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February 28th, 2006

no sleep 'til brooklyn

I woke up on Sunday at a little after nine o'clock in the morning and haven't gotten any sleep since then. The main reason for this is my archaeology report, which I didn't finish until a quarter after seven on Monday morning - four hours before it was due. The report came out to 17 pages, single-spaced, and and took a total of nineteen hours to complete. That's pretty much an entire day of my life devoted to writing one assignment. How absurd.

Last night was also spent without sleep, although for reasons that had nothing to do with school. I was going to watch French soccer highlights over at Derek and Wendell's apartment but couldn't find the right channel and subsequently missed the program. It was so quiet that I stayed over to do some reading for class until Violet showed up after she was finished with work - I washed dishes while she cooked (funny, since neither of us actually lives there) and made molten chocolate cakes for dessert. Even though there were eight people at the apartment that night it was just the two of us in the kitchen and living room, and following dinner we watched Transporter 2, which Violet had picked up from the local rental store. Not the best movie, but certainly better than most of the sequels out on the market today. Once the movie was over we flipped over to the television and watched a documentary on macaques in Japan - which immediately caught our attention and turned out to be fairly interesting.

According to the program there is a population on Koshima Island that uses patch foraging to collect octopus and various fish species from the ocean (they're the only group of monkeys that have been observed swimming in the ocean), while their diet has also been complimented by red potatoes that researchers began bringing over in the late 1960s. Over time the macaques began washing the potatoes before consuming them, first in a freshwater stream before switching to saltwater, and also used something akin to the archaeological process of flotation screening to gather seeds - dropping handfuls of sand and seeds into the water, with the sand sinking to the bottom and the seeds remaining on the surface to be picked out and eaten. Also of note was that the macaque population quickly increased to 20 times its original size once a regular provisioning pattern was established; the show didn't make any further comments on this, but it might prove useful in exploring the relationship between sedentism and population explosions seen in human populations between 14,000 to 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture.

I mentioned to Violet how she had sounded pretty exhausted during the previous week (including over the phone) and her reply was that it was from feeling really tired after coming back from the extended weekend. Yuka even asked me about how she was doing at the start of the week, as Violet had skipped a group meeting for their class without telling anyone she would be gone. However, she was in a very good mood while at Wendy's house on Sunday (more on that later), and for what it's worth I was invited to go with her to Seattle over the university's spring break. I wonder how that's going to work out?