Author Archive for Cynapse

12
Feb

Tribute to Whitney Houston – Top 5 Songs of all Time

Tragedy has struck the entertainment world again, as legendary diva Whitney Houston died in Los Angeles at the age of 48.  The exact cause of death is currently unknown as of now (about 11:30pm), though at least one “yellow journalism” website is speculating it was a suicide.

Much criticism and negative speculation will take place in the coming months, focusing on Houston’s fall from grace after her marriage to fellow R&B singer Bobby Brown.  On this site, we’re going to take the (ironically) non-cynical route and focus on what made Whitney great – the music.  Here are (in our opinion) the top 5 Whitney Houston songs of all time:

 

5. Greatest Love of all

4. So Emotional

3. Saving all my Love for You

2. How will I Know

1. I Will Always Love You

26
Jun

Should Undocumented Migrants have the Right to Attend Canadian Schools?

Does a child in Canada have a right to education, regardless of citizenship or legal status? The debate is raging in Toronto over Toronto Catholic District School Board trustee Frank D’Amico’s response to social worker Nadia Saad regarding the registration of an undocumented student:

Activists are calling for the resignation of a Toronto Catholic District School Board trustee after he suggested that an undocumented immigrant student applying to Catholic schools should “apply for Canadian Citizenship ASAP.”

Both legislation and district policy state that the school district cannot discriminate against undocumented immigrants who apply. In an e-mail to Nadia Saad, a university social-work student who was working with an undocumented student, Frank D’Amico said that they were lucky he didn’t answer an earlier phone call, “because my first call would be to immigration Canada.

“If you want to live in Canada, take our Canadian jobs, use our Social Programs and Health Care … I strongly suggest becoming a citizen. I am forwarding your concern to the RCMP and to immigration Canada.”

The e-mail was in response to an earlier e-mail Ms. Saad had sent numerous trustees about difficulties finding a placement for a student whose parents were undocumented immigrants. In her original e-mail, she referred to a phone call with a school board administrator that she claimed was skeptical of undocumented immigrants; Mr. D’Amico’s response was that “unless you’ve been on another planet for the last Decade, I will remind you, 911. [sic] September 11 the day that changed the world.”

Saad provided portions of the original letter to Cynics Unlimited:

Not only were this TCDSB administrator’s questions unnecessary, unethical, intrusive and condescending, they, along with her tone of voice, reflect a dangerous underlying ideology that is deeply prejudiced and reeks of entitlement. It is extremely troubling to think of what sort of private information might have been shared unnecessarily with this demanding and intimidating administrator had it been the mother of the boy – anxious, fearful, and non-adept in English – communicating with her as opposed to the social worker, and how such information might have been used (against the family).

Furthermore, the administrator’s questioning is problematic in that it contradicts the afore-mentioned TCDSB policy on Students Without Legal Immigration Status, and section 49.1 of the Ontario Education Act which states:
A person who is otherwise entitled to be admitted to a school and who is less than eighteen years of age shall not be refused admission because the person or the person’s parent or guardian is unlawfully in Canada.
Both the TCDSB policy and section 49.1 of the Education Act should in no respect be viewed as generous, benevolent, unique or complementary gestures. In fact, they are obligations in accordance with international law, as is outlined by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child, which states that each child is entitled to free and compulsory education, on the basis of equal opportunity. Such a fundamentally human and moral obligation to recognize the right to education – not to mention, to be aware of the policies of your own institution – seemed to have been completely lacking where this particular administrator is concerned.

However, it is my understanding that this is not an isolated occurrence: the report compiled by Social Planning Toronto entitled Policy Without Practice: Barriers to Enrolment for Non-Status Immigrant Students in Toronto’s Catholic Schools highlights as one of its key findings the fact that TCDSB administrative staff are unaware of their own board policies and of their legal obligation to admit children lacking immigration status. This report was completed in 2010 and forwarded to the TCDSB, which has given no response of its receipt nor acknowledgement of the findings of the report.

To conclude, it deeply concerns me that TCDSB administrators are acting inappropriately, unethically, and against their own policies, as gatekeepers to a fundamental human right which is clearly acknowledged by TCDSB policy. I urge the TCDSB to thoroughly educate your school principals, teachers and administrators on the policies I have discussed above, as well as on the international law and human obligations underlying them. If the attitude and ideology of other professionals is anything like this particular administrator who was involved in the above conversation, then I would also recommend everyone undergo extensive training in anti-oppressive practice in order to understand how systems of privilege and oppression operate, are reinforced, and must be worked against.

And so the debate that has divided America for the past decade or so has migrated north: should Canada show compassion to undocumented entrants or force them to abide by the rules before providing any benefits?

03
Apr

Quotable: Lending Money to Family and Friends

My mom and dad advised me never to lend money to friends and family. Give it freely as a gift and never expect to get it back or don’t give it at all. Money ruins more relationships than anything else.

Chilina Kennedy

27
Jul

Album Review: Eleven Tigers – Clouds are Mountains

Artist: Eleven Tigers
Album: Clouds are Mountains
Genre: Electronic (Dubstep)
Label: Baked Goods
Year: 2010
Rating: 95%
URL: http://eleventigers.net/

Burial’s 2007 LP Untrue introduced many electronic music fans to Dubstep. Untrue’s potent combination of murky beats, bleak melodies mangled R&B vocal samples put a decidedly soulful spin on a genre that was otherwise migrating from its darker origins to a more rave/tweaker friendly sound. The problem was that once you got through Untrue and Burial’s less flashy self-titled debut, there was little else in the scene that sounded nearly as rich. Most popular dubstep tracks sound like lethargic remakes of the squelchy club music from Jersey Shore – fantastic to the clubbers tripping on Ketamine and distracting to just about anyone else.

Eleven Tigers - Clouds are MountainsLithuanian producer Eleven Tigers breaks that mold authoritatively on his debut LP, Clouds are Mountains. While inspired by Untrue, Clouds are Mountains forgoes R&B and Garage mutations in favour of ambient pads and generous layers of IDM-style synth-work. Vocals are used sparingly and garbled to the point of sounding like Simlish. The songs flow seamlessly, engaging one other via crossfades of up to 40 seconds. The album is mixed like a well-planned DJ set and can be played from start to finish without a break in the action.

While the sum of Clouds are Mountains is indeed greater than its parts, there are still standout tracks. Songs for You plays like the lovechild of Dido and Burial, pulsing along at a slow dub-like speed lead by acoustic guitars before moving double time over ringing analogs. Atomic Turnip pays homage to the dub roots of dubstep with chest-tickling sub-basslines and a heavily reverberated organ. Thesis veers into vintage Prodigy territory, albeit with an IDM twist as three generations of grimy old school rave beats crunch against heavily altered speech loops and indescribable random noises that barely avoid chaos. Stableface easily boasts the greatest crossover appeal and dance floor potential, featuring chopped female vocals over several airy layers of pads and a driving drum beat. Even this track is complex, however, and like nearly all of the tunes on Clouds are Mountains, it constantly evolves.

Clouds are Mountains is easily one of the best albums of any genre that I’ve heard in the past decade. Numerous visitors to my house parties (whose musical tastes span from Alt-Rock to Hip Hop) seem to agree. Only dubstep scenesters may not bite since this album is closer to Boards of Canada than Rusko. However, anyone with an even passing interest in headphone-friendly electronic music would be well advised to check out this hidden gem.

And for Burial lovers … yes, this will tide you over for awhile.

25
Jul

Discovering African Ancestry Through DNA Testing (3/3)

See also: Part 1, Part 2

In the final installment of the series on DNA ancestry testing we will look at mtDNA and the maternal line. Read part 1 of the series to learn the difference between mtDNA, yDNA and autosomal DNA.

To quickly recap: a patrilneal test can determine haplogroup and tribal association as dictated by the father’s father’s father’s … father. My test results traced back to a strain I-Haplogroup (I1a) originating from and most commonly found in Scandinavia. Independent research verified that my paternal great grandfather was a native of Scotland, where the I-Haplogroup is alleged to have spread via Viking invasion. Needless to say, the yDNA test provided no information about which African ethnic group I may have descended from.

My Ancestral Journey – Mama Edition

The mtDNA test can determine haplogroup and tribal association by way of the mother’s mother’s mother’s … mother. MtDNA Haplogroups are denoted by different labels than male haplogroups, though the geographic regions represented are roughly the same.

Given the previous test results, I knew better than to have any explanations in terms of discovering exact African ancestry:

  • mtDNA, like yDNA, only traces a single gender line of ancestry. Nearly all of the family tree is left untested
  • Autosomal DNA can test both male and female DNA but is accurate for only a few generations back and sometimes cannot differentiate between closely-related populations
  • My maternal grandmother is visibly and verified to be mixed. As she is from the Caribbean, her mother/grandmother could be from … virtually anywhere.

Genebase mtDNA test Interface

Genbase performs mtDNA testing based on a buccal swab from the user or a member of the user’s family. The latter option allows users to trace lines not directly accessible from their own sample (e.g. a father’s matrilenial line).

mtDNA Haplogroup Identification
L1 Haplogroup

The default mtDNA test can predict a user’s haplogroup. My test predicted membership in the L-Haplogroup. An additional SNP backbone test confirmed my subclade to be L1C. The L1 Haplogroup appeared approximately 150,000 years ago in East Africa and is closely related to the original L0 group (Mitochondrial eve). The L1C subclade is commonly found in central and southern Africa, particularly among Pygmy ethnic groups and Bantu-speaking African groups.

Multiple years passed before I had a single “close match” on DNA Reunion (matches users to other users). The original assumption was that there weren’t many black users on the Canada-based Genebase system but a quick user profile search dispelled that idea. This was an early sign that the mtDNA result might contain another “surprise”, despite being within the African realm. Continue reading ‘Discovering African Ancestry Through DNA Testing (3/3)’

24
Mar

The Fall of America? It’s all about the Debt…

Mark Steyn continues to be a fantastic inspiration for impromptu posts with his thoughts on the loss of liberty and the eventual decline of the American empire:

What happens when the policies that brought ruin to Detroit and sclerosis to California become the basis for the nation at large? Strictly on the numbers, the United States is in the express lane to Declinistan: unsustainable entitlements, the remorseless governmentalization of the economy and individual liberty, and a centralization of power that will cripple a nation of this size. Decline is the way to bet. But what will ensure it is if the American people accept decline as a price worth paying for European social democracy.

The United States now spends more on its military than the next 40 or so nations combined. Yet in two rinky-dink no-account semi-colonial policing campaigns, it doesn’t feel like that, does it? A lot of bucks, but not much of a bang. You can understand why the entire Left and an increasing chunk of the Right would rather vote for a quiet life. But that’s not an option. The first victims of American retreat will be the many corners of the world that have benefited from an unusually benign hegemon. But the consequences of retreat will come home, too. In a more dangerous world, American decline will be steeper, faster, and more devastating than Britain’s — and something far closer to Rome’s.

Steyn makes many good points but from an economic perspective America was slated for decline since the 1980’s when they essentially did a kamikaze strike on the USSR. Amid the celebration of Reagan’s low taxes, very few people paid attention to two critical problems -

  1. Spending was far outstripping revenues, despite the increased number of revenue sources and so-called trickle-down
  2. Alan Greenspan was rapidly devaluing American currency (i.e. lowering interest rates) to keep the value of the debt low and to stimulate economic growth

Ironically, currency devaluation -long hailed by capitalists as a way of stimulating expansion- amounts to a hidden taxation – on income AND pre-existing savings. Since the mid 1980’s it has made more sense for consumers to be in debt than have savings, as the value of those debts has decreased rapidly. George Bush I did nothing about this issue (ie fire Greenspan) and Bill Clinton benefited from circumstance when the dotcom boom led to a temporary American surplus.

U.S. Debt Trends

U.S. Debt Trends (source - Wikipedia)

In the meantime, Japan and China bought American debt (e.g Treasury Bills) at a cracking pace – a trend that accelerated when Bush II decided to invade Iraq and will accelerate even more now that Obama has found health-care for 300 million people instead of 50 million.  With China holding nearly $780 billion dollars of American debt, the United States has relegated itself to toothless observer in the largest economic/military growth spot in the world (East Asia). Not a good economic position given China is the major long-term rival and has shown little regard for playing by the rules of most industrial nations.

The final nail in the coffin will probably be when the military-industrial complex collapses and free market forces dictate that weapons are best bought from countries that can produce them for cheaper. Again this will be China, which has both the expertise and the cheap labour. The main reason we all aren’t speaking Arabic is because the Ottoman/Seljuk/etc paid little attention to weapon-making and ended up having to buy weapons from the same “barbarians” they sought to crush during their attempts to conquer Europe. An empire without the ability to produce its own war in-house is doomed to fall.

21
Mar

Bombshell McGee’s Facebook Fail

Tiger Woods is likely breathing sigh of relief as Sandra Bullock’s failing marriage quickly overtakes his own drama in the hyperactive imaginations of star-chasers. Bullock was (in)famously married to reality TV star and biker icon Jesse James who was recently caught cheating on her with fetish model / tattoo aficionado / stripper Michelle “Bombshell” McGee.

The media circus, led by the paparazzi-as-journalists at TMZ, naturally combed through Bombshell McGee’s life and found that the model had recently posed in a Nazi-themed photo shoot. McGee also has the tattooed letter W and P on the back of her legs – letters which typically stand for “white power” in tattoo / prison circles.

Possibly sensing the long term business risks of the direction taken by her 15 minutes of fame, McGee quickly fired out a second-hand statement claiming that she is no white supremacist and that the photo shoot in question was merely meant to be provocative.

To McGee’s credit, Nazi-themed photography is not exactly uncommon in the “shocking” world of fetish. To McGee’s discredit, she wears her heart on her Facebook page as vividly as she wears it on her body.

Screen shot: Michelle "Bombshell" McGee's Facebook Page

Look closely at the favourite books section. Many people have read Mein Kampf but very few would list it among their favourite books (if not for the content then surely for the fact that Hitler’s diatribe was mostly rambling). Even more interesting was the second book in her list – The Turner Diaries is a 1978 war novel, written by former National Alliance leader William Pierce, depicting violent overthrow of the United States government and eventual “cleansing” of all Jews and non-whites. Referred to by the FBI as “The Bible of the racist right”, the book has sold over 500,000 copies, mostly via mail order and gun shows. Several high profile hate crimes were committed by extremists who openly cited the book as an inspiration, mostly notably Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh. For one to not only read but commend the book is a blinking light signaling far right sympathies.

Michelle McGee defeated her own argument and provided a fine example of yet another Facebook security threat – user stupidity. Whatever security measures are put in place, Facebook is still a website viewable by virtually anyone so long as one person has access to the information. A Facebook “friend” can easily take a screen shot of or “Save as …” any page on the website, instantly creating the opportunity to make private content very, very public. Incidentally, Bombshell made all the information in the above screen shot completely public so even that level of “wizardry” wasn’t necessary.

There are entire websites dedicated to foolish Facebook behavior by less famous users. Facebook Fails posts reader submissions of awkward survey responses, bullying and general purpose drama by Facebook users who type before thinking. For your pleasure, some noteworthy entries from the Facebook Fails website -

Facebook Fail: Fake Tan

Facebook Fail: Salmonella

Facebook Fails: Avoiding Socialism

Facebook Fail: Back on the Market

Facebook Fail: Divorce

19
Mar

Back on Twitter

After a long hiatus, Cynics Unlimited is finally back on Twitter.  Catch all the action here -

http://twitter.com/cynicsunlimited

Or you could just look to your right (Quick Shots) – the twitter feed will be used to draw attention to interesting stories that I don’t have time to write a full blog post about. The majority of URL’s are shortened using a service called bit.ly – recommended if you like to put URL’s in your tweets but still want room to say something about them.

03
Mar

Lethal Lucia – The Facebook Spammers are Here

There I was minding my own business on Facebook when a friend request popped up.  Now how nice is that? Someone wants to be my friend.  After 2 years of social networking the requests start to slow down and navigating the site becomes a test of navigating through melodramatic status updates and covert invitations to Mafia Wars / Mobwars / Youville / Happy Aquarium / etc.

Lucia is not a bad looking gal...

Lucia Pahmeier … nope, doesn’t ring a bell.  She seems to be a good decade younger than me to boot, so it can’t be school or co-op.   Sometimes it’s good to take a chance, and being a male, my brain isn’t the only organ weighing in on the pros and cons.  Still, Lucia only has 2 friends?  I’m one the first people she thought to contact on the web?  Seems unlikely.  A few warning bells go off.

Lucia got something pierced … what, I wonder?  The alarm bells are very loud now.  The clincher is that Lucia is unable to put up any more pictures in facebook (what else do young ladies do on Facebook apart from spread sappy memes and play Farmville?)  but she leaves a link to pictures.  Riiiiiigggght.  Good chance that obvious link forwarding URL is heading to a porn site.  Part of what made MSN Messenger unusable was having to deal with 20+ friend requests per week from what amounted to she-bots promising hours of online sexual self-gratification if only you’d come visit an external website.  Facebook seemed to be somewhat resistant to such sly advertising though obviously someone could just create a profile and try to snag males seeking another “hot chick” for their Facebook stable.

Mystery Solved.  I shall not sign up.

And there you have it.

Facebook is now officially a spam target.

Lucia acquired about 50 friends before her friend request and profile disappeared.  This was no doubt due to complaints from real users but she won’t be the last of her kind.  Facebook’s social network is too rich for Porn / Viagra / etc sites not to try penetrating its secure layers.

The important part of this story is that I did not let Lucia become my friend and in turn have access to my personal details.  As mentioned in an earlier Facebook tutorial, advertisers are very eager to get get access to user demographics, which tend to be cleaner and more appropriate for marketing purposes than most other sources (and are of course free).  Think twice before you accept a friend request unless you absolutely know the person.   Also, don’t be afraid to send a private message for confirmation before accepting.

01
Mar

Discovering African Ancestry Through DNA Testing (2/3)

Please read Part 1 if you have not already.

Like many who use DNA for ancestral discovery, I didn’t understand entirely what was going to be tested when I first signed up with Genebase. The common mistake is to think that the tests will determine the entire ethnic makeup of your mother or father (not to mention yourself). As explained in part 1 of this series, the yDNA and mtDNA tests simply look down your line of fathers and mothers respectively. In the proverbial family tree, they each follow a single branch, leaving virtually the entire bush untouched.

Of course I figured this out as I read Genebase’s excellent tutorials – which only became available over the past year or so. Indeed, you will find several websites with complaining about Genebase’s processing time and customer support. Most of the complaints registered before 2009 were warranted but now the website is comprehensive and the turnaround time for processing samples is usually much shorter than the estimated 6-8 weeks.

So what was I looking for from this test? Primarily some sort of connection, no matter how arbitrary, to the motherland. Africa’s diverse cultural landscape was compressed to a single label -black- with the Atlantic/Arabic slave trade and the label “black” roughly translates to “lower caste” in practical terms. Virtually any negative stigma that applies to some portion of our population -criminal tendencies, low IQ, lazy, irresponsible- is automatically assumed of the entire population. These images did not reflect my family who count professors, engineers and executives among their ranks, and so they served as my role models as opposed to some street stereotype. Regardless, it became tiresome to hear the self-congratulatory tone of some of the older locals in my rural setting: “You should be thankful you are here under our thumb; otherwise, you would be in Africa eating dirt half naked”. Of course Africa was not always in that state (it still isn’t entirely that way) and in later years I noticed a decidedly less bitter tone among African immigrants when compared to locally-born and Caribbean-born blacks. The primary reason, I realized, is because these African immigrants had a connection to their roots and culture – a culture in which they were the primary actors rather than a (barely) tolerated annoyance. Theirs was not merely a story of slavery, segregation clawing for mere survival. Most of Africa sported a pretty decent civilization at some point, from Egypt’s pyramid-building predecessors in Nubia to the gold-soaked trade routes of Ancient Ghana to the mysterious stone structures of Great Zimbabwe. I wondered whether I had even a tenuous connection to any of these ancient cultures.

Also I was generally curious about what might turn up. Between both sides of my family there is reddish hair, slanted yes, grey eyes and a wild variance in skin tones. Such variation in appearance, even between full siblings, is typical of many families with Caribbean or American roots (I have both).

My Ancestral Journey – Papa Edition

The fist test results I got back were for yDNA which determines the deep ancestry along my paternal line (father’s, father’s … father). I was curious to see which haplogroup passed down his line – perhaps the A-Group common in Ethopians or Khoisan? Maybe it would be the B-Group most common among Western Africans (the largest source for the slave trade)? Alas, the answer was neither -

Y DNA Haplogroup Path to I

Migration path of I-Haplogroup

Genebase’s test results show that I actually belong to the I-Group, a European-based haplogroup that evolved from our earliest ancestors in East Africa. The series of letters shows the exact path of migration and mutation, starting from the original ancestor, changing into the important Egyptian-based F-Group (considered to be the source of all non-African populations) and eventually splintering from the J-Group and K-Group after migrating into Europe. The map provides a more graphical version of my ancestor’s journey. Genebase provides the following description of the I Haplogroup:

The founder of Haplogroup I lived approximately 25,000 years ago in the Balkans during the last Glacial Maximum.  He is the direct descendent of Haplogroup F ancestors who had journeyed from the Middle East into the Balkans.  Today, the highest frequencies of Haplogroup I are found in the Balkans, near the Dinaric Mountain chain in Croatia.  Haplogroup I is strongly associated with Croat populations, namely Slavic people living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and other nearby countries.

As the ice sheets retreated at the end of the Ice Age, these ancestors continued their journey northward into Northern Europe, in particular Scandinavia (a region in Northern Europe named after the Scandinavian Peninsula).  Today, a large portion of Scandinavian populations in the Adriatic regions, including Denmark, mainland Norway, Sweden, and Finland trace their ancestry to this line.  Vikings also likely descended from this line.  The detection of low frequencies of this haplogroup on the British Isles, France and some Celtic populations may be the result of more recent Vikings raids in these regions.

The last sentence was of particular interest – I have a very Celtic name uncommon among western black populations. Regardless, shock led to questioning, which led to the gnashing of teeth by older relatives and a begrudging admission that my great grandfather was in fact a Scotsman, presumed to be from the highlands. The I-Group isn’t very common in Scotland but was common among the invading Vikings. Thus, my paternal line may not have been in Scotland for very long.

At this point, I could have taken a subclade test to determine where within the I-Group my paternal line resides. However, due to certain genetic markers the initial STR assessment was able to determine also certainly that I belong to the I1a subclade, most commonly found in Sweden and relatively rare in Scotland. It is possible that my great grandfather may have been the long-term product of a Viking raid either directly on Scotland or a nearby region such as the Orkney Islands.

Next, it was time to compare my yDNA sample to all the other users in the database. Who might match me the closest and where would they reside?

Selecting Test Stringency in DNA Reunion

Genebase allows users to determine how strict to make the search by setting a minimum number of matching markers and maximum genetic distance (marker values that differ). After clicking Find Matches, the user receives a list of close matches, where they reside from and the option to guess how many generations ago the respective family lines diverged. Genebase also provides a tally of ethnic backgrounds and a google map of current locations for all matches. Note that this data is user-input and sometimes subject to what people THINK their background may be rather than what a “perfect-world” DNA test might show.

Finally, it was onto the really fun test – which “indigenous” ethnic group most closely matched my yDNA sample? My African reunion in shambles, this test was more a matter of determining which part of Scandinavia may have produced the offending Viking.

Selecting Test Stringency in Indigenous DNA

Once again, Genebase provides the option to set how many overlapping markers to test. More markers generally ensures more accurate results but may result in fewer populations to compare. Users should try to match on the largest number of markers that still provides realistic population samples (see below).

Selecting Comparison Populations in Indigenous DNA

Genebase analyzes yDNA samples and preferences to provide 1 or more population sets for comparisons. Data is taken from many journals created worldwide, providing a best-line-of-fit approach to matching indigenous groups. A good strategy might be to try different options and if one particular ethnic group keeps appearing at the top of the comparisons then there is a good chance your paternal line has something in common with the paternal line of participants in that ethnic samples.

Indigenous DNA RMI Matches for yDNA Sample

From the results, it can be seen that my two top yDNA matches were both Danish – presumably from different journals, which adds credibility to the result. The rankings are being determined by RMI (relative match index) value, a ratio indicating the likelihood that the sample matches a given group vs the rest of the world population. For instance, these test results suggest that my yDNA line is 29.38x more likely to belong to the top Danish sample compared to the rest of the populations in the world.

Notice there is a group called U.S Caucasian. There are several non-indigenous samples like this across the journals (African American, Brazilians of non-black Decent, Asian-American …) and they seem to serve as controls. For instance, if US Caucasian shows up very close to the top of a yDNA match list, there’s a chance the sample are not matching closely to any indigenous group. A possible solution might be to increase the number of matching markers and re-run the test.

As for interpreting my results … Denmark is at the crossroads of the Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian worlds, so it’s reasonable to assume that my paternal line moved form Scandinavia to the British Isles by way of invasion, later moving to the West and obviously crossing paths with the Afro-diaspora.

This is about as far as a yDNA can get one for the time being. What is it worth? Depends on what you’re looking for. Due to the not uncommon relations between slave owners and their female slaves, a sizable portion of African American males will have a European y haplogroup (mostly the R-Group which is dominant across Europe) and an African mt haplogroup. Thus, western blacks taking DNA tests must acknowledge the very real possibility that no direct African link will be found by tracing the paternal line.

Next up: the maternal line

Continue to Part 3




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