Discuss amongst yourselves

The first thing we do is glue the ball to Chester Taylor’s hands!

So, who molested the monkey?

Someone in the Bush family, I think one of the liberal regulars would do well to retort. But the news earlier this week had me laughing to myself, although unfortunately it’s not actually as funny as my faulty memory would have had it:

Nearly six years after the sequence of the human genome was sketched out, one might assume that researchers had worked out what all that DNA means. But a new investigation has left them wondering just how similar one person’s genome is to another’s. Geneticists have generally assumed that your string of DNA ‘letters’ is 99.9% identical to that of your neighbour’s, with differences in the odd individual letter. These differences make each person genetically unique — influencing everything from appearance and personality to susceptibility to disease.

But hold on, say the authors of a new study published in Nature. They have identified surprisingly large chunks of the genome that can differ dramatically from one person to the next…. According to the team’s back-of-the-envelope calculations, one person’s DNA is probably 99.5% similar to their neighbour’s. Or a bit less. “I’ve tried to do the calculation and it’s very complicated,” says Hurles. “It all depends on how you do the accounting.”

The answer is also unclear because researchers think that there are many more variable blocks of sequence that are 10,000 or 1,000 letters long and were excluded from the current study. Because of limits with their methods, the new map mainly identified variable chunks larger than 50,000 letters long.

This struck me as really funny, since last year people were going on and on about how we were something like 99.8 percent similar to chimpanzees. So, this news that humans spanned a range of at least .5 percent variance naturally had me wondering exactly who, besides Patrick Ewing, Gerard Depardieu and George W. Bush, was more closely related to chimpanzees than a perfect specimen of humanity such as Daniela Pestova.

Unfortunately, the 99 percent was always an exaggeration, as the following quote demonstrates.

Aug. 31, 2005 – The first comprehensive comparison of the genetic blueprints of humans and chimpanzees shows our closest living relatives share perfect identity with 96 percent of our DNA sequence, an international research consortium reported today…. The consortium found that the chimp and human genomes are very similar and encode very similar proteins. The DNA sequence that can be directly compared between the two genomes is almost 99 percent identical. When DNA insertions and deletions are taken into account, humans and chimps still share 96 percent of their sequence.

Still, if our intraspecies variation is significantly greater than previously thought, one presumes that this new discovery would also tend to separate us further from the chimps and sea urchins, barring Jenna pestering the primates at the zoo, of course. Renee or someone else versed in current biology textbooks will correct me if my assumption is incorrect, I’m sure.

For once, I’m with Ralph

Powerline compares Steyn’s take on future Europe with that of Ralph Peters:

Have the Europeans become too soft for that sort of thing? Has narcotic socialism destroyed their ability to hate? Is their atheism a prelude to total surrender to faith-intoxicated Muslim jihadis?

The answer to all of the above questions is a booming “No!” The Europeans have enjoyed a comfy ride for the last 60 years – but the very fact that they don’t want it to stop increases their rage and sense of being besieged by Muslim minorities they’ve long refused to assimilate (and which no longer want to assimilate).

Far from enjoying the prospect of taking over Europe by having babies, Europe’s Muslims are living on borrowed time. When a third of French voters have demonstrated their willingness to vote for Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front – a party that makes the Ku Klux Klan seem like Human Rights Watch – all predictions of Europe going gently into that good night are surreal.

I have no difficulty imagining a scenario in which U.S. Navy ships are at anchor and U.S. Marines have gone ashore at Brest, Bremerhaven or Bari to guarantee the safe evacuation of Europe’s Muslims. After all, we were the only ones to do anything about the slaughter of Muslims in the Balkans.

There is a real sense of something nasty looming in London as in the Netherlands and France. The number of non-Europeans there is amazing, one heard less English in some areas around London than one usually does in Zurich. Spacebunny even had a Coke one evening with an English sticker slapped over the Arabic one on the bottle. And it probably won’t make Drudge, but just yesterday a Tunisian immigrant beat to death a sixty year-old Indian man and injured seven others who were parked in traffic, just the latest incident of immigrants behaving murderously in England.

But it’s important to remember that although there are still far fewer Muslims in Europe than non-American Hispanics in the USA, the conversation about whether to permit multiculturalism to continue has already begun. Muslims aren’t going to react well to the strictures already being put in place such as the veil bans, and should their social benefits be cut, as I expect to see happen in the next five years, the conflict will increase dramatically.

In fact, although it hasn’t been widely covered in the international press, expulsions and refusals to renew residence visas are already taking place in Holland. Once one European country elects a government hostile to non-European immigrants and people see that it is possible to reclaim their nations from the multicultural mire – remember, a nation is a people, not an idea, to Europeans – I expect others will quickly and enthusiastically follow suit.

What it boils down to is this: if Europeans truly intended to accept Islam, Turkey would already be in the EU.

The Wisdom of the Big Tuna

A fascinating article on Bill Parcells. I particularly noted this bit:

In this laboratory he has identified a phenomenon he calls the game quitter. Game quitters, he says, seem “as if they are trying to win, but really they’ve given up. They’ve just chosen a way out that’s not apparent to the naked eye. They are more concerned with public opinion than the end result.”

I think Parcells’ loathing for this phenomenon is an integral part of his success as a football coach. The game quitter is a problem in every organization, an obstacle to every endeavor, and the deceptive nature of the phenomenon makes it hard to identify without looking specifically for it.

I know I have some tendencies that way, although I think I’ve successfully surmounted them for the most part. I certainly have the scar on my knee to prove it. Still, I can remember one game this fall when I was practically praying for the final whistle and barely going through the motions; I was so exhausted that I felt nothing but gratitude towards the midfielder who hit me from behind and allowed me to go down and let the ball go out of bounds while we kept possession.

I wish I knew how to solve the problem of the game quitter, as I see it in a few of the players on the kids’ team, but the only real solution seems to be a private, internal one. If Parcells can’t figure it out, I rather doubt anyone can.

Dread request

Dread, can you supply me with the full “ontological speculation” quote from Tesla? The one from the NY Times. Just post it here if you’ve got it.