It’s Cat Sabbath, all the challah is made, and the moggies are looking forward to gefilte fish and roasted chicken on this Saturday, July 23, 2020: National Vanilla Ice Cream Day (one of my friend’s dad ate at least a quart of the Breyer’s version every day, and lived to be 90).
Stuff that happened on July 23 include:
- 1829 – In the United States, William Austin Burt patents the typographer, a precursor to the typewriter.
This was a clumsy machine, where you had to move a lever to a notch corresponding to the letter you want, and then press down. But it was still faster than hand-setting type. Here’s a depiction of one in use:
And a letter Burt composed on his typographer and sent to his wife. A bit messy, no?
Before that there were two separate colonies: “Upper Canada” and “Lower Canada”. Here’s a map captioned by Wikipedia, “The Canadas, Upper Canada (orange) and Lower Canada (green) prior to 1809, with contemporary Canada in pink surrounding it.” The Act of Union eliminated the separate legislatures between the green area and the orange (largely French-speaking) area.
- 1903 – The Ford Motor Company sells its first car.
It was undoubtedly a Model A, and it was bought by Ernest Pfennig, a Chicago dentist.
Archibald Brown was blown up by a grenade secreted in his wheelchair; the perp was his son, who chafed under Archibald’s despotic behavior. Eric was declared insane, sent to prison, and got out in 1975. Here’s the exploded chair; Archibald was blown to bits:
- 1962 – Telstar relays the first publicly transmitted, live trans-Atlantic television program, featuring Walter Cronkite.
- 1962 – Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Here the great Robinson gets his plaque, which was later edited (second picture) to a new version:
From the NYT, with editing from 2008 that added his playing style and history of integrating baseball:.
When he was elected, the words on his bronze plaque at Cooperstown reflected his wishes.
Those words began, “Leading N.L. Batter in 1949,” and followed with his fielding and stolen base statistics, and then “Most Valuable Player in 1949. Lifetime Batting Average .311,” before concluding with more fielding statistics.
“A Player of Extraordinary Ability Renowned for His Electrifying Style of Play,” the words on the new plaque begin before reciting several of the same statistics. They then conclude, thankfully, with, “Displayed Tremendous Courage and Poise in 1947 When He Integrated the Modern Major Leagues in the Face of Intense Adversity.”
- 1968 – The only successful hijacking of an El Al aircraft takes place when a Boeing 707 carrying ten crew and 38 passengers is taken over by three members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The aircraft was en route from Rome, to Lod, Israel.
All passengers and crew survived, as they were exchanged for Arab prisoners.
- 1983 – Gimli Glider: Air Canada Flight 143 runs out of fuel and makes a deadstick landing at Gimli, Manitoba.
This is an amazing story; the plane landed without fuel or power except for hydraulic power, gravity power to drop the landing gear, and some backup battery power. It came down on a runway at a decommissioned RCAF base, a runway that had been converted into a racetrack. Everyone survived the 41,000-foot fuel-less glide, and here’s the plane after landing:
- 1992 – A Vatican commission, led by Joseph Ratzinger, establishes that limiting certain rights of homosexual people and non-married couples is not equivalent to discrimination on grounds of race or gender.
I don’t know why there’s a difference in discriminating between gays or discriminating against people of different genders or races. Ask a Catholic!
- 2018 – A wildfire in East Attica, Greece caused the death of 102 people. It was the deadliest wildfire in history of Greece and the second-deadliest in the world, in the 21st century, after the 2009 bushfires in Australia that killed 180.
*Well, that didn’t take long. Yesterday Steve Bannon was found guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress, the first of Trump’s close aides to become an Official Criminal. Now these are only misdemeanor charges, each carrying a maximum sentence of $1000 fine and 12 months in prison, but the Big Boy won’t get nearly that much. I hope he does get some jail time, just for grins, and I’m pretty sure the judge will sentence him to at lest a short stint in the pokey.
Bannon didn’t testify, nor did he mount a defense, but he pleaded “not guilty”. The case was straightforward, for he did refuse the subpoena, and for the jurors that’s all she wrote:
From the NYT:
The jury’s verdict, reached after less than three hours of deliberations, came one day after video of Mr. Bannon briefly appeared in a public hearing of the House committee he had snubbed. Investigators played a clip of him saying that Mr. Trump had planned to declare victory in the 2020 election, no matter what the results were.
Mr. Bannon remained defiant in remarks outside the courthouse, saying the prosecution’s assertion that he had chosen “allegiance to Donald Trump over compliance with the law” was correct, but omitted an important detail.
“I stand with Trump and the Constitution,” Mr. Bannon said. “I will never back off that.”
Judge Carl J. Nichols set a sentencing date in late October but David I. Schoen, a lawyer for Mr. Bannon, said they would appeal the guilty verdict.
Librarians in Oklahoma have been warned to avoid using the word “abortion” and not to assist library patrons in finding abortion-related information.
We think of librarians as the dispensers of information, not concealers of it, and this will surely piss most of them off. But rendering this assistance could be illegal!
Library workers across Oklahoma’s Metropolitan Library System (MLS) were shocked this week after receiving instructions to avoid using the word “abortion” and not to help patrons locate abortion-related information on either library computers or their own devices. Workers were warned that they could be held legally liable and face penalties under the state’s abortion laws.
“If a staff member gives any information on how to obtain an abortion, then that person may be found personally liable and will also make MLS liable,” says a memo, which was obtained by Motherboard after being emailed to workers at one library branch in the Oklahoma City area. “Civil penalties include a $10,000 fine plus jail time and the staff member will lose their job due to being informed by MLS and disregarding the warning.”
The message also asks library workers to be wary of people who try to trick staff into giving them information on how to obtain an abortion so they can report them to authorities. Branch managers have given similar guidance to library workers across the system, according to workers who spoke with Motherboard on condition of anonymity.
This is out and out censorship, but I suspect that, given the odious nature of these new laws, it’s legal.
*Over at Medium, historian Nadin Brzezinski has a piece called “Logistics collapse,” explaining Why Russia will lose in Ukraine. (We’ve had a couple recently explaining why Russia will win in Ukraine.
Ukraine is likely going to end in very Russian way. It’s starting to look like the armies of Vladimir Putin will go home on foot, leaving a lot of equipment behind. Why? They are facing a logistics collapse like that seen by the armies of the Tzar in 1917, after the Summer offensive.
First, a tad of background. Because we have seen signals of this since the beginning of the war. If the Russian plan had worked, and they took Kyiv in three days, we would not have noticed these systemic problems with the Russian army.
But now we do, and have.
And, as the title implies, it’s the logistics, stupid! They simply can’t get enough weapons to Russian troops, equipment isn’t maintained, and generals are shooting themselves because of abject failure. As for ammunition,
The problem [the Russians] have is they don’t have the trucks to drive these from bases inside Russia. Nor do they know how to do that. Russia would need something like the Red Ball Express after the Allies landed at Normandy. They don’t have the trucks at this point.
Brzezinski goes on about various political issues that have fouled things up, and concludes this way:
How long before we see a total collapse? If Ukraine gets ammo that can reach 300 km, no Russian depot within Ukrainian territory will be safe. This includes Sebastopol, well within Crimea. There are negotiations underway.
Incidentally, expect more threats of nuclear weapons. Every time Russia sees more reversals, the bombing of civilian areas increases. So does the talk of a nuclear use. These are the threats of a government that can see the writing on the wall.
Perhaps, but her article hasn’t changed my mind. A pessimist is never disappointed, and so I try to think Russia will win because I’ll feel so good if they don’t. But I still think they will, garnering at least a huge piece of Ukraine, simply because Russia (and Putin) can’t afford to lose. Remember, though, I’m far from being a pundit about anything save evolution.
*However, if you read Andrew Sullivan’s main Substack segment this week, “Putin’s Long Game in Ukraine“, you’ll see that Sully arrives at the opposite conclusion: Russia will at the least help itself to a large portion of Ukraine. And he worries that the West will grow weary of the war, and just give up (we have other issues)
*Be sure to have a look at Nellie Bowles’s “TGIF”, her weekly news summary on Bari Weiss’s Substack column. (Do subscribe if you read regularly.) This week’s is called, “TGIF: Prince Harry, Dave Chappelle, and AOC“: clickbait for sure. I read it as much for the snark and sarcasm as for the news, and really look forward to Bowles’s weeky production. Here are two items from a long summary:
→ Prince, please, this is not your country: Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, the Prince turned celebrity, has decided it is his new job to be America’s top woke-scold, weighing in on various topics when he sees fit to leave Montecito. The latest: He was invited to the UN (?!) and spoke about U.S. abortion law (!?!?) “The rolling back of Constitutional rights here in the United States” is part of a “global assault on democracy and freedom”? Who is this guy? Why exactly is he getting a stage anywhere at all? He is not the monarch of any country, but least of all ours.
→ Antifa putting on a summer camp: If I know our Common Sense readers, I know where you’ll want to send young Lilac and River. Antifa summer camp! It’s real. Scroll through the past summer activities. Your bundles of joy can choose between activities like: “White Supremacy Reflection” and “What Is Police Abolition?”
*Doctored data appear to have been a keystone of research on Alzheimer’s for a long time. The Torygraph reports (archived), and links to a Science article (h/t: Jez).
The key theory of what causes Alzheimer’s disease may be based on ‘manipulated’ data which has misdirected dementia research for 16 years – potentially wasting billions of pounds – a major investigation suggests.
A six-month probe by the journal Science reported “shockingly blatant” evidence of result tampering in a seminal research paper which proposed Alzheimer’s is triggered by a build-up of amyloid beta plaques in the brain.
In the 2006 article from the University of Minnesota, published in the journal Nature, scientists claimed to have discovered a type of amyloid beta which brought on dementia when injected into young rats.
It was the first substance ever identified in brain tissue which could cause memory impairment, and seemed like a smoking gun.
The Nature paper became one of the most-cited scientific articles on Alzheimer’s ever published, sparking a huge jump in global funding for research into drugs to clear away the plaques.
But the Science investigation claims to have found evidence that images of amyloid beta in mice had been doctored, in allegations branded “extremely serious” by the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK.
The possible fraud was uncovered by Matthew Schrag, a neuroscientist at Vanderbilt who found doctored photos supporting a key “finding” that, while not universally accepted (there is no universal consensus about the cause of Alzheimer’s), became the basis of nearly all research trying to mitigate or cure the disease. Part of the report from Science:
The first author of that influential study, published in Nature in 2006, was an ascending neuroscientist: Sylvain Lesné of the University of Minnesota (UMN), Twin Cities. His work underpins a key element of the dominant yet controversial amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer’s, which holds that Aβ clumps, known as plaques, in brain tissue are a primary cause of the devastating illness, which afflicts tens of millions globally. In what looked like a smoking gun for the theory and a lead to possible therapies, Lesné and his colleagues discovered an Aβ subtype and seemed to prove it caused dementia in rats. If Schrag’s doubts are correct, Lesné’s findings were an elaborate mirage.
A 6-month investigation by Science provided strong support for Schrag’s suspicions and raised questions about Lesné’s research. A leading independent image analyst and several top Alzheimer’s researchers—including George Perry of the University of Texas, San Antonio, and John Forsayeth of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)—reviewed most of Schrag’s findings at Science’s request. They concurred with his overall conclusions, which cast doubt on hundreds of images, including more than 70 in Lesné’s papers. Some look like “shockingly blatant” examples of image tampering, says Donna Wilcock, an Alzheimer’s expert at the University of Kentucky.
The authors “appeared to have composed figures by piecing together parts of photos from different experiments,” says Elisabeth Bik, a molecular biologist and well-known forensic image consultant. “The obtained experimental results might not have been the desired results, and that data might have been changed to … better fit a hypothesis.”
The NIH spends $3.2 billion dollars annually on Alzheimer’s research, much of it motivated by the amyloid clump hypothesis. It may still be right, with any fraud just used to buttress a hypothesis that still might be true. Or amyloid clumps could still be the cause of the dementia, but a different kind of amyloid than the one implicated by Lesné (Aβ*56). But it could also be the case that 16 years of work on the disease has been wasted. The NIH is investigating. (h/t Jez).
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej comes to Editor-in-Chief Hili with an issue. Hili efficiently delegates the problem.
A: I have a problem.Hili: When you find a good solution let me know.
Ja: Mam problem.Hili: Jak znajdziesz dobre rozwiązanie to mi powiedz.
And Baby Kulka approves of this post:
From the Perth Observatory:
From D. J. Grothe:
From Jesus of the Day:
The Tweet of God:
Apocalyptically hot enough for you?
— God (@TheTweetOfGod) July 19, 2022
From Dom, a beautiful jewel wasp:
Just like us in this hot weather, the little Jewel wasps (Hedychrum sp I believe) like a wash – #DiggerAlley @RSPBMinsmere can be very dusty and it's important to be well presented for the visitors after all!@BroadGavin @WaspWoman @Cin_Oi @Natures_Voice @RSPBEngland #WaspLove pic.twitter.com/sv8aqmxcHt
— Whistling Joe (@whistling_joe) July 20, 2022
From Simon: Advice from the Donald on sanitizing your insides:
After Joe Biden tests positive for Covid, Donald Trump texts to say there's a six-pack of Toilet Duck in the en suite.
— Have I Got News For You (@haveigotnews) July 22, 2022
From Ken; I’ve added a followup tweet so you can see the gonzo Republicans:
The vote sheets from the House Clerk are below–
Abortion rights: https://t.co/40p0MkwjPm
Interstate travel: https://t.co/Fiq9w8kJmo
Marriage equality: https://t.co/jlDy41kwjH
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) July 22, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial: Vandalism in Germany: trees commemorating Holocaust victims cut down, swastikas drawn on Holocaust memorial. The usual stuff.
In the same week, sets of unidentified individuals cut down trees planted to commemorate #Holocaust victims near the former German Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald and drew swastikas onto one of the concrete slabs of Berlin’s Holocaust memorial. https://t.co/zpEj4I1RPZ
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) July 23, 2022
Tweet from Dr. Cobb. Here he is (in the second tweet) at the Bluedot Festival explaining his latest published book (which he hadn’t even seen in print) in one minute:
— The University of Manchester (@OfficialUoM) July 22, 2022
Can America get any crazier with respect to guns? The answer is, “Yes, of course!”
Gun maker Sig Sauer is about to kill many more Americans, by releasing version of next gen military rifle onto civilian market. 2x power of AR 15. “This is a weapon that could defeat any body armor, any planned body armor that we know of in the future,” https://t.co/NgrApSd29T
— Hari Kunzru (@harikunzru) July 21, 2022
From the article above:
SIG Sauer’s new MCX-SPEAR fires bullets with twice the kinetic energy of those from an AR-15. That means double the horrifying force that mangled the victims of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and left one youngster essentially decapitated.
“It’ll shoot through almost all of the bulletproof vests that are worn by law enforcement in the county right now,” said Ryan Busse, a former firearms company executive who is now a senior policy analyst with the Giffords Law Center and author of Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry that Radicalized America.
The MCX-SPEAR is the civilian version of the U.S. Army’s NGSW-R (Next Generation Squad Weapon-Rifle), which was created with the express purpose of tearing through enemy body armor.
“This is a weapon that could defeat any body armor, any planned body armor that we know of in the future,” then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told the Army Times in 2019. “This is a weapon that can go out at ranges that are unknown today.”
The MCX-Spear: coming soon—to a mall near you!
And I’ve saved the best for last: a terrific attack ad on Dr. Mehmet Oz, the quack who, you might know, is running as a Republican candidate for the Senate from Pennsylvania—even though he apparently lives in New Jersey. Don’t miss this; it’s even better than LBJ’s famous anti-Goldwater ad from 1964:
holy shit watch and retweet this ad pic.twitter.com/JIPhxZch7S
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) July 20, 2022