Thursday: Hili dialogue

May 25, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to Thursday, May 25, 2023, a good day because it’s National Wine Day. Drink some today: it’s good for you (assuming that you abide by the Federal Alcoholic Intake Regulations). Perhaps you are lucky enough to have this, which I would kill for ($700/bottle):

It’s also Geek Pride Day, International Plastic Free Day, National Missing Children’s Day, National Tap Dance Day, and, of course, Towel Day in honoring the work of the writer Douglas Adams,.

Here’s a nice tap number with Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth. The bandleader is Xavier Cugat, and Shorty George was a real person. I particularly like the sequence of steps from 3:37-3:42.

Hayworth was a fantastic dancer, but nobody ever made it look easier than Astaire. He was the greatest.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the May 25 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:


  • Tina Turner passed away yesterday at age 83 after a long illness. I was never a big fan, but many readers were, and they’re invited to weigh in below with their remembrances.
  • The NYT finally published an obituary of Robert Zimmer, ex-President of the University of Chicago, who died Tuesday of what the paper says was “glioblastoma multiforme, a virulent form of brain cancer.” (I wrote about him yesterday, emphasizing his concern with the Botany Pond mallards.) It’s a decent but not outstanding obituary, but does end with this:

According to Mr. Stephens, Mr. Zimmer balked at the notion that unfettered free speech would jeopardize the cause of inclusion because it might upset, among others, some of the people who were seeking to be included.

“Inclusion into what?” Mr. Zimmer had wondered in a speech that year. “An inferior and less challenging education? One that fails to prepare students for the challenge of different ideas and the evaluation of their own assumptions? A world in which their feelings take precedence over other matters that need to be confronted?”

For Mr. Zimmer, the mathematician, that kind of education wouldn’t count.

*The endless, tiring discussions between Biden and the Republicans over the debt ceiling continues; it now appears to have come down to two strategies: the Democrats’ “freeze” or the Republicans’ “cut”:

Reining in government spending has become the central focus of negotiations over raising the debt ceiling, with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) under pressure from conservatives to secure deep cuts, while the White House has offered a spending freeze.

GOP negotiators have said that any deal with Democrats must result in lower discretionary spending next year than this year, calling it a critical step in starting to address the country’s growing debt, which now stands at $31.4 trillion.

“You have to spend less than you spent last year. That’s not that difficult to do,” McCarthy told reporters Wednesday, while adding that he is hoping to make progress in talks. A top negotiator, Rep. Garret Graves (R., La.), said the administration “thinks they can continue in the future on the same [spending] trajectory. And we’ve made it clear that that’s a nonstarter.”

Democrats say the GOP demand to cut spending is unreasonable, particularly after the White House has signaled it could agree to freeze discretionary spending next year and increase spending by 1% in fiscal year 2025.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.) noted a freeze on spending was a position many in his party “might even be uncomfortable with.” But he said House Republicans rejected that “because they want to impose draconian cuts.”

Well, we have a week left.  The problem is that I don’t know what would happen if they eliminated the debt ceiling completely, something Biden has pondered. From what little I know, the debt ceiling has been raised before without catastrophic circumstances. The catastrophes are supposed to occur only when the ceiling is hit and the government is forced to default.

*From reader Ken:

Did you see the piece in WaPo about school book bannings? The paper reviewed over a thousand book banning requests in 153 school districts across 37 states and found that 60% of the book banning requests had come from just 11 people.

Here’s what the article says:

The Post requested copies of all book challenges filed in the 2021-2022 school year with the 153 school districts that Tasslyn Magnusson, a researcher employed by free expression advocacy group PEN America, tracked as receiving formal requests to remove books last school year. In total, officials in more than 100 of those school systems, which are spread across 37 states, provided 1,065 complaints totaling 2,506 pages.

The Post analyzed the complaints to determine who was challenging the books, what kinds of books drew objections and why. Nearly half of filings — 43 percent — targeted titles with LGBTQ characters or themes, while 36 percent targeted titles featuring characters of color or dealing with issues of race and racism. The top reason people challenged books was “sexual” content; 61 percent of challenges referenced this concern.

And the perps:

The majority of the 1,000-plus book challenges analyzed by The Post were filed by just 11 people.

Each of these people brought 10 or more challenges against books in their school district; one man filed 92 challenges. Together, these serial filers constituted 6 percent of all book challengers — but were responsible for 60 percent of all filings.


Here are the top reasons books were pulled in 2021-2022 (LGBTQ books seem to be the main target):

*In his op-ed “The DeSantis delusion,” NYT writer Frank Bruni argues that while DeSantis is marketing himself as an alternative to Trump, Republican voters don’t want that. (But maybe centrists leaning right do!):

But do Republican voters want an alternative to Trump at all? The polls don’t say so. According to the current Real Clear Politics average of such surveys, Trump’s support is above 55 percent — which puts him more than 35 percentage points ahead of DeSantis. Mike Pence, in third place, is roughly another 15 percentage points behind DeSantis.

There’s an argument that Trump’s legal troubles will at some point catch up to him. Please. He’s already been indicted in one case and been found liable for sexual abuse and defamation in another, and his supporters know full well about his exposure in Georgia and elsewhere. The genius of his shameless shtick — that the system is rigged, that everyone who targets him is an unscrupulous political hack and that he’s a martyr, his torture a symbol of the contempt to which his supporters are also subjected — lies in its boundless application and timeless utility. It has worked for him to this point. Why would that stop anytime soon?

But if, between now and the Iowa caucuses, Republican voters do somehow develop an appetite for an entree less beefy and hammy than Trump, would DeSantis necessarily be that Filet-O-Fish? The many Republicans joining the hunt for the party’s nomination clearly aren’t convinced. Despite DeSantis’s braggartly talk about being the only credible presidential candidate beyond Biden and Trump, the number of contenders keeps expanding.

The other Republican wannabe candidates face the same situation:

Most of these candidates are in a pickle similar to DeSantis’s. It’s what makes the whole contest so borderline incoherent. Implicitly and explicitly, they’re sending the message that Republicans would be better served by a nominee other than Trump, but they’re saying that to a party so entirely transformed by him and so wholly in thrall to his populist rants, autocratic impulses, rightward lunges and all-purpose rage that they’re loath to establish too much separation from him. They’re trying to beat him without alienating his enormous base of support by beating up on him. The circus of him has them walking tightropes of their own.

So what do Republicans want? Don’t ask me; I’m not a Republican!

*Hallelujah! (If that’s the right word.) The Texas legislature, poised to pass a bill mandating the posting of the Ten Commandments in every secondary-school classroom, failed to pass the bill.  But the fight isn’t yet over:

Texas lawmakers had been scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to require that the Ten Commandments be posted in every classroom in the state, part of a newly energized national effort to insert religion into public life.

. . . Texas’s biennial legislative session is short, chaotic and packed, anda midnight deadline passed without a vote on the Ten Commandments bill, meaning the measure is dead for the session. But several other measures promoting religion in public spaces still have a shot at passage before the regular legislative session is scheduled to end May 29.

Here’s the arrantly ignorant mindset behind this clearly unconstitutional bills:

“There is absolutely no separation of God and government, and that’s what these bills are about. That has been confused; it’s not real,” said Texas state Sen. Mayes Middleton (R), who co-sponsored or authored three of the religion bills. “When prayer was taken out of schools, things went downhill — discipline, mental health. It’s something I heard a lot on porches when I was campaigning. It’s something I’ve thought about for a long time.”

. . . Josh Houston, who has advocatedat the Capitol for progressive and minority religious groups since 2005, said the kinds of bills passing chambers this year would have gone nowhere in the past in Texas. Even though religious expressions in public places in Texas are common, he said, there was an understanding that public employees represent the government and that legally the government shouldn’t impose religion.

But now the theocracy—Christian nationalism—is ascendant, and only Ceiling Cat knows how Texas will violate the Constitution. The scary thing is that if bills like this pass and are challenged, there’s good reason to think that the hyperconservative Supreme Court will uphold them. That’s why they’d best be defeated at the State level, as you can’t challenge a defeated law.

*This has been reported in several places, but here’s the NYT’s report on an amazing advance in medical technology: “A paralyzed man can walk naturally again with brain and spine implants.”

In a study published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, researchers in Switzerland described implants that provided a “digital bridge” between Mr. Oskam’s brain and his spinal cord, bypassing injured sections. The discovery allowed Mr. [Gert-Jan] Oskam, 40, to stand, walk and ascend a steep ramp with only the assistance of a walker. More than a year after the implant was inserted, he has retained these abilities and has actually showed signs of neurological recovery, walking with crutches even when the implant was switched off.

“We’ve captured the thoughts of Gert-Jan, and translated these thoughts into a stimulation of the spinal cord to re-establish voluntary movement,” Grégoire Courtine, a spinal cord specialist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, who helped lead the research, said at the press briefing.

In the new study, the brain-spine interface, as the researchers called it, took advantage of an artificial intelligence thought decoder to read Mr. Oskam’s intentions — detectable as electrical signals in his brain — and match them to muscle movements. The etiology of natural movement, from thought to intention to action, was preserved. The only addition, as Dr. Courtine described it, was the digital bridge spanning the injured parts of the spine.

I don’t quite get that las paragraph about philosophy. It’s straight naturalism: the brain commands for walking are electrical patterns in the neurons, and if these can be decoded and fed to the muscles, then there’s a possibility of walking again. Screw the philosophy: what’s amazing here is that we now have the technology and AI methods to translates the brain patterns into the muscles they normally control

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili still hasn’t completely warmed to Szaron:

Szaron: Is there room for me here?
Hili: We have a big garden, we don’t have to crowd together.

In Polish:
Szaron: Czy jest tu jeszcze miejsce dla mnie?
Hili: Mamy duży ogród, nie musimy się tłoczyć.


From The Cat House on the Kings; this is who calls you about your car warranty:


From Science Humor:
From Now That’s Wild:

Masih is interviewed on MSNBC about Iran’s increasing number of executions–all protestors against the regime:

From Bob Zimmer’s wife, announcing his death:

A tweet about Bob’s death from Barack Obama (h/t Simon):

From Luana, and yes, this is real (Luana notes, “Prof was fired.  She was adjunct.  There goes the academic freedom to attack people with knives… “). An excerpt:

The manic Manhattan college professor who threatened a Post reporter with a machete has been fired, the school said Tuesday — as it emerged she is suing the NYPD for allegedly abusing her during the 2020 George Floyd protests.

Shellyne Rodriguez was sacked by Hunter College just hours after the adjunct professor was caught on camera holding the blade to the veteran reporter’s neck while threatening to “chop” him up outside her Bronx apartment.

From Barry. I’m not sure this is a woodpecker, but it has found some fine nesting material:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a 13-year-old boy, gassed on arrival:

Tweets from Professor Cobb. First, Sir Martin Wagstaffe?

Matthew says, “This is Florida. Among the books is The Encyclopaedia of Mammals.”

A moggy at the bar:

44 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. The hair pulling bird is a Great Tit (Parus major) – they can be cheeky little devils, and allegedly predate the chicks of other birds. Our resident robins certainly get very physical whenever they turn up, generally driving them away. I think the chap in the video was watching a woodpecker, rather than referring to the hair puller!

  2. Is it just me, or does YouTube put a ghastly ad in front of the Hayworth/Astaire video about “poop”?

    I mean, what the hell YouTube.

  3. I would like to emphasize this part of the Zimmer quote :

    “… the challenge of different ideas and the evaluation of their own assumptions? A world in which their feelings take precedence over other matters that need to be confronted?”

    Whether in University or “The Real World”, what is the difference? We are inundated with ideas and assumptions, on a continuous basis. The problem Zimmer points out will never go away.

    An Orwell quote comes to mind :

    “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”

    In Front of Your Nose, Tribune, 22 March 1946

    … and in case of my own bad proof reading of my comment, this is an emphatic agreement with Zimmer’s point!

  4. On this day:
    240 BC – First recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.

    1521 – The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.

    1895 – Playwright, poet and novelist Oscar Wilde is convicted of “committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons” and sentenced to serve two years in prison.

    1925 – Scopes Trial: John T. Scopes is indicted for teaching human evolution in Tennessee.

    1935 – Jesse Owens of Ohio State University breaks three world records and ties a fourth at the Big Ten Conference Track and Field Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    1953 – The first public television station in the United States officially begins broadcasting as KUHT from the campus of the University of Houston.

    1961 – Apollo program: U.S. President John F. Kennedy announces, before a special joint session of the U.S. Congress, his goal to initiate a project to put a “man on the Moon” before the end of the decade.

    1977 – Star Wars (retroactively titled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) is released in theaters. [My first ever paid employment was to dress up as Darth Vader for a publicity photo at the Pentagon shopping centre in Chatham, Kent.]

    1977 – The Chinese government removes a decade-old ban on William Shakespeare’s work, effectively ending the Cultural Revolution started in 1966.

    1978 – The first of a series of bombings orchestrated by the Unabomber detonates at Northwestern University resulting in minor injuries.

    1999 – The United States House of Representatives releases the Cox Report which details China’s nuclear espionage against the U.S. over the prior two decades.

    2001 – Erik Weihenmayer becomes the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, in the Himalayas, with Dr. Sherman Bull.

    2008 – NASA’s Phoenix lander touches down in the Green Valley region of Mars to search for environments suitable for water and microbial life.

    2018 – The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes enforceable in the European Union. [Earlier this week, Facebook’s owner, Meta, was fined €1.2bn (£1bn) for breaching the GDPR by mishandling people’s data when transferring it between Europe and the United States.]

    2018 – Ireland votes to repeal the Eighth Amendment of their constitution that prohibits abortion in all but a few cases, choosing to replace it with the Thirty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland.

    1803 – Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and philosopher (d. 1882).

    1865 – Mathilde Verne, English pianist and educator (d. 1936).

    1913 – Richard Dimbleby, English journalist and producer (d. 1965). [The first journalist to enter the liberated Belsen concentration camp. He also narrated the famous spaghetti-tree hoax on 1 April 1957, as an April Fool’s Day joke.]

    1921 – Hal David, American songwriter and composer (d. 2012).

    1939 – Ian McKellen, English actor.

    1941 – Uta Frith, German developmental psychologist.

    1944 – Frank Oz, English-born American puppeteer, filmmaker, and actor.

    1953 – Eve Ensler, American playwright and producer. [Now known as V, apparently…]

    1958 – Paul Weller, English singer, songwriter and musician.

    1959 – Julian Clary, English comedian, actor, and author.

    1963 – Mike Myers, Canadian-American actor, singer, producer, and screenwriter.

    Pale death, with impartial step, knocks at the hut of the poor and the towers of kings:
    1555 – Gemma Frisius, Dutch physician, mathematician, and cartographer (b. 1508). [Created important globes, improved the mathematical instruments of his day and applied mathematics in new ways to surveying and navigation. Gemma’s rings, an astronomical instrument, are named after him.]

    1789 – Anders Dahl, Swedish botanist and physician (b. 1751). [A student of Carl Linnaeus, the dahlia flower is named after him.]

    1934 – Gustav Holst, English trombonist, composer, and educator (b. 1874).

    1948 – Witold Pilecki, Polish officer and Resistance leader (b. 1901). [Infiltrated the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1940 where he organized a resistance movement. His reports detailing German atrocities at the camp were smuggled out and shared with the Western Allies. Pilecki escaped from Auschwitz in April 1943 and fought in the Warsaw Uprising of August–October 1944. Following its suppression, he was interned in a German prisoner-of-war camp. Loyal to the London-based Polish government-in-exile after the communist takeover of Poland, he was later arrested, tortured, and executed in 1948 following a show trial.]

    1954 – Robert Capa, Hungarian photographer and journalist (b. 1913).

    2020 – George Floyd, African American man murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (b. 1973).

    1. Jez, reading that you were employed as a Darth Vader model makes me wonder how tall you are?🤔

      1. 6’4″ – I’d actually applied for a job in the cinema that was promoting the film (doing that weird thing of tearing the tickets in half and putting one half onto a long thread using a bodkin). When I turned up for the interview, the extremely camp cinema manager said, “Ooh! You’re a big boy!” (I was 16) and talked me into doing the photo shoot as well. It turned out to be very lucrative, as I was paid at double time for the session at the shopping centre and this extra payment turned up in my pay packet every week that I worked at the Rochester Odeon, despite me pointing out the error numerous times.

        The Darth Vader costume was terrible – it was very tatty and looked like it had been used at every other cinema in the country all ready. The cellophane eyes steamed up and I couldn’t see what I was doing, and there was so little air that I felt extremely light headed and was worried that I was going to pass out. So being overpaid for my trouble was quite fair, as it turned out.

          1. He sounds like a delightful man who brought much joy to cinema viewers. Condolences. And may the Force be with you!

        1. Great story. I can only add that during the time of Star Wars mania I was recruited to be in a rather good Vader costume for a classroom skit in our high school. That helmet was a claustrophobic nightmare.

  5. The danger of an unlimited debt ceiling would be that the debt expands so much that the cost of servicing the debt becomes more than government revenues would support. This could lead either to default or to the government’s printing more and more money just to pay the debt, which is called inflation.

    As a conservative, I want an alternative to Trump. That would be someone who has experience in government (I don’t think Trump’s time as President counts, which is not entirely his own fault), has principles he isn’t willing to roll over on, and has a plan to stop the explosive growth of government and government corruption.

    1. The problem is not with an unlimited debt ceiling. The only other advanced country in the world that has a debt ceiling is Denmark, and it has never been a problem because it has been set so high. The rest of the world seems to get along fine without one. The problem (if there is one) is the result of too much spending and/or too little revenue (meaning taxes should be raised). Once a debt is incurred, it must be paid. The proper level of spending and/or revenue is a political decision that should be totally divorced from the payment of debt.

    2. The danger you mentioned can be avoided the way every other nation handles it: by negotiating a budget that strikes a balance between current demands and future debt service. The weird thing with the debt ceiling is that it puts another artificial constraint on (democratically approved!) federal budgets that (as far as I can tell) serves no purpose except as an opportunity for grandstanding, fearmongering and brinksmanship. But if that’s what the US wants, by all means, do go on.

  6. The debt ceiling crisis has revealed the deep fissures in both parties. The far right of the Republicans does not want McCarthy to negotiate at all. They will reject any compromise he may reach with Biden. Likewise, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party doesn’t want Biden to negotiate at all, which he had previously promised he wouldn’t. It will reject any compromise he may reach with McCarthy. Progressive will argue rightfully that any compromise reached merely kicks the can down the road. When the next debt ceiling crisis comes (as it certainly will), the Republicans will want to even extort more from Biden. The Speaker may lose his position as the result of this. Biden may face a progressive challenger to his re-nomination. Moreover, any compromise reached may not even pass Congress.

    Constitutional scholars have weighed in on whether the invocation of the 14th amendment is the way out of the crisis. I have read several articles on this topic. Conservative scholars say that the amendment doesn’t apply here. Liberal scholars say that argument is crap and the 14th amendment certainly does apply. Perhaps it is my confirmation bias, but I have been persuaded by those that argue that the 14th amendment should be invoked as well as other constitutional provisions that would allow Biden to ignore the debt ceiling law.

    I do not know how the debt limit crisis will ultimately end. But we’ll know in a few weeks. The only thing that is certain is the result, whatever it may be, will alienate many people in both parties, deepening the crisis of democracy. The full faith and credit of the United States will never again be taken for granted.

  7. The machete-wielding Ex-Prof. Shellyne Rodriguez clearly did it ‘rong, didn’t she? Had she pulled a gun on the reporter, she wouldn’t even have made it into the small town news, let alone get fired, right?


    1. Honestly how many ordinary people own a machete in the US and are nowhere near a jungle? Blows my mind the apparent need for ‘weapons’ . So profoundly sad

      1. It’s not my favorite tool, but I own one; the subtropical property can start to look a bit like a jungle.

        Seriously, though, it’s quite enjoyable to use such hand tools rather than the noise-creating, fume-emitting, power tools that most Americans opt for.

      2. Lots of machete-wielders in northern Canada where nothing much of anything grows. It’s not so much a “need” for the weapon as a desire to have one handy in case the urge strikes while HAF.

  8. Sir Martin Wagstaff: Groucho Marx’ character in Horse Feathers was Prof. Wagstaff. I wonder if he knew of the euphemism?

  9. IRT the paralyzed man walking again, I applaud this big stride in humankind’s continuing development towards what I see as inevitable transformation into cybernetic organisms. I say inevitable, because I believe that once the medical advantages of body-machine synthesis become obvious, as in the present example, most people will willingly and happily become cyborgs.

  10. Newcastle neuroscientist Andrew Jackson is all wet. There is no philosophical concern about autonomy here. The patient is still controlling his own voluntary* movements of his limbs, which the technology facilitates. It seems the device might actually be enhancing his autonomy if he enjoys improvement even when the device is switched off.
    * No question of free will being raised here. By “voluntary” I merely mean the part of the nervous system that controls voliitonal movement of the skeletal muscles through signals originating in the motor cerebral cortex, all of which was intact after the injury. We accept technology without a second thought that affects autonomic function, like implanted cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, and many drugs that control high blood pressure.

    1. It’s not clear to me that he is critical of the idea or even concerned. Maybe the NYT story has more – it’s paywalled for me – but the quote published here just says he finds it “interesting”.

      1. I took “interesting” to mean, “problematic”, especially as applied to autonomy which is always a hot-button issue in medicine, and again not in the free-will vs. determinism sense. But fair enough.

  11. “Hallelujah! (If that’s the right word.)”

    It is the right word! It is a Hebrew imperative: ha-le-lu means “praise!” The recipient of the praise is yah. This is the short form of the formal divine name yhwh. If you know this god personally, you can call him yah. (Kinda like calling Richard Rich instead.) Thus, “Praise Yah!” This is the equivalent of the phrase “Ceiling Cat be praised!” In my view, cultural appropriation of Hallelujah is justified when celebrating the failure of a theocracy.

  12. Banning books? Thank that fellow – err what’s His name? Oh God, that’s Him – I’m on this side of the Atlantic. The parallels between Christian Nationalism, and National Socialism go way beyond the similarity in their names. My big worry is that what starts in the US often crosses over to the UK. Maybe we should all be worried.
    By the way, the little bird in the “woodpecker” pic is called a great tit. (No joke – it’s just what we call them.)

  13. it’s National Wine Day. Drink some today: it’s good for you

    I wish I could! I developed a pretty severe intolerance to alcohol from my Covid infection in 2021. Boy do I miss wine, and beer, and….all of it!

    I’m glad you got through your COVID bought without similar consequences!

    On that note, perhaps a little PSA since COVID is still prevalent and we are all likely to be re-infected, it might be worth pointing out: If anyone gets COVID and finds afterward that alcohol seems to have an unusually strong effect (like you’ve drank much more alcohol than you have for instance) be cautious. That could be a red flag. It’s become a very common sign associated with various disruptions of the nervous system (etc) associated with Long COVID. In fact many with long COVID had their first onrush of symptoms (that never went away) upon drinking alcohol after their COVID infection. (The Long COVID clinic treating me says alcohol intolerance is so prevalent in LC that one of the tests they do after a length of treatment is to see how the subject tolerates a small bit of alcohol).

    Of course most people don’t have an issue with alcohol after COVID, and I certainly wouldn’t stop drinking out of any such worry. But IF you notice an increased intolerance after a COVID infection, it’s worth considering it may be a red flag to be cautious.

  14. …found that 60% of the book banning requests had come from just 11 people.

    I thought that sentence was going to end “60% of the book banning requests were for the Bible”

    Anyway, the man who made 92 requests: had he read all of the 92 books? I get suspicious of people who go through creative works looking for the naughty bits. I wonder how pure are their motives.

    1. When I was a boy, I went through creative works looking for naughty bits, but I didn’t want them banned. Quite the opposite 🙂 . Most of the books belonged to my parents.

        1. Holy effing herniated disc! How do you know you can do a split the first time without breaking, tearning, snapping, or dislodging something? From the way he keeps leaning off to his left, the sax player on the right must have taken a few kicks to the head during rehearsals. Incredible performance.

      1. Thank you for that clip. Apart from the really great athletic dancing, I note how good the ‘white tie’ looks on gents.

  15. Re. the book banning because, sex, I’m reminded of Dylan’s words:

    Old lady judges watch people in pairs
    Limited in sex, they dare
    To push fake morals, insult and stare
    While money doesn’t talk, it swears
    Obscenity, who really cares
    Propaganda, all is phony

    I’m still baffled that he won the Nobel Prize in literature, but either way, the guy can turn a phrase!

  16. Tina Turner played a nightclub I tended bar in the early 70’s. In Denver, Colorado. There was a party afterwards at her hotel.. Lots of cocaine, etc. “Proud Mary” was huge then. She was under “duress” with her relationship with Ike. The 70’s. She stayed out-of-the party limelight. Stayed in a bedroom.
    Yeah, I was not a big fan of her music/style. Nevertheless, she was/is a symbol of the times. RIP.

  17. I noticed one of the so called banned books is “Encyclopedia of Mammals” it looked well read. Let’s hope it is old and being updated with a new addition. If not, wtf!

  18. Too many things to comment upon.
    As very young lads we used to masturbate to images of Tina Turner with her short skirts and divine legs. This was well before internet, with its more explicit sexual content when looked for, of course.
    For $700 bucks I’d rather go for a Burgundy like Aloxe Corton or Vosne-Romanée (think they are in that price class), but I must admit I never drank a Côte Rôtie. I think I never drank a bottle in that (frankly exaggerated) price class, I stuck to ‘Chorey-les-Beaunes’, and now in the RSA wines like ‘Seduction’ pinot noir by La Vierge. They come at just over 100R a bottle, about 5-6 U$D. A wonderfully light, yes actually seductive, pinot noir.
    I noted that Burgundy (pinot noir) makes one light headed and joyful, while Bordeaux like Medocs and Graves (mainly Cabernet Sauvignon), makes one grave and serious. So if you have a lady friend you want to seduce, serve Pinot Noir, and chocolate of course. 🙂

  19. I fear that if Trump or De Santis get elected to the US presidency Ukraine is toast. And hence the West & NATO, including the US, will be toast. De Santis hasn’t got a clue (a ‘border dispute’?), and I suspect that Trump is simply a Russian asset, despite Mueller’s shortcut investigation that could not find court proof evidence of collusion. Bill Barr has butter on his bloated head there.

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