New research shows that all blue-eyed people share a common ancestor. This person lived 6,000-10,000 years ago and carried a genetic mutation that has now spread across the world. How did this mutation get its start? Possibly when humans migrated from Africa to Europe. This would explain why only people of European descent have blue eyes. It would also suggest that all blue-eyed people share a single European ancestor. read more
Soul singer Charles Bradley died Saturday at age 68 after a long bout with cancer. Bradley, known as the "Screaming Eagle of Soul" for his impassioned performances, famously found musical success late in life. He released his debut album "No Time For Dreaming" in 2011. Bradley's life, including years of struggling with poverty and homelessness, was the subject of the 2012 documentary Charles Bradley: Soul of America. read more
Adam Hochschild, New York Review of Books: As our newspapers and TV screens overflow with choleric attacks by President Trump on the media, immigrants, and anyone who criticizes him, it makes us wonder: What would it be like if nothing restrained him from his obvious wish to silence, deport or jail such enemies? For a chilling answer, we need only roll back the clock one hundred years, to the moment when the United States entered not just a world war, but a three-year period of unparalleled censorship, mass imprisonment, and anti-immigrant terror. read more
People close to Donald Trump do not seem to have seen The Wire. In season three of The Wire, Stringer Bell, the brains behind the Barksdale Organization, brings the drug kingpins of Baltimore together and offers them a proposition. They form a co-op and purchase heroin from the same supplier; in exchange, they mediate their disputes with the help of Robert's Rules of Order instead of resorting to violence. After making his pitch, Bell sees a young man taking notes on a legal pad. He snatches it. "Is you taking notes on a criminal fucking conspiracy?" read more
From what has transpired in deals made this fall,
It's possible that we'll have no wall at all.
Trump's backers are worried. They'd hate to resign
Themselves to not having a Maginot Line. read more