What I've Been Reading This Semester (outside of school)

There are a few questions in science that I really hope I get to know during my lifetime, and one of them is the debate as to what exactly happened to neanderthals and if they ever bred with humans. Some think that they never did and just went extinct, others postulate that they bred into the human line and essentially bred themselves out of existence, and others say they may have bred intermittently with humans but also went extinct. Well, new DNA testing suggests that at some point 60,000-100,000 years ago neanderthals bred with humans - much earlier than anticipated; as they entered the Middle-East (read: Fertile Crescent). Most of the article is a debate about the validity of the research, but if it's true the researchers think that about 4% of non-Africans DNA comes from neanderthals.

UPDATE: New article from MIT Tech Review is worth reading and places the dates at 50,000-80,000 years ago, 1-4% of our genetics are from neanderthals, and is much more conclusive that the results are valid.

Via: Chris Blattman

You must watch these videos (plus they're less than a minute apiece), especially if you're in my architecture class. Think you have it rough...

Apparently my next door neighbor, before I moved when I was about 8, won Miss Illinois. Talk about a girl next door story. All I really remember is having super soaker fights where we weren't supposed to shoot back because she was a girl. That and playing ninja turtles with her brothers.