Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Helen Keller Speaking

This is amazing footage from 1930 of Helen Keller with her teacher Anne Sullivan. It's a great lesson in speech language therapy too!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Jonathan on Mad Men

Here is Jonathan's appearance on the set of Mad Men. He's walking by on the left. Too bad we can't see his face. Oh well. When he was out in LA, he was on a lot of television shows. It's always difficult to find the exact show and moment. 

I've never seen Mad Men yet, but everyone says I'd like it. Perhaps this is my incentive to watch the show. I do wonder who those two hot woman are... Main characters?

Friday, May 10, 2013

My Ancient DNA

After getting my DNA analyzed by the National Geographic Ancestry Project, I discovered the percentage of Neanderthal and Denisovan ancient DNA I have. I knew that I'd have some Neanderthal component, as most Europeans do, but the Denisovan is a surprise. I even have more Denisovan. Where did I get Denisovan DNA? (At present they are most associated with Asia and Siberia).

It is amazing that just a decade ago, the question of whether modern humans and our ancient cousins interbred was controversial. Now that we have mapped the human genome, the Neanderthal, and the Denisovan, I'm amazed that even percentages can be calculated.
As stated below, though, the analysis is still in the beginning stages. The amount of DNA contributed from neanderthals to modern humans is very small. Still, researchers postulate that one advantage Cro Magnons may have gotten from neanderthal interbreeding was increased immunity to certain diseases common in Europe.

By the way, since we have the DNA of the ancient Denisovans from a pinky bone, we can map the genome. But we do not know what the Denisovans looked like, because we have very little anthropological evidence! We know very well what our Neanderthal friends looked like. (In fact, neanderthals are definitely getting an image upgrade lately. These brute 'cavemen' were much smarter and cultured than we suppose).

Baron- This is Your Hominid Ancestry

When our ancestors first migrated out of Africa around 60,000 years ago, they were not alone. At that time, at least two other species of hominid cousins walked the Eurasian landmass: Neanderthals and Denisovans. Most non-Africans are about 2% Neanderthal. The Denisovan component of your Geno 2.0 results is more experimental, as we are still working to determine the best way to assess the percentage Denisovan ancestry you carry.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Somerville Open Studios

Good looking bunch
Apparently Somerville Open Studios is the largest open studios event in the country, in terms of artists displaying their work, and attendees. In the past I've wandered around Vernon Street and the Washington Street Studios, but this year I only went to see a couple of friends. 

Steph and Jonathan both had their work displayed over at the Joy Street Studios. I've never been over there. For Steph, it was her virginal debut. (I don't know if she'll embrace that adjective) She had some drawings and Jonathan had some paintings and multimedia shadow boxes.
Steph's opining a thing or two
Anyway, on Saturday a few other friends came by. Jonathan took some photos. Today I saw Rosalie, Ellyn, and Jen.

JD's work
Steph's work