spotted by jp aerospace, an x-wing and a tie fighter doing battle over the earth! a long time ago… (~_^)
thanks to r for emailing me that! (^_^)
spotted by jp aerospace, an x-wing and a tie fighter doing battle over the earth! a long time ago… (~_^)
thanks to r for emailing me that! (^_^)
(<< as miss piggy would say. (~_^) )
so, for those of you who haven't worked out my ethnic background by now (which is like zero of you, right?), here are my 23andMe ancestry results. note that the results below are what i get using 23andMe’s "speculative" interpretation, which has a 50% confidence threshold. with the "conservative" setting (90% confidence threshold), the results shift to where i'm something like 54% british & irish and 46% broadly northern european (pretty sure that's what it was — working from memory here).
all four of my grandparents were from the auld country (ireland), so these results were absolutely no surpise whatsoever. (i was born and raised in the u.s. yay! (^_^) )
two of my grandparents had surnames (clan names) that go way back in irish prehistory — pre-vikings, pre-normans, pre-scots, pre-anglos — so some of my ancestral background might stem from far back in the “native irish” populations. obviously there’s been quite a bit of mixing with the later arriving groups, though. one of these family names is that of a subclan related to the uí néill dynasty and, yes, analysis of one of my male cousin’s y-chromosome shows that we are descendants of the irish genghis khan, so…AWE SOME! (^_^)
a third grandparent had a surname most commonly found in scotland, and a y-chromosome analysis (yes, i do badger my relatives to do these things!) of a male relative from that lineage suggests that the family did indeed come from scotland (his y-chromosome is more like scottish men with the surname, not so much like irish men with the name). from lowland scotland to be more precise, although rumor has it that the clan originated in the hebridies (i.e. the highlands). no idea when this side of the family turned up in ireland. maybe riding along with ollie? the family is from an area of ireland where cromwell’s soldiers were rewarded with farmland, so…maybe. the y-chromosme analysis of this family member also suggested that there might be some nordic and/or anglo and/or dutch ancestry — these things are still pretty vague, obviously. my 23andMe results include a 2.1% figure for scandinavian. maybe that’s from this scottish side of the family or maybe that’s just from some vikings who settled in ireland. or both. there could also be some anglo-saxon and/or dutch ancestors in this line given that the family’s from the lowlands, but it’s not possible to know for sure (at this point in time). maybe! maybe not. who knows?
the last grandparent had a norman surname. woo-hoo! cool. (^_^) only thing is, that grandparent was illegitimate (*gasp*), and no one in the family knows (or no one in the family will reveal) if that surname was the actual name of that grandparent’s father or if my great-grandmother just pulled that surname out of a hat (it wasn’t her surname). so, maybe we’re not norman at all. dr*t!
so, yeah! probably quite a lot of fairly recent inbreeding as far as my ancestry goes (see the “mating patterns in europe series” below, the section on the irish)! (~_^) might be a bit saved here by the lowland scots ancestry (more outbred, i believe), but still…PLEN-TY of potential clannishness here, so make sure to stand well back when you’re reading the blog! (~_^)
(edit: i meant to mention that, thankfully, my paternal and maternal families are from different regions of the country, so…whew!…that might’ve saved me from some fairly close inbreeding there. (~_^) )
one cool thing that was a surprise to me from the 23andMe results is that my mtdna’s haplogroup (H13a1a) is rather rare in the british isles (not sure what the frequency is — haven’t found that info anywhere). it has a somewhat higher frequency in southern europe — somewhere between 2-10% — but is very common over in the caspian sea region in places like daghestan. (note that i am *not* from daghestan, although ever since obtaining these results, the d.h. has been referring to me as his daghestani wife. =P yes, i *did* marry him for his sense of humor.)
finally, i’m more neanderthal than the last time i checked! yay! (^_^) pretty much average for europeans, apparently. cool!
(note: comments do not require an email. desendants of niall.)
sam schulman points me to an interesting article in the tls (thanks, sam!), Querns and curtains, which is a review of a couple of books about the house and home. one of them is The Making of Home: The 500-year story of how our houses became homes by judith flanders.
here’s the cool bit [my bolding]:
“France and Britain stood on two sides of a divide that Flanders identifies between the ‘home’ countries and ‘house’ countries. In the ‘house’ countries – where Romance or Slavic languages are spoken – there is no linguistic distinction between house and home. ‘When an Italian goes home he *sta andando a casa*, goes to the house’. To speakers of the languages of north-western Europe, home and house are ‘related but distinct things’: *Heim* and *Haus* in German or *koti* and *talo* in Finnish. Flanders convincingly suggests that this linguistic separation of house and home went along with a different ideal of ‘homeness’. The focal point was not the wider community but the individual household, which was increasingly founded on privacy. Curtains are a case in point. They make possible the kind of cosiness – the Danish word is *hygge* – that can only be found inside ‘when set against a real or metaphorical cold world outside’. Flanders writes that the implications of the northern European version of ‘home’ went far beyond the cultural. Patterns of late marriage in these countries produced generations of couples who needed ‘to equip new houses’ and had ‘the cash to do so’. It is Flanders’s thesis that a focus on a private ‘home’ equipped with new desirable consumer goods was one of the factors that made industrialization happen earlier in Britain than elsewhere. The ideal home was an insatiable creature, constantly generating new appetites for consumer goods, such as sash windows, carpets, cookstoves; and later for gas light and newfangled raisin-pitters and apple-corers.”
sounds like the dividing line between ‘house’ and ‘home’ societies in europe is more or less the hajnal line! — with france outside the hajnal line in this instance. (is there really no word for ‘home’ in french?)
consulting my (shorter) oed, i find that the words house and home both go back to at least old english, i.e. sometime before 1149 (and both are also related to similar words in other germanic languages obviously), but that the word home really took on the primary meaning that we use today in middle english or sometime between 1150 and 1349 when its other usage (“a collection of dwellings”) was dropped:
house [f. Gmc: ult origin unkn.] A n. Pl. houses. 1 A building for human habitation, a dwelling, a home; spec. a self-contained unit having a ground floor and one or more upper storeys (as opp. to a bungalow, flat, etc.). OE.
home A n. †1 A collection of dwellings; a village, a town. OE-ME. 2 The place where one lives permanently, esp. as a member of a family or household; a fixed place of residence. Freq. without article or possessive, esp. as representing the centre of family life. OE.
i’ve been arguing for a while now that the foundation of anglo-saxon society in early medieval england was the extended family or kindred and not the individual and his nuclear family like today. (this is not my idea — i’ve picked it up from various historians.) i’ve also argued that the shift from the kindred to the nuclear family in medieval england and elsewhere in my northwestern “core” europe occurred sometime between ca. 1000 and 1200 — roughly speaking (prolly slightly later in northern scandinavia). for example, it wasn’t until the eleventh century in england that a feud could be carried out by a man’s fellow guild members (i.e. people not necessarily related to him) rather than his kindred (see here) — this, i think, indicates that the importance of the kindred was dying away at that point in time. for more on all this see my previous posts: kinship in anglo-saxon society, kinship in anglo-saxon society ii, and the importance of the kindred in anglo-saxon society.
the shift in the meaning of the word home sometime between 1150 and 1349 to (only) the way we use it today is, i think, another indicator of the rising importance of the nuclear family right around this time (or just a bit before, perhaps, with a slight delay in the language until it caught up with the reality on the ground). from the article again: “The focal point was not the wider community but the individual household….” the “wider community” had, of course, largely been extended family and kindred members in the early medieval period; by the high and late middle ages, the nuclear family in the individual household was what was important — one’s “home” (as we know it), no longer one’s “home” (a “collection of dwellings”…belonging to the extended family?). and, of course, i think that this shift from the extended to the nuclear family in nw europe happened thanks to The Outbreeding Project in medieval europe, yada, yada, yada….
this shift in the language parallel to the one in the family type isn’t the only one that appears to be connected to The Outbreeding Project. the terms that we use to describe various family members — especially cousins and aunts and uncles — also changed in nw europe a couple of hundred years after The Outbreeding Project got going in europe — right around the 1100s in germany, in fact. interesting, huh? (and did i ever mention that there was a similar linguistic shift in ancient greece in the fifth to the third centuries bc?)
something else that i found interesting in the review article, but only because i have a quirky interest in the layout of houses, both inside and in relation to other houses:
“Another common feature of these roundhouses, as the archaeologist Francis Pryor notes in ‘Home: A time traveller’s tales from Britain’s history’, his account of family life in Britain before the Romans, was that the doorway almost always faced south-east – as many as 95 per cent of the ones we know of. The most likely reason was solar orientation: ‘to catch the light of the rising sun’, as Pryor puts it. In his view, this was not primarily a practical move – in the Fens, where there are bitter north-easterly winds, a west-facing door might have offered more protection – though it ‘may have helped’ with getting up in the morning. Rather, these sun-catching doorways were a ‘symbol’ of the importance of the sun in structuring daily life. Home, in Iron Age Britain, was a place that looked outwards towards the sun.
“Fast-forward to the towns of Britain in the nineteenth century and people no longer had strong views about the placement of doorways. A front door faced not the sun but the street, and therefore varied depending on which side of the street you occupied. What mattered more than which way the door faced was that a home should have curtains. By the mid-nineteenth century, as Judith Flanders explains in her magnificent overview ‘The Making of Home’, to live without curtains ‘seemed as odd to the British as living without corridors’ (another thing that homes had once not felt the lack of). Curtains have many functions – insulation, decoration and prestige. But their primary purpose is to protect the home from what is happening outside, ‘even light’, as Flanders writes. Curtains epitomize a view of ‘home’ directly opposed to the south-easterly doorways of prehistoric Britain. Our modern version of home is not a place that looks towards the sun, but inwards towards itself. Curtains enable the occupants of a house to feel that ‘what is happening outside is far away’.”
i’ve brought up the orientation of houses in england (and nw europe) before. what i’ve always thought was significant is that anglo/nw european houses face onto the street or a common area (the “green”), not only for a functional reason (although it’s no doubt useful to have the entrance to your house face the road), but because all the unrelated nuclear families in these homes feel that they are a part of the broader community (except, of course, for that one crazy guy livin’ on his own down the street). this is in contrast, for instance, to courtyard houses that you find in many areas of the world where inbreeding (cousin marriage) still occurs and where it’s the extended family that’s important, not the neighborhood.
flanders’ observations on curtains offering some privacy and a way for the nuclear family to focus in on itself (particularly when the blinds are closed?) are interesting, though. maybe i’ll have to read the book! (^_^)
previously: big summary post on the hajnal line and the importance of the kindred in anglo-saxon society and kinship in anglo-saxon society and kinship in anglo-saxon society ii and there’s no place like home and kandahar vs. levittown.
(note: comments do not require an email. curtains!)
Zigzags on a Shell From Java Are the Oldest Human Engravings – “The early human Homo erectus also made the oldest known shell tools half a million years ago.” — see also: The art of Homo erectus – “What we can say is that these artifacts carry information about the capabilities of their makers. The few non-perishable marked objects also speak to the likely presence of design in perishable elements of material culture. Clothing, however rudimentary, was likely to have been decorated in some way. Wooden tools were also probably notched and zigzagged — as the occasional bone and ivory implements suggest. They lived for the first time in a world that they could change.” – from john hawks.
Genetic diversity of Sub-Saharan Africa revealed – [T]he researchers also found that there were more genetic similarities across Africa than they had thought. Dr Sandhu said: ‘The diversity among populations is not as diverse as we expected it to be….’ The researchers found that many Africans have some Eurasian DNA within their genetic ancestry, which suggests that Eurasians migrated back into Africa many thousands of years after they first left. And several of the populations were descended from the Bantu, a group that spread across Africa about 5,000 years ago.” — see also: The African Genome Variation Project shapes medical genetics in Africa.
and here is dienekes on the above study: African Genome Variation project paper – “In too many papers to count, decreasing genetic diversity from East Africa was taken as evidence of an origin of H. sapiens in that locality and its expansion from there to Eurasia. This ‘East Africa=cradle of mankind’ theory has, as far as I can tell, nothing really to stand on. Granted, the oldest anatomically modern human remains have been found in East Africa 200-150 thousand years ago. But, the fact that old sapiens have been found in East Africa and not elsewhere is easily explained by the excellent conditions for preservation (as opposed, e.g., deserts or rainforests of Africa or elsewhere), and by the extraordinary effort by palaeoanthropologists in that area. One also needs to overlook a century of physical anthropology that concluded that East Africa was a contact zone between Caucasoids and Sub-Saharan Africans. We now know that there is no deep lineage of humans in modern east Africans. Take out the Eurasian ancestry and only a paltry Fst=0.027 remains with other Sub-Saharan Africans, a fraction of the Fst between, say, Europeans and East Asians.”
Living African group discovered to be the most populous humans over the last 150,000 years – “New genetic research reveals that a small group of hunter-gatherers now living in Southern Africa once was so large that it comprised the majority of living humans during most of the past 150,000 years. Only during the last 22,000 years have the other African ethnicities, including the ones giving rise to Europeans and Asians, become vastly most numerous…. ‘This and previous studies show that the Khoisan peoples and the rest of modern humanity shared their most recent common ancestor approximately 150,000 years ago, so it was entirely unexpected to find that this group apparently did not intermarry with non-Khoisan neighbors for many thousand years….'” — see also The Least Bottlenecked Humans of All from razib.
Ants, altruism and self sacrifice – “It’s the selfishness of genes that makes us unselfish…. ‘Group selection’ has always been portrayed as a more politically correct idea, implying that there is an evolutionary tendency to general altruism in people. Gene selection has generally seemed to be more of a right-wing idea, in which individuals are at the mercy of the harsh calculus of the genes. Actually, this folk understanding is about as misleading as it can be. Society is not built on one-sided altruism but on mutually beneficial co-operation. Nearly all the kind things people do in the world are done in the name of enlightened self-interest. Think of the people who sold you coffee, drove your train, even wrote your newspaper today. They were paid to do so but they did things for you (and you for them). Likewise, gene selection clearly drives the evolution of a co-operative instinct in the human breast, and not just towards close kin.” – from matt ridley. — see also: E.O. Wilson’s The Social Conquest of Earth from jason collins. h/t billare!
Genetic Variation in Human DNA Replication Timing – “Replication timing, a driver of locus-specific mutation rates, varies among humans…. Replication timing associates with common polymorphisms near replication origins….” – whoa.
Genetic and environmental exposures constrain epigenetic drift over the human life course – h/t casey brown! who tweeted: “Worth repeating: DNA methylation is more genetic than epigenetic.”
IQ is in the genes – “How parents raise us has no impact on how smart we become, a new study finds.”
Link discovered between fathers’ criminal history and sons’ intelligence – “Sons whose fathers have criminal records tend to have lower cognitive abilities than sons whose fathers have no criminal history, data from over 1 million Swedish men show. The research, conducted by scientists in Sweden and Finland, indicates that the link is not directly caused by fathers’ behavior but is instead explained by genetic factors that are shared by father and son.”
Are bright people normal? – “‘We found no support for the genetic Discontinuity Hypothesis that nonadditive genetic variance is greater for high intelligence….'” – from dr. james thompson.
Booze culture may date back 10 million years say scientists – “A new study suggests that primates may have begun drinking alchol 10 million years ago, as fermented fruit on the forest floor…. Experts at Santa Fe College in the US studied the gene ADH4 which produces an enzyme to break down alcohol in the body. It was hypothesised that the enzyme would not appear until the first alcohol was produced by early farmers. But scientists were amazed to find it 10 million years earlier, at the end of the Miocene epoch.” – (them’s *my* ancestors right there! (~_^) )
Psychiatry: End of the Road for “Endophenotypes”? – “In a nutshell, the researchers ran seven different genetic studies to try to find the genetic basis of a total of seventeen neurobehavioural traits, also known as ‘endophenotypes’…. Essentially an endophenotype is some trait, which could be almost anything, which is supposed to be related to (or part of) a psychiatric disorder or symptom, but which is ‘closer to genetics’ or ‘more biologica’ than the disorder itself. Rather than thousands of genes all mixed together to determine the risk of a psychiatric disorder, each endophenotype might be controlled by only a handful of genes – which would thus be easier to find…. Over 89% of the searches came up null in this way; for eight of the seventeen traits, the researchers found no associated genes using *any* strategy.” – from neuroskeptic.
Unequal fates for maths superstars – “The fates of US child prodigies of the 1970s reveal great accomplishments but strong gender differences…. [B]oth genders reported unusually high levels of satisfaction with their lives and careers. ‘It seems that both sexes got what they wanted from life, even if those things were somewhat different….'” – h/t charles! – see also: Sometimes men and women want different things from ben southwood.
Are Chinese babies more docile? – peter frost on the freedman studies.
Inferior Faunas – from greg cochran.
Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2014 released this week.
Does evolution need a revolution? – from jerry coyne.
A Magisterial Synthesis Of Apes And Human Evolution – “[Russell H.] Tuttle’s tome is a grand synthesis of all the latest research and data about apes and their relation to us…. He believes that bipedalism preceded the development of the brain in early humans –and was likely something inherited from smaller apes already used to using their feet to move laterally along branches in trees. Although chimpanzees and bonobos are our closest relatives on the evolutionary tree, they do not represent in their own locomotion good proto-models of what led to human upright posture and walking.”
‘Superbugs’ Kill India’s Babies and Pose an Overseas Threat – “A growing chorus of researchers say the evidence is now overwhelming that a significant share of the bacteria present in India — in its water, sewage, animals, soil and even its mothers — are immune to nearly all antibiotics.” – h/t razib!
The RNA World: molecular cooperation at the origins of life – “The RNA World concept posits that there was a period of time in primitive Earth’s history — about 4 billion years ago — when the primary living substance was RNA or something chemically similar. In the past 50 years, this idea has gone from speculation to a prevailing idea. In this Review, we summarize the key logic behind the RNA World and describe some of the most important recent advances that have been made to support and expand this logic. We also discuss the ways in which molecular cooperation involving RNAs would facilitate the emergence and early evolution of life.”
Thomas Docherty on academic freedom – “Managerial fundamentalism has taken hold in universities, with scholars viewed as resources that must be controlled…. A creeping incremental assault on academic freedom threatens not just what can be spoken aloud, but also what it is permissible to think: thought itself is to be subjected to management, so that its critical power is neutered or constrained….”
The Dark Enlightenment for Newbies – “So what is dark about the Dark Enlightenment? Absolutely nothing. The Dark Enlightenment only looks dark in contrast to the blinding (as in, it blinds you) optimism of flash in the pan of blank slate equalism. The things that the DE contend about human nature — that parents naturally favor their children, that sexual attraction is a biological phenomenon, that some people are naturally smarter than others — were all accepted as common sense for most or all of human history. It is the unrealistic utopianism of modern liberalism which is ridiculously absurd. The Dark Enlightenment might be better termed The Return to Normalcy. So the phrase “Dark Enlightenment” might not be the best, but it has received enough attention that I don’t think we should abandon it.” – very nice post from empedocles.
Tanzania evicting 40,000 people from homeland to make room for Dubai royal family – “It will become a private hunting reserve” – =/ (i’m linking to salon!) – h/t john durant!
bonus: Why Some Mosquitoes Spread Malaria and Others Don’t – “Sequencing the genomes of numerous Anopheles mosquito species from locations around the world has shown why some can carry and spread the deadly disease malaria while others don’t.” – h/t srikant mantri!
bonus bonus bonus: A diet to die for – “One bird feasts on food that would leave most other animals stone dead.”
bonus bonus bonus bonus: Insect Swarms Go Critical – “Scientists have found tantalizing evidence that diverse biological systems, including the human brain, gene expression networks, bird flocks, and fish schools, behave as though they are near the ‘critical point’ of a phase transition, like correlated spins in a magnet on the verge of ordering.” – h/t jayman!
bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Weird Physics Can Make an Invisible Cat Visible – “These cat pictures are brought to you by quantum entanglement as discussed by Einstein and Schrödinger.”
bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: “The Feynman Lectures on Physics”, The Most Popular Physics Book Ever Written, Now Completely Online
bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Tette per la Scienza – boobies! (it really IS this time! (~_^) )
(note: comments do not require an email. quantum cats!)
look! another linkfest! (^_^)
Our Cats, Ourselves – “Which brings us to the genome of one critical tame animal: ourselves, humans. The Nobel Prize-winning zoologist Konrad Z. Lorenz once suggested that humans were subject to the same dynamics of domestication. Our brain and body sizes peaked during the end of the last ice age, and declined with the spread of agriculture…. Our cultural flexibility and creativity since the end of the ice age have not freed humans from evolutionary forces, but have opened up novel and startling paths. Thinking of domestication as an evolutionary process that occurs through ‘artificial’ selection creates a false dichotomy of nurture and nature that plays into a conceit of human exceptionalism. In fact, the idea that we are apart from nature, that it is ours to tame and exploit, is an outmoded approach. A more useful interpretation is that over the past 10,000 years, humans fashioned their own ecosystem. We were part of a natural process that altered the landscape…. The same forces that reshaped the genomes of our domesticates also reshaped ours.” – from razib. in the new york times! (^_^)
Ancient Easter Islanders Interbred With Native Americans – “According to the recent study conducted by geneticists, the ancient inhabitants of Easter Island met and interbred with Native Americans long before Westerners arrived…. The recent genetic study is published on Thursday in the Current Biology journal. According to the study, these ancient people had significant contact with Native Americans hundreds of years ago, before the westerners reached the Island in 1722…. The finding of the study suggests that the intermixing occurred 19 to 23 generations ago. The researchers said that the Polynesian people (Rapa Nui’s) are not believed to have started mixing with Europeans until much later, the 19th century. Malaspinas said the genetic ancestry of today’s Rapa Nui people is roughly 75% Polynesian, 15% European and 10% Native American.”
Barley fuelled farmers’ spread onto Tibetan plateau – “Cold-tolerant crop enabled high-altitude agriculture some 3,600 years ago”
Faster than Fisher – “[M]igration and conquest, must explain the wide distribution of many geographically widespread selective sweeps and partial sweeps. They were adaptive, all right, but expanded much faster than possible from purely local diffusion.” – from greg cochran.
The Germ of Laziness – also from greg cochran.
Putting IBD to Bed – from razib.
The Red Queen Model of Recombination Hotspots Evolution in the Light of Archaic and Modern Human Genomes – h/t mwpennell! who tweeted: “Recombination hotspots in humans appear to be young…evidence for Red Queen theory for evolution of recombination?”
Do Chinese people get bored less easily? – “Advanced farming — intensive land use, task specialization, monoculture — has profoundly shaped East Asian societies, particularly China. This is particularly so for rice farming. Because the paddies need standing water, rice farmers must work collectively to build, dredge, and drain elaborate irrigation networks. Wheat farming, by comparison, requires no irrigation and only half as much work. Advanced farming seems to have favored a special package of predispositions and inclinations, including greater acceptance of monotony. This has been shown in two recent studies.” – from peter frost.
Culture and state boredom: A comparison between European Canadians and Chinese – “European Canadians (vs. Chinese) are more likely to experience state boredom.” – h/t erwin schmidt!
Gender differences in preferences, choices, and outcomes: SMPY longitudinal study – “The figures show significant gender differences in life and career preferences, which affect choices and outcomes *even after ability is controlled for*…. According to the results, SMPY men are more concerned with money, prestige, success, creating or inventing something with impact, etc. SMPY women prefer time and work flexibility, want to give back to the community, and are less comfortable advocating unpopular ideas. Some of these asymmetries are at the 0.5 SD level or greater.” – from steve hsu.
Are liberals and conservatives differently wired? – also from peter frost.
Detecting ‘polygenes’ using signals of polygenic selection. Tools for increasing the power of GWAS – from davide piffer who tweeted: “Watson and Venter’s genomes have higher frequency of intelligence polygenenes.”
Intelligence lost at 1.23 IQ points per decade – “Michael Woodley of Menie spends much of his time tending his ancestral estate, pacing the linen-fold panelled rooms of the ancient house, warming his hands at the towering stone fireplace and meditating on the collapse of the aristocracy, the paucity of contemporary innovation and the lamentable and persistent downward drift of the national intellect. Now he sends me a barefoot runner with his latest manuscript, which I have read as the autumn mists creep across the Nadder valley, before penning this reply for the poor urchin to carry back to his master. Young Woodley avers that, not only are we going to hell in a handcart, but we are doing so at a pace which he can predict with some accuracy (1.23 IQ points per decade), composed as it is of two dysgenic effects: the dull have been reproducing with greater fecundity than the bright (.39), and increasing paternal age has increased the rate of deleterious mutations (.84).” – from dr. james thompson.
Gypsy intelligence – also from dr. james thompson.
Lower Body Symmetry and Running Performance in Elite Jamaican Track and Field Athletes – h/t keith laws! who tweeted: “More symmetrical knees & ankles in Elite Jamaican track and field athletes…Of course…”
In the U.S., Few Heavy Drinkers Are Actually Alcoholics – “About 90 percent of people who drink excessively — more than eight drinks a week for women, 15 for men — are not alcohol dependent.” – h/t ray sawhill!
Genes tell new story: Alcohol in moderation only benefits 15% of population – “An alcoholic beverage a day, especially wine, is widely believed to help keep heart disease risk low, but new research from the University of Gothenburg shows that only about 15% of the human population — those with a specific the form of the cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) gene — actually gain this benefit from moderate alcohol consumption.”
The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis – “What a growing body of research reveals about the biology of human happiness — and how to navigate the (temporary) slump in middle age.”
Despite its problems, the United States of America is still the best. Thing. Ever. – “Other aspects of America’s story, though, seem less important now that the quest for racial equality has become almost a religious mission; this week I finally got around to watching the HBO series John Adams, which begins with the Massachusetts lawyer defending Captain Thomas Preston, the officer blamed for the Boston massacre. The mob wanted to avenge the deaths but, this being a colony where people passionately believed in their ancestral English liberties, ‘due process’ was followed – a term that dates back to the Parliament of Edward III but was obviously influenced by Clause 39 of the Magna Carta. Due process is what was followed in the Ferguson case, but maybe that’s just a boring old racist Anglo-Saxon idea that we can forget about now (grand juries are literally Anglo-Saxon, dating back to the reign of Ethelred II, or possibly the vibrant culturally-enriching Viking maniac King Canute).” – from ed west.
Children are not science projects – “What do we tell to prospective adoptive parents? The first answer, and the only answer that ultimately counts, is that they are doing the Lord’s work. They have the opportunity to provide love and nurturing to a child who needs it. There are few better things that human beings can do with their time. The second answer is that they, like biological parents, are not miracle-workers. They will be unable to mold the child. Sometimes their adopted child will experience problems that are not the adoptive parents’ fault; sometimes they will reveal gifts of talent and character that are equally not to the adoptive parents’ credit. What is to the credit of good parents, adoptive and biological alike, is enfolding the child in love.” – from charles murray…who’s really just a big softie after all. (^_^) — see also: Adopt a child, but discard an illusion from dr. james thompson.
In Northern Ireland, a Wave of Immigrants Is Met With Fists – which came (or *should’ve* come) as a surprise to absolutely no one….
Your Inner Feather – “About 300 million years ago, our ancestors began to lay hard-shelled eggs. Those early animals would give rise to mammals, reptiles, and birds (collectively known as amniotes, named for the amniotic egg). Edwards and his colleagues found that the first amniotes already had the *entire* complement of feather patterning genes. That means you, as an amniote, have them too.” – cool!
Stop eating cats and dogs say animal rights campaigners in Switzerland – “Cat appears on traditional Christmas menus in some areas of Switzerland.” – wait. what?!
bonus bonus: Snakes Leave Identity Within Their Fang Marks – “Getting a DNA swab from the fang marks of a snake bite can accurately identify the type of snake, a team working in Nepal has found.”
bonus bonus bonus: Monterey Bay researchers capture rare deep-sea anglerfish on video for first time – whoa!
bonus bonus bonus bonus: Ants Regularly Pack Up and Dig New Nests, and Nobody Knows Why
bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Red Baron’s WWI German Fokker triplane rebuilt by flying enthusiast – oooo! pretty. (^_^)
(note: comments do not require an email. a face only a mother could love. maybe.)
two weeks, actually…