|Circassians in bid to save language|
Unesco has warned that half of all the languages spoken on the planet are likely to disappear by the end of the century.
There are more than 7,000 languages currently spoken in the world, many of which are not recorded or have a written form.
Their loss could limit our knowledge about history, culture and nature.
How Neanderthal Are You? Take This Quiz to Find Out
Two interesting bits of genetics news sauntered down the interpike this week. The first: A study out of the University of California at Santa Cruz concludes that, much like Elvis, everyone has a little bit of Neanderthal in them. The second: Walgreens will soon be selling genetic-testing kits in pharmacies across the United States.
It doesn’t take an advanced hominid to figure out where this will lead: Soon you’ll be able to determine, in the privacy of your own home, cave or lean-to, how much Neanderthal blood courses churlishly through your veins.
bug_altextDating sites will invite you to disclose how much Neanderthal heritage you have, and most people will lie.
Politicians will accuse each other of having too much Neanderthal blood. Websites will crop up to provide a safe support group for the Neanderthal-intensive, and other websites will crop up to mock them.
Frankly, the Neanderthal genes even now taking up space in your cell nuclei are like a time bomb waiting to go off, or at least like a large boulder waiting to be shoved off a cliff onto your unsuspecting, possibly heavy-browed head.
You shouldn’t wait for a government-mandated DNA check to discover the level of Neanderthality in your past. You don’t even want to wait for Walgreens to start selling its Home Caveman Test Kits. You need to know now, so you can start planning for a future filled with laughter and cash, or with frustrating menial tasks, depending.
Quiz: How Neanderthal Are You?
Luckily, you can determine how much Neanderthal you have in you by taking this easy test:
1. When presented with a salad, is your first instinct to hide behind it with a spear and wait for a bison to wander by?
2. Do you often look around your backyard and think, “Some glaciers would really spiff this place up”?
3. Do you have trouble finding a baseball cap with a brim that extends past your brow ridge?
4. Do people often ask you to open jars, get doors unstuck and break the necks of deer?
5. Do people keep reminding you that the shoulder-pad trend of the ’80s is over, even when you’re wearing a plain T-shirt?
6. When new neighbors move in, are you concerned that they’re going to take over your territory with their bone tools and command of abstract language?
7. When people discuss whether they’d prefer to be buried or cremated, do you ask, “How come nobody chooses ritual defleshing any more?”
8. Do you write letters to videogame companies asking why there hasn’t been a decent mammoth-hunting game since 2007’s The Adventures of Darwin?
9. When you hear that global warming could cause massive extinctions, do you get déjà vu?
10. Do you pronounce the “h” in “Neanderthal”?
Scoring: Give yourself one point for each “yes” answer. Divide this score by 2.5. If you do so successfully, subtract one point, to a minimum of zero. The result is the percentage of your DNA that comes from Neanderthals.
But remember that we are more alike than different, and that no matter what, we’re more awesome than those Homo habilis jerks.
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Born helpless, nude and unable to provide for himself, Lore Sjöberg eventually overcame these handicaps to become a hominid, a homunculus and a homeopath.
Read More http://www.wired.com/underwire/2010/05/alt-text-neanderthal/#ixzz0nuWg8DRE