atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2999: All humans have a common ancestor.

We know this thanks to the discovery that everyone has the same mitochondria.

Mitochondria are passed on via the mother and we can trace all of them back to Mitochondrial Eve, who is the most recent common female ancestor the human race has. She lived 200,000 years ago. if we found gene-compatible humans on another world, would their mitochondria be the same as ours? Or would they be different?

None of this is news, but it occurred to me last night while thinking about my current rewrite project. If a 29th century archaeologist found human remains on an alien world, one of the first things he'd do would be to run a DNA sequence and check the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) against known samples. Does it match terrestrial human mtDNA? Or is it different? Does this find have any genes we've never seen in our own genome? What did they do?

The answer to this question (and some related ones) could conceivably have serious repercussions for the story and the universe at large in which I'm writing, so it's something I've got to give some serious thought to. The main character of the story is an archaeologist, not an anthropologist, but when you start talking about the distant past the line between the two disciplines becomes awfully blurry.

And in a world where cloning is a mature technology, finding a complete genome means the possibility of returning extinct genes to the gene pool.

My SF universe doesn't have any of that Hollywood silliness about clones automatically having all the memories of the cloned individual, by the way. (The Sixth Day handled it correctly, except for the nonsense about flash-copying an entire human memory in a few seconds. Nothing like violating the Laws of Thermodynamics, I always sez, but Hollywood has to get something wrong or the entire place will collapse.) So if scientists got a genome from some bones they found, and made a clone, they'd have to raise it from a baby and it would know nothing but what it was taught.

Still, that could be invaluable. Imagine how many anthropologists would line up for a shot at adopting a neanderthal baby; because if that neanderthal could be taught calculus it would teach us a lot about how humans came from apes.

* * *

Well, I guess that's it for me liking Olive Garden. Any restaurant that bans the American flag does not need any of my money.

* * *

A cure for peanut allergies? Could this technique be used to cure all allergies?

I still think the sudden prevalence of peanut allergies has to do with the use of human stem cells for vaccine production. I bet the donor cells came from a person who was (or would have been if we're talking fetal stem cells) allergic to nuts.

* * *

Ann Coulter:
If Richard Nixon had won the 1960 election instead of John F. Kennedy – as some say he did – there never would have been a need for Rosa Parks, the Freedom Rides and the rest of the civil disobedience of the civil rights movement.

But as soon as the Democrats got control of the White House, enforcement of the Supreme Court's civil rights rulings came to a crashing halt. Elected Democrats in the states were free to violate legitimate constitutional rulings without interference from Democratic presidents.


Now liberals compare their every riot, every traffic blockage, every Starbucks-window-smashing street protest to the civil rights movement – which was only necessary because of them.
Emphasis added.

Ann's knocking 'em out of the park.

* * *

If I had the money to pay for food and lodging, I'd be there. Free airfare to Japan? Are you kidding?

* * *

Of course they are. Democrats regard all money as government's, and it's only through largesse that you're allowed to keep any of it. That's why Democrats always speak in terms of "paying" for tax cuts. It's not your money; it's theirs.

So when they see a vast pool of money they can't touch, it chaps their asses and scolds their hens. (Wait, what?) Of course they want to find a way to tax that money. It's simply not fair that you only have to pay taxes on that money when you withdraw it from the account; in a just world you'd be taxed when you earned it, when you saved it, when it accrued interest or capital gains, when you withdrew it, and when you spent it!

...instead of being taxed only when you withdraw and spend it, that is. (Assuming your contributions are from pre-tax income.)

Because, you know, why should there be any incentive for saving money? If you save for retirement, you're not going to be dependent on the US federal government when you retire! We can't have that, now, can we?

Can we start lynching the fucking politicians yet?

* * *

"[Obama] is neither liked nor competent."

* * *


From there:

"Most economists don’t see the U.S. sliding into recession," begins the 7th paragraph. That's because "most economists" are MORONS.


Speaking as someone with student loan problems: we don't need to forgive student loan debt. No. Just allow the damn debt to be dischargeable via bankrupcy.

On the other hand, with the federal government handing out money to all kinds of Democrat constituencies, why shouldn't the government just pay off delinquent student loans? WTF, it's not like the deficit is going to get better if we don't do this. Call it a "bailout" because the banks that lent money to the penniless are "too big to fail" and screw it. Who cares, right?

End the federal student loan program, pay off all the loans, and say, "The federal government is no longer in this business; both students and lenders are now on their own." Which means if the banks make loans and the students don't pay, bankruptcy is possible on all sides.

It'll also make college education cheaper if there isn't a huge wad of money chasing a fixed number of classroom seats.

Bottom line: I don't think forgiving them is necessarily desirable, but if we're going to forgive big banks for their crimes and give them billions of dollars to stay afloat, why can't the federal government pay off the existing student loans too?


The 21st century's Smoot-Hawley is on its way. Romney talks tough on China and finishes by giving himself an out: "...if the bill allows that effectively and doesn’t cause other problems, why it’s a bill I’d support.”

Of course any tariff bill will "cause other problems" and everyone knows it--and if they don't know it they for damn sure ought to be clued in by the other people in the room who do.

It's a case of thinking, "Well, what can they do about it, anyway? They need us to buy their stuff!" Yeah--well, we need them to buy our freakin' debt because you assholes in D.C. can't stop spending literal trillions of dollars we don't have. If you start a trade war they can hurt us just as badly as--if not worse than--we can hurt them.


Important point: port traffic is down 15% this year from last year.

I've periodically mentioned seeing container trains with no containers on long stretches of cars, and I've said that if the containers aren't moving (even empties) then stuff is not moving, and that's bad. "It's not just port traffic that is down. Spokesmen for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and Federal Express said the same thing."

"After a strong holiday season last year—with sales up 4.1%—forecasts are pointing to more moderate gains as the bumpy economic recovery..." Sales up 4.1% from what level? From their nadir in 2009? From some other point? The article does not make this plain t all, and it ought to.

This matters because if it's up 4.1% from 2009 levels, that's nothing to write home about because 2009 was a rotten year. (The same way 2011 is shaping up to be a rotten year.)

* * *

The case for the torrent box shows as "out for delivery" but it's after 5 and it hasn't shown up yet. UPS generally delivers in the evening in this neighborhood, though; I remember how late the motorcycle tires got here.

So I'm going to sit here at the PC until the case arrives or the clock hits 6 PM. Whichever comes first.

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