Welcome to Thursday, August 24, 2023, and National Peach Pie Day, a delectable treat, rarely seen in its large form but often offered in the south as a “hand pie” for an individual dessert:
It’s also Can Opener Day, National Knife Day, National Waffle Day, Independence Day or Den’ Nezalezhnosti, celebrating the independence of Ukraine from the Soviet Union in 1991. Kobe Bryant Day, a proposed federal holiday in the United States, in reference to his 2 jersey numbers, as well as the day after his birthday, and, finally, National Burger Day in the UK. In honor of that day, I present to you Britain’s champion eater, Leah Shutkever, downing burgers as fast as she can. She works out so she doesn’t get fat, but there are dozens of videos on YouTube showing her setting rapid-eating records.
Five huge burgers in less than ten minutes! This Jewish lass is after my own heart.
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the August 24 Wikipedia page.
There’s a Google Doodle today (click below) celebrating the first successful landing of a spacecraft and rover on the Moon’s south pole. This was accomplished by India, days after a similar Russian attempt failed because it crashed. From the NYT, some nooz:
Two visitors from India — a lander named Vikram and a rover named Pragyan — landed in the southern polar region of the moon on Wednesday. The two robots, from a mission named Chandrayaan-3, make India the first country to ever reach this part of the lunar surface in one piece — and only the fourth country ever to land on the moon.
“We have achieved soft landing on the moon,” S. Somanath, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, said after a roar ripped through the ISRO compound just past 6 p.m. local time. “India is on the moon.”
Sadly, it’s also a feather in theocratic PM Modi’s cap:
Indian officials have been advocating in favor of a multipolar world order in which New Delhi is seen as indispensable to global solutions. In space exploration, as in many other fields, the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been clear: The world will be a fairer place if India takes on a leadership role, even as the world’s most populous nation works to meet its people’s basic needs.
*We’re still on truncated news until I get more sleep, but we have a few items, and there’s a big one first, called to my attention by reader Simon, who sent these tweets and said:
“I noted in a message to you, that I thought this guy might fall out of a window when he moved to Belarus. Apparently though that was not to be his fate.”:
A while back I too noted that the life of the head of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, wasn’t worth a plugged nickel when he went back to Russia. He had, after all, started a rebellion against Putin—a death sentence in Russia. But he was still alive—until yesterday, when he was killed in a deeply suspicious plane crash, and I bet one created on Putin’s orders. From the NYT:
Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner mercenary group who staged a brief mutiny against Russia’s military leadership in June, was listed as a passenger on a plane that crashed Wednesday, killing all 10 people aboard, according to Russian aviation authorities.
“An investigation of the Embraer plane crash that happened in the Tver Region this evening was initiated,” the Federal Agency for Air Transport of Russia said in a statement, according to the state news agency Tass. “According to the passenger list, first and last name of Yevgeny Prigozhin was included in this list.”
Frustrated over the country’s military leadership, Mr. Prigozhin, the outspoken tycoon who built the private paramilitary force that has fought on Russia’s behalf in Ukraine and across Africa, instigated a short rebellion two months ago with his Wagner forces that posed a grave threat to the government of President Vladimir V. Putin. Despite his actions, he has appeared to move about freely in the mutiny’s aftermath, including meeting with Mr. Putin on June 29.
. . . Video shared on the messaging platform Telegram appears to show the aircraft that reportedly crashed burning on the ground. The paint and a partial registration number visible on the aircraft in the video aligns with a jet the Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin is known to use, RA-02795. Flight tracking websites indicate that the flight ended abruptly near Tver, northwest of Moscow, around 6 p.m. local time.
That video shows a plane completely destroyed and in flames. But maybe he didn’t die, as the report adds this:
Russian media reported that eight bodies had so far been recovered.
. . . Yevgeny Prigozhin’s fate remains unclear. Several Russian news outlets are reporting, citing anonymous sources, that he was indeed on the plane that crashed. But Grey Zone, a Telegram account associated with Prigozhin’s Wagner mercenary group, just posted that it remained uncertain whether the warlord was dead or alive.
What caused the crash? The Russians are pretending it was some type of safety violation:
Russia’s Investigative Committee, a top law enforcement body, announced the opening of a case on the plane crash, on suspicion of a violation of air transport safety rules. It said investigators had been dispatched to the site of the crash.
Rule violation my tuchas! The Wall Street Journal adds this:
Social-media channels close to Wagner said Russian air defenses shot down the jet, an Embraer Legacy 600. Video footage posted by onlookers showed what looked like the trail of a missile and the plane falling from the sky with one wing missing.
Well, it’s Russia, Jake, and we may never know for sure.
Here’s a video of the plane crashing; apparently it looks as if one wing was missing:
*Merilee reports that Jordan Peterson has at last received some punishment (I’m not implying that this is proper, I’m just the messenger).
In a decision released Wednesday, three Ontario Divisional Court judges unanimously sided with the College of Psychologists of Ontario in a case stemming from some of Peterson’s contentious language and online statements.
Justice Paul Schabas wrote that the college’s order that Peterson undergo a program on professionalism in public statements balanced its mandate to regulate the profession, “is not disciplinary and does not prevent Dr. Peterson from expressing himself on controversial topics.”
Peterson had said his statements were not made in his capacity as a clinical psychologist, but instead were “off-duty opinions” – an argument the court rejected
“Dr. Peterson sees himself functioning as a clinical psychologist ‘in the broad public space’ where he claims to be helping ‘millions of people,’” Schabas wrote.
“Peterson cannot have it both ways: he cannot speak as a member of a regulated profession without taking responsibility for the risk of harm that flows from him speaking in that trusted capacity.”
. . .Specific complaints listed in the case before the divisional court included posts directed at Canadian politicians, a plus-sized Sports Illustrated model and transgender actor Elliot Page.
Last November, the college’s complaints committee found Peterson “may be engaging in degrading, demeaning, and unprofessional comments” related to an appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, where he identified himself as a clinical psychologist and appeared to demean a former client. The college’s ethics code requires members to use respectful language and not engage in “unjust discrimination.”
The complaints committee concluded that some of Peterson’s comments posed “moderate risks of harm to the public” including “undermining public trust in the profession of psychology” as well as the college’s ability to regulate the profession. It then ordered the social media coaching program at Peterson’s expense, emphasizing that failure to comply could result in an allegation of professional misconduct.
My guess: he will not accept training and will lose his license, but won’t care. He makes his living from public appearances and writing, not mostly from individual patients, and he’s loath to be forced to change his behavior by any authority.
One of the rarest sights in the animal kingdom has appeared in the unlikely setting of a Tennessee zoo, which has hosted the birth of what is thought to be the world’s only singularly colored giraffe.
The female giraffe, born on 31 July, is a uniform brown color, lacking the distinctive patched pattern that giraffes – along with their exceptionally long necks – are known for. Brights zoo said the giraffe is already 6ft tall and is under the care of her mother and zoo staff.
Of course you want to see it her. Isn’t she a beaut?
The zoo believes the giraffe is one of a kind, given that giraffes are very rarely born without their mottled appearance, which primarily serves as a form of camouflage in the wild.
. . . Brights zoo said it hoped the unusual birth would help highlight the challenges faced by giraffes in the world. The world’s tallest animal is threatened by the fragmentation of its habitat in Africa, as well as from illicit poaching.
“The international coverage of our patternless baby giraffe has created a much-needed spotlight on giraffe conservation,” the founder of Brights zoo, Tony Bright, said to the local television news station WCYB. “Wild populations are silently slipping into extinction, with 40% of the wild giraffe population lost in just the last three decades.”
The zoo has announced a contest for the public to name the new giraffe. The shortlisted options are Kipekee, which means “unique” in Swahili; Firayali, which means unusual; Shakiri, which means “she is most beautiful”; and Jamella, which is “one of great beauty”.
And a video. What do you think it should be named? Giraffey McGiraffeface?
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is nervous about an interloper cat:
Hili: A strange cat.A: So what?Hili: It might have fleas.
Hili: Obcy kot.Ja: I co z tego?Hili: Może mieć pchły.
Reader Simon’s cats, with his caption: “Here are the two kitties (Harry, closest, and Balian), pretty much full grown now, catching up on their ornithology classes.”
More from Simon:
Balian is the contemplative kitty, Harry just dives in head first – he’s not really the brains of the operation! They are keeping us entertained. For size contrast, here is the adoption pics from November [JAC: I may have posted this one before]:
From Stash Krod, an excellent duck cartoon by Gary Larson:
From Merilee, a Mark Parisi cartoon:
From the Pieces of My Soul FB page:
From Masih, more defiant Iranian women (sound up). The chant at the end is “Woman, Life, Freedom” in Farsi.
Despite all the threats, humiliations, and arrests of Iranian women for not wearing the hijab by the Islamic Republic, the streets of Iran are like this these days. The old clerics are witnessing the defeat of their ideology on the streets of Iran. #WomanLifeFreedom pic.twitter.com/8qZTcamiu3
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) August 21, 2023
A long tweet from Dawkins. There’s a lot to absorb so click “read more”:
How can we have a proper debate when we no longer speak the same language?
I was about to start work on this commission, when in came an email from Twitter. They’d received a complaint that the following tweet violated their standards.
“Sex is not the same as gender.” But it’s… pic.twitter.com/rtmXgWmKfG
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) August 22, 2023
From Simon, who comments that it’s funny, but he’s glad the poor woman can’t see it. I presume the joke is that she’s underground.
Shut up and go mow your mom may be the best insult I’ve ever seen in my life. pic.twitter.com/wQj1QUOe9K
— billystringsphan (@billystringsph1) August 18, 2023
From Barry. I don’t know what kind of frog this is, but it’s clearly saying, “Feed me!”:
What do you think it’s saying? pic.twitter.com/VVVzj7sysh
— Woman of Wonder (@WonderW97800751) August 23, 2023
From Malcolm: “Flight of the Bumblebee” from the Canadian brass:
From the Auschwitz Memorial, two young siblings murdered upon arrival.
24 August 1933 | A Polish Jewish boy, Baruch Braunfeld, was born in Jordanów.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) August 24, 2023
Tweets from Professor Cobb. To the first one he says, “See the replies. What do you think?” I think she should MOVE:
Søren Kierkegaard claimed that if a person behaved perfectly rationally they would be so discordant with civil society that people would deem them mad. pic.twitter.com/gE7HB8aH2u
— Existential Comics (@existentialcoms) August 5, 2023
Owls do not run with great dignity:
Have you ever seen an owl run? pic.twitter.com/MFZIfR1Wfd
— why you should have an animal (@shouldhaveanima) August 8, 2023
Ocelots in the U.S.! Who knew?
DYK that the only breeding population of ocelots in the U.S. is found in southern Texas, with some transient populations found in Arizona? This federally endangered spotted cat is getting a helping hand with the installation of wildlife crossings. https://t.co/6Tlm14xYpG #ESA50 pic.twitter.com/ND1CPXn8Fa
— U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (@USFWS) August 8, 2023