Tuesday: Hili dialogue

February 15, 2022 • 7:30 am

Good morning on Tuesday February 15, 2022: National Gumdrop Day. I like the fruit-flavored ones but not the “spicy” ones.

It’s also I Want Butterscotch Day, National Hippo Day, Susan B. Anthony Day (she was born on Feb. 15, 1820), Singles Awareness Day, National Flag of Canada Day (in Canada; see below under 1965), and John Frum Day in Vanatu. I must go there some day to see where and how a new religion, with a cargo-bestowing GI, was founded.

Do you recognize the narrator of this fascinating 11-minute video about Cargo Cults? The inhabitants are still marching in formation and flying the American flag, hoping that John Frum will return some day. Before you say that’s silly, remember that Christians are still waiting to Jesus to return some day with the Cargo of Salvation

News of the Day:

*Have a look at this large NYT map of where Russian troops are stationed before the Big Invasion begins. I can’t reproduce it here as it’s too large, but the link will show you, and a smaller version is below.  They’re in Russia, Belarus, and Crimea, of course, but there are some to the West in Moldova! What are they doing there? Ukraine is surrounded, and Sunday’s estimate was that 130,000 Russian troops surrounding that poor beleaguered nation.

*The Associated Press reports rumors that Putin may still be open to a diplomatic solution, or at least some more palaver, but I don’t trust him. He’s probably buying time. HOWEVER, I notice that this morning’s NYT reports that Russia is pulling back some troops from the border, though military exercises continue.

*Our two renegade Democratic Senators are at odds—this time with each other. Trying to work on a form of Biden’s Build Back Better Bill that Joe Manchin would find acceptable, he’s proposed raising taxes:

Mr. Manchin has pointed to raising the corporate tax rate to 25% from 21%, raising the top capital-gains rate to 28% from 23.8% and increasing taxes on private-equity managers’ carried-interest income.

But those are precisely what Sen. Kyrsten Sinema doesn’t want: she has her own methods of raising the income needed to foot the bill (Uncle Joe has dissimulated about where the dosh would come from).

Other Democrats broadly support the tax increases that Mr. Manchin is again advocating, but dropping the proposals became one of many concessions the party made to Ms. Sinema and Mr. Manchin over months of talks last year. The compromise surprised many in the party.

Is there going to be a compromise that allows a tie and thus the passing of the BBB Bill, or a 51-49 Senate vote against that bill? Stay tuned.

*The International Olympic Committee has ruled that Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, accused of taking a banned drug, can continue to compete in individual events, but will not be allowed to get any medals until her case is resolved. And they haven’t yet resolved whether team Russia, which she was on, will get their group gold medal. Other teams, including the U.S., are protesting vehemently, saying the committee is allowing Russia to get away with pervasive doping It. Seriously, is there to be no punishment, at long last?

*Fed up with the truckers and horn blaring, the Canadians let Justin Trudeau know that they were mad as hell and weren’t going to take it any more. And so, the pliable Prime Minister, for the first time in Canadian history, and under heavy pressure, invoked Canada’s Emergencies Act.

The law, approved in 1988 but never before applied, gives the federal government sweeping authority to override provincial powers, to ban public assembly in certain locations and to remove people and property from prohibited spaces.

Separately on Monday, police arrested 11 people and seized guns, body armor and “a large quantity of ammunition” in Coutts, Alberta, one of several sites around Canada where demonstrators have been protesting vaccine mandates and other coronavirus restrictions, authorities said.

Officers searched three trailers early Monday and seized 13 long guns, handguns, a machete and high-capacity magazines, the RCMP said in a news release. On Sunday night, they said, a large farm tractor and a semi truck attempted to ram a police car. The officer in the car was able to avoid a collision; police said they have identified the driver of the tractor and seized both vehicles.

Tensions remain high as the protests entered a third week. . .

I hope that Canada has strict enough gun laws to put these guys away for a while. Meanwhile, the disaffection has spread to both Brussels and Paris, where similar disruptions are planned.

*Matthew alerted me to this Guardian article about a huge mass falling of birds from the sky in Mexico on February 7. It’s not clear why, but it’s probably due to a predator:

Hundreds of yellow-headed blackbirds have been filmed appearing to fall from the sky, some of them dying, in mysterious circumstances in the northern Mexican city of Cuauhtémoc.

The cause of death remains unclear but experts said it was most likely the flock was “flushed” from above by a predatory bird swooping down to make a catch.

The footage from a security camera shows a flock of migratory birds descending on to houses like a cloud of black smoke. Most birds manage to fly off but subsequent footage shows carcasses of the distinctive black and yellow birds scattered on streets of the city.

. . .“This looks like a raptor like a peregrine or hawk has been chasing a flock, like they do with murmurating starlings, and they have crashed as the flock was forced low,” he said. “You can see that they act like a wave at the beginning, as if they are being flushed from above.”

But you can’t truly appreciate this unless you see it, and I found a video on YouTube. I feel bad for those birds who died when they crashed into the ground. They apparently didn’t see the ground.

*A federal court ruled that racially segregated “affinity events” in Wellesley, Massachusetts’s secondary schools were illegal (see here and here).

Last year the nonprofit Parents Defending Education sued in federal court on behalf of three Massachusetts families over Wellesley policies and practices that they said violated the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment and civil-rights law. The settlement looks like a solid win for the parents.

Wellesley’s “affinity groups” had held events aimed at specific races. School officials claimed no students or staff were excluded, but the families argued that isn’t what their children were told. The complaint quoted an email where a middle-school teacher said a specific “healing space” was “for our Asian/Asian-American and Students of Color, *not* for students who identify only as White.”

Under the settlement, Wellesley agreed not to “exclude students from affinity-based group sessions or any other school-sponsored activities on the basis of race.” The district won’t identify events “as intended only for certain racial groups.” It “will provide notice” of affinity-based group sessions “to all grade-eligible students, regardless of their race.” Announcements will feature a disclaimer saying that “this event is open to all students regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation.”

Of course, that disclaimer won’t eliminate the de facto segregated nature of such events.

*Sunday’s readers’ poll on the likelihood of Russia invading Ukraine gave these results (below) showing pretty much of a tie between “yes” and “no”.


*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 920,959, an increase of 2,400 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 5,847,069, an increase of about 10,800 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on February 15 include:

This letter, now deemed “problematic” for obvious reasons, was published in several editions. Here’s the cover of the Latin edition printed in Basel in 1494:

My birthplace (though not in the 18th century!)

  • 1879 – Women’s rights: US President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • 1898 – The battleship USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana harbor in Cuba, killing about 274 of the ship’s roughly 354 crew. The disaster pushes the United States to declare war on Spain.

Here’s a “cofferdam” built around the Maine in 1910 to raise it. Although there’s on consensus on why she blew up, it’s most likely that it was a fire in the coal bunker, which blew up stored ammunition. Nevertheless, we went to war:

  • 1909 – The Flores Theater fire in Acapulco, Mexico kills 250.
  • 1923 – Greece becomes the last European country to adopt the Gregorian calendar.
  • 1925 – The 1925 serum run to Nome: The second delivery of serum arrives in Nome, Alaska.

The dogsled run, delivering serum that stemmed a diphtheria outbreak, involved 20 mushers and 150 sled dogs traveling across 674 miles of wintery Alaska. What a feat! Here’s one of the mushers, labeled “Leonhard Seppala with his dogs after the serum run in 1925. His lead dog, Togo, on the far left.”

Hero dogs! The run is remembered with the yearly running of the Iditarod, which winds up in Nome and lasts 8-15 days.

ENIAC being programmed:

Here’s one of the caves (my arrow) showing some of the scrolls in situ:

  • 1961 – Sabena Flight 548 crashes in Belgium, killing 73, including the entire United States figure skating team along with several of their coaches and family members.
  • 1965 – A new red-and-white maple leaf design is adopted as the flag of Canada, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign banner.
  • 1971 – The decimalisation of British coinage is completed on Decimal Day.
  • 1992 – Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is sentenced in Milwaukee to life in prison.

He killed 17 people and was of course given life without parole. He was bludgeoned to death in a shower room in 1994. Here’s his mugshot:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1564 – Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer, physicist, and mathematician (d. 1642)
  • 1820 – Susan B. Anthony, American suffragist and activist (d. 1906)
  • 1874 – Ernest Shackleton, Anglo-Irish captain and explorer (d. 1922)

I had longed to see Shackleton’s grave and the king penguin colonies on South Georgia Island this trip, but we’re not going there. It’s traditional to have a tot of whiskey at his gravesite:

Grave of Ernest Shackleton, Grytvyken, Island of South Georgia

Gies not only hid the Frank family, but rescued Anne’s diaries and returned them to her father, Otto, after the war. Here are the two of them in 1958:

From “The making of Maus” in the NYT (click to enlarge).


Here’s Chris Farley as Matt Foley, a motivational speaker who lives in a van down by the river.

  • 1995 – Megan Thee Stallion, American rapper

Those who withered on February 15 include:

  • 1928 – H. H. Asquith, English lawyer and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1852)
  • 1965 – Nat King Cole, American singer and pianist (b. 1919)
  • 1984 – Ethel Merman, American actress and singer (b. 1908)
  • 1988 – Richard Feynman, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)

Here’s Feynman on the show “Take the World from Another Point of View”.

There are four YouTube segments to this film; this is the first:

Gellhorn met Ernest Hemingway when she was a war correspondent; she became his third wife. Here they are in China in 1941

Radziwill, born Caroline Lee Bouvier, was Jackie Kennedy’s younger sister:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has a special request. When I asked Malgorzata if tenderloin was Hili’s favorite food, and whether she cooked it first, she responded:

Yes, it is. Szaron’s as well. And they eat it raw. The next best is raw chicken. When I prepare either we both have to be in the kitchen: I cut and defend the meat from feline attacks and Andrzej takes small pieces and lures the cats away from me and the object of their desire.

The dialogue:

Hili: Are you really going shopping?
A: Yes, do you have any requests?
Hili: I had a dream that you bought tenderloin.
In Polish:
Hili: Naprawdę idziesz na zakupy?
Ja: Tak, masz jakieś zamówienia?
Hili: Śniło mi się, że kupiłeś świeżą polędwicę.

Szaron and Little Kulka are having a silent chinwag:

From Facebook:

A Venn Diagram from Jean giving advice from Beatles’s songs:

From Only Duck Memes:


The psychologist: Calm down, the duck tomato doesn’t exist, it can’t hurt you.

Ducktomato: .

Titania’s prescience is always astounding!

If I followed anyone, it would be “worms”, who has a cat with opposable thumbs and a penchant for crime, including ATTEMPTED MURDER!

I can relate. . .

From Simon:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a bittersweet story:

Tweets from Matthew. Two of sandhill cranes (Antigone canadensis):

Is this dog leading sheep to their deaths?

36 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. He is correct. March is the time for the Sand Hill Cranes on the Platt.

    The cats like raw chicken and other meat? One of our cats loves chicken and will eat just about any meat – but cooked, not raw. I guess it’s whatever they get use to.

    1. A long while ago I heard that (astonishingly, given how red it is) Nebraska completely bans any hunting of Sandhill Cranes.

      1. I was going to cite the federal protection of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, but then I read that you can hunt them in Texas. Not sure what’s up there.

  2. *The International Olympic Committee has ruled that Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, accused of taking a banned drug, can continue to compete in individual events…

    This is IMO one of the worst rulings I’ve ever heard of in sports. Not only is it unfair to the other athletes in the competition, but it sends the worst possible message to Russia (and China) as to how to cheat in the future. It says to them: give drugs to your underage athletes, because we won’t penalize them…when protecting underage athletes (from state coercion) is frankly one of the most important things we should be doing. You don’t incentivise authoritarian regimes to restrict their drug programs to the most vulnerable athletes…because if you provide that incentive, that’s exactly what they will do!!! An adult might be able to stand up to such pressure or figure out a way to make it without the state’s support. A kid? We should never expect that.

    Then in part 2 of their terrible ruling, it sends them the message: you will be rewarded for covering up positive results. If you can keep it secret until the event is a week or two away, we will ignore the positive result and let your athlete compete despite their drug use, under our “unable to mount an adequate defense” logic.

    I hold nothing against Valieva and frankly I doubt she was even given much choice in the matter, given that she’s a 15-year-old in the Russian program. But what CAS should have realized is that letting her compete doesn’t protect her rights or profession, it hurts them. Because now Russia can continue to force her to take those drugs. *Her* best interests were instead best served by preventing her from competing, thus eliminating the incentives Russia has to give her the drugs in the first place. I’m sure that as a 15-yr-old, competing in these Olympics means everything to her. She’d be heartbroken to be denied the chance to compete. But this is a ‘tough love’ moment. The adults in the room need to put her best long-term interests first (as well as the best long-term interests of the sport), and those are served by not rewarding her program’s cheating, and reducing the incentive for such programs to drug their athletes in the future.

    1. The worst rulings in sports? How about this Olympic committee allowing the Russians to compete under the Olympic flag since Russia was kicked out for doping? And they still cheated. I am shocked.

    2. I do not see why it is unfair to let Kamila Valieva continue competing, although the transgression was seemingly [I say seemingly because there has been no official judgement on the matter, and all are innocent until . . . aren’t they?] illegal under Olympic rules. The drug, or medicine, was taken by the girl, seemingly, just once in late December, more than 6 weeks before she first performed in the Olympics. There was only one incident; there is no indication that “Russians” drug, much less repeatedly drug child athletes. The agent, TMZ (trimetazidine), is short acting and, for what I have been able to discover, non-cumulative [see link at end]. It should have left her system in at most a week after detection. Before and after the positive test, Valieva tested negative multiple-times for all prohibited substances. Interestingly, the IOC allows competitors to take banned drugs with prior permission. Those getting permission do not have their identities revealed or the nature of the drug they are taking. Simone Biles and other top Western athletes, I hear, belong in this category.

      We have no idea how the 15 year old came to test positive. It was unlikely due to switched samples, but it could have been. TMZ isn’t a drug you would expect to be used in a single dose to improve short-term performance. It is also prescribed as a treatment to reduce dizziness and ringing in the ears; perhaps even post-competition. Was it passed to her by a coach, used at the suggestion of a fellow athlete or family doctor, slipped into her tea by a jealous competitor, given her by Vladimir Putin? Maybe the IOC investigation will shed some light on this. If Valieva’s use of the drug was innocent, and if having taken the drug last December has had no effect whatsoever on her current Olympics performance, it is only fair to let her compete, in as much as the scores of different athletes in skating events are completely independent. Or should we use an inconsequential error as the excuse to destroy the career of perhaps the world’s most promising ice skater because she is Russian?
      Link to what seems like a politics-free discussion of the drug in question

      1. You are hyopthesizing legitimate reasons that, had any of them been the case, the program could’ve simply let CAS and the Olympics know. They hid their use, W. And then they hid the result. So it’s clearly not an innocent mistake. The guy accidentally walking out the store with the candy bar doesn’t hide the candy bar, and immediately admits it when someone points out what he’s got in his hand.

        So, whether you think it was performance enhancing and innocent, or I do, the Russians certainly had the intent of giving their athlete an illicit advantage. This is absolutely not how a program or a coach who gave a legitimate treatment to an athlete one time for ringing ears would’ve behaved.

        And if you want a contrast, consider Maria Sharapova (tennis) taking a drug that had been legal and was added to the list during her treatment cycle. Despite this almost certainly being an innocent mistake of not keeping up with a changing rules set, she abided by the rules. That is how athletes and programs should act. You fell afoul of the rules through a mistake? Okay, we understand…and you still take your penalty.

        1. If the Russians were cheating, they would have informed Ms. Valieva of the doping results before their release on Feb. 8 so as to give her the chance to concoct an airtight excuse. This didn’t happen. If she wasn’t aware that she had been administered a prohibited drug, it is to be expected that it might take some time to reconstruct events 6 weeks earlier to account for what had happened. Let me repeat again, I have seen no evidence — but I may be wrong — that the substance TMZ, detected in samples taken last December but not before or after, enhanced the athlete’s performance during the Olympics. TMZ seems to be a short-term agent that would give absolutely no advantage 6 weeks following a single dose, as in the present case. I also find it difficult to believe that a top, or rather the top ice skater Kamila Valiva would even feel tempted to take performance enhancing drugs. If it did happen, and there is a fair to good chance it did, she should be punished. But punishment comes after her day in court, not by public lynching.
          By the way, can anyone find a video of Valieva’s latest routine on youtube? They seem to have been taken down.

          1. I do not share your confidence that the authoritarian Russian government and the adults administering the doping program would’ve given the critical job of ‘concocting an airtight excuse’ to a 15 year old figure skater. Really, how much sense does that make? The program would do it. All the PR, all the legal stuff, everything except the skating is going to be handled by her, well, handlers.

            I have seen no evidence — but I may be wrong — that the substance TMZ, detected in samples taken last December but not before or after, enhanced the athlete’s performance during the Olympics.

            Such evidence is irrelevant because the substance is banned. That’s how the rules work – they don’t measure your muscles to see if they’ve grown. They test to see if the drug has been in your system, and that’s how they determine whether you are eligible to compete. Everyone knows the rules.

            TMZ seems to be a short-term agent that would give absolutely no advantage 6 weeks following a single dose, as in the present case.

            YOUR medical opinion is also irrelevant. The rule is there, and the athletes are expected to follow it. The proper thing to do if you are right would be for pharmacology experts to argue to the sports groups that the ban should be rescinded or updated…and while that argument is going on, the athletes would still be expected to abide by the rule.

            You can’t go in front of a judge and get out of a speeding ticket by saying that in your opinion, 35 mph is a perfectly safe speed to drive on the road marked 25 mph. Your opinion of safety isn’t the deciding factor. And even if you succesfully lobby your local government to get the speed limit increased, you are still expected to obey the old limit until the law is changed. Right? It’s exactly the same here. Opinions on whether it ‘really’ enhanced performance are not the deciding factor, and if the rules for drug use are changed, the athletes must still abide by the current rule until it is changed.

            I also find it difficult to believe that a top, or rather the top ice skater Kamila Valiva would even feel tempted to take performance enhancing drugs.

            She competes for an authoritarian regime known – documented, shown, and sanctioned – to run a sports doping program for it’s Olympic athletes over the last 20 years or so. She may not have personally been tempted, but when Putin’s regime tells you take it or you’re out of the program, none of us should expect a 15-year old with Olympic dreams to make the choice that she’d rather flip burgers for the rest of her life than comply with the illegal demand of the program.

            So to be clear, I don’t see her as the ‘bad guy’ in this. I see her as a victim. But unless the rule is enforced, she and other kids in the program will continue to be victimized. Because why would Russia stop using banned drugs in their athletics programs, when CAS lets their athletes compete even after testing positive for a banned substance?

  3. Ah, Violet Jessop. Titanic had two sister ships. Olympic was involved in a collision with a warship before the war (WW1). Britannic was sunk by a mine during the war. She was on board for all three incidents. I would not sail in the same ship with her.

    Jessop was actually a steward on Olympic and Titanic, and working as a nurse on Britannic (which had been requisitioned as a hospital ship). Also, she was born in Argentina of Irish parents, so “British” is probably not the right way to describe her nationality.

  4. Trudeau might have been under pressure, but it’s pressure he should have resisted. The Premiers of four Provinces oppose the use of the Emergencies Act. (When will we heed the lesson of Weimar, and do away with emergency powers?) Granted the protest is disruptive, but sometimes they need to be. I don’t see why the truckers’ protest cannot be met with patience and understanding, while Trudeau was all sympathy to BLM, which actually was violent in Canada.

    Unhelpfully, but in line with the Party (and as Titania predicted), the CBC has announced “freedom” to be problematic, and liable to use for nefarious, “right-wing” purposes.

    Meanwhile, our own Department of Homeland Security has issued a new statement on terrorism threats that includes “the proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions.” If that language isn’t out of the autocrat’s playbook, I don’t know what is.

    1. The big story here was the mystifying failure of the Ottawa Police Service to plan for the arrival of the truckers, to keep them from filling up the downtown core where Parliament is, or to make any effort to enforce ordinary laws that prohibit the blocking of a public roadway, whether with a semi-tractor or a bouncy castle. The last is not just a motor vehicle offence but can be prosecuted as intimidation under the Criminal Code, with 5 years in prison if convicted.

      The strategy of avoiding violence played well for the occupation organizers as it gave the city police an excuse not to enforce the law and made the PM’s characterization of them as racist hate-mongers fall a little flat. Darkly, it has been noted that the Convoy arrived in Ottawa on the day that vaccination requirements were to have gone into effect for Ottawa police officers.

      The chief of the Ottawa police force was fired today. Local policing in the occupation zone has been assumed by the RCMP and the Ontario Provincial Police, with a clear mandate to enforce the law.

      Getting the trucks out by force is not easy. Generally a big semi-tractor cannot physically be towed unless the driver wants it towed and helps the tow-truck driver make it towable. The tank recovery vehicles used by combat engineers can move just about anything if you aren’t fastidious about breaking something, and it won’t be the tank.

      The larger question is whether this occupation qualifies as a public order collapse that threatens Canada’s national security, as the Emergencies Act stipulates it must. The lawmakers are not being prevented from getting to Parliament and no government buildings or military bases have been stormed, and no border posts have been bombed to allow migrants (or diabetics seeking cheap insulin) to swarm in uninspected. The blockades at the key bridges would have qualified but they were cleared by ordinary police action before the Act was invoked. So it’s not clear that invoking the Act is itself legal.

      The Ottawa Police Service was grossly incompetent, perhaps wilfully so, but this criticism applies to much of the Canadian political class and the administrative state. For a small country we have too many layers of government and cabinet departments obsessed with identity politics. It induces finger-pointing paralysis until a desperate resort to arbitrary power.

      The CBC’s complaint that “freedom” is a right-wing d*g whistle is duly noted.

  5. Tangentiqal to Miep Gies:
    the book “The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation”
    by Rosemary Sullivan (Jan 18, 2022) has been unfavourably reviewed in the Netherlands by expert people. It was thought rather slanderous towards the person ‘85% probable’ traitor. The Dutch edition is taken out of circulation.

    1. That book deserves all the bad reviews. In “Wie verraddde Anne Frank?” by David Barnouw and Gerrold van der Stroom (2003) the point was made that there were dozens if not hundreds of people who might have betrayed the 8 people in hiding there. The back of the building was visible from three other streets. In that book or possibly another similar one a resident of Prinsengracht at the time says that it was common knowledge in the street that Jews were hiding at that address. At this remove it is impossible to track down all the people who might have betrayed them..

  6. Radziwill, born Caroline Lee Bouvier, was Jackie Kennedy’s younger sister …

    And the Bouvier girls were step-sisters once removed of Gore Vidal’s. Vidal’s step-father, Hugh Auchincloss, married their mother, after she divorced “Black Jack” Bouvier. They all hung out together for a while under a single roof, IIRC — and quite a large roof it was, over Auchincloss’s Merrywood estate in McLean, VA.

  7. On the Moldovan occupation:

    “Russia is the occupying power in the Moldovan territory of Transdniestria. The Operational Group of Russian Forces (OGRF) – formerly the 14th Army of the military district of Odessa of the Ministry of Defence of the USSR (14th Army) – is stationed in Transdniestria without the consent of the Republic of Moldova. The OGRF numbers between 1,500 and 2,000 Russian soldiers with significant stockpiles of weapons and ammunition. Russia also exercises overall control over the separatist armed groups of Transdniestria, i.e. the self-proclaimed ‘Moldovan Republic of Transdniestria.’ In other words, Russia is also using proxy forces. “

  8. Titania’s tweet instigated an earworm of one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite musical artists, Zoom, by the Commodores. My favorite version is the one from their 1977 live album.

    Commodores Live Zoom 1977 (Not the best recording quality on this video, but it’s from the same tour the live album was recorded on)

    Ohh, oh, I wish the world were truly happy
    Living as one
    I wish the word they call freedom someday would come
    Someday would come

  9. I first saw Jane Seymour in the 1977 film Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, which famously (infamously?) featured her in a nude scene which was very unusual for a movie targeted for kids.

    I still like the movie, though I can not deny that from a critical perspective about the best that could be said of it is . . .

    “Reviewer Lorna Sutton said the film was “pure escapist entertainment which doesn’t require serious analysis or criticism.” She found the film enjoyable, despite its flaws. “The plot is familiar, the characters are predictable and dialogue is trite. But the action and the special effects provide for a fast-paced two hours of entertainment.””

    Actually, the special effects were nothing special even by the standards of the time. Often considered to be Harryhausen’s worst work.

    1. I remember this film and Seymour’s nude scene. I’m a Ray Harryhausen fan, and I agree with your assessment of his work in this movie, not up to snuff compared to his others, especially the great ones like Jason and the Argonauts.
      I also like Harryhausen’s movies because most of them have music by Bernard Herrmann.

    2. Ms. Seymour was stilling doing nude scenes (or at least a topless scene) nearly three decades later, in 2005’s The Wedding Crashers.

      Still lookin’ fine, too, if I do say so.

      1. Back in the 1990s, I visited the movie ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains and watched the filming of an episode of Dr. Quinn. Medicine Woman. In person, Seymour is as beautiful as she is on screen.

  10. We here in northern Illinois also rejoice in the coming of the sandhill cranes every spring. When I worked in Algonquin, IL, my coworkers and I, when we heard the symphony of squawking trumpets, used to take a break to go outside and watch the seemingly endless line of birds high in the sky heading north. Algonquin is in the Fox River valley, and I presume the cranes use the river to keep them on course.
    My property in Lake County, IL, abuts a wetlands reserve, and the cranes come to my big “backyard” to nest in the spring. I enjoy having them as neighbors and watching the hatchlings grow up over the course of a few months. I have many photos of them, but, as I am not a good photographer, I am intimidated to send them to Jerry, since the wildlife photos on WEIT are of excellent quality.

    1. We have Sandhill Cranes all around our area all year round. Their calls sound to me like the velociraptor call from the Jurrasic Park movies. Makes me wonder if they used Sandhill Crane calls as a model for the sound. Their feet look like I imagine dinosaur feet did too. Basically, I see them as dinosaurs.

  11. Also it’s not the first time Canada has invoked emergency powers. Sure it’s the first time the current form of the Emergency Powers act has been used, but prior to that law there was something called the War Measures Act. This HAS been invoked in Canada before… by none other than Justin Trudeau’s father Pierre when he was PM. That was in 1970 during the FLQ crisis.

  12. I am reading/re-reading a lot of Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn. She did not relish at all the fact that she had been one of EH’s numerous wives/mistresses. She wanted and deserved to be remembered for other things. In the UK edition of her books that I have read (Faces of War, A stricken field), Virago pubisher, her marriage to EH is not mentioned in her biography.

  13. Interesting to mention the cargo cult and Feynman in the same post. Feynman gave a talk and wrote an essay on “cargo-cult science”, by which he meant going through the motions of science without understanding them, which unsurprisingly doesn’t work, just like the islanders erecting radar-tower lookalikes won’t attract any planes.

  14. Regarding the guns seized from blockaders at the Coutts, AB, border:

    Little is likely to come of the long guns, as the rules are fairly permissive, but the owners of the handguns will very likely see significant fines and/or jail time.

    It is not difficult to own handguns in Canada: all you need is a Restricted Possession and Acquisition License, and as long as the gun doesn’t fall into a Prohibited category and the magazine capacity is limited to 10 rounds, you’re good. That and you have to have appropriate locked storage for it.

    What you can’t easily do in Canada is leave your house with a handgun. You need an Authorization to Transport (ATT), for which you must apply. You can get a long-term one that authorizes transport to and from a gun range, a gun shop, gunsmith, or a gun show. Any other transportation requires a specific ATT.

    A key provision of the ATT is that you must go directly from your home to your destination. Anything more than a quick stop for gas is verboten. So even if these blockaders had an ATT they are in complete violation, even if they claimed they “were on their way to the range.”

    Given the nature of the blockade and the potential for violence, the police and the courts will not be inclined to go easy on them.

  15. The Ukrainian map [I tracked the source back to the NY Times] at the top erroneously implies, by using a heavy dashed line, that there exists a 100-mile-long land border joining the Crimean Peninsula to the neighboring mainland. This is patently false. In reality, the land border at the isthmus connecting the peninsula to Ukraine is a mere 3.7 miles long. But misrepresentation, making Crimea appear to be an integral part of Ukraine, which it never has been either geographically (at least before 1953) or culturally, is what propaganda is all about, yes?

  16. ‘Is this dog leading sheep to their deaths?’

    No – that is a shearing shed. They are going for a haircut.

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