June 25th, 2003


(no subject)

Nice article on tracing ancestors genetically.

I'd love to see a decent map of ancestry, produced genetically. I suspect that a lot of people would suddenly find oout that they weren't related to who the thought they were...

Garrison also found out his blood carried traces of genetic material from 15 different tribal groups stretching across Africa, a fact that astounded and delighted him - for he believes studies like these will change the way black British people see themselves.

Analysis of his DNA, taken with that of 228 other black men and women living in Britain, revealed a startling secret: Garrison possessed a Y chromosome - the tiny bundle of human genes that confers masculinity - that is of European origin. Somewhere in his distant family history, a white male had 'helped' to conceive one of his ancestors - most probably a white slave-master who sired a child with a black slave.

The group found that English Y chromosomes are almost identical to those from Friesland, an area of the Netherlands from which the Anglo-Saxons originated 1,500 years ago. Those of the Welsh were markedly different, however - from which Thomas concludes that Anglo-Saxons invaded the area now covered by England, overcoming between 50 and 100 per cent of the indigenous population, but failed to move into Wales.

Or take the discovery of the startlingly high incidence of the A blood group among residents around Pembroke, Wales. Scientists believe this has a simple cause. Around 1108 AD, Henry I brought over many craftsmen from Flanders - which has a high incidence of the A blood group - and settled them in Pembroke. 'In short, in the blood of Pembrokeshire people today, the tell-tale signs of their Norman past lingers on,' says the geneticist Sir Walter Bodmer.


When I told Erin that I was looking forward to Harry Potter 5 she said that while she'd read it when it came out in paperback, she wasn't desperate.

When I told her I'd pre-ordered it, she laughed at me and called me a fanboy.

Needless to say, since reading 400 pages over the weekend, I've not been able to get near it, as she's taken it to bed with her (she's asleep before I go to bed so I can't read it then) and then whisked it away when she heads off to work.

I'm sure this should be amusingly ironic, if I wasn't desperately avoiding any hint of a spoiler as I desperately want to finish this without being told what happens.

Tonight I believe I'll hide it so that she can't take it away and I can read it on the way too/from work (and at lunch, of course).

The death of Email

There's something about e-mail that demands a reply, demands a response. But when you’re getting thousands of these things, it becomes an impossibility to respond to everything. So we’ve got to shift the etiquette, and maybe make e-mail more like publishing: that is, you send something out and you might get one percent response. I think that the paradigm of e-mail as letters, as objects, is inappropriate. I'm waiting for a shift to the timeline, rather than the object, as the organizing principle. If you think about a blog for instance, that’s a timeline. And it’s a really good way of organizing huge amounts of information, because we’re quite good at sequencing.

From here.

I primarily keep up with friends lives over

Face to face
Instant Messenger

One thing that would make keeping in touch easier is: