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Until I read this article by William Saletan for Slate, I would have said yes with no reservations, but it’s probably not that simple.
The article describes a new theory that there may be genes, not for homosexuality, but for “androphilia” that affect both sexes. By making their owners more attracted to men, “… the importance of the genes lies in what they do not to men but to women, by increasing reproductive output so powerfully that these women compensate for the reduced output among their male relatives.” The theory has testable predictions: most notably that the female relatives of gay men should have above average reproductive success. So far these predictions have been confirmed by existing data.
A genetic explanation of homosexuality could go a long way to help it’s perception in society. Homosexuality could come to be seen as part of a natural process that benefits the species as a whole, the theory could calm fears that “gay teachers or television characters will “convert” hordes of boys,” etc. Also, it seems to me that it would be much harder to think of homosexuality a sin if it’s inherited rather than chosen.
The article raises another possible effect that wouldn’t have occurred to me:
…the word consequence suggests a … less happy implication: How would gay men see themselves and be regarded in a society that understood their condition as a side effect of female evolution? Would male androphilia be treated like sickle-cell anemiaâ€”the unfortunate cost of a genetic mutation that’s beneficial in other people? We medicate sickle-cell anemia. Would we medicate homosexuality?
I always thought a genetic understanding of homosexuality would do a lot to help it’s acceptance, but maybe a theory like this would leave enough room for people to persist in the beliefs they already hold. Tell us what you think in the comments.
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Professors from Duke University are trying to explain to Americans why we should stop using “miles per gallon,” and instead use “gallons per 100 miles” (or something similar). I’m convinced. Try their short, but effective, interactive quiz. The New York Times is reporting on it too.
Here’s the gist:
Let’s say you own a Lamborghini that gets 5 m.p.g. and a Hummer that gets 10 m.p.g. You’d like to replace one of your cars so that you’re spending less money on gas. Your two options are: (A) trade in your Lamborghini (5 m.p.g.) for a Ferrari that gets 10 m.p.g.; (B) to trade in your Hummer (10 m.p.g.) for a hybrid one-seater that gets an amazing 100 m.p.g..
The “obvious choice” seems to be (B), but some simple division will show us that we’re stupid.
Let’s assume that you drive each car 100 miles per week:
Option (A): Instead of using 20 gallons (100/5 = 20) a week in your Lamborghini, you’d only be using 10 gallons (100/10 = 10) in your Ferrari, thus you would save 10 gallons a week.
Option (B): Instead of using 10 gallons a week in your Hummer, you’d only be using 1 gallon in your fancy new solo-man hybrid, thus saving 9 gallons a week.
Conclusion: You will save more gas/money by replacing your Lamborghini with a Ferrari rather than replacing your Hummer with a single-seater super hybrid.
Now let’s tell the story with “gallons per 100 miles.”
Option (A): Replace your Lamborghini that uses 20 g.p.100 miles with a Ferrari that uses 10 g.p.100 miles.
Option (B): Replace your Hummer that uses 10 g.p.100 miles with a hybrid that uses 1 g.p.100 miles.
Isn’t this phrasing much better?
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Fleet Foxes are here to save us from a so-far-dismal year in music. Their recipe: 3 cups of Band of Horses, 1 cup of Ryan Adams, 1 cup of Wilco, 1 cup of Animal Collective, 1 cup of Led Zepplin, 1 cup of the Eagles, 1/2 a cup of Beach Boys, and 2 tablespoons of Magically-Fresh pixy powder. Or if you don’t like to conjure up bands in your kitchen, you can just buy their Sun Giant EP and their self-titled debut LP, both 2008 releases. My only complaint is that they should have combined all of their songs on the two discs into a single album (it would still be under an hour). Still though, Fleet Foxes will be challenging Bon Iver for this year’s prestigious Daniel’s-Album-of-the-Year Award.
Fleet Foxes: White Winter Hymnal; Ragged Wood; Your Protector; Blue Ridge Mountains
Sun Giant EP: Drops in the River; Mykonos; Innocent Son
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I had to replace the hard drive in my Powerbook G4. I did it myself, and I believe the hardware install went fine. The problem I’m now having is installing Leopard on a blank drive. I know that sounds fishy, but each time I try to install, it either freezes up or says that the “Essentials” package from the installation DVD can’t be accessed. I’ve already formatted the drive with no problem using the built-in Disc Utility application. I’m also reading, when not working, the articles I find online.
If any of you have advice other than making sure the DVD is clean, etc, I’d appreciate it. If all else fails, I suppose I’ll have to go to the Apple store :(
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As a regularly-disappointed/amused consumer of cable news, I’m glad to learn that Mr. TV Guy shares my view on the 24/7 coverage of Tim Russert’s death.
Here’s one thing you can say about journalists: Surely no one loves us as much as we love ourselves.
That’s one lesson of the Tim Russert coverage.
A friend told me Sunday: “I now know more about Tim Russert than I do many members of my family.”
The affection that Russert stirred in millions was testament to his skill. But the coverage of his death was often overblown, self-congratulatory and self-indulgent. It was no way to treat a news icon.
Updated 9.25 PM… No surprise, my boy Jack Shafer also takes the media to task:
I wonder whether the media grievers gave a moment of thought to how this Russert torrent they produced played with viewers and readers. Did the grievers really think Russert was so important, so vital to the nation’s course, and such an elevated human being that he deserved hour upon hour of tribute? I wonder whether any the responsible journalists paused to think, Hey, this is really weird. We’re using our unchecked editorial power to soak the nation with our tears about our friend, and that’s unseemly!
On days like this, I, too, hate the press.
He also notes that MSNBC will air live coverage of Russert’s private memorial service.
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You’ve Been Left Behind is a service that basically let’s you send emails to your unlucky friends that get left behind when The Rapture happens.
Their failsafe method for when knowing when the rapture will happen?
…when 3 of our 5 team members scattered around the U.S fail to log in over a 3 day period.
what are you waiting for? It’s only $40 a year.
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Have you seen that horrible Polo Black Commercial where Christian Bale is looking sooper sexy and doing things like holding a trumpet while being caressed in bed by a beautiful woman? Christian Bale is so selective with his movie rolls and then he does this commercial? What was he thinking?
Well, turns out it’s not Christian Bale but Bale-doppelgÃ¤nger/Argentine-polo-star (get it, polo) Nacho Somethingsexymo. Unlike Bale, Somethingsexymo has no credibility to protect, so good for him.
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DMac just signed a $60 million dollar contract to play for the silver and black Raiders ($26 million is “guaranteed”). This is a pretty amazing contract considering the comparables from last year and that he signed about 45 days sooner than fans expected, which I think says a little something about how much he impressed the Raider’s organization after just a few weeks of practices. Early on, head coach Kiffin repeatedly stressed that they don’t want to overextend Darren’s responsibilities to the point where he’s OK at a dozen things but not great at any one thing, like the Saints have experienced with Reggie Bush. After each practice though, coach Kiffin commented that he was amazed at how easy everything is for DMac, both physically and mentally. It has been reported that Darren has practiced as a running back, wide receiver, quarterback (”wildhog”ish), and kick returner in just six days of full-team practices. The day before McFadden signed his contract, coach Kiffin said they were anxious to get him signed (and avoid Darren missing practices) because they have so many ways they want to use him immediately in the upcoming season. Coach Kiffin recently explicitly said that Justin Fargas, the returning starter, is “by far” the best “runner,” and that Michael Bush is expected to be the best short-yardage running back. Still, despite the depth the Raiders have at running back, it looks like McFadden, who coach Kiffin describes as “the most talented,” will get his chance to shine… starting with the opening kickoff.
Felix Jones can’t have any regrets about playing second fiddle to McFadden after his favorite NFL team drafted him in the first round. He is the first running back the Cowboys have drafted that early since they picked up Emmitt Smith a long time ago. The Cowboys actually drafted two running backs this year - Felix and Tashard Choice. When Coach Wade Phillips was asked by a reporter to compare Marion Barber (the Cowboys starting running back) to rookie Tashard Choice, he turned the question away and said that it’s tough to compare a rookie with a pro bowler. Less than a minute later the same interviewer asked the coach what he thinks of Felix Jones… and Phillips starts comparing Felix to Hall-of-Famer Thurman Thomas. Jerry Jones, the team’s owner, commented that he likes how smooth and elusive Felix is, and that he loves his “bubble-butt.” In other words, the Cowboys love Felix. They expect him to contribute immediately as the primary complement to Marion Barber’s power running game, and to return kickoffs with Pacman Jones or Mike Jenkins. Felix’s job requirements are almost identical to his role at Arkansas, but now he’s doing it for “America’s team.” Jones hasn’t signed a contract yet, but Emmitt Smith is giving him pointers, so the day will come.
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Lizzie pointed out to me today that the one true Museum is in Kentucky and focused on explaining Creationism to kids. This only confirms what I already thought, money can buy kids souls and I need more money to build my own museum on how I created the earth in late November 2003.
At one point, the Creationist history lesson takes a divisive turn, interrupted with a detour into, literally, “Sin City.”
Broken windows look into broken secular homes, where screens display all-too-common scenarios of Godless teenagers getting pregnant, drinking, smoking marijuana. Sounds like a hell of a party to me, but apparently it’s the work of Satan, and it’s all because of the poison of evolutionary science, which is unsubtly illustrated in a laughably melodramatic scene where the giant wrecking ball of “millions of years” is shown smashing into the side of a church:
Anyway way I highly recommend you read and watch the videos on Demon Baby Blog, he went to the museum and took loads of pictures and movies. Pretty scary trip.
These people are fiercely indoctrinating their children, spawning new generations of fanatics who believe themselves engaged in a culture war with the world at large, and want to discredit science and change our laws to get their way. Being in a culture war with drug use and teen pregnancy is one thing, but when you set your cross hairs on science - that which is the foundation of every aspect of our modern lives, and the key to advancing our civilization and preserving our planet - suddenly religious tolerance has reached its limit.