Tuesday: Hili dialogue (and Mitek monologue)

October 19, 2021 • 6:30 am

Welcome to the cruelest day of the week: Tuesday, October 19, 2021: National Seafood Bisque Day. It’s also International Gin and Tonic Day, Rainforest Day, Dress Like a Dork Day, Evaluate Your Life Day (I wouldn’t recommend it), World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day, and, in England, Oxfordshire Day.

Here’s a list of the 15 best places to visit in Oxfordshire, which includes Blenheim Palace (below), built between 1705 and 1722, ancestral home of the Churchills and the birthplace of Winston. It is a World Heritage Site:

News of the Day:

As death approached, Colin L. Powell was still in fighting form.

“I’ve got multiple myeloma cancer, and I’ve got Parkinson’s disease. But otherwise I’m fine,” he said in a July interview.

And he rejected expressions of sorrow at his condition.

“Don’t feel sorry for me, for God’s sakes! I’m [84] years old,” said Powell who died Monday. “I haven’t lost a day of life fighting these two diseases. I’m in good shape.”

From  Bob Woodward’s interview/article on Colin Powell in the WaPo. (The whole piece is fascinating)

Powell also apparently has prostate cancer, so he surely had conditions contributing to his death from Covid, despite being vaccinated.

*Just a reminder: it’s been 272 days since the Bidens moved into the White House, promising to get a First Cat. No First Cat has appeared.

*The big news in Chicago is the vaccine mandate for city employees, which includes the police department. Police had until midnight Friday to report their vaccine status, and as of Monday night only 64% had done so. This could mean that very shortly we’ll lose more than a third of our police, who will either be fired or put on unpaid leave. In other places, possible unemployment has proved a remarkable prod to rolling up your sleeve.  Let’s hope that’s true in Chicago, or we’ll have not a crime wave, but a crime tsunami.  The Mayor and the police unions have all filed lawsuits.

*The Biden administration has asked the Supreme Court to stay Texas’s enforced-again and draconian anti-abortion law until its constitutionality is resolved by the courts. The Supreme Court could put the case on its docket immediately, but is unlikely to do so until it’s wended its way through lower courts.  They’ve given Texas until Thursday to respond. I think the Dept. of Justice has a very good argument:

“The question now is whether Texas’ nullification of this Court’s precedents should be allowed to continue while the courts consider the United States’ suit. As the district court recognized, it should not,” the Justice Department wrote.

Hell, no!

*If you’re due for a Covid booster, be aware that the FDA may soon approve a “mix and match” approach for vaccines, i.e., you can get any of the Johnson & Johnson, Prizer, or Moderna vaccines as a booster, no matter what jab or jabs you had initially. Approval could come this week, but note that the data are scanty and incomplete, but still better than nothing:

Experts emphasized last week that the new data was based on small groups of volunteers and short-term findings. Only antibody levels — one measure of the immune response — were calculated as part of the preliminary data, not the levels of immune cells primed to attack the coronavirus, which scientists say are also an important measure of a vaccine’s success.

*The NYT reports that the 7-foot plaster statue of Thomas Jefferson that has stood in the Council Chamber inside New York’s City Hall for over 100 years (it’s a replica of a bronze statue standing in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C)., is likely to be removed this week. The reason is, of course, that Jefferson had slaves: reason enough, these days, to not honor him.

The Public Design Commission is expected on Monday to vote on and likely approve a long-term loan of the statue to the New-York Historical Society, after the City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus requested that the statue be removed.

The vote is part of a broad, nationwide reckoning over racial inequality highlighted by the murder of George Floyd, the racial disparities further revealed by the coronavirus pandemic, and the sometimes violent debate over whether Confederate monuments should be toppled and discarded.

Though Jefferson, one of the nation’s founding fathers, wrote about equality in the Declaration of Independence, he enslaved more than 600 people and fathered six children with one of them, Sally Hemings.

“How the hell can people see as a hero someone who had hundreds of enslaved Africans, someone who was a racist and who said we were inferior and someone who was a slaveholding pedophile?” said Assemblyman Charles Barron, the former councilman who tried to get the statue removed in 2001. “For him to be canonized in a statue is incredible — incredibly racist.”

Here’s the statue. I’m wondering how long it will be until the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. is torn down.

Photo: Dave Sanders for the New York Times

I would like to hear readers’ opinions on this, so here’s a poll:

Should the statue of Thomas Jefferson in New York's City Hall be removed?

View Results

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*The Washington Post published some longevity tips in a new article called, “Want to add healthy years to your life? Here’s what new longevity research says.” I have to confess that I didn’t read the tips as I’d just get anxious because I’ll find that I’m doing everything wrong. But if you want to see what to eat, how to exercise, and other non-obvious tips for living longer, go have a look.

*Here’s a NYT story about the discovery of a stone sculpture by William Edmonson (1874-1951), largely ignored in his lifetime but now one of the most famous “outsider” artists of the century, and the first black person to get a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art.  Art enthusiast John Foster was driving through St. Louis and spotted a ten-inch sculpture sitting on someone’s front porch. He later returned and told the owners that they should get it investigated. Sure enough, it was an Edmonson that had gone missing for 80 years. It’s been acquired by the American Museum of Folk Art in New York, and is worth about a million dollars.

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 726,389, an increase of 1,631 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,922,705, an increase of about 8,100 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on October 19 includes:

Here’s an adaptation of Charles Minard’s famous multi-information map of Napoleon’s retreat from Russa with dates, temperatures, and the size of the army as it went to Moscow (blue figure) and on the way back (brownish figure), along with the temperature.  Click to enlarge. And look at that attrition! It was a total disaster for the French.

(From Brittanica) Statistical map of Napoleon’s Russian campaign of 1812 The size of Napoleon’s army during the Russian campaign of 1812 is shown by the dwindling width of the lines of advance (green) and retreat (gold). The retreat information is correlated with a temperature scale shown along the lower portion of the statistical map. Published by Charles Minard in 1869. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

I believe this is the translation of Planck’s first paper on the subject, which of course led to quantum mechanics:

  • 1943 – Streptomycin, the first antibiotic remedy for tuberculosis, is isolated by researchers at Rutgers University.

Selman Waksman got a Nobel Prize for this discovery, which was actually made by a graduate student in his lab, Albert Schatz during his Ph.D work. Shatz got overlooked, sued Waksman, and there was a “settlement”. But of course  no settlement can substitute for a Nobel. Wikipedia notes this:

In his accounts on streptomycin discovery, Waksman never mentioned Schatz. When the first clinical trial was performed by Feldman, he did not know that the new drug was discovered by Schatz, and it was much later in Chile (the 1960’s) where he met Schatz that the story was brought up in their conversation. The Lancet commented: “The Nobel committee made a considerable mistake by failing to recognise Schatz’s contribution.”

This is an example of the Matthew Effect.

The invasion of Leyte in the Philippines in 1944 marks the fulfillment of a promise by General Douglas MacArthur, who, when he was driven out by the Japanese in 1942, made the famous vow, “I shall return.” And he did: here he is wading ashore during the first landings on Leyte (he’s the guy in front with the sunglasses):

  • 1950 – Korean War: The Battle of Pyongyang ends in a United Nations victory. Hours later, the Chinese Army begins crossing the border into Korea.
  • 1960 – The United States imposes a near-total trade embargo against Cuba.
  • 1973 – President Nixon rejects an Appeals Court decision that he turn over the Watergate tapes.
  • 1987 – Black Monday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls by 22%, 508 points.
  • 2003 – Mother Teresa is beatified by Pope John Paul II.

Oy! She’s now Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Here’s a short segment of a 60 Minutes video from the soldiers who found Hussein’s hidey-hole:

The capture:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1850 – Annie Smith Peck, American mountaineer and academic (d. 1935)
  • 1929 – Lewis Wolpert, South African-English biologist, author, and academic (d. 2021)

What a nice guy and what a good writer Wolpert was. He gets approbation from Richard Dawkins in Dawkins’s latest volume, Books Do Furnish a Life, which I’ll review within a day or so. (Short take: read it!) I set next to him at the 30th anniversary dinner celebrating The Selfish Gene, and he told me all about his severe depression, which he chronicled in the book Malignant Sadness: The Anatomy of Depression.

Hard to believe that little Amy is now 53. I could find only one thing she illustrated: her father’s book The Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejerbased on a story he told Amy as a child:

At the 2009 meeting of Atheist Alliance International, where I was a speaker, I got to sit at the Big People’s Table with Dawkins, Bill Maher, and Santa Maria, who was dating Maher at the time. I of course noticed her famous Archaeopteryx tattoo:

Those who found eternal peace on October 19 include:

  • 1745 – Jonathan Swift, Irish satirist and essayist (b. 1667)
  • 1937 – Ernest Rutherford, New Zealand-English physicist and chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1871)

One of New Zealand’s overproduction of artists and intellects, Rutherford won the Prize for work on radioactive elements, including the discover of half-lives. That work was done at McGill University, where the picture below was taken in 1905. He died of a small hernia that became strangulated, which is one reason I decided to get mine operated on.

Critic Edmund Wilson proposed to her several times (Wikipedia says she took his virginity), but she turned him down

  • 1987 – Jacqueline du Pré, English cellist and educator (b. 1945)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is sleeping in:

A: Are you getting up?
Hili: No, it’s still night time.
In Polish:
Ja: Wstajesz?
Hili: Nie, jeszcze jest noc.

And nearby in Wloclawek, Mietek says “hi” (I’m told that the “you” is the plural form in Polish):

Mietek: Well, and how are you?

In Polish: No i co tam u Was?

From Su:

From Stash Krod:

From Jesus of the Day:

Two tweets from Barry. First, Canadian road rage:

. . . and a beautiful butterfly:

From Simon: I know ducks have trouble distinguishing decoys from afar, but this hawk can’t even do it right next to the faux mallard.

A tweet from the Auschwitz Memorial. Many don’t realize that the Nazis engaged in mass murder of Soviet prisoners of war, often in concentration camps.

Tweets from Matthew. I just listened to Sophie Scott’s defense of the beleaguered professor Kathleen Stock, unfairly labeled a transphobe. Professor Scott is passionate, eloquent and, most important, correct.

Maxim also invented the first automatic machine gun, arguably NOT for the good of mankind, but I suppose the list below deliberately ignores that.

I joined this Facebook group, which has the admirable purpose of letting people (and restaurants) in the UK know that diners deserve a decent portion of chips (they are cheap to make). I’m not in the UK, but I like their ceaseless scrutiny of chip portions.

Granny Smiths are by far my favorite apple, as they’re crisp, tart, and actually have FLAVOR. They’re the only apples I buy unless they’re not around. But I never knew there was an actual Granny Smith!

Monday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

September 27, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning at the start of a new week: Monday, September 27, 2021: National Chocolate Milk Day (my drink of choice at elementary school and junior high school lunch).

It’s also National Corned Beef Hash Day, Family Day, Ancestor Appreciation DayNational Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and World Tourism Day.

Today’s animated Google Doodle celebrates its “retroactive claim” that it’s 23 years old today (see below). Click on gif to go to the link.

News of the Day:

*All you covid-watchers should read a NYT op-ed that will surely be widely criticized (not by me, as I haven’t read the research and have nothing to lose by masking): “We did the research: Masks work, and you should choose a surgical mask if possible.” The three authors include a professor of economics at the Yale University School of Management, an assistant professor in environmental health sciences at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, and a professor of medicine in the infectious diseases division at Stanford University. A summary of the trial:

. . . we ran one of the largest and most sophisticated studies of mask wearing, using the “gold standard” of research design, a randomized controlled trial, to evaluate whether communities where more people wear masks have fewer cases of Covid-19.

Many people live in countries where vaccines are not yet widely available. Even in the United States, vaccines are available but used unevenly, and the weekly death rate from Covid-19 remains high. In both of these environments, masks are a critical and inexpensive tool in the fight against the coronavirus.

Our research, which is currently undergoing peer review, was conducted with 340,000 adults in 600 villages in Bangladesh and tested many different strategies to get people to wear masks.

The results of this test of voluntary mask-wearing?

Let us put this in concrete terms. Our best estimate is that every 600 people who wear surgical masks in public areas prevent an average of one death per year given recent death rates in the United States. Think of a church with 600 members. If a congregation learned that it could save the life of a member, would everyone agree to wear surgical masks in indoor, public areas for the next year?

Well, do you think they would? Probably, since it’s a church and everybody is part of the “family”, but perhaps not if you ask a random stranger in a city. Read for yourself.

*More on the pandemic: big trouble in New York City and New York State. On Friday, a federal appeals-court judge overruled a vaccine mandate for teachers, staff, and employees of NYC schools, where 82% of the subjects have been vaccinated.  The order was to go into effect today, with employees required to show at least one vaccination. I don’t know why the judge suspended the mandate, except that this could lead to a severe shortage of teachers. On the other hand, a three-judge court could rule on the issue by the end of the week.

*As for New York State, the same mandate goes into effect today for hospital and nursing home employees. Between 77% and 84% of workers in these categories have had at least one vaccination. Here again we could have a massive worker shortage, which could lead to a declaration of a state of emergency in New York, including the use of medically trained National Guard workers.

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 688,157, an increase of 2,031 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,763,052, an increase of about 4,068 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on September 27 includes:

  • 1066 – William the Conqueror and his army set sail from the mouth of the Somme river, beginning the Norman conquest of England.
  • 1540 – The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) receives its charter from Pope Paul III.
  • 1590 – The death of Pope Urban VII, 13 days after being chosen as the Pope, ends the shortest papal reign in history.
  • 1822 – Jean-François Champollion announces that he has deciphered the Rosetta Stone.

The Rosetta Stone, now behind glass at the British Museum. What Champollion deciphered was the hieroglyphics on this stone, which has the same message in demotic (ancient but non-hieroglyphic Egyptian) and Greek.

The plant (below) is now a Museum, described by Wikipedia as “The oldest, purpose-built car factory building in the world open to the public.”  It could make over 100 Model Ts per day.

  • 1956 – USAF Captain Milburn G. Apt becomes the first person to exceed Mach 3. Shortly thereafter, the Bell X-2 goes out of control and Captain Apt is killed.

Here’s Apt about to embark on his first (and last) flight in the plane. He ejected the nose capsule when the plane was out of control, but the large parachute failed to open and he was killed. He had gone 3.196 times the speed of sound.  This terminated the X-2 program.

The X-2 in flight showing “shock diamonds” in the exhaust, proving that it had gone supersonic:

  • 1962 – Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring is published, inspiring an environmental movement and the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • 1998 – The Google internet search engine retroactively claims this date as its birthday.

Note that at least six days have been claimed as Google’s birthday, though it was founded on September 4, 1998. Here’s where Google stands in Kantar’s list of most valuable brands:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1924 – Bud Powell, American pianist and composer (d. 1966)

Bud Powell was one of the best jazz pianists ever. I usually put up “Night in Tunisia” to commemorate him, but here’s 4.5 minutes of his live playing. He died at only 41 of three classic maladies of jazz musicians: tuberculosis, malnutrition, and alcoholism.

  • 1927 – Red Rodney, American trumpet player (d. 1994)
  • 1934 – Wilford Brimley, American actor (d. 2020)
  • 1947 – Meat Loaf, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actor
  • 1957 – Peter Sellars, American actor, director, and screenwriter
  • 1972 – Gwyneth Paltrow, American actress, blogger, and businesswoman

She’s still selling her jade egg, a bargain at $66. You know what you’re supposed to do with it.

  • 1984 – Avril Lavigne, Canadian singer-songwriter, actress, and fashion designer

Those who shot their bolt on September 27 include:

  • 1590 – Pope Urban VII (b. 1521)
  • 1917 – Edgar Degas, French painter and sculptor (b. 1834)

Degas didn’t draw cats, so here’s Manet’s “Woman With a Cat” (1880):

Woman with a Cat c.1880 Edouard Manet 1832-1883 Purchased 1918 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N03295

Wagner-Jauregg won his Prize for one of those advances that was a bit dubious: giving those afflicted with neurosyphilis malaria, with the fever designed to eliminate the bacterium. Surprisingly, it worked a bit, but also killed 15% of the patients. It’s no longer used, as we have antibiotics now. (These won’t reverse damage already done.)

The main work pursued by Wagner-Jauregg throughout his life was related to the treatment of mental disease by inducing a fever, an approach known as pyrotherapy. In 1887 he investigated the effects of febrile diseases on psychoses, making use of erisipela and tuberculin (discovered in 1890 by Robert Koch). Since these methods of treatment did not work very well, he tried in 1917 the inoculation of malaria parasites, which proved to be very successful in the case of dementia paralytica (also called general paresis of the insane), caused by neurosyphilis, at that time a terminal disease.

Sister Aimee. If you don’t know about her, find out:

Here she is in full swing, surrounded by choirs (1929):

  • 1956 – Babe Didrikson Zaharias, American basketball player and golfer (b. 1911)
  • 1960 – Sylvia Pankhurst, English activist (b. 1882)

Pankurst was an activist for many causes, the most famous being women’s suffrage. Here she is in 1932, giving a speech in Trafalgar Square about British policies in India.

  • 1965 – Clara Bow, American actress (b. 1905)

The “It Girl”:

  • 1993 – Jimmy Doolittle, American general, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1896)
  • 2003 – Donald O’Connor, American actor, singer, and dancer (b. 1925)
  • 2017 – Hugh Hefner, American publisher, founder of Playboy Enterprises (b. 1926)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s irritated by Andrzej’s foolish question:

Hili: I’m going to check out what’s under this walnut tree.
A: What can be under it?
Hili: But I’m saying that I’m going to check it out.
In Polish:
Hili: Idę sprawdzić co tam jest pod tym orzechem.
Ja: A co tam może być?
Hili: No przecież mówię, że idę to sprawdzić.

And in nearby Wloclawek, Mietek is lazy:

Mietek: To get up or not to get up, that is the question.

In Polish: Wstać czy nie wstać, oto jest pytanie.

From In Otter News. It’s true, too: Mary Somerville is on one side, and two otters on the other.

I’ve always thought that candy corn, a noxious mixture of paraffin and sugar, was the worst candy ever invented, but this version, from Facebook, is even more dire:

From Jesus of the Day: Either this is anatomically correct or someone’s tumescent:

From Titania, who’s always ahead of the wave:

Ricky Gervais’s cat (I think his name is Pickle):

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Matthew. The goalie didn’t look behind himself, a rookie move, and this was the outcome:

Two little cuties!

These look like bat wings:

Check out the expression on that cat’s face!

Call me superstitious (as well as the U.S. gub’mint), but I retweeted this because I have at least ten days’ worth of sleep deficit.

Friday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

September 24, 2021 • 6:30 am

Greetings from Chicago (I’m back!) on Friday, September 24, 2021: National Cherries Jubilee Day! (Their exclamation mark.) Here’s Wikipedia’s definition and photo:

Cherries jubilee is a dessert dish made with cherries and liqueur (typically kirschwasser), which is subsequently flambéed, and commonly served as a sauce over vanilla ice cream.

It doesn’t say anything about cake

Sounds good to me, but I’ve never had it. It’s also German Butterbrot Day, Hug a Vegetarian Day, Kiss Day (again verboten this year), National Horchata Day (I love the stuff), Native American Day, Save the Koaka Day, and National Bluebird of Happiness Day, which always reminds me of this Gary Larson cartoon:

News of the Day:

Once again there’s a paucity of news that I know about. There’s a big blow-up about the treatment of Haitian refugees trying to get into the U.S., with the result that Daniel Foote, the senior American diplomat overseeing Haiti policy, has resigned in anger:

A senior American diplomat who oversees Haiti policy has resigned, two U.S. officials said, submitting a letter to the State Department that excoriated the Biden administration’s “inhumane, counterproductive decision” to send Haitian migrants back to a country that has been wracked this summer by a deadly earthquake and political turmoil.

*The Washington Post reports a sex abuse case at the University of Michigan that may be the largest one in U.S. history. Robert E. Anderson, a deceased doctor at the University has already been accused by more than 950 people (mostly men and boys) of molesting them, and not just at the University. He never faced any sanctions while he was alive.

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 684,488, an increase of 2,036 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,743,487, an increase of about 9,100 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on September 24 includes:

  • 787 – Second Council of Nicaea: The council assembles at the church of Hagia Sophia.
  • 1789 – The United States Congress passes the Judiciary Act, creating the office of the Attorney General and federal judiciary system and ordering the composition of the Supreme Court.
  • 1890 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially renounces polygamy.

Yes, but of course many sects of Mormonism remain polygamous. Here’s a photo from Polygamy.com:

  • 1906 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt proclaims Devils Tower in Wyoming as the nation’s first National Monument.
  • 1929 – Jimmy Doolittle performs the first flight without a window, proving that full instrument flying from take off to landing is possible.

Here’s Doolittle in his “blind flight” plane. The site Pioneers of Flight says this:

Doolittle made the first “blind flight” on September 24, 1929. He took off in the Guggenheim Fund’s Consolidated NY-2, flew a set course, and landed while under a fabric hood and unable to see outside the airplane. He relied entirely on a directional gyro, artificial horizon, sensitive altimeter, and radio navigation.

  • 1950 – The eastern United States is covered by a thick haze from the Chinchaga fire in western Canada.
  • 1975 – Southwest Face expedition members become the first persons to reach the summit of Mount Everest by any of its faces, instead of using a ridge route.

Here’s the daunting Southwest Face and the route they took up it. Three UK climbers and a Sherpa made the summit:

  • 2015 – At least 1,100 people are killed and another 934 wounded after a stampede during the Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1717 – Horace Walpole, English historian, author, and politician (d. 1797)
  • 1880 – Sarah Knauss, American super-centenarian, oldest verified American person ever (d. 1999)

She lived to be 119 years old, second only to the world’s oldest verified person, Jeanne Calment of France, who lived to be 122½ years (that age, however, is controversial! Here is Knauss at 98 or 99 years old:

Here’s the only photograph of Blind Lemon. He died of a heart attack at just 39:

And his version of “Black Snake Moan”:

Scott, Zelda, and their daughter Scottie in a Christmas photo from Paris. Scott couldn’t spell worth a damn (that’s what his editor was for), but he sure could write.

  • 1905 – Severo Ochoa, Spanish–American physician and biochemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1993)
  • 1923 – Fats Navarro, American trumpet player and composer (d. 1950)

Those who Went West on September 24 include:

  • 768 – Pepin the Short, Frankish king (b. 714)
  • 1541 – Paracelsus, German-Swiss physician, botanist, and chemist (b. 1493)
  • 1945 – Hans Geiger, German physicist and academic, co-invented the Geiger counter (b. 1882)

Geiger was a scary-looking dude:

  • 1991 – Dr. Seuss, American children’s book writer, poet, and illustrator (b. 1904)


  • 1994 – Barry Bishop, American mountaineer, photographer, and scholar (b. 1932)

Bishop, who made the summit as one of five successful climbers on the 1963 American expedition to Everest, had to overnight without shelter at high altitude and lost all his toes and the tip of one finger. He continued to climb, though, but was killed in an auto accident in 1994. Here he is with his frostbitten and soon-to-be-amputated toes after descending the mountain:

  • 2004 – Françoise Sagan, French author and screenwriter (b. 1935)
  • 2016 – Buckwheat Zydeco, American accordionist and bandleader (b. 1947)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has given up pondering the world and is now thinking about math:

A: Are you still in a Manichean mood?
Hili: No, I’m now plagued by Zeno’s paradoxes.
In Polish:
Ja: Nadal jesteś w nastrojach manichejskich?
Hili: Nie, teraz dręczą mnie paradoksy Zenona z Elei.

And in nearby Wloclawek, Mietek is overwhelmed, as school has started:

Mietek: And again I have plenty of subjects to grasp.

In Polish: I znów mam dużo tematów do ogarnięcia.

From Merilee. I, too, am a fan of the Oxford comma.

A heartwarmer from Bruce:

From Jesus of the Day:

From Simon: Titania knocked it out of the park with this tweet:

From Barry. I don’t know the species of bird, but the staff is teaching it to perch:

From Ginger K., showing that it takes only one anonymous complaint:

Tweet from the Auschwitz Memorial. This poor soul looks like he had a very rough ride in the cattle car. He lasted a week after arrival.

Tweets from Matthew, who told me, when I asked whether that outfit was painted on the bird, “No the bird is real. You can see it is safe – it is wearing a harness that is connected by a wire to the inside of the car so it can’t fly off. It has very strong talons!”

Matthew tweeted this photo of one of his cats, Ollie, adding a note, “Now he doesn’t look psychotic there, does he?” Ollie is indeed psychotic: he laid open my nose with a deft swipe of his claws and I bled like a stuck pig. Ollie just “presents well,” as the therapists say.

Matthew says about this one: “Nothing to wait for; just watch.” But do watch the whole thing. It’s funny when the goats jump down.

The eruption in the Canaries is relentless, and nothing can stop the lava. Google translation: “The lava tongue of the eruptive process of La Palma devastates everything in its path on its way to the sea.”

Monday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

August 30, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Monday, August 30, 2021: National Toasted Marshmallow Day. I must admit that I like mine burnt to a crisp—ignited over a fire until the outside is black. It’s also National Holistic Pet Day, International Whale Shark Day, Frankenstein Day (Mary Shelly’s birthday), and the International Day of the Disappeared.

News of the Day:

Biden continues on his desire to get revenge for the suicide bombing that killed 13 American military personnel and 140 Afghans. Another U.S. drone strike yesterday took out a vehicle near the airport reported to be carrying explosives. Afghans of unknown provenance say that civilians were killed, including children, but one must assess the morality of this strike against the toll that would have occurred had the vehicle exploded. Five rockets were fired at the airport today, but all were shot down by U.S. anti-missile systems. And the U.S. said it was unlikely to keep diplomats in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of troops.

Who’s to blame for the horrible mess at the Kabul Airport? I am not a pundit and don’t want to lay blame on this one, but the New York Times has dueling editorials blaming Biden on one hand and Trump on the other.

Speaking of the NYT, it was a mistake for them to have enlisted Tish Harrison Warren, an Anglican priest, as a regular contributor along the lines of John McWhorter. Her last column was lame—a firm osculation on the rump of faith—but her latest, “Why poetry is so crucial right now,” is even worse. What she should have done was inserted “to me” after “crucial”, and then it would be particular rather than general. But nothing can save her tired and anodyne sentiments:

This past year in particular was marked by vitriol and divisiveness. I am exhausted by the rancor.

In this weary and vulnerable place, poetry whispers of truths that cannot be confined to mere rationality or experience. In a seemingly wrecked world, I’m drawn to Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Autumn” and recall that “there is One who holds this falling/Infinitely softly in His hands.” When the scriptures feel stale, James Weldon Johnson preaches through “The Prodigal Son” and I hear the old parable anew. On tired Sundays, I collapse into Wendell Berry’s Sabbath poems and find rest.

. . . Indeed, in our age of social media, words are often used as weapons. Poetry instead treats words with care. They are slowly fashioned into lanterns — things that can illuminate and guide. Debate certainly matters. Arguments matter. But when the urgent controversies of the day seem like all there is to say about life and death or love or God, poetry reminds me of those mysterious truths that can’t be reduced solely to linear thought.

There’s that “other way of knowing” she was hired to purvey! What are those “mysterious truths” that can be conveyed only in verse? In fact, it’s not true that poetry is more important right now than, say, a year ago, just as novels or music aren’t more important right now than a year ago, save as balm for the soul needed during the pandemic. But that’s not what the Lachrymose Osculator means; she means that poetry gives us truths that mere cogitation can’t. When will the paper turn off her fountain of meaningless verbiage? (I needn’t add that I love good poetry, but not because it conveys “truth” unreachable by other means. It is music in words.)

The Washington Post emphasizes that now that Covid vaccinations are fully approved by the FDA, and can be mandated, the costs of being unvaccinated will rise. If you get fired for refusing vaccination when your employer requires it, you won’t qualify for unemployment benefits. Or the cost of your health insurance could rise substantially. I have no issues with these penalties.

Surprise! North Korea has restarted a nuclear reactor that can produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. If you think the DPRK can be negotiated out of making deliverable bombs, you probably think the same about Iran, too. Yes, we can denuclearize the Korean peninsula, but Koreans aren’t stupid, and know about U.S. nuclear submarines lying in wait nearby.

Ed Asner, the man who will forever be remembered for playing the curmudgeonly editor Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore show, has died at 91.

Stuff that happened on August 30 includes:

Here’s one of the weirder species. Do you recognize it? If not, go here.

Here’s Point Wild on Elephant Island, where Shackleton’s 22 men camped for four and a half months, subsisting on penguin meat. I photographed this in December, 2019. The bust, on the spot where the men camped, is of Pilot Luis Pardo Villalón, commander of the Chilean Navy cutter Yelcho that rescued the men. It’s a grim place!

Kaplan (photo below), a Russian Jewish revolutionary, was executed by the Cheka on September 3. Lenin never fully recovered from the attack, and died in 1924 of a stroke.

I sailed on two of its successors; the S. S. United States, which set a later record, and the Queen Mary II. Here’s the original, moored at Long Beach, California:

Here’s the bridge of the newer Queen Mary II, photographed by moi in 2006 (I was lecturing aboard):

  • 1967 – Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first African American Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • 1984 – STS-41-D: The Space Shuttle Discovery takes off on its maiden voyage.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1720 – Samuel Whitbread, English brewer and politician, founded Whitbread (d. 1796)
  • 1871 – Ernest Rutherford, New Zealand-English physicist and chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1937)

Here’s Rutherford at McGill in 1905. Though he won the Prize for the discovery of radioactive decay and half lives of elements, his most famous work, which came later, was the demonstration that atoms had a nucleus. This was based on rare scattering of alpha particles used to bombard gold foil, showing that while most of an atom is empty space, there are small islands of high-density particles that can deflect helium nuclei.

  • 1884 – Theodor Svedberg, Swedish chemist and physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1971)
  • 1893 – Huey Long, American lawyer and politician, 40th Governor of Louisiana (d. 1935)

Long could be considered as the Donald Trump of Louisiana, though he was smarter. Here he is giving one of his populist speeches. Every man a king! He was assassinated by the son-in-law of a judge whom he, Long, removed.

  • 1901 – Roy Wilkins, American journalist and activist (d. 1981)
  • 1930 – Warren Buffett, American businessman and philanthropist

Still with us at 91!

I love Crumb, and have a stack of his original comics. I see that they’ve risen in price. Here’s one of my favorite covers:

  • 1944 – Molly Ivins, American journalist and author (d. 2007)
  • 1982 – Andy Roddick, American tennis player

Those who took leave of existence on August 30 were few, and include:

Here’s the part of the famous Zapruder film showing JFK getting hit by two bullets. Warning: grisly!

  • 2013 – Seamus Heaney, Irish poet and playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1939)
  • 2015 – Oliver Sacks, English-American neurologist, author, and academic (b. 1933)

Though Sacks was deeply eccentric, he was a great storyteller; and many of us, including me, used to read his books religiously. Here he is, and, if you want to see his NYT piece that he wrote after learning he had terminal cancer, go here.

  • 2019 – Valerie Harper, American actress and writer (b. 1939)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili pulls the old “in or out” stunt.

Hili: Could you let me in?
A: But you went out a moment ago.
Hili: Yes, but I forgot what for.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy możesz mnie wpuścić do domu?
Ja: Przecież przed chwilą wyszłaś.
Hili: Tak, ale zapomniałam po co.

Mietek mourns the passing of summer:

Mietek: How come it’s the end of summer holidays?

In Polish: Jak to koniec wakacji?

From Facebook:

From Science Humor:

And a nice cartoon:

From Masih. Do you still think that the Taliban 2.0 is going to be “nicer”? I doubt it, but they sure suck at public relations!

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

From Dom. Henry Gee, an editor of Nature, is correct in his assertion, but he has a way of being arrogantly, annoyingly and unpleasantly right. As for the “missing link”, that isn’t even mentioned by the Natural History Museum.

From Barry, who adds “This has to be the craziest thing you’ll ever see or hear from any believer. I don’t know how this can be topped.”  I’m with him!

From Ginger K.: Man, that was one fraught relationship! Didn’t work out, but it sure produced some great music.

Tweets from Matthew.  A Crested Honey Buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus) from eastern Asia raids a nest. I presume the feathers protect it from stings, but what about its eyes?

Cats will be cats!

This looks like a ctenophore ingesting another ctenophore:

Tuesday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

August 24, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Tuesday, August 24, 2021: National Peach Pie Day, and now’s the season to eat one. It’s also National Waffle Day, Shooting Star Day, Can Opener Day, National Knife Day, International Strange Music Day, and International Day Against Intolerance, Discrimination, and Violence Based on Musical Preferences, Lifestyle, and Dress Code. The latter deserves some explanation:

On August 24, 2007, Sophie Lancaster died after previously being beaten in Rossendale, Lancashire, in England. Along with her boyfriend Rob, she had been beaten simply because of the way she looked, having been part of the “goth” subculture. Her mother Sylvia did not want her death to be in vain, and wanted to help young people understand that everyone should be treated with respect and dignity, no matter what they look like or what type of music they listen to. She created the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. The foundation has worked with young people in schools, and has also enlightened adults with training about hate crime awareness, victim impact, equality, diversity, and inclusion.

See more about Sophie Lancaster here. A photo:

Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot to play) is a repeaat of the animated interactive game series, “The Champion Island Games,” originally celebrating the Olympics but now the Paralympics, which begin today in Tokyo and extend through September 5:

Wine of the day: I don’t often drink Chianti, but when i do it’s a Chianti Classico (look for the black rooster on the label) from Monsanto. This one is oldish—12 years, to be precise, but a good Chianti can age well, and the experts say this one’s not over the hill. Let us see: we shall essay it with chicken breast, rice (with a bit of hoisin sauce for flavor) and green beans.

. . . the “opulent fruit” has faded a bit, but the richness and elegance, as well as a dark garnet color, remain in this wine It is nowhere near over the hill, and it on the gutsy rather than “delicate” side of Chianti Classico. I probably paid about $20 for it, and at that price it’s a bargain. I’d say that now is about the apogee for this wine, but I’d like to try it in three or four more years. (Sadly, this is my only bottle.)

Look for the black rooster to be sure it’s Chianti Classico:

News of the Day:

There’s more trouble in the offing in Afghanistan. Biden’s pull-out date of August 31, which looks increasingly untenable (Uncle Joe is waffling, too), is being taken by the Taliban as a hard date—a “red line”. A spokesthug for the Muslimofascists have said that attempts to take people out after that date will “provoke a reaction.” Well, we’ll see in seven days, because there’s no way we’re getting this thing done by the end of August. I read in the news this morning that Biden asked for an extended deadline, but the Taliban rejected it.

In the meantime, the U.S. is going to great lengths to retrieve its citizens. The AP reports that the U.S. military rounded up 16 Americans at a location two hours away from Kabul.

The officials, who commented only on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations, said the rescue missions that go beyond the walls of the Kabul airport require the approval of a four-star officer and are handled on a case-by-case basis.

The Taliban aren’t going to like this. I smell trouble.

And this NYT headline reports more dispiriting news (click on screenshot):

The Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19 (technically, the “Pfizer-BioNTech” vaccine”) has finally been given full approval by the FDA. This means two things. First, it’s now legal to require people to get the vaccine, and they can’t beef about it. As the NYT reports:

The decision will set off a cascade of vaccine requirements by hospitals, colleges, corporations and other organizations. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III will be sending guidelines to the country’s 1.4 million active duty service members mandating that they be vaccinated, the Pentagon announced on Monday.

United Airlines recently announced that its employees will be required to show proof of vaccination within five weeks of regulatory approval.

Oregon has adopted a similar requirement for all state workers, as have a host of universities in states from Louisiana to Minnesota. In New York, the F.D.A.’s approval also brought into force a requirement announced in May that all students attending in-person classes at State University of New York and City University of New York schools be vaccinated.

House Democrats are tied up in knots about which of the two big spending bills to pass first: the $1 trillion infrastructure bill or Biden’s $3.5 trillion “budget blueprint” bill. Pelosi and the “progressives” want the budget bill to go first, while 9 centrist Democrats aren’t having it, and want infrastructure first. This could mean trouble. . .   Fortunately, I’m too dumb to understand this fracas, which means I don’t have to investigate it.

Second, those who continue to beef can’t say they are guinea pigs in an experimental drug trial. The experiment is over. Those who beefed were the controls, and the results were clear—as they are with the new data.

But there’s good news tonight! After brushfires devastated Kangaroo Island off Australia in 2019 and 2020, conservationists managed to locate a Tasmanian pygmy possum, a rare mammal in normal times and thought to have become extinct after the fires. But they’re still there! Look at these things!  (h/t Malcolm)

The Catholic News Agency reports a huge screw-up: At the funeral of the young Chicago police officer Ella French, killed during a traffic stop (she also had a young child), a police chaplain mistakenly gave communion to our mayor Lori Lightfoot. But Lightfoot isn’t a Catholic: she belongs to a Methodist church. No biggie, right? Well, apparently it is:

Fr. Brandt added that he is deeply apologetic toward those who were offended by the mayor receiving Communion.

“I apologize for any scandal that my absentmindedness may have caused. It was certainly not intentional and wish I had my wits about me. Or better yet I wish the Cardinal had just given out Communion because I was planning on going back and sitting for the next portion of the Mass and procession,” he said.

“I can’t apologize enough for anyone who’s upset by the fact that she received the Eucharist. That is totally on me and I own it,” he said. “And it was an honest mistake and I pray that your readers have the same mercy that I hope the Lord gives me.”

Catholic canon law permits non-Catholic Christians to receive Communion only in limited circumstances and in the case of a “grave necessity.” Neither the archdiocese nor the mayor’s office responded to multiple inquiries from CNA seeking comment Friday.

I suspect the Lord will not look kindly on this transgression. (h/t GInger K)

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 629,644, an increase of 1,057 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,455,250, an increase of about 9,500 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on August 24 includes:

Remarkable body casts showing the positions in which people died (more here):

  • 1215 – Pope Innocent III issues a bull declaring Magna Carta invalid.
  • 1349 – Six thousand Jews are killed in Mainz after being blamed for the bubonic plague.

A drawing of some of the murders of Jews (caption from Wikipedia):

Representation of a massacre of the Jews in 1349 Antiquitates Flandriae (Royal Library of Belgium manuscript 1376/77)
  • 1690 – Job Charnock of the East India Company establishes a factory in Calcutta, an event formerly considered the founding of the city (in 2003 the Calcutta High Court ruled that the city’s foundation date is unknown).
  • 1814 – British troops invade Washington, D.C. and during the Burning of Washington the White House, the Capitol and many other buildings are set ablaze.
  • 1932 – Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the United States non-stop (from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey).

Here’s a very short video of Earhart’s accomplishments (I can’t find a video of her coast-to-coast flight):

Here’s Hitler’s letter that began the euthanasia program two years earlier. The English translation is from Wikipedia: “Reich Leader Bouhler and Dr. Brandt are entrusted with the responsibility of extending the authority of physicians, to be designated by name, so that patients who, after a most critical diagnosis, on the basis of human judgment [menschlichem Ermessen], are considered incurable, can be granted mercy death [Gnadentod]. — A. Hitler”

The mentally ill were also considered “incurables.”

  • 1967 – Led by Abbie Hoffman, the Youth International Party temporarily disrupts trading at the New York Stock Exchange by throwing dollar bills from the viewing gallery, causing trading to cease as brokers scramble to grab them.

A video about Hoffman’s stunt, which I remember well.

  • 1981 – Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon.
  • 1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
  • 2006 – The International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefines the term “planet” such that Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet.

This decision is planetary ableism. Pluto is a planet, and if you must describe it you can call it a “differently abled planet” or a “size challenged planet.”

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1872 – Max Beerbohm, English essayist, parodist, and caricaturist (d. 1956)
  • 1947 – Anne Archer, American actress and producer
  • 1960 – Cal Ripken, Jr., American baseball player and coach

I had the honor of watching this great shortstop play (we lived in the D.C. area and my dad took me to Baltimore to see a game. His most famous feat: “Ripken holds the record for consecutive games played, 2,632, surpassing Lou Gehrig‘s streak of 2,130 that had stood for 56 years and that many deemed unbreakable.”

Here’s Ripken breaking the record. Remember, a baseball season was 154 games, so he played the equivalent of 17 full seasons without missing a game.

Matlin is not only the sole deaf person to win a Best Actress Oscar, but also the youngest, being 21.5 years old. The movie? Children of a Lesser God. Here’s a scene from the movie, in which she pursues a difficult romance with William Hurt:

Those who became a fatality on August 24 include:

The King not only pardoned Col. Blood for his crime (he and his accomplices were caught in the act), but gave him a piece of land in Ireland.

  • 2014 – Richard Attenborough, English actor, director, producer, and politician (b. 1923)
  • 2020 – Gail Sheehy, American author, journalist, and lecturer (b.1936) 

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is getting increasingly peevish. And no wonder!

Hili: I see absurdity.
A: Where?
Hili: Everywhere I look.
In Polish:
Hili: Widzę absurdy.
Ja: Gdzie?
Hili: Gdzie nie spojrzę.

Mietek, on holiday in the mountains, has a soliloquy. (How he’s grown!)

Mietek: To run or to lie down; that is the question.

In Polish: iegać czy leżeć? Oto jest pytanie.

From Scott Metzger Cartoons:

From Facebook via Richard, who says “Best paper title ever.” Well, it’s a contender. . .

From Facebook, the consequences of an unclear antecedent:

Masih interviews another Afghan woman, who breaks down two minutes in and says she’s having suicidal ideation.

From Titania. The Brits are good at trying to end hate with cute but useless gestures like this:

From the Auschwitz Memorial. One thing I noted when I visited the camp was how short people stayed their after arrival before they died. It wasn’t on the day of arrival, but often a few weeks later:

This is an interesting (and disturbing!) citation pattern sent by Luana. Her theory, which is hers,

I suspect this is because the ones that do not replicate are far fetched and interesting.

Tweets from Dr. Cobb. This incredibly cute agouti is burying a banana and then covering the cached fruit with a leaf to hide it even better:

Awww. . . the poor babies don’t want to cross the water:

Silly pelican! This is the Tweet of the Week:

And speaking of capybaras (the world’s largest rodent), why is this invasion considered a bad thing??


Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

August 15, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Sunday, August 15, 2021: National Lemon Meringue Pie Day, a pie that can be ethereal if its made with lots of butter and lemon but not too much gelatin.

It’s also National Failures Day, Chant at the Moon Day, National Best Friends Day, God’s Preeminence Day, in which you’re supposed to contemplate the existence of the Posited Deity without Evidence, and National Relaxation Day, here demonstrated by Jango:

Finally, in India it’s Independence Day, marking the independence of India from the United Kingdom in 1947. Here are some Indians making the national flag.

News of the Day: It’s all bad: pandemics surging, earthquakes, tropical storms, Islamists advancing on Kabul, and, of course global warming.

First, a week earlier than I predicted, the Taliban have reached Kabul and have surrounded it. The U.S. Embassy is being evacuated, and diplomats who were going to stay there have been moved to the Kabul airport. It’s the evacuation of Saigon all over again, except with planes instead of helicopters.  Within a week there will be unspeakable horrors and many deaths.

First, Haiti can’t catch a break. In 2010 there was a terrible earthquake that killed thousands of people—perhaps hundreds of thousands. Then there are repeated tropical storms, and in July the country’s President was assassinated and things became chaotic. Now, yesterday morning, the country suffered a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that killed over 300 people, and probably many more.  And to top it all off, Haiti is in the path of tropical storm Grace, which could compound the damage.

The New York Times, in a report on Afghanistan called “Afghanistan’s unraveling may strike another blow to U.S. credibility,” starts off by getting a slap in at Trump, though Biden continued, when he could have stopped, the drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan. (For the record, I think it was the right thing to do.) But here’s how it begins:

Afghanistan’s rapid unraveling is already raising grumblings about American credibility, compounding the wounds of the Trump years and reinforcing the idea that America’s backing for its allies is not unlimited.

Compounding the wounds of the Trump years? What does that have to do with Afghanistan? To my mind, it’s this kind of NYT-ian gratuitous slap at Trump that makes its news seem more like opinion. And I think Biden will go a long way toward restoring American credibility, especially with other Western nations. We can’t afford to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely: it’s already been America’s longest war, and we can’t “win” it, whatever that would mean.

Is an anti-Obama pushback beginning? If so, why? Later today we’ll have a vitriolic critique of Obama’s presidency by Matt Taibbi, but yesterday Maureen Dowd took the increasingly wealthy (and flaunting it) ex-President apart in a column called “Behold Barack Antoinette“. It’s about his lavish 60th birthday party held at his very fancy Martha’s Vineyard mansion, which he scaled back after being warned about hosting a superspreader event. A slice of Dowd’s trademarked snark, riffing on Jay Gatsby’s parties:

One difference is that Gatsby opened his house to the uninvited. Obama closed his house to many of the invited after getting flak for hosting “a celebrity mosh pit,” as Stephen Colbert called it, while officials were telling people to mask back up.

It’s hard to stop thinking about the over-the-top fete the former president held at his Martha’s Vineyard manse for his 60th birthday. It is such a perfect taxonomy of the Obama arc.

As president, he didn’t try hard enough on things we needed. He was a diffident debutante with a distaste for politics. Post-presidency, he is trying too hard on things we don’t need. The culture is already swimming in Netflix deals, celebrity worship, ostentatious displays of wealth, not to mention podcasts. Did the world really need “Renegades,” his duet with Bruce Springsteen?

We already knew Obama gravitated to stars but it was disillusioning to see it on such a grand scale last weekend.

“I think the nouveaux riches Obamas are seriously tone-deaf,” said the authority on opulence, André Leon Talley. “We all love Beyoncé. But people have so many things to worry about with Covid, voting rights, climate warming. People are afraid of being evicted from their homes. And the Obamas are in Marie-Antoinette, tacky, let-them-eat-cake mode. They need to remember their humble roots.”

Now of course Obama’s rich, and why shouldn’t he buy a mansion on Martha’s Vineyard. But wouldn’t you admire him more if he lived in a modest house like Jimmy Carter, and still hammered nails for Habitat for Humanity? Wouldn’t it be better if he weren’t charging $400,000 for a speech and trying to make money hand over fist? Well, read my post on Taibbi later today.

I thought Brown v. Board of Education had already settled that segregated education is illegal in public schools. But according to Atlanta station WSB-TV, by order of its principal Sharyn Briscoe, Mary Lin Elementary school put all its black students into two classes with black teachers, while the white students went into six classes with six white teachers. A parent found out when the principal wouldn’t place her black child in a class because it was a white class. The parent, thank Ceiling Cat, has filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. Thanks to the racialization of America, we’re returning to segregation!

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 621,051, an increase of 655 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,368,529, an increase of about 9,200 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on August 15 includes:

  • 1057 – King Macbeth is killed at the Battle of Lumphanan by the forces of Máel Coluim mac Donnchada.

Yes, that Macbeth, though Shakespeare’s king is far from being historically accurate!

  • 1096 – Starting date of the First Crusade as set by Pope Urban II.
  • 1248 – The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men, is laid. (Construction is eventually completed in 1880.)
  • 1534 – Ignatius of Loyola and six classmates take initial vows, leading to the creation of the Society of Jesus in September 1540.
  • 1843 – Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest still intact amusement parks in the world, opens in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Time Magazine rated Tivoli (below) one of the “World’s 100 greatest places” in 2018. I’ve never been to Tivoli, much less to Denmark, but I’d like to visit the country:

So perished a great pilot and a great comedian, and we don’t know what caused the wreck. Here they are beforehand, and the wreck after:

One of the movie’s great scenes. What a world!

Here is the broadcast, most likely the first time in Japanese history that the Emperor had spoken to the “common people”. He didn’t speak directly on the radio, but they played a recording of his surrender announcement. His speech begins at 1:06:

  • 1947 – India gains Independence from British rule after near 190 years of British company and crown rule, and joins the Commonwealth of Nations.

Freedom was declared at midnight on August 14, and Nehru gave a stirring speech (in English). Here’s the famous speech:

This was captured on film; here’s Schumann’s “jump to freedom”:

  • 1963 – Execution of Henry John Burnett, the last man to be hanged in Scotland.
  • 1965 – The Beatles play to nearly 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City, an event later regarded as the birth of stadium rock.
  • 1969 – The Woodstock Music & Art Fair opens in upstate New York, featuring some of the top rock musicians of the era.
  • 1998 – Northern Ireland: Omagh bombing takes place; 29 people (including a woman pregnant with twins) killed and some 220 others injured.

The bomb was sequestered in a car, which was photographed before the explosion. The Wikipedia caption: “This red Vauxhall Cavalier saloon contained the explosive during the Omagh bombing. This photo itself was taken shortly before the explosion and the camera was found afterwards in the rubble. The man and child in the photo both survived.”

  • 2013 – The Smithsonian announces the discovery of the olinguito, the first new carnivorous species found in the Americas in 35 years.  It was identified from DNA taken from specimens in Chicago’s Field Museum. A frugivorous member of the Procyonidae (relatives of the raccoon), it lives in the Andean cloud forest of Peru and Ecuador. Here’s a living one:

A video with footage of live ones:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1717 – Blind Jack, English engineer (d. 1810)
  • 1769 – Napoleon Bonaparte, French general and emperor (d. 1821)
  • 1771 – Walter Scott, Scottish novelist, playwright, and poet (d. 1832)
  • 1912 – Julia Child, American chef and author (d. 2004)

Here’s Julia messing up when she’s flipping potatoes because she “lacked the courage”:

Here’s the great Peterson in the Netherlands in 1965, playing with his trio: Ray Brown on bass (also a giant) and Ed Thigpen on drums:

  • 1946 – Jimmy Webb, American singer-songwriter and pianist
  • 1964 – Melinda Gates, American businesswoman and philanthropist, co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • 1972 – Ben Affleck, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter

Those who ceased respiring  on August 15 include:

  • 1057 – Macbeth, King of Scotland
  • 1935 – Wiley Post, American pilot (b. 1898) [see above]
  • 1935 – Will Rogers, American actor, comedian, and screenwriter (b. 1879)
  • 1967 – René Magritte, Belgian painter (b. 1898)
Ceci n’est pas Renée Magritte

They could have added that he was a civil rights activist!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Szaron are being friendly, and today’s dialogue has a title:


Hili: Is something there?
Szaron: Nothing.
Hili: I thought so.
In Polish:


Hili: Jest tam coś?
Szaron: Nie ma.
Hili: Tak myślałam.

And a monologue from Mietek, who is all grown up—and traveling in the car.

Mietek: Is it far?

In Polish: Daleko jeszcze?

Another song inspired by cat yowls. This is a good one (h/t Stephen):

From Facebook:

Matthew is on hols again, and he sent me this photo he took and labeled “A grumpy Haworth cat”. Everyone Yorkshire, including the beasts, is grumpy and kvetches. (See Monty Python sketch.)

From Masih, one of the women of Afghanistan. As the Taliban takes over, they could be raped, they could be made into sex slaves, they could be forced to marry a much older man, or they could be killed; but all of them will have their lives taken away

Tracy Ullman on a wokeness help group from the BBC:

Yes indeed, this is a real Arby’s ad, though in the chain it’s called “fish”.

. . . and some snark:

Two cat tweets from Ginger K. Nobody’s putting on those sandals till the kitten finishes its nap:

The form leaves a little to be desired:

Tweets from Matthew. This first one is fantastic.

A vivid comparison

Here’s a photo of a male from the NYT article. The males use their snouts to joust with each other, but there’s also another advantage to being a big male. Read the article to see what it is:

Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

June 27, 2021 • 6:30 am

Welcome to Sunday, June 27, 2021: National Orange Blossom Day. While it celebrates the flower, the “Orange Blossom” is also a drink made with gin, vermouth, and fresh orange juice. It’s also National Indian Pudding Day (the best pudding ever; try it!), National Bingo Day, National Ice Cream Cake Day, Helen Keller Day (celebrating her birth on this day in 1880), Industrial Workers of the World Day, National HIV Testing Day, National PTSD Awareness Day, and, a bit north, Canadian Multiculturalism Day.

Today’s Google Doodle is a gif that honors Tommy Kono (1930-2016), a medalist in three Olympics who set world records in four different body weight classes (click on screenshot):

News of the Day:

It’s more than five months since Joe Biden moved into the White House, and there is still not a sign of a cat in their home.

According to the Washington Post, an engineer warned in 2018 that the Florida condo which collapsed last week was an accident waiting to happen. (h/t: Randy)

The engineer, Frank P. Morabito, said in a structural survey report that waterproofing had failed below the pool deck and entrance drive, allowing damaging leaks.

“Failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially,” Morabito wrote. He said a “major error” had been made in the construction of the building, when waterproofing was laid on a flat slab rather than a sloped surface, to allow water to run off.

There were other problems too. But it’s premature to diagnose the cause or causes: it could even have been a sinkhole. At any rate, four people are dead, they have found other body parts in the wreckage, but no more survivors have turned up.  159 people remain unaccounted for, and it was heartbreaking to see the friends and relatives on last night’s news waiting an agonizing wait, hoping against hope that a “miracle” could happen but knowing in their hearts that things look grim.

A sad chapter in Canadian history has become even sadder with the discovery of the unmarked graves of hundreds of Indigenous “First Nations” children who likely died in the care of “residential schools” designed to take the Indigenous culture out of the children. Doesn’t this sound familiar?

From the 1880s through the 1990s, the Canadian government forcibly removed at least 150,000 ​Indigenous children like Mr. Thomas from their homes and sent ​them t​o residential schools ​designed to sever them from their culture and assimilate them into Western ways — a system that a ​National Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2008 ​called “cultural genocide.” At the schools, which were mostly run by the Catholic Church, sexual, physical and emotional abuse and violence were commonplace. Thousands of children went missing.

Abuse, sheer indifference, and racism on this scale is unthinkable, and yet it happened;  I’m sure many families lost their children and didn’t even know about it.

And an op-ed from the NYT: “What Jewish students need from University leaders right now.” It recounts the epidemic of demonization, abuse, and physical attacks on Jewish students in American colleges. Remember, these are nearly all American Jews, not Israelis. Of course all students are free to criticize Jews, Israel, and so on, but it’s not beyond a school’s mission to state that the kind of bullying and racism mentioned above seriously impedes the school’s mission to teach. I never thought I’d see the day when a wave of anti-Semitism swept over America.

Insanity of the week:  Reader Ginger K. reports, via the Philly Voice, that a bunch of loons invaded a Home Depot in Pennsylvania to have an exorcism for dead trees made into lumber. What were they trying to excorcise? Tree sprites?:

A police report from Dickson City in Lackawanna County raised eyebrows this week for its bizarre description of an incident that happened Monday.

“3:26pm: Commerce Blvd. @ Home Depot for disorderly people having an exorcism in the lumber isle (sic) for the dead trees,” authorities wrote. “They were escorted out of the building.”

A call placed to Dickson City police elicited a chuckle from one officer.

“There were two people hanging out in the lumber department doing their little exorcism thing,” the officer said. “Some people at the store started picking up that something was happening that was not necessarily normal. Police were called to the store and they were escorted out of the building.”

Here’s your apartheid nation: Israel brought 35 children from diverse places, including the West Bank and Gaza, as well as  to their hospitals for free treatment for heart disease. Of course the Israel haters will call this the medical equivalent of “pinkwashing.” But why would they treat their enemies for free? Could it be they have a sense of ethics? Nawww. . . .this is Israel, the most evilest country in the world.

“It is our mission to bring children from developing countries and places where they can’t get or can’t afford life-saving treatments. Over half of the children whose lives are being saved in Israel are from the Palestinian Authority and Gaza. Doctors in Israel volunteer their time to conduct the heart surgeries,” Tamar Shapira, deputy executive director of SACH [Save a Child’s Heart] told The Algemeiner in an interview. “For us they are little ambassadors. We tell a different story of Israel which is not political.”

Founded 25 years ago and backed by South African-born philanthropist Morris Kahn, SACH has saved the lives of more than 5,800 children, the group says, with Israeli doctors providing open-heart surgery, life-saving catheterization and other care to children from 62 countries.

h/t: Malgorzata

The NYT reports that the Manhattan district attorney has informed the Trump organization that it could face criminal charges as early as next week. The DA has been building a case for a while against the chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, but the announcement that the organization itself could face charges is new, and involves financial improprieties including failure to report emoluments. What I don’t understand (I’m not a lawyer) is how they can charge a company and yet Trump himself may not face any criminal charges. What happens if the company is convicted? Does it go to jail? Or just get fined? I’m still curious about whether the Orange Man will one day be wearing an orange jump suit.

It rained like hell in Chicago yesterday; we face chances of rain daily for a week. And Seattle may break its all-time heat record of 108°F (42.2°C) as the Pacific Northwest and Idaho face an unprecedented heat wave. Let’s hope that Stephen Barnard stays cool.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 603,500, an increase of 307 deaths over yesterday’s figure.  The reported world death toll is now 3,933,756,,, an increase of about 7,700 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on June 27 includes:

  • 1743 – In the Battle of Dettingen, George II becomes the last reigning British monarch to participate in a battle.
  • 1844 – Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, and his brother Hyrum Smith, are killed by a mob at the Carthage, Illinois jail.
  • 1898 – The first solo circumnavigation of the globe is completed by Joshua Slocum from Briar Island, Nova Scotia.

The 37-foot “gaff rigged” oyster boat in which Slocum sailed around the world: “the Spray”. It took him three years and two months:

Here are the city’s Jews being rounded up, and the second photo shows some of the 8,000 Jews sent by train to the camps. Of these, nearly 80% died en route, and their bodies are being thrown out of the train. Before the pogram, in 1930, there were nearly 36,000 Jews living in Iași.  Now there are 300-600.

  • 1950 – The United States decides to send troops to fight in the Korean War.
  • 1954 – The FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match between Hungary and Brazil, highly anticipated to be exciting, instead turns violent, with three players ejected and further fighting continuing after the game.

I couldn’t find a good video of this violent match, but highlights are below:

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacked the plane to Uganda, where the hijackers were supported by the odious dictator Idi Amin. The hijackers let the non-Israeli passengers go, but kept the Israelis under guard. After diplomatic efforts to resolve the situation failed, commandos of the Israeli Defense Forces plotted an elaborate scheme to rescue the hostages.

Wikipedia’s “Operation Entebbe” article has all the details. It was a very successful rescue:

The entire operation lasted 53 minutes – of which the assault lasted only 30 minutes. All seven hijackers present, and between 33 and 45 Ugandan soldiers, were killed. Eleven Soviet-built MiG-17 and MiG-21 fighter planes of the Uganda Army Air Force were destroyed on the ground at Entebbe Airport. Out of the 106 hostages, three were killed, one was left in Uganda (74-year-old Dora Bloch), and approximately 10 were wounded. The 102 rescued hostages were flown to Israel via Nairobi, Kenya, shortly after the raid.

Here are the happy survivors returning to Israel:

(From Wikipedia): Rescued passengers welcomed at Ben Gurion Airport

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1869 – Emma Goldman, Lithuanian-Canadian philosopher and activist (d. 1940)

Here’s Goldman, a great orator, preaching at Peter Kropotkin’s funeral procession in 1921.

From Wikipedia: Here, Emma Goldman delivers a eulogy at Peter Kropotkin’s funeral procession. Immediately in front of Goldman stands her lifelong comrade Alexander Berkman. Kropotkin’s funeral was the occasion of the last great demonstration of anarchists in Moscow—tens of thousands of people poured into the streets to pay their respects.
  • 1869 – Hans Spemann, German embryologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1941)
  • 1880 – Helen Keller, American author, academic, and activist (d. 1968) [see above]
  • 1913 – Willie Mosconi, American pool player (d. 1993)

Here are some trick shots by Willie Mosconi:

  • 1930 – Ross Perot, American businessman and politician (d. 2019)
  • 1975 – Tobey Maguire, American actor

Those who croaked on June 27 include:

  • 1839 – Ranjit Singh, founder of the Sikh Empire (b. 1780)
  • 1957 – Hermann Buhl, Austrian soldier and mountaineer (b. 1924)

Buhl was perhaps the greatest mountaineer of his time, and one of the best of all time. His solo ascent of Nanga Parbat is an unmatched achievement; Wikipedia says this:

1953 German–Austrian Nanga Parbat expedition – First ascent of Nanga Parbat, 8126 m (26,660 ft) (solo and without bottled oxygen). On the way back from the summit he was forced to stand erect on a rock ledge for the entire night at 8000 m altitude, in order to survive until the following morning. [JAC: 31 men had died on that mountain before Buhl was the first to reach the summit.]

Here’s Buhl, frostbitten, after 41 hours on the mountain alone. It’s an iconic photo of an iconic climber. He died at age 31 when he stepped through a cornice on Chogolisa and fell 900 feet. His body is still in the ice.

And here’s Nanga Parbat, also called “the killer mountain”:

  • 1989 – A. J. Ayer, English philosopher and academic (b. 1910)
  • 2001 – Jack Lemmon, American actor (b. 1925)
  • 2005 – Shelby Foote, American historian and author (b. 1917)

Foote, a prominent presence in Ken Burns’s film “The Civil War”, has recently been severely criticized for his “lost cause” sympathies for the Confederacy and his patronizing attitude towards blacks.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Malgorzata explains today’s Hili dialogue: “Hili’s face shows a bit of disgust and a bit of resignation. History taught her that humans can behave in disgusting ways (and often do it) and that one Polish cat cannot change it, hence—resignation and acknowledgement of the futility of her struggles.”

This is a wonderful portrait of Hili, taken by Andrzej.

Hili: I’m drawing conclusions from history.
A: I can see it.
In Polish:
Hili: Wyciągam wnioski z historii.
Ja: Właśnie widzę.

And Mietek is weary of riding in the car.

Mietek: Traveling is exhausting.

In Polish: Podróże są męczące

From Nicole:

From Bruce:

From Jesus of the Day, an adorable attempt at camouflage:

From Ginger K., a classic rock picture:

Tweets from Matthew. I love these enhanced and colorized old films, which really bring the past back to life:

As Matthew notes, “Pics of horse in France that visits patients in palliative care to cheer them up.” Have a look at the article for more photos.  The horse is said to be able to detect tumors and cancers, and stops by the rooms of only those so afflicted:

A cute but dumb idea:

If Duncan is the black cat, it looks as if he both starts and finishes stuff:

Sandworm mimic!

I haven’t read this paper, but the researchers use modern DNA from 26 populations to show a rapid evolution of virus-interacting-proteins (VIPs) that occurred 25,000 years ago, suggesting a coronavirus epidemic in East Asia at that time.

My pet skunk did exactly these threat behaviors when he was a baby. Below is a rescue skunk that will be released, so he’s not “descented”.

Thursday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

June 17, 2021 • 6:30 am

Welcome to Thursday, June 17, 2021: National Apple Strudel Day, a cultural appropriation from Austria.  It’s World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, World Croc[odile] Day, National Eat Your Vegetables Day (didn’t we just have that?), and Global Garbage Man Day (surely there are Garbage Women too!).

News of the Day:

We’ve finally passed the mark of 600,000 deaths in the U.S. due to Covid-19 (see below). I remember when a mark of 200,000 seemed unimaginable, but we’re now three times higher than that. According to the CDC, though,  only 44% of Americans have been fully vaccinated.  But the range among states is wide: at the top is Vermont, with about 63% of the population fully vaccinated; at the bottom is Mississippi with only 28.5%.

As I predicted (that was a no-brainer), the Putin-Biden summit did not appear to be going well, at least in terms of agreements. Putin denied that the big hacker attacks in the U.S. came from Russia, and Biden pressed an unimpressed Putin on Russia’s human rights record and Navalny’s imprisonment. All Biden could say was, “I did what I came to do.” I was nonplussed by all the news describing the summit as “historic” when, at least for now, there’s little evidence that anything was accomplished.

Trump asserts that he’s writing a memoir, “the book of all books,” he calls it, but the Guardian reports that reputable publishers are unlikely to bite, especially because Trump was only a one-term President. Trump says he’s already had two offers from publishers but turned them both down. The Guardian adds:

On Tuesday, Politico reported that senior figures at Penguin Random House, Hachette, Harper Collins, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster said they would not touch a Trump book.

“It would be too hard to get a book that was factually accurate, actually,” one was quoted as saying. “That would be the problem. If he can’t even admit that he lost the election, then how do you publish that?”

(h/t Eli)

The Senate unanimously passed legislation making Juneteenth (June 19) a federal holiday, “Juneteenth National Independence Day”. As I write this on Wednesday evening, the House is expected to approve the bill as well, and of course Biden will sign it into law. Earlier on Wednesday, our own governor, J. B. Pritzker, signed a bill making Juneteenth an Illinois state holiday. By now you should know what the date commemorates, but if you don’t know, go here. It’s a celebration of emancipation from slavery, announced in Texas on this date in 1865, three years after Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Botanical News: A rare “corpse flower” has bloomed, albeit briefly, in Poland. From the Associated Press:

The endangered Sumatran Titan arum, a giant foul-smelling blossom also known as the corpse flower, went into a rare, short bloom at a botanical garden in Warsaw, drawing crowds who waited for hours to see it.

The extraordinary flower, which emits a dead-body odor to attract pollinating insects that feed on flesh, bloomed Sunday. It was already withering early Monday. Those wishing to avoid the smell and crowds could watch it on live video from the Warsaw University Botanical Gardens.

Hundreds, if not thousands, lined up long into the night Sunday and Monday morning at the conservatory just to be able to pass by the flower and take a picture.

Here’s a video of the same species blooming in Cornwall. It’s amazing!

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 600,024, an increase of 332 deaths over yesterday’s figure. We’ve finally passed the 600,000 mark.  The reported world death toll is now 3,849,345, an increase of about 10,500 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on June 17 includes:

And the world’s most beautiful mausoleum (and building):

Photo from Wikipedia
  • 1673 – French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet reach the Mississippi River and become the first Europeans to make a detailed account of its course.
  • 1767 – Samuel Wallis, a British sea captain, sights Tahiti and is considered the first European to reach the island.
  • 1885 – The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbor.

Here’s part of it before it was sent to the U.S.

1878 World Fair in Paris, Park of the Champ-de-Mars, (Photo by Léon et Lévy/Roger Viollet/Getty Images)

Nash was being escorted by train to the penitentiary, but was killed in the assault (Pretty Boy Floyd was one of the assailants). Here’s the scene outside the station soon after the attack:

  • 1939 – Last public guillotining in France: Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, is executed in Versailles outside the Saint-Pierre prison.

As Wikipedia notes, “The “hysterical behaviour” by spectators was so scandalous that French President Albert Lebrun immediately banned all future public executions. Executions by guillotine continued out of public view until the last such execution, of Hamida Djandoubi on September 10, 1977.” You can see photos of the trial and the guillotine here.

  • 1944 – Iceland declares independence from Denmark and becomes a republic.[6]
  • 1963 – The United States Supreme Court rules 8–1 in Abington School District v. Schempp against requiring the reciting of Bible verses and the Lord’s Prayer in public schools.
  • 1967 – Nuclear weapons testing: China announces a successful test of its first thermonuclear weapon.
  • 1972 – Watergate scandal: Five White House operatives are arrested for burgling the offices of the Democratic National Committee during an attempt by members of the administration of President Richard M. Nixon to illegally wiretap the political opposition as part of a broader campaign to subvert the democratic process.
  • 1987 – With the death of the last individual of the species, the dusky seaside sparrow becomes extinct.

The last aged male, between 9 and 13 years old, died at the Walt Disney World resort. Here’s a photo:

Here’s the classification (with numbers) in a South African Identity document during apartheid:

Remember watching that ride on television? Here’s a news report with video:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1882 – Igor Stravinsky, Russian pianist, composer, and conductor (d. 1971)
  • 1898 – M. C. Escher, Dutch illustrator (d. 1972)

Here’s a self-portrait of Escher followed by a photograph:

  • 1920 – François Jacob, French biologist and geneticist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2013)
  • 1943 – Newt Gingrich, American historian and politician, 58th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
  • 1943 – Barry Manilow, American singer-songwriter and producer
  • 1980 – Venus Williams, American tennis player

Those who reaped their heavenly reward on June 17 include:

There is one picture of a cat and kitten by Edward Burne-Jones (below), but I can’t establish that he really painted it. I doubt it!

  • 1986 – Kate Smith, American singer (b. 1907)
  • 2008 – Cyd Charisse, American actress and dancer (b. 1922)
  • 2012 – Rodney King, American victim of police brutality (b. 1965)

This was captured on video (below, note that it’s distressing), something that is more common these days, for video is powerful evidence:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is once again supervising the gardening:

A: Are you asleep?
Hili: No, I’m waiting for you to start weeding the vegetable patch.
In Polish:
Ja: Śpisz?
Hili: Nie, czekam aż się zabierzesz za pielenie warzywnika.

And a rare Mietek monologue; he queries Elzbieta as if he was an impatient child:

Mietek: Is it far yet?

In Polish: Daleko jeszcze?

From Bruce:

From Nicole:

From Jesus of the Day:

From Titania, who must have read the bird article I discussed yesterday:

From reader Ken (via the GOP Twitter feed), who describes this as “Republican self parody”:

Another urban duck-saving story from Jean. I can’t get enough of these, but only when they have a happy ending:

A 45-year-old rock photo sent by Ginger K.

Tweets from Matthew. This is not likely to be evolved mimicry, but who knows? Predators could avoid the whole concatenation of eggs since it resembles a snake, and laying in such a pattern might then be adaptive.

A double treat: science combined with a clever parody of a Dean Martin song:

In honor of Stan Laurel, even though his birthday was yesterday:

One of Matthew’s beloved optical illusions. I’m sure I’ve posted it before, but it’s well worth seeing again. Be sure to turn the sound up and watch the whole thing.