Of light, pressure, Jewish DNA, and lobster trap Christmas trees

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

13 Responses

  1. moose says:

    merry everything to all 😀 its sunny and warm and long days down here in australia atm 😀

  2. Don Joyce says:

    Great way to note the end of 2014. Happy New Year!

  3. Jeffrey says:

    Nice holiday story Ben – Keep up the great work you do all year long…Much appreciated.
    Happy & Health New Year to you and your family.
    Jeff, Miami, FL

  4. Richard C says:

    Happy Hanukkah, Ben. What a pleasant post for the holiday season.
    I did the 23&me DNA thing as well and was disappointed to find that I’m 100% “northern European invader”. I thought I might be related to royalty or something, but in fact have a higher contribution of DNA from Neanderthal then most. Oh well, so much for that genealogy search:)
    I’m looking forward to the review and evaluation on the two electronic barographs. A few years back I purchased an identical looking unit to the Weems & Plath model and sent it back as it was wildly inaccurate compared to the NWS. I did like the Gale Warning alarm feature it had and the size of the screen made it easy to read the graph.
    However, with todays electronics you could have a highly accurate black box Barometer sending N2K data to a MFD and show the barometric graph, alarm and other features in great detail.
    Happy New Year to you and family
    Rich C, S/V Gray Eagle, Annapolis, MD

  5. Chris L-S s/v/ Pelican says:

    Thanks for your wonderful work in 2014. I maintain several blogs and sites and I know what a (more than) full time job it is. I appreciate your work, and look forward to more in 2015. On topic, one barograph you’re missing (and we have on our boat) is the Meteoman Barograph ( http://www.nasamarine.com/proddetail.php?prod=MeteoMan ).

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Hi Richard, Sounds like the same electronic barograph but maybe you got a faulty one. Results are tentative but it seems like the W&P one I have is quite consistent with the high precision Starpath model. With both adjusted to my altitude the W&P reads about .08 inch lower than the Starpath (which matches local weather service readings closely) but the error remains the same no matter the pressure and thus can be adjusted out.
    Hey at 2.8% I too am slightly more Neanderthal than most, but let’s take solace in the 23andMe caveat: “There are many intriguing theories about what traits the smidgen of Neanderthal DNA may have imparted on modern humans, but we don’t know yet if having a little more than average Neanderthal DNA could explain why someone is extra brawny, short or boorish. Those traits might just be regular human characteristics.”
    Incidentally, I’ve been trying to recall the euphemism DNA researchers use for the “who’s your daddy” issue and while I haven’t uncovered it yet, I did learn that there are two mobile DNA labs driving around New York City no euphemism needed:
    At any rate, it was nice to learn that 23andMe found that 50% of my daughter’s DNA matches mine. And further proof that their testing is valid, as so far I have no other 23andMe match closer than 0.92%.
    Plus one guy toward the top of my match list at 0.87% recently turned out to be the distant cousin 23andMe predicted. We’ve been comparing notes and there’s no doubt that my 2nd great grandfather was his 3rd great grandfather. Coolest part is that I’m now in touch with his mother, who knew a grandmother I never met or even have a picture of.

  7. Neanderthals have been unfairly dissed ever since they were discovered.
    “[…] but we don’t know yet if having a little more than average Neanderthal DNA could explain why someone is extra brawny, short or boorish.”
    To bring back your Neanderthal Pride, read this:
    If you find that too long, skip to the last “In Conclusion”.
    Happy Y2K+15

  8. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, Norse. I’m really feeling my Neanderthal now. The barrel chest and inability to throw fit me well.
    And I have a self-gift idea for you. These shirts don’t read “I’m Neanderthal and I’m proud!” but they’re darn close:

  9. keith says:

    Merry Christmas and a very happy new year to you Ben. I enjoy reading your blog and appreciate the time that you put in to share your hard won knowledge about marine electronics. Wonderful stuff! Good surf here in Margaret River, Western Australia.
    Keith from SURFMACHINE….

  10. Richard C says:

    Norse, Thanks for the link to the Neanderthal analysis. What a terrific article. I forwarded it to my daughter who is studying evolution at the University.
    Ben, We should have the “I’m Neanderthal and Proud” tee shirts made up. None of the others really say it like it is.

  11. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Richard, I had to buy myself a 23andMe 2.8% shirt once I realized that it was illustrated by my stepdaughter. She also created their Human Prehistory 101 videos, which you may well enjoy:
    Her side of our family are all a little light on Neanderthal DNA but I don’t hold it against them.

  12. Ken Weinstein says:

    A very interesting post and a real departure from your usual technical posts. I enjoyed it and wish you all the best this winter.

  13. Re: “I wish you all a new year full of gorgeous clear high pressure systems”
    Thanks, much appreciated!
    As you wrote that, Seattle was experiencing its highest pressure ever recorded.
    Cliff goes on to explain how high pressure lowers sea level from the tide tables predictions, which is interesting and important to us.
    The Cliff Mass blog is always entertaining and informative, even if you don’t live in the Pacific Northwest.

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