Back in January the FOXP2 gene on chromosome 7 at location q31.1 was mentioned as having multiple significantly different mutations as well as deletions, translocations and disomies. The FOXP2-related speech and language disorder was mentioned in passing. From a presentation done for New Zealand: The FOXP2 gene on chromosome 7 is somewhat controversial. Part of the confusion is that it matters whether the gene has a mutation (there are at least two significantly different ones), a micro-deletion, a repeat
or is trans-located. FOXP2 is normally located in the q31.1 region – a translocation to the q22 region causes a condition known as developmental verbal dyspraxia (DVD). Both a missense mutation causing an arginine-to-histidine substitution (R553H) and a nonsense
mutation (R328X) causing a truncated protein cause speech and language difficulties. FOXP2 also regulates at least the following genes: SRPX2 (work underway); CNTNAP2 and CTBP1. CNTNAP2 interacts with CNTN2. CNTN2 interacts with the NFYB gene
which interacts with three more genes. Of those, CEBPZ interacts with 2 other genes, myc with 37 other genes and TBP with 27 other genes.
CTBP1 interacts with 14 other genes. The second generation of interactions with the CTBP1 gene now includes over 160 other genes.
So far, 188 genes linked to FOXP2.
There have been nine known outbreaks of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Some persistent problems that strongly influence response:
- this is a very large country: it has the 11th largest area; the Democratic Republic of the Congo covers 2.34 million square kilometers = 900,000 square miles or about one fourth the size of the United States.
- there are more than 83 million Congolese in well over 200 ethnic groups and a similar number of languages. Not all the languages have written components, and it is unclear how widespread literacy in French, an official language, is.
- It is asserted that there are about 7500 physicians. a reasonable estimate would be that the country needed 250,000 physicians
- It is claimed that there are 400,000 people living with HIV/AIDS and that there are 20,000 deaths per year. Our models suggest that the real prevalence is almost twice that.
- A fair estimate would be 30 MILLION cases of malaria.
- We would be skeptical that there are 3,000 kilometers of paved roads capable of supporting sustained medium speed (trucks going 100 kilometers per hour) transit.
According to the Congolese Ministry of Health:
- 51 cases of hemorrhagic fever
- 28 cases confirmed as Ebola
- 26 people have died
Of paramount concern is that one (1) new laboratory-confirmed case was reported on May 16 in Mbandaka, a busy port city on the Congo river with a population of more than one million. This new case is linked with the epicenter of the epidemic in Equateur province, east of Lake Tumba.
Comoros, France, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Madagascar, Martinique, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Reunion, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Seychelles, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna
Besides its continental responsibilities as part of Europe, the nation of France provides legal and social leadership to some interesting islands:
Comoros – population 808,080
French Polynesia – population 287,881
Guadeloupe – population 402,119
Haiti – population 10,646,174 (well, half of an island, making it more interesting)
Madagascar – population 25,054,161
Martinique – population 385,551
Mayotte – population 256,818
New Caledonia – population 279,070
Reunion – population 965,826
Saint Barthelemy – population 9,279
Saint Martin – population 36,286
Saint Pierre and Miquelon – population 6,080
Seychelles – population 93,290
Vanuatu – population 282,814
Wallis and Futuna – 11,899
Total: almost 40 million people and likely more than 1.5 million with disabilities of interest to Silver Wolf Wushu. However, the genetics of islands are of great interest to population biologists. We would certainly encourage DNA surveys of the various populations.
In military weddings world-wide there is a traditional of the groom and bride walking through an arch of swords. Because the wedding ceremony is a religious one, many military chapels and civilian churches prefer that the arch take place outside the chapel, after the service. But in the US and UK the couple may choose to have uniformed ushers — without their weapons — line the aisle during the bride’s processional. For the sword or saber arch, six or eight service members line up in pairs on the chapel steps or along the walk. The bride and groom walk under the arch as they leave the chapel. Whether it’s a sword or a saber arch depends on the branch of service. In the US armed services Army and Air Force members carry sabers while Marine Corps (below left) and Navy (below right in dress whites) members carry swords.
We’d like to have honored guests pass through such an arch with students each holding double blades aloft. As can be seen – or, more precisely, cannot be seen – in the US Navy image the swords are tough to photograph. Whoever photographed the US Marines took good advantage of the dark trees in the background. We would inclined to use sabers for visual purposes. There are at least three problems: (1) sabers are somewhat heavier than swords and (2) students would be holding TWO sabers and (3) we’d like to use 16 students (= a full class). Part of the challenge is getting everyone, including the guest, into the boundaries of the photograph without losing focus on the guest and the saber-bearers furthest from the camera.
It appears to us that the US Marines are lined up centerline to centerline and the swords are held with the right wrist over the centerline at eye-level. On the US Navy photograph it appears that the two lines of sword-bearers are offset so that everyone holds the sword aligned with the right shoulder and the wrist above the level of the top of the head – the offset of the footing allows swords to be co-linear. We would likely use the US Marine spacing and the US Navy arm positions. We would likely NOT have as much space between sword-bearers. Some thought will have to be given to the horizontal distance between the two lines and whether it should be kept constant. There is also a vertical perspective to consider – should shorter students be closer to the camera.
allergies, angelica, anise, asafoetida, caraway, carrots, celery, chervil, coriander, cow parsley, cumin, dill, fennel, hemlock, latex, lovage, mugwort, parsley, parsnips, peanuts, ragweed, sea holly, wormwood
I asked G3 (= the Genial Geneticists Grapevine) if a genetic cause for peanut allergies had been discovered. A Slovak-Hungarian geneticist working in Prague mentioned that in central and eastern Europe (and, to a lesser extent, in western Europe) peanut consumption was not very common, but that there was a comparable incidence of celery allergies. Complicated creatures that we are, there are various sub-types involving allergic reactions to leaves, stalks, oil, seeds and roots as well as whether the celery was cooked or not. Apparently, work is underway to look for genes. There are cross-allergies involving various members of the Apiaceae family (more than 3700 species and more than 400 genera) which includes celery, carrots, parsley and parsnips as well as ajwain, angelica, anise, asafoetida, caraway, chervil, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, hemlock, lovage, cow parsley and sea holly. There are also cross-allergies reported with birch, wormwood, mugwort, ragweed and latex.
A few points:
- Realistically, EVERY bus transporting special needs students needs to have an aide on board.
- We have often asked audiences who the most important person in the daily life of a special needs child is. The answer we always suggest is the bus driver on grounds that if the bus ride is bad the day usually will be a disaster.
- In this case the problems are (a) no aide on-board (b) a driver who clearly went off the rails and (c) the aide who did approach the bus should have intervened.
- Even when the people all function well there are mechanical failures, traffic, medical emergencies …
- Then there’s the problem that the students might be actively reluctant to get on the bus in the future.
- There’s a bit of an inability to scale at issue here: if the student is 6’5″ and 275 pounds I doubt trying to take away the backpack would end well.
The comment I wrote was “There are already over 200 genes (24,000 protein coding genes) in almost 100 named syndromes on all 23 chromosomes implicated in autism spectrum disabilities so we’re not persuaded even autism spectrum is a very useful term. That said, by some standards one could say Gates, Mozart and Newton had autism spectrum disabilities. Germany isolated and killed special needs individuals at Hadamar, Spiegelgrund and other T4 facilities – that was not a bright moment in human history. On a much smaller scale, neither was this incident.”
- The question to answered by a school bus driver, a school district or a society is ‘do you have currency, compassion and courage to deal with the weakest members of your cultural group – the old, the very young, the poor, and in this case, the disabled’?
zeal = great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective
Two officials in New Zealand asked for more information so I did what we used to call a full national checkout: economics, epidemiology, linguistics, earthquakes, volcanoes, education and abiding deeds
A new collection of web-pages is available in the Presentations section
on the Silver Wolf Wushu website at
The point of balance for a weapon is not quite the precise centroid but rather a line which separates the masses of the weapon into two equal portions. Usually this is realized physically as where the balance will balance on an extended finger. When measuring this location on a series of long weapons it can get pretty tiring for the forefinger. Because of lighting effects and camera placement the photos were all shot using the forefinger of the right hand as the fulcrum. However, there was a fair amount of estimating using the forefinger left hand prior to each shot. Most of the students like to practice balancing (separately) with each hand.
As everyone likely knows, there is a great deal of effort in Tai Chi Chuan sets to balance qi across meridians. WujI sitting meditation and WuJi standing meditation both have as one of their goals to train the mind and the body to sense when everything is balanced. This has the practical or tactical consequence of training one to rapidly re-balance and then being able to discharge. One might think of this a a repeated equilibrium-absorb-equilibrium-discharge cycle. One might think of Yi Quan as polishing the balance in multiple poses so that one could move into or out of a number of different configurations.