Uriah Profile picture
The Dastardly One Profile picture B Raynor Profile picture PeterJauhal Profile picture Mellon Profile picture 7 added to My Authors
Jan 16 31 tweets 13 min read
This thread is all about your legal options if you were to travel back in time to medieval Europe and murder someone. It's also about measuring the decline of the extended family and the origins of English individualism. On Bertha Phillpotts' "Kindred and Clan in Past Time". Say as an example you traveled back in time to 14th century Sweden and murdered somebody. This is who and what you would have to pay: plaintiff 7 marks, King 4 marks, parents 2 marks, brothers 1 mark, 1st cousin 1/2 mark, 2nd cousin 1/4th, 3rd cousin 1/8th.
Dec 29, 2022 15 tweets 5 min read
If you ask a population genetics guru to list the most interesting, unusual peoples in Europe they'll tell you all about the Saami, the Sardinians, the Basques. These groups are interesting because of their isolation; the English are interesting in exactly the opposite way. The old People of the British Isles project promised to use fancy clustering techniques to sort Britain into little genetic units. And it worked, sort of: they found two different clusters in Pembrokeshire, three in the Orkneys, but could not tell apart Kent from North Yorkshire
Dec 22, 2022 15 tweets 6 min read
The Upper Midwest was first colonized by New Englanders, “Yankees”. After heroically clearing the land and founding the first towns, Yankee Man vanished. His place was taken by Germans, who have come to dominate the rural Midwest by being everything the Yankee was not. Image Maps of US ethnicity today show an impressive German dominance in Midwest counties. What’s interesting about this pattern is that in large part it came about after German immigration had ended. The Germans arrived, rooted themselves to the land and waited for the Anglo to leave. Image
Dec 13, 2022 11 tweets 4 min read
Kenneth Pomeranz has argued that before 1750 the economies of China and Europe were not so different; Europe’s leap forward being attributable to a favorable supply of coal. But the differences in early modern interest rates between Europe (~5%) and China (~25%) are huge: A 25% interest rate sounds awful, but was actually typical of much of Asia and better than other places, like Korea or Jakarta, where 50% _average_ rates were not unheard of. In economies like this why would a person with capital ever do anything but lend it out?
Nov 29, 2022 11 tweets 4 min read
The most likely explanation for the enduring short stature and narrow build of East Asian peoples is that such a body type is an adaptation to an effectively vegetarian diet: in quite a few parts of pre-modern Asia 80-90% of calories were derived solely from rice. One of the most striking differences noted by Western travelers to Asia was how few horses and cows existed in the countryside. Important men were carried around in sedan chairs like “300”’s Xerxes, something which struck Europeans as inherently grotesque.
Nov 28, 2022 7 tweets 3 min read
The great majority of people worldwide are lactose malabsorbers. They can usually drink a bit of milk without major digestive upset but their bodies were not designed to guzzle the stuff. Within Europe even most Russians or Italians are malabsorbers: it's West Euros who are odd. What separates the lactose tolerant people of the Atlantic coast from the rest? Milk production in Europe today is closely correlated with grassland productivity, itself a function of the amount/consistency of rainfall. The correspondence with lactose tolerance is almost perfect
Nov 15, 2022 23 tweets 8 min read
Jonathan Hutchinson was a Victorian era surgeon who had what some called an obsession with the idea that eating rancid fish was the true cause of leprosy. His 1906 book on the subject is now just a mocked Victorian curio, but I will show you how close he was to the truth. Image By 1600 leprosy was extinct in most of Europe. In some places though the disease lingered on, above all in Norway, whose last leper died only in 1946. Medical historians debated for decades “What is it that makes Norwegians so uniquely disgusting?”, which I thought was funny. Image
May 16, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
The first PC of genetic variation in Norwegians separates the part Siberian sections from the rest: such ancestry is rare. The second PC is identifies Agder as the most isolated region of the country: old anthropologists also thought they were odd.... nature.com/articles/s4143… When Alette Schreiner began to measure Norwegians she started in Agder, particularly Valle, "..because it is probably the most secluded, most conservative place in all Norway; its inhabitants are still living in many respects in the saga period, and mingle little with outsiders."
Oct 23, 2021 13 tweets 5 min read
Here are some basic notes on Tutsi genetics/appearance: Hutu and Tutsi DNA is very hard to find online, but Razib managed to snag some from his readers and demonstrated that the two groups are very distinct, with Tutsi appearing similar to Maasai , both sharing a minor Middle Eastern element absent in Hutus. gnxp.com/WordPress/2019…
Sep 22, 2021 6 tweets 3 min read
Alexandra Daddario attracts a lot of attention as maybe the most good looking/frighteningly white woman in America. Daddario is so beautiful that it should be obvious we're not dealing with a real American here. So, where in Europe can we find her good looking cousins? Her father is mostly Italian, but photos show she inherited her aqua blue eyes from her mother, who is English/German on one side and Hungarian on the other. So, which ancestry type is more likely to produce someone who looks like Snow White?
Sep 14, 2021 13 tweets 3 min read
The truly great Norm Macdonald, one of the world’s few interesting people, is dead. Some notes on Norm’s strange life for devoted fans: Norm dropped out of high school when he was 15, then spent 10 years as a semi-criminal drifter, working as a lumberjack, picking tobacco, moving furniture, and stealing typewriters for re-sale on Indian reservations.
Jul 28, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
There was a lot of media coverage on the 2020 finding that average body temperature has declined 1.2 degrees F since 1880, probably due to lower inflammation. Somehow though, no one asked the obvious question: wouldn't a higher metabolic rate help keep 19th century people thin? There were three sets of measurements in the study, one in the late 19th century, one in the 1970's, and the last in 2010. Amazingly, the samples from the 1970's had temperatures closer to those from the 19th century!
Jul 12, 2021 45 tweets 10 min read
I’m going to contend tonight that autism is a growth disorder whose prevalence increases with advancing average birth weight and height and which explodes in frequency when weight and height can increase no further, resulting in a kind of "spillover" of growth into the brain. Another point to emphasize is that the increase in growth is ultimately responsible for generation gaps in personality. The mental dimension which separates autistics from non-autistics also separates millennials from boomers and boomers from their parents.
Jul 4, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Polynesians are cold adapted in a number of ways, which you can read about here: The muscular bulk of Pacific Islanders allows them to shiver more effectively than other people, but anthropologists have also noticed that they just seem to shiver less. Why? A group measuring Polynesian skulls uncovered a neurological cold adaptation I had never heard of: the infraorbital foramen through which sensory nerves travel are abnormally narrow and the proposed result is that Polynesians skin sensitivity is reduced: sci-hub.se/https://www.ta…
Jun 5, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
The position of European populations onto a genetic PCA mostly conforms to common sense racelore, but a major exception is that two populations that are usually lumped into the "Northwest" category but don't deserve to be: Austrians and Finns. gen3553.pagesperso-orange.fr/ADN/K15.htm Depending on the PCA you use Austrians are either about halfway between Hungarians and other Germans or possibly closer to the Hungarians. Recent East European ancestry is very common: Schwarzenegger's mom had the Czech name Jadrny, Christoph Waltz's mom was named Urbanicic
May 22, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
When Morgan Worthy examined the eye color of white NFL players his big finding was that quarterbacks were much more likely to have blue eyes. But he also interestingly found that the blacker the NFL position, the darker eyed the whites who play it tend to be. A body of research indicates that neuromelanin tends to increase speed and reaction time which helps to explain why dark eyes are the default across animal species. While blue eyes are very useful for playing QB, it seems dark eyes are more useful for practically everything else
May 9, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Goiter is caused by iodine defiency, traditionally most common in mountainous regions like the Alps. "In the village of Rude, near Zagreb, goiter was detected in 85% of children...The girls from this village were not considered pretty if they had »no neck«." The village angel: Image In many mountainous places goiter is apparently common enough to be considered beautiful in girls. North Italian painters like the Venetian Andrea Mantegna had a habit of painting the Virgin with one: Image
May 9, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Manuel Eisner is an historian of homicide who had the idea to use rates of regicide to infer homicide rates among less important people before records became available ~`1200. The worst time to be a European king was the 7th century: citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/downlo… Image King killing became cool again in the 11th century state building era when royal deaths in battle reached their peak as Harald Godwinson was shot in the eye/Harald Hardrada was killed at Stamford Bridge/his older brother King Olaf II died at Stiklestad. Image
Apr 25, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
There’s been some talk lately about US dependence on Taiwanese semiconductors or Chinese rare earth metals which could be interrupted if things go bad. An interesting question is to ask how many countries could fight a modern war in the face of total trade isolation. Could say, once mighty Germany? 1/4th of Germany’s World War II gasoline was produced synthetically, another 1/4th just from Ploesti. If the entire army had to be mechanized (no horses) competition with the US or USSR would have been impossible even then (c. 1950).
Apr 5, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
During tests of working memory the pupil dilates while storing information and slowly constricts back to normal as answers are delivered. Interestingly, it turns out that more intelligent people tend to have larger pupils even before the tests start: sci-hub.se/https://www.sc… Image Image
Mar 21, 2021 12 tweets 4 min read
This old post details the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on reducing aggression and improving skin quality. There's something I left out though: I think you can spot people with high omega-3 levels using cues from their personality, voice, and skin
The highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish consuming populations like the Japanese and Norwegians. In these people you see a distinctive combination of ultra-low homicide rates and skin which seems to magically reflect light: Scandinavians don't much sunburn.