Genes are Fun! no… really

A few weeks ago I FedEx’ed a sample of my saliva to a bunch of people I do not know. And I am sooo excited to hear back. As some of you may know, I am one of the lucky folks who checks the “other” box when filling out documents asking what my ethnicity is. In basic terms my ancestors come from Holland, Indonesia, China and Jamaica. I am pretty sure my whitey side is all Dutch but I am slightly fuzzy about my mother’s peeps. Coming from this diverse genetic pool has always fascinated me… In Bio class in high school, whenever we did the Mendel shtuff I would get so excited (Nerd! Nerd!). So when I read that normal civilian-types could pay to get their genome, I was like, woot!woot! When it’s done I will share some of my discoveries and give you gals all the details about the company and how it’s all done! To tide you over, I am embedding a video from my beloved TED. Hope you all enjoy!




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65 Responses to “Genes are Fun! no… really”

  1. Denise Says:

    Whoa thats awesome!! Great video too 🙂

  2. Anna Says:

    Hi Kristin – I’m part aboriginal, part Dutch, and part French. I didn’t know about this service – I think that’s great and look forward to you sharing your results. Thanks!

  3. Jennifer Says:

    That’s super duper cool. Biology is the bane of my existence but genetics is always an interesting subject. My background isn’t really all that mixed (Some South American, which means some European. Eh.), but it’s obvious yours is much more fascinating.

  4. Lydia Says:

    That’s exciting. 🙂

    I’m Belgian and my native language is Dutch.

    Actually, I wonder…can you speak Dutch and/or Chinese?

  5. Frida Says:

    Whoa, go Carl von Linné. haha 🙂

  6. Frida Says:

    I honestly don’t know my exact origins. My grandmothers grandmother came from the US, is all I know.

    But other than that…just swedish. I’m from the south though and people from like Stockholm wanted to give us to Denmark!!! Because Skåne (like..our state) belonged to Denmark hundreds of years ago and therefore our dialect, which is hated!

  7. Susanna-Cole Says:

    Oh I want to ship off some of my saliva now! haha. I seem to be an endless mixed, there’s no half and half or 100% something in this family. As far as I know, I’m part Scot-Irish, part French, part English, part German, part Native American, part Jewish, and part Afghan, and who knows what other blood may be mixed in.

  8. Marilyne Says:

    Wow! This video is a treat! I’m really interested about origins. I remember in Grade 6, I wanted to be an archeologist. Human origins and connections and similarities and differences have always amazed me. I’m so impressed with the power of genetics. When I see the same expressions on someone’s face and one of his siblings, I’m like, this is sooo cool!

    I don’t know the whole story of my descents, but I know some were from France since my family name is “Leblanc”… and I guess they moved to what was La Nouvelle-France, now Quebec.

    Also, I’m a language student so I’ m lucky to have classmates with world wide origins, even in a small city, and I’m fascinated by how we can relate and share common interests and thoughts.

    When realizing that we ultimately all come from the same people, I just can’t accept and understand why we are fighting each other like we have been doing for centuries…

    Peace to you all, sistas! 😛

  9. Ashley Says:

    A-mazing!! Never would of ever thought we’d all be connected. And major Kudos to Kristin and Kendra for bring all us Sisters together. That is like the coolest thing I’ve ever seen and that totally like makes sense. Love our world and love our sisters!! OMG!! That just totally sounded like the previews for Sisterhood of the Traveling pants which we totally need to see.

  10. Gina Says:

    I remember learning this in my science classes I took!

    This is one of those questions that argues with Evolutionism vs. Creationism. Or do you believe in Intelligent Design?

    What do you believe?

    But anyway, I want to know my background. I believe I’m Sicilian, Italian, Polish, Russian, Irish and something else? Hehe.

  11. superkurre Says:

    I didn’t know you could do that saliva thing, that would be so cool! I was adopted and though I have met my biological mother and know a little bit about her background, I know nothing about my father and this would be a nice way of finding out if I have some other ethnic parts in me along side the ones I already know about. Hmm… Doubt they do it here in Finland though. There’s a research project waiting for time and money! 🙂

    Kristin, would be interesting to know what you find out. That’s one interesting mixture of cultures you have in you 😀

  12. Robby Says:

    That’s awesome Kristin.

    Your heritage has made you a very exotic, unique, and incredibly gorgeous mix. 🙂 And don’t worry Kristin, your ‘nerd’ side is highly attractive too 😛

    I’m half Cherokee Indian so I don’t look quite like others around here(in North Carolina) either.

    Keep us posted on the results. 🙂

  13. Sarynelli Says:

    haha, that’s so cool! I had no idea you could do that. I can’t wait to hear what you got back.

    And that video was so awesome. I like that guy’s voice….

  14. skahahoo Says:

    Genes ARE fun! I believe they hold the key to many, many, many of our questions.

    It sounds like Kristin sent away for the anthropological analysis. Do any of you guys watch The Colbert Report? Stephen Colbert got that done as well. lol. Those guys on Comedy Central crack me up, but I digress. Anyway, you can also send away for an analysis that focuses more on your health. There was a bit of a brouhaha in California over whether the companies that did this type of genetic analysis had to get licensed or not…long story short, they’re still working out the details, but in the meantime, 2 of the companies did get licensed. So you send a DNA sample to them, and they’ll analyze it for markers for a bunch of different diseases. That way, you’ll know how great of a risk you have for things like certain cancers, and adapt your lifestyle accordingly.

    AND…there are even people who make art out of genes! A few months ago, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NY had this exhibit called “Design and the Elastic Mind”…I’m not exaggerating…it was the coolest art exhibit ever. There were all these really awesome ideas that people were working on that combined science, art, and technology. The exhibit ended, but they have an online version if any of you are interested in checking it out:

    Anyway, the two genes-related pieces are:

    Genomic Cartography, by Ben Fry

    and Humans vs. Chimps, also by Ben Fry

    The pics on the website for Genomic Cartography don’t do the piece justice. The actual piece took up almost an entire wall…maybe about 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide? And those colors on the pics? They’re all made of letters (A, T, C, G), each one representing one of the 4 nucleotides of our DNA. And in the actual piece, each letter is maybe ONE millimeter tall. Can you imagine? A picture that big, made of letters that small…and all of that represented only chromosome 18, which is one of the shortest chromosomes in our genome. It just puts you in awe…how much information is encoded in these tiny, tiny molecules we call DNA. Nature is jaw-droppingly amazing.

    AND…you can also turn your DNA into an artwork to hang on your wall:

    @ Frida – You’re Swedish! Awesome! Have you ever eaten surströming? I’ve heard many stories about surströming. lol. I’ve also heard that Julmust is better than Coca-Cola. Do you agree? I’ve never tried it. I’m very curious about surströming. I want to try it. Is that a bad idea?

    Also, is Ikea really popular over there? Because let me tell you…Americans LOVE Ikea. No joke. They just opened one in Brooklyn (a part of New York City), and you’d think heaven descended on earth or something…that’s how happy people were about it. lol.

  15. Maxima Says:

    OK….I’m sending my saliva right now….OK I just spitted out the window as far as I could but I think I got my neighbor’s car!
    Just kiddin’ you know.
    I know for sure that I’m part human…as far as the rest….will see (Twilight Zone music in the background).
    For the record, my Dad is from Rome,Italy and my Mom is from Panama City,Panama.

  16. LI Says:

    He talk so fast. 😀
    Thanks for TED vid

  17. Michel - Sorocaba Says:

    Do not turn precoupe with Nerd, Kristin. You already have an idea of their ancestors
    Here’s my situation: gene comes from my Italian with indigenous!
    What can leave it? In what tribe I am?

  18. Emilia Says:

    OHHH! i saw this on tv the other day i dont know why i didnt keep the companies name .. I might want to check out what the go is with my genes, anyone know what to site go to for this ????? Pretty please ?

  19. Hammad Says:

    Ah…the origins of humanity. What an interesting question. In modern day science, the theory of evolution based on the principles of random mutations and natural selection (survival of the fittest), being the dominant theory in existence, proposes that humans and apes all shared a common ancestor. The gaps of the theory (from a macro-evolutionary perspective) filled in with conjecture because of holes in the fossil evidence, rather unscientifically. Nuh Ha Mim Keller writes:

    It seems to me that the very absoluteness of the theory’s conclusions tends to compromise its “objective” character. It is all very well to speak of the “evidence of evolution,” but if the theory is thorough- going, then human consciousness itself is also governed by evolution. This means that the categories that allow observation statements to arise as “facts”, categories such as number, space, time, event, measurement, logic, causality, and so forth are mere physiological accidents of random mutation and natural selection in a particular species, Homo sapiens. They have not come from any scientific considerations, but rather have arbitrarily arisen in man by blind and fortuitous evolution for the purpose of preserving the species. They need not reflect external reality, “the way nature is”, objectively, but only to the degree useful in preserving the species. That is, nothing guarantees the primacy, the objectivity, of these categories over others that would have presumably have arisen had our consciousness evolved along different lines, such as those of more distant, say, aquatic or subterranean species. The cognitive basis of every statement within the theory thus proceeds from the unreflective, unexamined historical forces that produced “consciousness” in one species, a cognitive basis that the theory nevertheless generalizes to the whole universe of theory statements (the explanation of the origin of species) without explaining what permits this generalization. The pretences of the theory to correspond to an objective order of reality, applicable in an absolute sense to all species, are simply not compatible with the consequences of a thoroughly evolutionary viewpoint, which entails that the human cognitive categories that underpin the theory are purely relative and species-specific. The absolutism of random mutation and natural selection as explanative principles ends in eating the theory. With all its statements simultaneously absolute and relative, objective and subjective, generalizable and ungeneralizable, scientific and species-specific, the theory runs up on a reef of methodological incoherence.

    Just something to think about. A kind of chicken and the egg thing. This one hundred billion, one thousand trillion synaptic connection of neurons, literally an amazing “glob” of gray matter that resides in our heads “evolved” itself to a point where it induced in man the ability and the curiousity to question his origins, and came up with the theory that it did this based on “random” mutations and natural selection. Strange.

    I know this video focused more on the genetic commonality of our human ancestry, but he did mention evolutionary concepts in the beginning of the lecture that made me say the things I did. Despite that, it appears that this lecture implies that we all come from a single ancestor and its mate, which seems to conform to many religious based doctrines concerning our origins.

  20. esther Says:

    teehee. this reminds me of something you can do for your dog to find out what breed(s) he/she is.

  21. G Says:

    That’s freaking sweet! Science has come pretty far when it comes to DNA study. Those Mendel things and the Punnett Squares were fun haha.

  22. Ash Says:

    I was better in Chemestry then Biology.

    I never new or even thought that you could send in your saliva and have it examined to find out what your heritage is. Kind of weird, but interesting.

    Welp, hope you find out more about your heritage then what you already know. 🙂

  23. skahahoo Says:

    @ Hammad – Very interesting quote! Thanks for sharing it!

    I have to say though…I know many people view science as absolute, but those who adhere to science in its purest form don’t view things that way. Every single law, formula, and theory in science is vulnerable to modification or invalidation. This has happened a number of times throughout science’s history, and will no doubt continue to happen in the future. For this reason, I’m a bit confused as to why Nuh Ha Mim Keller refers to the “absoluteness” of evolutionary theory’s conclusions. There are no absolutes in science. That’s why it’s so beautiful and enthralling. The reason so many people believe in the “correctness” of evolutionary theory is that it provides a logical explanation of the past, has tremendous predictive power, is supported by overwhelming evidence, and has yet to encounter something to seriously challenge it. Should something come along to contradict evolutionary theory, it is my hope that science remains open to it, and doesn’t follow in the footsteps of the past when new ideas were dismissed, often with furor.

    I agree that we could very well have evolved along different lines…the aquatic or subterranean species mentioned (isn’t that a mind trip?? 🙂 ). And certainly, science and many of its constructs (space, time, etc.) are artifacts of the way our consciousness developed. But who is to say that these constructs are specific to Homo sapiens? Take numbers for example. In my opinion, numbers put into language our ability to count, but counting is not a uniquely human ability (even bees can count). What does appear to be uniquely human is our capacity for powerful language, but you know…even that…maybe our language isn’t all that and a bag of chips. Apparently the language of whales contains more information than our own. So maybe the whales know something we don’t. 🙂

    I’m curious…did Nuh Ha Mim Keller propose some kind of alternative way of perceiving and explaining the world around us? (To the address the issue of evolutionary theory “eating itself.”) It sure is fascinating to think about. 🙂

  24. Frida Says:

    @ skahahoo
    Haha, don’t ever ever try surströmming. It’s honestly one of the most disgusting things and it smells horrible. I tried getting a whole bite down, but eeeeww!!

    Personally I like Coca Cola more than Julmust but Julmust is really good. But drinking Julmust is a Christmas tradition. Try it! It’s almost like Coke but still very different from it.

    Haha, when I came to New York in July I saw..Ikea was like the first thing I saw 😛 I know!! When I was in Detroit over Christmas when went to Ikea to get swedish gingerbread and the cashier was speaking swedish?!

    Do you live in Brooklyn? 🙂

  25. Frida Says:

    btw, I can’t believe school starts today. I’ve been living in paradise all summer, and now I’m back in hell 😦

  26. Emma Says:

    Wow Kristin, you’re really a super cool cocktail mix!
    No wonder you’re so unassuming and modest (China, Indonesia), and so chilled and cool (Jamaica – hehe) and you’re so passionate about making a difference in the world (yip that sounds like the Dutchy in you).
    Here’s to you KK!
    I’m of Dutch, Scottish, South African and Zimbabwean descent. I’m intrigued by this saliva test, can’t wait to read about your results!

  27. Emma Says:

    Here’s a interesting article about The Genographic Project ladies! x

  28. Lesley Says:

    interesting! how exciting as well! cant wait to hear bout the genes on your side. Im half filipina/spanish descent of course and french, german, and a couple other european ones i cant seem to ever remember even when my grandparents talk about the “history of our family” LOL!its too much to with all this said i’m going to ask her again one of these days and record it! lol =)

  29. superkurre Says:

    I remember when I was living in Rome with my 3 Swedish housemates (and I’m from Finland), we went to the Ikea there just to get food for christmas. We spent so much, but a little taste of home was nice. I also went to the Ikea in Liverpool (where I study) with my non-Scandinavian housemates who all bought stuff and I only bought food 😀

  30. Frida Says:

    @ superkurre

    Alright 🙂 it’s very different spending Christmas away from home, obviously, so Ikea’s perfect because could make swedish Christmas food as usual.

    Where were your roommates from? 😀

  31. superkurre Says:

    They were all from Göteborg, which made it kind of hard for me to understand them sometimes, cause my Swedish is the typical clunky sounding Finnish accent and one of them had a very strong Göteborg accent 😛 They were all very nice and I’m still in touch with them. Where are you from?

  32. Hammad Says:

    Are comments closed?

  33. Hammad Says:

    For some reason I could not post what I wrote, so I will try again:

    I thought NHK was quite clear in his explanation of what he deemed as the absoluteness of the theory’s conclusions. Obviously, science is not a branch of a philosophy, and nowhere did NHK make the claim that science or its conclusions are absolute, but What appear to be epistemological claims of evolutionary theory don’t hold up if the development of human consciousness is also considered as part of the process of evolution, which it must be, as far an “objective” order of reality is concerned. Everyone who has passed junior and high school education in the world knows that science is just a human construct, a methodology to understand how (not the why, which is philosophical) things work, based on empirical evidence. Roger Bacon, who is attributed in Western textbooks as the “founder” of the scientific method, received his training from the Spanish Moors, and learned everything from Muslim sources. Those people you have referred to that believe that science is absolute, are ones who believe in what is called scientism. Evolution has its evidence, from a micro-evolutionary (within a species) perspective. From a macro-evolutionary (into different species) perspective, its evidence is sorely lacking. In the latter sense, it is also essentially unfalsifiable, the latter being a principle that is to be upheld when something is claimed to be scientific. In a sense, it applies the principle of the “god of the gaps” – ironic, I suppose – when it consolidates the evidence for micro-evolution as evidence for macro-evolution.

    NHK believes that evolution (from a macro perspective) is not scientific. He says the following:

    It seems to me that it is a human interpretation, an endeavor, an industry, a literature, based on what the American philosopher Charles Peirce called abductive reasoning, which functions in the following way:

    (1) Suprising fact A.
    (2) If theory B were the case, then A would naturally follow.
    (3) Therefore B.

    Here, (1) alone is certain, (2) is merely probable (as it explains the facts, though does not preclude other possible theories), while (3) has only the same probability as (2). If you want to see how ironclad the case for the evolution of man is, make a list of all the fossils discovered so far that “prove” the evolution of man from lower life forms, date them, and then ask yourself if abductive reasoning is not what urges it, and if it really precludes the possibility of quite a different (2) in place of the theory of evolution.

    Anyways, I don’t think that Kristin or Kendra intended this to be the place for such a discussion, especially when considering it comes from the opposite sex that this site was intended for.

  34. jennifer Says:

    Wow Kristin that’s really cool!

  35. Frida Says:

    @ superkurre
    I’m from Helsingborg 🙂 It’s about 2 hours south of Göteborg. CLose to Malmö.
    That’s nice, what were you doing in Rome?

  36. Scott123 Says:

    I have to say Ted is becoming my new hangout. If I could, I would talk to any of those folks for hours! So I want to say thanks for turning me on to it.
    Now, it has taken me awhile, but, I really like the new haircut. In photo 24 on flickr, I think you look like Isabella Rossellini 🙂 (I think you know who that is).

    Your friend in Progressive Thinking,

  37. skahahoo Says:

    @ Frida – lol…What’s this? Don’t try surströmming? hahaha. My gosh…how bad is it? The response so far has been a resounding “NO! DON’T DO IT! IT’S SWEDEN’S WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION!!” 😉

    And be honest…relatively speaking, how good are the meatballs at Ikea? Are they reflective of actual Swedish meatballs? And I will definitely try Julmust if I ever get a chance.

    I don’t live in Brooklyn, but I am a NYC chick. And you were here this past July?? So we could’ve passed by each other on the street!

    @ superkurre – You’re from Finland! Cool! And don’t worry…I didn’t forget about the comics. I just haven’t had the time. But one day it shall be done!

    @ Hammad – Did those NHK quotes come from a book he wrote? I’d like to read up on his ideas if I can, so if you’ve got a title, much good karma will be sent your way. 🙂

    Everyone here is so diverse! Awesome! 😀

  38. Hammad Says:

    No, it’s not quoted from a book, but from a letter he wrote. It’s primarily a religious letter interspersed with scientific jargon, some of which I already quoted. It was written in response to a question proposed by someone asking whether evolutionary theory is compatible with Islamic religious teachings, where he explained his answer with supporting arguments like the ones I quoted above. I doubt you will find it reconcilable with your beliefs.

  39. Frida Says:

    @ skahahoo

    Hahaha, it’s just really bad. I just found out that in english it’s called ‘Fermented Baltic herring’,
    I mean…does that sound tasty to you? 😛

  40. Frida Says:

    And the meatballs at Ikea are pretty good, but not really like homemade.
    Homemade meatballs with potatoes and brown sauce is great!! 😀
    Yeah try Julmust 😉

  41. Frida Says:

    @ skahahoo for the third time xD

    so if you’ve eaten meatballs at Ikea you haven’t really tasted swedish meatballs.

  42. superkurre Says:

    No worries 🙂

  43. freoo Says:

    who do u contact to find out what your ethicities are? where do u send it? haha i wanna know!

  44. skahahoo Says:

    @ Frida – Mmmm….fermented Baltic herring! lol. And I knew it! About the meatballs I mean. Homemade is always better. Well, no…it’s only better when the cook knows what he/she’s doing. Hehe. So that’s one more thing to add to my to do list of life…try homemade Swedish meatballs with potatoes and brown sauce. And Julmust!

    Hey…were you in NY for kicks and giggles? Where’d you go? Did you do the touristy thing? Did you like the food here? What did you eat? Were we nice to you? Sometimes New Yorkers can be…um…not so hospitable. lol. But I think it’s kind of endearing. lol.

    @ superkurre – Kiittää te! (Is that how you say “Thank you” in Finnish? I have no idea how you pronounce that.)

    @ Hammad – Thanks anyway!

  45. Frida Says:

    @ skahahoo

    It was actually my forth time, although the first where I actually know what I’m seeing and doing. I’m 15 so I was pretty young the previous times.

    But yeah we did as much as we possibly could, I went to some museums, listened to gospel in Harlem, so it wasn’t all tourist like. My friend and I just emptied the stores it felt like. Our moms weren’t a part of the trip, they just followed us and handed their credit cards xD
    I love NY and I’m going back in October with a friend.

    Anything you recommend us doing? Hey! I can bring you Julmust ;):D

  46. Frida Says:

    But just being in the US is a cultural shock to first timers. It’s a completely different world you know. The mentality, the people…just everything is so the opposite of europeans and Europe is in general.

    I know this sounds very shallow, but something that you notice and that we saw is that a lot of americans dress very bad and are not at all as vain as swedes AND europeans in general.
    I’ve always said that in The US you can look however and be crazy cause people don’t care but here…it’s superficial and people fixate around how they look and how others look.

  47. Frida Says:

    I also think that that opens up for something that I believe to be central to GDB and that is how our youth and adolescence differ. Because they do..very much so because of where we’re from and what our day to day lives look like. Who we strive to be and what matters. Cause being a kid the question you’re kind of facing is: Look nice, or BE nice? Inside or outside? And that’s what I meant with the post above as well.

  48. skahahoo Says:

    @ Frida – hahahaha…That’s hysterical! There was an article in The New York Times about how, because of the weak dollar, everyone is coming to NY to basically clean out the shops and eat at the fanciest restaurants. They interviewed a bunch of New Yorkers about it, and they were kind of ambivalent about the whole thing. On the one hand, it was good for the city’s economy, but on the other hand, they felt jealous that they couldn’t go abroad or they felt like they were being intruded upon because they didn’t get the same type of service they used to. Or, if their friends were visiting, they just felt like their apartments were being used as lockers. lol. I say whatever! The nation’s economy is in trouble, so I’m glad there are people coming to help prop up our city. 🙂

    Man! If it was your 4th time then you’re a pro! Which museums did you go to? My favorites are the American Museum of Natural History (on the Upper West Side), the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), and the Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art…on the Upper East Side). If you like to shop, besides the Midtown area (Park Ave, Madison Ave, 5th Ave), there are a lot of boutiques and stuff in the SoHo and Chelsea area. On the weekends, there are also a lot of artists selling their stuff on the sidewalks in SoHo. If you like art, there are a lot of galleries in the Meatpacking District.

    Oh man…and food…that’s like a whole other thing. What kind of food do you like? And I’ll make recommendations based on that. 🙂

    And if you’re going to be here in October, it’ll be autumn here, so you can see all the pretty leaves! Central Park is nice, but there are so many beautiful places about an hour north of the city. I live in the suburbs north of the city, and we have a couple of big state parks here. There are also a bunch of places in Westchester, which is across the river from where I live.

    There are places where you can go skydiving, or paragliding, or hanggliding, or take an airplane ride, too. Not in the city, but up north.

    Oh! And it might still be apple-picking season if you’re into that sort of thing. 🙂

    Can you tell I love NY? 😀

  49. skahahoo Says:

    @ Frida – lol…I’ve heard the same…about the difference in appearances I mean. So it’s a good thing I live here huh? Cuz I sooooo don’t care about clothes and stuff. I mean, I’m clean and I don’t wear rags, but beyond that…it requires way too much effort on my part, so I don’t bother. lol.

  50. Frida Says:

    @ skahahoo

    Yeah I know the lay of the lands. I went to The Metropolitan and the INternational Museum of Photography which was on, 42nd and 6th I think. Somewhere around TS.

    I love Lower East Side and I love Soho and the Meatpacking District. I dig Ed Hardy shoes so we had to go there.

    Yep, the dollar is weak so we benefit from shopping, although we would’ve gone even if the dollar was high. But it doesn’t hurt :D:D

    We went to Aquavit because the food is great there. Wollenskis make the best steaks. But I bet there are a million places to go so I’ve got to go like 400 hundred times in order to do everything.

  51. Frida Says:

    Fashion is good I guess, but my STYLE, which is another thing, is really important to me and dressing in the morning is alwats fun. And my style represents who I am in a lot of ways. As long as I dig it, it doesn’t matter if other don’t.

    So I do care very much about how I look, but not because of peers you know?

    I don’t know how much time I have in October. We’re globetrotters so we’re only there for like 2 days then we’re off to Chicago xD

  52. Frida Says:

    @ skahahoo

    But say a regular monday and you’re going to a diner to have lunch with friends, what do you wear?

  53. Nicole Says:

    That’s an interesting video. I have also a (sort of) mixed background. But I have the Dutch nationality. Now I was curious..Can jou speak Dutch? Ok..Other question, what other languages do you speak (besides English…duh…) ? Ciao.

  54. DreyHan Says:

    Oh my goodness! This is awesome stuff! I have been born thinking I was just full Asian my entire life until somewhere in my mid teens ( I changed a lot and look totally different from my younger days) when people began to come up to me and ask if I’m pure Chinese or of some sort of unknown mixed heritage. Over time, the number of people asking me of my ancestry has piqued my interest in my own racial background thus I went to verify and I know for a fact that my paternal side of the family is pure Chinese, but just like yours, my mom’s side is pretty fuzzy. I only know that my maternal grandma was adopted so that’s even tougher to trace back, and my own mother doesn’t have a clue either other than my grandma was originally from Indonesia. I can’t wait to hear what your genetic report says and yes please please do share where you actually sent your DNA sample, I’d wanna find out what I actually am too! Cheers and hugs!

  55. Ilana Says:

    Hammad says “….from a macro-evolutionary (into different species) perspective, its evidence is sorely lacking”.
    I know this isn’t really part of the discussion but since you mentioned it,
    Hammad, have you not heard of “Tiktaalik Roseae”, the transitional (water to land) fossil found in 2006?
    Also, here is an interesting quote from the preface of a book the National Science Foundation came out with called, “Science, Evolution, and Creationism”: “…But there is no controversy in the scientific community about whether evolution has occurred. On the contrary, the evidence supporting descent with modification, as Charles Darwin termed it, is both overwhelming and compelling….because of this immense body of evidence, scientists treat the occurrence of evolution as one of the most securely established of scientific facts…. the evidence for evolution can be fully compatible with religious faith. Science and religion are different ways of understanding the world. Needlessly placing them in opposition reduces the potential of each to contribute to a better future.”

  56. skahahoo Says:

    @ Frida – Ohhhhh…..steeeaaaaak…. :d I think I’ve been to Wollenski’s (Smith & Wollenski, right?) once. It was good! Never been to Aquavit, but I know they’re very well-known. If you like steak, have you ever tried Peter Luger? In Brooklyn? They’re FAMOUS. They only serve porterhouses. That’s really the only thing to eat there. Their sides and desserts are just eh. Another good steakhouse I like is Striphouse…I think it’s on 12th St between University and 5th. They’ve got a cool vibe going on on the inside. And they’ve got really good sides. I’m particularly fond of the creamed spinach. And they have this ridiculous multi-layered chocolate cake. I’ve had better chocolate cake, but never one with so many layers. lol.

    I’m soooooo not the person to be asking, “So what do you wear in this situation?” lol. You are asking someone who’s dressed in scrubs for most of the day for work. And when I’m home, I’m in a t-shirt and either shorts or pajama pants. When I’m outside, I’m also generally dressed in khakis and some variation of a t-shirt. In the situation you were referring to, it really depends on where you’re going. I rarely go to fancy places, so dressing the way I do is fine in NY. Even at places like Peter Luger. Striphouse is a little bit more upscale though, so they won’t let you in with shorts. lol.

    @ Ilana – Thanks for the name of that fossil! I couldn’t remember it for the life of me. lol.

  57. superkurre Says:

    Kiitos is thank you in Finnish 🙂

    I was looking at your tips about New York and they sound good. I’m most likely going to be there in December for a few weeks since my mom is going to live there for a few years from October. Although, I must admit, I was looking forward to a Christmas in the north of Finland where my brother lives, with 2 metres of snow, reindeer and skiing, nice cottage with a fireplace… Might go to Finland instead…. Confused now! Well, anywhere is nice as long as it’s with family. Looking forward to New York too! Any tips for someone interested in film, literature and such? I can image there’s plenty of that 😀

  58. AlyssaMarie Says:

    I also find the topic of genes and lineage very interesting. Eventhough, I am American Chinese, no mix, it’s very interesting to find out how my ancestors got to be here in the USA. My parents ancestry, goes back to the 1800’s during the Gold Rush days in San Francisco and the building of the railroads. But I have a very good idea of how your grandmother got to be in Jamaica. There is a large population of Chinese in the islands and South America dating back to the 1800’s, islands like the Dominican Republic, Trinidad, Cuba and of course Jamaica. The history behind it is very interesting. Go to, Asians in the Americas, its a DVD. The history of it! I just found it soo interesting. Sometimes the best way to find out is to ask your mom or grandmother. I hate to say it but I find that the Chinese rarely like to talk about their past unless you really sit them down and ask.
    Good luck in your expedition in finding out your history and lineage.

  59. Hammad Says:

    My intention was never to argue that belief in evolution and belief in religion were incompatible, one way or the other. In fact, there are many scientists of different faiths who don’t believe in their incompatibility. However, just because someone from a scientific magazine has stated that the evidence is “overwhelming” and “compelling”, does not make it so. As I said previously, I believe the evidence for micro-evolution is scientifically strong. However, I believe that these few “transitional” fossils that people have found do not qualify as enough scientific evidence for macro-evolution, especially when we consider the millions of different species in existence, many of which supposedly evolved from one species into another, and many of which haven’t evolved for millions of years. As I posted earlier from what NHK said: if you want to see how ironclad the case for the evolution of man is, make a list of all the fossils discovered so far that “prove” the evolution of man from lower life forms, date them, and then ask yourself if abductive reasoning is not what urges it, and if it really precludes the possibility of quite a different in place of the theory of evolution. It’s a simple request if one has the interest to do so.

  60. *dacara* Says:

    Hi Kristin, I think that’s pretty interesting that you are going to learn about your genome. I remember hearing about getting these kind of tests done but I thought it was by blood samples and not by saliva. I would consider myself mixed because I don’t know much about my ancestors or even great granparents for that matter, so I hate classifying myself under one category. I actually think everyone is somewhat but they just don’t know it, but that’s just what I think. BTW I like how you said that you sent your saliva to a bunch of people you don’t know in the beginning . .lol.

  61. skahahoo Says:

    @ superkurre – I totally agree…as long as you spend it with family. 🙂 And reindeer! I’ve never seen a real reindeer before! So cool! 🙂

    December in NY is awesome! It’s not so pretty when it snows because everything just looks dirty, except for Central Park, which is very pretty when covered in snow. If you can borrow a sled, there’s a little hill there that all the kids and their parents go to. It’s quite fun!

    Oh boy…so all the things you can do in December. First of all, be aware that it will be madness in NY because of the holidays. lol. That having been said, every year the shops along 5th Ave in Midtown put up their holiday displays, which are generally pretty cool to see. It’s better to go when there aren’t crowds (I personally like to go late at night) or else everyone will be pushing you along. lol. There’s also the famous tree that will be lit up at Rockefeller Center. You can also go ice skating at Rockefeller Center or at Wollman Rink in Central Park. If you like toys or are just a kid at heart, F.A.O. Schwartz is a famous toy store. I think it’s on 5th Ave in Midtown. The flagship Apple Store is also on 5th…also in Midtown somewhere. This is the one that has the glass cube on the street level and you go into the cube and down below for the store. It’s a good place to go if you need free internet access since it’s open 24 hours a day…hehe.

    If you like film and literature…sooooo many things to do! Your best bet is to grab one of the free publications…the Village Voice and L Magazine are both really popular and are free for the taking at various locations throughout the city. Just look out for those newspaper/magazine dispenser thingies on the sidewalk. The Village Voice is a newspaper, so there are articles and such, but in the back they list a bunch of happenings in the city. L Magazine is mostly ads and event listings. A lot of people also like TimeOut NY (a magazine), but that one isn’t free. There are a bunch of indie film theaters throughout the city. There’s Angelika, Landmark Sunshine, IFC, Village Cinemas East, Tribeca, Quad Cinemas…these are all downtown, generally in or near SoHo or Chelsea or the Lower East Side. I’m sure there are more. There’s also a theater near Lincoln Center that shows indie films. Don’t expect anything fancy in these theaters though. lol. The seats aren’t the new comfy kinds like the ones you find in the big theaters, and the screens are generally smaller. But many of the indie films are shown at these theaters. The MoMA also screens a lot of indie films – ones that generally don’t even make it to release in the theaters. Oh…and entrance to the MoMA is free after…I think 4 or 5 on Fridays. Otherwise, it’s like 20-something dollars just to get in.

    If you want to watch a movie in a cool theater, check out Ziegfeld Theatre. It’s an old-school theater, with curtains and everything. This theater only shows one movie, and it will be a wide release, not an indie.

    If you ever come to NY in the summertime, there are also free outdoor screenings of movies at various parks. You kind of have to make a day out of it though since the park gets packed on those days, since it’s free. lol. Central Park also has free concerts and free stage shows (Summer Theater). But again, since these events are free, the lines for tickets are generally ridiculous.

    As for literature, there are readings and such, which would be listed in the publications listed above. You might also like to check out the New York Public Library (Humanities and Social Sciences Library) on 5th Ave and 42nd St…the one with the famous lion statues out in front. It’s a really beautiful building, on the inside and outside, and they give free tours. There are also reading rooms throughout the city, but I’m not sure if they’re free. If you want to buy or browse through books, there are tons of Barnes & Nobles all over (that’s a major bookstore chain here). Strand Bookstore is famous if you’re looking for things like first editions and things like that. If you’re into comics, there’s Forbidden Planet downtown and Midtown Comics in…you guessed it…Midtown. Those are the biggest ones, but there are others.

    If you like theater, there are lots of off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway shows, which are much cheaper than Broadway shows. I haven’t seen it, but everyone raves about The Lion King. People also really like Rent, but that’s closing at the end of the month. My favorite off-Broadway shows are Stomp (an all-percussion show) and Blue Man Group (blue guys doing strange, yet entertaining, things). If you want to see a Broadway show, you can get discounted tickets at the TKTS booth in Times Square. You have to be willing to wait on a long line though on the day of the show, and the most popular shows usually don’t offer discounted tickets.

    If you like classical music, opera, and ballet, there’s Lincoln Center. If you like dance, there’s the Joyce Theater and the Alvin Ailey Theater.

    Here are some links:
    Village Voice
    L Magazine
    TimeOut NY
    NY Public Library (Humanities & Social Sciences)
    Ziegfeld Theatre

    Let me know if you have any questions! I love this city! 😀 It can be a little rough here because everyone is always in “Go go go!” mode. lol. Just don’t take it personally. 😉

  62. jane Says:

    Great. Now, i must go to national geographic website to do some research.

    It is a very interesting subject, particularly how culture evolved and how the migration of man came about. Thanks kristin, as always, you impress me.

  63. Nate Barrows Says:

    I did the same thing and i hope you used and not! dnaprint has more testing that can be done also. Love you Kristin.

  64. Aurélie Says:

    Hello kristin!!
    I’m french
    Today, I’m looking SMALLVILLE “season 6
    I love it!!!
    I love “Lana ” and Clark ❤

  65. Virginie Says:

    I think this “mix” of origins fits you well… lol… I’d like to do such test for myself, I’m half from Belgium, a quarter spanish and a quarter french but with this, I would be sure of my origins…

    Thanks for sharing 😉

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