Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Separated at birth ?

Evolution of lactose tolerance. Why do humans keep drinking milk?

To repurpose a handy metaphor, let's call two of the first Homo sapiens Adam and Eve. By the time they welcomed their firstborn, that rascal Cain, into the world, 2 million centuries of evolution had established how his infancy would play out. For the first few years of his life, he would take his nourishment from Eve's breast.

Once he reached about 4 or 5 years old, his body would begin to slow its production of lactase, the enzyme that allows mammals to digest the lactose in milk. Thereafter, nursing or drinking another animal's milk would have given the little hell-raiser stomach cramps and potentially life-threatening diarrhea; in the absence of lactase, lactose simply rots in the guts. With Cain weaned, Abel could claim more of his mother's attention and all of her milk. This kept a lid on sibling rivalry—though it didn't quell the animus between these particular sibs—while allowing women to bear more young. The pattern was the same for all mammals: At the end of infancy, we became lactose-intolerant for life.

Two hundred thousand years later, around 10,000 B.C., this began to change. A genetic mutation appeared, somewhere near modern-day Turkey, that jammed the lactase-production gene permanently in the "on" position. The original mutant was probably a male who passed the gene on to his children. People carrying the mutation could drink milk their entire lives.

Genomic analyses have shown that within a few thousand years, at a rate that evolutionary biologists had thought impossibly rapid, this mutation spread throughout Eurasia, to Great Britain, Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, India and all points in between, stopping only at the Himalayas. Independently, other mutations for lactose tolerance arose in Africa and the Middle East, though not in the Americas, Australia, or the Far East.

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Indexed: Seven Deadly Sins (paired)

You love GraphJam, right?  (and if you don't, you should)
Welcome to Indexed.
As the blog owner says, "This is a little project that allows me to make fun of some things and sense of others without resorting to doing actual math."

Jessica draws her graphs on index cards, scans them, then posts them on her blog.
for example,  
You know the Seven Deadly Sins are:
Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride
BUT... what happens when you pair two sins?
Jessica explains in her graph that:
Lust + Gluttony = Edible Undies
Lust + Sloth = Quickie
Lust + Pride = Trophy Wife
...and so on.
See attached jpg or visit:


Monday, October 22, 2012

Election 2012

Rats playing basketball

Friday, October 19, 2012

License Plate Frame Foils Irksome Traffic-Light Cameras


An optical flash trigger detects the flash of the traffic-light camera and sets off xenon flashes in the sides of the frame, so when the traffic-light camera opens its shutter, there's too much light and the picture of your license plate is overexposed. Big Brother can't read your plate.


You didn't get this from me.
No, you didn't.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Taking one for the Team

I did not fare well at the reenactment of the Battle of Germantown.

Trick? or Treat?

Photo caption: Andy Warhol shopping for Halloween treats.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Warning: Highly Addictive Website inside

For your own safety, you shouldn't visit this site at work. 
 It's completely Safe For Work, but your cubicle neighbors will wonder why you're laughing, and sometime afterwards you'll notice that the lights are off and everyone's gone home.
Well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it's not far off the mark.
Visit -- if you have spare time -- the website
It's all user-created graphs (the type you can make with the Graph Wizard in Excel) but the data's far more interesting than a TPS report.
I've attached a half dozen examples.
Have fun on the site (and don't say you haven't been warned).

Philippine Rebel Group Agrees to Peace Accord to End Violence in South

" The deal with the rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has fought a war of independence for more than three decades, is the first step in what is expected to be a long, complex process of working through disputes that have lasted for centuries between the Christian-dominated national government and the predominantly Muslim residents of the southern island of Mindanao."


the Moro Islamic Liberation Front = a rather embarrassing acronym for a rebel army.

Monday, October 15, 2012

This girl is an absolute hero

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Paul Rudnick: Married to Jesus : The New Yorker

A historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School has identified a scrap of papyrus that she says was written in Coptic in the fourth century and contains a phrase never seen in any piece of Scripture: "Jesus said to them, 'My wife . . .' "
The Times.

Fine, now you know: Jesus was married and for many years I happily answered to the name Mrs. Melissa Christ. I met Jesus when we were both teenagers, at a Young Hebrews mixer in Bethlehem. I was there with my best friend, Amy of Nazareth, and we were getting ready to leave, because we were sick of all those chubby Orthodox boys in rough burlap robes and untrimmed sideburns coming up to us and saying things like "I hope you're not menstruating, because I'd really like to touch you."

But then, across the room, I saw this beautiful guy with gorgeous flowing hair, wearing a simple white linen tunic and swaying gently to the music with his eyes shut, which was especially impressive because the band consisted of two elderly men rhythmically squeezing a goat. I couldn't help staring, even after Amy told me, "I've heard about him. His name is Jesus and he doesn't have a job." But then Jesus opened his stunning blue eyes and gazed upon me, and I said to Amy, "I think I've just discovered one of the lost tribes of Israel." "Which one?" she asked, and I said, "The blonds."

The Empire Strikes Back ... homestyle


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Happy Birthday, John

"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life."
      ― John Lennon

Celebrity Slip-ups

Lady Gaga's NYC Restaurant Slammed By Health Officials After Inspection This Week

That's what happens when you wear the meat before serving it.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Well played, Sir. Well played.


At the conclusion of this year's reenactment of the Battle of Germantown all the reenactors lined up, and Jack Asher (who funds the event) spoke to us.

He thanked the Continental (American) Army and the British Army. After a momentary pause, he quickly added his thanks to the small group of Hessians.

Someone behind me in the Continental Line said, "It's polite to thank the hired help."

Friday, October 05, 2012

Revolutionary War Battle Of Germantown Re-Enactment On Saturday

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -Although we won the Revolutionary War, we lost several battles, including the Battle of Germantown on October 4th 1777. It'll be re-enacted on Saturday, not once, but twice.

The Redcoats were outnumbered, but they managed to beat back the Continental troops. It didn't hurt that the British were holed up in Cliveden, a stately mansion that turned out to be a mighty fortress, thanks to its 2 foot thick Wissahickon Shist stone walls.

Historic Germantown Executive Director Barbara Hogue says that's where the re-enactment takes place.

More than 300 re-enactors armed with cannons and muskets will bring the battle to life:
"It's very loud — it definitely gives you the sense of what it was like here in 1777."

The battle will be re-waged at noon and 3 as part of the Revolutionary Germantown Festival, which starts at Cliveden at ten.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Designer of 3-D Printable Gun Has His 3-D Printer Seized

The promise of home 3-D printing is that you can construct anything you want from the comfort and convenience of your own living room. For a group whose mission is to 3-D print a working pistol from scratch, however, that promise has been revoked.

Defense Distributed, a collective led by UT-Austin law student Cody Wilson, has raised $20,000 online in a bid to design and develop the world's first entirely 3-D printed gun, which it calls the Wiki Weapon. If it succeeds, not only will it build its own prototype, it will share the design publicly, so that anyone around the world with a 3-D printer can print his own pistol. It's sort of the opposite of "Don't try this at home."

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Monday, October 01, 2012

"And it was pink, Officer!"

Delaware Man Arrested For 7th DUI Says He Saw Elephant On Road

NEW CASTLE, Del. (CBS) – A Delaware man arrested for his 7th DUI told police he crashed his car because he was trying to avoid an elephant on the road.

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