David Bentley Hart makes a fool of himself, and so does the New York Times

I don’t want to believe what is happening to the New York Times: its journalistic standards are declining, it fired its public editor for finding flaws in the paper’s coverage, and it’s becoming more and more Authoritarian Left. One would think from the outset that publishing an article by a theologian wouldn’t comport with Control-Leftism, but Saturday’s op-ed, by none other than David Bentley Hart, does.

We’ve met Hart before: he’s a humorless, Orthodox Christian Sophisticated Theologian™ and philosopher, most notable for his dreadful writing and obscurantist pronouncements about the nature of God. Combined with his lame philosophy and execrable prose is his overweening arrogance, which seeps through in virtually every sentence of his work. You can see it, for instance, in his book The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss,which I analyzed on this site.

So the New York Times published Hart’s long, confusing, and wearisome diatribe—on baseball. Click on the screenshot to read it, but, to quote Joni Mitchell, “be prepared to bleed”:

The point of the article, as far as I can discern what the sweating professor is trying to say, is that he’s a baseball fan of sorts, doesn’t like the New York Yankees, and sees them as unfairly advantaged because of their large endowment, which enables them to buy up the best players. This creates a wage gap between them and other teams, and this gap parallels the income inequality that pervades America today. To make this point, Hart uses over 1400 words, most of them unnecessary.

Now I think a lot of the article is Hart’s attempt to be humorous while making this serious point, which he does by using hyperbolic similes, fancy foreign phrases, and purple prose; but the result is not funny at all. I’ll spare you most of the prose, but have a gander at this:

Overwriting:

So, I confess it: There is some resentment. But it never degenerates into emulousness or envy. No one elsewhere wants to root for a team like the Yankees. The notion is appalling. Could any franchise be more devoid of romance? What has it ever represented but the brute power of money? One can admire the St. Louis Cardinals’ magnificent history, or cherish fond memories of the great Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds or Oakland A’s teams of the past. But no morally sane soul could delight in that graceless enormity in the Bronx, or its supremacy over smaller markets. It is an intrinsically depraved pleasure, like a taste for bearbaiting. And certainly none of us wants to be anything like Yankees fans — especially after seeing them at close quarters. Certainly, I have witnessed them often enough in Baltimore during weekend series against my beloved Orioles to know the horror in full.

Not that the horror is easy to recall clearly. The trauma is too violent. Memory cringes, whines, tries to slink away. One recollects only a kaleidoscopic flux of gruesomely fragmentary impressions, too outlandish to be perfectly accurate, too vivid to be entirely false: nightmarish revenants from the dim haunts of the collective unconscious … monstrous, abortive shapes emerging from the abysmal murk of evolutionary history … things pre-hominid, even pre-mammalian … forms never quite resolving into discrete organisms, spilling over and into one another, making it uncertain where one ends and another begins. … It really is awful: ghastly glistening flesh … tentacles coiling and uncoiling, stretching and contracting … lidless orbicular eyes eerily waving on slender stalks … squamous hides, barbed quills, the unguinous sheen of cutaneous toxins … serrated tails, craggy horns, sallow fangs, gleaming talons … fragrances fungal and poisonous … sickly iridescences undulating across pallid, gelatinous underbellies or shimmering along slick, filmy scales.

Jebus!

Fancy foreign phrases to show off:

I mean, be reasonable: How often, as Derek Jeter’s retirement approached in 2014, were we made to endure the squealing ecstasies of television announcers too bedazzled by the fastidious delicacy of his dainty coupé-chassé en tournant on grounders to his right to notice his minuscule range or flimsy arm? Why were we forced to see him awarded a preposterous two additional Gold Gloves in his dotage when his defense was scarcely better than mediocre in his prime?

Umm. . . how many of the Times’s readers, sophisticated as they might be, know what a “coupé-chassé en tournant” is? Could he not have used a more familiar phrase?

Hart’s labored and unconvincing conclusion:

The analogy is imperfect, but irresistible. America — with its decaying infrastructure, its third-world public transit, its shrinking labor market, its evaporating middle class, its expanding gulf between rich and poor, its heartless health insurance system, its mindless indifference to a dying ecology, its predatory credit agencies, its looming Social Security collapse, its interminable war, its metastasizing national debt and all the social pathologies that gave it a degenerate imbecile and child-abducting sadist as its president — remains the only developed economy in the world that believes it wrong to use civic wealth for civic goods. Its absurdly engorged military budget diverts hundreds of billions of dollars a year from the public weal to those who profit from the military-industrial complex. Its plutocratic policies and libertarian ethos are immune to all appeals of human solidarity. It towers over the world, but promises secure shelter only to the fortunate few.

Yes, there may be some truth in this penultimate paragraph, but really, hasn’t this been said a gazillion times before? And how much of it has to do with baseball? Child abduction? Yes, the Trump administration treats immigrant children poorly, but why does that have to do with the Yankees?

And does Hart have to preface this paragraph with 1200 words of bloviation about the horrible Satanic New York team? Yes, the analogy is imperfect, because the U.S. government is not a private organization like the New York Yankees, nor subject to the same market forces, but the analogy should have been irresistible. 

Only a pompous ass of a theologian, trying at once to be humorous and profound, could produce such a horror of an article. More important: Why did the New York Times publish this? What editor looked at this submission and thought, “Hey, this is pretty good. Let’s run it?” And didn’t that editor have an editor to approve the publication?

I urge you to read it yourself and tell me if there’s any merit in it.

Wildlife videos: Fox cam!

Reader Michael called my attention to this Fox Cam, which shows a large and entertaining brood. The YouTube notes:

A family of wild Red Foxes has raised kits in a den on the campus of the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness, New Hampshire for three successive springs. In 2016 she reared 5 kits, in 2017 she reared 7 kits. This year she appeared with 9 kits on April 4. After more than two weeks of observations we were astonished on April 20, when we counted 11 kits. We can’t believe that one female produced all these kits and we are puzzled why we have not seen all eleven until now.

For a passel of different live wildlife streams, go to this site.

Tuesday: Hili dialogue

It’s the cruelest day: Tuesday: Tuesday, July 17, 2018, and “National Peach Ice-Cream Day“, though why they hyphenate “Ice-Cream” is beyond me. It will be a cool-ish day in Chicago at last, with lower humidity and a high of only 77° F (25°C). I have things to do downtown this morning, so posting will probably be light.

News of the day: Yesterday I posted on Trump’s shameful performance in Helsinki, siding with Putin over the U.S. intelligence service’s determination that Russia had meddled in the last Presidential election. To me this was the lowest low so far in his Presidency. Here are two statements ripping The Donald a new one, one by John Kerry, and the other by John McCain, who is dying. Click on the tweet to go to the original and read the statements.

On this day in 1762, Catherine II (Catherine the Great) became the tsar of Russia after her husband, Peter III, was overthrown and then killed. She ruled for 36 years. On July 17, 1902, the first air conditioner was created in Buffalo, New York, hardly a hot town. The inventor was Willis Carrier, and Carrier air conditioners are still the benchmark of quality for the product. On this day in 1918, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, his wife, children, and three retainers were executed by the Bolsheviks in Yekaterinburg Russia. Although the bodies were buried in secret graves, they were dug up and identified between 1998 and 2007; the remains now rest in the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg; you can see my post recounting the execution and showing the resting sites, made after I visited the Fortress in 2011. Here’s a photo I took of where the bodies are interred in the cathedral, with the graves of the Tsar and his wife Alexandra in the middle and those of their children around them:

On July 17, 1945, Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, and Joseph Stalin met in Potsdam to decide what to do with postwar Germany and Poland. Finally, in 1984, the national drinking age in the U.S. was raised from 18 to 21. Although the move probably saved some lives, it seems to me that since the age at which you can join the military and fight for your country is 18, you should also be able to get a drink at that age. And if saving lives was the main aim, why not 25 instead of 21?

Notables who were born on July 17 include Isaac Watts (1674), John Jacob Astor (1763), Lyonel Feininger (1871; one of my favorite painters), James Cagney (1899), Gale Garnett (1942), Phoebe Snow (1950), and Angela Merkel (1954). Those who died on this day include Charlotte Corday (1763; guillotined), Dorothea Dix (1887), Henri Poincaré (1912), the Romanov family (1918; see above), Billie Holiday (1959), Ty Cobb (1961), John Coltrane (1967), Dizzy Dean (1974), Katharine Graham (2001) and Walter Cronkite (2009).

Here’s one of Feininger’s paintings, Benz VI (1914):

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, the beasts got a visitor. As Malgorzata explains, “Elzbieta always comes with wonderful treats for Hili and Cyrus. They both know that by now and run to her as soon as they see her, each wanting to be the first.”

Hili: How nice to see you, my good woman.
Cyrus: Don’t listen to her, she is an insincere cat.
In Polish:
Hili: Miło cię widzieć, dobra kobieto.
Cyrus: Nie słuchaj jej, to fałszywa kotka.

Tweets from Grania. First, a candidate for the Darwin Award:

A baby starfish:

Another reverse Pavlov’s cat:

The cats don’t like their new toy:

Just one of many missteps by Trump in Helsinki:

An anti-Trump protest in the UK with some humor:

From Matthew; You can have tons of fun (and enlightenment) by going to this site, clicking on any species, and seeing its genealogy with respect to our own, as well as the putative common ancestor and when it lived:

Matthew notes that this second tweet gives “The suggestion is that this Psocid barklouse fly is imitating a jumping spider looking right at ya…”. That seems a pretty good hypothesis to me.

WTF?

A new archaeological discovery in Ireland:

. . . some street art:

. . . and another clip from Matthew’s favorite comedian of the silent era of movies, Buster Keaton:

Finally, as lagniappe, here’s a bonus video from reader Michael Glenister, who fostered Mr. Paws, a cat with a lovely purr. His notes and then his video; turn the sound up for the purr!

The cat I was fostering got adopted today.  However I thought you might appreciate his unusual purr.

Monday: Duck report

The ducklings are now almost the size of Honey, and since she’s now molting and has shed most of her primary feathers, it’s hard to tell her apart from her brood. The other development is that the “babies” are now testing out their wings, sitting on the duck island and flapping them furiously for long periods. They aren’t feathered enough to fly yet, but their primaries are growing in, and I think they’re exercising their wing muscles. This must be instinctive, for surely they don’t know they can fly. What a sensation it must be for a duck to take off for the first time! I can’t imagine—and we’ll never know—what that feels like to them. And how marvelous that at some point, they’ll just flap and take off!

Here are the wing feathers, by the way:

Here’s Honey, and you can see that her big primaries, which used to cross over each other by her tail, are gone:

Honey (right) with three of her brood. They’re about as big as she is now, and only her white-ish tail and beak mottling, as well as her position (standing guard, swimming either in front of or behind the ducklings) are obvious identifiers.

In contrast to Honey, her brood are growing in their primary feathers, which you can see in these photos of a duckling foraging in the lily pads:

Notice the big honking wing feathers starting to impinge on the tail:

The gang gathered for breakfast this morning. Can you spot Mom? Note the turtle at upper left along with a feather floating by it. The duck at the extreme right has its beak open.

Lord help me, I’m getting soft, collecting Honey’s shed feathers that are floating in the pond. The middle two are blue and must be part of her speculum:

A close-up of what I think is a speculum feather with a white tip and an iridescent blue half:

I have no words: Trump sides with Putin over U.S. intelligence

UPDATE: Reader Simon sent me this statement in Business Insider from John McCain about Trump’s execrable behavior.  No matter what you think of McCain, he’s honest and frank here:

“Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake.

“President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.

“It is tempting to describe the press conference as a pathetic rout – as an illustration of the perils of under-preparation and inexperience. But these were not the errant tweets of a novice politician. These were the deliberate choices of a president who seems determined to realize his delusions of a warm relationship with Putin’s regime without any regard for the true nature of his rule, his violent disregard for the sovereignty of his neighbors, his complicity in the slaughter of the Syrian people, his violation of international treaties, and his assault on democratic institutions throughout the world.

“Coming close on the heels of President Trump’s bombastic and erratic conduct towards our closest friends and allies in Brussels and Britain, today’s press conference marks a recent low point in the history of the American Presidency. That the president was attended in Helsinki by a team of competent and patriotic advisors makes his blunders and capitulations all the more painful and inexplicable.

“No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are—a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. American presidents must be the champions of that cause if it is to succeed. Americans are waiting and hoping for President Trump to embrace that sacred responsibility. One can only hope they are not waiting totally in vain.”

_____________

It’s bad enough that Trump goes a-courtin’ dictators like Kim Jong-un and Putin while dissing our friends like Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron, which is shameful, but now he’s sided with Putin over the American FBI on whether the Russians interfered in the last American election. Here’s part of a BBC report (click on the screenshot to read more).

And the icing on this cowpie cake:

I’m depressed and frustrated, and don’t know what to do. As the New Yorker put it, “Trump is the least dignified President in American history.” But it’s more than a lack of dignity; it’s a lack of gravitas, of smarts, and a surfeit of gushing narcissism. What can we do? I voted against the man, I’ve written my congresspeople on various issues, but I haven’t marched, which I don’t think accomplishes much. Only Congress can do something now, and they won’t.

We’re screwed big time, and we have this for 2.5 more years.

Control-Left: EVERYBODY is “problematic”

Why do I keep returning to HuffPost like a dog returning to its vomit? It’s probably because I consider the site, as the epitome of Control-Leftist journalism (and a widely read media platform) to be a harbinger of social changes to come in the Left. Already “mainstream” venues like the New York Times and the New Yorker, as well as a vast number of American colleges and universities, are showing the C-L streak, which I detect not by their social progressivism, but by a certain hectoring tone of their discourse and by the demonization of our political opponents as somehow morally impure.

Mixed in with those elements is the overweening method that C-Ls use in their attempts to effect social change: guilt. Like the Original Sin of Christians, all of us—and I mean everyone—is supposed to feel guilty because they harbor some degree of “privilege”: that we have benefited from the oppression of others and thus must atone for it, or at least admit it. (Lots of people have equated privilege with Original Sin.)

And, one by one, groups previously seen as oppressed are now seen as privileged: the most obvious example is the pronouncement by Britain’s National Union of Students that gay white males didn’t deserve representation in the LGBT societies because they don’t face oppression. Ultimately, the end of this slide is when everybody is deemed privileged, and told to atone for it, save for members of the most oppressed class. At the same time, everybody save cis white males will eventually be convinced they are oppressed and act like it, including Asian-Americans, one of the most privileged groups in the U.S.

In the HuffPo article below (click on screenshot), the privilege belongs not to white people, or gay males, but—wait for it—to Christians. Yes, the very same Christians who themselves complain about being oppressed. The insanity of this article, in which its author, a black woman, tells Christians that they’re all privileged and must atone for it, must be read to be believed:

An excerpt (my emphasis):

Some of us buy a pair of TOMS shoes to give a pair away to a child in Africa but never want to own the Christian industrial complex that economically disenfranchises children abroad and at home. Essentially, Christians want to have their cake and eat it too. We seek to hold what is pleasant or noble about our history while rejecting the notion of our participation in oppression systems, structures and organizations by nature of our belief in itself.

The problem is that if you identify as Christian (a highly politicized social identity as much as it is a religious one in the U.S.) you must, in having the social privileges of being Christian, also carry the social weight of taking on defensive postures to seem like one of the “good ones.”

This all gets shrouded under the notion that it simply isn’t fair to lump all people into one label or category. This is is sometimes true; however, with an identity as systemically privileged as being Christian is in the U.S. and with the gravity of historical nonsense perpetuated in the name of Jesus, it is not enough to simply ascribe responsibility to individuals in the same way it wouldn’t be helpful to focus on individual white people in dismantling systemic racism.

Notice first that many Christians are black, and hence already members of an oppressed group. Further, at least half, and probably more, are women, also oppressed. To what degree does their Christian “privilege” mitigate their oppression? How guilty should they feel for being Christian?

Second, how, exactly, are Christians oppressed? What is the “Christian industrial complex” of which they are members? What kind of guilt are you supposed to feel when giving away a pair of TOMS shoes to African children but are told that you’re a member of the “Christian industrial complex” of which TOMS is supposedly a part? Is TOMS even a “Christian” company? If so, I can’t see how. And the only criticism of TOMS I’ve found in a short trawl of the Internet is that the company might drive small shoe-sellers out of business or monetize white guilt by making people feel better without doing much. Well, something is better than nothing, and the plight of a few small shoe merchants seems lesser than that of many impoverished Africans. Yet TOMS is doing something—and I suspect far more than author Brandi Miller, who hectors fellow Christians for their privilege (she’s identified as “a campus minister and justice program director from the Pacific Northwest”).

Another excerpt:

Christians must learn a posture of listening, and instead of trying to crawl out of critiques, to ask better questions that help them to own identity and, as a result, hopefully gain renewal. There is no need to be defensive and decenter a conversation on perceived individual Christian exceptionalism when it simply serves to make the conversation about that Christian’s feelings rather than a critique being made on behalf of the marginalized.

My podcast on free will at Left at the Valley

Left at the Valley is an atheist/science/politics podcast emanating from the Fraser Valley of Western Canada. I’ve been on it once before, talking about evolution, but this time they wanted to discuss free will. Before you get all het up and ready to pound the keys, I defined the kind of free will I’m discussing here as the kind most commonly held: dualistic I-could-have-done-otherwise free will. There’s very little talk of compatibilism, as the three hosts (Kevin, Nancy, and Kristina) wanted to talk about the dualistic kind and its significance.

Click on the screenshot to hear the whole podcast; my part begins at about 45:18:

 

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Mark Sturtevant (Flickr page here) has some notes and photos about the inhabitants of his Magic Field. His notes are indented:

I have written before about the Magic Field, which has been generous in its gifts of interesting arthropods. Among the most common of these are Orthopterans, like grasshoppers and katydids, and the solitary wasps that hunt them. 

The Magic Field has no less than five different species of band-winged grasshoppers, which are grasshoppers that flash brightly colorful hind wings when in flight. Never have I seen such diversity in one area from this particular group. Here are four of those species. The fifth has rather pale hind wings and I have not gotten around to photographing it. 

In the first two pictures we meet the Carolina grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina), a species that is probably very familiar to those in the U.S. It is recommended that readers click to enlarge the first picture to closely view this insect. One then discovers, with pleasure, that even a mundane grasshopper is startlingly complex in its colors and textures. Like the other pictures that follow, the second picture shows the only way that I know to display the colorful hind wings. 

The next two pictures are of the mottled sand grasshopper (Spharagemon collare), which, as its name implies, is very hard to see even when one knows exactly where they have landed. 

Following this is another small species of ‘hopper that is pretty exciting when first seen in the field. This darkly colored insect has orange or sometimes red hind wings, and for this it is called is the red-winged grasshopper (Arphia pseudonietana). This one is one of the wiliest grasshoppers! Very hard to catch with the net since they are very good at quietly sneaking out from under it. 

While pacing the field to scare up ‘hoppers, the real thrill comes when a big coral-winged grasshopper (Pardalophora apiculata) is flushed. This is a large and robust species, and one especially notices that when a female takes flight as they are positively ponderous in the air. But they are beautiful, as one can see. The amount of green in their body color is variable. I really like the look of them, and their hefty appearance somehow conveys that this is a grasshopper that Means Business. When I visit the Magic Field in the early spring I will see adult coral-wings. This is because they overwinter as late-instar nymphs. 

Why have brightly colored hind wings? Band-winged grasshoppers are well camouflaged when at rest, but it is believed that when in flight their flashing hind wings serves as a kind of deception to predators. In flight they are signaling “look at me, I’m orange!” or “I’m yellow!!” Then they land, fold their wings, and virtually disappear. A pursuing predator would have developed a ‘search image’ for something orange or yellow, and so will not be looking for something that looks like a mottled twig. They sometimes will add to this trickery by landing and quickly scooching over a few inches so they are not sitting where they most definitely landed. All of this makes the task of catching them extra challenging. But they are to be admired for that.

It should be emphasized that no grasshoppers were harmed in the taking of these pictures. 

At the peak of summer the Magic Field hosts thousands of small flowering plants called spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata). This odd little plant is like catnip to two of our larger wasps, the great black wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus) and the closely related golden digger wasp (Sphex ichneumoneus). Both kinds of wasps concentrate heavily on these flowers before turning their attention to hunting katydids and sometimes grasshoppers. Their prey is paralyzed and stored in a burrow with an egg. The larva of course will eat the helpless prey.

The next picture shows a great black wasp on beebalm. The last picture is a golden digger wasp. The latter species tends to become heavily covered in beebalm pollen and so I chose to show one on milkweed instead.

Monday: Hili dialogue

It’s Monday, July 16, 2018, and National Corn Fritters Day, celebrating a foodstuff that is good but rarely seen. It’s going to be another steambath in Chicago today, with a high of 85° F (29.4°C) but a sopping humidity of 88%. The ducks will be hot in their feather coats, but fortunately can swim and gambol in a cool pond, constantly replenished with fresh cold water.

Today’s news: a new law that could reduce aggression takes force tomorrow. As the Guardian notes (h/t Grania):

Tuesday is a red-letter day for international law: from then on, political and military leaders who order the invasion of foreign countries will be guilty of the crime of aggression, and may be punishable at the international criminal court in The Hague. Had this been an offence back in 2003, Tony Blair would have been bang to rights, together with senior numbers of his cabinet and some British military commanders. But if that were the case, of course, they would not have gone ahead; George W Bush would have been without his willing UK accomplices.

. . . The crime will be committed by those who direct the use of armed force against the “sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence” of another member state, in a manner which “by its character, gravity, and scale” amounts to a “manifest violation” of the UN charter (which prohibits such attacks, other than in self-defence).

July 16, 622, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar; that’s the year in which Muhamed (peace be upon him) and his followers (peace be upon them too) moved from Mecca to Medina. On this day in 1661, the first banknotes in Europe were issued by the Swedish bank Stockholms Banco. Here’s what one looked like:

On July 16, 1769, Fr. Junípero Serra founded the first of California’s missions, the Mission San Diego de Alacalà, which became the hub of the city of San Diego.  In 1790, Washington, D.C. officially became the U.S.’s capital city when the Residence Act was signed. A sad day for all of us: on this day in 1935, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma installed the world’s first parking meter. Here is that infernal machine:

On July 16, 1941, Joe DiMaggio hit safely in his 56th consecutive baseball game, ending a streak that still stands as the record for Major League Baseball (in the minor leagues, he hit safely in 61 straight games for the San Francisco Seals). That was one of several landmarks in baseball on July 16; here’s a video describing them:

On this day in 1945, the US. successfully detonated a plutonium-based nuclear weapon in New Mexico, inaugurating the Atomic Age. On this day in 1969, the Apollo 11 mission began with a launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida that culminated with the first walk on the Moon four days later. On July 16, 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, and his sister-in-law were killed when a small plane piloted by JFK Jr. plunged into the Atlantic Ocean off Martha’s Vineyard. Finally, on this day in 2004, the highly visited Millennium Park opened in Chicago, which Wikipedia describes as “Chicago’s first and most ambitious early 21st-century architectural project.”

Notables born on this day include Joshua Reynolds (1723), Mary Baker Eddy (1821), Roald Amundsen (1872), Shoeless Joe Jackson (1887), Bess Myerson (1924; the first Jewish Miss America), Desmond Dekker (1941), and Tony Kushner (1956). Those who died on July 16 include Mary Todd Lincoln (1882), Heinrich Böll (1985), Julian Schwinger (1994; Nobel Laureate), Stephen Spender (1995), John F. Kennedy Junior (1999; see above), and Kitty Wells (2012).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is at last doing her job.  Malgorzata explains:

Hili is sitting outside the window and looking into the room at Andrzej’s screen, fulfilling her editor’s duties even while taking a break.
Hili: Correct this typo.
A: Where?
Hili: Third paragraph, second word.
In Polish:
Hili: Popraw tę literówkę.
Ja: Gdzie?
Hili: Drugi akapit, trzecie słowo.

From reader Anne Houde: 11 ducklings saved! What a catch, and what a nice man!

From reader Gethyn, amazing cat art:

From Matthew: Wouldn’t you know it! (The tweet has disappeared: the animal was a raccoon):

Speaking of turtles, they’re a source of salt much needed by butterflies. Be sure to check out the video in the link:

I don’t know how this guy got away with diving in tennis, but it’s funny:

Biology teachers: here’s a diagram to use in your classes:

British cop high-fives a Trump protestor:

From Grania: a cat wearing a Dunkin Donuts bag.

And a sleeping puss:

Potential Darwin award:

Here’s a geological conundrum; perhaps they really know how these are formed:

An affectionate seal gets a belly rub:

And from Heather Hastie, another successful duckling rescue. I’m a sucker for these videos, of course:

100th Infinite Monkey Cage episode is now video to the world:

The other day I put up the podcast link to the hundredth episode of the BBC comedy/science show “The Infinite Monkey Cage”, starring Robin Ince and physicist Brian Cox. Now the video is available to everyone, not just UK residents, and you can see go to its site by clicking  on the screenshot below.

Spot the geneticist! Matthew Cobb is a VIP guest sitting in the front row.