Monthly Archives: March 2010

Société: Pourquoi les Ecossais sont-ils Roux?

Alors que 1 à 2% populations européennes ont les cheveux roux, cette proportion atteint 8% chez les Ecossais et les Irlandais.

<img title=”Gordon Strachan” src=”; alt=”” width=”200″ height=”200″ />

Gordon Strachan, fameux joueur de football de l'équipe d'Ecosse.

Emily Pritchard, 26 ans, étudiante en génétique au <a href=”; target=”_blank”>Western General Hospital d’Edinburgh</a>,  pense avoir trouvé une explication. Celle-ci est fondée sur une autre caractéristique remarquable de la vie écossaise: la météo.

Ses recherches viennent d’être publieés dans un article sur les cheveux roux de sa sœur pour un magazine de l'<a href=””>Université d’Edimbourg</a>.

En somme l’on peut résumer sa théorie ainsi:
<blockquote>Prédisposition génétique + mauvais climat = cheveux roux.</blockquote>
Mlle Pritchard note tout d’abord que la roux sont génétiquement moins avantagés parce qu’ils ont la peau claire et sont donc plus sujets aux coups de soleil et au cancer de la peau. Cette caractéristique est donc fatale chez les populations vivant dans des pays ensoleillés et par conséquent, aurait tendance à disparaître.

En revanche, au cours des grandes migrations depuis l’Afrique vers le nord et vers l’ouest de l’Europe, certains individus ont gardés ces mutations aléatoires. Ces mutations étaient de moins en moins fatales à mesure qu’ils remontaient vers le nord, et donc, leurs gènes ont pu se répandre.

Mlle Pritchard admet que son hypothèse relève plus de «la spéculation que d’études scientifiques», mais la décrit comme «plausible».


<a href=””>Western General Hospital (WGH)</a>

Les articles de la <a href=”;oe=utf-8&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hl=en&amp;ei=6faWS_PpFdWzlAfWp_mhDQ&amp;sa=X&amp;oi=news_group&amp;ct=title&amp;resnum=1&amp;ved=0CA4QsQQwAA”>presse britannique</a>.

The Shortening of News Cycles

This is what the fuss is al about: Fragmented Ubiquitous and Shorter.

News sources and commentaries are beginning to overwhelm us. In the 1980’s CNN had begun the process of fragmentation and twitter is only the latest latest in a process that show no sign of abbatment.

This deluge of data and commentary an has become to overwhelm us. What kind of brain could possibly remember all that has been published since the fall of the Berlin wall. Yet, we seem not to care. On the contrary, we demand more ways to get more news in more place. After, newspapers, radio, television and cable, the news is now available on your phone, in public bars, in airports, taxis and lifts. Judging by sales of iphones and blackberris, (and the presumably the iPad) we are willing to pay dearly for the real or perceived benefits of this ubiquiti.

Finally, as illustrated in an excellent article from the New Yorker, the news cycles are getting shortr (in the interest of time, I dropped the “e”).

In this article, Ken Auletta writes, “The news cycle is getting shorter—to the point that there is no pause, only the constancy of the Web and the endless argument of cable.”

These trends lead me to expect that “news” or data have become a commodity; one which can often contradict itself.

This below is one of many examples where a news aggregator displays side-by-side two contradictory pieces of information.


He goes... no he stays...

Consider the two items above; the coach of Football Club de Nantes, Jean-Marc Furlan was first said to have been given the full support of the board (right hand story). Within a few hours, the board fired him. The question are many and I will highlight two for the purposes of this entry (I am busy and so are you): how can one trust any news story? In this example, the first story is redacted in such a way that it leaves no room for any outcome other than the reinstatement of the coach. Is there an increase in contradictory news because of the F.U.S. factor?

Finally, as the former White House communications director Anita Dunn is reported to have said in the New Yorker, “When journalists call you to discuss a story, it’s not because they’re interested in having a discussion. They’re interested in a response. And the need to file five times a day encourages this.”