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koali - morning glory

- "At night, neutrinos enter our feet and exit our heads . . . by day, the same number enter our heads and exit our feet"
     - "The Cosmos Up Close," Discover Magazine, November 2004, p 38

- Dartmouth College (New Hampshire) was founded as a charitable school for American Indian children; upper New England Caucasians found it convenient and less expensive to send their own sons there than to pack them off to Harvard

- Genghis Khan was taller than other Mongols.  He also had gray eyes

- The Takla Makan Mummies  - "In the late 1980's, perfectly preserved 3000-year-old mummies began appearing in a remote Chinese desert. They had long reddish-blond hair, European features and didn't appear to be the ancestors of modern-day Chinese people. Archaeologists now think they may have been the citizens of an ancient civilization that existed at the crossroads between China and Europe."



- several, make that many, countries claim to have invented the game of chess, and there are countless stories about the game.  I don't know where I picked this tidbit up, but . . .
     . . .  back in the days when Picts were turning into Scots and big chiefdoms were becoming little kingdoms, the King on the chessboard, mirroring Celtic war and strategy, stood not beside his Queen, but beside his Druid-Priest.  The King's  movement was - and still is - restricted because his power, his mana so to speak, was strongest only in his own land (maybe the land and the lord each enabled the other's potential).


- the old name of Pauoa Valley's forested ewa-side ridge is Kupanihi.  Kupanihi was a supernatural sow whose children became progenitors of a line of O`ahu chiefs.  Her name means "steep cliff" and "native who carefully observes the kapus."
- the old name for the lower, more densely forested and further upland section of the valley is Kaakaukukui.  I always just took the name to be more or less "the north/northern kukui (trees)."
One morning it occurred to me it could also mean "The many lights passing by," which would be a reference to the ghosts/spirits and especially the marchers of the night who walk or march up the valley on the Kupanihi side of the river.

- remains of small homonids approximately 3 meters tall and living in Indonesia as recently as 18,000 years ago have been discovered by a team of Indonesian and Australian scientists -  and this is not a joke. 

Hiawatha Belt
Iroquois League of Nations

- "From the beginning they fought, not merely for their land, but for their lives; for it was from the land that they drew the means of living.  All wars between the whites and the Indians, whatever the color or pretense on either side, have been on both sides wars of extermination.  They have been carried on as such wars always have been and always will be carried on."
           -  Horatio Hale, Ed., The Iroquois Book of Rites, D.G. Brinton, Philadelphia, 1883, p.83, available online at

Sunday October 31 2004 Honolulu Star Bulletin
"Cleaning of bones honors the spirits of the dead"
by Lisa Adams, Associated Press
"For this 58-year old farmer and dozens of other descendants of Mayan Indians in this small village on the Yucatan Peninsula, the last days of October are devoted to cleaning the bones [of deceased family members]. . . in time for the Day of the Dead."
and from the Canadian Television Website:
"You might not want to dig up the bones of your loved ones, but in Taiwan, exhuming an ancestor's bones, cleaning them and reburying them is a sign of greatest respect. At a graveyard in Taiwan, Mr. Hu and his family look on as his grandmother's bones are disinterred from their resting place. Mr. Hu hopes to rebury her in a family pagoda, where her spirit will be reunited with her loved ones. For many in Taiwan, spirits are real, and require offerings and respect. Disregarding the spirits' wishes doesn't pay - they can bring good fortune or calamity to the living. So Mr. Hu turned to professionals, the Huang family, to perform this ritual of 'second burial'. After carefully digging up each bone fragment, they bring the remains to their headquarters. There, the bones are carefully cleaned, then repackaged in a ceramic urn. They'll be kept here until they can be reburied, on a date deemed auspicious by a geomancer, an expert in choosing resting places for the dead. Then, both the dead and the living can rest in peace, knowing that the grandson has honored his grandmother's spirit."
          - - 51k - Oct 30, 2004

tibetan prayer beads

"The [Huron] buried their dead immediately after death and reinterred them at the Feast of the Dead. . . The Neutral took their dead to the burying ground only at the last possible time, when decomposition made the bodies insupportable. . . After the corpse had finally been put outside on a scaffold and after the flesh had decayed, the bones were taken and out here and there in the houses until the feat of the Dead."
         - Tooker, Elizabeth, An Ethnography of the Huron Indians, 1615 - 1649, Syracuse University Press 1991 p. 15

hawaiian petroglyph

First Americans may have crossed Atlantic 50,000 years ago
| Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the November 18, 2004 edition

In a discovery sure to set off a firestorm of debate over human migration to the western hemisphere, archaeologists in South Carolina say they have uncovered evidence that people lived in eastern North America at least 50,000 years ago - far earlier than any previously known human presence.

If the results hold up, this could spur some significant rewriting of early human history. It adds to a growing body of evidence that human colonization of the Western Hemisphere is a more complicated - and much older - story than one involving simply a land bridge from Asia. . . .

. . . Yet the South Carolina team's find is not alone in its antiquity - dates which begin to push the radiocarbon-dating techniques used to their limits. One site in Oklahoma has been dated to between 30,000 and 35,000 years ago. Brazilian and European archaeologists are working a site in Brazil that they say dates to 50,000 to 60,000 years ago. And a site in Chile has yielded artifacts dating to 33,000 years ago. In all cases, however, the evidence has been controversial. . . .

. . . A Clovis-first approach fails to explain significantly older sites in Central and South America. And while genetic similarities between modern native Americans and Asiatic people have been documented, the high level of genetic diversity seen in native Americans "is difficult to explain in a Clovis time frame. It points to a deeper time." . . .

. . . "The vast majority of North American archaeologists have become convinced that Clovis doesn't explain the origins of the first people in the Americas," says Dr. Dillehay, whose work on a 13,000-year-old Monte Verde site in Chile was instrumental in turning the intellectual tide.


Nature Genetics
November 2004, Volume 36 No 11s
Sponsor's Foreword
About the cover
Sponsor's Foreword
'Race' and the human genome ppS1 - S2
Ari Patrinos
Full text | PDF (103K)
The unexamined population pS3
Full text | PDF (50K)
Changing the paradigm from 'race' to human genome variation ppS5 - S7
Charmaine D M Royal & Georgia M Dunston
Published online: 26 October 2004 | 
Abstract | Full text | PDF (95K)
Forensic genetics and ethical, legal and social implications beyond the clinic ppS8 - S12
Mildred K Cho & Pamela Sankar
Published online: 26 October 2004 | 
Abstract | Full text | PDF (104K)
What we do and don't know about 'race', 'ethnicity', genetics and health at the dawn of the genome era ppS13 - S15
Francis S Collins
Published online: 26 October 2004 | 
Abstract | Full text | PDF (330K)
Conceptualizing human variation ppS17 - S20
S O Y Keita, R A Kittles, C D M Royal, G E Bonney, P Furbert-Harris, G M Dunston & C N Rotimi
Published online: 26 October 2004 | 
Abstract | Full text | PDF (102K)
Implications of biogeography of human populations for 'race' and medicine ppS21 - S27
Sarah A Tishkoff & Kenneth K Kidd
Published online: 26 October 2004 | 
Abstract | Full text | PDF (270K)
Genetic variation, classification and 'race' ppS28 - S33
Lynn B Jorde & Stephen P Wooding
Published online: 26 October 2004 | 
Abstract | Full text | PDF (850K)
Will tomorrow's medicines work for everyone? ppS34 - S42
Sarah K Tate & David B Goldstein
Published online: 26 October 2004 | 
Abstract | Full text | PDF (161K)
Are medical and nonmedical uses of large-scale genomic markers conflating genetics and 'race'? ppS43 - S47
Charles N Rotimi
Published online: 26 October 2004 | 
Abstract | Full text | PDF (118K)
Assessing genetic contributions to phenotypic differences among 'racial' and 'ethnic' groups ppS48 - S53
Joanna L Mountain & Neil Risch
Published online: 26 October 2004 | 
Abstract | Full text | PDF (226K)
Implications of correlations between skin color and genetic ancestry for biomedical research ppS54 - S60
E J Parra, R A Kittles & M D Shriver
Published online: 26 October 2004 | 
Abstract | Full text | PDF (1,666K)  | Supplementary Information

Nature Genetics  36, S1 - S2 (2004)
'Race' and the human genome
Ari Patrinos
Director for Biological and Environmental Research, Office of Science, US Department of Energy
This supplement has its origins on May 15, 2003, when the National Human Genome Center at Howard University held a small but important workshop in Washington DC. The workshop, Human Genome Variation and 'Race', and this special issue of Nature Genetics were proposed by scientists at Howard University and financially supported by the Genome Programs of the US Department of Energy, through its Office of Science; the Irving Harris Foundation; the National Institutes of Health, through the National Human Genome Research Institute; and Howard University. As summarized by Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, the workshop focused on several key questions: "What does the current body of scientific information say about the connections among race, ethnicity, genetics and health? What remains unknown? What additional research is needed? How can this information be applied to benefit human health? How might this information be applied in nonmedical settings? How can we adopt policies that will achieve beneficial societal outcomes?" This supplement, supported by the Department of Energy through a grant to Howard University, contains articles based on the presentations at this workshop.

With very rare exceptions, all of us in the US are immigrants. We bring with us a subset of genes from our homelands, and for many Americans, often first-generation but more commonly second-generation, the plural noun 'homelands' is appropriate. From this perspective, the most immediately obvious characteristic of 'race' is that describing most of us as Caucasian, Asian or African is far too simple. Despite attempts by the US Census Bureau to expand its definitions, the term 'race' does not describe most of us with the subtlety and complexity required to capture and appreciate our genetic diversity. Unfortunately, this oversimplification has had many tragic effects. Therefore, we need to start with the science, which is what the Howard University conference did. To quote further from Francis Collins' excellent commentary, "As a historically black university, Howard University served science and society by sponsoring this frank discussion, and the National Human Genome Center's leaders are to be congratulated for their vision in putting together such a thought-provoking agenda...". I completely agree.

If 'race' as a concept is oversimplified, what can or should we use to describe and define our heritage or familial lineage? Ethnicity, genetics, ancestry, lineage and family all denote something about our origins, but what? Perhaps the more immediate question is whether the completed Human Genome Project will define a concept of race that is scientifically credible and useful. Can a more thorough look at the genetic complement, the actual DNA sequences we each carry, clarify and inform our history and relationships? At the simplest level, each of us carries a set of genes that affects the color of his or her skin (often a surrogate for race). The exact number of these genes isn't known (PLoS Biology 1, 19–22; 2003), but they represent only a small fraction of the estimated 30,000 total genes in our genomes (Nature 409, 860–921; 2001; and Science 291, 1304–1351; 2001). We are genetically far more nuanced and variable than is reflected in just skin coloration. With more data, can we build a comprehensive understanding of ourselves, backed by societal strictures that encourage the beneficent use of the resulting knowledge rather than an urge to discriminate? Can we follow Aristotle's advice to "...venture on the study of every kind of animal without distaste; for each and all will reveal to us something natural and something beautiful. Absence of haphazard, and conduciveness of everything to an end, are to be found in Nature's works in the highest degree, and the resultant end of her generation and combinations is a form of the beautiful." (On the Parts of Animals, Oxford, 1911)?

Why is it important to achieve a closer approximation of the genetic reality in individual humans? From a medical perspective, knowing the unique genetic profile of an individual, a profile that is unquestionably influenced by ancestry, will assist a physician in streamlining the search for the right diagnosis for a set of symptoms. In the end, each person must be treated as an individual with his or her own medical issues, rather than as an exemplar of a race. We anticipate a future in which accurate predictive medicine, based on one's individual genetic profile, will promote longer and healthier lives and a better ability to manage interactions with our environment and the challenges it constantly presents, be they allergens, diseases or environmental hazards. If nothing else, among so many potential benefits, the kind of solid science presented and discussed in this issue and at the Howard conference is providing proof that oversimplified concepts of race simply don't work in any objective realm. It's bad medicine, and it's bad science.

The DOE has a health effects mission (rooted in the original enabling legislation for the precursor Atomic Energy Commission) to explore radiation effects on human health. Radiation-caused mutagenesis was the original impetus for DOE's involvement in genetics, and the effort to map and sequence the human genome was conceived at the DOE to develop the technologies and to build a reference sequence for subsequent biological science. Today, the DOE is a mission agency whose task is to pursue science to address national needs in clean energy production, legacy waste cleanup and global climate management. My office is currently addressing this imperative through its Genomics:GTL program, which seeks an understanding of microbial systems whose capabilities can ultimately be harnessed for biotechnology applications ( Like the US National Institutes of Health's Genome Program, the DOE Human Genome Program responded to the need for recognition and study of the potential ethical, legal and social impacts of the science we supported and crafted our program to explore genome-derived societal issues. Although the list of ethical, legal and social issues is long, perhaps none is as important as understanding how our genetic endowments influence our many complex characteristics and defining the limits of these genetic contributions. We are much more than just the sum of our genes.

To bring light (rather than more heat) to this discussion, we are proud to have supported the Howard University workshop and this issue, which will enable a far larger audience to join in this most vital discussion. Entrusted with public funds to carry out the science, we can do no less. Although much remains to be done, the determination of the human genome sequence gives us solid ground from which to move forward.


Good research over a period of several decades has given a scientific expression to our experience of subtle interconnections, and it clearly shows that the human mind is not isolated within the body.

There is solid empirical evidence that we do interact directly with each other and the world in the domain of consciousness, despite physical barriers and separations (1). Repeated experiments show an effect on our instruments, not only of individual intentions, but also of group consciousness (2,3). . .

. . .  The accumulated research shows a tiny but highly significant correlation indicating that consciousness can weakly but measurably affect the physical world.

and to go with that:
random event generator/global consciousness

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