Monday, January 16, 2012

"Rolling in the Deep"

Wow.  Just spotted a fascinating article in today's Boston Globe:  DNA testing is helping archaeologists gain clues about ancient civilizations!

I find it amazing that sea water acts as a preservative for DNA.  One would think the detritus in these ancient jugs would have washed away underwater - not so.  According to the article, the DNA more likely would have been corrupted if it had been exposed to contaminants in the open air.

One researcher quoted in the article "pooh poohs" the importance of these finds, stating that researchers already had an idea about the contents of these jugs prior to DNA testing.

Even so, I believe this is a critical development.  Who knows what else may be uncovered by these tests - not just in these vessels, but at myriad ancient sites?

Still, this development is, in my opinion, extremely important - if for no other reason than it opens our minds about the myriad applications of DNA technology for historians, archaeologists, and yes, genealogists.

Can you think of new applications of DNA testing that would develop a fuller picture of your ancestors' lives?  Feel free to share them below!

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Not-So-Serious Gen Resolutions

Happy New Year to you all!

I know that lots of folks are crafting their gen-resolutions for the coming year...making their lists, and checkin' 'em twice.

Actually, many have actually posted them already....ahem, on TIME, on New Year's Day.  And here I am, a day later...doesn't bode well for that resolution to organize, huh?!

Withut further ado, here's my Letterman-style list of Top Ten Gen Resolutions (in no particular order):

10)  If a long lost cousin should contact me, and the caller ID reads "state prison",  I will not accept the charges (no matter how many family pictures he might claim to have).

9)  I will gather DNA samples to see if the Kardashians are distantly related to Paris Hilton's pocket dog.  

8)  I will recognize - by the glazed look in their eyes - that some of my own family members are no longer interested in hearing about their own family history.  Then I'll talk about it anyway.

7)  I will never, ever wear a T-shirt that says "I Heart Microfiche" (OK, maybe just not out of the house).

6)  I will not attempt to make a profit at genealogy (duh, that's easy)!

5)  I will not get annoyed at the relative who keeps asking, "So, how's the geology going?"

4)  If attending a seance, I will make any spirits who come forward prove their relation to me.

3)  I will not attend cocktail parties where people have lively discussions about the proper use of footnotes.

2)  When attending a gen conference, I will never tote a suitcase full of records large enough to hold a dead ancestor (or two).

And the Number One Gen Resolution for 2012 is....(drum roll)...

1)  To prove that Ryan Seacrest is capable of replicating himself.

PLEASE...if you're true friends, I expect you to keep after me, and make sure I stick with this.  I need to accomplish things that give my life meaning on this planet.  Thanx!