Thursday: Hili dialogue

July 28, 2022 • 6:30 am

Greetings: it’s Thursday, July 28, 2022; we’re over Hump Day and on the downhill slide to what looks to be a pleasant weekend in Chicago, at least weatherwise. It’s both National Milk Chocolate Day and National Hamburger Day. You can combine them by having a burger and a chocolate shake.

It’s also: National Chili Dog Day, National Refreshment Day, Day of Commemoration of the Great Upheaval in Canada, World Hepatitis Day, and World Nature Conservation Day.

I am quite sad today as one of our “baby” ducklings is missing: we had 11 instead of 12 yesterday. Although they can fly, I can’t believe that one of this tightly bonded group would fly away in the middle of the summer.

Stuff that happened on July 28 includes:

She lasted 18 months before she, too, was beheaded. (Because of uncertainty about her birthday, she was between 16 and 21.) Here’s a reenactment from the series “The Tudors”. Trigger warning: a bit of blood, and Catherine was executed before the other person (Lady Rochford), not after.

Robespierre was wounded because of a botched escape attempt and then a botched suicide attempt (he shot himself in the mouth). The day after this happened, they cut off his head. Here’s a painting with the caption, “Lying on a table, wounded, in a room of the convention, Robespierre is the object of the curiosity and quips of Thermidorians, painting by Lucien-Étienne Mélingue (Salon de 1877)(Musée de la Révolution française)”

  • 1868 – The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is certified, establishing African American citizenship and guaranteeing due process of law.

One of the draft pages of the amendment from the National ArchivesL

  • 1914 – In the culmination of the July Crisis, Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, igniting World War I.
  • 1917 – The Silent Parade takes place in New York City, in protest against murders, lynchings, and other violence directed towards African Americans.

Here’s some rare video footage of the Silent Parade.  Note that everyone’s dressed up, and the women are wearing white:

Here’s a reconstruction of the helmet, but it’s clear which parts are original. It’s dated around 625 AD and may have belonged to King Rædwald of East Anglia:

What it may have looked like when pristine:

  • 1945 – A U.S. Army B-25 bomber crashes into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building killing 14 and injuring 26.

Below: the plane embedded in the side of the building. One elevator operator fell 75 floors but survived, though with serious injuries. That’s the record for the longest survived elevator fall.

  • 1973 – Summer Jam at Watkins Glen: Nearly 600,000 people attend a rock festival at the Watkins Glen International Raceway.

I was there and heard The Band, the Dead, and the Allman Brothers.  The Summer Jam holds Guinness Record for “the largest audience at a pop festival.” Oy, was it crowded.

This skeleton is about about 9,000 years old. There was a long court battle about what to do with the remains (below), but DNA analysis finally suggested that he was related to modern Native Americans from the Columbia Basin, and the remains were returned to a coalition of those groups for reburial.

  • 2005 – The Provisional Irish Republican Army calls an end to its thirty-year-long armed campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland.

Da Nooz:

*Yesterday the U.S. Federal Reserve bank raised the prime lending rate by 3/4 of a point or 0.75%—the biggest one-step increase since 1994.  It’s now 2.25%, but still historically low. This is their usual attempt to stem inflation by making things more expensive to buy. The trick is to get the rate hike sufficient to stem inflation but not high enough to cause a recession. From the NYT:

Central bankers voted unanimously to make the unusually large interest-rate move, and the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee signaled in its post-meeting statement that more is coming, saying that it “anticipates that ongoing increases in the target range will be appropriate.”

The Fed’s policy rate, which trickles out through the economy to affect other borrowing costs, is now set to a range of 2.25 to 2.5 percent.

At least the markets approved, with the Dow rising 436 points and the S&P 500 103 points.

*One of the great medical advances of the last few decades is the development of antiviral drugs that can keep the AIDS virus at bay, though not eliminating it. Now infected people can live pretty normal lives and have a normal longevity. But it’s gotten even better: two people have just been found to have eliminated the virus from their bodies nearly completely, making a handful who have truly been “cured.” The “cure,” though, is stressful. One guy has no more virus at all:

A 66-year-old man in Southern California and a woman in her 70s in Spain are the latest in a small group of people who appear to have beaten their HIV infections, providing researchers new clues to a possible cure at a time when Covid-19 and other crises are slowing progress against the spreading virus.

Doctors caring for the man said they haven’t found any human immunodeficiency virus that can replicate in his body since he stopped antiretroviral drug therapy in March 2021 after a transplant of stem cells containing a rare genetic mutation that blocks HIV infection. He was given the transplant for leukemia, for which people with HIV are at increased risk. Details of his case were made public Wednesday and will be presented at a large international AIDS conference in Montreal that opens Friday.

He is the oldest of five patients thus far who appear to have rid their bodies of HIV after the risky procedure and had been infected the longest, since 1988, offering hope for a growing cohort of aging HIV patients.

The woman in Spain has a bit of residual dormant virus:

The woman in Spain still has HIV lying dormant in some cells in her body. But the amount is declining, and the virus isn’t replicating even though she stopped antiretroviral therapy more than 15 years ago, said Juan Ambrosioni, one of the doctors caring for her at the Hospital Clinic of the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute in Barcelona.

Her trick? “She has high levels of two types of immune cells that the virus normally suppresses and that probably help control viral replication.”  These don’t yet offer a good means of curing the virus, but they show promise. I still remember the days when HIV infection was a death sentence, but now people like Andrew Sullivan can have a healthy life by taking antivirals.

*British ecologist James Lovelock, author of the dubious Gaia Hypothesis, has died at the ripe old age of 103—on his birthday. The NYT sums up his three contributions (h/t Pyers)

His family confirmed the death in a statement on Twitter, saying that until six months ago he “was still able to walk along the coast near his home in Dorset and take part in interviews, but his health deteriorated after a bad fall earlier this year.”

Dr. Lovelock’s breadth of knowledge extended from astronomy to zoology. In his later years he became an eminent proponent of nuclear power as a means to help solve global climate change and a pessimist about humankind’s capacity to survive a rapidly warming planet.

Well, he got that right. But wait, there’s more!

But his global renown rested on three main contributions that he developed during a particularly abundant decade of scientific exploration and curiosity stretching from the late 1950s through the last half of the ’60s.

One was his invention of the Electron Capture Detector, an inexpensive, portable, exquisitely sensitive device used to help measure the spread of toxic man-made compounds in the environment. The device provided the scientific foundations of Rachel Carson’s 1962 book, “Silent Spring,” a catalyst of the environmental movement.

The detector also helped provide the basis for regulations in the United States and in other nations that banned harmful chemicals like DDT and PCBs and that sharply reduced the use of hundreds of other compounds as well as the public’s exposure to them.

Later, his finding that chlorofluorocarbons — the compounds that powered aerosol cans and were used to cool refrigerators and air-conditioners — were present in measurable concentrations in the atmosphere led to the discovery of the hole in the ozone layer. (Chlorofluorocarbons are now banned in most countries under a 1987 international agreement.)

But Dr. Lovelock may be most widely known for his Gaia theory — that Earth functioned, as he put it, as a “living organism” that is able to “regulate its temperature and chemistry at a comfortable steady state.”

And we’ll leave it right there. If you want to read about Gaia, which captured the imaginations of a lot of woo-sters, go here

*Oh, and Norman Lear turned 100 yesterday. He created many popular television shows, but to me his greatest achievement was creating “All in the Family,” which I still see as the best television comedy show ever made.  Here’s a segment when Mike and Gloria, moving to California, say goodbye to Edith and Archie.

*I suspect that WNBA star Brittney Griner will soon be freed in a prisoner exchange, as the U.S. apparently has a deal in the works. As the AP reports (see the second paragraph):

American basketball star Brittney Griner testified at her drug possession trial in Russia that an interpreter translated only a fraction of what was being said while she was detained at Moscow’s airport in February and that officials told her to sign documents, but “no one explained any of it to me.”

The testimony by Griner, came on the same day that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington has offered a deal to Russia aimed at bringing home the WNBA star and another jailed American, Paul Whelan in a sharp reversal of previous policy. Details of the proposal were not announced but Moscow has for years expressed interest in the release of Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who is serving 25 years in prison on charges he schemed to illegally sell millions of dollars in weapons.

Griner, testifying for the first time in her trial, also said that besides the poor translation at the airport, she received no explanation of her rights or access to a lawyer during the initial hours of her detention. She said she used a translation app on her phone to communicate with a customs officer.

*In an article called “The Power of Negative Thinking“, NYT writer Judith Newman discusses three books that rain on the parade of happy faces and thumbs-up emojis. The books are TOXIC POSITIVITY: Keeping It Real in a World Obsessed With Being Happy, LIFE’S MESSY, LIVE HAPPY: Things Don’t Have to Be Perfect for You to Be Content,and HAPPY PEOPLE ARE ANNOYING. I suspect I need to read one or three of these, since the highest state of mind of a lugubrious secular Jews is not happiness but complacency.  Some wisdom from the review:

[Author Whitney Goodman] details the situations where positivity ends up being, as she puts it, “a Band-Aid on a bullet wound”: when you’re dealing with grief from death or abandonment, job loss, racism and homophobia or mental health issues. Sometimes all we want is for someone to acknowledge how awful a situation is and just sit with us. We don’t need advice or to have someone tell us how resilient we are.

In my experience, women are much better than men at “sitting with us”; for most men encountering a friend’s problem, there’ an almost irreststible impulse to FIX THE SITUATION by giving advice.

One bit about the second book:

But what’s useful about this book — by an executive business coach who has faced being broke, homeless and alone at points — is that it encourages us to give up the idea that being in control is essential to happiness. In fact, Wakeman says, this belief may be one of the single biggest impediments to contentment.

*Finally, as they always say before the last segment of the NBC Nightly News, “There’s good news tonight.” Let’s finish with a grin, but I’ll let you read this -BBC story yourself (click on screenshot). Emus!  (h/t Jez)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is inquisitive, as usual, but she thinks simple questions should have simple answers.

Hili: What gives a better profit, coconuts or dates?
A: That depends on many factors.
Hili: You are complicating everything again.
In Polish:
Hili: Co daje większe zyski – kokosy czy daktyle?
Ja: To zależy od wielu czynników.
Hili: Znowu wszystko komplikujesz.


From Jesus of the Day, a shrink dumps on “retail therapy”:

From Facebook:

Speaking of babies, this is also from Facebook:

From God, who appears to be very down on humanity these days (and rightly so):

From Barry. This horse is apparently stunned by its own beauty:

From Ginger K., an excellent pair of tweets.

Two from Simon. This first one is interesting, but if you read the linked paper you’ll see the evidence is indirect:

Simon’s a Brit, sent this, and then answered my queries about who the guy was and what the cover was about:

The point of the Private Eye cover is that it’s a little difficult for Truss or Sunak (Chancellor of the Exchequer and former Chief Secretary to the Treasury) to really be “change” candidates having been members of the existing government and closely tied to the leader they will replace. Nothing complex.
I have a feeling that she will win, although he may well be the better choice. Boris was only ever well suited for a ceremonial role, like the mayor of London, where he could do the bits he liked and hire good people (which he did) to do the actual work. Truss’ main claim to fame seems to be reintroducing the beaver to the UK (not a bad thing, but not really a qualifying achievement for the job) while his is making a lot of money and then marring the richest woman in the country. He at least understands how things work.
Given that the Tories seem to be the only party with a chance to form a government for the foreseeable future, it would be better (IMO) to have someone competent in charge. Or we will be doing this all over again in a couple of years.

From the Auschwitz Memorial: A survivor

Tweets from Professor Cobb. First, have a look at the linked article to see the work of sneaky but clever Swiss cartographers:

Bad Pun of the Week:

Again, the tweet overstates the results of the linked paper. While there’s probably communication going on, they’re not sure exactly what is being communicated:

32 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. Military cartographers had fun with the maps they made too – there is at least one map of Africa that has an elephant made out of contour lines! I have no idea if the real contours half resembled an elephant and the cartographer enhanced it or if it was pure whimsy… some islands have developed somewhat fanciful outlines too.

  2. In other economic news, the White House is trying pushing the message that two quarters of negative growth does not define a recession. The White House spokeswoman, however, refuses to say what does define a recession. They better decide, or how else will the dictionaries update their definitions to support the White House.

      1. It’s not well-defined. This one is accompanied by very low unemployment (ie, there’s near full employment) so it is not the usual recession, if it is one. Wikipedia says:

        “There is no global consensus on the definition of a recession. In the United States, it is defined as “a significant decline in economic activity spread across the market, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales”.[3] In the United Kingdom and other countries, it is defined as a negative economic growth for two consecutive quarters”

  3. I remember how terrified everyone was of needle sticks when I was in med school and residency in the Bronx in the 90’s. I had a few friends who got stuck, but no one seroconverted. It’s been truly amazing to see the progress made on the disease over the years, and how much we’ve learned about OTHER diseases because of all the research done into HIV and its horrendously vast sea of complications and opportunistic infections, including the resurgence of Tuberculosis(!). Thankfully, treating AIDS was a very popular cause, which definitely was a good thing in this case. Many newer treatments of other viruses, including herpesviruses and tamiflu and even some that have been used for Covid and the like were directly or indirectly born of HIV-related research.

    Though it had its downsides. Van Etten Hospital opened an amazing new, public HIV clinic adjacent to the big Bronx city hospital, Jacobi, with money donated by Ray Kroc’s widow (or so I was told), and as a sort of “thank you”, they replaced the public cafeteria in Jacobi with a McDonalds. It was VERY busy!!

    Apparently they’ve now put an Au Bon Pain in, which seems inappropriate for a hospital…if you only know the meaning of the first few words, you might think they’re celebrating pain, and that might make you leery of coming to such a hospital.

    1. Au bon pain, indeed 😉
      What I have always wondered, when combination therapy turned out to make such a difference in HIV, why not always use a combination therapy with each and every antibiotic use to prevent resistance? Doe anyone know?

      1. A lot of times it has to do with increased risks of side-effects, some of which are due to killing beneficial bacteria, and of course, there are even allergies, which can be deadly; and unfortunately, because people are BAD at taking their antibiotics regularly as directed until done, giving two often ends up selecting for resistance to two drugs at once instead of just one.

        There are bacterial infections for which dual therapy is used. TB is one of them. And, of course, Bactrim (often used for UTIs and other common infections) IS a combination of Trimethoprim and Sulfamethoxazole already. In hospitals, with severely ill patients, the ID people will often hit with more than one big gun at once, at least until cultures and sensitivities have come back.

        But antibiotics are also often expensive, especially newer ones, and those are also the ones that one most wants to avoid breeding for resistance against.

        Treating bacterial infections is, in some ways, a “mushier” or “blurrier” situation than for viruses such as HIV or, say, Hepatitis C. There are so many kinds of bacteria, and they are not usually OBLIGATE parasites, unlike viruses.

  4. My favorite quote from Mike Royko “Show me somebody who is always smiling, always cheerful, always optimistic, and I will show you somebody who hasn’t the faintest idea what the heck is really going on.”

  5. The house/baby analogy is one of those “preaching to the converted” wisdoms designed to make the other side look stupid and one’s own tribe clever, but not to convince. The fetus looks like a miniature baby at 20 weeks, the time limit of many of the Democrat state laws. Also, anti-abortionists could argue that both the material for a house as well the finished house are just property, while the cells that make up a baby change their status from unfeeling tissue to a helpless small human during gestation, with no clear boundary in between (and Peter Singer would argue, and rationally I agree with him, that not even birth after full gestation constitutes a definite natural boundary for “person” status).
    Sad that abortion and “gun rights” have become such contentious things in the US, with strategists on both sides using them for voter mobilization and as decoys that distract from more important issues. Now that Roe vs Wade has fallen and draconian Republican state laws are no longer a pie in the sky to please fundamentalist voters, but are becoming a reality, I believe this will backfire for the Republicans and put off moderates that might otherwise vote Republican in state elections because of the Dem’s missteps in education and policing. But then, what do I know, maybe they have their statistics that show otherwise.

    1. The Facebook post is misleading on another level, too, Ruth. The image shows an 8-cell morula (only six are visible in the focal plane.). This is 2-3 days after fertilization. No intentional abortions are done at this stage. Implantation of the blastocyst occurs around Day 9. All state laws banning abortion that I have reviewed prohibit it only after a pregnancy has been detected by usual medical diagnostic means. The laws specifically allow emergency contraception and IUDs, which interrupt only potential but not proven pregnancies. This might be splitting hairs but legislatures are allowed to do that. A certain amount of hypocrisy is needed to hold society together.

      So, yes, “This is not a baby” is correct. But you can legally “abort” it in Texas Idaho, and Louisiana so beside the point. It would have been interesting to see the reaction if the Facebook post had tried to claim that a photo of a six- or 15- week fetus was “not a baby.” As for a 24-weeker (the actual on-demand limit in liberal states), a lot of people on the fence would probably say, “Gee, I dunno. Looks like a baby to me.” That doesn’t by itself confer rights on it, but it would weaken the propaganda value of the “no-brainer” visual.

      One disappointment I got from Pew Research is that there is no American national consensus that first-trimester abortion on demand could be acceptable. Support for the idea is strong only to six weeks and drops to less than half by 14. (Polling done before the recent Supreme Court decision.). And I suspect the “14-weeks is OK” folks are in states where it’s already legal for 10 weeks further along than that. The rest of the country is likely in the “not beyond 6 weeks” or “not at all” camps.

      1. Indeed. At 24 weeks, premature babies can survive. Not without help, but then neither can a normal baby or a small child or even some adults for that matter. The main reason that there is no sensible compromise in the USA is because of the all-or-nothing stance: abortion should be legal at any stage, or at least up until a stage much later than in mostly atheist European countries. If this extreme position (from which only a few benefit) could be given up, it would make a sensible compromise (from which many would benefit) much more likely.

    2. Ruth since you commented about national consensus over on the U-M Walkout thread, and I mentioned it today, here are the Pew polling results.

      The only clear consensus identified is that over 2/3 “agree” that abortion should be legal in some circumstances and illegal in others. Many respondents believe both that the fetus has rights as a person, and that the decision to abort should be up to the mother. Even people who would put restrictions on abortion (which is most) agree with the latter view.—> (?).

      Those who lean Democratic do not differ as much as might be thought in their views from those who lean GOP, and women on the whole are less sympathetic to abortion than men.

    3. Some constructive criticism (for the same reasons as Jerry usually calls out the left and not the right, I do so here): The problem in the USA is that neither side wants to compromise. Rather than rebutting the “life begins at birth” argument, the pro-choice faction has made it all about “my body my choice” (though many ignore that slogan when pornography or prostitution is involved, even though in that case there is no third party), which fails to convince the other side. It also opens the door to something which most don’t support but have no means of denying, namely abortion one second before birth or even, per Singer, after birth (infanticide). The mostly atheist (at least in practice) European countries where abortion is not such a hot issue usually have rules stating that it is legal up to three months or so and after that needs to be justified (inviable fetus, risk to mother, etc.). Those who argue that late-term abortions are rare (which is true) and thus shouldn’t influence the debate are not willing to compromise by requiring more justification for such late-term abortions.

      It would be easy to rebut the “life begins at conception” argument and convince, if not those who believe it, then a court (which the left has been happy to base the status quo on, until that was overturned by a court), which wouldn’t be able to overturn a law allowing early-term abortion. (Another mistake was relying on a court decision, rather than making a law. Dems could then say to pro-life Dems “hey, it’s not our decision, it’s that of the court) and thus not alienate them. I see no other reason why such a law was not passed when it would have been possible.

      1. > “I see no other reason . . .”

        Appreciate your thoughtful comments, Phillip. I think the reason is just that Democrats know that a meaningful liberalization of abortion—on demand to 12-15 weeks with appropriate protections for maternal health after that—is not nearly as popular even among Democrats as abortion campaigners claim it is. I think Democratic candidates will be loath to see abortion become an issue that they have to take a stand on, for the first time since 1973. It will only hurt them. Certainly none will be able to win with an extreme pro-choice position, yet their core supporters will desert them if they waver from it. For most others voters the issue is just not important enough, too tiresomely insoluble and yet not partisan enough, to affect how they vote. (As a foreigner I’m not saying it ought or or not to be, just that it isn’t.)

  6. At the end of the video, it looks like the horse is going to look to see what’s behind the mirror, perhaps thinking it was looking at another horse through a window.

  7. Those books look good.

    One sells itself starting with the omnipresent positivity slogans – “Life Is Good” – I am reminded of “You Got This”.

    Just stop already. Go to the movies for that stuff – Benini’s Life is Beautiful belongs on the screen – not on the tire cover of your Jeep so the guy driving port-a-potties down the highway can read it.

  8. I beg to differ with Simon… though I too would like a competent PM.

    The Conservatives continue to be a disaster, & the two final candidates are both lukewarm on the issue of most importance, addressing the climate crisis. The idea that Johnson was a competent mayor who appointed competent people is pretty laughable. Also, although a big swing would be required, a Labour government is not beyond the realms of possibility. They would I hope have a greater interest in conservation than the ‘conservatives’. They really are a pathetic shower. Really the Conservatives blew the best candidate last time when Rory Stewart, a decent human being (even though Etonian), just as some will aver Labour blew their chance when Ed Milliband became leader over his brother, who now runs International Rescue.

    Apparently Sunak was at Winchester (school) – the only previous Prime Minister from there was Addington, of whom it was said, “Pitt is to Addington what London is to Paddington.”

    1. Dominic, I was mainly explaining (or trying to explain) to Jerry why I found a PE cover amusing, and ended up extemporizing a bit. My perspectives are based on more than 30 years now of looking at British politics from the other side of the Atlantic, and hearing the moans (and occasional cheers – sometimes simultaneous) of friends and family. I miss many of the subtleties that would be more obvious locally. Agree that these are not necessarily the two candidates one might pick given a clean slate – however, they are the ones that are still standing under the rules.

      I don’t see a Labour govt as likely not because I don’t think they could take back seats in England, but because their historic base in Scotland now seems to be solidly SNP. I don’t know how a Labour/SNP coalition would work out. But in general that form of government has its issues in the UK model.

      Johnson as mayor of London is a side issue, but he got elected and re-elected as a tory in a pretty labour city. Suggests the voters saw something there to reelect him – but as I noted, I’m a long way away. Certainly he was a contrast to Ken Livingstone!

      1. The role of Mayor of London (not to be confused with the Lord Mayor of London) is not ceremonial but actually carries significant powers. Johnson proved adept at taking credit for things that others (including Ken Livingstone) actually instigated. The fact that he has won elections as Tory Party leader and as a mayoral candidate primarily reflects not so much any achievement in office but his preparedness to say whatever people wanted to hear whether true or not, his ability for self promotion and his undeniable charisma. However, his disdain for following the rules and his tendency to lie his way out of trouble have caught up with him and the charm has worn thin with the electorate. The Tory party (at least its MPs) suddenly came to realise that he was no longer an electoral asset hence the avalanche of ministerial resignations that final forced him to resign. As the Private Eye cover points out, the candidates to replace him are now faced with the challenge of presenting themselves as a fresh start having been key members of the Johnson cabinet.

        One other point. Liz Truss rather resembles Johnson in her tendency to exaggerate her achievements in government and to take credit for the achievements of others. It is rather difficult to see how she can take credit for the reintroduction of the beaver in the UK – key steps in this process took place either outside her term in office as Environment Secretary or in Scotland outside her jurisdiction. As Environment Secretary her performance with respect to the protection of biodiversity was widely seen as rather poor by many in the conservation sector.

        1. +1. I have disliked and distrusted Boris since long before he became an MP. He is shallow, dishonest, uninterested in detail, and completely focused on himself and his cronies. It is to the everlasting discredit of the Conservative party that it should have appointed this charlatan to be its leader.

          Truss is cut from the same cloth, in that she will say whatever she thinks will get her the big prize, whatever its lack of credibility. Sunak is more balanced; but he is unlikely to make enough headway with Tory party members, who are the only people who have a say in this contest. Perish the thought that these 160,000 old farts might not like the idea of a brown man leading their party…

  9. All in the Family, indeed one of the best. And it gave rise to another that to me is also among the best, perhaps the best, The Jeffersons. Absolutely revolutionary. And funny as hell. The (repeated) scene of George trampling on Mr Bentley is one of the best gags ever.

    1. All in the Family was loosely based on the 60s-70s BBC series Till Death Us Do Part. Although it was a satire on unreconstructed right-wing views, written by the very left-wing Johnny Speight, it is too much for today’s sensitive souls, who can’t deal with some of the things that Alf Garnett comes out with.

      Still available on the interwebs, if you look.

    2. ”He created many popular television shows, but to me his greatest achievement was creating “All in the Family,” which I still see as the best television comedy show ever made.”

      Indeed. Great minds think alike. 🙂

      Note that it was performed live on stage, like a play, and taped for broadcast.

      The actor who played Mike/Meathead, Rob Reiner, went on to become a famous director.

  10. “I was there and heard The Band, the Dead, and the Allman Brothers”

    I hope you were close enough to the stage to hear well, since the audience was bigger than many cities. Cheap seats must have been in another zip code!

  11. That crayon comic is hilarious.

    I didn’t know a B-25 bomber hit the Empire State building during WW2. Considering 9/11, I’m surprised it didn’t do more damage. Smaller plane and less fuel, I imagine, and I’m sure it wasn’t carrying any bombs.

  12. I doubt that any of those anti-positivity books has anything to say that wasn’t already covered in Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bright-Sided. If I were going to read a book on the topic, I’d start with Ehrenreich, who’s pretty much guaranteed to have something of interest to say on any subject she chooses to investigate.

    1. This book is interesting – in particular, from the intro – discussing a general “theory” about the American positivity ideology :

      “A far less rational theory also runs rampant in American ideology — the idea that our thoughts can, in some mysterious way, directly affect the physical world. Negative thoughts somehow produce negative outcomes, while positive thoughts realize themselves in the form of health, prosperity, and success. For both rational and mystical reasons, then, the effort of positive thinking is said to be well worth our time and attention, whether this means reading the relevant books, attending seminars and speeches that offer the appropriate mental training, or just doing the solitary work of concentration on desired outcomes — a better job, an attractive mate, world peace.”

      … remind anyone of anything?

  13. “A driver who fled the scene of a crash was attacked by a group of emus after climbing into their field.”

    “Liberty, Liberty, Lib-__er-ty, Lib-__er-ty.”

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