Where we are now: The real-time streaming of the ship’s position (go here and click “current position” button) shows that we haven’t moved far from Paradise Harbor, where we visited Brown Station yesterday. Yesterday another case of Covid-19 was found (in the crew this time) and it’s not clear whether we’re having a landing today or what, since the usual streamed evening briefing wasn’t given.
UPDATE: They’ve now scheduled us for an afternoon landing at Petermann Island, a place we couldn’t visit in 2019 because of the ice. It’s said to harbor huge numbers of gentoo penguins (the “cockroaches of penguinhood”) but also some Adelies, everyone’s favorite penguin. We will also be near Vernadsky Base, and thus a couple of Zodiacs will take our 13 Ukrainians back to Vernadsky Base (see my post on our visit to that base in 2019). We will not see it this time.
Here’s are two views from the ship’s streaming Pano-Cam at 6:30 this morning (we’re three hours ahead of Chicago time). We are moving, but very slowly, and the sun is rising to the starboard side, showing that we’re headed south:
And from my balcony an hour later, after breakfast:
I thought I’d throw this photo in because I didn’t put it anywhere else. Can you guess what it shows? I’ll put the answer at the bottom of this post.
Good morning on a polar Tuesday, March 8, 2022: National Peanut Cluster Day.
Yesterday the Ukrainian team leader gave a lecture (in very good English) on the research they’re doing at Vernadsky Research base, which we visited in 2019. (Go here to see photos of the inside from that last visit, and of the bar where they sell vodka made from glaciers.) We won’t be allowed to go inside, or even go with the Ukrainians to their base, because of the virus.)
Unfortunately, I was called away to the clinic a few minutes into his lecture to take an antigen test. Because of our one Covid case, I must be tested as both a crew member and a passenger. Today was a random screening of the crew, tomorrow all passengers get another PCR test. Sadly, I missed most of the talk, but here’s a screenshot of the lecture, which was streamed into our cabins.
Go to the March 8 Wikipedia page to find notable events, births, or deaths that happened on this day, and then report your favorites in the comments. I will note that today is International Women’s Day, which appears to have strong left-wing origins, as it should. From Wikipedia:
Spurred on by the universal female suffrage movement that had begun in New Zealand, IWD originated from labor movements in North America and Europe during the early 20th century. The earliest version was purportedly a “Women’s Day” organized by the Socialist Party of America in New York City February 28, 1909. This inspired German delegates at the 1910 International Socialist Women’s Conference to propose “a special Women’s Day” be organized annually, albeit with no set date; the following year saw the first demonstrations and commemorations of International Women’s Day across Europe. After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917 (the beginning of the February Revolution), IWD was made a national holiday on March 8; it was subsequently celebrated on that date by the socialist movement and communist countries. The holiday was associated with far-left movements and governments until its adoption by the global feminist movement in the late 1960s. IWD became a mainstream global holiday following its adoption by the United Nations in 1977.
As I expected, there’s a Google Doodle celebrating the day. If you click on the arrow in the picture (click on screenshot to go to the Doodle), you’ll get an animated slideshow of women’s lives and work in different parts of the world. Read more about the creation of the Doodle here.
*The stalwart Ukrainians, though ultimately doomed to be conquered by Putin, are hanging in there, making this a tough war for the Russians. President Zelensky spoke from his office to show that he’s not hiding, the Russians are firing missile willy-nilly, regardless of civilian casualties, and a huge number of Ukrainians are said to be without food, water or power. We can’t even do a Berlin airlift number since Russian planes would shoot down flights bringing in supplies. From the NYT:
Hundreds of thousands of people are living with no heat, water and electricity. They are struggling to find a safe path to escape. While the prospect of a cease-fire and “humanitarian corridors” was again being discussed on Tuesday, there was little evidence that conditions on the ground would allow for a large-scale evacuation.
While the Pentagon and other allies largely agreed with the Ukrainian assessment that the Russian advance has been slowed, they cautioned that the Russians would soon regroup. Russia’s military is eight times the size of Ukraine’s and it has vastly superior firepower at its disposal.
*Yesterday morning I mentioned U. Va. senior Emma Camp’s thoughtful editorial in the NYT about how students are self-censoring if they opposed Received Progressive Doctrine. Of course she did not get off scot-free for saying such a horrible (but true) thing. A lot of ridiculous responses to Camp’s op-ed are compiled at Pluribus. Some of them are true doozies, like these:
It does not escape my notice that the backdrop for this photo is the site of the infamous neo-Nazi tiki torch rally on August 11, 2017, and it should not escape your notice, either.https://t.co/bIYEbOcFFQ
— Emilite Gorcenski (@EmilyGorcenski) March 7, 2022
It apparently did escape this chowderhead’s notice that that is the main building (“The Rotunda”) of the University of Virginia, where Camp goes to school! In her rush to paint a free-speech advocate as a Nazi, Gorcenski didn’t bother to think for even a second.
And here we have two opponents of Camp in a single tweet, one of them being Nikole Hannah-Jones of The 1619 Project Fame, who tweets as “Ida Bae Wells.” As for Exavier Pope, well he’s quick to play the race card when going after Camp. Whiteness indeed!
Watch whiteness work https://t.co/dgOOvWzMRb
— 𝐄𝐱𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐫 𝐏𝐨𝐩𝐞 (@exavierpope) March 7, 2022
Did Hannah-Jones even read the article before diving in on Twitter (she tends to do that)? The article is about how Camp’s attempts to speak out have sometimes not gone well (she calls herself a “liberal”, how she self-censors about some things, but mainly how the problem is widespread among her fellow students. Here’s a bit of what Camp wrote:
When a class discussion goes poorly for me, I can tell. During a feminist theory class in my sophomore year, I said that non-Indian women can criticize suttee, a historical practice of ritual suicide by Indian widows. This idea seems acceptable for academic discussion, but to many of my classmates, it was objectionable.
The room felt tense. I saw people shift in their seats. Someone got angry, and then everyone seemed to get angry. After the professor tried to move the discussion along, I still felt uneasy. I became a little less likely to speak up again and a little less trusting of my own thoughts.
I was shaken, but also determined to not silence myself. Still, the disdain of my fellow students stuck with me. I was a welcomed member of the group — and then I wasn’t.
Yes, Camp has spoken and written on “taboo” topics, but Hannah-Jones seems unaware that other students won’t, and when they do they get disdained or ostracized. The more I read about Hannah-Jones, the more tendentious and off-putting I find her tweeting and writing.
But, as reader Cesar points out, there’s also approbation for Camp’s piece as well, in both the NYT comments and at the Pluribus site.
*The Guardian reports that a fancy and pricey day school in London, the American School in London, has had its rating downgraded because—of all things—too much “wokeness” (h/t Julian). I quote:
One of London’s leading independent day schools has been downgraded by Ofsted after inspectors criticised some of its teaching for focusing more on social justice than subject knowledge, and a culture where “alternative opinions are not felt welcome”.
The American School in London (ASL), which charges annual fees of £32,650 for older pupils, was previously rated “outstanding” but slipped two grades to “requires improvement” – just above “inadequate” – after inspection in December.
Ofsted inspectors were sent in after the ASL featured in a series of newspaper articles, which reported that parents were concerned about a “woke agenda” at the school and had complained children were being “indoctrinated” in critical race theory.
. . .The Ofsted report, published on the school’s website, found much to praise about the school with its first-class resources and well-qualified teachers. The inspectors said the school, which teaches four- to 18-year-olds, has high expectations and “gives strong importance to equality and inclusion”.
The report added: “Sometimes, however, teaching places much more weight on the school’s approach to social justice than on learning subject-specific knowledge and skills.”
In lower-school social studies, inspectors pointed out that pupils “spend much time repeatedly considering identity (including analysing their own characteristics) rather than learning, for example, geographical knowledge”
The report, at the link above, also criticizes the use of “affinity groups” in which some topics are discussed only by groups of a certain ethnicity. The evaluators considered that approach “divisive.” School officials, of course, responded that “We do not think this rating reflects the quality of our school or excellence of our teaching.” But it may reflect the ideological slant of their teaching.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is celebrating the absence of Kulka, whom she still doesn’t like, unaware that Kulka is right nearby and can hear Hili:
Hili: She finally went away.
Kulka: You would like that.
Hili: Nareszcie sobie poszła.Kulka: Chciałabyś.
The Auschwitz Museum is urging moving the upcoming UNESCO session of the World Heritage Committee away from Russia, where it was scheduled for June. “The Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extinction Camp” is on the list of World Heritage Sites. Their announcement.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) March 5, 2022
From reader Bryan: Physicist Sean Carroll, his wife, science writer Jennifer Ouellette, and their cats are moving from Caltech in Pasadena to Johns Hopkins. His own website’s post describes the position (very prestigious) and notes that he’ll be splitting his time between the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Physics. Congrats, Sean!
— Sean Carroll (@seanmcarroll) March 6, 2022
From Ginger K:
— Vin (@VinTheBat) February 15, 2022
Tweets from Matthew. This one is VERY hard, and I’ve put the answer below the fold (click “read more” at the bottom. But first try to find it!
You’ve all played spot the Snow Leopard. Now let’s play spot the Pallas’s Cat. It’s no wonder these cats are hard to see in the wild. Photo by 徐征泽. pic.twitter.com/a1mnv5Uz1w
— Birding Beijing 北京观鸟 (@BirdingBeijing) March 6, 2022
Matthew’s own tweet, and I can guess what the release of the evil spirit might explain. First, the Guardian article to which Matthew refers says this:
Predictions of dark forces being unleashed by an evil vixen hung over social media in Japan on Monday after a famous volcanic rock said to kill anyone who comes into contact with it was found split in two.
According to the mythology surrounding the Sessho-seki, or killing stone, the object contains the transformed corpse of Tamamo-no-Mae, a beautiful woman who had been part of a secret plot hatched by a feudal warlord to kill Emperor Toba, who reigned from 1107-1123.
Legend has it that her true identity was an evil nine-tailed fox whose spirit is embedded in the hunk of lava, located in an area of Tochigi prefecture, near Tokyo, famous for its sulphurous hot springs.
According to @guardian "Japan’s ‘killing stone’ splits in two, releasing superstitions amid the sulphur springs. Legend has it there is an evil spirit trapped in the Sessho-seki stone". This might explain a great deal. https://t.co/Uv7ooziLnv
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) March 7, 2022
Amazing hyper-realistic paintings by a nun:
Despite appearances, the first three of these are paintings, not photographs ~ these impressive hyper-realistic, light-filled depictions of women and girls are the work of Isabel Guerra, a Cistercian nun in Zaragoza, Spain https://t.co/7hjGvZKWbe pic.twitter.com/RMVfvNNh2z
— Journal of Art in Society (@artinsociety) March 7, 2022
Little did they know what they’d spawned!
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) March 7, 2022
I go with doors. If you have a car and a house, you have four wheels but many doors. PLUS cars have doors!
My mates and I are having the STUPIDEST debate…
And I am here for it.
Do you think there are more doors or wheels in the world?
— Ryan Nixon (@NewYorkNixon) March 5, 2022
One on Ukraine:
Let remember how lucky we are tonight to be able to turn on our lights. pic.twitter.com/pnaM8qOPVy
— 🇺🇦Julien Chimot 🇪🇺🌍🌋🛰️🔥⛵ (@JChimotScience) March 7, 2022
Click “read more” to see the Pallas’s cat hidden in Matthew’s tweet:
Here’s the Pallas’s Cat! Pretty cryptic, isn’t it?
The mystery photo above was taken during our early-morning flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas, and shows the sun beginning to strike the hilltops to the West.