Friday Fluff – October 1st, 2010

FF3

1. First, a post from the past: Levels of selection & the full Price Equation

2. Weird search query of the week: “politcal correct cultures in science-fiction.” I direct you to Ursula K. Le Guin.

3. Comment of the week, in response to Mormons are average:

I am a Mormon convert with 11 children (11 is allot, even for a Mormon family). I joined the church at age 24 and am now 60. I have about 2 years of college (no degree) and have a good job at Hewlett Packard that I grew into.

It is expected that my kids will all have college degree’s (and so far, the adults all do). Among the younger generation in the Mormon culture it is normal to obtain at least a Bachelors degree. A person (especially a male) who does not go to college is not normal in the Mormon culture. It shows a lack of initiative and the more desirable, faithful Mormon girls may not consider this person as a desirable mate. The same is true for boys who do not go on missions. It shows a lack of initiative and faithfulness. In a Mormon lifestyle of high achievement and active church and community service, women do not want to be married to a sluggard for the rest of their lives.

Mormon youth grow up in an environment where most would not even consider skipping college.

4) 15% of you think that the sex bias of the blog’s readership is a problem, 75% do not, 10% don’t care.

Poll question….

5) And finally, your weekly fluff fix:

honkingsouth

Daily Data Dump – Thursday

Should you go to an Ivy League School? “Clearly, going to a top-ranked school seems to deliver far higher earnings at age 28 than poorer ranked schools. In fact, the relationship is highly non-linear. Contrary to what you may have heard (“All top-ranked schools are the same”); it in fact looks like the difference between top-ranked Harvard and 9th ranked Dartmouth is on the order of ~$4,000 a year (perhaps $100,000-$200,000 over the course of a lifetime?).”

The Other Social Network. Speaking of non-linearities: “And of course there’s the H-Factor. “I think the name had a lot to do with it,” says Ting. “When we go to a school and say this site is from Columbia, it doesn’t carry the same marketing punch as, This is from Harvard.”


Bronze Age Mediterraneans may have visited Stonehenge. “The new evidence shows that ‘the Boy with the Amber necklace’ spent his childhood in a warm climate typical of Iberia or the Mediterranean. Such warm oxygen values are theoretically possible in the British Isles but are only found on the extreme west coast of South West England, western Ireland and the Outer Hebrides. These areas can be excluded as likely childhood origins of his on the basis of the strontium isotope composition of his teeth” Migrations in the days of yore….

The Uncanny Accuracy of Polling Averages*, Part I: Why You Can’t Trust Your Gut. The Cowles Commission found that stock market newsletters weren’t effective in increasing returns to subscribers. But they also concluded that the “demand” was too strong for them ever to not be a part of the investment scene. The same with verbal punditry which doesn’t take model-based quantitative form. Of course the proof is in the pudding, macroeconomic models haven’t done better than simple heuristics in predicting economic performance, but the economy is a more complex system than an election.

The Judgment of the Future. Remember that history is not always Whiggish. Secular intellectuals in the 19th and early 20th centuries of a progressive bent, such as Jack London and H. G. Wells, were amongst the most enthusiastic promoters of a systematic and more efficacious race-based Social Darwinism. Even though conservatives, whether they be Christians in the West or Confucians in the East, were racialist in any modern sense, they were much more moderate than the more ’scientific’ progressives in their attitudes toward the ‘lower races,’ and definitely closer to contemporary ‘right thinking’ norms than the secular futurists of 1900.

Mormons are average

Clark of Mormon Metaphysics says below:

My impression is that atheists, Mormons and Jews did best simply because all three groups tend to be well educated. (Someone mentioned stats adjusted for education but I couldn’t see where that was noted although maybe I just missed the obvious)

This is not an unfounded assertion, as it is “common knowledge” in the Zeitgeist that Mormons are high achievers. Ergo, posts such as The Latter Day Ruling Class. There’s one problem here: it’s not really true in a full-throated sense. The sample size for Mormons in the GSS is very small, so that’s not what we need to look at. First, American Religious Identification Survey 2008:

mormoncuny

As you can see Mormons have about the average proportion of college graduates for an American ethno-religious group. We can drill-down further with the Religious Landscape Survey. First, comparisons of various religious groups by educational attainment class as proportions:

mormed

OK, now let’s look at income:
incmorm

As you can see Mormons rank below Mainline Protestants, and well below Jews. A notable trend though is that Mormons seem to have lower variance than the national sample. There are fewer Mormons at the extremes.

Finally, here’s how Mormons stack up on IQ using a NLSY sample:

IQbyreligion

These data data seem to imply that Mormons are average white folk. So why the perception that they’re more educated? Part of it probably has to do with the reality that the “floor” of Mormon achievement is above the national norm. Fewer high school dropouts, fewer poor people. But I think another issue is what I’ll call “The Mitt Romney Effect.” Romney is conventional Mormon genealogically. His roots are in the Mountain West. But he was raised in Michigan, and spent much of his adult life in Massachusetts. I suspect with Mormons there is a much milder version of what has gone on with the Indian American community: strong selection biasing on migrants toward achievers. This gives Americans a skewed view of what Indians are like. While half of Indian Americans have graduate degrees, 1/3 of Indians are illiterate! How’s that for a difference? Similarly,bi-coastal Americans don’t meet many Mormons, and the ones they do are more likely to be achievers, not those of more downscale or modest means who never left St. George, Utah.

The Bushmen are not primitive! (not necessarily)

324_1035_F1To the left is a figure from the 2009 paper The Genetic Structure and History of Africans and African Americans. This paper happens to have excellent coverage of African populations, and the figure is a phylogenetic tree generated from distances between those populations, as well as some non-African ones. I’ve labelled the broad clusters. The Bushmen* branch off first, along with the Pygmies. The other clade represents all other humans, African and non-African. Following the non-Bushmen/Pygmy clade down its branching pattern all non-Africans eventually go their own way, and differentiate into their various groups. South Asians form a clade with Europeans and Middle Easterners. East Asians, Native Americans, and more broadly Oceanians, form their own clade. Outside of Africa you basically have a west vs. east & further east division.

These trees are essential in helping us visualize genetic relationships. Tables of pairwise distances are simply not as informative as representations of the data for the human mind. More colloquially, they blow. Trees and two-dimensional plots are much better representations of the data which we can digest in a more gestalt fashion. We see, therefore we know. Ah, but even the innocent tree can lead a mind astray. Or at least this particular tree. So let’s try something different.


abofig1Here’s a figure from Whole-Genome Genetic Diversity in a Sample of Australians with Deep Aboriginal Ancestry. This tree has a smaller number of populations, but the broad geographical relationships are the same. West Eurasians are one cluster, while East Eurasians, Native Americans and Oceanians are their own super-cluster which divides further. Among the Africans you see that the Bushmen and the Mbuti again exhibit more distance from the other groups. But the biggest difference is that the tree is unrooted, so you don’t immediately orient yourself from outgroup to ingroup in a serial manner.

Now let’s look at a headline inspired by one of the papers: African San people – the world’s most ancient race. Going by the figures which paper do you think it was? It was the first paper of course. There’s a huge problem when these phylogenetic trees are generated that human outgroups, or basal clades, are defined as ‘ancient,’ the ‘oldest,’ or the most ‘antique.’ This is just confusing. Not only that, as a person deeply committed to the dignity of the indigenous peoples I am offended! I generally get irritated or blow a gasket when people make that confusion in the comments, because I think it leads to lazy inferences. One of my main quibbles with The Faith Instinct is that Nicholas Wade used the Bushmen as proxies for ur-humans to reconstruct prehistoric religious practice, implicitly relying on the fact that they’re the basal lineage in most genetic studies as if they’re a fossil which we can use to paint the past.

phytreeIn any case, I was going to recommend to readers that they just refer to ‘basal clades.’ Well, I’m not a taxonomist obviously so I decided to look in the literature, and I found this paper, Which side of the tree is more basal? The tree they use to illustrate the lack of utility of terms like ‘basal clade’ is to the left. Let me quote them:

Both branches originating from a node (i.e. the two sister groups) are of equal age and have undergone equivalent evolutionary change. Whether a group has branched off early (basal) or later in the phylogeny contains no information about this particular group, but information about both this group and its sister group, because both branched off at the same time. By notation we tend to portray one branch (the species/taxa-poor one) as being on the left, and the other (species/taxa-rich) as right – but this infers nothing about their evolutionary development, only about their taxon richness (speciation less extinction) at a given geological period (mostly the present), or, even worse, about the taxon sampling pattern in the particular study. Different taxon sampling leads to different interpretation about ‘the most basal clade’….

Considering clades or taxa as ‘basal’ is not only sloppy wording, but shows misunderstanding of the tree and may have severe semantic and argumentative implications. Declaring one sister group to be basal gives the other sister group a higher or at least a different value (‘the basal clade’ vs. ‘the derived clade(s)’). If the Polyneoptera is the most basal clade of the Neoptera, then the rest of the Neoptera (the Eumetabola) is given a higher value (as the ‘main’ body of the group). Admittedly, it contains more species, but this is not a quality necessarily granting it higher value…..

If the phylogenetic tree in Fig. 1 is correct, Polyneoptera and Eumetabola are sister groups. There is no necessity to term either as ‘basal’. Even if one wants to avoid the little-used name Eumetabola, it is easy to describe the Polyneoptera as the sister group of the remaining Neoptera. Argumentation with sister-group relationships is easy and shows relationships much more clearly than declaring one sister group to be basal. The ‘basal position’ within an ingroup always means ‘sister to the remaining taxa’, so say so!

The argument here is obviously embedded in the milieu of systematics and their particular concerns. But their objection to the term ‘basal clade’ is actually pretty much my main qualm which using terms like ‘ancient.’ I don’t think using ’sister to the remaining taxa’ is going to be informative to most people, so at this point I don’t know what I’ll use for short hand. Outgroup seems viable.

I don’t really think about systematics in a deep philosophical sense. But the problem of terminology here, and the evolutionary implications therein, have brought home to me utility of a precise and accurate systematic framework in biology.

* The term “San” is like the term “Lapp” or “Welsh,” what others call them, so I’ll use Bushmen.

A world almost built

By now you’ve probably seen headlines such as A Habitable Exoplanet — for Real This Time. Phil Plait has a more sober assessment. Still, he concludes:

But perhaps the most interesting and exciting aspect of all this is what it implies. The Milky Way galaxy is composed of about 200 billion stars, and is 100,000 light years across. The fact that we found a planet that is even anything like the Earth at all orbiting another star only 20 light years away makes me extremely optimistic that earthlike planets are everywhere in our galaxy. 20 light years is practically in our lap compared to the vast size of our galaxy, so statistically speaking, it seems very likely it’s not unique. I don’t want to extrapolate from a data set of two (us and them), but if this is typical, there could be millions of such planets in the galaxy. Millions.

So we don’t know if this planet is all that much like Earth — the surface gravity may be quite high if it’s dense and small, for example, or it may not have any air, or it may have a thick atmosphere like Venus — but what it’s telling us is that smaller, lower mass planets at the right distance from their star for liquid water are almost certainly common in the galaxy.

I assume this means we can play around with the Drake equation? In any case, I am now reminded of Poul Anderson’s essay “The creation of imaginary worlds: the world builder’s handbook and pocket companion.” You can read most of the essay online at Google Books. Or, find it in Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy. For us “squishy science” lovers the biochemist Hal Clament has an essay which follow’s Anderson’s which outlines how to create imaginary life.

Daily Data Dump – Wednesday

A Widespread Chromosomal Inversion Polymorphism Contributes to a Major Life-History Transition, Local Adaptation, and Reproductive Isolation. Edmund Yong has already written this paper up. Sheril Kirshenbaum offers up her thoughts, stimulated by personal communication with the first author.

Inferring the Dynamics of Diversification: A Coalescent Approach. The title is more forbidding than the topic: “Applying our approach to a diverse set of empirical phylogenies, we demonstrate that speciation rates have decayed over time, suggesting ecological constraints to diversification. Nonetheless, we find that diversity is still expanding at present, suggesting either that these ecological constraints do not impose an upper limit to diversity or that this upper limit has not yet been reached.”


Bangladesh, ‘Basket Case’ No More. The headline is hyperbolic. But this is key: “As a percentage of gross domestic product, Islamabad spends more on its soldiers than on its school teachers; Dhaka does the opposite. In foreign policy, Pakistan seeks to subdue Afghanistan and wrest control of Indian Kashmir. Bangladesh, especially under the current dispensation, prefers cooperation to confrontation with its neighbors.” By any measure Bangladesh is one of the poorest and most corrupt nations in the world. Because of widespread malnutrition and low literacy it has major human capital deficits. But, it has managed to avoid excessive wasteful military adventures (though the military is still too big and serves the same role as a cushy bureaucratic job; I know, I have relatives who are officers in the Bangladesh army).

Another School Says Christine O’Donnell Did Not Attend. Resume padding is as American as apple pie…but this is a problem for Christine because it feeds into the narrative that she’s a dull ditz. OK, depending on your perspective, perhaps not really a problem….

Some ADMIXTURE estimates in Eurasia. Dienekes is doing some interesting things with the ADMIXTURE program.

Every variant with an author!

I recall projections in the early 2000s that 25% of the American population would be employed as systems administrators circa 2020 if rates of employment growth at that time were extrapolated. Obviously the projections weren’t taken too seriously, and the pieces were generally making fun of the idea that IT would reduce labor inputs and increase productivity. I thought back to those earlier articles when I saw a new letter in Nature in my RSS feed this morning, Hundreds of variants clustered in genomic loci and biological pathways affect human height:

Most common human traits and diseases have a polygenic pattern of inheritance: DNA sequence variants at many genetic loci influence the phenotype. Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have identified more than 600 variants associated with human traits1, but these typically explain small fractions of phenotypic variation, raising questions about the use of further studies. Here, using 183,727 individuals, we show that hundreds of genetic variants, in at least 180 loci, influence adult height, a highly heritable and classic polygenic trait2, 3. The large number of loci reveals patterns with important implications for genetic studies of common human diseases and traits. First, the 180 loci are not random, but instead are enriched for genes that are connected in biological pathways (P = 0.016) and that underlie skeletal growth defects (P < 0.001). Second, the likely causal gene is often located near the most strongly associated variant: in 13 of 21 loci containing a known skeletal growth gene, that gene was closest to the associated variant. Third, at least 19 loci have multiple independently associated variants, suggesting that allelic heterogeneity is a frequent feature of polygenic traits, that comprehensive explorations of already-discovered loci should discover additional variants and that an appreciable fraction of associated loci may have been identified. Fourth, associated variants are enriched for likely functional effects on genes, being over-represented among variants that alter amino-acid structure of proteins and expression levels of nearby genes. Our data explain approximately 10% of the phenotypic variation in height, and we estimate that unidentified common variants of similar effect sizes would increase this figure to approximately 16% of phenotypic variation (approximately 20% of heritable variation). Although additional approaches are needed to dissect the genetic architecture of polygenic human traits fully, our findings indicate that GWA studies can identify large numbers of loci that implicate biologically relevant genes and pathways.

The supplements run to nearly 100 pages, and the author list is enormous. But at least the supplements are free to all, so you should check them out. There are a few sections of the paper proper that are worth passing on though if you can’t get beyond the paywall.


fig1bIn this study they pooled together several studies into a meta-analysis. One thing not mentioned in the abstract: they checked their GWAS SNPs against a family based study. This was important because in the latter population stratification isn’t an issue. Family members naturally overlap a great deal in their genetic background. Also, if I read it correctly they’re focusing on populations of European origin, so this might not capture larger effect alleles which impact between population variance in height but don’t vary within a given population (note that if you explored pigmentation genetics just through Europeans you would miss the most important variable on the world wide scale, SLC24A5, because it’s fixed in Europeans). In any case, as you can see what they did was extrapolate out the number of loci which their methods could capture to explain variation with the predictor being the sample size. At 500,000 individuals they’re at ~700 loci, and around 20% of the heritable variation. My initial thought is that I’m not seeing diminishing returns here, but since I haven’t read the supplements I’ll let that pass since I don’t know the guts of this anyhow. They do assert that they are likely underestimating the power of these methods because there may be be smaller effect common variants which can top off the fraction.

But even they admit that they can go only so far. Here are some sections from the conclusion that lays it out pretty clearly:

By increasing our sample size to more than 100,000 individuals, we identified common variants that account for approximately 10% of phenotypic variation. Although larger than predicted by some models26, this figure suggests that GWA studies, as currently implemented, will not explain most of the estimated 80% contribution of genetic factors to variation in height. This conclusion supports the idea that biological insights, rather than predictive power, will be the main outcome of this initial wave of GWA studies, and that new approaches, which could include sequencing studies or GWA studies targeting variants of lower frequency, will be needed to account for more of the ‘missing’ heritability. Our finding that many loci exhibit allelic heterogeneity suggests that many as yet unidentified causal variants, including common variants, will map to the loci already identified in GWA studies, and that the fraction of causal loci that have been identified could be substantially greater than the fraction of causal variants that have been identified.

In our study, many associated variants are tightly correlated with common nsSNPs, which would not be expected if these associated common variants were proxies for collections of rare causal variants, as has been proposed27. Although a substantial contribution to heritability by less common and/or quite rare variants may be more plausible, our data are not inconsistent with the recent suggestion28 that many common variants of very small effect mostly explain the regulation of height.

In summary, our findings indicate that additional approaches, including those aimed at less common variants, will likely be needed to dissect more completely the genetic component of complex human traits. Our results also strongly demonstrate that GWA studies can identify many loci that together implicate biologically relevant pathways and mechanisms. We envisage that thorough exploration of the genes at associated loci through additional genetic, functional and computational studies will lead to novel insights into human height and other polygenic traits and diseases.

The second to last paragraph takes a shot at David Goldstein’s idea of synthetic associations.

We’re still where we were a a few years back though, old fashioned Galtonian quantitative genetics, a branch of statistics, is the best bet to predict the heights of your offspring. As with intelligence, “height genes”, are not improvements upon common sense. But if you’re going into the 10-20% range of variation explained it’s certainly not trivial, and the biological details are going to be of interest.

Religious illiteracy is the norm

By now you probably know that:

Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions.

On average, Americans correctly answer 16 of the 32 religious knowledge questions on the survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. Atheists and agnostics average 20.9 correct answers. Jews and Mormons do about as well, averaging 20.5 and 20.3 correct answers, respectively. Protestants as a whole average 16 correct answers; Catholics as a whole, 14.7. Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons perform better than other groups on the survey even after controlling for differing levels of education.


If you are part of a minority group you’ll often get into discussions about religion. Since I “look” Hindu/Muslim and am pretty frank about my atheism I’ve gotten into discussions more frequently than most (perhaps the weirdest experience was a conversation with an evangelical acquaintance in high school who was ready to argue with me about how demonic Hinduism was; as I wasn’t Hindu, and I didn’t know much about Hinduism, it was somewhat disappointing for my acquaintance). By chance when I was 18 I was at an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship event (I was young and wasn’t told about the nature of the “party”) and the pastor started talking about how “we all believe in Christ.” At that point I raised my hand and explained that 1) I didn’t believe in Christ, and, 2) I didn’t believe in God. Didn’t want to implicitly mislead. After a bit of awkwardness the fun went on.

Obviously over the years I’ve read up a fair amount on religion. You’d probably be aware of that if you read the blog. One of the weirder outcomes of my religious literacy is that it occasionally happens that people will simply refuse to believe I’m an atheist. I had a friend in college who was an evangelical and half-joked that I had to be some sort of crypto-Christian, and I’d eventually “come out” and accept in my heart what I obviously already knew with my head. In the end I wasn’t a fool. In a less amusing case I had a Jewish individual accuse me of being a crypto-Muslim intent on undermining the state of Israel, as I just knew too much about Judaism for there to be any other possibility.

You too can take Pew’s religious knowledge quiz. 15 questions which take only a few minutes. Since readers of this weblog are among the minority of humans which fall into the class intelligent I suspect you’ll beat the average American at this game (I scored a 15 out of 15).

To gain pallor is easier than losing it

journal.pbio.0000027.g002

John Hawks illustrates what can be gained at the intersection of old data and analysis and new knowledge, Quote: Boyd on New World pigmentation clines:

I’m using some statistics out of William Boyd’s 1956 printing of Genetics and the Races of Man[1]. It gives a good accounting of blood group data known more than fifty years ago, which I’m using to illustrate my intro lectures. Meanwhile, there are some interesting passages, from the standpoint of today’s knowledge of the human genome and its variation.

On skin pigmentation – this is the earliest statement I’ve run across of the argument that the New World pigmentation cline is shallower than the Old World cline because of the relative recency of occupation….

Looking at what was said about pigmentation generations ago is of interest because it’s a trait which in many ways we have pegged. See Molecular genetics of human pigmentation diversity. Why humans vary in pigmentation in a deep ultimate sense is still an issue of some contention, but how they do so, and when the differences came about, are questions which are now modestly well understood. We know most of the genetic variants which produce between population variation. We also know that East and West Eurasians seem to have been subject to independent depigmentation events. We also know that some of the depigmentation was relatively recent, probably after the Last Glacial Maximum, and possibly as late as the advent of agriculture.

On the New World cline, which is clearly shallower than that of the Old World. The chart below from Signatures of positive selection in genes associated with human skin pigmentation as revealed from analyses of single nucleotide polymorphisms is useful:


skinvarianceWhat you’re seeing here are patterns of relationships by population when it comes to the select subset of genes which we know are implicated in between population variation in pigmentation. The peoples of Melanesia are arguably the darkest skinned peoples outside of Africa (and perhaps India), and interestingly they are closer to Africans than any other non-African population. But in total genome content they’re more distant from Africans than other non-African populations, excluding the peoples of the New World.

This disjunction between phylogenetic relationships when looking at broad swaths of the genome, as opposed to constraining the analysis to the half a dozen or so genes which specifically encode between population differences on a specific trait, is indicative of selection. In this case, probably functional constraint on the genetic architecture. From the reading I’ve done on skin pigmentation genetics there is an ancestral “consensus sequence” on these genes which result in dark complexions. In contrast, as has been extensively documented over the last few years there are different ways to be light skinned. In fact, the Neandertals which have been sequenced at those loci of interest also turn out to have a different genetic variant than modern humans.

How to explain this? I think here we can go back to our first course in genetics in undergrad: it is easier to lose function than gain function. The best current estimate is that on the order of one million years ago our species lost its fur, and developed dark skin. And it doesn’t look like we’ve reinvented the wheel since that time. All of the peoples termed “black” across the world, from India, to Australasia, to Africa, are dark because of that ancestral genetic innovation. In contrast, deleterious mutations which “break” the function of the genes which gave some of us an ebony complexion occur relatively frequently, and seem to have resulted in lighter skinned groups in more northerly climes. It turns out that some of the pigmentation genes which are implicated in between population variance in complexion were actually originally discovered because of their role in albinism.

So how does this relate to the New World? I think the difficulty in gaining function once it has been lost explains why the people of Peru or the Amazon are not as dark skinned as those of Africa, Melanesia, or South Asia. They haven’t had enough time to regain function which they lost as H. sapiens traversed northern Eurasia. So there you have it. A nice little illustration of how the genetics taught to 18 year olds can be leveraged by the insights of modern genomics and biological anthropology! In the end, nature is one.

Image Credit: Dennis O’Neil

Daily Data Dump – Tuesday

Just a minor note: if you want an admin update on this weblog, go to my twitter account. You don’t need to subscribe, as you might not be interested in all my random interactions with other bloggers. But if I don’t post for a few days, please don’t email me or post a comment in the thread wondering if I’m well, just check the twitter account. Easier that way not to clutter up the content on this website. You can always find the link to twitter right under my head shot on the sidebar. You can’t miss it.

Getting even with the odds ratio. To some extent it’s “common sense,” context matters. But nice to be reminded. Especially when in some cases context doesn’t matter.

Complexity Not So Costly After All: Moderately Complex Plants and Animals Can Be Better Equipped to Adapt. “By incorporating a more realistic representation of pleiotropy, Zhang’s analysis found the reverse of Orr’s arguments to be true. Although Fisher’s observation still holds, reversing Orr’s assertions minimizes its impact, thus reducing the cost of complexity.” I plan on blogging this, so I won’t say more.


Why Charity Ratings Don’t Work (as of now). People want an easy number, but summary metrics can’t replace really legwork. Though perhaps Holden & company can help us develop our own personal heuristics.

Tragedy at the Virginia Quarterly Review. This is of a piece with Emily Bazelon’s previous reporting on bullying, but check this out: “It had a staff of six, including Genoways and Morrissey, and a circulation of less than 5,000.” This weblog gets 2,000-3,000 visitors on a given day. Much more if you evaluate over the month as some people only drop in once or twice a week or every other day. Of course there’s a lot of editing and such which goes into those high quality small circulation periodicals, so apples to oranges, but still….

How California Became America’s Greece. The climate’s the same. I wonder….