Thursday, 7 February 2013

07:26 – Things with Barbara’s mom have gone completely to hell. She’s now refusing to eat and announced yesterday that she was writing her last will and testament. Barbara and Frances decided last night that they will no longer visit their mother as long as she’s in her current mental state. Visiting does their mother no good–in fact, it makes things worse–and it simply tears up Barbara and Frances. And, as Barbara said last night, her father doesn’t need to be seeing their mom like this.


61 thoughts on “Thursday, 7 February 2013”

  1. I believe they made the right call; when more harm is done than good, it’s better to stay away until things stabilize a bit. Rotten situation but what can we do. We do what we can, and hope (and maybe pray) for the best.

    Minus 4 this morning in Retroville; we are told to expect continued chilly temps today and tonight, followed by eight to sixteen inches of snow beginning tonight and through tomorrow and into Saturday. The coast of Maine south to Boston, the Cape and the Islands will probably get really whacked. Could be interesting…

  2. North embarrasses himself. If someone uses the term “darwinist” you can bet your house that he’s scientifically illiterate.

    Evolution is true. It’s a theory in the sense that scientists use that word, which religionists insist on confusing with the corrupted sense in which it’s used in common discussion. Evolution is also a fact. We can watch it happening. There is zero doubt about the reality of evolution, and people like North are simply showing their ignorance. As I’ve said before, the theory of evolution is as certainly correct as the theory that sunrise will occur tomorrow. Literally.

  3. Alright, so what about his explanation of just why NASA pushes what it pushes? And is this a wise and prudent use of our tax dollars? And if what he says about NASA’s motivation is true, does this in fact mean that the discovery of intelligent life on other planets immediately and totally invalidates all received religions on this planet? i.e., there are really smart beings that look like the creatures in the “Predator” series of flicks on some lush planet orbiting a distant sun, but does that then follow that there is no God? This is what I don’t get.

  4. I believe that there is a fairly major difference between Natural Selection and Evolution. Natural Selection occurs daily (see feral cats killing entire subspecies). The conversion of amoeba into living human beings does not. I cannot explain dinosaurs but I know that they lived (the University of Oklahoma has a fascinating dinosaur musuem,http://www.snomnh.ou.edu/exhibits/ancientlife/index.html, that has a huge Saurophaganax). I also know that this planet and universe are way older than 6,500 years.

    Existence of life on other planets is no embarrassment to true Christians. In fact, C. S. Lewis, a very noteworthy Christian writer, wrote that interstellar distances are God’s quarantine system. I think that it is quite arrogant of us to believe that we are the only life bearing planet. I expect there to be millions of life bearing planets just as there are billions of stars.

    I have said it before and I will say it again, the Bible is not a history document. The Bible is a user manual and a very incomplete one at that. The incompleteness is intentional. God wants us to think about our actions rather than following a rote do / dont do list that continuously grows.

  5. Interesting article in the Houston Chronicle today: Is the IPad a PC?
    http://blog.chron.com/techblog/2013/02/is-the-ipad-a-pc-if-so-apple-sold-more-pcs-than-anyone-in-4q/

    I believe that the answer is yes. But this is the wrong question. All of these devices are PCs, both mobile and immobile. The discussion really needs to move to content creators and content viewers/consumers.

    I am having a serious argument discussion with my Board of Directors at our company for about 3 years now. We supply our software only for Windows PCs. We are seeing the mobile market, a highly splintered market grow and accelerate. My current thoughts is that our software is built for content creation and therefore needs to move into the cloud. Some of my Directors want us to have an IPad version and and a Android version and a etc. I view these highly mobile devices as content viewers only. Realistically, the cost of supporting more than one environment is so high that I wonder if we can ever afford it.

  6. Alright, so what about his explanation of just why NASA pushes what it pushes? And is this a wise and prudent use of our tax dollars? And if what he says about NASA’s motivation is true, does this in fact mean that the discovery of intelligent life on other planets immediately and totally invalidates all received religions on this planet? i.e., there are really smart beings that look like the creatures in the “Predator” series of flicks on some lush planet orbiting a distant sun, but does that then follow that there is no God? This is what I don’t get.

    North is delusional. Scientists don’t care about “proving” or “disproving” gods or hell or whatever. These things are supernatural and simply have nothing to do with our thinking. Science doesn’t claim to “prove” or “disprove” anything; it deals in testable evidence about the natural world.

    As to the effect of discovery of alien life on religions, I’ll leave that up to the religionists. Again, science couldn’t give less of a shit about the effect of science on religion. The religionists are having to get very good at constructing superficially believable arguments on the god-of-the-gaps basis. Just look at the RCC. When it finally became clear to the RCC that continuing to argue that science was wrong about evolution made the RCC look ridiculous, the RCC claimed to accept the reality while in fact disputing it. Yeah, we and the apes do have a common ancestor. Any idiot looking at a human and a chimpanzee could have told you that we’re close relatives. But the RCC continues to deny it, despite boatloads of evidence that it’s true and no evidence that it’s false.

  7. Minus 4 this morning in Retroville; we are told to expect continued chilly temps today and tonight, followed by eight to sixteen inches of snow beginning tonight and through tomorrow and into Saturday. The coast of Maine south to Boston, the Cape and the Islands will probably get really whacked. Could be interesting…

    You are so lucky!

  8. I believe that there is a fairly major difference between Natural Selection and Evolution. Natural Selection occurs daily (see feral cats killing entire subspecies). The conversion of amoeba into living human beings does not.

    Natural selection is merely one of several mechanisms by which evolution occurs. Lynn, you obviously have a very limited understanding of evolution and speciation. If you’d like to address that lack, I strongly recommend you read Coyne’s Why Evolution is True. Beyond that, look at some of Dawkins’ science titles.

  9. So then, your position, Bob, is that there is no genuine effort by real scientists to continue NASA’s various programs for the goal of disproving God’s existence, life after death, and other supernatural stuff. They’re just real scientists who couldn’t care less about it. And North is full of soup.

  10. Yes, that’s it exactly.

    Most scientists are atheists, but a minority are religious, some very much so. And the atheist scientists no more set out to “disprove” supernatural beings and events than the religious scientists set out to “prove” them. Supernatural beings and events by definition have no place in science, nor does the idea of “proof”. None at all. Any so-called scientist who believes or acts otherwise is not really a scientist.

  11. OK, I think I get it.

    I have a book on game theory at home that I haven’t really got into yet, titled “If Superior Beings Exist, How Would We Know?”

    Then there’s the idea of ghosts, spirits, whatever, that many people over thousands of years claim to have seen and heard and sometimes touched or been touched by. If a valid phenomena could be ascertained and evaluated to laboratory standards of this, how would genuine science then treat it; how would it be classified?

  12. A distinction must be made between macroevolution and microevolution, the former being untestable and unobservable.

  13. If a valid phenomena could be ascertained and evaluated to laboratory standards of this, how would genuine science then treat it; how would it be classified?

    Science would treat it just as it treats anything else. For science to consider a phenomenon to exist, it must be testable and repeatable.

  14. A distinction must be made between macroevolution and microevolution, the former being untestable and unobservable.

    Wrong. Evolution is evolution. The idea of “microevolution” is a red herring used by creationists and IDiots as a god-of-the-gaps argument. In fact, small changes accumulate into larger changes and eventually to speciation. This is neither untestable nor unobservable. We can actually watch it happen. Anyone who insists otherwise is arguing from ignorance.

  15. Some phenomenae may not necessarily lend themselves to either testing and/or repetition; yet they seem to exist nonetheless.

  16. For science to consider a phenomenon to exist, it must be testable and repeatable.

    Like people developing from single cell amoebas. Or “poof”, a batch of chemicals comes to life after being zapped by some magic lightning. Something that has never been replicated, cannot be tested and therefor is not repeatable. After all, from a physical perspective, a human is nothing more than a batch of chemicals.

    Regardless of anyone’s view the very idea that something as complicated as a human could develop by simple change is so mind boggling as to be difficult to comprehend. What change brought about the process of being able to think, to be self aware, to have feelings, to laugh. Where in the evolution chain did this change take place and why would such an adaption be beneficial to the survival of the species? Emotion is something that is known to cloud judgement.

    And if you refuse to believe in angels, ghosts, spirits or whatever explain what happened to that screwdriver that you just put down that you can longer find. 🙂

  17. And where does ‘doing the right thing’ come from? Altruism, compassion, sympathy, empathy; yes, the apes exhibit this behavior as do other animals, but do they think about it, write about it, teach it? How is it that atheists usually exhibit all those same qualities? Where do they get it from?

    OFD at home later:

    “Alright. Whichever one of you ghostly buggers took the friggin’ phone charger, put it back. No questions asked.”

    “Also my other truck key. Thanks.”

  18. “Like people developing from single cell amoebas.”

    From goo to you! 🙂

    I think one thing most people can’t comprehend is the immense amount of time involved in the evolutionary process. You can’t get from goo to you in a few thousand years. Think billions of years. Time is the temporal Lord of the Evolutionary Universe (TM) . lol

  19. Like people developing from single cell amoebas. Or “poof”, a batch of chemicals comes to life after being zapped by some magic lightning. Something that has never been replicated, cannot be tested and therefor is not repeatable. After all, from a physical perspective, a human is nothing more than a batch of chemicals.

    Regardless of anyone’s view the very idea that something as complicated as a human could develop by simple change is so mind boggling as to be difficult to comprehend. What change brought about the process of being able to think, to be self aware, to have feelings, to laugh. Where in the evolution chain did this change take place and why would such an adaption be beneficial to the survival of the species? Emotion is something that is known to cloud judgement.

    And if you refuse to believe in angels, ghosts, spirits or whatever explain what happened to that screwdriver that you just put down that you can longer find. 🙂

    Well, Ray, you’re easily boggled, which is not surprising because you don’t understand anything about the science. Once again, I’ll recommend that you read Coyne’s Why Evolution is true. It’s an excellent introduction to the basics of evolution. If you read it with an open mind, you’ll discover that none of the objections you make hold water.

    I have never understood why so many people insist on arguing in support of unsustainable positions without even attempting to educate themselves about the basics. But at least most of them are merely abysmally ignorant. The ones that really annoy me are those few who actually have the education to understand the issues but put their religious beliefs ahead of all else. There’s simply no excuse for such intellectual dishonesty.

  20. And where does ‘doing the right thing’ come from? Altruism, compassion, sympathy, empathy; yes, the apes exhibit this behavior as do other animals, but do they think about it, write about it, teach it? How is it that atheists usually exhibit all those same qualities? Where do they get it from?

    Evolution is not limited to phenotypic changes. Behavior is also hard-coded into our DNA. Atheists get compassion and other behavioral characteristics from the same place you do. Evolution selected for them because certain behaviors increase the likelihood of survival.

  21. Well, Ray, you’re easily boggled, which is not surprising because you don’t understand anything about the science.

    Yes, I marvel at sometimes little things that in the overall context are simply amazing. I do understand some about science. I asked questions, got no answers. Nothing living has ever been able to reproduced in any laboratory. Not once. Even the simplest single cell living organism has yet to be produced. Why is this so complicated? After all science proposes that a mixture of chemical existed and through some turn of events life formed. Until science can prove it, reproduce it, then it is nothing more than a guess. Regardless of evolution or not, at this point science has never created a starting point.

    Yes, I boggle at a lot of things. The immenseness of space, the power of a tornado, the ability of dust that swirls in the wind that can then stick to your car requiring forceful removal, the power of glaciers, a D10 bulldozer, the cramming of a few million electronic switches on a tiny piece of silicon that make this board possible. I understand it, but it still boggles my mind. Many things in the physical world I find mind boggling.

  22. Yes, I boggle at a lot of things. The immenseness of space, the power of a tornado, the ability of dust that swirls in the wind that can then stick to your car requiring forceful removal, the power of glaciers, a D10 bulldozer, the cramming of a few million electronic switches on a tiny piece of silicon that make this board possible. I understand it, but it still boggles my mind. Many things in the physical world I find mind boggling.

    I must be a simpler guy as I marvel at the D9. The guy that I bought my office property from owned three D9s. They were impressive beasts and literally bought by the pound (about 10 $/lb).

    The 0lder I get (I’m 52) , I marvel than ANYTHING works. There is so much conspiring against the desired outcome of any operation. Writing computer software for a living is just so, wow, that crappy code actually works?

  23. Anyone who doesn’t believe humans recently evolved from apes just has to look at a picture of Jerry Coyne… 🙂

  24. One should not confuse evolution and the origin of life. It’s not necessary to have mythical substitutes for thing you do not know yet.

  25. Anyone who doesn’t believe humans recently evolved from apes just has to look at a picture of Jerry Coyne…

    Wow, you are not kidding. Me, I’ve been telling the wife that I am turning into a silverback myself. Got the belly and all my back hair is turning grey.

    One should not confuse evolution and the origin of life. It’s not necessary to have mythical substitutes for thing you do not know yet.

    Huh?

  26. “Anyone who doesn’t believe humans recently evolved from apes just has to look at a picture of Jerry Coyne…”

    Anyone who doesn’t believe humans recently evolved from apes just has to look at a picture of The Mooch…

    There. Fixed that for ya.

    Just to be even-handed and all that; a previous mooch, from, say, the Larry Klinton administration, was probably evolved from Vikings raiding warthog litters…

  27. I must be a simpler guy as I marvel at the D9.

    I used to also until I saw a D10H. How in the world they get something that big to move is just, well, mind boggling.

    When I was younger, living on the farm, we had a D2 dozer that we used. No hydraulics except to raise and lower the blade. The steering controls, which were actually clutches for each track, and the brakes were all manual. The act of steering was done by pulling a clutch lever to disengage the track, and mash the brake to stop the track.

    There was no electric start. You hand started with a rope the small starting engine. That engine was not much bigger than a two cylinder lawnmower engine. That engine was connected to the main diesel with a small transmission and clutch. After getting that engine started, the clutch was pulled, the transmission engage, and the clutch release. Hopefully within a couple of minutes the diesel would start, the clutch was disengaged, the transmission disengaged, and you were good to go. Starting the diesel in the winter could be a three hour process.

    I spent hours on that thing. No cab, just dust and dirt and hot sun.

    So to see a D10H manipulated with small hand controls, air conditioning, cushion seats, fuel management, and enough power to rip up a four lane highway in a single pass, it is truly mind boggling.

  28. Huh?

    http://bruceowen.com/introbiological/darwin_first_life.htm

    The last sentence of The Origin of Species, first edition, 1859:

    “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

    In other words, Darwin explicitly starts his evolutionary process after some mysterious beginning (“originally breathed into a few forms or into one”), without attempting to specify how the process could have initially been set up.

  29. Wrong. Evolution is evolution. The idea of “microevolution” is a red herring used by creationists and IDiots as a god-of-the-gaps argument.

    I’m not familiar with a “god-of-the-gaps” argument. Must be that dang ignorance kicking in. I am an idiot, afterall.

    In fact, small changes accumulate into larger changes and eventually to speciation. This is neither untestable nor unobservable. We can actually watch it happen.

    Breed a new generation of dogs as many times as you can in your lifetime and what do you have in the end? A dog.

    Anyone who insists otherwise is arguing from ignorance.

    No living being has been around long enough to observe macroevolution (eek, that word again!) over millions of years. What you have is speculation at best.

    How the universe came to be accounts for how it will end. If there is a God, we will be accountable to Him. If not, we will die and no longer exist. It’s not a scientific debate as much as it is a spiritual one.

  30. Accidental panspermia

    Thomas Gold a professor of astronomy suggested a “garbage theory” for the origin of life, the theory says that life on Earth might have spread from a pile of waste products accidentally dumped on Earth long ago by extraterrestrials.[86]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panspermia

    seems as good as any other guess

  31. Forgot to mention that it is T – 1 week for moving to the new house. Told the wife this morning that it is time to be RUTHLESS.

    The son visited us Tuesday night and got everything that he wanted to keep. I personally walked him all over the house. He even got the USMC shovel and sledgehammer that he had stashed in the corner of the garage (I do not want to know). He had already grabbed his USMC triple action bolt cutters for cutting locks in Iraqi homes.

    I then threw out my son’s old multifunction inkjet. It has been sitting for four years in his room and the ink is probably congealed. He used it to copy his health records before leaving the USMC on the theory that they will someday buy him hearing aids. The wife later retrieved it out of the trashcan as somebody might want it. And she set it on the breakfast table. This is not going well.

    I am going to sneak it out in tonight’s trash.

  32. Hm, I have a laser printer that I bought in 2001. It’s still on its first ream, and I haven’t used it in nearly 10 years. I think I’ll just ditch it without checking if it still works.

  33. No living being has been around long enough to observe macroevolution (eek, that word again!) over millions of years. What you have is speculation at best.

    You’re confused. Evolution operates continually and incrementally on populations. What you’re calling “macro-evolution” is simply speciation. Speciation can occur over very short spans, depending on (among many other factors) the length of a generation of the species in question. Many bacteria, for example, have a generational period on the close order of 20 minutes, so in a single day they may go through 70+ generations. Over the course of a few months, they can go through thousands of generations. And we can in fact observe speciation (what you call “macro-evolution”) occurring in bacteria because their generational periods are short relative to our lifespans.

  34. “No living being has been around long enough to observe macroevolution (eek, that word again!) over millions of years. What you have is speculation at best.”

    It’s not speculation. There’s hard evidence demonstrating speciation in the fossil record, which is far more reliable than human observers, who sometimes have their own agenda. A common creationist trick is to say that only eyewitness human observations are reliable. This is bunk, observation is very unreliable, eg. the cases of the witch trials, Stalin’s show trials in the 1930s, etc. In both cases people confessed to the most unbelievable crimes.

    Try reading Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne and The Rocks Don’t Lie by David R. Montgomery.

  35. “Accidental panspermia”

    I read a short story 30 or 40 years ago. Guy invents a time machine, travels back to the beginning when there was just dirt and water. He spits in the water and mankind is created.

  36. “I am going to sneak it out in tonight’s trash.”

    RUTHLESS. YES!

    “I think I’ll just ditch it without checking if it still works.”

    They even get it in Oz! RUTHLESS!

    “This is bunk…”

    RUTHLESS!

    We have surplused a dozen racks filled with old blade servers, hundreds of them, and now they’re gone from the plantation to God knows where.

    RUTHLESS in northern Vermont, too! We get it!

  37. Lynn wrote:

    “Wow, you are not kidding. Me, I’ve been telling the wife that I am turning into a silverback myself. Got the belly and all my back hair is turning grey.”

    Is this the photo you saw? It’s one of his better ones:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jerry_Coyne,_American_professor_of_biology_at_the_University_of_Chicago.jpg

    Jerry’s touring down South at the moment, and I have it on good authority that he’s nearly been rounded up and “returned” to the primate enclosures at several zoos on this trip… 🙂

    I think silver hair looks quite distinguished. Yes, I look *very* distinguished, I started looking distinguished at about age 20. But I have a lot of catching up to do before I look as distinguished as our host.

  38. Lynn wrote:

    ‘“Accidental panspermia”

    I read a short story 30 or 40 years ago. Guy invents a time machine, travels back to the beginning when there was just dirt and water. He spits in the water and mankind is created.’

    Perhaps you remember the John Stewart song Armstrong:

    (snip)
    To watch a man named Armstrong
    Walk upon the moon
    And I wonder if a long time ago
    Somewhere in the universe
    They watched a man named Adam
    Walk upon the earth

  39. MrAtoz wrote:

    “From goo to you! :)”

    From Fish to Gish 🙂

    (Duane T Gish is a prominent creationist.)

  40. there is no genuine effort by real scientists to continue NASA’s various programs for the goal of disproving God’s existence, life after death, and other supernatural stuff

    Very, very true. I worked at a NASA center for over 25 years. The civil servants are, like those of us in the contractor world, driven by a desire to see what’s out there, to build cool stuff, to do what hasn’t been done before.

  41. It really does seem like two different problems: the origin of life, and evolution. Given a self-replicating organism (where organism implies more complexity than just a molecule), evolution is clear.

    How the first organisms came about? How one cooks primordial soup? There are various ideas, but (as far as I am aware) no testable theories yet.

  42. Abiogenesis and evolution are two completely separate issues, which creationists/IDiots insist on conflating.

  43. Lynn wrote:

    “This is me about 3 or 4 years ago:
    https://www.facebook.com/lynnmcguire5
    All the hair on top of my head went south about 25 years ago. Bald is beautiful! My son (standing behind me) just shaves his head every 3 or 4 days.”

    Grey *and* balding! You must have done something terrible in a previous life!

    I started going grey at 20, my brother started going bald at 20. I know which I’d prefer. When my elder niece (now 33) was little my brother was holding her, she pushed his hair up a bit, and said “your a bald man!”

    My boss was born when I was in Year 11 in high school, his hair is receding backwards at a rate of knots. And he has the palest skin, so he has to watch out for sunburn.

  44. I started going grey at 20, my brother started going bald at 20. I know which I’d prefer. When my elder niece (now 33) was little my brother was holding her, she pushed his hair up a bit, and said “your a bald man!”

    My front bald spot joined the back bald spot when I was about 30. The grey / white started in about 35 or so.

    My mother claims that she started coloring her hair at age 21. Of course, she was married at age 17 and had me at age 18. I was evidently enough to age anyone. Also, my mother is half Flemish and they go grey very early. She says that 20s is not very unusual for them. But they keep their hair as evidenced by her cousins. I get my baldness from my German and Irish ancestors.

  45. Abiogenesis

    I figured there was a word for it, but I had no idea what it was… Thanks!

  46. I am fully aware of Gary North’s uber-Prod dispensationalist views and choose to ignore them for the most part except where I find them kind of interesting and how they have devolved from straight hardcore Calvinism through my Puritan ancestors in Nova Anglia and Anglia.

    @Lynn; sent U a FB request from your page there. I will have to get a current pic up at some point somewhere; I have a small bald spot on the top rear of my head and the rest is still the same color it was fifty years ago, a dark copper auburn. Got white hairs in the facial strata, though.

  47. Few chemists or biologists think it’s even remotely surprising that simple unicellular life forms could have developed from chemicals like those produced in the Miller-Urey experiment.

    If you want to see something really fascinating, do the lab on coacervates from the biology book. You can mix some common chemicals (proteins and carbohydrates) together, and in the correct pH range they form what appear to be living cells. They aren’t actual living cells, but they look like real cells under a microscope and they behave like real cells: moving, ingesting and excreting, reproducing, growing, etc. It’s easy to see from this simple experiment how cellular membranes could have developed.

  48. Lynn McGuire says:

    I started going grey at 20, my brother started going bald at 20.

    I saw my first grey hair as a Sophomore in high school. Fortunately, it stayed at just a few until I was in my 50’s. Although my hair has thinned considerably since my youth, my head is still covered with hair.

    My mother claims that she started coloring her hair at age 21. Of course, she was married at age 17 and had me at age 18. I was evidently enough to age anyone. Also, my mother is half Flemish and they go grey very early.

    My mother’s mother was Flemish, but I am still in close contact with my Belgian cousins, and none are the least bit grey or bald, even though there are several older than me.

    Nevertheless, my mom was completely grey by 40.

    I get my baldness from my German and Irish ancestors.

    The rest of my family, on both sides, is German, except my dad’s paternal grandmother, who was Lakota Sioux. Now admittedly, my German ancestors were from the South, but during my decade in the Berlin environs, baldness was super-rare, as was grey hair. My dad’s father, the Lakota descendant, had a full head of dark hair with not one strand of grey until the day he died in his 80’s. Where my thinning and grey came from is a complete mystery to me.

  49. Chuck wrote:

    “Lynn McGuire says:

    I started going grey at 20, my brother started going bald at 20.”

    Um, actually, *I* said that.

    My mum started going grey in her 20s, by about 40 her hair was completely white, with a few black hairs here and there. I beat her though, and started going grey near the end of my time at Adelaide Uni. My favourite photo of me, age 35, has my hair still quite dark brown but there is some grey if you know where to look. Now it’s a lot more grey, but I’m still as handsome as ever. And it seems to have stopped getting “worse”.

    Some people are very good at dying their hair – I think there are few things that look more naff than hair growing out at a different colour. I just assumed that my sister’s hair colour – dark brown – was natural, but she’s been dying it for 20 or more years, and at 63 it is the same colour it was when she was 20. She dyes the lot and colours the roots as often as necessary, I wouldn’t know how often that is, so that it never discloses that she’s completely grey/white now. I never would have guessed if she hadn’t told me. I’m determined not to do this, I just don’t care, although I’m very glad that I have almost all the hair I had at 20.

  50. OFD wrote:

    “I am fully aware of Gary North’s uber-Prod dispensationalist views and choose to ignore them for the most part except where I find them kind of interesting and how they have devolved from straight hardcore Calvinism through my Puritan ancestors in Nova Anglia and Anglia. ”

    Hm, now you’ve got me confused Dave. I thought North was strongly against dispensationalism. I looked at this web page about one of his books, Rapture Fever and came to the conclusion that he was as clueless about theology as he is about biology.

    http://www.garynorth.com/freebooks/docs/2122_47e.htm

    I didn’t bother downloading the book, just the above web page was enough to show that not all North’s dogs are barking.

    Oh, and as to the hardcore Calvinists, I’d thought they were dying out, but they’ve more or less taken over the Southern Baptists, so it’s time to get out the weedkiller again.

  51. The rest of my family, on both sides, is German, except my dad’s paternal grandmother, who was Lakota Sioux. Now admittedly, my German ancestors were from the South, but during my decade in the Berlin environs, baldness was super-rare, as was grey hair. My dad’s father, the Lakota descendant, had a full head of dark hair with not one strand of grey until the day he died in his 80’s. Where my thinning and grey came from is a complete mystery to me.

    My great-grandad Harshbarger (German) was fairly bald when I knew him in the 1960s. He had an extreme combover. My grandfather Mick (German) was very bald in his fifties, also with combover. My grandad McGuire (USA mix) had most of his hair (but thin) in his middle 80s.

  52. Hm, my father still had plenty of hair at 72, and it was a bit grey, but not very. It was thinning a bit, like mine – alas – but it still looked at a glance like there was plenty there. My brother takes after the other side of the family, he looks quite different to me, especially in the hair department. Both my grandfathers died before I was born so I can’t really say much about them. But I do know this: I *will not* go the combover route.

  53. Combovers are so 1980s. Just go for a #2 cut and hope no one notices or comments. If you are really brave, go for a #1. Or, if you a former Marine like my son, just shave your entire head every three days. He looks like the abominable snowman when he starts but gets it done amazingly fast. And no, he does not shave in between total head shaves and he is unlucky enough to have a five o’clock shadow at 2pm. So, by day three, his beard is really showing up.

  54. Yeah, I have a five o’clock shadow immediately after shaving, so mostly I don’t bother. I just keep a trim beard, 1-2 cm long. Nothing seems to work to avoid the shadow. My ex-brother in law could go for a week and there’d be practically no hair on his face.

    Former Australian PM Paul Keating had the definition of a 5 o’clock shadow at all times of the day (second from left): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jamoe.jpg

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