Welcome to non-cat Sabbath, September 4, 2022, National Macadamia Nut Day, celebrating most people’s favorite nut (cashews are second). At about $25 a pound, these are also the world’s most expensive nuts. This video (the English in the captions is wonky) tells you why. The nut has two shells, and harvesting must be done by hand:
The holiday marks the end of the toothfish (Dissostichus, also called Chilean sea bass) fishing season. Locals (which at this time of year number around 16) celebrate with a toast. Some bake gingerbread toothfish cookies. The Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) celebrates with a Toothfish Day Reception at Government House in Stanley. The reception includes a quiz, a toast, and a menu featuring many dishes made with toothfish. GSGSSI also holds meetings and a reception in London to mark the occasion.
Stuff that happened on September 4 includes:
A precis and their route:
The Flight of the Earls (Irish: Teitheamh na nIarlaí) took place in September 1607, when Hugh O’Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone, and Rory O’Donnell, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell, and about ninety followers, left Ulster in Ireland for mainland Europe. Their permanent exile was a watershed event in Irish history, symbolising the end of the old Gaelic order.
- 1666 – In London, England, the most destructive damage from the Great Fire occurs.
- 1882 – The Pearl Street Station in New York City becomes the first power plant to supply electricity to paying customers.
- 1886 – American Indian Wars: After almost 30 years of fighting, Apache leader Geronimo, with his remaining warriors, surrenders to General Nelson Miles in Arizona.
On his deathbed, Geronimo said he regretted surrendering. Here’s a photo of him in 1887 with a rifle:
- 1888 – George Eastman registers the trademark Kodak and receives a patent for his camera that uses roll film.
Robeson, one of my heroes, was not only black and a vociferous advocate of civil rights, but had liberal and even Communist sympathies. That was all it took to ignite a riot. Among the cars that were damaged:
One car carried Woody Guthrie, Lee Hays, Pete Seeger, Seeger’s wife Toshi, and his infant children. Guthrie pinned a shirt to the inside of the window to stop it shattering. “Wouldn’t you know it, Woody pinned up a red shirt,” Hays was to remember. Seeger used some of the thrown rocks to build the chimney of his cabin in the Town of Fishkill, New York, to stand as a reminder of the incident.
- 1951 – The first live transcontinental television broadcast takes place in San Francisco, from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference.
- 1957 – American Civil Rights Movement: Little Rock Crisis: The governor of Arkansas calls out the National Guard to prevent African American students from enrolling in Little Rock Central High School, resulting in the lawsuit Cooper v. Aaron the following year.
Look at these protestors of the integration of Little Rock High! (They’re at the Arkansas state capitol.) This should be the illustration beside the dictionary definition of “yahoos”.
Here all all nine of his gold medal swims (he won two in 1968). The single-game record is also held by a swimmer: Michael Phelps, of course (he got 8 in the 2008 games).
It’s hard to believe that Spitz is 72 now.
- 1972 – The Price Is Right premieres on CBS. As of 2018, it is the longest running game show on American television.
The host was originally Bob Barker, who did the job for 35 years; Drew Carey replaced him, and the show is still running.
I don’t think this is true, as the Cleveland Indians (now the Cleveland Guardians) won 22 straight games in 2017, and they’re in the American League. The National League record is 21 games, set by the Chicago Cubs in 1935.
*Well, the launch of Artemis-1, scheduled for yesterday afternoon, was scrubbed again. This time it was a leak of the liquid hydrogen fuel that was detected seven hours before the 2:17 pm deadline.
NASA engineers repeatedly tried to staunch the fuel leak during the Artemis 1 countdown. First, they tried to warm the tank connector and chill it with cold fuel to reseat the hydrogen quick disconnect connector. Next, engineers tried to repressurize it with helium, and then returned to the warm-and-chill method to stop the leak. All three attempts failed.
The delay, the second this week for NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission, means the agency will have to wait until Monday (Sept. 5) at the earliest to make its next launch attempt. And that’s if the source of the leak can be fixed in time.
“We’ll go when it’s ready. We don’t go until then, and especially now on a test flight,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in televised comments after the scrub. “This is part of the space business.”
. . .If NASA has to roll Artemis 1’s SLS rocket back inside its Vehicle Assembly Building hangar for repairs, the launch will slip to October, Nelson said. NASA already plans to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station on SpaceX’s Crew-5 Dragon mission in early October, so an Artemis 1 launch that month would be later in the month.
NASA currently has a 90-minute window to launch Artemis 1 on Monday, with liftoff occurring at 5:12 p.m. EDT (2212 GMT). If the agency doesn’t try to launch Monday, it could try on Tuesday (Sept. 6), but the launch window is slim, just 24 minutes. A Tuesday launch, if attempted, would occur at 6:57 p.m. EDT (2257 GMT), NASA has said.
As Jim Batterson has been telling us, these things are expected in crew-less tests, and NASA is really shaking down the launch. To tell the truth, though, are any of you excited about founding a colony of humans on the Moon? It seems expensive, and to me the goal isn’t that clear. It’s not going to be a place of egress from Earth when it starts melting down.
A tweet found by Matthew:
— Jonathan Amos (@BBCAmos) September 3, 2022
*The Washington Post editorial board has actually criticized the “divisive” speech that Biden gave the other day. The infrequent editorial-board piece is called “Democracy is in danger. Biden should invoke patriotism, not partisanship, to make that point.” First, the title already is the editorial, and they could have called it simply “Biden shouldn’t be divisive,” or something like that. With that judgment, the WaPo joins all the Republicans who, fostering divisiveness in a much stronger way, have gone extra hard at Uncle Joe for what he said. A snippet of the editorial:
The difficult, perhaps insurmountable, challenge that Mr. Biden confronted — just eight weeks before midterm elections that will determine the future course of his presidency — was how to convey the message of defending democracy in a way that summons patriotism rather than partisanship. Here, as much as we agree with the president about the urgency of the issue, is where he fell short, too often sounding more like a Democrat than a democrat. You don’t persuade people by scolding or demeaning them, but that’s how the president’s speech landed for many conservatives of goodwill.
Well, who are, exactly, those conservatives of goodwill? Trumpers? Nope. And I don’t see any conservatives calling for bipartisanship, except as a kneejerk reaction to Biden’s speech. Remember too that Biden’s Inaugural Address strongly called for bipartisanship. That effort was doomed from the start.. As far as I can see, in his speech Uncle Joe simply called a spade a spade. Here’s what the WaPo wanted him to do: point out that some of his legislation was passed with Republican votes, and he should have said that lots of conservatives disagree with the binning of Roe v. Wade. The tut-tutting goes on:
Moreover, Mr. Biden’s clarion call for democracy would carry more credibility if he were willing to call out his own party for its cynical effort to elevate some of the same “MAGA Republicans” he now warns will destroy democracy if they prevail in the general election. During the primaries, Democrats spent tens of millions helping dangerous election deniers defeat better-funded “mainstream Republicans,” including in Pennsylvania, where Mr. Biden, not coincidentally, chose to speak.
There are times when you have to speak the truth, and the truth is that it is the Republicans, not the Democrats, who are endangering our republic. But the liberal media apparently can’t say that out loud.
*I didn’t know that Robert Reich, politician and now a Berkeley professor, had a Substack niche. Everybody wants to get into the act! But actually, his new piece, “What must we expect of journalism in this crisis?“, is pretty good, and takes exactly the opposite point of view of the Post above, with the WaPo’s Biden-dissing apparently shared by the New York Times. (h/t: Lenora) Emphasis below is Reich’s:
The New York Times quoted Republican House minority leader Kevin McCarthy as claiming Democrats are the ones “dismantling Americans’ democracy.” The Times failed to point out that McCarthy’s claim is inaccurate, and that McCarthy himself was one of 139 House Republicans who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election even after the attack on the Capitol.
The same article quoted Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, as calling Biden “the divider in chief” and accusing him of exhibiting “disgust and hostility towards half the country.” But there was no mention of McDaniel’s role in advancing Trump’s Big Lie. The Times also characterized a more general Republican objection to Biden’s speech — that he “was maligning the 74 million people” who voted for Trump in 2020 — again, without mentioning that Trump has illegally refused to concede the election.
It is dangerous to believe that “balanced journalism” gives equal weight to liars and to truth-tellers, to those intent on destroying democracy and those seeking to protect it, to the enablers of an ongoing attempted coup and those who are trying to prevent it.
Reich adds that CNN fired two reporters who noted that it’s not partisan to point out the truth, and shame on CNN for that! Reich’s ending is also in bold:
Why must we wait until some of our ablest journalists are sacked before they are willing and able to tell America the truth?
It is not “partisan” to explain what Trump and his anti-democracy movement are seeking. It is not “taking sides” to point out that the Trump Republicans are trying to establish an authoritarian government in America. It is not “violating journalistic standards” to tell the unvarnished truth about what we are facing today.
In fact, a failure to call out the Trump Republicans for what they are — liars, enablers, and accessories to crimes against the Constitution — itself violates the most basic canons of journalistic ethics.
*One good thing that could have come from the execrable Dobbs decision is that it’s energized Democrats to vote, along with the many Americans who suddenly realize that the Republicans are turning America into a theocracy. A new poll by the Wall Street Journal shows this heartening trend, which is coupled with a rise in support for legalized abortion:
Voters have grown more supportive of legalizing abortion following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, with a clear majority opposing restrictions, like bans at a certain point of pregnancy or barring women from traveling to get a legal abortion, according to a new Wall Street Journal poll that underscores the importance of the issue in the midterm elections.
According to the survey, 60% of voters said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, up from 55% in March. Another 29% said it should be illegal, except in cases of rape, incest and when the woman’s life is endangered, compared with 30% in March. And 6% said it should be illegal in all cases, down from 11% in March.
Democrats are more likely to vote, and they ain’t gonna vote for Republicans:
. . . On which party is best able to handle abortion policy, 48% said Democrats, 27% Republicans, 16% said neither and 6% said both equally. A total of 41% of independents said they trust Democrats most to handle abortion policy, compared with 18% who said Republicans were best.
And here’s a poll of 1313 registered voters asking where they stand on the time limits for abortion. The “pro-life” states are clearly not in line with what most Americans think (click to enlarge):
*Finally, the AP has an “explainer” that answers your questions about the new Covid-19 vaccine that should be available next week. Should you get one? When? Are they safe? How much extra protection do they offer? Have a look, and of course consult your doctor if you have any questions (and the doc will return phone calls!). One Q&A:
HOW MUCH BENEFIT WILL THE NEW BOOSTERS OFFER?
That’s not clear, because tests of this exact recipe have only just begun in people.
The FDA cleared the new boosters based in large part on human studies of a similarly tweaked vaccine that’s just been recommended by regulators in Europe. Those tweaked shots target an earlier omicron strain, BA.1, that circulated last winter, and studies found they revved up people’s virus-fighting antibodies.
With that earlier omicron version now replaced by BA.4 and BA.5, the FDA ordered an additional tweak to the shots — and tests in mice showed they spark an equally good immune response.
There’s no way to know if antibodies produced by an omicron-matched booster might last longer than a few months. But a booster also is supposed to strengthen immune system memory, adding to protection against serious illness from the ever-mutating virus.
The second booster (yes, I got one) really offers protection for only a couple of months, so will we be getting boosters every six months forever? Even flu shots come only once a year!
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, the Editor in Chief is chewing out Andrzej:
Hili: Will you translate this article about energy?A: Probably not.Hili: I thought so, you don’t have enough energy.
Hili: Czy będziecie tłumaczyć ten artykuł o energii?Ja: Raczej nie.Hili: Tak myślałam, że nie starczy wam energii.
. . . and a picture of sleeping Kulka by Paulina:
From Stash Krod, one of B. Kliban‘s enigmatic cartoons:
God’s had a lot of tweets taken down lately. I think this one will stay up:
At the end of the day, it’s 11:59pm.
— God (@TheTweetOfGod) August 28, 2022
Tweets from Simon, who says, “The double standard leaps out. Not sure why he’d do that, but I guess it’s a clarification that doesn’t take the violent off the hook. In contrast, Trump never apologized for standing in front of two marines and calling Dems (“not all of them”) fascists.”
2/2: There are 3 main kinds of Trumpers:
❌ In denial
That last group knows Trump is a fascist & wants dictatorship.
When Biden & others call out what the far-right actually wants, this pops the tender bubble of self-delusion. It's why they're so angry. pic.twitter.com/or6OP4rdhm
— Matthew Sheffield (@mattsheffield) September 2, 2022
From Malcolm, who says “Amazing foresight by Bowie in 1999”:
David Bowie was a genius. In 1999, only 6 years after the birth of the worldwide web, Bowie spoke about the "unimaginable" effects of the Internet on society.pic.twitter.com/Zn9CXJO0uP
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) August 28, 2022
From Luana. This paper (I haven’t read the whole thing) argues that the Moral Landscape is changing for the better:
Prediction: This study will get no attention in the mainstream media.
— i/o (@eyeandoe) August 19, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial: a man who survived but five days:
4 September 1884 | A Polish Jew, Salomon Kanner, was born in Kańczuga.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) September 4, 2022
Tweets from Matthew. First, a video about Biden’s “controversial” speech:
ON JOE BIDEN OFFENDING THE AMERICAN RIGHT BY SAYING DEMOCRACY IS GOOD pic.twitter.com/RF07gHfXif
— Trae Crowder in IA, NE, and MO 9/6-8 (@traecrowder) September 2, 2022
Do you know all the cat species? This one has a nice tail:
Jaguarundi: a wild cat native to the Americas. Its range extends from central Argentina to northern Mexico, through Central and South America east of the Andes. The jaguarundi is a medium-sized cat of slender build. Its coloration is uniform with two color morphs, gray and red. pic.twitter.com/PL8rqe6Pjs
— Bruno Brack (@Brkbru) September 2, 2022
This is a fascinating paper that I’ve printed out to read:
— Neuroskeptic 🇺🇦 (@Neuro_Skeptic) September 2, 2022