Thursday: Hili dialogue

February 10, 2022 • 7:15 am

Good morning on yet another chilly Chicago Thursday, February 10, 2022: National “Have a Brownie Day.” But I don’t have one! It’s also National Cream Cheese Brownie Day, National Flannel Day, Umbrella Day, International Cribbage Day, and Teddy Day. Here’s Toasty, my own teddy bear, who’s as old as I am! Like me, he’s battered and depilated, but we’re still here. I will be buried with him—if he doesn’t die first!

 

Wine of the Day:  Here we have a nice California Riesling: Marietta Cellars’ 2020 “Old Vine Riesling”, or OVR, which costs around $15. The vines are indeed old (a wizened one is shown on the label), and the reviews are good (the captious Robert Parker gave it a 92, a high score for an inexpensive white). Because a fragrant and slightly sweet Riesling is a perfect accompaniment for spicy food, I had it with a big bowl of channa masala (curried chickpeas) from Trader Joe’s, mixed with short-grained Asian rice.

The wine is not too sweet but with a touch of sweetness: this were a German Riesling it would fall between a Kabinett and a Spätlese. Fruity notes in the nose include: honey (or honeysuckle) and melon. It was a good wine to go with the Indian food. (Again, I usually have beer.) If you see this for about $15 (remember, it’s the 2020 vintage), snap it up.

News of the Day:

*Here’s a NYT editorial that I like, as it emphasizes forgiveness, even though from a Jewish point of view. It’s by write Nathan Hersh and is called “Whoopi Goldberg apologized. Punishing her further is un-Jewish.” (As you remember, Goldberg put her foot in it when arguing that the Holocaust wasn’t about race but about a fight between two groups of white people. For that she was suspended for two weeks, a punishment that is outrageous. Her apology should have been sufficient. As Hersh writes:

But ABC’s decision to suspend her from “The View” for two weeks, after she apologized, is equally troubling. Silencing people for ignorance and a misunderstanding of antisemitism is largely unhelpful and is, at its core, un-Jewish; Jewish tradition emphasizes the acceptance and importance of apology.

One of Judaism’s most famous sages, the 12th-century philosopher Maimonides, made clear the role the forgiver should play in a case like Ms. Goldberg’s: Help the wrongdoer overcome her ignorance and then forgive her. Maimonides said: “One must not show himself cruel by not accepting an apology; he should be easily pacified, and provoked with difficulty. When an offender asks his forgiveness, he should forgive wholeheartedly and with a willing spirit.”

The problem with punishment is it uses shame, rather than teaching and reflection, as the tool to address what is at best a clumsy misstatement and at worst a failure of understanding. Shame doesn’t foster a better relationship with the truth, or history; it simply forces silence, and that can breed resentment. In turn, silence and resentment fuel antisemitism. The better answer in these situations is obvious, but not easy: education, education, education.

I remember that Dick Lewontin kept a copy of Maimonides’s A Guide for the Perplexed in our lab library, and I always wondered why there was a 12th-century book on Jewish ethics sitting among all the evolution and population genetics books.

*You remember the famous long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, right?  I’m amazed that, at age 64, she swam from Havana to Key West (111 miles), becoming the first person to do so without being inside a shark cage. Anyway, she has a new op-ed in the Washington Post, “Celebrate trans athletes. But give cisgender women a fair shot at victory.”

We must certainly find a way to celebrate our trans athletes. At the same time, cisgender women have fought for decades to demand a level playing field. Here is the crux of the issue: women’s rights thrown up against human rights. But it’s the science, the biology, that must drive the argument.

And that, as I’ve always said, is the way it should be. The problem is that we don’t have the science.

When we compare elite men’s achievement standards to women’s, the gap in most sports is a huge 10 to 12 percent. It’s testosterone that drives that performance gap, catapulting athletes to superior brute strength and more explosive power of movement. That is why sports authorities have for decades judged fairness by testing testosterone in both men and women. But hormones aren’t the only factor.

To be clear, trans women are women. Full stop. We must also be clear that trans women who have gone through male puberty acquire physical advantages female puberty does not provide: More red blood cells store and use oxygen more efficiently. Wider shoulders mean a leverage advantage, and narrower hips make for more efficient movement dynamics. Longer legs and arms, bigger hands and feet, can more easily handle a ball or cover a field.

. . .Perhaps a fairer plan is to give competitions a new “open” classification: Cisgender, transgender, intersex — all are welcome. Okay, there probably won’t be many entries just yet. But there weren’t many women competing in sports when they were first allowed, either. [Kathrine] Switzer ran solo not that long ago, and now nearly half of the 30,000 Boston marathoners are women.[Switzer insisted on running in the Boston Marathon, which at that time was only for men, and was forced off the course by officials.]

I feel for transgender athletes, and for the people who love them. Many have encountered shame, bullying, hard knocks; sports can, for a moment, replace all that with happiness and confidence. Who wouldn’t feel for an “other” who has summoned the courage to live her truth? And who now, atop her other challenges, suffers criticism for playing the sports she loves? Transgender women need the chance to compete, and to win; doing so fairly will make their achievements all the more rewarding.

Let transgender women athletes run like the wind, as they deserve. And at the same time, let’s allow cisgender women to run against their equals. We’re not at a solution yet, but open minds and empathetic hearts will lead us to the answer.

I could have written that—and in fact have written about the same thing (except that the answer has to involve science more than “empathic hearts”. For her empathy, Nyad will still be demonized as a transphobe. It’s only a matter of time.

And here’s the completion of Nyad’s 111-mile swim:

*Here is my theory, which is mine. I will now give you my theory. Wait a minute. Okay, here it is: People in general do not like fish. Yes, some people scarf down fishy and malodorous  anchovies and even fermented shark with gusto, but the most popular fish are fish that taste like meat.  I refer to salmon, tuna, flounder, and “white” fish, which, as you know, are not “fishy”. That’s why they’re prized. I just found anecdotal confirmation of my theory (which is mine) in this ad for Natural Catch Tuna Fish. The paragraph (my emphasis):

Natural Catch VS. Supermarket Brands

Natural Catch quality is unmatched to any other brand on any supermarket shelf. We bought a $5 can from our local supermarket and compared it to Natural Catch. The video speaks for itself, there is no comparison in quality. Also Natural Catch provides great taste without the fishy smell at all. These Yellowfin Tuna Filet’s  [sic] in a can are a game changer. This is how canned tuna should look, smell and taste like.

I also see that this brand is caught only by pole-and-line fishing, so it’s much more sustainable. I eat a fair amount of tuna in lunch sandwiches (though mostly PB&J), and may switch to this brand. (Go here to see other recommendations for good canned tuna.) But, returning to the question, why is tuna fish by far the most popular fish in America? BECAUSE ITS THE FISH THAT TASTES MOST LIKE MEAT!

*Meanwhile, in the Beijing Winter Olympics, people continue to win medals, while most people don’t win medals. The Russian ice skating team hasn’t yet been awarded its gold medal, with rumors afloat that one of the Russians who “medaled” might have failed a drug test. That might be the 15-year-old figure skating phenom Kamila Valieva, who landed two quads in a single bout a few days ago.

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 911,072, an increase of 2,576 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 5,798,113, an increase of about 13,600 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on February 10 include:

Here’s an illustration of the murder with the caption from Wikipedia:

The killing of John Comyn in the Greyfriars church in Dumfries, as seen by Felix Philippoteaux, a 19th-century illustrator.

They made it, but it was a bloody and horrific trip (read the last link). Ten ships were in the fleet that left Lisbon.

  • 1567 – Lord Darnley, second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, is found strangled following an explosion at the Kirk o’ Field house in Edinburgh, Scotland, a suspected assassination.
  • 1840 – Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom marries Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

Here’s the earliest known photo of Victoria (ca 1845), taken with her oldest daughter. The Queen would have been about 26.

Here’s the round in which Carnera, a great bear of a man, knocks out Schaaf, who was suffering from both flu and meningitis:

Malgorzata’s own story is connected with this deportation. Her mother, her father, and her mother’s two sisters (one of which had a daughter), all of whom lived in Lwów, a large Polish town, were deported by the Soviets in 1941 to Uzbekistan. Her mother got pregnant and gave birth to Malgorzata there. The adults earned food by working on a collective farm, but the food was too meager to keep them alive, so one sister supplemented the family’s fare by sewing.  Her father was soon deported to a gulag and, except for one visit before being sent to the front to fight for the Russians (where he died), that was the last time the family saw Malgorzata’s father. In the meantime, her mother’s other four siblings, their families, and dozens of relatives weren’t deported, but stayed in the small Polish town of Turka. When the Nazis took over Poland in June 1941, all the rest of that Jewish family left in Polands were sent to concentrations camps, where they were killed immediately. Malgorzata her mother, her cousin and her two aunts returned to Poland in 1946.

Here’s a short clip showing the incident, and the bridge over which the prisoners were swapped:

This clarifies the order of succession should the President and VP die.

  • 1996 – IBM supercomputer Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov in chess for the first time.
  • 2021 – The traditional Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is canceled for the first time because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1609 – John Suckling, English poet and playwright (d. 1642)
  • 1775 – Charles Lamb, English poet and essayist (d. 1834)
  • 1890 – Boris Pasternak, Russian poet, novelist, and literary translator Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1960)

Pasternak was awarded the Prize in 1958 for Dr. Zhivago, but the outraged USSR (his novel was banned there because it wasn’t “socialist realism”) forced him to decline it. Here he is in the year he won:

  • 1893 – Jimmy Durante, American actor, singer, and pianist (d. 1980)
  • 1905 – Chick Webb, American drummer and bandleader (d. 1939)

Here’s Ella Fitzgerald singing “St. Louis Blues” with Webb’s band at the Savoy Ballroom. Did you know Ella could swing that hard?

  • 1920 – Alex Comfort, English physician and author (d. 2000)
  • 1927 – Leontyne Price, American operatic soprano
  • 1929 – Jim Whittaker, American mountaineer
  • 1929 – Lou Whittaker, American mountaineer

The Whittaker brothers are 93 today and are still going strong. Both identical twins reached the top of Everest, though on different expeditions:

  • 1950 – Mark Spitz, American swimmer
  • 1967 – Laura Dern, American actress, director, and producer

If you see one movie with Laura Dern, make it “Rambling Rose” (1991), which gets a critics’ review of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. She plays an errant nanny and part-time prostitute in Depression-era Georgia. It’s a fantastic film.  She co-stars with Robert Duvall. Here’s a scene when Duvall catches her in bed in his house with a man:

Those who left the mortal coil on February 10 include:

  • 1567 – Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, consort of Mary, Queen of Scots (b. 1545)
  • 1912 – Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, English surgeon and academic (b. 1827)

Here’s Lister in 1902:

  • 1923 – Wilhelm Röntgen, German physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1845)

And Röntgen, who won the very first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901:

  • 1957 – Laura Ingalls Wilder, American author (b. 1867)
  • 1992 – Alex Haley, American soldier, journalist, and author (b. 1921)
  • 2021 – Larry Flynt, American publisher (b. 1942)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is quite dramatic at breakfast with Szaron:

Hili: This is the naked truth.
A: What truth?
Hili: The truth about two cats and an empty table.
In Polish:
Hili: To jest naga prawda.
Ja: O czym?
Hili: O dwóch kotach i pustym stole.
Szaron and Kulka on the kitchen windowsill (noms are there, too):

From Anna:

From Jean who found this on FB:

 

A Kliban classic from Barry. So much for the report that Americans read a dozen books a year. That’s bogus!

From Masih:

The ineffably sad result of Turkey letting her family return her to Iran:

A deep-sea fish posted by Ziya Tong:

From Ginger K., getting us ready for Caturday:

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Matthew. It’s amazing stuff like this that turns people into biologists. (Sound up.)

A photo of Fitzbillies a famous barkery in Cambridge, England, which looks like Hopper’s “Nighthawks” (that painting, by the way is in Chicago’s Art Institute):

The first one’s describe in Steve Gould’s Wonderful Life, about the creatures of the Burgess shale. They just found another fossil species:

55 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. I’m not clear as to why I should celebrate any kind of athlete. Sure, if one I like performs particularly well, I’ll celebrate that performance but as a general rule I don’t see any more reason (or even as much reason) to celebrate athletes than the people who keep the streets of Bristol clean.

    Bah humbug!

  2. I must say that I’m getting less sympathetic and more hard-nosed about the trans in sport issue.

    Nyad: “Here is the crux of the issue: women’s rights thrown up against human rights.”

    No, it’s simply not. There is no “human right” to be included in whatever sporting category one chooses. An 18-yr-old doesn’t have the right to be included in the U15 competition; a heavyweight boxer doesn’t have a “human right” to box against feather-weights; a mediocre runner doesn’t have a “right” to be included in an elite, invitation-only event.

    To be clear, trans women are women. Full stop.

    No they are not.

    Perhaps a fairer plan is to give competitions a new “open” classification: Cisgender, transgender, intersex — all are welcome. Okay, there probably won’t be many entries just yet.

    We already have it! Though it’s currently called the “men’s” category. Really, no-one will object to a trans-woman competing in it!

    We’re not at a solution yet, …

    Yes we are, see just above. Sometimes the answer is clear and easy: just keep sports segregated by sex (sex that is, not gender), as they always have been.

    1. I figured MTG wouldn’t know shit from Shinola, or her ass from a hole in the ground, but gazpacho from Gestapo? That’s as bad as when Scott Walker, then the Republican governor of Wisconsin, didn’t know mazel tov from Molotov.

      1. Wizard of Id cartoon: a guy sees a “Help Wanted” sign at a stable. The proprietor shows him a can of a dark substance and asks, What is this?” The guy, with a smirk on his face, replies, “Shinola.” The proprietor replies, “You’re hired.”

    2. I think that says more about MTG’s AutoIncorrect developing sentience, a level of taste, and a desire to undermine the vertebrate that is literally pressing it’s buttons.
      Anthropomorphizing AutoIncorrect is a more parsimonious explanation than anthropomorphizing MTG.

    3. Thank you for explaining that, because when I saw that headline I simply assumed that “gazpacho” had become this year’s “avocado toast” — a foodstuff that supposedly marks one as a member of an indifferent ruling class.

  3. So if you thought you had a tough life growing up, you didn’t. Just read that paragraph about Malgorzata’s story.

  4. “I remember that Dick Lewontin kept a copy of Maimonides’s A Guide for the Perplexed in our lab library”

    Getting a copy now…

    That’s some wise stuff there –

  5. I don’t think I am alone in thinking that suspending Whoopi is more of a kindness to her and to the studio. It would be a more severe punishment to keep her on the show during the immediate aftermath.

    1. IF I had heard about the kerfuffle, I might have been tempted to forgive “Goldberg” for not knowing about the hundreds of thousands of Indian (sense, “Raj”, including present day Pakistan and Bangladesh) troops who fought against the Japanese (not normally considered “white”) in SE Asia during WW2.
      But … didn’t the US Army (Europe and Pacific) include at least a few platoons of non-white soldiers too? I seem to remember reports of trouble when the segregated regiments were stored to camps in unsegregated parts of England and the white platoons getting banned from the towns’ pubs for causing too much trouble. So she’s got a serious ignorance problem there.
      She needs to get a better scriptwriter ; writing her own material seems to be a skill that acting school didn’t give her. Is the Terminator-Governor’s scriptwriter back on the market?

  6. The picture of your teddy bear is very sweet. I love teddy bears. I am in the middle of a decades long attempt to recover the type of teddy bear I had as a child, because he was destroyed for no good reason. Then I wrote a poem about Teddy(2004), and I was the one who destroyed the poem(2007) among other things that could not be recovered. I forgive myself and celebrate my love of teddy bears every day. I just remember the first line of my poem, “O Teddy, you are a shmatte now”. My late friend and dance teacher Fitzraven Sky let me perform it at one of her recitals. Standing on stage in a theatre inside of a church, I remember the hard wood floor. She rehearsed my poem with me, and wanted that line to be said with tremendous grief and other cheerful emotions(lol). I am grateful to her for that, probably why that poem’s first line stays with me.

    1. I have done some exploring online for very worn stuffed animals and damaged, creepy looking dolls. This being for an artsy photography project. It’s rather shocking how much they can cost now as collectors items.

    2. My wife still had her teddy bear when we got married, but a couple of years later our dog tore it to pieces. My childhood bear was a pre-Disney Winnie the Pooh that looked just like the original Pooh as depicted in the books. I also had a Piglet. My mother gave them both to my cousins. Pooh was gone, but I got Piglet back a few years ago–quite tattered and missing a leg.

  7. Interesting theory on the fish. I always say that I don’t like fish because it doesn’t have enough legs. I eat 2 legs or 4 legs. More is a no go. Less is also a no go. Maybe I just like the taste of meat….

    RE: Cats being teenagers. As the devoted slaves to 16 cats, our family theorizes that cats are primarily neotenous. Most of their behavior can be explained by a persistent nursing instinct in some way. We call them our little Axolotl cats.

    1. Cats are neotenous… that’s a good observation. Actually, I think it’s only pet cats. We tried to help a feral cat once, and I learned first-hand that an adult pussycat in a state of nature is really a wild animal. Over time we managed to get him to tolerate us (as long as he was being fed), but he was never “tame”. But pet cats — we raise them from babyhood, we give them names and feed and toilet them, give them warm safe places to sleep, and play with them over their whole lives, and they remain in a state of perpetual kittenhood. We love them like that, but they’re not true adults. [I once mentioned this theory to someone who recognized a similar phenomenon in humans — “frat boys”, he said.]

    2. I love all kinds of seafood. For the past year, I have been eating the Natural Catch brand mentioned by Jerry. It is far tastier than the supermarket brands. A bit pricey, but worth it. Give it a try.

    3. Good theory on the fish. Maybe I like oysters because in an illustrated edition of “The Walrus and the Carpenter” I read as child, the oysters had little legs (two as I recall) with which they walked along the beach with W and C. Delightfully, so do all the versions that come up in Google Images,…even though of course “they hadn’t any feet.” Delicious.

      1. I like oysters. scallops and shrimp, for starters, on pizza. No doubt I am a culinary blasphemer. I will feel guilty for a nanosecond.

  8. The problem is that we don’t have the science.

    The science will only inform the ethical decision, not make it. And while we don’t know what the science will ultimately say, we don’t need to wait for it: we can bucket the most likely possible answers and start working right now on the hard (i.e. social/ethical) problems of what to do when those answers arrive. So for example:
    1. Science discovers that no amount of (healthy) drug treatment can create parity. What do we do? What rules do we make?
    2. Science discovers that some healthy drug treatment can create parity over some length of time. What do we do. Bonus excursion: some trans athletes argue it is immoral and counter to every previous athletics code of conduct to *force* someone to use drugs merely to participate in athletics. What do we do about that? Second excursion: what if the length of time is 5 years? 10 years? For many athletics careers, telling someone they can’t compete until they are 25-30 might practically be a career-ender.
    3. Science discovers some drug regimen can create parity, but only if it’s taken during development/before full adulthood. What do we do? Does the answer change if the X in “before X” changes from 18 to 16 to 14 to 12?

    We need the science, but we don’t have to stop thinking about the social and ethical ramifications until the science arrives. We consider the span of likely solution space, and start figuring out what our good options are for all of the more likely solutions.

    ***

    one of the Russians who “medaled” might have failed a drug test. That might be the 15-year-old figure skating phenom Kamila Valieva, who landed two quads in a single bout a few days ago.

    I heard it was pretty clear she failed it, they just kept it quiet for the last two weeks. Given her status and the politics, I expect they decidede the prudent thing to do would be to confirm the results, and not say anything and not suspend her from competing in the Olympics until then. Preventing her from competing and then finding out the test was wrong is much much worse than letting her compete while you check it.

    The situation is a terrible shame. It is so frustrating that Russia (and China) does this. They have spectacular athletes to start with. Valieva is only 15, I have no doubt that she could learn and develop to jump quads and be a world champion throughout the next ten years without the drugs – IFher country wasn’t so frakking authoritarian about their programs. Russia, PLEASE STOP USING DRUGS IN YOUR ATHLETICS PROGRAMS. The world would love to see what someone like Valieva can do without them.

    1. It’s a bizarre situation; because she’s under 18 years old she won’t formally be named even if the results are confirmed to be positive. I believe she’s also not deemed to be responsible so it’s her coach who will be in the firing line.

  9. A deep-sea fish posted by Ziya Tong:

    An “angler fish” to within a genus or several. But … is she a virgin? and why is the distal end of her tail bent forwards?

  10. On your fish and meat theory, I have a thought. Most people prefer mild-tasting non-fish meat as well. We avoid so-called gamey meats and prefer the milder types. No wonder chicken is so popular.

    1. The Japanese don’t conform to this theory though. Strong, oily fish like mackerel are very popular…as are many other “fishy” tasting concoctions…then there’s Vietnamese/Thai “fish sauce” that is basically a fish/salt bomb. My theory is that this theory is mostly true for the Western palate.

    2. I wonder whether it’s a question of texture rather than, or in addition to, flavour. Jerry mentions tuna and salmon; in the UK, the favourite five also include cod, haddock and prawns – all firm-fleshed fish. My own favourites include monkfish, red mullet and John Dory. I can’t stand soft fish like plaice.

      And any fish that smells ‘fishy’ is almost certainly going off. Really fresh fish shouldn’t smell of much except the sea.

  11. The first one’s describe in Steve Gould’s Wonderful Life, about the creatures of the Burgess shale. They just found another fossil species:
    A century later, researchers describe second opabiniid ever discovered https://t.co/68JpDPu9SC via @physorg_com

    The actual publication is in Proc.Roy.Soc.B – who I’ve seen adverts for recently, somewhere ; are they coming up to their 450th anniversary or something? Full paper is Open Access at https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rspb.2021.2093

    They only have one specimen “KUMIP 314087 represents a complete specimen preserved as a compression in dorsolateral view”; but Opabinia was rare in the Burgess collection too, IIRC. The authors quote only 0.04 (by character-based anatomy) probability for the new specimen being in the Radiocaridids (the group that includes the well-known Anomalocaris, and a half-dozen more genera, extending in time into the Devonian), but a rather more convincing probability of 0.68 that the characters of this organism align it with Opabinia. That assignment is critically dependent on the presence of a “proboscis”, also the most peculiar character of Opabinia. The “head” region of this new specimen is poorly preserved and the “proboscis” and five eyes of the original genus quite unclear (maybe 3 eyespots preserved ; maybe). It’s certainly an odd head, but with only one specimen … “more data!”. Possibly the head on this specimen has been chewed by something? Without including the “proboscis”, the phylogeny doesn’t support Opabiniids as being a statistically identifiable group at all.
    It’s an interesting discovery, but not entirely convincing, to me, that this is a new Opabiniid. There are a lot of scrappily preserved genera down there (sense of “down in the Cambrian” and “down in the phylogenetic roots of the Arthropoda”), poorly preserved and hard to interpret. “More data!”

    Cthulhu cultists are going to love the array of tail “blades”, when they realise how tentacle-like they are.

  12. I had the same epiphany about “people like the more meat-like fish” when I was young!

    I have a feeling this idea is more widespread than we think.

  13. My grandfather’s family was also from Lvov in the Ukraine. He left for the USA at age 17 alone. He lost his parents and 5 or 6 siblings in that same time frame. There was a very active Jewish community at that time.
    I knew some of his other siblings who got out before the invasion. They all settled in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh.

  14. The best tuna I can find is from Spain, and the brand I usually buy is Ortiz. I’d try the Natural Catch as it looks very much the same. Both brands are expensive, but worth it. Especially if your making a Salad Niçoise, or a tuna based pasta.

    1. I make a Salade Nicoise quite often and the choice of tuna makes a huge difference. I prefer the European ones packed in olive oil. I haven’t tried Ortiz but I’m going to look for it. Thanks.

      1. I make a lot of Niçoise salads as well, yes, good quality tuna (and anchovies) make a huge difference. You won’t be disappointed by the Ortiz.

  15. The great Leontyne Price in the “Libera Me” of Verdi’s Requiem Mass. ‘

    For me, one of the greatest music video clips ever. I don’t understand, however, why at the climax of the soloist’s vocal line the video director chose to show us Herbert von Karajan conducting instead of Leontyne Price hitting her notes and emoting.

    https://youtu.be/_d86QHlsHwI

    1. As an atheist of Jewish background, I sometimes feel torn about loving some explicitly religious music, in this case specifically Christian (Catholic) to boot. Along with just averring to the inherent quality of the music apart from its text and meaning, it helps me in the case specifically of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem to note (1) biographically there is basis to say that Verdi personally was agnostic, and (2) the text can be understood as expressing a “fond hope” in such matters as afterlife more so than expressing a firm belief.

  16. I know many people who don’t even like “meaty” fish. They just don’t like fish at all. I will eat any fish on offer but I’ve never found enough flesh on anchovies to make them scrumptious. I’d be willing to try fermented shark but the opportunity has yet to arise.

    1. You know it’s going to be a bad day when…

      Having woke up hung over and late for work you decide to just throw on the clothes you wore home from the party…..and there aren’t any.

    2. There is indeed Mrs. Toasty, who’s my sister’s bear. But Toasty does have clothes: a spiffy pair of overalls made by my Mom. I removed them because only Teddy desnudo can show how battered he is!

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