Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
The Herald reports:
Genes play a large part in determining the sexual orientation of men, scientists have shown.
Genetic factors account for between 30 per cent and 40 per cent of what decides whether a man is gay or straight, according to the largest investigation conducted into the subject.
That sounds right. It’s not the only factor, but it is a very major factor.
The US researchers stress that environmental forces, such as hormones in the womb, play a more important role.
But they said this did not imply that upbringing or other social factors, or individual choice, had a bearing on sexual orientation.
“Sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice,” one of the lead researchers, Dr Michael Bailey, from Northwestern University in Chicago, said.
One study has suggested that if you have older brothers you are more likely to be gay, as the mother’s hormones try to “feminise” you.
The research involved testing the DNA in blood samples taken from more than 409 gay brothers and their heterosexual relatives.
It confirmed that a region previously linked to male sexuality on the X chromosome, known as Xq28, is more likely to be shared by gay pairs of brothers than siblings who do not have homosexuality in common.
A second genetic region, on chromosome 8, also appeared to increase the chances of a man being gay.
The future is fascinating we we get to understand DNA better.Tags: homosexuality
This native bird again, needs no introduction. It’s the only mainland native pigeon species we have in NZ (the Chatham Islands has a related species). One of the important roles it plays in native forests is seed dispersal. Which does make the gradual decline of many populations of kereru a concern.
The basic challenge to photographing this bird in the wild is that it likes being up in the tree canopies. This means it’s very easy to get photographs of the birds backside, but being on the same level is correspondingly harder. It also means you’re typically shooting in low light conditions. That means a slow shutter speed with a big telephoto.
So these shot has been a while in the making. The kereru is feeding on a cabbage tree and I’ve got a vantage point that is both at the same level, and close to the bird. No need to do any aggressive cropping of the shot.
Hope everybody enjoys the end of their week. I’m going to be on a high-volume espresso diet I think, to make it to the end of the day…
Tags: bird photo, Friday Photo, kereru
I joked that the long list of requests from the UN Human Rights Council (which has some of the worst global abusers of human rights on it) would probably end up as Green Party policy.
My joke may become reality, with Green MP Jan Logie saying we should be concerned that there were 155 recommendations, compared to 64 last time.
I look forward to the Greens pledging to implement all 155 recommendations if they are in Government!Tags: Greens, Human Rights Council
Desert Oak, Northern Territory, Australia
During a fairly severe dust-storm in the Australian outback I was amazed at the rapidly changing conditions and visibility. I was watching the sky and cloud formations quite intently when I came across this old Oak tree and decided to use it to compose the photograph.
The website is being migrated from one server to another today so we will have this photograph available as a download next week.
Tags: Landscape Photography, Photography by Richard Hume
Stats NZ has some survey data on why people did not vote in 2008 and 2011. Major reasons are:
- Disengaged 43% (+4%)
- Perceived barrier 30% (nc)
- Not registered 12% (+1%)
The proportions who did not vote are:
- 21% of men and 19% of women
- 42% of under 25s and 5% of over 65s
- 17% of Europeans and 27% of Maori
- 59% of recent migrants
- 23% of those earning under $30,000