Category Archives: BAHfest

Infant distress vocalizations, or “crying”

In the final week before the symposium of Occam’s Beard, the video of the winning BAHfest presentation was released. This one explains the ratio of colicky infants in our population, the extremely aggravating sounds they emit, and Babybjörns — applying tribal warfare and an elegant computational model. Add to that the stage presence of Tomer Ullman, clearly pained by his own experience with procreation, and it is clear why he won.

… and the Q&A:

Our own event is around the corner! If you haven’t reserved your seat yet, you can do so at our eventbrite page. See you there!

Rise and fall of the Superhumans

Did you ever wonder how our species managed to adapt so amazingly well to such a wide variety of terrestrial habitats? Jordan Smith did. At BAHfest he presented a theory to explain this fantastic ability of our forefathers. After our departure from Africa, Jordan explains, “Within 150,000 years, we were everywhere. We had dominated every corner of the globe, and every climate imaginable.” To get to America, for example, “Humans would have had to cross the Sahara and the Arabian Desert, scale the Himalayas, cross the Bering strait… and then survive Canada.”

How did they do this? Simple: our forefathers had a double dose of mitochondria, and thus were energetic superhumans. Of course!

Not convinced? Watch Jordan explain his theory at BAHfest…

… and defend it at the Q & A that followed:

Farm me! I taste like chicken!

Another BAHfest presentation was made public today! This presentation by Cori McLean explores the hypothesis that humans exert an evolutionary pressure on animals to taste like chicken: we like the taste of chicken, so we will farm the animals in question (in other words: take care of their reproduction).

Do compare this presentation with the TED talk we posted earlier. It’s interesting to see how thin the line can be between a comedy festival, and the serious science presented at BAHfest.

Edit 24/01/2014: Cory, too, had to answer jury questions at the end of her presentation. Here’s the video for that: