Saturday, July 09, 2005

Polynesians: Made in Taiwan

The Economist has a short report on recent research into the origin of Polynesians:
MAORI legend has it that Polynesians originated from a place called Hawaiki. Where Hawaiki was located is a mystery. But the toings and froings of the Polynesians -arguably the greatest seafarers in history- have long intrigued researchers of an anthropological turn of mind, and two of them, Jean Trejaut and Marie Lin of Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei, think they know the answer to the riddle of Hawaiki: Taiwan....

In a study involving 640 people from nine Taiwanese tribes, Dr Trejaut and Dr Lin found three mutations [in mitochondrial DNA] shared by Taiwanese, Polynesians and Melanesians (who also speak Austronesian) which are not found in other Asians. So the mystery seems to have been solved at last. Where the Taiwanese came from, though, is a different question again.
Mayhap Haunani-Kay Trask can find some grievance here to rail against. I have just noticed that she got her PhD at University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981. Why aren't I surprised?

Friday, July 08, 2005

Needle in the Sky...

...with or without diamonds. Likely with, to my thinking.

It's a Cool Space Pic of the Day.

The Lafayette Choir

Friday being your humble correspondent's 52nd birthday, I was serenaded every waking hour on the hour by the Lafayette (CA) Choir, a fine organization which deserves to be roundly congratulated on the tone and gusto of their efforts. Rarely have I heard such fine renditions of Happy Birthday, the last one accompanied by a noted guitarist from Hawaii.

Thank you all!

Wisconsin License Plate 962 FBA

For the second time in a week I have come home to find a dark green Jeep Cherokee in my parking spot without so much as a note of explanation.

Last Saturday I got home at 3:00AM after driving 900 miles on the last leg home from Idaho and found the parking thief. Took two hours to get him ticketed- Ref. #278880- and I think towed, tho I went to bed before the denouement.

Tonite (Friday), my birthday, in fact, I got home at 10:30 from a birthday dinner at some friends' house and there was the same Jeep in my spot. Another ticket, and this time I waited for the tow truck. Off it went to a FAR away lot. I hope the swine has to walk. And that he is at least smart enuf not to vandalize my truck.

If you need someone towed in Milwaukee, I suggest:
Always Towing & Recovery, Inc.
PO Box 091159
Milwaukee, WI
Jason P. is a friendly truck operator and he got here when they said he would. The vehicle has to be ticketed by the city before they will tow it. For that, call 286-8350.

Of Course: The US "Military/Industrial Complex" blew up the London subways. is running a column by Hypatia Clark, who claims that the US "Military/Industrial Complex" blew up the London subways and bus, and of course that they also bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City.
The fact that Karl Rove, "Bush's Brain," is just now caught in the treasonous betrayal of a CIA agent to further his master's agenda, that for the first time we have the Bush Gang in a corner, suggests that this horrific attack on your innocent citizens is a diversionary tactic by the Military/Industrial Complex, the cabal that has backed Bush's rise to power.
She claims that her baby daughter was killed in the Oklahoma building, so if true, perhaps we should forgive her for being a bit nutty, but her column is the kind of stuff which al Jazeera readers seem to dote on.
They programmed us over and over again that it was Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda that blew up the World Trade Center. Osama Bin Laden works for the Complex.
This is what al-Jazeera sees as fit to print. This is what the Arab world reads for news and commentary.

UPDATE: I have just now discovered that is not the same organization as the famous Qatar TV station. This is from's site :
Important note: Aljazeera Publishing and are not associated with the controversial Arabic Satellite Channel known as Jazeera Space Channel TV station whose website is

Aljazeera Publishing disassociates itself from the views, opinions and broadcasts of Jazeera Space Channel TV station.
Disassociates, but seems related. Anyway, my apologies for the error. The original link to the story no longer works and I can't find it anywhere else.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

London Bombings

Glenn Reynolds/InstaPundit has a lot of links to coverage.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Blogger, we seem to have a problem...

Still no sign of any of the post-June 16th posts when I go to the site, and at least one correspondent says she has sent me a couple comments via the last post's mail function, but I haven't received them.

I might adopt the rousing rallying cry of "Back to the quill pen!", but I suspect certain animal rights types would put out a contract on me.

Still, I guess it beats the Pony Express.

UPDATE: I edited the sub-title a little while ago, and that doesn't appear on my screen either, except when I go thru the Edit page. Grrrrr.

DOUBLE-UPDATE: I just checked for Blogger Problems. Possibly this is a clue:
Blogger Bugs

Stats collection has been temporarily turned off, so you will not see your post count or recent posts updating on your dashboard or profile. We plan to restore this functionality soon but have needed to turn this feature off for now in order to stabilize our database servers. Once we get this restored, these items will update automatically.
Whether this is the problem or not, at least the Gentle Readers can see new posts.

TREBLE-UPDATE: I can now see my own posts, but emails don't get thru. Minors.

Phantom Post

I posted last at 11:04 PM on the nite before last. Other ppl can see the Magpie/porcupine post but it still doesn't show up on my screen when I go to the blog.

I can access it by going into the Create a New Post page and clikking on Edit and View, but never has it taken so long for a new post to appear for me. A few hours isn't unusual but this is Very Strange. Why does it come up on other viewers' screens but not mine?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Of Magpies and Saber-toothed Porcupines

I'm home from the Wild West, more or less in one piece. I'm still a bit frazzled from the drive back as I drove the last 900 miles in one day, arrived here at 3 AM Saturday only to find a Jeep in my parking space, and it took another couple or three hours to have the fellow ticketed and towed.

Anyway, the trip was great: I met Valerie's family, all of whom I liked a lot, and as they didn't fill my pockets with rocks and upset the raft I guess they decided they could at least tolerate me.

We spent the first couple of days on a jet boat on the Salmon River aka River of No Return, camping out at nite before returning to the vehicles and driving up river 40 miles or so for another three days of camping, and rafting/kayaking the Salmon River downriver from Shoup, Idaho, again. It is a wonderful spot, full of rapids, big horned sheep, mountain goats, plenty of magpies, deer, elk, and, disbelieving Hawaiian types to the contrary, viciously predatory vampire porcupines.

We don't get magpies much in Wisconsin so I had pretty much forgotten about them, but there are a lot on the Salmon, and they look something like a palomino crow. Nice birds, and unlike the porcupines one doesn't have to worry about maintaining sufficient blood supply when they are around. In fact, after hearing that there were quite a few porcupines around Bear Lake, one scholarly type remarked that that might account for the scarcity of bison. The people in Hawaii are mighty lucky that the porcupine population there collapsed some time back- the current lack of bison in Hawaii just goes to show what an efficient predator the needle-backs are.

It's past my bedtime, so I'm going to sign off for now. G'nite all.