Tuesday: Hili dialogue

January 18, 2022 • 7:00 am


Posting will be lighter today as I have my semiannual tooth cleaning appointment, and it’s downtown.

Greetings on the cruelest day: Tuesday, January 18, 2022: National Peking Duck Day. Not only is that cultural appropriation, but it’s DUCK! I do not eat my friends.  It’s also Rid the World of Fad Diet and Gimmicks Day, Printing Ink Day, Thesaurus Day, and Winnie the Pooh Day (A. A. Milne was born on this day in 1882). The worst thing that ever happened to Milne’s stories is that they were bought by Disney, and the Disney cartoon didn’t even come close to the splendor of Milne’s original. Milne’s stories also included the best drawing of my spirit animal, Eeyore, who can now be portrayed since the Milne copyright just expired:

EEYORE’S NEW HOME! (Colorized)

Here are the original stuffed animals on which Milne modeled his stories. They were the toys of his son, Christopher Robin Milne, and can be seen in the New York Public Library.

Caption from Wikipedia; arrows are mine to the original Pooh bear and, of course, Eeyore.

Original Winnie-the-Pooh stuffed toys. Clockwise from bottom left: Tigger, Kanga, Edward Bear (“Winnie-the-Pooh”), Eeyore, and Piglet. Roo was lost long ago.

Wine of the Day: This garnacha from Spain (“garnacha” = “grenache”) is from 2019, and with good ratings and a paltry $8 price tag, I bought five bottles.

Here’s the review from Robert Parker’s site (he gives it a 90–an excellent score for such an inexpensive wine):

The 2019 Evodia is pure Garnacha from old head-pruned vines in the Sierra Santa Cruz in Calatayud. It fermented with around 20% full clusters in concrete and matured mostly in concrete with just 20% of the blend put in used oak barrels for three months. There is a component that matured in concrete egg that I was able to taste separately that seems to bring a touch of freshness to the final blend, something welcomed in a warm year like 2019, which seems like a fresher version of 2017, when the wines achieved quite good ripeness. The nose opens up nicely in the glass and is quite aromatic and floral, exuberant, with a heady touch of ripe fruit. It’s young and tasty, tender and pleasant to drink, with a forward personality. A real bargain. I hope there are more wines like this in Aragon, where the wealth of Garnacha vineyards would make it possible quite easily.

And if that doesn’t make you want to buy it, read Jeb Dunnuck’s review (he’s also a critical rater). Emphasis is mine:

Based on 100% Garnacha, the 2019 Evodia is a killer value that delivers incredible Garnacha flair at a crazy good price. Kirsch, blackberry, acacia flower, violet, and sandalwood notes give way to a medium to full-bodied, seamless, beautifully layered wine with fabulous tannins, no hard edges, and a great, great finish. This is the finest wine at this price point in the world. 

Coming from Dunnuck, that’s both high praise and likely to be accurate.

I have no idea how it will age; I may keep the last bottle around for a few years. It was indeed excellent (not great as in Petrus ’61 “great”, but you don’t get that kind of “great” for $8), with peppery and vegetal overtones along with the ripe fruit. It’s not overly tannic nor sweet.

I had it with chicken thighs, rice, and green beans, and it went very well. Indeed, it could be used as a general house red to go with almost everything that ain’t fish. I recommend this highly because of its high quality/price ratio. If you see it around $8, get some!

News of the Day:

Reader Avis in New Mexico found MY license plate (below)! Not only that, but she said that she risked her neck to take the picture—while she was driving. Now if someone can wring some significance out of “916” I’ll be delighted (it does read the same way upside down).

*Who betrayed Anne Frank and her family to the Germans? An article in the BBC did due diligence and came up with someone having high priors  (h/t Divy):

A team including an ex-FBI agent said Arnold van den Bergh, a Jewish figure in Amsterdam, probably “gave up” the Franks to save his own family.

The team, made up of historians and other experts, spent six years using modern investigative techniques to crack the “cold case”. That included using computer algorithms to search for connections between many different people, something that would have taken humans thousands of hours.

Van den Bergh had been a member of Amsterdam’s Jewish Council, a body forced to implement Nazi policy in Jewish areas. It was disbanded in 1943, and its members were dispatched to concentration camps.

But the team found that van den Bergh was not sent to a camp, and was instead living in Amsterdam as normal at the time. There was also a suggestion that a member of the Jewish Council had been feeding the Nazis information.

“When van den Bergh lost all his series of protections exempting him from having to go to the camps, he had to provide something valuable to the Nazis that he’s had contact with to let him and his wife at that time stay safe,” former FBI agent Vince Pankoke told CBS 60 Minutes.

The team said it had struggled with the revelation that another Jewish person was probably the betrayer. But it also found evidence suggesting Otto Frank, Anne’s father, may himself have known that and kept it secret.

In the files of a previous investigator, they found a copy of an anonymous note sent to Otto Frank identifying Arnold van den Bergh as his betrayer.

*Curiously, as I was reading the NYT right after writing this, I see that there’s a new book about the Anne Frank betrayal issue, which the reviewer calls “important’ and “a strong new lead.”

*I was stunned to find on the Washington Post front page (e-page) two articles pretty critical of Biden and the Democrats. I won’t reprise them, but I will cite them for you:

a.) “Democrats are being dragged down by their discontent.” A disturbing piece by Paul Waldman.

b.) Headline article at top left: “The left dreamed of remaking America. Now it stares into the abyss as Biden’s plans wither.”

We have to come up with some good Democratic candidates for 2024. Biden will be too old and Harris hasn’t done much, but who has? I am very worried that Trump will take the reins again. As for the Congress this fall, I’m already assuming that the Democrats will lose both houses. (A pessimist is never disappointed.)

Up north at the Toronto Star, Bernie Farber, described as “former CEO of Canadian Jewish Congress and chair of the Canadian AntiHate Network”, talks some sense to the American libereal media, just now coming around to accepting the facts about the hostage situation in Texas (h/t Claudia):

Why is antisemitism so hard to believe, even when it stares us straight in the face? Nowhere is this more obvious than in this past weekend’s events in Colleyville, Tex. It was in this tiny Dallas suburb where an international terrorist chose to invade the town’s tiny synagogue demanding the release of a fellow terrorist, a woman associated with al Qaeda being held in a nearby federal prison.

Surely there were more significant targets. Large department stores, government and municipal buildings, but this extremist honed in on a small Jewish house of worship, where only a sprinkling of congregants were in attendance due to COVID restrictions. Indeed, as he burst into the small sanctuary the service itself was being live streamed. Many congregants following the services at home were horrified with what played out on their screens.

The banal explanation by the FBI following the safe release of all the hostages that in fact the storming of the Beth Israel House of Worship “ … was not related to the Jewish community …” is frankly mind-boggling. The terrorist was trying to free a fellow extremist whose views on Israel and the Jewish people leaped over the line of anti-Israelism to Jew hatred.

The imprisoned fellow terrorist, Aafia Siddiqui, charged with attacking American servicemen as an al Qaeda operative in Afghanistan, was a bitter antisemite. When she was captured her first words were that the case against her was a “Jewish conspiracy.”

. . . Are we to believe that a fellow al Qaeda terrorist determined to free Siddiqui would be unaware of her virulent Jew hatred? Are we to accept the word of the FBI that the extremist who stormed the synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath had no idea who was in the building and in fact that it was a Jewish house of worship?

. . . This time the small group of Jews in that Texas synagogue were lucky. Next time — and there will be a next time — perhaps not. Antisemitism is a clear and present danger that can no longer be simply explained away.

Yes, we were asked to accept that, and the fact that we were expected to swallow that hokum shows how deep the rot of anti-Semitism has infected America. I’m not sure how vigorously Biden has decried anti-Semitism in the past two days, but there’s virtually nothing coming from the so-called “progressive” Democrats. But what do you expect when “anti-Zionism” is a plank of that group?

*The Wall Street Journal has a good article about how to use a password manager to stop using the same password over and over again (yes, we all do that), which exposes us to data breaches. To find out if you’ve been subject to a breach, read below, and then do what author Nicole Nguyen recommends in her article:

To find out if your credentials are exposed, plug your email address into Haveibeenpwned.com, a website by security expert Troy Hunt, to reveal which breaches contained your data. It doesn’t ask for your passwords (and you shouldn’t give them out to random sites anyway!).

You’re not gonna like the results (well, at least I didn’t). There’s more:

Hackers commonly employ an attack called “credential stuffing”: They take usernames and passwords leaked from one breach and enter them at other sites in the hope that people reused them.

This is why security experts always say don’t reuse passwords, especially those for important logins like your bank, your email and your work accounts. But it also means you’ll quickly end up with more passwords than you can remember.

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 850,750 an increase of 1,961 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 5,565,445, an increase of about 6,500 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on January 18 includes:

  • 1701 – Frederick I crowns himself King of Prussia in Königsberg.
  • 1778 – James Cook is the first known European to discover the Hawaiian Islands, which he names the “Sandwich Islands”.
  • 1788 – The first elements of the First Fleet carrying 736 convicts from Great Britain to Australia arrive at Botany Bay.

A lithograph from Wikipedia, labeled “the First Fleet entering Port Jackson, 26 January 1788, by Edmund Le Bihan”:

  • 1871 – Wilhelm I of Germany is proclaimed Kaiser Wilhelm in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles (France) towards the end of the Franco-Prussian War. Wilhelm already had the title of German Emperor since the constitution of 1 January 1871, but he had hesitated to accept the title.
  • 1911 – Eugene B. Ely lands on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania anchored in San Francisco Bay, the first time an aircraft landed on a ship.

Here are genuine photos of the takeoff and landing:

  • 1943 – Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: The first uprising of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.
  • 1967 – Albert DeSalvo, the “Boston Strangler”, is convicted of numerous crimes and is sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • 1977 – Scientists identify a previously unknown bacterium as the cause of the mysterious Legionnaires’ disease.
  • 1981 – Phil Smith and Phil Mayfield parachute off a Houston skyscraper, becoming the first two people to BASE jump from objects in all four categories: buildings, antennae, spans (bridges), and earth (cliffs).

Sadly, I can’t find a video of any of these jumps, but here’s a photo of a participant:

From Wikipedia:

James Francis Thorpe (Sac and Fox (Sauk): Wa-Tho-Huk, translated as “Bright Path”; May 22 or 28, 1887 – March 28, 1953) was an American athlete and Olympic gold medalist. A member of the Sac and Fox Nation, Thorpe was the first Native American to win a gold medal for the United States in the Olympics. Considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports, he won two Olympic gold medals in the 1912 Summer Olympics (one in classic pentathlon and the other in decathlon). He also played American football (collegiate and professional), professional baseball, and basketball.

He lost his Olympic titles after it was found he had been paid for playing two seasons of semi-professional baseball before competing in the Olympics, thus violating the contemporary amateurism rules. In 1983, 30 years after his death, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) restored his Olympic medals with replicas, after ruling that the decision to strip him of his medals fell outside of the required 30 days. Thorpe is to date listed as co-champion in both the decathlon and pentathlon events according to official IOC records.

Here he is, a great athlete at the 1912 Olympics. After sports, his life was rough, and even when he was playing his contests were often billed as “Indians against whites”. He died in poverty.


  • 1990 – Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry is arrested for drug possession in an FBI sting.
  • 1993 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is officially observed for the first time in all 50 US states.
  • 2008 – The Euphronios Krater is unveiled in Rome after being returned to Italy by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A Krater is a vessel used for mixing wine and water. This one was looted from an Etruscan tomb and sold to the Met in 1972.  It’s back where it belongs now, and here are a few words about it:

The Euphronios Krater (or Sarpedon Krater) is an ancient Greek terra cotta calyx-krater, a bowl used for mixing wine with water. Created around the year 515 BC, it is the only complete example of the surviving 27 vases painted by the renowned Euphronios and is considered one of the finest Greek vase artifacts in existence. Part of the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1972 to 2008, the vase was repatriated to Italy under an agreement negotiated in February 2006, and it is now in the collection of the Archaeological Museum of Cerveteri as part of a strategy of returning stolen works of art to their place of origin

Here are both “sides”:

How do we know the artist? He was one of the very first artists in history to sign his work, and he also had a distinctive style. Here’s a piece with his signature:


Notables born on this day include:

  • 1779 – Peter Mark Roget, English physician, lexicographer, and theologian (d. 1869)
  • 1782 – Daniel Webster, American lawyer and politician, 14th United States Secretary of State (d. 1852)

Webster (he looks mean):

Ehrenfest was a great friend of Einstein and mentor of many famous physicists, including Heisenberg, Fermi, and Dirac. A depressive, he was only 53 when he shot his son (who had Down Syndrome) to death and then killed himself. Here he is in 1910.

Here are Milne, Christopher Robin, and Pooh Bear, 1926!


  • 1904 – Cary Grant, English-American actor (d. 1986)

Real name: Archibald Alec Leach. “Archie Leach” wasn’t a good name for an actor back then. . . .

  • 1911 – Danny Kaye, American actor, singer, and dancer (d. 1987)
  • 1955 – Kevin Costner, American actor, director, and producer

Those who went West on January 18 include:

  • 1862 – John Tyler, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 10th President of the United States (b. 1790)
  • 1878 – Antoine César Becquerel, French physicist and academic (b. 1788)
  • 1936 – Rudyard Kipling, English author and poet, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1865)

An old chestnut. At a dinner party:

Guest 1: “Do you like Kipling?”
Gust 2: “I don’t know; I’ve never kippled.

Real name: Jerome Lester Horwitz. Here’s his tombstone:

Read his travel book In Patagonia. 

  • 2016 – Glenn Frey, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (b. 1948)

Here’s a compendium of clips of Frey’s songs. He and Don Henley wrote most of the Eagles’ hits.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is upset. Malgorzata explains: “Hili likes to hide on the windowsill behind the curtain when it’s closed. She is always hissing or meowing when we open the curtain to see whether she is there.”

Hili: I have to tell you something.
A: What?
Hili: You are not to peek behind the curtain.
In Polish:
Hili: Muszę ci coś powiedzieć.
Ja: Co takiego?
Hili: Że nie masz tu zaglądać za firankę.

Paulina photographed little Kulka in the snow:

From Facebook:

From Simon:

From Jesus of the Day:

From Titania:

From Barry, who comments, “Oh, you want a little taste? Here you go.” Is this unusual behavior from a cat? It sure looks like it to me. (Though I don’t understand what the Bill Murray comment is all about.)

Neither do I!

From cesar, who notes, “This is what I think the Art Institute will bring about after the re-hiring and training of new docents……”

Whatever it is, it’s lunacy. Second tweet: Hogarth Wokeified!

From Simon. Make sure the sound is up to hear Elvis go Bollywood:

Tweets from Matthew. If you read this site, you should get the humor in this one:

Tweet of the month! Try this with your cat!

From Matthew and Barry. Yes, it presumes an afterlife but it’s still ineffably sweet.

Someone should inform Ziya Tong that I’m an Earthling too:

53 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. Great license plate. Except, if Avis just recently took the picture, it’s expired.

    I think Democrats have an obvious strategy for the next election, but nobody seems to agree with me, or taken it up.

    We should be describing in detail what life will be like under a Republican dictatorship. Nobody cares about “losing our democracy” in the abstract, and plenty of people will also not care, or will outright enjoy political imprisonments and show trials.

    But, we will lose Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, overtime pay, minimum wage, 40-hour workweeks, child labor laws, workplace safety, abortion access even to save the mother’s life, access to birth control, and any semblance of a social safety net.

    It is also possible that we will lose disaster relief, or that it will be confined to states that voted Republican, regardless of whether we all paid the same taxes.

    Toll roads will flourish. Road maintenance will be “privatized”, meaning that if you want to get anywhere, you will have to pay whoever won the bid. They will have incentive to skimp on actual maintenance to maximize their profits.

    There’s probably a lot more that I haven’t thought of, but you get the idea. Everything I’ve mentioned has been championed by Republicans, and what has stopped them in the past is knowing that they would lose elections if they tried any of it. But if that fear is gone, all of it will become reality.


    1. More environmental degradation, the destruction of wilderness by mining and the activities of energy companies, more pollution, no counters to climate change, only exacerbations, no chance of cheaper/better healthcare or education, more prisons for profit, privatized postal service, more guns which equals more gun violence, greater income inequality, pro-theocracy, anti-science, anti-reality, anti-voting, anti-anyone who isn’t rich. Fun place to live!

    2. I agree with your predictions, but….The problem is that the average American voter does not think about the future or the past. They vote based on how they perceive the present and they attribute what they see to the current President. Thus, many think that the good economy during the presidency of Drumpf was his doing and they can’t see it as largely a continuation of Obama’s policies. They even think that prior to Drumpf that the economy was terrible. Biden took over the mess that his predecessor was largely responsible for, and now everyone blames him for the mess, not that Biden has not made mistakes. Add this onto the hyper-partisanship we have and the dumb things the left is doing to piss off voters in red and purple states, and you are poised for disaster.

      1. I suspect that in the next two elections, politics will outweigh economics in the minds of voters. Still, some Trump voters who like his racism and brutal outlook will undoubtedly claim that they voted for his economic prowess. If that excuse isn’t enough, they have Biden’s supposed senility and the Dems supposed fascism and/or socialism.

    3. Have you pondered the irony that Americans must vote one party, probably for life, to prevent a dictatorship?

      I don’t disagree in principle, the GOP in charge would be disastrous. It’s the most dangerous organisation in human history. A party that will cheerfully drive the black-smoking, oil-bubbling engine of humankind over the cliff while half of its constitutents believe Jesus will swoop in and whisk them away just before we all hit rock bottom. Party “moderates” like Mitt Romney days ago declared that he doesn’t want to allow Russians to sell energy to Europe (via the Baltic Sea), which it wants to buy. Whatever free market! And Wouldn’t It Be a Shame If Something Happened To It? Now that wars died down a bit, America’s leadership, the arms dealers, are looking for the next threat narrative to keep the dollars flowing. If Ukraine/Russia doesn’t move the shekels, maybe Iran will. There’s clearly work done there.

      Even though the GOP would be disastrous, it’s not that the alternative is exactly great. Especially also because they need not concern themselves with what ordinary Americans want, since everyone must vote them anyway. This attitude makes them complicit in a slide towards autoritarianism. I find it strange to see the Democrats as democratic, after their documented primary shenanigans in 2016, and probably 2020. The USA is a great country, and Americans deserve better, but it looks like you’re royally screwed. Maybe we all are.

  2. The Winnie the Pooh illustrations weren’t done by Milnes but rather by the wonderful (and brave) artist E. H. Shepard.

    1. “[T]he wonderful (and brave) artist E. H. Shepard” – indeed. He was already in his mid-thirties when WWI broke out and a couple of years later he was awarded the Military Cross. His citation read:

      For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. As forward Observation Officer he continued to observe and send back valuable information, in spite of heavy shell and machine gun fire. His courage and coolness were conspicuous.


    1. Have we not seen the sheep in a heart before? I am sure we have…

      Btw oral health linked to dementia so keep those pegs clean!

      1. How do you know that the causation arrow doesn’t go in the other direction (dementia leads to bad oral health)…that seems more plausible actually. There could also be a third factor that explains both.

        Beware the correlation = causation monkey!

        1. Causation can run in both directions of course. Having poor dental health might be a causal agent in the development of dementia but once one suffers from dementia it is quite likely that one’s ability to care for oneself effectively will decline and, without adequate support of carers, this may manifest itself in various poor health outcomes, including poor dental health.

    2. “Archie Leach” was also the name of the character John Cleese played in A Fish Called Wanda. Cleese wrote the film as well. Presumably he wanted to signify his character as being the opposite of Cary Grant.

  3. According to the BBC:

    The British man who took four people hostage at a synagogue in Texas had been investigated by MI5. […] He had been on the British security service’s watchlist as a “subject of interest” in 2020 and was investigated in the second half of that year.

    But by 2021 Akram, who had a criminal record in the UK, had moved from the active list to the former subject of interest list and was no longer considered a threat.

    Sadly, it’s not the first time that these security assessments have been woefully inadequate.

    1. Why he was not on a no fly list in the U.S. is also a very big failure. How a non citizen obtained a gun or at least finding out how he got the gun should be heavily investigated. I think he obviously had a lot of help.

      1. Yes, a lot of failures all around. It would be interesting to know what his criminal convictions here in the UK were for. Two teenagers in England have been arrested and are being interviewed by police in connection with the hostage-taking incident, but the police haven’t released any further details. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-60019251

        1. According to The Times: “Akram’s criminal record included an assault connected with a drug deal, violent disorder and driving offences. It is understood that he had never been arrested for terrorism offences”.

          Also: “Associates in Blackburn said that Akram, who was estranged from his wife and had six children, had a temper and tried to impose his strict religious values on others. They said he had become increasingly religious, had distanced himself from his family and had taken to Wahhabism, a fundamentalist strain of Islam.”

          1. Let’s hope the rabbi who, I read, helped his congregants to escape by throwing a chair at the terrorist, gets one. For next time.

    2. The problem is that if the security assessments were more stringent then you’d have tens of thousands being “watched”, and the police and security services don’t have anything like the resources for that.

  4. Most of the day yesterday the attack in the Colleyville, Tx church was covered on MSNBC and a few times on CNN. I realize many do not watch television, especially this far left media as many call it, but it was there all day yesterday. Maddow covered it last night on her show as well. I might add that the Rabbi was very glad for the help they had received over the years from the FBI and other police organizations for the training they have received. He believed that is what saved them in this event.

  5. I recall that one of my favorite movies from my childhood in the 1950’s was a sympathetic treatment of jim thorpe called “Jim Thorpe All American”. It may have been in black andwhite. While I do not recall it generalizing on his mis-treatment by the Olympic Committee being related to his being an American Indian, it clearly emphasized how silly it was to punish him for gleaning a few dollars from an industrial summer league baseball team in comparison with his grand accomplishments for the U.S. in being designated the world’s greatest athlete by winning the gold in the Olympic decathlon.

  6. I wonder how well known Winnie the Pooh would be if it weren’t for Disney? And the same for Snow White, Cinderella, and Pinocchio? It’s all very well to pooh-pooh the commercialization of these tales, but at the end of the day, who really reads Grimms’ Fairy Tales who wouldn’t do so because of Disney? How many of us read La Fontaine’s Fables?

    1. The Winnie-the-Pooh books are still best-sellers in the UK, although I guess a fair number are bought for grandchildren by grandparents who are nostalgic for their own childhoods. (Guilty as charged!)

      Milne lived near the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, which is an area of ancient heathland, the largest piece of public open-access land in SE England, and a great place for a long walk. Many of Shepard’s illustrations in the Pooh books are of locations in the Forest that are still identifiable today. The nearby village of Hartfield has a store called Pooh Corner selling stuffed toys and other items based on the characters; sadly, many of them are of the third-rate Disney imitations rather than the originals.

      1. The Ashdown forest is very interesting, botany-wise. It has dwarf oaks and a sandy soil, much like the Long Island dwarf pine plains in Westhampton Beach NY,which are part of the much larger LI pine barrens that occupy the center of the island and once extended into NYC. I am happy that it is recognized for its vegetation and that it is a haven for walkers, and hope that it will be forever preserved. (PS: re the Indian version of Elvis was submitted by the former US
        Attorney General, Eastern District, NYC, Preet Bharara. I wish he were still in that job! He was great!

        1. For clarification purposes, Lorna, Preet Bharara is the former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (based in Manhattan) not the Eastern District (based across the bridge in Brooklyn). The US Attorney General, OTOH, is head of the entire US Justice Department, based in Washington, DC.

          The US Attorneys in all 94 federal districts across the nation work under the auspices of the US Attorney General.

    2. I tend to dislike Disney movies and have hardly ever seen one completely, I learned English with the Winnie the Pooh books (among others). Grimm’s fairy tales were read to me by my grandmother, then I read them by myself. None of my favorite childhood Grimm’s Märchen were ever taken up by Disney, I believe. Some of La Fontaines fables were part of the school curriculum. But then, I am German, these things may be very different in the US.

  7. Wow, just looked at Thorpe’s wiki page. He was taller than average, even for today, and a natural 200lbs (about 90 kilos, or 14.5 stone for you Brits), and obviously very fast. Just imagine his physique and performance under modern training methods…

  8. Last Sunday CBS’ 60 Minutes had a piece on the Anne Frank story, and I think they were the ones that broke it. A book indeed has also come out. Experts in the Netherlands are skeptical, though.

    1. Re PCC 916. Like a UK monarch you might like to have 9/16 for an unofficial birthday. (1620: The Mayflower departs England for the New World.)

      1. And the minor planet “916 America” seems to be a symbol of international peace through science:

        Originally designated 916ΣI, it was renamed ‘916 America’ on 24 February 1923 after the Council of Astronomers at Pulkovo Observatory decided to commemorate “the friendly relations of the astronomical observatories and astronomers”.

        (Although Wikipedia also adds, “Another possible reason for the name was as a mark of appreciation for the help given during the 1921 Russian famine by the American Relief Administration under the later President Herbert Hoover”.) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/916_America

  9. It’s so weird, just the other day I was eating a salad of blackberry, acacia flower, and violet, with a sandalwood-Kirsch dressing, and I thought, “This taste reminds me of an excellent red wine.”

    Said no one ever.

    1. Yeah, I kind of wondered what a “forward personality” would taste like.

      I mostly just smile at stuff like that, as avoiding wine is a life-and-death issue for me. I’m allergic to sulfites.


  10. “A pessimist is never disappointed.” I’m not so sure. The world is so constituted that things can ALWAYS be worse than expected, and can then get even worse than that, so the only person who can never be disappointed is someone who has given up completely. Despair is the only vaccine against disappointment.

  11. “Archie Leach” moments in Cary Grant films:
    In “His Girl Friday” Grant’s character says “Listen; the last man that said that to me was Archie Leach just a week before he cut his throat.”
    In “Arsenic and Old Lace” there is a tombstone in a nearby cemetery for “Archie Leach.”

  12. Reusing passwords is a very dangerous practice. I used to do it but decided that it was just too dangerous. There are many password managers available on all platforms that can make maintaining a large set of passwords a breeze. I’ve found that an encrypted spreadsheet in the cloud is a good way to keep track of passwords and lots of other personal data. I haven’t (knowingly) been hacked yet. (Knocking on wood.)

  13. We have to come up with some good Democratic candidates for 2024. Biden will be too old and Harris hasn’t done much…

    Oh I think we’re at least a year away from that. Not only could circumstances change to give Harris a chance to shine (maybe she takes lead in getting a pro-choice bill passed this summer…), but we didn’t see the last two Dem presidents appear on the political scene anywhere near this early. If you were to analogize Obama and (Bill) Clinton to 2024, then neo-Obama won’t declare they’re running until February 2023, and neo-Clinton won’t declare they’re running until October 2023. Plenty of time for a popular candidate to appear yet. Right now the Dems need to focus on November and getting some positive legislation passed before the mid-terms.


    The hostage case attempt to avoid anti-Semitism is just baffling. This is like that right-winger who showed up at the Pizza place in DC looking for pedophiles – they shouldn’t act surprised when they’re crazy rhetoric is taken seriously by someone.

    Radical Muslim schools teach young Muslims that “the Jews” control the west. Then anti-Israeli news shows, TV channels, papers, and inflammatory radio shows talk about how “the Jews” control the west. Yet these sources, these folks express surprise and pretend there is no connection when a Muslim with mental health problems decides that the people he needs to take hostage in order to leverage a “hostage swap” type solution is – surprise surprise – “the Jews.” This is what such rhetoric does. This is the consequence. Maybe not the personal bigotry of individual discrimination, but the general bigotry of believing hateful, terrible and ridiculous things about an entire group of people.

  14. You didn’t ask but Webster’s on the US $10 Series 1869-1880, an image that almost looks like it was engraved from the photo but reversed. (I kinda have a memory that that’s what happens in engraving – if you base it straight from the image it prints in reverse.

  15. There is another, also disgusting, aspect to the krater story. At the time, the Met had what was likely the finest collection of ancient Roman gold coins in existence – an irreplaceable research tool. Director Thomas Hoving used the purchase of the krater as an excuse to de-accession the coins, rather than have a fund-raiser to cover the cost of the krater. Why? Because some of Hoving’s friends and major donors [including the Hunt brothers of silver bubble fame] coveted the coins. The numismatic community asked for time to raise money to buy the collection for the American Numismatic Society [which would have kept the collection in NYC], but that would have meant the Hunt brothers would never posses the coins, so that request was denied. I guess just to rub it in [and to make it tougher for locals to bid], although NYC was home of several the leading numismatic auction houses in the world, the Met sent the coins to a European auction house. Of course, thanks to Hoving, the Met ended up with neither the coins or the krater. But the Hunts got their coins – well, at least until they went bankrupt.

Leave a Reply