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Bogz Borja
Me & Debian are now steadily dating. Its not exclusive....yet
Me & Debian are now steadily dating. Its not exclusive....yet

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it's been awhile :O

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even this dog doesn't like him.. lulz


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#Mayweather relationship goals:
bae hugs you when you're fighting

seriously though, congratulations to Mayweather & Justin Bieber. let the victory party begin!

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that moment of clarity when you realize for the first time...

Beauty & the Beast theme song is about your first one-night stand (o.O)

I should warn you, continue reading ONLY if you're ready to ruin your childhood memories (>__<)
Tale as old as time
True as it can be

Just a little change
Small, to say the least
Both a little scared
Neither one prepared
Beauty and the Beast

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female to male ratio of 17:1

There's a new paper out in Genome Research which shows something rather fascinating that seems to have happened in human history, right after the agricultural revolution. The two graphs below show the number of men (left) and women (right) alive at various times in history whose genes are still around today. (We can measure this separately because Y-chromosome DNA is transmitted only through men, and mitochondrial DNA only through women) 

There are lots of reasons that you would expect this curve to increase as you move forward in time. The simplest part of this is the "common ancestor" effect. If someone is your ancestor, then all of their ancestors are your ancestors, too. This means that, as you go farther back in time, anyone who's along your family tree is an ancestor of a bigger and bigger chunk of people. In fact, once you go far enough back, you'll encounter a person who is a common ancestor for everyone in your population group, or even in the world -- and once you've encountered this first common ancestor, every one of their ancestors is a common ancestor, too! This means that a bit further back in time, you suddenly pass a second threshold: at that point, everyone who was alive then is either a common ancestor of everyone alive today, or of nobody alive today. (If you're curious about this, there are a few famous papers by +Douglas Rohde and a few others on this subject, where with a combination of historical population data and computer simulations, they managed to show that the most recent common ancestor of all humanity probably lived only a few thousand years ago, and in either southeast or northeast Asia:

So because of this effect, you would expect that as you go far back in time, the number of people who are ancestors of people alive today would end up being a roughly fixed fraction of the population: everyone's either a common ancestor, or not an ancestor at all.

Now, the other important thing about the agricultural revolution is that it made the population boom: grain fields can support orders of magnitude more people than hunting and gathering or nomadic herding. (This is also why the agricultural revolution leads to the original rise of cities)

If you look at the curve on the right -- estimated number of women who are ancestors of living humans today, as a function of time -- you see exactly that. Right around 15,000 years ago (15kya), the number of women skyrockets, and starts to level off around 10,000 years ago. This is exactly what you would expect if nutrition suddenly improved by a lot, and it suggest that it was the early agricultural revolution -- that first cultivation of crops, rather than the rise of effective mass agriculture and the rise of early cities -- that had the biggest effect.

But the plot for men is bizarrely different. At 15kya, the gauge for men doesn't move. And then at 10kya, when the "big" agricultural revolution hits and cities start to emerge, the number for men plummets, only to recover and show the giant population-related spike around 5,000 years ago. At its most extreme, the ratio of female to male ancestors was 17:1!

What happened here? The authors suggest that this was most likely a cultural effect, rather than a mysterious plague which only affected men. My own quick summary of thoughts:

(1) The effects which created the initial surge in female long-term reproduction, around 15kya, don't seem to have affected men much at all. This suggests that we're seeing a huge nutritional effect on the success rate of pregnancies.

(2) The crash in male reproduction around 10kya suggests that most men were suddenly unable to reproduce, even as lots of women were doing so. This means that small numbers of men were having lots of children, and most weren't having any at all, or at least none which appear to have survived. Since you would suspect that most men might object to this, that suggests rather extraordinary application of force: i.e., the rise of the agricultural state brought with it tremendous power asymmetries and the rise of very wide polygyny. 

(3) Around 5kya, this effect seems to have vanished even more quickly than it appeared. If anything, that's more fascinating, because 5kya is already within visibility of the literary record. (The story of the marriage of Inanna, for example, contains some fairly clear allusions to the tension between nomadism and agriculture) A change this rapid, from extremely concentrated harems to some kind of more level marriage system, would seem to require a tremendous social event going with it, something big enough that I'm surprised that we don't see at least allusions to it in a wide range of early literary records.

In fact, this third point is enough to make me actively suspicious: this is a huge effect, something which would have defined human society for hundreds of generations and the response to which would likely have had effects for hundreds of generations to come. Its uniformity across geographic regions (colors in the graph) is similarly surprising: cultural shifts affecting the entire world don't Just Happen.

So I'm going to take this result with a great deal of caution until there's further confirmation, but the questions which it poses are fascinating, and this is clearly a direction worth more research.

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amazeballs (o.O) 
Making your own version of Dragon Ball Z
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what if this world & the lives we're all living in right now were just a part of a huge-ass simulated game (think of The Sims or the Civilization franchise) and everything that has happened so far are the direct result of those players' actions?

if that were the case, where have all the dragons gone? is it because this isn't a fantasy game where magic is non-existent or are we still in BETA and the dragons will only be included in a DLC?

they say, we only need around 5-10% of our DNA for cloning and the rest are considered "genetic junk" which is heavily debated as non-essential for an organism's basic biological functions and is geared more heavily in maintaining DNA stability, so in programming analogy does that sound like a self-aware AI framework of some sorts? (o.O)

but i digress.

i just want to ride on the back of a dragon.

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In further news, the US House of Representatives has continued their plans to bring about the Apocalypse, passing a bill (on almost exactly party lines) to effectively ban scientists from being on the EPA's scientific advisory board. Under these new rules, anyone who has done research on anything which the board studies is considered to have a conflict of interest, and therefore cannot sit on the board. Fortunately, simply having a financial stake in the matters which the board studies does not constitute a conflict of interest, so the scientific advisory board continues to be open to corporate public affairs officers, demented preachers, or roving madmen off the street.

The bill now proceeds to the Senate, where it has been referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. This is the committee chaired by Sen. Inhofe of Oklahoma, author of The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future and other light classics, in which he tells us that because of the existence of God, the "arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is... outrageous." So in all, it's a good year for public affairs officers, demented preachers, and roving madmen off the street in all aspects of our government, and I forecast excellent career opportunities for each of these categories going forward. 

h/t +Peter da Silva for the link.
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