Friday: Hili dialogue

Top of the tail o’ the week to you: it’s Friday, April 24, 2020, or about 9 days until the Big Duckling Hatch. It’s also National Pigs in a Blanket Day. If you don’t know what they are—and they’re getting increasingly rarer—they’re a species of appetizer or snack food (often served while watching football on television) consisting of frozen roll dough wrapped around a miniature hot dog and baked. Some are pictured below. They are not edible.


 

It’s also St. Marks Eve, World Day for Laboratory Animals, established by PETA, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day (note it, Cenk!), Arbor Day, and the National Day of Silence, which I haven’t seen many people adhere to:

Today we observe Day of Silence, a “student-led national event where folks take a vow of silence to highlight the silencing and erasure of LGBTQ people at school.” The day was created in 1996 by University of Virginia students who had to complete a class assignment on non-violent protests. They created Day of Silence and 150 students participated. The organizers took the event nationally the following year, and almost 100 colleges and universities took part. GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network) became the official sponsor of the day in 2001. The day has been observed in all 50 states and in countries around the globe, and over 10,000 students register for it each year.

News of the day: Very bad (what did you expect?). Deaths in the U.S from coronavirus have now topped 50,000 (50,372 as of this morning), with 183,652 worldwide.  Here in Illinois, our governor extended the lockdown for another month, though he opened state parks and, with some restrictions, golf courses. That does me no good, and really, golf courses? The New York Times‘s “White House Memo” article paints a picture of a President on the verge of a meltdown, losing his only plus: a good economy:

And the Chief Moron continues to promote bogus cures–now ultraviolet light shined inside the body! Look at this (h/t: Matthew). No matter that it would wreak havoc on our DNA, probably causing all kinds of cancers.

These daily briefings have to stop! This is all very depressing and it’s getting harder to write anything on this site what with the world and the U.S in such a dire state—and no good news on the horizon. Posting may become light, but, like Maru, I do my best.

Stuff that happened on April 24 includes:

  • 1704 – The first regular newspaper in British Colonial America, The Boston News-Letter, is published.
  • 1800 – The United States Library of Congress is established when President John Adams signs legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress”.
  • 1885 – American sharpshooter Annie Oakley is hired by Nate Salsbury to be a part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West.

You can see an 1894 Edison video of Oakley’s shooting prowess on the Wikipedia page. As that page adds:

Oakley never failed to delight her audiences, and her feats of marksmanship were truly incredible. At 30 paces she could split a playing card held edge-on, she hit dimes tossed into the air, she shot cigarettes from her husband’s lips, and, a playing card being thrown into the air, she riddled it before it touched the ground.

Here she is in her 20s:

  • 1895 – Joshua Slocum, the first person to sail single-handedly around the world, sets sail from Boston, Massachusetts aboard the sloop “Spray”.
  • 1914 – The Franck–Hertz experiment, a pillar of quantum mechanics, is presented to the German Physical Society.

That experiment showed that electrons colliding with atoms could lose only a specific and constant amount of energy.

14 of the ringleaders of the failed uprising (excepting Éamon de Valera) were executed, most on this spot at Kilmainham Gaol:

1916 – Ernest Shackleton and five men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition launch a lifeboat from uninhabited Elephant Island in the Southern Ocean to organise a rescue for the crew of the sunken Endurance.

This story is perhaps the most famous and impressive in Antarctic exploring: Shakleton made it to South Georgia after 15 days, organized a rescue from Chile, and returned to rescue every man on the Endurance. But Shackleton had personally shot Mrs. Chippy, the ship’s cat.

  • 1953 – Winston Churchill is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
  • 1967 – Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov dies in Soyuz 1 when its parachute fails to open. He is the first human to die during a space mission.

Wikipedia adds this: “In his diary, Nikolai Kamanin recorded that the Soyuz 1 capsule crashed into the ground at 30–40 m/s and that the remains of Komarov’s body were an irregular lump 30 cm in diameter and 80 cm long.”

  • 1990 – STS-31: The Hubble Space Telescope is launched from the Space Shuttle Discovery.
  • 2005 – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is inaugurated as the 265th Pope of the Catholic Church taking the name Pope Benedict XVI.

Notables born on this day include:

Here’s a pretty lame de Kooning from 1987 called “The Cat’s Meow”. This was painted after he gave up drinking in 1978, and The Fix says that his paintings completed degenerated when he was sober:

 

I used to be mesmerized by Wilson’s cooking show, in which he larded his instructions with Cajun stories, when I was a kid. It was so corny, and his jokes so lame, that I couldn’t stop watching, I gare-un-tee!  Here’s a typical clip (you can stop watching at 2:20):

  • 1934 – Shirley MacLaine, American actress, singer, and dancer
  • 1942 – Barbra Streisand, American singer, actress, activist, and producer

Those who cashed in their chips on April 24 include:

  • 1731 – Daniel Defoe, English journalist, novelist, and spy (b. 1660)
  • 1947 – Willa Cather, American novelist, short story writer, and poet (b. 1873)
  • 1974 – Bud Abbott, American comedian and producer (b. 1895)
  • 2004 – Estée Lauder, American businesswoman, co-founded Estée Lauder Companies (b. 1906)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, editor Hili catches a mistake (there was such an error, but actually it was Malgorzata who caught it):

Hili: There is a typo.
A: In which word?
Hili: Hili, you wrote Hoili.
In Polish:
Hili: Tam jest literówka.
Ja: W którym słowie?
Hili: Hili, napisałeś Hoili.

Lagniappe: Szaron of the skinny tail:

Several readers have sent me this funny sign (misspelled, as is usual with these folks), but I wonder if it’s real:

This has gone somewhat viral. Bruce Thiel called it to my attention, and I did some googling. Patricia Felts is a MORTICIAN (see story here):

And a cartoon. I can’t remember where I got it except that it’s by political cartoonist Gary Varvel:

Philosopher/collaborator Maarten Boudry in Belgium sent a tweet of his new kitten (now a cat), Winston Purrchill. Poor Winston!

Both Andrew Doyle (aka Titania McGrath) and Douglas Murray took a crack at the hapless Wokester Emily Cousens, who doesn’t want Oxford to win the race for the coronavirus vaccine:

And from Murray, sent by reader Simon:

From Barry. A curmudgeon goes after Trump’s response to the pandemic, spewing a most excellent rant.

Tweets from Matthew. This “experiment” shows two things: 1. You know the answer before it starts; the cat obviously cannot get a treat farther away than the length of its leg, and 2. You don’t really need a hypothesis before you do an experiment:

Once again, the physics paper co-authored by a cat (second tweet):

I didn’t know that post-eclosion monarch butterflies had to zip their proboscis together!

And the eclosion video to which he refers:

Gary Larson doesn’t want people posting his Far Side cartoons, and I’ve alwys respected his wishes, but I can’t resist one violation to put up the oldie he posted yesterday, emailed me by several readers. It shows ME!

138 Comments

  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    And the Chief Moron continues to promote bogus cures …

    Keep pluckin’ that chicken, Donnie.

    Christ, I’d like to see the hardcore Trump cultists stay away from the polls next November — but not because they’re in the morgue after having taken Trump’s cue to run Lysol & Hydroxychloroquine speedballs into a main vein.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      It is undeniable that injecting bleach or lysol IV will be effective in killing the virus and stopping it’s spread. Virus need live cells to replicate.

  2. Posted April 24, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Trump has finally jumped the shark, suggesting that injecting Covid-19 sufferers with disinfectant might help, and asking Dr. Birx to carry out trials.

    “The disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. It gets in the lungs”

    Dr Birx just sits there!

    • Roger
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      You have to admit he did follow logic to its conclusion. Disinfectant kills virus, therefore put it in the blood and it will kill the virus. He’s becoming more logically sophisticated, which is a good thing.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        Still, I think he should be more explicit there in Step Two.

      • Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        Heck, open flames will kill it, too.

        • boudiccadylis
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          Why mess with treatment. Chances are the virus will kill just as effectively without trying to find unavailable medicicaments.

    • Liz
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      One of the governors I follow on Twitter retweeted this tweet yesterday.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        Good one.

    • Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      I know! One commenter on the thread below this youtube video of Agent Orange selling his snake oil remedies quite rightly points out that if Birx just sits there and raises no objections, then she’s complicit in whatever injuries should ensue from this idiotic suggestion:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCyw0A97sV0

      The biggish man might want to think outside the box when he should just stfu and stay inside his box.

      • merilee
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        Maybe Dr. Birx always wears a big scarf so that after the “briefings” she can quietly go and barf into it…

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        I did find that negligent. The president of America is floating the idea that people should inject disinfectant into their bodies; you’re a health expert and you’re sat three feet away from him. …And the best you can do is a poker face and some indiscernible inward sighing? That’s pathetic.

        I think it doesn’t make any difference at this stage if she gets fired – fired from what? Being a prop in a live campaign rally? So what? At least go out with some dignity and do some actual, tangible fucking good instead of propping up this lunatic.

        • Liz
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          “I think it doesn’t make any difference at this stage if she gets fired – fired from what? Being a prop in a live campaign rally? So what? At least go out with some dignity and do some actual, tangible fucking good instead of propping up this lunatic.”

          I don’t understand any of this.

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

            I’m saying she should’ve stepped in and told Trump that what he was suggesting was insane, and preferably added a denunciation of his incompetence so far.

            She would inevitably be fired, but so be it. It’s surely better than propping up a deranged cretin like Trump.

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted April 25, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

              I honestly have no idea what you’re babbling about.

            • sugould
              Posted April 26, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

              Doubt that anyone believes she is propping up the Prez. She’s a hostage. Just like all of us who watch *hoping* there might be real news to be had.

              All people are props to him. His track record is always to bring in someone worse, someone more obsequious.

              Isn’t Hannity a “Dr.” of something? Be careful what you wish for.

        • Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          Pre-xactly! Maybe she oughta tell the prez he can cure stupidity by spraying a can of Lysol between his ears.

    • Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Latest: now he says he was being sarcastic! Watch the video – he was deadly serious.

      • JezGrove
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Too dumb to understand what “sarcastic” means, apparently …

        • pablo
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          Even if we bought his sarcasm excuse, is a presidential press conference during a pandemic the right place for sarcasm?

    • Roger
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Apparently he was winging teh whole thing based on a poster he had seen. (via reddit.)

      • Roger
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        “Photographer captures the exact moment Trump comes up with the idea of injecting patients with Lysol” is the title of the reddit thread by the way.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I think it is fine they keep running the daily moron report. Now that the world is in depression and the country is going down the bowl is the perfect time they should show this guy live and unedited. I don’t watch but many of his followers will and they can observe the unwinding insanity as it happens.

    • Posted April 24, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      The thing is, I don’t think his followers see that behavior as abnormal! That’s the scary part.

      • Posted April 24, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

        As long as they keep taking the Lysol, they’ll be fine.

      • darrelle
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        Exactly!

      • Jim batterson
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        Yes jerry. And that is the nub of it all.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        You are probably correct but in the Post today by Fareed Zakaria he reminds us that Trump only knows one reelection dance – the populism hustle. He must continue to bad mouth his own policies to look good to the cult.

        • Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

          He used to have the economy on his side but no longer.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Well, I guess even his followers will not follow his suggestion this time. 🙂

  4. Nancy Holst
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Actually, Pritzker stated he will open some state parks and golf (with some restrictions) NEXT week. And Jerry, what do you have against golf? It allows one to be outdoors and stick to the social distancing “rules” that will be in place for the foreseeable future. It is good exercise and most golf courses are beautiful and serene. It can be the ultimate mind/body activity.

    And, it will SAVE MY MARRIAGE. And, many others I’m sure. I’m saying this “tongue in cheek” but please try to imagine being quarantined with someone (age 65 and very healthy) with NOTHING to do all day. Sure, he loves to read and we’ve been doing 1000 piece puzzles but, enough is enough. I just gotta get that man out of the house. And, I need MY SPACE back.

    So………..GOLF. Yes, Governor Pritzker – open those courses. The sooner the better.

    • eric
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      The problem is, I doubt they’ll stick to the social distancing rules. It’s counter-profit for the golf course, too – they’re going to want to push through as many groups of 4 players as they can, not let singletons go merely to keep everyone distanced.

      I get your desire. And in fact there’s a serious side to ‘get my spouse out of the house’ jokes, as domestic violence cases are significantly up. However, don’t kid yourself about this being a safe decision. Your husband is going to golf with likely three unrelated people in his close proximity, for hours at a time. And that’s going to significantly increase the chance of the virus spreading.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      “Golf: a good walk spoiled.” 🙂

      • JezGrove
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        You beat me to it, Ken.

      • darrelle
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        I’m not a golfer and have hardly ever played, but the few times I did it was a blast. They were all events put on by vendors intent on schmoozing. They were all “best ball” events where you are part of a small team and whoever hits the best ball on the team during a turn everyone else on the team gets to spot their ball from there next turn.

        But the best part? That was the brunch before hand and then the golf cart bars buzzing back and forth between holes to make sure your drink was always full.

        If you’re gonna play that’s how to play golf.

    • mike cracraft
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      The only good thing I get out of golf is the 19th hole.

    • Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      It would be ok as long as there are controls on keeping players well apart, but that must also apply to partners playing together. That is the tricky part and I am not sure how they can rightly do that since the courses will have very minimal staff. There can be no restrooms open, of course.

      Another one that is definitely ‘not quite good enough’ are campgrounds, which are to remain closed as far as I have heard. There are various restrictions that could be applied to make it a lot safer, but then there is the problem of using restrooms. That is a deal breaker, unfortunately.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    “pigs in a blanket”

    Neighborhood I grew up in, “pigs in a blanket” were what the ethnic women called stuffed cabbages.

    First time I ever heard it used for these other things, I was in college. My WASP-y girlfriend at the time told me we’d reached the stage in our relationship where it was “time to meet [her] parents.” So we hopped in the jalopy I kept stashed off-campus and drove across state to the enclave in suburbia she called home.

    That weekend, her parents threw a little come-meet-the-daughter’s-boyfriend soirée for their friends and neighbors. I was standing there in the middle of Squaresville trying to blend in when her mom (who, I gotta admit, was a complete sweetheart to me) came up and asked would I like to try some “pigs in a blanket.”

    “Sure!,” I said, then looked down at the platter she was extending my way. It was full of these … things — these little weenies wrapped in a strip of Pillsbury dough. I kept the smile frozen on my face, snatched one off the platter, and popped it in my gullet, for the sake of keeping up polite appearances.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      So you got hor d’oeuvres from the girl friend’s parent. All I remember was a very suspicious look.

    • Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      I have to say, though I’m not sure WHAT kind of meat is the color of the ones shown in the photo above, when you make them using Chicago’s own Best’s Kosher hot dogs, they’re really good.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        When I do the buyin’, we eat nuthin’ but Hebrew National franks around my pad. They’re miles ahead of anything else on the grocery-store shelf.

      • Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        And real puff pastry, not that horrid frozen biscuit dough crap.

        • darrelle
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

          Have you ever made your own puff-pastry Paul? I’m thinking about giving it a try. Can’t be too hard. At least that’s the impression I have after binge watching The Great British Baking Show.

          If so, any tips?

          • Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

            Actually, I did once. It was a lot of trouble. It turned out ok but not nearly as good as the kind you can buy frozen. It’s basically dough and butter layers, folded and rolled thin over and over. The problem with doing it yourself is that it is hard to get the layers to be of even thickness — the kind of thing a machine would be best at. I suspect there’s also advantage to be had in the coldness of the butter. Perhaps one has to perform the process inside a walk-in refrigerator. Then there’s the particular variety of flour to be considered. My understanding is that this varies a lot based on the kind of wheat and exactly how it is ground. Getting all this perfect is too much for me, especially with decent bakeries so close.

            • darrelle
              Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

              Thanks!

          • merilee
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

            I made it once, years ago. A helluva lot of work. The commercial stuff, as long as it’s made with real butter, is pretty good.

            • darrelle
              Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

              Yeah, even many pros say they don’t bother making it themselves. Even more so for strudel dough. Ever see that episode of Two Fat Ladies (love that show) where they make strudel? Very daunting!

              • Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

                I remember reading this article, or one of the many others like it. The key is to find one that uses real butter instead of a cheaper kind of grease. This one favors Dufour over the ubiquitous Pepperidge Farms. I remember finding Dufour at my local Bristol Farms (which turned into Lazy Acres but, I believe, is basically the same company.)

                https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/taste-test-the-best-frozen-puff-pastry.html

              • darrelle
                Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

                Thanks again Paul!

              • merilee
                Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

                The Two Fat Ladies were a riot!! Not sure I saw that episode. I’ll bet they got the dough all over the place. Did you ever see Julia Child on Dick Cavett where she chases him around the couch with her portable crème brûlée torch. Dick was apparently terrified.

              • darrelle
                Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

                Don’t think I’ve ever seen that, but I’m gonna look it up!

              • darrelle
                Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

                Julia Child Scares Dick with a Blowtorch | The Dick Cavett Show

                LOL

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

            Plenty of lard. In fact, pitch the dough and eat the lard. 🙂

        • Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

          Agree. Actually, this was one of many edibles that got me thru college. My affection for them is no doubt prejudiced by fond memories from that time, but oh well.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Agreed, all depends on the quality of the sausage (no, the ones in the pic don’y look promising). With good sausage they can be succulent.

  6. Keith
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I struggle each day to think charitable thoughts about Trump and his supporters, but then he tweets or opens his mouth and the dark malaise returns. November cannot come soon enough.

  7. David Harper
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Apropos “pigs in blankets”, here in Britain this refers to regular-sized pork sausages wrapped in bacon and cooked in the oven.

    • Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Or to relatives visiting for the holidays, according to Gary Delaney.

    • darrelle
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Wrapping just about anything in bacon will work. A favorite is scallops.

      Marinate the scallops in a nice Chardonnay. Partially pre-cook the bacon to render it a bit. (Don’t want to over cook the scallops!) Wrap each scallop in a piece of bacon and skewer with a soaked tooth pick. Prepare your gas or charcoal grill. Medium temperature. Place scallops on grill and occasionally turn them. Dead simple and delicious. Eat them fast before everybody else does.

      • merilee
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        +1

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Put me down as a “hell, yes” for rumaki.

        • Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          Yes, rumaki is the bomb!

        • darrelle
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

          Oh man. Ever catch a show at the Mai-Kai? I haven’t since the early 80s, but man they had great rumaki. I’d order a platter just for myself.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

            No, but I tended bar at a Polynesian tiki joint back before I went to law school. Couldn’t get enough of the stuff.

            • darrelle
              Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

              Huh. I figured that given your locale and its reputation, at least back in the day, you’d have been there once or twice.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted April 24, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

                Oh, I know the place, and I’ve been by there for drinks back in the day. I just never caught a show there.

                My loss, I reckon.

            • merilee
              Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

              Did they make you wear a sarong when you tended bar, Ken?

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted April 24, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

                Naw, just a Hawaiian shirt. Come to think of it, I got married there, too, on the patio. In a Hawaiian shirt. 🙂

              • merilee
                Posted April 24, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

                🤙🏻

      • Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        Yes! This is my go-to dish for making a dinner party look fancy. It’s ridiculously easy to do. One important tip is to pat each scallop dry with paper towels so it sears nicely instead of stewing.

        • darrelle
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          Yep. And good tip. I should have mentioned that.

  8. eric
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    They are not edible.

    I agree with you about the pre-made ones. I still hold out hope for the from-scratch types. In fact I’ve been entertaining the idea of making some either this weekend or next, just to test the hypothesis (and, if the experiment doesn’t work out, I have a kid I can fob them off on).

    • Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      The English have something similar, which they call “sausage rolls”. They use English sausages, not hot dogs, and wrap them in puff pastry, not frozen biscuit dough. My family still makes them at Christmastime. Delicious!

      • eric
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Sausage rolls are in no way even related to pigs in a blanket. They don’t even look the same, and they certainly don’t taste the same. As someone who grew up in Australia and then moved back to the states, it took me years to find a place that made proper meat pies and sausage rolls.

        • Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

          Sure but only because of the quality of the ingredients. They are both sausages inside pastry, right? I wasn’t suggesting that they tasted the same, or certainly didn’t mean to.

          So where do you get your proper meat pies and sausage rolls here in the US? I’ve tried a few brands but haven’t found much I like.

          • eric
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

            Kiwi Kuisine. While I’m nothing but a consumer of their products (not associated with the business in any way), I’ll still leave it up to you to google them so i don’t violate Da Roolz on advertising.

            • Posted April 25, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

              Thanks. Found it.

              BTW, I doubt the proprietor would have a problem with a link to a product under discussion here in the comments, especially one involving good eats.

    • darrelle
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Oh, I don’t think there’s any doubt that they can be good. Very good. Depends entirely on the ingredients. A good dipping sauce is a nice touch too. A fig jam? A remoulade? A rarebit?

  9. JezGrove
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    As Wikipedia’s current Editor of the Week for my awesome contribution to Gender Studies (no, really! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Editor_Retention/Editor_of_the_Week ) I fully endorse Queen Titania’s remark that Emily Cousens “teaches Gender Studies, so she knows what she’s talking about”!

  10. eric
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    2005 – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is inaugurated as the 265th Pope of the Catholic Church taking the name Pope Benedict XVI.

    In hindsight, this was possibly an early warning bell that the population of the west was entertaining ultraconservative, regressive ideas more seriously.

    Not that we could’ve reasonably predicted anything from it. We couldn’t. But now that the pattern has more clearly emerged, this fits it.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      The earliest adumbration of the Decline and Fall of the West?

      • EdwardM
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        An alternative that I KNOW will get me accused of being Polly Annish, is that it is the last desperate gasps of a dying beast. I do think that is true. Still, a dying beast can be very dangerous.

    • darrelle
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Not sure if that would be indicative of changes towards more conservative attitudes in the population. None of the Catholic clergy is chosen by the people. It may even be more plausible that the selection of Ratzinger by the College of Cardinals was an indication that the Church thought the population was getting too liberal and needed a firmer hand to drag it back to a more properly pious and reverent attitude.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        I think it was pure Vatican politics. Ratzie’d been angling for the job for quite a while, probably well before he made it to the college of cardinals.

        • darrelle
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          Much like Palpatine
          .

          Seriously though. Ratzinger was one scary looking dude.

    • harrync
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      2005: Father Guido Sarducci is on Al Franken’s radio program, pushing his quest to be named pope. Franken: What name will you pick? Sarducci: Pope Benedict XVII. Franken: But there is no Benedict XVI. Sarducci: Yeh, that’s what makes it so cool.
      {And on another topic, loved the way Justin Wilson would end his show, opening a bottle of red wine to have with his fish dinner: “It’s OK – fish be dead, he don’t care.}

  11. Linda Calhoun
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Re: the journalistic use of “we” by a single author – I love Mark Twain’s comment that the only people who should use the first-person plural are kings, pregnant women, and people with tapeworm.

    L

    • Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Surely it’s true that all scientific papers should be written by their authors using passive construction, anyway. 😉

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        When you think or feel with your gut (the ‘gut feeling’, recently having become so ptominent), it is always ‘we’: you and your billions of symbionts.

  12. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    A curmudgeon goes after Trump’s response to the pandemic, spewing a most excellent rant.

    I freakin’ love New York. It’s a helluva town. The Bronx is up, and the Battery’s down.

  13. EdwardM
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    A tragedy for the cosmonaut, being reduced to a small lump of flesh, but did his capsule really crash at 40 m/s? That’s 89 miles per hour. Seems like a lot of damage for such a low speed crash.

    • Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Burned up on re-entry.

      • EdwardM
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        Ah. Of course.

    • darrelle
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      The parachute failure was the cause of death and the cited speed is no doubt reasonably accurate. But the condition of the body wasn’t the result of that initial impact. After the capsule hit the ground and came to rest the emergency landing thrusters fired, yet another malfunction. They caused a serious fire. The fire raged unchecked despite attempts to put it out. Eventually “The descent module then completely disintegrated, leaving only a pile of debris topped by the entry hatch.”

  14. boudiccadylis
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the monarch birthing. Also for the proboscis issue. I have only seen cocoons or flying butterflies. Again, thank you.

  15. Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    The “bag on the head” problem happened to our cat, Zing. Unfortunately, he panicked, ran into something, and broke his foreleg, or at least injured it badly. He wore a cast for a couple of weeks and wasn’t allowed out. He was supposed to wear it for 6 weeks but he managed to get loose and remove it. Found it sometime later in the neighbors’ yard. He’s fine now.

    • darrelle
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Poor Zing!

  16. EdwardM
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Apropos of today’s anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy bl*g has an excellent overview of the spectacular picture release today by NASA. There are two websites I go to most days, WEIT and BA. BA is always fascinating and never depressing.

    • Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      I like Phil Plait but have never read his blog. Thanks for reminding me. Actually, it appears to be down at the moment. It gives me 502: Bad Gateway:

      http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/

      • EdwardM
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        What I like about Dr Plait is his unbridled (if a bit corny) enthusiasm for science. I visit his site frequently because of all the things I learn from him (like here at WEIT) everyday. I can forgive his schmaltziness and occasional drifts into SJW world because of the daily WOW(!!!!) his site delivers.

        BTW, you should go here.

        https://www.syfy.com/tags/bad-astronomy

      • rickflick
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        I like Phil too, although he sometimes sounds weirdly enthusiastic. He used to use the term “jaw-dropping” a lot. “This stellar explosion is jaw_dropping in it’s utter coolness”. I got very tired of him saying that. Hey, Phil, think of a new exclamation will you please. But, his site is very good. I haven’t read him for quite a while. I should start again. I hope he has dropped the jaw-dropping.

        • EdwardM
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

          Well, no he hasn’t. He also goes on and on about how his brain was blown apart by awesomeness or whatever. It’s one of the rhetorical tics you have to get past – he really does give good, amazing science. And the photos he shares (like here at WEIT he links to the work of other excellent science) are worth the cringe at his writing style.

  17. rickflick
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Shirley MacLaine, American actress, singer, and dancer, and certified fruitcake.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      She’s got some acting chops, though. Before the virus closed the local arthouse, I had a chance to see her and Jack Lemmon on the big screen in Billy Wilder’s The Apartment. She was great in it. As was Lemmon. As was Fred MacMurray as the heel she was having an affair with using Lemmon’s pad.

      • rickflick
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        I love her as an actor. We have to be able to separate the performance as an artist in her chosen profession from the woo she espouses. The term “Shirley MacLaine”, now has a meaning which is not complimentary to her. Many wonderful performers are totally bonkers or simply unlikable as people. David Crosby, for example.

      • Mark R.
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        I also loved her in Being There; her interactions with Chance were a riot. Reminds me I need to rewatch that one.

        • merilee
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          I had forgotten that she was in Being There.

  18. Vaal
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    “They are not edible.”

    Disagree.

    Anything based on a hot dog is edible.

    Anything.

    (My attitude on hot dogs mirror Woody Allen’s take on sex/pizza).

  19. Keith
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I took a look at Gary Varvel’s website. He’s a talented cartoonist, and clearly all in for Trump, in another demonstration of how christianity and trumpism align. Evidence be damned!

  20. Curtis
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Have any of you actually listened to Trump’s new conference? Any of them? If you want to have an informed decision here is a link.

    The comment is around 26 minutes.

    If you would like context, the doctor on before Trump was talking about UV lights and disinfectant among other things. Trump was trying (very poorly) to emphasize the UV and disinfectant parts. Trump was talking extemporaneously about something out of his expertise and bumbled it. Since this is something I have done I have sympathy. He was in no way advocated injecting disinfectant.

    On a related note, if you want to hear intelligent commentary about the coronavirus, the doctors on his news conferences (Fauci, Birx, etc) are actually quite good.

    • EdwardM
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      “Trump was talking extemporaneously about something out of his expertise and bumbled it.”

      So maybe he should STFU and leave this to the experts? You and I both know that’s not going to happen and as a consequence now some of his moron cult are going to die horrible painful deaths BECAUSE HE CAN”T STFU about things he knows shit about.

      After three and half years of infuriatingly asinine incompetent leadership I’ve had fucking enough. Stop making excuses for this fool.

      • Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • Curtis
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Have you actually listened to Trump’s news conferences? If not, you are speaking from ignorance. If I were rude, I would make the same statement about being quiet about things you don’t about.

        Pontificating after listening to a Fox News broadcast is silly. Pontificating after listening to a anti-Trump broadcast is silly. Go to the source if you want to be informed.

        • EdwardM
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

          Tell this to the family of the MAGA-hatter who drinks bleach because the Cheeto said what he did.

          STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR THE BASTARD.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

            What’s wrong with MAGA-hatters drinking bleach? The more the merrier, I’d say. [/sarcasm]

            Parallels with Jim Jones and Kool-Aid come to mind.

            cr

        • Keith
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

          Yes, and they are nauseating displays of ignorance from a deeply troubled man. What is stunning is how many sycophantic enablers surround him.

    • Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      “Trump was talking extemporaneously”

      You make it sound so reasonable by putting it this way. It’s still stupid and irresponsible.

      • merilee
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        The fool ALWAYS talks extemporaneously and always spouts nonsense.

        • rickflick
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          There is a specific medical condition associated with that. I think it’s confabulation. Although there may be related conditions that fit him more closely.

          Confabulation is associated with several characteristics:

          Typically verbal statements but can also be non-verbal gestures or actions.
          Can include autobiographical and non-personal information, such as historical facts, fairy-tales, or other aspects of semantic memory.
          The account can be fantastic or coherent.
          Both the premise and the details of the account can be false.
          The account is usually drawn from the patient’s memory of actual experiences, including past and current thoughts.
          The patient is unaware of the accounts’ distortions or inappropriateness, and is not concerned when errors are pointed out.
          There is no hidden motivation behind the account.
          The patient’s personality structure may play a role in his/her readiness to confabulate.

      • Curtis
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Have you actually listened to Trump’s news conferences? If not, you are speaking from ignorance.

        • Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

          We all have. You are on your own here.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          You are engaging in tribal apologetics and making empty excuses for an utter cretin who is guilty of gross negligence every time he opens his mouth. Trumpsplaining.

          The most embarrassing part is that Trump himself is walking back what he said. So you’re defending a speech he said was entirely ‘sarcastic'(🙄…sure it was).

          I used to wonder whether Trump would ever say something that his supporters/apologists* wouldn’t instinctively defend. Evidently not.

          *the latter are the people who don’t want to admit that they’re the former.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Trump was talking extemporaneously about something out of his expertise and bumbled it. Since this is something I have done …

      As have I, as has everyone else. But you and I and everyone else aren’t president of the United States (and, ipso facto, leader of the free world). Donald Trump — believe it or not! — is.

      Accordingly, his words matter. And by any meaningful measure — intellect, experience, temperament, character, you name it — he is unfit for the job. What’s more, he’s a malignant narcissist who’s incapable of opening his mouth for any reason but self-aggrandizement, tout court.

      He is a danger to the American people and an embarrassment before the world.

      • Curtis
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        Have you actually listened to Trump’s news conferences? If not, you are speaking from ignorance.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

          I watch ’em all. And his rallies. Insalubrious and repugnant though it may be, I consider it a civic duty. Way I see it, I owe it to my progeny to keep a close eye on the scoundrel.

          • Curtis
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

            That’s great. I watch a few and I find Trump a buffoon, the scientists great and the media varying tremendously. I am glad to have intelligent and knowledgeable people (this does not mean Trump) in the spotlight.

    • Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      I guess Trump decided not to go with your “talking extemporaneously”.

      Trump says remarks about heat, light, disinfectant were sarcastic
      https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/494519-trump-says-remarks-about-heat-light-disinfectant-were-sarcastic

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      “He was in no way advocated injecting disinfectant.”, well, he definitely was suggesting it.
      And then Mr Biden is supposed to be demented one?

  21. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I am reminded of the notion of using a flame thrower to remove snow

    https://what-if.xkcd.com/130/

    There was a report about a mayor seriously considering the idea. I mean, hey – fire melts the snow, right? So hey, flame throwers!

    But yeah – UV light in the body – sound like Trump is a budding scientist and should plan to get good SATs, nail his interviews, and earn an undergraduate degree. The common sense ingenuity and Feynman-esque no-nonsense approach is truly inspiring^*.

    *this is facetious.

  22. JezGrove
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    My theory (which is mine) about Trump’s musings on finding a way to use sunlight inside the body is he actually thinks there is a medical possibility of this because he’s so convinced that the sun shines from his own backside.

  23. JezGrove
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Marina Hyde’s take on the US and UK daily press briefings is good: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/24/donald-trump-coronavirus-president-advice-bleach

  24. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    I checked a couple states on ihme and the peak deaths appear to be in the past. Here’s New York:

    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/new-york


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