Tuesday: Hili dialogue

October 5, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning on the dawn of the week’s worst day: Tuesday, October 5, 2021: National Apple Betty Day (the dessert used to be called “Brown Betty“, but you can guess why that’s gone, though it’s still widespread on Internet recipes and has an entry in Wikipedia as well as a discussion of the origin of the term.


It’s also National Fruit at Work Day, Global James Bond Day (the first Bond film, “Dr. No”, opened on this day in 1962), Do Something Nice Day, National Storytelling DayInternational Day of No Prostitution, and World Teachers’ Day.

News of the Day:

*First, the Nobel Prize in Physics has been announced:

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2021

“for groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of complex physical systems”

with one half jointly to

Syukuro Manabe, Princeton University, USA and
Klaus Hasselmann, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany

“for the physical modelling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming”

and the other half to

Giorgio Parisi, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

“for the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales”

Don’t ask me; this is way above my pay grade. And none of those who guessed in physics yesterday were correct.

*As everyone in the world knows, Facebook and its subsidiaries, Instagram and WhatsApp were down for five hours yesterday, and worldwide. Nobody knows what happened, but experts on the news last night said they’ve never seen anything like it. (I suspect the conspiracy-minded suspect a cyber attack.) The remarkable thing to me was how newsworthy this was: it was the lead story on last night’s NBC News and is the lead story (upper left on the NYT webpage; see below). It’s just social media, people! Why does the world get discombobulated when these sites are down for five hours? I guess I’m just an old man shouting at the clouds.

*The bigger story, which hasn’t been fully verified since it involves about 12 million documents known as “The Pandora Papers” (!), is that world leaders and celebrities are stashing their dosh in offshore havens to avoid taxes and to engage in other sleazy activities, largely in America. As The Wall Street Journal reports:

Wealthy individuals around the globe have used offshore tax havens to conceal their financial activities, creating shell companies, foundations and trusts to purchase real estate and other luxury goods, and in many cases, avoid paying taxes, according to an expansive new report.

The report, released Sunday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, named dozens of current and former world leaders and hundreds of politicians, public officials, billionaires, religious leaders and celebrities. It said many used offshore tax havens to evade taxes, and some were linked to financial crimes like money laundering.

It is generally not illegal to hold offshore assets or use shell companies for business, the report said. “But these affairs often amount to shifting profits from high-tax countries, where they are earned, to companies that exist only on paper in low-tax jurisdictions,” it said. “Using offshore shelters is especially controversial for political figures, because they can be used to keep politically unpopular or even illicit activities from public view.”

Among those alleged to engage in these activities are Vladimir Putin (of course), Tony Blair, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Elton John, Ringo Starr, and—can it be true?—Shakira.

*The government is still balled up with “progressive” vs. more centrist Democrats unable to resolve their differences about Biden’s two spending bills. Every day I look for progress and compromise, but I see none. As Vonnegut said, “so it goes.”  But the rancor has now spread into unacceptable territory. You may have heard that Senator Kyrsten Sinema, one of the two contrarian Democrats, was followed into the bathroom at the University of Arizona (where she teaches a class) and hectored outsider her stall for her failure to back Biden’s $3.5 trillion social spending bill.  You can see the video here. I find the protestors’ behavior repugnant, though I’m not a big fan of Sinema. A person needs their privacy!

Jezebel, however, thought it was great:

*A NYT op-ed by Donald Ayer (a U.S. attorney who was in the Dept. of Justice during the Reagan and W. administrations) pulls no punches; its title is “The Supreme Court has gone off the rails“, and it’s apt. We have an “activist court”, once decried by Republicans, but this time it’s Republican activism by conservative judges. An excerpt by Ayer:

My concerns about what the Supreme Court might do now are fed by its actions in the recent past. Last term was marked by a number of radical departures from precedent and existing law to elevate certain constitutional rights of individuals in a way that can stop government at all levels in its tracks.

Perhaps most unexpected and disturbing were decisions elevating rights of religious assembly over local public-safety rules related to Covid-19 that limited the ability to gather. Yet throughout our history, in matters of public health, the powers of local government have usually been at their apex. That did not matter here — nor did the fact that Chief Justice Roberts was among the dissenters.

Buckle your seat belts; it’s going to be a bumpy session.

*And another NYT piece asks the question, “Did death cheat Stephen Hawking of a Nobel Prize?” It’s worth reading, as it describes the predictions that Hawking made about black holes, including the fact that they would always grow larger and never get smaller, swallowing up, and hiding forever, more and more stuff. These predictions were empirically verified only after his death, making him ineligible for the Prize. Several scientists weigh in on whether he might have gotten it had he lived.

*Speaking of Nobel Prizes, the NYT collects eight scientists’ recollections about how they received that early-morning phone call from Stockholm. After you get that call, your life will never be the same. (I wouldn’t know, but that’s what they say. . .)

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 703,362, an increase of 1,829 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,824,520, an increase of about 7,300 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on October 5 includes:

  • 1450 – Louis IX, Duke of Bavaria expels Jews from his jurisdiction.
  • 1789 – French Revolution: The Women’s March on Versailles effectively terminates royal authority.

This kick-off of the Revolution began when women in the Market that morning rioted about the high price and scarcity of bread. They marched to Versailles and were joined by men spoiling for revolution. Here’s a contemporary illustration:

Here’s a photo of the flyer with the front of the aircraft at the top. The Wikipedia caption notes this:  “Front in-flight view of Wright Flyer III during its 46th flight (which was the last photographed flight of 1905); Huffman Prairie, Dayton, Ohio, October 4, 1905.” That was a day before the world record flight.

  • 1914 – World War I: An aircraft successfully destroys another aircraft with gunfire.
  • 1921 – The World Series is the first to be broadcast on radio.
  • 1938 – In Nazi Germany, Jews’ passports are invalidated.

Here’s a wall poster from 1942. My translation: “Whoever wears this mark is an enemy of our people.” “Jude” of course, means “Jew,” and this is the Star of David required to be worn by all Jews.

  • 1943 – Ninety-eight American POWs are executed by Japanese forces on Wake Island.
  • 1947 – President Truman makes the first televised Oval Office address.

I can’t find that footage, but he made the first televised State of the Union address earlier: on January 6, 1947. Here’s a news snippet from that:

Can you remember the first “Bond Girl” is that movie? Answer at bottom.  Here’s a Japanese poster for the movie with a clue:

  • 1970 – The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is founded.
  • 1982 – Tylenol products are recalled after bottles in Chicago laced with cyanide cause seven deaths.

There were several suspects, but nobody was ever charged with or convicted of these seven murders.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1703 – Jonathan Edwards, American pastor and theologian (d. 1758)
  • 1829 – Chester A. Arthur, American general, lawyer, and politician, 21st President of the United States (d. 1886)
  • 1864 – Louis Lumière, French director and producer (d. 1948)
  • 1879 – Francis Peyton Rous, American pathologist and virologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1970)

Rous (below) was one of the microbiologists used as a model of a good scientist in Sinclair Lewis’s novel Arrowsmith (the only decent novel about a scientist). He won the Prize for discovering that viruses could cause cancer:


  • 1882 – Robert H. Goddard, American physicist, engineer, and academic (d. 1945)
  • 1902 – Larry Fine, American comedian (d. 1975)
  • 1902 – Ray Kroc, American businessman and philanthropist (d. 1984)

A Stooge and a burger magnate born on the same day!

  • 1923 – Philip Berrigan, American priest and activist (d. 2002)
  • 1926 – Willi Unsoeld, American mountaineer and educator (d. 1979)

Unsoeld, a great climber, was one of the members on the first American team to summit Everest (1963). He lost all of his toes from frostbite on the descent but continued to climb afterwards with special shoes. He named his daughter “Nanda Devi Unsoeld” after the fabled Himalayan Peak, and, tragically, she died trying to climb that very peak at the age of just 22. Her father was on that expedition, and I’ve linked to his account, which is heartbreaking. Here are the pair:

  • 1936 – Václav Havel, Czech poet, playwright, and politician, 1st President of the Czech Republic (d. 2011)

Today’s the birthday of two science popularizers:

  • 1958 – Neil deGrasse Tyson, American astrophysicist, cosmologist, and author
  • 1966 – Sean M. Carroll, American physicist, cosmologist, and academic
  • 1975 – Kate Winslet, English actress
  • 1983 – Jesse Eisenberg, American actor and writer

Eisenberg was on Team Cat with me at the New Yorker Festival’s “Cats vs. Dogs” debate in 2014. He couldn’t be there, but submitted this video as his entry (we each had to make the case for our animal). It’s hilarious; watch it! (Team Cat still lost, though.)

Those whose made their egress from life on October 5 include:

  • 1813 – Tecumseh, American tribal leader (b. 1768)
  • 1880 – Jacques Offenbach, German-French cellist and composer (b. 1819)
  • 1941 – Louis Brandeis, American lawyer and jurist (b. 1856)

They don’t mention that Brandeis was on the Supreme Court! He was also the first Jewish Justice (photo below):

  • 1976 – Lars Onsager, Norwegian-American chemist and physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1903)

Onsanger shared a bathroom with me when I was a beginning grad student at Rockefeller University. When my girlfriend visited, he reported women’s lingerie in the joint bathroom, and that’s what got me kicked out of the dorms. But I had to look at his false teeth in a glass every morning!

  • 2004 – Rodney Dangerfield, American comedian, actor, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1921)
  • 2004 – Maurice Wilkins, New Zealand-English physicist and biologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1916)
  • 2011 – Bert Jansch, Scottish singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1943)

I was a big fan of Jansch. Here he is live on Danish television in 1984:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili is bored:

A: What are you thinking about?
Hili: I’m looking for inspiration.
In Polish:
Ja: Nad czym myślisz?
Hili: Szukam inspiracji.

From Ben and Facebook (here’s the Dean Martin song it’s parodying):

From Divy:

From Nicole:

A tweet from Masih, showing that the nonsense continues in Iran:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a man who lived less than a month after arrival:

Tweets from Matthew.  The first is true—the conservative county is looking into LEGAL implications of stocking those books. That said, do you think that library shelves should be open to kids of every age, and that they should be able to check out any books they want?

The best whale fossils are found in the desert.  This is a good one:

There is no good outcome of this:

A drone show goes badly wrong in China. The explanation in the tweet below appears to be bogus, but the drone cock-up is real. VICE has the article, which notes:

It’s unclear what exactly caused the accident. An organizer told China News Services that “operation errors” might have led to the fall, and no injuries had been reported.

Several other accidents have occurred at drone shows across China. In January, a group of drones crashed onto a building and then fell off during a test run in the southwestern city of Chongqing.

Lesson: Don’t believe “the word on the street”, especially if it’s on Twitter.

This is the most bizarre thing ever. Read the tweet, then watch the video, and then read the fascinating Washington Post article about this man and his bird wife. Bird thinks keeper is a male bird, kills real male birds, and so the man has to pretend to copulate with the crane while at the same time inseminating her artificially with crane sperm. What a job!

Answer to “Dr. No” question. The first “Bond Girl” was Ursula Andress:

65 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. The Nobel Prize is a living museum of the greatest discoveries. Hawking’s work is greater than the Nobel Prize, just like any other great discovery in – and outside of – that museum.

    So no – death did not cheat Hawking. Rather, the Nobel Prize is not big enough to fit it and every other great discovery that will never fit.

      1. … among others! But every year now we have the same discussions – that these prizes are not reflective of the way science works these days.

        Jocelyn Bell-Burnell says that not getting it means she still gets recognition & further prizes, but the bloody work was hers & she was robbed. Likewise Hoyle was robbed.

        Women still find opposition & difficulties in academic roles – fortunately things seem to be changing, but slowly…

      2. No

        1. Franklin was robbed of authorship of the DNA paper. Probably more?

        2. The committee knew what it was doing when they selected the individuals to whom the prize was given.

        3. Wikipedia says that at the time, posthumous awards were not impossible :

        “Watson suggested that Franklin would have ideally been awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with Wilkins but, although there was not yet a rule against posthumous awards,[12] the Nobel Committee generally did not make posthumous nominations.[13][14]”

        So that I argue is consistent with my argument that great discoveries and those that discovered them are greater than the Nobel Prize and all its strictures.

    1. I haven’t read the NYT piece, but from the quote I’m afraid they got their facts wrong — extremely wrong. Hawking isn’t famous for showing “that [black holes] would always grow larger and never get smaller”. He’s famous for showing that black holes can actually shrink and eventually disappear because they radiate virtual particles that appear in pairs at the event horizon. One particle falls into the black hole and one escapes. At least, that’s the popular description of the process.

      1. I was puzzled about exactly what you say. Despite not being at all a physicist, I knew Hawking had done what you mentioned. I had wondered whether Overbye’s NYT phrases referred to something different and somehow not contradicting that.

        Actually to me it seems more the work of Hawking back in the 1960s, cooperating and competing with Roger Penrose, which I’d think is better evidence that maybe he’d have got the Nobel if he lived longer. From the Penrose 2020 citation:

        “Prize motivation: “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity.”
        Prize share: 1/2

        A black hole is a supermassive compact object with a gravitational force so large that nothing, not even light, can escape from it. In 1964, Roger Penrose proposed critical mathematical tools to describe black holes. He showed that Einstein’s general theory of relativity means the formation of black holes must be seen as a natural process in the development of the universe. He was also able to describe black holes in detail: at their farthest depths is a singularity where all known laws of nature dissolve.”

        Hawking’s book with Ellis, “The Large-Scale Structure of Spacetime”, I should try to read more carefully again on this: e.g. who did what? Hawking was a grad student between about 1963 and 1966. Certainly what he did included the idea of ‘reverse engineering’ black hole existence theorems, and applying them to the entire universe to predict about the Big Bang theoretically, though microwave background and universe expansion were the observational keys, also around the same time.

        I always thought both Hawking and Penrose should have got the Nobel for that 1960s theoretical work as early as the 1980s, maybe even sooner.

      2. It’s both. The “always grow larger and never get smaller” result is classical physics with general relativity over shorter times – a few million years sort of thing. Hawking radiation is predicted from quantum mechanics, applied over very long periods of time – trillions of years or more depending on size.

        1. True, but the former is pretty obvious, while the eponymous Hawking radiation is by far the more surprising result, with implications for fundamental quantum physics — is information conserved?

    2. Hasty add-on for maximum evolution-is-true-ness :

      Charles Darwin and Alfred W. Wallace
      Medicine and Physiology

      I’d have voted for that. Sadly, the prize did not begin in their time… I think…

  2. As everyone in the world knows, Facebook and its subsidiaries, Instagram and WhatsApp were down for five hours yesterday, and worldwide. … The remarkable thing to me was how newsworthy this was: it was the lead story on last night’s NBC News and is the lead story (upper left on the NYT webpage; see below). It’s just social media, people!

    There was an interview on 60 Minutes with a Facebook whistleblower in which she accused Facebook of knowing it was “bad for the public”. Apparently, internal research showed this and she thinks they are putting profits before public safety.


    Anyway, it’s not just social media: it’s a multi billion dollar business that may well be harming society.

    As for the “bigger story”, it’s not clear to me which of the activities are actually illegal. I’m not going to blame anybody for only paying as much tax as they absolutely have to. OTOH, if there is tax evasion going on: throw the book at them.

    1. Part of the scandal revealed by the Pandora Papers is that billions are being squirrelled away by associates of people like Putin to avoid sanctions; the levels of secrecy around the transactions makes money laundering highly likely, too.

      1. It is not only huge tax evasion it is a course in how to spend millions with no one finding out about it. The King of Jordon is a prime example. He pretends to be the great leader when he is nothing but a phony raping his country and buying lots of real estate around the world. Waterfront property on Malibu beach, condos in Washington, very expensive property in London just to name a few. Why would this country or any other continue to throw money at this guy? Leaders and celebrities around the world all cashing in on this. Hell, one of the money hiding places is right here in South Dakota.

        1. South Dakota is the beneficiary of some very generous credit card laws, as well. My employer’s corporate headquarters are in California, but the credit card division is “located” in Sioux Falls.

      2. I would guess that many of the people involved don’t know just how shady some of their investments are. I’d guess that many wealthy people hire experts to manage their fortunes and don’t know the details of what those experts are doing with their assets.

  3. “ 1982 – Tylenol products are recalled after bottles in Chicago laced with cyanide cause seven deaths.“

    I remember when that happened, and when Bayer had an aspirin commercial saying that with aspirin one could also avoid the other bad effects of the competition, an obvious node to the poisoning. Talk about bad taste!

    1. And for 39 years we have been running around the house with a headache trying to find something to cut the plastic cover from the cap, and then trying to peel off the paper inner pog. I remember a story that investigators had discovered that the poisoner had wanted to kill an ex-wife and knew that she would need a bottle of tylenol, and so to avoid being caught he planted the poison.

  4. A pedant writes: Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench – Bond’s love interest in London – preceded Ursula Andress’s appearance in Dr No so was the “first” Bond Girl.

    1. The first first Bond Girl–although on TV, not film–was Linda Christian, in a 1954 version of “Casino Royale.” Barry Nelson was the first Bond, and Peter Lorre the first Bond Villain! If you want to see How It All Began, the entire show is on Youtube.

  5. As I understand his writings Kurt Vonnegut only used the phrase ‘and so it goes” when a character dies.

    1. As I recall, Vonnegut used it only in Slaughterhouse Five.

      I remember being caught a bit off-guard when he used it near the end of the book about Bobby Kennedy, who got clipped during the 1968 presidential campaign while ol’ Uncle Kurt was writing the novel.

  6. “Arrowsmith (the only decent novel about a scientist)”.

    Well – having attended the Royal Institution Fiction Lab for about 7 years now, & read over 80 novels that involve science or scientists & therefore count as what is called Lab Lit (coined by my friend Jenny Rohn of UCL), I would agree that Arrosmith is one of the best.

    However, there are many others that reach that level. For a start CP Snow’s the Search.

    At present we are reading The Tenth Muse by Catherine Chung – a female mathematician discovers who she is in the years after the war, struggling to be accepted at university.

    For much more & a long list –

      1. As long as we’re counting Steinbeck’s buddy Ed Ricketts, I think we should include “Doc,” the marine biologist from Cannery Row, too.

  7. It might be time to re-watch Advise and Consent, a story about the pressure brought to bear on a Senator by his own party when he blocks a nominee for Secretary of State.

  8. Buckle your seat belts; it’s going to be a bumpy [SCOTUS] session.

    My dire predictions:

    1. Dobbs will be used to overturn Roe (or render it irrelevant in practice). Unless they go crazy in another case, this is likely to be the most momentous ruling of the term.

    2. NY Rifle & Pistol will be used to overturn handgun registration rules. This could be quite far reaching if the justices put major restrictions on state registration criteria, but it’s also possible they rule quite narrowly that NY’s specific rules are poorly defined, in which case other state registration systems would be unaffected. We’ll have to wait and see.

    3. Carson will be used to back up Espinoza, repeating that any and all school voucher programs must allow religious schools in their programs. This should not surprise anyone. Frankly I’d be mostly okay with that if/when states regulate voucher-receiving schools to adhere to state curriculum standards. The problem, as I see it, is when they don’t.

    4. US vs. Zubaydah and FBI vs. Fazaga will both be used to increase the government’s ability to act without accountability (i.e. declare something a ‘state secret’ so it doesn’t have to release any information about it). There’s an outside possibility that the conservatives on the court may not want to hand the Biden administration more power, and therefore be inclined to rule against the government. However ultimately I think Bennett is going to want to stick it to “terrorists” by taking away their rights, more than she wants to stick it to liberals. They’ll increase governmental power.

    1. … I think Bennett is going to want to stick it to “terrorists” by taking away their rights …

      I’m guessing you mean “Barrett” (as in Amy Coney) rather than “Bennett,” buddy, but otherwise I wouldn’t bet against your predictions.

      I’m not expecting The Supremes to deliver good news to anyone but the Hard Right this term or any other for the foreseeable future.

      1. “… I think Bennett is going to want to stick it to “terrorists” by taking away their rights …”

        I remember being shocked when the late Sen McCain gave a lecture in London and when asked about the prisoners languishing at Guantanamo Bay without any due process, gave the opinion that ‘terrorists’ did not merit any legal rights. I think we are on a very slippery slope when we start to take away legal rights of people who may be accused of whatever type of crime. It is all too easy for a government to describe any opponent as a terrorist – as we see in various tyrannous jurisdictions around the World. The more serious the crime a person is accused of the more vital it is that the person has the right to a fair trial and all the other elements of due process. Once convicted, it is a basic principle of the law that they will be deprived of some of their rights, notably the right to liberty, but they need to be fairly convicted first.

    2. And if SCOTUS continues its partisan power grab and breaks with precedent, and the public grows in opposition to them, when will the institution simply be ignored? And what happens then?

  9. … do you think that library shelves should be open to kids of every age, and that they should be able to check out any books they want?

    Oh, hell yeah — though I suppose if parents want to go down to the public library to give the librarian a list of books their kids should be prohibited from checking out, that’s their right, too. But, either way, they certainly have no criminal case of any kind to prosecute against librarians for stocking “filthy” books.

    These censorious parents’ fears notwithstanding, it’s not like reading an LBGTQ books written for young folks is gonna turn their kids gay.

    Hell, I read Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative at an impressionable age and it sure as shit didn’t turn me into a rightwinger. 🙂

    1. If your kid is voluntarily and independently going down to the library to check out books to read, that’s a good thing. It almost doesn’t matter what it is they’re checking out. Though as an old fogie, I always reserve the right to tell my kid “read something from that pile of unread books you have on your shelf, before you check out some other book from the library.”

    2. This librarian approves of these comments.👍 FYI, public libraries do have policies that allow parents to restrict what their children can read or view, but in my 30+ years as a librarian I can count on one hand how many parents have taken advantage of these policies and still have some fingers left over.

      1. What I don’t understand is how libraries select the titles/etc in the first place.

        Just because a resident requests a new purchase does not mean it will be granted… like books by Titania McGrath.

        1. I wouldn’t be surprised if they bought Titania’s Woke: A Guide to Social Justice without realising its true nature…

    3. Open access to books of all sorts is probably my most treasured principal. But still, not all books are appropriate for all children.
      When I was approaching puberty, I was given a copy of “Zeig Mal!” by Mcbride and Fleischhauer-Hardt. It was very specific and frank.
      Such books should be in libraries, so that kids of a certain age can seek them out and have their questions answered. But my five year old does not need to find it in the picture book section next to “The Cat in the Hat”.

      It does seem like some of the books under discussion do seem to teach a version of gender and sex that many of us don’t believe is rooted in either science or reality. I understand that some people very much want our kids to be indoctrinated into such beliefs, but the parents do need to be part of those decisions.

      1. Well put.

        Librarians reserve books on a regular basis.

        And, though parents have the right to claim their authority over public servants – and should feel free to do so – it is not clear how this specimen of news actually works.

        Are the books (or what have you) hidden from certain kids like If I Ran The Zoo? Or are they on display? Even so, merely preventing books from being borrowed is a particular rule that will not accomplish much, and there are a few reasons it can make sense. Perhaps the home environment is such that the age range of the children is too great to let real tiny kids get exposed to e.g. graphic photographic wartime violence. But above all, that is mom and dad’s call. If some ideologues use a rule like that and expect it to work – that is their own problem.

        1. “Librarians reserve books on a regular basis.” therefore denying books to certain patrons is entirely feasible.

    4. “Hell, I read Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative at an impressionable age and it sure as shit didn’t turn me into a rightwinger. 🙂”


              1. 🤣Plus they have a third sister. I have OlsOn twin brothers. Have to ask them if they ever get teased. I used to get teased about the Folger’s coffee lady.

  10. It’s just social media, people!

    Here in the US, yes. But for a lot of places in the world, WhatsAp is the primary means of calling and texting. All seriousness aside, Twitter was highly amusing yesterday.

  11. One of my most beloved albums is the 1966 Bert Jansch and John Renbourn collaboration “Bert and John.” I still listen to it 50 years on.

  12. The Nobel prize rules are a sclerotic anachronism, unsuited to the practice of modern science, no matter how well motivated at the end of the 19th century. They should be reformed. I recommend Kip Thorn’s comments on this on Sean Carroll’s podcast.

  13. Totally agree with your deprecation of the bullying of Senator Kyrsten Sinema. It’s not acceptable to treat anyone in this way, however strongly you disagree with their political position.

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