This software saved my butt

This afternoon, half asleep and not paying the attention I should have done, I authorised what I thought was an Adobe update, well that was a big mistake.  From that point on, whenever I opened IE8  (I know, I know) it kept on repeatedly cycling   “This tab has been recovered”.  So the page was constantly closing and reopening.  So after spending 4 hours on forums I came across a post that advised to install a malware program from www.malwarebytes.org  Sure enough there it was.  The program cleaned it out and we are back to square one.

Two lessons here.  First is, make sure you ALWAYS understand what you are installing and lesson two is make sure you have a second browser installed on your machine.  If I didn’t I would have been screwed.

 I heartily recommend installing this and running it regularly.  The nice thing is that it is also free.

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Get tested – I dare you!!

Been a very interesting week.  First was the TV program about Pinnacle Point and then the day after I read an article about the Genographic Project.

The Genographic Project is attempting to document the long migratory history of our early ancestors.  To date they have gathered 55,000 (from a target of 100,000) DNA samples from indigenous people as well as 360,000 samples from people who have purchased testing kits. 

What this study has also reinforced is that ‘Race’, in terms of deep seated biological differences, doesn’t exist scientifically.

At the genetic level, every person on earth is 99.9% identical.  This low level of genetic diversity, compared to other species of primates, is linked back to the population bottle neck described in my previous post.

So, what are you waiting for.  Get your testing kit here and possibly get the surprise or your life.  You can read about some peoples discoveries here.

Did your family orginate from cave 13B?

I very rarely watch TV, usually only when travelling on business, so on such an occassion last week in the UK  I saw a programme about the caves at Pinnacle Point in South Africa.  It was riveting.

In 1999, Curtis Marean found his site, a cave high in the cliffs at Pinnacle Point overlooking the Indian Ocean near South Africa’s Mossel Bay, within the area known as the Cape Floral Kingdom. Curtis is a Paleoanthropologist with the Arizona State University.  He and a team of scientists have been there since 1999, and they have discovered evidence which almost conclusively proves that every single human on earth can be tracked back to a “bottle-neck” population of approx 600 breeding individuals that lived in these caves 160,000 years ago.  What was so unique to this population is that they exhibited 3 key behaviours.  They harvested and ate shellfish, they made sharp blade stone tools and they used red ochre for paintings and body art.  Marean’s discovery offers the earliest dated evidence, so far, of “modern” human behavior.  

I found this to be amazing.  The current global population is circa 6.6 billion, with 6,900 known languages and an estimated 100,000 ethnic groups, can all be traced back to 600 individuals that lived in a small grouping of caves on the southern coast of Africa. 

This will upset a good number of white folks who believe in ‘racial superiority’ – LOL

If you have the time you can also watch an interesting lecture by Curtis – here.

The most amazing software

I know that there are always claims that some new piece of software will change your life and like most people I approach this with the same derision that I approach most hype.

However I have discovered some software and the more that I use it and the more that I watch the tutorials the more that I am totally blown away.

Its called ‘The Brain’ and for those who are not familiar, it is a very powerful way to capture your ideas and essentially map your brain in the way that you look at a subject.  They describe it as a Visual Information Manager

I am now on their mailer list and get regular emails with small VOD’s that provide examples of functionality and what other people develop with their own ideas.  Jerry Michalski demonstrates his ‘Brain’ which is a collection of 84,000+ interconnected activities and thoughts over more than 10 years.  It was simply amazing.

The value of being able to very easily map out your thoughts, provide the connections between them, add dependencies, add url’s and documents to those thoughts and track what you are doing is astonishing.

I have a job that entails significant breadth and complexity mapping processes, people, programs, initiatives, escalations, new product introductions, contracts, legal, meetings, travel etc and this program is perfect.  I can see all the key information, the relationships between them, supporting documents, url’s and even key emails easily.

“The Brain” just blows me away as the most amazing piece of software I have ever used.

You can also go the site from here

Nip Tuck

Having seen one or two episodes randomly quite a few years ago, I sat beside a person on the Thalys going to Paris who was watching multiple episodes.  I have always been intrigued by this series so when I got home I ended up acquiring all 6 series.

I am now half way through season 2 and I am totally hooked.  Great music, interesting characters, love, jealousy, sex, drugs, plastic surgery and an interesting twist in each episode – perfect entertainment.

If you want to get an idea, check out the overview on Wikipedia although there are a significant number of websites on this topic.

More amazing photography

Pete Seaward began his career as a graphic designer, but has spent the last twenty as a photographer. Originally studio-based, he has become a specialist landscape photographer. Working primarily in advertising, commissions have taken him across the world.  He really produces some excellent photography.  Check out his site.