Weekend Musing

Here’s a satellite view of one of the most densely populated areas of the country.    It has a population density of 27,532 people per square mile.   In contrast, here’s a satellite view of one of the least densely populated areas.  It has a population density of around 3 people per square mile. The first is racially and ethnically diverse, and strongly Democratic, the latter is racially and ethnically homogeneous, and strongly Republican. The interesting thing? They’re both part of the same state.

The first area is New York City, while the second area is the central Adirondacks.  I’ve lived in major cities, but the Adirondacks are where I spent my childhood and live now.  What that’s done is to give me a certain perspective on things.  Having lived in a city, I understand the issues that are important to city dwellers.  I also understand the issues that are  important to rural areas like this.  Sometimes that puts me in the position of straddling the fence, or “choosing sides.”   In political terms for this state, it often means “compromise,” which is not a bad word, which is something that people on the extremes of both sides need to remember.

Gangnam Style just became the most watched video in YouTube history.   It’s a testimony to the ability of the Internet to find – and publicize – what used to be “obscure” or “regional” performers and make them world stars.  If you haven’t seen it, you’re probably not reading this blog. ;-)

I talked in a previous post about our relationship to Neanderthals.  The BBC did a series called “Prehistoric Autopsy,” and here’s what the Neanderthal looked like:

A more recent discovery in China has found fossils of a “different” human species:  The Red Deer Cave People.

All in all, the Red Deer Cave people are the youngest population to be found anywhere in the world whose anatomy does not comfortably fit within the range of modern humans, whether they be modern humans from 150 or 150,000 years ago, the researchers noted.

There’s a lot of hypotheses floating around, from whether they’re the Denisovans, a cross, or something entirely new.   Either way, the answer is bound to be interesting – and raise more questions.  One of the things we are learning is that “the story of us” has a lot more twists, turns, and surprises than anyone ever thought.  Also that all the “purity of race” and “racial supremacy” is a load of complete horseshit.

I think we’re getting to a stage where “Black Friday” is counter-productive.   I can look at the news reports, and see that things are getting out of hand.   Businesses aren’t even making money during these “events,” and while the current belief seems to be “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” at some point there will be “too many lawsuits.”   It’s also a demonstration of how “common sense” isn’t common.   Really, what few “bargains” there are to be found are just not worth the hassle and danger.

One of my favorite webcomics has a Tumblr page, and this poster.  It rather sums me up.

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8 Comments

Filed under Business, Humor, Politics, Science

8 responses to “Weekend Musing

  1. see above

    Understood. However, even the word compromise has been redefined by the RR’s. It has come to mean, for them, if you belong to the opposition vote for what I want.
    Outside the bubble it means let’s talk about it. I’ll give you something you want and you give me something I want or we’ll do what you want but we’ll do it in a way I want.
    I read at little about the discovery you mentioned and I thought there was some mentioned that DNA found traits of both Neanderthals and the other branch of the human tree.

    The squirrel gets my vote for political quote of the year.

    • I’ve noticed that definition of compromise that Republicans are using. :roll:

      In terms of the Neandertals, there is evidence. ;-) John Hawks is one of the experts on this, and he has his own blog (fascinating reading, btw.) The thing about the Denisovans is that we only have a few finger bones and a tooth from them. Outside of being able to sequence their genome, we don’t know what they looked like. They’re trying now to get DNA from the Red Deer Cave fossils, to see what that tells us. They might be the Denisovans, or something new. Whether they figure into the genetics of a modern population is a big question

  2. Vic78

    The spectacle that is Black Friday makes it difficult to attack elitists. I’m almost tempted to say they have a point.

  3. aquagranny911

    Hola Norbrook! I really enjoy your “musings” Since this seems to be a bit of an open thread I will share what I think is an amusing story.

    When one of my nephews graduated last year he was most fortunate to land a job with the BLM here. Recently he was at a conference involving a lot of our Native tribal groups. They had a raffle to support a children’s reading program. The prizes had a lot of native crafts and other items. He was particularly coveting a silver belt buckle so he happily paid his $5 for a good cause.

    He was so excited when his number was called until he found out that he had won a goat! The tribal elder didn’t crack a smile when he asked Nephew if he wanted the goat “on the hoof or ready to eat?” Nephew replied that since he lived in a small apartment it should be ready to eat!

    I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    • I had a very good Thanksgiving. Lots of food, and conversation. No, politics were not on the discussion list. :-D

      Tell your nephew that should be a lesson to him. Always read the lease to see if you’re allowed pets or meat on the hoof. ;-)

      • aquagranny911

        LOL on the politics! Except for when we had our gratitude circle & my family gave thanks for re-electing President Obama, we talked no politics either and…

        What Nephew should have done was check out ALL the prizes before he paid his money but…that goat was delicious!

        • Given the breadth of the political spectrum in the family, it was decided years ago that it was better to leave politics to “one on one” times. :lol: The big get-togethers are for catching up on what everyone else is or has been doing. ;-)