Poverty leaves it mark on your DNA

From CBC News

Adults who grew up in poverty show changes in the "programming" of their DNA that may be linked to health problems such as obesity and autoimmune diseases, Canadian and British researchers have found.

Researchers had previously known that DNA is "programmed" in the womb to turn certain genes up or down, and more recently have shown that some programming can continue into childhood and adulthood.

The impact is this

He added that the impact of poverty during childhood on the DNA methylation was found to be much greater than the impact of a person’s economic circumstances as an adult, or other factors such as whether the mother smoked while pregnant.

Some health problems, such as autoimmune diseases (where a person’s immune system attacks their own body), may be common among poor people now because they live differently than poor people in the past, Syzf suggested. For example, today’s less well off exist in a much cleaner environment, at least in most Western societies.

"Essentially, you have an immune system that’s programmed to deal with something that was anticipated but never happens. And now that immune system starts working against itself."

Killing the Abraham

Caterina Fake has a great post on the role of Abraham in a company.

I call the founder, founders or founding team of a company “The Abraham”. The Abraham influences all that follows, sets the vision and direction for the company, and the Abraham’s mores, habits, preferences, flaws and prejudices are often built, consciously or unconsciously, into the fabric of the company. This influences the products and services, first and foremost. But the Abraham also influences everything from company HR policies, the kinds of employees that work there, its investors, its customer service and even its logo and office decor. You can often tell what the founder cared about, and didn’t care about. You go to Google and it’s like a playground for adults– curious, smart adults — massive dinosaur in the courtyard, lego tables, beanbag chairs, primary colors — and then you read interviews with Larry and Sergey where they credit their success to having attended Montessori schools, and you see where it came from.

Often the Abraham is CEO, but doesn’t stay CEO. Google’s Abrahams are Larry and Sergey, and they had a strong influence on the company even during the 10 years that Eric Schmidt was CEO. Oracle is very Larry Ellison. Martha Stewart is very Martha Stewart. Zynga is very Mark Pincus. Groupon is very Andrew Mason. And isn’t Apple so very much Steve Jobs, so much so that when he left, and his successors tried to kill the Abraham, the company nearly died? It’s hard to kill the Abraham. Not only that, if you succeed, it may not be possible for the new leader to assume the mantle. Best for the Abraham to stick around, and work closely with the new leaders to make sure the spirit of the company survives. This has been, in my experience and observation, the best method for retaining the magical juju. This is why the role of incoming, non-native CEO at a startup is a notoriously difficult job. They don’t fit in with the company culture. Most of them don’t last a year.

I want one of these

Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera

The "Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera," designed by Jonas Pfeil as part of his thesis project at the Technical University of Berlin, creates spherical panoramas after being thrown into the air.

The camera "captures an image at the highest point of flight—when it is hardly moving." It "takes full spherical panoramas, requires no preparation and images are taken instantaneously. It can capture scenes with many moving objects without producing ghosting artefacts and creates unique images." Check out the video below and it see it at work.

The new camera

I went out and bought a new HD video camera.  I have loved my Kodak Zi8 but it’s just a pocket camera and I wanted a zoom lens so I had to go looking around.  Having an external microphone input is important so that narrowed my options and raised the price about $100.  I was in The Source while in Regina and saw that they had a Canon Vixia HF R200 that has a 28x zoom, external microphone jack and took two SD cards and was on sale.  After heading home, doing my research, I decided to pick one up.  The Source also had Class 10 16 GB SDHC cards on for $50 off which made it an even better deal.

Canon Vixia HF R200It is going to be used for a couple of projects that I will talk about later in addition to shooting some video for Mark’s football team next year.  While I may not be Ed Sabol, I hope to have some fun with it.

Really? Is that all you got?

I was just surfing the National Newswatch and I noticed a Google Ad.

NDP ad on National Newswatch

Here is the larger version.

NDP ad on National Newswatch

That’s the best the NDP could come up with?  Vote NDP and that’s it?  Nothing witty?  Nothing profound?  Nothing at all expect Vote NDP.  It’s like they aren’t even trying anymore.  Off the top of my head I can think of “A fair deal for Saskatchewan families”, “Affordable rent for families”, a couple of old Grant Devine references, “We didn’t screw up the Carlton Trail College merger”, or even “Look at the profits PCS made today” as better options than Vote NDP.

Who could be down there in the Tommy Douglas House and think, “We’ll spend some money on Google Adsense and all that the ads will say is, Vote NDP” and have other people think that this was a good use of money.  I even clicked on the ad and sure enough, it went to a NDP that tracks the success of the campaign.

What’s even weirder is that the NDP were one of the first parties to use online advertising and I am sure it had some role in their building their support amongst younger Canadian voters but it looked a lot better than this.  It would be better to do nothing than this.

I know the NDP have produced some other ads that, were, umm, borrowed from the Ontario Liberal Party.  I am starting to wonder if the problem for the NDP central campaign is that they don’t have the right creative people lined up.  There are campaigns that win and then there are those that lose but you still want to run the best campaign you can because even if lose, you want to give your faithful something to be proud of as they head into opposition (or whatever you are facing).  I am not sure that ads like this motivate anyone to do anything and it wastes some money that could be spent elsewhere.