Thursday: Hili dialogue

September 14, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to Thursday, September 14, 2023, and National Cream-filled Doughnut Day (if it’s spelled “Creme”, don’t buy it.

I’m on my way back to Jerusalem today, so posting will be light.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the Septembr 14 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*This is going to drive Brits mad: at some pubs, the price of a pint will vary depending on when you order it! From the NYT:

A pint of beer may cost more during peak hours at some pubs owned by Britain’s largest pub company, which has in recent weeks adopted surge pricing.

About 800 of the 4,000 pubs owned by the company, Stonegate Group, are either using “dynamic pricing,” in which prices rise at times of increased demand, or may use it in the future to help cope with higher costs for staffing and licensing requirements, Maureen Heffernan, a spokeswoman for Stonegate, said on Tuesday.

Stonegate owns the popular pub chains Slug & Lettuce and Craft Union. Ms. Heffernan said that the timing of surge pricing, in which a pint of beer would cost about 20 pence (25 cents) more, would vary by pub, but that generally prices would be higher on weekends and evenings.

In July, the average price for a pint of draft lager was 4.31 pounds (about $5.37), up from £4 a year earlier, according to Britain’s Office for National Statistics.

Customers have become accustomed to surge pricing across various industries, including retail and travel. But some Britons said applying it to pubs went too far.

All Brits should rise up in arms; this is the first time I’ve heard of such a thing. I will not patronize these pubs in the UK—unless they sell Timothy Taylor’s Landlord.  Capitalism!

*Kim Russell, Oberlin University’s women’s lacrosse coach, who spoke out against transwomen competing against biological women, has been taken off the field and given a desk job. (h/t: Divy)

The head women’s lacrosse coach at Oberlin College in Ohio – who spoke out against trans athletes like Lia Thomas competing in women’s sports – has been removed from her post and given a paperwork job.

Kim Russell had been at the center of an ongoing conflict with officials at Oberlin after she posted her personal viewpoint on transgender swimmer Lia Thomas winning an NCAA championship in 2022 in March last year.

She also appeared in a documentary about the issue.

Now, she says she has been maligned by bosses at Oberlin and reassigned to a paperwork position that doesn’t allow her to interact with students.

Oberlin won’t give up in its quest to become America’s dumbest Woke College.

*DACA, one of the more humane immigration programs, has again been ruled illegal, though those already in the program won’t be deported.

A federal judge in Texas on Wednesday rejected the Biden administration’s latest effort to save a program that has shielded hundreds of thousands of undocumented young adults from deportation, saying that it remained unlawful even after recent changes.

The judge, Andrew S. Hanen of the Federal District Court in Houston, maintained that President Barack Obama exceeded his authority when he created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, by executive action in 2012.

The decision is the latest twist in a five-year-long court saga that has left the program and its beneficiaries, known as Dreamers, hanging in the balance. While the ruling is a blow to the immigrants, the judge did not mandate an immediate end to the program. Current applicants will be able to keep and renew their protection. No new applications will be allowed.

The Biden administration initiated a rule-making procedure in 2021 to explicitly attempt to bolster DACA’s legal standing, but the rule issued by the administration did not sway the judge.

“There are no material differences” the judge wrote in his 40-page opinion. But he added that his decision did not compel the government to “take any immigration, deportation or criminal action against any DACA recipient.”

The government is almost certain to appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, experts said, and the case is likely to end up in the Supreme Court.

Now that will be a decision hard to predict. I can’t imagine even the Supreme Court ordering the deportation of past DACA recipients, though they may order the dismantling of the program.

*Like the NYT, the WaPo is also going clickbait-y in the upper right part of its front page. Here’s h “news”:

Will there be any real newspapers left in a decade?

*Finally, Rep. Lauren “Glock” Boebert was ejected from a Denver theater showing the musical play “Beetlejuice”, and there’s video. She was behaving badly, but that’s hardly new:

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert was kicked out of a “Beetlejuice” musical play in Denver on Sunday, according to security footage.

The theater didn’t name Boebert, but a spokesperson said Wednesday that the video — which showed Boebert and a guest being escorted out of the venue — was of guests who were kicked out after audience members accused them of vaping, singing, using phones and causing a disturbance.

Her campaign manager confirmed Boebert was kicked out but denies she was vaping. Boebert and the other guest left.

“I can confirm the stunning and salacious rumors: in her personal time, congresswoman Lauren Boebert is indeed a supporter of the performing arts (gasp!),” said Drew Sexton, Boebert’s campaign manager, in a text message, adding that Boebert “pleads guilty to singing along, laughing and enjoying herself.”

I want to know about the vaping. Did she inhale?

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is peeved at a BBC article:

Hili: Have you read the latest article by Yolande Knell from BBC?
A: I have. What do you think about it?
Hili: A diva from the mainsewer media.

In Polish:

Hili: Czytałeś najnowszy artykuł Yolande Knell z BBC?
Ja: Czytałem, co o nim myślisz?
Hili: Diva głównego ścieku.

Here’s the article Hili’s mentioning (click to read):

I asked Malgorzata for an explanation of Hili’s words, and got this reply:

This BBC piece is garbage. And she wrote it. It was this article which made Andrzej write the dialogue. Ms Knell is one of the chief smearers of Israel in the BBC. So she is a diva and BBC is not mainstream media but mainsewer media. Andrzej gave the link to the article as a kind of proof that both she and BBC deserve the “title”. Of course, people who share her view that there are only “poor Palestinians” and “evil Jews” would think that Andrzej’s description is spiteful.


From Thomas: why cats believe in an afterlife (click to enlarge):

From The Absurd Sign Project 2.0.  If you know anything about Judaism, you’ll know why this is absurd. (Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins tomorrow.) Guesses?

From Masih, more retribution from Iranians for oppressing women. I’m not sure how helpful this is, though. . .

Titania is tweeting again:

From Barry, who says this is a homely cat. NO cats are homely!

This video of Boebert and her date (see above) shows them being escorted out of “Beetlejuice”. She’s already been reelected once; will it happen again?

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a survivor who turned 99 two days ago:

Tweets from Matthew. I hope this chick is okay. . .

I remember this interview. Sound up:

A lousy reproduction, but funny:

55 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. Real US style capitalism would market highest price as norm with special DISCOUNTED prices at the other times. This is a shame. I was nost impressed on my first visit to a British pub in the 80’s that there was a line near to top of my pint glass and by law the publican had to fill the beer at least to that level.

  2. This goy, who has sung professionally in several synagogue choirs, especially during the High Holidays, will take a stab at why that store sign is absurd. My first reaction when I saw it was, well, that’s a nice sentiment, but the new year marks the beginning of a period of solemn reflection culminating in Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement, a day of fasting and repentance. I’m also thinking that at least the sign makers got the apples and honey right, since a common greeting I hear among my Jewish friends is “Have a good and sweet year!” (How did this goy do, Jerry?)

    1. Matzo is the centerpiece of Pesach and is not served on Rosh Hashanah. Round challahs—often sweetened with honey and studded with raisins—is the traditional bread served on this Jewish holiday. 🙂

      1. Brief clarification: Pesach is the Hebrew name for Passover, and matzos are eaten during Passover, not Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year. It’s like advertising Christmas trees at Easter.

        1. Would it be more accurate to say Passover is the English translation of Pesach, especially as the term seems to have been coined by William Tyndall when he was writing an English version of the Christian Bible?

      1. My personal tradition still enjoys a nice matzoh pancake with strawberry preserves and cinnamon sugar for breakfast on rosh hashonah

    1. Yes, I was wondering how the Republicans who manage to see Boebert as a down-to-earth proponent of the old fashioned, anti-elitist values of ordinary folk are going to spin “Do you know who I am?”

  3. Re the cat: someone took the video from the least flattering angle to emphasize the muzzle area, which wouldn’t look as disproportionate if the video were done from a higher angle. The cat must have Siamese in it given the largish ears and muzzle. Agree with Prof. Ceiling Cat: no cat is ugly, and this one is probably quite handsome viewed from a different angle.

  4. Homely cat: he is either an “oriental breed” of cat, or has an “oriental breed” in his ancestry. Oriental breeds include siamese cats etc. However the fashion in breeding has to been to go for a narrower and narrower head. This has led to birth deformities. In the UK there has been a movement to breed away from this, back to the old fashioned or classic style.
    As with dog breeding, just because you can, does not mean you should.

  5. The practical joke Ali and his wife played on Ed Bradley worked as well as it did because the fight they reference — 1975’s “Thrilla in Manila” — took so much out of both contestants. It was not so much a prizefight as it was a brutal and bloody opera staged in three acts in the midday Manila heat (estimates of the ringside temperature inside the aluminum-roofed Philippine Coliseum range northward of 110° F, or 43° C). It’s a good thing that Joe Frazier’s cornerman, Eddie Futch, threw in the towel after the 14th round. One or another of the fighters may not have survived the 15th and final round (probably Frazier, whose eyes were swollen to the point that he was effectively fighting blind). It was the greatest heavyweight championship bout of my lifetime and, quite possibly, in the history of the squared circle.

    I watched that fight on closed-circuit and said at the time that both fighters should immediately announce their retirements — the exclamation points on two storied careers (including 41 rounds fought head-to-head against each other). Alas, they did not, and neither man was the same again.

    Some among my family and friends question my affection for the fight game given its abject brutality, and the truth is that I have a hard time justifying it to them (or, hell, some days even to myself). But as Gen. George Patton said of war, “god help me, I do love it so.”

  6. (1) Re UK pint prices: we call it “happy hour” here in the States. No biggie, it seems to me. (I see someone else noted this above.)
    (2) Re Kim Russell at Oberlin: What an outrage. I so hope she sues them for multi-millions of dollars. As for “trans women are women” (mentioned in the linked article), I have not trouble with that statement since “woman” and “man” can be deployed as culturally-based terms. But to say “trans women are female,” is, of course, factually incorrect, since “female” and “male” are scientific terms for the sex binary. I think we should have “female” sports, and “male” sports, not “women’s” and “men’s”.
    (3) Re “Will there be any real newspapers left in a decade”? There aren’t even any real newspapers left today.

    1. Sorry Mitten. Transwomen are men, not women. That has to be non-negotiable. It’s the only way that the silly neologism will die out. It’s like saying “Dogcats are a kind of cat because in cultural terms an owner who teaches his cat (so assigned at birth) to be ingratiating now owns a dog.”

      How do you know the trans-activists will accept that “transwomen are female” is wrong just because it is convenient for us? If women’s sports become “female” sports, the activists will insist that they, too, are female and must be allowed to play with the other females. After all, we say that a woman is an adult human female. If I’m a (trans)woman, doesn’t that make me a female, then, by that very definition?

      Allowing “transwomen are women” immediately back-foots you into having to explain why this particular type of woman, but not any other type of woman, must be excluded from women’s lacrosse, and all the other women-only spaces. The trans activists know this. That’s why they invented the claim. There is no reason for the rest of us to accept it, except maybe in Michigan where the legislature has introduced a bill where you could be sent to jail if you don’t.

      1. I don’t think it’s motivated to liken the genetic/biological differences between men and women to those between cats and dogs. Men and women are infinitesimally different from each other in those terms; not so cats and dogs. Personally, I would NEVER say “trans women are women” because it really doesn’t mean anything genuinely substantive and has no relevance to my life; it’s just a catchphrase that should be ignored by laws and policy. Let people believe it if they wish, as I do those who believe in religion…just leave me out of it. “Trans women are female”, however, goes against science: it is a very stupid and ignorant thing to say. So if someone\ insists that “trans women are female” (which I think they do), she or he is spreading lies.

        If we are sufficiently sensitive to the distinction between scientific terminology (/categories) and cultural/social terminology (/categories),…and if our judicial system holds up…(big ifs, admittedly), I believe we can defeat this anti-science scourge.

        1. If we allow that the terms “man” and “woman” can be cultural and separate them from sex so we seemingly avoid a science problem, we end up with a cultural problem. The traditional definition of “woman” as “an adult human female” is the only non-sexist definition. Everything else eventually involves stereotypes and sliding standards where some women are now more “woman” than others.

          If anyone doubts it, try listing the attributes that separate a Cultural Woman from a Cultural Man and notice what happens. Everything after “different pronouns” won’t work with the kind of society which fostered the development of science.

          1. Well, I guess what I’m proposing is this: technology now allows people to pass as the other sex, and certain strains within society allow such people to “identify” as that other sex. So why not let them pass, as long as we insist that it is just a pass. So we, people of science and liberalism, can respond by establishing both linguistic and legal/policy distinctions: we can,
            as a consequence of the relevant technological innovations now available, cleave man-woman from male-female. Science will still be science (simplified, males produce sperm, females eggs) and legal/policy matters can be established by the courts etc., e.g. no males in female prisons.

            1. There is no such thing as “just a pass”. Everything else about the ideology follows from “passing”, including that Michigan bill that is straight out of 1984.

        2. Regarding that “distinction” to which you refer:

          Has there ever been a time in the history of the English language prior to our contemporary insanity when the word “woman” did not include the condition of being a female? Whatever shifting cultural connotations that you might add to it, “woman” has always denoted “adult human female” as a necessary condition of the definition.

          Claiming that “woman” can be isolated from that necessary state of being a female is part of the madness. “Oh, no, a woman can just be someone who wears dresses, gaudy makeup, and soooooo very much loves to shop! It’s cultural!” Nonsense.

          Leslie is right. If you accept their language, then you will soon find yourself forced into compliance when that language becomes law and policy. Your “should be ignored” will carry no weight.

          1. Doug, the problem is the march of technology. It’s forced us to confront issues that society and language have never had to contend with previously. All three–technology, society, language–will evolve a way through this particular and very sudden bottleneck i’m just musing on a way forward.

            1. “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should”. We don’t have to allow the unfettered use of technology and few of the ills of transgenderism have required it.

              The bottleneck did not just happen. It was specifically fabricated in order to break down society and any way forward that does not insist on recognizing and respecting reality will only contribute to that goal.

              No one says “trans women are female” [from your comment above] because the activists are trying to eliminate the very concept of biological sex. If we allow such Newspeak at all (and it is not limited to this example), all will be lost. Welcome to Oceania.

              1. People can say whatever they want in free societies, with the standard caveats. I’ll defend to the death (well, um) their right to do so. Let males call themselves women, e.g. Their speech doesn’t hurt me or anyone else. Just don’t allow kaw and policy to acquiesce to their delusion. I think it’s pretty straightforward. We tolerate religious belief and speech, for example, despite the divorce from reality its practitioners manifest.

                And if you are suggesting we ban adults from undergoing “gender affirming” (yes, ugh!) Medical procedures, well, we are very much in disagreement.

              2. Can’t help yourself from commenting, can you? Yes, a newbie comes in here and, without reading the posting rules, proceeds to hijack a thread.

                I see nothing about banning adults from gender affirming surgeries, either. Please go away for a a while and do not dominate threads. Read posting rules shown on left sidebar.

      2. As a TRA said on Twitter, “There’s a special circle of hell reserved for TERFs who say “Transwomen are men!”, to which the reply soon came, “Yeah! Give it five minutes and you’ll be demanding entry to that, too!”

  7. In regard to the latest from Oberlin, the Inside Higher Ed account nicely conveys the atmosphere at that institution. After Russell expressed wrongthink in a private post:
    “A student athlete on Russell’s team saw the post and reported it to the athletic director. Russell said she was subsequently instructed to come to the director’s office for the first in a series of “disciplinary meetings,” ” How jolly it must be when student snitches keep track of everyone’s expressions, to help the administration stamp out heterodoxy.

  8. I feel bad for DACA kids; the anxiety of deportation must be taxing on their health. Yes, the 5th circuit, another judicial branch of the neo-fascist Republican party.

  9. … the video — which showed Boebert and a guest being escorted out of the venue — was of guests who were kicked out after audience members accused them of vaping, singing, using phones and causing a disturbance.

    According to this article in The Denver Post, a pregnant woman sitting behind Boebert in the theater asked her to stop vaping.

    “No,” explained Boebert, helpfully.

    1. I can’t stand Bobert but I have NO time for anybody objecting to vaping. There is NO evidence of 2nd hand vape danger. None.
      People objecting to vaping know nothing of medicine (, and/or that nicotine is not a harmful substance). They’re not fighting for health, they’re fighting satan in their own ignorant minds.

      Apropos the comments above (I agree with Leslie, again), vaping has saved millions of life-years of those (myself possibly) who would have died from smoking. I can’t think of anything else in the last 20 years that has done that.

      1. I don’t know anything about this issue, never looked into it until your comment inspired me to do a quick search. Just a quick breeze through the search results makes me want to ask you, “Are you sure there is NO evidence for 2nd hand vape danger?” Because my quick search turned up lots of results, some from what at first blush one would presume to be reasonably trustworthy sources, that claim an association between 2nd hand vape smoke and increased risk of various cardio and pulmonary issues.

      2. I don’t know anything about the potential health risks of secondhand vaping, DA, so will take your word for it. But I believe vaping is verboten inside indoor theaters, and, if so, Boebert’s reaction to being asked to desist was rude, to put it mildly.

  10. As one of the resident geezers on this site I still receive a WAPO hardcopy daily. No clickbait distractions there! Do not know how much longer the paper copy will be produced but I am glad to have lived during the 800 or so years that paper books and broadsides were available.

  11. Oops, very late with today’s lists. (Mum was moving house – it’s been an interesting day…)

    On this day:
    1741 – George Frideric Handel completes his oratorio Messiah.

    1752 – The British Empire adopts the Gregorian calendar, skipping eleven days (the previous day was September 2).

    1812 – Napoleonic Wars: The French Grande Armée enters Moscow. The Fire of Moscow begins as soon as Russian troops leave the city.

    1901 – U.S. President William McKinley dies after being mortally wounded on September 6 by anarchist Leon Czolgosz and is succeeded by Vice President Theodore Roosevelt.

    1911 – Russian Premier Pyotr Stolypin is shot by Dmitry Bogrov while attending a performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tale of Tsar Saltan at the Kiev Opera House, in the presence of Tsar Nicholas II.

    1914 – HMAS AE1, the Royal Australian Navy’s first submarine, is lost at sea with all hands near East New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

    1917 – The Russian Empire is formally replaced by the Russian Republic.

    1940 – Ip massacre: The Hungarian Army, supported by local Hungarians, kill 158 Romanian civilians in Ip, Sălaj, a village in Northern Transylvania, an act of ethnic cleansing.

    1943 – World War II: The Wehrmacht starts a three-day retaliatory operation targeting several Greek villages in the region of Viannos, whose death toll would eventually exceed 500 persons.

    1954 – In a top secret nuclear test, a Soviet Tu-4 bomber drops a 40 kiloton atomic weapon just north of Totskoye village.

    1960 – The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is founded.

    1984 – Joe Kittinger becomes the first person to fly a gas balloon alone across the Atlantic Ocean.

    2007 – Financial crisis of 2007–2008: The Northern Rock bank experiences the first bank run in the United Kingdom in 150 years.

    2015 – The first observation of gravitational waves is made, announced by the LIGO and Virgo collaborations on 11 February 2016.

    2022 – Death of Queen Elizabeth II: The Queen’s coffin is taken from Buckingham Palace, placed on a gun carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and moved in a procession to Westminster Hall for her lying in state over the next four days with the queue of mourners stretching for miles along the River Thames.

    1580 – Francisco de Quevedo, Spanish poet and politician (d. 1645)

    1737 – Michael Haydn, Austrian singer and composer (d. 1806).

    1769 – Alexander von Humboldt, German geographer and explorer (d. 1859).

    1816 – Mary Hall Barrett Adams, American book editor and letter writer (d. 1860).

    1857 – Julia Platt, American embryologist and politician (d. 1935).

    1879 – Margaret Sanger, American nurse and activist (d. 1966).

    1898 – Lawrence Gellert, Hungarian-American musicologist and song collector (d. 1979).

    1910 – Jack Hawkins, English actor and producer (d. 1973).

    1915 – John Dobson, Chinese-American astronomer and author, designed the Dobsonian telescope (d. 2014).

    1921 – Constance Baker Motley, American lawyer, judge, and politician (d. 2005).

    1934 – Kate Millett, American author and activist (d. 2017).

    1936 – Terence Donovan, English photographer and director (d. 1996).

    1936 – Walter Koenig, American actor, producer, and screenwriter. [Played Ensign Pavel Chekov in the original series of Star Trek (1967–1969).]

    1937 – Renzo Piano, Italian architect and engineer, designed The Shard and The New York Times Building.

    1941 – Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, American civil rights activist.

    1947 – Sam Neill, Northern Irish-New Zealand actor and director.

    1949 – Ed King, American guitarist and songwriter (d. 2018).

    1949 – Fred “Sonic” Smith, American guitarist and songwriter (d. 1994).

    1950 – Paul Kossoff, English guitarist and songwriter (d. 1976).

    1959 – Morten Harket, Norwegian singer-songwriter.

    1968 – Grant Shapps, English politician. [Currently the UK’s Secretary of State for Defence, his fifth cabinet position in the last twelve months. He has previously used the names Michael Green, Corinne Stockheath, and Sebastian Fox.]

    1970 – Ketanji Brown Jackson, American lawyer and jurist, associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

    1971 – Jeff Loomis, American guitarist and songwriter.

    1978 – Ron DeSantis, American politician, 46th Governor of Florida.

    1983 – Amy Winehouse, English singer-songwriter (d. 2011).

    Live as long as you please, you will strike nothing off the time you will have to spend dead.
    1321 – Dante Alighieri, Italian writer (b. 1265).

    1638 – John Harvard, English-American minister and philanthropist (b. 1607).

    1712 – Giovanni Domenico Cassini, Italian-French mathematician, astronomer, and engineer (b. 1625).

    1715 – Dom Pérignon, French monk and priest (b. 1638).

    1821 – Heinrich Kuhl, German naturalist and zoologist (b. 1797).

    1851 – James Fenimore Cooper, American novelist, short story writer, and historian (b. 1789).

    1852 – Augustus Pugin, English architect and critic, designed Scarisbrick Hall (b. 1812).

    1852 – Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Irish-English field marshal and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1769).

    1898 – William Seward Burroughs I, American businessman, founded the Burroughs Corporation (b. 1857).

    1916 – José Echegaray, Spanish engineer, mathematician, and playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1832).

    1927 – Isadora Duncan, American-Russian dancer and choreographer (b. 1877).

    1981 – Furry Lewis, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1899). [One of the earliest of the blues musicians active in the 1920s to be brought out of retirement and given new opportunities to record during the folk blues revival of the 1960s.]

    1982 – John Gardner, American novelist, essayist, and critic (b. 1933).

    1982 – Grace Kelly, American-Monegasque actress; Princess of Monaco (b. 1929).

    2000 – Jerzy Giedroyc, Belarusian-Polish soldier and activist (b. 1906).

    2005 – Robert Wise, American director and producer (b. 1914).

    2009 – Patrick Swayze, American actor, singer, and dancer (b. 1952).

    2015 – Fred DeLuca, American businessman, co-founded Subway (b. 1947).

    2018 – Ethel Johnson, American professional wrestler (b. 1935). [She debuted at age 16, becoming the first African-American women’s champion.]

  12. Underlining a point made by Leslie Macmillan above, biographies of most notables before the 20th century include the deaths of one or more of their children (Darwin, Lincoln, Pasteur, Dvorak, Mahler, etc. etc.). Childhood mortality was commonplace at 40-50% or more in most of human history, then became a rare event (2-4 %) in the 20th century. This reflects developments in medicine and civil engineering which are within the STEM framework that, we are told, so badly needs to be “decolonialized”.

  13. Perhaps it is a reflection on the readership here, and far be it from me to slight the contributions of those in medicine, civil engineering, and public health, but if we want to really praise those who have saved countless lives over the last century and a half, then I’ll contribute my own “shout out” to the plumbers, trash collectors, and construction crews who translated those scientific advances into our taken-for-granted reality.

    1. Yes, of course, Doug. They also built the sewer systems and the water purification plants and laid all those pipes down from the reservoirs and beneath the streets. When I was praising the technology, I didn’t mean to slight the dirt-under-the-fingernails guys (and they are almost all guys) who wrestle pipe into the ground to make it real.

    2. I agree. All other gains in this modern world would be pointless had it not been for the advancement of better hygiene, sanitation, clean drinking water for large populations. Without it, not only deaths but immeasurable misery would be the result.
      The very foundations we literally live on top of, were provided, paid for, maintained by generations of taxpayers. We sometimes miss the point of our own contributions to this advancement in public wellbeing and why it should be recognised. WHY? IMO, because it keeps the foot down to further gains.

  14. New reasons for ecological pessimism:

    “Earth beyond six of nine planetary boundaries:
    This planetary boundaries framework update finds that six of the nine boundaries are transgressed, suggesting that Earth is now well outside of the safe operating space for humanity. Ocean acidification is close to being breached, while aerosol loading regionally exceeds the boundary. Stratospheric ozone levels have slightly recovered. The transgression level has increased for all boundaries earlier identified as overstepped. As primary production drives Earth system biosphere functions, human appropriation of net primary production is proposed as a control variable for functional biosphere integrity. This boundary is also transgressed. Earth system modeling of different levels of the transgression of the climate and land system change boundaries illustrates that these anthropogenic impacts on Earth system must be considered in a systemic context.”


    1. OK, now what? Take it up with Russia and India and China and the Republican party, then we’ll talk about doing something? The crisis is just going to keep on gettin’ on until…? Not looking good folks.

  15. Absolutely astonishing:

    “Beetle grows ‘termite’ on back to steal food: Puppet helps insect trick real termites into feeding it.

    In what may be one of Earth’s craziest forms of mimicry, researchers have discovered a new species of rove beetle that grows a termite puppet on its back to fool real termites into feeding it. The replica is so precise, it even mirrors the termites’ distinct body segments and has three pairs of pseudoappendages that resemble antennae and legs.

    Rove beetles (family Staphylinidae) are already infamous in the animal kingdom as masters of disguise. Some, for example, have evolved to look like army ants, allowing the beetles to march alongside them and feed on their eggs and young.

    The new beetle species (Austrospirachtha carrijoi)—found beneath the soil in Australia’s Northern Territory—emulates a termite by enlarging its abdomen, a phenomenon known as physogastry. Evolution has reshaped this body part into a highly realistic replica of a termite (as seen above), head and all, which rides on top of the rest of the beetle’s body. The beetle’s real, much smaller head peeks out from beneath its termite disguise, the authors report this month in the journal Zootaxa.

    The termite “puppet” may help the beetle evade detection—though termites are blind, they sense one another through touch. The beetle may also absorb unique chemicals called cuticular hydrocarbons from the termites or produce similar compounds in order to enhance the perception that it is a termite as well.”


  16. Did anyone else notice that several comments on this thread yesterday have disappeared today (Friday)? Some from a new commenter – whose handle I can’t remember – on the relative importance of contraception in human flourishing. I came back to read them because the commenting style was so distinctive. Now they’re gone?

  17. I have many fond memories of eating Matzos (with butter and without butter). Is their a religious law that Matzos can only be eaten some times of the year? Should I purge all of my fond memories of eating Matzos because I ate it on the wrong day? What is the correct spelling? Matzah or Matzo or Matzos?

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