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I said "coursing", not "greyhound racing". Or is there something about American dog-racing I'd rather not know?

Doesn't dog racing generally comprise dogs chasing after a rabbitor mechanical rabbit? My understandings are based entirely on secondor third-hand cultural knowledge. I understand that dog races of some sort are popular in the UK, as they are in Eastern Massachusetts.

The greyhounds race after a flopsy bunny thing called an "electric hare", not a real lagopoid. There's one case on record, or perhaps only in legend, in which a furry mammal hare got onto the track and the dogs ignored it.
Coursing is a game in which a real hare is released from a box, and the dogs chase it. Cf trapshooting, I suppose.

Mike.
after a not

This seems like silly latter-day terminology. A race is a course and a course is a race.
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blade If from You're probably right, but I'd like to know how your inference follows either of our posts.

Television, standing in here for the mass media in general, makes a lot of its money by scaring people.

That's unarguable.
Even if there is only a vanishingly small chance of your (one's) ever being anywhere near the kind of dog ... of nearby imminent violent danger to loved ones that sell soap better than sex does, especially during Family Viewing Hours.

This is largely fair comment on the mass of the commercial media
This can be a source of harmless pleasure to many (you and Meirman did seem to be taking a certain ... kind of emergency preparedness, as inAmerican (TM) villages where everyone goes armed, tends to augment rather than mitigate the carnage.

I wasn't advocating Meirman go "equipped" so to speak. I inferred that he was talking of someone nearby and predictable, and presumed said equipment might be stored ready to hand.
Moreover, the idea of harming another creature gives me no pleasure at all, and I'm going to guess that the same applies to Meirman. I think it's very regrettable that some dog owners are reckless and ignorant about thier management of their dogs, and it's even more regrettable that some people choose their dogs for entirely the wrong reasons as a kind of weapon in itself, or at least, so as to project their machismo.
I don't want any child, or any dog, to be attacked and badly bitten; if I were present at such an occurrence,as I never have been and don't expect to be, I would intervene even if that likely meant being bitten myself.

Me too.
But I'm not going to start packing anything.

True. I walk my dogs with nothing but leads, a dispenser of "poop" bags, a torch (to spot said poop in poor light) and some liver treats (for obedience training).
I might injure a child, or a bystander, or myself, or a dog when other means would have served, and then be a long time recovering from feelings of criminal stupidity.

Quite so.
You can't get sponsors to spend much of their lovely money on programs about sensible precautions, although those are the only really responsible approach; so what you see on the subject is mostly scareality TV: toxically disrelevant to real life.

The endorsement "a show no parent can afford to miss" or equivalent always sells well. They are in the audience marketing business even more than entertainment.
There. I feel better. Time to apologise for the rather snotty tone taken*, perhaps.

It was just a tad, but this is usenet and I'm not easily offended.
I don't believe, and have seen no reason to believe, that you (you) or Meirman would behave irresponsibly in such a case. I'm just saying that those shows are bad for you (everybody). That's why I never watch one for more than five (ten) minutes.

That's admirable, but although, notionally, I'd like to think I'd be the same, I do love my moments of escapism. Some perfectly implausible bit of fluff (I saw Chevy Chase the other night in "Nothing But Trouble"), or soapy style detective drama, or even a good doco are part of my relief from work, as is this place.
*Yes, the passive anonymous. My name is CDB and I am a (former)civil servant.

FRAN
brought Sullivan, (OK, poor snipping: sorry.) Two matters arise. ... after a released hare still allowed in the US?

Sort of. The hare has now been replaced with Tom DeLay.

Hardly the same thing: The hare did nothing to deserve such a fate.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
1. Is the disgusting sport of coursing hounds set to run after a released hare still allowed in the US?

According to one page, greyhound racing is legal in 16 states (including Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia, and I'm not sure what others; TWERKIF).

Presumably, Mike is talking about hounds chasing a real hare, while greyhound racing concerns dogs racing an artificial rabbit. There are certainly reasons one might oppose greyhound racing, but what Mike is discussing is another sort of thing altogether, as is the releasing of a fox to be chased by hounds.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
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What breeders do is breed a characteristic in or out.

I think that this depends on whether you consider a "gene" to be a specific allele (e.g., the gene for blue eyes) or a locus on the chromosome (e.g., the (primary) gene for eye color). If you have simple dominance, it's relatively easy to breed out the dominant allele: simply prevent any individuals that express the dominant phenotype from mating. If you only allow blue-eyed people to mate, after one generation there won't be any more brown-eyed people. (More or less.) Breeding out the gene for blue eyes would be trickier, but could be accomplished over not too many generations by removing from the gene pool all blue-eyed people and all of their siblings. (You can make it go faster by also not allowing brown-eyed people mate unless they have, say, three brown-eyed siblings.)
It would be rare to breed out a gene, because first you would have to have identified the gene, and then you would have to cause a mutation in that particular gene or wait for a mutation to happen in that particular gene.

You don't have to know anything about the gene. You just have to know the phenotypic variation and the inheritance pattern. If there's no variation, it's pretty much impossible unless you wait for (or induce) a mutation and even that is highly unlikely to work.
But breeding a characteristic out of a plant or animal is easier, because for any given characteristic, a number of genes are usually responsible, so a number of mutations might do the trick.

It's both easier and harder. It's easier in that often eliminating the necessary allele at any of the loci will suffice to remove the characteristic, and one may be easier than others. It's more difficult because it may be much harder to understand the inheritance patterns and also because it may not suffice to remove a single allele.
A bit of trivia: According to Jared Diamond (in his book Guns, Germs, and Steel) the sweet almond is different ... of sweet almonds would have found that sweet almonds bred true, although they would not have known why, of course.

He doesn't say that it breeds true:
The explanation is that occasional individual almond trees have a mutation in a single gene that prevents them from synthesizing the bitter-tasting amygdalin. Such trees die out in the wild without leaving any progeny, because birds discover and eat all their seeds. But curious or hungry children of early farmers, nibbling wild plants around them, would eventually have sampled and noticed those nobitter almond trees. (In the same way, European peasants today still recognize and appreciate occasional individual oak trees whose acorns are sweet rather than bitter.) Those nonbitter almond seeds are the only ones that ancient farmers would have planted, at first unintentionally in their garbage heaps and later intentionally in their orchards.
For sweetness to be caused by a single mutation, the mutation would have to result in a dominant allele (which it apparently does). If this is the case, the mutated (sweet) individual would be heterozygous, and you'd expect a quarter of its progeny to be bitter. However, if you take the precaution of chopping down any tree that produces bitter fruit (and protect your orchard from cross-pollenation with wild strains), in ten generations, you're down to 1% bitter progeny, with 81% sweet trees that will breed true and the rest sweet trees that won't breed true. By 31 generations, you're down to one bitter tree in a thousand. By 100 generations, you're down to one in ten thousand. But even after a thousand generations you still get the one-in-a-million bitter tree.

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >"It makes you wonder if there is
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >anything to astrology after all."Palo Alto, CA 94304 >

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I don't actually see any news articles on them misbehaving, ... get a grammatical reading of that as a single sentence.)

Grammar - Read the "for" as a "because" that follows a pause (comma or semicolon).

Ah. Thanks.

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories > Bauplan is just the German word
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >for blueprint. Typically, onePalo Alto, CA 94304 >switches languages to indicate

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after a not

That's rich, wot! Clay hares!
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Sort of. The hare has now been replaced with Tom DeLay.

Hardly the same thing: The hare did nothing to deserve such a fate.

Thought that rabbit was a robot. CDB
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