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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Revisiting the Neanderthal genetic news

While I realize that not all of us have been following this story, it has tremendous significance for a variety of reasons.

First, the fact is that there are living descendants of Neanderthals, demonstrating that the population is both not extinct and that there was apparently a breeding between humans and hominids.

Second, genome sequencing is taking us by leaps and bounds into uncharted scientific territory, where only speculation and philosophy had taken us before.

Third, considering where this might take us, in terms of the ever-increasing knowledge base in the filed of genetic research and mapping, we may soon have an answer to the question: is there a missing link, or were we created as we exist today?

"When scientists finally finished sequencing the Neanderthal genome in 2010, they revealed that 1 percent and 4 percent of some modern humans' DNA came from the stocky hominids. This suggested that humans had sex with Neanderthals, picking up some genes, and possibly even an immunity boost, from Neanderthals before the population disappeared about 30,000 years ago. But not all scientists are convinced that the genetic evidence alone proves ancient interbreeding and a study last year found that even if humans and Neanderthals did have sex, those encounters would have been rarely successful in producing offspring."

See the article on LiveScience at:

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gifts for the Holidays

Well folks, it's that time again...in between Thanksgiving and Christmas...and so I'm providing a few links for those of us who can never get enough reading material:

Walter Stahr's new book on William H. Seward, available here:

Amazon's Gold Box deals:

My favorite link for out-of-copyright print materials:

The link for libraries, when you know the book you want, but not where to find it:


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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Diamond Jubilee

Royal Watchers: here is the link for the Diamond Jubilee for her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth:
http://www.thediamondjubilee.org/, who has carried out her duties with grace and dignity for many years. A true lady.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tombstone preservation assistance

I recently received a request for information on the preservation of tombstones. 
And, while I have not used the organizations listed below, am providing this information as a public service. 
Over the years, much damage has been done by avid photographers, using shaving cream or other substances. 
Chemicals can cause a great deal of damage. 
With the advances in digital photography, we can enhance an image, and do not need to apply anything to the stone which could irreparably damage it.
On a cloudy day, bring a flashlight. 
I have long been a proponent of good old fashioned chalk, which is at least a natural substance.
In addition to documenting a gravestone using photography, many of us are faced with repairing stones after improper repairs have caused further damage -- concrete, caulk, sealers.
Sometimes the challenge to legibility indicates a need for wording to be re-incised.
None of these are tasks for amateurs.
So, for professional guidance, please consider the links below:

The Association for Gravestone Studies     http://www.gravestonestudies.org/
The American Institute for Conservation of Artistic & Historic Works     http://www.conservation-us.org/
Monument Conservation Collaborative     http://mcc-monument-conservation.com/
Custom Building & Restoration Trades Directory     http://www.restorationtradesdirectory.com/stone_restoration_conservation
Gravestone Preservation Info     http://www.gravestonepreservation.info/

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Great resource for American Military Records

This year presents two major anniversaries for Americans, 50 years apart: 200 years ago, we were engaged in the War of 1812, which some people regard as the American Revolution, Part 2. 150 years ago, we were fighting the American Civil War.
To put this in perspective, if your family came here to the land of opportunity before the Revolution started, then fought and survived it, their children and/or their grandchildren fought and survived the War of 1812, and their children and/or their granchildren fought in the War between the States, and their children and/or grandchildren fought in at least one of the two World Wars.

We are survivors, which is why Americans are a tough breed.
To see my favorite resource for these events, go to http://www.fold3.com/

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