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Finer With Age
Posted by Ogged on 04.27.17

It's perhaps not often noted that while Se7en was a very good and successfully disturbing movie when it came out, it's an even better movie now that it seems entirely fitting for Gwyneth Paltrow to be beheaded.

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Near the top of the hill.
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 04.27.17

I am now of an age where some of the bullshit I dealt with is beginning to be addressed. Mostly career-related, in my case - people spend a lot more effort thinking about good ways and bad ways to teach math, how to support and foster an interest in math in girls and minority kids, and so on. Recently, Heebie U discussed the need for an official family-medical leave policy for faculty. I have to admit, this one stings a bit. Pregnancy is still a little too recent and was too hard. I'm kind of jealous and mad that I suffered through it the hard way.

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It's a Cleet-up!
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 04.26.17

Sir Kraab writes: I'll be in Cleveland May 1-4 and am working on meetup plans with the Helpy-Chalks and possibly redfoxtailshrub & snarkout. Any other Clevelanders? Lurkers welcome!

heebie's take: portmanteaus forever.

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Closed Systems
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 04.26.17

I have a dumb physics question. I'm really no good at physics. Sometimes, in my xfit class, we do back squats.


(This is a stock photo of someone named Julie Lohre. Not me, for many reasons.)

This is what I think about when I do back squats:
If I were to use my arms and lift the bar off my back by an inch, and then do the back squat, I wouldn't be making it any easier on my legs. My arms would just get tired.

Suppose I used my arms and pulled the bar down really hard onto my back. Am I making it harder on my legs then?

If so, why is this asymmetric? Why can I make it harder but not easier? Note: arms lock in position before the back squat ever starts, in these scenarios. No "jumping in an elevator" scenarios, where your arm provides a jump while your legs are working.

I think it must be that you can't make it harder on your legs by pulling down - the top half of your body is a closed system with fixed weight. That your core muscles are just doing more work to counter your arms. Am I right?

(For the sake of argument, let's say my legs do 100% of the work in a normal backsquat, even though core muscles and whatnot play a role.)

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Guest Post - Go West, Young Gentlemenz
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 04.26.17

Mossy Character writes: The Genetic Ancestry of African Americans, Latinos, and European Americans across the United States:

We find that many self-reported European Americans, predominantly those living west of the Mississippi River, carry Native American ancestry (Figure 3B). We estimate that European Americans who carry at least 2% Native American ancestry are found most frequently in Louisiana, North Dakota, and other states in the West.

Via Erik Lund, continuing his "Gathering the Bones" series, laid out for instance here:

"Indian" populations transformed into "White," once it was in their interest to do so [...] "Forgetting" allows the perpetuation of a Creole elite without challenging the ideology of American egalitarianism

Separately, from the first link:

Contrary to expectations under a social one-drop rule, or "Rule of Hypodescent," which would mandate that individuals who knowingly carry African ancestry identify as African American, the probability of self-reporting as African American given a proportion of African ancestry follows a logistic probability curve [...] suggesting that individuals identify roughly with the majority of their genetic ancestry

A reminder that demography is not destiny, considering that AIUI the US Census does use one-drop rules.

Heebie's take: I feel like there is a joke waiting to be made about one-drop rules and homeopathy dilution remedies. Or maybe just a related premise.

(Genetically, I am not a mixture. Just Ashkenazi with 2% Neanderthal thrown in for good measure.)

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Still Running
Posted by Ogged on 04.25.17

Back in the day, we talked about Jackson Frank and covers of his Blues Run The Game. This one is lovely.

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It's mole! It's mole!
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 04.25.17

Nekkid mole rats are weird!

In fact, naked mole rats can survive for five hours at oxygen levels so low a human would die in minutes, and this latest study showed they can endure a ridiculous 18 minutes of total oxygen deprivation by slipping into a sort of vegetative state. Mice without oxygen die after around 20 seconds.

Also they don't get cancer or feel pain. Also the authors at the link already made the scrotum-looking jokes.

The point of the article is that scientists recently figured out the metabolic pathway that the moleys are using - they're using fructose, which we only have examples of plants doing until now. Weird!

When I was seven or eight, my mom spent about two years working on 8x11 paintings - and she paints slowly and painstakingly, these are not breezy things that are whipped off - each of which was a different pun involving moles. "Mole in One", with a golfing mole, "Guacamole", etc. There were probably 30 in all. Weird!

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