I don’t do too many New Year’s Resolutions. My main goal this year which is of interest readers is increase total quantity of quality in terms of content. In other words, I want to keep volume up, but increase the quality of posting.
If you haven’t contributed to the Open Thread this week, it’s about post requests.
Since “Scissors” Michelle already nudged the “soft launch” a bit harder, I thought it might be time to introduce Brown Pundits. Zach Latif & were spending too much time talking to each other on the comment boards of Sepia Mutiny. I thought Zach’s comments would probably benefit from a wider venue, and I am (along with others) coming on board. The topicality is brown, but that’s about it. Now, I’m about as brown as a Jewish guy raised in north Alabama who loves ham sandwiches & Christmas tree decorations is Jewish (or, the perhaps the biggest Jain patron of Outback Steakhouse is Jain). But like being Jewish being brown is to some extent inalienable, so of course I’ll speak up. Since Zach is a Pakistani Bahai who grew up in Kuwait and Britain whose mother is an ethnic Persian, I think it’s kosher to add him to the “league of odd-brownz.” BP has a twitter account and a Facebook page.
Speaking of Michelle, she’s back to blogging more regularly. Wish her well after her less-than-optimal 2010 part 2.
Amerindian-like sequences in Baltic Finns (aka. phased data and extended haplotypes are the way forward). David seems to be suggesting that there are traces of some commonality between Amerindians and Finns not found in other Europeans. First thought would be that this is a common circumpolar element.
A genetic map of West Eurasians. Oh my! Read the whole thing. Note the large gap between Pakistani Iranian speakers, and Farsi speakers. Is this simply a function of geography? Do Tajiks, or Farsi speakers from Khorasan, resemble Pathans more? Or perhaps the Indo-Iranian languages are overlain on preexistent genetic variation?
What the Roman Empire’s demographics were like and what they mean. ” the only countries that comes close to the likely life expectancy of the average Roman are a long list of terribly poor countries, all but Afghanistan located in sub-Saharan Africa, most with very high levels of HIV infection in addition to any number of other illnesses. But even the worst-off country, Swaziland, comes at 39.6 years at least a decade ahead of the Roman average and on par with the luckiest Roman districts.” And many people in very poor countries today have cell phones!
American English Dialect Map. A definite time killer!
Our Brains Are Shrinking. Are We Getting Dumber? This one is not behind a paywall.
A kiss still outperforms a dating website. “When choosing a mate, you can’t beat up-close chemistry.”
Israel’s Fundamentalist Future. You’ve already encountered this argument here.
Twins’ Facebook Fight Rages On. Can’t decide whether it’s irrational greed or irrational pride.
100 Trillion Connections: New Efforts Probe and Map the Brain’s Detailed. That’s an incomprehensible number. Ironic if that’s the root of comprehension.
How old is Y-chromosome Adam? Many people, including myself, have been known to treat Y and mtDNA methods of inference as “black boxes.” But now is the time to go back and check our premises.
Economic Optimism? Yes, I’ll Take That Bet. John Tierney won his bet on oil prices by 2010, recapitulating the famous Simon-Ehrlich bet. Can’t believe that Ehrlich won a MacArthur award in the year in he lost the bet!
Brooklyn Immigrant Congregations Clash. Religion is not always the solution to inter-ethnic clashes.
Doctors on Facebook Risk Compromising Doctor-Patient Relationship, Study Suggests. A lawyer friend commented that if people had to pay medical expenses out of pocket like they often have to do with legal bills, doctors wouldn’t be nearly as a popular. The operation of the AMA as a licensing cartel is hurting the median well being of the average American. Pushing M.D.’s off their pedestal by showing them to be toolish humans on Facebook might be a good thing!
Rodents Were Diverse and Abundant in Prehistoric Africa When Our Human Ancestors Evolved. Africa, the mother of the rat?
From Simple To Complex. Repeated emergence of multicellularity?
Artificial intelligence makes some progress, but robots still can’t match humans. Check out some books about the future of robotics from th early 1980s. Revealing.
Was There Any Cannibalism during the “Great Drought”? A few years ago Martin Gardiner was promoting the idea of some cultural anthropologist that cannibalism was a universal myth.
Muslim ham complaint thrown out. “A prosecutor has thrown out a complaint made by a Muslim family against a geography teacher who mentioned pork in their son’s class.” Barbarians strike again!
19 of the Best Infographics From 2010. A list I want to make in 2011!
Default Position. “Why we needn’t worry too much about municipal bankruptcy.” Hope it’s so!
The Year of the Exome. Yes!