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Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Comedy Central says: Tonight on TDS, Jon continues his week of talking to his favorite sparring partners with Denis Leary from the TV show "Rescue Me", and on TCR, a special episode covering DNA-to-Z! Jerry Miller, exonerated through DNA evidence and Spencer Wells of the Genographic Project join the show!  

Tonight's sausage-grinder of snark setting: Lazy, lazy...  Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Well, that explains it! The TDS website today explains that Jon is talking to his favorite sparring partners this week. Dennis Leary was last on in May of Ought-six (we shoulda done that! Still can, there's a couple years of "Ought's" left. Quick, someone, start up the net-meme machine!). That was before I was writing these, but I think I didn't like him...? Wikipedia says he's libertarian, and there's an article out there where he claims he's never cutting his electric usage, he wants as huge a carbon footprint as possible. In more amusing jackassery, his TV special "Merry F#%$in' Christmas" was 'exhibit A' in the PTC's war-on-Christmas screed -- in which it's written "Merry F—ing Christmas." God forbid the nutso christians use the top line of the keyboard. Maybe it's related to that CAPS LOCK shift-key problem so many of them have... unless there's a commandment about not taking the sign of the $ in vain...

In other randomness, Leary apparently has bad posture. But anyway. Leary's TV show is "Rescue Me." I've never seen it, but the wisdom of TWOP reveals that

Rescue Me {is} a firefighter who was dealing with his demons and oh yeah, saw ghosts.

Ghosts? And re: firefighters, Leary's got a foundation working to support  fire departments in New York, Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts, and New Orleans.

So I guess it'll be a sparring match. Maybe I'll need to scrub the bathtub during the interview tonight. Or, um, dust the light fixtures. Chances are that needs to be done...

Stephen's got two guests tonight, in his DNA-Z! thing. I don't know when the websites decided to write more than "guest name, job, shill topic," but I like it. Anyway, Stephen's first listed guest is Jerry Miller, who was the 200th person freed by The Innocence Project. He was in jail for 25 years for a rape he didn't do. Barry Scheck was on with Stephen talking about the project in October, and I think there was another guest -- the night Tom Delay was on (?) -- but I can't find that anywhere. So anyway, Miller's also been on with Bill Moyers and there's a thing from NPR, and that's most of the liberal media, isn't it? Maybe there's more somewhere.

If you google Spencer Wells, you'll get Stephen's second guest. And also Queen Victoria's surgeon, Thomas Spencer Wells, who died of apoplexy in 1897. Yes, I know, but Firefox lets me highlight a phrase and google-search with a mouse-click, and I'm lazy. If I want to enclose the search term in quotes, I have to reach for the keyboard which is all the way over there.  Or open up the onscreen keyboard, but that's kinda pushing it, unless the cat is curled up purring on my arm. But anyway, there wasn't a lot of noise in this search, so I don't feel bad about only giving you a bit of it.

Wells is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence (heh) who's the project leader of the Genographic Project, which "is by far the largest genetic study of human migration ever undertaken." Simply, they're collecting genetic samples from varied populations across the world, and analyzing the data to try to create maps of ancient population migrations. More or less. There's a book which will be out in paperback this fall.

This is the study in which

The general public can take part in the project by purchasing a Genographic Project Public Participation Kit and submitting their own cheek swab sample, allowing them to track the overall progress of the project as well as learn their own migratory history. These personal results are stored anonymously to protect the privacy of participants. National Geographic will regularly update the public and the scientific community on project findings, including through the website and through National Geographic's many other media platforms worldwide.

  The project recently published its first paper in PLOS Genetics (.pdf, press release .pdf), describing the public participation mitochondrial database. See, the way they track the male line is through something on the Y-chromosome, and the female line by mitochondrial DNA, and for some reason they're only collecting mitochondrial DNA from female participants (at least in the public part), which may be because each test costs the participant $99... anyway, there are a couple articles and some good interviews online, and I found a handful of scienceblog posts that talk about it some more. This is real interesting stuff, and I kinda wish I was doing it. Oh well.  I don't suppose anyone knows someone who knows someone...?

Originally posted to TiaRachel on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 07:48 PM PDT.

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