Browsing Archives for January 2011

A Winter Fog

January 25th, 2011

Jack in a Music Video?

January 24th, 2011

Temper Trap, “Love Lost” (Dougal Wilson) from Rotten Rabbit on Vimeo.

My friend Jordan thinks one of the kids in this video looks like Jack. I guess he means the pale, freckly, short one? It’s a great song and the video is absurd enough to keep the readers of this blog happy. Gotta love the boys doing run/choreography. There should be more boys doing run/choreography. There should just be more choreography.

The Human Family Tree

January 24th, 2011

Lately I’ve been fascinated with the story of ancient human migration. I came upon the book Mapping Human History by Steve Olson at my local book store and was about half way through it when my best friend Netflix recommended the National Geographic documentary The Human Family Tree to me.  Sometimes I think that Netflix is not only my best friend, but also God.  There are some striking similarities…

God – Knows everything about me.

Netflix – Also knows everything about me.

God – Is my best friend.

Netflix – Also is my best friend.

.

And since I wholly trust in my bestfriend/God/Netflix and lean not on my own understanding, I watched The Human Family Tree and then I made my four sons watch it.  Yes, I made them watch it.  I also make them wear their seat belts, eat their veggies and brush their teeth.  I know – so controlling!

I cried at the end of this film.  I found it to be very emotional.  My sons did not cry.  They were only relieved and anxious to get back to their demanding regimen of video games, followed by facebook, followed by texting and then back to video games.  But hopefully they learned something anyway.

Basically the film explains how we can trace our ancestry back to one woman who lived in Africa.  She is known as Mitochondrial Eve.  She is not a hypothesis.  She is a mathematical certainty.  Mitochondrial Eve was not ‘the first woman’.  There were plenty of other women around when she existed and there would have been an entirely different Mitochondrial Eve when ‘our Mitochondrial Eve’ existed, but the female progeny of the other Mitochondrial Eves have all died out. It’s a bit hard to grasp if you have a mind punctured with four holes (where the babies came out). For a somewhat clearer explanation - click here.

The above map shows the migration routes that various groups of humans took on their way out of Africa. The film follows several individuals as they discover the route that their ancestors took.  A simple cheek swab collects the necessary DNA and places a person in a ‘haplo group’ based on the mutations that occur in their mitochondria.

I would love to get my own DNA tested and find out the migration to which I belong. Test kits are available. They are not cheap, but it would be interesting to know how my ancestors made their way out of Africa.

It’s a good film.  Gather some kids around and make them watch it.