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Last Updated: July 4, 2019

Wizard Of Odds Weekly Update July 04, 2019


Shalom!

About a month ago I took a free genetic test, offered by the state of Nevada. The test was administered by a company called Helix for the purpose of identifying not just my ancestry but also certain health makers. I was expecting it to come back a boring 100% European mixture, probably mostly northern. I didn't know detailed of a breakdown I would get. From what I do know, my mother's side of the family was all the way German as far as living relatives know. My father's side is more of a European mixture, probably mostly from Britain and Ireland. The name Shackleford comes from the small of Shackleford in England. I have always wanted to visit there.

Here is what came back a month later.

Your Ancestry Breakdown

That was quite surprising. The northwestern Europe share of 49.5% was much smaller than I was expecting. I would have put the over/under at about 90%.

The 16.9% Finnish I had no idea. I did not know I had a single drop of. This may explain why I am so shy.

The 30% combined northeastern and southeastern European is also quite surprising. I figured there would be some mixed in, but nowhere near 30%. As far as I knew, Germany was as far east as my ancestors got.

The Ashenazi Jewish was a complete surprise. I had to look up what it meant. Here is the explanation from Helix.

Ashkenazi Jewish

This will be easy for me to accept my new Jewish heritage as most people assume I'm Jewish already. I could probably make some jokes about why at this point, but will refrain out of political correctness. However, this does bring up some questions:

  • Do I qualify for Israeli citizenship?
  • Is it spelled Chanukah or Hanukkah?
  • Is the ski lift scene on Curb Your Enthusiasm plausible?
  • What do "stones" refer to in Ecclesiastes 3:5?
  • Where do I get one of those Hebrew charms that look like the pi symbol?
  • Is it allowed to gamble with a dreidel?
  • What happens after you die?

So what is this 0.2% Beringian, you may ask. I had no idea. Here is what Helix says.

Beringian

It was actually rumored on my father's side of the family there was a native American ancestor way back. If this is correct, that would seem to prove it. Could this explain why I am a huge fan of Northern Exposure? I immediately thought of claiming tribal membership to open a casino somewhere, but the Elizabeth Warren disclaimer at the bottom seems to put the kibosh (is that Yiddish?) on that idea.

The test also came back with some health information, as follows:

  • "You may be unable to digest lactose." Pass the ice cream, I have no issue with it!
  • "You are unlikely to be gluten intolerant." I'm aware of only one person I know who has a gluten allergy, but why is everyone else repelled by it, like a vampire from garlic? When given the choice, I always take the option WITH gluten. However, to be perfectly honest, I'm not entirely sure what gluten is.
  • "You are more likely to have a higher BMI." I am 5'11" and weigh 165 pounds. Ha!
  • "You are more likely to have typical vitamin D levels." Actually, my doctor says I am low on vitamin D. However, I always forget to take my vitamin pill. Don't tell my doctor.
  • "You are more likely to drink more coffee." That is what I like to hear! The report goes onto say I can digest coffee better than most people. I am living proof of this, based on the vast quantities I consume every day.
  • "Your weight is less likely to be affected by saturated fat." This is music to my ears too. It may explain why I created the Atkins Diet slot machine.
  • "You are more likely to have typical calcium levels." I can't think of a good joke about that.

I hope you have enjoyed your trip into my DNA. Residents of Nevada may take this test for free, if I'm not mistaken. Please visit healthynv.org for more information. Finally, yes, I know these DNA tests are not entirely accurate. At the very least it was entertaining.