“QUIT MAKING IT A CRIME TO BE QUIET IN THE CLASSROOM” from INTROVERT, DEAR

 

I read a posting on INTROVERT, DEAR titled Quit Making It a Crime to Be Quiet in the Classroom that I can relate to. I was a very quiet, awkward child in grade school and there was only one teacher that I remember, a Mrs.Truxell (sic) that ever got me. I still remember the book on dinosaurs she gave me because she understood how fascinated I was (still am) about those creatures. Just because a child seems to be quiet and not so outgoing doesn’t mean there’s something wrong or make them mentally ill. It may simply be that they are blessed with a certain introspectiveness most people can not understand. But in this age of mental health concerns how do you know the child may need help? Simple, get to know the child, find what their interest are, and most of all, never judge nor presume.

-A. M. Holmes

 

Seen on a Bulletin Board at Our Nearest Guitar Center

So, while I was waiting while my daughter was taking guitar lessons at our nearest Guitar Center…

(“THE INSTRUCTOR LOOKS LIKE EFF’N SEAN LENNON! TELLING YOU, IT’S EFF’N SEAN LENNON!”)

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(This is the real Sean Lennon. We couldn’t take a picture of the instructor -he wouldn’t let us. But he eff’n does look like that.)

…I took a moment to peruse the adverts and want ads posted on their bulletin board.

 

Here are a few interesting ones.

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Such wonderful penmanship, Terry, you must have gotten a lot of practice writing those “sick” absentee notes for school. Betcha you got busted on the spelling, though.

 

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“Original” rather than “Fake”, or “Copy” or, hey, “Cover” rock band? Love the influences although I’m tempted to play “One of the 4 is not like the Others…”.

 

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“Horn players on pot who do Matchbox 20(?) and Foghat(?!!) and who are serious about living the music lifestyle practicing until midnight (radical!) and smoke pot and shit (hardcore radical!!) as long as it’s cool with Billy’s mom.” Wait-what?!

 

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I’m sorry, “NovaCain” but I don’t really think the world is ready for you.

 

-A. M. Holmes

Natural Selection versus Genetic Drift in Single nucleotide polymorphisms, SNPs

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Research published from The University of Queensland indicates that natural selection plays a greater role than genetic drift in SNPs dealing with height, waist-to-hip ratio, BMI, and schizophrenia among European, African, and Asian populations (Does evolution make us or are we just drifting that way?). Led by Professor Jian Yang from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience and Queensland Brain Institute, the team used more than 400,000 genetic samples from African, East Asian and European populations to determine if the SNPs (pronounced as “snips”) showed a tendency towards randomness, implying genetic drift, or not, and thus natural selection.

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The results showed that for SNPs such as height, waist-to-hip, BMI, and schizophrenia, there was a greater frequency for height among Europeans; a greater BMI number for Africans with Europeans having greater than Asians; both Europeans and Africans falling out of the mean for schizophrenia. None of these traits showed the tendency towards a random distribution which indicates that for these SNPs natural selection plays a greater role than genetic drift. In other words, what this study says that rather than in the colloquial debate of Nature versus Nurture it’s more like Selection over Nature and Nurture not having a factor at all. This is important in that it gives hope for the potential to treat certain ailments, such as schizophrenia through treatments such as CRISPR. 

It has left me to wonder how much of natural selection over genetic drift influenced hominin traits? Eyebrows/brow ridges, robust/gracile, even “having a chin” how were these more a product of selectivity among groups than randomness among Neandertals, Denisovans, and modern humans? More intriguing, could this be applied to culture as well? 

-A. M. Holmes

 

 

Wow, and I thought I was a Progressive Thinker.

Three female scientists discussing their research

This morning I got a Twitter notification from All Revolutions (@RevolutionsCen) about an article from The Atlantic by Ed Young (@edyong209 ) where, as he tells it in I Spent Two Years Trying to Fix the Gender Imbalance in My Stories , “I knew that I care about equality, so I deluded myself into thinking that I wasn’t part of the problem”.  He had seen how a lot of his articles reflected a gender bias he never intended to portray. Reading this opened my eyes to the fact that even though I claim to be “gender-blind” I wasn’t doing any better. Here I’m thinking I’m a progressive thinking person now to find out I’m as dirty as our misogynist President (I wasn’t aware of Emmanuelle Charpentier, Jennifer Doudna, and CRISPR). I was fooling myself completely. Now I begin to wonder where else has my supposed “blindness” toward gender, race, or ethnicity has misled me to promote instead the same prejudices I have always felt unjust?  The article is very enlightening. Also, it has good resource information at the end of it.

-A.M. Holmes

“Populism” is the New “Nationalism”

 

The New York Times op-ed says, “If freedom is to prevail over the many challenges to it, American leadership is urgently required.” Unfortunately, the U.S. has leadership but not in the form it needs to preserve freedom.

In the U.S. “Populism” has become just another word for “Nationalism”. “America Great Again”, “America First” these are fascistic slogans used by a radical movement within the GOP that has Trump as its leader. This is a group that believes in the suppression of the free press, divisiveness along socio-economic and cultural lines, isolationism, and “bread and circuses (tax breaks and parades) for the masses. These people are elitists who have nothing in common with the average American and yet know how to manipulate and lie to achieve power through the ballot box. They are un-American and if we continue to allow them to usurp the government they are a threat not only here but globally as well.

-A. M. Holmes

Where the Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot Is My Lasagna?

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I think there’s something seriously wrong with me. Or is it maybe it’s the universe that took a left turn on me? I went to the grocery store this morning and I swore I got a Stouffer’s lasagna to make for dinner.

 

At least, I thought I did.

 

Nope, no lasagna in the bag after I got back.

Here’s the messed-up part. It’s not on the receipt. Instead, though, I have a bag of “country style hash browns”. WTF? I can’t even eat potato and yet, there they were AND PAID FOR!

 

But no lasagna.

 

I think I just had a Mandela Effect moment and my lasagna slipped into an alternate universe. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

A. M. Holmes