Monday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s Monday, May 20 2019, and National Quiche Lorraine Day—another blatant case of cultural appropriation by Americans.  It’s also World Bee Day and World Metrology Day, meaning that we’ll have both measurements and bees. The good news (for me) is that “Game of Thrones” has ended. I never watched it, but it dominated the media, both regular and social, for the last month (HuffPost has no fewer than eleven stories about the show on today’s front page. I don’t fault those who got absorbed in it (I’ve done that with shows like “E.R.”), but this borders on obsession, and I don’t understand it.

All ten ducklings are still there, and thriving. Dare we hope for all ten to fledge? Here’s one of them. Note that they’re growing and starting to get their “spiky” feathers:

I’m going to Boston for 6 days of R&R with friends on Wednesday, so posting will be light during that period. As always, I do my best. If readership and comments on this site continue to wane, I’ll have to shut it down.

On May 20, 325, the First Council of Nicaea opened, trying to repair rifts in the church by voting on theological truths. One of these was that Jesus was divine. On this day in 1498, Vasco da Gama discovered the sea route from Europe to India when arriving at Calicut, India.  And in 1570, the cartographer Abraham Ortelius put out his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern atlas. Here’s his 1570 map. Not bad, eh? South America is a bit lumpy, and Australia is too close to Antarctica (if it isn’t Antarctica), but it’s pretty good for the time.

On May 20, 1609, the London publisher Thomas Thorpe published the first edition of Shakespeare’s sonnets.  On this blue-ribbon day in 1873, Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis (both Jews, I might add) got a U.S. patent for blue jeans with copper rivets in them. I’m wearing them (well, not the first pair) right now! Exactly a decade later, Krakatoa began to erupt, with the full-blown explosion (killing over 36,000 people) taking place three months later.

On May 20, 1932, Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland heading east, landing in Ireland the next day to complete the world’s first solo transAtlantic flight by a woman. On this day in 1940, the first prisoners arrived at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. It was liberated five years later.

On this day in 1956, the first airborne hydrogen bomb dropped by the U.S. exploded over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. Here’s what it looked like, and let’s hope this weapon is never used:

On May 20, 1964, Robert Woodrow Wilson and Arno Penzias discovered the cosmic microwave background radiation: the echo of the Big Bang. The pair won the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics.  On this day in 1980, Quebec, voting on whether they should be independent from Canada, rejected the proposal by a “no” vote of 60%.  Finally, on May 20, 1983, the first publications came out detailing the discovery of the HIV virus as a cause of AIDS. The papers came from the lab of French scientist Luc Montagnier. He and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi won the Nobel Prize for this discovery in 2008, and Robert Gallo did not.

Notables born on this day include Simon Fraser (1776),  Honoré de Balzac (1799), James Stewart (1908), Moshe Dayan (1915), E. B. Lewis (1918; Nobel Laureate), Stan Mikita (1940), Joe Cocker (1944), Cher (1946), and Ron Reagan (1958, not afraid of burning in hell).

Those who joined the Choir Invisible on May 20 include Christopher Columbus (1506), Clara Schumann (1896), Max Beerbohm (1956), Gilda Radner (1989), and Stephen Jay Gould (2002).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Malgorzata explains Hili’s claim: “This was soon after Andrzej went to an atheist meeting and Hili obviously thought that such meetings should not be limited to humans.”

A: What do you see there?
Hili: Some ants having an atheist rally.
In Polish:
Ja: Co tam widzisz?
Hili: Mrówki mają zlot ateistów.

And at Leon’s future home nearby, he meets Andrzej for coffee and cat snax:

Leon: Coffee for the guest, and the usual for me.

Leon: Dla gościa proszę kawę, dla mnie to co zwykle.

From Facebook:

Nilou informs us that the Tower of London ravens have produced their first offspring in thirty years. They’re had four, three of which will be farmed out with one staying at the Tower to ensure that England doesn’t fall. Here’s a tweet with the babies and a call for captions. I’ve put up one, but there are more good captions in the thread:

Reader Barry sent a chill cat:

From reader Julian, a nod to the helpful Swiss:

Tweets from Grania. I don’t think this nudibranch is walking, as I see no forward propulsion. Eating, perhaps?

This is where drones really shine: wildlife photography from above:

Some people think bats are ugly. I think those folks are crazy.

I always have this problem:

Tweets from Matthew. There’s a bumper crop of otters this year!

I haven’t read this story yet, but perhaps readers can fill us in:

The International Space Station moves across the face of the Sun:




  1. Dominic
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    If the ravens left the Tower it would signal cawmageddon…

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Ha ha!

  2. David Fuqua
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I really enjoy this website and I hope it continues. You add value to my life, and I appreciate the effort you put into it.

    Thank you.

    • Alan Jardine
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      I agree with David. Please don’ shut it down! I look forward to your email arriving in my inbox about 12:30 U.K. time every day. However, I don’t always follow through to the web site.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted May 21, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      It’s a web wide trend apparently, people move – spread out – to new media. C.f. Jerry’s data on HuffPo.

      I dunno how long it will take before (if) it stabilizes.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Lets do like Hili says – Have an atheist rally. Read and comment.

  4. Ken
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    World Metrology Day is an event occurring on the 20th of May celebrating the International System of Units. From Wikipedia,

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted May 21, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      This year the new kilogram definition (using Planck’s constant as pivot) was introduced; I hear there were champagne.

  5. conservationtrust
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    I read your postings every day, and thoroughly enjoy them, as well as learn from them all sorts of new and interesting things. I don’t comment, though, because I usually am reading them from my iphone and it’s not a convenient time or place. I suspect there are more like me, so I do hope you can continue to keep it going.

    • Debbie Coplan
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      I feel the same way. I have and continue to learn so much from this website. I can’t always comment. Reading the posts on this website is a very important part of my life.

  6. Michael Fisher
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    TREE OTTERS: It’s the Singapore Bishan otter clan – WIKI HERE & here’s their best video of many. Cute & fun:

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      PS they’re furry squeaky toys in their spare time

    • rickflick
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Nice video. These are smooth-coated otters (Lutrogale perspicillata). The whales and dolphins in the video up the page must have gone through a stage similar to otters 10 million years ago. They preserved some of their playfulness and sociality.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      They look incredibly tame – ignoring the kids skateboarding past them.

      Delightful bit of video.


    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      What are they doing rolling around that tree (in the OP) and here too they are rolling, albeit not so clearly around a tree. What are they actually doing?

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Skin parasites I assume – water mites perhaps

  7. Silvia Planchett
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Shut it down? Don’t make me come over there!

  8. GBJames
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    That Cosmic History story is quite interesting. I’d like to hear Sean Carroll address the topic.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      The best thing about it is nobody has pinned down the cause of the discrepancy. Exciting.

    • Posted May 20, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      It would take more than one study to overturn the age of the universe from the 13.8 byo figure. We shall see.

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted May 21, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Yes, and as the Planck consortium notes in their last 2018 cosmological parameters paper, their modeling imply there is no simple LCDM modification that would predict a different local expansion rate. Planck can AFAIU swallow the discrepancy (by essentially ignoring it) by weight of the total data, and their last paper had two independent ways of using cosmic background data agree (both spot size and spot orientation).

        The fully independent and self consistent way of measuring expansion by neutron star merger observations had the so far only measurement in between the local and global values. It is a local type measurement so may weigh against the supernova distance ladder method; unfortunately it is imprecise and they need 5-ish years of continued LIGO and telescope observations to reject one or the other values. The 2nd neutron merger saw one of the LIGOs down, so they did not find it with telescopes … annoying.

  9. Frank Bath
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    I look forward to your posts and don’t miss one. I try to contribute but I don’t find it easy. Besides the biology you are my gateway into American life. Thank you for all the work you do.

  10. John Dentinger
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Without this site, I would have no good reason to get up in the morning–other than the cat sitting on my head.

  11. Reggie
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    “If readership and comments on this site continue to wane, I’ll have to shut it down”.
    I appreciate the amount of work that must be involved every single day for you. But are we to be, along so much else, left without knowing Hili’s latest musings, no more science or religion insights, no readers wildlife pics,no Caterday. No, no, no Prof Coyne(E)although comment numbers/quality may not always meet your expectations I find it hard to believe the kind and gentle man we have subscribed to would be so cruel. Is bribery an option here?

  12. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Funny in Canada you can just take a vote and get out of the country. Cannot do that here although there are some I would like to see gone.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Separatism in Quebec was a real threat to Canada. The 1995 referendum was the most concerning and very much like Brexit, the voters were misled with many of them not realizing they were voting to leave Canada entirely. Many Canadians went to Quebec to persuade them in rallies to stay. It was actually quite moving.

      If there had been a yes decision, it would have been messy. Quebec has a lot of resources, it is tightly integrated into Ontario’s economy (even though they don’t like to admit it, Ontario and Quebec are pals) and the Indigenous population had no treaty with a newly formed Quebec country and no intention of moving out of Quebec. These were only some of the issues.

      You can read about it here:

  13. another fred
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    The NBC news science story about the age of the universe does not do justice to the size of the gaps in our knowledge, but at least it includes this quote:

    “‘There’s currently no consistent story that works for all our cosmological data,’ says Princeton University astrophysicist Jo Dunkley, who has extensively analyzed the Planck results.”

    We make models that agree with some of the data, but only by excluding some other data that contradicts the model, just as General Relativity and Quantum Theories (there are several) cannot be combined.

    There is probably something big and very basic missing that will take us beyond General Relativity, but even then J.B.S. Haldane will still be right:

    “I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more surprising than anything I can imagine. Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”

  14. Roger
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    But of course Jesus was divine. He had a great hairdresser and could redecorate the hell out of a paper bag.

  15. merilee
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink


  16. Robert Bray
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I read every day and everything (almost). I comment occasionally. I need WEIT. I beg you to keep it going. And I deeply appreciate all the mind and body you put into doing so.

  17. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately it looks like for YouTube

    1. Clickbaity titles
    2. Catchy thumbnails

    will increase readership/viewership. Perhaps there’s a parallel for websites. I learned this on Veritasium:

    … maybe add YouTube thumbnails of WEIT like with Twi773r, to get clicks to the site. I have no idea how that would work but there’s got to be a way…

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Oh no dumb fat video thumbnail I am sorry

      … there’s irony for you

    • Posted May 20, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      That is very interesting. So the natural evolution of a successful website is a kind of skewed bell curve.

  18. DrBrydon
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Was that cat with the puppies on Valium?

  19. Jim batterson
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Nice 2003 book on krakatoa by simon winchester. It appears that a series of eruptions began on or about 20may1883, with the really big, catastrophic ones not occurring until 27 august of that year. Will look forward to the listing of the really big one in weit approximately three months hence.

    • GBJames
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      I second your recommendation of Winchester’s Krakatoa. A great read.

      • David Coxill
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        I have said book ,haven’t gotten around to reading it .Have you read his “The Map That Changed The World ? “

        • GBJames
          Posted May 20, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          Haven’t read “Map”, but I did read The Professor and the Madman, which I much enjoyed.

          • merilee
            Posted May 20, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

            The professor was good and the man who love China also. Heard Winchester read the China book live a few years ago great fun and very interesting. I’m dictating this versus the wonky Capitalization.

    • merilee
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Listened to Krakatoa read by Winchester well on the road. Excellent book.

  20. Muffy Ferro
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Coyne,

    It gave me a start to read this morning that “If readership and comments on this site continue to wane, I’ll have to shut it down.” In the past year or so I’ve alerted four of my closest friends to your blog and we all read your posts and often discuss them in our running group. I read your posts every day unless I’m somewhere without access to email, and even then I catch up on them later. Your perspective on science, journalism, free speech, politics, religion, and the events of the day has added immeasurably to my awareness and understanding of these things. I often forward your emails to others. And yet the extent to which my friends and I are involved with your blog must be invisible to you because we don’t leave comments — we just read and discuss the emails. Comments on the site don’t necessarily indicate the impact you’re having. Please continue.

    Muffy Mead-Ferro (authorized to speak for Mary Kay Lazarus, Jana Ward, Maryellyn Gilfeather, and Stacy Martin)


    • Jim batterson
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      What muffy et al said! A true 21st century renaissance/enlightenment site.

  21. eliz20108
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Please continue with this web site. I read it faithfully every day. I am not as fluent as some of your other readers. All I can say is thank you and please continue.

    Can you count that I read it?

  22. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    If readership and comments on this site continue to wane, I’ll have to shut it down.

    And make orphans of us Jerry’s Kids? To leave us, like the d*g at the end of “To Build a Fire,” to howl under the stars, then to run back down the trail in search of other food providers and fire providers?

    Say it ain’t so, man.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      I missed that shutting down completely. Too unthinkable I guess. When I come home after work and cooking for the kids, I systematically go to WEIT, one of the few things in this world that keep me sane.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      I completely missed that shutting down talk. Maybe too unthinkable? When I come home from work and am cooking for the kids I turn to WEIT, one of the few things in this world that keeps me sane.
      Ken, you put it correctly, we would be orphaned.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Sorry for the double, the first one did not appear at first, but it should be stressed trice: please don’t!

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Seconded. Please don’t, Jerry. This site has been part of my life for years. I read everything without fail, although I don’t comment all that often.

      I might add that I also value the insightful comments and elucidation of others on this site. I would be much less well-informed and educated without them.

    • GBJames
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      I hereby move that Jerry is not allowed to discontinue WEIT until after I die.

      There. That’s settled.

      • Posted May 20, 2019 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        Until after I die. That should keep it going for another 5 or 6 decades.


  23. Joe Kosiner
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I also read the posts every day and look forward to them. For the most part these posts are an anchor of sanity in an unhinged world. Some of the perspectives that you share also force me to think about alternative views to my own and that is never a bad thing. Losing this site would be a serious loss to me and to others.

    • Claudia Baker
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      What he said.

  24. Ross Foley
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    “If readership and comments on this site continue to wane, I’ll have to shut it down.”
    Prof., I’m sorry I’ve hardly ever commented here; as an ignorant layman, I often feel out of my depth on the academic and scientific subjects you write about, given the levels of knowledge and expertise many of your regular commenters display. What I’ve read of your writings, and the civilised discourse that often follows, over the past four years or so has broadened what little knowledge I have and stimulated a lot of reading. It’s as though I’ve been sitting in on a series of seminars with learned and witty scholars and others with deep insights, and I’m always on the run to keep up.
    Thank you for all the hard work you put in, and for keeping this site a haven of civilisation, urbanity, wit and knowledge.

  25. Bruce Lilly
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    “If readership and comments on this site continue to wane, I’ll have to shut it down.”

    First, thanks for the time and effort you have put into the site.

    If in fact readership has declined (beware reliance on third-party scripting, which may be blocked), and if you wish that trend to reverse, it might be useful to conduct some market research; what do readers like and/or dislike (or are ambivalent about). E.g. (specifically for the “Hili dialogue” series) today is this day and that day, notable births/deaths, cat/duck pictures/videos, (and as of several months ago) Twitter/Facebook this and Twitter/Facebook that.

  26. mfdempsey1946
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I visit this site not just daily but several times daily.

    For me, its disappearance would leave a hole in the internet and in life generally that nobody and nothing else could fill.

  27. mfdempsey1946
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I visit your website not just daily but several times a day.

    For me, its disappearance would leave a hole in the internet and in life generally that nothing and no one else could fill.

    So please let this be just a joke.

  28. mfdempsey1946
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Sorry for the double post — some kind of glitch. But the sentiment stands.

    • darrelle
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Worth repeating.

      • Mark R.
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        Yes, and it adds to the overall number of comments!

  29. Dan Morrison
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    All ten ducklings are still there, and thriving. Dare we hope for all ten to fledge? … Seems I’ve missed something … Where has Honey gone? No mention for a few weeks.

  30. Diana MacPherson
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Happy May 2-4 today Canucks.

    • merilee
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      I wonder why four days early instead of three days late?

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        Because it’s celebrated on the penultimate Monday in May.

        • merilee
          Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

          I think you just like to use “penultimate”, Diana🤓
          On our way home to Canukistan because there’s snow in New Mexico and we’ve had enough of that white shit the last six months.

  31. Christopher
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    The mass of men (and women, too, I suppose) lead lives of quiet desperation…

    ‘Tis how I feel currently and how I would feel if this site was to become past tense. It’s also probably why so many get wrapped up Game of Thrones or any of the other popular tat. I wouldn’t blame you though, if you were to pack it all in. Attempting to educate and enlighten people seems almost pointless. Might as well push a boulder up a hill. If you were hoping for a pep talk, sorry. I don’t do pep. I do very much appreciate you though.

  32. darrelle
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink


    I’ve been visiting WEIT since you first started it to complement your new book of the same name. WEIT quickly became a favorite and it still is to this day. Every aspect of it from cats to socio-political posts to science posts. A prime indicator of the quality and success of your website is the group of regular commentors that have participated here over the years. That also is a significant reason WEIT has been number 1 among the 4 or 5 websites I’ve ever bothered to bookmark.

    If for nothing more than entirely selfish reasons I pray to Ceiling Cat that you continue this website. I hope you have a relaxing and refreshing vacation. Take care.

  33. Mark R.
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have the scientific and cultural acumen, assiduous work ethic, raw intelligence and sheer energy to maintain a site such as yours. I honestly don’t see how you’ve kept at it (at such a high level) for all these years. I would understand if one day you had to shut it down for any number of reasons, but I sincerely hope the main reason won’t be a lack of comments and readership.

    I don’t only visit WEIT daily for your posts, but also for readers’ comments. You have created a great community here; I would be ineffably sad were I alone on this oceanic world wide web again.

  34. merilee
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    I always have to be reminded to keep my eyebrows down when I get my bangs trimmed 🤓😋

  35. Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    The Game of Thrones finale was decidedly quiet, which was a bit surprising. Why did the dragon just fly off? But I suspect one factor was that they were just out of money by about the 4th episode this season.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      I am just happy that Ghost and Jon Snow were reunited. I still can’t figure out how the Free People were at Castle Black. Were they waiting for Jon? Was it a secret deal with the Free People all along? How did they find the Free People? Were the Free People just hanging out there & Jon found them by accident?

      • Mark R.
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        I found this after a little perusing; it seems the free folk were still in the North somewhere, and were brought up to Castle Black by Tormund.

        The war against the Night King, the White Walkers, and their army of the dead pushed the Free Folk to do something they would never have done under their former leader Mance Rayder: They pledged their allegiance to Jon Snow and fought alongside the “southerners” on the side of the living. But as Tormund told Jon in season 8, episode 4, “The Last of the Starks,” the North “isn’t home” for the Free Folk; he intends to bring them up to Castle Black and then “back where we belong” — the frigid expanse beyond the Wall.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted May 20, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          Yes but is it just luck that they are still there when Jon shows up?

          • Mark R.
            Posted May 20, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, don’t know about that…probably chalk it up to artistic license.

    • Mark R.
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I was hoping for much more excitement. The dragon melting down the iron throne was about the only exciting element. I think the dragon should have allowed Jon on his back and Jon could have become the (benevolent) dragon King.

      I also don’t think they did a good job explaining why Dani went off the rails in the first place. Grief over the Scorpioned dragon? She always had the dragon blood-lust in her? She did a lot of killing to be sure, but steered clear of the “innocents”.

      Alas, I was somewhat disappointed.

  36. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    The excessively weird nudibranch is actually moving forward, albeit at a (dare we say?) sluggish pace.

    Scandinavia is also a bit fat on that map, and Nova Zembla (and other Arctic lands) appears totally out of proportion. This map was made more than 70 years before Abel Tasman and his likes, so the Southern continent(s) is/are still correctly marked: Terra Australis Nondum Cognita. And the Great Congo river is missing. Pretty good though, indeed.

    I’ve been told that ‘jeans’ derive from ‘Gênes’ (Genoa) and their fabric ‘denim’ from ‘de Nîmes’, not so far from Genoa. I’m not sure if that is apocryphal though.

  37. Minus
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I will be seriously devastated if this site were to close down. It is my first observation of the outside world every day. I rarely comment because I don’t feel adequate to comment on most of the articles although I read practically everything. I have also recommended this site to many friends.

    However, nothing lasts forever and if you can’t keep it up, it’s understandable. I frankly don’t know how you do it; it is a huge investment of your time and energy and if you do stop, please know that you have made a great contribution and should be extremely proud of what you have accomplished.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, as Heatger commented elsewhere: Jerry is not normal.

  38. David Coxill
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Seeing as you posted about Sea Slugs ,have you seen this one ?

  39. David Coxill
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Seeing as you posted about sea slugs earlier ,have you seen this one?

  40. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Like many of those above, I too read WEIT daily. Here in the antipodes it’s first thing in the morning while ingesting my morning caffeine. I do occasionally comment, however many times that which I would say has already been said, since others receive it while I’m still asleep.
    We do appreciate your efforts, PCC(E) and hope that you keep it up!

  41. Posted May 22, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    I agree with those who would miss this site if it went! I find it to be of great value and would dearly miss your writing, Professor Coyne (Jerry?). Even if only a small amount of people read it, we’d still find it really valuable, so rest assured your work would be still be worthwhile.

  42. Posted May 25, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    I would understand if one day you had to shut it down for any number of reasons, but I sincerely hope the main reason won’t be a lack of comments and readership.I am sure that’s will be true.

  43. Posted May 26, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Sorry for commenting on a post which is a few days old, but I was searching through the site looking for posts on Stephen Jay Gould. This is because I recently picked up two of his essay collections, The Panda’s Thumb and Eight Little Piggies, at a second hand book fair. I was wondering if anyone has any views on these two books in particular- I’m aware of Gould’s many shortcomings, but I’m hoping the books I found are two of his good ones! (The bookfair was in a church, incidentally, and Gould’s Rock of Ages was also there. I didn’t bother with that.).

%d bloggers like this: