blunt essays with sharp points
Sep 29, 2004 6:30 PM–
Surprising conclusions about human ancestry come from research just published in Nature. The entire Western world has Emperor Charlemagne as a common ancestor (A.D. 742–814) through one or more of his eighteen children. The most recent common ancestor of all humanity except those living in the remotest places on earth probably lived in early A.D. The most recent common ancestor of all humanity probably lived in 1,500 B.C., in eastern Asia. Before 5,400 B.C., all the family trees of people today are composed of exactly the same individuals.
What is the research behind these conclusions?
The full article is available from Nature: Human populations are tightly interwoven: Family tree shows our common ancestor lived just 3,500 years ago by Michael Hopkin (2004).
More about the remarkable genetic similarity of all humans can be found in an earlier Scrupulus: Shall We Breed Humanzees? (2004).
Sep 27, 2004 6:54 PM– Should men breastfeed their children? Even ancient authorities say yes.
Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child. (Numbers 11:12 Authorized Version of 1611)
Historically, male lactation was noted by the German explorer Alexander Freiherr von Humboldt prior to 1859, who wrote of a 32-year-old man who breastfed his child for five months. It was also observed in a 55-year-old Baltimore man who had been the wetnurse of the children of his mistress. (Milkmen: Fathers Who Breastfeed)
All a man has to do to get his breasts to produce milk is to let the baby suck at them. (The Nursing Father)
Breast-feeding may modestly reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
Women who breast-fed for a total of six years or more (all children combined) over the course of their lives had as much as a 63% decrease in breast cancer incidence compared to women who never breast-fed.(go to complete article)
Out of 31 studies, more than half reported that women who breast-fed had a decreased risk of developing breast cancer (ranging from 10%-64%) compared to women who never breast-fed. The rest of the studies reported that breast-feeding had no influence on the risk of developing breast cancer. (Breast-feeding and the Risk of Breast Cancer, Cornell University Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors in New York State)
Sep 13, 2004 1:32 PM–
A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower when the doorbell rings. After a few seconds of arguing over which one should go and answer the doorbell, the wife gives up, quickly wraps herself up in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next door neighbor.
Before she says a word, Bob says, “I’ll give you $800 to drop that towel that you have on.”(go to complete article)
After thinking for moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob. After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves. Confused, but excited about her good fortune, the woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.
When she gets back to the bathroom, her husband asks from the shower, “Who was that?”
“It was Bob, the next door neighbor,” she replies.
“Great,” the husband says, “Did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?”
Moral of the story: If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk in time with your stakeholders, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.
A priest was driving along and saw a nun on the side of the road. He stopped and offered her a lift, which she accepted. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to open and reveal a lovely leg. The priest had a look and nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg.
The nun looked at him and immediately said, “Father, remember Psalm 129?”
The priest was flustered and apologized profusely. He forced himself to remove his hand. However, he was unable to remove his eyes from her leg. Further on while changing gear, he let his hand slide up her leg again.
The nun once again said, “Father, remember Psalm 129?”
Once again the priest apologized. “Sorry, Sister, but the flesh is weak.”
Arriving at the convent, the nun got out gave him a meaningful glance and went on her way. On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to retrieve a Bible and looked up Psalm 129. It said, “Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.”
Moral of the story: Always be well informed in your job, or you might miss a great opportunity.
A sales rep, an administration clerk, and their manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a genie comes out in a puff of smoke. The genie says, “I usually grant only three wishes, so I’ll give each of you just one.”
“Me first! Me first!” says the administration clerk. “I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.”
Poof! She’s gone.
In astonishment, “Me next! Me next!” says the sales rep. “I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of pina coladas, and the love of my life.”
Poof! He’s gone.
“O.K., you’re up,” the genie says to the manager.
The manager says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch.”
Moral of story: Always let your boss have the first say.
A crow was sitting on a tree, doing nothing all day.
A small rabbit saw the crow, and asked him, “Can I also sit like you and do nothing all day long?”
The crow answered, “Sure, why not.”
So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the crow, and rested. All of a sudden a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit, and ate it.
Management lesson: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high.
Sep 3, 2004 6:26 PM– The very thought of breeding a human-chimpanzee hybrid is abominable to some people, yet it is almost certain to happen. The prospect has generated considerable discussion of the ethics of human-chimpanzee hybrids and whether one must legally recognize a “humanzee” to be a person.(go to complete article)
“Modern scientific usage defines two ape families: the family Hylobatidae consisting of 12 species of gibbons, including the Lar and the Siamang, collectively known as the lesser apes, [and] the family Hominidae consisting of Gorillas, Chimpanzees and Bonobos, Orangutans, and Humans, collectively known as the great apes.” [Ape]
“When one looks at the chromosomes of humans and the living great apes, it is immediately apparent that there is a great deal of similarity between the number and overall appearance of the chromosomes across the four different species. [Human and Ape Chromosomes]
Humans and other great apes did not always look so different. “The Miocene apes discovered by Louis Leakey had relatively short arms and still had not developed a simian shelf, indicating with respect to these features that apes have been getting progressively less manlike over millions of years.” [Fix, The Bone Hunters, p. 17]
The world human population differs less genetically from chimps than regional chimp populations differ from one another. That is, genetically speaking it may be fair to call humans a form of highly inbred chimpanzee. Humans and chimpanzees can very likely still interbreed. Members of different ape species often mate in captivity when left together, and the resulting offspring resemble a mix of the parents’ physical characteristics. Humans and chimpanzees are closer in genetic similarity than many species that can interbreed, such as felines, canines, and equines.
Richard Dawkins had some thought provoking words about basing our morality on an arbitrary division between humans and other species: Gaps in the Mind
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes they fool you by walking upright.
What part of “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn” don’t you understand?
Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life. —Terry Pratchett
Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig. —Robert Heinlein
Do not ask why the past was better than the present, for this is not a question prompted by wisdom. —Ecclesiastes 7:10
Power lines abruptly stopped causing cancer in 1997 after the U.S. National Cancer Institute conducted a better study. —Robert Parks
Встретимся под столом! (Vstretimsja pod stolom: To meeting you under the table!)
The more you cry, the less you’ll pee.
Relish the love of a good woman.
It’ll never get better if you keep picking at it. —advice from Judge “Maximum” Bob Gibbs