Tags: homology

Homology, Homoplasy and Systematics

This is my first biological anth paper (for a test). It's not that great, and I'm sure you can tell that I finished the last two pages this morning before I turned it in. The research for it was pretty interesting, though. I actually read somewhere around 14 articles, but decided that only a few (the ones I ended up referencing) were actually related to the topic, which was: Compare and contrast homology and homoplasy. Discuss how each type of characters are used in systematics. Include examples of both. I wasn't very good at staying on topic. In fact, I'm pretty sure I totally skirted the topic, and focused more on the debates surrounding the difficulties of defining and identifying homologies and homoplasies. Oh well.

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Running & Anthropology

Although I was still ridiculously sore from Tuesday, I decided to go on my usual run anyway. It was nice, although I didn't see any of my usual motivators (flocks of redwing black birds, calfs racing each other, surprised cows chewing their cud, etc). There was an old man walking on the side of the road. I ran faster to meet him. I'm thinking about incorporating some barefoot running on a treadmill once a week, which means the dreaded rec center.

When I'm not thinking about how hard it is to breath (I've NEVER been able to talk while I run, not even back in the days when I was running 3-4 miles and swimming the 500 3 times a week), I think about anthropology while I run. Today, I thought about my biological anthropology paper, which I should be working on right now. It's on homology and homoplasy and how they are used in systematics. The literature that I've read so far is rather dense, but I've tried to pick out 5 really good articles. Most of them are about the definition and/or identification of homoplasy and phylogenetic systematics. One person made a good point: that homoplasy might still refer to characteristics that arise from common ancestry, albeit very, very distant common ancestry. It's a good thing this paper only has to be 5 pages (as in, I can't more than that), although part of me wishes that the topic was either more specific or that there wasn't an assigned topic at all.

The rest of the time I thought about how I'm going to make my garb for gulf wars. I have a feeling that I'm getting so excited about sewing that I'm planning on making too many things. Also, I'm a perfectionist when it comes to garment-making. So, I don't want the garb to be functional. I also want it to look good, maybe not exactly specific to a certain period, but good.

I also thought about the physics of running: what the leg bones and foot bones do, how the pelvis moves. I imagined my organs bouncing around inside my abdominal cavity. I hope that doesn't really happen. Then I started paying more attention to what my body was actually doing. And, I kept feeling like I was leaning more to the right, and when I tried to correct it...well I couldn't really correct it. I don't know if it was because I was running on slightly uneven pavement (it's a pretty crappy road) or because of the 10 degree curve (to the right) that I actually -do- have in my spine. Or, maybe I just run really weird. I mean, I know my form is terrible.

I'm really excited about going to fighter practice again on Sunday. I think I was supposed to go to armor-making class tonight, but I -do- have this paper to write, which I should start working on right now.