Sunday: Hili dialogue

January 8, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to the Sabbath for all kristlekh kats: It’s Sunday, January 8, 2023, and National Toffee Day. My favorite used to be the British Callard and Bowser’s Licorice or Butterscotch toffees; I see that these wonderful confections are no longer made and the company has been bought by Yanks. Here was what the best one looke like:

 

It’s also Typing Day (International observance), National Man Watcher’s Day, Argyle Day (for socks and sweaters), Bubble Bath Day, and Earth’s Rotation Day, explained below:

On January 8, 1851, Foucault performed an experiment in the cellar of his home, in which he swung a five-kilogram weight attached to a two-meter-long pendulum. He put sand underneath it to mark the pendulum’s path, allowing him to see any changes in it. He observed a slight clockwise movement in the plane—the floor, and thus the earth, were slowly rotating; the pendulum kept its position. His experiment showed that the earth rotated on its axis. No longer was it just a hypothesis.

And it’s Alfred Russel Wallace‘s 200thj birthday: he was born on January 8, 1823, and died November 7, 1913. You’ll know him as the man who not only conceived of evolution and natural selection independently of Darwin (thus compelling Darwin to rush publication of The Origin in 1859, but also a man who made huge contributions to biogeography. A photo and announcement of a symposium about him are below (h/t: Matthew):

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the January 8 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Yes, Democrats like me are vastly amused by the shenanigans that culminated in Kevin McCarthy’s election as Speaker of the House, but we all know in our hearts that what happened is not a good thing for the U.S. In an op-ed in the WaPo called “To save himself, McCarthy just destroyed the House,” columnist Dana Milkbank lays out what the fracas portends:

This is what happens when a political party, year after year, systematically destroys the norms and institutions of democracy. This is what happens when those expert at tearing things down are put in charge of governing. The dysfunction has been building over years of government shutdowns, debt-default showdowns and other fabricated crises, and now anti-government Republicans used their new majority to bring the House itself to a halt.

This is insurrection by other means: Two years to the day since the Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol, Republicans are still attacking the functioning of government. McCarthy opened the door to the chaos by excusing Donald Trump’s fomenting of the attack and welcoming a new class of election deniers to his caucus. Now he’s trying to save his own political ambitions by agreeing to institutionalize the chaos — not just for the next two years but for future congresses as well.

. . ..On Thursday, the day McCarthy failed on an 11th consecutive ballot to secure the speakership, he formally surrendered to the 21 GOP extremists denying him the job. He agreed to allow any member of the House to force a vote at will to “vacate” his speakership — essentially agreeing to be in permanent jeopardy of losing his job. He agreed to put rebels on the Rules Committee, giving them sway over what gets a vote on the House floor, and in key committee leadership posts. He agreed to unlimited amendments to spending bills, inviting two years of mayhem. He agreed to other changes that make future government shutdowns and a default on the national debt more likely, if not probable.

Perhaps worst of all, the McCarthy-aligned super PAC, the Conservative Leadership Fund, agreed that it would no longer work against far-right extremists in the vast majority of Republican primaries — a move sure to increase the number of bomb throwers in Congress. Essentially, McCarthy placated the crazies in his caucus bygiving up every tool he (or anybody) had to maintain order in the House.

Finally, on the 15th ballot early Saturday morning, McCarthy’s abject surrender secured him the speakership, at least temporarily. But it was the most pyrrhic of victories. To save himself, he sacrificed the Congress itself. The saboteurs won.
This is all true, but I’m not sure why Milbank says this will wreck future Congresses. That assumes that this particular situation, and this particular deal, will apply in the future, at least for majority-Republican Congresses.  But there’s no guarantee of that, or that the crazies who held the Speakership hostage will be around in the future. While we Democrats can chuckle at the nonsense going on this week, we should remember that what happened is at the expense of the governance of our country.

*Similar warnings are issued in a Wall Street Journal article called, “Speaker fight could preview months of turmoil in Congress.” (The subtitle is “Kevin McCarthy’s concessions show how GOP fractiousness in a narrowly divided House could threaten some significant bills. ‘You’re going to have a sword of Damocles above any speaker.’”) Here the issues are more specific.

. . .But the struggle to pick a House leader, typically a perfunctory process, previewed what could well be months of turmoil over spending issues in a narrowly divided House.

Hanging in the balance is the ability of the U.S. government to stay open and pay its debts. Many of Mr. McCarthy’s initial foes are adamantly opposed to raising the debt ceiling or cutting spending deals with Democrats, and could move to oust him from his job if he tries to do so.

Also at risk are other high-profile measures that would require agreement between House Republicans and the Democrats who control the Senate and White House: funding the Pentagon and other agencies, sending aid to Ukraine as it battles an invasion and approving food stamps for low-income people as part of the farm bill, which is typically reauthorized every five years.

“I’m more worried than I was before,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, the lead economist at advisory firm Oxford Economics. “Maybe the majority of Republicans in the House don’t want any kind of debt-limit crisis, but there is this small group that we’ve learned in the last week seems to have a fair amount of power.”

. . . “You’re going to have a sword of Damocles above any speaker over any actual or perceived dalliance with bipartisanship,” said Stewart Verdery, a former GOP Senate aide and chief executive of Monument Advocacy, a bipartisan lobbying group. The next speaker “is going to think long and hard: ‘If I put a bill on the floor that has Democratic support, is this the end for me?’ ”

*I don’t get all the interest in the royals, and I suppose I’m just fueling it by writing about it, but somehow it bothers me that “Prince” Harry has published a memoir (co-authored with a ghostwriter) about how badly he and Meghan Markle were treated by the royal family. For sure I’ll take it with a grain of salt, but what bothers me is the endless self-promotion and self-aggrandizing of Harry and Meghan. It lacks, well, dignity. But it will also make them rich. As the NYT notes, Harry + ghostwriter’s book, called Spare in the U.S. and In the Shade in Spain, is selling like hotcakes:

. . . Will readers still be curious enough to buy the book?

So far, it looks like the answer is yes. The media frenzy seems to be driving interest in the memoir, which is due out Tuesday. “Spare” held the No. 1 spot on Amazon in the United States and Britain on Friday, as well as at Barnes & Noble. Booksellers and distributors said that preorders are enormous and growing with the avalanche of press coverage.

. . . Despite the risk that blanket coverage could lead to Harry and Meghan fatigue, many booksellers expect the memoir to be an unmitigated success. Random House has said it is printing 2.5 million hardcover copies for North America alone. Ingram, the book wholesaler, has 90,000 copies in its warehouses to restock stores that run out. ReaderLink, which distributes books to chain stores like Target and Walmart, said it had ordered about 300,000 copies. Barnes & Noble has also ordered hundreds of thousands of copies.

James Daunt, who heads Barnes & Noble and the British bookstore chain Waterstones, said that even the negative leaks have been driving up customer interest in “Spare,” and that he expects to see “the most extraordinary” first-day and first-week sales.

After The Guardian obtained a copy of the book and revealed some of its biggest bombshells, reservations for in-store purchases of the book shot up in Britain, he said.

Assuming Harry + Meghan get $1 per hardcover copy (a very low estimate), they stand to make millions off their professed victimhood. But, also in the NYT, Patti Davis, Ronald Reagan’s daughter who wrote a tell-all memoir of her dysfunctional family, has a warning for the newly American royals:

Prince William has, I’m sure, his own take on the physical fight that Harry has described. To really understand the dynamic between the brothers, to broaden the story and make it more complete, William’s truth has to be considered as well. Harry has written that, after William hit him, William told Harry to hit him back, which he declined to do. But by writing about the fight, he’s done exactly that.

Harry has also expressed a wish that his relationship with William, and with his father, heals. Maybe that will happen, but they’ll have to walk a long distance across a battlefield that he has now expanded.

Years ago, someone asked me what I would say to my younger self if I could. Without hesitating I answered: “That’s easy. I’d have said, ‘Be quiet.’” Not forever. But until I could stand back and look at things through a wider lens. Until I understood that words have consequences, and they last a really long time.

Harry has called William not only his “beloved brother” but his “arch nemesis.” He chose words that cut deep, that leave a scar; perhaps if he had taken time to be quiet, to reflect on the enduring power of his words, he’d have chosen differently.

Silence gives you room, it gives you distance, and it lets you look at your experiences more completely, without the temptation to even the score. Sometime in the years ahead, Harry may look back as I did and wish he could unspeak what he has said.

*A formal count shows that there are 49 sub-Saharan countries in Africa. Now, as Zambia has just abolished the death penalty, most of them—25—prohibit executions of prisoners.

Fulfilling a pledge made while campaigning for office, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema on December 23, 2022 signed legislation abolishing the nation’s death penalty (pictured). Zambia’s repeal of its colonial-era capital punishment law made it the 25th sub-Saharan nation in Africa to abolish the death penalty. The new law also removed the offense of criminal defamation of the President from Zambia’s penal code.

In announcing the repeals, President Hichilema tweeted: “Promised to amend laws that inhibit democracy, human rights, good governance & basic freedoms. #PromisesDelivered.”

Hichilema submitted the bill to end capital punishment to parliament on May 25, 2022, in commemoration of Africa Freedom Day. He also commuted the sentences of 30 death-row prisoners that day.

Zambian human rights activist Brebner Changala called the action a “huge milestone in the removal of colonial laws that do not fit in the democratic dispensation of the country.” Amnesty International issued a statement welcoming the repeal. Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa praised Zambia for “a good and progressive move that shows the country’s commitment to protecting the right to life.”

“Zambia’s decision to ban the death penalty should serve as an example to countries in the region that still use the death penalty and compel them to take immediate steps to end this cruel, inhuman and degrading form of punishment,” Chagutah said.

These are usually called “Third World’ countries, and it should be an embarrassment that so many of them have prohibited the barbarity still allowed in the U.S., a so-called “First World” country. (h/t Brian)

*This is the school shooting that’s hard to top: a six-year-old student at an elementary school in Newport News, Virginia, brought a handgun to school and critically wounded his 30-year-old teacher. It wasn’t an accident either, but part of an ongoing conflict that wasn’t described in the AP article:

Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones said the condition of the teacher, a woman in her 30s, is “trending in a positive direction” as she remains hospitalized. Police Chief Steve Drew met with the teacher and her family Saturday morning. “She has improved and is currently listed in stable condition,” police said in a news release.

The boy shot and wounded the teacher with a handgun in a first-grade classroom on Friday at Richneck Elementary School, according to authorities. Drew said the shooting was not accidental and was part of an altercation. No students were injured.

Police on Saturday declined to describe what led to the altercation or any other details about what happened in the classroom, citing the ongoing investigation.

Jones also declined to reveal details of the shooting, or say how the boy got access to the gun or who owns the weapon.

“This is a red flag for the country,” Jones said.

“I do think that after this event, there is going to be a nationwide discussion on how these sorts of things can be prevented.”

Give me a break! The nationwide discussion lasts a few days, there’s no resolution, and then the next school shooting occurs. A good start would be to ban private ownership of handguns; how about THAT for a discussion.

As for the kid, well, he won’t be in much trouble, but I want to know where he got the gun:

Virginia law does not allow 6-year-olds to be tried as adults. In addition, a 6-year-old is too young to be committed to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice if found guilty.

A juvenile judge would have authority, though, to revoke a parent’s custody and place a child under the purview of the Department of Social Services.

Jones would not say where the boy is being held.

“We are ensuring he has all the services that he currently needs right now,” Jones said.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is being a cat

A: Are you coming in?
Hili: It’s one of the options to consider.
In Polish:
Ja: Wchodzisz?
Hili: To jest jedna z opcji do rozważenia.
. . . and a picture of a pensive Szaron:

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

Can you see the animal in this photo (seen on FB)? Excellent camouflage!

Also from FB:

A groaner from Bruce:

From Ricky Gervais, who finally adopted Pickle. Fostering should always lead to adoption!

From Masih. Three more hangings of protestors in Iran this week:

From Simon; the header is an essential part of this tweet. God, I’m sick of hearing about William and Harry and Kate and Meghan. . .

From Luana: the invasion of “queer theory” into organic chemistry. Is there any area of science that can’t be turned into an ideological statement?

From the Auschwitz Memorial: a priest who gave his life for another:

And a survivor celebrates her birthday today:

Tweets from Doctor Cobb; this one just because Harper is a handsome cat:

 

The geese are clearly enjoying this (sound up to hear their appreciation; watch till the end):

This cat is ready for any storm!

26 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. I live in Newport News and was on our school board in the late 80’s through mid-90’s. The local media has gone berserk with reporting their own imaginings as fact over and over…trumpism if you say something often enough it takes on a factual nature for listeners. One of the most difficult issues for the school board in those days was how to deal with bad behaviors of our youngest students. In general, My personal triage was first protect the school; second help the child; and third, punish the child. One might hope that simply involving the parents might be enough, but often enough, what passed for parents of some kids was central to the problem. I will wait for the investigation to be completed and the results made public…i believe that they can be made public to the point of what happened and why with the minor’s name redacted. The current police chief, Steve Drew is one of the best which also gives me confidence in the investigation. The mayor is new, but I voted for him and am optimistic that he will promote honesty and transparency in the investigation. I have not been impressed by the school superintendent nor the school board with exception of a couple of members, nor do I have any faith in the city council with the exception of the mayor. I think that I heard a loud clap here in the city the other day which was likely the sound of lots of school administrators covering their collective tuchesses with both hands. But as I said, i trust that the chief will get to the facts and hopefully, though I have not seen a mention of it, bring in the Va state police per the traditional NASA policy on accident investigations that you never investigate yourself.

  2. There are those who contend that the far right that now controls the House have no agenda other than to gain power for the sake of power. I disagree. I think their agenda is clear. On the economic side they want to demolish the administrative state, as Steve Bannon put it. They want to eliminate many government agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service. The welfare state is anathema to them. Programs such as Social Security and Medicare must be eliminated or privatized. Government spending must be cut to the bone and destroying the nation’s credit is a price well worth paying. Regarding cultural issues, their belief that the nation is inherently Christian results in them looking favorably upon theocracy. By eliminating abortion, contraceptives and gay rights, they hope for a return to the 1950s where men worked, women stayed at home to raise babies and clean the house, and minorities knew their place. In foreign affairs, they look favorably upon authoritarians because those rulers do not allow the messiness of democracy to get in the way of getting things done.

    The radical right will not be able to accomplish many of their goals. In the 2024 election, they may be routed. However, they will be able to bring the workings of government to a standstill. Legislation will not be passed. They will refuse to appropriate necessary funds. Out of the chaos they will precipitate, they hope that the voters will blame the Democrats and the Left for the sorry state of the country. I think they’re wrong, but in the next two years much of the damage they’ve created may take years to repair.

    1. I would not go as far as calling them Nazis, but many of their desired policies are strikingly similar to the ones of fascists many decades ago, on the limits of living memory. That these ‘legislative terrorists’ can basically force the House I find disturbing, and scary.

    2. Out of the chaos they will precipitate, they hope that the voters will blame the Democrats and the Left for the sorry state of the country.

      I don’t think the voters are stupid enough, and the ‘legislative terrorists’ (as Nicolas aptly named them) aren’t subtle enough to pull this off. Especially if the MSM does its job (a big ‘if’, I know). Of course, Fox news and other MAGA outlets will spin it all as the fault of Biden and Dems. Luckily, that group is still in the minority.

      1. I saw a clip of Sean Hannity of Fox going after Boebert in one of the harshest (if also the most hypocritical) interviews anyone has ever given her. It ended with him accusing her of turning the House speaker election into a “game show”. Amusing, coming from a guy who actually supported a president who was basically a game show host. But this shows that Fox may be souring on the monster that it has created. Part 4:

        See the other parts of the interview too.

        Nevertheless it is clear that the big winners this week were Boebert and Gaetz, two of the most clownish Representatives ever. They have been severely underestimated by everybody, They pulled off an amazing political maneuver and are now the main power brokers in the House.

        Nevertheless, the new rules turn out not to be so new. At least according to Boebert in her interview, the new rule about a vote of confidence on the Speaker is actually a return to the old rule that was in place until Pelosi overturned it.

        .

  3. The coolest thing about Foucault’s pendulum is that anyone with a little ingenuity could have performed this famous and consequential experiment. My high school earth science class attempted it in Binghamton, New York in 1972, but I don’t remember the outcome. Almost any curious person could do science in Foucault’s day. Today, science is more specialized and requires more training, but for the most part, science is still accessible to those who would like to pursue it.

    Congratulations to Alfred Russel Wallace for his amazing contributions to science. When I think of ARW, I can’t help but think of my friend the late Bruce Wallace, a well-known population geneticist and contemporary of Dick Lewontin.

    1. I haven’t been there in a while, but Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry probably still has that Foucault Pendulum on display, hanging down the central well of a winding staircase.

  4. I hadn’t thought of Callard & Bowser’s licorice in decades, but I can taste it now. It was buttery and wonderful, and a special treat.

    [Edit] And now wondering if anyone makes a suitable substitute, from an Amazon product review, someone wrote:
    I’ve longed for that Callard and Bowser Licorice Toffee for years since the company went defunct. Well, I’m happy to say I’ve discovered a replacement. Walkers Nonsuch Licorice Toffees are as good or better (from memory). I’ve tried the Oatfields which was a good memory jogger, but they just aren’t that creamy nor as soft. Walkers is much softer. I would say that C&B’s toffees were probably a bit softer, but its all a distant memory now. I will totally be ordering another box of 5 bags. Don’t worry about the delay getting them from England, its totally worth it. Get them in the box of 5 bags to make it worth it though. Otherwise you will wish you had ordered more after you wolf down the first bag in a day or two.

  5. I wonder why McCarthy and pals can’t work a deal with the Democrats to ‘borrow’ 20 votes to prevent the MAGA 20 from exerting an outsized influence on the House and the country.
    It seems the Democrats would welcome the chance to not have this small group dominate the House rules and agenda – but maybe they just want to see the Republicans burn?

    As long as the US political system is unable to form centrist coalitions we will be stuck with the acrimonious, unproductive swings between the extreme right and left.

    I had hopes for the Forward Party but I’m afraid the two-party system is too entrenched in the structures of our electoral systems to allow a legitimate contender to develop.

    1. I’ve wondered too about whether the Dems could strike some deals (they would have to be limited, bc the Republicans have to walk a fine line with their constituents). But I suppose a reason why not is bc then the speaker would be immediately fired.

      1. “But I suppose a reason why not is bc then the speaker would be immediately fired.” Would that be a bad thing? McCarthy’s floormatting to the ‘legislative terrorists’ was toe-cringingly embarrassing (well, his sucking up to Trump, shortly after strongly condemning 1/6 already was). If I were a ‘moderate’ Republican I could never vote for him as Speaker of the House. He is a shell-less gastropode.
        If he’s fired the GOP has to come up with a candidate that will have bipartisan support, I’d think.

    2. “I wonder why McCarthy and pals can’t work a deal with the Democrats to ‘borrow’ 20 votes to prevent the MAGA 20 from exerting an outsized influence on the House and the country.”

      This is extremely unlikely for these reasons:

      1. Although 20 extremists voted against McCarthy, the number of extremists is much bigger, at least ¾ of the Republicans, probably more than that. There are very few Republicans that would be inclined to work with Democrats on anything.
      2. Any Republicans seen cooperating with Democrats would have their careers effectively ended. They would be “primaried” out of office.
      3. Democrats would be very reluctant to be seen making deals with Republicans. It would not be politically advantageous. However, they may consider doing it in extreme situations such as in raising the national debt.

  6. Re the gecko: the eye is a dead giveaway.
    There is a lot more I’d like to comment upon, but: “Tha Roolz”.
    Just a last small question: did the person Kolbe sacrificed himself for survive Auschwitz?

  7. [Oops, I’m late with these today.]

    On this day:
    871 – Æthelred I and Alfred the Great lead a West Saxon army to repel an invasion by Danelaw Vikings.

    1790 – George Washington delivers the first State of the Union address in New York City.

    1828 – The Democratic Party of the United States is organized.

    1835 – US President Andrew Jackson announces a celebratory dinner after having reduced the United States national debt to zero for the only time.

    1912 – The African National Congress is founded, under the name South African Native National Congress (SANNC).

    1918 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson announces his “Fourteen Points” for the aftermath of World War I.

    1936 – Kashf-e hijab decree is made and immediately enforced by Reza Shah, Iran’s head of state, banning the wearing of Islamic veils in public. [So much for progress…]

    1940 – World War II: Britain introduces food rationing.

    1964 – President Lyndon B. Johnson declares a “War on Poverty” in the United States. [It’s a work in progress…]

    1973 – Watergate scandal: The trial of seven men accused of illegal entry into Democratic Party headquarters at Watergate begins.

    2002 – President of the United States George W. Bush signs into law the No Child Left Behind Act. [Also a work in progress…]

    2011 – Sitting US Congresswoman Gabby Giffords is shot in the head along with 18 others in a mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Giffords survived the assassination attempt, but six others died, including John Roll, a federal judge.

    Births:
    1638 – Elisabetta Sirani, Italian painter (d. 1665).

    1823 – Alfred Russel Wallace, Welsh geographer, biologist, and explorer (d. 1913).

    1824 – Wilkie Collins, English novelist, playwright, and short story writer (d. 1889).

    1897 – Dennis Wheatley, English soldier and author (d. 1977).

    1911 – Gypsy Rose Lee, American actress, dancer, and author (d. 1970).

    1935 – Elvis Presley, American singer, guitarist, and actor (d. 1977).

    1941 – Graham Chapman, English actor and screenwriter (d. 1989).

    1942 – Stephen Hawking, English physicist and author (d. 2018).

    1947 – David Bowie, English singer-songwriter, producer, and actor (d. 2016). [If I ever knew that Elvis and Bowie shared a birthday I’ve forgotten it.]

    Ceased to be:
    1642 – Galileo Galilei, Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher (b. 1564).

    1896 – Paul Verlaine, French poet and writer (b. 1844).

    1990 – Terry-Thomas, English actor and comedian (b. 1911).

    2017 – Peter Sarstedt, Indian-British singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1941). [“Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?” is now my earworm of the day!]

    1. Thanks for that. I will also have “With your carefully designed topless swimsuit, you get an even suntan..” and the rest of it, running through my head nonstop for hours.

  8. If teacher Abby Zwerner had been armed, she could have been able to defend herself and take out the shooter.

    1. Well, I shall let readers know if that idea is seriously proferred over the next few weeks here in Newport News.

  9. Others had the chicken …

    Poor Prince Harry got frozen leftovers. Maybe what he meant to order was spotted dick.

  10. More power to Harry and Meghan. It can’t be easy to leave a cult-like organization. If this is what he needs to do to regain his dignity, cast out demons and protect his little family, then maybe this process, public or not, messy or not, can be cathartic for him and Meghan.

  11. A six-year old goes to school and shoots the teacher is, certainly, a parent failure. The question is why did that happen. More broadly, why is parent failure so common? That ought to be the focus.

  12. > “A good start would be to ban private ownership of handguns; how about THAT for a discussion.”

    Since you ask,…
    Somehow I don’t think your ban on private ownership of handguns would have reached the parent(s) of this child. To enforce a ban, armed police would have to go house to house and stop people on the street and in their cars to see if they were carrying. Are liberals prepared to do that when so many of the miscreants are racialized?

    Not only would liberals object to the resulting over-incarceration but the police wouldn’t co-operate. Police are frequently killed when approaching an unsecured vehicle — we lost an officer in Ontario just a couple of days after Christmas. The racialized gun owners have been taught by agitator propaganda that they are likely to be murdered by police if they don’t shoot first. Traffic laws were amended in California to prevent the police from stopping and frisking jaywalking pedestrians to prevent deaths when the resulting confrontations escalate. The police are only too happy to leave people alone if they aren’t causing trouble. Confiscating handguns in this culture?

    We would be delighted if you could somehow seize all the private handguns in the United States. That would reduce the number that get smuggled across the border and cause such havoc here.

  13. As a retired chemist who has taught undergraduate organic chemistry for many years, I call BS on “queer theory” chemistry. The actual chemistry the braindead presenter states is completely correct. An SN2 reaction involves a backside attack of the nucleophile on the substrate. We do use the prefixes cis and trans in chemical nomenclature *in their original Latin definitions*, the former means “on the same side” and the latter means “across from.” And yes, the product of that particular reaction is a trans species because the groups are on opposite sides of the double bond.

    HOWEVER, as a chemist and a lesbian, I am COMPLETELY DISGUSTED by this utter nonsense of organic chemistry being “queer.” All scientific fields use some Latin and Greek terms. Cis and trans in chemistry have NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with describing people. And the backside attack being “queer,” ugh, where do I even start? Comparing a well-characterized chemical reaction to anal sex is simply degrading and dehumanizing.

    Ugh. I need a few drinks after watching this abomination…

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