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We are all Neanderthal #science

On the Tibetan plateau, where altitudes reach 4,000 m and up, most people would get sick from lack of oxygen. But, because of a unique adaptation, Tibetans produce less oxygen-carrying hemoglobin (the majority of us do the opposite), protecting them from hypertension, increased risk of stroke, and other common side effects of life at high altitude. It turns out they have an ancient relative to thank for this: Denisovans, who, like Neanderthals, went extinct tens of thousands of years ago. In a recent study in Nature, a team of scientists describes how modern Tibetans inherited this genetic variant from ancestors who mated with Denisovans. About 87 per cent of Tibetans have the high-altitude version of the gene, the scientists found, compared to just nine per cent of Han Chinese.

Better genome sequencing technology is giving new insight into early humans. In December 2013, scientists unveiled the most complete sequence yet of the Neanderthal genome, using DNA from a woman’s 50,000-year-old toe bone recovered from a cave in southern Siberia. That same cave has yielded a small piece of a finger bone from a Denisovan, from which the Denisovan genome was sequenced. One of the most surprising revelations so far is just how much of their genetic legacy we carry with us, even today. About 20 per cent of the Neanderthal genome lives on in modern people, influencing our health, and risk for disease, in ways scientists are now starting to unravel.

Just how much Neanderthal DNA we carry, if any, depends partly on where we come from. Indigenous Africans have little or none, because their ancestors didn’t mate with the Neanderthals of Europe and Asia; the DNA of people descended from Europeans, Asians, and other non-Africans is, on average, two per cent Neanderthal. (Melanesians, on the other hand, carry Denisovan DNA, as do Eastern Asians, to a lesser extent.) Scientists are now busily trying to find areas of our modern genomes that are rich in ancient humans’ DNA­, suggesting it conferred some kind of advantage, and other areas that are devoid of it, where natural selection knocked out mutations that hurt chances of survival.

Read more: We are all Neanderthal #science

New Study Finds 88 percent of Earth’s Ocean Surface Now Polluted With Plastic Trash #oceans

A study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) found that at least 88 percent of the Earth’s ocean surface is polluted with plastic debris. (1) The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Cadiz, Spain as well as the University of Western Australia. These findings obviously raise very large concerns surrounding marine life, climate, food chains and much more.

Plastic materials were introduced in the 1950′s, and ever since, the total global production of plastic has increased exponentially and will continue to do so over the coming decades unless we change our ways and figure out something new.

The study is based off of 3,070 total ocean samples that were collected all around the globe, and the total amount of plastic in the open-ocean surface is estimated to be between approximately 7,000 and 35,000 tons. Although this amount is huge, scientists were surprised as it is much lower than the amount they expected.

Read more: New Study Finds 88 percent of Earth’s Ocean Surface Now Polluted With Plastic Trash #oceans

How to Prepare for an Interview — no Googlestalking #interview #business #tips

This is my best advice on how to prepare for a job interview. You need read only the third word of the headline: Prepare. But there is a catch. Keep reading.

I interview no more than a few candidates for a limited range of openings. By the time someone sees me, they usually are finalists. More typically, I meet new hires after they have started.

But as I am asked for advice by those who are on the market, I continue to be surprised at the level of knowledge of people who wish to join an enterprise; or, more exasperatingly, their failure to realize they should develop any background in advance. In the internet era, it is easy enough.

Take the possibility of coming to University of California Hastings College of the Law as a professor or staffer. The industry (legal education or higher education more generally) is widely covered in the media nowadays. The institution itself has received positive mention for our strategic plan. Various initiatives — whether clinics, online courses, interdisciplinary training, or class size reduction — are described in ample detail on the website. I expect people to have glanced at this material, at a minimum.

Read more: How to Prepare for an Interview — no Googlestalking #interview #business #tips

Is This Proof of Heaven? A Neurosurgeon’s Journey Into the Afterlife #atheism #afterlife

Do we have a soul? Is there life after death? In a society where science and empirical testing have taken over as requirements for truth, the idea of there being a life after death is sometimes thought of as wishful thinking. The afterlife, however, is something that has been experienced by countless people since recorded history who have returned to tell their tales, with the most noteworthy account experienced first-hand by Harvard trained brain neurosurgeon of 25 years, Dr. Eben Alexander.

Before his experience, he did not believe existence of a non-physical spirit. Trained in western medical school and surrounded by medical colleagues who are deeply invested in the materialism view of the universe, he thought that the idea of a soul was outlandish. Dr. Alexander changed his mind after he was in a coma for seven days caused by severe bacterial meningitis and experienced a vivid journey into the afterlife. He was guided by an beautiful angelic being and shown the Divine Source, which he referred to as “Om”. He then returned to his physical body, experienced a miraculous healing, and went on to write the NY Times #1 best selling book “Proof of Heaven.”

Read more: Is This Proof of Heaven? A Neurosurgeon’s Journey Into the Afterlife #atheism #afterlife

Connecting via sex and via words succeed by the same principles #sex #dirtytalk

Sexual and verbal intercourse--intercourse being a fancy word for connecting--are two of the main ways that two people experience being one couple in a long-lasting and healthy relationship. Shared words and shared sexual feelings both can provide a glue that bonds two into one. At the same, important factors during these bonding activities determine whether sex and talking together will loosen or strengthen the bonds.

Symmetry makes for more satisfying intercourse for both partners.

When people talk together, equal airtime creates a relationship in which both people count. Same with the symmetrical pleasuring of sexual activity; equal attention to both partners' satisfaction conveys that both partners care about each other.

Read more: Connecting via sex and via words succeed by the same principles #sex #dirtytalk

3 Hints for Leaving Work while on Vacation #business

A few years ago while at Disney Land with my kids, I spent the entire time in line on my phone with a work related issue. The only reason I ended the phone call was because we were about to enter the building and I was going to loose my connection. My computer was set up in my hotel room and every spare moment was spent on various work projects. Not a great way to get away from it all.

I finally learned how to really take a vacation when I went on a ten-day cruise with my wife in Northern Europe. I was without cell phone, internet or any type of connection to work. After almost two weeks away from work, I returned to find all was still right with the world. As I thought back on it, I develop a quick formula for future vacation successes (and it has worked).

Read more: 3 Hints for Leaving Work while on Vacation #business

6 Toxic Behaviors That Push People Away: How To Recognize Them In Yourself and Change Them #leadership

In my line of work, I hear from hundreds of people a month, and connect with professionals in a more public, open way than ever before. Through this experience, I've seen scores of toxic behaviors that push people away (including me). And I’ve witnessed the damage these behaviors cause – to relationships, professional success, and to the well-being of both the individual behaving negatively, and to everyone around him or her.

Let’s be real - we’ve all acted in toxic, damaging ways at one time or another (none of us are immune to it), but many people are more evolved, balanced, and aware, and it happens only rarely in their lives.

Whether your toxic behavior is a common occurrence, or once in a blue moon, it’s critical for your happiness and success that you are able to recognize when you’re behaving badly, and shift it when it emerges.

The 6 most toxic behaviors I see every day are:

Taking everything personally

In the powerful little book The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz talks about the importance of taking nothing personally. I teach this in my coaching programs and my book Breakdown, Breakthrough as well, and there is so much pushback. “Really, Kathy – don’t take anything personally?”

People are toxic to be around when they believe that everything that happens in life is a direct assault on them or is in some way all about them. The reality is that what people say and do to you is much more about them, than you. People’s reactions to you are about their filters, and their perspectives, wounds and experiences. Whether people think you’re amazing, or believe you’re the worst, again, it’s more about them. I’m not saying we should be narcissists and ignore all feedback. I am saying that so much hurt, disappointment and sadness in our lives comes from our taking things personally when it’s far more productive and healthy to let go of others’ good or bad opinion of you, and to operate with your own heart, intuition and wisdom as your guide. So yes – don’t take anything personally.

Read more: 6 Toxic Behaviors That Push People Away: How To Recognize Them In Yourself and Change Them...

3 Historical Habits That Improve Modern Entrepreneurs #entrepreneurs #biz

Most entrepreneurs are all about tech. Gadgets, gear and advances in technology make you faster, more productive and better performing than ever before in history.

Yet, moving at the speed of today’s fast-paced world can have other effects, too. Poor sleep, constant connectivity and other modern-day realities are often the unintended consequences of a rapidly changing world.

While some cultural movements, such as the hipster sipping his artisan whiskey by his vinyl record player or the boho chic woman and her inner-flower-child style, might have seeped back into the popular consciousness, there are some more intriguing, shall we say, “vintage” practices that can enhance your life and skills today as an entrepreneur.

Here are three habits that haven't changed much over centuries that will positively affect you as an entrepreneur today.

Read more: 3 Historical Habits That Improve Modern Entrepreneurs #entrepreneurs #biz

How often do you say I Love You? #sex #love

There are few phrases more loaded than "I love you." New research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology examines who says it first–and how it's received. —Andrea Bartz

The vast majority of study subjects believed that women normally say "I love you" first, near the two month mark. Surprise: In more than 62 percent of relationships, the man said it first.

Read more: How often do you say I Love You? #sex #love

Apple competes with its own ad agency – and loses #ads #business

 

It's been a little over a year since Apple Computer started creating its own, in-house advertising agency to compete with Media Arts Lab, the unit that award-winning advertising agency TBWA/Chiat/Day had created specifically to serve Apple. "Whilst the Californian tech giants have worked on expanding their 1000 person in-house ad team in an effort to have greater control on their advertising strategies," says UK blog Creativepool in a July 4 post, "it is still actively collaborating with TBWA, even though since April, reports have stated that Apple is trying to distance itself from the agency."

So how are Apple's do-it-yourself advertising efforts working out? According to Ace Metrix research data compiled by Bloomberg, not so hot.

Of eight Apple television commercials tested on consumers, the three that scored most effective came from TBWA/MAL. The lowest-scoring of these scored 611 on the Ace Metrix 900-point scale, while the highest scorer of the in-house spots failed to break 600 and the group as a whole averaged 533.

Don't try this at home

Rob Siltanen, who wrote the copy for Apple's 1997 "Here's to the crazy ones" campaign, quotes an old adage by way of explanation. "There's a truism out there that applies," he says, "'The lawyer who represents himself in court has an idiot for a client.' It's very hard to have the necessary perspective to do the job right."

And perspective is what makes the difference between the TBWA spots and the in-house ones. The former were created from the consumers' perspective, the latter from the perspective of manufacturers who have fallen so in love with their collection of no doubt self-evidently ingenious product features that they're convinced the rest of the world will become instantly and completely enamored too.

Read more: Apple competes with its own ad agency – and loses #ads #business

What Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Financing Right Now #finance

Over the past few years, we have seen an explosion of startup activity as the traditional barriers to entry have come down. The ability to raise money no longer determines one’s fate. With lowered costs to build and run websites, acquire and retain users, virtually anybody can pick up coding and start a tech company.

At the same time, funding opportunities have expanded for early-stage startups. More money is flowing in from a new crop of angels, newly wealthy from a number of tech IPOs. AngelList makes it easier for founders to reach angels and there are hundreds of accelerators and incubators to choose from. On top of all this, crowdfunding has now become a viable funding option for many start-ups, particularly those hardware projects that have had a tough time getting funding from the VC circles.

But this boom landscape might change soon.

While the top of the funnel has grown with all the angel and early-stage activity, the bottom of the funnel is still roughly the same size (about 10-20 billion-dollar companies per year). We have all heard about the Series A crunch in the Valley (there might actually be up to 2,000 companies in the Series A pipeline right now), and perhaps there’s a Series B crunch now too.

Additionally, we need to watch out for two developments on the horizon. First, there will be a consolidation in the accelerator space, with the net effect of reducing the number of available spaces for start-ups. And, we should expect angel activity to drop as new angels discover that returns from their seed investments aren’t so easy to come by.

Any entrepreneur trying to navigate the financing landscape should be aware of the over-abundance of angel money compared with subsequent rounds. You need to assess early on if your business is venture-fundable. Is your opportunity at least $100 million? If not, revenue from your customers will be your best source of financing. That’s okay: many great companies have been built by bootstrapping.

There’s a lot of “easy” early-stage money floating around right now, but don’t get fooled into taking seed money if you don’t have a viable path for later rounds. It will just be leading you down the wrong track.

Source: http://www.techvibes.com/blog/what-every-entrepreneur-should-know-about-financing-right-now-2014-07-24

The One-Word Answer to Why Bill Gates and Warren Buffett Have Been So Successful #biz

 

When Bill Gates first met Warren Buffett, their host at dinner, Gates’ mother, asked everyone around the table to identify what they believed was the single most important factor in their success through life. Gates and Buffett gave the same one-word answer: “Focus.” (See more in The Snowball by Alice Schroeder).

I love the clarity of their answer but I am also concerned by how this can be, to quote Rudyard Kipling, “twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools.” I am an advocate for focus in work, life and leadership. However, the subject has a nuance and depth that many people miss. For a start, most people think of there only being one kind of focus.

Read more: The One-Word Answer to Why Bill Gates and Warren Buffett Have Been So Successful #biz