Genetically marooned

Emma and Jacob each share half my DNA. After that, it is strange how little kin I’ve got. Third-closest is Cousin Nancy, whose mother and my grandmother were sisters and whose father and my grandfather were (I think) first cousins. So Nancy and I share 5/64 of a genome. Just a neck behind her are Ted, Ron, and Bruce Harrington, whose father was my father’s half-brother. That’s 1/16 of a genome each. After them, I think everybody is at the 1/32 level or below.  My overlap with John Trefethen, Chairman of Trefethen Vineyards and my sixth cousin, is unfortunately just 1/8192.

[28 May 2020]

Co-working with a blackbird

For the past two months I have sat at my desk doing mathematics, while on the lawn out the window, a blackbird has been hopping about finding worms. He’s there in the morning and he’s there at noon and he’s there in the evening. He hops, he stops, he hops again. All day long.

I remarked to Kate, what an empty and meaningless life he leads! She countered that the blackbird probably thinks my life is meaningless too.

So I have refined my view, appreciating my good fortune to be sharing this confinement with such an agreeable colleague.

[25 May 2020]