Your teeth can reveal Indian ancestry

Ontology Recapitulate Phylogeny.

Of course, it’s just another one of the totally incorrct phrases that we learned in freshman biology, but then I was a teacher I would always use it as an answer for the coctail party challenge: “So, you’re a professor, eh? Say something intelligent! My response: “Ontology recapitulates phylogeny.”

Anyway, I just finished a great book “The Anthropology of Modern Human Teeth” and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in forensic anthropology.

The thrust of the book is that permanent genetic markers exist in the teeth of specific racial groups and that dental analysis can find “markers” that are passed-down for many generations, making teeth an ideal way to trace the racial characteristics of ancient graveyards. This may be true for other populations as well.

For example, I’ve heard some people say that they can tell if someone is from from England just by looking their teeth.

Now I don’t know much about genetics, but I know from my personal experience that your teeth can reveal Indian heritage.

I did some research and there are several million Americans with a little bit of Indian ancestry. Ever since John Smith and Pocahontas, Americans began the process of genetic assimilation (interestingly, Pocahontas is buried in England and has over 100,000 descendents, as noted in this Superb article on Pocahontas by David Morenus).

Mr. Morenus has fascinating details and show that Pocahontas looked nothing like the Disney cartoon characterization of her:

I also recommend the book “A Little Bit of Indian” for some fascinating facts about inherited physical traits. There is an Indian Halotype and the Cherokee Nation is doing blood research.

“Research into genetics in the 21st century has revealed that American Indian Haplotype is a type of material found in over 95% of American Indians so far tested.

This particular Haplotype is an easily obtained chain of genetic material that is obtained by the extraction of Mitochondria as a means to prove one has American Indian Blood somewhere in their family history.”

There is also the GeneTree Native American blood tests. This site has a wonderful world map showing how genetic testing can reveal historical patters of population movement:

The research article “Bye Bye Beringia” quotes an archeological study suggesting that the some Native Americans were quite similar to Europeans:

“They walked the ground between the site of today’s Walt Disney World and the Space Coast, hunting white-tailed deer and bobcat among the pine and oak trees.

They fished for bass and sunfish or scooped up turtles, frogs, and snakes.

Their primary job — filling their stomachs — took only about two hours each day”

This article also notes that the Windover site has enough usable DNA to discover the genetic origins of the inhabitants, even though it is 8,000 years old:

“The ancient human DNA is of such quality as to allow genetic cloning, or to make comparisons with present living ethnic groups, or to test kinship with other ancient peoples. But the latter would require usable DNA, and this treasure trove seems to be the oldest group of human DNA ever found anywhere in the World. “

But there is more evidence. This CNews article suggests that there may have been pre-1492 genetic mixing of Native Americans bloodlines, with some Indians looking like Europeans:

“There were three men here whose beard is almost the same colour as mine and who look like typical Scandinavians,” he wrote. “One woman has the delicate features one sees on Scandinavian girls.”

Stefansson speculated the people he met had descended from the inhabitants of the vanished Norse settlements. His theory thrust him onto the front pages of newspapers across the continents with headlines of a “lost white race.”

This GeneTree genetic ancestry blood test looks fascinating:

“AncestryByDNA 2.5: Determines what genetic percentage of Native American, European, East Asian, and African a person has, based on their autosomal DNA profile.”

My friend Tim Wu worked as a physician on the human Genome project, and he told me some fascinating predictions. Evidently, the human genome project is just the blueprint for human genetics, like an empty database. It will not be until we start collecting data for all 3-billion pairs (25,000 genes), a task that costs over $30,000 per person today.

However, once reliable data is added to the genome template the whole world will change, with a resolution to the eternal “nature v. Nurture” argument and important privacy issues. Best of all, the annoying old saying “Ontology Recapitulates Philology” will finally be proven wrong. Who knows, we may someday see these results too:

  • The lifespan of a baby will be known to within two years.
  • Your probable natural cause of death will be accurately predicted.
  • Insurance companies will know with a high degree of reliability your predisposition to get a host of diseases.
  • Your intellect and physical abilities can be predicted with high reliability.

Here is a great summary of the hopes of the human genome project. I’m no Oracle, but I’ll bet that the human genome will open-up possibilities that scientists have never thought of before.

Inside the NORAD War Room

As part of my work in Oracle Government sector I get to meet some air force folsk who worked in the NORAD war room, one senior officer who worked inside Cheyenne Mountain, home of the famed North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

I was thrilled when he invited me to go on a personal tour of this super-secret site, and he even took me into the legendary NORAD war room!

This excellent site has a great history of Cheyenne Mountain and a photo of the War Room:

The NORAD “war Room” is considered one of the most highly classified spot in the U.S.A. I had to get a security clearance just to enter as a V.I.P. visitor, and when I signed-in I was told that I would be shot on-site if I left the side of my escort!

I’ve carefully checked about what is public knowledge so I don’t disclose anything, but Cheyenne Mountain resides inside a mountain of solid stone and can survive a direct hit nuclear attack.

They keep a list of personnel who are allowed to go inside the mountain during a nuclear attack, and you can tell how much the USAF values your life by whether or not your name appears on the list!

The NORAD War Room has been portrayed in many movies, but very few civilians have ever seen it. It’s staffed by a Air Force General at all times and has direct contact to the White House “Football” the crypto-case carried by the President.

I’m not going into details, but I can assure you that the War Room is cooler than it looks on TV and movies, like this clip from the fantastic movie “Dr. Strangelove”:


Weird Math – If you know math and would like to explain this to me, I’d sure love to hear from you. Just send an e-mail to While you are at-it, explain this coincidence also. This is just too weird.

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

Hillbilly Video!

I appear briefly in the super-funny new video, Ode to the American Hillbilly, a great new online video!

This is one of the greatest honors I’ve ever had, and I can hardly contain my excitement. It’s way cooler than being an Adjunct Professor Emeritus. Me and Dan only appear for a split-second, about halfway into the video, but it’s a HUGE honor.

Viewing Ode to the American Hillbilly:


1 – You will need to download QuickTime to view the movie.

2 – Once QuickTime is installed, start QuickTime

3 – Then choose from QuickTime:

File -> Open URL in New Player

And paste-in this link:

WARNING – Adult Content: Some items in this video are not acceptable for viewing by children.

Guide Horse television ad!

The State of Florida just released this Guide Horse television ad. While the ad is superb, we always cringe because it will mean a flood of more applicants to add to our growing waiting list. .

Cheryl Spencer and her husband Chris came to the Guide Horse Foundation several years ago and they could not wait for our multi-year backlog and decided to have a guide horse trained for them by a professional trainer.

We could have cranked-out dozens of Guide Horses over the past 5 years, but the personal responsibility and commitment is overwhelming and we more very carefully and slowly. We never forget that blind people trust their lives to their guides every day.

While we felt bad at not being able to provide Cheryl a horse immediately, we are thrilled at her work with her gorgeous guide pony “Confetti”. Confetti has been very well-trained, and she has flown commercial and is welcomed everywhere, including a cruise ship:

Cheryl loves Confetti very much, and made her special “evening shoes” for formal occaisions:

We are thrilled to see our invention of Guide Horses becoming widely accepted. . .

Choices of last meals

The facinating site “Dead Man Eating”, has a detailed breakdown of the menu’s of condemned prisoners. It’s a weird read, but it reveals insights about the favorite foods of murderers. This site even offers commemorative prison food trays, with a complete last meal.

It’s safe to assume that these prisoners are not concerned with nutrition, so here we see the last-meal preferences for killers:

Hamburgers/Cheeseburgers ……13
Fried Chicken ………………………12
Steak …………………………………….7
Shrimp ………………………………….5
Chicken Fried Steak ………………..5
Fried Fish ………………………………5
Chili Cheese Dogs ………………….4
Pork Chops ……………………………3
Beef Ribs ………………………………1

Condemned killers also prefer Coke two-to-one over Pepsi for their last swig. I wonder if the Madison Avenue folks know about this? This preference is interesting because the data is largely from southern killers, where Coke products dominate. I’ll bet a list of last sodas from northern killers would show the opposite, with Pepsi taking the lead:

Coke ……………………………………11
Iced Tea ………………………………..6
Dr. Pepper ……………………………..5
7Up ………………………………………3

Ice cream topped the killer last meal desert list 2-to-one with pie and cake.

Killers also prefer apple pie, and here we see that there may be a correlation here. As new data rolls in, a larger statistical sample might reveal “food preference profiles” that can be used to predict future homicides:

Pie (Total) ……………………………11
Pie Breakdown
Apple ……………………………………6
Pecan …………………………………….4
Banana Cream………………………..1
Cake (Total) …………………………..7
Cake Breakdown
Cherry Cheesecake …………………3
Chocolate ………………………………3
Chocolate Fudge …………………….1

The best high status car

If you think that your giant SUV is the ultimate status car, think again. North Carolina is the land of big vehicles, and most of my cohorts have these giant SUV assault vehicles, designed to have high luxury and big gas bills, especially with rising gas prices.

As a child I was intrigued by the 1960’s bestselling book “Is your Volkswagen a Sex Symbol?” and I begged my parents to buy me a copy. It’s essentially a treatise on sociology and how someone’s vehicle preference reveals insights about their personality:

Around here, the ultimate status vehicles are the amazing John Deere tractors, such as this one. It has an enclosed cab, full air conditioning and a fantastic stereo system.

I like ”Old Yeller” a 1958 Chevy Dually. It’s a great chick-bait car, and my son is always after me to borrow her:

Of course, I’m #1 on Google for ”redneck car”, but that old heap was sitting out on the back 40 when I bough the ranch. I may cut the top off and use it for a planter:

Sigh, cars don’t do much for me anymore, but I do enjoy my pickup, a fully-loaded Ford F350 dually with a color TV and all the gadgets:

This sucker is so big that it takes two parking spaces and it has two gas tanks. A typical fill-up is $60, and we don’t drive it much, except when we need to haul horses to shows.

A big fancy car may be OK for status-oriented folks, but I like my plain-old minivan. It’s like the old joke about the show-off Yankee and the southern redneck. The Yankee tries the impress the rube by saying “Check out my new $70k Beemer. Nice Huh?”. The redneck replies:

“Seventy thousand dollars, eh? I’m impressed.

See that reaper over there?

I paid three hundred thousand dollars for it, and I only use it six weeks each year. . . . “

The Amazing Power of Silver Bullets

In yet another success story, we have already made our end-users thrilled by our application of Oracle Silver Bullets book . . .

We had a vendor application where the vendor fully-cached the database and it had massive performance problems. Mike and I applied function-based indexes, stored outlines, changes to the optimizer paramers, and the whole application ran 3x faster, in just a few days, without touching a single line of the application code.

For more information on Oracle Silver Bullets, see my latest book:

I’m almost finished with my intensive scuba class, and I soon hope to become a PADI certified open water diver, like Mike:

Dive school is incredibly rigorous, but I still have what it takes. . . .

Accessing IQ on the web

Criminals utilizing the World Wide Web possess various levels of intelligence and some of the most dangerous criminals in history have been extremely intelligent. Users cannot let a high IQ fool them into a false sense of security.

Nevertheless, evaluating a person’s IQ is one way to establish clues to character and purpose. If one accepts the statistics in the revolutionary book, The Bell Curve, it is apparent that people vary widely in intelligence with the USA national average IQ being heavily skewed by a number of factors. But why does anyone need to assess intelligence on the web?

The answer is that users have very few clues about the person behind the keyboard and must rely on whatever clues are readily available. These techniques are especially useful for identifying “posers” who pretend to be more intellectual than they are in actuality.

The greatest skew in intelligence is found in an evaluation of IQ averages by level of formal education level:

  • Basic illiteracy – 85
  • High School Graduate – 105
  • College Student – 120
  • Graduate Student – 128
  • Medical Doctor – 135

So, how can Internet users gain an advantage by learning techniques for quickly pre-judging people with little or no detailed information about them.

Assessing IQ on the Web

Assessing IQ comes in handy in many instances. One such instance would be if one were approached by a con artist posing as a “professional.” Many of these posers will deliberately introduce big words or famous quotes into a conversation in an effort to impress others with their high-level of knowledge. They can be very adept at using Google to find synonymous words, but terrible at fashioning a coherent sentence. This type of criminal should immediately be considered dangerous because they are deliberately attempting to mislead.

Willful deception is always a major red flag, and users should always be very wary of anyone who is posing as someone or something that they are not.

Many people enjoy the creative use of the English language, and subtleties can reveal volumes about the education and intelligence of a person on the web. Here are some examples based on Internet message boards and forums.

From someone posing as a medical doctor:

I am uphawled at the way your doctor treated you.

If you were really starel then the Clomiphene treatment would make you ferdal.

From someone posing as a college professor:

I don’t no if this makes a difference, but it’s soley my opinion.

Here’s one from an alleged Electrical Engineer:

I think that my clame stand for itself and I never said I was a no it all.

Legitimate misspellings can be forgiven; however, fundamental errors in word usage, sentence structure and grammar are always dead giveaways. For more information, see the great book “Web Stalkers: Protect yourself from Internet Psychopaths”:

The Death of Offshoring

I’m writing this on a flight over the ocean, enroute to an overseas destination to do some computer consulting.

In the ultimate irony, offshoring companies are quietly sub-contracting their jobs back to consultants in the U.S.A.! We are under strict NDA, but it’s a riot that the cheaper Offshoring is being done offshore, but by USA consultants!

You Get What You Pay For. . . .

If you are an IT manager who entrusted your mission-critical computer system to a foreign “offshore” developer firm, well, you may be paying more than you need. In many offshore systems that I have examined, poor coding practices caused a giant mess, and the rare cases where code is written to-spec, it is obtuse, convoluted, and inefficient and most of it has to be re-done from scratch.

Offshoring (the use of grossly under-trained and unskilled IT professionals) has been the butt of many tasteless jokes, especially the popular joke web site, Primate Programming.

Experienced programmers are out-coding the offshore programmers who only charge $12/hour! There is a manager somewhere who thinks that he is saving a bundle by using offshore development, when he is paying more than if he stayed with the “more expensive” local programmers.

We are mentoring some of the locals understand Oracle concepts, a time-consuming one-on-one job that my consultants specialize in. Yeah, offshoring is officially dead. We will have loads of Oracle people on-site soon. They seem to like it here.

The Perils of Text-only Communications

Without the subtle nuances of the spoken word, detecting humor, sarcasm and anger can be very difficult. Writers have always relished the ambiguity of the written medium and have used a host of word tools designed to introduce double entendres and hidden clues into their text.

For a fantastic treatment of web Netizens, see Mike Reed’s wonderful web site, “Flame Warriors”. Mike is the official artist for Rampant TechPress, and a very talented artist. On the web, the inherent lack of non-verbal communications leads to many misunderstandings.

  • A simple typographical error in a sentence might change the meaning of the thought that the writer intended to convey.
  • A word with multiple meanings might be read with a different meaning than what was originally intended.

Even the choice of font can be the source of consternation for some. The following is an example from a UseNet newsgroup:

btw… a**hole, why don’t you type in a normal font.

The bold mono-spaced font is difficult to read. If you don’t know how to change fonts read the book that came with your browser!

The next response is even scarier and demonstrates how even the tiniest matter can enrage some individuals:

Well, D***head… I type in the fonts I happen to like. I didn’t realise you’d been apointed head of the Font Police.

I suppose lying, dishonest SOBs like you get to pontificate on anything, though, don’t they? Anyway: I can recommend a good optometrist if you find it difficult to read.

Incidentally, “Arial” is not a mono-spaced font, but I’m sure you won’t want facts to get in the way of your “argument”.

Look [poo]-for-brains most folks, except blowhards like you, don’t use BOLD and ITALIC except for emphasis. I guess you didn’t learn that in school.

So, how does one communicate effectively in a text-only world? Users need some method to communicate emotion.

The World’s First Emoticon

The founding fathers of the Internet decided to use special characters to indicate simple emotions. For Internet history buffs, the following is the very first bulletin board message that proposes the use of symbols to indicate jokes in 1982:

19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman 🙂
From: Scott E Fahlman

I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers:


Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use


The “reading sideways” of these symbols allows the expression of facial emotion without being face-to-face. Once users adapt to turning their heads 90 degrees, the symbols make a lot of sense and add emotion to text statements, helping to fill the non-verbal void in text communications:

While primitive, these icons helped immensely to remove the ambiguity of text-only communications. For more information, see Stephen Andert’s great book “Web Stalkers: Protect yourself from Internet Psychopaths”: