Monday, August 13, 2007

Peter in the news ...

In its August issue, Allure magazine ran an article by Maghan Daum on the origins of blond hair, including a summary of my work on the subject. I had talked with Maghan earlier over the phone, in addition to sending her the following capsule summary:

"Until 10,000 years ago, tundra covered Europe and the only food was migrating herds. Only a very able hunter could provide for a second wife, so polygamy was rare and women had to compete for mates. Men were also in short supply because they ran a high risk of death while hunting herds over long distances. The resulting sexual selection favored women with bright, novel, or striking hair and eye colors, such as blond hair."

The article was nicely written. I didn't expect to see this kind of stuff in a fashion magazine!

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On August 10, I was a guest on The Leonard Lopate Show (WNYC/New York Public Radio (93.9 FM/820 AM) for a weekly series titled "Please Explain." The topic was hair – on the head and on the body, e.g., How did different ethnic groups end up with different colored hair, and different amounts of hair on the body? How is hair linked to skin and eye color? What evolutionary purposes does hair serve? Are some ethnic groups more likely to go bald than others?

How did I do? I suspect that my nervousness was audible, at least during the first half of the show. To be honest, I’m not used to giving quick answers to questions, even when they’re nicely put to me. God knows how I would do in a more confrontational situation!

1 comment:

Terentia said...

Good for people to know.