Thursday: Hili dialogue

It’s almost December now: we’re at the penultimate day of November, i.e., the 29th of the month in the year of our Ceiling Cat (fleas be upon him), 2018. It’s National Chocolates Day, but I can’t have any as I’m fasting. It’s also the feast day of Our Lady of Beauraing, celebrating five Belgian children who saw visions of Mary in 1932-1933. Why, by the way, is it always Mary who appears in these visions? Why not Jesus, or even God? That alone shows that this is an infectious meme. After all, God did appear to Moses, to Job, and to Abraham.

This is another skimpy day in history. On November 29, 1781, a horrible event took place: the crew of the British slave ship Zong simply threw 133 Africans overboard, killing them because the ship’s water was running low and the owners could claim insurance money (they lost). Here’s J. M. W. Turner’s 1840 painting “The Slave Ship”, inspired by the Zong’s perfidy (click to enlarge):

On this day in 1877, Thomas Edison first demonstrated the phonograph that he’d recently patented. 22 years later, F.C. Barcelona was founded by Catalan, Spanish, and English men. It remains a great team. On November 29, 1929, Admiral Richard Byrd made the first successful flight over the South Pole. On this day in 1967, three months into my first year at college, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, beleaguered and unsure of his mission to prosecute the Vietnam war, resigned. Finally, on this day in 1972, or so Wikipedia claims, “Atari release[d] Pong, the first commercially successful video game.” I don’t know from Pong.

Notables born on this day include Amos Bronson Alcott (1799), Christian Doppler (1803), Louisa May Alcott (1832, Bronson’s famous daughter), C. S. Lewis (1898), Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (1908), Jacques Chirac (1932), Felix Cavaliere (1942), and Rahm Emanuel (1959).

Cavaliere was of course the titular head of the rock group The Young Rascals (also known as The Rascals), and here’s their most famous song: “Groovin“, from 1967. It became a #1 hit for the group. First some background from Wikipedia:

Written by group members Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati and with a lead vocal from Cavaliere, it is a slow, relaxed groove, based on Cavaliere’s newfound interest in Afro-Cuban music. Instrumentation included a conga, a Cuban-influenced bass guitar line from session musician Chuck Rainey, and a harmonica part, performed first for the single version by New York session musician Michael Weinstein, and later for the album version by Gene Cornish.

The result was fairly different from the Rascals’ white soul origins, enough so that Atlantic Records head Jerry Wexler did not want to release “Groovin'”. Cavaliere credits disc jockey Murray the K with intervening to encourage Atlantic to release the song. “To tell you the truth, they didn’t originally like the record because it had no drum on it,” admits Cavaliere. “We had just cut it, and he [Murray the K] came in the studio to say hello. After he heard the song, he said, ‘Man, this is a smash.’ So, when he later heard that Atlantic didn’t want to put it out, he went to see Jerry Wexler and said, ‘Are you crazy? This is a friggin’ No. 1 record.’ He was right, because it eventually became No. 1 for four straight weeks.”

And the song, which you’ll remember if you’re close to my age:

Those who died on this day include Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (1530), Hans Holbein the Younger (1543), Giacomo Puccini (1924), Natalie Wood (1981), Cary Grant (1986), and Jim Nabors (2017).

Holbein, official portraitist of Henry VIII, did a famous painting from life of the king (1537) that was destroyed in a fire in 1698. Copies remain, though; here’s one from around the same time, and below that an original Holbein showing Henry:

An original portrait by Holbein (1534-1536):


Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Cyrus are bantering:

Cyrus: Do you think that your shadow is afraid of my shadow?
Hili: No, they know each other.
In Polish:
Cyrus: Czy myślisz, że twój cień boi się mojego cienia?
Hili: Nie, one się znają.

A tweet from Heather; both of us would dearly love to be this guy!

Reader Nilou sent a tweet from the Tower of London’s Beefeater “Ravenmaster,” who is shamelessly flogging his new book:


Tweets from Matthew. In the first series he expresses his disapprobation about the Chinese scientist who claims to have genetically engineered two babies using the CRISPR system, removing a gene that makes people susceptible to HIV infection (why would one even want to do that?):

Eric Topol is a well known geneticist and researching physician.

That experiment is really, really wonky, and would be illegal in the U.S. We simply don’t know enough about how to use CRISPR responsibly to justify this kind of manipulation.

More tweets from Matthew. The first one makes a strange claim. How can that bee? The thread after this tweet gives the bizarre solution:

I wonder if someone lost his job over this. . .

Tweets from Grania. The first is the “on” button of a cat:

As Grania says, “This is an outrage.” Truly!

Nothing that Trump says surprises me any more.



  1. Serendipitydawg
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    I don’t know from Pong.

    An example of an idiom that always baffles me… what does it actuallly mean?

    • Posted November 29, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Surely it means our host doesn’t play Pong or care about Pong. It was a breakthrough at the time but not that interesting to play.

      • darrelle
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Writing a Pong program was about the 1st thing I did with my TI-16 computer when I first got it.

        • Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

          Yes, that would be an interesting exercise. Was it like this one?:

          One of my earliest jobs was programming compilers on TI machines. I only did it for 3 months as I didn’t like the company but it was an interesting experience nonetheless.

          • darrelle
            Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

            Very similar. I think they used the same 16K processor. The TI-16 actually came out a year or two later than the TI-99 if I recall correctly. In any case I got it in 1982. The 16 was like a stripped down version of the 99, if you can believe that. A very limited device and not good for much since I already had access to a TRS-80 that was far better.

            The one bell & whistle feature it had was that it had color capability. But not enough capacity to do anything with it. Well, except to learn the basics of how to work with colors.

            • Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

              I think I was working at that company in 1982. Their customers were using them for process control. We had a compiler for some Basic variant that even supported modification of the program while it was running. It was pretty amazing for such a little computer.

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        It is a *famous* breakthrough, since it goes back to physics labs playing “Tennis for Two” (a half Pong with time share).

        Wonder what games biology labs played during boring hours?

        • Torbjörn Larsson
          Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        • Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          We used to play Asteroids in the computer lab at USC in the early 70s. I don’t remember what kind of computer it was but it was not small. Unlike today’s raster displays, this was a vector graphics display where everything is stroked out by an electron beam. All of it was enormously expensive.

      • Serendipitydawg
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        Well I am glad that’s what it means to you, but that sequence of words means nothing to me and bears no relation to any form of semantics that I was ever taught! 🙂

        I would be fascinated to know how whatever was the original phrase degenerated to leave this.

        • Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

          I always associate that phrase structure with the New York Jewish community but I have nothing to prove it. If I had to guess, it’s a direct translation of a Hebrew or Yiddish phrase to English.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted November 29, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            I have already said this in the thread

            I will be clearer:
            The Yiddish “Vos vays ikh fun ___” exactly translates into “I don’t know from ___”

            • Nicolaas Stempels
              Posted November 30, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

              ‘What do I know of/from’ would sound like a more literal translation?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      @Serendipitydawg I recommend this book: The Joys Of Yinglish by Leo Rosten. It’s going very cheap at an Amazon near you – a couple of dollars for paperback.

      “I don’t know from Pong” is New York Bronx Yinglish [Yiddish English], Rosten says “the ungrammatical substitution of from for about or of” in an English sentence [eg “What do I know from investments?”] is derived from the Yiddish form “Vos vays ikh fun”.

      Read THIS very good discussion on that form of words at StackExchange.

      • rickflick
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        I remember hearing these constructions from the very funny TV comedians starting back in the 60s. Most of them were Jews who had learned their craft in the Borscht Belt. Henny Youngman:

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

          Over here I first heard it from Jackie Mason in the 60s/70s – he is surprisingly popular in the UK. Also maybe Groucho. We also got Rowen & Martin’s Laugh In which I thought was hilarious – even the stuff that was nonsense to a Brit kid.

          The video link doesn’t play in the UK, but I found another that does. Yeah – that style of delivery & the “my wife” jokes – I’m glad it’s history.

          • Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

            I think I would prefer a world in which we could all laugh at “my wife” and “my husband” jokes. People need to lighten up.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

              Are you telling me to lighten up? Don’t go there – it’s a bad argument in support of anything you care to mention!

          • Serendipitydawg
            Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

            Over here I first heard it from Jackie Mason in the 60s/70s

            This make some sense… it is a culteral phrase that is lacking from my background.

            I remember Jackie Mason being interviewed on a talk show some time around the mid 60’s but I can’t recall seeing his act… probably on past my bedtime.

            • Serendipitydawg
              Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

              Cultural! Doh!

          • rickflick
            Posted November 29, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

            I remember Mason was doing his act on Ed Sullivan’s show and started making obscene gestures. Ed was furious and cancelled his contract. I never saw Mason again. I figured he was blackballed. Maybe he went to the UK for the rest of his career. 😎

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted November 29, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

          From Mason’s website:

          Well known and beloved around the world, Jackie Mason has been honored by many including South African President Nelson Mandela, the United
          Kingdom’s Oxford University, and scores of other organizations. With eight Royal Command Performances for Queen Elizabeth II, Jackie has had the honor more than any other American entertainer, and is the only American to host the show. In 1991, during the first Persian Gulf crisis, Jackie closed his show on Broadway and traveled to Israel in a show of solidarity that was later honored by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Jackie Mason calls New York home, but he lives on the road entertaining his many loyal long-time fans and the legions of new fans he earns each year.

          Every time he’s over here for the royal gig he cleans up on the TV talk show circuit [good agent probably].

          He had a BBC radio show for a while based around current events.

          He’s horribly reactionary & right wing, but he manages to be funny about it – there’s very few good right wing comics as you know. I’ve just discovered he has a ‘Hollywood’ column on Breitbart, which I’ve not looked at & won’t look at probably.

          Since that Sullivan incident he had a slump, but came back strong on Broadway & the LA equivalent, plus syndicated US radio. I guess you can do very well without TV.

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted November 30, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

            Jackie Mason is a reactionary…and he has a column in Breitbart??

            Jesus, that’s disappointing.

          • rickflick
            Posted November 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

            As far as my experience, he completely disappeared in the 1970s. I wonder who else is still making a living as a celebrity after all these years, somewhere in the world. Is Wayne Newton playing a small bar on a Caribbean island?

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted November 30, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

              Surely you know Wayne Newton is a Vegas fixture? He’s done something like 28,000 shows there [not kidding!] – he takes lengthy breaks, but he always comes back. A perfect marriage made in plastic.

              It would be interesting to make a list of unlikely, huge regional stars that don’t shine quite so brightly in their birth countries. Examples:

              David “The Hoff” Hasselhoff: Absolutely adored in Germany starting from when East Germany got to see Knight Rider after The Wall fell. His ‘music’ albums sell like hotcakes there & in Austria. He’s also hosted English language TV [cable/satellite I’m guessing] talk show series in Sweden & Finland! He works really hard – if you paid him he’d probably travel anywhere & do anything. Remarkable no talent success based on sweat, looks & luck. Admirable.

              Eric Burden [Brit]: Always big in Germany even when blues/R&B dropped off the fashion map in the late ’60s. He could easily gig 365 there to full houses.

              Kim Wilde [Brit]: Marty Wilde’s daughter, Germany still loves her. Still learning to sing.

              Petula Clark [Brit]: France, French Canada, NYC. 86 & still performing & releasing albums. Had a fantastic voice.

              • rickflick
                Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

                Eeeek! All that energy and drive makes me feel like a bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea. 😎

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

                Owes someone big time? Probably got an offer from some random, very quiet summer resident of Lake Tahoe – the type who invites NGCB members to their discrete BBQs & weddings. Dont’t go lake fishin’ is all I’m sayin’

              • rickflick
                Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

                I thought it should be for the art. Isn’t it all for the art?

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

                Out there it’s gotta have rhinestones all over to be art or velvet paintings of dogs with cigars I suppose.

              • Merilee
                Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

                Or a combo of both…

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

                PS Bush Sr. is dead

              • rickflick
                Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

                Wait. He was the good one right?

      • Serendipitydawg
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        The Joys Of Yinglish by Leo Rosten.
        Noted and much obliged.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          You have just asked a question about the derivation of the phrase that puzzles you. If you go back & read my comment PLUS read completely at the link I provided [not the book link – the other one] you will have the answer!

  2. Hempenstein
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Poor Jimmy Carter, how he must cringe every time he hears someone refer to that moron as Mr. President. And then the exchange in that last video.

  3. Caldwell
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    You realize that Trump was talking about aircraft launch catapults, not the power system for the carrier itself.

    10 of 11 carriers have steam catapults and … A chief problem for the Ford has been getting the electromagnetic catapults to work.

    That’s outrageous!

    • David Coxill
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      I do now ,shame on cnn ,there is more than enough stuff out there that proves the snatch snatcher is a thicko .

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        Why ‘shame on CNN’? That conversation is utterly idiotic regardless of the context.

        • Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

          IMHO, CNN does spend too much time on such trivialities as this Trump comment. It gives credence to accusations of Trump Derangement Syndrome. I don’t remember how they handled this particular incident but it wouldn’t surprise me if they got some sort of Naval technologist to weigh in.

          His opinion on aircraft carrier catapult technology is not important and it has been well established that he’s not the “stable genius” that he claims to be. They should use the time to cover other news stories that they are undoubtedly ignoring.

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

            I think Trump’s brainless logorrhea is very much worthy of attention. It’s alarming, and it needs to be hammered home just how unprecedentedly stupid and unqualified this man is. The fact that some people think it’s too much is irrelevant. It’s the world’s most powerful man, babbling on the phone like he’s just learned these words from a speak and spell machine. That’s newsworthy.

            Back when he was first in the job there was a general and widespread concern that his uselessness and awfulness would not be normalised, that people wouldn’t just get to the point where they had accepted how unfit he is for office and were blase about it. These kinds of stories are crucial in that respect.

            • Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

              I hear you and agree in general but his comments about aircraft carrier catapults is not associated with any policy that I know of. His comments about sweeping the floors of California’s forests and how he doesn’t believe in global warming, on the other hand, most definitely are about policy and deserve to be ridiculed.

              • Saul Sorrell-Till
                Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

                It’s true it’s not as mind-numbingly stupid as it first appears without the requisite context. It’s still mind-numbingly stupid though, and this bumf about Trump Derangement Syndrome irritates me, as though everyone but Trump and his supporters is supposed to behave with flawless equanimity and perfect humour throughout his tenure, otherwise they’re ‘deranged’.

                There are very good reasons why he’s so loathed and why people are so outraged by him, and to reduce every critic of his with any fervour and anger to the level of those idiots who gathered to scream at the sky the day after the election is a neat little trick that the right have been trying to pull for two years now. Not saying that’s what you’re doing, but I’m not affected by accusations of Trump Derangement Syndrome. They’ve been reduced to near-worthlessness by overuse of the term(and by Trump’s ever-escalating mentalness).

              • Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

                I share the loathing but it can easily become self-defeating. Believe it or not, there must be so-called independents that supported Trump but may change their vote in 2020. They will not be convinced if we act like snowflakes that react to every stupid little thing Trump does. Some are definitely worse than others. The ones that are policy-based should be stressed. For example, today’s LA Times had an article about how Medicaid is being weakened in Kentucky by adding a work requirement for recipients. (It is a state action but supported by the Trump administration.) That may not make the cut on CNN if they spend the time talking about every Trump verbal stumble.

              • Saul Sorrell-Till
                Posted November 30, 2018 at 6:58 am | Permalink

                I’ve gradually drifted away from this belief that we need to tiptoe around for fear of alienating swing voters on Trump – not entirely away from it, but the argument is just beginning to irritate and make me instinctively bridle.

                Every single shred of concern is concentrated on the political intentions of the kind of cretin who _still_ supports, or is thinking about supporting, Trump and no concern is expressed for the sentiments of the people who find him a disgusting reprobate. That strikes me a pretty ridiculous imbalance, that we’re constantly creeping around for fear of offending Trump supporters and undecideds while Trump’s minions can send pipe bombs to the media and then blame them for bringing it on themselves.

                Of course, yours is the pragmatic approach, and you’ve got part of a point about this particular story, but once in a while it needs to be pointed out how ethically lopsided this situation is, and how scrupulously one side has behaved relative to the others. The fact that one side has standards and the other simply doesn’t, and that we are constantly arguing among ourselves about the importance of not hurting the feelings of the other side, while they spend their days ‘drinking liberal tears’ and masturbating to Japanese octopus porn in their mothers’ basements.

              • Posted November 30, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

                I think we mostly agree. I don’t think we should hold back against Trump at all.

                Perhaps my point is easiest to explain this way. Let’s spend all the air-time fighting Trump but focus on the things that affect policy over the things that don’t. His administration is doing some truly awful things that do not get reported because Trump didn’t say anything in public about them. When it comes around to voting time, drawing attention to these things should be much more effective in bringing Trump down than his bad speaking habits.

            • rickflick
              Posted November 29, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

              I think you’re both right. Take a quick step back for context and realize that Trump and his cronies have committed dozens of crimes including obstruction of justice. Enough, by any measure, to call for impeachment. We are waiting now for Mueller’s report which well spell out all the charges.

              • Posted November 30, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

                Don’t pin your hopes on the Mueller report. It probably won’t find anything significant enough to indict Trump with. If there is anything truly damning in it, it may get suppressed by the acting Attorny General.

                The only way you are going to get rid of Trump is by voting him out of office in 2020.

              • Saul Sorrell-Till
                Posted November 30, 2018 at 7:07 am | Permalink

                It seems unlikely that he’ll ever be impeached but the sheer political damage the report from will Mueller will do to him should, if America still has some residual cultural affection for democracy and the rule of law, see him annihilated in the election.

                It’s probably going to do most of its damage politically rather than legally.

              • Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

                I also doubt he’ll be impeached. The best we can hope for before 2020 is to turn more and more of his GOP protectors against him. If the Mueller report is as scathing as I expect it to be, many GOP politicians may want to distance themselves from Trump even if they are unwilling to impeach.

              • rickflick
                Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

                The Mueller report will document enumerable instances of obstruction of justice by Trump and his allies. Some of them are already on the public record. Cohen has just admitted that Trump’s business negotiations with Russia extended late into the election. The real risk is that Putin has stuff on Trump that he can and probably has already used to direct Trump’s behavior and statements. We will be living 2 more years under Putin.

              • Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

                Trump’s family’s involvement seems to be more and more coming into focus. Perhaps the whole crime family will be taken down.

        • David Coxill
          Posted November 30, 2018 at 5:31 am | Permalink

          It seemed to me that cnn were trying to suggest that the snatch snatcher was talking about the way the carrier is propelled through the water ,as i mentioned earlier there is plenty of other stuff out there to prove how stupid he is .

    • Posted November 29, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Trump repeats stuff he hears thinking it will make him sound smart. It doesn’t as he mangles it and, even if he didn’t, we know that it isn’t his area of expertise. (Insert joke here.)

      I agree that the mainstream media should leave stuff like this alone. While Trump’s personality quirks as a whole are of interest, drawing attention to this kind of stuff just comes off as petty. It diminishes the stuff that really deserves our outrage.

      • Mark Sturtevant
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Agreed. As another example is the recent event where Trump could not attend a commemoration at a WWI cemetary because of weather. As I understand it, it really was about the weather which grounded his helicopter, and he could not be driven since that would disrupt traffic.
        But that is not how the general media reported it.

        • Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          I was with the media on that one. I don’t believe it was weather that stopped him going. They have weather prediction in France, last I heard. If his handlers thought weather would be a problem, they would have had plenty of time to change their plans. My guess is that Trump doesn’t like events like these where he is practically forced to go, doesn’t get any chance to control anything, isn’t in charge, no opportunity to spin anything, and there’s really not much practical reason for him to be there. He was in a bad mood and the weather was just a convenient thing to blame.

          • Posted November 30, 2018 at 6:25 am | Permalink

            They did change their plan: when they couldn’t fly and they couldn’t safely arrange a motorcade in time, they cancelled.

            You can claim incompetence in not foreseeing unflyable conditions in Western Europe in November if you like, but Trump attended a similar ceremony in Paris the next day, so it’s not like he can’t be made to go to these things.

            • Posted November 30, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

              I guess we’ll have to wait for the release of next exposeé from inside the Trump admin to find out who’s right.

    • Posted November 30, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      I find it interesting. Trump asks a loaded question about the catapults on the Gerald Ford. The guy he’s talking to doesn’t take the hint and fails to give the answer Trump is expecting. Trump has to backtrack and pretend that he really wanted the answer to be “electro magnetic”.

      In that respect, it’s still a WTF moment.

    • Zetopan
      Posted December 2, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink


      And this is the same stable genius with the really large and smart brain that also said that the Navy should scrap “digital” and go back to using steam for the aircraft catapults. Anything that Trump does not understand (which is pretty much everything in the universe) is always “bad”.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Been a Young Rascals fan myself since their breakthrough hit, “Good Lovin’.”

    Also a fan of “People Got To Be Free,” their blue-eyed soul entry in the civil-rights anthem genre that’s topped by Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions’ “People Get Ready” and, of course, Mr. Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.”

    Happy birthday, Felix Cavaliere!

    • George
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      I was shocked. How could PCC(e) be so wrong? Groovin’ the Rascals best known song? No and yuck. Seriously, what I need, all I really need!! Good lovin’, baby!

      Baby please, squeeze me tight.
      Now don’t you want your baby to feel alright?

      My view of the songs that made the civil rights movement of the 1960.
      Prelude – Blowin’ in the Wind. Pops Staples reportedly said – why did it take a white boy to write that song. Well Bob Dylan did propose to Mavis Staples and she turned him down. Then Sam Cooke (who live near the Staples family in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood) covered the song. Still the best version.

      Then Cooke came out with A Change is Gonna Come in 1964. Followed by Curtis Mayfield with People Get Ready in 1965. Then Marvin Gaye with What’s Goin On in 1971. Listen to all three (or four including Blowin’) in order.

    • Liz
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      “Also a fan of ‘People Got To Be Free,'”

      This song always reminds me of “Black and White” by Three Dog Night and vice versa.

  5. Merilee
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    What am I missing with the statue?

    • Michael Sternberg
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Click or tap to see the full image. …

      • Merilee
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        Thanks, Michael. Wrong name I guess. I was looking for something wrong with the toes, like polydactyl kitties.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        Problem exists between chair and desk with order form on it.
        Does anyone remember learning to program on these or their cousins, and getting your typos back a week later. Very educational.

        • Merilee
          Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          OMG, Yes! Thems were the days🙀
          Back in a week if you were lucky!

  6. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    removing a gene that makes people susceptible to HIV infection (why would one even want to do that?):

    In answer to PCC(E)’s parenthetical question, to make the offspring less susceptible to HIV infection.
    – Which is something that you can achieve by not indulging sexual activity, but try getting that one to stick with adolescents.
    – And of course not having blood or other tissue transplants. I don’t know if this has been proven to be and effective infection route – compared to sex – but since it’s probably how the organism jumped hosts into humans (self-inoculation with tissue during butchery), it remains a valid concern.
    – Then there is the attraction that HIV poses as a base organism for weaponising into a biological weapon … well, it seems like a useful starting point to me, particularly if your casus belli is cultural, not economic or political. Neo-fascist religious wingnuts, I’m looking at you!
    – I’ve long been told that the proportion of males in South and East Africa who undergo circumcision as adults is significantly increasing since it was shown to have a significant protective effect against HIV infection. When condoms are not easy to get hold of (because they promote “immorality”), and have the textural desirability of a bike inner tube, some people obviously think it is worthwhile.

    • Sigmund
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      The father was HIV positive and the mother HIV negative. The claimed justification was that the modification would make the offspring HIV resistant and protect him/her/them from infection from HIV in the fathers sperm sample.
      This is highly questionable. There are multiple ways to prevent HIV transmission to the child. For a start, the father could take antivirals that would reduce the HIV count to virtually zero. The sperm cells could be washed before in-vitro fertilization to remove HIV virions.
      The Mother could also take antivirals.
      The embryo could be screened for HIV before implantation.
      Any or all of these measures have a much better chance of preventing HIV transmission compared to an untested crispr.
      The offspring requires both copies knocked out for the procedure to be judged a success so in twin 2, at least, there is a wild type allele remaining so she remains unprotected.
      I’ve seen some people say that twin 1 is a mosaic but I can’t see that in the data – it looks to me like the experiment succeeded in breaking the reading frame at close to the correct position (one allele has a 4 bp deletion, the other a single nucleotide insertion). The obvious test is to take T cells from the infant and check the CCR5 status – and perform an infectivity assay using HIV virions.
      A critical point here is that one twin (twin 2) is clearly a failure of the intended deletion and this would have been known before implantation (so why was this embryo implanted?).
      We don’t know what the consequences of the two CCR5 alterations in twin 1 (they are not the same as the delta32 truncation deletion).
      It should have been possible to create a cell line from these cells – or to replicate the alteration, prior to implantation.
      The reason this was not done seems to be due to an untimely rush to be the first to create crispr babies.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted December 1, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Sounds like politics (small-p) was going, and these people happened to present a usable justification.
        I’ve known enough HIV positive people to know why they consider their virus load to be a really important parameter.

  7. Blue
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Queries: perhaps Dr Cobb or others know answers … …

    To, say, Queen Elizabeth of now, what number of the
    “Great – Great – Great ” – handle would
    Henry VIII be ? a great, et cetera grandfather –
    or a great, et cetera uncle – relative ?

    She be some sort of direct, bloodline –
    relative of his, not ?


    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      400 years birthdate to birthdate ; about 25 years per generation, 16 generations, so about great^14-granddaughter.

      • Blue
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        W h o o o o a ! That, gravelinspector – Aidan, is WOWZA ! So Henry VIII to present – day’s
        Queen Elizabeth is a Graat – GrandPAPA 14x earlier
        … … d i r e c t l y !

        Thank YOU !


        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted December 1, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

          It’s a first approximation. If you wanted an error bar, I’d start with the standard +/-10% of value (because it’s a biological parameter) and then add a bit because the number of people involved is pretty small. 12 to 16 generations.

      • David Coxill
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        I don’t know about that ,wot about the Dutch and German and Scottish monarchs the UK (haha) have had. But then again all them royals are more inbred than the bad guys in Deliverance .

    • Peter
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Elizabeth is no descendant from Henry VIII; he had no (legitimate) grandchildren, but descends from his sister Margaret who married some Scottish king.

      • Blue
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        Oooo, interestin’, Peter: >that< is exactly
        about what I was asking in re "direct" … …

        So Henry of then to Elizabeth of now 'ld be
        some ~14x – 15x a great – uncle, not ? Wow !

        My thanks to you as well.


      • Posted November 30, 2018 at 2:28 am | Permalink

        According to Wikipedia 15 generations between Henry VIII’s sister and the present Queen.

        • Blue
          Posted November 30, 2018 at 5:41 am | Permalink

          Smashing find, Mr Wallace !
          Thank you for the lookup.


        • Posted November 30, 2018 at 6:28 am | Permalink

          Or 16 generations to Henry VII who was her great x n grandfather.

  8. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I wonder if someone lost his job over this. . .

    I’m definitely not an art historian, but I rapidly parsed that into English as “Made by MichaeL Rysbrack, 1749″. Since John Michael Rysbrack was a Flemish sculptor (b.1694, d.1770), it looks more like an unfamiliar signature convention to me.
    I’ve got to admit, the delicate sandal initially made me think it was a sculpture of “MadamoiseLle Rysback,” but the cost of lumps of fracture-free marble rather precludes knocking off a quick “snap” of the sister …

    What, I wonder, happens if a sculptor is half-way through their next Laocoön and the block splits … for they get a refund from the quarry? Or a discount on the replacement?

    • Serendipitydawg
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      If you click you will get the full picture… much more worthy of the question 🙂

  9. David Evans
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    How fortunate that Trump is a very stable genius. Otherwise he would be quite unable to use his phone.

  10. rickflick
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    The Turner is pretty amazing. Besides the incredible sky and light, it has elements of Peter Bruegel. The ocean is filled with fearsome creatures and the slaves overboard are hardly visible. Not very realistic, but effective.

  11. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    [ this is all off the top of my head – also really trying to be concise :]

    the cofactor of methyl malonyl CoA mutase in the beta oxidation pathway (burning up fatty acids) is vitamin B12. So if burning off fats is an important objective, B12 is therefore important.

    Bacteria are the only natural source of vitamin B12 – I think they synthesize it in full, or only up to a certain point.

    I fasted before, but I wonder if taking the vitamin supplements and probiotic would’ve made it easier to handle.

    Been restraining myself from reacting to the “fasting” keyword til now. It’s hard! Diet chat, you know – it never ends.

  12. Merilee
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Dogs, cigars, poker, rhinestones, and Elvis on (blue) velvet. (I now know the subject of my next nightmare.)🌹

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted December 1, 2018 at 12:00 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the rose – gotta find a vase

      • Merilee
        Posted December 1, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        Couldn’t find any violets (are bluuuuue🎶). One of the worst songs ever🙀

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