Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Evolution is proved and re-proved every day in the pages of scientific journals, but here's one that even a holy roller should be able to understand:
Around the time of moses, a gene which allows adults to digest cow's milk started spreading widely in Europeans. )Probably works with goats and horses, not sure about reindeer.) Those with the gene were better able to make it through the winter. Today, 90% of Europeans have the gene. (I'm using Europeans in a slightly recursive way - white people, as opposed to people currently in europe.)Today, being lactose intolerant probably isn't deadly in scandinavia, so the gene may stop spreading. But in 7000 years evolution worked. In the 4 million years since humans split with chimps, many such little changes took place, as we became who we are. And this is co-evolution - it wasn't a useful trait until the cow was domesticated. So late stone age technology changed our genes.
Milk tolerance gene emerged recently
Researchers at University College London have found evidence that the milk-digesting gene emerged in Europe more recently than 5000 BC. The gene spread quickly across Europe, conferring a giant survival advantage in those who had it, because they could live on milk through cold, hard winters.
Analysis of Neolithic remains, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests no European adults could digest the drink at that time.
University College London scientists say that the rapid spread of a gene which lets us reap the benefits of milk shows evolution in action...
Today, more than 90% of people of northern European origin have the gene...
Dr Mark Thomas, from UCL, said: "The ability to drink milk is the most advantageous trait that's evolved in Europeans in the recent past."
Link (via Plasticbag)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 05:48:10 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Free Sun Jiting. Chinese teen internet addict jailed for being chinese teen internet addict. Because I read this on slashdot, I can relate to his plight. I went to one job interview today and otherwise lost the day to internet addiction...

BY ROGER EBERT / February 25, 2007
Complete list of winners at the 79th annual Academy Awards, presented Sunday night at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.

Best Picture: "The Departed"

Director: Martin Scorsese, "The Departed"

Actor: Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland"

Actress: Helen Mirren, "The Queen"

Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, "Little Miss Sunshine"

Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls"

Foreign Language Film: "The Lives of Others," Germany

Adapted Screenplay: William Monahan, "The Departed"

Original Screenplay: Michael Arndt, "Little Miss Sunshine"

Animated Feature Film: "Happy Feet"

Art Direction: "Pan's Labyrinth"

Cinematography: "Pan's Labyrinth"

Sound Mixing: "Dreamgirls"

Sound Editing: "Letters From Iwo Jima"

Original Score: "Babel"

Original Song: "I Need to Wake Up" from "An Inconvenient Truth," Melissa Etheridge

Costume: "Marie Antoinette"

Documentary Feature: "An Inconvenient Truth" * "However, the Supreme Court, 5-4, reversed the decision and gave the award to W Bush for the Iraq Show." - externalization.

Documentary (short subject): "The Blood of the Yingzhou District"

Film Editing: "The Departed"

Makeup: "Pan's Labyrinth"

Animated Short Film: "The Danish Poet"

Live Action Short Film: "West Bank Story" Trailer.

Visual Effects: "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"
Academy Award winners previously announced this year:
Honorary Award: Ennio Morricone
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Sherry Lansing

Oscar commentary: http://www.stripcreator.com/comics/Externalization/384919/

Occasional volokh conspirator Eric Jaffe (and some other folks) have filed a Supreme Court cert petition about whether when the government uses your patent without your permission or royalties, is it a taking? That's a vast oversimplification; the case really turns on whether the patent infringement happens in the USA, where part of it does and part of it doesn't and the legislation construing when it is or isn't is a bit iffy. More at scotusblog.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Oh well this is great.
Recently blogger changed its format from "old blogger" to "new blogger".
I didn't know exactly what the changes were.
But I noticed today I can't seem to access any of the archives.
Update: archives are working fine as of monday morning.
If anybody really wants to read my rant about the archives not working, it's here.

Note to self:
I really should add AG#/David Lat's http://www.abovethelaw.com/ to the blogroll.

A personal note to readers if any: I notice I hadn't blogged here in 10 days, although there were a few updates to the previous post. My election law blog is even deader, just meeting the minimum one post per month I promised when I started it, before I spun off this blog for not-so-election-law posts.
Keep reading this longish rant: link.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

well, this isn't the sort of blog that would mention anna nicole smith.
but, in a curious twist of fate, a webcomic i follow had landed a gig with her site -
that, or he's just pulling my leg, but it's a bit too detailed for that.
Update: he's offered to let me use his characters for stripcreator,and I've passed that info onto the guy who runs the site.

Crossposted from my Palmer v marion blog:

Via Hasen, Still and Moritz, I learn that Albuquerque has had its voter ID rules struck down. Pdf.

and, at volokh today there's a discussion of a case about a sheriff's liability for towing (aka taking, aka stealing) an old lady's cars pursuant to an ordinance that had no opportunity for a hearing. I think Indy has the same problem. Not absolutely sure, just I think so. http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2007_02_11-2007_02_17.shtml#1171390818
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
Leaving aside the questions about judicial appointments and qualified immunity, what I found interesting about the case was that it found unconstitutional a common government practice of taking vehicles from private property without a hearing. Where I live in Indianapolis this happens literally every day. There's a weekly auction by a subcontractor, of the vehicles that the city has stolen that week,and I've never heard of anybody getting a hearing.
Is there a reader of this blog who would be willing to review the ordinance and express an opinion as to whether it is constitutional?
I recognize that the further step of finding counsel and bringing suit is a different mattter, but I'd be interested to know more about whether the city is acting unconstitutionally in the manner in which it takes people's cars. I can be reached at gtbear at gmail - I don't have the ordinance handy but can get it.
- arbitrary aardvark

Monday, February 12, 2007

While avoiding work yesterday, I dipped into crescat sententia a bit.
I once was a regular follower of that blog during a period of over a year of avoiding work. (I currently use the term "work" somewhat ambiguously, either to refer to my day job at the nuts and bolts factory, or the piles of litigation and correspondence that waits for me at the computer.)
Will has an interesting bookshelf, which led to a post here yesterday.
Raffi has a hypothetical,
to which Sasha Volokh responds in the comments by inventing the new tort of Tortious Interference with the Expectation of Wakefulness.
Jeremy Reff, the less well known of the Crescat Jeremys, has a post about the properties of unicorns or lack thereof. I didn't realize he was kidding,and wrote him critiquing his theory of unicorns,and got a nice and detailed response.
I intend to stay up too late tonight for a visit to the unicorn club.
Will also has a post about Hudson's Baby Bourbon, citing a New york Times blog. Wonderful pun, inforamtive article. Bourbon is something that I don't drink... I don't care for anything in the whiskey family, and certainly not for scotch... I've been to scotland and smelled the burning peat bogs, but I don't want to drink anything that tastes like that...
I haven't been to Bourbon County Kentucky.
I have a mild interest in distilling, including as alternative energy and as a possible revenue source and interesting hobby. My next door neighbor growing up was a research chemist for the military industrial complex who also made wine from the cherry tree in our back yard, and the grapes in his back yard, and this and that else.
If I were going to get into the microbooze industry, my first product would be Gin and Tonic, all in one bottle. Another thing I'll probably never get around to.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Word for the day: Shunpiking.
Traveling while avoiding the main roads, hence shunning the pikes.
That's my first "word of the day" here in ages, a word found while avoiding doing the real work i came here to do.. this is a recursive pattern.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Crossposted from my rarely updated election law blog:
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Collegue David Schultz mentions he has an article in the rutgers law journal state con law issue which includes notes on sundry 2005 state con law cases.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Attn: Wm. Baude:
Lindgren at Volokh quoting Chief Justice Roberts in talk at Northwestern:

3rd UPDATE: Asked about the practice of some members of Congress saying that they would leave it to the Court to decide whether their proposed law is unconstitutional. Roberts replied: “That is an abdication of their responsibility and their oath. All three branches have the same responsibility.”

Today's totalitarian roundup via drudge:
Hillary has a secret plan to end the war.
Iran keeps seeking nukes.
War objector court-martial looms.
Staes revolting against Real ID act.
I won't bother to link to the stories, just the headlines are depressing enough.


What I'm reading:
Just finished Chuck Taylor: All Star, by Abe Aamador.
Oh and there's a blog about the book.

Chuck Taylor's are the only shoes I wear,and Converse is the company I lost all my money in a few years ago, so I picked this book up used awhile back and noticed it in a box in the basement while moving boxes due to a water leak. Didn't put it down until I finished, with a break for sleep.
Aamador writes, or used to write, for my local paper, the Star, and I knew about the book. It's the first ever bio of Chuck Taylor - previously, what people knew about him was based on ad copy from converse, which was incomplete and had some out and out lies,so this is the first telling of the story behind the man whose name sold millions of shoes and became an American Icon.
Taylor was from a small town in Indiana, was a star player for Columbus high school, turned semi-pro his senior year, got a spot playing on the Converse team, which turned into a day job of sales. He figured out that coaches were the ones that drove basketball shoe sales, so his selling efforts were pitched to coaches. His career, from 1917ish to his death in 1969, paralelled the growth of basketball.
During the war, he coached a team at Wright Air base in Ohio. The army used sports as a morale and fitness booster. If the victories of the british empire were won on the playing fields of Eton, then America's sports craze was used in the service of nationalism and militarism. As I write this, the Colts/Cults are winning or losing the Superbowl. It's probably too cold out for a good riot, but since about 1980, Americans riot more over sports events than political events.
Now, I couldn't care less about basketball. Don't like playing it, don't like the thunk thunk thunk of other people playing it. But this was a fine book, a slice of Indiana history and a slice of American history.
I feel like writing Aamidor a fan letter asking about the movie rights.
I'd see if I could get todd stephens to direct.
Nike, which bought converse out of bankruptcy in 2003, could fund the movie out of the budget for that swoosh logo I dislike so much.
It would be hard to cast - the story covers him as a skinny kid, a fattish middleaged sales guy, an elder statesman. The actor or actors would have to have Taylor's amazing abilities to sink baskets, or special effects to fake it. Period costumes.
Would take a budget. But I think there would be a market for the film. It's a heck of a story, and one that hasn't been told. Meanwhile, the book's pretty good.
And this entry is running too long.
I have no follow through on ideas like that.
For other rights queries, please contact:
Anne Roecklein
Rights Manager
Indiana University Press
601 N. Morton Street
Bloomington, IN 47404 USA

Email: permiss@indiana.edu

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Comic has been updated slightly. NPR commentary.
youtube video of the terrorists' press conference.. about hair. Their web site,http://zebbler.com/
Further update: sunday, i was in the coffee shop and got to talking to this older guy who we've been saying hi when we're both there on saturday nights. he mentioned he worked for a moving company on the north side. Wheaton?, I asked.
Oh, I've interviewed with them at a job fair. I have the Tshirt, because I have vague plans to someday send it to Wil Wheaton. [conversation digresses - who? oh wesley crusher - yeah he's a blogger now, does comedy - Comedy really? etc...]
So today I check my wheaton links, because I'm wasting the day online instead of getting the interogatories done,and Wil's comments on the mooninite controversy are about right.

Meanwhile, France joins Ireland Italy and um, Malta, in banning smoking in many public places.
It's the old story of one threat - smoke, giving way to another - authoritariansm.
As an anarchist and militant nonsmoker, I have somewhat mixed feelings.
The culture of secret smokers may bear watching.

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