Monday: Hili dialogue

December 5, 2022 • 6:45 am

Welcome to the first Monday in December—Monday, December 5, 2022. It’s National Comfort Food Day. The linked page shows mac ‘n’ cheese, a good comfort food, but I’d be hard pressed to pick just one. Here’s a thought: a giant BBQ beef rib from Black’s in Lockhart Texas, along with jalapeño cornbread, raw onion, sweet tea, bbq beans, potato salad, and banana pudding for dessert. Much, in fact, like this meal:

It’s also National Sachertorte Day, Day of the Ninja, National Blue Jeans Day, Krampusnacht, when the dreaded demon comes to punish bad children, Repeal Day (celebrating the end of Prohibition in 1933), and World Soil Day. 

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the December 5 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*This week the Supreme Court will take up a landmark case pitting religious freedom against gay rights. (Which do you think will win, LOL?) This issue was not decided in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in 2018, for the court basically punted after a baker refused, on religious grounds, to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. (The baker won, but only because the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was found to be “not religiously neutral”. That was the punt.)  The new case is very similar to the old one, involving a graphic designer who refused to create a wedding website for a gay couple; and this time the Court will truly weigh gay rights versus religious freedom:

That controversy has now arrived, and the facts are indeed similar. A graphic designer named Lorie Smith, who works just a few miles from Mr. Phillips’s bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop, has challenged the same Colorado law on the same grounds.

“He’s an artist,” Ms. Smith said of Mr. Phillips. “I’m also an artist. We shouldn’t be punished for creating consistently with our convictions.”

The basic arguments in the case, which will be argued before the Supreme Court on Monday, are as familiar as they are polarizing.

On one side are people who say the government should not force them to violate their principles to make a living. On the other are same-sex couples and others who say they are entitled to equal treatment from businesses open to the public.

Both sides say that the consequences of the court’s ruling could be enormous, though for different reasons. Ms. Smith’s supporters say a ruling for the state would allow the government to force all sorts of artists to state things at odds with their beliefs. Her opponents say a ruling in her favor would blow a hole through anti-discrimination laws and allow businesses engaged in expression to refuse service to, say, Black people or Muslims based on odious but sincerely held convictions.

After Cakeshop, Court had refused to hear appeals in several similar cases, but we have a new Court that decided to finally take the bull by the horns:

The decision to hear Ms. Smith’s case was probably driven by several factors: an increasingly assertive six-justice conservative supermajority, a sense that Ms. Smith’s designs were more likely to be expression protected by the First Amendment and the desire of at least some justices to undo or limit Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 decision establishing a right to same-sex marriage.

Anybody see a 6-3 decision coming in favor of the graphic designer? I can’t imagine it would even be 5-4.

*For once there’s seems to be good news out of Iran, but it may be bogus. According to the BBC, the country is disbanding its infamous “morality police” in view of ongoing protests that began when the morality cops beat Mahsa Amini to death for wearing her hijab in an improper manner. (h/t: Divy) However, the story seems a bit, well, weird. It’s uncorroborated and not very clear (see the bold emphasis I’ve put in below):

Iran’s morality police, which is tasked with enforcing the country’s Islamic dress code, is being disbanded, the country’s attorney general says.

Mohammad Jafar Montazeri’s comments, yet to be confirmed by other agencies, were made at an event on Sunday.

Iran has seen months of protests over the death of a young woman in custody.

Mahsa Amini had been detained by the morality police for allegedly breaking strict rules on head coverings.

Mr Montazeri was at a religious conference when he was asked if the morality police was being disbanded.

“The morality police had nothing to do with the judiciary and have been shut down from where they were set up,” he said.

Control of the force lies with the interior ministry and not with the judiciary.

Note that Montazeri is a member of the judiciary, and has no authority, and what does “shut down from where they were set up” mean? There’s no confirmation from government higher-ups.  It goes on:

On Saturday, Mr Montazeri also told the Iranian parliament the law that requires women to wear hijabs would be looked at.

Looked at!? Finally, the people don’t care; they’re honey badgers!

If confirmed, the scrapping of the morality police would be a concession but there are no guarantees it would be enough to halt the protests, which have seen demonstrators burn their head coverings.

“Just because the government has decided to dismantle morality police it doesn’t mean the protests are ending,” one Iranian woman told the BBC World Service’s Newshour programme.

“Even the government saying the hijab is a personal choice is not enough. People know Iran has no future with this government in power. We will see more people from different factions of Iranian society, moderate and traditional, coming out in support of women to get more of their rights back.”

Another woman said: “We, the protesters, don’t care about no hijab no more. We’ve been going out without it for the past 70 days.

It all smells fishy to me, and even Masih Alinejad says that it’s fake news. The video shows the morality police in action: do watch it to see how odious they are: 

*Who is “The man who neutered Trump“, as Michelle Cottle writes in a NYT op-ed? None other than Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia.  How did he neuter Trump? This way:

. . . some folks might have found it a tad curious to see Mr. Kemp hanging out in the store’s parking lot, hugging and mugging for the cameras with Herschel Walker, the Republican Party’s deeply problematic Senate nominee. The former football star is in a tick-tight runoff with the incumbent, Raphael Warnock, and Mr. Kemp was imploring the crowd to turn out for him in this Tuesday’s vote. “He will go and fight for those values that we believe in here in our state,” the governor insisted.

Talk about a postural shift. Throughout his re-election race, Mr. Kemp practiced scrupulous social distancing from his ticketmate.

. . . Which, honestly, was the only sensible course of action considering the freak show that has been Mr. Walker’s candidacy. Accusations of domestic abuseSemi-secret children? Allegations (which he denies) that he paid for abortions for multiple women? Making up stuff about his academic and business ventures? The guy has more baggage than a Kardashian on a round-the-world cruise. No candidate with a sense of self-preservation would want to get close to that hot mess. [JAC: great snark here!]

. . .Whatever happens with Mr. Walker, keep an eye on Mr. Kemp. The 59-year-old Georgia governor is positioning himself to be a major Republican player — one that, unlike so many in his party, is not a complete Trump chump.

If Mr. Kemp’s electoral victory over Stacey Abrams was decisive, besting her by more than seven percentage points, his psychological victory over Donald Trump was devastating, in ways you cannot measure in votes. Mr. Trump had targeted Mr. Kemp for defeat this year, after the governor refused to help him subvert the presidential election results in 2020. The former president put a lot of political capital on the line in his crusade against Mr. Kemp, only to get spanked once again in Georgia. The governor’s refusal to bow to Mr. Trump wound up burnishing his reputation across party lines, which served him well in the purplish state. In the general election last month, Mr. Kemp won 200,000 more votes than Mr. Walker did in his race.

. . . It’s all upside for Mr. Kemp. No one will seriously blame him if he can’t rescue a candidate as lousy as Mr. Walker, and he wins friends and influence within the party simply by trying. He also gets to wallow in his status as a separate, non-Trumpian power center. After all the abuse he has taken from Mr. Trump, the governor must on some level relish being asked to salvage the former president’s handpicked dud — even as the party made clear it did not want Mr. Trump anywhere near the Peach State this time.

And so Trump is figuratively neutered.

*Today’s World Cup results, and no surprises here. Poland managed to eke out one goal compared to France’s three, and poor Senegal didn’t score once against England.

England vs. Senegal via CNN:

The Three Lions triumphed over the Lions of Teranga in our second knockout round match of the day.

In the first half, late goals from Jordan Henderson in the 39th minute and Harry Kane in stoppage time gave England a 2-0 lead going into halftime. The Senegalese were reeling going into the break. And things didn’t get better when play resumed.

Twelve minutes into the second period, Bukayo Saka made it 3-0 England. It is the third goal of the tournament for the young forward.

England’s victory sets up a clash of the titans in the next round. They will face France in the quarterfinals next Saturday.

Here are the highlights; all three English goals are lovely:

And France over Poland:

Earlier in the day, Les Bleus easily dispatched Poland, 3-1. Kylian Mbappé scored twice for the French to take the lead in the tournament’s Golden Boot race (five goals).

The highlights, with that nice pair of goals by Mbappé.

*FInally, there’s a big week ahead for the Artemis-1/Orion Moon flyaround, the first test launch preparing for a Moon habitation and then a trip to Mars. Jim Batterson tells us what’s happening this week:

Today (Monday) and Sunday are days of final, critical Artemis-1/Orion maneuvers – The Artemis-1/Orion mission concludes this week, hopefully with continuing success, after a few key maneuvers to position the spacecraft for its trip back to Earth and for a fiery re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, followed by splashdown into the Pacific Ocean off San Diego, CA.

For the past several weeks, the spacecraft has consisted of two mated subunits: the Orion Crew Capsule and the Service Module, joined together.  The Crew Capsule is where the human crew will live in an oxygenated, shirtsleeve environment on future crewed missions. The Service Module provides internal power via its solar panels and the maneuvering thrust from its main rocket engine. There are also smaller thrusters to speed up, slow down, and orient the stack and they’ll continue to do so until it (the Service Module) separates from the Orion Crew Capsule just before the Crew Capsule re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere for the final stage of its return at noon on Sunday Dec 11.  At that point the capsule’s thermal shield, which has been covered by the Service Module since launch, will be exposed to absorb the heat from the friction of the Earth’s atmosphere until splashdown forty minutes later.

For WEIT readers interested in following events in real-time, here are some key times/events over the next week (all scheduled to be broadcast on NASA Live TV; all times are EST):

(Per NASA-published flight plan as of 1400EST Sunday)

Monday Dec 5

0900- NASA Live TV coverage begins for powered fly-by of moon event in which the spacecraft flies less than 80 miles above the lunar surface and fires its maneuvering rocket to kick it out of lunar orbit and into a trajectory for Earth.

1143 – Powered fly-by: rocket burn at 80 miles above lunar surface to leave lunar orbit into a return-to-Earth trajectory

Thursday Dec 8

1700 – NASA TV briefing to preview Sunday events for Orion’s re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere and splashdown.

Sunday Dec 11

1100 – NASA TV coverage begins

Noon – Service Module and Crew Module separate

1203 – Crew module aligned with heat shield forward for re-entry into atmosphere

1240 – Splashdown! Followed by retrieval of Orion Capsule by recovery ships.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is a hunting and fain would lie down:

Hili: The situation is not clear.
A: I don’t understand.
Hili: Either there is something or there is nothing there.
In Polish:
Hili: Sytuacja jest niejasna.
Ja: Nie rozumiem.
Hili: Albo tam coś jest, albo tam nic nie ma.

**********************

From Dom, who sent a photo taken from yesterday’s Sunday Times. I suspect it’s mockery, but it’s funny mockery.

From Ginger K. (they forgot my dwarf, “Sleepless”):

From David:

Titania finally tweeted something, and I’ve seen equivalent sentiments by some Wokesters.  An excerpt from her article:

It is no exaggeration to say that Elon Musk’s annexation of Twitter is the most terrifying development in recent history. Only a fascist would seek to impose free speech on humanity. 

This is why there has been such a chorus of execration from left-wing commentators, celebrities and influencers. On the day that Musk seized control of Twitter, Washington Post columnist Taylor Lorenz noted that it was “like the gates of hell opened on this site tonight”. Charlie Warzel in The Atlantic wrote that there was “an apocalyptic feel to the ordeal”. 

But it was the Independent that really grasped the full gravity of this moment. Its headline read — “RIP Twitter, 2006-2022: Dead at the Hands of Elon Musk”. It is a testament to the cool-headed stoicism of left-wing journalists that they have managed not to overreact. 

Masih is tweeting up a storm; this one made me happy (not that I want the Shah back!)

From Luana: this is clearly a parody site, like Titania’s, but this is a good one:

From Malcom; parrots growing on trees!

From Ron, who says the data behind this graph come from Pew. Poor Poland!

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Professor Cobb. First (and I may have posted this recently), a girl befriends and raises a baby runner duck. Sound up:

I’m not sure where this comes from; perhaps a British reader will know:

And some British phrases translated into English:

They forgot: “A quite nice article”. Translation: “That article sucked!”

31 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. Except that it’s not really “religious freedom” versus gay rights, it’s “religious privilege”, the right to ignore generally applicable, neutral rules, just because you are religious.

    I consider that US jurisprudence went wrong when it concluded that businesses were “persons” with speech rights. They shouldn’t be, we should distinguish between the business, and the employee acting a role in that business (even when a sole trader). If the business is offering to decorate cakes in general, then they should do that, with the personal feelings of an employee not being relevant.

    1. I am curious if there is a difference between the cake shop, with a store front and tangible product, where a public accommodation argument might be made, and a professional service, such as decorating the cake or web design. And I am curious if a decision here will affect access to businesses, such as the sole grocery store in a neighborhood, when the management doesn’t want to deal with a particular class of customer, protected or not, based on a “religious belief”.

      1. Yes, I sometimes wonder if the people making the argument that store owners should be able to discriminate according to their conscience tend to live in cities, because they usually include “the customer could go elsewhere.” Not if the options are limited, and not if there’s not a lot of diversity in the consciences of the local shopkeepers.

        It seems to me that this issue is pretty much all-or-nothing. If a conservative baker can refuse to design a cake for a gay wedding, what keeps them from refusing to sell a birthday cake to a same-sex couple, or cookies and muffins to homosexuals? And if that’s allowed, then surely the same conscience has a concern about dealing with atheists or people from the wrong religion. And Democrats. And black people. In an area with a lot of conservatives, some people can’t be let to eat cake at all. It’s Jim Crow with the ante upped. A few counties over, though, it’s the opposite.

        What then is the worst consequence if we go the other way? A conservative artist must paint a portrait of a gay couple, and a liberal artist must paint a portrait of the Grand Dragon of the KKK. A print shop prints posters for an atheist group, and an atheist printer must do the same for a church function. I think it’s the lesser of two evils, myself.

    2. > it’s not really “religious freedom” versus gay rights

      Drop the identitarian stuff: ‘religious’, ‘gay’, etc. This is not a question of “rights” (i.e. governments treating people equally), just as Twitter suspending a user does not affect the user’s right to free speech. The fundamental question is whether one private individual can force another into a contract/agreement regarding a private transaction. We generally recognize that the customer is free to leave the transaction at any time; why do people think the business doesn’t have the same freedom?

      Consumers frequently say “Support [demographic]-owned businesses” but businesses don’t say “Support [demographic] customers”; either way is tasteless.

      And yes, I’m still queer.

      1. If a business is, say, offering burgers for sale, then if a black/gay/Muslim customer asks for a burger, the business cannot decline on the grounds that the customer is black/gay/Muslim. Thus, yes, the state is indeed forcing the private business into that contractual exchange.

        Businesses have less freedom in such matters than a private individual would (and this has been accepted since the 1964 CRA). As I see it, the same applies to a business offering a general “decorate a cake” service.

        [And by the way, I don’t agree with you re Twitter, it’s a near-monopoly in its niche and should be regulated as a public utility IMO.]

      2. The fundamental question is whether one private individual can force another into a contract/agreement regarding a private transaction. We generally recognize that the customer is free to leave the transaction at any time; why do people think the business doesn’t have the same freedom?

        You understand that the direct implication of your argument would require repeal of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting discrimination at places of public accommodation on the basis of race, color, religion, and national origin? (This is the Act that ended Jim Crow. Numerous states have since enacted civil-rights statutes of their own extending the protection at places of public accommodation to discrimination based on sexual orientation.)

        This is precisely the argument rejected by the Supreme Court in upholding the constitutionality of the CRA ’64 in Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States (1964).

        1. > the direct implication of your argument would require repeal of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

          Close. It’s not the direct implication because the Act is an Act, a LAW more-or-less-democratically passed by Congress, and not simply a Supreme Court decision.

          But you’re right, I wouldn’t mind if it were overturned; its constitutionality is already pretty tenuous, based on the idea that a locally owned business that sources all of its ingredients in-state is somehow involved in Interstate Commerce. The Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution has been twisted beyond all recognition, enabling, for example, the War on Drugs (someone growing marijuana who freely gives some to a neighbor is neither engaging in an interstate transaction nor commerce, yet the federal government finds that the action has an effect on the interstate drug trade, so it can step in.).

          1. You’ve shifted your rationale from being about an unrestricted right to contract to a limitation on congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause.

            Let’s bypass the latter by concentrating on state anti-discrimination laws (like the Colorado law at issue in the case being argued this morning before SCOTUS). Under your view regarding the unrestricted right to contract, should such laws be invalidated, thereby permitting restaurants, motels, and similar businesses of public accommodation to break out their old door signs saying “NO COLORED,” “NO JEWS,” “NO IRISH,” etc. (and new signs saying “NO GAYS”)?

            1. should such laws be invalidated, thereby permitting restaurants, motels, and similar businesses of public accommodation to break out their old door signs

              Given how often I see men-only bathrooms, no women allowed, it seems consistent.

              I strongly dislike segregation / discrimination on private property, but accept it. I do not accept segregation / discrimination on public property, which is why I am still waiting for governments to integrate public bathrooms and sports. I can’t believe the US still has sexual segregation 50+ years after the civil rights act.

              (and new signs saying “NO GAYS”)?

              Ugh. I still dislike ‘gay’ as a noun. Personal pet peeve. I refuse to say “she is a gay”. I am entirely comfortable with “she is a homosexual”.

              The signs, of course, would be in bad taste, and I hope that the free market would drive them out of circulation.

            2. Ken, this might be a red herring, but is there any mileage in considering the “common carrier” model? A railroad or an airline regulated as a common carrier must accept carriage of all passengers or freight customers willing to pay the freight and accept the carrier’s conditions of carriage. In this model there is no need to worry about discrimination against customers based on race or sex or whatever. The carrier cannot discriminate against customers for any reason. It must carry Mr. Jones’s wheat equally with Mr. Smith’s wheat, first come first served. Period. If it doesn’t have facilities to carry live animals or perishable lettuce, it cannot make an exception for Mr. Jones that it does not extend to Mr. Smith. What if motels and restaurants and bakeries were governed this way?

              I recognize that the designation applies only to businesses that are literally carriers (but it includes telcos), not to those merely providing accommodation or retail services to the public. And that common carriers are regulated in ways that ordinary retail businesses are not, even when they aren’t natural monopolies. And most (all?) cross state lines so the feds get involved. But the common carrier model does acknowledge that the right to decline to contract with anyone you choose is not unlimited.
              ————
              Btw, I wanted to thank you for making a reference a few days ago to Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” We studied that astounding story in Grade 13 English. I’ve re-read it many times over the years (we had to buy our Grade 13 textbooks and I still have it) and it is always nice to be reminded of it. Another good one in that collection was “Looking for Mr. Green” by Saul Bellow.

  2. This week the Supreme Court will take up a landmark case pitting religious freedom against gay rights.

    The Court hears argument in that case, Creative LLC v. Elenis today. (Arguments starts at 10:00 am Eastern and the audio can be accessed through the SCOTUS website, here.)

    The Court also hears oral argument this week (on Wednesday) in Moore v. Harper, the case raising the so-called “independent state legislature theory.” That may sound somewhat recondite, but it’s a potential landmark case regarding how states may conduct elections for federal offices, including US president.

    1. The C-SPAN coverage with the helpful pictures identifying the advocate or justice speaking during oral argument can be accessed here.

    2. The Moore v. Harper case is not as sexy as some others, but its potential to change the way electors are chosen for presidential elections can be a political earthquake. In essence, the plaintiffs are arguing that under the Constitution state legislatures have the sole right to determine how federal elections are run, unchecked by any other branch of state government or the state constitution. In the current case before the Court, it could rule that state legislatures do not even have to hold presidential elections, but simply appoint electors as it chooses. As the Vox article points out:

      “Under the strongest form of this doctrine, members of each state’s legislative branch have unchecked authority to decide how elections for Congress and the presidency will be conducted in their state — indeed, a state legislature could potentially pass a law canceling the presidential election in that state and awarding its electoral votes to Donald Trump. Any state constitutional provisions that protect the right to vote, that limit gerrymandering, or that otherwise constrain lawmakers’ ability to skew elections would cease to function. State governors would lose their ability to veto laws impacting federal elections. And state courts would lose their authority to strike down these laws.”

      https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2022/12/4/23481063/supreme-court-moore-harper-independent-state-legislature-doctrine-elections

      The Court may not go far as to grant state legislatures the right to cancel the election or override the results of the election, but with this right-wing court nothing can be taken for granted. Again, most legal scholars argue that the independent state legislature theory is bunk in any form.

      There is one aspect of this debate that has been little discussed, but may be relevant. Namely, prior to the Civil War several states did not hold popular elections for president, rather the state legislatures appointed the electors. For example, in the 1824 election, six states did not have a popular vote for president. I have not been able to find a discussion of why these states eventually went to the popular vote. A legislative act? A ruling of its Supreme Court? A state constitutional amendment? In any case, could not the current Court use “historical tradition” to validate the independent state legislature doctrine? All in all, this case is very worrisome.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1824_United_States_presidential_election

    3. I find it ridiculous that SCOTUS is taking up a case that is just a hypothetical. Ms. Smith never had a gay customer asking her to design them a website in the first place. She just wants to preemptively stop any gay customers from asking for her services. As if any gay person would want to do business with a bigot like Smith in the first place.

      1. This may be more efficient cost-wise for her than waiting for someone to goad her with some over-the-top request like the Satanic fellatio wedding cake that she would have to refuse to do and get sued. It might cost her more to run that case than being pre-emptive and pro-active. Pro-active is good, right?

        She may have heard on the grapevine that activists were planning some kind of human-rights takedown of local businesses and she didn’t want one of them to be hers.

  3. I am surprised that Jerry has not mentioned the REALLY big news in the soccer world. On Saturday, the University of Chicago’s men’s soccer team won the NCAA Division III national championship. The Maroons defeated Williams 2-0. This victory is receiving a lot of attention because the Maroons coach, Julieanne Sitch, is a woman.
    https://news.uchicago.edu/story/uchicago-mens-soccer-team-wins-ncaa-division-iii-championship

    A story in the NYT back in October ramped up the focus on Sitch and the Maroons.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/26/sports/soccer/nyu-chicago-women-soccer-coaches.html

  4. Artemis/Orion is closing in on the moon with some nice live images from onboard cameras over the past two hours. Moon’ssurface has been getting bigger and sharper as the most prominent feature in view has been the large Mare Imbrium. Unfortunately the big engine burnschedule for 1143 EST will take place while spacecraft is on other side of moon from Earth, so it will be a 15-30 minute delay (sometime around or just after noon) until communication is re-established and flight controllers know if things worked correctly. SCUTUS! NASA!….so much to hear and see today.

    1. Sorry. I need an editor. Of course I meant to type SCOTUS not SCUTUS above. Glad that I am not responsible for “final checks before flight” these days.

    2. I appreciate your space posts. As much as I love space exploration, I don’t have the attention span to keep track of everything on such timescales. I mean, months, years, decades…Voyager 1 & 2, for example, were launched the same year I was “launched”, so to speak, and still going, while I buy a bag of lettuce and forget it after a week! I admire your dedication.

      1. Thanks Christopher. I am glad to do it…when I can keep up! There seems to be some interest among WEIT readers and our host is kind enough to allow me some space space. These huge engineering projects take a lot of time and funding – sometimes a project lasts 25 years and basically forms an entire career for some scientists and engineers. But the results are often spectacular and continue to amaze me even after growing up in a NASA family (my father was a PI on the Surveyor moon lander in the 60’s) and completing a thirty year NASA career myself. I do not seem to become jaded.

        1. I contemplate NASA successfully landing Surveyor on the moon in 1967. (I forget off the top of my head which Apollo mission landed a mile or less away and visually inspected it.) That must have given a big boost of confidence that NASA could land humans on the moon, especially after the Grissom-Young-Chaffee launch pad tragedy in January of that year.

          I haven’t read exhaustively about future Artemis launches, but I have yet to see anything about the testing of the lunar lander. Perhaps I’ve missed it. If memory serves me, press reports have stated that the next flight will have humans aboard, and the flight after that will include a landing. It seems to me that the testing of a lunar lander (as was done with Apollo 10 – the lander descended to approx. 50,000 ft) is essential and worth a prominent mention, and not an “Oh, by the way” afterthought, in the media.

          1. We haveto remember that very little detail about the moon’s gravitational characteristics and surface was known in the 60’s. The Surveyor missions had to learn about the details of lunar gravity, the characteristics of the lunar surface and soil – would the surface soil even support a spacecraft? There was some thought by serious experts – I think Tommy Gold of Cornell may have been one- that the top 20-40 feet of the lunar soil was extremely powdery and any spacecraft that landed would sink. So sending a robot was critical and several robots to get data was desirable. Nasa did have big budgets to accomplish its mission…wartime-like budgets… to beat the Russians. It seems that in the 60’s for Apollo, we did not know how to get to the moon but we had all the money in the world to do it, whereas now, we know how to do it, but have very limited money. So these engineering teams need to be very clever and careful about things.

          2. As of yet there is no lander for the Artemis program. NASA has awarded contracts to 2 or 3 companies to provide one. I’m not sure if the intent is to have operational landers from more than one company, similar to how NASA cultivated several different supply spacecraft for the ISS and two different manned spacecraft, or if at some stage of development a single lunar lander will be selected.

  5. The photocopy of a column from the Sundry Trends is of Rod Liddle’s weekly piece. Liddle is a contrarian journalist who enjoys winding people up, and I’m sure he made up the Dawkins speech bubble himself. I doubt he has any personal religious beliefs at all.

  6. BBC Archive – #OnThisDay 1971: Nationwide sent Nicky Woodhead out to pinch men’s bottoms, in the name of sexual equality.
    by BBC Archive

    Publication date 2019-06-24
    Topics Twitter, video, OnThisDay,
    #OnThisDay 1971: Nationwide sent Nicky Woodhead out to pinch men’s bottoms, in the name of sexual equality. https://t.co/k2PCbeqye2

    Source: https://twitter.com/BBCArchive/status/1143152352435810304
    Uploader: BBC Archive
    Addeddate 2021-02-18 02:57:22
    Identifier twitter-1143152352435810304
    Originalurl https://twitter.com/BBCArchive/status/1143152352435810304
    Scanner TubeUp Video Stream Mirroring Application 0.0.23
    Year 2019

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