Friday: Hili dialogue

March 18, 2022 • 7:15 am

Where we are: According to the ship’s real-time map, we’ve gone through the Strait of Magellan last night and are now entering the south Atlantic Ocean.

The blue line also gives our previous course to Punta Arenas. The Beagle Channel is below, which we traversed previously, and so we’ve now been through the three main routes around the tip of South America: Cape Horn, the Beagle Channel, and the Strait of Magellan.

The view from my balcony: sunrise over the sea:

No need for a daily report from yesterday as we were docked all day until a surprisingly gentle departure at 8:25 pm (we didn’t know we were underway until the scenery started moving by). Here are two shots from yesterday:

The new passengers arriving:

And a panorama of the dock where we sat for two days:

I’ve also discovered (and for some reason didn’t know this), that we’re ending the cruise at Santiago, Chile rather than Punta Arenas, so we’ll sail back along the west coast of Chile, stopping at a few places I haven’t been. This means less time in Antarctica, but after this trip the ship is heading north, ultimately to go up the west coast of North America and do the Northwest Passage before it does its Arctic trips this summer.

But today and tomorrow there’s the dreaded Drake Passage to cross. I can imagine the visitors who come here and, prone to seasickness, get their first introduction to the area with a good bout of rocking and vomiting.

Here’s our itinerary for guests arriving at Santiago. I will be arriving April 3, and my flight home is the next day.

Well, they say TGIF, but there’s no unique significance of Friday when you’re headed back to Antarctica. But welcome to a Polar Friday on March 18, 2022: National Sloppy Joe Day (do they have these ground-beef concoctions in the UK?). Here’s one, along with a recipe:

If you want to help us along, go to the Wikipedia page for March 18 and give us your favorite events, or the notable births and deaths that happened on this day. Also, I need a few items for tomorrow’s Caturday Felid post, as I’ve run out of my backlog on this trip. If you have something of interest to ailurophiles, send it along.

*Today’s NYT headline seems pretty similar to those of the past few days, and is equally depressing. When I stop and think about what’s really happened, it seems simple: one rapacious and murderous man, greedy and eager for land, decided to invade a peaceful country, and now thousands are dead. It’s easy to get lost in the ins and outs of negotiations, weapons, and other details, but I, at least, often forget that this is an act of mass murder perpetuated by one man and his stooges.

Click on the screenshot to read the headlines:

The first two paragraph gives the gist:

A missile strike on the outskirts of Lviv, the western city that has been a haven for people fleeing embattled cities elsewhere in Ukraine, rattled the relative peace there on Friday. In Kyiv, the capital, air raids sounded as city officials reported that a residential area had been shelled. And explosions were heard in the strategically important southern city of Odessa, nestled on the Black Sea.

With the war now in its fourth week, Russia is keeping up its siege campaign, even as American and British intelligence officials say its overall offensive has slowed amid heavy losses, logistical problems and an intense Ukrainian resistance. The humanitarian toll also continues to mount.

The paper also reports the curious fact, which many of us have noticed, that Russia is analogizing Ukraine with Nazi Germany:

Ukraine’s government is “openly neo-Nazi” and “pro-Nazi,” controlled by “little Nazis,” President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia says.

American officials led by President Biden are responsible for the “Nazification” of Ukraine, one of Russia’s top lawmakers says, and should be tried before a court. In fact, another lawmaker says, it is time to create a “modern analogy to the Nuremberg Tribunal” as Russia prepares to “denazify” Ukraine.

Given that if any country is acting like Hitler’s Germany, it’s Russia, one wonders what’s going on. The paper also notes that President Zelensky is Jewish, which I didn’t know but makes the comparisin even more ludicrous. The rationale for this “Nazi trope,” according to the NYT, is very thin:

The “Nazi” slur’s sudden emergence shows how Mr. Putin is trying to use stereotypes, distorted reality and his country’s lingering World War II trauma to justify his invasion of Ukraine. The Kremlin is casting the war as a continuation of Russia’s fight against evil in what is known in the country as the Great Patriotic War, apparently counting on lingering Russian pride in the victory over Nazi Germany to carry over into support for Mr. Putin’s attack.

That war ended 77 years ago, and if Russians really know their history, they’ll realize that Putin acted very nearly like Hitler in how he invaded Ukraine.

 

*Am I being petulant to gripe about the headline and the content of this article in The Washington Post? (Click on screenshot to read.)

The first two paragraphs:

U.S. citizen was killed in Ukraine on Thursday, the State Department confirmed, after Ukrainian police first reported that an American and several others died when Russian troops shelled the city of Chernihiv, roughly 90 miles north of Kyiv.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged the death but did not release further details, and the total number of people killed in the attack was still unclear late Thursday, local authorities said. The artillery fire struck a residential area in the city center, according to the head of the Chernihiv regional police. Meanwhile near Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, Russian artillery strikes hit a school and cultural center, killing at least 23 people and injuring 26, local officials said.

The American death gets top billing above the deaths of 23 Ukrainians. I wonder why that one American gets such precedence when, in terms of this horror, all lives lost are equally worthy of mourning? Now if it were an American of note, or someone whose death had political implications for the conflict, that would be another thing, but they don’t even identify the person. Maybe I’m an Andy Rooney in statu nascendi, but I get the same feeling when they report a tragedy like a plane crash somewhere in the U.S. or elsewhere and the Chicago media single out the Chicagoans involved: the “Chicago angle.”

*I’ve mentioned this finding.before, but it’s worth reading the NYT’s new “Trilobites” column by Anthony Ham about how Australian magpies learned, after the birds’ painstaking investigation and trial, to remove the tracking devices scientists affixed to them. These birds are not only curious, but great at learning (h/t Barry, my emphasis below)

In 2019 Dominique Potvin, an animal ecologist at University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia, set out to study magpie social behavior. She and her team spent around six months perfecting a harness that would carry miniature tracking devices in a way that was unintrusive for magpies. They believed it would be nearly impossible for magpies to remove the harnesses from their own bodies.

Dr. Potvin and her team attached the tracking devices and the birds flew off, showing no signs of obvious distress. Then everything began to unravel.

“The first tracker was off half an hour after we put it on,” she said. “We were literally packing up our gear and watching it happen.”

In a remarkable act of cooperation, the magpie wearing the tracker remained still while the other magpie worked at the harness with its beak. Within 20 minutes, the helping magpie had found the only weak point — a single clasp, barely a millimeter long — and snipped it with its beak. Dr. Potvin and her team later saw different magpies removing harnesses from two other birds outfitted with them.

The scientists took six months to reach this point. Within three days, the magpies had removed all five devices.

*A lot of people rely on U.S. News & World Report‘s annual quality ranking of colleges (they do grad schools, too, as I recall), to the point where that ranking is a major factor for parents’ and high school students’ choice of college . But now a math professor at the #2 -anked school in America, Columbia University, has blasted the way that the magazine calculates those ratings.

Everyone knows that students buff their résumés when applying to college. But a math professor is accusing Columbia University of buffing its own résumé — or worse — to climb the all-important U.S. News & World Report rankings of best universities.

Michael Thaddeus, who specializes in algebraic geometry at Columbia, has challenged the university’s No. 2 ranking this year with a statistical analysis that found that key supporting data was “inaccurate, dubious or highly misleading.”

In a 21-page blistering critique on his website, Dr. Thaddeus is not only challenging the rating but redoubling the debate over whether college rankings — used by millions of prospective college students and their parents — are valuable or even accurate.

. . .This year, Columbia rose to No. 2 from No. 3, surpassed only by Princeton in the No. 1 spot and tied with Harvard and M.I.T.

Dr. Thaddeus notes that Columbia was ranked 18th in 1988, a rise that he suggests is remarkable.

“Why have Columbia’s fortunes improved so dramatically?” he asks in his analysis.

Thaddeus more or less suggests that his own school has cooked the data about issues like class size, spending on teaching, and the credentials of teachers—all factors that go into the ratings. These data are neither independently collected nor checked by the magazine, which relies on schools’ self-reports. And since schools know how important these rankings are, they have strong motivation to, well, make the data look more attractive. And indeed, this has been more or less proven in several cases cited in this interesting article. This article is a must-read if you like detective stories and academics. And I’m glad Thaddeus is tenured!

 

*The James Webb Space Telescope won’t be ready for prime time until June, but calibrating its polygonal panels to focus the images has given a spectacular photo. As the AP reports,

NASA’s new space telescope has gazed into the distant universe and shown perfect vision: a spiky image of a faraway star photobombed by thousands of ancient galaxies.

The image released Wednesday from the James Webb Space Telescope is a test shot — not an official science observation — to see how its 18 hexagonal mirrors worked together for a single coordinated image taken 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) away from Earth. Officials said it worked better than expected.

Last month, NASA looked at a much closer star with 18 separate images from its mirror segments.

Scientists said they were giddy as they watched the latest test photos arrive. NASA’s test image was aimed at a star 100 times fainter than the human eye can see — 2,000 light-years away. A light-year is nearly 6 trillion miles (9.7 trillion kilometers).

What excited the scientists even more is that the galaxies in the background—and yes, they’re galaxies—are very far, and thus their light began the journey to the scope billions of years ago, perhaps close to the time of the Big Bang. The earliest events in the Universe are what Webb is designed to study. The article adds that the first scientifically useful images will be produced in late June or early July, but so far everything is “nominal”.

(from AP): This image made available by NASA on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 shows star 2MASS J17554042+6551277 used to align the mirrors of the James Webb Space Telescope, with galaxies and stars surrounding it. The hexagonal shape of Webb’s mirrors and its filters made the shimmering star look more red and spiky. The first science images aren’t expected until late June or early July. (NASA/STScI via AP)

*As a reader pointed out yesterday, linking to this AL.com Business article, Doritos now have five fewer chips per bag than they did recently. It’s inflation (or, rather, product shrinkage), of course, but at least Frito-Lay had the guts to admit it:

Food and Wine reports how Doritos is just the latest snack that has fallen victim to “shrinkflation,” an ever-pervasive phenomenon in which beloved foodstuffs are getting cut down to size due to inflation.

WTRF-TV continues to report how the snack’s parent company, Frito-Lay, confirmed this week how shrinkflation is forcing Doritos to shed five chips per bag so, in the words of one representative, they “can give [people] the same price…[so they] can keep enjoying [Doritos] chips.”

News 12 Bronx explains how analysts estimate Frito-Lay will potentially save more than $50 million by cutting down on the number of Doritos chips they put into each bag.

I remember when all the ice cream companies colluded to reduce the size of the big containers from half a gallon to 1.75 quarts. I don’t even know if you can buy ice cream in half gallons any more.

Duck news!: All observers at Botany Pond agree that Honey has returned, and several think that her companion is Dorothy. But there is also a badly-behaved and aggressive drake that we may name “Putin.”  And finally there’s Cyndi, the jumping duck who is sweet and eats neatly out of one’s hand, her messier mate Charlie is by her side. These are the only ducks we are feeding, and would want no more than three broods this year. (One can’t prevent more being produced, of course, but ducks don’t tend to hang around when they don’t get fed.)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is looking a bit grotty. Malgorzata says that Hili had just come back from the orchard and her fur was full of dirt.

Szaron: Your fur needs some care.
Hili: Lately, I have too many things on my mind to lick myself.
In Polish:
Szaron: Twoje futro wymaga pielęgnacji.
Hili: Ostatnio nie mam głowy do wylizywania się.

And little Kulka is up in the trees. She’s a climber, just like Hili:

From Doc Bill. I’m not sure nine-year-old kids should be toting guns; they just make themselves targets. Perhaps this photo was staged.

From Lorenzo the Cat:

From Beth. Many cat owners are familiar with the “litter box exit sprint”:

A tweet from God, who’s really pissed off at Putin:

From SImon, two days after the anniversary. If you’re an Antarctica buff, you’ll know the story of Captain Oates and his famous statement. The rest of Scott’s polar party died on March 29 or 30.

I got emailed this as a “Twitter highlight”, though I don’t subscribe to such a thing. But this one’s good:

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Matthew. Children Without Internet #1:

Children Without Internet #2. It’s a good thing I have no kids, because if I did I would severely limit their nonacademic Internet time in the interest of having them get out in the world. But that would only make them pariahs among their peers:

Can this be real?

And let’s keep it this way. However, they do have vehicles in Antarctica, and have had real automobiles there, too. See below:

Shackleton brought the first commercial car to Antarctica on the Nimrod Expedition (1907-1909). He thought it might be useful on hard ice, but of course didn’t anticipate the climate, and the car was a miserable failure: It didn’t even have a closed cab!

47 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1068 – An earthquake in the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula leaves up to 20,000 dead.

    1834 – Six farm labourers from Tolpuddle, Dorset, England are sentenced to be transported to Australia for forming a trade union.

    1871 – Declaration of the Paris Commune; President of the French Republic, Adolphe Thiers, orders the evacuation of Paris.

    1940 – World War II: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet at the Brenner Pass in the Alps and agree to form an alliance against France and the United Kingdom. – Thanks, guys!

    1942 – The War Relocation Authority is established in the United States to take Japanese Americans into custody.

    1965 – Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, leaving his spacecraft Voskhod 2 for 12 minutes, becomes the first person to walk in space.

    1967 – The supertanker Torrey Canyon runs aground off the Cornish coast.

    1990 – Germans in the German Democratic Republic vote in the first democratic elections in the former communist dictatorship.

    1990 – In the largest art theft in US history, 12 paintings, collectively worth around $500 million, are stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

    2014 – The parliaments of Russia and Crimea sign an accession treaty. Yeah, right…

    Births:
    1495 – Mary Tudor, Queen of France (d. 1533) – not her more famous namesake, but it makes a change to include a female royal dead dude…

    1634 – Madame de La Fayette, French author (d. 1693)

    1800 – Harriet Smithson, Irish actress, the first wife and muse of Hector Berlioz (d. 1854)

    1844 – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian composer and academic (d. 1908)

    1845 – Kicking Bear, Native American tribal leader (d. 1904)

    1858 – Rudolf Diesel, German engineer, invented the Diesel engine (d. 1913)

    1869 – Neville Chamberlain, English businessman and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1940)

    1870 – Agnes Sime Baxter, Canadian mathematician (d. 1917)

    1893 – Wilfred Owen, English soldier and poet (d. 1918)

    1932 – John Updike, American novelist, short story writer, and critic (d. 2009)

    1941 – Wilson Pickett, American singer-songwriter (d. 2006)

    1950 – Linda Partridge, English geneticist and academic

    1951 – Ben Cohen, American businessman and philanthropist, co-founded Ben and Jerry’s – Thanks to Cohen’s anosmia, he and Jerry kept adding larger and larger chunks to the ice cream to satisfy his need for texture in food and the rest is history…

    1970 – Queen Latifah, American rapper, producer, and actress

    Those who went to check out the grass from underneath:
    978 – Edward the Martyr, English king (b. 962) – A martyr to his haemorrhoids for all I know…!

    1703 – Maria de Dominici, Maltese sculptor and painter (b. 1645)

    1781 – Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, French economist and politician, Controller-General of Finances (b. 1727)

    2016 – Barry Hines, English author and screenwriter (b. 1939)

    2017 – Chuck Berry, American guitarist, singer and songwriter (b. 1926) – Where did those five years go?

  2. “I remember when all the ice cream companies colluded to reduce the size of the big containers from half a gallon to 1.75 quarts. I don’t even know if you can buy ice cream in half gallons any more.”

    May I recommend Kirkland store brand vanilla premium ice cream. Only sold at Costco, but it comes in full half-gallons, two cartons to a package. It is fabulous ice cream, and if you’re bored by plain vanilla, you can add fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, or whatever else you like.

    L

  3. … Russia is analogizing Ukraine with Nazi Germany:

    Ukraine’s government is “openly neo-Nazi” and “pro-Nazi,” controlled by “little Nazis,” President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia says.

    Vladimir Putin appears to be going full bull-goose loony. Here’s part of a speech that Putin (reputed by many to be the world’s richest man, despite his having never officially earned more than a government salary) gave the other day, railing against some of his own oligarchs and other Russian elites for constituting a pro-western enemy within:

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1504140715412324356

  4. It appears to be time to announce Putin as pretty much crazy.. He is even starting to sound like Trump, barely able to finish a sentence or stop talking. He believed all the BS and propaganda his country puts out – thinking the Ukrainians would greet them with flowers and his own army was not the corrupt, incompetent group it has become. All that is left to do is to get the nuclear switch away from him before he kills us all. Any of the people around him should really consider taking this guy out of his misery.

  5. In both of those clips of the children without internet, you can hear the kids get the really wild cackling laughter that 1) always makes me laugh and 2) always makes me immediately go investigate if it’s my kids or students.

    1. 2) especially if the laughter was preceded by a period of suspicious, uncharacteristic silence.

    2. Those clips make me wonder what me and my friends would have done if the Internet had been around back then. I mean, we thought up enough stupid sh*t to do on our own. If there’d been a YouTube to inspire us and provide us a platform to show off… I do kind of enjoy those ‘trick shot’ videos from time to time that the kids seem to be making these days.

      I do find it a bit funny that ‘Children without Internet!’ seems to be reposting videos that somebody made specifically to show off on the Internet.

  6. … President Zelensky is Jewish, which I didn’t know …

    Well, he was a comedian, which makes the Bayesian priors of his being Jewish pretty high. 🙂

    Heck, Jerry, most of the great comics of our youth — the ones who were staples of variety tv shows in the Fifties and Sixties — got their start as tummlers on the Borscht Belt.

    1. It’s a pity that the borscht belt no longer exists. The great hotels in New York State’s Catskill Mountains now are just ruins. I vacationed in a few them as a youth with my parents. I remember that if you finished eating a full course meal, you could just request another one. People used to travel from one hotel to another to enjoy each one’s nightlife and entertainment. The hotels started their decline in the 1960s and could never recover. I’m not sure why this happened, but I am guessing that the Jews of the New York area, with their increasing wealth, decided that there were more upscale vacations to go on.

      1. The hayday of the Catskills was the interwar period, with an afterlife in the immediate postwar period. By the 1950s, NYC Jews with moderate incomes were finding other places for summer vacation. These included co-op societies in Putnam County, and points further north. One aunt and uncle of mine, schoolteachers with Communist sympathies, eschewed the socialists of the co-ops and bought an old farmhouse in Rutland County, Vermont as their summer dacha.

  7. First, I have to say regarding “guys” vs. “folks” that “guys” is NOT a pronoun, it is a collective noun.

    Hunter Biden’s laptop is back in the news, with the NYT apparently now acknowledging that it and its contents were not Russian skullduggery. Glenn Greenwald has a good piece about the media collusion to kill the story before the 2020 election. Here also is a survey from just after the election showing that 16% of Dem voters wouldn’t have voted for Biden if they had known about the FBI investigation (slide 9). So, by all means, let’s let the media and tech giants decide what is “misinformation” and protect us.

    1. Meh, as the Republican’s new “OMG Benghazi!!!” meme goes, ‘Hunter’s Laptop’ is no Clinton Pedophilia Ring in a Pizza Basement.

      1. Quite good? I know some are prone to understatements, but this was a pretty brilliant video.
        We should not forget he was the Republican governor of California, where have those kind of Republicans gone now?

    1. Thanks, Jez. I tried watching the video earlier via the NYT, but it was behind a paywall. Glad to see the bbc isn’t greedy!

  8. NASA, has taken its new Moon rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), to the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the first time to conduct tests. If they go well, an uncrewed test capsule could be sent around the Moon in the next couple of months.

    According to the BBC:

    SLS is a colossus. A touch under 100m in height, it was designed to be more powerful than the Apollo Saturn vehicles of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

    It will have the thrust to not only send astronauts far beyond Earth but additionally so much equipment and cargo that those crews could stay away for extended periods.

    Thursday’s rollout from Kennedy’s Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) is the rocket’s debut in the sense that it’s the very first time everyone has got to see all its different elements fully stacked together.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-60788761

    1. And, saints be praised, NASA is going to use this rocket to send the first woman, and the first person of colour! to the moon, at $4 billion per flight (before the usual cost over-runs.). A giant leap for people-kind indeed. The scientific value, if any, of these flights is not hinted at in the BBC story.

      And although the peak thrust developed by its two solid-fuel rocket boosters burning in parallel with its main-stage engines exceeds that of Saturn V, its liftable payload to earth orbit is nearly 20% less than what Saturn could do. Maybe the projected later versions will be able to achieve this superlative performance but for now I’m rather meh about it.

      1. To be fair to the BBC, the woman and person of colour comment was a quote from Bill Nelson and it was only one sentence in the whole article and the same sentence also makes mention of the science (which qualifies as being hinted at IMO).

  9. Meanwhile, the NY Post is braying about Hunter Biden’s laptop, and Bernie Sanders is braying about the price of gasoline and oil companies.

  10. Any ideas what star – or, perhaps, it is Venus – is in the Balcony Sunrise photo? I use NightSky app – as suggested by, I think, Diana MacPherson (excellent suggestion!).

    And an exhilarating / brisk photo it is.

  11. Glad the Shackleton Nimrod car failed in Antarctica because it’s steering wheel is on the wrong side. If it had been successful, all traffic on Antarctica would be driving on the wrong side of the road today!

  12. “The American death gets top billing above the deaths of 23 Ukrainians. I wonder why that one American gets such precedence when, in terms of this horror, all lives lost are equally worthy of mourning?”

    That headline is intended for American audiences. If a Japanese citizen is killed, it makes the news there. I don’t think the implication is that the person is more valuable than the others killed. Just that their death is believed to be newsworthy to the intended audience. In the Daily Mail today, there was an article about an internet famous cat that managed to escape Kharkiv with it’s human.

    Ideally, every person’s ( and cat’s) story would be told. But that is just not possible. So they pick individuals out. People who performed extraordinary acts of heroism or sacrifice, or sometimes just people that the target audience is expected to relate to.

    I personally don’t care much about the nationality of those there, but think humanizing every person involved is a good idea, as well as trying to convey the level of suffering and grief that war brings.

    One thing I worry about is escalation of atrocities. Combat is stressful and generally unpleasant. Putin may have sent them there, but it is typical for combat troops to want to take out their anger and frustration on the locals, all of them. One of the key responsibilities of an officer or NCO in a combat unit is to serve to restrain the soldiers. How well the Russian officers can or will perform that function is a question.

  13. I think any escalation is going to be ordered by Putin, not grassroots. Just last night the news was talking about how Russian artillery (or rockets? Can’t remember) is intentionally targeting civilian food storage in one of the cities. Siege warfare: he wants to starve the entire population to force them out or cause their troops to surrender. So he’s already decided to treat the entire population as combatants.

    1. “So he’s already decided to treat the entire population as combatants.”
      Is that not one of the ways how ‘ethnic cleansing’ (aka genocide) starts?
      [They are all enemies, Untermenschen, cockroaches, vermin, the only good indian (fill in any other to your taste) is a dead indian, etc, etc.]

      1. I don’t think Putin has the ethnic cleansing crazy bug; it’s probably more apt to say he doesn’t care who he kills. I would certainly not put it past him to cause unnecessary mass casualties after some city surrenders, as ‘punishment.’ But if he did that, I’d bet on ‘indiscriminate’ over ‘based on ethnicity.’

        Did you see his peace terms? Demanding Ukraine disarm, for one. Yeah right, so you can do the same thing again in a few years, but with better success?

  14. Pretty much all signs continue to suggest that the Russian military is in serious trouble and never had anywhere near the capabilities it was generally believed to have. A few things from just the past few days.

    In one day, March 16th, Ukrainian forces allegedly shot down 10 Russian military aircraft ranging from fighters, to helicopters and a drone.

    Near the town of Voznesensk a mix of Ukrainian military and volunteers destroyed a Russian “battalion tactical group,” killing an estimated 100 Russians soldiers and “capturing or destroying 30 of 43 Russian tanks and other vehicles.”

    Now at the three week mark, an estimated 7,000 Russian troops have been killed. Per the NYT, “Pentagon officials say a 10 percent casualty rate, including dead and wounded, for a single unit renders it unable to carry out combat-related tasks,” and “Russian casualties, when including the estimated 14,000 to 21,000 injured, are near that level.””

    Russia is experiencing “an unprecedented wave of hacking attacks.” Information the Russian government is trying to keep out is getting through. One example, the Arnold video already mentioned here has been tens of millions of views from within Russia.

    The Russian military is getting its backside handed to it by the Ukrainian military, and so it is instead prosecuting a campaign of terror against civilian targets.

    1. The Russian military is getting its backside handed to it by the Ukrainian military, and so it is instead prosecuting a campaign of terror against civilian targets.

      This is why Jerry is concerned about the picture of a nine year old girl with a gun. I don’t think the Russians are too worried about justification but every little helps.

  15. In other news, the latest potential coffin nail for Trump, as reported by The Guardian. Remember that report that alleged that Dominion voting machines were rigged to switch votes from Trump to Biden? The one, known as the Dominion Report BTW, that the rash of lawsuits filed by Trump lawyers in numerous states were based on?


    “The publicly available version of the Dominion report, which first surfaced in early December 2020 on the conservative outlet the Gateway Pundit, names on the cover and in metadata as its author Katherine Friess, a volunteer on the Trump post-election legal team.

    But the Dominion report was in fact produced by the senior Trump White House policy aide Joanna Miller, according to the original version of the document reviewed by the Guardian and a source familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.”

    __

    “Friess has told the Daily Beast that she had nothing to do with the report and did not know how her name came to be on the document.”

  16. The significance of the American death is more about the global implications. Russia has killed an American citizen. Does that affect the US response?

  17. Vladimir Putin’s discovery of Nazis in the Ukrainian government is on a par with his government’s announcement that it was not going to invade Ukraine, a few days before it invaded Ukraine; or its recent assurance that “Russia does not bomb cities”. These fictions reflect Vladimir Vladimirovich’s childhood and youth in the heartland of literary “socialist realism”. Incidentally, Stalin’s enforcer of
    socialist realism in culture was Andrei Zhdanov, after whom a city in SE Ukraine was named between 1948 and 1989. That city’s name, before and after being called “Zhdanov”, was Mariupol.

  18. 1. The galaxies are breathtaking!

    2. Hell, I’d even want to get the “academic Internet” stuff out in the world too – using a damn pencil and paper _instead_ of making the cogitation and writing dependent on screens and keyboards – when do they even teach kids how to type? I learned later in life. Don’t know when they do it now, while expecting them to know how.

  19. Jerry, in the shot of the passenger gangway is another black ramp/gangway thing much higher up, what is it?

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