Monday: Hili dialogue

July 17, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to the first day of the “work” week: Monday, July 17, 2023, and National Peach Ice-Cream Day (is that hyphen correct?). Sadly, this may be in short supply this year since the weather has severely reduced the crop in states like Texas and Georgia (the “Peach State”):

It’s also Global Hug Your Kids Day, Wrong Way Corrigan Day, celebrating the day in 1938 when Douglas Corrigan made an unauthorized solo transatlantic flight from Brooklyn to Ireland, claiming that it was a “navigational error” (he lied), National Tattoo Day, International Firgun Day (look it up), World Day for International Justice, and World Emoji Day.

Here’s the backwards headline of the New York Post on August 5, 1938, celebrating Corrigan’s feat and his return to the U.S.:

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the July 17 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*One of the jewels of Britain’s crown, the National Health Service, is in big trouble—it’s overloaded. Whenever I mention this, British readers take me to task and say that NHS is fine, but I think I was right all along. At any rate, the NYT lays out the problems:

Her stoicism captures the reverence that Britons have for their cradle-to-grave health system, but also their rueful sense that it is broken.

As it turns 75 this month, the N.H.S., a proud symbol of Britain’s welfare state, is in the deepest crisis of its history: flooded by aging, enfeebled patients; starved of investment in equipment and facilities; and understaffed by doctors and nurses, many of whom are so burned out that they are either joining strikes or leaving for jobs abroad.

Interviews over three months with doctors, nurses, patients, hospital administrators and medical analysts depict a system so profoundly troubled that some experts warn that the health service is at risk of collapse.

“Doctors and nurses face an endless stream of patients filling beds,” said Matthew Trainer, the chief executive of the N.H.S. trust that runs Queen’s and another nearby hospital, the King George. “For the clinical staff, that removes a sense of hope — that sense that what you’re doing matters.”

More than 7.4 million people in England are waiting for medical procedures, everything from hip replacements to cancer surgery. That is up from 4.1 million before the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020.

. . .Mortality data, exacerbated by long wait times, paints a bleak picture. In 2022, the number of excess deaths rose to one of the highest levels in the last 50 years, and those numbers have kept rising, even as the pandemic has ebbed.

In the first quarter of 2023, more than half of excess deaths — that is, deaths above the five-year average mortality rate, before the pandemic — were caused by something other than Covid-19. Cardiovascular-related fatalities, which can be linked to delays in treatment, were up particularly sharply, according to Stuart McDonald, an expert on mortality data at LCP, a London-based pension and investment advisory firm.

. .  These problems are compounded by a breakdown in primary care, which has made it all but impossible for many people to get an appointment with their family doctor. With a shortage of general practitioners and nowhere else to turn, the E.R. has become the first stop for millions of sick Britons.

It looks to me like the NHS is circling the drain. And then what? The E.R. is also the first stop for millions of impoverished Americans who can’t afford health insurance. And the U.S. doesn’t have National Health.

*Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a Republican, of course, continues to hold up military nominations and promotions (including the head of the Marine Corps and the soon-retiring Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) because the Secretary of Defense has a policy of allowing female troops reproductive health care, including abortions that involve travel. First, how can he do this?

In the Senate, one senator can hold up nominations or legislation even if the other 99 want it to move forward.

Generally, leaders in the majority party get around this by holding a series of votes to move a measure and dispense of the hold. It just takes some additional time on the Senate floor.

But Tuberville’s blockade is unique because there are hundreds of military nominations and promotions, and Democratic leaders would have to hold roll call votes on every single one of them to get around the hold. It’s a decades-long tradition for the Senate to group military promotions together and approve them by voice vote, avoiding lengthy roll calls.

So Tuberville has put the Senate in a bind. The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said this week that voting on the more than 260 military nominations through the regular procedure would take 27 days with the Senate working “around the clock” or 84 days if the Senate worked eight hours a day.

. . .Senators in both parties — including Republican Leader Mitch McConnell — have pushed back on Tuberville’s blockade, but Tuberville is dug in. He says he won’t drop the holds unless majority Democrats allow a vote on the policy.

For now, the fight is at a stalemate. Democrats say a vote on every nominee could tie up the Senate floor for months. And they don’t want to give in to Tuberville’s demands and encourage similar blockades of nominees in the future.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that holding up the promotion of military leaders, most of whom have dedicated their lives to protecting the country, “is one of the most abominable and outrageous things I have ever seen in this chamber, witnessed by the fact that no one has ever had the temerity, the gall to do this before.”

*Here’s Lauren Boebert and her “postmodern” idea about there being no truth getting demolished by Democratic representative Jamie Raskin (his hat is there to cover his balding head, as he’s being treated for cancer).  Why did she get reelected? If you can’t see the video below, go here.   (h/t: Merilee)

*The Washington Post‘s Kathleen Parker has a heterodox take (for this liberal paper) on the Dylan/Mulvaney Bud Light fracas, “Bud Light started a fight it was bound to lose.”

Pardon the clichés, but this is what we’ve become — a continuous, live-streaming cliché of mass-produced outrage alternating between the apocalyptic and the absurd. If you’ve been hammocking the past few months, you might have missed the comedy team known as Anheuser-Busch and its marketing department’s merry pranksters. The latter are the geniuses who thought transgender woman and TikTok sensation Dylan Mulvaney should partner with Bud Light for the March Madness basketball tournament.

. . . The point for most people is, you be you — but leave me out of it. That goes for my children, too. Most people are too afraid to say it, but not [Megyn] Kelly. An influencer herself, she is probably considered a “transphobe” by people in the LGBTQ+ community. Is she? I don’t know and don’t care, but let’s try to be rational for a second.

To be phobic is to have an irrational fear of or an aversion to something. As used today, phobic connotes animosity or hatred as well, which might or might not be the case. What is true is that changing one’s sex through chemical or surgical alteration is alien to most people, many of whom hold no animosity toward anyone. Even so, they might question the direction their culture is taking and its effect on children. Mulvaney’s audience, by the way, skews younger than the legal drinking age.

Here’s what I’m phobic about — the manipulation of innocents through sophisticated targeting, and the political exploitation of issues that are intentionally misleading, unconstructive or hurtful.

In trying to be trans-friendly by tapping Mulvaney, Bud Light might as well have labeled their cans, “Vote Republican.” And now Republicans aren’t about to let the controversy cool down. No sooner was Mulvaney posing with her personal Bud than a boycott materialized, costing the company billions. In June, sales were down 28 percent. Joining the fray, LGBTQ+ activists protested Mulvaney’s treatment by the company, which tossed her aside like an empty beer can.

. . .Anheuser-Busch tried to undo the damage by pandering to another group: the heterosexual, beer-guzzling men who once were its best customers. A fresh batch of ads and products left no stereotype unturned. New designs for beer cans included a limited-edition veterans Bud Light and a sports-hunting camouflage Bud Light. A TV ad created for the July Fourth holiday, attempting to parody the 1974 film “Blazing Saddles,” featured NFL star Travis Kelce and a bunch of guys popping their Bud Lights to the accompaniment of grunts.

Get it? Men. Beer. Grunting. Of course, men tend to be pander-averse. The boycott stands.

. . . In a time of culturally encouraged identity confusion and gender fluidity, Anheuser-Busch tried to exploit a real-time identity crisis playing out in the form of a 26-year-old personality on TikTok. Shame on them. This to me is the real story.

*The Food Police are having their way, at least according to CNN, which dutifully recounts “How America fell out of love with ice cream.”

Consumption of regular dairy ice cream, which does not include frozen yogurt, sherbet or non- and low-fat ice creams, has been falling for years, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

In 1986, the average American ate 18 pounds of regular ice cream, according to the USDA. By 2021, the most recent year of the data, that was down a third to just 12 pounds per person.


For years, ice cream was more than a frozen dessert: It was a lifeline for American brewers during Prohibition and a means to boost morale among troops during World War II. By the 1950s, the sweet, creamy treat had become an American treasure.

But like full-fat milk, sodared meat and other former heroes of the American diet, ice cream has been scrutinized for its impact on health and the environment. After peaking in the 1940s, per capita availability of regular ice cream started to decline in the 1990s and through the 2000s as health-conscious consumers — including a member of the Baskin Robbins family — turned on the sugary, fatty food, or started treating it as an occasional, pricey treat.

“An occasional pricey treat”. OY!  The first word is disturbing, the second distressing.

“I think part of the reason that ice cream has faded is that novelty has worn off,” he said. And with concerns rising about the impact of sugar on health, ice cream’s image as a wholesome treat is melting away.

It probably didn’t help, Siegel noted, that one man leading the charge against ice cream and dairy production was John Robbins, the one-time heir apparent to the Baskin-Robbins’ ice cream kingdom.

. . . Robbins walked away from the family business decades ago, instead devoting his attention to heralding plant-based diets and animal rights.

Here are the data:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is reaching across the species aisle:

Hili: You understand.
A: What do I understand?
Hili: How much unites a human and a cat.
In Polish:
Hili: Sam rozumiesz.
Ja: Co?
Hili: Jak wiele łączy człowieka z kotem.
And there is a picture of a black and white cat who visited Chez Hili. It has the caption, “A guest came, not for long; he took a look and went away.” (In Polish: “Przyszedł gość, nie na długo, popatrzył i poszedł.”)


From Thomas, one of the best Gary Larson Far Side cartoons EVER:

From The Cat House on the Kings. We seem to be getting a lot of cat-in-the-loo cartoons lately:

From Ron:

From Masih. Iranian cops love to shoot out people’s eyes.

From Luana.  Is this social pressure or what?

From Ziya Tong, frog television!

From Barry, a chinwag between a cat and a crow. Sound up!

From Amy, who adds

Pauly at Hedgehog Cabin shared this video on Twitter recently. A cat walked into Hedgehog Cabin and when Pauly checked the chip folk, she discovered this cat had travelled 13 miles from where the cat lives to Hedgehog Cabin. Pauly provided a cat bed but he preferred the sink as seen here.
Remember to chip your animals!

From the Auschwitz Memorial, one I retweeted. A rare survivor!

From the diligent Dr. Cobb. This bit looks like a bit from Matthew’s upcoming bio of Crick:

Matthew sez, “Yesterday on the Tour de France. This rider is out of all contention, it was an amazingly tough ride, so he had some fun with his supporters…”

In JAPAN! I’m flabbergasted!

51 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. Yes, the NHS is “in crisis”. But then it always is. As with other health-care systems worldwide, it has to cope with rising numbers of elderly people and an ever-increasing range of new expensive treatments (which is a good thing). It’s also the task of doctors to spend all the resources they’re given for the benefit of patients and then ask for more, so that’s what they do. So, it’s always in crisis, but yes it does seem worse than normal, mostly as a result of the covid pandemic.

    In terms of international comparisons of rich nations, the UK spends about average on health and has outcomes that are about average. Not great, but ok-ish. One of the problems is that the UK public generally refuses to consider any alternative systems such as those elsewhere in Europe.

    As for the NYT piece, it’s worth noting that the NYT has a habit of running pieces that denigrate the UK. Some criticisms are fair enough, others are not.

    And of course, whatever the merits/demerits of the NHS, the US system is vastly worse. It costs about twice as much as that of other rich countries (as a fraction of GDP) while having overall outcomes that are no better and still leaving swathes of citizens uncovered. The US system is only good for those with top-notch insurance paid for by their employer, not by them.

    1. I suspect there is one simple metric that would throw light on the NHS, just as it does on Canadian medicare: what percentage of the annual budget is spent on administration and management instead of patient care? A question such health services do not want to answer, and if forced to do so, you know exactly how they will respond to their shame and embarrassment—by appointing a vast new team of deputy ministers, CEOs, VPs, administrators and managers and support staff to oversee the needed changes, and they will come to the conclusion that such change is impossible, but will not fire themselves, simply finding other make-work to keep themselves paid. It’s like watching a fine old oak tree be slowly strangled by ivy.
      The growth of bureaucracy is a new-ish problem for society, and no one yet has figured out how to reset the system to a starting point where the growth will repeat itself all over again.

  2. The Parker piece on the Bud-Light controversy is a surprising bit of content from the Wapo. I think she only gets half the story, though. The rest of it is that Anheuser-Busch did this to buff up their ESG scores, a practice that is so unrelated to their product that tobacco companies wind up with perfect ESG scores for genuflecting to the Progressive gods. In other news, it looks like the Anchor Brewery in San Francisco, home of Anchor Steam, is shutting down.

  3. “Anheuser-Busch tried to undo the damage by pandering to another group: the heterosexual, beer-guzzling men who once were its best customers.”

    Sorry, Ms. Parker, but red-blooded heterosexual, beer-guzzling men don’t drink light beer, least of all Bud Light (cf. having intercourse in canoe).

    1. She got reelected by a measly 546 votes. Her 2022 opponent, Adam Frisch, is running again in 2024. Money isn’t everything, but he’s already raised triple the amount that Boebert has. Polls have them in a dead heat, though I don’t put much merit in polls these days.

  4. Is it not just a bit ironic that the new lying party(republican) are throwing the military aside in their madness for anti-women politics. A winning form don’t you think.

    1. The Alabama Senator also stated that “white nationalists” are “patriots.” There are a lot of really stupid GOP politicians (esp. in the House) but Senator Tuberville takes the cake. Alabama: what’s wrong with you people?

      1. Alabama: what’s wrong with you people?

        Stereotypically, generations of cousin marriage (a Bowdlerism for cousin-breeding).
        Of course, if Alabaman’s don’t like their stereotype, they can do things (in public) that change the stereotype. Any grandchildren might benefit from their actions.

  5. Uk resident here. Rang NHS doctors’ surgery on Thurs pm, paramedic rang me back about 30 mins later, & after a discussion, I had a appointment with a nurse practitioner the next morning. I was given a prescription to deal with acid reflux, and sample containers. I handed in samples on the Monday, and I have an appointment to take blood samples.
    No payment for consultations, for sample containers, for labs tests. No payment for prescription at the pharmacy because I am a pensioner, (notional payments for people of working age, with an annual upper limit if you have a chronic condition).

    Money for the NHS is proportionate to wages, and is taken from the wage packet by employers and passed on with tax. The self employed pay by direct debit, with extra collected when they pay their tax if profit is over a set amount. Those who are sick or unemployed, or not working because s/he is looking after children get a credit towards their pension and free prescriptions and dental treatment.”From each according to their means, to each according to their need.”

    However, for NHS dental service you pay set amounts and these charges are getting to the stage where some people avoid going regularly for checkups. Children and pregnant women get free treatment. And woe betide you if you move or if your dental practice decides to take private patients only.

    Both doctors and dentists say that the money they get from NHS for patients is not enough to run a senselble business.

    And hospitals . waiting lists are lengthening. But my friend was diagnosed with cancer promptly and her treatment continued throughout the covid lockdowns.

    1. Thanks for that Mr. Reader in England. It is a similar setup in Australia (where I am, long ago, from). There’s a bug in the analysis that Americans apply to universal medial care (even our host on occasions).
      That is that there are MORE health insurance systems (all state run) in countries that aren’t the UK or Canada. Most Americans seem to miss this.
      As good as UK and Canada are, the systems of Australia, Singapore and Switzerland are all incredible. Broadly, the state taxes for catastrophic care and supplies it (not a large tax) and the rest is private, competed for by actual companies (not cartels who have captured the legislatures like here).
      In comparing health care systems look beyond just Canada and the UK.

    2. Money for the NHS is proportionate to wages, and is taken from the wage packet by employers and passed on with tax. The self employed pay by direct debit, with extra collected when they pay their tax

      It is tax – no “if’s”, “buts” or complications, it’s just an element of general taxation. There is no separation of “money for the NHS” from “money for libraries” or “money for training murderers and arming them”. It’s just “taxation”.
      On occasions it comes up in politics (oh, three elections this week – this could be one of those times!) that “the populace” like the idea of knowing what each bit of tax is going to pay for. Which is probably true – the populace like that idea. But the politicians (and probably civil servants, speaking through writing politician’s position papers for them) hate the idea because it would inevitably lead to complaints of the form “I agree with paying for (e.g.) the NHS but I refuse to pay for training professional murderers.” and an immense pile of additional expense for the tax system. I believe they call the idea “hypothecation”, and only mutter it in black masses while invoking the wrath of the Elder Gods on it’s lovers.
      By chance, “english reader” supports his purported location when he says

      notional payments for people of working age

      , because, of course the rules are different outside England. Here in Scotland, nobody pays a charge for prescriptions (saving the cost of administering a prescriptions payment scheme) ; I’d have to check what the situation is in Wales and Ulster.

      And woe betide you if you move or if your dental practice decides to take private patients only.

      This too, is a problem I only hear about from England. For sure, the Scottish government have negotiated a new contract with their cohort of dentists, and opened a couple of dental schools since devolution, so that problem of NHS England isn’t a problem up here. (Again, I don’t know what the situation is in Wales and Ulster.)
      All of which reminds me that I need to renew my ‘scrip in the next few days.
      The Tories hate the NHS with a vengeance, because terror of medical bills is one of the most potent weapons they have for suppressing the “working class’s” aspirations for a better life. If you hear a Tory talking about how they support the NHS, they’re lying to your face because they think you’re stupid.

  6. This is being taught to primary school students in the UK.

    I’d like to see some evidence for the veracity of that statement. The author links to a charity that is producing the material but not to any source that says school teachers are downloading and using it.

    1. It’s hard to prove because many schools use third-party providers for Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) who won’t share their teaching materials with parents citing copyright concerns. So the material James Esses highlights could be shown to someone’s children, but the parents wouldn’t know unless the kid happened to mention it.

      We know for a fact that the “gender gingerbread man” (sometimes a unicorn) and the “GI Joe/Barbie” gender-is-a-spectrum teaching materials have been taught as fact in British schools.

      1. So we have a situation that can be explained either by secrecy or by not actually happening. How can I be sure it’s the former? It seems very like a conspiracy theory to me.

        And, by the way, finding one or two schools isn’t indicative of a general problem.

        1. A legal case was brought by a parent trying to see the material presented to her child by the external provider the School Of Sexuality Education (SSE). In court, the CEO admitted in court that anyone searching their website was a click or two away from age-inappropriate sexual material and that no thought had been given to the possibility that a child might look up the person who had presented the lesson online.

          The Information Commissioner’s Office had agreed with SSE that parents had no right to expect the material to be shared with them so that they could look at it at their leisure or share it with organisations with expertise in child safeguarding for their views on the balance and appropriateness of the material. (The only way the parent could view the material was in-person at the school with the headteacher breathing down their neck, which I would contend is far from ideal.) The court ruled in favour of the ICO and the school.

          New government guidance on issues relating to this have been promised for years and will supposedly be published this school term (which ends on Wednesday for my youngest).

          CP: Parent bringing the case.

          DP: CEO of the School Of Sexuality Education – a third-party organisation offering RSE/PHSE lessons for schools, including that attended by CP’s child.

          ZG: Zoe Gannon, barrister for CP.

          ZG: Do you accept that if a child is taught by a person their parent does not know about, there is danger the child could look that person up online without pareent’s knowledge?

          DP: Suppose that might happen.

          ZG: Is it *likely* that a child would look up online, if parents not aware?

          DP: Could happen, also could talk to teachers.

          ZG: And if they did they’d find your website?

          DP. Yes, previously, yes

          ZG: We are talking about 2021, early 2022. Do you accept that if a child looked at your website then, they would find unsuitable materials?

          DP: Can completely understand the Q. Yes. Can understand CP’s concern – not our context, but links on it.
          DP: would like to give context. Website was done without any thought. Links to materials outside our own site was meant to indicate that we are a completely non-embarrassable team – convey that no topics make us uncomfortable, there to support young people, not judgemental.

          DP: Completely true that we did not consider that if a parent did go and look at our website, they might not see the site as we’d meant it to be, that they’d find things not suitable for young people. Completely accept this is regrettable, understand how CP got impression she did.

        2. The problem is that it has become tediously normal for these sorts of things to be done furtively, and when exposed, denied.
          Claiming it is a conspiracy theory is part of the process.

          Much later in the process, those same folks admit the practice they denied is happening, but it is morally imperative that they do it, and anyone who would object is a fascist.

          There are some realities that work in the favor of such tactics. Most people find claims that teachers are engaging in strange grooming behaviors with their children is an absurd prospect. Until they see proof that it is indeed happening.
          So they readily believe the denial.

    2. Agreed, it’d be nice to have a clear data point.

      However, the distinction between boring vs. exciting is not unique, nor the visually stimulating images. Consider the following paper excerpt – their emphasis/italics not mine:

      “[A]s drag queen Nina West (2019) sang in her children’s album, “Drag is a vacation from a boring day/Use your own imagination/All you gotta do is close your eyes and see who you wanna be.” In the world of drag, you can wear a crown and glitter and bright yellow crinoline and makeup and neon green fishnets and a wig. Everything is dialled up, made more interesting in large part because it is extraordinary. ”

      [end excerpt]

      They also make clear that the drag queen’s [quote]”… mere aesthetic presence would be generative.”[end quote]

      Source :

      Keenan, Harper, and “Lil Miss Hot Mess”
      “Drag Pedagogy: The playful practice of queer imagination in early childhood.” Curriculum Inquiry 50(5): 440–461, 2020

      [ returning to my comment, no more quotes]

      “Generative” means to deliberately elicit emotional response. Images such as the colorful icons – in concert with discussion – can serve this purpose well, as we know from thought-reform in China. See Robert Jay Lifton’s books.

      So, the Tweet is easy to dismiss because we do not have a camera in a classroom. But if one reads the literature – a pattern becomes clear. Look how long it takes to explain – yet, the scraps on Twitter can be defended as simple flukes, inaccurate anecdotes, or conspiracy theories. BTW I read all this from James “Conspiracy Theorist” Lindsay’s writing.

  7. One reason for the decline in ice cream consumption is that it is being sold in smaller quantities. For a long time, ice cream was sold in 64 oz. (= .5 gal. = 4 quarts) containers. Around 2002, major brands switched to 56 oz. ( = 1.75 quarts). Then, around 2010, they shrunk further, to 48 oz. (= 1.5 quarts). Most brands are still at this amount, though a quick search revealed some are now 46 oz.(= 1.44 quarts).

    So, whatever your regular consumption of ice cream was, unless you compensated by buying more frequently, your ice cream consumption would have declined by 25%. The graph from CNN shows ice cream consumption going from about 16 pounds per person in 2000, to about 12 now– a 25% reduction. Since the quantity reductions were not accompanied by price reductions, everything’s going according to plan for the ice cream industry. Jerry discussed this last year here at WEIT.


  8. National Peach Ice-Cream Day (is that hyphen correct?)

    Hyphenation is one of those things that varies between English-speaking countries (and also between publishing houses). For example, tooth brush, tooth-brush, and toothbrush have all been used at various times. It seems that such words often, but not always, gravitate towards becoming a single word (with no hyphen) as the word becomes more commonly used. For what it’s worth, my dictionary says “ice cream” (but also “icebreaker” – It’s English, Jake!)

    1. I’ve got to admit, I think people getting exercised over who a beer company engages to market there beer is silly. And not necessarily in a humorous way.

  9. “Mortality data, exacerbated by long wait times, paints a bleak picture. In 2022, the number of excess deaths rose to one of the highest levels in the last 50 years, and those numbers have kept rising, even as the pandemic has ebbed.

    In the first quarter of 2023, more than half of excess deaths — that is, deaths above the five-year average mortality rate, before the pandemic — were caused by something other than Covid-19. Cardiovascular-related fatalities, which can be linked to delays in treatment, were up particularly sharply, . . .”

    I would want to know the excess death data for other countries before I started blaming the NHS.

    1. Here in this country they don’t really keep any real data on this. It would be impossible and nobody cares. They cannot even tell you the real number killed by guns. The WP started keeping these stats a few years back because the police and the government did not have them. But again, nobody cares. What does not figure is why would an American newspaper spend a lot of ink covering healthcare in another country? I suppose next they will cover all the gun deaths in the U.K. It will be shocking.

      1. I suspect at least PART of the reason for the coverage is to try make the point, “See? Socialized medicine doesn’t work!” so there’s less pressure to try to improve the abysmal healthcare situation in the US. Just a guess.

        1. If someone brought up the abysmal healthcare situation in the U.S. to U.S. media, would U.S. media accuse them of whataboutery?

        1. Exactly. Just last week we had a little shoot out in a nightclub here in Wichita, 9 people shot and 2 more trampled. Oddly enough, none killed but that would probably fill out a whole year in the U.K. I believe they have arrested four people by now. The trend now is – one person starts shooting and 3 or 4 more join in soon after. Running is not the best thing. It’s better to hit the floor at the first shot.

    1. It is not a jackdaw: I see enough of those pests terrorising smaller birds in my garden. I think that it is a hooded crow.

  10. I was thinking the bird was a hooded crow; but even if a jackdaw, still a corvid, so calling him a crow is still technically an okay- not great- stretch.

      1. Glad for the confirmation! My comment didn’t nest below Lorna’s like intended (and expected, given the subject matter!)

  11. The University of Kyoto is the 2nd most prestigious in Japan (after Tokyo U.). I studied law at Seikei U. in Tokyo for a summer when I was a law student. One of my profs was from Uni of Kyoto and when I told friends they were WAAAAY impressed. 🙂
    To be fair, he was an impressive guy.

  12. “An Australian sailor and his dog have been rescued off the coast of Mexico after spending three months at sea, with their remarkable tale of survival being compared to Tom Hanks’ ‘Cast Away’.
    Tim Shaddock departed La Paz three months ago bound for French Polynesia – however his electronics were wiped out in bad weather one month into his journey.
    Mr Shaddock and his dog Bella survived on raw fish and rainwater for two months until a tuna troller’s helicopter spotted them on Thursday.”

  13. On this day:
    A very bloody day in history… And a busy one, too.
    1717 – King George I of Great Britain sails down the River Thames with a barge of 50 musicians, where George Frideric Handel’s Water Music is premiered.

    1771 – Bloody Falls massacre: Chipewyan chief Matonabbee, traveling as the guide to Samuel Hearne on his Arctic overland journey, massacres a group of unsuspecting Inuit.

    1791 – Members of the French National Guard under the command of General Lafayette open fire on a crowd of radical Jacobins at the Champ de Mars, Paris, during the French Revolution, killing scores of people.

    1794 – The 16 Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne are executed ten days prior to the end of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror.

    1821 – The Kingdom of Spain cedes the territory of Florida to the United States.

    1850 – Vega became the first star (other than the Sun) to be photographed.

    1902 – Willis Carrier creates the first air conditioner in Buffalo, New York.

    1918 – Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his immediate family and retainers are executed by Bolshevik Chekists at the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

    1918 – The RMS Carpathia, the ship that rescued the 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic, is sunk off Ireland by the German SM U-55; five lives are lost.

    1932 – Altona Bloody Sunday: A riot between the Nazi Party paramilitary forces, the SS and SA, and the German Communist Party ensues.

    1936 – Spanish Civil War: An Armed Forces rebellion against the recently elected leftist Popular Front government of Spain starts the civil war.

    1944 – Port Chicago disaster: Near the San Francisco Bay, two ships laden with ammunition for the war explode in Port Chicago, California, killing 320.

    1945 – World War II: The main three leaders of the Allied nations, Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman and Joseph Stalin, meet in the German city of Potsdam to decide the future of a defeated Germany.

    1975 – Apollo–Soyuz Test Project: An American Apollo and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft dock with each other in orbit marking the first such link-up between spacecraft from the two nations.

    1976 – The opening of the Summer Olympics in Montreal is marred by 25 African teams boycotting the games because of New Zealand’s participation. Contrary to rulings by other international sports organizations, the IOC had declined to exclude New Zealand because of their participation in South African sporting events during apartheid. [NZ doesn’t advertise this, I suspect?]

    1981 – A structural failure leads to the collapse of a walkway at the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City, Missouri, killing 114 people and injuring more than 200.

    1984 – The national drinking age in the United States was changed from 18 to 21. [Meanwhile, the gun laws remain unchanged…]

    1989 – First flight of the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber.

    1998 – The 7.0 Mw  Papua New Guinea earthquake triggers a tsunami that destroys ten villages in Papua New Guinea, killing up to 2,700 people, and leaving several thousand injured.

    1998 – A diplomatic conference adopts the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, establishing the permanent international court in The Hague, to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.

    2018 – Scott S. Sheppard announces that his team has discovered a dozen irregular moons of Jupiter.

    1839 – Ephraim Shay, American engineer, invented the Shay locomotive (d. 1916).

    1888 – Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Ukrainian-Israeli novelist, short story writer and poet, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1970).

    1894 – Georges Lemaître, Belgian priest, astronomer, and cosmologist (d. 1966).

    1899 – James Cagney, American actor and dancer (d. 1986).

    1910 – James Coyne, Canadian lawyer and banker, 2nd Governor of the Bank of Canada (d. 2012). [Included as a fellow Coyne, as per our host’s practice when compiling these lists.]

    1910 – Frank Olson, American chemist and microbiologist (d. 1953).

    1916 – Eleanor Hadley, American economist and policymaker (d. 2007).

    1917 – Phyllis Diller, American actress, comedian, and voice artist (d. 2012).

    1935 – Donald Sutherland, Canadian actor and producer.

    1939 – Spencer Davis, Welsh singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2020).

    1940 – Tim Brooke-Taylor, English actor and screenwriter (d. 2020).

    1947 – Wolfgang Flür, German musician (Kraftwerk)

    1947 – Mick Tucker, English rock drummer (Sweet) (d. 2002).

    1948 – Ron Asheton, American guitarist and songwriter (d. 2009).

    1949 – Geezer Butler, English bass player and songwriter.

    1954 – Angela Merkel, German chemist and politician, Chancellor of Germany from 2005 to 2021.

    1958 – Suzanne Moore, English journalist.

    1961 – Jeremy Hardy, English comedian and actor (d. 2019).

    1965 – Alex Winter, English-American actor, film director and screenwriter. [Bill S. Preston Esq.!]

    1975 – Konnie Huq, English television presenter.

    Our almost-instinct almost true:
    What will survive of us is love.

    1790 – Adam Smith, Scottish economist and philosopher (b. 1723).

    1793 – Charlotte Corday, French murderer (b. 1768).

    1894 – Josef Hyrtl, Austrian anatomist and biologist (b. 1810).

    1912 – Henri Poincaré, French mathematician, physicist, and engineer (b. 1854).

    1959 – Billie Holiday, American singer (b. 1915).

    1967 – John Coltrane, American saxophonist and composer (b. 1926).

    1996 – Chas Chandler, English bass player and producer (b. 1938).

    2001 – Katharine Graham, American publisher (b. 1917).

    2006 – Mickey Spillane, American crime novelist (b. 1918).

    2009 – Walter Cronkite, American journalist and actor (b. 1916).

    2013 – Peter Appleyard, English-Canadian vibraphone player and composer (b. 1928).

    2014 – Elaine Stritch, American actress and singer (b. 1925).

    2020 – John Lewis, American Politician and Civil Rights Leader. (b. 1940).

  14. “1839 – Ephraim Shay, American engineer, invented the Shay locomotive (d. 1916).”

    I wonder who invented the one-hoss shay.

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