Arkansas Woman Blames Heat On Daylight Savings Time

UPDATE: The item depicted and quoted below was indeed a letter to the editor of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on 16 April 2007, but Snopes tells us:

“It was not intended to be taken literally, as its author, Connie M, Meskimen is a Little Rock lawyer known for penning sarcastic letters with tongue planted firmly in cheek.”

Looks like you got us Connie! Apparently the fact that the paper published it caused quite an outrage amongst its readers. Well, at least this explains why the letter was written fairly well. Still, I shudder at the thought of how many neo-conservatives ignoramuses down there must have read it (or tried to read it) and found themselves agreeing, in whole with its premise. Thanks to Murphy for pointing out the Snopes article.

Pople are constantly finding new levels of idiocy, but this Arkansas woman who blames Daylight Savings Time for the hot weather demonstrates a truly stupefying lack of intellect! Connie M. Meskimen is apparently convinced that the hot weather she has been experiencing lately is caused by the fact that Daylight Savings time started about a month early this year. Then, as if this vacuous assertion was not enough, she goes on to surmise that the legislation responsible for moving Daylight Savings ahead on the calendar was a ploy by the “liberal congress” to “make us believe that global warming is a real threat”.

Telling Connie that she needs to check her facts seems mind-numbingly obvious! Aside from her needing to realize that Congress, no matter how liberal, can’t alter the rotation of the Earth, she needs to remember that it was the Republicans that passed this ridiculous legislation!

Anyhow, here is the article:

Prank Letter

Prank Letter


Hat Tip: Courtney for the great find!

If you can’t read the image for some reason, here is the text:

Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Letters

Daylight exacerbates warming

You may have noticed that March of this year was particularly hot. As a matter of fact, I understand that it was the hottest March since the beginning of the last century. All of the trees were fully leafed out and legions of bugs and snakes were crawling around during a time in Arkansas when, on a normal year, we might see a snowflake or two.

This should come as no surprise to any reasonable person. As you know Daylight Savings time started almost a month early this year. You would think that members of Congress would have considered the warming effect that an extra hour of daylight would have on our climate. Or did they?

Perhaps this is another plot by a liberal Congress to make us believe that global warming is a real threat. Perhaps next time there should be serious studies performed before Congress passes laws with such far-reaching effects.

CONNIE M. MESKIMEN
Hot Springs

Mysterious Earwax Gene

Did you know that earwax comes in two types, wet AND dry? Neither did I, and quite honestly I never really thought much about it. Some Japanese scientist did though, and now they’ve figured out more than I ever thought I’d know about earwax. No… REALLY! These guys published their findings in the latest issue of Nature Genetics.

Via the New York Times:

The wet form predominates in Africa and Europe, where 97 percent or more of people have it, and the dry form among East Asians. The populations of South and Central Asia are roughly half and half.

My genes say I should have wet earwax, but that WAS a personal matter, and I preferred not to make it public knowledge! Good job guys Now everyone will be able to extrapolate their neighbor’s earwax type. Is nothing sacred?

Apparently by comparing the DNA of these two groups, these scientists were able discover a lot about the gene determines the type of earwax found in your friend’s ears.

The switch of a single DNA unit in the gene determines whether a person has wet or dry earwax. The gene’s role seems to be to export substances out of the cells that secrete earwax. The single DNA change deactivates the gene and, without its contribution, a person has dry earwax.

As fascinating as all this DNA switching, earwax wetting trivia is, I was truly interested to learn a bit more about genetics. The gene which affects earwax is known to geneticists as the ATP-binding cassette C11 gene. This is found in a long strain of DNA containing three other genes that have very little variation from one person to another. Apparently this is important because the lack of variation in DNA usually indicates that the gene is very important to the survival of the organism. In this case, however, earwax just seems to be “biological flypaper“, and really not all that critical.

Lack of variation in a sequence of DNA units is often the signature of a new gene so important for survival that it has swept through the population, erasing all the previous variation that had accumulated in the course of evolution.

Thank GOD that there are people out there contributing to the greater knowledge of earwax.