herdrich david j (herdrich@UXA.CSO.UIUC.EDU)
Sun, 13 Nov 1994 18:00:56 -0600

Here are a couple of brief little stories that I hope will bring a smile or

>From the Chicago Tribune Nursing News Oct. 5, 1994:

The theory that the French suffer fewer heart attacks because they
drink a lot of red wine has been called into doubt. British researchers
discovered that thousands of fatalities caused by cardiac arrest are
officially listed as "sudden death" on French death certificates.
When statistics are adjusted, "the incidence [of heart disease] is
not much different from that of other advanced nations," the
researchers concluded.

>From my own field work in American Samoa:

Some medical researchers came to Samoa to do a review of diseases
common in the islands there (sorry I don't have the reference off hand).
One of their conclusions was that Samoa has the highest rate of
influenza in the world. Unfortunately they didn't stay around long
enough to find out Samoans, for whatever reason, use the word "flu"
when they mean that they have a "cold."

So, and now I have to be serious because I'm an anthropologist, Mr. Rushton
how sure are you of the categories that you are working with, like rape, murder,
etc., when you are dealing with so many societies? Have you done anything to
check that they mean the same thing in each society that you are using in your
study? Just wondering...

David J. Herdrich