Monday: Hili dialogue

October 23, 2023 • 5:45 am

Welcome to the start of the “work” week; It’s Monday, October 23, 2023, and only two weeks until I go to Paris for another weeklong eating binge. Today is National Boston Cream Pie Day, really a cake and not a pie, but it’s good. Here’s a photo and there’s a recipe at the link:

It’s also National Horror Movie Day, Swallows Depart From San Juan Capistrano Day. National Canning Day, National Croc Day (the world’s ugliest shoes!), and International Mole Day, whose explanation is below:

Mole Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated among chemists, chemistry students and chemistry enthusiasts on October 23, between 6:02 a.m. and 6:02 p.m., making the date 6:02 10/23 in the American style of writing dates. The time and date are derived from the Avogadro constant, which is approximately 6.02×1023, defining the number of particles (atoms or molecules) in one mole (mol) of substance, one of the seven base SI units.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the October 23 Wikipedia page.

Posting may be light today as I’m having some slight malaise because I got my sixth covid shot yesterday. Although my doctor said that it was unnecessary if I stayed home, he said it was okay to get the booster given that I’m going to France in two weeks (it takes that long to develop immunity). Oy, my sore arm!

Da Nooz:

*More news of the war from the NYT: more Israelis ordered south, away from Lebanon, and fears of a widening conflict:

As Israeli forces massed along the border with Gaza on Sunday ahead of an expected ground invasion of the enclave, escalating clashes on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon along with strikes in Syria and in the Israeli-occupied West Bank intensified fears of a widening regional conflict.

The Israeli authorities said they were expanding a state-funded evacuation plan to move residents from an additional 14 Israeli villages near the border with Lebanon to safer areas. The move came as Israel’s military said Sunday it was contending with increasing attacks from Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed militia that controls southern Lebanon, that have resulted in civilian and military casualties.

Amid concerns the conflict could spill over, the Pentagon said late Saturday that it was sending an antimissile battery and battalions of the Patriot ground-based air defense system to the Middle East following “recent escalations by Iran and its proxy forces.”

Violence also has been surging across the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The Israeli military carried out a rare airstrike there overnight against what it described as an underground “terror compound” beneath a mosque in the city of Jenin. Two people were killed, according to Palestinian health officials.

. . . While the timing of an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza remained unclear, senior Israeli commanders have increasingly been making public references to such preparations amid questions about when an operation might launch. The commanding officer of Israel’s ground forces, Maj. Gen. Tamir Yedai, has been meeting in recent days with soldiers training for “ground maneuvering,” according to a statement issued by Israel’s military on Sunday.

I still wonder whether Israel’s repeated assurance that there will be a ground invasion is just a gigantic ruse, but I don’t think so, for you can’t wipe out Hamas with airstrikes alone (or even with a ground invasion).  We’re in for a lot of carnage, and that means a lot of sympathy for Palestinian lives, but not for Israelis, even though they’re trying to ensure the continuation of their country.

*As expected, Hamas has failed to produce any evidence that the Gazan hospital was struck by an Israeli bomb or missile.

Five days after Hamas accused Israel of bombing a hospital in Gaza City and killing hundreds of people, the armed Palestinian group has yet to produce or describe any evidence linking Israel to the strike, says it cannot find the munition that hit the site and has declined to provide detail to support its count of the casualties.

. . .as new evidence contradicting the Hamas claim has emerged, the Gazan authorities have changed their story about the blast. Spokespeople have released death tolls varying from 500 to 833, before settling on 471.

The Hamas-run health ministry has also declined to release further details about those 471 victims, and all traces of the munition have seemingly vanished from the site of the blast, making it impossible to assess its provenance. Raising further questions about Hamas’s claims, the impact site turned out to be the hospital parking lot, and not the hospital itself.

On Sunday, Hamas turned down requests by The Times to view any available evidence of the munition it said had struck the hospital, claiming that it had disintegrated beyond recognition.

“The missile has dissolved like salt in the water,” said Ghazi Hamad, a senior Hamas official, in a phone interview. “It’s vaporized. Nothing is left.”

There’s more, but this is what was expected after the investigations of other groups. Perhaps the NYT is disappointed at this result. After all they based their initial reporting on Hamas sources.

*A Wall Street Journal/IPSOS poll of American’s attitudes towards the war and its combatants shows a surprising amount of sympathy for Israel (I’ve been living among leftist acdemics for too long!)

U.S. public opinion is rallying behind Israel as it responds to the deadly attacks on its citizens by Hamas, the Islamist militant group, but the American appetite for a role in the war is limited, a new Wall Street Journal/Ipsos poll finds.

The poll found Americans drawing a sharp distinction between Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and is committed to the destruction of Israel, and the Palestinian people who live in Gaza and the West Bank. But it also found increased support for Israel, compared with prior surveys, in its decadeslong conflicts with Palestinians.

Some 42% in the survey said the U.S. should side with Israel, a record high dating to 2002, while 3% said the U.S. should take the Palestinians’ side. The share with favorable views of both the Israeli people and their government is higher in the new survey than in similar polls in recent years, though young people are much less supportive of the longtime U.S. ally than are older Americans.

At the same time, the survey found Americans reluctant to become engaged in the region. Some 52% said the U.S. shouldn’t back either Israel or the Palestinians in their long-running conflict. Just over half of Americans said the U.S. has a responsibility to support Israel in its war with Hamas.

Here are some figures. Even the Israeli government gets a 55% positive rating from Americans: the same as “the Palestinian people.”  There are substantial proportions of Americans who want to protect both Israeli and Palestinian civilians, but the difference is relatively small: only 13%

Support for Israel goes up the the age of the respondent, with Republicans a bit more pro-Israel than are Democrats. Older people also are more in favor of pushing the parties to negotiate, while Republicans are less negotiation friendly than are Democrats.  Not all that many want to work towards Palestinian statehood (only 28% of Americans), but older people are more in favor of a two-state solution, and Democrats more than twice in favor as are Republicans, but neither reach a majority. Perhaps most people recognize that the two-state solution is dead.

*CNN, the Associated Press, and the Wall Street Journal have independently analyzed the data about the blast that occurred near Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, and all have concluded that it was due to a misfired Palestinian rocket.  The WSJ have a good video analysis using four separate cameras in different locations; they all concur that, at the same time, a rocket went off course, exploded, and caused damage when bits of the rocket and its unexpended fuel fell into the hospital’s parking lot. Of course that’s not going to change the minds of the Palestinians who are rioting about the explosion, blaming it on Israel. (h/t Rosemary).

The WSJ analysis is all video, but it’s pretty convincing. And even CNN, with its pro-Palestinian penchant, can’t deny the facts:

CNN has reviewed dozens of videos posted on social media, aired on live broadcasts and filmed by a freelance journalist working for CNN in Gaza, as well as satellite imagery, to piece together what happened in as much detail as possible.

Without the ability to access the site and gather evidence from the ground, no conclusion can be definitive. But CNN’s analysis suggests that a rocket launched from within Gaza broke up midair, and that the blast at the hospital was the result of part of the rocket landing at the hospital complex.

Weapons and explosive experts with decades of experience assessing bomb damage, who reviewed the visual evidence, told CNN they believe this to be the most likely scenario – although they caution the absence of munition remnants or shrapnel from the scene made it difficult to be sure. All agreed that the available evidence of the damage at the site was not consistent with an Israeli airstrike.

. . . An Al Jazeera camera, located in western Gaza and facing east, was broadcasting live on the channel at 6:59 p.m. local time on Tuesday night, according to the timestamp. The footage appears to show a rocket fired from Gaza traveling in an upwards trajectory before reversing direction and exploding, leaving a brief, bright streak of light in the night sky above Gaza City. Just moments later, two blasts are visible on the ground, including one at Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital.

. . .Several weapons experts told CNN that the Al Jazeera video appeared to show a rocket burning out in the sky before crashing into the hospital grounds, but that they could not say with certainty that the two incidents were linked – due to the challenges of calculating the trajectory of a rocket that had failed or changed course mid-flight.

“I believe this happened – a rocket malfunctioned, and it didn’t come down in one piece. It’s likely it fell apart mid-air for some reason and the body of the rocket crashed into the car park. There, the fuel remnants caught fire and ignited cars and other fuel at the hospital, causing the big explosion we saw,” Markus Schiller, a Europe-based missile expert who has worked on analysis for NATO and the European Union, told CNN.

None of the experts can pronounce with absolute certainty that this is what happened, but there is no evidence in favor of an Israeli airstrike.  I’d say the Bayesian analysis based on new data gives an 87.33% probability that the hospital parking lot was hit by a misfired terrorist missile. As for the toll of dead and wounded, who knows? And we’ll never know.

*Over at the Washington Post, Peter Singer, my favorite philosopher, has an op-ed called “What is the line between life and death? Here’s my answer.

Where, exactly, is the line between life and death? Does the answer change if the person asking is not a philosopher but a transplant surgeon eager to save a life? Or a patient desperate for a new organ?

This summer in Honolulu, a body of lawyers known as the Uniform Law Commission tried to agree on an answer to that profound question. Appointed by the states and territories to recommend model legislation for adoption nationwide, commission members were tasked with revising the standard of brain death widely used in the United States for some four decades.

They couldn’t do it. Last month, the group’s chair emailed those involved that it had “decided to pause” the effort, without explaining why. My hunch? Once discussions began on how to change the definition of death, the group realized it had a question on its hands for which there is no consensus.

Singer’s response:

Namely: When it is justifiable to end a human life?

Here’s my answer: When consciousness has gone, never to return. Other bioethicists have different views. No surprise there. But on this we should all agree: These differences need to be hammered out in public, not behind closed doors by a body that few people have heard of.

If consciousness is a reflection of brain activity, then brain death would be the answer. And that’s the answer most ethicists and physicians accept.

the widespread acceptance of brain death has led to many lives being saved, because donated organs are more viable this way. In 2021 alone, organs were removed from 9,674 people after their brains had ceased to function but their hearts were still beating. Under the heartbeat standard, surgeons could have been charged with murder in these cases.

Yet the brain-death standard presents some confounding consequences. Patients declared brain-dead need a ventilator to breathe, but their bodies remain warm and supple. They can fight off infections, and their heart rate and adrenaline increase in response to injury. At least a dozen have gestated a child to birth by Caesarean section.

But there are problems: you can’t determine whether brain activity still goes on at a level too low to detect, and its loss may be reversible, though Singer mentions no cases (brain activity is detected through measuring blood flow to the brain). Here’s his conclusion:

What determines whether it is justifiable to regard the life of a person as having ended is the irrevocable loss of consciousness: Once that has occurred, the person whom family and friends knew and loved has gone forever.

If tests currently used can reliably determine the end of consciousness, then the fact that some brain functions continue is irrelevant to the ethics of removing organs.

Well, that’s hard to determine, isn’t it? You can detect brain activity, but how do you detect consciousness in a patient with no detectable activity? And if bain activity can return if it’s too low to detect, wouldn’t that also be true with consciousness? Then how do you know that “consciousness has gone, never to return?” I’m going with brain activity due to the near-impossibility of determining, at least at present, whether someone with no brain activity is still conscious.  Regardless, I like singer because he deals with ethical problems that are meaningful, problems that are important in the real world, not with pilpul about whether you can have determination and free will at the same time.

*Here’s a new movie that you’ll want to see: “Killers of the Flower Moon”, directed by Martin Scorsese (sadly, the Taylor Swift movie is doing better). “Killers” deals with the Osage Indian murders that took place between 1910 and 1930 in Osage County, Oklahoma, with 60 members of the group murdered, almost certainly to get the money that members of the tribe had accumulated by owning oil-rich land.

. . . The film, which cost at least $200 million to make, is the largest production yet from Apple Studios. The streamer partnered with Paramount Pictures to release Scorsese’s adaptation of David Grann’s bestseller in 3,628 theaters, with plans to later stream it on a not-yet-announced date on Apple TV+.

. . . Though Scorsese’s latest opus, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone and Robert De Niro, will have a hard road to reaching profitability, it’s a successful launch for a 206-minute-long adult-skewing drama – a type of movie that, outside “Oppenheimer,” has struggled mightily at the box office in recent years.

And “Killers of the Flower Moon,” with rave reviews, an “A-” CinemaScore from audiences and the backing of a robust Oscar campaign, should continue to play well over the long haul. It added $21 million overseas.

It’s an ineffable shame that a movie this good has to “struggle mightily at the box office”. A compelling story and great cast won’t do it. It’s too serious, not a “happy” movie, and is about 3½ hours long.  Way too long for a public accustomed to sound bites and short videos.  But you can bet I’ll be watching it. Scorsese has produced gem after cinematic gem.

Here are the Rotten Tomatoes ratings, which are excellent:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, on the outside windowsill, is just being a regular cat:

Hili: Let me in.
A: You went out a moment ago.
Hili: I changed my mind.
In Polish:
Hili: Wpuść mnie do domu.
Ja: Przed chwilą wyszłaś.
Hili: Zmieniłam zdanie.


From Divy:

From BuzzFeed:

From The Absurd Sign Project 2.0, an accurate sign:

Another Iranian woman killed by the morality police for not wearing the hijab. The regime is odious, and we should not be coddling it.

From Jez, a fantastic drone display in Bordeaux. Amazing programming!

From No Context Cats:

From Malcom, a great catch! The kid is a hero!:

From gravelinspector, an eagle bites off more than it can chew:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a story of a prisoner revolt whose details aren’t fully known, but is at least partly true. Read more about Franceska Mann here.

Two tweets from Dr. Cobb (we’ll soon be down to zero).

These caracals are adorable:

29 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. I’ve seen the photo of the cleaning lady at the Beatles performance before. I think it’s more likely a rehearsal than an actual performance because

    – many of the seats are empty
    – all the occupied seats are filled with men in suits
    – there are two men on stage who are not members of the group.

  2. Just a quick reader update on site quality before things get too busy today. I reported last week that the site seemed much better than it had been…the new IT person had corrected the unwanted “subscribe” pop-ups and response time was better. I use both ipad and iphone with safari browser. This morning I just want to report with very good confidence that service is fully back to normal as far as I can observe. Thank you Jerry for looking after this matter.

    1. In order to comment, I still have to do some clicking to load my credentials (for the email and then for my name), when it all used to just load itself. I have become quite accustomed to the new situation, though I wonder why the autoloading has gone away.

      1. Thanks mark. Yeah, I had forgotten about that. The autoload only worked for me over a few-week period several years ago. So my “normal” has pretty much always been entering my email and name with each comment. Don’t mind it at all. Small overhead for conversational access to WEIT!

      2. I had that problem and someone here suggested I log in with WordPress because it saves the information — no more typing it all in. That worked for me.

        1. WordPress was not letting me comment here, so I had to find a workaround.

          ETA: Well…wordpress just worked! So I guess that’s fixed. Thanks!

        2. I do that as an alternative. On the WP site itself, my credentials autoload like always. I prefer to use the … whada’ya call it, the non-Word Press site? In WP the comments are in reverse chronological order and the pictures are smaller.

      1. My last comment means that I have not even tried autofill in several years (in truth, I had forgotten about its existence). So I have no data/do not know its status for me. But as I said, it is absolutely not an issue for me.

  3. It’s an ineffable shame that a money this good has to “struggle mightily at the box office”. A compelling story and great cast won’t do it.

    Quoth, I think, PT Barnum … nope – Mencken, maybe? It’s not clear, who came up with this zinger, but it’s not limited to Americans :

    nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American people

    (The Mencken version is No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help mehas ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.” Which sounds very much in vein.

  4. On this day:
    4004 BC – James Ussher’s proposed creation date of the world according to the Bible.

    1295 – The first treaty forming the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France against England is signed in Paris.

    1641 – Irish Catholic gentry from Ulster attempt to seize control of Dublin Castle, the seat of English rule in Ireland, so as to force concessions.

    1642 – The Battle of Edgehill is the first major battle of the English Civil War.

    1666 – The most intense tornado on record in English history, an F4 storm on the Fujita scale or T8 on the TORRO scale, strikes the county of Lincolnshire, with winds of more than 213 miles per hour (343 km/h).

    1707 – The First Parliament of the Kingdom of Great Britain convenes.

    1812 – General Claude François de Malet begins a conspiracy to overthrow Napoleon, claiming that the Emperor died in the Russian campaign.

    1850 – The first National Women’s Rights Convention begins in Worcester, Massachusetts.

    1906 – Alberto Santos-Dumont flies an airplane in the first heavier-than-air flight in Europe.

    1911 – The Italo-Turkish War sees the first use of an airplane in combat when an Italian pilot makes a reconnaissance flight. [Well, that didn’t take long…]

    1940 – Adolf Hitler and Francisco Franco meet at Hendaye to discuss the possibility of Spain entering the Second World War.

    1941 – The Holocaust: Nazi Germany prohibits Jews from emigrating, including in its occupied territories.

    1942 – World War II: Allied forces commence the Second Battle of El Alamein, which proves to be the key turning point in the North African campaign.

    1955 – The people of the Saar region vote in a referendum to unite with West Germany instead of France.

    1956 – Secret police shoot several anti-communist protesters, igniting the Hungarian Revolution.

    1958 – Canada’s Springhill mining disaster kills seventy-five miners, while ninety-nine others are rescued.

    1970 – Gary Gabelich sets a land speed record in a rocket-powered automobile called the Blue Flame, fueled with natural gas.

    1983 – Lebanese Civil War: The U.S. Marines Corps barracks in Beirut is hit by a truck bomb, killing 241 U.S. military personnel. A French Army barracks in Lebanon is also hit that same morning, killing 58 troops.

    1989 – Bankruptcy of Wärtsilä Marine, the biggest bankruptcy in the Nordic countries up until then.

    1989 – An explosion at the Houston Chemical Complex in Pasadena, Texas, which registered a 3.5 on the Richter magnitude scale, kills 23 and injures 314.

    1995 – Yolanda Saldívar is found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of popular Latin singer Selena.

    1998 – Israel and the Palestinian Authority sign the Wye River Memorandum.

    2001 – Apple Computer releases the iPod.

    2002 – Second Chechen War: Chechen separatist terrorists seize the House of Culture theater in Moscow and take approximately 700 theater-goers hostage.

    2015 – The lowest sea-level pressure in the Western Hemisphere, and the highest reliably-measured non-tornadic sustained winds, are recorded in Hurricane Patricia, which strikes Mexico hours later, killing at least 13 and causing over $280 million in damages.

    2022 – Xi Jinping is elected as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party by the Central Committee, beginning a third term of the paramount leader of China.

    2022 – Myanmar Air Force airstrikes a concert in Hpakant Township, Kachin state killing at least 80 people, including senior Kachin Independence Organisation officials, in the Hpakant massacre.

    1817 – Pierre Larousse, French lexicographer and author (d. 1875).

    1863 – Mirko Breyer, Croatian writer, bibliographer, antiquarian, and one of the notable alleged and false victims of the Stara Gradiška concentration camp (d. 1946).

    1875 – Gilbert N. Lewis, American chemist and academic (d. 1946). [Nominated 41 (!) times for a Nobel prize, but never received one. Best known for his discovery of the covalent bond and his concept of electron pairs; his Lewis dot structures and other contributions to valence bond theory have shaped modern theories of chemical bonding. Lewis successfully contributed to chemical thermodynamics, photochemistry, and isotope separation, and is also known for his concept of acids and bases. Lewis also researched on relativity and quantum physics, and in 1926 he coined the term “photon” for the smallest unit of radiant energy. His death, an hour after he had lunch with his rival Irving Langmuir, may have been suicide.]

    1892 – Speckled Red, American blues/boogie-woogie piano player and singer-songwriter (d. 1973).

    1894 – Emma Vyssotsky, American astronomer and academic (d. 1975).

    1922 – Jean Barker, Baroness Trumpington, English politician (d. 2018). [Worked in naval intelligence at Bletchley Park from October 1940, making use of her knowledge of the German language to crack naval codes.]

    1925 – Johnny Carson, American comedian and talk show host (d. 2005).

    1931 – Diana Dors, English actress (d. 1984).

    1936 – Charles Goodhart, English economist and academic.

    1939 – Charlie Foxx, American R&B/soul singer and guitarist (d. 1998).

    1940 – Pelé, Brazilian footballer and actor (d. 2022).

    1942 – Michael Crichton, American author, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2008).

    1944 – Mike Harding, English singer-songwriter and comedian.

    1954 – Ang Lee, Taiwanese-American director, producer, and screenwriter.

    1956 – Dwight Yoakam, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor.

    1957 – Martin Luther King III, American activist.

    1959 – Sam Raimi, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter.

    1959 – “Weird Al” Yankovic, American singer-songwriter, comedian, and actor.

    1964 – Robert Trujillo, American bass player and songwriter.

    1969 – Sanjay Gupta, American neurosurgeon, television personality, and writer.

    Die, v.: To stop sinning suddenly:
    42 BC – Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger, Roman general and politician (b. 85 BC). [Brutus committed suicide after being decisively defeated by Mark Antony and Octavian in the second part of the Battle of Philippi.]

    1730 – Anne Oldfield, English actress (b. 1683).

    1774 – Michel Benoist, French missionary and astronomer (b. 1715).

    1915 – W. G. Grace, English cricketer and physician (b. 1848).

    1921 – John Boyd Dunlop, Scottish businessman, founded Dunlop Rubber (b. 1840).

    1939 – Zane Grey, American dentist and author (b. 1872).

    1942 – Ralph Rainger, American pianist and composer (b. 1901).

    1944 – Hana Brady, Czech holocaust victim (b. 1931).

    1950 – Al Jolson, Lithuanian-American actor and singer (b. 1886).

    1975 – Marjorie Maynard British artist and farmer (b. 1891).

    1978 – Maybelle Carter, American singer and autoharp player (Carter Family) (b. 1909).

    2013 – Gypie Mayo, English guitarist and songwriter (Dr. Feelgood and The Yardbirds) (b. 1951).

    2014 – Alvin Stardust, English singer and actor (b. 1942).

    2015 – Leon Bibb, American-Canadian singer (b. 1922).

    2016 – Pete Burns, English singer-songwriter (b. 1959).

  5. Support for Israel goes up the the age of the respondent
    The same is true in the UK. In a new article in The Spectator the author notes:

    We’re usually told that this group of young people are less prejudiced than any other, so some might think it a bit of a shock that a recent poll on anti-Semitic attitudes – measured by asking 11 questions about Jewish stereotypes and seeing if people agree with them – found the disease most prevalent in the 18-34 age group (13 per cent) and least from the over-50s (8 per cent).

  6. In case you or others have an interest, as an anaesthetist I’ve been involved in my fair share of “anaesthetising” people who have been declared brain dead for organ retrieval. And we, as a specialty, are fairly familiar with turning consciousness on and off.

    And I think you might be surprised how many of us turn the volatile on for these “legally dead” patients, just in case!

    The clinical testing required to confirm brain death is largely focused on the brain stem, and whilst it’s true other boxes need to be ticked (such as known and irreversible injury and, increasingly, entire brain perfusion CT scans), I am comfortable saying that we don’t know enough about consciousness, from where and how it emerges, to say 100% that these people lack it.

    As a side note, this view also informs my opinion on abortion. When electrical activity becomes present in the brain (around 14 weeks) I think of the foetus as being alive, with potential to suffer. Thus, without good reason to act differently, I’m pro-choice until week 12 and pro-life after week 16. It’s a little grey (matter?) in between.

  7. About the Iranian protests against their oppressive and murderous regime, I have to ask: What is the plan? Are people going to just continue their non-violent civil disobediance in the face of continued beatings, maiming, murder and imprisonment? The regime seems content to just let this continue, and the population shows no signs of escalating further. If they really want results, they will need a mass uprising such as that of the 1979 Iranian revolution that brought this regime into power in the first place.

  8. Testing
    I still never get new comments emailed to me and today I can’t even get the little circles below to move.

    1. Hi Merilee – did you get notified about this reply? I don’t think I’ve been getting emails when my posts get replied to, either.

  9. COVID boosters: I got my fifth last week. All previous were Moderna, but since the protein-based NovaVax is out now and I’m a retired protein biochemist, I wanted to try it to see if I might experience less reactogenicity a day later than I’ve had with the mRNA-based shots subsequent to the first one*. To great surprise, the drugstore actually had it, and was moreover offering Moderna, Pfizer and NovaVax at the same time, so I got NovaVax, along with my annual flu shot as well as the new RSV shot.

    I had almost zero reactogenicity the next day, in distinct contrast to the last Moderna, about a year ago. But this just constitutes an anecdotal data point. By chance has anyone else had a similar experience?

    *Not a complaint, tho. Reactogenicity still beats winding up in a hospital.

    1. I’ve had 6 Pfizer shots. A little tired after a couple of them and a sore arm with all of them for a couple days, but nothing serious. I’m just sticking with Pfizer since that was the first shot I got. Good to hear you had no reactogenicity with the NovaVax. I don’t know anyone who has had that particular vaccine.

    2. I was curious about the NovaVax too! Except it doesn’t seem available in Canada yet.

      I’ve had my 4 shots – AZ/Pfizer/Pfizer/Moderna and never had any major reaction: a sore shoulder for a day at worst.

      And yet I’m wringing my hands about getting the new booster. The only reason why is that I have struggled mightily with Long Covid since 2021, and some people with LC have their symptoms worsen substantially after the shot. Last study I saw put it at about 15% of people being made worse from the vaccine.

      I don’t know if there is anything about NovaVax that would make it different from the mrna vaccines in that respect.

      1. I remember you couldn’t drink alcohol. Is that still an issue? That would suck! I read that there is some evidence that long Covid can result from Covid virus lingering in the gut. I don’t know if this means they’ll eventually have a treatment. I understand your reluctance based on the 15% of people’s condition worsening. I hadn’t heard that.

    3. I got my 7th Moderna COVID vaccination (Spikevax) less than a week ago. (I’m 74.) The 6 prior vaccinations resulted in minor soreness of my arm that lasted a day or two at most. (I’ve never tested positive for COVID.)

      This 7th time my whole body began to feel some achy flu-like symptoms about 8 hours after the vaccination. By 9 hours afterward I was feeling noticeably worse. I seemed to have a slight fever, with a thermometer registering about a half a degree above normal. I also had a headache and some light sniffles.

      But shivering chills soon sent me to bed early, with my bathrobe still on. I took an Ibuprofen pill (200mg), which eventually seemed to help me sleep. But I woke up halfway through the night, and I took another Ibuprofen pill, mostly for the headache. I fell asleep again fairly quickly.

      Thankfully, I woke up late the next morning with nearly all symptoms gone. Even my arm was not sore.

      By the way, it seems that saying “anti-COVID vaccination” instead of “COVID vaccination” or “COVID shot” would take some of wind out of sails of anti-vax conspiracies…

  10. I am glad to see that public sentiment is turning toward Israel and its handling of the crisis. It’s rational to side with Israel. When irrationality rules, there’s not telling what might happen.

    I’ve had every COVID-19 vaccine and booster—six if I’m not mistaken.

  11. I saw Scorsese’s latest, Killers of the Flower Moon last night. What a gorgeous film; all $200 million reportedly spent on it are right there to be seen and savored on the screen.

    Robbie Robertson, with whom Scorsese’s been collaborating since Marty directed the 1978 movie of The Band’s final concert, The Last Waltz, wrote some of the music for the movie and served as the musical director for the rest of the soundtrack. The film is dedicated to Robbie (who was of Native American ancestry on his mother’s side). Robbie died two months before the film’s release.

  12. “These differences need to be hammered out in public, not behind closed doors by a body that few people have heard of.” Peter Singer, the philosopher, misunderstands the role of the Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. This largely academic body, working for consensus on important legal matters, like the Uniform Commercial Code which affects us all every day, and the Uniform Probate Code, etc etc, relies on a large body of experts, not just lawyers, but say in the case of the Uniform Health Care Decisions Act, on ethicists, medical people, hospital administrators, and even philosophers. Preparing a uniform act is a multi-year or even decade(s) long process. Uniform acts have no direct force on anything — they are recommended to the states for enactment. Since uniform acts are developed in a practical political/legal framework, many recommendations are widely enacted. It is too bad the philosopher goes for a meaningless cheap shot here without understanding the basics.

  13. Greta Thunberg has joined the Israeli Air Force. All of those destroyed cars at the Gaza hospital were part of a plan to reduce carbon emissions. Greta and Israel are 100% guilty

    OK, that wasn’t for real. However, in real life Greta has taken up the Hamas cause. She is 100% pro-Hamas. No surprises there. Greta is uber woke and the woke support Hamas.

    1. Indeed she caused quite a stir with her holding the poster with a blue octopus stuffed toy in the background. Apparently the toy is a well known anti semitic symbol which was new to me.

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