Wednesday Reads: Tired and In the Dark

cllasGood Morning

This is going to be a pathetic morning round-up. Honestly, I am just too tired for anything other than a link dump, which is what I am giving you.

First this article about the HPV vaccine, you remember…the one that Michelle Bachmann declared makes little girls become crazed sex fiends. It is crazy not to get this series of shots…Why don’t teens get shots for HPV and other diseases?

My daughter and my son have gotten this vaccine, on recommendation of their pediatrician. At least they are both safe, from getting HPV and giving HPV which causes cancer.

More health news, well…if being unable to sleep straight through the night is a sign of Alzheimers, than this next link is also bad news. Lost Sleep Can Lead to Weight Gain

Hmm, that must be the reason my ass is sooooo huge. Lack of sleep and addiction to carbs. Go figure.

This next story is heartbreaking, and disgusting, and maddening all at the same time: Facing Protective Orders and Allowed to Keep Guns

You can probably tell from the article’s title that it involves violence against women.


In tech news: More addresses please—US hits a half-billion Internet devices

In nuke news: US orders nuclear sites to upgrade vents

Take a look at this, evolution going on right before our windshields.  Study: Birds evolve shorter wings to survive highway traffic

And to end this link dump…a couple of space articles. One story that deals with the heavens during the light of day, and  the other during the dark of night…

10 surprising space objects to see in the daytime sky:  A rundown of space objects visible under the right conditions to the unaided human eye during the day.

Moon and Jupiter on March 17, 2013

A beautiful image of last night’s moon and planet Jupiter from EarthSky Facebook friend VegaStar Carpentier in Paris.

Via VegaStar Carpentier Photogrpahy.  VegaStar is in Paris.  Thank you!   View larger.

Via VegaStar Carpentier Photogrpahy. Thank you, VegaStar! View larger.

Treat this as an open thread, and have a wonderful day.

Sunday Reads: Memorial Days and One Hot Summer Ahead

Memorial Day 1909, click image to see more vintage postcards.

Morning all!

This is a long weekend for many of you, and I hope that you all are enjoying it! Take care because it is during these weekends that bring about travel and water related fatalities.

Earlier this week, Boston Boomer mentioned something in a comment about the origin of Memorial Day. So I thought this link from the New York Times was interesting… Many Claim to Be Memorial Day Birthplace

James Rajotte for The New York Times

WATERLOO, N.Y.: OFFICIAL RECOGNITION Col. Lars Braun, who had just returned from 14 months in Iraq, in a Memorial Day parade in 2008 with his daughter, Rachel. In 1966, a presidential proclamation designated the town, in the Finger Lakes area, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.

Right on either side of Alabama, there are two places with the same name.

Like the one over in Mississippi, this Columbus was founded in the 1820s and sits just a few minutes from countryside in almost any way you drive.

Residents say it was here, in the years after the Civil War, that Memorial Day was born.

They say that in the other Columbus, too.

It does not take much for the historically curious in either town — like Richard Gardiner, a professor of teacher education at Columbus State University here — to explain why theirs is the true originator of a revered American holiday and why the other is well-meaning but simply misguided.

“I’m going to blame Memphis to some degree,” Professor Gardiner said, about which more later.

Oh boy, there is nothing like a good old-fashioned squabble about something that dates back to the Civil War.

The custom of strewing flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers has innumerable founders, going back perhaps beyond the horizon of recorded history, perhaps as far as war itself. But there is the ancient practice and there is Memorial Day, the specific holiday, arising from an order for the annual decoration of graves that was delivered in 1868 by Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, the commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, a group made up of Union veterans of the Civil War.

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, roughly two dozen places claim to be the primary source of the holiday, an assertion found on plaques, on Web sites and in the dogged avowals of local historians across the country.

Yet each town seems to have different criteria: whether its ceremony was in fact the earliest to honor Civil War dead, or the first one that General Logan heard about, or the first one that conceived of a national, recurring day.

The article mentions several of the towns that claim being the first, but it focuses on two specific towns.

the claims of the two Columbuses, eyeing each other across Alabama, are among the more nuanced and possibly the most intertwined.


Columbus, Miss., was a hospital town, and in many cases a burial site, for both Union and Confederate casualties of Shiloh, brought in by the trainload. And it was in that Columbus where, at the initiation of four women who met in a 12-gabled house on North Fourth Street, a solemn procession was made to Friendship Cemetery on April 25, 1866.

As the story goes, one of the women spontaneously suggested that they decorate the graves of the Union as well as the Confederate dead, as each grave contained someone’s father, brother or son. A lawyer in Ithaca, N.Y., named Francis Miles Finch read about this reconciliatory gesture and wrote a poem about the ceremony in Columbus, “The Blue and the Gray,” which The Atlantic Monthly published in 1867.

“My view is it’s really the poem that inspired the nation,” said Rufus Ward, a retired district attorney, sitting in his basement and sipping a mint julep (his grandmother’s recipe, he said, the one she shared with Eudora Welty).

The Georgians dispute little of this. But they argue that the procession in the other Columbus was actually inspired by the events in their Columbus.

And what about Georgia’s Columbus?

…Professor Gardiner points to a local woman named Mary Ann Williams, who in the spring of 1866 wrote an open letter suggesting “a day be set apart annually” and become a “custom of the country” to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers.

That day, described as a national day, was chosen to be April 26, the anniversary of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s surrender in North Carolina to Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army. The letter, or a summary of it, ran in newspapers all over the South, and as far west as St. Louis and as far north as New Hampshire, leading to widespread ceremonies on that day.

It also ran in the The Memphis Daily Avalanche on March 27, 1866. But the paper had the wrong date — April 25.

“This misprint right here is the difference between what you’ll hear in Columbus, Mississippi, and here,” Professor Gardiner said, concluding that the Memphis misprint traveled to the other Columbus. The Mississippi commemoration did take place a day earlier, he admitted, but they go too far in claiming they came up with it independently. “I just can’t — I don’t buy it.”

But this day set by Mary Ann Williams was only for the Confederate dead. And still to this day the south celebrates Confederate Day, our Banjoville courthouse is closed on that day.

However, according to Professor of History David W. Blight, Yale University…the event that brought about Memorial Day is…

…a mostly forgotten — or possibly suppressed — event in Charleston, S.C., in 1865 at a racetrack turned war prison. Black workmen properly reburied the Union dead that were found there, and on May 1, a cemetery dedication was held, attended by thousands of freed blacks who marched in procession around the track.

He has called that the first Memorial Day, as it predated most of the other contenders, though he said he has no evidence that it led to General Logan’s call for a national holiday.

“I’m much more interested in the meaning that’s being conveyed in that incredible ritual than who’s first,” he said.

I agree with Blight’s assessment too. The meaning of the day is what is most important.

So with that in mind, please take a moment today and remember all the soldiers who have died in the service of their country.

More news links after the jump.

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Happy Christmas Sunday Reads!

Vintage Ad, Lucky Strikes Santa...It's Toasted!

Good Morning, did Santa make a visit to your house last night?

Late last night, or perhaps it was early this morning, I was walking toward a cup of water I had resting on my night stand…and what do you think I saw? It was my own twisted version of the T-Rex water cup ripple scene from Jurassic Park. Only instead of a big huge hungry T-Rex making the water ripple as he walked towards the tasty Jeeps with the soft gooey filling, you know, the kids being the chewy center…my water cup ripples were caused by the weight of my fat ass as it walked across the wood floor of my bedroom…oh the horror.

Yes, I was actually causing a tremor of T-Rex proportions…And I have to say, that tremor was not due to holiday goodies and treats…I’m blessed with this sonic wave boom boom year round!

So, let’s get down to the bits of seasonal cheer…here are your morning reads for this Christmas Day, 2011.

I will start with some newsy links, and then get to a host of good holiday fun.

Airlines cleared to use Santa’s short-cut

Hard-pressed airlines have been handed the perfect Christmas present: permission to fly twin-jet aircraft over the North Pole, saving millions on fuel costs, opening up new destinations and reducing damage to the environment.

The easing of rules about how close twin-jets must keep to diversion airports means faster, cheaper and cleaner flights.

Until now, America’s aviation regulators have insisted that the nearest suitable place to land must be no more than three hours away. That has now been extended to five-and-a-half hours – so long as the airline meets a series of criteria, from additional equipment to special training.

That should make folks like Sir Richard Branson happy…

The latest news out of New Orleans: New Orleans Gets a Good Defense Lawyer

The New Orleans public defense system used to be famous. Or, more accurately, infamous: attorneys not showing up for trial or doing puzzles during hearings. A man convicted because his lawyer didn’t bother to track down the video that would have confirmed his alibi. Another man jailed for stealing $50 waiting more than 400 days to be interviewed by his court-appointed defender. Thanks in part to the Big Easy, Louisiana has the distinction of being the state with the highest rate of wrongful convictions and one of the highest reversal rates of capital convictions in the country. As one public defender cracks, “It’s no coincidence that a lot of the major Supreme Court criminal cases end with ‘v. Louisiana.'”

But that was before Katrina. “When the storm hit, it certainly did better than any lawsuit could have done to show the problem,” says Derwyn Bunton, the chief of the Orleans Public Defenders. Katrina demolished the city’s public defense system: The lawyers were funded by traffic fines, and there was no traffic anymore. Civil rights activists, lawyers, and the Justice Department stepped in, and by August 2007, a brand new OPD office was ready to do things differently.

Hmmm…maybe Dakinikat can give us the inside scoop on what she is hearing about the “new and improved OPD.”

Gorbachev is trying to give Putin some good advice: Gorbachev urges Putin to step down after protests

The 80-year-old Gorbachev carries little weight in Russia today. And while many Russians have grown weary with Putin’s rule, his opponents are split among numerous groups. They have no clear leader who could challenge Putin in the March presidential election.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators cheered opposition leaders and jeered the Kremlin in the biggest show of outrage yet against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s 12-year rule.

The Moscow demonstration was even bigger than a similar rally two weeks ago, signaling that the protest movement ignited by the fraud-tainted 4 December parliamentary election may be growing. Protest were also held in dozens of other cities and towns across Russia.

Rally participants densely packed a broad avenue, which has room for nearly 100,000 people, about 2.5 kilometers (some 1.5 miles) from the Kremlin, as the temperature dipped well below freezing. They chanted “Russia without Putin!”

A stage at the end of the 700-meter (0.43 mile) avenue featured placards reading “Russia will be free” and “This election Is a farce.” Heavy police cordons encircled the participants, who stood within metal barriers, and a police helicopter hovered overhead.

Alexei Navalny, a corruption-fighting lawyer and popular blogger, electrified the crowd when he took the stage. A rousing speaker, he had protesters shouting “We are the power!”

I wish that the US press would cover more of these protest in Russia, you get the feeling that the MSM does not want to open a big can of worms.

Did you hear about some new evolution discoveries: 600-Million-Year-Old Microscopic Fossils Upend Evolution Theory

A remarkable new fossil discovery of amoeba-like micro-organisms that lived 570 million years ago could make scientists rethink some widely-accepted theories about how complex life on Earth first evolved from a single-celled universal common ancestor.


The scientists say they were surprised when the results indicated the fossilized cell clusters were not animals or embryos. That is because it had long been thought that fossils showing this apparent pattern cell division represented the embryos of the earliest animals.

Instead, they say the finely detailed X-ray images exposed features pattern that led them to conclude the organisms were, “the reproductive spore bodies of single-celled ancestors of animals.”

The scientist claim that what has been written about microscopic fossils for the last ten years is “flat out wrong.” More in-depth explanations at the link.

And this last newsy link, Just say no to Christmas?

Susan Lee, a divorced mother of three in New York City, is taking a drastic step this year. “No Christmas for me,” she says. “No gifts, no turkey, no tree, no kidding.”

Lee, 41, a marketing consultant, says she needs a break from the stress and spending that are integral parts of the holiday. Her kids will celebrate a traditional Christmas with their dad, but she’s ignoring all the rituals.

“I start dreading Christmas from the time the decorations go up in the stores,” she says. “It stopped being fun for me, so I’ll find out this year if I can do without it altogether. I think it will be a relief. It already is.”

Oh, what a joy it must be to get out of the Christmas celebrations all together.  This year I was lucky, my daughter wrapped all the presents…even her own, which is something of a tradition in my family, I started wrapping all the presents when I was about 9 or 10.

Alright, now we get to the good stuff…hope you enjoy these links after the jump!

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Sunday Morning…

Good morning, it is a beautiful fall day here in Banjoland…we have a lot to get to, because there is so much going on in the news.

A few things first, things are still hot over in Libya, the rebel forces claim to have taken control of some key locations in Gaddafi’s hometown. In Syria, Washington Post is reporting Iraq is siding with Iran by offering financial support to Assad’s regime. They have hosted official visits with Syrians to build business relations and offer political support.

I don’t know why this is such a surprise to the US, it seems like a good way to put the screws on the Obama Administration…and assert their own government control, by joining Iran in support of Assad. Lets just wait and see, this is going to build and give Obama a reason to stay in Iraq a bit longer.

In other Syrian news, this past week the UN Security Council had a rare double veto, With United Nations Veto, Russia and China Help Syria  

By vetoing a Security Council resolution condemning Syria for its oppression of antigovernment forces, Russia and China effectively tossed a life preserver to President Bashar al-Assad, seemingly unwilling to see a pivotal ally and once stalwart member of the socialist bloc sink beneath the waves of the Arab Spring.


Russia enjoys military and commercial deals with Syria worth billions of dollars annually, plus its alliance and only reliable Arab friend give it an entree into the Arab-Israeli peace negotiations. In addition, Moscow maintains perks left over from its superpower days, for instance, a naval base at Tartus, Syria, that accommodates visits by warships like Peter the Great, a nuclear-powered missile cruiser, during its Mediterranean jaunts.

China worries that the reverberations from falling Arab despots will inspire civil disobedience at home.

But beyond those concerns, and a stated interest in averting violent change in Syria, China and Russia are also increasingly allied in shutting down what they see as Western efforts to use sanctions and other economic measures to put the United Nations seal of approval on Western-friendly regime change.

Hillary Clinton had some harsh words for Russia and China, Clinton says U.N. Security Council failed Syria 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that the U.N. Security Council failed its duty by not passing a resolution on Syria and said Russia and China would have to explain their vetoes to the Syrian people.

“We believe the Security Council abrogated its responsibility yesterday,” Clinton told reporters, saying the measure vetoed by Russia and China represented the “bare minimum” of what the international community should do in response to the bloody crackdown by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“The countries that chose to veto the resolution will have to offer their own explanations to the Syrian people, and to all others who are fighting for freedom and human rights around the world,” Clinton said in the Dominican Republic, where she was on an official visit.

This past week also marked the tenth anniversary of the War in Afghanistan. Some of the #Occupy protesters marked this decade of war…Atlanta’s Occupy was one of the cities that timed their protest to correspond with the anniversary. Group begins Day Two of ‘Occupy Atlanta’ 

On Friday, several hundred members of the group rallied in the park to protest, among a number of topics, corporate greed and the war in Afghanistan. By early Saturday, a few dozen milled about the park enjoying the warm sunshine and cups of coffee.

The protests are timed for the 10th anniversary for the war in Afghanistan and patterned after an Occupy group that has been encamped in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan since mid-September.

Anti-war protests in Washington DC forced the closure of the Air and Space Museum. Some of our Banjoville 8th graders are on a field trip this weekend in DC…I hope this did not affect their planned trip to the museums.  Stop the Machine Protest Closes National Air and Space Museum

A spokesman for the Smithsonian, John Gibbons, said a large group of demonstrators, estimated at 100 to 200 people, arrived at about 3 p.m. and tried to enter the museum. When a security guard stopped the group from entering, saying they could not bring in signs, the demonstrators apparently held him, Mr. Gibbons said. A second guard arrived and used pepper spray on at least one person, and the crowd dispersed.

A number of groups have been demonstrating in the city in the past week. The group at the museum Saturday included people affiliated with the October 2011 Stop the Machine demonstration, which has been taking place in Freedom Plaza in protest of war and what the group calls corporate greed. It also included protesters affiliated with Occupy D.C., which is modeled on Occupy Wall Street in New York.

The group was protesting a drone exhibit at the museum. #Occupy protest are getting some notice in the foreign press, Guardian has a reporter in Seattle covering the protest there.  Occupy America: protests against Wall Street and inequality hit 70 cities | World news | The Observer

Garth Carroll, who calls himself Professor Gizmo

Garth Carroll, who calls himself Professor Gizmo, wears the American flag as he demonstrates at Occupy Seattle at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle, Washington. Photograph: Marcus Donner/REUTERS

The Wall Street protests against economic inequality and corporate greed that targeted the nerve centre of American capitalism are no longer merely a New York phenomenon. This weekend, from Seattle and Los Angeles on the west coast to Providence, Rhode Island, and Tampa, Florida, on the east, as many as 70 major cities and more than 600 communities have joined the swelling wave of civil dissent. The slogan “Occupy Wall Street” has been suitably abbreviated to a single word: “Occupy”

This article focuses on some of the older people joining the young college students.

“This could be the tipping point,” said Dick Steinkamp, 63, a retired Silicon Valley executive at the Occupy Seattle protest being held in the heart of the city’s shopping and restaurant district . He and his wife had driven two hours from their home in Bellingham, north of Seattle, specifically to join the rally and give it support from more conventional professionals.

“I marched against the Vietnam war before I was drafted into the army and this movement is now getting towards that critical mass,” he said.

One of the favourite messages of the protesters is that almost 40% of US wealth is held in the hands of 1% of the population, who are taxed more lightly than the majority of Americans. Steinkamp was holding a sign saying “I am the 99%”. And there is widespread anger that ordinary people have born the brunt of the financial crisis with dire job losses and house repossessions.

“I came here because I wanted to show it wasn’t just young anarchists,” said Deb Steinkamp, also 63 and a retired marriage counsellor, wearing a green cagoule and sensible shoes against the damp, chilly Seattle weather.

Sensible…hmm, not fashionable. I guess Deb has reach the age where sensibility outweighs cool hip and chic style.

The protest is also getting the notice of some powerful people in Washington… Pelosi Supports Occupy Wall Street Movement   

House Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she supports the growing nationwide Occupy Wall Street movement, which began on the streets of downtown New York City in mid-September.

“I support the message to the establishment, whether it’s Wall Street or the political establishment and the rest, that change has to happen,” said Pelosi in an exclusive interview with ABC News “This Week” anchor Christiane Amanpour. “We cannot continue in a way this is not relevant to their lives.”

Pelosi said she sees the protestors’ anger stemming from unemployment, which remains pinned at 9%. Pelosi added that the failure of TARP, or commonly known as the bank bailout, to add liquidity to the Main Street marketplace is fueling Americans’ animosity towards Wall Street.

“The thought was that when we did that [pass TARP], there would be capital available and Main Street would benefit from the resources that went largely to Wall Street,” said Pelosi. “That didn’t happen. People are angry.”

Wait…isn’t Pelosi part of that 1%? That quote about TARP, it bothers me for some reason. The to small to succeed stimulus that was just the right amount to bail out the banks that were too big to fail. Oh yeah…that any of that cash was going to trickle down to main street was such a pile of stinking bovine excrement.

“We’ve needed jobs for a while,” Pelosi added. “What he [the President] is proposing is job creating. And it’s really important for him to explain what this is about, or at least keep saying it over and over.”

Ugh…I don’t have the will to post more of this article from ABC…just click the link if you want to read the rest of it…I’ve lost respect for Pelosi years ago. Anything she says now is just empty words…Like these:

“Count me among those… who object to the way Congress is conducting itself,” said Pelosi. “We have a responsibility to try to find common ground.”

Moving on to another talking “democrat”…I just want to see Obama do his best impersonation of Rodney Dangerfield, “I get no respect!” Dakinikat had a post last night that you should take a look at. In it she discusses a rather long op/ed in the Washington Post…so here is the link and a bit of her post:  The Big Beltway Chill « Sky Dancing

Autumn brings campaigns and the chilly season.  This year also seems to be bringing chilly retrospectives on the Obama Presidency.  This Presidency has disappointed many.  I think there’s finally some introspection going on within the Washington Press Corps as well as the retrospection.  They may be wondering how they became so enamored of  some one who seems so detached from leadership basics.

People have been leafing through their copies of Confidence Men.   I  read an article today by Ezra Klein called “Could this time have been different?”  Klein almost steps outside of his Beltway Bob mentality.  Almost.  Klein is still making excuses for how the administration got the economy so wrong even though the tick tock and the economic rationale make sense.   Now, politicos will have  to read this one from Scott Wilson–the white house correspondent  at WAPO–with it’s interesting title: “Obama, the loner president”.  It seems the defining campaign moment should’ve have been  “Why can’t I just eat my waffle” because Wilson says that’s how the president handles in job.

Just read her post, it is awesome.

A couple of more links for you today, Michele Bachmann is pulling the PLUB card, I guess it is just a “Hail Mary” move to gain more exposure and support from her wacko base. Michele Bachmann Proposes Mandatory Ultrasounds For Women Seeking Abortions

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) proposed a bill on Thursday that would force women in the early stages of pregnancy to have a physically invasive and medically unnecessary ultrasound procedure before they can legally consent to having an abortion.

The “Heartbeat Informed Consent Act” requires doctors to make the fetal heartbeat visible and audible to the woman prior to the abortion procedure and to describe the ultrasound image to her in detail, even if she prefers not to hear about it. If the woman is between four and five weeks pregnant, the doctor has to perform a “transvaginal ultrasound” in order to hear the heartbeat, which involves a probe and can be physically uncomfortable for the woman.

“It’s similar to a pelvic exam, which can come with discomfort for the woman, and it’s invasive,” said Dr. Nancy Stanwood, an obstetrician and board member of the health advocacy group Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health. “It’s also medically unnecessary. Some politicians might see it as ideologically necessary, but it’s medically unnecessary, so the government telling you that you need to have one sounds ridiculous on many levels.”

She backs up her new bill with highly scientific research from a study done by Focus on the Family…she is so quick to cite various sources that seem to spring from her ass. It is all a show, because in Texas, a similar bill was struck down by a Federal Court. But Bachmann says she doesn’t care if the bill passes or not…she is committed to protecting life, and protecting what ever primary votes she can wrangle by this display of wingnut legislative action.

From Minx’s Missing Link File:  This article from earlier in the week caught my attention, Population study suggests we’re still evolving – Technology & science – Science – LiveScience –

Humans, like all other organisms on Earth, are subject to the pressures of evolution. New research suggests that even in relatively modern societies, humans are still changing and evolving in response to the environment.

“Whether humans could or could not evolve in modern times could have interesting implications,” study researcher Emmanuel Milot, of the University of Quebec in Montreal, told LiveScience. It could help us understand changing trends for the different traits of a population.

By studying an island population in Quebec, the researchers found a genetic push toward younger age at first reproduction and larger families. This is the first direct evidence of natural selection in action in a relatively modern human population.


The study used data from 30 families who settled on île aux Coudres, located in the St. Lawrence River outside of Quebec City, between 1720 and 1773. A church on the island held historical records of all births, deaths and marriages on the island, from which researchers were able to build extensive family trees.

The researchers analyzed the data from women who married between 1799 and 1940, comparing their relations, any social, cultural or economic differences, and the age they had their first child.

The researchers found that over a 140-year period, age at first reproduction dropped from 26 to 22, with somewhere between 30 percent and 50 percent of this variation being explained by genetic variation in the population, not by other factors, such as changes in cultures or social attitudes.

“We think, traditionally, that the changes in human population are mainly cultural, which is why a non-genetic hypothesis is given priority over a genetic or evolutionary hypothesis, whether or not there is data to support that,” Milot said. “We have data that we analyzed from the genetic and non-genetic point of view, and we find that the genetic factors are stronger.”


The researchers didn’t look at which genes might have changed over time, but they suggest reasons for the age change could include differences in fertility and how early a woman hits puberty, or even heritable personality traits that would nudge a woman to procreate earlier. These genetic factors would be changing in response to the natural selection for a higher number of kids overall.

“In that particular population, selective pressure seemed pretty constant for the study period,” Milot said. “Maybe it has to do because it has a newly founded population and it was not disadvantageous to have big families.”

The study says that larger families would have been an advantage by increasing the likelihood that one’s genes would carry on.

Seeing natural selection in modern populations is incredibly difficult. Because this population was highly related and relatively cut off from outside populations, the correlation between genetic factors and age at first reproduction was easier to see.

Easy Like Sunday Morning Link of the Week:  I have always been fond of Madeleine Albright, in fact one of her quotes is very special to me…“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” Anyway,   Madeleine Albright’s Famous Pin Collection Is Coming To The Denver Art Museum In April 2012 (PHOTOS)

Political junkies and feminists alike may be delighted about the pins and needles exhibit coming soon to the Denver Art Museum in April 2012.

Read My Pins” is the emblematic collection of former U.S. Secretary Madeleine Albright’s pins worn during her history-making diplomatic tenure. Secretary Albright was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the first woman to serve as the U.S. Secretary of State, and the highest ranking woman in politics of her time. Many of the delicate-looking ornaments were worn by her to relay a symbolic message or tone during her trips abroad.
“I found that jewelry had become part of my personal diplomatic arsenal,” Albright has said of her collection.

One of Albright’s most famous is a gold snake pin, which she tells CNN she wore to Iraq after Saddam Hussein called her a serpent.

“So I decided I had a snake pin that I bought earlier sometime, so I thought ‘I’ll wear it when we do Iraq’ so I in fact did wear it. President Bush had said ‘Read my lips’ so I said, ‘Read my pins.’

Well, that is all I have for you this morning. I will again point out a couple of yesterday’s post by Dakinikat and Wonk the Vote, they are excellent, so please give them a read if you missed them.  Have a wonderful Sunday, and I hope to see you in the comment section later today.

SDB Later Evening News Reads for 082611: Huntsman, Irene and Sanatorium Science

Wow, what a day, most of our readers in the Northeast are getting ready for some rain, wind and storm surge…

I remember someone asked about the flooding, and if having a new moon was going to be a problem…I think it was Branjor. Well, it looks like it could…Hurricane Irene 2011: Flooding could be made worse by arrival of a new moon | Mail Online

The intensity of Hurricane Irene and the extent of the flooding on the East Coast could be made worse by a new moon and high temperature of water in the Atlantic, scientists warn.

During new and full moons, the sun, Earth, and the moon are arranged in a straight line, with the sun and moon intensifying each other’s gravitational pull on Earth.

Meteorologist Jeff Masters, director of the Weather Underground website, said the result is more severe tidal fluctuations.

That means low tides are lower than usual and high tides are higher.

Due to these so-called spring tides, any town that sees the hurricane pass by during one of the two daily high tides is especially in danger of heavy flooding due to storm surges.

The storm is causing big problems in the big city, New York City that is.  NYC orders evacuations; Mass transit to shut down – CBS News

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered mandatory evacuations for residents in low-lying coastal areas ahead of Hurricane Irene.

Bloomberg said at a briefing Friday that emergency shelters will be opened at 4 p.m.

The low-lying areas are scattered across the city and are home to about 270,000 residents. They include parts of Battery Park City, Coney Island and the Rockaways.

Officials also ordered an unprecedented shutdown of the city’s mass transit system for Saturday in advance of the hurricane.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has never before halted its entire system in advance of a storm, though the system was seriously hobbled by an August 2007 rainstorm. The last planned shutdown of the entire transit system was during a 2005 strike.

They are expecting flooding in lower Manhattan, which is going to affect the subways.

Voice of America is reporting that an Islamist Militant Group Boko Haram Claims Attack in Nigeria | World | Learning English

A deadly car bombing at the United Nations building in Abuja has brought more attention to an Islamic group. The attack happened Friday morning in the Nigerian capital. Later, a man claiming to represent Boko Haram spoke by telephone with a VOA reporter. He said the group carried out the attack and warned that “this is just the beginning.”

The spokesman said the bombing was in reaction to the Nigerian military’s increased presence in the northeastern state of Borno. Boko Haram is active there. The government sent more troops after an increase in suspected Boko Haram shootings and bombings.

In the Hausa language, the group’s name means “western education is a sin.” Boko Haram wants Islamic law or sharia to be established more widely across Africa’s most populous nation. Western security officials say Boko Haram may have ties to the north African group known as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

There is an interview at the link with a VOA journalist who works at the UN building in Nigeria. She describes the scene in detail.

This next link is just the kind of thing to put me in a sanatorium, sanitarium…well, y’all get the idea.  First Read – Santorum: GOP not ‘anti-science’

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum railed against former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s statement that the Republican Party risks becoming the “anti-science” party.

Speaking to a group of about 90 people at the Beacon Drive-In in Spartanburg, SC, a popular stop for presidential candidates, Santorum did not mention Gov. Huntsman by name but brought up his fellow candidate’s assertions, made on TV and via Twitter, that the Republican Party would have a “huge problem” if it became hostile to evolution and climate change.

“We are going through this debate right now by somebody who’s in the Republican field talking about people who believe in certain scientific theories, whether it’s global warming or evolution. And somehow or another if you believe that we are creatures of a loving God, that that is somehow anti-science,” Santorum said.  “It’s not anti-science. It’s an affirmation of what we view in the world. Which is, we see God.”

Somebody, quick…get me a padded cell.

And what about Huntsman, well there is this over at MoJo:

Jon Huntsman: The Democrat’s Republican | Mother Jones

Huntsman’s finance team also boats five people who have donated to Democrats. Of course, as RCP points out, donating to candidates of both parties is nothing new. But in a state with as unbroken a conservative streak as South Carolina’s, Huntsman’s reliance on a donor with such unadulterated haterade for Haley seems a trifle…unwise. Perhaps Huntsman’s staffers think that Haley’s sliding approval ratings mean she’s no longer the potent political kingmaking force she was once thought to be.


Still, given the fact that Huntsman has pegged his presidential fortunes to the South Carolina primary—and foregoing the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary—you have to ask just how far his pro-life, pro-business, anti-tax record can carry him. Especially with quotes like this one, from Dem strategist Tyler Jones, floating around: “This is why liberals in South Carolina love Jon Huntsman…He hates Republicans just as much as we do.”


I don’t know if one could say that Huntsman hates Republicans…that is a bit much in my opinion. However, he did score some liberal points with that tweet of his, supporting evolution and climate change. If only he would support woman’s rights…


Anyway, all you northeastern Sky Dancing readers…please take care of yourselves and let us know you are okay once Irene passes. We will be thinking about you…