Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

January 15, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to Sunday, January 15, 2023: National Strawberry Ice Cream Day. The good stuff has pieces of strawberries in it.  This one ranks #1 on a list of strawberry ice creams available in grocery stores, but I’m not sure it’s wiely available. 

 

It’s also National Fresh Squeezed Juice Day, National Bagel Day, National Booch Day, celebrating the fermented tea drink kombucha, which I’ve never had, National Hat Day, World Religion Day, World Snow Day (in the southern hemisphere?) and Wikipedia Day. If you look at the Wikipedia entry on Wikipedia, you’ll see that this online site was founded on January 15, 2002. And I’m sure you’ll join me in urging Greg Mayer to finally finish his draft post, “What’s the matter with Wikipedia?”, which has been languishing as a draft, with gradual lengthening, for about half a decade.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the January 15 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Shoot me now! Even more classified documents have been found in Joe Biden’s Delaware home, this time the second batch at that home and making a total of three lots (some were  even marked “top secret”).

The documents were discovered after Mr. Biden’s attorneys said earlier that some classified material, likely dating from his time as vice president, had been found in his garage at the residence in December.

One document marked as classified also was found at his residence earlier this week, the White House had said. In addition, documents marked as classified were found at his office at a Washington think tank in November.

In a statement Saturday, Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, said he accompanied Justice Department officials to Wilmington on Thursday to retrieve the initial document from the residence—and during that process “five additional pages with classification markings” were found among the material, bringing the total to six pages discovered this week.

. . . Mr. Biden’s team has said the material was inadvertently misplaced.

They’ve been turned over to the Justice Department, as is proper. This of course puts Biden in a situation similar to Trump. And much as I’d like to say that Biden’s misplacement was a teeny error and Trump’s was an arrant wrong, I still remember Biden expressing astonishment that Trump had classified documents in his home.  Now of course there is a difference: Trump fought those seeking to look for them, lied about them, and claimed they were his, while Biden did none of that. And I don’t think this will amount to anything for Biden. But at the same time you make a case that Biden simply erred, so you make a bit of a case that Trump is less culpable as well.

*Even a little alcohol can harm your health,” says an article in the NYT, scaring the bejeezus out of me. Fortunately, the definition of “less than a little” falls within my range: two glasses of wine per night, but not every night:

“Excessive alcohol use” technically means anything above the U.S. Dietary Guidelines’ recommended daily limits. That’s more than two drinks a day for men and more than one drink a day for women.

But the Leisure Fascists don’t want us to even have that:

There is also emerging evidence “that there are risks even within these levels, especially for certain types of cancer and some forms of cardiovascular disease,” said Marissa Esser, who leads the alcohol program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The recommended daily limits are not meant to be averaged over a week, either. In other words, if you abstain Monday through Thursday and have two or three drinks a night on the weekend, those weekend drinks count as excessive consumption. It’s both the cumulative drinks over time and the amount of alcohol in your system on any one occasion that can cause damage.

But I’m a male, and I can have to drinks on the weekend. These people don’t count the pleasure of alcohol for anything; only longevity counts. Then they tell us why those two glasses of wine are bad:

Scientists think that the main way alcohol causes health problems is by damaging DNA. When you drink alcohol, your body metabolizes it into acetaldehyde, a chemical that is toxic to cells. Acetaldehyde both “damages your DNA and prevents your body from repairing the damage,” Dr. Esser explained. “Once your DNA is damaged, then a cell can grow out of control and create a cancer tumor.”

Alcohol also creates oxidative stress, another form of DNA damage that can be particularly harmful to the cells that line blood vessels. Oxidative stress can lead to stiffened arteries, resulting in higher blood pressure and coronary artery disease.

“It fundamentally affects DNA, and that’s why it affects so many organ systems,” Dr. Naimi said. Over the course of a lifetime, chronic consumption “damages tissues over time.”

One gets the feeling that these people would prefer you to not drink at all. Well, they can get in line, take and number, and my tuchas is available for osculation. Is the French wine paradox now dead? Or will this new medical advice be overturned, as similar advice has been many times during my lifetime. (It’s now ok to eat cheese.)

*Fareed Zakaria, always sensible, takes on the problem of immigration into American in a WaPo column about the failure of our policy.

The politics is obvious. Right-wing populism, from Sweden to the United States to Italy, is almost always linked with fears of uncontrolled immigration. It’s an issue that fuels associated anxieties about culture, religion and race. If Western leaders cannot properly address immigration, Western politics will continue to be consumed with populism for years to come.

The policy part is equally important. The waves of migration we are watching now are making a mockery of the system of asylum that came into being over the last several decades. After World War II, and in the wake of the Holocaust, countries vowed to welcome people who had legitimate fears for their lives. A body of international law developed that gave asylum seekers certain rights.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is nervous again:

Hili: Somebody has just driven in.
A: Who?
Hili: I don’t know, a strange car.
In Polish:
Hili: Ktoś przyjechał.
Ja: Kto?
Hili: Nie wiem, jakiś obcy samochód.

And a photo of baby Kulka:

Finally, a rare Mietek monologue:

Mietek: It’s raining again.

In Polish: Znowu pada

x

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

From I Have Cat:

From Stash Krod:

Yes, these are real (see here, for instance):

God emits a  few tweets on Mastodon:

From Masih: another victim of Iranian “justice”. Sound up.

From Malcolm. Somehow I think they reversed the video here, for cats are not altruistic that way—especially with food!

From Simon. Good thing alcohol flames are easily extinguished:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a woman of 71 gassed upon arrival:

 

From Matthew. WHO’S a good boy?

From Matthew. These AI-generated student essays can be vetted now for the likelihood that they came from AI, but as they get better there’s a serious danger of students using the sites to write their essays for them. This is actually happening now.

The header is clearly a joke, but the thread below this tweet says that this one deer repeatedly returne to the wolf carcass to gnaw on the bones. I bet it’s for the calcium.

40 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

  1. The following comes to mind regarding the discovery of classified documents in private rooms.
    1) Wouldn’t such documents be discovered on the other living ex-presidents and vice-presidents if a search was requested?
    2) The rules on the use of classified documents outside official premises should be scrutinised and thoroughly revised. Whether intentional or negligent, these incidents are alarming.

      1. My thought when I heard about the first instance was “They are throwing Biden under the bus”.
        There are real questions about whether a sitting President can be prosecuted for such activity from before his inauguration. That would be a question answered only through lots of drawn out debate and litigation.
        The same should also be true of the issue of the departing President’s right to sort personal from presidential records, and whether requiring the President to formally document his decision to declassify a document impinges on his plenary authority.

        Senior members of government never take opsec seriously. I have no doubt that lots of former officials have been digging through their offices and storage closets over the last week or so, and that shredders have been humming away.
        All of this sort of business was terribly stressful for the people who are supposed to manage documents for senior officials, but has not been super newsworthy, unless there has been reason to believe the documents have been compromised.

        Biden’s possession of piles of such documents is clearly illegal. He had no declassification authority as VP. On the other hand, it is part of accepted reality that a Marine captain who mishandles a secret document is going to be discharged and imprisoned, while a more senior official should expect a strong lecture, which they will ignore.
        Biden’s documents should not have become a big deal, even considering the fact that his son lived there as well, while he was doing business with the “Spy Chief of China” (his words). But as soon as they sent the FBI Swat team to raid Trump’s office and residence, the rules changed.

        1. The most amazing thing about this story is that we know about it.

          Why was it not covered up? Are the long knives now out for Biden?

          1. Destroying evidence pertaining to a potential federal investigation is itself the criminal offense of obstruction justice, a federal felony carrying a maximum 10-year sentence, which, under the rule of law, provides a strong disincentive to engage in such conduct.

        2. … the issue of the departing President’s right to sort personal from presidential records, and whether requiring the President to formally document his decision to declassify a document impinges on his plenary authority.

          In the ultimately ill-fated lawsuit forum-shopped before Trump-appointed federal district judge Aileen Cannon, seeking the return of the documents seized at Mar-a-Lago and the appointment of a special master, Donald Trump’s lawyers declined</b to argue that Trump had declassified the documents at issue while president, despite being given the express opportunity to make that argument several times during those court proceedings.

          Indeed, the only people to make that assertion publicly (and not under oath) have been Donald Trump himself and the former acting Secretary of Defense’s former chief of staff (and longtime Trump loyalist) Kash Patel (and Patel has not repeated that claim publicly since being given a grant of testimonial immunity to compel him to testify before the federal grand jury investigating this matter).

          In any event, whether Donald Trump declassified the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago while still the sitting president (through transmogrification by mental telepathy or otherwise) is a red herring. None of the three criminal statutes cited in the federal search warrant authorizing the search of Mar-a-Lago turn upon whether the documents are classified or not.

          1. You are, of course the lawyer here. Still, I think there is a pretty good case to be made of examining whether the statutes mentioned supersede the President’s broad constitutional authority.

            The warrant also seems to imply that as a former President, it is unlawful for him to possess “Any government and/or Presidential records created between 20 Jan 2017 and 20 Jan 2021”.
            That seems sort of tenuous. For one thing, 44 U.S.C. § 2201 defines Presidential records as specifically excluding personal records and extra copies of documents.

            “Under the statutory scheme established by the PRA, the decision to segregate personal materials from Presidential records is made by the President, during the President’s term and in his sole discretion….Since the President is completely entrusted with the management and even the disposal of Presidential records during his time in office, it would be difficult for this Court to conclude that Congress intended that he would have less authority to do what he pleases with what he considers to be his personal records. ”

            The PRA contains no provision obligating or even permitting the Archivist to assume control over records that the President “categorized” and “filed separately” as personal records…the PRA does not confer any mandatory or even discretionary authority on the Archivist to classify records. Under the statute, this responsibility is left solely to the President. ”

            It looks, at least from the outside, like the point of the raid was to harass Trump, and possibly as a demonstration of power. If there was a specific and imminent risk to national security, such extreme measures might be called for. I have not seen evidence of such a risk.
            One might assume that the questions raised in previous cases should have been litigated, argued and decided at the Supreme Court before sending in the SWAT team.

            1. No plausible interpretation of federal law authorizes a former president of the United States to lie repeatedly to the National Archives and the FBI regarding his possession of documents subject to the Presidential Records Act, or to refuse to comply with a federal grand jury subpoena calling for the production of those records, or to have an attorney ostensibly acting as the custodian of his records execute a false sworn declaration claiming that all records responsive to the grand jury subpoena had been turned over when they had not. Such actions unequivocally violate the the criminal obstruction of justice statute set out at 18 USC section 1519.

              If Trump in good faith believed he had a claim of right to the documents at issue, the time for him to raise that claim was when the National Archives and US Justice Dept. inquired about the missing records. He made no such claim at the time, but instead simply denied that he had any such records in his possession. Certainly, if the issue of his claim of right to the document were to be litigated, that litigation should have been instituted by Donald Trump himself by filing a motion to quash the federal grand jury subpoena (rather than by lying, obfuscating, and having false sworn declarations filed).

              Where the Justice Department establishes probable cause that the documents at issue contain sensitive compartmented information — information that could reveal the sources and methods used by the US intelligence community to protect national security — the DoJ should not be required to expend the years it might take to litigate such a matter (against a party demonstrably acting in bad faith) all the way to the Supreme Court before executing a warrant to seize the materials.

  2. Hili: Somebody has just driven in
    A: Who?
    Hili: I don’t know yet, but I hope it is Jerry. He is overdue and I miss him.
    A: As do we all. As do we all

  3. On this day:
    1759 – The British Museum opens to the public.

    1870 – A political cartoon for the first time symbolizes the Democratic Party with a donkey (“A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion” by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly).

    1892 – James Naismith publishes the rules of basketball.

    1908 – The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority becomes the first Greek-letter organization founded and established by African American college women.

    1919 – Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, two of the most prominent socialists in Germany, are tortured and murdered by the Freikorps at the end of the Spartacist uprising.

    1919 – Great Molasses Flood: A wave of molasses released from an exploding storage tank sweeps through Boston, Massachusetts, killing 21 and injuring 150.

    1947 – The Black Dahlia murder: The dismembered corpse of Elizabeth Short was found in Los Angeles.

    2001 – Wikipedia, a free wiki content encyclopedia, goes online.

    2009 – US Airways Flight 1549 ditches safely in the Hudson River after the plane collides with birds less than two minutes after take-off. This becomes known as “The Miracle on the Hudson” as all 155 people on board were rescued.

    2019 – Theresa May’s UK government suffers the biggest government defeat in modern times, when 432 MPs voting against the proposed European Union withdrawal agreement, giving her opponents a majority of 230.

    Births:
    1622 – Molière, French actor and playwright (d. 1673).

    1754 – Richard Martin, Irish activist and politician, co-founded the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (d. 1834).

    1850 – Leonard Darwin, English soldier, eugenicist, and politician (d. 1943). [Son of Charles Darwin, and also a mentor to Ronald Fisher.]

    1893 – Ivor Novello, Welsh singer-songwriter and actor (d. 1951).

    1908 – Edward Teller, Hungarian-American physicist and academic (d. 2003).

    1923 – Ivor Cutler, Scottish pianist, songwriter, and poet (d. 2006).

    1929 – Martin Luther King Jr., American minister and activist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1968).

    1941 – Captain Beefheart, American singer-songwriter, musician, and artist (d. 2010).

    1948 – Ronnie Van Zant, American singer-songwriter (d. 1977).

    Stunned, just as they were wakin’ up: [I know, I’ve been scraping the barrel for a while…!]

    1994 – Harry Nilsson, American singer-songwriter (b. 1941).

    1998 – Junior Wells, American singer-songwriter and harmonica player (b. 1934). [Best known for “Messin’ with the Kid”.]

    2007 – James Hillier, Canadian-American computer scientist and academic, co-invented the electron microscope (b. 1915).

    2011 – Susannah York, English actress and activist (b. 1939).

    2018 – Dolores O’Riordan, Irish pop singer (b. 1971).

    2019 – Carol Channing, American actress (b. 1921). [In 1967, Channing was the first celebrity to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. In 2002 she publicly revealed her African-American ancestry; when she was 17 and leaving for college, Channing’s mother, not wanting her to be surprised if she ever had a black baby, told her for the first time that her father’s mother was African American and his father was German American.]

  4. Two typos Jerry – to instead of two “But I’m a male, and I can have to drinks on the weekend” & form instead of from in the Henry Windsor bit…Jez should have spotted them!!!

    1. It’s definitely a cat in the picture.

      And in the cat-centric logic of cats, that is exactly what marks it as the dog’s bed.

  5. Next Harry will rewrite the classic Beatle song as The Ballad of Harry and Meghan:”

    “Christ! You know it ain’t easy,
    You know how hard it can be.
    The way things are going,
    They’re gonna crucify me!”

  6. Yesterday, Iran executed a man with dual British and Iranian nationality:

    The UK and the European Union are expected to coordinate moves to brand the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation after the execution of Alireza Akbari, a British-Iranian dual national who was lured back to Iran by the security services three years ago.

    Akbari, who had been a senior defence figure in reformist governments nearly two decades ago, was hanged for being a spy for MI6, a charge his family deny. A friend of the family said “this is a murder case”, and vowed to prove the innocence of the 61-year-old, including allegations that he had been paid by British intelligence.

    Akbari leaves behind two daughters and a wife who lives in the UK. They had been given reason to hope for a last-minute reprieve, but his wife read of his execution on the Iranian state judicial news agency before dawn on Saturday morning.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/jan/14/uk-brand-iran-revolutionary-guards-as-terrorists-akbari-execution

    1. Sadly, as was reported here the other day, the mass protests may be losing some steam. I think the only way that the cause will succeed is if the Iranian army gets behind it, and there is no sign of that as far as I am aware.

    2. Dual citizenship is common in Canada, too. Our foreign affairs department (not sure what it’s called now) advises all Canadians traveling abroad that when you are in a country that deems you one of its citizens, the authorities there don’t care what other country you might be a citizen of. Canada advises us to travel with only a Canadian passport as if you have any other passports in your possession, the foreign authorities may deem that you are a citizen of whatever country it is convenient for them to so deem, including theirs. They might draft you or even charge you with espionage as punishment for having emigrated.

      The error some dual citizens make is to carry both passports in hopes of being able to pick the shorter immigration line. This may make it impossible for the Canadian embassy to have access to you for consular services, not that it helps much but it’s better than nothing. Our “Two Mikes” held hostage for three years by the Chinese at least got to tell their families how they were doing.

      Since Canada does not require a new citizen to renounce all other citizenships, many keep their old citizenship so they can move back and forth freely. We have many thousands of Canadian citizens living abroad, 300,000 in Hong Kong alone, who have not set foot in Canada in decades. Canadian citizens don’t pay income taxes to Canada while living abroad and there is not much Canada can or will do for you if you get in trouble “over there.” If you’re a citizen of that country, you are SOL.

  7. On ChatGPT I am reminded of the oddest final exam I ever had in a class. It was set by Mr. Kishlansky in his course on the English Revolution. He gave us three essay questions ahead of time, and told us to prepare two. We did not write the essays before the exam, just prepped for them. On the day of the exam we could bring in all the course books and consult them. He even said we could have Lawrence Stone (a famous British historian) come in and whisper in our ear. We could not, though, bring in the written essays. I think either doing something like that or have footnoted essays is the only way to prevent AI-generated writing. Of course, the good old, in person, short answer and multiple choice tests are an option.

    1. Of course, the good old, in person, short answer and multiple choice tests are an option.

      Or a viva (spoken exam).
      Expensive, I’m sure.

  8. I think Zakaria leaves out a couple reasons why people might be concerned about immigration: crime and economics. An open border lets in criminals, as we’ve seen. It might even let in terrorists. In a country that has a social welfare system, they could also become a burden on those resources. Additionally, it’s clear that the Democratic party looks at immigrants (except Cubans) as potential Democratic voters, and it’s not for nothing that we’ve seen places like New York City try to remove the necessity for being a citizen in order to vote. For the current mess at the southern border, people need to wake up and realize that there is nothing happening there that the Biden Administration doesn’t want to happen. They are ignoring and side-stepping laws that would allow them to control the flow of refugees, and they could have any laws they need to help with enforcement anytime they ask for them from Congress. It’s instructive that they have not asked for any.

  9. I guess there are plenty of things that people do that are not strictly necessary for survival and which carry measurable risk to our health and safety. Drinking wine, horse-back riding, rock-climbing, driving a car and so on and so on. By avoiding such activities we eliminate the risk but we also take away much of the pleasurable stimulation that is vital to our mental health. I’d say it is useful to know and understand the nature and scale of the risks associated with drinking wine but it certainly doesn’t follow that you should turn your back on wine altogether.

  10. Robert Mondavi reportedly had a glass of wine every day from a young age until his death at the age of ninety-five.

  11. I gave up drinking alcohol in 2019 after learning that even moderate alcohol consumption has negative effects. It turns out that the studies showing a positive effect had a flaw – they included very ill persons in the group that did not consume alcohol – which gave the appearance of teetotalers being less healthy than they actually were. It turns out that that when one is very ill, one is likely to stop alcohol consumption. When those persons are controlled for studies show that all levels of drinking have negative effects – that there are no safe levels. This has been known for years, but the US refuses to update the guidelines to no safe levels. (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/10/well/eat/should-we-be-drinking-less.html)

    I am not afraid of dying early, but I especially don’t like the effects of alcohol on the brain. (Even moderate consumption shows brain shrinkage). I do not wish impair my mind as I age.

    Before I gave up alcohol, I drank only moderately. Maybe a drink a week or two with dinner. I have switched to mainly carbonated water, and occasionally Athletic Run Wild IPA and mocktails.

    It was difficult to give up that nice drink with dinner at first, but after a few months I stopped missing it. Now I am quite happy and satisfied with my dining pleasure. Unfortunately I have never found a good substitute for wine. All non-alcoholic wines seem to taste like grape juice. They are too sweet. Non-alcoholic beers are far better, but still not great. Athletic Brewing co. seems to be the best.

    1. Almost every activity that a human engages in has an element of risk. That is, the activity has the potential to do harm to the individual. It is up to the individual to assess the risk and then decide whether to do the activity For example, when a person decides to walk across a street, the person looks that the way is clear to cross safely. Yet, there is always the risk (as small as it may be) that a car will come out of nowhere or is not seen and kill the person. Such is the case with drinking wine or a million other things.

      As a caveat to the above, society has to make a choice as to whether certain risk taking behaviors should be allowed or discouraged or banned. For example, it seems clear that alcohol consumption, at least in large quantities, creates health problems for such individuals that require medical care and that the individual could be a menace to his family and society at large (such as drunk driving). Thus, this behavior can and does result in great monetary cost to society in the cost of medical care of nothing else. Yet, society has not banned alcohol consumption. Part of the reason is the failed Prohibition experiment. Another is that society has determined that the benefits of banning alcohol consumption outweighs the negative effects. Another example is gambling, which like alcohol consumption has the potential to destroy the lives of individuals and their families. Yet, the current ethos actually encourages gambling through the proliferation of casinos and sports betting, where advertising for it is ubiquitous on television. Here the public attitude has changed dramatically over just the past few years. Thus, the bottom line is that toleration for risky behaviors is something that both individuals and society are continually reassessing.

      1. “Another is that society has determined that the benefits of banning alcohol consumption outweighs the negative effects.”

        Is that what you actually intended to write?

  12. There is a J-shaped curve on wine consumption (alcohol consumption) and longevity.

    https://www.bluezones.com/2017/08/longevity-link-how-and-why-wine-helps-you-live-longer/#:~:text=Live%20Longer%2C%20Better,up%2C%20but%20also%20live%20longer.

    People who advocate that alcohol is a poison, that there is no safe amount, may be guilty of confirmation bias–as are those who spread guidelines about 1-2 drinks a day being safe. Probably no amount of beef is safe to consume when viewed in this light, but occasional red meat is part of a Mediterranean diet and a Blue Zone lifestyle.

    We could never drive above 55 mph, avoid driving at night, wear helmets around the house, and do many, many other things that would technically reduce risk of death. We mustn’t forget to enjoy our lives, with healthy respect to others, to avoid “when [we come] to die, discover that [we] had not lived”.

    1. I wouldn’t trust a commercial enterprise that promotes alcohol consumption to be up to date on the risks of alcohol.

      The U-shaped curve is wishful thinking. The studies purporting to show that teetotalling is bad for you included in the non-drinker category people who no longer drink because they used to be heavy drinkers and managed to quit because they got sick, or became worried about their alcohol intake. Cigarette smoking prevents Alzheimer’s disease, too, because you die before you get it, on average. And heavy drinkers who get dementia aren’t diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which requires the exclusion of other causes of dementia, like alcohol. Advising the elderly to drink alcohol every day to ward off Alzheimer’s is folly, for the risk of falls if nothing else.

      While I agree that alcohol can be pleasurable, it should be viewed as a risk that can be taken with regard to a global assessment of risks and benefits (like driving 80 mph at night.) It would be most irresponsible to promote alcohol consumption, especially to non-drinkers, as a way to make people live longer. You would not advise an older person who currently does drive at 55 (OK, 60. 55 is painful), daytime only, to enjoy life and live longer by stepping harder on the gas pedal….which is what the alcohol purveyors do.

  13. The header is clearly a joke, but the thread below this tweet says that this one deer repeatedly returne to the wolf carcass to gnaw on the bones. I bet it’s for the calcium.

    I don’t know about American cervids, but over here it’s very well known in the Highlands. Red deer stags that shed and re-grow a rack of antlers every year need a lot of calcium, and routinely get a large amount of it by chewing on shed antlers through the late winter and spring. I’ve met more than a few gnawed sheep bones at the bottom of cliffs too, over the years, so I doubt the deer have a mental “search image” for antlers particularly, but can recognise bleaching bones as an answer to a craving too.
    They do it pretty quickly too : New Year’s Day 1983 I found a good deer skull with 3/4 of the rack still attached (obviously a casualty of the winter, not of a gunman), and the group of us who were trying to get up An Teallach that day left it hanging in a loch-side tree with everyone vowing to come back and get it ASAP. Well, I was the first back, in mid- February, and it had already been so well chewed that it wasn’t worth carrying out. Deer-eating deer, obviously.

    Do American deer shed their antlers annually? Or is that a characteristic of “Old World” deer? Anyone know about Canadian moose? They’d have a particularly severe calcium problem.

  14. Lots of people are in chronic pain, and the CDC has frightened doctors away from prescribing opioids.

    I suspect that many people have turned to heavy drinking to try to deal with the pain.

  15. Tillamook ice cream is awesome. It’s a staple here in the Pacific Northwest. I once watched it being made in the creamery. It’s amazing to see so much ice cream at once!

  16. It’s aldehyde dehydrogenase, the liver enzyme that I spent my career studying, that enables us to enjoy a drink, keeping the levels of ethanol-derived acetaldehyde at a bare minimum – in the micromolar level.

    About 50% of individuals in Asian populations are at least heterozygous for a substitution, Glu487Lys, in their mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase that cripples the tetrameric enzyme – even one subunit from the mutation in the tetramer is enough to wreck catalytic activity so those individuals exhibit adverse effects on drinking even a small amount of alcohol – heart palpitations, nausea and facial flushing, hence the term Flushing Reaction used in reference to this.

    The same symptoms result from pre-treatment with tetrathyl thiuram disulfide (Antabuse), which has a potent inhibitory action on the cytosolic liver enzyme, which was the basis of its use in treating alcoholics by aversion therapy.

    Any selective advantage to this mutation is AFAIK still unknown.

  17. There is no safe limit to alcohol consumtion (its a toxin)as descibed by Prof. David Nutt in his book “Drink?”
    He does however have interests in a wine bar with his daughter. What he espouses though is knowing what you are doing… umm, that is to say, informed drinking, what the science says and knowing when you’ve had enough. Which I think he seems and I agree is the secret, stop when you are feeling the peak and not sliding into alcohol influenced abandon wher3 in his words, more or less, you are trying to posion yourself. The trouble is as he says, alcohol drops the bar and as it goes “I’m feeling happy and now I want to feel happier, hand me another”
    In legalizing marijuana arguements I’ve used this about the hypocrisy of society that one of our largest recreational killers (and the massive costs and misery associated) not to mention instigator of violence, is alcohol.
    Quoting an unknown source “I’ve never seen anyone smoke a joint and then smash someone over the head” imo, life as we know is not a free for all, it has costs no matter what your paticular bent is.
    Its managing it that seems to be a problem.

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