Welcome to Friday, November 26, 2021: a day to eat turkey sandwiches. But formally it’s National Cake Day (it is also, more appropriately, National Leftovers Day).
Further, it’s Maize Day (“you call it corn“), Black Friday (a massive shopping day), Fur Free Friday, National Flossing Day (every day, and don’t forget your Water-Pik), National Day of Listening, and National Native American Heritage Day.
Here’s a piece of art I encountered on my walk yesterday. It was inside the David Rubenstein Forum of the University of Chicago, is by François-Xavier Lalanne, and is called Grand Chat Polymorphe (1968-2008)
News of the Day:
*A new “variant” (why don’t they call it a “mutant strain”?) of the coronavirus has been found in South Africa, and it’s worrying, as it’s spreading and infects the vaccinated.
Botswana’s health ministry confirmed in a statement that four cases of the new variant were detected in people who were all fully vaccinated. All four were tested before their planned travel. One sample was also detected in Hong Kong, carried by a traveler from South Africa, South African scientists said.
With over 1,200 new infections, South Africa’s daily infection rate is much lower than in Germany, where new cases are driving a wave. However, the density of mutations on this new variant raises fears that it could be highly contagious, leading scientists to sound the alarm early.
And the mutations are many:
The B1.1.529 variant has a “very unusual constellation of mutations,” with more than 30 mutations in the spike protein alone, said Mr. de Oliveira. On the ACE2 receptor — the protein that helps to create an entry point for the coronavirus to infect human cells — the new variant has 10 mutations. In comparison, the Beta.
In light of this, one thing I ask,
Just bury me in my trusty mask.
*Have a butcher’s at the NYT guest essay by Democrat Greg Weiner: “There is another Democrat that A. O. C. should be mad at.” That’s beyond Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, of course. Who is it?
But if disappointed progressives are looking for a Democrat to blame, they should consider directing their ire toward one of their party’s founders: James Madison. Madison’s Constitution was built to thwart exactly what Democrats have been attempting: a race against time to impose vast policies with narrow majorities. Madison believed that one important function of the Constitution was to ensure sustained consensus before popular majorities could prevail.
Democrats do represent a popular majority now. But for Madison, that “now” is the problem: He was less interested in a snapshot of a moment in constitutional time than in a time-lapse photograph showing that a majority had cohered. The more significant its desires, Madison thought, the longer that interval of coherence should be. The monumental scale of the Build Back Better plan consequently raises a difficult Madisonian question: Is a fleeting and narrow majority enough for making history?
In this Madisonian sense, Democrats are tripping over their own boasts.
. . . the overuse of omnibus bills that throw every possible priority into a single measure make bipartisan support nearly impossible. Madison may have predicted the future of factions poorly. But his assumption was that coalitions would shift from issue to issue. A stand-alone bill on any one Democratic priority might well receive votes from across the aisle, as the recent $1 trillion infrastructure bill did. One reason for that bipartisan support is that isolating issues raises the cost of opposing them.
*The migrants waiting in Calais to cross illegally to Britain have gotten so desperate that they’ve taken to small boats. Sadly, 27 of them drowned in an accident and their bodies were recovered yesterday. Only two are alive, but both are in critical condition.
Four people suspected of being involved in the sinking have been arrested, Mr. Darmanin said. The Dunkirk, U.K., prosecutor’s office said an investigation has been opened into human smuggling and aggravated manslaughter.
Now, according to the Washington Post, France and Britain are squabbling over who gets the blame and how to stop further deaths.
In a letter to his French counterpart on Thursday evening, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for the establishment of “joint patrols” by Britain and France or by “private security contractors.” Johnson also called for a pact that would allow migrants to be deported back to France.
Previous British proposals of joint patrols had raised concerns in France over sovereignty. The French government accuses Britain of a lack of action against traffickers as well as businesses that employ undocumented migrants. On Thursday, the French called for more European and British support for their efforts to combat human trafficking in the channel.
Our ability to eat a ridiculous amount of food on Thanksgiving Day is related to the sheer variety of foods typically offered on a holiday table. Variety excites the appetite.
This “variety effect” is an evolutionary adaptation that served us well during pre-buffet times. Imagine if your ancestors binged on buffalo meat and then stumbled across a patch of ripe berries — but everyone was too full to eat them. Skipping dessert in that scenario would mean missing out on a stash of important nutrients. (And if that had happened, you probably wouldn’t be reading this now.)
Note the complete certainty of author Tara Parker-Pope. But what if you come across the berries first and gorge on them? Will you still have room for buffalo? They don’t give an answer, though this question arises naturally. This assumption that we know the answer for sure is a mark of bad science reporting. Also, a good Thanksgiving dinner includes many items besides the turkey and pie (stuffing, vegetables, cranberry sauce, casseroles, potatoes, yams, etc.)
*According to IFLS (formerly “I Fucking Love Science”), the UK has taken a step forward towards animal rights, including invertebrates as “sentient beings” Remember that “sentient” means that you have feelings—what philosophers call “qualia”. (h/t Ginger K.) I don’t know how they determine this, but it surely must rest on phylogenetic similarity (as in other primates) and perhaps the presence of pain receptors similar to ours.
The UK government has officially included decapod crustaceans — including crabs, lobsters, and crayfish — and cephalopod mollusks — including octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish — in its Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill. This means they are now recognized as “sentient beings” in the UK.
The move comes off the back of an independent review carried out by a team led by Dr Jonathan Birch, an associate professor in the London School of Economic’s Department of Philosophy, Logic, and Scientific Method. They looked at over 300 studies and found “strong scientific evidence decapod crustaceans and cephalopod mollusks are sentient”. Sentience is a subjective concept that’s been batted about for centuries, but it generally refers to the capacity to consciously perceive feelings and sensations like pain.
Vertebrates (animals with a backbone) are already covered by the bill, but octopuses and other invertebrate animals have previously had a hard time being recognized as being sentient due to their lack of backbone. The central nervous system of invertebrates is immensely different from that of vertebrates — for instance, octopuses have a donut-shaped brain in their head and eight other “mini-brains” in each tentacle. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean their central nervous system is any less complicated than certain mammals considered sentient by humans. If you’ve watched the documentary My Octopus Teacher, you’ll know that cephalopods can be incredibly intelligent, capable of some remarkably complex behavior, including potentially physical and emotional pain. There’s also some solid evidence that some crustaceans feel a sense of pain.
If you look at the link to “solid evidence” above, it goes to a study in which shore crabs learn in the lab to avoid light stimuli if lights are associated with a shock. Well, that’s something, but it doesn’t tell us if the crabs FEEL the shock or are simply having adaptive and automatic reactions to nerve stimuli that, in the wild, signal danger.
That said, we should err on the side of caution, and not demand 100% certainty. For if an animal feels pain, we must protect its well-being more than organisms who don’t. And that’s what this finding will do:
The review recommends against using a variety of current commercial practices involving these animals, including live boiling without stunning, extreme slaughter methods, transporting the animals in icy water, and the sale of live decapod crustaceans to untrained handlers.
*Also thanks to Ginger K., I’ve learned that Brach’s, America’s biggest producer of that vile confection “candy corn”, has produced a Thanksgiving version that is even more odious than the normal product:
For Thanksgiving, the candy corn manufacturer Brach’s has outdone itself with a flavor that’s sure to turn heads (and stomachs). As Texas Standard reports, the product captures the essence of a turkey dinner in candy corn form.
Brach’s seasonal candy corn includes a variety of colorful pieces, each one representing a different aspect of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Some flavors are sweet—like cranberry sauce, apple pie, and coffee—while others are rarely mentioned in the same breath as dessert.
The fluorescent green pieces are meant to evoke green beans, though they reportedly taste closer to green tea. One of the brownish pieces is a sage-forward stuffing flavor. And, of course, the bag includes turkey and gravy candy corn, which regrettably tastes similar to the real thing.
You have to be a masochist to eat this stuff? But if you are, you can get it on Amazon in a 12-ounce package for $10.87. Let’s take a poll!
*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 776,574, an increase of 1,066 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 5,202,433, an increase of about 7,000 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on November 26 includes:
- 1778 – In the Hawaiian Islands, Captain James Cook becomes the first European to visit Maui.
- 1789 – A national Thanksgiving Day is observed in the United States as proclaimed by President George Washington at the request of Congress.
He also proclaimed it in 1795—in the document below:
- 1863 – United States President Abraham Lincoln proclaims November 26 as a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated annually on the final Thursday of November. Following the Franksgiving controversy from 1939 to 1941, it has been observed on the fourth Thursday in 1942 and subsequent years.
- 1917 – The National Hockey League is formed, with the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs, and Toronto Arenas as its first teams.
- 1922 – Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon become the first people to enter the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in over 3000 years.
Here’s a colorized video of Carter uncovering Tut’s coffin:
- 1922 – The Toll of the Sea debuts as the first general release film to use two-tone Technicolor. (The Gulf Between was the first film to do so, but it was not widely distributed.)
Here’s the entire movie, starring Anna May Wong:
- 1942 – Casablanca, the movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, premieres in New York City.
You can find the entire movie in high-definition on Youtube. Here’s one of the two most famous scenes, and nobody says, “Play it again, Sam.”
- 1949 – The Constituent Assembly of India adopts the constitution presented by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.
Here’s the first meeting of the Assembly with the architects of of Indian independene and democracy: “First day of Constituent Assembly of India. In the first row (From Left): Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, B. G. Kher, Vallabhai Patel and K. M. Munshi.”
Therefore, it’s Constitution Day in India.
- 1970 – In Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, 38 millimetres (1.5 in) of rain fall in a minute, the heaviest rainfall ever recorded.
- 1983 – Brink’s-Mat robbery: In London, 6,800 gold bars worth nearly £26 million are stolen from the Brink’s-Mat vault at Heathrow Airport.
- 2000 – George W. Bush is certified the winner of Florida’s electoral votes by Katherine Harris, going on to win the United States presidential election, despite losing in the national popular vote.
- 2003 – The Concorde makes its final flight, over Bristol, England.
Here’s the last flight. After the accident in 2000, the plane lost business:
Notables born on this day include:
- 1607 – John Harvard, English minister and philanthropist (d. 1638)
- 1853 – Bat Masterson, American police officer and journalist (d. 1921). Here’s the famous “Dodge City Peace Commission” on June 10, 1883. Wikipedia caption: “From left to right, standing: William H. Harris, Luke Short, Bat Masterson, William F. Petillon; seated: Charlie Bassett, Wyatt Earp, Michael Francis “Frank” McLean and Cornelius “Neil” Brown.” I’ve put arrows by Masterson (top row) and Earp (seated):
- 1898 – Karl Ziegler, German chemist and engineer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1973)
- 1899 – Richard Hauptmann, German-American murderer (d. 1936)
Hauptman was accused and convicted of kidnapping the baby of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh in 1932. He was executed in 1936; below is his mugshot:
- 1907 – Ruth Patrick, American botanist (d. 2013)
- 1922 – Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist, created Peanuts (d. 2000)
- 1931 – Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Argentinian painter, sculptor, and activist, Nobel Prize laureate
- 1939 – Tina Turner, American-Swiss singer-songwriter, dancer, and actress
- 1945 – John McVie, English-American bass player
- 1954 – Roz Chast, American cartoonist
After having read Roz Chast’s fantastic cartoons for years, and absorbed her combination of anxiety and pessimism, I guessed that she was Jewish. Sure enough, Wikipedia confirms it. Here’ a Jewish joke I learned recently:
Jewish pessimist: “Things can’t get any worse.”
Jewish optimist: “Sure they can!!:
Those who “fell asleep” on November 26 include:
- 1504 – Isabella I, queen of Castile and León (b. 1451)
- 1883 – Sojourner Truth, American activist (b. 1797)
Her real name was Isabella Baumfree, and she excaped from slavery, recovered her children, and then became a passionate speaker for abolitionism and women’s rights. Photo below:
- 1943 – Edward O’Hare, American lieutenant and pilot (b. 1914)
O’Hare, after whom the big Chicago airport is named, was a crack pilot who won the Medal of Honor for an extraordinary feat (read at the link). He went missing in 1943. His plane bore the image of Felix the Cat, as did all the planes of the Sixth Squadron:
- 1956 – Tommy Dorsey, American trombonist, trumpet player, and composer (b. 1905)
- 2005 – Stan Berenstain, American author and illustrator, co-created the Berenstain Bears (b. 1923)
I have never seen these. Were they supposed to be Jewish bears?
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili isn’t having much luck hunting mice:
Hili: If nothing comes you will have to open a can for me.A: So Maybe, we should go home at once?Hili: No, I will wait a bit longer
Hili: Jeśli nic nie przyjdzie, to będziesz musiał otworzyć mi puszkę.Ja: To może chodźmy od razu do domu?Hili: Nie, jeszcze chwilę poczekam.
Kulka’s press conference:
Verily, I say unto you that beautiful are my pictures in this book and very helpful to understand where good and evil come from. And the pictures were wrought by Paulina. In truth, Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra was truthful saying that everybody lacks money for different things.If ye spend a few zlotys on this thing, you will not regret it.Here you can order the book: https://www.stapis.com.pl/…
Konferencja prasowa Kulki:
Zaprawde powiadam Wam, że pięknę są moję zdjęcia w tej książce i bardzo pomocne dla zrozumienia skąd się wzięło dobro i zło. A zdjęcia te robiła Paulina. Zaiste rację miał Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra mówiąc, że wszystkim brakuje pieniędzy, na różne rzeczy. Wydajcie kilka złotych na tę rzecz, a nie pożałujecie.Tu można książkę zamówić: https://www.stapis.com.pl/… ;
From Norm; I believe these are the winners of the 2021 Math Olympiad, and the first time in three decades that the U.S. team beat the Chinese team:
Virtually all sexual predators are male.
That’s why it’s SO disappointing when women let the side down like this. pic.twitter.com/kUeGEPu9mC
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) November 25, 2021
From Dom, who explained to me that this is the last “dambuster.” When I asked him what “dambusters” were, he said, “Ah. They were the RAF bombers that carried out the bouncing bomb raids on the Ruhr dams in the war.” That was on May 16 and 17 of 1943, and 40% of the 153 RAF airmen involved were killed during the raid. George Johnson, below, survived and just turned 100!
Congratulations to the wonderful, generous gentleman and absolute hero, George ‘Johnny’ Johnson MBE DFM! Wishing you a memorable & marvellous 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣th birthday and sending very best wishes to a national treasure!🍷🥃 🙌🏻#hero #legend #dambuster #centenarian pic.twitter.com/RTFioQ2bPE
— Jonny Cracknell (@jonnycrackers82) November 25, 2021
From Barry, who says this proves I’m not going to Heaven. (Proteins aren’t transcribed, by the way—DNA is, into messenger RNA.)
From Ginger K.: An excellent library sign:
A reminder pic.twitter.com/hhEGVIOtHH
— Marshall Shepherd (@DrShepherd2013) November 15, 2021
From the Auschwitz Memorial:
26 November 1921 | A Dutch Jewish woman, Bertha van den Berg, was born in Padang in Indonesia (then Dutch East Indies).
In September 1942 she was deported to #Auschwitz. She did not survive. pic.twitter.com/vcR8GaTYFK
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) November 26, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. This is the craziest beetle I’ve ever seen, bar none:
Seed beetle (Ctenocolum sp.) from Honduras. This has to be one of the strangest beetles I've ever photographed. Everything about it screams "weird": the bunny ears, the baby legs, the enormous hind thighs, the boxed body shape… pic.twitter.com/8Xq3PpCt7I
— Gil Wizen (@wizentrop) March 5, 2020
Stingrays having fun:
A school of stingrays riding a wave .
source: https://t.co/bTBXtyK1ZT pic.twitter.com/ghK6vhGUd0
— Black Hole (@konstructivizm) November 18, 2021
Sound up from the beginning to hear how softly they’re called. One cat doesn’t go in, though.
"Dinner is ready!!!" pic.twitter.com/9TEM7CeEBx
— Extraordinarily Pleasing (@pleasingnesss) November 22, 2021
48 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue”
Re the small boat that capsized in the English Channel, both survivors have now been released from hospital and the French authorities are hoping to interview them to get a better idea of how many people were on board.
Whatever the problem is with migration between France and the UK, I’m sure it is Biden’s fault.
Interesting ideas from James Madison. Although known as the father of the Constitution, more than 50% of his proposals lost. Much of his ideas about how government would work was all theory on paper but did not pan out so much in reality. He probably switched gears more than anyone and while a very pro federalist prior to actual government he did a 180 soon after. Hamilton’s policies during the first term with Washington left Madison and Jefferson in the dust. They were so upset they began the 2 party system which has become two tribes.
Is a fleeting and narrow majority enough for making history?
The majority in Congress IS fleeting and narrow. But the majority of the citizenry is decidedly much larger. The structural disadvantages mean that minoritarian rule will be our future, unless the current Congress puts a stop to it (not holding my breath).
Yes, the minority rule is baked into our Constitution. During that Convention back in1787, the small states and southern slave states joined together to defeat the large states on many important issues. One was the 2 Senators per state instead of equal representation by population. That was a big killer of democracy. Also sharing power with the states also a big problem allowing the states to do all the crap they do today. Back when we only had 13 states they had no idea how bad these things could be. Now we know. It will likely allow the cult to continue running things for years.
You’re right about Madison. Consistency was not his hallmark. Historian Alan Taylor writes the following about Madison in his “American Republics: A Continental History of the United States, 1783-1850” in regard to his actions as president after the War of 1812:
“Madison sought to strengthen the federal government so that it could better manage future conflicts. He exploited the postwar burst of patriotism to press Congress for reforms, particularly the creation of a new Bank of the United States to replace Hamilton’s original that had expired in 1811. The president also favored high tariffs on imported manufactures to protect new American industries from foreign competition. And he supported an ambitious federal program of internal improvements – roads, harbor dredging, and canals – meant to unite the country, promote economic development, and accelerate western settlement. In 1816, Congress supported Madison’s new policies.” (p. 134)
Taylor goes on to explain that Madison’s goal was to once and for all marginalize the Federalist Party by co-opting their program. However, the demise of the Federalists created schisms within the Republican Party. A faction within in it, called the “Old Republicans,” found Madison’s policies abhorrent. The Old Republicans won big in the 1816 elections and Madison reversed his support of previous policies. Per Taylor: “Madison retreated to a more conventional Republican position by vetoing an ambitious new internal improvements bill, citing constitutional qualms that he had lacked a year before.” (p. 135)
So, quoting Madison as a fount of wisdom is about doing the same thing as quoting the Bible. You can find anything you want to support your position.
Very good stuff on Madison. One of the odd things to see regarding Madison, a guy who never fought in any war, unlike Hamilton and Washington. He declares war on England in 1812, at a time when we had no Navy, no Army…..nothing. The Capital and White House get invaded and burned down due to our useless military ability. Yet he becomes more popular when they should have been throwing him out.
I have seen those particular sort of boats in no other context than as mass migrant transport. Of course, it is possible they have some other use, but I am a boat person, and have not seen them elsewhere.
The migrants themselves are generally just people. But it would be very interesting to sort out the logistics behind the movement of refugees from their origins, as well as the manufacture and transport of those boats.
I don’t know why viral variants aren’t called ‘mutant strains’ but medical geneticists use the term ‘variant’ instead of ‘mutation’ to reduce upset to patients and parents. ‘Your child has a mutation’ is too scary-sounding and too close to ‘your child is a mutant.’
If any child of mine is NOT a mutant, then there must have been infidelity involved.
Loved your piece as usual😊
I just wanted to comment on how ridiculous it is that South Africa is yet again on the red list for travel! It was not so long ago when Italy was on high alert.
I guess another year of no travel.
This piece was very informative. Learnt a lot that I did not know previously😄😄
The photo of the academic team is the 2017 Chemistry Olympiad team, who tied with Taiwan. (I have had several students on the team over the years due in large part to one of our recently retired chemistry instructors)
Thanks. I guess my confirmation bias was showing as I did not question it. As shown in AMS announcement, the 2021 math olympiad team appears to be made up of a range of ethnicity as shown at url https://newsroom.maa.org/149842-team-usa-earns-fourth-place-at-62nd-international-mathematical-olympiad
“Hey, Mister Deejay, didn’t The Dan do a tune by that name?”
“Indeed, they did. Although it’s about a different kind of ‘Black Friday,’ some of the lyrics still fit”:
Thanks, Ken. This has been running through my head all morning, and now it will be all day. Could be worse.
The Berenstain Bears are characters in a very popular series of children’s books. My daughter loved them! The stories generally had to do with the adventures of one or more of the bear family members and carried a lesson to be learned; although I don’t recall that they ever got preachy about it.
I do faintly recall an air of Christianity about the books, or at least a few of them. In spite of that, I enjoyed the books and cartoons as a child. A quick internet search turns up some books like the Berenstain Bears learn about Heaven, Follow God’s Word, and Go to Sunday School. It appears that while Stan was indeed Jewish, his wife Jan was Episcopalian but it was only after their son Mike took over that the Bears went full religious nutter and seem to have begun pandering to the religious right. What a sad ending to an otherwise nice set of children’s books.
The religious aspect must have started after the mid-’90s. I know we didn’t have any books with that kind of slant, nor do I recall seeing them in the days when we were buying them for our daughter.
They also wrote and illustrated books of humor for adults; in 1972, they did one entitled “How To Teach Your Children About God Without Actually Scaring Them To Death.”
nobody says, “Play it again, Sam.”
“Play it again, Sam” is the title of Woody Allen’s play and film: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Play_It_Again,_Sam_(film)
Like “The Dark Side of the Moon” (originally a quote from Mark Twain which, like the Pink Floyd album, is not about astronomy but about humanity), the citation has overtaken the original.
One of the great double-features is Casablanca and Play It Again, Sam. I saw it an the Parkway Theater, a second-run movie house just south of Diversey on Clark in Chicago. Sadly, it became a LensCrafters many years ago.
Beat me to it. I posted the trailer from the Woodman’s movie below before seeing your comment.
According to The Guardian
Jerry, you’re warming my heart with these library shout-outs. Thanks much, and keep them coming!📚
Re: The “sentient being” question, I think any complex life that is capable of movement is going to feel some version of pain and fear, as these are among the most important survival attributes for a successful organism. And it seems likely that the pain and fear will always be pretty strong, because creatures without fear or that feel no pain are quite a bit less likely to leave offspring than those that experience both.
They may not all feel angst about it like we do–though anticipation of possible pain and fear also seems to be a terribly useful attribute for a being with a complex enough nervous system and enough variability of environment, and anticipatory pain and fear would benefit from being quite strong, up to a point.
Pain (and fear) seem far more important, biologically, than joy or satisfaction, which must be transient for any organism, because one meal only does you so much good (for instance), so you can’t be too satisfied by it. If you got permanent satisfaction from one meal, you’d likely be quite happy but die of starvation before long (if that satisfaction dominates, anyway).
While the Dread Pirate Roberts wasn’t QUITE right when he said, “Life IS pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something,” he wasn’t very wrong. Life without pain might be POSSIBLE, but it’s hard to imagine it evolving.
And let us add to the discussion that if Congenital Insensitivity to Pain and Anhydrosis, CIPA, is a rare hereditary disease where people cannot feel pain or sweat. I would gather that they are still sentient, no?
They are indeed. They don’t tend to live very long, though.
I don’t know much about the disease but it is somewhat amazing that they live long enough to pass on the gene(s?). I wonder how recently that mutation arose. In an era before decent medicine, it really is unbelievable that it wouldn’t almost immediately remove you from the gene pool.
It’s autosomal recessive.
With the new SARS-2 variant (it would be a strain if the differences were greater – genes swapped out from other coronaviruses, or something like that), this sounds like a situation where at least EUA approval of Pfizer’s new protease inhibitor Paxlovid may be expedited.
Why? The protease cleaves the SARS-2 pre-protein that contains 11 viral proteins in concatenated form. The cleavage sites are all at places where the sequence runs Glutamine-Glycine, or Gln-Gly in three-letter abbreviation, or QG in single-letter, and all need to be cleaved for the individual proteins to be able to be able to assemble into new active virions. The drug targets the site in the protease that binds QG. For the virus to evade that, it would have to change the QG specificity, and doing that would wreck its ability to cleave the pre-protein. So 12 events would have to change simultaneously – all of the QG sites, along with the protease.
There are no known endogenous proteases that cleave at QG, so the drug does not run the risk of mucking up any process that we need to survive, and it exhibits seemingly non-existent tocicity. Plus, it can be taken in pill form.
Discussion of this starts here @ 52:15, for ~25min.
This is the central question considered in David Foster Wallace’s celebrated longform essay about the annual Maine Lobster Festival, “Consider the Lobster” — which, oddly enough, first appeared in Gourmet magazine, to the consternation of many of that magazine’s subscribers, and the title of which alludes to MFK Fisher’s 1941 book Consider the Oyster.
Although the widely held misconception that Bogie did, led Woody Allen to give that title to his 1969 play and 1972 film (directed by Herbert Ross):
I’ve actually been looking for a book on the history of color in movies, but I can’t find a nice, inexpensive general one. Does anybody know of one?
Maybe look thru refs here?
Thanks! Colour Cinematography is on Archive.org, and appears to have historical as well as technical sections.
I would recommend The Dawn of Technicolor by James Layton and David Pierce but it’s expensive. However, you can try checking Worldcat.org to see if a library near you has a copy.
Alibris.com has a copy at about 10% of a new one.
“God would not be able to recognise the sequence…” Why; is He a bit thick? So much for omniscience.
Maybe he employs less gifted underlings to do the initial screening.
One of my favorite old war movies was “The Dam Busters” from 1955. The Wikipedia article mentions that the well-known bombing run scene in “Star Wars”, when Luke attacks the Death Star, was modelled after the movie scene.
Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s d*g has a “problematic” name though …
That doesn’t ring a bell. What was it?
The dog was called “Nigger”, I believe.
Indeed – he has his own Wikipedia article: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger_(dog)
If we favor (select) animals that feel pain, won’t more animals feel pain in the future? Perhaps we need to rethink this. 😉
I just noticed the conservative press is giving it to Harris for spending over $500 on cookware in Paris. Fair’s fair, that’s like one pot from someplace like Le Creuset.
Reminds me of the Irish joke in Kenneth Branagh’s wonderful new movie, Belfast:
A doctor calls his patient, says “I have bad news and worse news.”
“What’s the bad news?” asks the patient.
“You have one day to live.”
“One day to live!” says the patient. “What could be worse than that?”
“We’ve been trying to call you since yesterday.”
In the 2021 International Math Olympiad, the US got 4th place, after China, Russia, and Korea:
In recent years,, China has mostly beaten the US, although not always.