Saturday Serendipity recomends the following reads for this weekend . . . but since it is St. Patrick's Day and all things Irish are in vogue for those of us with at least some Irish roots (and those who wish they had such roots), this week starts with a little Irish-centric humor and sprinkles more throughout. Enjoy!
What do you get when you cross poison ivy with a four-leaf clover?
1. Since DNA analysis and genetic genealogy has become ever more popuar and important, you should have a look at the NASA release this week regarding some fascinating preliminary results from its "Twins Study." You might recall that twins Scott and Mark Kelly were the subjects in the study. Astronaut Scott Kelly spent a year in space while his indentical twin brother Mark (husband of former member of Congress and shooting vistim, Gabby Giffords) stayed occupied here on earth. After two years of being back on terra firma the genes/DNA of both Kelly brothers were studied and an amazing thing was found . . . 7% of Scott Kelly's genes did not return to their original state thus techically making the brothers no longer identical twins! You can read more about the study and its fascinating preliminary results by going here.
UPDATE: A commenter posted that this widely reported news release was "fake news." A search revealed that NASA indeed released a follow up on March 15th to correct the impression created by what NASA said had been "misreported." The essence of NASA's clarification is provided below. To this author, "fake news" has become a loaded term that implies intentional misinformtion for some purpose or adgenda as opposed to an inadvertent, unintentional error of understanding or interpretation we have all probably made at one time or another. I think use of the term was not apposite to the situation with the erroneous reporting and the tenor of NASA's correction and I therefore removed the comment, but a correction to this item is necessary and appropriate . . . and for calling this to my attention I do thank the commenter.
On March 15th NASA stated as follows: "The change related to only 7 percent of the gene expression that changed during spaceflight that had not returned to preflight [levels] after six months on Earth," NASA officials wrote. "This change of gene expression is very minimal. We are at the beginning of our understanding of how spaceflight affects the molecular level of the human body. NASA and the other researchers collaborating on these studies expect to announce more comprehensive results on the twins studies this summer."
How is a best friend like a 4-leaf clover?
2. For those with deep roots in Massachusetts going back to 1771 should be aware of the newly available FREE, online, searchable database that provides some 38,000 names that were collected in the "1771 Massachusetts Tax Inventory." Note that this can also included names of people that lived in areas now part of the state of Maine because in 1771 the Province of Massachusetts Bay included land now in Maine. You can access the database here.
How can you tell if an Irishman is having a good time?
3. Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing blog has posted another one of his fun "censuswhacking" posts for St. Patrick's Day. If you have not seen any of Randy's whimsical censuswhacking posts, you should take a brief trip here to find out what censuswhacking is and to put a smile on your face at things Randy can find in census searches.
What do you get when you cross a pillowcase with a stone?
4. One of the items that was mysteriously deleted (and subsequently unrecoverable) for last week's Saturday Serendipity was an interesting post by Elizabeth Handler on her From Maine to Kentucky blog. Users of DNA companies that provide a chromosome browser will want to learn about the possibility of using a new application called DNA Painting to color code chromosome mapping and thereby make it easier to identify how one might be related to someone on your DNA match list. Read more about this product and see Elizabeth's illustrations of how it can work by going here.
What do you call a diseased Irish criminal?
5. Dick Eastman of Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter has a very interesting post about the EU's new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) that goes into effect May 25, 2018. There is a possibility it could affect bloggers even if they are not located in one of the EU countries. The regulation deals with the EU's progressive views on rights to privacy of information on the internet. It appears it would affect mostly sites that are somewhat commercial in nature, but Dick provides four questions that he believes would indicate if you need to be in compliance. You can read the post and get more information here. AND since today is St. Patrick's Day, you might want to also read Dick's post titled, "The Truth About St. Patrick" by going here.
Why do people wear shamrocks on St. Patrick's Day?
6. Every once in a while, I like to suggest a blog/website that specializes in researching the genealogy and family history of "orphan heirlooms." It is a wonderful site to browse if you are interested in old artifacts like autograph books (some of which are beautifully illustrated), Bibles, photographs, certificates, documents, and more. But is is also a little known resource for potential clues to genealogy questions and a place where you might just find an item that has a direct connection to an ancestor or relative. Many items are able to be purchased. [Full disclosure . . . I have nothing whatsoever to do with the site other than periodically visiting it to browse and look for ancestor/relative artifacts.] The site belongs to Pam Beveridge and is called Heirlooms Reunited. You can visit it by going here. Enjoy some browsing and good hunting for possible family artifacts!
An Irish Priest Encounters A State Trooper
asks sheepishly, "Father,
have you been drinking?" The priest replies immediately,
"Just water, officer." To which the trooper says, "Then why
do I smell wine?" The priest looks at the bottle on the floor
and says . . .
"Good Lord! He has done it again!!"
7. Research long and hard enough and you might very well come across cousins who married in your genealogy (first cousins as well as cousins of greater degrees). So you might ask, "When did Americans stop marrying cousins?" Well, there is some data on this question and the New York Times had a piece on March 1st regarding this question. Have a look here.
What Do You Call A Huge Irish Spider?
8. Finally, while I rarely mention my own posts here in Saturday Serendipity (and I don't think I have ever done so as its own discreet S.S. item), I am doing so this week based on the explicit suggestion of a kind and respected fellow blogger and some positive comments from other readers and bloggers. The post was described as a "tutorial" and a "cautionary tale." I know I had fun writing it and have a distant cousin to thank for providing a much sought after solution and for inspiring the idea of sharing the story with others via a blog post. If interested, you can read "Federal Censuses -- Purveyors of Alternative Facts? A Case Study" here.
Irish-themed image from Pin it via amandabrazel.com.
Irish-themed jokes thankfully obtained (and slightly adapted) from an article by Matt Durrett at Thoughtco.com https://www.thoughtco.com/st-patricks-day-jokes-to-tell-in-between-pints-1924593
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Copyright 2018, John D. Tew
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _