you (unless you live in a community with a rule against bright colors).

Urban life doesn’t have to be bleak and gray — in fact, many of the world’s cities pride themselves upon the bright palettes used to liven up their architecture. From the garish blue-walled buildings of Jodhpur, India, to the gentler pastels of Charleston, S.C., these cities are far from monotonous.

Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC
Nyhavn, Denmark
Buenos Aires, Argentina

More of The Most Colorful Cities In The World: Pics, Videos, Links, News.

health · mental health

Worshiping what’s wrong with us

A baby girl was born in India with two faces, and is not only surprisingly healthy, but is being worshiped as a Hindu deity.
Another little girl from India who had been born with multiple limbs is doing well after surgery to remove the extra limbs and repair internal organs.
And then just because my Professor Joan Stevenson has resparked my interest in this subject, I wanted to post a couple of articles about having a “disorder”
The benefits of ADD
Some good characteristics associated with dyslexia
Martin Luther King Jr.’s struggle with depression


culture halted and culture preserved

Comet over Canada killed Clovis? (ooh, alliteration):
Rafe has already debunked it.

I don’t know why I thought the Smithsonian would be immune to political pressure, especially when you’re just down the street from the White House…:

Six states in India ban sex-ed because it might be offensive to Indian culture. According to the article, India has the highest amount per capita of HIV.

THIS is what I would love to do as a living: help people preserve traditional culture like this woman is doing in her village
Pull quote: “Traditions were always meant to serve the present,” she says. “We may not be fully nomadic, as we were in the past, but we still travel to visit family, or pay respects, or attend initiation ceremonies. Hunting is still hunting, even if our men use rifles and Land Cruisers. Our culture doesn’t teach us to hide from new things, and in many ways modern life is easier and less violent than our old ways. But that doesn’t mean the altyerre is any less important or sacred to us.”
The native Australians and Maori seem to be the most successful at preserving and maintaining, just on what little I’ve read. It’d be fun to figure out what they’re doing right and if it could be applied to U.S. (even if it’s just nicer politicians).


First, researchers have discovered primate fossils in Yellowstone National Park that date back to way before the first undisputed primate (55 million years ago):

I was surprised that they found this in North America, but then I only know about human migrations, but honestly I have no idea where they’ve found other primate fossils, and they have done research that shows horses actually developed in North America and then moved into Europe and Asia, so migration among the continents seems common enough.

On to humans:
This article talks about how Indian women are “renting” their wombs to infertile couples who can get a better price in India (up to $5000, versus $10,000 in the U.S.):,,0,4100387.story?coll=la-home-headlines
These articles talk about the cultural implications, how it’s mostly lower-middle-class wives, are rich countries taking advantage of people in need, etc., which is all important, but my first thought was about the biology of it all.
More and more research is showing that the lifelong health and nutrition of the mother have a big effect on the fetus. I don’t mean to sound negative, but India is a poor country (hence why $5000 goes such a long way). The country doesn’t have a very good health care system, a lot of Indians probably don’t have very good nutrition, and living in a big Indian city like Mumbai or New Delhi is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day! They said the majority of these women are living in Anand, which is India’s milk production capital according to Reuters, so the Anand women are possibly healthier overall because of easy access to the milk and they are possibly more prosperous than some other cities, but, bear with me here, I still think it fairly possible that by outsourcing fetus-growth services to a developing nation would result in a lesser-quality product (i.e. baby), as well as putting women at a greater risk for illness and death from the stress of carrying an extra child to term (all these surrogates already have at least one surviving child).
I have spent time in India, and have just spent months writing an article on entrepreneurship in India, and I know that in some ways India is ahead of the game, but in some ways they’re really far behind.
I could be delving into this way too much and I should also point out that so many U.S. women spend their lives drinking Coca-cola and eating McDonald’s, and their kids come out healthy (although they may not stay that way eating that crap), but it just made me stop and think.
Disclaimer: I am also not a mother, medical doctor, or even biological anthropologist, just your average cultural anthropologist who lives with an evolutionary biologist and in a community of hippies that talk about Chakras and don’t drink caffeine while pregnant (although doctors just recently decided a pregnant woman can drink up to three cups of coffee a day without potentially harming the fetus. Just shows that medicine isn’t exact).