MyHeritage Giving Away 15,000 DNA Kits to Adoptees

As mentioned on, MyHeritage is giving away 15,000 DNA kits to adoptees. You have until April 30, 2018 to apply.

Participation in this project is open to adoptees seeking to find their biological family members, and to parents and other family members looking for a child they had placed in adoption years ago. Preference will be given to people who are not able to afford genetic testing. Leveraging the power of genetic genealogy opens new doors in the search for relatives, and we believe everyone should be able to access this valuable technology.

Applications are open until April 30, 2018.

If you have already tested with another company, you can do a free transfer to MyHeritage which is the route for those who have tested elsewhere as the main goal is to help adoptees who can’t afford to test.

Already taken a DNA test?

 If you have already tested with another DNA service, you can upload your DNA data to MyHeritage for free to participate in this project. You will receive more matches and benefit others searching for their biological family.

This was first offered to adoptees in Israel and is now being offered to adoptees in the U.S.

Those chosen will be notified May 16, 2018 (remember to check your Spam folder on the off-chance your e-mail provider tagged it as spam). Kits will be shipped by May 31, 2018 and your results should start coming in around July 2018 if you send in your kit timely. I usually tell people to allow 6 – 8 weeks after the company receives your DNA kit as a general rule. A kit can process faster or slower, depending on many factors.


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Major 23andMe Ethnicity Improvement Coming Soon

When I logged into 23andMe, I saw a note about upcoming ethnicity improvements. You can read more at

Coming soon! 23andMe’s Ancestry Composition update with 120 additional regions will be coming soon to all customers. Learn more.

– – – –

This new update  — which customers will begin seeing in the coming months — will compare you to more than 150 populations and regions across the globe to create a visualization of the geographic origins of your DNA.*

Under the present ethnicity results, about 30 regions and populations are covered. This update will raise the number by 120 additional populations and regions.

Right now, my ethnicity results on 23andMe are as follows:

European 99.1%
Northwestern European 94.1%
British & Irish 39.4%
French & German 22.9%
Scandinavian 4.3%
Finnish 0.0%
Broadly Northwestern European 27.5%
Southern European 3.2%
Balkan 0.4%
Sardinian 0.0%
Italian 0.0%
Iberian 0.0%
Broadly Southern European 2.9%
Ashkenazi Jewish 0.1%
Eastern European 0.0%
Broadly European 1.7%
South Asian 0.0%
Broadly South Asian 0.0%
East Asian & Native American 0.9%
Native American 0.8%
East Asian < 0.1%
Yakut < 0.1%
Japanese 0.0%
Korean 0.0%
Mongolian 0.0%
Chinese 0.0%
Broadly East Asian 0.0%
Southeast Asian 0.0%
Broadly East Asian & Native American 0.0%
Sub-Saharan African 0.0%
West African 0.0%
East African 0.0%
Central & South African 0.0%
Broadly Sub-Saharan African 0.0%
Middle Eastern & North African 0.0%
Middle Eastern 0.0%
North African 0.0%
Broadly Middle Eastern & North African 0.0%
Oceanian 0.0%
Broadly Oceanian 0.0%
Unassigned 0.0%

I am curious as to what new populations and regions will be added. As pointed out in one of my earlier posts, I don’t put much stock in ethnicity results below the continental level and don’t encourage others to get too worked up over them.

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Get Rich Offers – Scam or Real?

This is pretty easy – the vast majority of Get Rich Offers are scams. Don’t rely on the person’s website, YouTube videos, etc. that are often filled with fake reviews. A decent search will often find the same people giving testimonies or offering to sell their review for very little money. Ran across a few where the same group were hawking how great several different get rich scams as valid. It doesn’t matter if it’s a scheme where you have to fork out a lot of upfront money, easily in the thousands if you get deep enough into most of them, or if something where you only have to spend $50 – 100 to buy in.

Do yourself a favor – do the research, using Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Type in the program’s name followed by scam or is it a scam. I ran across a Facebook ad where the person claimed to have a great way to make money. Sounded too good to be true (almost always a clear sign it’s a scam) so I typed in program name + is it a scam. First hit was from a competitor who claimed it was a scam, but he was willing to have you sign up with his program for a lot of money that wasn’t a scam. So, I type in his program’s name + is it a scam. One of the first hits was another person who claimed it was a scam, but he was willing to sell you on his program. Typed in his program’s name + is it a scam. One of the first hits was a woman who runs an interior decorating blog. She said his was a scam, but she wasn’t trying to sell you her own program.

Another good indicator is the lack of a clear photo of the individual. In my examples, the first one not only had a blurry series of photos that could be almost anybody, but a search on his name turned out to be a made-up name. One of the advantages of the Internet these days is the ability to look up most people easily. You can also use Tin-Eye or a similar program, or a search engine’s reverse image option to run images looking for a connection.

Also, look up the program name. In the first case, he was using somebody else’s program, but was an affiliate so he made money for everybody who signed up using his link. Many of these programs are Ponzi schemes, MLM programs, pyramid schemes, or other things that are great at generating money for the first people in the system, but tend to fall apart once enough people sign up.

Let’s suppose you want to make some extra money. Many legitimate sites, like Amazon, offer affiliate links. Somebody buys a product on Amazon using your affiliate link and they earn a small commission. It doesn’t cost anything extra to you. Most of the main DNA companies that deal with genealogy offer similar affiliate links. If you set up a website or blog and have affiliate links, make it very clear they are affiliate links. Not only that, but give a general sense of about how much money you make from the link. In the U.S., saying you make a small percentage probably isn’t going to be the best solution if your affiliate link winds up generating a lot of revenue for you. If you say it’s only 5%, but your links are generating $1,000/month, that’s a big difference and you should make it clear that you are making $1,000/month from the links. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) tends to take a dim view of somebody who makes it sound like they making very little from affiliate links, banner ads, etc. when the person is making a sizeable amount of money those ways. Better to err on the side of caution than to risk getting hit with a heavy fine from the FTC.

For now, I don’t have any affiliate links on my blog, but when I do, I will make it clear how much money I generate (percentage and rough $ amount if it becomes anywhere near $100+/month for a given link. Likewise, if I am given a free product to review, I will make it clear that the product was free. I have no plans to give a good review simply because you give me a free product. I will give the good, the bad, and the ugly on the item. If, for example, I found the item to be a piece of junk, my review will say so.

Unfortunately, too many reviewers these days are paid to give reviews. Amazon is good about weeding them out, but there are people willing to sell a good or high review dirt cheap. That’s why I don’t rely on reviews when I go to buy something. I read a book by a person who paid for reviews. Not surprisingly, he didn’t care what review you gave a product, but he paid more if you gave 4 or 5 stars than if you gave less than 4 stars.

Sadly, pay to play has spread to experts in other fields beyond product reviewers where experts are sometimes outed for accepting money for giving whatever review you pay for. I ran across this problem almost a decade ago when I was looking at peer-reviewed work for my thesis. Some of the people willing to do peer review hinted at giving favorable reviews if they received enough money for the review. I declined as I want honest feedback, not some hack willing to support whatever I pay them to say.


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Flash Fiction Contest by Kayla Ann

via Contest Time Once Again: Flash Fiction (updated March 2, 2018 with my story and a link to where it’s posted on her blog).

The rules are simple and can be found on her blog, but they are pretty easy. Starting with flash fiction submission can be no longer than 100 words; you also have to subscribe to her blog; you don’t have to share the contest, but you get extra points, and a few other rules.

It’s an interesting concept and something I may look at doing at in the future. One thing that authors and bloggers often like is increased visibility. I haven’t entered my flash fiction yet as I only discovered the e-mail earlier.

Here’s my story as I posted it on the blog:

The sun was setting, but a storm had brewed. Little did I realize the presentation I was about to attend would have no power. To the presenter’s credit, he carried out his presentation without PowerPoint or the laptop he used so many times previously. I arrived late and didn’t realize this part of town was without power. He did an excellent job for somebody in his ninth decade. He talked about a Civil War battle like he had been present at it. Honestly, he looked old enough to have been a young drummer boy in it.

– – – –

I didn’t have a name for it when I created it, but think The Presentation That Almost Wasn’t sounds good.

Posted in Author, Blog Specific, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Major Downsized Changes To BoostDealz

In earlier blog posts, I have talked about BoostDealz as a way to save money on your Boost Mobile plan. A few days ago (mid-February 2018), BoostDealz lowered the values for what you can using the BoostDealz app. For example, videos went down from 15 credits to 5 points; Surprise Me Surveys went from 295 credits to 200 points, and I Want to Choose Surveys went from 925 credits to 500 points. The last only kicked in for me today. This is a major game-changer in the app because you now have to do more things to achieve the same amount of points. You have to view 3 videos to get 15 points instead of 1 video for 15 credits. The smaller change is the 200 points vs. 295 credits for Suprise Me Surveys, but I rarely have any of those show up and the majority disqualify me for not meeting whatever requirements. The next largest change means you almost have to take twice as many I Want to Choose Surveys to get the same value (500 points compared to the earlier 925 credits). As it often took me 1 – 2 hours to achieve a successful 925 credit survey and frequently I could spend 2 – 4 hours and wind up with zero successful 925 credit surveys, this means I will probably be spending less time on doing surveys because the cost in time vs. expected successful has roughly doubled. So far, I am getting far fewer surveys than I was before the significant drop in value. It seems Boost Mobile is taking a page out of CellNUVO and Cricket’s play book as both had done similar things with their rewards programs.

It’s a shame as earning $20 credit wasn’t easy before they lowered the values substantially. I could easily spend 20 – 40 hours/month to earn $20+ credit before the change. Now, I expect it could be 40 – 80+ hours to earn the same amount of credit and possibly not get half of the maximum points (20,000 points under the present system). I will be seriously re-considering my BoostMobile plan if it takes too long to reach close to the $20 credit. Right now, I am halfway through this billing cycle’s 30 day cycle (Day 15 of 30) and only have a bit less than 8,300 points (8,290). I was in the middle of another 500 point survey which I spent about 8 – 10 minutes answering questions before I got the dreaded “You do not qualify” screen. In some cases, I get 5 points credit for the attempt, but it doesn’t appear to apply to all such attempts. In the past, I could have viewed an average of 38 videos daily to reach the same amount of credits needed to hit 20,000 as long as I hit the 3,000 credit limit from the daily 150 credit bonus. I haven’t checked to see if the 150 points/daily viewing bonus has changed, but I believe it hasn’t. That’s still doing the unlock screen once a day for 20 days of the 30 day billing cycle to hit 3,000 points.

If done properly, as in not taking excessive amounts of time to earn, and with enough credits/points to make it worth doing, I see this as a viable way of cell phone companies making money from advertisers while reducing the cost to customers. CellNUVO has mostly learned the lesson the hard way by lowering the point values of watching ads too low. Maybe Boost Mobile and Cricket will learn the same lesson shortly. At $10 – 15/billing cycle, Boost Mobile is a good deal for me. At $20ish or higher, it’s not that great a deal, especially if I have to spend 40 – 80 hours to earn enough points to get $10 – 14 credit. Since Boost Mobile has kind of started a price war with MetroPCS, Boost had better hope MetroPCS doesn’t adopt a similar credit along the lines of CellNUVO. CellNUVO will allow you to get full billing cycle credit if you earn enough credits to meet your plan’s cost.

It’s surprising that more cell phone companies haven’t taken the same plunge. If you look at most local TV stations on the major networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, etc.), they sell ads during shows to generate income. RingPlus had a chance to get it right, but they made the mistake of not requiring enough points earned to generate the income necessary to cover their costs. Here’s hoping Boost Mobile comes up with a better solution or starts offering more surveys and at a minimum, increase the value of videos watched to at least 15 points with more points if the videos is longer than the standard 30 second ones shown. A good alternative would be to do what some of the advertisers do on Facebook and other websites. You earn X points for watching the video, but gain extra points if you sign up for an offer through a link at the end of the video with the usual restriction that generally applies to such ads.

Posted in Boost Mobile, Cell Phones, Facebook, RingPlus | Leave a comment

Death Wears Bunny Slippers YouTube Channel And Links for Old Missile Silos

I may never get to own an old missile silo, and it’s on my Bucket List as there are several in Kansas and Oklahoma that are available at this time. I am not a prepper as I believe these won’t protect too long against any of the usual prepper scenarios I have read.

I don’t remember how I ran across Death Wears Bunny Slippers (DWBS) on YouTube, but it’s the ongoing story of a man who purchased an old Titan II silo in Arkansas. If you aren’t familiar with Titan II silos, they had the top portion of the various areas removed and imploded or otherwise filled with debris. The owner has a DWBS Patreon page if you want to donate in helping him rebuild it. If you want to purchase DWBS items without doing the Patreon option, you can find hats, beanies, rebar, and T-shirts at (prices range from $15 – 25, depending on what you want plus shipping) .

Here’s the general location of the various Titan II silos (scroll down to Arkansas for those in Arkansas). Be aware old missile silos tend to either be owned by the government or are privately owned which means you need permission from the owner to visit the property.  Also, they can be dangerous to walk around if you do get permission to visit. Additional links can be found at (scroll down about halfway to see the Little Rock locations).  You can find trip reports at (focus is on Nike and other missile sites, but some of them include visits to Titan II silos) or and the reports may include photos taken of the old sites. The people providing reports on Scott and Ed’s sites had permission to visit the old sites or they photographed from public access areas.

I live in Kansas and Kansas had three (3) types of nuclear missile silos: Atlas E and Atlas F silos which weren’t imploded and Titan II (around the Wichita metro area) that were imploded. That doesn’t include Nike or other related sites, like communication bunkers, in Kansas. For good information on the Atlas silos in Kansas, you can either use (look for Schilling Air Force Base for Atlas F; Forbes Air Force Base for Atlas E) or (scroll down towards the bottom as he mixes Atlas E and Atlas F) ; this site, has Nike sites (one of the old Nike sites in Kansas was purchased by a school district and is now used as a middle school. In addition, there were several communications bunkers in Kansas – try (includes some items that weren’t silos or communications bunkers, but a good list overall) and I am not sure if it covers all of the Communications Bunkers in Kansas. Looks like there were four (4) long lines bunkers in Kansas – (scroll down to Kansas) – the sites are near  Concordia, Fairview, Hoyt, and Louisburg.

In an interesting twist, one and possibly two of the Kansas missile silos are being set up as condos: You will need $1.5 – 3 million or more to buy into the project.

Posted in History, Kansas, Military History | Leave a comment

FTDNA Valentine Sale And MyHeritage DNA – Low as $59 – $69

As an update to my recent post about DNA prices (I updated the earlier blog post with the new sale prices), I received an e-mail today from FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA) showing a sale price of $59 (regular price $79) through Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2018) and it is still $79 on Amazon, but Amazon usually price matches if you submit a link showing it’s cheaper at FTDNA. That’s one of the best prices so far this year. It’s not down to the $49 level that companies have done in the past, but the year is still early. In addition, FTDNA has a sale on Y-DNA or mtDNA if you order it at the same time as Family Finder:

Family Finder + Y-37 $199 (regular price $248)
Family Finder + Y-67 $299 (regular price $347)
Family Finder + mtFull Sequence $229 (regular price $278)
Family Finder + Y-67 + mtFull Sequence $473 (regular price $546)

MyHeritage is on sale for $59 if you order 2 or more kits on MyHeritage’s DNA page ( $69 if you only order one test), and the price for their kits on Amazon is $65 (no minimum number of kits required to get the $65 price).


Posted in DNA, FamilyTree DNA, MyHeritage DNA | Leave a comment