Saturday: Hili dialogue

October 28, 2023 • 7:25 am

Welcome to CaturSaturday, October 28, 2023, and cat shabbos, as well as National Chocolate Day, everyone’s favorite sweet.  As of 2020, this is the world’s largest chocolate bar (I think the record still stands).  Almost FIVE TONS of  chocolate!

Armenian chocolate factory Grand Candy has created the world’s largest chocolate bar, weighing in at a grand total of 9,702 pounds (the previous record holder weighed a measly 7,890).

Photo: AP. Are we going to let the Armenians beat us in this endeavor?

It’s also Wild Foods Day, Hug a Sheep Day (?), National Internal Medicine Day, Separation of Church and State Day (commemorating “the 1963 Supreme Court decision Abington School District v. Schempp, which ruled that school-sponsored Bible reading in public schools is unconstitutional”), Statue of Liberty Day (it was dedicated on this day in 1886), International Animation Day (ASIFA)., Ohi Day, a national day in Greece. (It marks the day in 1940 when the Greek government supposedy used that word to reject Mussolini’s demand that Axis forces be allowed to enter Greece. In Greek, “όχι”, pronounced “ohi” with “i” like a long “e”, means “no”).  Finally it’s the Anniversary of the liberation of Ukraine from the Nazis,

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the October 28 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*See my previous post: the ground war in Gaza has apparently begun.

*The latest war news (from yesterday evening!): Israel steps up bombardment of Gaza, and Saudi Arabia warns Israel against invading Gaza.

The Israeli military launched an intense bombardment on the Gaza Strip on Friday evening, employing missiles fired from warplanes and artillery, Israeli officials said. The barrage came exactly three weeks after an incursion by Hamas that left 1,400 people dead in Israel and sparked a regional war.

Israeli leaders were deliberating how to conduct a ground invasion of Gaza with the aim of removing Hamas from power — and as diplomats conducted back-channel negotiations aimed at freeing some of the 229 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.

The Israeli military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said in a news briefing that the Israeli ground forces were “expanding” their activity in the Gaza Strip on Friday night, but he did not announce a widely anticipated offensive, nor did he say that Israeli troops had entered Gaza. Israeli tanks have made temporary incursions into Gaza twice in the last two days.

Admiral Hagari confirmed that the Israeli Air Force had intensified its strikes on Gaza this evening, saying that they were targeting underground “terrorist infrastructure.” He also said that a major hospital in Gaza was being used by armed groups, an accusation that Hamas has denied.

I’m starting to think that the ground war in Israel will never materialize, which is supported by the second article above. But how can airstrikes alone eliminate Hamas? They can’t (see Andrew Sullivan’s piece alone.)  NOTE: I WAS WRONG.

Saudi officials have firmly warned the United States in recent days that an Israeli ground incursion into Gaza could be catastrophic for the Middle East.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut and a member of the Armed Services Committee, was one of 10 senators who met last weekend with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

“The Saudi leadership was hopeful that a ground operation could be avoided for reasons of stability as well as the loss of life,” Mr. Blumenthal told The New York Times on Thursday. Saudi officials warned it would be “extremely harmful,” he said.

Senior Saudi officials have delivered even more forceful exhortations to their American counterparts in multiple conversations, raising their concerns that a ground invasion could turn into a disaster for the entire region, according to one Saudi official and a second person with knowledge of the discussions.

And of course a ground invasion will scupper the improved relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia that was in the offing right when Hamas started its butchery. There’s no clear resolution to this issue, which leads us to. . . .

*Andrew Sullivan’s weekly Substack piece, “For Israel, there are no good options,” which is depressing. Sullivan blames America for much of Israel’s dilemma:

At home, Israel’s supporters are engaging in a frenzy of defensive cancel culture. And that’s never pretty. If you’ve spent the last few years decrying woke intolerance, you might express some smidgen of hesitation before doxxing, hounding, firing and naming all those who have taken the side of the Palestinians in the current Hamas-Israel war.

. . . And on and on it went. A Jewish editor at a science journal was fired for retweeting an Onion article. A Berkeley law professor said he wants law firms to ask students “what organizations they belong to” before hiring them. He continued, “Ask if they support discriminatory bylaws or other acts and resolutions blaming Jews and Israelis for the Hamas massacre. If a student endorses hatred, it isn’t only your right but your duty not to hire him.”

. . . . this new burst of cancel culture from the Israel lobby is, of course, far from new. In some ways, Israel’s defenders were the original pioneers of cancel culture, and they are a kind of proof of its dangers. Deploying the smear of anti-Semitism against anyone critical of Israel’s policies has long been a time-honored tactic in the arsenal of the ADL, AIPAC, and much of the pro-Israel media. And it meant that a healthy, open debate about Israel was kept at bay.

The result? The chilling of serious debate in the US and the prevention of any real American pressure on Israel — from George HW Bush to Barack Obama. This enabled the Jewish state’s worst instincts, entrenched and extended its indefensible settlements, and kept any possibility of a two-state solution out of reach. Yes, the Palestinians repeatedly choked at the prospect of a deal as well. They bear the lion’s share of responsibility. But the settler program, a war crime, was proof that Israel had moved way past sincerity on a two-state solution. And Washington was too weak to say no. And anyone who did was targeted for personal destruction in the Beltway.

You think anti-Semitism was kept at bay by policing the debate in this way? Look around you. As always, suppressing legitimate criticism means the debate went underground where the extremists flourish. The result, after decades of this dysfunction, is an Israel in the 21st century that is morally corrupted by brutal occupation, led by the extremist right, and now committed to causing thousands of collateral civilian Palestinian deaths in order to rid Gaza of a group Netanyahu only recently saw as a useful way to keep the Palestinians divided.

To put it bluntly, it’s not a good look. And the optics are worsening by the day. Tens of thousands of civilians in Gaza are now living in a terrifying blitz, as Israel pummels the strip with the most intense bombing this century. Whole neighborhoods have been turned into literal ash. Countless civilians have been buried under rubble. And the Gazans have nowhere truly safe to go; and they are being hit even in the south. This is a PR nightmare for Israel, as well as a moral catastrophe. And yes, you can argue that Hamas is truly responsible for the bombs; but the longer the carnage continues, and the gruesome images percolate around the world, the harder it will be to convince anyone else of this.

. . . I wish I had some sane idea of what happens now. We can only grieve for all those innocents trapped in this hell. All I can say is that if Israel continues to wage war in Gaza with this level of civilian casualties, and continues to expand its footprint on the West Bank this aggressively at the same time, and responds to Western requests to take a pause and think things through with anger and defiance, it will be hard to sustain Western support indefinitely.

Israel has every right to take out Hamas. But at what price? And for what future? These are tragic choices in a tragic place. That tragedy has many authors, but Israel’s American supporters are among them.

This is a good and thoughtful article, and makes some good points, as well as depressing me deeply. Look at that last paragraph. It’s hardly feasible for Israel to just stop bombing, not invade, and pull back to its borders. But then what? That will, in the long run, lead to continued terrorist assaults on Israel. But even with Hamas gone, those assaults will come from the West Bank. The only solution (given that the two-state solution is impossible) seems to be asking other Arab countries to force Palestine to be democratic and peaceful. But that too is impossible.

*As usual, I’ll steal items from Nellie Bowles’s Friday news summary at The Free Press, this week called “TGIF: It got worse.” But I’ll give just one rather than three, as it’s long:

→ Campus has fallen: Normally TGIF feels like whack-a-mole, in a fun way. The truly crazy things that the left and right do are rare enough, and we can visit them, laugh, and move along to the weekend. These days? It feels like walking through the aftermath of an earthquake. That’s especially true when it comes to American college campuses, which are now just smoking piles of rubble. Like, here’s where the library used to be and oh my god, we’ve lost the entire field of sociology. Which we have. Read on:

Nearly 2,000 sociologists signed a letter that Israel was committing “genocide” and anything Hamas does is justified by the “context.” The University of California, Berkeley Ethnic Studies Faculty Council released a statement condemning anyone who describes what Hamas did as “terrorism,” which is offensive. The student leader of a Wellesley residential house wrote to the entire dorm she oversees: “We firmly believe that there should be no space, no consideration, and no support for Zionism within the Wellesley College community.” Harvard launched a task force to help ensure the pro-Hamas protesters feel safe and can get jobs while also berating any Jews they might find. At George Washington University, students projected onto the side of the school library: GLORY TO OUR MARTYRS and FREE PALESTINE FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA. At Stanford, students are asking the school to pay for round-trip tickets for Muslim students to visit home: “Full round trip covered by University upon the signing of a ceasefire for students to visit their family and friends and grieve properly.” (Okay, fine, that one’s funny; just think of the Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine president calmly trying to explain preferred pronouns to a jihadi upon arrival. On second thought: TGIF will personally sponsor any queer activist who wants to fly to Iran. Honestly, I’m curious what would happen.)

At Cooper Union, pro-Hamas protesters chased a clutch of Jewish students into the library. Video from inside shows the young Jews standing, frightened, as the protesters pound on the doors. What exactly would they have done if they got in? Librarians reportedly offered to hide the students in the attic. The joke writes itself.

The protesters trying to ram through those doors to beat up the Jewish students might even be up for some extra credit. Professors are starting to offer it to anyone who joins a pro-Hamas protest.

Here’s Berkeley professor Victoria Huynh: “Hi everyone, We’re offering a field trip and/or extra credit opportunity: (1) Students can attend the national student walkout tomorrow against the settler-colonial occupation of Gaza (info attached below) OR (2) Students can watch a short documentary on Palestine and call/email your local California representative using this linktree. Doing so will either count as a field trip or an extra 5 points on the field trip category of your grade.” First of all: Who talks to college students about “field trips?” Anyway, UCLA professors are also offering extra credit for students who go to pro-Hamas rallies.

And after graduation, the future that awaits these students trying to ram through the doors also looks golden: here are some of the hundreds of academic job postings for roles in various normal-sounding departments that say they’re only looking for people who want to push for “decolonization.”

Sensing the vibes weren’t right, Columbia postponed its annual Giving Day, which usually raises tens of millions for the school. It’s really hard to shake down Jewish alumni when your faculty and students are also trying to do a pogrom. The list of donors who are pulling their gifts keeps growing: the latest is billionaire Leon Cooperman, who declared on television: “I think these kids at the colleges have shit for brains.”

Hats off to Marc Rowan and everyone who has finally realized that the only response here is to stop funding the Ivy Intifada. Write to if you know of more. And to college students reading this: campus has fallen, you’re on your own, good luck!

Our campus, too, is now in trouble (see the second tweet below).

*YouTube will no longer let you watch videos without turning off your ad blockers. Here’s what I got when I clicked on YouTube this morning.

This ad-prominence has been reported widely, but see this piece at The Verge.

YouTube is throwing a major wrench into video playback for viewers who are using ad blockers. The company has confirmed to The Verge that it’s currently running “a small experiment globally that urges viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium.”

The statement comes after some people began noticing a new prompt warning that video playback could be cut off if YouTube detects repeated use of ad blocking tools. Android Authority earlier reported on those tests, which prevent viewers from watching more than three videos when an ad blocker is active.

“Ad blocker detection is not new, and other publishers regularly ask viewers to disable ad blockers,” Google spokesperson Oluwa Falodun told The Verge by email. YouTube insists that users will receive multiple notifications urging them to cease using the tools — or, alternatively, subscribe to YouTube Premium — before any of their viewing is disrupted.

. . . These measures indicate that YouTube is hardening its stance against ad blockers, and it’s justifying the move by saying all of those ad spots are critical for creators to be compensated for their content — and for the platform to remain free. “YouTube’s ad-supported model supports a diverse ecosystem of creators, and provides billions of people globally access to content for free with ads,” the company’s statement says.

Yeah, yeah, I get it. YouTube is a for-profit organization, and they need ad money to keep going. But somehow I’m still peeved, thinking that I’m entitled to watch YouTube videos for free. I’m not, really—any more than I’m entitled to read a magazine for free (unless they let me). So why do I feel that this is unfair?

Three easypieces from the WSJ:

Halloween candy is getting scary expensive.” It is!

Some people are rethinking their candy quotas as costs rise. Prices for candy and gum jumped 7.5% in September compared with the same month last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. People have been navigating higher prices on many goods and services as the Federal Reserve struggles to tame inflation.

. . . Prices for cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate, hit a multidecade high, rising 61% this year, financial services firm ING said.Persistent rain delayed cocoa harvesting in some top producers such as Ghana and Cameroon, hurting supplies, ING said.

Crystal Johnson is cutting back on Halloween candy this year because of sticker shock. After seeing that a bag of 155 mini chocolates cost $21.97 at a big-box store, Johnson said she plans to buy two bags instead of the five she usually gets. Last year, the bags were about $16, she said.

“You have to sit there and decide, ‘OK do I pay my water bill or do I go buy the amount of candy that I actually know I need,’” said Johnson, a stay-at-home mom in Crosby, Texas. “The water bill has to come first.”

Is red wine better than white? The question is more controversial than you might think.” I was puzzled by this question for each has its own merits, its own best role to accompany food, and its own season to drink.  Most wine drinkers say “red”, but some experts say “white”. I say, “it depends”.

Holly’s observation rings true historically as well as anecdotally. In “On Wine,” published in 1982, the English wine writer Gerald Asher noted that in 19th-century England, red wines were always served after the meal, with cheese, “when the ladies had withdrawn and there could be serious drinking.”

I was initially enraged to learn of this sexist arrangement. But then I reflected on what Selbach had said. Late in the evening, the presumably well-fueled men could only appreciate the “full brass” of a red; a white wine would be too subtle for them. To my mind, the loss was theirs. After all, white wine is a much better match with cheese—though perhaps that’s a pronouncement worthy of another poll.

And “You don’t need a new iPhone. You just need a new battery.” About time somebody sais this! I view those who buy a new iPhone each time it appears with the same disdain as I view those who buy a new car every couple of years. Wasted money!

The moral? No matter what, all batteries degrade—just at different speeds. You can try to manage heat, skip unnecessary charging, save fast charging for when you need it most, and try other battery-preserving tricks. But I’ve got a dog and two kids to take care of! Am I supposed to coddle my iPhone’s battery, too?

Fortunately, replacement batteries are way cheaper than new iPhones. And they’re better for the environment.

. . .Most people in need of a new iPhone battery should go to Apple or an authorized repair shop. If only so you can continue to monitor your battery health—and repeat this fun cycle of cycles all over again.

When should you replace your battery? When it’s down to 80% power, which you can check at the “battery health” settings on your “settings” panel. Mine is still 93% after two years, so I’m good to go (I conserve battery use in a variety of ways).  I would recommend having Apple change the battery for you at an Apple store; it’s not much more expensive than other fixes, and the batteries are better.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Andrzej show some humility.

Hili: Are we always wrong?
A: No, but often enough to be worried.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy zawsze jesteśmy w błędzie?
Ja: Nie, ale wystarczająco często, żeby się tym niepokoić.


A Halloween cat outfit from Bad Cat Clothing:

From Jesus of the Day:

From the Absurd Sign Project 2.0. These people need to see their doctor!

From Masih: the consequences of not wearing a hijab. The regime forced this hijab-less doctor to apologize. (Amol is a city in northern Iran).  Why aren’t Western feminists condemning the Iranian regime constantly?

As far as I’ve been able to find out (and there are videos), this complaint, originally by two Jewish students, is true. They were shouted down by the Students for Justice in Palestine. And a gazillion other students and alumns have signed on to the open letter to our admin (here). What SVP did is apparently a violation of our Free Speech principles, and I hope our administration does something about it. We’re already slipping in the free-speech ratings of colleges.

Read the details

And Titania tweeted again! The article shown is real, and you can see it here.

From Luana:

From Malcolm, a cat with a second language! (It grew up with d*gs).


I couldn’t help posting this from the Babbling Beaver. As usual, the story has a kernel of truth (click the photo or go here),  but is given a snarky spin. Don’t blame me—blame the laws of physics:

Jez thinks this kid could be the next Messi. His accuracy is fantastic, but I want to see him dribble!

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a Dutch Jewish boy gassed upon arrival, age 3:

And a lone tweet from Matthew, who has gone off Twitter but sent me some lovely ostracods a while back:

23 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1420 – Beijing is officially designated the capital of the Ming dynasty when the Forbidden City is completed.

    1453 – Ladislaus the Posthumous is crowned king of Bohemia in Prague.

    1492 – Christopher Columbus lands in Cuba on his first voyage to the New World, surmising that it is Japan.

    1520 – Ferdinand Magellan reaches the Pacific Ocean.

    1538 – The Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino is founded in what is now the Dominican Republic.

    1636 – The Massachusetts Bay Colony votes to establish a theological college, which would later become Harvard University.

    1726 – The novel Gulliver’s Travels written by Jonathan Swift is published.

    1886 – US president Grover Cleveland dedicates the Statue of Liberty.

    1891 – The Mino–Owari earthquake, the largest inland earthquake in Japan’s history, occurs.

    1893 – Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Pathétique receives its première performance only nine days before the composer’s death.

    1919 – The U.S. Congress passes the Volstead Act over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto, paving the way for Prohibition to begin the following January.

    1922 – Italian fascists led by Benito Mussolini march on Rome and take over the Italian government.

    1948 – Paul Hermann Müller is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the insecticidal properties of DDT. [Of course, it had other properties that were only discovered later.]

    1962 – The Cuban Missile Crisis ends and Premier Nikita Khrushchev orders the removal of Soviet missiles from Cuba.

    1965 – Pope Paul VI promulgates Nostra aetate, by which the Roman Catholic Church officially recognizes the legitimacy of non-Christian faiths.

    1971 – Prospero becomes the only British satellite to be launched by a British rocket.

    2006 – A funeral service takes place at the Bykivnia graves for Ukrainians who were killed by the Soviet secret police.

    2009 – NASA successfully launches the Ares I-X mission, the only rocket launch for its short-lived Constellation program.

    2009 – US President Barack Obama signs the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

    1466 – Erasmus, Dutch philosopher (d. 1536).

    1846 – Auguste Escoffier, French chef and author (d. 1935).

    1884 – William Douglas Cook, New Zealand horticulturalist, founded Eastwoodhill Arboretum (d. 1967).

    1889 – Juliette Béliveau, Canadian actress and singer (d. 1975).

    1892 – Dink Johnson, American pianist, drummer, and clarinet player (d. 1954).

    1901 – Eileen Shanahan, Irish poet (d. 1979).

    1903 – Evelyn Waugh, English journalist, author, and critic (d. 1966).

    1904 – George Dangerfield, English-American historian, journalist, and author (d. 1986).

    1905 – Tatyana Ehrenfest, Dutch mathematician (d. 1984).

    1909 – Francis Bacon, Irish painter and illustrator (d. 1992).

    1912 – Richard Doll, English physiologist and epidemiologist (d. 2005).

    1914 – Jonas Salk, American biologist and physician (d. 1995).

    1914 – Richard Laurence Millington Synge, English biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1994).

    1927 – Cleo Laine, English singer and actress.

    1929 – Joan Plowright, English actress.

    1930 – Bernie Ecclestone, English businessman. [Convicted of tax fraud by false representation earlier this month, and had to pay HM Revenue and Customs nearly £653m in back tax and penalties. He was sentenced to 17 months in prison, suspended for two years. (He’s 93.)]

    1936 – Charlie Daniels, American singer-songwriter, fiddle-player and guitarist (d. 2020).

    1936 – Ted Hawkins, American soul-blues singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1995).

    1937 – Graham Bond, English keyboard player, singer, and saxophonist (d. 1974).

    1938 – Howard Blake, English composer and conductor.

    1938 – David Dimbleby, English journalist.

    1938 – Anne Perry, English author (d. 2023).

    1939 – Curtis Lee, American singer-songwriter (d. 2015).

    1941 – Hank Marvin, English singer and guitarist.

    1942 – Terence Donovan, English-Australian actor.

    1949 – Caitlyn Jenner, American decathlete and actress.

    1951 – Peter Hitchens, English journalist and author. [Hitch’s (now) right-wing brother.]

    1955 – Bill Gates, American businessman and philanthropist, co-founded Microsoft.

    1964 – Peter Coyne, Australian rugby league player. [Included as a namesake of our host.]

    1966 – Matt Drudge, American blogger and activist, founded the Drudge Report.

    1967 – Julia Roberts, American actress and producer

    1974 – Joaquin Phoenix, American actor and producer.

    1991 – Lucy Bronze, English footballer.

    No real estate is permanently valuable but the grave:
    1703 – John Wallis, English mathematician and cryptographer (b. 1616).

    1704 – John Locke, English physician and philosopher (b. 1632).

    1792 – Paul Möhring, German physician, botanist, and zoologist (b. 1710).

    1806 – Charlotte Turner Smith, English poet and author (b. 1749).

    1899 – Ottmar Mergenthaler, German-American engineer, invented the Linotype machine (b. 1854).

    1975 – Oliver Nelson, American saxophonist, clarinet player, and composer (b. 1932).

    1983 – Otto Messmer, American animator and screenwriter (b. 1892).

    1986 – John Braine, English author (b. 1922).

    1998 – Ted Hughes, English poet and playwright (b. 1930).

    2002 – Margaret Booth, American screenwriter and producer (b. 1898).

    2002 – Erling Persson, Swedish businessman, founded H&M (b. 1917).

    2007 – Porter Wagoner, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1927). [Dolly Parton wrote “I Will Always Love You” about her professional break from Wagoner when she left his TV show.]

    2022 – Jerry Lee Lewis, American singer-songwriter and pianist (b. 1935).

  2. Thank you for Nellie’s Friday column. With all of the incoming from TFP yesterday, I had missed it somehow.

  3. But somehow I’m still peeved, thinking that I’m entitled to watch YouTube videos for free.

    Me too – but I would rather go without YouTube than pay good money. Same with online magazine subscriptions. Which then raises the question in my mind “If I’m not willing to part with my money what value does YouTube (etc.) have?”. Not much if the truth be told.

    1. Users of Firefox and Chromium-based browsers (Chrome, Chromium, Brave, Vivaldi) can install an extension, uBlock Origin, that is extremely good at its job. There is an arms race going on between YouTube and uBlock Origin, but the latest versions of the extension can get around this. On its Settings page, go to the Filter Lists tab, look for Built In > uBlock filters – Quick fixes and click on the clock icon to force an update.
      I would not be surprised if the Chrome store soon removes this extension, as Chrome and YouTube are both Google properties. It will still be possible to manually install the extension from GitHub, but takes a tiny bit more effort.

    2. I understand that they are a business in it for the money. I run ad blockers for most sites, knowing that some still get through, but, given my typical youtube practice, have had it whitelisted for years. The last few months have changed my practices, as the volumes of inappropriate ads and sets of un-bypassable ads that run for minutes has gone up. The last straw being that I got the warning and three-strikes message at the end of another minute-plus of un-bypassable ads. I may be done with youtube soon. Oh well.

  4. >So why do I feel that this is unfair?

    Perhaps because you are a published author and know how much effort and expertise goes into creating something for the print world, you bridle at having it stolen from you, and forbear to steal the work of other print creators. Giving it away is your choice of course.

    A Canadian folk-country musician once mentioned from the stage during her patter between songs that a fan approached her once, said, “X, I love your music. I’ve recorded all your albums off the radio!” Nervous laughter from the audience.

    1. Guitarist / composer Pat Metheny generally requests his live audience refrain from recording. They generally do, AFAIK – and the lone recorders who post seems to be shunned, I guess…

      The bootleg stuff sucks, really – what’s the point? Back in the day it was magical – now it’s just bloat.

      … though I have listened to his old stuff digitized on YouTube, so what can I say. Supposedly it is “monetized” appropriately.

  5. “YouTube is hardening its stance against ad blockers, and it’s justifying the move by saying all of those ad spots are critical for creators to be compensated for their content …”

    A little perspective re ad spots for creators. YouTube has drastically cut back its remuneration to creators for years now. All while posting a 2022 profit – that’s profit, not gross – of $29 billion (!)

    1. Googling, I find this, “brand value of YouTube was a substantial $29.71 billion.” Is brand value the same as annual profit? Just wondering…

  6. Maher’s post New Rules bit “For the love of gov” was scary good… oh, no, I didn’t mean in reference to Halloween.

  7. I don’t generally read ads in magazines or newspapers, and when we watch broadcast tv, we usually dvr it and fast forward through the commercials. In the old days, we talked or got up for a break or a snack.

    Besides, the ads are mostly for things I am not going to buy. Prescription medicines for obscure diseases, herbal remedies, or supplementary medicare insurance.
    The exceptions are usually trailers for interesting upcoming films or shows, or ads that are actually entertaining.

    While writing this, I just went to YouTube and turned off ublock origin. The first thing that appeared was an ad for contacting single Ukrainian women.

    People are not turning to ad blockers because they hate advertising. They are doing it to try to get through a sea of garbage, much of which is vulgar or obviously scammy.

  8. Last week YouTube has a pop-up for me about ad blockers with a small delay. This week it seemed to be doing something that delayed video start like it was thinking about playing an add. I wonder if it is really in YouTube’s interest to force ads all the time. The result would be very clear metrics about ad plays, and, thus, the ability for companies to determine whether the ads are affecting sales. Companies might determine they aren’t worth the cost.

  9. I don’t mind watching the occasional ad before a YouTube video, but the ads that they insert in the middle of a video are obnoxious. Also, for the past couple of weeks, YouTube has run the same dumb ad for Marmite before every single video on one of my favourite channels. I didn’t like Marmite before. I’m certainly not going to buy the revolting stuff now.

  10. YouTube certainly has a right to get money. But, my need to avoid ads is simply overwhelming. I despise and detest ads. I’ll seek any way to avoid it. And, I am cheap. I won’t go premium unless I have to. I currently use uBlock which is currently effective. When that fails, I’ll look for alternative means. When that fails, I’ll go premium.

  11. Regarding “You don’t need a new iPhone. You just need a new battery.”…

    I think this misses the point of why many of us upgrade. It isn’t the battery.

    I’m not upgrading a phone, I’m upgrading my camera. When camera improvements stop happening to iPhones I’ll be less inclined to make the change. (I upgrade every two years or so.)

  12. The barking kitty is so cool. And so are ostracods! They are Crustacea with little shells formed by expansion of two pieces of the carapace. Having those protective hard parts means that they have an excellent fossil record. There are paleontologists who specialize in studying these little creatures.

    And yes, except for the giant chocolate bar, the rest of the news is awful.

  13. Watching idiot protesters with their Hamas and PA flags today. Some of them are angry Arabs, who should probably not be here in the numbers they are. But the bulk of them seem to be the same folks who were going on and on about “punching Nazis” not so long ago.
    It reinforces to me the ideas put forth in the NPC cartoon “I support the current thing!”

    If there is any reason for optimism, it is that the latter do not seem to possess any sort of strongly-held personal beliefs, beyond seeking peer approval and seeking out opportunities to engage in base behavior while believing it is virtuous to do so. I think that means that they are at least capable of having an “Are we the baddies?” epiphany.

    The Islamic fanatic among us are more of a problem. They do have strongly held beliefs, which include a lot of negative outcomes for the rest of us. A lot of folks have been under the impression that we were going to westernize them, but it seem much more like they are trying to colonize us.

  14. “So why do I feel that this is unfair?”

    They let us all drink from the bottle for free
    But the now-needed swigs can’t be had without fee

  15. Hasty comment about batteries

    I use 80 volt lithium batteries (actually just now) – the onboard management (i assume a software/hardware combination) of the battery is significant, as is the management of charging the battery on its dedicated charger station.

    IOW this is not your grandfather’s battery (to borrow an advertising slogan … anyone? Anyone? C-A-D something anyone?…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *