Monday, March 20, 2017

The Sports Page -- March 20, 2017

No, this is not going to be a new feature, but so much has happened in the past 48 hours, a stand-alone post was needed.

The NFL Jersey Page

Tom Brady's jersey apparently found. The FBI and NFL Security apparently say the jersey has been found -- on foreign soil. But that's all that was reported this morning. [Update: later this afternoon, from The NY Post:
Fox has released footage of the aftermath of the Patriots’ Super Bowl LI victory that reportedly shows how authorities cracked the case of the missing jersey worth $500,000.
The video led them to Mexico, where Brady’s jersey (and a past Super Bowl jersey) were recovered from a former exec​utive​ at ​​tabloid Diario La Prensa. The alleged culprit’s name has not been released, but he is believed to be seen in the above video (with his face blurred) snatching the prized jersey.
Meanwhile, the FBI is still looking for the 50,000 Hillary e-mails that were lost. 

March Madness

These were the games that caught my attention, starting on March 15, 2017:
  • USC beats Providence in a very close "play-in" game.
March 16, 2017:
  • Middle Tennessee defeats Minnesota
  • Xavier easily beats Maryland, 76 - 65
  • Arizona beats North Dakota: 100 - 82 (it was great to see ND in the final 64; some big name schools did not even get in)
March 17, 2017:
  • Michigan barely beats Oklahoma State, 92 - 91
  • USC incredibly continues to move forward, beating SMU, 66 - 65
March 18, 2017:
  • Wow, wow, wow, second round -- Wisconsin (#8) beats Villanova (#1), 65 - 62
  • Wow, wow, wow second round -- South Carolina (#7) beats Duke (#2), 82 - 81
  • Wow, Xavier moves on, beating Florida State by an incredible margin, 91 - 66
  • Florida - Virginia in a "keep-away" game; Florida wins 65 - 39
March 19, 2017:
  • Wow, wow, wow, second round -- Michigan (#7) upsets Louisville (#2), winning 73 - 69
  • Finally, USC is stopped; Baylor wins 82 - 78
  • Michigan State loses to Kansas, 90 - 70 
So, as it stands now:
  • in the East, both #1 and #2 are out (Villanova, Duke are out); Baylor, #3 and Florida, #4 advance
  • in the West, #1, #2, and #4 advance (Gonzaga, Arizona, W Virginia); #3 Florida State fell to Xavier
  • in the Midwest: #2 failed to advance (Louisville out); Kansas, Oregon, and Purdue - #1, #3, #4 - advance
  • in the South: top four seeded all advance -- North Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA, and Butler

This was perhaps the most interesting sports story over the weekend, other than a few upsets in March Madness.

One week ago in Las Vegas:
  • Joey Logano and Kyle Busch involved in late-race wreck
  • Immediately after the race Kyle Busch approached Joey Logano and fist fight broke out; fight started by Kyle Busch -- no question about that
  • NASCAR levies no fines
Fast forward to this week in Phoenix.
  • All eyes were on a potential Logano - Kyle Busch match-up
  • Logano wins the first of three segments at Phoenix
  • Neither win the second segment
  • In the third and most important segment, Kyle Busch is headed for the win, having led dozens of laps late in the race
  • Kyle Busch is on his way to another victory -- or so it appears
  • Joey  Logano is far back in the pack, #11. It appears he wants no part of this race; does not want to risk getting into another racing mishap with Busch so soon after the previous mishap
  • Six laps to go and Busch is clearly in command
  • Camera shots of Kyle's wife as she starts to look forward to her husband winning
  • Five laps to go
  • Caution comes out
  • Incredible. Joey Logano suffers a cut tire; into the wall. Caution
  • Five laps completed under caution. Regulation laps complete. Most (all?) cars pit during the caution, most getting two tires
  • Busch does not get best pit stop. Comes out third or fourth out of the pits
Busch ends up finishing fifth -- he should have won, but Joey Logano in two consecutive weeks ruined Kyle's day.

DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America,
Bryan Sykes (author of The Seven Daughters of Eve),
c. 2012
DDS: 559.93 SYK

To complement the Nick Lane book I'm reading (again), a quick look at DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America, Bryan Sykes (author of The Seven Daughters of Eve), c. 2012.

Some data points.

Chapter Two: The Nature of The Evidence
  • mitochondrial DNA (mDNA): circular, not single strands like "nuclear DNA"; a legacy of their bacterial origins
  • for every nuclear gene there are hundreds or even thousands more copies in the cell's mitochondria -- that's one reason researchers like to study mDNA -- there are many more genes; this is also one reason why researchers use mDNA when looking at extinct creatures; more of it to find in the little bit of bone one might have
  • mDNA: mutates 20x faster than nuclear DNA, but still incredibly slow; one mutation every 20,000 years; mDNA mutation rate fits in comfortably/conveniently with human evolution; 20,000 years works out to about 1,000 generations
  • mDNA inherited down only one set of ancestors; this makes inheritance pattern of mDNA simplicity itself
  • mDNA = mitochondrial DNA = maternal DNA
  • nomenclature of mDNA mutations and examples
    • numbering starts from an agreed-upon starting point
    • example: mutation at position 16,111 -- when talking about this particular location from 16,111 to 16,400, researchers will drop the "16" and just refer to 111 or 400, for example
    • 111: Native Americans differ at this location compared to 111 in the reference sequence
    • 224: Europeans differ at location 224
    • 247: Polynesians differ at location 247
Chapter Three: The First Americans
  • Nuu-Chah-Nulth tribe: Pacific Northwest; first to be researched, and in so doing became the tribe against which all other DNA would be measured
  • Nuu-Chah-Nluth:
  •  "all along the border" -- western coast of Vancouver Island and on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State; 100 miles south of Seattle
  • 15 surviving groups; around 9,000 members; fishermen; in the past, whalers
  • potlatch ceremony; banned in late 19th century; that law repealed in 1951; potlatch ceremonies now allowed
  • 63 individuals not maternally related
  • 28 different sequences discovered; at one extreme, the most frequent sequence shared by 9 individuals; at the other extreme, 13 people had sequences not shared by anyone else; but still a pattern evolved
  • biggest cluster: mutations shared at position 111 and 319
  • other clusters: mutations shared at position 278; 325; all three of these clusters were united by the crucial mutation at 223 which will be discussed later
  • fourth cluster: did not have a variant at 223, but instead mutations at 189 and 217
  • Bryan Sykes worked out the sequences and proved 20 Cook Islander Polynesians related to the Pacific Northwest Tribe -- the dot connecting them: the first European to reach the Nuu-Chah-Nulth was the British navigator and explorer James Cook in 1778
  • bottom line: four clusters seen in the Nuu-Chah-Nulth -- these clusters were found in virtually all other Native American studies done about the same time (1990s)
  • the Native Americans became the first Americans to be studied using new genetic tools; they were allotted the first four letters of the alphabet: A, B, C, and D -- and Bryan Sykes gave the women real names to make it more "personal": Aiyana, Chochmingwu, and Djigonese (A, B, D) but broke with pattern by giving founder of cluster B the name Ina
  • 223: all possessed that mutation except Ina (B)
  • Europe, daughters of Eve: seven native European clans lived at different times between 10,000 and 45,000 years ago
  • same genetic research: cluster D and cluster C -- between 30,000 years (for D) and 10,000 years for C
  • direct extrapolation: first settlement of America appeared to support the idea that members of cluster D has arrived well before the Clovis period, 11,500 years ago
  • best estimate now: 15,800 to 19,600 years ago -- first American settlement dates (Bryan Sykes feels it will not be possible to get any better dating)
Now cluster B (begins on page36)
Polynesian control region sequence: 189  217  247  261

3,000 years ago the very first Polynesians arrived in the Cook Islands from the islands of Indonesia across hundreds of open ocean: Bryan Sykes considers this migration the greatest feat of maritime exploration in the history of humanity! (p. 36)

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