Well, another year is almost gone. It gets you to thinking about what you've done, not done, and everything in between. I'll focus on what I have done, and what I've been thinking about. The "not dones" are still opportunities.

I've stuck to my plan to get everyone a "gift" of a donation to a cause. I tried to do my best to match people to causes they would appreciate, maybe did better with some than others. I got myself a few things I've been wanting with saved gift cards, and the money I still get from my Dad's insurance- some new pants, a new windblocker fleece that finally went on sale, some slippers. Nothing major. I've always thought that Christmas was over-commercialized and had lost most of its meaning. Donations to charities are down, at the time they need money the most. Hence my plan for donations this year.

Really, we could learn something from our elders- it isn't the stuff you have, it's the people in your life that matter. Spending time with them, doing something special, letting them know you are thinking of them and love them. Getting an expensive gift and mailing it off doesn't show love. The price tag on the present doesn't indicate your value to someone, or your value for someone else. What we should be thankful for and protect is each other and our planet. Life is what matters. How you live it is what matters. How you leave the earth...is it a better place for you having lived? This is what I try to remember and live, everyday.

Peace. Namaste.



Okay, back to evolution. I know, my other blogs are probably more interesting for most of you, if there are indeed any of you!

But, I have a problem I am trying to think through, and it helps if I write it down. Or in this case, type it out.

There are regions on cocci chromosomes that have low Fst. Fst is a measure of gene flow. Values close to 0 indicate that there is a lot of gene flow- in this case between species. Values close to 1 would indicate no gene flow. Now, what you would expect with 2 different species is values closer to 1 for most of the comparisons- 2 different speices should not be having sex and producing progeny, in sensu stricto.

However, there is good evidence that the 2 species of cocci do indeed have sex, and do produce viable offspring, which can then mate with either parental species (or maybe not, maybe only one, but for this argument let's say it is promiscuous).

Is looking at Fst values a good way to measure this for whole genome analysis? What if the genes are highly variable? What is the effect of repetitive elements in the region? Pseudogenes? I am concerned only because the pattern emerging is highly correlated with genome position, and makes me think something else is going on.



OK, I realize there is one other FP I have seen that didn't happen at Hastings. It was last year, flying home from the east coast. Getting on the plane, I see this guy, with a baseball cap on, looking at the floor, not looking up to meet anyone's eye. Which is suspicious, because usually the ppl in first class are always so happy to gloat at the sad poor people cramming on to the economy section. I look closer. OMG. It is Brett Favre. I am in shock. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a huge Packer fan and definitely a Favre fan. The whole flight I tried think of a way to get his autograph. The stewardess was no help. Now, I am glad I didn't embarrass myself. I was in Milwaukee when I heard that Brett was traded to the Jets. Jerk. No more love for Brett. Sorry. I drowned my sorrow with a PBR. That's allowed, and appropriate. Now I hardly watch football. Last game I went to was the Cat-Griz game. The alumni associations for UM and MSU in Tucson get together and make a big party out of it. It was a lot of fun. And now the Griz are going to the semi finals- or the semi- semifinals. Whatever. Like I said, I don't pay attention to it like I used to. Just doesn't matter as much to me anymore.