Brigid Daull Brockway is technically a writer

Brigid Daull Brockway is technically a writer

A blog about words, wordplay, and etymology, with slightly more than occasional political rants.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


So I was watching a few minutes of PBS while my hair was turning blondish. And as a result of the fact that I was watching while my hair was changing color, I only saw a few minutes. But it was about neanderthals, who fascinate to no end.
They were talking about how neanderthals were a little dumb, and may not have had the right brain composition for creating language. They said that we might be able to surmise, from the size and shape of their brain, that their parietal and temporal lobes may have been smaller than ours. The graphic showed this super massive frontal lobe. Knowing, as I do, about ten facts about the human brain, I know that the frontal lobe controls our sense of what's socially appropriate. Which then gave me a great mental image of neanderthals sitting about in smoking jackets playing bridge. Only they weren't that bright, so they probably played euchre.
The evidence suggests that neanderthals never came up with ranged weapons, like spears or arrows. And it occurred to me to wonder, if I'd never heard of ranged weapons, would I invent them? Because the neanderthals apparently just walked up to their prey and stabbed them. Further evidenced by the fact that male neanderthal skeletons are full of broken bones. I've got to say, the second or third time I got trampled by a mastodon, I'd invent throwing. Or start eating veggies. Did neanderthals and mastodons exist at the same time?

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