Monday: Hili dialogue

August 23, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Monday, August 23, 2021: National Cuban Sandwich Day. It’s a day of cultural appropriation, but those sandwiches are good! Foodimentary describes a proper one:

Many say a “true” Cuban sandwich, starts with Cuban bread. The loaf is sliced into lengths of 8–12 inches, lightly buttered or brushed with olive oil on the crust, and cut in half horizontally. A coat of yellow mustard is spread on the bread. Then sliced roast pork, glazed ham, Swiss cheese, and thinly sliced dill pickles are added in layers. Sometimes the pork is marinated in mojo and slow roasted.

Here’s one:

It’s also Buttered Corn Day, National Sponge Cake Day, Hug Your Sweetheart Day, European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, and International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

News of the Day:

It’s now 215 days since the Bidens moved into the White House and still there is no First Cat!  He promised the American people there would be a First Cat, and yet there is no cat to be seen. Did Joe and Dr. Jill lie to us??

If you care about the plight of Afghan women, and why you read more about it here than in most “MSM” sources, there’s a Spiked article you might look at called “The silence of Western feminists is deafening.” One excerpt among several descriptions about how the hammer’s coming down on the women from the Taliban:

And yet, in their moment of utmost need, Afghan women cannot turn to Western feminists for support. There have been no statements condemning the Taliban’s treatment of women from US vice-president Kamala Harris. [JAC: I believe Biden mentioned their plight.] Most mainstream feminist groups have been similarly silent. That tidal wave of support that greeted the victims of Harvey Weinstein? It’s dried up. For too many privileged Western feminists, sisterly solidarity ends at the borders of Europe.

Are you surprised? You don’t hear squat about the oppression of women in Palestine, either. Apparently it’s okay if “people of color” do it.

Why are American hospital costs so high, and why do they vary so much among insurers? We’ve discussed this a bit before, but yesterday’s New York Times has an informative and anger-inducing exposé about how hospitals are defying new laws to reveal the prices they negotiate with insurance companies for procedures. The prices can vary tenfold for some procedures. Why the secrecy? Because companies get a percentage of the price they charge companies for each procedure, and the companies often don’t even pay the costs, which are usually borne by employers. The result: it’s impossible to find out what you’ll have to pay for a given procedure, which is worrisome if you have a high deductable or have to pay a percentage of the overage. There is no “hospital shopping”.  This article will (or should) really piss you off.

The AP reports on what seems to be a primitive technique for detecting bacterial contamination in solutions or instrument. The procedure, called “LAL”, which involves using the blood of horseshoe crabs (the crabs are bled and returned to the ocean, but many of them don’t survive).  An explanation LAL process can be found here, but, as you see, it involves this:

The reason the bacterial endotoxin test is also called LAL or limulus amebocyte lysate testing is because the lysate from blood cells (amebocytes) from horseshoe crabs (the latin name is limulus Polyphemus).  The lysate from the horseshoe crabs blood cells react with bacterial endotoxins.

Samples are mixed with the LAL reagent in a 96 well plate and a plate reader measure the color change over time.  The liquid in the wells becomes more yellow over time and the rate of that color change is proportional to the amount of endotoxin present in the sample.

There’s a synthetic substitute for horseshoe crab blood, but it hasn’t been approved by the government and companies are resistant to it anyway.

Don Everly, half of the famous Everly Brothers, whom nobody remembers except oldsters like me, died Friday in Nashville. He was 84. (Phil died in 2014 at 74.) Now they’re both gone but their songs and especially their ethereal harmonies influenced many rockers after them.  Here’s one of my favorite songs. I’ve posted it before, but so what? As I said then,

[The song] was recorded by Don and Phil in 1960 when they were 23 and 21, respectively. Here they perform it in 1989 when they were 52 and 50, and the harmony is still amazing: they hadn’t lost much.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 628,285 an increase of 1,008 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,445,758, an increase of about 7,400 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on August 23 includes:

  • 30 BC – After the successful invasion of Egypt, Octavian executes Marcus Antonius Antyllus, eldest son of Mark Antony, and Caesarion, the last king of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt and only child of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra.
  • AD 79 – Mount Vesuvius begins stirring, on the feast day of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.
  • 1305 – Sir William Wallace is executed for high treason at Smithfield, London.

It was a grim execution, as portrayed below in “Braveheart”. Fortunately, they don’t show the excision of his nether parts or bowels:

  • 1831 – Nat Turner’s slave rebellion is suppressed.
  • 1839 – The United Kingdom captures Hong Kong as a base as it prepares for the First Opium War with Qing China.
  • 1898 – The Southern Cross Expedition, the first British venture of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, departs from London.

The grand expeditions of Scott and Shackleton came later, of course but this paved the way. As Wikipedia notes:

“it was the first expedition to over-winter on the Antarctic mainland, the first to visit the Great Ice Barrier—later known as the Ross Ice Shelf—since Sir James Clark Ross’s groundbreaking expedition of 1839 to 1843, and the first to effect a landing on the Barrier’s surface. It also pioneered the use of dogs and sledges in Antarctic travel.”

Now here’s a conundrum: a photo labeled  “Capt. Lowell Smith and Lt. John P. Richter receiving the first mid-air refueling on June 27, 1923.” The date is off, as well as the duration of the flight (in the caption). Wikipedia editors, please note and fix!

Refueling in mid-air by Capt. Lowell H. Smith and Lt. John P. Richter, at Rockwell Field, California, June 1923. They stayed in the air 4 days. DeHaviland airplanes used.

It’s not clear whether either of these men will guilty of murder and armed robbery, but what is clear is that their trial was unfair, and led to protests throughout the world. Here they are, with the caption from Wikipedia:

Anarchist trial defendants Bartolomeo Vanzetti (left) and Nicola Sacco (right)

Here’s the pact, which was of course nullified on June 22, 1941 when Germany invaded Russia. The title, in German, says “Secret additional protocol”:

  • 1942 – World War II: Beginning of the Battle of Stalingrad.
  • 1966 – Lunar Orbiter 1 takes the first photograph of Earth from orbit around the Moon.
  • 1970 – Organized by Mexican American labor union leader César Chávez, the Salad Bowl strike, the largest farm worker strike in U.S. history, begins.

Here’s a protest during the strike. I remember that no good liberal was buying grapes then:

Here’s a photo taken by the cops of one of the two captors, Clark Olofsson, with some hostages (it was taken through a hole drilled through the wall). The robbery was ended with a tear-gas assault, and nobody was injured.

Here’s a heartwarming video of the “singing revolution”:

Here are the remains of all the Romanovs interred at the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg. I photographed this on August 1, 2011, and have shown the photo before:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1769 – Georges Cuvier, French biologist and academic (d. 1832)
  • 1868 – Edgar Lee Masters, American lawyer, author, poet, and playwright (d. 1950)
  • 1912 – Gene Kelly, American actor, singer, and dancer (d. 1996)
  • 1931 – Barbara Eden, American actress and singer

Jeannie is 90 today!

  • 1946 – Keith Moon, English drummer, songwriter, and producer (d. 1978)
  • 1949 – Shelley Long, American actress

Those who passed away on August 23 include:

Here’s Valentino’s funeral procession, which is said to have drawn over 100,000 people.

  • 1927 – Nicola Sacco, Italian anarchist convicted of murder (b. 1891)
  • 1927 – Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Italian anarchist convicted of murder (b. 1888)
  • 1960 – Oscar Hammerstein II, American director, producer, and composer (b. 1895)
  • 1995 – Alfred Eisenstaedt, German-American photographer and journalist (b. 1898)

Eisenstaedt took many famous photos (“sailor kissing girl in Times Square” is probably the most famous), but the one that gets me is his informal picture of Josef Goebbels. taken in September of 1933. Goebbels had learned that Eisenstaedt was Jewish, and the photographer describes the scene:

I found [Goebbels] sitting alone at a folding table on the lawn of the hotel. I photographed him from a distance without him being aware of it. As documentary reportage, the picture may have some value: it suggests his aloofness. Later I found him at the same table surrounded by aides and bodyguards. Goebbels seemed so small, while his bodyguards were huge. I walked up close and photographed Goebbels. It was horrible. He looked up at me with an expression full of hate. The result, however, was a much stronger photograph. There is no substitute for close personal contact and involvement with a subject, no matter how unpleasant it may be.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili is being haughty and philosophical

A: What are you doing?
Hili: I’m deliberating about what I will ignore, and when.
In Polish:
Ja: Co robisz?
Hili: Zastanawiam się, co i kiedy zignorować.

Mietek and Leon are on holiday in the mountains of Southern Poland, and walking on their leashes:

Leon sniffs an icon:

A bird cartoon from reader Bruce:

From Jesus of the Day: Goose helps cop. NAGAB!

From Not Another Science Cat Page:

Masih continues interviewing Afghans about their experiences under the Taliban. So much for their promises that they’d ease up on oppressing women. Note that these women do not hide their identities.  Please listen and retweet it.

Today’s Auschwitz Memorial post. If you’re ever near Krakow, Poland, take the one-hour bus to Auschwitz and then the excellent tour. Or go early and wander around the Auschwitz part of the camp on your own. It will change your life.

From Malcolm. The Maricopa County (Arizona) Recorder (an employee who deals with records) has written a 38-page letter to his county residents telling them that the 2020 election was NOT STOLEN, at least in that county. He’s plenty mad. See the whole letter here. (h/t: Malcolm)

From Luana: a capybara drinks maté in the traditional manner. But how does it know how to use a straw? English translation: “I never thought I would be alive to see capybaras taming chetos and fighting the mother of all battles in Nordelta. I’m like this:”

A tweet from Ginger K. who calls it “one lucky lobster”:

Three tweets from Matthew, who wants to know why Wyoming is such an outlier. Any thoughts?

Well, I’ll be. I don’t know how he does it, but clearly he does and has control over the reflex:

Finally, this exchange is hilarious:

69 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. I don’t know that I would take Spiked as an authoritative source on what Feminists are or are not saying about Afghanistan. I do know that Ophelia Benson has not been silent on the issue, that Feminist Majority have not been silent. Handpicking a few examples of weak response as evidence of “silence” is a tool of propaganda to make feminists look effete and only concerned about a limited set of issues that affect them directly.

    What have misogynist writers written in favor of the women in Afghanistan in order to contrast?

    1. I don’t understand the news value of the Spiked article except as another opportunity to dump on feminists who seem to be fair game from all angles.

  2. I’ll be interested to see where the Maricopa audit goes. I retain a healthy skepticism about it, but will be very interested in the responses to certain of the issues raised. One thing I’ve learned, though: The mechanics of elections are so arcane that voters cannot hope to understand them without active study. That’s probably a bad thing.

    1. I suspect you are serious about that comment so I will just say, there is at least one other person besides you who is waiting for the results which will likely never come. They have been trying to steal the election for 9 months now – it’s time to get over it and just work on stealing the next.

    2. You really think the “Cyber Ninjas” — a group with zero experience in conducting election audits and headed up by stone-cold conspiracy theorist Doug Logan — is a competent and appropriate organization to have undertaken the Arizona audit?

      1. Perhaps to flesh that out, Paul:

        I cannot remember who, but some famous writer or composer got a bad review, and responded as follows.
        “I am sitting in the smallest room of the house. I have your review in front of me. In a moment it will be behind me.”

    3. My position on the elections and audit is that although I believe that the democrats would be willing to rig the election if they had the means and thought that they would get away with it, the republicans are willing to misrepresent the audit findings.
      Since I cannot hope to have a deep enough understanding of the process, or the raw data even if I understood it, this can only end with a big question mark.

      1. “Republicans are willing to misrepresent the audit findings” is a bit disingenuous. The audit is complete garbage so has no “findings” worth representing. The so-called audit has been conducted by a biased organization with no prior experience doing audits and, as the letter tells us, they used suspect methods.

      2. What evidence do you have to back up your “belief” that the democrats would be willing to rig the election if they had the means and thought that they would get away with it.?

        1. It’s a classic “both sides” argument. Republicans have clearly demonstrated that they’re ok with cheating, so many having signed on to the Big Lie. Now they claim that the Democrats would cheat if the opportunity presented itself as some sort of cover.

          1. For some I think the “both sides” arguments are rationalizations that allow them to hold on to their image of themselves as a respectable conservative / republican even as the RP politicians have become majority loonies and scumbags, and a significant percentage of their “fellow” constituents have too. The people I’m thinking of, and I know many, truly are decent people and their party, the RP, has long since completely abandoned the values they still largely hold. They sort of realize that but it’s easier to get to “both sides are bad” than “my side has become a caricature of the enemy of everything good.”

            It’s like denial and or sunk cost, and that there truly are examples of looniness on the far left just makes it easier for them to rationalize away the obvious order of magnitude differences in the degree of looniness and scumbaggery between the two sides.

            For some I think it’s a step along the road to realizing that the side they’ve grown up with identifying as their entire life has become something they can’t support any more. I know at least 2 people that have made this transition, and I never would have imagined it possible before it actually happened.

            1. Well put. And, like all useful conceits, it has some truth to it. Democrat officeholders are still politicians, after all. I’m somewhat dismayed that Biden is covering for, what is obvious to everyone, a poorly planned exit from Afghanistan. I also wish he cared more for our Afghan helpers. We just have to see these things in the proper proportion. This is why I’m motivated against any and all attempts to use the “both sides” trick.

            2. Some people are actually moderates, and have a strong distrust for partisans on any side. I guess the point of the increasing pressure towards polarization means that we are supposed to pick a side, and faithfully follow it wherever it takes you.
              I think a basic distrust of the motives of career politicians is a generally healthy attitude.

              1. And where is this supposed pressure coming from? This is yet another “both sides” argument. That seems to be your go-to thought on pretty much everything. More stuff about career politicians no matter the party. Turns out that it is only one party pushing the Big Lie and sowing COVID misinformation. What lies do you think Democrats are pushing that match up to those?

              2. I am a moderate. As far as party goes, I am not and never have been a Democrat.

                Faithfully following a both sides are comparably bad path is not noble when it leads to such inaccurate assessments as equating the current day Republican Party and Democratic party. Suspicion of authority is good, unless taken too far and letting it blind you to the reality that not all authority is equally bad.

      3. … I believe that the democrats would be willing to rig the election if they had the means and thought that they would get away with it …

        Do you have a good-faith basis for this belief?

        Do you think there is any rational basis for anyone to believe Donald Trump’s claim that he won a yooge, landslide victory in the 2020 election that was stolen from him by massive voting fraud — a claim rejected by William Barr’s Justice Department, by Trump’s own cyber-security czar (who called it “the most secure election in US history”), by the Republican secretary of state and governor of Georgia, by scores of courts (federal and state), and by every other reasonable person, of any political persuasion, who has examined the evidence?

        1. I was not addressing Trump’s specific claims in particular. I mentioned my personal belief that either side would cheat if they thought that they could get away with it.
          Certainly the stakes are fairly high. The skies are filled with career public servants traveling between their estates in Gulfstream jets, and the lobbyists who ply them with donations represent people who stand to make real money.
          Whatever the green new deal does to solve our environmental problems, it will also make the people who sell charging stations into tycoons.
          Beyond any financial incentive, there is partisan fervor approaching religious fundamentalism. One side had spent four years convincing themselves that they were actually members of the resistance. A person holding such beliefs would see it as a moral imperative to do anything in their power to see Hitler deposed.
          The religious right are doing God’s own work.
          And there is a lot of history to look at. “The election of Nov. 8 was characterized by such gross and palpable fraud as to justify the conclusion that *** was deprived of victory.”
          That could be a headline from any election, but in this case the missing name is Nixon, and the paper is the Chicago Tribune.

          Election fraud has been a recognized problem since whenever elections were conceived. It seems like the current trend is that whichever side wins denies even the possibility of election fraud until the next time they lose. I bet a reasonably clever but bored person could go through the C-span archives and make a nice video of various politicians arguing the issue with their former selves.

          1. So you’re contending that Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election and failure to concede his legitimate defeat to the victor, his breaking this nation’s 224-year streak of peaceful transitions of government from a president to his successor, his effort to convince election certifiers in Michigan to withdraw their certifications, his attempt to persuade the secretary of state of Georgia to “find” him an additional 11,780 votes needed for victory in that state, his employment of lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell to tell blatant lies regarding voter fraud on his behalf, his entreaties to the acting US attorney general to lie to the American people that the 2020 election results were corrupt (and threat to replace the acting AG with a lackey who would do so), his fomenting an attack on the US Capitol by his most ardent supports, his directions to his vice-president to refuse to perform the VP’s constitutionally mandated ministerial duty of tallying the electoral-college votes certified by the states, and his continuing post-presidency unevidenced claims of massive voting fraud can be passed off merely as business as usual in US politics, Max?

            1. Well, Trump gave a concession speech on 1/7/21, which included the phrase “Now Congress has certified the results. A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation. “.
              I do remember HRC urging Biden not to concede “under any circumstances” We will never know how the DNC would have reacted to the EC choosing Trump. I also remember that there was a campaign in 2016 to convince electors to defy the voters and vote for anyone besides Trump. Pelosi likely still believes that the 2016 election was “hijacked”
              In 2000, Gore did not concede until the election had been heavily litigated.

              I am an agnostic as far as 2020 election fraud is concerned. I have not seen convincing evidence of large-scale fraud, nor have I seen proof that it did not occur. I am concerned at efforts to make such fraud easier to commit. It does not seem likely that so much effort would go to removing any need for ID or even a signature verification to vote, unless those pushing for those removals intended to exploit their removal. In my state, people at the polling places are forbidden from asking for any ID or proof of residency. As long as you give a name from their published list, you get to vote.

              No, I don’t believe that anything about Trump was “business as usual”. But I have seen nothing to justify the fanatical opposition he received, except that he was not a member of the club. The economy was fine. I was not called up to go to any new wars. Jerusalem was finally recognized,and relations with Taiwan were normalized. The horrors attributed to him seem to have been fabricated or exaggerated. Like the Muslim ban which was not one. Most Muslim majority countries were unaffected, and some non Muslim countries were on the list, which was about places where security was lax, and a strong potential for terrorist threats through their airports existed, and still do. The images of Trump’s concentration camps were taken before he was elected, and seem almost quaint in comparison to border conditions today. I did not vote for Trump because he seemed like a parody of a tycoon, like Scrooge McDuck. But my expectations were never realized. As long as I ignored what he said, and focused on what he did, it was at least tolerable.

              I have no doubt whatever that the next republican president elected will be described as worse than Hitler. Bush sr. and jr. were Hitler, so was Reagan. Nixon was Hitler both when he was president and in 1960. Goldwater was Hitler as well. The difference seems to be that people are increasingly taking such hyperbolic comparisons seriously. Obama received the same sort of hysteria. It is neither rational nor proportional to the reality of the situation.

  3. I remember that no good liberal was buying grapes [during the Salad Bowl Strike] …

    No grapes, no iceberg lettuce, no Gallo wine, if memory serves.

  4. 1. Wyoming has very few people, and thus a small denominator for its road death rate (about .5), which raises the quotient. Plus, all of the people in Wyoming must drive to get anywhere, whereas in NYC, many people needn’t drive very often, or even at all. Road deaths per million miles driven might be a way of discerning the effect.

    2. I had my first sandwich cubano at the Soda Palace in San Jose Costa Rica, which is where Cuban exiles gathered to plan the revolution, both against Batista and, later, Castro.

    3. I have been surprised by how much coverage the NY Times has given to how bad things are likely to be under the Taliban, for women and men.


    1. Your point about Wyoming might apply to the US in general; the way we have grown our cities and the focus on suburbanization may mean that the differences have to do with different amounts of time spent driving.

      It would be useful to see what the comparison is like if what we compared were road deaths per km driven. I suspect the disparity between the US and Europe might not be as bad in that case.


      Re: the Afghan quote. “We are not the women of 20 years ago” is, IMO, a pretty succinct defense of the notion that the US troop deaths were not in vain.

      1. Yes, Tony Blair cited some interesting statistics about Afghanistan yesterday: the GDP is three times higher than in 2001, and 200,000 students are enrolled in university, of whom 50,000 are women. Of course, that may well all be lost but the country has moved in a positive direction in the last two decades and many attitudes amongst Afghans will have changed as a result. On the radio the other day they said the median age is 31 years old and the mean is just 18.

      2. Americans don’t drive in km, they drive in proper American Imperial Colonial miles.

        Anyway, the deaths per billion vehicle-km driven are available and they show the USA as a whole as being worse than all the EU countries except the Czech Republic and Belgium.

    2. 2. I had my first sandwich cubano at the Soda Palace in San Jose Costa Rica, which is where Cuban exiles gathered to plan the revolution, both against Batista and, later, Castro.

      Two very different groups of los exilios, I take it. 🙂 (In the early Sixties the pro- and anti-Castro factions were going at it with car bombs in Miami.)

      In Miami, they call that sandwich a “Cuban,” while in Key West a slightly different version is known as a “Cuban mix.” You can get a pretty good one at a small Miami chain called “Latin-American Café” in Miami (and and even better one at the walk-up counters in Little Havana and Hialeah). In Key West, the place to go for decades was Sandy’s Café on White Street (which has now changed names to “Fernandy’s” and moved down to Simonton, although the old Sandy’s is still open at the same location, but under different management).

      1. While the two groups of exiles were not the same, they did overlap. Huber Matos was a leader of the 1958 revolution, and gathered weapons for the rebels in Costa Rica. After the revolution, he broke with Castro over communism, and was imprisoned for 20 years. Upon release, he went straight to Costa Rica, and to the Soda Palace. (I can verify that he was released in 1979 and went to Costa Rica; that he went to the Soda Palace was told to me in early 1980 in Costa Rica.)


        1. Yes, there were also some among the anti-Castro forces in Miami who had fought with Fidel in the Sierra Maestra, but turned against him after he gained control of the island.

          That generation is rapidly disappearing.

    3. It’s deaths per million people, so the low population of Wyoming is already taken into account.

      In terms of deaths per km, the safest roads in the world are the German motorways with no speed limit.

    4. Might there also be an effect around the kinds of roads people drive on? In the big western states (I am guessing) people may do much more of their driving on long straightish roads with little other traffic and this could lead to inattention and subsequently accidents. People driving in the urbanised areas of America have much more going on around them on the roads – other vehicles, junctions pedestrian crossings etc – and, paradoxically, perhaps these hazards lead to better attentiveness. That’s my theory anyway! People who are obliged to drive if they wish to go anywhere at all may also be more likely to drive when intoxicated.

      Wyoming may be an outlier but I am also interested in why Utah has such a low fatal accident rate compared to its neighbours.

    5. I lived in WY for almost 10 years. For one thing, everyone SPEEDS. There’s nothing out there, esp. in the eastern part of the state. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if “highway hypnosis” is a culprit as there is nothing to see for hours and hours (though other states are also like this). I also observed that many people out there don’t wear a seat belt. Lastly, it’s also a state that allows open container for a passenger, which, to me, means the driver would also be drinking…don’t know if there are a lot of drunk driving deaths or not.

  5. If I recall, Wyoming does not have any speed limit or at least they did not have one earlier. Traffic deaths are up all over for 2020. They claim this is due to much less traffic on the roads, much higher speeds and little enforcement.

    1. The (Wyoming) Legislature has set the maximum limits for roads in Wyoming at 80 mph on interstate highways, 30 mph in urban areas, and 20 mph in designated school zones with signs posted indicating a reduced limit. For all other locations, the limits are set at 55 mph on unpaved roads and 70 mph on paved roads.

  6. Your road death numbers are skewed, you need to scale by miles driven, not per person. In a big rural state, miles per year is higher than smaller urban states where miles per year may be much lower. Also, comparing it to Europe where you have significant public transportation opportunities is incorrect, unless you scale to per miles driven. [What would be interesting is the level of traffic enforcement during COVID and death rates.]

    1. I’m not sure about that miles driven. Iowa and California show the same color along with Alaska. I may be wrong about that Wyoming and no speed limit. It may have been Montana.

      1. The other factor is death rates are highest for undivided (usually two lane) highways (if memory serves by at least a factor of 2), so if most of your driving is on undivided highways (hello rural area), you are going to have a higher traffic death skew than if most of your people are on interstates. This has nothing to do with enforcement, speed limits, or anything other than on an undivided highway if a car jumps a lane you are a lot more likely to have a fatality than if it flies into an island that serves as a lane divider.

        1. In any case, the iihs gives road fatality statistics in “deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled”, with the highest being South Carolina, at 1.73.
          Additionally, the numbers are relatively small in most states, with Wyoming coming in at 147. Only California and Texas are over 1K per year.
          With such small base numbers, a charter bus crash could skew it percentages significantly.

          But I originally composed, then deleted, a reply with my views on why Wyoming stands out in auto fatalities. But the reply included some assumptions, and the WyDOT actually publishes in-depth statistics.

          The average Wyoming fatal crash occurs-
          In November
          Due to a lane departure
          Caused by a male driver in his 40s
          who is not impaired
          On a dry asphalt road
          In clear weather
          During daylight
          In a passenger car

          So it does seem like driving long distances routinely on undivided roads is a primary risk factor.
          Not addressed is the question of distance to a trauma center.

    2. You are right to a certain extent. On the other hand other variables to be possibly considered are: quality/size of cars, road quality, weather and of course quality of car.

      I always am a little wary about the deaths per passenger mile statistic to show air transportation is safer. Deaths per passenger day travelled anyone? Lies, damned lies and statistics?

    3. Cows in the road?

      What about deaths per mileage of road as you will never know how many miles “automobiles” & “trucks” are driven?

    4. I notice that the overwhelming majority of the120+ per million road deaths states are ‘red’ states,
      On a side note, why are conservatives called ‘Red” in the US? In the rest of the world red is associated with socialism and communism.

    5. I agree that deaths per person and deaths per mile driven tell us different things but they are both interesting. If you are correct that lower death rates per capita in some places are due to people driving less because public transportation is better than elsewhere that is useful information to plug into any transport policy planning. I accept, though, that even knowing this, the geography of some places makes it difficult to provide much in the way of public transportation

      1. Out here, we are a long way from even having our roads paved, much less having a monorail. The distances are just too great, both between residences and between small communities and actual towns. What we do have is a service where a small fleet of ramp-equipped vans run between the communities here, to allow elderly or otherwise disadvantaged folks to get to doctor’s appointments and the store. It requires making an appointment, however.

        Another factor that probably needs to be considered is mountain roads. Twisty roads with steep ascents and descents are always going to be more dangerous than flat, straight ones.

  7. If you put SWISS cheese on a CUBAN sandwich, is that cultural appropriation, or is cultural appropriation only true when Europeans do the borrowing?


  8. LAL is a standard in the pharmaceutical industry for the testing of bacterial endotoxins. The excerpt from United States Pharmcopoeia (USP) describes its variants.

    For very many years there has been no real substitute, but since 2018 we know that the rFC test shows an equivalent result to the LAL test.

    The rFC test is already described in the European Pharmcopoeia (EP) and will certainly become the new standard in the pharmaceutical industry for the testing of endotoxins. However, this will still take a few years, since the regulations for changing a drug approval are very strict and require extensive data.from the companies.

  9. I currently live in Wyoming, and yes, there ARE speed limits: 65 on most major roads and 80 on most of I-80. Factors that may contribute to the high death rates include (1) there is no helmet law for motorcyclists; and (2) every liquor store in the state has a drive-through window (really). People also seem to be a bit lax about using seatbelts.

    1. (2) every liquor store in the state has a drive-through window (really).

      . I was wondering about this. I haven’t lived in Wyoming, but when I have lived in rural areas with plenty of ‘back roads’ to take home, I’ve found people to be quite lax about drinking and driving.

  10. 1931 – Barbara Eden, American actress and singer

    In the accompanying pic you can see Jeannie’s pupik, something that couldn’t be shown on network tv when the series was on in the Sixties. Nowadays, I suppose she’d have it blinged-out.

    1. LOL. I googled “pupik” to find out what it meant and the very first hit is this music video . . .

      Jewish Monkeys – Pupik

      I’ll have to watch it with the sound on later, but even without sound it looks . . ., intriguing. The internet is a wonderful thing.

  11. The Singing Revolution is a fantastic documentary, would recommend.

    In other news, the Portland Police have decided to not show up to planned violent confrontations on the streets of Portland.

    1. They’re just going to let the Proud Boys get on with it? Or turning a blind eye to violence from “both sides”? Seems like a dereliction of duty either way.

      1. Yes, and exactly. My personal pet theory is that they are mad about the slew of police reform legislation that passed this last session – and they are punishing the public by abdicating their responsibility.

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