In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Dauric » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:37 pm UTC

Angua wrote:I'd noticed the bbc calling them guy fawkes masks earlier, even though I thought they were from V for Vendetta, I just assumed (having never watched it) that the V for Vendetta had a guy fawkes mask.


It's V's mask which is a stylized Guy Fawkes as V is working on blowing up Parliament -like- Guy Fawkes...

But y'know when has context ever stopped a meme.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby broken_escalator » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:39 pm UTC

This is pretty cool, not much for story but still pretty cool: Hubble directly observes the disc around a black hole. They have a very nice animation that helps explain too!
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby mike-l » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:43 pm UTC

Angua wrote:I just assumed (having never watched it) that the V for Vendetta had a guy fawkes mask.


He did, it symbolized the violent destruction of parliament in that movie too.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby cpt » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:57 pm UTC

edit: post withdrawn
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quordlepleen » Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:06 pm UTC

Simulated Mars mission 'lands' back on Earth

Things like this are cool, but still I would like to see more efforts being put into space exploration, cause darn it I want to see a self sustaining extraterrestrial colony in my life time. I hope they follow up with the mentioned testing in the ISS. While considering the psychological effect of such a journey are important, it seems like problems such as extensive time in zero gravity could be of greater difficulty to overcome if such journeys are to be made more feasible.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Randomizer » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:31 am UTC

I dunno, I think the scope of the project was reasonably impressive. Here's the video from before the mission started, it goes into a bit more detail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQEWHXcHA9o

I remember hearing that these days for dealing with zero gravity they put the astronauts on a rigorous exercise regime, part of which includes running on a treadmill which uses suction to simulate gravity so they get a proper work-out, and that astronauts were actually coming back in better shape than when they left. Unlike with early missions where they could barely walk when they got off the ship. Plus, my video mentions that there was one astronaut that stayed aboard Mir for 437 days, that's fairly long term. So I'd say that they've got zero-g on humans pretty well covered and the big thing would be to make sure your life support systems are going to last the full length of the trip. The BBC article said the simulated Mars mission had a greenhouse - did they grow everything they needed, or did they have to store more food on board than a real flight would be able to carry? Does the ISS or Mir grow its own food, or is that always shipped in?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Rodion Raskolnikov » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:40 pm UTC

There was a spectacular fireworks failure in a town near me on Guy Fawkes night. (Actually it was on November 4 for reasons that are unclear to me). Basically the fireworks were supposed to last for half an hour, but after a 'technical hitch' they all went off in less than one minute. Which I think looked pretty awesome, but was apparently quite terrifying for younger children who were there. The company responsible are going to put on a free show later in the month to make up for it.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby sigsfried » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:15 pm UTC

On the mask thing, I am pretty sure Guy Fawkes masks predate V for Vendetta. It was part of the costume for the Guy that went on the bonfire. Now while the one in V certainly is more stylised than most of those were I doubt it is that far out of line. Plus a couple of pubs in York (birthplace of Guy Fawkes) have the mask on their sign but claim it to be quite old, certainly pictures of the area have masks on some of the pubs. That all said obviously it was V that made it famous but I don't think calling them Guy Fawkes masks is at all strange.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Goldstein » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:36 pm UTC

Rodion Raskolnikov wrote:the fireworks were supposed to last for half an hour, but after a 'technical hitch' they all went off in less than one minute.

God, yes. It should always be like that.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby bentheimmigrant » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:38 pm UTC

Yeah, that was vastly superior to the standard local bonfire night display.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby AvatarIII » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:56 pm UTC

guy fawkes masks have certainly been around a long time,
from wikipedia, a picture of a "Guy" dating back form 1864, you can clearly see the mask,
however I think it was only since V for Vendetta than anyone actually wore a Guy Fawkes mask, before that it was always only used on a dummy/Guy, meant for burning.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Dauric » Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:08 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:guy fawkes masks have certainly been around a long time,
from wikipedia, a picture of a "Guy" dating back form 1864, you can clearly see the mask,
however I think it was only since V for Vendetta than anyone actually wore a Guy Fawkes mask, before that it was always only used on a dummy/Guy, meant for burning.


Actually if you look t that picture a number of the figures are wearing "guy" masks (not all, 3 of the figures carrying sticks definitely, two others carrying sticks are probable). It looks like it's worn by the procession though, not by the crowd.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:55 pm UTC

Best Buy closing down all UK stores

Best Buy? More like...

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Best Bye.

Yeeeaaaaaaahhhhh.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby johnny_7713 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:03 am UTC

Randomizer wrote:I dunno, I think the scope of the project was reasonably impressive. Here's the video from before the mission started, it goes into a bit more detail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQEWHXcHA9o

I remember hearing that these days for dealing with zero gravity they put the astronauts on a rigorous exercise regime, part of which includes running on a treadmill which uses suction to simulate gravity so they get a proper work-out, and that astronauts were actually coming back in better shape than when they left. Unlike with early missions where they could barely walk when they got off the ship. Plus, my video mentions that there was one astronaut that stayed aboard Mir for 437 days, that's fairly long term. So I'd say that they've got zero-g on humans pretty well covered and the big thing would be to make sure your life support systems are going to last the full length of the trip. The BBC article said the simulated Mars mission had a greenhouse - did they grow everything they needed, or did they have to store more food on board than a real flight would be able to carry? Does the ISS or Mir grow its own food, or is that always shipped in?


I'm not sure about this mission, but ISS and Mir can't (couldn't in Mir's case) grow their own food, it's all sent up from Earth.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Adacore » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:59 am UTC

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:26 am UTC

What.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby bentheimmigrant » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:33 am UTC

Also, where did this line come from?:
It is not the first time luxury items and weapons have been found in a Mexican jail.

There is no mention of weapons in the report about the prison, nor in the "previously, in Mexican prisons" anecdote that follows.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Rodion Raskolnikov » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:49 am UTC

Used correctly, an angry peacock makes an excellent weapon.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:54 pm UTC

White House officially denies extraterrestrial contact.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Lostdreams » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:58 pm UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:
TrlstanC wrote:But, I'm still curious, did no one else ever learn about creationism in science class at some point, at least those who went to public school?

Sorry, we just learned science.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Decker » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:11 pm UTC

That stuff was great, but it was pretty much just a novelty.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby philsov » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:21 pm UTC

An overpriced novelty at that.

Of course, the same can be said for Starbucks coffee (imo -- $2.50 for 12 oz of coffee and milk? O.o) and it's chugging along fine.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Lostdreams » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:22 pm UTC

Decker wrote:That stuff was great, but it was pretty much just a novelty.


That seems to be the general consensus. Unsuprising, since they are going bankrupt and all.

philsov wrote:An overpriced novelty at that.

Of course, the same can be said for Starbucks coffee (imo -- $2.50 for 12 oz of coffee and milk? O.o) and it's chugging along fine.


Ah, the power of caffeine addiction.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby pseudoidiot » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:47 pm UTC

Novelty yes. I never really thought great. My first thought was "meh, mediocre overpriced ice cream -- you won't be missed."

Also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ3f03WamRA
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Aikanaro » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:27 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:White House officially denies extraterrestrial contact.

I'd just like to say I very much appreciate how they worded that: Not "there is no alien life," or "there has never been contact," just "we don't have any evidence of such things." You know, in other words, being HONEST. It's a big world and a bigger universe, after all ^_^
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby M.C. » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:47 am UTC

This just in: Partying teenagers get drunk and have sex!

http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/schoolies-get-what-they-want-booze-and-risky-sex-20111112-1nd2c.html

Spoiler:
ALMOST two thirds of teenagers at schoolies week celebrations will have more than 10 drinks a night and ''hook up'' with a stranger, but most do so because they think it's the social norm, a new study has found.
The survey of 500 school leavers at the week-long party on the Gold Coast last year revealed that a quarter of boys and four per cent of girls had sex with multiple partners.
And in a sign that the public health messages are missing their target, 24 per cent of the boys and 13 per cent of girls who had sex did not use protection.
Advertisement: Story continues below
Two groups of 17 to 19-year-olds were surveyed, one before and one after schoolies week.
The results were similar. Getting very drunk, having a hangover, playing practical jokes and ''hooking up'' (having intercourse or performing sexual acts) were top of the list of expectations for the group at the start of the week, with 34 per cent of boys and 11 per cent of girls predicting they would have sex with multiple partners.
Lead author Sandra Jones from the University of Wollongong said that while the survey found that the teenagers drank a lot, most of them said that their experiences were negative.
''We assume that they're all going to want to go out to the Gold Coast and get drunk and we'll just do whatever we can do to minimise the harm but in reality most of them go because that's what all their friends do.
''There are a proportion of them who do say they just want to get really drunk but when you ask them questions about if we packaged up other activities, if you could go on an adventure trip where you were kayaking or canoeing or mountain climbing and there wasn't alcohol, would you be interested, and a lot of them are. But those things aren't available and aren't promoted,'' Professor Jones said.
''The teenagers told us that it was part of going to schoolies, you're going to get drunk, you're going to get into a fight, you're probably going to have sex and those things are not necessarily positives but they say you need the rite of passage to celebrate the fact that school has finished and that's the way that everybody does it.''
The research, which will be presented at the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs conference in Hobart tomorrow, was commissioned and funded by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education. Chief executive Michael Thorn said the findings showed that young people will adapt their behaviour to match their expectations.
''If they think that all of their friends will drink lots of alcohol, then they will plan to engage in those same behaviours …
''If we make alcohol readily available, market it heavily and design celebrations around its excessive consumption then people are going to drink to excess … kids learn that you work hard and then you celebrate your successes by drinking to excess.''
Professor Jones called on government, local councils and schools to invest money in alcohol-free alternatives to schoolies.
''We should be working with kids and schools around self-esteem and building the skills to say no to alcohol and to think of other things that you can do, the skills to identify other things that you can do to mark becoming an adult that don't necessarily involve excessive amounts of drinking,'' she said.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:11 am UTC

M.C. wrote:This just in: Partying teenagers get drunk and have sex!

Holy fuck, what? Either my school was really atypical or I am several times more socially oblivious than I thought (and I think I'm pretty damn socially oblivious).
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Hawknc » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:25 am UTC

Schoolies is not unlike spring break, from what I've heard of the latter, except it's at the end of high school (most high school graduates are 18 by the end of the year and hence can drink legally). But yeah, from first hand experience that article says precisely nothing new. People go there to have fun, and getting drunk and having sex can be pretty fun.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby yurell » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:26 am UTC

It's schoolies, the end of high school celebration in Australia where those who like to party go to the Gold Coast to get smashed.

Edit: Ninja'd
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby jestingrabbit » Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:48 pm UTC

I thought the newish info was that most of the students did so because of social norms, not because of any particular personal desire. I think its worth thinking about how we can change those norms.

Its the sort of thing that these other articles are also pointing out.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15265317

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010 ... t_gladwell (only the first quarter of this one is free, sorry).
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby addams » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:44 pm UTC

Rodion Raskolnikov wrote:Used correctly, an angry peacock makes an excellent weapon.

Funny. Very funny.
Because, it is true.
You made me laugh. Peacocks are funny and frightening.
Using an angry peacock correctly may be difficult.
An angry peacock is a weapon with high blow back potential.

As I shake my head and chuckle.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:17 pm UTC

[url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22934464/#.TsAlTcOVrUC]Genetic mutation makes those brown eyes blue
Scientists find that blue-eyed individuals have a single, common ancestor[/url]

Spoiler:
People with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor, according to new research.
A team of scientists has tracked down a genetic mutation that leads to blue eyes. The mutation occurred between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago, so before then, there were no blue eyes.
"Originally, we all had brown eyes," said Hans Eiberg from the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Copenhagen.
The mutation affected the so-called OCA2 gene, which is involved in the production of melanin, the pigment that gives color to our hair, eyes and skin.
"A genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a 'switch,' which literally 'turned off' the ability to produce brown eyes," Eiberg said.
The genetic switch is located in the gene adjacent to OCA2 and rather than completely turning off the gene, the switch limits its action, which reduces the production of melanin in the iris. In effect, the turned-down switch diluted brown eyes to blue.
If the OCA2 gene had been completely shut down, our hair, eyes and skin would be melanin-less, a condition known as albinism.

"It's exactly what I sort of expected to see from what we know about selection around this area," said John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, referring to the study results regarding the OCA2 gene. Hawks was not involved in the current study.
Baby blues
Eiberg and his team examined DNA from mitochondria, the cells' energy-making structures, of blue-eyed individuals in countries including Jordan, Denmark and Turkey. This genetic material comes from females, so it can trace maternal lineages.
They specifically looked at sequences of DNA on the OCA2 gene and the genetic mutation associated with turning down melanin production.
Over the course of several generations, segments of ancestral DNA get shuffled so that individuals have varying sequences. Some of these segments, however, that haven't been reshuffled are called haplotypes. If a group of individuals shares long haplotypes, that means the sequence arose relatively recently in our human ancestors. The DNA sequence didn't have enough time to get mixed up.

"What they were able to show is that the people who have blue eyes in Denmark, as far as Jordan, these people all have this same haplotype, they all have exactly the same gene changes that are all linked to this one mutation that makes eyes blue," Hawks said in a telephone interview.
Melanin switch
The mutation is what regulates the OCA2 switch for melanin production. And depending on the amount of melanin in the iris, a person can end up with eye color ranging from brown to green. Brown-eyed individuals have considerable individual variation in the area of their DNA that controls melanin production. But they found that blue-eyed individuals only have a small degree of variation in the amount of melanin in their eyes.
"Out of 800 persons we have only found one person which didn't fit — but his eye color was blue with a single brown spot," Eiberg told LiveScience, referring to the finding that blue-eyed individuals all had the same sequence of DNA linked with melanin production.
"From this we can conclude that all blue-eyed individuals are linked to the same ancestor," Eiberg said. "They have all inherited the same switch at exactly the same spot in their DNA." Eiberg and his colleagues detailed their study in the Jan. 3 online edition of the journal Human Genetics.
That genetic switch somehow spread throughout Europe and now other parts of the world.
"The question really is, 'Why did we go from having nobody on Earth with blue eyes 10,000 years ago to having 20 or 40 percent of Europeans having blue eyes now?" Hawks said. "This gene does something good for people. It makes them have more kids."


The interesting part for me is that the initial mutation only happened between six and ten thousand years ago. Which makes me wonder if the mutation occurred in the indigenous Europeans and then spread to Indo-Europeans or if it happened before most of the Indo-European migrations from Eurasia.

Do Indians and Persians have blue eyes and, if so, do they have it ancestrally from the initial mutation or did it filter into their populations from Europeans?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby AvatarIII » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:38 am UTC

I think at this point, it wouldn't be a surprise to hear that every living human had a common human ancestor, we know there have been some severe bottlenecks in population at certain points, and it's not difficult to imagine that everyone at one of those bottlenecks had a common ancestor.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby addams » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:45 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:[url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22934464/#.TsAlTcOVrUC]Genetic mutation makes those brown eyes blue
Scientists find that blue-eyed individuals have a single, common ancestor[/url]

Spoiler:
People with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor, according to new research.
A team of scientists has tracked down a genetic mutation that leads to blue eyes. The mutation occurred between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago, so before then, there were no blue eyes.
"Originally, we all had brown eyes," said Hans Eiberg from the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Copenhagen.
The mutation affected the so-called OCA2 gene, which is involved in the production of melanin, the pigment that gives color to our hair, eyes and skin.
"A genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a 'switch,' which literally 'turned off' the ability to produce brown eyes," Eiberg said.
The genetic switch is located in the gene adjacent to OCA2 and rather than completely turning off the gene, the switch limits its action, which reduces the production of melanin in the iris. In effect, the turned-down switch diluted brown eyes to blue.
If the OCA2 gene had been completely shut down, our hair, eyes and skin would be melanin-less, a condition known as albinism.

"It's exactly what I sort of expected to see from what we know about selection around this area," said John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, referring to the study results regarding the OCA2 gene. Hawks was not involved in the current study.
Baby blues
Eiberg and his team examined DNA from mitochondria, the cells' energy-making structures, of blue-eyed individuals in countries including Jordan, Denmark and Turkey. This genetic material comes from females, so it can trace maternal lineages.
They specifically looked at sequences of DNA on the OCA2 gene and the genetic mutation associated with turning down melanin production.
Over the course of several generations, segments of ancestral DNA get shuffled so that individuals have varying sequences. Some of these segments, however, that haven't been reshuffled are called haplotypes. If a group of individuals shares long haplotypes, that means the sequence arose relatively recently in our human ancestors. The DNA sequence didn't have enough time to get mixed up.

"What they were able to show is that the people who have blue eyes in Denmark, as far as Jordan, these people all have this same haplotype, they all have exactly the same gene changes that are all linked to this one mutation that makes eyes blue," Hawks said in a telephone interview.
Melanin switch
The mutation is what regulates the OCA2 switch for melanin production. And depending on the amount of melanin in the iris, a person can end up with eye color ranging from brown to green. Brown-eyed individuals have considerable individual variation in the area of their DNA that controls melanin production. But they found that blue-eyed individuals only have a small degree of variation in the amount of melanin in their eyes.
"Out of 800 persons we have only found one person which didn't fit — but his eye color was blue with a single brown spot," Eiberg told LiveScience, referring to the finding that blue-eyed individuals all had the same sequence of DNA linked with melanin production.
"From this we can conclude that all blue-eyed individuals are linked to the same ancestor," Eiberg said. "They have all inherited the same switch at exactly the same spot in their DNA." Eiberg and his colleagues detailed their study in the Jan. 3 online edition of the journal Human Genetics.
That genetic switch somehow spread throughout Europe and now other parts of the world.
"The question really is, 'Why did we go from having nobody on Earth with blue eyes 10,000 years ago to having 20 or 40 percent of Europeans having blue eyes now?" Hawks said. "This gene does something good for people. It makes them have more kids."


The interesting part for me is that the initial mutation only happened between six and ten thousand years ago. Which makes me wonder if the mutation occurred in the indigenous Europeans and then spread to Indo-Europeans or if it happened before most of the Indo-European migrations from Eurasia.

Do Indians and Persians have blue eyes and, if so, do they have it ancestrally from the initial mutation or did it filter into their populations from Europeans?



All good questions.
What I found interesting is that in 10,000 years we go from no blue eyes to 40% or so. It is a recessive gene.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recessive

From the article:
"The question really is, 'Why did we go from having nobody on Earth with blue eyes 10,000 years ago to having 20 or 40 percent of Europeans having blue eyes now?" Hawks said. "This gene does something good for people. It makes them have more kids."

So; With the way folks are mixing it up these days, we should run out of blue eyes quickly; In Geologic terms.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Jessica » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:09 am UTC

When buying things, especially on the black market, make sure you are getting what you payed for.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ConMan » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:47 am UTC

While this particular incidence is new, it's an old, old trick. One common version involves showing the mug a genuine iPad/computer/whatever, then while they're not looking (dealing with money, or something else) you switch the bag or box with the real thing with one that contains the dud.

There's one case where someone did this on eBay - people bought a laptop, received a box of sand. It's impressive that he bothered to send the sand, which I think makes it more amusing (although the best part of that guy's story is the bit where he sat on top of a pole to avoid being arrested).
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby jakovasaur » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:00 am UTC

Jessica wrote:When buying things, especially on the black market, make sure you are getting what you payed for.

What a fucking idiot.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Steax » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:07 am UTC

I think the use of 'i-pad' is equally iStupid.

There are a lot of cases like this, though - I recall one where they actually gave a wooden iPad. I don't mean a chunk of wood - a piece of wood carved to look like an iPad. Might as well put a trollface on it.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Роберт » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:28 pm UTC

jakovasaur wrote:
Jessica wrote:When buying things, especially on the black market, make sure you are getting what you payed for.

What a fucking idiot.

Kudos to him for reporting to the police, even though it makes it clear he's an idiot.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby buddy431 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:46 pm UTC

Airline passengers sue over cockroach on flight

The guy's asking for $100,000, but I bet he's just looking for a settlement and maybe a few free airline tickets. The comments on the CNN article are pretty lopsided in saying this is frivolous, and I sort of agree.
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