A Christmas Story: Hiking the Grand Canyon 1970

This is a funny story of one of my exploits back when I was finishing up my undergraduate degree at UT, Austin. Its a “remembered” story I found myself retelling to my eldest grandson, Brandon Evans, and probably my future granddaughter-in-law, Meredith Clem. It is a “remembered” story because it was long before I had started journaling on my exploits. This means I’m going on memories some 50+ years old. They may not be totally accurate, but they are in the ball park.

In one of my rare events during this COVID pandemic, I had invited Brandon and Meredith over for dinner one evening. I’d fixed a dish my brother had highly recommended, a Greek chicken and potato recipe. I’ll diverge here before going on with my story…

Now my brother, like me, is an excellent cook. So when he speaks, I listen–usually, mostly. He is rather OCD-ish (not a diagnosis, a behavior patten), whereas I’m a lot more laid back about cooking. On the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory, he is probably a sensing type personality. Sensings want to go step-by-step and follow the recipe exactly. The benefit is that his dishes turn out the same time after time. On the Myers-Briggs, I’m a P, or perceiving, personality type. I read through a recipe, say, okay, often close up the recipe book after I’ve gotten the general idea, make modifications as I go along, depending on what I’ve got on hand, adapt the recipe to my taste–I like spicy, for example. The result is that seldom do any two fixings of my dishes come out the same. My cooking drives my brother crazy as a result. He will only begrudgingly admit it’s good if he has to and seldom volunteers a compliment. He is, however, very quick to point out anything he doesn’t like about it. It is a lovely relationship.

Unfortunately, we were not impressed with the dish, is the short of it, and I followed the recipe exactly! It didn’t go to waste, however. I made chicken gyro sandwiches out the left-over chicken. They were pretty good actually. The chickens loved the potatoes. Now back to the Grand Canyon story…


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God’s Got DNA?

In my introductory genetics class at Clemson University in my lecture on chromosomes and sex inheritance, I would sometime close with this little question. This was also after I had covered genetic mutations and how, when it came to human, or mammals for that matter, even small aberrations were usually devastating, much less changes in chromosome numbers. I’ll point out, for example, trisomy 21 which results in mongolism. This means that there is an extra copy of the 21st chromosome, a fairly small chromosome at that.

Now, when it comes to determining the sex of each individual, in humans and mammals in general, it is the Y-chromosome that determines the whether someone is a male or female. In the developmental sequence we would all be females. If an individual has a Y chromosome however, this developmental program is switched. Think of a train barreling down a railroad track and the Y like a switch to a different track for that train. This is what happens. The ordinary female developmental sequence is switched to become male when the Y is present. If it is not present, then the individual continues down the track and becomes a female. Which leads me to virgin births mythology


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