NYT: “Race” is Bogus

The New York Times has an article about a study of 90 students at Penn State who took complex genetic tests and found that most of them weren’t pure anything.

This wasn’t just true of white students.

“Ostensibly “black” subjects, for example, found that as much as half of their genetic material came from Europe, with some coming from Asia as well.”

Discriminations talks about it.

I wish I’d been one of the test-ees. My great-great grandmother was Cherokee. That’s the only non-European blood admitted to in my family. But there are some ethnic markers that we all wonder about. I’d be interested in knowing where we match up.

No, No! Apple…

Books are good!

“The Only Books You’ll Ever Need” says a large sign in front of an Apple Store. There are no books, only computers.

I hate to say this, but Apple screwed up on this one.

Yes, I like my computer. Yes, I am thrilled at the Internet’s usability.

But many books that I would like to have available are not and may never be available on the web. Certainly those with fairly recent copyrights won’t be out there.

Get a grip.

And for students, the books they’re assigned in Am Lit should still have half their books copyrighted, unless they’re doing a two semester class and the first semester is pre-Civil War stuff. Most high school reading books are modern enough to be copyrighted as well.

“Over There”

I watched the pilot of “Over There” with my husband and eldest son.

I didn’t like it. I thought it was very propagandistic and strange. I wondered if this was the first time a series was ever produced during the war. I know there were many WWII movies, but I wonder if those were touted as “true to life.”

I thought it was ridiculous that the trucks pulled onto the side of the road. Just from reading Milbloggers, and having common sense, I know that was stupid.

My eldest, age 13, thought the character development was too heavy handed.

When I found Outside the Beltway’s entry on it, I thought, “Yes. That’s what the problems were.”

Three Soldiers’ Comments on “Over There”

A few scenes passed muster. Heads nodded when a soldier opened up a packet of Taster’s Choice freeze-dried and downed the whole thing. Nice detail. Ditto the scene of the earnest soldier describing the horrors of war via computer video e-mail as his adulterous wife is writhing in ecstasy with lover-boy back home.

“But after only a week?” commented one soldier.

“It usually takes at least two,” added another.

One scene hit home for the tough audience: an intimate close-up of two African American soldiers talking band-of-brother bonds. Says one: “If you’re looking for another fool to risk getting shot to cover your fool behind, I’m right here beside you.”

Correct! Sir!

According to the Three Soldiers’ article, “It’s billled as the first war drama built around a U.S. military conflict still in progress…” So I was right, it is the first series.

Hollywood: WWII and Now

Sine qua non Pundit has an excellent post dated July 18, 2005 on the patriotism of Hollywood.

The author does not rely on feelings, but examines a list of movies which were up for Academy Awards during WWII and ANY movie during the present day Global War on Terror. They are included only based on their presentation of the US military as good or on the enemy as bad. When reading the movies of WWII, one must scroll down. You can examine all the movies for the Global War on Terror without a scroll down.

This post is both articulate and fascinating.

What’s Going on in the World?

Most of the blogs I read have said all I might think of saying about most things.

So, the only thing I want to note is that driving with a sprained right ankle in modern cars is very difficult.

(I sprained the ankle on Thursday. It is now purple and green and black, but less swollen.)

Hot Summer Weekend

No, that doesn’t mean what you think it means. Rather it means that our a/c is out. We don’t know why. We don’t have a regular a/c company, which means we’ll be at the bottom of the list. And it’s the weekend.

It’s already 80 degrees downstairs and 90-100 upstairs, depending on where you are.

The media room’s window units are working and the great a/c in the teen room is working.

Either room means a set of stairs, which with my sprained ankle will be difficult to negotiate. I’m downstairs sweating now. And I’ve already taken off my socks. I’ll probably end up in the media room, though it is not the most comfortable, because sleeping there means I won’t have to negotiate stairs to go to the toilet.

We’re supposed to be really hot here in Houston this weekend.


Note: I checked the online weather. Right now it is cooler outside than inside my house.

Partly Cloudy? Mostly Sunny?

E and his dad had an argument today on whether “partly cloudy” and “mostly sunny” meant the same things or different things.

I told E he had to look it up on the net when we got home.

He asked what would happen if he was right? I said he’d get to say his dad was wrong.

When we got home, he half-heartedly looked it up and couldn’t find anything. R also got on the net and started looking and eventually went to the National Weather Service’s website. I got on the net and googled ‘”mostly sunny” “partly cloudy” definitions.’

These are some of the quotes from the top sites.

Ask the Meteorologist says:

The specific definition for “partly cloudy” is 30-70 percent sky covered by clouds. Partly sunny is similar to “partly cloudy” but is used more frequently during the day to emphasize daytime sunshine. I find that when people hear “partly cloudy” they think more clouds than sun and when they hear “partly sunny” more sun than clouds. “Mostly sunny” is less than 30 percent covered by clouds and “mostly cloudy” more than 70 percent covered by clouds. When the sky is “overcast” more than 90 percent of the sky is covered by clouds.

Kevin Wyatt at the Roanoake Times wrote:

“Partly cloudy and partly sunny are essentially the same thing,” said David Wert, meteorologist-in-chief at the National Weather Service office in Blacksburg. “Both are used for conditions when the average amount of opaque cloud cover ranges from 45 percent to 75 percent. We usually use ‘partly sunny’ for daytime conditions, and ‘partly cloudy’ for nighttime conditions under these situations. It wouldn’t make too much sense to use ‘partly sunny’ for a nighttime condition.”

The Weather Notebook, a nationally syndicated radio show about weather says:

“Clear,” or “sunny” skiesthose two terms are synonomouscontains up to 10 percent opaque sky cover, while mostly clear or mostly sunny falls between 10 to 30 percent. “Partly sunny” and “partly cloudy” have the same definition in the Weather Service glossary a 30 to 60 percent cover. So, if you thought that “partly sunny meant a brighter day than “partly cloudy,” sorry. Mostly cloudy,” also known as “considerable cloudiness,” is 60 to 90 percent. Anything over that, and it’s just plain “cloudy.”

The National Weather Service’s glossary says:

Partly Cloudy: When the predominant/average sky condition is covered 3/8 to 4/8 with opaque (not transparent) clouds. Same as Partly Sunny.
Mostly Sunny: Same as Mostly Clear, except only applicable during daylight hours; when the predominant/average sky condition is covered 1/8 to 2/8 with opaque (not transparent) clouds.

So there you have it. Partly Sunny and Partly Cloudy mean the same thing.

But Mostly Sunny and Partly Cloudy do not.

E, in the wisdom of teenhood, insists that this is ridiculous.

Good, Bad: House

We are now into the fourth week of redoing the siding on our house.

The good things are:
1. the siding is new
2. the guy working on it is good
3. the house will be totally repainted
4. the “going to do severe damage” things that were wrong that we didn’t know about will be fixed
5. the lights will be new (They said they’d put in new ones wherever, if we bought them. Even if it wasn’t where the siding was.)
6. our house will look pretty.

The bad things are:
1. it is taking a long time
2. it costs a lot

The Point of Assembly

The Common Room discusses children in the assembly. It has this statement, “Worship is not about ourselves. It is about our Heavenly Father.”

Yes, worship is about the Heavenly Father.

But what is church about?

I was eating lunch with a woman from my church yesterday and she said that she and her husband had been studying and really thought that the church assembly was for the people more than for God. Yes, worship is for God, but you can and should do that on your own (as well). But the point of having an assembly is to share person to person and encourage, uplift, and learn from each other.

This, of course, does not reduce TCR’s comment. In fact, it increases the importance. But…

I need to think about these points. Is the assembly equally about the people in it? If it is, then singing all those, “Here we are…” songs is not only okay, but perhaps even necessary.

Boy Scout Leaders Killed

Three Boy Scout Leaders were killed and three injured in some kind of accident, thought at this time to be electrcial, when setting up a dining tent.

The positive note in the article is that the Senate voted 98-0 to allow BSA onto military bases.

And it also notes that the BSA spent $2o million getting roads and things updated to be able to use the Jamboree. The military says they use the Jamboree as an exercise in crowd control.

Appetite Hormone May Inhibit Learning

News@nature.com has an article which says that

leptin regulates appetite
obese people have more than the average leptin
so it seems that leptin doesn’t work for the obese


abnormal amounts of leptin alter brain cell function
which can impact everything from short term memory to Alzheimer’s.

Which means obese people may be more at risk for short term memory loss, brain cell function, and Alzheimer’s.