It’s the penultimate day of September: Thursday, September 29, 2022, and National Coffee Day, though of course that’s every day caffeine junkies. One of my friends was just forbidden both caffeine and dairy products for two weeks during a course of antibiotics, and she’s quite desperate for a cup of Joe (she takes it with milk, of course). And imagine a world without coffee! Then think of all the drinks BETTER than coffee that don’t exist because the plants never evolved.
In honor of Broadway Musicals Day, here’s a great song from the original cast album of Lerner and Loewe’s Brigadoon, one of my favorite musicals (1947). I use to listen to my parents’ album for hours, and I still know all the words to the songs. This is one of the best. Do not accept any substitute for the original cast album!
Stuff that happened on September 29 is very thin, and includes:
The history of the region is so complicated that I won’t even begin to recount it, but here’s the declaration itself and “Mandatory Palestine” in 1946, before the division into Israel and the Palestinian territories. Back then the area did extend “from the [Jordan] river to the sea.”
Here’s the complex dedicated to the study of particle physics. It’s hard to find out what country it’s in, as it sits very close to (or even on) the border between Switzerland and France.
It’s surrounded by the famous Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which is underground and traced by the yellow line below:
Here’s the studio, which was in Detroit. The station was eventually sold and now appears to be a broadcast museum:
- 1990 – The YF-22, which would later become the F-22 Raptor, flies for the first time.
The YF-22 was a prototype of which two remain in museums. The F-22 Raptor, however, is a tactical fighter that’s still in service for the the U.S. Air Force. Here’s a video showing it in action:
*If you want to see how much of a failure the Russian Army has been in Ukraine, the NYT has a story featuring “‘Putin is a fool’: Intercepted calls reveal Russian Army in disarray.” Here’s the backstory:
From trenches, dugouts and in occupied homes in the area around Bucha, a western suburb of Kyiv, Russian soldiers disobeyed orders by making unauthorized calls from their cellphones to their wives, girlfriends, friends and parents hundreds of miles from the front line.
The New York Times has exclusively obtained recordings of thousands of calls that were made throughout March and intercepted by Ukrainian law enforcement agencies from this pivotal location.
Reporters verified the authenticity of these calls by cross-referencing the Russian phone numbers with messaging apps and social media profiles to identify soldiers and family members. The Times spent almost two months translating the recordings, which have been edited for clarity and length.
It’s amazing that there’s an ability to intercept these calls, but of course we know that’s possible. As you scroll down the page, you’ll hear call after call in Russian, translated into English, and also read commentary from the NYT.
A few examples. First, war crimes, and they may be able to use the names of the callers to find war criminals:
We were given an order to kill everyone we see.
. . . . Fuck.There are corpses lying around on the road. Civilians are just lying around. It’sf ucked up.
Right on the road?
. . . In what may amount to evidence of war crimes, a soldier named Sergey confesses to his girlfriend that his captain ordered the execution of three men who were “walking past our storehouse,” and that he has become “a killer.”
And there are the revelations about abysmal military failure, coupled with criticisms of Putin.
Our offense has stalled. We’re losing this war.
Putin is a fool. He wants to take Kyiv. But there’s no way we can do it.
Mom, this war is the stupidest decision our government ever made, I think.
There were 400 paratroopers. And only 38 of them survived.…Because our commanders sent soldiers to the slaughter.
The parade of killings, military foulups, execution of civilians goes on and, in the end, it leads to this:
Back home in Russia, the phone calls reveal that the mounting deaths are beginning to reverberate in military towns, where tight-knit communities and families exchange news of casualties. Relatives describe rows of corpses and coffins arriving in their cities, as soldiers warn that even more bodies will soon return. One woman tells her husband that a military funeral was held every day that week. In shock, some families say they have begun to see psychologists.
Let’s talk about Iran. It took the death of one woman, Mahsa Amini, to mobilize Iranian women, and now it appears to be mobilizing Western opinion. Do people not realize what’s been going on in Iran for decades. I hope they will now. Several articles have just appeared from Iranian women. (I reproduce some tweets at the bottom.)
*Masih Alinejad, someone whose words I often post here, has an op-ed in the Washington Post, “Women are leading a revolution in Iran. When will Western feminists help?”
The news of [Mahsa’s] death has triggered outrage throughout Iran. Tens of thousands of demonstrators are defying security forces to ask why an innocent young woman lost her life to religious radicals who merely wanted to show off their militant male power. The compulsory hijab is not just a small piece of cloth for Iranian women; it is the most visible symbol of how we are oppressed by a tyrannical theocracy. Now, by drawing attention to that injustice, Mahsa’s death has the potential to serve as a new turning point for Iranian women.
They deserve the support of their Western counterparts. Yet so far we see little evidence that women in Europe or North America are willing to take to the streets to show their solidarity for a women’s revolution in Iran.
The true feminists and women’s rights activists are those in Afghanistan and Iran who are stepping forward, at great cost, to resist the Taliban and Islamic republic. They are the true feminist leaders of the 21st century, risking their lives by facing guns and bullets. They will go on fighting against the regimes, and we who have the privilege to live in free countries should actively amplify their voices. This is the moment for women in the West to stand with Iran’s mothers, daughters and sisters.
Don’t forget, too, that the U.S. is coddling Iran, dangling carrots to secure a false promise that the country won’t build nuclear weapons. Of course it will. We should not be acting as we have towards a country that violates human rights: not just against women, but against gays, non-Muslims, and atheists.
*There’s a parallel editorial in the NYT, which heartens me that the MSM really are cottoning on to the oppression in Iran: “Iran has lost sight of its greatest asset: women.” by Iranian-American Firoozeh Dumas.
The hijab has not always been a part of Iranian culture. Pictures of Tehran in the 1960s and ’70s show women wearing Jackie Kennedy-inspired dresses, short sleeves and miniskirts. But more important than their freedom to dress as they wished, Sedigeh’s generation witnessed the rise of women throughout Iranian society, in law, education and medicine, to name a few fields.
. . .When women are oppressed, no one wins. Iran today is full of educated, capable women who have risen to the top of their fields and whose bodies, paradoxically, are regulated by the government. Regardless of their education or contributions to society, outside their homes, every woman in Iran is at the mercy of the morality police. This is insulting, soul-crushing and not sustainable.
These brave, determined women marching in the streets want the chance to live unencumbered and to regain rights taken by a government that treats them as second-class citizens. Their level of determination, their hunger, can lead to great things. I have no doubt that Iranian women, if given the opportunity to fully become who they are meant to be, could be making even greater contributions to society that would benefit all Iranians. Instead, they are asking not to be killed for showing their hair.
That last sentence is so sad, and so true.
*What heartens me nearly as much is that many Iranian men are starting to show solidarity with the women. The fact is that most people in the country are fed up with the theocracy, forcing a vibrant country back to the middle ages. But here’s an example of the solidarity. According to the Guardian, Iranian male soccer players are covering up their country’s emblems when playing matches overseas, expressing solidarity with the women protesting the murder of Mahsa Amini. (h/t Jez)
Iran’s players covered up their national symbols by wearing jackets before the friendly with Senegal on Tuesday evening, showing solidarity with protests against the repression of women in their home country.
The past 11 days have seen significant unrest in Iran after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested on 13 September for refusing to wear a hijab. There have been widespread protests and before their match in Maria Enzersdorf, a town just outside Vienna, the national team made their anger visible.
Carlos Queiroz’s team wore black jackets while the national anthems were played, concealing their country’s colours and badge. The match was played behind closed doors by edict of Iran’s football association, which held the rights to the fixture, but a sizeable number of demonstrators gathered outside in an effort to make their voices heard on television feeds.
On Sunday the influential Iran forward Sardar Azmoun had spoken out in support of the protests via his Instagram account. “At worst I’ll be dismissed from the national team,” wrote the Bayern Leverkusen player. “No problem. I’d sacrifice that for one hair on the heads of Iranian women. This story will not be deleted. They can do whatever they want. Shame on you for killing so easily; long live Iranian women.”
.Azmoun is a brave man, for he could face far more than just dismissal from the team. Here’s another player:
*Remember that old fraud and spoon bender, Uri Geller? Well the WSJ reports that in 2009 he bought an island (a rock, really) off Scotland, created his own country (and selling citizenship for $1), and wants, most of all, the soccer team he’s creating.
Here’s his island
Several years ago, he bought a small rocky island lying off the town’s coast called the Lamb. The place is uninhabited, a wildlife reserve no larger than a soccer field and home to colonies of puffins, guillemots and other seabirds. Mr. Geller says he was drawn to it partly for his belief it might hold relics buried by a pharaoh’s daughter 3,500 years ago. He paid £30,000 for it when it came up for sale, though excavations are prohibited.
Now Mr. Geller is turning the Lamb into his own micronation, adding to a galaxy of imaginary countries, from old oil rigs to assorted backyards or bedrooms, jousting for international recognition.
He designed a flag, based on a design he thought up with Salvador Dali in the 1970s. He adopted an anthem and has drawn up a constitution professing peace and love for all mankind and extraterrestrials, too. Several celebrities have signed up, including singer Peter Andre and writer and TV personality Stephen Fry.
But what Mr. Geller really wants is a soccer team—and he will use his powers if it will help rack up a few wins.
North Berwick Amateurs captain Jack Fish looked up Mr. Geller’s email after the mother of a couple of the players read about his plans in the local paper, the East Lothian Courier. Mr. Fish fired off a proposal, thinking it could bring the team some publicity, like when the actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought the Welsh team Wrexham AFC two years ago.
. . . But in Scotland, Mr. Geller, now 75, is best known for a stunt in which he claims to have used his telekinetic powers to nudge the ball just as Scottish player Gary McAllister was taking a penalty kick against England in the 1996 European Championships. The ball went rocketing over the crossbar and England won the game. Mr. Geller was deluged with hate mail from north of the border.
In the future, he hopes the team will play against those of other micronations or in the Island Games, an annual tournament involving teams from places such as Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Gotland, in Sweden. Perhaps it could play in the World Cup one day, he muses.
Fat chance. But I like the title of the article, “Bend it like Geller: famous psychic turns his powers to a football team.”
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is in a mental recursion:
Hili: I’m contemplating.A: Contemplating what?Hili: Contemplating the mystery of contemplation.
Hili: Kontempluję.Ja: Nad czym?Hili: Nad misterium kontemplacji.
From Divy: Hurricat classification:
From Malcolm: a sugar glider on Facebook:
Another church sign from David:
God retweets part of the notorious Stephen Fry interview:
You're mean, @stephenfry.
Very mean. https://t.co/YFCoHR4tjo
— God (Thee/Thy) (@TheTweetOfGod) September 27, 2022
Masih wants us to listen, so listen:
Dear Americans &Europeans please listen:
Iranians are endangering their lives for freedom. Soon, they’ll start national strikes.
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) September 28, 2022
From Barry: A Republican Jesus:
TRAGICALLY hilarious. https://t.co/P6mUSUjn1q
— Mark Hamill (@MarkHamill) September 16, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial: it’s the day of the Babi Yar massacre. There were 29 survivors.
29-30 September 1941 | Members of Einsatzgruppe C perpetrated the massacre at Babi Yar. During a two-day execution, 33,771 Jews of Kiev were murdered. https://t.co/nQHSxZxjW9 pic.twitter.com/iUGG79PN5c
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) September 29, 2022
Tweets from Matthew. First, one of his showing a beaver in VIENNA!
Just hope it doesn’t start building a dam. What brilliant news! https://t.co/2CyHtQzklB
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) September 28, 2022
. . . and look at this foraging platypus!
A #platypus climbs a waterfall, foraging for crayfish & insect larvae among tree branches as he goes. #Platypuses' bills can detect the electrical impulses that control their preys' muscles, including their heartbeats.#MammalWatching #Tasmania @HobartPlatypus #WildOz #fieldwork pic.twitter.com/L8VsriMowC
— Jack Ashby (@JackDAshby) September 27, 2022
Have you ever seen prettier clouds?:
One of the rarest photo I’ve captured. Those are Polar stratospheric clouds and only form under very specific conditions in the lower stratosphere 🌈#polarstratosphericclouds #iceland
© Hörður Kristleifsson pic.twitter.com/WbWTTHrTpq
— Hörður Kristleifsson (@h0rdur) September 26, 2022
Can you spot the dog? Yes, there is one here. I’ll put the answer below the fold:
Spot the dog*
*yes I know that’s a dog’s name pic.twitter.com/cftd88OUez
— Moose Allain Ꙭ (@MooseAllain) September 25, 2022
Click “read more” to see the dog.
Did you spot the dog? Here are two enlargements.