College basketball is back, and with it Bill Walton barking like a dog mid-broadcast | This is the Loop

We’ve seen it all this year. Empty stadiums. Virtual press conferences. Roger Goodell’s basement. Disney World QZs. Since sports returned in its new, post-COVID form in early June, we’ve seen every conceivable permutation of absurdity. Or at least that’s what we thought until Bill Walton, the Czar of Bizarre, the Sultan of Strange, made his triumphant return to television this week, seasoning 2020s hallucinogenic sports stew with his own magic pixie angel dust.

It all began on Monday, with a little mid-game meditation on mountains . . .

. . . and continued Tuesday, when Walton began barking like a dog a little over halfway through the first half of Texas-Indiana. Go ahead and mash that volume button.

If this is the halflife of Bill’s WFH sanity, he’s going to be doing naked handstands while reciting the Necronomicon in pig latin by Christmas. In a year that has seen ESPN ratings plummet and jobs slashed, however, risks like this could be what make or break the network. Does Bill’s zaniness electroshock viewers back from their stupors or does he, like all once-funny internet sensations, say the wrong thing at the wrong time and get blacklisted from planet earth?

Only time will tell, but Bill won’t care either way. He’s too busy researching medieval weaponry and unicorns anyway.

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Ancient Dog DNA Shows Early Spread Around the Globe

Among the other findings, Dr. Larson said he found it particularly intriguing that once dogs had become domesticated, and even while they were sometimes breeding with wolves, no new wolf DNA entered their genomes.

By contrast, pigs, for example, were brought to Europe by farmers from Anatolia. But the genes of those first domesticated pigs have been completely lost, replaced by the genes of wild European boars, even though the pigs stayed domesticated animals.

While dogs do interbreed, no new wolf genes survive over the years. One possibility, Dr. Larson said, is that “wolfiness” just doesn’t fit with an animal as close to people as a dog. Pigs can be a little wild but “if you’re a dog and you’ve got a little bit of wolf in you, that’s not a good thing and those things get knocked on the head very quickly or run away or disappear but they don’t get integrated into the dog population.”

Dr. Skoglund said another intriguing and unexplained finding from the genome data was how fast dogs spread around the globe, and diversified, so that by 11,000 years ago, not only were there five distinct lineages, but some fossil DNA also showed that those lineages had begun to recombine.

“How did that happen?” he said. “In ancient humans, we don’t really know of any human expansion that would have facilitated this, on the order of 15 to 30,000 years ago.”

In the past 11,000 years, he said, the dog genomes showed the evidence similar to that in human genomes of Anatolian farmers moving into Europe. But then there was the sudden loss of diversity in dogs starting around 4,000 years ago.

Also migrations from the steppes changed human genomes in Europe, but had almost no effect on dog genomes. Conversely, migrations from the steppes eastward left an imprint on dog genomic history, but not on humans.

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