Daily Archives: June 24, 2009

Remember the Columbia House Record Club?

“So take this and fill it out,” he suddenly said, thrusting a small square of paper in my general direction, a piece of paper that looked like a postcard on one side and a form to be filled in on the other. “As soon as you can. Do it right now.”

So my boss had just forced me to join the Columbia House Record Club so he could get a free album by getting someone else to join. I had to pick five albums from this list of mostly totally stupid stuff….

Forced to Join the Columbia House Record Club at Quiche Moraine

BBC: DNA mutations followed by selection does not lead to new species!?!?

In an BBC article describing a Royal Society paper on the rate of mutation in warm vs. cooler climates, the BBC made this statement:

DNA can mutate and change imperceptibly every time a cell divides and makes a copy of itself.

But when one of these mutations causes a change that is advantageous for the animal – for example, rendering it resistant to a particular disease – it is often “selected for”, or passed down to the next few generations of that same species.

Such changes, which create differences within a population but do not give rise to new species, are known as “microevolution”.

I suppose the BBC is into the Hopeful Monster theory or something.

Read it here, come back, and fight it out.

SC Governor Abducted by Aliens

First he was, I dunno, in the bathroom. Then he was, perhaps, down in the parking lot waxing his car. Then he was home working on his stamp collection or something. Then he was hiking the Apalachian Trail. Now, it turns out, supposedly, that Republican South Carolina Governor Sanford was in South America. What next?

There is a timeline here at the Charlotte Observer

You know, there is only one possible explanation for this. See headline.

Our Research Camp as a Mission Station

A couple of “missionary” posts back, I intimated that we got to stay at the missionary stations while visiting various cities or en route between points in return for our work giving out medicine and such at our research camp. In truth, the arrangement was a bit more complex and subtle than this, and in fact, I think the arrangement and its nature changed over time. The various missionary entities that existed in the Ituri Forest and nearby cites that would be used as jumping off points were actually hospitable to us for three reasons. 1) Almost everybody is almost always hospitable to everybody else in this region. This is how things must be for anything to work. The only non-hospitable units are official governmental agencies of Zaire, or where they exist, embassies or consulates of the United States. 2) We did fill in a blank space on the map where essential medical services were not available to local people because the missions did not operate that far into the bush. Our research station was beyond the Blender Line and even beyond the Beer Line. 3) We paid. For the most part, mission stations had guest rooms and other facilities for use by passers by, but there was a charge (though very inexpensive) to cover costs. Flying on their planes cost as well.
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