An hour or two back I was reading “The Selfish Gene”. The current chapter is covering a bit of math concerning the logic behind altruistic acts that end up benefiting the gene, even at the expense of an organism carrying the gene. The mathematics involved were concerned with the genetic similarity between individuals. Genetically speaking, a person’s cousin is equal to their great-grandchild. That is, both have 1/8 of their genetic material in common with you.

To determine the genetic relatedness (ratio of genetic material in common) between two people: determine the generational distance between the individuals (call this X); determine the number of common ancestors (in case of siblings, this number is 2; in case of step-siblings, this number is 1) (call this Y); relatedness = Y * ((1/2) ^ X).

This formula then suggests that relatedness for children, parents and siblings is 1/2; for aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, grandparents and grandchildren, and step-siblings is 1/4; for third cousins it’s 1/128; and for the identical twins, it’s 1.

Now, for some quick and dirty math. A single American generation is defined as 25.2 years. The length of time between Fry’s birth and that of Professor Farnsworth’s: 1974 to 2841 = 867. This translates to 34.4 generations. Let’s call it 35.

2 * ((1/2)^35) = 0.

bite my shiny metal ass

OK, fine, it’s not zero. It’s actually 5.82076609 × 10-11

Uh-huh. Can we just call it zero?

Essentially what this means is that (a) Fry is related equally to every human living in the year 3000 or (b) Fry’s family practiced inbreeding “religiously”.

But whatever, it’s still a great TV show.


A few songs from ‘House’. I picked songs that I like, and of those, ones with better sound quality, even if it meant a “video” consisting of a still image. Enjoy.


Solomon Burke  – None Of Us Are Free


Gomez – Get Miles


Al Green – Love and Happiness


Josh Ritter – Good Man


Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah

This video can’t be embedded, so here’s a link to it.

Is it me, or have the latest House episodes been filled with secrets? Something along the lines of “if you wanted A, then you would have done B, but you did C” constantly creeps up in conversations. People keep questioning each-others motives. Below is a list of the latest 5 episodes in which this happens. Not sure what the writers are trying to do, but it’s getting really tiresome.

  • 5×21 – Cameron hiding reason for staying with a case; Wilson hiding reason for eating healthy food
  • 5×19 – House hiding reason for going to new york
  • 5×17 – Wilson hiding from house what he is doing on Wednesday night
  • 5×16 – House hiding why he’s acting nice
  • 5×15 – Cuddy and Wilson hiding real feelings about House attending a simchat bat

This will be a bit of a review of House episode 5×20 (20th episode of the 5th season). There will be spoilers, so the review will be after the jump.



This is, among other things, a review of the 15th episode of the 4th season of “House”.
Spoilers follow immediately after the jump.


On Sunday, it was this song:

Today, it was this one:

Why can’t I get something else stuck in my head, like a harpoon or Mr Poe’s ‘The Raven’.

Oh, speaking of Firefly, I’m watching ‘Ariel’ and wondering, as always, what would have happened if the Hands of Blue got to the gang before Mal and Zoe? What’s a good sonic gun against a high-frequency device that makes you bleed to death?

How bad was the 10th season of ‘The Simpsons’? Well, let’s put it this way: I’ve had it since August and just now finished watching it. That’s saying a lot, considering that the other seasons usually lasted me a few days, certainly less than a week, after the time of purchase. Season 10 really sucked. I seriously couldn’t finish watching it because each episode was so horrendous. After watching one, I would decide that I had other, more interesting things to do, like clean the shower or alphabetize my book collection.

Why does the 10th season suck? It’s at this point that ‘The Simpsons’ stopped having “normal” episodes and began doing those ridiculous, Homer-fueled, guest-star-filled crap-o-ramas that now dominate the show. Let’s see if we can use a bullet list to mention a few horrific examples:

  • The very first episode of the season opens up with Lisa Kudrow joining the school as some yuppie girl who forces Lisa to wear a cocktail dress and heels. WTF?! Completely out of character! In the same episode Homer and Bart start an unsuccessful lard business. Here’s a question: are the Simpsons so boring that we need superfluous guest stars and brand-new professions every single week? Homer works in a nuclear power plant! The first few seasons managed to keep us entertained with simple things like meltdowns, safety issues and strikes, so why does Homer need to sell lard or drive trucks (coming soon)?
  • The fifth episode takes the term “superfluous guest stars” to an all-new level with Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger and Ron Howard. The family is ignored, but Homer gets to shop for fancy mushrooms, so that about evens things out, right? Ha.
  • Ninth episode combines guest-stars and odd-jobs with Homer being hired as a bodyguard for Mayor Quimby and later Mark Hammil. The story is horrendous and once again the family gets little to no play.
  • The tenth episode goes beyond out-of-character and strange-new-locales by seeing Homer and Ned getting married (to two women) in Las Vegas. Ech!
  • The twelfth (boy, I had trouble remembering how to spell that) episode is the Super Bowl episode. This is just about the epitome of the now-common “women stay at home while the men have adventures” theme.
  • The thirteenth episode starts off simple enough, with Homer gaining popularity when a suave TV character is also named Homer Simpson, but things quickly deteriorate as Homer tries to fit in with a group of yuppie tree-huggers. It’s so odd to see the Simpsons try and exist on-screen with real people (that Ed Begley Jr just looks weird), while at their roots (or at least in the first few seasons) the Simpsons lived in a world almost completely separate from our own. Does that make sense? I feel that what “The Simpsons” turned into… well, imagine ‘I Love Lucy’ updated for the 21st century, complete with Pilates, one-night-stands and YouTube.
  • Episode fourteen sees Apu organizing an all-out Valentine’s Day, complete with a message in the sky and Elton John. The episode is not bad, but it’s just one more example of popular culture being imposed on something that was once a wonderful show.
  • I could go on and on, but I’d rather not, so here’s the list of absurdities in the remaining episodes (and one of my first instances of list-within-a-list):
    • Guest stars: Isabella Rossellini, Jasper Johns, Jack LaLanne, Richard Branson, Stephen Hawking, George Takei, Gedde Watanabe.
    • Odd jobs: Homer works as a truck driver, Homer becomes an artist, Homer becomes a Loch Ness Monster-hunter.
    • Strange locales: New age store and sensory deprivation tanks, Loch Ness, Japan.
    • Just plain weird situations or out-of-character instances: Marge’s road rage, the Olympics are coming to Springfield, Mensa takes over the town, Homer beats up the Emperor of Japan, the Simpsons compete for tickets on a Japanese TV show.

And why did I buy the 10th season when the 9th sucked almost as much? As I predicted, the reason is the collectible box sets: seasons 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 all have character-shaped boxes, so once you purchase one box, you have to get the others for a complete collection. Thankfully, there are no more character-themed boxes, so I’m all done.

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