Points of interest on the internet highway: genetics, prejudice, and my job.

Since I am traveling today, that seemed to be a good metaphor.

An ancient Dane with Arab DNA was found in an ancient Scandinavian grave. Apparently 2000 years ago the country was more genetically diverse.

“At all the sites we have investigated in Demark we have found rare [genetic] types and types that are not common or present in Europe today,” she said.

“When we go back in time we find much higher diversity,” the Melchior added. “It was quite surprising that the lowest diversity was found among Danes of the present day.”

One possible explanation put forward by the team is that certain groups were more vulnerable than others to medieval outbreaks of bubonic plague, most notably the Black Death, which alone wiped out around a third of the European population between 1347 and 1351.

Such a theory has been proposed by another recent study, which recorded a similar loss of genetic diversity in English people.

American Daughter has a post on allowable bigotry. Christians, white males, and the United States can be attacked in any and every form without fear of rebuke, reprisal, or retribution. Muslims, women, and blacks cannot even be negatively discussed without rebuke, reprisal, or retribution. What is happening to our First Amendment for those of us who are not black, not Muslim, not women?

I know that there is prejudice in the US. But the most prolific prejudice is now prejudice for a person based on their ethnicity or gender. As the mother of two white sons, I am concerned. Will they have trouble getting into college (yes) or finding a job (yes) because of the quotas, affirmative action, and diversity policies? Those are in place, advertised, and discussed all over the place.

Of course, my husband’s first job became his because he was a Christian. And now he has a job he was hired to do solely because he is a Mac programmer in Houston, even though there hasn’t been a lot of work to do at the company. So it isn’t always ethnicity and gender.

Want to get in shape? Ab Boot Camp will help you whip your body into shape while it whips you. But after a few weeks you’ll be working it easily. Which is amazing.

Political Calculations talks about how English is a general education requirement and how it does not require a major to take many classes outside its courses.

For example, if an Engineering major is required to take two English classes, but an English major is not required to take any Engineering classes, we can verify that the engineering student is being effectively required to subsidize the operation of the university’s English department. The more one-way the mandated class requirements are for outside-of-major courses, the less valuable the particular field is, otherwise campus administrators would not need to effectively subsidize it so heavily to support its continued operation.

This misses the point that we WANT our college graduates, whoever they are, to be able to read and write well in English. As a college, you cannot just presume that a high school graduate can do that. Believe me, they cannot all do that. Yes, maybe reading in literature isn’t necessary, but it is reading that is the issue. And I know there are college students who do not know how to capitalize a sentence or that a period should end it. Is this padding? not it is not. It is a general education requirement to make sure that the students aren’t just able to build bridges, but that they can read the directions and write the proposal to get the thing built.