Articles to 2023-09-04

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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.


The massive abuse of antibiotics has been denounced from many sides for decades but continued unabated to this day. Reports from Ukraine, Ljungquist et al. and others listed here, show us the inevitable results finally coming in. Let us hope and pray that these resistant strains are sufficiently weakened in other ways and fail to spread.


Bacon et al. is one more in a long row of attempts to interpret Paleolithic artwork as a kind of writing. Most were calendrical and tended to be quite involved just-so-stories explaining all the detail in one single artifact. To my knowledge this is the first quantitative study trying to elucidate rules and regularities. As such it turns out very successful. I doubt if all the proposed exegeses will hold with further studies, but the method is sound and the fact, that the patterns found are meaningful and not arbitrary, seems proven.


For many decades there has been a serious decline in the fertility rate of young women in industrialized countries, most pronounced for the better educated ones. As Bailey et al. report this trend has been partially reversed as one of the few positive side effects of the Covid pandemic. It seems the main causes here have been the opportunities of working at home and financial incentives for doing so. It is imperative to evaluate these effects and turn them into effective policy. As an aside the choice of the term “baby bump” in Bailey et al.’s title may have been meant as a humorous wordplay for American native speakers. For the vast majority of readers who are not, it’s just irritatingly ambiguous and misleading.

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