Greetings on Thursday, September 23, 2021: National Pancake Day. Have some today!
Sadly, today I return to Chicago after a swell visit with friends. I will commune with my ducks as the days dwindle down to the time of departure. I will be traveling much of the day, so this may be the only post you see.
News of the Day:
*Yesterday the FDA approved booster shots in the U.S., and today they’ll ponder exactly who gets them.
On Wednesday evening, the Food and Drug Administration authorized booster shots of the vaccine for people over 65 who received their second at least six months earlier. The agency also approved boosters for adult Pfizer-BioNTech recipients who are at high risk of severe Covid-19, or who are at risk of serious complications because of exposure to the virus in their jobs.
The first bit is easy (and I’m qualified) but they have to decide who, exactly, is a risk because of risk of complications or risk on the jobs. And what about those who got the Moderna shots? With my doctor’s okay, I’m going to get the booster, and I will NOT take Ivermectin (see below).
*The trial of Elizabeth Holmes is in its third week (she must have some lawyers’ bill!), and yesterday former Secretary of State Jim Mattis testified that he invested $85,000 in the organization but became puzzled:
Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis testified Wednesday in the criminal trial of Theranos Inc. founder Elizabeth Holmes that he and other board members were blindsided to learn in 2015 that the company hadn’t been conducting all of its blood tests using its proprietary technology.
“There just came a point where I didn’t know what to believe about Theranos anymore,” the retired four-star general said.
Prosecutors presented Mr. Mattis’s testimony to support their allegations that Ms. Holmes and her top deputy lied to investors about having a profitable business relationship with the Defense Department and kept board members in the dark about the limitations of Theranos’s devices.
But, as reported on the trial’s live timeline, defense attorneys countered with what I see as a weak riposte:
During cross-examination of former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, an attorney for Elizabeth Holmes tried to show Theranos Inc.’s board was accomplished enough to know how to ask questions if they had concerns.
I doubt that. Mattis didn’t ask questions; the big investors were not doctors or scientists.
*The first 28 minutes Sam Harris’s latest podcast, “Ask me anything,” can be heard for free here. Reader Tom, who sent me the link, told me this:
Only 28 minutes in length, with Harris directly addressing [Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying’s] recent shenanigans about 10 minutes into the podcast after an interesting intro.
It actually starts at 10:32 and goes on to the end of the segment, with Sam very critical about the duo’s “lack of quality control about the information they’re putting forward” about the advantages of ivermectin and especially the problems with Covid vaccine.” He also raises several issues with their claims about the supposed ineffectiveness and dangers of vaccines.
*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 681,341, an increase of 2,075 deaths over yesterday’s figure. Remember when 200,000 deaths was an unthinkable figure? We may get to four times that number before this is over. The reported world death toll is now 4,734,397, an increase of about 10,200 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on September 23 was accidentally listed in yesterday’s Hili dialogue (I don’t screw up like that very often), so go here to see what happened on September 23. The rest of the information on births and deaths below is new:
Notables born on this day include:
- 1215 – Kublai Khan, Mongolian emperor (d. 1294)
The man who decreed the stately pleasure dome. Reread the great eponymous poem fragment by Coleridge here.
- 1865 – Suzanne Valadon, French model and painter (d. 1938)
Valadon (photo below) is now more famous as a model (she modeled for, among others Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec) but was a noted painter in her own right. She was also the mother of painter Maurice Utrillo.
First, her photo (avec chat):
Her depiction in Pierre-Auguste Renoir‘s 1883 painting, Dance at Bougival:
. . . and one of her own paintings, “Casting the Net” (1914):
- 1889 – Walter Lippmann, American journalist and publisher, co-founded The New Republic (d. 1974)
- 1899 – Louise Nevelson, American sculptor (d. 1988)
Here’s one of Nevelson’s paintings, “Mrs. N’s Palace”:
- 1915 – Clifford Shull, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2001)
- 1920 – Mickey Rooney, American actor, singer, director, and producer (d. 2014)
Rooney was married eight times, including to the world’s most beautiful woman, Ava Gardner:
- 1930 – Ray Charles, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actor (d. 2004)
Here’s Ray singing the Leon Russell composition, “Song for You” in 1997:
- 1949 – Bruce Springsteen, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
Those who croaked on September 23 include:
- 1241 – Snorri Sturluson, Icelandic historian, poet, and politician (b. 1178)
- 1889 – Wilkie Collins, English novelist, short story writer, and playwright (b. 1824)
- 1939 – Sigmund Freud, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist (b. 1856)
Here’s Freud’s famous couch, which I saw when I visited the Freud Museum (his house) in London; he took the couch with him when he moved to England in 1938. It looks quite comfortable! (He was, of course, a fraud.)
- 1973 – Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet and diplomat, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1904)
- 1987 – Bob Fosse, American actor, dancer, choreographer, and director (b. 1927)
Here are some miscellaneous clips of Fosse dancing, including on on “The Dobie Gillis Show”! The commentary is by Gwen Verdon, who danced in many of his shows and was also married to him.
- 2013 – Ruth Patrick, American botanist and immunologist (b. 1907)
- 2014 – Irven DeVore, American anthropologist and biologist (b. 1934)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has a goal. When I asked Malgorzata who Hili was pursuing, she said this:
“Hili, knowing what’s happening in Poland and around the world, concluded that forces of darkness intensified their attacks and it’s time to fight them. I’m not sure how she intends to do it.”A: What are you doing?Hili: I’m going into battle with the forces of darkness.
Ja: Co robisz?Hili: Idę walczyć z siłami ciemności.
From Lenora via Cole & Marmalade: Dances With Cats
A post from Facebook:
And from Not Another Science Cat Page:
Titania goes after Justin again:
If you can pronounce the word “straight” but you struggle with “LGBTQQIP2SAA+”, you really need to address your deep-seated homophobia.pic.twitter.com/LpVP9tW56T
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) September 22, 2021
From Masih, showing how odious some Iranian men are about the obligatory hijab. Watch the video:
We call on Iranian women to participate in #MyCameraIsMyWeapon campaign against gender apartheid, abuse & harassment. Although the regime criminalised it for Iranian women to send us videos, Iranian women are bravely resisting. See this one & be her voice pic.twitter.com/wOxoFFMqMR
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) September 22, 2021
From Barry; sound up for this great example of sexual selection:
Of all the gloriously weird things that have come from sexual selection, the male greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is one of the best.
Check out how he bounces his yellow, inflatable sacs! And that ✨starburst✨ tail! Baby got back!
— Char Adams, PhD MPH MA (@_cdadams_) September 14, 2021
From Ginger K.: Has anybody ever thought of this question before? Well, here’s the answer, guaranteed to make you the life of the party.
This is the longest way in the world on foot without the need to cross the ocean or any other significant barrier, it runs from Cape Town (South Africa) to Magadan (Russia). There is no need for planes or boats as there are bridges. pic.twitter.com/Xz3CC0OFhP
— Black Hole (@konstructivizm) September 18, 2021
From the Auschwitz Memorial:
23 September 1925 | Czech Jewish woman Hana Herzogová was born in Miroslav.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) September 23, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. Only professional animal photographers have this worry. Walter Chandoha was the master.
— Molly Hodgdon (@Manglewood) September 22, 2021
Schopenhauer got reamed out by his mother:
— Steven Strogatz (@stevenstrogatz) September 22, 2021
Another issue I hadn’t thought of. Matthew says, “Can’t help thinking the person taking the film should have stayed further away, but no harm done.”
What happens if a flying fox gets grounded? How does it get back into the air?
Well, this one did this 👇🏼 https://t.co/VYZ63GZuWk
— Give Bats A Break (@GiveBatsABreak) September 21, 2021