A genomic and evolutionary analysis of an extinct saber-toothed cat

This is VERY interesting. Take a read!

Why Evolution Is True

A recent article in Current Biology, which you should be able get for free by clicking on the screenshot below, describes sequencing the entire genome of an extinct saber-toothed cat, thereby gaining some insight into its evolutionary history. (You can get the pdf here, and the full reference is at the bottom. If you can’t see the piece, make a judicious inquiry.)

The cat is Homotherium latidens, also known as the European saber-toothed cat (it’s also called a “scimitar-toothed cat” because its teeth were smaller than true sabertooths like Smilodon), and it probably lived from a few million years ago until fairly recently (the late Pleistocene, about 12,000 years ago). It may thus have encountered modern humans. It was about the size of a male African lion, and a reconstruction from Prehistoric Fauna looks like this (note the saber teeth and very short bobtail).

The species…

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Sunday Sonnet

Another one from The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology, edited by Edward Hirsch & Eavan Boland. This poem is written by Alice Notley.


Hirsch, Edward & Eavan Boland, editors. The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology. NY: W.W.Norton & Company, 2008. this poem is found on page 275.

Sexual Abuse

The story of my life, right here. At age sixty, still trying to cope.

Winter Dragonflies on Mental Health and Wellbeing

The sad Truth is Sexual Abuse of a Child happens far to often; I won’t go in to the statistics as I don’t believe anything will be gained by doing so and there is plenty of information in other blogs or on the Internet about it.

What I will say though is how much it hurts every time I turn on the TV or read a news article about yet another case. It fills my heart with sadness that another child has had their life turned upside down at the hands of their abuser. What about the cases that go unreported, there are far more unreported cases than there are reported ones, so many people never get the justice that they deserve.

The impact Sexual Abuse has on a child, on a person, can be life long. Some never fully come to terms or overcome what they have experienced, turning…

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Go Vat Notes

About the Jez of It

Originating in Cambodia the Go Vat became popular among French poets in the late 1800s. It consists of a couplet which sets the rhyme of the subsequent stanzas, and a third line that repeats either in total, a phrase, or the last word throughout the poem. This gives the following structure and schema



and so on.


My Spirit by Terry Clitheroe

My spirit is no longer part of me
I gave it away to you most willingly
Together with my heart.

I would share it all with thee
And boast for all the world to see
Willingly giving you my heart.

Tell me of your love I will agree
And share my life to infinity
See again I offer you my heart.

Isn't love the most simplistic plea
Showing you are open and free
Infinity calls let's share one heart

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On colonial mindsets and the myth of medieval Europe in isolation from the Muslim world

One of my favorite blogs.

Going Medieval

An idea that well-meaning people with no background in medieval history often bring up to me when attempting to relate is that the medieval period was certainly a glowing time for civilization – if one is explicitly and only discussing the Arab world. This idea gets hurled at me when I am pointing out what the term Dark Ages means, or discussing the bathing habits of medieval Europeans, or just trying to have a quiet pint in peace for the love of Christ. As I say, I do think it comes from a place of wanting to correct an inaccurate and overly European historiography. People want to prove that they understand there is more to the world than one peninsula and that multiple histories are available. They want to show that they understand that non-White people are capable of innovation. They also want to show that they have learned…

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The Labyrinth of Life!

I needed to hear this today.


Today, if you’re confronting an issue for the ten thousandth time, or feeling that your life is going nowhere, or panicking over how little you’ve achieved, stop and breathe. You’re not falling behind on some linear race through time. You’re walking the labyrinth of life…. In the moments you stop trying to conquer the labyrinth of life and simply inhabit it, you’ll realize it was designed to hold you safe as you explore what feels dangerous. You’ll see that you’re exactly where you’re meant to be, meandering along a crooked path that is meant to lead you not onward, but inward.

~ Martha Beck
Art by Nicole Cadet

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Religious Test Bigotry

Wow, I couldn’t agree more.



Don’t take my word for it that Republicans are going to lose in November. Take theirs.

Republicans know they’re going to lose the Senate (even South Carolina is competitive. South Carolina!). They’re going to lose the White House. There is no chance they can retake Congress.

Republicans know the will of the American people is against them. The majority of the nation rejects Republicanism and Trumpism. In the past 32 years, they’ve only won the popular vote in a presidential election…ONCE. In 2018, Senate Democratic candidates received 12 million more votes than Republican candidates. And despite the will of this nation being against Republicans, they control the White House, the Senate, and will soon have six out of nine justices on the Supreme Court which will rule for decades. Do you think that’s fucked up? Good, because it’s fucked up.

Republicans know the majority of America doesn’t like them. They…

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The Miracle of the Trump Economy

I’ve said this for YEARS. In fact, if you look at my own personal employment history, even when I was working full-time, I NEVER made enough money to support myself. NEVER.

Mock Paper Scissors

It’s a fixer-upper with potential.

Axios has a truly shocking economics report up:

A person who is looking for a full-time job that pays a living wage — but who can’t find one — is unemployed. If you accept that definition, the true unemployment rate in the U.S. is a stunning 26.1%, according to an important new dataset shared exclusively with “Axios on HBO.”

This is one of the many reasons I never buy into the notion that the stock market has any relationship to the economy. When companies lay-off thousands of workers, investors reward them; when American companies move overseas, investors reward them, too. The Stock Market Plutocrats sees employees as a burden, not as an asset.

Do continue.

Why it matters: The official unemployment rate is artificially depressed by excluding people who might be earning only a few dollars a week. It also excludes anybody who has…

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