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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?


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 1st, 2006 05:04 am (UTC)
There's two stories that made the news recently that reminded me of you: the first is the archeological team discovering the Tambora civilization underneath a volcano. The second is the forest full of newly discovered species in...Papua New Guinea?

Tambora story: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,,1720406,00.html

Mar. 2nd, 2006 02:42 am (UTC)
I hadn't heard about either of those yet; thanks for sharing the news!

Even though the Ozette archaeological site (a Makah village that was buried during a mudslide 500 years ago) is really close to my old hometown on the Olympic Peninsula I don't think I've ever been there. I should probably do something about that before I leave Washington ...
Mar. 1st, 2006 05:12 am (UTC)
oh my gosh Paul I can't believe you've been up that long :( you're amazing....i could never do that! haha

those molten chocolate cakes look abosultely sinful

and that's so interesting about the macaques...but was it really a good idea to give them potatoes? haha. i mean i'm sure they're not bad for them, but it seems a little out of place with the fish.
Mar. 2nd, 2006 02:15 am (UTC)
It got to the point where I'd go through cycles of feeling extremely tired and then completely normal, but last night I slept for six hours and that's helped quite a bit.

At first we thought the cakes were a little small, but after thinking about how much chocolate they have and how rich they taste we soon realized it would be next to impossible to finish anything larger.

Well, I think the macaques eat more than just seafood in the wild? On Honshu they frequently get into crops, so giving them a supply of food probably keeps them from foraging in places where they don't belong.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 2nd, 2006 02:19 am (UTC)
Not at all. In fact, if you're interested there's a really interesting clip about nematode worms hijacking the brains of insects here: [French | English]
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )