May 6th, 2011

Genealogical Musings

R. has identified an interesting pattern among some of his French-Canadian ancestors. In a genealogy of a particular name C. (I've been asked to anonymize this), each generation on multiple branches has numerous sons who are listed as dying unmarried. Their siblings who did reproduce had _lots_ of kids. Some of these sons lived with other people of the same last name as adults (unclear what the precise relationship was). Some of these guys died living alone (unclear whether they were roomers or in a separate building, but certainly not part of a family unit).

R. says I can ask the question: "Did we find gay genes?" He wants to be really clear. Among the O. families he has researched, they _all_ get married. The unmarried men C. also had a tendency to move around a bit more often (but only very slightly more often -- one move, versus none). They did not necessarily move far and they stayed within a larger kinship network -- five to ten villages over and within a community of other people with their last name.

When doing genealogy, it's easy to see the past through the lens of the family that we have known over our lives. And this pattern really snapped into focus for R. (His other theory is Asperger's.)

speculation about Nook[ ]2

There will definitely be an announcement about a new ereader from B&N on May 24. That part is not speculation; it has been announced for regulatory reasons.

Here is Nate Hoffelder:

Here is Mike Cane:

It'll be interesting to see what shows up. I suspect it'll be a lot more boring than new screen technology (a switch to Pearl seems more likely than a switch to Mirasol or something even less discussed -- I'd be surprised to see it go all touch, honestly, but you never know).

ETA: fjtorres in the comments suggests: "The WiFi only version will be closer to $100 than $150."
I find this highly plausible in the wake of the Kobo announcement.

Hachette e-book revenue numbers h/t/ The Digital Reader

Lagardere owns Hachette. Hachette is one of the "Big 6" publishers. Stephanie Meyers was a big contributor to their bottom line in recent years.

Here is the bit I am drawing attention to:

"E-book sales momentum was considerable (up 88% compared to Q1 2010), accounting for approximately 22% of revenue in the United States and 5% in the United Kingdom. This development is the result of very brisk sales of e-book readers at the end of the year."

(h/t means a tip of the hat to the blogger Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader, which is where I found out about this)

This is completely irrelevant, but I get always get a chuckle out of sentences like this:

"The decline in recurring EBIT before contribution from associates at Lagardère Publishing, which was mitigated by improved e-book profitability, is being offset by the pick-up experienced by Lagardère Active and Lagardère Unlimited." Once you get past the jargon and the somewhat awkward construction, and assuming you know enough about conglomerates to understand why this is important, and enough about this conglomerate to have an reasonable opinion about what this means for Lagardere's health, it's a useful piece of information (altho honestly, I'm never sure if I trust this kind of summary; I'd rather see the numbers). But it makes me laugh anyway, possibly because it's so wildly improbable that I even know what it means.