Thursday: Hili dialogue

It’s Thursday, July 18, 2019, and National Caviar Day. I’ve had beluga only once, and it was excellent, but I don’t want to ever try it again because of the scarcity of sturgeon. It’s also Nelson Mandela International Day, held each year on the great man’s birthday (he was born in 1918 and died in 2013).

Stuff that happened on this day in history includes:

  • 1290 – King Edward I of England issues the Edict of Expulsion, banishing all Jews (numbering about 16,000) from England; this was Tisha B’Av on the Hebrew calendar, a day that commemorates many Jewish calamities.
  • 1862 – First ascent of Dent Blanche, one of the highest summits in the Alps.

Here’s the Dent Blanche, rising to 4357 meters (summit on the right):

  • 1870 – The First Vatican Council decrees the dogma of papal infallibility.

Note that papal infallibility was a dogma decided by humans; it’s not even in scripture! Archie Bunker had another word for the dogma:

  • 1925 – Adolf Hitler publishes Mein Kampf.
  • 1969 – U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy crashes his car into a tidal basin at Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts, killing his passenger, Boiler Room Girl Mary Jo Kopechne.
  • 1976 – Nadia Comăneci becomes the first person in Olympic Games history to score a perfect 10 in gymnastics at the 1976 Summer Olympics.
  • 1992 – A picture of Les Horribles Cernettes was taken, which became the first ever photo posted to the World Wide Web.

Les Horribles Cernettes: “The Horrible CERN Girls”) was an all-female parody pop group, self-labelled “the one and only High Energy Rock Band”, which was founded by employees of CERN and performed at CERN and other HEP-related events. Their musical style is often described as doo-wop. The initials of their name, LHC, are the same as those of the Large Hadron Collider, which was later built at CERN. Their humorous songs are freely available on their website. [JAC: I’ve found a website here, but with no songs.]

(From Wikipedia): This picture of Les Horribles Cernettes was the first photographic image of a band published on the World Wide Web in 1992. From left to right: Angela Higney, Michele de Gennaro, Colette Marx-Neilsen, Lynn Veronneau.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1720 – Gilbert White, English ornithologist and ecologist (d. 1793)
  • 1811 – William Makepeace Thackeray, English author and poet (d. 1863)
  • 1853 – Hendrik Lorentz, Dutch physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1928)
  • 1895 – Machine Gun Kelly, American gangster (d. 1954)
  • 1913 – Red Skelton, American actor and comedian (d. 1997)
  • 1918 – Nelson Mandela, South African lawyer and politician, 1st President of South Africa, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2013)
  • 1921 – John Glenn, American colonel, astronaut, and politician (d. 2016)
  • 1937 – Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist and author (d. 2005)
  • 1941 – Martha Reeves, American singer and politician
  • 1967 – Vin Diesel, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter
  • 1975 – M.I.A., English rapper and producer
  • 1982 – Priyanka Chopra, Indian actress, singer, and film producer

Those who snuffed it on July 18 include:

I regard Caravaggio as one of the ten greatest painters of all time (I like making lists). Here’s his famous “The calling of Saint Matthew” (1599-1600):

  • 1792 – John Paul Jones, Scottish-American admiral and diplomat (b. 1747)
  • 1817 – Jane Austen, English novelist (b. 1775)
  • 1887 – Dorothea Dix, American social reformer and activist (b. 1802)
  • 1969 – Mary Jo Kopechne, American educator and secretary (b. 1940)
  • 1988 – Nico, German singer-songwriter, keyboard player, and actress (b. 1938)

If you had the fantastic Velvet Underground “banana album,” you’ll be familiar with Nico; on this song, “Sunday morning“, she sings backup to Lou Reed.

Nico is buried in Berlin, where she died. Here’s her gravesite, which gives her real name.

 

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili ponders the mystery of animal consciousness:

Hili: What all these little worms feel and think?
A: We are left with behavioral observations.
In Polish:

Here’s the world’s best duck picture—from Facebook:

Two cat cartoons from Facebook. First, a remarkable case of feline camouflage:

True for many cats, especially if you rub their bellies:

The Washington Post goes woke. This is almost unbelievable. Yes, there was sexism in earlier days, but what’s the point of going after the Moon landing? I think the Declaration of Independence and Constitution are a juicier target: entirely composed by white males, some of whom owned slaves. (Thomas Jefferson is already in the process of becoming an Unperson.)

One of Grania’s lost tweets from October of last year (from the fake DPRK account):

Two tweets from Nilou. This woman won a designing prize for these chairs! I don’t get why manspreading is a problem with individual chairs, though. Subways, yes.

I’ve posted something on this before, but it’s surely worth seeing again. But why are echidnas like this?

Tweets from Heather Hastie The pistol shrimp below is lovely, but its behavior, shown below that, is even more stunning:

Pistol shrimps, from BBC Earth:

Earth from space—one of the loveliest sites in space:

Two tweets from Matthew. First, huge swarms of flying ants (“alates”) show up on the weather radar:

Live and learn!

 

88 Comments

  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    The Washington Post likely has a few nuts working there but it is still at the top of the list of investigative journalism. Maybe Amazon, let a few in.

    • Doug
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      In the past, NASA was “intense, fun, family-unfriendly and mostly white and male.”

      So was journalism.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted July 18, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        So was everything else — so what? You cannot change history and we should do our best to know it, accurately.

      • DrBrydon
        Posted July 18, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Given that we seem to be having trouble getting back to the moon, I am not sure the WaPo tweet makes the point they think it does.

  2. Hunt
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    I predicted the Wokerati would have a heyday with the moon landing anniversary months ago. Look, it’s an event that has origin 60s culture and has a lot of notoriety. Do you really think they can resist the temptation? I’m just surprised “space colonialism” hasn’t come up yet, as toyed about when Elon Musk discussed Mars colonization.

    They still have a couple days to surprise me though.

    But the Man in the Moon is definitely a sexist. We can all agree to that. 🙂

  3. Posted July 18, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Echidna – I reckon a developmental abnormality in an ancestor that did no matter, as it did not change the reproductive ability, or that spread because it WAS an advantage.

  4. Posted July 18, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Jerry – as a list lover, can we have a list of your top lists?!

    🙂

    Is one of them Franz?

    My top lists – in no particular order –

    The list of books I want to read but never will,
    The list of various chores I intend to do but never manage to start,
    The list of things I would do to make the world a better place IF I could persuade people to do them…

    • rickflick
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Such meta-lists are an interesting idea. We might also find meta-meta lists useful. That would be lists of meta-lists. Jerrys list, Dominics list,…etc. Stop me if this seems a little far fetched. It’s still early here in the West.

    • David Harper
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      The list of all lists that do not contain themselves.

      • Pierluigi Ballabeni
        Posted July 18, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        Somebody is getting Borgesian.

        I am reminded that I have a book on lists by Umberto Eco that I have not yet read. The list of books I have acquired but not yet read keeps getting longer in spite of my reading every day.

  5. Posted July 18, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    If you had the fantastic Velvet Underground “banana album,” you’ll be familiar with Nico

    The official title of “The Banana Album” is “The Velvet Underground & Nico”.

    As regards Sunday Morning, I always thought Nico took lead vocals on it, but listening to it after you said it was Lou Reed, it’s obvious that it is him. I think I would have chosen Femme Fatale because it is the one which Nico on lead vocals everybody knows.

    As a final thought, I remember a BBC TV show in which famous luminaries discussed great albums. Somebody asked if Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was the best album of all time. The discussion went on inconclusively for a while (as such discussions often do) until somebody said “since The Velvet Underground & Nico” was released in the same year, Sergeant Pepper is not even the greatest album of 1967.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Those who snuffed it on July 18 include:
      1988 – Nico, German singer-songwriter, keyboard player, and actress (b. 1938)

      That would explain the biopic of Nico which was on the telly a week or so ago. From the stuff played on that, no wonder she sank back into obscurity. Even without the smack.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted July 18, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        I didn’t see that biopic. Was it good?

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted July 22, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          I gave up on it after an hour.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      I don’t think …& Nico is anywhere near their best album though. Their third is their best – by far the most consistent and melodic, and their second is the most raw and brutal, and horribly underrated. The fourth is a bit staid.

      The best songs on the 1st album are the ones that Nico is nowhere near. Her voice is a dismal thing, and the songs she actually sings over are the weakest imo. Femme Fatale, ATP, I’ll Be Your Mirror…really pretty MOR.

      But it’s impossible to deny that Heroin…Black Angel’s Death Song…Venus In Furs…are all revolutionary rock and roll songs. Black Angel in particular is an outrageously strange, horrible song, with Cale’s viola jabbing at your nerve endings throughout. It took me a while to realise its brilliance because it is not a listenable song.

      My uncle actually met Nico in the eighties when she was living in Manchester and staying with John cooper Clarke. She wasn’t in a good place at that point.

      • BJ
        Posted July 18, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        Loaded takes the win. White Light/White Heat is second. Yup, you got the order right. But Nico is still a great album.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted July 18, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

          I’m not as much of a fan of Loaded. It’s a bit too pastichey to me, a bit too plodding.

          And I’ve always hated that cover. It’s like a perverse joke that their first three albums have the most stylish, tonally consistent covers of all-time, and then they stick a big fat arse on their fourth one.
          I do think album covers can contribute to your feelings about albums, just a tiny bit. They can colour the sense you have in your head of an album, even if they don’t actually make you dislike or like the music itself. And that album cover is an absolute abomination.

          I think the third album is the sweetspot. There’s barely a wasted second on it, just an almost perfect batch of sweet ballads and slightly-odd, lolloping rock and roll.

          • BJ
            Posted July 18, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

            Loaded is certainly very different from their other work, so I can see someone loving what came before but not that album. It has better production and some of the songs are a bit happier. But many (what I think are) great songs come from that album; in fact, I think it’s basically a masterpiece from front to back, and they still manage to stick in a couple of really depressing pieces in there as well, like New Age.

            I think the first song basically sets the tone for what you can expect from the rest of the album. At the very least, you have to love Rock & Roll and Sweet Jane, right?

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted July 19, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

              You’d think we could agree about the Velvet Underground right? But nope, I’m not a fan of those two songs, they’re the Velvets at their most MOR.

              They’re still sweet songs, timeless in their way, but they don’t have the intensity or beauty of their earlier stuff.

      • BJ
        Posted July 18, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Ah, I meant to add that yeah, Nico’s voice may be…um…unconventional…but I still like many of the songs with her. I’ll Be Your Mirror is one of my favorites. She does bring a sort of ghostly, ethereal quality to songs.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted July 18, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        The best Velvet Underground left to us is The Complete Matrix Tapes – a LIVE unexpurgated recording of the band’s two nights [4 sets] gig at The Matrix club [owned and operated by Jefferson Airplane’s Marty Balin] in November 1969. Bits of it have appeared before [pirate & official] its release in 2015, but at much lower quality.

        I recommend the 13 minute I’m Waiting For The Man & 6 minute Black Angel’s Death Song both on Disc 1 & the 37 minute Sister Ray on Disc 3

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted July 18, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          The was no Nico on the Matrix tapes & it’s a jolly good thing

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted July 18, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

            I’m not such a masochist that I want to listen to Sister Ray more than once in my life to be honest, never mind a 37 minute long version…. (I did listen to the two Flaming Lips songs that came out a few years back, the ones that lasted 6 hours and 24 hours. And they were surprisingly wonderful(in parts obviously). So it’s not the length that I object to.)

            Nico was hard on the ears. It was only once she left that they all slotted into place as an incredibly cohesive and smooth live band who knew exactly what kind of sound they wanted to make. The third album was their apotheosis I think, although I still love the rawness of White Light.

            Nico was more of a Warhol addition to the band. She was a kind of art installation rather than a singer. I just can’t get onboard with that ridiculous, plummy voice.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted July 18, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

              Listen first & shoot later. 🙂

              Sister Ray: It’s the Doug Yule guitar version where no masochism is required – I would describe it as early Bristol Trip Hop. Also the sound is better than on the White Light/White Heat album version – one can hear the lyrics, which are worthwhile.

              Agreed re Nico – all aura & nowt else.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted July 18, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

                Correction: Reed/Yule guitar version

              • Saul Sorrell-Till
                Posted July 18, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

                The idea of a 37 minute long proto trip hop live jam isn’t selling me, no offence meant ;). But I’ll give it a go – I’m open to the possibility that I’ve misjudged that song entirely…and it’s not like I can dislike it any more than I already do.

            • Posted July 19, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

              I saw John Cale “and friends” play the whole of the first two albums live in Liverpool a couple of years ago. Sister Ray lasted about half an hour and, although it was pretty well done, I was conscious of the fact that I had been standing up for two hours by the end.

              You’re absolutely right that The Velvet Underground & Nico lie up was a Warhol art installation but we’ll have to differ on the subject of her voice.

        • BJ
          Posted July 18, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

          So you like 37 minute jams, eh? I hope you eventually got around to watching those two Phish videos I posted for you awhile back 🙂

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

            I might & I might not. I will do my best to be fair although Phish are somewhat vomitous & pointless. 🙂

            • BJ
              Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

              Ah, but after reading your initial comment on why you didn’t like Phish, I offered up those videos because it gave me the impression that you hadn’t heard the songs that are the reason I like Phish. Their note-perfect creation and live playing of highly skilled classical/jazz-infused compositions, rather than their jamming skills (which I also love, and I’m sure I could give you a few good jams you’d enjoy) and their more superfluous, generic rock songs.

              They’ve played over 1,000 different songs live at this point. This is an incomplete list of only songs they’ve written: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_songs_recorded_by_Phish

              Hearing a few of their songs or recordings doesn’t really allow one to make a well-informed judgment on what they do. If you’d like me to post those videos again, I will, but only if you ask. I don’t want to be the pushy Phish fan 😛 But I think you’ll be happy with what you hear.

              OK, I’ll do it anyway, and you can listen or not listen, but you won’t hear anything that sounds like any other band you’ve heard.

              Let’s start with a short, purely compositional piece, they’re take on the theme to NPR’s All Things Considered. A wild reimagining. You’ll have to turn your volume way up to hear the guitar and piano interplay. I always post live versions of their songs because I personally love hearing them play this complex music live.

              This is Reba. I’ve provided a link so it starts at the composition. The composition ends and jam starts at 6:08, so you can stop it there if you don’t want to hear that. Notice how the part that starts at 4:44 is first done with the guitar and piano playing the same notes in sync, and then done again with the guitar playing one step behind the piano.

              If you’re interested in heavier, grimier compositions that are still highly complex (rather than the more peaceful, plinky ones I’ve posted here), let me know. They have some pretty dark ones, but I can only post two links at a time without being auto-moderated.

              • Posted July 19, 2019 at 4:59 am | Permalink

                This is a rather long comment to put up; I suggest that next time you take it to email.

            • BJ
              Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

              Ah, but after reading your initial comment on why you didn’t like Phish, I offered up those videos because it gave me the impression that you hadn’t heard the songs that are the reason I like Phish. Their note-perfect creation and live playing of highly skilled classical/jazz-infused compositions, rather than their jamming skills (which I also love, and I’m sure I could give you a few good jams you’d enjoy) and their more superfluous, generic rock songs.

              They’ve played over 1,000 different songs live at this point. As of 2014, they had written 333 of their own songs, though that number is significantly higher now.

              Hearing a few of their songs or recordings doesn’t really allow one to make a well-informed judgment on what they do. If you’d like me to post those videos again, I will, but only if you ask. I don’t want to be the pushy Phish fan 😛 But I think you’ll be happy with what you hear.

              OK, I’ll do it anyway, and you can listen or not listen, but you won’t hear anything that sounds like any other band you’ve heard.

              Let’s start with a short, purely compositional piece, they’re take on the theme to NPR’s All Things Considered. A wild reimagining. You’ll have to turn your volume way up to hear the guitar and piano interplay. I always post live versions of their songs because I personally love hearing them play this complex music live.

              This is Reba. I’ve provided a link so it starts at the instrumental portion of the song. The composition ends and jam starts at 6:08, so you can stop it there if you don’t want to hear that. Notice how the part that starts at 4:44 is first done with the guitar and piano playing the same notes in sync, and then done again with the guitar playing one step behind the piano.

              I’ll post some of their heavier, grimier compositions that are still highly complex (rather than the more peaceful, plinky ones I’ve posted here)in another comment, since two links is the limit.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

                Thanks, I’ll take a look, but we both know I’m not a fan. In my ears they are ‘derivative’, but I’ll make an effort.

                My tastes do go from 3 minute pop to “plinky” long winded & everything in between, but it has to have that USP I don’t find in Phish [so far].

              • BJ
                Posted July 19, 2019 at 12:04 am | Permalink

                Yeah, it was the first time you mentioned that and said you felt they were “derivative,” and you just heard different bands in different songs. That’s why I tried to post the stuff that’s what real Phish fans love, but not what most people hear when they end up randomly encountering it. But hey, maybe you’ll feel this is derivative as well. If so, I’d like to hear why, not because I want to argue with you, but because I’d like to find out who they’re deriving this from! I’d definitely want to listen to those bands.

                Thanks for keeping an open mind. Always enjoy talking to you.

              • BJ
                Posted July 19, 2019 at 2:08 am | Permalink

                Oh, and what does USP mean? Ungodly sound prodigiousness? Ultimate semen prematurely? Great music is known to do that.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted July 19, 2019 at 5:34 am | Permalink

                Unique Selling Point

              • BJ
                Posted July 19, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

                Both of the things I said fit that description, so I was kind of right about the category!

            • BJ
              Posted July 19, 2019 at 12:02 am | Permalink

              Ah, screw the darker stuff, I’m just going to post my personal favorite, The Divided Sky. If you don’t like any of the stuff I posted, it’s all good. I won’t ask again 🙂

              But try listening for like, ten minutes? I know it’s a lot to ask if you’re not enjoying, and if you can’t, you can’t. Let’s see what happens!

            • BJ
              Posted July 22, 2019 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

              I’m honestly waiting with nervous anticipation for your thoughts 😛 I’ve updated this page three or four times a day since we had this discussion (as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have a WP account and don’t subscribe to thread because I don’t need more emails clogging my inbox).

      • Posted July 19, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        Lou Reed’s voice is no great shakes either.

        The reason I suggested Femme Fatale is because a) it is Nico on lead vocals and b) it’s the one that everybody knows (to coin a phrase).

        Also, I don’t claim VU&N is the best Velvet Underground album (although, it is my favourite), I just claim it is better than Sgt Pepper, the supposed greatest album ever and released in the same year.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    The penis of an echidna has four heads!

    “Busier than an echidna mohel” is my new favorite expression.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      When you take them to Europe you need to buy an adaptor before they can mate.

  7. rickflick
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Those pistol shrimps are amazing. I imagine the “gun” effect would have evolved by stages from simply snapping at the prey. The louder the snap, the more disoriented the prey…until, the snap created a mini-explosion. Quit strange that it reaches the temperature of the sun.

    • Posted July 18, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      I wonder what gas the bubbles that they make are composed of. I am guessing carbon dioxide or oxygen dissolved in sea water that comes out of solution in the negative pressure generated on the back side of the pulse of water. Amazing adaptation.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        The bubbles are formed due to cavitation. This is the process where pressure drops and then recovers, for example on the fast moving blades of a boat propeller. The gas is formed by the vapor pressure of any liquid or dissolved gas under to influence of the low pressure condition. So, I would think we are talking about mostly water vapor in the case of the pistol shrimp. Essentially, if I have this right, the water “boils” for less than a microsecond, and then collapses to emit sound energy.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpheidae#/media/File:Pistol_shrimp_claw_mechanism.svg

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted July 18, 2019 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

          So in fact the ‘crack’ is a jet of water being squirted at extremely high velocity out of a cavity. Sufficiently high velocity that the turbulence causes cavitation.

          (By the way, the BBC video is misleading – ‘as the claws collapse they fire a blast of bubbles’ – No, they fire a jet of water whose extreme velocity causes bubbles to form.)

          The temperature as the vacuum ‘bubble’ collapses gets high enough to cause a visible flash of light. (It may be the temperature of the sun but so is a light bulb. However the heat content is small.) And, of course, a shock wave.

          Cavitation can eat away hard steel if the bubbles collapse on the surface – something hydraulic engineers have to contend with when designing pumps and pipework.

          For another demonstration of what cavitation can do there’s this trick:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj3x2U4CaEs

          cr

          • rickflick
            Posted July 18, 2019 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

            Wow! That’s a great demo, Infinite. The British banter alone is worth the price of admission.
            “Wa, now?”
            “Ya,man…”
            “You mean…”
            “That’s right”
            “Really…”
            “That’s right…”
            “Just like that…”
            “All you go…”
            “Ah!”
            “Ha, ha, ha…”
            “Let’s wiz…”
            “Haaa!….”
            “Waaaa, yuggg…!”
            “See this…science.”

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

              The SUPERCAVITATING 200MPH TORPEDO being developed by every angry man & his bitey dog is a good laugh. All the usual suspects advertising their advanced dick-waving torpedo programs to cover up the fact they have nuffin [Iran, Russia, North Korea].

              • rickflick
                Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

                Yes, they’ll have to get back to me when they’ve worked out he bugs.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted July 19, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

                Hmm, the principle – of surrounding the torp with a shell of air bubbles – is not absurd. Though I guess they wouldn’t announce it.

                Besides, I see the Russian one is alleged to have spent $25M so far. I don’t know about Russian military expenditures but if that was a Pentagon program, $25M would barely cover the cost of thinking up a name for the feasibility study…

                cr

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted July 19, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

                The concept is flawed & yet keeps coming back after each project is quietly shelved. These super cavitators are fuel heavy, they run blind [obviously], they can’t usefully change direction [nobody has found a way] because the ‘bubble’ disintegrates when pierced by a rudder etc which is like the torpedo hitting a wall [it breaks] & they’re blooming noisy in the extreme.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted July 19, 2019 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

                Hmm, makes me wonder, could one run on the surface? Obviously that would be limited to calm water, like lakes, rivers, harbours etc, but those are often strategically important areas. But then I suppose one might just as well use an Exocet. Back to the drawing board…

                cr

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted July 19, 2019 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

                If you’re gonna run on the surface you may as well hydroplane the thing – the Spirit of Australia has the hydroplane record of 317 mph [powered by a Westinghouse J34 jet engine]. Or go the whole hog & fly it – probably cheaper to build a 700 mph Exocet than anything fast that partly interfaces with water in some fashion.

  8. Rachel Sperling
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Some of the Cernettes’s songs are on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/cernettes

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Influenced in equal parts by the Large Hadron Collider and the Shangri-Las. 🙂

      • Pierluigi Ballabeni
        Posted July 18, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        According to the English ans Spanish Wikipedia, the Cernettes were founded by a graphic designer, according to the the French and German version by a secretary.

        It happens frequently that facts in Wikipedia vary according to the language.

    • Pierluigi Ballabeni
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      According to the English ans Spanish Wikipedia, the Cernettes were founded by a graphic designer, according to the the French and German version by a secretary.

      It happens frequently that facts in Wikipedia vary according to the language.

    • Posted July 18, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      For Cernettes fans, there is a more up to date website created more recently than the link in the OP:

      https://cernettes.wixsite.com/cernettes

      which has audio and video of several of their songs. There are also links to several songs on their English Wikipedia page.

  9. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I guess the Pope could be inflammable — Certainly Trump is.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      An experiment crying out to be tried.
      Maybe Dave Allen did it during one of his outings of “A Day In the life of a Stunt Pope”?

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted July 18, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        The pope, I think, is quite phlogisticated.

  10. Lurker111
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Well, I can now finally understand that line from Allan Sherman’s “My Zelda”:

    “Why did she have to fall in love?
    “I haven’t seen her since Tisha B’Av …”

    “My Zelda” and “Seltzer Boy” are two songs that Sherman accidentally plagiarized, thinking the melodies were in the Public Domain (no researchable Internet in the 1960’s).

  11. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    1937 – Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist and author (d. 2005)

    And quondam candidate for Sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado, on the Freak-Power ticket. Hunter shaved his head for that contest so he could refer to the crew-cut, reactionary incumbent as “my long-haired opponent.”

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      ‘My long haired opponent’…that’s great.

  12. Posted July 18, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    “The Calling” is indeed one of Caravaggio’s great masterpieces notable for its wonderful use of light and also for its ambiguity as to the identity of Matthew. Is it the bearded man or the hunched-over man to whom he seems to be pointing?

    • rickflick
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      I love the way Caravaggio uses large “empty” spaces, like the wall above the figures in this picture. I feel as though I’m sitting across the room from them.
      He is also known for his wonderful use of eye lines, as his characters look back and forth across the scene. A true genius.

  13. Jenny Haniver
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Did you know that a long lost Caravaggio, “Judith and Holofernes” was recently rediscovered? https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/26/arts/design/caravaggio-painting-mystery-buyer.html. Caveat: “Mr. Gasparotto said there is ‘some scholarly consensus’ about the attribution, “but there are still several authoritative opponents.”

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      I meant this as a response to Darwinwins comment #13

    • Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Thanks Jenny. I had read of the discovery but had not read the NYT article, so thanks for posting.

      My reactions when I learned that a Caravaggio was found were 1) Wow, in an attic. That has always been my dream. And 2) OMG, another Caravaggio decapitation subject. The man seemed to love depicting gory scenes.

  14. Jenny Haniver
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    When I saw the tweet by Megan McCullar my first thought was, what the hell is an ectoproctologist? It sounds like a euphemism for something definitely anal and off-color; then I discovered that an ectoproctologist studies bryozoa. Whew!

    • BJ
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      I just figured it was a butt doctor for ghosts.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted July 18, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        That makes the most sense.

        • BJ
          Posted July 18, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          One of those situations where you wish Occam’s Razor applied.

          It sounds like something that should have been part of a joke in Ghostbusters. With the way Slimer eats, he should be getting regular colonoscopies. All ghosts over 50 years of age should.

  15. Harrison
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Epstein has been denied bail.

  16. W.Benson
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Today marks the 25th anniversary of the deadly bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in Buenos Aires.

  17. Vaal
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    So the designer with the smug expression has designed a chair for men that men will never use.

    Well…congratulations…I guess…

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      They both look bloody uncomfortable and I wouldn’t sit on either of them.

      Though the womens’ model appears to be intended to force women in short skirts to show off their undies – what’s with that?

      cr

      • Vaal
        Posted July 18, 2019 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        I get the feeling that the idea is to reverse rolls. In other words to men “how would you like it if you had to keep your legs together, while women spread their legs all when sitting?

        (I understand this not to be salacious: the point is apparently that men sitting spread-legged take up inconsiderate amounts of room on public transport).

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I assumed [no research done I admit] it was a political statement – prodding people nto thinking about what life is like for ‘not me’ e.g. the array of impediments fitted to wannabe designers to emulate infirmity, old age, pregnancy, being from Florida or Norfolk & so on.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted July 19, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

            Ah yes – furniture as a political statement. I suppose in that light the results are entirely predictable.

            cr

  18. Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    What’s the red band in the earth-photos?

    • bPer
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      You mean the Apollo 10 video?

      The flash at the beginning is an early attempt by the Vogon constructor fleet to clear away the Earth with a demolition beam, to make way for a hyperspace bypass. As you can see, this time the Earth evaded destruction by deftly ducking and weaving. How fortunate that the crew of Apollo 10 were perfectly placed to document the event.

      βPer

      • Posted July 19, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        And here I thought it was the edge of the galaxy getting too close.

        (See, e.g., Star Trek’s “Where No Man Has Gone Before”)

  19. Posted July 18, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    The penis of the Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is split part way, making it functionally two penises. Not coincidentally, female Virginia Opossums have two vaginas. (Trivia of the day)

    • rickflick
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      That reminds me of the Juicy Fruit gum jingle: “Double your pleasure, double your fun…”

  20. Posted July 18, 2019 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    The Pope and the Dope are ‘inflammable’.

  21. Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    That pistol shrimp – what the…??!!!


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