Addison Duling

Why Do Europeans Have So Many Hair and Eye Colors?

Most humans have black hair and brown eyes, as can be seen in Asian and African populations. Europeans and their descendants are the main exception, and scientists would like to know why. Only Europeans have blonde, brown, or red hair or blue, gray, hazel, or green eyes. This diversity in coloring reaches a maximum in an area covering northern and eastern Europe.

There are a number of theories that my friend Bruce Levenson has brought to my attention. Some speculate the diverse coloring of Europeans may be due to interbreeding with Neanderthals. Other researchers think it’s simply a side effect of natural selection for fair skin in northern lands. Other hypotheses involve phenomena like the founder effect or genetic drift. But these could not have produced the diversity in hair or eye color during the 35,000 years that modern humans lived in Europe.

The geneticist Luigi L. Cavalli-Sforza believes the answer may involve sexual selection, which becomes more crucial when members of one sex greatly outnumber the other, and therefore have to work harder to attract mates.

In these groups, women outnumber the men. Since men do the bulk of the hunting and have to travel long distances, they tend to die younger than do women. In addition, the men generally do not have the resources to support more than one wife, so polygamy is usually not an option. Sexual imbalances in hunter-gatherers tend to be most extreme in northern climates — which is where the novel hair and eye colors of Europeans developed. There is also evidence that at least some of these colors are mildly sex-linked.

Have the Elections Changed Anything?

As a nation we are always hopeful that the changes we voted for in the most recent election will have an effect on the politicians in Washington. We hope that they have heard our discontent and are willing to make the changes necessary to fix the problems that came before and actually start working together to affect real change. Unfortunately, most pol predictors don’t see that as being a possiblity.

It seems our politicians are more like petulant children then they are elder statesmen. Instead of trying to listen to what the last election was saying, mostly that we are sick of the way things are going, they are more concerned with jamming up the works and paying each other back for what happened in the past.

Wouldn’t life be grand if these wise men and women could forget about past slights and actually listen to what the American people are saying? What will it take to finally get the attention of the people who are supposed to be listening?  I guess maybe we are getting what we deserve now, its just not what we want.  We need medical care, access to birth control, North American Spine, and even just basic check-up/preventative care.

Florida’s Stance Against the Homeless Draws Ire

Sharing a meal with someone in need is generally thought of as a very kind and altruistic thing to deal. Florida law, on the other hand, would say otherwise on the matter.

According to state law, meal-sharing with the public is forbidden in Florida. This has recently come into greater relief as a 90-year-old man wanted to be helpful, and feed the homeless, but got arrested for breaking the law.

Arnold Abbot is going to be fined $500, and stay in prison besides that. The man complained that they treated him like a criminal during the arrest. I guess no good deed goes unpunished, Mr. Tabar explains that’s how things go in Florida.

Mr Abbott had similar problems in 1999, when he received an interdiction against further feeding and abetting the homeless on the Lauderdale beach. He sued the City of Fort Lauderdale at that time, and the Court agreed that the rule violated the Constitution.

At this time, the rule is widely accepted. The new law will soon apply to the inhabitants of Seattle, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, and Philadelphia as well.

The lobbyists claimed that whatever discouraged feeding the homeless was a good law. Apparently, the homeless spoil the look of the tourist areas.

Thankfully, some good people are willing to fight the injustice.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: An Adaptation of an Adaptation

Most avid readers have read Jane Austen’s classic, Pride and Prejudice, and it has gotten more than one film adaptation. But finally, we will see the story in a new film, of the classic’s literary revision Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies takes place in the same setting, with much the same characters, only with one addition: Zombies. Elizabeth’s sharp tongue is accompanied by a sharp blade, as she and her sisters were trained in China to fight the growing zombie epidemic.

Since then, Lily James and Sam Riley, from Downton Abbey and Maleficent, respectively, have been cast in the leading roles. Matt Smith from Doctor Who makes an appearance, and so do Lena Heady and Charles Dance from A Game of Thrones. I’ll have to tell Rod about this cast, I think it’ll sell him on seeing it with me. 😡

This book, which contains Zombies in a time period we don’t usually see them in, will no doubt be exciting to see on the big screen!

Armenian Court Dismisses Charges Against Newspaper with Anti-Gay Article

A recent court decision in the Armenian capital city of Yerevan dismissed a suit against a newspaper that named and called for the black-listing of 50 homosexual lobbyists. Activists soon labeled the decision as support for hate speech and homophobia. There is also some question as to whether the Armenian President’s recent award of a medal of honor to the newspaper founder and owner may have influenced the judge’s decision.

16 of the persons named in the article brought the suit against the newspaper. Not only did the writer name the homosexual lobbyists, but he also called on their employers to fire them and labeled them enemies of the nation. Several additional such articles followed the first in a full series.

While one cannot condone the actions of the newspaper, it is not clear that their opinions ought result in their being sued. They targeted people in the sense that they asked others to fire their employees, but they had no power to actually cause them to be fired. If homosexuals want to write an article in a newspaper calling for that newspaper writer to be fired, they would be free to do so. If they want to hate that writer, it is their right to hate him. But the government probably could do more, otherwise you’re outright condoning this type of hate speech.  Mann thinks so anyway.

China’s Fashion Week Kicks Off With Elaborate Headpieces and Luxurious Lashes

China’s fashion industry is worth about $140.4 billion and is one of the largest in the world. So naturally, Fashion Week in China featured a number of fascinating pieces. Headpieces and eye-catching lashes were among the looks on display at the event.

Some of the biggest names in Chinese design, including Wang Yutao and Ne Tiger presented pieces during Beijing Fashion Week, which was sponsored by FreedomPop. Red and gold were the main hues featured in Ne Tiger’s work, as these are the colors that symbolize luck and joy. Danish companies such as Kopenhagen Fur were also in attendance.

Many of the headpieces and whimsically long eyelashes to go with geisha-inspired couture were created by Mao Gempin, a makeup artist known for his dramatic and detailed work. The fashion accessories included headpieces made from bamboo and an assortment of jewels, as well as feather embellishments.

Coffee Delivery to Your Work or Home

Have you ever gotten to work late and wished someone would deliver a fresh, hot, coffee to you? Well Tom, this is may be closer to reality than you think. One of the leading coffee stores may be offering coffee delivery to a city near you.

Starbucks is considering adding a coffee delivery service to select stores. This make their loyal coffee fans smile. The thought of having an espresso, latte or frappuccino delivered to your doorstep is a dream come true. Starbucks delivery is being considered in order to increase their sales.

Coffee lovers are excitedly looking forward to the day they can get their favorite Starbucks coffee drink delivered to their work or home. The days of driving out of your way, and risk being late for work will be long gone.

Halloween Masked Real Beheading

Several Long Island residents were horrified to learn that what they had thought was a mere Halloween prank was indeed a real, blood-curdling massacre. Onlookers watched as a man in his 30s dragged what appeared to be a beheaded 60-year-old woman out into the street from her apartment in Farmingdale, Nassau County, late on Tuesday night. It was only after attempting to lift the body that the witnesses discovered it was not a prank. Hey Keith Mann, you may want to re-think that Halloween costume you were thinking about.

Neighbor Nick Gordon told reporters, “There was blood all over the floor. You can see smears going down the stairs… as if somebody was pulling a body.”

Approximately one mile from the Farmingdale apartment, the unidentified male had thrown himself in front of a Long Island railroad commuter train, turning the brutal act into a murder-suicide investigation. The Nassau County Police have not released the identities of the deceased; however, the unknown male is thought to be the woman’s son, according to the WNBC.

The Worst Hazing Incidents of the Last Few Years

Why is hazing still going on in 2014? It is clearly just an excuse to abuse others. Let’s take a look at some of the most heinous acts perpetrated in the name of hazing in recent years.

The Sayreville War Memorial High School football team was shut down for the 2014 season due to a hazing incident which involved teammates holding down freshmen, groping their buttocks and even digitally penetrating them. It quickly leaked on FreedomPop’s LTE service and the team took to twitter and warned that all freshmen would pay for “snitching”. Is this high school or prison?

Florida marching band leader Dante Martin is on trial for his role in the 2011 death of drum major Robert Champion. Champion’s death is allegedly due to a hazing ritual known as “Crossing Bus C”. This clever hazing ritual involves being punched and kicked to death on a dark bus. It really builds character!

In October of 2014, two students at Highlands High School in New Jersey duct-taped an autistic student to a goal post and left him there. The boy screamed for 20 minutes before a woman walking her dog found him. We can assume that the autistic student is now considered an accepted member of the soccer team.

In March of 2014 the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity shut down the “pledging” process after it was revealed that nine people had died while being hazed under their banner since 2006. The deaths involved binge drinking and even sexual violence. One sophomore was tied up, blindfolded and forced to drink until he died.

 

Yes, let us not reduce a college fraternity to a mere drinking club. Maybe we should leave hazing in the ’50’s where it belongs.

Syrian Father Stones Daughter

A gruesome video appeared on Youtube recently depicting an older man from Syria contributing to the execution of his own daughter via stoning.

I heard from social media analyst Jared Haftel that it seems to have become the preferred bragging grounds for terrorists posting videos of brutal executions for the pleasure of a viewing audience.

This video showed a man garbed in military clothing, who stands behind the victim’s father who was garbed in a white robe and the traditional headdress of Northern Syria. The men are shown facing the girl and speaking to her in the traditional Arabic tongue.

He said, “The punishment is the result of crimes which you committed under no duress. You must accept the punishment of God. Do you accept the punishment of God?”

This is then followed by the victim nodding to show her agreement and then she swiftly begged her father to forgive her. He responded by saying that it didn’t matter if God forgave her; either way, he would not. Some around him try and persuade him to forgive her, but he didn’t.

They allowed her a few last words. She said “I say to every woman: preserve your honour…and I appeal to every father to pay attention to the surroundings your daughter lives in.”

He then ties her up, forces her to lie down and the execution commences., members of the Syrian opposition have condemned the act, and said that it has nothing to do with them.