It’s Monday, March 13, 2023, and another cold and gray day in Dobrzyn. But now it’s really Chicken Noodle Soup Day (I screwed up yesterday’s date).
It’s also National Coconut Torte Day, Fill Our Staplers Day (if this is importuning, you have to do that yourself), National Jewel Day, National Workplace Napping Day, Commonwealth Day (previously known as Empire Day), and Donald Duck Day, as depicted at the start of this short Disney cartoon from 1949, “Donald’s Happy Birthday”.
Notice how the nephews spell their names at the end: Huey, Dewey and. . . Luey? And how Donald abuses his nephews by making them smoke his birthday stogies.
And it is really National Elephant Day in Thailand.
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the March 13 Wikipedia page.
*Say it ain’t so, Joe! Today the Biden administration is expected to approve a massive oil-drilling project, a project that will despoil thousands of acres of pristine Alaska wilderness. Granted, the government owns that land, but isn’t this contrary to the administration’s goals of a green energy policy?
The Biden administration on Monday will formally approve a huge oil drilling project in Alaska known as Willow, according to two people familiar with the decision, despite widespread opposition because of its likely environmental and climate impacts.
The president will also impose sweeping restrictions on offshore oil leasing in the Arctic Ocean and across Alaska’s North Slope in an apparent effort to temper criticism over the Willow decision and, as one administration official put it, to form a “firewall” to limit future oil leases in the region. The Interior Department also is expected to issue new rules to protect more than 13 million acres in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska from oil and gas leasing.
The restrictions, however, are unlikely to offset concerns that the $8 billion Willow project, led by oil giant ConocoPhillips, will have the potential to produce more than 600 million barrels of crude over 30 years.
Burning all that oil could release nearly 280 million metric tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. On an annual basis, that would translate into 9.2 million metric tons of carbon pollution, equal to adding nearly two million cars to the roads each year. The United States, the second biggest polluter on the planet after China, emits about 5.6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Who wanted this bill? Alaska natives, who get a big stipend check yearly from the oil revenues, labor unions, who stand to gain jobs, and of course Big Oil, who lobbied vigorously for this bill. Who was against it? Everybody opposed to despoiling the environment.
I can’t say I’m happy about this, and I’m not reassured by Biden’s lip-service order to protect other areas from gas and oil drilling; that order could easily be overturned by future administration.
“This is a huge climate threat and inconsistent with this administration’s promises to take on the climate crisis,” Jeremy Lieb, an Alaska-based senior attorney at environmental law group Earthjustice, told CNN. In addition to concerns about a fast-warming Arctic, groups are also concerned the project could destroy habitat for native species and alter the migration patterns of animals including caribou.
But who cares about the caribou?
*Here’s a partial list of last night’s Oscar winners, and I can’t say I’m happy about this, either. But really, who cares?
Actor in a supporting role
Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Best animated feature film
“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”
Best original song
“Naatu Naatu,” “RRR”
All I can say is that my two favorite movies, “Tár” and “The Banshees of Inisherin”, were shut out completely in favor of that extended piece of eye candy, “Everything Everywhere All At Once,”, a movie so unwatchable that I couldn’t keep watching it after half an hour. The only saving grace is that neither Tom Cruise nor “Maverick: Top Gun” won for Best Actor and Best Movie.
*A disaffected Canadian has some positive comments on Richard Dawkins’s argument, expounded during his recent visit to New Zealand, that Mātauranga Māori, or the indigenous “ways of knowing” is not the same thing as modern science. (h/t Leslie). And a few ignorant Tweeters weighted in:
Dawkins’ comments also saw a firestorm of Twitter criticism, most in support of his position, one which I have supported for decades as applied to Canada where I have repeatedly argued that indigenous practical knowledge and other “knowings” as rich and varied as they may be are not rooted in scientific understanding: indigenous science is an oxymoron, nothing more, nothing less.
A nonsensical tweet from self-proclaimed Canadian indigenous agitator Dr. Kisha Supernant (Métis/Papaschase/British), the Director of the Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology and a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta, read, “Richard Dawkins doesn’t get to determine what Indigenous knowledge is or is not. He doesn’t understand it and never will. But he’s right in one sense. Indigenous knowledge is not only science. It is so much more.”
Indigenous knowledge is not only science but so much more? I guess that means that religion, origin stories, and other confected fables are “science.”
Another painfully ignorant tweet was that “All knowledge (science) is culturally-situated. Western-trained scientists who ignore this in favor of imperialism and a false sense of objectivity are at risk of misinterpreting data and causing harm. This rhetoric is embarrassing, so inaccurate as to be absurdist, and harmful.“ Lauren Eckert@laureneeckert.
Eckert shows her ignorance by claiming a pure cultural relativism, with science being “imperialistic” and carrying “a false sense of objectivity.” And yet she’s getting a Ph.D. in science. Does she get her immunizations? Take antibiotics for an infection? Ride in airplanes? If so, she puts a lot of trust in science’s “false sense of objectivity.”
I can’t wait for the protestors carrying signs reading “Ideology, not biology!”
*A clam born in 1809? That’s what, according to the Washington Post, a Florida man found while clamming on the Gulf Coast.
He was struck by its size, which indicated its age, he said. Generally, the larger the clam, the older it is. Most quahog clams found in U.S. waters are between 2.8 and 4.3 inches long, although they can grow larger.
“I’ve seen that species of clam, but never one that big or even close to that big,” said Parker, 23, explaining that the average quahog weighs about half a pound and that his discovery was 2.6 pounds and six inches long.
As trees do, clam shells form yearly growth rings. Parker counted the external rings with a fingernail and reached 214 — meaning the clam would have been born in 1809, just like Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. president.
Parker decided to name his discovery “Abra-clam Lincoln.” People on social media loved it.
. . .He considered eating the clam. It would make a great addition to the feast he was cooking that weekend, he thought, and the shells would be large enough to use as bowls.
“At the time, we were planning to make a chowder out of it, but we thought about the fact that it probably was special,” said Parker, who kept the shellfish in a bucket of water. “We decided not to eat it, and I brought it to work on Monday.”
Fortunately, Parker released the clam back into the ocean, but also determined that he miscounted the “rings”, and it could in fact have been younger than 214 years.
Charles Darwin was also born in 1809—in fact, on the very same day as Lincoln, February 12. But I can’t think of a clam name that includes an allusion to Darwin. Here’s Parker with his gynormous clam (caption: “Parker posing with his clam discovery. (Courtesy of Gulf Specimen Marine Lab”)
*And how can you resist a headline, like this in the WaPo, “Two widowed geese were lonely, so they were matched for a blind date“? (h/t Barry)
Two residents of nearby Iowa cities connected the widowed geese last month in hopes they’d become soul mates. So far, the arrangement has worked.
Since that date, Blossom and Frankie haven’t left each other’s sides — and might even be in love, their matchmakers told The Washington Post.
“They just kind of wandered around and hung out with each other and got to know each other,” said Dorie Tammen, the general manager for Riverside Cemetery in Marshalltown, Iowa. “And the rest is history.”
. . .On Feb. 10, Tammen wrote a personal ad for Blossom, whom Tammen believes is about 7 years old.
“Lonely, widowed domestic goose seeks life partner for companionship and occasional shenanigans,” her Facebook post reads. “Come share life with me at Riverside Cemetery, where you’ll enjoy swimming in the lovely lake, good food, numerous friends, and peeking in the door of the office building. … I’m youthful, adventurous and lively, and I’ve been told I’m beautiful.”
Someone answered with a widowed male goose, and the rest is history.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, I once again feature in the Hili dialogue (and took the photo!). All three humans here spend a lot of time writing on websites.
Hili: What are you doing?Jerry: I’m writing an article.Hili: This is not a normal home.(Photo: JAC)
Hili: Co robisz?Jerry: Piszę artykuł.Hili: To nie jest normalny dom.(Zdjęcie J.A.C)
From Tom, a Far Side cartoon showing the origin of the man cave:
From Tom, another evolution-of-man sequence from Imgur:
From Doc Bill; the story appears to be true. Go here to see what they do in nature.
God tooted on Mastodon. He and Titania McGrath have largely stopped posting.
From Masih, another innocent Iranian dissident kidnapped (as they’d planned for Masih herself) and then taken to Iran to be killed. There are English subtitles.
Listen to @GazelleSharmahd.
Her innocent father, German-Iranian #JamshidSharmahd was kidnapped from Dubai to Iran by the Islamist regime. He has been sentenced to death. Don’t abandon him. His life is in danger. #SaveSharmahd pic.twitter.com/J9fsy2Yqmf
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) March 13, 2023
From John Oliver via The Divine Sarah. Oy, indeed!
LOL and also oy https://t.co/x2hads9YoG
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) March 6, 2023
From Malcolm, who hopes these people get grounded. Does anyone actually look at stuff around them any more—without the filter of a phone camera?
Run!!!! Danger danger! pic.twitter.com/V2HNP0EsUo
— jamie (@gnuman1979) March 11, 2023
From the Auschwitz Memorial, a 20 year old who lived but a month before perishing:
13 March 1922 | A Polish Jew, Markus Eisen, was born in Krakow. A saddler.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) March 13, 2023
Tweets from Matthew. First, another saved life in Dodoland, which must be what Heaven is like (if there were one!):
"Her temp was so low it didn’t even register on a thermometer." https://t.co/nRf6WMuxvv
— The Dodo (@dodo) March 13, 2023
Remember this line from “literature”?
We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold. pic.twitter.com/lDSD31Pm0Q
— Paul Bronks (@SlenderSherbet) March 12, 2023
Duck and bubbles!
— why you should have a duck 🦆 (@shouldhaveaduck) March 12, 2023