Archive for September 29th, 2004

Yale Claims Adam and Eve Lived 3,000 Years Ago

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Most recent common ancestor’ of all living humans
surprisingly recent

New Haven, Conn. — In this week’s issue of Nature, a Yale mathematician presents
models showing that the most recent person who was a direct ancestor of all humans
currently alive may have lived just a few thousand years ago.


“While we may not all be ‘brothers,’ the models suggest we are all hundredth cousins or so,” said Joseph T. Chang, professor in the Department of Statistics at Yale University and senior author on the paper.

from Yale
University press release
via Eureka Alert

Coming Soon to a Campus Near You

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They stood silently in line on a misty, rain swept plaza
outside of Marsh Chapel and in front of the Martin Luther King memorial,
on the campus of Boston University. At first, it was unclear exactly
what they were for, or against.

Upon closer inspection, each of their purple placards bore
a peace symbol and the name of an Iraqi non-combatants killed during
the US occupation of their country. Teachers and students, like us. Messengers
and housewives, little kids playing on the street or walking to school.
Normal people, trying to live their lives, collateral damage in the Bush
family vendetta.

We spoke and discovered that they were part of
the
Inter-University Coalition
for a Humane Foreign Policy
, and
are part of a wide movement to stage protests on every campus in
the Boston area, every Wednesday, at noon, until "the crisis passes".

Watch for them soon, at a campus near you.

Inter-University
Coalition for a Humane Foreign Policy

photo by Dowbrigade

Hey, Watch Where You Put That Hand!

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Linen maker Kameo Corp.’s new "Boyfriend’s Arm Pillow" – which consists
of a headless torso and a stuffed arm that curls around the sleeper – might make
some people uneasy. But not Junko Suzuki, or about 1000 others in Japan who
have bought the pillow, which Kameo says is the first of its kind. The
product went
on the market last
December.

"I like to sleep holding someone’s hand," Ms Suzuki, 34. "And
this pillow makes me feel relaxed because I can hold the arm and feel something
warm at my side."

The pillow is only on sale in Japan, where customers can
buy one for Y8500 ($106.8). Covered in a shirt-shaped pillow cover, it
comes in blue, pink or green.

"It keeps holding me all the way through," she said in her home outside
of Tokyo. "I think this is great because this does not betray me."

The company also has a prototype for its next big project:
a female pillow for men. This one will be shaped like a woman’s lap,
with a "skirt" cover.

Hell, the Dowbrigade has had one of those for years. She’s
in the closet, at least until we get a polyvinyl patch kit…….

from the Queensland
Courier-Mail

Blogs as Therapy – The Jewish General

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By
now, everybody has probably read the lengthy and reasonably perceptive
article on political bloggers in Sunday’s
New
York Times
. Just in case any of our readers have not, here is a permanent
link
to the story.

What interested us most was the story within the story told by proto-blogger
Mickey Kaus of kausfiles.com about
waking from a dream and stumbling to his computer to blog it before
becoming fully conscious. He writes:

”I was halfway across the room about to blog a dream I just had, without
ever regaining consciousness, before I realized what I was about to
do. If the computer hadn’t been in the other room, I probably would
have."

Kaus took it as a warning sign that he was blogging TOO
much of his personal life. The Dowbrigade begs to differ.  We would
have taken it as an opportunity, and as a promising sign of incipient
enlightenment. Everyone knows you have to write down your dreams before
you fully wake up, or you lose the details and the mood. What more natural
place for a blogger to record them than in his blog.

One of the things we like most about blogging is that
it is such good therapy. Blogs can be an outlet, an alter ego,
a vehicle for self analysis, a means for confronting inner demons and
overcoming phobias. Take it from the Dowbrigade, who studied psychology
at Harvard. Allen Ginsberg famously said he had watched the finest minds
of his generation go insane.
We
may be watching the finest minds of our generation being SAVED BY BLOGS.

In order to prove our point, and illuminate several of
the previously mentioned points, we would like to recount
one of our recurring dreams, a dream that has been dogging the Dowbrigade
since early childhood.

In our sleeping mind it plays out, every time, as a full-length
feature motion picture, with swelling orchestral music and spectacular
opening shots of a cold and stormy Normandy shore, bristling with German
gun encampments, fortified bunkers and, as the imaginary camera pulls
away from the immediate coast, millions of massing tanks and trucks and
artillery pieces swarming over the shore like angry army ants. The title
of the movie is always the same, "The Jewish General".

Although minor variations have popped up over the years,
the basic plot remains the same. We are one of Hitler’s inner circle,
an engineer and naval designer, madly working to prepare for the upcoming
invasion of England. In fact, we have been put in charge of designing
the landing craft in which the invading German hordes will storm the
white cliffs of Dover.

However, and here is where the plot gets interesting and
the dream get hairy, unbeknownst to Herr Hitler and his Nazi minions,
the Dowbrigade is AN ALLIED PLANT, and in reality is an AMERICAN JEW
SPY. His mission: to thwart the invasion by including an ingenious
but fatal flaw in the design of the landing craft. At the crucial moment,
as the hulls of the boats hit the English beach, THE EXIT DOORS WILL
FAIL TO OPEN, and the German soldiers will be trapped in their landing
craft, easy prey to Allied sharpshooters and motor rounds from the cliffs.

Obviously, if we are caught out it would mean a swift and
painful death. And if we are still around when the critical moment of
failure occurs, the gig will be up and we will be doomed. Therefore,
we have planned an elaborate escape on the eve of the invasion, some
nights across the channel in a mini-sub, others by parachute into Nottingham
forest, or melting away to the East, through the lines into our ancestral
homeland Russia.

Sometimes there is a romantic sub-plot, some sexy uniformed
SS Fraulein or exotic Gypsy resistance fighter, and occasionally a comic
sidekick offering clever banter and possibilities of betrayal, but the
dramatic climax invariably comes at a big Nazi meeting a few days before
the actual invasion. At this meeting, always in the same dank windowless
room which we somehow know is far below ground and from which there is no escape, Hitler himself, beaming
benevolently, announces that he is so impressed with our work on the
landing craft that he is ordering us flown immediately to the Nazi fleet
flagship off the English coast, to witness firsthand the triumph of our
design. Our meticulous escape plan is ruined!

The dream always ends in one of a variety of last minute
escapes; sometimes diving off the boat and swimming to shore, sometimes
getting
picked up
by the aforementioned sub, occasionally inventing a crisis somewhere
off the ship to get away.  But we always get away.

Then the credits roll across our inner silver screen, as
the camera pans the smoldering corpses of the Nazi fighters blown to
bits in their defective landing craft. Then we wake up.

Now, this dream has caused us quite a bit of consternation
over the years. One of the main reasons we decided to major in Psychology
when we arrived on campus those many long years ago was to decipher perplexing
dreams like this. Of course, within a year we realized that that was
the reason EVERYBODY in the Psych program was there, and most of them
had dreams considerably more twisted than ours.  In fact, most of
them, students and teachers alike, were certifiably Psycho.

So we transferred to Anthropology, the study of human culture,
and found a much saner variety of weird intellect. We ended up concentrating
on the study of Shamanism, and another opportunity to get our dream explained arose.

We had been living near and studying with the famous Northern
Peru San Pedro Shaman Eduardo Calderon, known in shamanistic circles
as "El Tuno," for about six months, doing the Carlos Casta