(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘domestication

“A chicken in every pot”*…

How and when were chickens domesticated, and turned into a staple source of protein? As Ann Gibbons reports, new studies propose a surprisingly late date, and a link to rice cultivation…

From chicken biryani to khao mun gai, chicken and rice is a winning combo worldwide. But the two are more inextricably linked than even chefs realized. A pair of new archaeological studies suggest that without rice, chickens may have never existed.

The work reveals that chickens may have been domesticated thousands of years later than scientists thought, and only after humans began cultivating rice within range of the wild red jungle fowl, in Thailand or nearby in peninsular Southeast Asia, says Dale Serjeantson, an archaeologist at the University of Southampton who was not involved with the research. The studies, she says, have “dismantled many of the hoary myths about chicken origins.”…

A savory story: “How the wild jungle fowl became the chicken,” from @evolutionscribe in @ScienceMagazine.

* 1928 Republican Party campaign slogan (to which the Democrats responded: “Don’t have a pot to put it in”)

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As we ponder poultry, we might spare a thought for Lillian Evelyn Moller Gilbreth; she died on this date in 1972.  One of the first working female engineers holding a Ph.D., she was arguably the first true industrial/organizational psychologist.  With her husband Frank Gilbreth, she was one of the first “efficiency experts” helping establish the fields of motion study and human factors.  She is perhaps best remembered as the subject of Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes (charming books written by their children Ernestine and Frank Jr.) recounting the couple’s family life with their twelve children, and their application of time and motion study to the organization and daily routines of such a large family.

As we’ve seen before, she was instrumental in the development of the modern kitchen, creating the “work triangle” and linear-kitchen layouts that are often used today– enabling the preparation of lots of chicken.

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 2, 2023 at 1:00 am

“To paraphrase several sages: Nobody can think and hit someone at the same time”*…

 

Beast within

“Stranded on the Island of Circe” by Paul Reid

 

What was the driving force that made us human, akin to but separate from other apes and our evolutionary cousins such as the Neanderthals? In The Goodness Paradox, the anthropologist Richard Wrangham approvingly quotes Frederick the Great in pointing to “the wild beast” within each man: our nature, he argues, is rooted in an animal violence that morphed over time to become uniquely human. When male human ancestors began to plot together to execute aggressive men in their communities, indeed to carry out such killings through what Wrangham calls “coalitionary proactive aggression”, they were launched towards full humanity…

At some point after the evolutionary split from the non-human ape lineage – probably around 300,000 years ago, Wrangham thinks – our male ancestors began to do what the chimpanzees could not: plot together to execute aggressive males in their own social groups. How do we know this? Because we see evidence of “the domestication syndrome” under way in our ancestors at this time, indicating that they were becoming less in thrall to reactive aggression…

During human evolution, of course, no other more dominant species controlled the process: instead, we domesticated ourselves by eliminating the most aggressive males in our social groups. Our bodies did signal what was happening. Around 315,000 years ago, for example, “the first glimmerings of the smaller face and reduced brow ridge [compared to earlier human ancestors] that signal the evolution of Homo sapiens” began to show up. Sex differences in the skeleton soon began to diminish. Our species was set apart from all other human-like ones, including the Neanderthals, who did not self-domesticate…

How the human species domesticated itself: “Wild beast within.”

* Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others

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As we take it easy. we might recall that it was on this date in 1836 that Samuel Colt and a group of financial backers chartered that Patent Arms Manufacturing Company of Paterson, New Jersey, a company formed to produce what became the first commercially-successful revolvers.  The revolver was pioneered by other inventors; Colt’s great contribution was the use of interchangeable parts.  He envisioned that all the parts of every Colt gun would be be interchangeable and made by machine, to be assembled later by hand– that’s to say, his goal, later realized, was an assembly line.

220px-Samuel_Colt_engraving_by_John_Chester_Buttre,_c1855 source

 

Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 5, 2019 at 1:01 am

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