Tag Archives: Conclusion

How Bigfoot Fits Into His Genes

Bigfoot still is a mystery, dudes. I know. It’s a bit shocking.

Especially considering all the hoo-ha a couple of months ago when a researcher claimed she had a some viable Bigfoot cells and was on the cusp of being able to sequence the entire Bigfoot genome.

You might recall, reputable scientists did just that a number of years ago, under the aegis of the Human Genome Project. We know where every single AGCT goes in our randy little genes. That knowledge should enable us, in the years to come, to delicately craft designer medications that will work best for you, or for that guy over there. Or maybe that dudette in the front row.

Handy thing, knowing yer entire genome.

Imagine my excitement when I learned that Dr. Melba Ketchum, a Texas-based forensic scientist and the face in front of the genome-sequencing effort, announced to a disbelieving world that she was getting ready to map the elusive possibly-primate’s genetic sequence.

Of course, the disbelieving LAME-stream science community poo-pooed the idea. So Ketchum and the others in her group, took their paper describing the Bigfoot genome and got it published in a scientific journal: the online De Novo . In case you don’t keep up with the scientific literature and find you don’t know the name of this journal, that’s because, prior to this paper being published, it didn’t actually exist. And the only paper that the De Novo ever printed was Ketchum’s paper on Bigfoot.

That’s right. Ketchum and her group purchased an existing journal, renamed it De Novo and then published their paper. A paper which: conclusively proves that the Sasquatch exist as an extant hominin and are a direct maternal descendant of modern humans.”

According to Ketchum and her group, the DNA shows a distinct speciation effect, showing that Bigfoot is not human, but a mix of human and something else.

So, yeah. That’s that. Case closed. Bigfoot exists and is the product of relatively recent intermingling between humans and some other primate. By relatively recently, of course, we’re talking tens of thousands of years. Geologic time, you see. Unfortunately for Ketchum and the rest of her group, there’s a whole bunch of scientists who don’t see it the same way she does, including John Timmer, the science editor for Ars Technica.

Timmer and other biologists looked at the samples and saw contamination of the sample, bad science and decomposition of the supposed DNA sample. In other words, it wouldn’t work. Period.

My initial analysis suggested that the “genome sequence” was an artifact, the product of a combination of contamination, degradation, and poor assembly methods. And every other biologist I showed it to reached the same conclusion. Ketchum couldn’t disagree more. “We’ve done everything in our power to make sure the paper was absolutely above-board and well done,” she told Ars. “I don’t know what else we could have done short of spending another few years working on the genome. But all we wanted to do was prove they existed, and I think we did that.”

Timmer has a fantastic article that goes through Ketchum’s research, talking with the good doctor herself, step by step and points out where things got a little wonky.

This is a great example of public science journalism. He’s not out there to make fun of Ketchum. He’s not some sort of rabid disbeliever out to debunk the “TRUTH” (notice the all-caps. Yeah, it’s that kind of truth.). He’s a scientist, a journalist and a curious man.

Go check it out. It makes for a fascinating read.

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Dude Review: Man Of Steel

Let’s get to the nitty-gritty right away and then I’ll start laying out the details that support my conclusion. Man of Steel, the latest attempt to reboot the Superman movies, opened a week ago. My family and I went to see the movie on Sunday as a Father’s Day celebration. Of course, I wore my Superman shield shirt.IMG_2352

Here’s the deal: Man of Steel was a very fast, very loud science-fiction superhero movie. As that, it was pretty darn good. As a Superman movie? It sucked out loud.

Sorry to use such harsh language, but the filmmakers so fundamentally misunderstood who Superman is, what he should stand for, and how his supporting cast is supposed to operate, that they should have scrapped the whole Superman association and gone with an original name. It would have made much more sense.

Don’t get me wrong. There were really good parts to the movie. I thought Russell Crowe’s Jor El was tremendous for the most part, although I could have done without his later participation in some actual action scenes that took place on Earth. Krypton was a fully realized humanoid civilization that I quite enjoyed, the mixture of an older, tired race, withdrawn from galactic concerns and focused only on their home world with the harsh line drawn by the younger generation trying to bring back that glory.

But that’s also, at the very beginning, where the humongous plot holes begin to develop. Supposedly Krypton is going to die because they “harvested the core” of the planet for energy. Because, you see, the energy reserves were dwindling too far down. However, just before the planetdeath, they sentence some criminals to the Phantom Zone and have a bit of a war. Both of these exercises were flagrantly wasting power on a massive scale.

The Phantom Zone scene, particularly, wasted so much energy, it simply was dripping from every metal surface. Where’d the energy shortage go? Well, whatever.

Then, they tried to give a biological basis for Superman’s powers. Because of the air and suchlike, the lighter gravity and, at least a little bit, his cells absorbing the yellow sun’s radiation, that’s why he’s so tough. Jor El and Lara El, in fact, knew a lot about Earth before they launched the craft bearing baby Kal. That, to me, took away a lot of the power of the moment.

Jor and Lara should be throwing their baby to the stars in a desperate, last-minute race to beat death, knowing only that to keep the child on Krypton would be tantamount to killing him. The disaster should be of such a big scale that blindly shooting your son into space in a rocket ship seems like the sane choice.

Remember those Phantom Zone criminals I mentioned earlier? Yeah, well it turns out that being in the Phantom Zone saved them from Krypton’s destruction and so they set out to find Kal El, known on Earth as Clark Kent. As we find out later in the movie, Kal El apparently has all of Krypton’s future birth genetic codes in his own cells. So, even though the Kryptonian criminals led by General Zod have a sample of Kal El’s blood, which should contain everything they need, they’re a bit too idiotic to realize this and keep going after Superman instead of just getting on with getting on.

Really quickly, the special effects were, in a word, spectacular. In a few more words, they showcased the best flying dudes punching each other fight I’ve ever seen, putting Neo vs. Agent Smith to shame. This was a Superman fight. There’s one sequence near the end, shown basically over Superman’s shoulder, that gives us a really nice impression of what it might be like to be involved in this kind of fight. Very well done.

One important thing to remember to tell you is that the casting of Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman/Kal El was very, very nice. Dude certainly has the body and definitely the voice to play Superman. I thought he needed a bit more emotional range to really take advantage of his acting skills, but not bad overall.

On a more human level, I thought Amy Adams as a really tough, fearless reporter for the Daily Planet newspaper, one Lois Lane, was fantastic. Not only is she not a damsel in distress, even though she has to be saved a couple of times, she’s instrumental in defeating the rogue Kryptonians. Even better, she’s smart, clever and makes some pretty good deductions and showcases her investigative skills in a very convincing fashion.

Which doesn’t nearly come close to making up for Perry White, played by Morpheus himself, Laurence Fishburne. Perry White is, well, a white guy in the comics. Laurence Fishburne is not. And that makes not a whit of difference. What does make a difference is that the script calls for Perry White to have a spine softer than a bowl of melted Jell-O. When Lois presents him with a story about a possible alien presence on Earth, he won’t run the story.

That’s good because, really, Lois had only the evidence of her own eyes. No actual facts to back her up. Good on Perry. Then the script has to go and spoil it by having Perry say that the reason he won’t run the story is because he’s worried how people would react to the idea that there are aliens living on Earth. This is the paragon of journalistic ethics? No. No it’s not.

Director Zack Snyder and co-writer David S. Goyer just really don’t seem to understand what kind of movie they were making.

The fundamental misconception of Superman can, I believe, be summed up in two thoughts. One: The people of Earth would have been 100 percent better off if baby Kal El had died in space and never come to our planet. Because he’s here, the Kryptonians come and they rain fire and destruction and death down on the planet. Simply because Kal El is there.

Two: At a climactic scene, Superman kills. Yeah, let me repeat that one once more. Superman kills. He does it deliberately. But it’s okay because, after? He feels really bad about it for about 20 seconds or so. So that’s okay.

So, the bottom line is that this was a very good science-fiction superhero movie. Like a lot of movies that have tried to refresh classic properties lately, we just have to pretend this is a brand-new character and the name just sounds familiar.

If only we’d get a good Superman movie once in a while.

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Sunday Serenade: Centerfold

Here’s a great song from one of my favorite bands from growing up. Sorry if it’s a repeat, but I’m thinking this is karma, dudes. Really.

As I was considering what song to put here and had seen something that led me to the conclusion that this was the song to play, this very song came up in the musical rotation on my local music.

Sure, you could say it’s coincidence or synchronicity, but I’m going to go with the universe telling me it’s time to play with the J. Geiles Band again as they talk about their teenage “Centerfold.”


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