• Nov19

    A quote I’ve long loved from At Swim Two Birds

    Flann O'Brien Quote
    The original photo can be found here on the National Library of Ireland’s Flickr stream.

  • Nov12

    This is at best a step removed from genealogy, but is a very useful trick if you are a Google Chrome user. Have you ever visited a web page and had the same page load over and over even if you know it changed?

    I recently was updating a site I maintain and had this happen when I was testing how my changes looked. After making my changes, I clicked Google Chrome’s Refresh button and… still got the same page with old info.

    So, I then held down the Shift key while clicking refresh, which is supposed to clear any cached files for that page then load the page from scratch. And… *sad trombone*… same page, old info. That is not supposed to happen, Mr. Chrome.

    The caching problem can happen for various reasons, either due to poor web design or a recalcitrant web browser. You could go into the browser’s Tools –> Options and clear ALL of the cache. But, that’s annoying – like emptying out your entire refrigerator because some cheese went bad. (Or another, more valid, metaphor.)

    But, whatever the reason, I am now reaching deeper into my bag of magic tricks and sharing a nice easy but likely lesser known fix in The Google’s Chrome browser:

    When you really want to start a page from scratch in Chrome, use the following keystroke to open a Developer Tools panel on the right side of the page:

    Google Chrome Developer Tools panel <CTRL><SHIFT><I>
    for the Apple folks among you.

    I won’t go into any detail here, but you’ll notice there are a lot of things to play with in this panel – including a way to see what cookies are related to the page.

    RIGHT-Click the Refresh Button
    Once the developer tools panel is open, go over to the usual Refresh button at the top of the page and RIGHT-click on it. You’ll see a drop down menu that doesn’t normally appear there!

    Simply Left-click “Empty Cache and Hard Reload” and you will get the latest page loaded and ready to go.


  • Nov11

    Just wanted a quick pair of photos to remember all of the Veterans today.

    Below are my Dad, Mike Tierney and buddies visiting the National Mall in Washington, D.C. while assigned there during World War II. They were probably training for work in the Navy’s Machine Records Installation – the department involved in personnel accounting that was now gearing up to use IBM equipment for automation.

    Mike Tierney & buddies, in Front of US Capitol Building, WWII

    Mike Tierney & Buddies, Washington D.C, WWII

  • Nov4

    I took some time at lunch to catch up reading one of my favorite blogs (and the accompanying podcast), The Bowery Boys: New York City History. Their latest post is Photographs of Wonder from the American Museum of Natural History, which showcases several photos from the museum’s AMNH: Picturing The Museum image collection online.

    Children doing Indian Dances in Plains Indians Hall, American Museum of Natural History, 1939, Bierwert, Thane L.

    Children doing Indian Dances in Plains Indians Hall, American Museum of Natural History, Image 291994, Bierwert, Thane L., 1939

    They included some terrific photos from most of the earlier decades of the 20th century. My favorites are definitely the photos from the Education section of the collection, as they show students in various locations and activities in the museum, and reminds me of my own school field trips there in the 1970s.

    I enjoyed them all enough to scroll back up to look at the photos again… then I saw him: My Dad in 1939, dancing with other students in Native American headdress in the Plains Indian Hall!

    It is decidedly a sideways shot and not at the highest resolution, even on the AMNH’s own site, so I suppose there might always be some doubt.

    Comparison, AMNH Photo and a young Michael Tierney
    But having scanned and worked with all of my family’s photos over the last several years, plus knowing what my brother, nephews, son, and I all looked like around that age: THAT is a Tierney face.

    (Click on any photo to see it larger.)

    Another instance of genealogical serendipity – More proof that if you keep looking long enough, someone you know will show up!

  • Oct28

    Countries of Ancestry Chromosome ChartUpdated: November 9, 2015

    For anyone who has been a customer of 23andme, their Countries of Ancestry (CoA) has been a terrific tool in the toolbox.
    Alas – it is going away. You have until November 10th, 2015 to use the tool and even more importantly – Download yer data!

    Put it in the calendar folks.

    Today’s the day your 23andme folks should go out and 23andme – Get the latest Countries of Ancestry Data for all of your profiles there. While 23andme is promising new tools, surely it can only help to have this data in your back pocket for later.

    Also, Bonus tip: In addition downloading your own matches at 23andme itself, you can use the DNA Gedcom.com site to download the CoA data for ALL of your matches! (It is a free tool but see Donate button at bottom of page.) The download process can take awhile, as you provide your 23andme login, it reaches out to get all of the CoA files for you, then places them in a download location.

    DNA Gedcom estimates 30 minutes to an hour for the process, but it took about 20 minutes to download the CoA matches for all 3 of my 23andme profiles, so that is a pretty good speed. Especially considering my wife has an Ashkenazi great-grandfather, so LOTS of matches.

    To reiterate: GO GET YER DATA NOW – who knows how many other users are planning to download today? Could be some bottlenecks ahead.

    Below is part of the original announcement from the 23andme community forums:

    As part of the updates and transition to the new 23andMe, many features will be undergoing significant changes. While we are working to transition customers to the new site, some changes will have an immediate impact on the customer experience in the current 23andMe site, including Countries of Ancestry.

    To provide some context for this change, we wanted to share a number of key principles behind the updates to the 23andMe site and features, including:

    * Simplifying the features and site experience
    * Adding new tools to help customers get the most out of the service
    * Reducing barriers to customer engagement, connection, and communication
    * Maximizing trust and participation by ensuring that users clearly and explicitly opt in to all information sharing

    In consideration of these principles, while some aspects of the feature will be incorporated into the new site, Countries of Ancestry will not be available as a standalone tool in the new 23andMe. The following features of Countries of Ancestry are being removed:

    – The ability to view and download the segments you have in common with members you are not directly sharing with, including public or anonymous DNA Relatives matches.
    – The ability to select any profile you are sharing with and then view and download this same information for that profile.

    In order to conform to our stance on customer privacy, starting on November 11, 2015, Countries of Ancestry will no longer be available. Up until this date, customers may continue to access the web interface and download.