Sunday: Hili dialogue

July 30, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to the sabbath for Christian cats: Sunday, July 30, 2023, and National Cheesecake Day (best either plain or with cherries). I’m still partial to Junior’s Cheesecake in Brooklyn:

Here’s a groaner of a cheesecake joke:

I went to the doctor recently and he said “Don’t eat anything fatty.” So I asked “So you mean like bacon and cheesecake and stuff like that?” And he said “No, fatty, don’t eat anything.”

It’s also Father-in-Law Day, World Day against Trafficking in Persons, Paperback Book Day, World Snorkeling Day, Share a Hug Day, and International Day of Friendship.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the July 30 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*A new Gallup poll on sex and sports participation shows that Americans are becoming less tolerant towards trans females competing against biological females.

A larger majority of Americans now (69%) than in 2021 (62%) say transgender athletes should only be allowed to compete on sports teams that conform with their birth gender. Likewise, fewer endorse transgender athletes being able to play on teams that match their current gender identity, 26%, down from 34%.

Transgender sports participation has also become a major political flashpoint, and elected officials in conservative-leaning states have enacted laws to ban transgender athletes who were born male from competing against female athletes. At least 20 U.S. states now have such laws, and the Republican-led U.S. House recently passed a national ban. The federal ban is unlikely to pass the Senate, and President Joe Biden has promised to veto it. The White House recently released a proposed set of guidelines that would govern decisions surrounding transgender individuals’ participation in gender-segregated sports.

The shift toward greater public opposition to transgender athletes competing on the basis of their current gender identity has occurred at the same time that more U.S. adults say they know a transgender person. Thirty-nine percent of Americans, up from 31% in 2021, say someone they know personally has told them they are transgender.

But both Americans who know and do not know a transgender individual have become less supportive of allowing transgender athletes to play on the team of their choice. Currently, 30% of those who know a transgender person favor allowing athletes to play on teams that match their current gender identity, down from 40% in 2021. Among those who do not know a transgender person, support is now 23%, down from 31%.

It’s aways seemed to me, in light of the data, that it’s palpably unfair to allow trans women who have gone through male puberty, with its attendant strength and physiological advantages, to compete against biological women. So these data are heartening, since less than a third of people who knows a transgender person still feel that transwomen (I’m assuming that trans men are not an object of contention) shouldn’t compete against natal women. Is society coming to its senses about this one issue. (Needless to say, there should be a way—perhaps an “open” category—for transgender people who want to play sports to do so.

*In his latest Weekly Dish, “The Importance of Saying ‘Yes’ to the ‘But’,” Andrew Sullivan takes a quasi-scientific attitude, describing the advantages of questioning your own position.

One of the enduring frustrations of living in a politically polarized country is the evaporation of nuance. As the muscles of liberal democracy atrophy, and as cultural tribalism infects everyone’s consciousness, it becomes more and more difficult to say, “Yes, but …”

. . The epitome, of course, was the Russia stuff. Between “Trump won the election because of Putin” and “The Russia Hoax,” there was precious little space for qualification. But the truth, it seems obvious now, was somewhere in between: yes, Trump loved Putin, and was happy to welcome campaign assistance from anyone, including Moscow — but no, he wasn’t a Russian agent, there was no “conspiracy,” and Clinton lost the election for far more obvious and provable reasons. The Mueller Report landed somewhere in the middle, because facts — which is why no one liked it. Worse, even to concede a smidgen of a point to the other side became anathema.

He also brings up the covid lab-leak theory (I’ve now decided that for the time being I take no position on this).

. . . A couple more. Yes, immigration is the lifeblood of America … but we need to control the integrity of our borders, and keep the pace of migration to a sustainable level that doesn’t hurt American workers and threaten cultural stability. Yes, we need to recognize and better include trans people in society … but we don’t have to abolish the sex binary, sterilize children before puberty, or teach kindergartners they get to pick their sex like a favorite color. Yes, trans women are women … but not in the same way as those who are biologically women, and we need to honor that distinction in a few, relevant instances, like not having biological dudes swinging their junk in the women’s locker room, FFS.

. . . The trouble, of course, is the emotional and tribal inadequacy of these “yes, but”s. You’ll get lambasted by your friends and fellow partisans the second you concede anything to the opposite side.

And a sensible ending, though this isn’t one of Sullivan’s best columns (After all he’s just asking people to be reasonable rather than tribal.):

A liberal democracy is a place where these distinctions can be made, compromises can be forged, and tribal loyalty can be qualified by reality. As it slips away, with the Trump right and the woke left offering us non-negotiable, Manichean views of the world, we can fret and panic and worry.

Or we can start saying “yes, but” more often. And mean it.

*About two months ago I wrote about intriguing reports that physicists had come up with a substance that acted like a superconductor at room temperature instead of near absolute zero. If true, that would be a stupendous finding. But there were doubts about it, and those doubts have no increased. That’s because one of the authors of the superconductor paper was also an author of a paper on another subject that has been retracted in Physical Review Letters. If you screw with your data once, it makes it more likely that that’s not a one-off incident:

A major physics journal is retracting a two-year-old scientific paper that described the transformations of a chemical compound as it was squeezed between two pieces of diamond.

Such an esoteric finding — and retraction — would not typically garner much attention.

But one of the leaders of this research is Ranga P. Dias, a professor in the physics and mechanical engineering departments at the University of Rochester in New York who made a much bigger scientific splash earlier this year, touting the discovery of a room-temperature superconductor.

At the same time, accusations of research misconduct have swirled around Dr. Dias, and his superconductor findings remain largely unconfirmed.

The retracted paper does not involve superconductivity but rather describes how a relatively mundane material, manganese sulfide, shifts its behavior from an insulator to a metal and then back to an insulator under increasing pressure.

A complaint that one of the graphs in the paper looked fishy led the journal, Physical Review Letters, to recruit outside experts to take a closer look.

The inquiry arrived at disquieting conclusions.

“The findings back up the allegations of data fabrication/falsification convincingly,” the journal’s editors wrote in an email to the authors of the paper on July 10.

. . .While Dr. Dias continues to defend the work, to some scientists, there is now clear evidence of misconduct.

“There’s no plausible deniability left,” said N. Peter Armitage, a professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore who is among the scientists who have seen the reports. “They submitted falsified data. There’s no ambiguity there at all.”

Over the past few years, Dr. Dias and his colleagues have published a series of spectacular findings in top scientific journals.

For some reason I find myself less inclined to accept the phenomenon of room-temperature superconductivity. . . .

*This is sad because I always wanted to visit Brooks Falls, Alaska, site of the world’s last sockeye salmon run for bears. You can watch the bears standing in the falls and letting the salmon leaping into the gaping maws, getting fatter and fatter for the winter hibernation. And that, of course, leads to the famous Fat Bear Contest, which I document each fall, showing how previously thin bears turn in to huge tubs of lard. Now, however, the salmon run has been delayed by climate change, delaying the arrival of a beloved bear.

Just before 6 p.m. eastern on July 26 — the very same day 480 Otis emerged from hibernation in 2021 — fans spotted the park’s beloved brown bear on a live camera at Brooks Falls in Alaska.

This year, the grizzly bear seen holding a fresh salmon and trudging through the water was late to his usual hunting spot at Katmai National Park. It’s not that Otis hit snooze on his alarm — you can blame climate change.

“The last time he showed up this late, salmon were also late, and the salmon were late this year as well,” said Candice Rusch, a spokesperson with, the site that runs the 24/7 live cameras at Katmai National Park. “What we’ve been seeing in Alaska is that the salmon run has been trending later into July, which means for bears like Otis waiting longer to eat that salmon.”

Wild bears like Otis are supposed to return to the salmon run in late June, not July, but rising temperatures and overfishing are in part delaying the arrival of the salmon, Rusch said. This puts the bears in a time crunch, having to eat food in less than the usual six months they’d have to take bulk up before winter time.

. . . . 480 Otis is particularly famous thanks to the increasingly popular Fat Bear Week competition. Created in 2014, Fat Bear Week is March Madness meets Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest, but for bears. At the end of the summer, Katmai National Park staff and pit 12 park bears against each other online in a single-elimination bracket tournament.

Gates of the Arctic National Park: Alaska’s wilderness.

The internet is presented with before and after photos of the contenders, showing bears right after they’ve emerged from hibernation, often very lean, then again in the final weeks before they hibernate again, by then much fatterFans then vote on which bear has the more impressive weight gain until one bear takes the title of Fattest Bear on Fat Bear Tuesday. Otis is a regular fan favorite of the competition, and has won the crown four times, including in 2021. At roughly 27-years-old, he’s also one of the oldest bears at the park.

“A bear that’s around 30 years of age is approaching what would be the equivalent of a 100-year-old person,” said Mike Fitz, Fat Bear Week creator and resident naturalist. “Most bears don’t have the fortune of living that long.”

But Otis showed—and gorged!:

“He showed up this year extraordinarily skinny,” Rusch also noted.

Within thirty minutes of his return to the river, Otis was catching fish. Fitz said that’s part of what fans love about him. “We’ve seen in the past that he is adaptable and he’s a survivor,” Fitz said. “People can really relate to his work ethic and his ability to make a living despite the challenges that he continues to face.”

What a work ethic that bear has!! Go, Otis!

*Want to get even more depressed? Read about a new AP-NORC poll showing that 69% of American believe in angels (yes, real ones), and a substantial number in other bizarre and numinous phenomena.

Compared with the devil, angels carry more credence in America.

Angels even get more credence than, well, hell. More than astrology, reincarnation, and the belief that physical things can have spiritual energies.

In fact, about 7 in 10 U.S. adults say they believe in angels, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

“People are yearning for something greater than themselves — beyond their own understanding,” said Jack Grogger, a chaplain for the Los Angeles Angels and a longtime Southern California fire captain who has aided many people in their gravest moments.

But of course nobody here is deluded enough to believe in unevidenced phenomena just because it makes them feel better, right?  Well, read on for more bad news:

American’s belief in angels (69%) is about on par with belief in heaven and the power of prayer, but bested by belief in God or a higher power (79%). Fewer U.S. adults believe in the devil or Satan (56%), astrology (34%), reincarnation (34%), and that physical things can have spiritual energies, such as plants, rivers or crystals (42%).

And get a load of this:

The large number of U.S. adults who say they believe in angels includes 84% of those with a religious affiliation — 94% of evangelical Protestants, 81% of mainline Protestants and 82% of Catholics — and 33% of those without one. And of those angel-believing religiously unaffiliated, that includes 2% of atheists, 25% of agnostics and 50% of those identified as “nothing in particular.”

2% of atheists who believe in angels is 2% too many. Who are these screwed-up nonbelievers. Why reject God but accept his wingéd minion?

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is up to demonizing carrots. Malgorzata’s explanation:

“Hili knows that Andrzej intensely dislikes carrots. She also knows that many people like and value carrots. To help Andrzej in his irrational dislike,  she wants to demonize carrots so they would not enjoy a good reputation any longer. Her words can also be understood more broadly: it’s easy to demonize good things and get people to despise them.”

Hili: I have an idea.
A: What idea?
Hili: How to demonize carrots.
In Polish:
Hili: Mam pomysł.
Ja: Na co?
Hili: Na demonizację marchewki.


From Divy. Someone has blotted out the obvious word:

From the Absurd Sign Project:

From Merilee; anyone with a cat knows that this is true:

From Masih: the story of another brave protestor who lost an eye after being shot by the cops, and then apparently left Iran.

From Malcolm. What a lovely place Cambridge University is, and this picture includes a bonus kitty:

From Luana: “Sex assigned at birth” in a biology textbook. We’ll see a lot more of this in the years to come.

From Barry. This d*g gets the Oscar for “Best Dramatic Canine in a Lead Role”:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a Ukrainian who lived only one month in Auschwitz before perishing.

From Matthew: Cats and scholars are natural companions:

Two astronauts in one! The Google translation of this photo is this:

On 07/20/1969, Neil Armstrong photographed Buzz Aldrin during their spacewalk on the surface of the Moon. We can clearly see Armstrong’s reflection in Aldrin’s helmet. This reflection has been reversed to replicate what Aldrin saw when photographed.

It’s the first lunar selfie! Read more about it here.

Lagniappe from Malcolm: This woman has perfected the art of imitating a trumpet with her voice:




54 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. The biology textbook tweet looks like it might be from an instructor’s self-published lab manual, which is something many undergraduate biology lab instructors do. If it is something that appears in one of the major publisher’s titles, I hope those of us who teach biology will speak up to their sales reps.

      1. This is VERY IMPORTANT. I was wondering about how textbooks will take on the issue. Even for the frequency of intersex, Campbell is using one of the more exaggerated statistics. The most charitable thing that a textbook should say on that particular issue is that what intersex is or is not has been in considerable dispute, and so although it is rare, there is no clear consensus about its frequency. Textbooks should not be taking sides on this sort of thing (that is my opinion, mind you).

  2. Trans athletes can compete in any sport as long as they aren’t women taking exogenous pharmaceutical testosterone to masculinize themselves. (That would be doping.) For all practical purposes, a trans-identified athlete who wants to compete need merely compete as the sex he or she is. Nowadays to be “trans” you don’t have to take drugs to suppress testosterone. And of course to be competitive they now don’t. They’re all just regular biochemically intact men.

    In swimming there might be regulations about attire — I don’t know — that says that male swimmers have to wear the usual men’s minimalist swimsuits and can’t wear the full-coverage maillots that women do. Indeed, some high-tech suits are designed to have less resistance in the water than skin does, so there are rules about how much of the body can be covered with a “skin-suit”. In that case, a man who wanted to wear a woman’s maillot, or a full wrists-to-ankles body suit, to conform to his gender identity would be cheating. But that’s the only current barrier I can see to trans-identified male athletes from competing. With men.

    I honestly don’t think that trans-identified men want to compete as trans-open. They want to compete as women because that’s what they profess to believe they are. But sure, let’s create an “open” category distinct from regular men and see how many people show up to compete against each other in it. It could be lonely. Unless the regular men all decided to compete in both men’s and trans-open events. I mean, if it’s really “open”, how are you going to keep the cis-men out??

    1. “They want to compete as women because that’s what they profess to believe they are.” And because they can win.

      1. Surely, the fact that they’re entering into competitive sports indicates that their self-belief is that they are winners. Self-belief, the current mantra goes, trumps all. All the rest (training, lawyers, etc) is them just trying to realise that goal, regardless of those unhelpful people who believe that they should be winners.

    2. I thought the “open” category replaces the current mens group. So it’s not three categories but two – with anyone eligible for open but only biological females eligible for the women’s group. Pretty sure three groups would not work for the reasons you state.

      1. Not too mention the fact that the pie of prize money would probably be divided so that 2/3 be allocated to the men and open sections ( all males) and 1/3 being the crumbs for females. Unfair again. This is a mess thanks to this ludicrous ideology. Hrrmmpph

      2. I have heard emphatic insistence that, “or course”, there will be only two categories, with “open” replacing “men”. I have heard equally emphatic insistence that, “of course” there will have to be a separate “open” category somehow reserved for “genuine” transwomen. But if the trans lobby gets its way, the issue becomes moot because there will continue to be only the same two categories there are now. They don’t want an open category at all. They want to compete with women because transwomen are women. Biological women athletes just need to get over it and resign themselves to losing.

        International sporting bodies seem to be willing to prohibit men from competing in women’s events in order not to make a travesty of their sport. But national legislatures seem, in the interests of “inclusion”, to be reluctant to allow this sort of discrimination by gender identity at the lower levels they directly govern. So you can have the situation where a country’s top women’s sprinter or swimmer will be disqualified when she tries to advance to international competition.

  3. I regularly make Banting cheesecakes. You just use almond flower instead of wheat and Xylitol (just a little , I don’t like it too sweet) instead of sugar.

    I’m all for gay and lesbian rights, but I’m not into trans ‘women’ allowed to compete in female competitions.
    Note, I believe there I really is something like a trans person. But I do not think that SOGD (sudden onset gender dysphoria), which has become the overwhelming majority of cases now, has much to do with that.
    I also suspect that mediocre male athletes taking the path of transgenderism to do better in women’s sports are not really transgender, I suspect they are cheats , in other words.
    Moreover, to complete my gall, I also think these ‘trans-gender activists’, particularly in connection with SOGD, are basically criminals.

    1. And there’s also Prison Onset Gender Dysphoria, when convicted male offenders (usually sex offenders) suddenly discover their “inner woman” when facing jail time…

      1. Thanks to Critical Social Justice activism, I recently learned about MAP or MAI : minor attracted person, or minor attracted individual.

        A careful distinction, perhaps, for more justice. But of course, there’s no reason for concern.

        1. Let us be honest, 16 or 17 year olds can be very sexually attractive. Does that make me a MAP or MAI to think so? To be clear, I would never initiate a ‘close encounter’ with these minors. I always kept my distance and ever will. There are more things in our lives than sexual attractiveness.
          [note, when I was 17, my girlfriend was 16, but I guess that falls under the ‘Romeo & Juliet clause’]

          1. Indeed let’s be honest. I think they are talking about pre-pubescent minors, the ones who are targeted for puberty blockers to keep them that way. When they say, “We’re coming for your children!”, why should we not take them at their word?

          2. Have you ever heard of Queer Theory?

            I joke of course, I understand your point, but there is nothing to exclude this social norm – controlling oneself, shall we say – from the Queer Theory program of antagonizing the normative, and removing boundaries.

            I gotta lay off commenting. Sorry everyone, but ugh – Queer Theory is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    2. ” I believe there I really is something like a trans person.”

      What empirical process would show that conclusion to be true?

      1. You’re articulating the crucial question. We’re just at the beginning of crafting studies, collecting and analyzing data to arrive at an answer to it. That said, I am in (provisional) agreement with Nicolaas. I believe transgenderism is a real variation in human beings. I come at that belief because I have two transgendered friends, one a trans woman, the other a trans man. I’ve known the trans woman for over twenty years, the trans man for three years. They both present themselves as entirely comfortable and happy in their new “skins” and with their new lives. I have no doubt of their sincerity, and because of this, I believe in the phenomenon of transgenderism.

        1. Since sincerity and longevity seems to be crucial factors for you, would you agree that a trans person is “someone of one sex who is permanently happier living as if they were of the other sex” — or would more need to be involved?

          1. As a working definition, yes, I would agree with your phraseology. At this time, more would not need to be involved.

        2. I agree. My own experiences with people claiming to be in the spectrum and living their lives accordingly has convinced me utterly. There is an even greater variety such as cross dressers (who are not exactly trans? I’m not sure).
          But then there is rapid onset gender dysphoria, and I think one should be suspicious about those. What we really need are more scientific studies about how the human brain is gendered.

          1. Where did the re-definition of the meaning of “gender” from its centuries-old linguistic function come from, and when?

            The answer is found in Kathleen Stock’s Material Girls :

            “The term gender identity was coined by psychiatry professor Robert J. Stoller in 1964 and popularized by the controversial psychologist John Money.[5][6][7]”


            K. Stock (paraphrase):

            In the 60s-80s, academic literature gave the bundles of expectations of femininity and masculinity the special name “gender”.

            … so when and how was the discovery made that human organs like the brain have a gender?

        3. “I come at that belief because I have two transgendered friends, one a trans woman, the other a trans man. ”

          As I understand it, if the person knowing a thing as true is required to reveal the hidden truth to us, who otherwise would never know it, that makes the claim gnosiological, or located through gnosis:

          “As a philosophical concept, gnosiology broadly means the theory of knowledge, which in ancient Greek philosophy was perceived as a combination of sensory perception and intellect and then made into memory (called the mnemonic system). ”

        4. Sorry but your logic seems bit faulty to me but I am glad though that your friends are happy.
          I know 2 friends who changed and are happy therefore transgender is real.

          Alternatively the same logic could apply where I know 2 friends who became furries and believe they are dogs therefore this phenomenon is real.

          This could apply to any situation eg religion, disabilities neuro divergence etc etc. the only parameter of a successful belief is that they are happy.

          I don’t think this
          Is a valid argument.

          Thanks heavens no one knows anyone who thinks that are JC otherwise we might have to construct a crucifix lol

          1. False analogies. The human body is undeniably sexual by nature, hence gender expression follows naturally. Believing one is a fuzzy or JC are thoughts without any correspondence with reality, thus imaginary.
            BTW, I’m the father of an autistic child and I can assure you that neurodivergence is real and not imaginary, a phenomenon of the body and its brain.

            1. gender expression”

              For the origin of this specific debasement of language in the academic literature starting in 1964, see the Material Girls (K. Stock) notes above.

              It appears to me that magic trick allowed the linguistic function of feminine and masculine to be conflated with sexuality and, apropos here, clear definitions of male and female, i.e. sex.

              Male humans will not turn into a female, and vice versa.

              1. Mindful of Da Roolz, let us not engage in a lengthy back-and-forth about this. You and I are in agreement that more testing needs to be done on this phenomenon, which I believe has not only a cultural component but a biological one as well.

            2. My only “agreement” is about what, precisely, an empirical process to show that a “trans person [is] real” – beyond existing knowledge – would look like.

  4. PCC(E): “It’s aways seemed to me, in light of the data, that it’s palpably unfair to allow trans women who have gone through male puberty, with its attendant strength and physiological advantages, to compete against biological women.”

    Agree 100% and would add at the end … perhaps:

    … in athletics in which those intrinsic advantages are weaponized as advantages in kind, as opposed to degree.

    … that is, where are the “trans” competitors in chess (a non-athletic sport)? Diving? Etc.?

    1. Only a matter of time. It is early days.
      Now there are sports where physical differences don’t appear to matter between men and women. Curling, corn hole (a real sport with professionals!), etc. And yet they are sexually segregated. One practical reason for that is so that women can play the sport without misogyny from the men-folk. But I see no argument for keeping trans women out of the women’s category for these things.

      1. A sporting organization is a private club. It can exclude anyone it wants as long as it doesn’t get government money and doesn’t offer participation to the general unselected public. The only argument that a women’s darts or curling league needs to to make for excluding men is that they don’t want them. Transwomen aren’t women.

      2. Horse competitions too, whether jumping or otherwise. The ‘gender’ of the rider does not appear to have a significant effect.

  5. On this day:
    1419 – First Defenestration of Prague: A crowd of radical Hussites kill seven members of the Prague city council.

    1859 – First ascent of Grand Combin, one of the highest summits in the Alps.

    1866 – Armed Confederate veterans in New Orleans riot against a meeting of Radical Republicans, killing 48 people and injuring another 100.

    1930 – In Montevideo, Uruguay wins the first FIFA World Cup.

    1932 – Premiere of Walt Disney’s Flowers and Trees, the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award winning cartoon short.

    1956 – A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing In God We Trust as the U.S. national motto.

    1962 – The Trans-Canada Highway, the then longest national highway in the world, is officially opened.

    1965 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.

    1966 – England defeats West Germany to win the 1966 FIFA World Cup at Wembley Stadium after extra time.

    1971 – Apollo program: On Apollo 15, David Scott and James Irwin on the Apollo Lunar Module Falcon land on the Moon with the first Lunar Rover.

    1974 – Watergate scandal: U.S. President Richard Nixon releases subpoenaed White House recordings after being ordered to do so by the Supreme Court of the United States.

    1975 – Jimmy Hoffa disappears from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, at about 2:30 p.m. He is never seen or heard from again.

    1981 – As many as 50,000 demonstrators, mostly women and children, took to the streets in Łódź to protest food ration shortages in Communist Poland.

    2003 – In Mexico, the last ‘old style’ Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line.

    2006 – The world’s longest running music show Top of the Pops is broadcast for the last time on BBC Two. The show had aired for 42 years.

    1641 – Regnier de Graaf, Dutch physician and anatomist (d. 1673).

    1781 – Maria Aletta Hulshoff, Dutch feminist and pamphleteer (d. 1846).

    1818 – Emily Brontë, English novelist and poet (d. 1848).

    1863 – Henry Ford, American engineer and businessman, founded the Ford Motor Company (d. 1947).

    1898 – Henry Moore, English sculptor and illustrator (d. 1986).

    1899 – Gerald Moore, English pianist (d. 1987).

    1931 – Marina Popovich, Soviet pilot, engineer and military officer (d. 2017).

    1936 – Buddy Guy, American singer-songwriter and guitarist.

    1938 – Terry O’Neill, English photographer (d. 2019).

    1939 – Peter Bogdanovich, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2022).

    1940 – Clive Sinclair, English businessman, founded Sinclair Radionics and Sinclair Research (d. 2021).

    1941 – Paul Anka, Canadian singer-songwriter and actor.

    1944 – Frances de la Tour, English actress.

    1947 – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor, and politician, 38th Governor of California.

    1948 – Jean Reno, Moroccan-French actor.

    1948 – Otis Taylor, American singer-songwriter and guitarist.

    1950 – Harriet Harman, English lawyer and politician. [Twice served as Acting Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition, following the resignations of Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband. In 2014, Harman expressed regret after it was revealed that the Paedophile Information Exchange had affiliated status within the National Council for Civil Liberties while she had been legal officer.]

    1955 – Rat Scabies, English drummer and producer.

    1956 – Anita Hill, American lawyer and academic.

    1958 – Kate Bush, English singer-songwriter and producer.

    1958 – Daley Thompson, English decathlete and trainer.

    1963 – Lisa Kudrow, American actress and producer.

    1968 – Terry Crews, American actor and football player.

    1970 – Christopher Nolan, English-American director, producer, and screenwriter.

    1974 – Hilary Swank, American actress and producer.

    1992 – Hannah Cockroft, English wheelchair racer.

    Nothing can save you, nothing can change you now:
    1566 – Guillaume Rondelet, French doctor (b. 1507). [Achieved renown as an anatomist and a naturalist with a particular interest in botany and ichthyology. His major work was a lengthy treatise on marine animals, which took two years to write and became a standard reference work for about a century afterwards, but his lasting impact lay in his education of a roster of star pupils who became leading figures in the world of late-16th century science.]

    1718 – William Penn, English businessman and philosopher, founded the Province of Pennsylvania (b. 1644).

    1771 – Thomas Gray, English poet (b. 1716).

    1898 – Otto von Bismarck, German lawyer and politician, 1st Chancellor of Germany (b. 1815).

    1918 – Joyce Kilmer, American soldier, journalist, and poet (b. 1886). [Many writers, including notably Ogden Nash, have parodied Kilmer’s work and style—as attested by the many imitations of “Trees”.]

    1996 – Claudette Colbert, French-American actress (b. 1903).

    2003 – Sam Phillips, American record producer, founded Sun Records (b. 1923).

    2007 – Ingmar Bergman, Swedish director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1918).

    2012 – Maeve Binchy, Irish author, playwright, and journalist (b. 1939).

    2014 – Peter Hall, English geographer, author, and academic (b. 1932).

    2014 – Dick Wagner, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1942).

    1. Cuty Kate Bush 65? It doesn’t dare knowing.
      We all go there. What is left of this dashing young Dr I used to be (fill in: biologist, engineer, geographer’ etc…. we all grow old)? I realise I’m getting slower, an operation I’d do in less than 10 minutes 10 years ago takes, me 15-20 minutes now (cataract). My only consolation is that when my MOs are in trouble (complications) they still call for me to solve the problem (not always successfully though). Makes one feel not completely useless.
      I note, even our host is not exactly a spring chicken.

  6. There’s so much weirdness to comment on that I’m having trouble choosing.

    Angels? Are you kidding me? Yes, I read about that yesterday and was (yet again) disappointed at how willing people are to believe nonsense.

    And that biology textbook from Luana. Sad to see a disclaimer in there that will do nothing but create confusion for the reader. The author and publisher should have just said No.

    The one good(ish) point is that opinion is heading the right direction regarding trans-women who transition after puberty competing against biological women. It’s too bad that policies could not be established without legislators adding their two cents. We didn’t see governments rush in to ban the designated hitter rule in baseball. That’s something that really should have been stopped, but I’m learning to live with it.

    To me it all comes down to a combination of two things: (1) people are equipped with very little basic empirical knowledge (2) against which they apply very poor reasoning skills. If we could just fix those two things…

    I’m starting to sound like my grandfather.

    1. I wonder if those statistics on angels include belief in “human angels,” defined as people who are (perhaps) divinely inspired to do great good for others, particularly in a time of distress. Religious thinking can be incredibly flabby, spreading into spirituality and “oh my god thank you thank you I can’t believe it you’re an angel!”

      This might then lead people into thinking they believe in traditional angels, too. Deny the existence of “angels” and what does that say about that wonderful man who stopped in a blizzard to change your flat tire? One concept is associated with another, and then made equivalent.

      1. The article talks about the percentage of Catholics, Protestants and unbelievers who believe in angels, but it does not mention Jews. Since angels are mentioned throughout the Old Testament, I’m curious if modern Jews still believe in them. I’m guessing that the Orthodox do, but what about others?

  7. I think insects are angels: they have plenty of legs/arms and some wings added. Some of them are Angels of Doom, such a anopheles or the black fly in West Africa. When some of these angels appear in my house I just swat them. Angels should be swatted.

  8. Sullivan : I’d say “Yes, but” is the precise target for Critical Social Justice’s project of infection, colonization, and then re-definition of “yes, but” in its own image.

    To wit :

    Women’s Studies as Virus: Institutional Feminism, Affect, and the Projection of Danger.

    Vol. 5 No. 1 (2016)
    Multidisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies

    Breanne Fahs
    Arizona State University
    Michael Karger
    Arizona State University

    Link below.

    Excerpt of abstract:

    “This paper theorizes that one future pedagogical priority of women’s studies is to train students not only to master a body of knowledge but also to serve as symbolic “viruses” that infect, unsettle, and disrupt traditional and entrenched fields. In this essay, we first posit how the metaphor of the virus in part exemplifies an ideal feminist pedagogy, and we then investigate how both women’s studies and the spread of actual viruses (e.g., Ebola, HIV) produce similar kinds of emotional responses in others. By looking at triviality, mockery, panic, and anger that women’s studies as a field elicits, we conclude by outlining the stakes of framing women’s studies as an infectious, insurrectional, and potentially dangerous, field of study.”

    End excerpt

    It has to be read from the authors themselves to be believed.

  9. The evaporation of nuance (“yes, but…”) is usually accompanied by the evaporation of charity (“you mean well, but…”) It’s increasingly common to see popular narratives in both tribes which assume the other tribe doesn’t actually believe what they claim to believe.

    People who don’t believe in trans identities are haters who want everyone to conform to strict gender roles; people who support trans rights are haters who want to control women. Yes, there are always opportunists jumping on a convenient issue to spread hate, BUT … it’s not likely to be what’s driving most people.

  10. Referring to the young woman who made trumpet noises, one of the Mills Brothers –Harry Mills–used to mimic a trumpet during performances. John Mills would mimic a tuba. My father loved their music and played it all the time when I was a kid.

    1. I noticed that the trumpet-mimicking woman was in the bathroom, where the acoustics are best for singing.

  11. Re 2% of self proclaimed atheists believing in angels.
    That’s why polls always have generous margins of error – some people have no idea what the questions even mean, so it’s pretty safe to ignore a sub-set of answers. And many poll questions (especially political) are deliberately ambiguous (although presumably not these). Even so, the meaning of the word “believe” can be stretched to encompass many things. I can certainly believe in things that I don’t really understand and can’t explain – quantum mechanics, for example.

  12. “2% of atheists who believe in angels is 2% too many. Who are these screwed-up nonbelievers?”

    My guess is that they’re dyslexic: they thought it said “angles.”

  13. Sullivan: “and Clinton lost the election for far more obvious and provable reasons.”
    Yeah, she lost because of the travesty that is the electoral college.

    Sullivan: “The Mueller Report landed somewhere in the middle, because facts — which is why no one liked it.”

    This is a misrepresentation and Sullivan obviously has no idea what he’s writing about in regards to the Mueller Report. Here’s some basic facts taken from the ACS and CREW:

    The investigation produced 37 indictments; seven guilty pleas or convictions; and compelling evidence that the president obstructed justice on multiple occasions. Mueller also uncovered and referred 14 criminal matters to other components of the Department of Justice.

    Trump associates repeatedly lied to investigators about their contacts with Russians, and President Trump refused to answer questions about his efforts to impede federal proceedings and influence the testimony of witnesses.

    A statement signed by over 1,000 former federal prosecutors concluded that if any other American engaged in the same efforts to impede federal proceedings the way Trump did, they would likely be indicted for multiple charges of obstruction of justice.

    Russian interference in the 2016 election was “sweeping and systemic.”[1]

    Major attack avenues included a social media “information warfare” campaign that “favored” candidate Trump[2] and the hacking of Clinton campaign-related databases and release of stolen materials through Russian-created entities and Wikileaks.[3]
    Russia also targeted databases in many states related to administering elections gaining access to information for millions of registered voters

    In 2015 and 2016, Michael Cohen pursued a hotel/residence project in Moscow on behalf of Trump while he was campaigning for President.[5] Then-candidate Trump personally signed a letter of intent.

    Senior members of the Trump campaign, including Paul Manafort, Donald Trump, Jr., and Jared Kushner took a June 9, 2016, meeting with Russian nationals at Trump Tower, New York, after outreach from an intermediary informed Trump, Jr., that the Russians had derogatory information on Clinton that was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”[6]

    Beginning in June 2016, a Trump associate “forecast to senior [Trump] Campaign officials that WikiLeaks would release information damaging to candidate Clinton.”[7] A section of the Report that remains heavily redacted suggests that Roger Stone was this associate and that he had significant contacts with the campaign about Wikileaks.[8]

    The Report described multiple occasions where Trump associates lied to investigators about Trump associate contacts with Russia. Trump associates George Papadopoulos, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn, and Michael Cohen all admitted that they made false statements to federal investigators or to Congress about their contacts. In addition, Roger Stone faces trial this fall for obstruction of justice, five counts of making false statements, and one count of witness tampering.

    The Report contains no evidence that any Trump campaign official reported their contacts with Russia or WikiLeaks to U.S. law enforcement authorities during the campaign or presidential transition, despite public reports on Russian hacking starting in June 2016 and candidate Trump’s August 2016 intelligence briefing warning him that Russia was seeking to interfere in the election.

    The Report raised questions about why Trump associates and then-candidate Trump repeatedly asserted Trump had no connections to Russia.[9]

    The Mueller Report states that if the Special Counsel’s Office felt they could clear the president of wrongdoing, they would have said so. Instead, the Report explicitly states that it “does not exonerate” the President[10] and explains that the Office of Special Counsel “accepted” the Department of Justice policy that a sitting President cannot be indicted.[11]

    The Mueller report details multiple episodes in which there is evidence that the President obstructed justice. The pattern of conduct and the manner in which the President sought to impede investigations—including through one-on-one meetings with senior officials—is damning to the President.

    There’s a lot more, but I’m already breaking Da Roolz, so I’ll stop. And I’ll repeat: In regards to the Mueller report, Sullivan has no idea what he’s writing about.

    1. IMO, many people have incredibly short attention spans and the Mueller report was extremely long and complex–therefore tl:dr. It’s sad that folks like Sullivan still haven’t read it but still feel qualified to pontificate on it. Even after all this time, people still refuse to accept reality and continuously repeat that there was no “collusion”, therefore Trump wasn’t guilty of anything. It doesn’t matter that he publicly asked for and received Russia’s help and lots of folks went to jail because of it. SMH.

    2. I appreciate your efforts, the Mueller investigation was cut off by Bill Barr.
      No thinking person doubts that Trumps was/is Putin’s poodle.
      In 2004 Trump Jr admitted that Russian cash was a ‘disproportionate’ part of Trump’s income.
      I think Sullivan is wrong there, Trump obviously was/is a Russian stooge.
      Pulling the US out of NATO? Well, he didn’t get to that. Pulling out of Syria when the US was riding high? (betraying the YPG/SDF in the process). Abandoning Afghanistan to the Taliban?Blackmailing a fresh Ukrainian president? All the stuff a Russian stooge would do. If he wasn’t a Russian stooge, he definitely acted like one.

Leave a Reply