September 2010
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Month September 2010


Should we clone a Neanderthal? No, really, should we? Recently, Archeology magazine considered the scientific, legal, and of course ethical challenges of doing just that. Researchers from Roche’s 454 Life Sciences and genetics firm Illumina are collecting bits of Neanderthal DNA to sequence the genome of a 30,000-year-old Neanderthal woman from Croatia. Once the genome is complete, making a clone is no easy task. But as the article explains, it’s within the realm of possibility. And what happens if there’s success? (via BoingBoing)

From Archeology:
Hawks believes the barriers to Neanderthal cloning will come down. “We are going to bring back the mammoth…the impetus against doing Neanderthal because it is too weird is going to go away.” He doesn’t think creating a Neanderthal clone is ethical science, but points out that there are always people who are willing to overlook the ethics. “In the end,” Hawks says, “we are going to have a cloned Neanderthal, I’m just sure of it.”

This same story was reported in Discover a year or more ago, and I know I’s talked my sister’s ear of on this subject, but this new article is much more interesting and comprehensive. What a strange and exciting world the decades will bring.

Better Than SPAM

It's a food product!

You’re probably thinking, “whoa cowboy, nothing’s better than SPAM.” And until yesterday I would have never agreed, but now I don’t agree even more. There’s an old saying about American indians using every part of the buffalo. It’s usually trotted out to illustrate how wasteful American culture has become but it’s time to retire that ridiculous idea. Here’s 69¢ worth of evidence, three ounces to a can.

Unlike the other food products available to the modern grocery shopper, Libby’s brand potted meat food product boasts:

Mechanically separated chicken, pork skin, partially defatted cooked pork fatty tissue, partially defatted cooked beef fatty tissue, vinegar, less than 2% of: salt, spices, sugar, flavorings, sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrite


With concert of flavor the first four ingredients offer it’s a wonder that they have to add flavorings including spices and flavorings. But don’t doubt the cooks at Libby’s! They’re a part of the family! You wouldn’t doubt the good people at Carnation who put milk in a can would you? Or how about Toll House chocolate chips? Nestlé is responsible for  those family classics and your new favorite potted meat food product is theirs too. Nestlé quality IS potted meat food product quality.

Previous to my arrival on Siapan I’ve had a pretty strict vegetarian diet. So perhaps you’re  thinking, “Kevin is really getting behind this meat food product, he must be a fan.” You’re right, I am a fan. Now you may think, “how does it taste?” Well, let me just say, modestly, I’m glad that I never have to find out. That’s because seven years ago someone else survived a taste test and you can read all about it on his site.

The next time your stomach is growling, try the food product you know will be satisfyingly pink and creamy: Libby’s potted meat. It hits a spot.

How I Feel Every Morning

EDIT: This post deserves a little more explanation.

Certain mornings I feel compelled do a little dance to shake off sleep. The fella in the video is a much more accomplished and coordinated dancer than I am but the commitment to goofiness he demonstrates herein is the common thread. Try a morning dance some day, right after you get out of bed. You’re morning routine made less routine. (Just don’t pull anything.)

Nice Eggs Ladies

Mail Call!

Getting mail is a great feeling.
I picked these gems out of my new post box up in Capitol Hill. One cool envelope from Archie and a cool card from my Mom. Thanks to ya both.