For decades, I have been told that my great-grandmother was half-Cherokee, making me at least 1/16th Native American. Recently, though, I sent a DNA sample to AncestryDNA, and these are the results — no Native Americans of any kind. I was also told that I have no Irish ancestors, and that’s not supported by the data, either. Here are the numbers that go with the map above.
The results do support a less precise estimate of my ethnicity: I’m an American mutt. No surprise there.
I can’t tell yet if Mr. Big wants to help or hinder the process of packing, but he sure is in the middle of things. We’ll see when we finish packing, and then the sun goes down, and we head down to Mobile, Alabama (without cats), from central Arkansas. That will be a good place to crash before the second leg of the trip, to the Orlando area. We’re celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary (which was yesterday) with this trip.
I found this playful little guy in Hope, Arkansas, today. Spiders are my favorite animal, and jumping spiders are my favorite group of spider species . . . but phidippus audax is my favorite jumping spider! They act a lot like miniature cats, stalking and pouncing on prey. If you ever see a black and white jumping spider, look for green iridescent chelicerae. If you see this distinctive reflective, metallic green, you’ve found yourself a p. audax. Treat them well, and they’ll eat lots of insects that would otherwise cause problems for us.
This particular spider waved at me, and remained very expressive during our entire encounter. He’d study his surroundings, utterly still, until springing into action so fast that my eyes got left behind, in a cloud of confusion. Fortunately, my wife is skilled with a camera, and was able to catch this shot.
Here’s one of the things I found from my recent subscription to AncestryDNA. I’m surprised, because I was told (as a child) that I was at least 1/16th Cherokee, and had a lot of French as well. I was also told I had Scotch-Irish, but no Irish proper.
“Lots of English” is about the only thing where what I was told when young, and what the DNA says, actually match.
For three days this week and another three next week, during this round of standardized testing, my assigned task at work, for four to five hours each day, is to guard a locked door to the testing area. I’m not allowed to bring a computer, a cell phone, or even a book, so I brought a clipboard, with ample blank paper, and a handful of freshly-sharpened pencils. As a result, this mostly-mathematical blog will be detouring into drawings for a while. These were the first two.
In yesterday’s post, I unveiled my annual birthday star for my new age, 54. Today, I’m placing that 54-pointed star on each of the thirty faces of a rhombic triacontahedron. I use a program called Stella 4d (free trial available right here) to do this, and it allows images on polyhedron-faces to either be placed inside the face, or around the face. Here’s the “inside” version:
When Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon was released, in 1973, I was five years old. I saw the cover for a cassette tape of the album in a store, grabbed it, and wouldn’t let go. Apparently, I’ve always liked triangles.
My parents had to pay for the tape, just to get us out of there. My father tried to turn this into a little life lesson for me (“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” or some such crap). When we got home, we played it, and everyone involved had to admit that picking music based on cover art does, sometimes, actually work.
At 53, I’m old enough to have needed a typewriter to write papers, as an undergraduate, back when I was still living with my mother in Little Rock, Arkansas (USA), and attending the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, or UALR. Majoring in history, I wrote many. When I did this, I had a certain ritual about the activity, one that fell from use once I made the much-appreciated transition to using computers, instead.
First, I had to have the typewriter in the center of the living room, oriented at a 45 degree diagonal to the walls. Next, I had to be wearing a bedsheet, wrapped around one shoulder, toga-style. No other clothes were permitted. Finally, I had to have my vinyl version of Mozart’s Requiem playing, over and over, from the time I started the paper until it was completed. This would generally happen early in the morning, on the day the paper was due, procrastination being one of my defining characteristics at that age.
I’m glad I don’t have to write papers anymore, and that the typewriter era is over.