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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DNA Genealogy

Posted by Dawn-Ann on February 5, 2009

So, I am thinking of getting my DNA analyzed for genealogical purposes. And I’m considering going through Family Tree DNA because it is the one that’s been most recommended to me by my genealogy-studying colleagues.

Family Tree DNA will test womens’ mtDNA and/or men’s Y-DNA. The former is what is handed down from mother to daughter and the latter is what men pass down to their sons. Unfortunately, I can only see my maternal heritage unless I get my dad or a male cousin to take the test, as well. But it’s kind of neat what a person CAN find out.

Family Tree DNA has a number of projects they’re working on and if there isn’t one for you, you can start your own.  I searched for Kirkpatrick and found a project has, indeed, already started for that.  The Kirkpatrick Surname Project has 21 members already!  However, the test is for Y-DNA and my father would have to submit to it.  I’ll have to check further to see if there are any maternal last names I could search for.

Six rules for Internet dating

Posted by Dawn-Ann on January 4, 2009

I was talking to someone the other day about Internet relationships and how “safe” they are – or not. I think people were surprised to know that I have had a few such relationships that began online, the last of which has provided me with a dozen or so years of blissful couple-ness.

Relationships that begin online can work, and work well. In fact, when I look back on my past relationships, one in three serious ones that began online turned out successful and long term. On the other hand, zero percent of the loves I met in real life panned out. So there you go. Empirical evidence it ain’t, but I’m convinced.

I learned a few things as I went along and I’d like to pass along six rules for online dating. I’d be interested to hear if anyone has anything to add.

  1. Take it slow. In those first, heady days when you’re finding out what you have in common and writing loooong letters to each other, it is easy to think this is it! But give yourself lots of time.
  2. Read between the lines and trust your hunches. If you’re at all uncomfortable about something that was said (or not said) or done, pay attention. Try to discern what’s being left unsaid “between the lines.” Talk to someone you trust about your thoughts.
  3. The next stage should be telephone conversations – not meeting. You can tell a lot more about a person after hearing them speak, but the first call or two won’t tell you much. You need to learn the patterns and tones of their speech to be able to figure out if they’re being honest or not.
  4. Only after emailing and talking on the phone for a while should you meet. Make it a bright, public place that you go to, preferably bringing along someone you trust. If you can’t or don’t want to bring someone, work out a code with a friend so you can call them if you need help or need to escape.
  5. If all the first steps work out well, congratulations! But before you decide to get serious enough to move in together or get married, be sure to spend LOTS of real-life time together first. That’s where one of my relationships went hopelessly wrong. We didn’t spend enough 3-D time together and it turned out he was not what I thought he was, in spite of my being careful with the first four rules. Besides, you just don’t know if they’re kind to kittens and children or mean to their moms until you hang with them for a few months. Maybe he thinks it’s funny to make rude noises at the dinner table. Maybe she eats like a pig or picks her nose.
  6. Before you get married, do a background check. Call friends and old boy/girlfriends, if possible. Find out if she has a criminal record or if he is up to his eyeballs in debt. Truthfully, this rule is good advice for almost any relationship.

There you have it! Reasonable, yet progressive. Maybe someday you’ll be able to say you have shared a dozen or so years of blissful couple-ness with someone you met online!

A couple of degrees of separation – or something

Posted by Dawn-Ann on December 31, 2008

I have a new Twitter acquaintance. His name is Wil. He is sooo cute and brilliant and nerdy and – most important to this gal – he is funny and can write. Like a hot damn. In fact, his clever, witty writing style had me hooked from the word go. Why, if he weren’t happily married and I were twenty years younger and not in a happy, committed relationship myself (I love you, Honey!) and not in Canada with him in California I’d be, well – you figure it out… Or at least I’d be setting him up with a nerdy daughter or something.

Anyway, his blog is well worth checking out. It will surprise you in more ways than one!

Free energy

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 14, 2008

A friend of mine wrote an interesting blog post about an exciting new technological trend of the future – electricity.  Free (or nearly free) electricity, that is.  I’ve read and thought about the endless possibilities before, but today I realized that not everyone has awakened to this concept.  So let me elaborate.

I believe free energy is going to be what levels the playing field for us all.

Imagine if we had no more electricity or gas bills. Ever. I don’t know what you’re paying, but that’d be an extra $400 per month for me.  Four hundred dollars that I could do other, more worthwhile things with. Why, that’s $4800 per year!  I could get that laser eye surgery I’ve been thinking about.  I could pay off my credit card.  I could give more to my favourite charities – you name it.

And for folks in developing countries – imagine.  If they could cook a meal without having to breathe toxic fumes from burning cow dung; or could stay up past dark to read or study; or power a water pump or power tools or whatever… Don’t you think THAT would change the future for millions of people in Africa and India and South America?  The possibilities are endless.

Most folks haven’t caught on to this yet, but here is one innovative company that is on the cutting edge.  I have been watching these guys for a couple of years now (mostly wishing they would HURRY UP and bring their product to market).  They have invented a remarkable generator that runs perpetually, using the natural attraction/repulsion of magnets.  They’re called Lutec and as soon as they start selling, I plan to be one of their first buyers.  I’ll pop one of these babies into our garage, hook it up, and the rest will be history.

Hubby will be relieved when I quit nagging about leaving the lights on…

Was King Arthur really a Scot?

Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 17, 2008

I am reading a fascinating book called Realm of the Ring Lords, which looks at ancient legends to see if there may have been some basis in fact to them. It goes into a lot of cool things like dragon queens and ring lords and their possible foundations in ancient history. Anyway, there’s an interesting chapter on King Arthur which says he may have been a Scot. Here’s a brief quote:

[After going through various kings that others had attributed to be King Arthur, the author says], “What is certain is that, in the year 600, another royal Arthur fought at the subsequent Battle of Camelyn, west of Falkirk in Scotland – a battle which is detailed in the Chronicles of the Picts and Scots. This other Arthur was undoubtedly the famed king of the Grail stories. Not only was he proclaimed High King and Sovereign Commander of the Britons in 574, but he was the only recorded Arthur ever born as the son of a Pendragon. He was Prince Arthur of Dalriada, the son of King Aedan mac Gabran of Scots, and his mother was Ygerna d’Avallon whose own mother, Viviane del Acqs, was the recognized Lady of the Lake. Born in 559, he was the only royal Arthur with a son named Modred and a sister called Morgaine (referred to in Royal Irish Academy texts as ‘Muirgein, daughter of Aedan in Belach Gabrain’), just as related in the Grail legends. Arthur’s primary seat was at Carlisle – the City of the legion (Caer leon) – from where he controlled the military defence of the English-Scottish border country. Arthur mac Aedan is cited in St. Adamnan of Iona’s 7th-century Life of St. Columba; his kingly installation by the druid Merlin Emrys is recorded in the Chronicle of the Scots; his legacy is upheld by the Celtic Apostolic Church of Scotland, while famous conflicts (including the Battle of Badon Hill) with which he is traditionally associated are recorded in the Chronicles of Holyrood and of Melrose, the Irish Tigernach Annals and the Books of Leinster and Ballymote.”

Interesting. Who’d have thunk it?