Saturday: Hili dialogue

January 30, 2021 • 6:30 am

Welcome to Saturday, January 30, 2021. Remember: the Sabbath was made for cats, not cats for the Sabbath. It’s National Croissant Day, as well as National Escape Day and Martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi Day, marking the day he was assassinated in 1948.

Wine of the Day: Yep another Rioja (I do love them so!) I didn’t buy this wine at Costco for ten bucks, as many apparently did, but I couldn’t have paid much more, and it must have come from a recommendation (for the life of me I can’t remember buying it). It’s pretty highly rated by both experts and tyros, so I looked forward to having it with my weekly (or rather every-ten-day) steak last night.

It’s 100% Tempranillo, and has some age (it’s also barrel-aged for two years before bottling) and now appears to be at about its peak, ripe and with the classic flavors of oak and vanilla. The tannins are tamed but there’s still plenty of fruit. I probably should have chosen a gutsier wine with steak, but this was fine. And if you can find it for around ten bucks, snap it up.

News of the Day:

Speaking of wine, Eric Asimov, the NYT’s wine critic, has a list of 20 wines below $20 NYC retail price that he thinks are well worth trying. I haven’t tried any of these, but you should have a look, and you might be able to get them at lower-than-Manhattan price. As Asimov says, and I agree, “. . . .I have long contended that the best values in wine fall into the $15-to-$25 range. That’s where many small farmers can work traditionally and still earn enough to sustain their businesses.” The Haarmeyer California Chenin Blanc (a white-wine grape I favor) sounds good, and it’s made from fruit trodden by human feet: a rarity! One tip, though: stay away from the Grüner Veltliner. I’ve tried it many times on enthusiastic recommendations, and have never had a decent bottle. It’s a stinkeroo. 

Below we have a woman gun nut just elected to Congress, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, talking about the 2017 Las Vegas shooting that killed 60 people. She’s a Republican, of course, as well as a conspiracy theorist, and represents Georgia’s 14th Congressional District. That makes at least two new Republican Congresswomen who are gun loons (the other is Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who wants to carry her Glock onto the House floor).

News flash: Greene also blames wildfires on secret Jewish space lasers! (See here Facebook “theory” here.)

The efficacy of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus has been reported, and it’s okay (better than flu vaccines), but not as good as the Pfizer and Moderna jabs, which are about 95% effective (i.e., they reduce the chance that an exposure will give you the disease by 95%). The new J&J jab is reported to be 66% effective in preventing moderate + severe disease, and 85% against severe disease by itself.  That will take some of the stress off the other vaccines, but of course if one had a choice, you’d probably take the mRNA vaccines already in use in the U.S. (The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a simian adenovirus that’s been genetically engineered to express Covid protein in the human body.) But the J&J vaccine requires storage only at refrigerator temperature, and the full dose is just a single jab. That may make it more accessible to people in remote areas, and also appealing to those who don’t like shots. (There are surprisingly many shot-phobes.)

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 436,780, a big increase of about 3,600 deaths over yesterday’s figure. We are likely to exceed half a million deaths in less than a month. The reported world death toll stands at 2,218,055, an increase of about 15,400 deaths over yesterday’s total, or about 10.7 deaths per minute.

Stuff that happened on January 30 includes:

  • 1661 – Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, is ritually executed more than two years after his death, on the 12th anniversary of the execution of the monarch he himself deposed.[5]
  • 1703 – The Forty-seven rōnin, under the command of Ōishi Kuranosuke, avenge the death of their master, by killing Kira Yoshinaka. 

The 47 samurai were all forced to commit seppuku as a way of atoning for exacting revenge. Here’s the leader, Ōishi Yoshio offing himself:

  • 1820 – Edward Bransfield sights the Trinity Peninsula and claims the discovery of Antarctica.
  • 1847 – Yerba Buena, California is renamed San Francisco, California.
  • 1908 – Indian pacifist and leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is released from prison by Jan C. Smuts after being tried and sentenced to two months in jail earlier in the month.
  • 1933 – Adolf Hitler’s rise to power: Hitler takes office as the Chancellor of Germany.
  • 1956 – African-American civil rights movement leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s home is bombed in retaliation for the Montgomery bus boycott.
  • 1969 – The Beatles‘ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.

Here’s a clip from that last concert:

  • 1982 – Richard Skrenta writes the first PC virus code, which is 400 lines long and disguised as an Apple boot program called “Elk Cloner”.
  • 1995 – Hydroxycarbamide becomes the first approved preventive treatment for sickle cell disease.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 58 BC – Livia, Roman wife of Augustus (d. 29)
  • 1882 – Franklin D. Roosevelt, American lawyer and politician, 32nd President of the United States (d. 1945)
  • 1911 – Roy Eldridge, American jazz trumpet player (d. 1989)

Here’s “Liittle Jazz”, an underrated musician except among the cognoscenti, doing what I think is his finest work on “After You’ve Gone”. What a solo!

  • 1930 – Gene Hackman, American actor and author
  • 1937 – Vanessa Redgrave, English actress
  • 1937 – Boris Spassky, Russian chess player and theoretician
  • 1951 – Phil Collins, English drummer, singer-songwriter, producer, and actor

Those who handed in their dinner pails on January 30 include:

Here’s the great man, but he was a bit of a bigot early in his life, and so he’ll be erased:

  • 1948 – Orville Wright, American pilot and engineer, co-founded the Wright Company (b. 1871)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili went outside in the cold, but didn’t like it, although she appears to be well insulated:

Hili: It’s a no-brainer.
A: What do you mean?
Hili: I have to return to the warmth and full bowls.
In Polish:
Hili: Nie ma innego wyboru.
Ja: To znaczy?
Hili: Trzeba wrócić do ciepła i pełnych miseczek.

Via Donna, a tweet from Ricky Gervais.

From Seth Andrews on Facebook:

UPDATE: Matthew says that the meme above is a riff on the gif below (which is also Matthew’s semi-permanent status”):

From Doc Bill (you have to know something about the comic strip “Peanuts” to understand this):

I don’t know where Titania got this guide to fixing “speciesist” language, but I’m sure it’s real. This is a funny one:

A hilarious tweet from Gethyn:

A prize-winning wasp photo contributed by Dom:

Tweets from Matthew. I saw this one on the news the other night.  Healthcare workers carrying a supply of vaccine vials got stuck in the snow. With a time limit of vaccine preservation, they decided to walk along the road and vaccinate people so that nothing got wasted. There’s a link to the NYT story below.

I think this is a genuine “Nancy” strip. Heater cats!

Guess the animal! (Not hard.)

I wonder if the bird can choke that thing down:

Evolution is cleverer than you are: larvae that use their old molted skins to protect themselves from predators:

34 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. Our neighbor has put in 200 Tempranillo vines. This year was his first harvest and I’m assisting with processing the grapes. So far it tastes like it will be a fine vintage. It will take another few months before bottling time. For my help, I should be receiving a case of the stuff for my cellar. Something to look forward to as the vaccine soaks in. 🤪

  2. Not just any space laser, but one controlled by the Rothschilds. Who will be the first Republican to enter ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ into the Congretional Record?

  3. MT Greene: Jesus Haploid Christ! The longest dose of Fuxx News that I have ever had to endure coincided with the LV shootings, when I spent several hrs in the waiting room at a hospital emergency dept. Dire coverage that IIRC dwelled on terminology (clips v magazines etc) but they hadn’t gone that far. I suppose they hadn’t had long enough to think about it.

    1. Yes, the description of her conspiracy theories in the tweet does a disservice to bats’ fecal matter.

      That Peanuts cartoon spoof is a work of genius!

    2. If you don’t know the difference between a clip and a magazine, how can you possibly have an opinion about about whether letting homicidal idiots have guns is a good or bad thing?

      (/sarcasm, in case it wasn’t obvious.)

  4. COVID stats and rate: I spoke to a guy in his late ’70s yesterday. An acquaintance who is a good friend of a couple good friends of mine. Said that in the last two wks TEN of his friends had died of COVID, and now with the wife of a mutual friend of ours that makes 11.

    And meanwhile the border between Norway and Sweden has been effectively closed for the first time since WWII.

  5. The osprey won’t swallow the puffer fish whole. It will try to tear into it, and eat bit by bit. But presumably this too will be very dangerous unless the bird is an expert chef.

  6. Having accidentally posted this on the previous thread, I’ll try again!

    Couple of things re the J&J vaccine, drummed into me on Thurs/Friday by an extremely well informed, but not entirely disinterested party.

    First the J&J vaccine was more widely tested around the world in an environment with the current variants. So (in this person’s opinion) its performance is probably comparable to the mRNA approach.

    Second there is a four week lag time for full efficacy with this vaccine, and if you look at data after the four week time point (I have not seen the data) there were no deaths and no hospitalizations in the vaccinated group. In his opinion the storage advantages and single shot approach are a significant strength for widespread use across the world.

  7. The lag time – these times like the 3 weeks for Pfizer Biontech, are arbitrary I understand -they more pr less chose a length of time via constraints of time, hence the idea that longer waits equal better immunity. I think you are fight – one shot vaccine will be better as you do not lose people who will inevitably fall by the wayside between vaccinations… we really should be putting healthcare workers around he world first…

  8. I think Roy Eldridge may be underrated among the non-cognoscenti because he fell between the first generation of great jazz trumpeters like Louie Armstrong (and great coronet players like Bix Beiderbecke and King Oliver) and the generation of greats that came of age in the post-war bebop era, like Dizzy and Miles.

    That’s some great playin’ Eldridge does on “After You’ve Gone.”

  9. Nearly but exactly one month old was I
    at when Mr Gandhi was murdered. AmTaham.
    Ms Margaret Atwood’s poem, Dearly,
    fits that. and this, day as well. Blue


    It’s an old word, fading now.
    Dearly did I wish.
    Dearly did I long for.
    I loved him dearly.

    I make my way along the sidewalk
    mindfully, because of my wrecked knees
    about which I give less of a shit
    than you may imagine
    since there are other things, more important—
    wait for it, you’ll see—

    bearing half a coffee
    in a paper cup with—
    dearly do I regret it—
    a plastic lid—
    trying to remember what words once meant.

    How was it used?
    Dearly beloved.
    Dearly beloved, we are gathered.
    Dearly beloved, we are gathered here
    in this forgotten photo album
    I came across recently.

    Fading now,
    the sepias, the black and whites, the colour prints,
    everyone so much younger.
    The Polaroids.
    What is a Polaroid? asks the newborn.
    Newborn a decade ago.

    How to explain?
    You took the picture and then it came out the top.
    The top of what?
    It’s that baffled look I see a lot.
    So hard to describe
    the smallest details of how—
    all these dearly gathered together—
    of how we used to live.
    We wrapped up garbage
    in newspaper tied with string.
    What is newspaper?
    You see what I mean.

    String though, we still have string.
    It links things together.
    A string of pearls.
    That’s what they would say.
    How to keep track of the days?
    Each one shining, each one alone,
    each one then gone.
    I’ve kept some of them in a drawer on paper,
    those days, fading now.
    Beads can be used for counting.
    As in rosaries.
    But I don’t like stones around my neck.

    Along this street there are many flowers,
    fading now because it is August
    and dusty, and heading into fall.
    Soon the chrysanthemums will bloom,
    flowers of the dead, in France.
    Don’t think this is morbid.
    It’s just reality.

    So hard to describe the smallest details of flowers.
    This is a stamen, nothing to do with men.
    This is a pistil, nothing to do with guns.
    It’s the smallest details that foil translators
    and myself too, trying to describe.
    See what I mean.
    You can wander away. You can get lost.
    Words can do that.

    Dearly beloved, gathered here together
    in this closed drawer,
    fading now, I miss you.
    I miss the missing, those who left earlier.
    I miss even those who are still here.
    I miss you all dearly.
    Dearly do I sorrow for you.

    Sorrow: that’s another word
    you don’t hear much any more.
    I sorrow dearly.

  10. It sure is a roller coaster with the Pandemic right now. One day a new vaccine, the next a new variant! It’s amazing how it felt in the summer (at least in Ontario) when the cases were so low and it felt, hopefully, like it was possible the worst was behind us 🙁

    My wife is a doctor and just got her second shot of the Pfizer vaccine. Due to a slowdown of vaccine delivery, there was lots of talk of delaying second doses. Fortunately for my wife she was in the last group to get a second shot in the recommended 21-day time frame. Everyone afterward will have their second shot delayed. Talk about just under the wire!

    This sure helps my anxiety about her safety at work (she works at a clinic and hospital), and hopefully will mitigate to some degree her bringing COVID home.

    Glad to see Jerry got vaccinated. It seems those in the USA are further along than in Canada. The vaccine roll out here is awful.

  11. I don’t know where Titania got this guide to fixing “speciesist” language, but I’m sure it’s real.

    Tell ya what: when one of the named animals complains to me personally, in the Queen’s English, I will happily apologize and desist. Until then, whoever drew up this guide can make like the animals themselves and STFU.

  12. During army basic training we used to have recite, “This is my weapon, this my gun…” There was a second part but I forget it. A couple of times I purposely called my rifle a gun and we would have get into formation and recite the saying. Rep. Greene would not have the thing we called our gun.

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