#54: Mail-o-Rama-o-Jama

Dear Stolf: So what’s the dang deal with Romney saying he’d deport the President’s uncle? I wish the Sunday paper had a special section every week on genealogy and kinship topics.  …from Natalie, in Natal, South Africa

54.1  Dear Natalie: I hear ya! Well for now, it’s us or nothing, huh? But, yeah, “Unclegate” anyone? Altho I must tell you quite frankly, this is not a subject I have the heart to delve into very deeply. As someone once said, “Where the Sun is worshiped as a God, it is not a good idea to investigate the laws of heat”…if I ain’t being too oblique on the subject, and I don’t think I am. What’s that? The Secret Service at the door? Tell them I’m not home. 

54.2  But since you asked, the “uncle” in question is actually the POTUS’ half-uncle, being the half-brother of his late father, Barrack Obama Sr. He was born in Kenya as Omar Okech Obama, and came to live in the US in 1963. He is currently 67 years old, and calls himself Onyango Obama, after his father.  He was in the news due to a drunk driving arrest in August of last year, when it came to light that he had been ordered deported back in 1992. If you care to investigate the details of how and why he’s still here (as I said, I simply don’t), they are readily available all over the net.

54.3  Of course, it was a typically snarky “gotcha” question to pose to Mitt Romney back in December, and his answer…that our nation’s immigration laws ought to be enforced… was essentially sound. It’s not unreasonable on the surface of it to think that someone ordered deported ought to pretty much just go…allowing that the specific details of the case might be more complicated, and ultimately result in a different resolution. But in answer to the question: “If somebody is ordered deported, should they be deported, yes or no?” I’d say “yes,” if those were the only 2 answers allowed, wouldn’t you? Hence, there’s really no story here, from the point of view of Romney anyway.

54.4  For the record, the above is a chart of BHO’s family…it is not my work, except that for your benefit I have colored his father red, his half-uncle green, and his grandfather blue. It is fully explained at this website. I gratefully thank Doctor Zebra, and hope you will find it enlightening.

54.5  But I must say, if Romney is indeed the candidate, and his polygamous forebears are reported in the Media like it’s the end of the world, it will indeed be a case of the pot calling the kettle black (sorry…couldn’t resist.) Strange days ahead, it seems…

54.6  And as an interesting side note to last week’s look at Romney’s plural marriage heritage, I was gratified to open the paper last Sunday to this story, cosmic coincidences notwithstanding… 😉 😉 But next, a couple of queries left over from the holidays.

Dear Stolf: Why doesn’t my 2nd cousin Fred ever come to my Christmas party?  …from Bewildered in Bermuda

54.7  Dear Bewildered: Because you’re a dope and nobody goes to your parties. Haven’t you noticed that you’re eating hors d’oeuvres for lunch for 3 days, year in and year out?  OK, just kidding wichoo…sorry…serious answer…

54.8  It’s probably because, if you’re the type of family that goes so far as to invite 2nd cousins…in addition to presumably 1st cousins and siblings…to your Yuletide wingdings, there are simply too many parties for anyone to attend all of them.

54.9  As indicated by the green arrows in Chart 185, you have 4 distinct sets of 2nd cousins, each set consisting of descendants of the siblings of your 4 grandparents…which is to say, each consisting of the great grandchildren of your 4 sets of great grandparents.  Fred has the same…and this amounts to 7 sets of relatives, since by virtue of you’re being 2nd cousins, one of yours and one of Fred’s are the same. So even if Christmas parties were limited to 2nd cousin reunions, there would be 7 parties, 3 you’d go to, 3 Fred would go to, and one you’d both go to.

54.10  And it would build up fast…for 3rd cousins, 15 parties…4th cousins, 31 parties…5th cousins, 63 parties…altho at that level, you could have Christmas every weekend of the year, with parties to spare…so I guess we have a happy ending after all, nez pah?

Dear Stolf: I am 11 years old. On New Years Day, my uncle told me that somebody born in 2012 can be older than someone born in 2011. I think he has it backwards, but all he says to me is to keep thinking about it some more. I’m tired of thinking about it some more. Can you help me with the answer?  …from Freedom Ann in Fresno

54.11  Dear F.A.: Don’t be mad at your uncle, he’s just being his old avuncular self, I suspect. But what he’s driving at is the generally overlooked fact that the day and year of one’s birth is always recorded according to local time. So what? So things can get a little tangled up right around the time when the year changes, the night of Dec. 31st/Jan. 1st.

54.12  In Chart 186, we see that a little girl named Amy is born in Nags Head, North Carolina at one minute past midnight, the morning of January 1, 2012. At that very moment, where you live in Fresno, California, it is 3 hours earlier, right? Now let’s move ahead 1 hour…

chart 187 copy

54.13  It’s now 1 hour later, and a little girl named Zoë is born where you are, in Fresno. As you can see Amy is 1 hour older than Zoë, even tho Amy was born in the next year. So if you have a list of people born in 2011 and a list of people born in 2012, most of the people on the 2011 list will be older than everybody on the 2012 list…but a few won’t be! A few on the 2011 list will be younger than a few on the 2012 list. And if you find someone born on Dec 31st, and someone else on Jan 1st of the next year, you can’t assume the first one is older! It’s all thanks to Time Zones.

54.14  Also, Zoë will celebrate her 1st birthday one day before Amy does..12/31/2012 for Zoë, 1/1/2013 for Amy…even tho Amy was born first and is thus older, if only by an hour.

54.15  But the most interesting thing is, in another 18 years, Amy and Zoë will be college roommates at Tufts University…tell your uncle that! Next week, we’re still nowhere near the bottom of that bottomless mailbag…adios…

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Copyright © 2012 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved

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