June 24, 2024

"Cycling when it's raining and cold doesn't always make you want to cycle, so I said to myself why not put a roof on the bike and, as we thought about it, we arrived at this concept."

Says the inventor of the Karbike, quoted in "Meet the Karbike: not just an e-bike, but not quite a car/And the French see a role for it in the mobility landscape" (autoblog). 

Does this belong in the bike lane? It's what you want in the bike lane if you're driving a car and in the car lane if you're riding a bike.


I like the video because the music is so inappropriate.

The panic shows.

"CNN abruptly takes Trump campaign spokeswoman off the air mid-interview as network is set to host first presidential debate" (NY Post)(video at link).
CNN abruptly cut Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt from the air Monday morning.... Anchor Kasie Hunt pulled the plug just minutes after the interview got underway after asking Leavitt what former President Donald Trump’s strategy was for when he takes to the stage in Atlanta, Ga. on Thursday.... 
The spokeswoman... noted the debate stage would likely be a “hostile environment” for her boss – and accused CNN’s debate moderators, co-hosts Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, of biased coverage of him in the past....
In overreacting to the mention of CNN bias, CNN's Hunt showed bias. Now, we're all looking at this clip, and I doubt if much of anyone was watching whatever little CNN show that was. I had to look it up: "CNN This Morning with Kasie Hunt." But maybe that helps CNN. I believe the show has about 50,000 viewers, and there are sure to be Trump haters who love this plug-pull.

"Supreme Court Will Hear Challenge to Tennessee Law Banning Transition Care for Minors."

The NYT reports.

The Biden administration had asked the justices to take up the case, United States v. Skrmetti, arguing that the measure outlaws treatment for gender dysphoria in youths and “frames that prohibition in explicitly sex-based terms.”

In the government’s petition to the court, Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar wrote that the law bans transgender medical care but that it “leaves the same treatments entirely unrestricted if they are prescribed for any other purpose.”...

"As I applied the nightly serum, I remembered the description, by philosopher Clare Chambers in her book, Intact: A Defence of the Unmodified Body, of 'shametenance'..."

"... all the things we do (like applying 'natural makeup') that contribute to the idea that our unmodified bodies are shameful, that even our ageing eyelids must be fixed.... And then one night I had a terrible dream that my eyelashes had grown too long. They were like a dark black fringe, blinding me, and I woke in a sweat. Shortly after this, I started to read about experts warning of potential side-effects linked to eyelash growth serums, including 'a permanent change in eye colour,' dark circles under the eyes and 'a sunken effect.' At this point my lashes had grown longer, definitely longer, but also spidery and fine...."

From "All of a flutter: how eyelashes became beauty’s biggest business/The eyelash business is worth $1.66bn – and is predicted to grow from there. Why are we so obsessed with our lashes? Eva Wiseman reports on their history and significance" (The Guardian).

That article continues with various other eyelash treatments, so I go looking for more on Clare Chambers and "shametenance." I find this from last year: "A Defense of the Unmodified Body: Clare Chambers Interview/We spoke to the acclaimed Cambridge philosopher Clare Chambers about her new book, Intact, which examines and critiques the urge to alter or ‘perfect’ our bodies." Excerpt:

"Fat Beach Day... is being held to coincide with Pride month at Jacob Riis Beach in New York, a location deeply ensconced in the city’s activism space..."

I'm reading "New York’s Fat Beach Day gives plus-size people a space to be themselves/Jacob Riis Beach hosts the day of body positivity and fun, in the city at the heart of the fat acceptance movement" (The Guardian).

I didn't know that fat acceptance was part of what Pride month is about or that New York had something it wanted to call its "activism space." 
... New York has, for decades, been at the heart of the fat acceptance movement. In the 1960s, about 500 protesters held a “fat-in” in Central Park, burning diet books and photographs of the supermodel Twiggy, to publicly encourage body positivity and liberation.... 
Jacob Riis Beach is named after Jacob Riis, the "Danish-American social reformer, 'muckraking' journalist, and social documentary photographer" (Wikipedia). There is some criticism of Riis, you know. This doesn't have to do with fatness. The people in Riis's photographs were skinny — poor people living in tenements.

"I go up a canyon, down a canyon to the next waterfall and sit down by the waterfall and drink water out of my boot."

Said Lukas McClish, 34, quoted in "Calif. hiker missing in Santa Cruz mountains for 10 days drank a gallon of water out of boot daily to survive" (NY Post).

We're told he "didn’t even put on a shirt when he began his hike on June 11 that was supposed to last only three hours before he quickly couldn’t find his way and was reported missing six days later when he didn’t show up for a Father’s Day dinner."

Does this story make sense? Why a gallon of water? Why was he trekking up and down canyons? 

Fungus of the Day.

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I think this is Trametes versicolor, AKA turkey tail.

"Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, last week dropped most of the 46 cases against pro-Palestinian demonstrators charged..."

"... in the April 30 siege of Hamilton Hall at Columbia University because prosecutors had little proof that the cases would stand up at trial. There was limited video footage of what took place inside the campus building.... The protesters wore masks and covered security cameras, preventing prosecutors from identifying those who had barricaded the doors and smashed chairs, desks and windows during the 17-hour occupation.... For similar reasons, prosecutors also dismissed charges against nine of the 22 students and staff members at City College who were arrested inside a campus building and charged with burglary during a protest that took place on the same night as the arrests at Hamilton Hall."

The NYT reports.

"Representative Jerrold Nadler, also a Democrat and the longest-serving Jewish member of the House of Representatives, said he had 'the uttermost faith in D.A. Bragg.'"

AND: What deep emotions stirred within Nadler that caused him to... utter... the strange word "uttermost"? My instinct was to regard it as not a word at all, but a whiffed attempt at "utmost." But I looked it up, and it's a word. The OED has it used by Hobbes ("From the uttermost parts of the Earth") and Milton ("To the uttermost convex Of this great Round") and Shelley ("From the corners uttermost Of the bounds of English coast") and Wordsworth ("A voice of uttermost joy") and Ruskin ("To speak with uttermost truth of expression") and Carlyle ("His accounts lie all ready, correct in black-on-white to the uttermost farthing"). Yes, I can answer my question "What deep emotions...?" The answer: the urge to bullshit.

"More than 1,300 people died making the Islamic pilgrimage of hajj in Saudi Arabia this month..."

"... the vast majority of whom the Saudi government said did not have permits.... While pilgrims with permits are transported around the holy city of Mecca in air-conditioned buses and rest in air-conditioned tents, unregistered ones are often exposed to the elements... [walking miles] as temperatures surpassed 120 degrees.... Entry to Mecca was barred weeks before hajj for visitors who did not have permits. Yet many pilgrims were able to evade the restrictions, arriving in Mecca early and hiding out, or paying smugglers to ferry them into the city...."

The NYT reports.

Two of the dead were Americans, a couple from Maryland, who spent $23,000 on the trip but did not have the permits. The article ends with a quote from their daughter, the classic statement: "They died doing exactly what they wanted to do."

June 23, 2024

Sunrise — 5:06, 5:18, 5:32, 5:43.

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"Freedom is everything. Freedom is everything. The first freedom, I guess, is your health."

"Then freedom to think, to express yourself. Financial freedom. If you are true to yourself, you are free.... I’m true to myself. I mean, sometimes I feel insecure. Sometimes I feel like a fucking loser, and I say, 'I’m a loser!' But only losers don’t feel like losers."

Said Diane von Furstenberg, quoted in the New Yorker interview, "Diane von Furstenberg Will See You Now/The fashion icon is still starring in the story of her life, dispensing wisdom on our age of prudishness, the 'three types of women,' and why 'only losers don’t feel like losers.'"

The 3 types of women are — she's a fashion designer — "women who like to show their waist, women who like to be loose, and women who like to be very tight, like a sausage."

"Elon, just because someone has a form (which anyone can find online) doesn’t mean you become a registered voter merely by filling it out."


Obviously, the question is how are those checks working out?

"So if your parents don’t want you, I’ll take you."

That little video was taken at this event: "Trump goes to Tony & Nick’s for a cheesesteak, completing a Philly trilogy/This was Trump's third cheesesteak stop in Philly at three different shops. That may be a record for a presumptive presidential nominee" (Philadelphia Inquirer)("it was unclear whether Trump ordered his steak 'wit' or 'witout'").

I am one of the deciders, but I took this WaPo test anyway.

Kind of surprising, isn't that?

Here, take the test yourself, at "Do swing-state voters share your priorities? Answer these 8 questions to find out" (free access link).

"Nostalgia for the Trump-era geopolitical landscape seems entirely reasonable: Before his defeat there was no Russian invasion of Ukraine, no brutal struggle in the Holy Land..."

"... and a weaker alignment of anti-American powers rather than the increasing consolidation by our rivals in Moscow and Beijing and Tehran and even Pyongyang. The Biden administration would obviously deny responsibility for these deteriorations.... But I... think that liberal investment in the idea of Biden as the great defender of the liberal international order against isolationism and reaction has made it hard for Democrats to reckon with how much more stability the American-led order seemed to enjoy under the crudely transactional machtpolitik of Trump. That contrast means that if there is a positive case for Biden’s foreign policy, it can’t just be made with rote warnings about how Trump will unravel NATO and let our enemies run roughshod — not when those enemies seem so much more aggressive under Biden than before."

Writes Ross Douthat, in "The Biden and Trump Weaknesses That Don’t Get Enough Attention" (NYT).

"Biden doesn’t need a long list of derisive assaults. Just a few. I bet Trump would take the bait."

"In the first debate of the 2020 campaign, Biden took a slap at Trump when the former reality TV host wouldn’t stop interrupting: 'Would you shut up, man? This is so unpresidential.' He also referred to Trump as a 'clown' and a 'racist.' Biden was able to be sharp in his parries with Trump. Belittling him could yield the best payback."

Writes David Corn, in "Here’s How Biden Could Rattle Trump in Their First Debate" (Mother Jones).

There's always this idea of getting under the other guy's skin. Is Trump really someone you can "bait" and "rattle"? 

Here's my post from September 30, 2020, just after the first debate, "Biden tried to aggravate Trump by calling him 'man' over and over."