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  #1  
Old 11-22-2006, 12:12 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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Would a MODER neanderthal-Human Couple attract attention?

Anthropologists are puzzled over the diappearence of neanderthal man from europe. I guess the concensus is that Cro_magnon man wiped out the neanderthals. my question; would a modern neanderthal (dressed up in a $300o Armani suit), and suitable coiffed, look all that different from the rest of us?
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2006, 12:18 PM
pseudotriton ruber ruber pseudotriton ruber ruber is offline
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I don't care 100% for your attitude here.
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:46 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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A very interesting question, Ralph, and one that's almost grist for GD.

Quick answer: experts are divided on how closely Neandertals were related to strictly modern man, and how similar/different their capabilities were. Examples: assessment of the physical morphology of the Neandertal mouth and throat, based on known remains, suggest to some physical anthropologists that Neandertals could not have spoken, at least not in the manner of any extant language. If they used verbal communication at all, these scholars think, it would have not been in any supple, fluent human-speech mode. Yet there is the grave of a Neandertal girl which contained flowers, presumably placed there by the survivors at the burial.

Whether the elimination was violent, slow replacement by outcompeting them, intermarriage, or some combination of the above, is still argued at length. The question of whether we and they might have been interfertile is asked. One thing that is certainly known is that no known living person is directly descended in the maternal line from a Neandertal woman (mitochondrial DNA evidence here).

Those who advocate that the Neandertals were most nearly modern human in form and custom would argue that they could probably pass for modern. (There are a couple of SF stories based loosely on this idea -- relict populations preserving the Neandertal race and "laying low" by impersonating unusual looking modern humans.) At the other extreme, they're seen as a separate species too narrowly adapted for Wurm-glaciation Europe and in an evolutionary dead end as the ice receded. The truth, I suspect, is somewhere in between.

It's worth noting, too, that "classic Neandertals" -- the late-surviving European population -- were the ones most thoroughly specialized for the Ice Age climate, and that the earlier Neandertals of the Middle East were far more "modern" --in terms of having characteristics shared with modern humans -- than their later collateral descendants in Europe. (This group is known as the pre-classic or, more commonly, Levantine Neandertal population, with "Levantine" preserved as the standard designator adjective even though it's become less than PC for southwest Asia these days, much like the "Formosan wasp" is endemic to Taiwan.)
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:56 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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I've mentioned before that my wife once did a series of skull x-rays on a woman who had been in a car accident and noted that many Neanderthal characteristics were present, including the location of the foramena which is supposed to be diagnostic. She said the woman looked "kinda tough" but was otherwise normal.
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2006, 01:12 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is online now
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I see one guy at the bus stop occasionally. This guy has HUGE brow ridges, a receeding chin and an exceptionally burly frame. I have no idea what you'd find if you took a look at his skeletal features, but he looks just like a movie-style "cave man".

While people might notice he looks different, nobody points and laughs. That would be rude. So while your neandertal in a suit might attact some glances, he's not going to be put in a zoo either.
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2006, 01:42 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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He would look strikingly odd, even dressed in a suit. The forehead would slope back dramatically, instead of being vertical. The brow ridges would be pretty prominent and the whole face would look as if it had been pulled foreward. There would be no chin, and the nose would be unusally large. Here is a group of pictures (some good, some bad), but look at this one in particular to get an idea of what the face might look like. Whenever you see a modern person made up to look like a Neanderthal in those Discovery Channel shows, it really doesn't do it justice because you can't get the sloping forehead right.
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2006, 01:55 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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There was a photo in , I think, one of those old Time-Life books that showed three different reconstructions of the outweard form of a Neanderthal, based on the same data. Depending upon the assumptions made, the Neanderthal could look pretty grotesque, or he could look virtually modern. I know that science marches on, and all, but the skulls habven't changed, and reconstruction still follows basically the same outlines. The bottom line is, I think, It Depends... For all I know they had very distinctly thick lips. Or bald spots, or something. But it's still possible that they would've looked pretty similar to a lot of present-day folk.
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2006, 01:56 PM
mr. jp mr. jp is online now
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Originally Posted by pseudotriton ruber ruber
I don't care 100% for your attitude here.
What?
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  #9  
Old 11-22-2006, 02:25 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Here's a Photoshop of what a Neanderthal child might look like.

http://www.yaq.com/spotlight/images/...erthalgirl.jpg
__________________
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"He is an abomination of science that curdles the milk of all honest men!"~~One Dr Chouteh, possibly commenting on Bosda Di'Chi.Or not.
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  #10  
Old 11-22-2006, 02:29 PM
TimeWinder TimeWinder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. jp
Quote:
Originally Posted by pseudotriton ruber ruber
I don't care 100% for your attitude here.
What?
I think it was an "are you calling me a Neanderthal?" joke that didn't work.
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  #11  
Old 11-22-2006, 02:31 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Here is a really good reconstruction from the Yale Peabody Museum. If he were wearing a hat, you might not think him odd looking, but without a hat, that forehead just says something's wrong with this guy.
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  #12  
Old 11-22-2006, 02:35 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimeWinder
I think it was an "are you calling me a Neanderthal?" joke that didn't work.
No, it was a quote from the latest series of Geico ads. They started with a group of offended cavemen after Geico ran an ad saying their service was so easy, "even a Caveman could do it!" Now they're using just one, and he's becoming known as "the sensitive caveman".
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  #13  
Old 11-22-2006, 02:45 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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The current, November-December, issue of Archaeology magazine has a feature on Neanderthals. The actual magazine has several reconstructions, including the one that Bosda linked to. They're not on the online article, unfortunately, although the cover shot has one.

The reconstructions, from several eras, all depict people who would be hard to pick out as non-human, at least from the front. Side shots of fossils skulls do show more marked differences, but apparently the muscle and skin structure hide the bones to a high degree. I think you'd need to see a full 360 degree reconstruction rather than a two-d photo to really tell how great the differences are.
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  #14  
Old 11-22-2006, 02:46 PM
Sonia Montdore Sonia Montdore is offline
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I'd totally date the Geico Cavemen. He's cute.
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  #15  
Old 11-22-2006, 02:49 PM
Ace309 Ace309 is offline
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A reference to the GEICO Caveman commercials, actually. There's one where the GEICO spokesman and the caveman are on a Nightline-style show together, and the spokesman says, "How can it be offensive if it's true? The caveman responds with something like the quoted line.
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  #16  
Old 11-22-2006, 03:08 PM
pseudotriton ruber ruber pseudotriton ruber ruber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonia Montdore
I'd totally date the Geico Cavemen. He's cute.

So, how YOU doin'?
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  #17  
Old 11-22-2006, 03:27 PM
Scissorjack Scissorjack is offline
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Apparently not, apart from the paparazzi...
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  #18  
Old 11-22-2006, 04:41 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
... it really doesn't do it justice because you can't get the sloping forehead right.
Nor did they! Note how the "final" reconstruction slopes far, FAR more drastically, with a nearly unbroken line from the top of the brow ridges to the crown, than does the skull! It looks to me--and I'm trying to put away my pro-Neanderthal prejudices, John--like they are ignoring the original skull in order to give the appearance of "otherness."
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  #19  
Old 11-22-2006, 04:49 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is online now
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Scroll down to the bottom picture in John's link...and you've got a neandertal Patrick Stewart.
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  #20  
Old 11-22-2006, 04:50 PM
Mrs. Cake Mrs. Cake is offline
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This is going to sound a little snarky, but I'm totally serious. A long-ago ex of mine played one of the Neanderthals in "Clan of the Cave Bear". Most of the other actors were unrecognizable under the make-up, but I swear, my ex looked as if they had popped a wig on him and given him a change of clothes. He definitely had a primal look to him, both facial and body-type (stocky, short legs, broad shoulders). I've never had a problem imagining Neanderthal as a possibilty in some Norther European lineages.
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  #21  
Old 11-22-2006, 04:59 PM
Spoke Spoke is offline
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In the reconstructions, there seems to be an assumption that Neanderthals had the same hair patterns as modern humans. That may or may not be a valid assumption. hair doesn't normally fossilize. For all we really know, Neanderthals could have been covered with thick fur.
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  #22  
Old 11-22-2006, 05:13 PM
Miller Miller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone
Nor did they! Note how the "final" reconstruction slopes far, FAR more drastically, with a nearly unbroken line from the top of the brow ridges to the crown, than does the skull! It looks to me--and I'm trying to put away my pro-Neanderthal prejudices, John--like they are ignoring the original skull in order to give the appearance of "otherness."
It looks alright to me. I think you're being thrown by the fact that the filled in the contour above the brow ridges with a bit of flesh. Instead of going in and up, the profile goes straight back, but it doesn't look to me like they had to change the shape of the skull to do that.
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  #23  
Old 11-22-2006, 05:21 PM
solkoe solkoe is offline
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Scientists have now sequenced small fragments of Neantherthal DNA from the thigh bone of fossil. Here is a link. It claims a 99.5% genetic similarity. How this compares with variations within our own genome, I don't know.
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  #24  
Old 11-22-2006, 05:28 PM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
Here is a really good reconstruction from the Yale Peabody Museum. If he were wearing a hat, you might not think him odd looking, but without a hat, that forehead just says something's wrong with this guy.
You clearly haven't spent much time in British pubs...
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  #25  
Old 11-22-2006, 05:40 PM
BwanaBob BwanaBob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur866
Scroll down to the bottom picture in John's link...and you've got a neandertal Patrick Stewart.
I thought he looked more like a hung-over Curly from the 3 Stooges.
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  #26  
Old 11-22-2006, 05:41 PM
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This thread got me thinking: What if H. sapiens & H. Neanderthalensis existed side-by-side today? In particular, civil rights might be quite different.
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  #27  
Old 11-22-2006, 05:42 PM
levdrakon levdrakon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
Here is a really good reconstruction from the Yale Peabody Museum. If he were wearing a hat, you might not think him odd looking, but without a hat, that forehead just says something's wrong with this guy.
I'd think he was British. Seriously.
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  #28  
Old 11-22-2006, 05:46 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone
Nor did they! Note how the "final" reconstruction slopes far, FAR more drastically, with a nearly unbroken line from the top of the brow ridges to the crown, than does the skull! It looks to me--and I'm trying to put away my pro-Neanderthal prejudices, John--like they are ignoring the original skull in order to give the appearance of "otherness."
I didn't link to a Discovery Channel picture, so I'm not sure which picture you're referring to. Was there one in the Yahoo link that I gave that you're thinking about?

solkoe: You usually see that extant humans are all 99.9% genetically identical. But you have to be a careful of reading too much into that number, since all genes aren't created equal. Needless to say, we are quite close, genetically, to Neanderthals, and that should be no surprise.
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  #29  
Old 11-22-2006, 05:50 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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No, the Peabody one YOU linked to and referred to the forehead of in Post 11, John. Trying to backpeddle, are you?
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  #30  
Old 11-22-2006, 05:52 PM
yabob yabob is offline
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Originally Posted by BwanaBob
I thought he looked more like a hung-over Curly from the 3 Stooges.
I was going to suggest Pete Townshend.
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  #31  
Old 11-22-2006, 05:53 PM
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They walk among us
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  #32  
Old 11-22-2006, 06:01 PM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Originally Posted by dropzone
No, the Peabody one YOU linked to and referred to the forehead of in Post 11, John. Trying to backpeddle, are you?
What, he's taking back stuff he already sold?
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  #33  
Old 11-22-2006, 06:02 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Originally Posted by dropzone
No, the Peabody one YOU linked to and referred to the forehead of in Post 11, John. Trying to backpeddle, are you?
No. I meant what I said about those shows like "Walking with Cavemen"-- modern actors made up to look like Neanderthals. The Peabody specimen is a reconstruction from an actual Neanderthal skull. That is the way most of them would have looked. The science of reconstructing facial and cranial features from skulls is pretty good these days, so I don't see any reason to suspect that they exagerated the "otherness". The finshed product is more in pofile than the skull, so I think seeing it from a slightly different angle is what's causing the confusion.
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  #34  
Old 11-22-2006, 06:10 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is online now
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Well, one thing that's debateable is that all these neadertals are reconstructed as white guys. However, there's no good reason to suspect their hair, skin and other facial features resembled current european populations. There's no reason they couldn't have epicanthic folds or woolly hair, or other traits that simply don't exist in modern humans, although they probably had light skin like modern Europeans.
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  #35  
Old 11-22-2006, 06:27 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Originally Posted by Lemur866
Well, one thing that's debateable is that all these neadertals are reconstructed as white guys. However, there's no good reason to suspect their hair, skin and other facial features resembled current european populations. There's no reason they couldn't have epicanthic folds or woolly hair, or other traits that simply don't exist in modern humans, although they probably had light skin like modern Europeans.
True, but changing any those things wouldn't make him any more or less noticeable in a big city today. And if he was excessively hairy, you could just give him a good shave.

The real question is... would he behave in a way that made him unremarkable.
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  #36  
Old 11-22-2006, 07:30 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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The Archaeology magazine article cited scientists who are looking at Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA. They say it shows no signs of Sapiens/Neanderthal interbreeding. No matter how alike the DNA we're not them.
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  #37  
Old 11-22-2006, 07:43 PM
Darth Nader Darth Nader is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
look at this one in particular
Pablo
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  #38  
Old 11-22-2006, 08:11 PM
twickster twickster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
Here is a really good reconstruction from the Yale Peabody Museum. If he were wearing a hat, you might not think him odd looking, but without a hat, that forehead just says something's wrong with this guy.
Either that or "Let's use biscuits and do some assemble-y." He looks just like Norm Abrams.
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  #39  
Old 11-22-2006, 08:58 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
Here is a really good reconstruction from the Yale Peabody Museum. If he were wearing a hat, you might not think him odd looking, but without a hat, that forehead just says something's wrong with this guy.

You mean like Elvira and Jenny Lee Snow also known as Zip and Pip the pinheads?
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  #40  
Old 11-22-2006, 09:41 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Interestingly enough, the guy who is the bigest proponent of the Multiregional Hypothesis of human evolution, Milford Wolpoff, looks quite a bit like a Neanderthal himself.
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  #41  
Old 11-23-2006, 12:46 AM
Tartuffe52 Tartuffe52 is offline
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Neandertal in an Armani Suit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph124c
Anthropologists are puzzled over the diappearence of neanderthal man from europe. I guess the concensus is that Cro_magnon man wiped out the neanderthals. my question; would a modern neanderthal (dressed up in a $300o Armani suit), and suitable coiffed, look all that different from the rest of us?
Ummmm the NFL during the off-season?
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  #42  
Old 11-23-2006, 06:26 AM
FRDE FRDE is offline
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Originally Posted by solkoe
Scientists have now sequenced small fragments of Neantherthal DNA from the thigh bone of fossil. Here is a link. It claims a 99.5% genetic similarity. How this compares with variations within our own genome, I don't know.
Today I saw a bit in the newspaper that normal human DNA is a lot more different between individuals than they thought.
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  #43  
Old 11-23-2006, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
Here is a really good reconstruction from the Yale Peabody Museum. If he were wearing a hat, you might not think him odd looking, but without a hat, that forehead just says something's wrong with this guy.
He looks just like a guy I used to work for - seriously.
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  #44  
Old 11-23-2006, 09:07 AM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Originally Posted by John Mace
Here is a group of pictures (some good, some bad),
I'm guessing that this is one of the bad ones, yes?
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  #45  
Old 11-23-2006, 10:44 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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I'm guessing that this is one of the bad ones, yes?
Yeah. Neanderthal women wore fur-lined bras.
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  #46  
Old 11-23-2006, 10:55 AM
AWB AWB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph124c
Anthropologists are puzzled over the diappearence of neanderthal man from europe. I guess the concensus is that Cro_magnon man wiped out the neanderthals. my question; would a modern neanderthal (dressed up in a $300o Armani suit), and suitable coiffed, look all that different from the rest of us?
They might, especially if they were using The GEICO website.
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  #47  
Old 11-23-2006, 01:12 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Originally Posted by Contrapuntal
I'm guessing that this is one of the bad ones, yes?
Hey, that's Stephanie from Survivor: Palau, isn't it? I thought she looked awfully familiar.
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  #48  
Old 11-24-2006, 10:56 AM
Spoke Spoke is offline
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Originally Posted by dropzone
...in order to give the appearance of "otherness."
My thinking is exactly opposite. I think recent reconstructions go out of their way to give the appearance of "sameness" -- by giving the Neanderthals the same skin tone and hair patterns as modern Europeans. That seems to be the fad these days.

There is no reason to believe that is accurate. For all we know, they were as hairy as Persian cats, and could no more be mistaken for a modern human than a mastadon could be mistaken for an African elephant.

Here's an older image of Neanderthal man from 1965, before the current trend to "modernize" Neanderthals. I can't see this guy walking down the street without drawing stares.
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  #49  
Old 11-24-2006, 11:18 AM
Spoke Spoke is offline
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And here's another possible look at Neanderthal man, which would in no way pass for a modern human.
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  #50  
Old 11-24-2006, 11:32 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spoke-
Here's an older image of Neanderthal man from 1965, before the current trend to "modernize" Neanderthals. I can't see this guy walking down the street without drawing stares.
You call it a "current trend to modernize", I call it, "improved forensics and reconstruction science." What used to be 90% "art" and 10% "science" is now t'other way 'round. (Yes, I made those numbers up.)

Also, our British chap up above was shorn and shaved in that shot only so the skull and musculature was visible.. If you watch the linked intro, it shows him all wildly hairy and he definitely looks more "other". Or at least more Grizzly Adams.

I don't think we have reason to think they'd be Persian cat hairy, simply because no other great ape is. We all have at least bare faces.
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