Not to shill for my own magazine, but this week's Sports Illustrated has a superb article by David Epstein on the genetic component of athletic performance (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1169440/index.htm). I wish even non-sports fans would read it because—beyond offering a fascinating look at the search for so-called sports genes—it's a thought-provoking take on human history and the absurdity of classifying people by the color of their skin. You will be seeing a lot more of David's work; he is one of the most talented young journalists I've worked with in three decades at SI, and his aptitude for both scientific writing and investigative reporting will distinguish him in the years ahead.
If nothing else, by reading her story you'll find out why we have larger butts and less body hair than apes. Generally speaking.
Pamelia's own DNA-analysis results came back this week. As previously noted, we're both taking part in a global study of genetics and human migration that we will highlight this summer at The Naturalist's Notebook. I can't leak the results before the Notebook opens, but I will give you this much of a teaser: Her distant ancestors migrated through what are now Somalia, Iraq, Iran and Chechnya. I hope she isn't put on a terror watch list. Seriously, though, it's mind-expanding to trace your lineage back not 100 or 200 years but 50,000 years.
More Wacky World Signs...
In a follow-up to yesterday's item, thanks to Margaret and Harriet for passing on their photo of this sign they saw in Florence last week. Whether you rock to the Aerosmith original or the Run-DMC remake, you probably ain't walkin' this way.
And finally... ...can you see a silvery object hovering in the sky in this photo?
This afternoon a neighbor called to tell us to go outside our house and look up at the strange silver thing—a weather balloon? a UFO?—that was floating but not moving. “You probably think we're crazy," she said. Actually, it was such a gorgeous day that only staying inside was crazy. We scanned the skies with binoculars and saw nothing except this incredibly beautiful seascape. And by looking down rather than up, Pamelia found a great mussel shell.