Links 12/30/2022

5 foods that are traditionally eaten for luck in the New Year Salon

Barbershop owner in Buffalo opens his doors and saves lives in deadly blizzard. BBC

Football died after Pelé Unherd

The sea was never blue aeon. Um, wasn’t it “wine-dark”? But I puzzled about this as a very young child. If I saw color differently, or everyone had different perceptions, how would anyone know? I would use the names other people were using but what they called blue could look very different to them than what I saw as “blue”. However, the claim here is ancient Greeks may have had limited color perception, and not of the red-green color blindness sort.

Bob Gottlieb Is the Last of the Publishing Giants The 91-year-old editor waits for his 87-year-old star writer, Robert Caro, to turn in his book. New York Magazine (Anthony L)

CDC warns US is staring down the barrel of type 2 diabetes crisis with rates in children expected to soar EIGHT-FOLD by 2060 Daily Mail

What To Know About Ozempic: The Diabetes Drug Becomes A Viral Weight Loss Hit (Elon Musk Boasts Using It) Creating A Shortage Forbes (furzy)




How Bad Is China’s Covid Outbreak? It’s a Scientific Guessing Game. New York Times

‘White lungs’ scare Chinese and their travel hosts Asia Times (Kevin W)


Chinese jet came within 10 feet of U.S. military aircraft, U.S. says Reuters

China set to revamp chip strategy after US curbs on advanced tech South China Morning Post

European Disunion

Biden’s green subsidies may backfire, warns EU commissioner Financial Times

Germany’s medicine shortage puts the squeeze on pharmacies Anadolu Agency

Old Blighty

UK Set to Halve Energy Support for Businesses, Times Reports Bloomberg

New Not-So-Cold War

Important last two days due to biggest evah Russian cruise missile attacks, supplemented by drones. Tweet immediately below may = strikes continuing for a third day.

Ukraine. Military Summary And Analysis 29.12.2022 YouTube. Some information on the attacks, including limited effect but still clever Ukraine countermoves. Also late in the video, discussion of Russia forces taking a precarious but critical part of Bakhmut. Contention is if Russia can hold it, game over for Bakhmut is not far away.

Russia Launches Missile Strike, Hunts AD System, Prepares North Donbass Offensive, Putin Xi to Speak Alexander Mercouris, YouTube. Includes speculation on the very much stepped up pace of cruise missile use. It may well be due to increased production. But it may also be due to not being able to make fully effective use of them earlier until certain issues were solved (for instance, Russian satellites were reportedly repositioned a tad in November to give better views of Ukraine). See MoA piece below for some examples.

MoA – Ukraine SitRep – Counter Artillery War – Financial Disaster Moon of Alabama. Polar Socialist added:

The Russians have reportedly deployed their pretty new and innovative 1B75 Penicillin anti-artillery sensor vehicles. It uses a combination of (passive) sound, thermal and seismic sensors to pinpoint any mortar, artillery or anti-aircraft gun firing within 25 km (15 miles).

They claim it can also calculate where the enemy shells will land, and also use its sensors to correct fire by one Russian battery at a time (it can rotate between several batteries, though) automatically.

There has also been news about testing of a privately developed, mobile StarLink terminal locators with an effective range of 10 km (+6 miles) which, if successful, can hinder Ukrainian C&C networks.

Why is Russia Conducting its Special Military Operation this Way? Brian Berletic, YouTube. A fine primer on why Russia or anyone, is required to move slowly and methodically v. well-fortified positions.

* * *

Zelensky appoints sexologist pyramid schemer as ambassador to Bulgaria Greyzone

Danish Reporter Says Ukrainian Intelligence Tried to Coerce Her Into Working as a Propagandist Intercept

* * *

The Looming GOP Crisis Over Ukraine Politico. Lead story.

Russia to divert metals away from West RT (Kevin W)

* * *

RWE concludes LNG contract with US companies Tagesschau (guurst). Original here.

Zelenskyy made a secret phone call to Mitch McConnell urging him to pass a provision that would give Ukraine the seized fortunes of Russian oligarchs: report Business Insider

Inflation in the Baltics: a warning for the rest of Europe Financial Times (Kevin W)

Türkiye warns Greece against expansion in Aegean Sea RT


Iran conducts major military drills in key oil waterway DW

Why Israel’s Saber-rattling on Iran Doesn’t Mean a Strike Is Imminent Haaretz

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Suit Accusing YouTube of Tracking Children Is Back On After Appeal ars technica

Department of Homeland Security Can’t Even Secure Its Buildings Against People It Fired Intercept

Waze Tests New Alerts Warning Drivers About Roads With a ‘History of Crashes’ The Verge

Imperial Collapse Watch

Kennan and the Pitfalls of Containment Daniel Larison

Wars and More Wars: The Sorry U.S. History in the Middle East Counterpunch

Politics of Technology: Chip War (III) Joe Costello


Why 2023 May Be the Year That Fate Finally Catches Up With Donald Trump New Republic (furzy)


Republicans rage over White House plans to slow investigations Politico (Kevin W)

Supply Chain/Inflation

Here’s why egg prices surged in 2022. Those elevated costs could last into the first quarter of 2023, expert says CNBC (Kevin W)

Natural Gas Prices Set For A Sustained Rally In 2023 OilPrice

Unemployment Insurance Claims, Layoffs, Recession Menzie Chinn

The travails of the US economy roll on into 2023 Asia Times (Kevin W)

Southwest Meltdown

Column: Southwest’s meltdown was born in America’s cheapskate corporate culture Mike Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times (Paul R)

The Bezzle

Bankman-Fried Met With White House Aides on Crypto Policy Before FTX Collapse Bloomberg (BC)

Bahamas Seized $3.5 Billion FTX Assets on Custody Concerns Bloomberg

Crypto Billionaires Winklevoss Twins Accused of Fraud and Securities Law Violations by Investors CryptoNews

Crypto craziness craps out – and about time too The Register

Case for blockchain in financial services dented by failures Financial Times

California 19-year-old arrested in bogus parking ticket scam AutoBlog

New York’s governor signs watered-down right-to-repair bill Endgadget (Kevin W)

New York Breaks the Right To Repair Bill as It’s Signed Into Law The Verge

Tesla Model Y Is Now the Best-Selling Car In All of Europe Electrek

‘Escape From Model Land’ Review: Seduced by Numbers Wall Street Journal (Anthony L). Ahem, we wrote about this for the Conference Board Review in 2006: Management’s Great Addiction

Class Warfare

NYC Could Lose 10,000 Airbnb Listings Because of New Short-Term Rental Law NPR

Antidote du jour (furzy):

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. griffen

    I tend to always think this thought when we, broadly speaking, lose a true great. Since the passing yesterday of Pele is fresh in mind I just wish to pass the below notion along. And I am not even a casual fan of the beautiful game, but greatness in the World Cups is really hard to ignore.

    And yet the Kardashians live. Call it mean spirited if you choose, but that is just truth. I despise what they represent, fame and wealth for doing basically nothing. Or, Henry Kissinger who is famed for much different reasons. Nope, not sarcasm on this last Friday of 2022.

    1. Pat

      I despise the Kardashians, but they do something. They hustle, they grift, they perform. They sell. Their major product is themselves and a bizarre version of wealth that they pretend is attainable for all. They are the perfect evangelical preachers for a materialistic lifestyle based on nothing but consumption. They are Osteen and Baker and Falwell preaching to the masses. But instead of taking money directly from the rubes to become one with God so that the blessings will flow, they direct them to “invest” in themselves to become someone that deserves and gets the best as dictated by them. They sell the plastic surgery, the right makeup, wear the right clothes, buy the right furniture and yes to even sell yourself for the rewards they enjoy. It is some of the most bizarre and soul crushing snake oil ever developed and the fact people buy it is almost worse than the real Elmer Gantrys out there, almost.

      Kissinger, I’ll save that rant for another day.

      1. hunkerdown

        Do you mean commodity fetishism? It’s not the same as materialism, not at all. In fact, materialists critique commodity fetishism all the time. Idols are about ideals, and consumerism is an ideal of destructive incorporation. Materialists prefer to have matter than to ritually destroy it as a testimony to ownership relations.

        1. semper loquitur

          There is more than one meaning of the word “materialistic”. One connotes a devotion to property and wealth. The other is a mistaken ontology. :p

      2. nippersdad

        I have always wondered who the Kardashians target market is. They are so grotesquely, so startlingly and invariably tacky that it is difficult to even see them in an ad for whatever instantly forgettable bauble they are hawking. They are the perfect exemplars for how little I understand my own culture, and why anyone would want to actively seek to import it.

        1. semper loquitur

          I would suggest it’s not your culture, nor is it even the culture of the children and fools who hold the K-mob up for admiration. It is an artificial culture, concocted in photo studios, late night talk shows, and advertising agencies. It hasn’t developed from the lives of people living in a society. It’s developed in marketing firms and plastic surgeon’s suites.

            1. polar donkey

              The most depressing thing about the Kardashian clan is that they will be forever. They are aristocracy and their kids will grow up famous to sell another generation…nothing.

        2. Mikel

          “I have always wondered who the Kardashians target market is.”

          As many people as they can distract.

          1. CountZero

            Everywhere I go I see young women with artificial Kardashian eyebrows, big fat swollen lips and enormous bosoms and bums. It can’t be a coincidence. I do worry they might melt one day.

  2. Lexx

    ‘5 foods that are traditionally eaten for luck in the New Year’

    It calls for smoked sausage but I usually use a large smoked ham hock (and maybe throw in a package of andouille for the spiciness). We smoke several pounds every fall.

    I only cook this one once a year. Black-eyed peas have a lovely texture to them if they’re cooked slow, like all day in a crockpot.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      When we lived in New Mexico, we were exposed to the tradition of eating posole at New Year’s. Posole is a stew named for its main ingredient, posole, a limed corn called “hominy” by Anglos. Our well-traveled, 40 year-old New Mexico Magazine cookbook has not one but three posole recipes. One comes from the Santa Clara Pueblo’s Feast Day and mixes the posole with ground beef and vegetables. Two come from well-regarded Santa Fe restaurants of the time: the Shed and La Tertulia. These similar recipes mix the posole with pork shoulder, lime juice, garlic, oregano, and lots of red chile.

      We make it every New Year’s and usually accompany it as the Shed would: stacked, blue corn enchiladas and sopapillas with honey or butter.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          It is. The old cookbook has a picture of a Shed plate with posole, beans, and stacked enchiladas with a fried egg on top.

          I worked in Santa Fe briefly ( ;) ) in the early 80s and enjoyed the Shed, Josie’s, the Pink Adobe, La Tertulia (especially the flan), La Posada and the Compound. And they were business meals, paid by $40/barrel oil, so it didn’t cost me.

    2. nippersdad

      I am of the firm belief that back eyed peas are the single most dangerous edible substance known to man. I have cooked them every year for decades, just as my Grandmother did, just for the single spoonful I can safely ingest and the rest gradually goes to the dogs. Thankfully this year I have discovered the delights of probiotic acidophilus, so maybe I can have two spoonfuls before the dogs get them.

      Twice the luck this year! Yay!

      1. polar donkey

        My brother-in-law would get paid 1 penny for each black eyed he ate on New Year’s Day. He would walk away with a nickel or as much as a dime.

        1. nippersdad

          Thank you! I am not alone.

          Those things are powerful all out of proportion to their size. We shall see if the acidophilus is up to the task.

    3. britzklieg

      The Greeks eat a semi-sweet, cake-like bread – vasalopita – with a coin baked into it and whoever gets the coin gets a year of good fortune. Me? I liked the bread!

    1. IM Doc

      I am besieged these days by people wanting to be on this drug and drugs like it. There have been breathless reports in the national media about how they will just melt the weight right off. No work needed. This drug is becoming the “rage” drug used by all kinds of not-obese to get even skinnier. The uptake has surprised even the marketers at Big Pharma. They never anticipated this demand, and massive shortages abound everywhere.

      The weight just melts off. No work or effort required. That is the hook on all the ads, etc.

      It is for this reason, and the cultural insanity behind it, the “quick fix” for everything, that I demand that each and every one of my students read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Celestial Railroad during their rotation. The man was a seer. He saw the “quick fix” mentality developing in Americans centuries ago and wrote a parable about its dangers. Basically, the story is a warped sequel to The Pilgrims Progress where tycoons have built a gigantic elevated railroad to The Celestial City bypassing all the obstacles that the normies like Christian had to endure in the original work. The wealthy train riders could see the normies struggling below and laughed themselves silly as entertainment on their comfortable train journey. Then we get to the end of the ride. The consequences of the quick fix end up being enormous – and eternal. It is basically a Twilight Zone story and an infamous twist ending that would have made Serling green with envy.

      I have been reluctantly giving these meds to patients for 18 months now. We have no idea what the long term health issues may be. They are profoundly expensive, 500-700 month and are not covered by insurance. They do work for weight loss, but the minute they are stopped, it all starts coming back and then some.

      The perfect cash machine for Pharma – we extract our pound of flesh every month in the form of 500 bucks OR you get to have your ponds of flesh back. Your choice.

        1. Ben Gunn's Cheese

          Thank you for the link. Hawthorn’s description of the city of Vanity (and Vanity Fair) fit’s western society and media today to a tee.

          “It would fill a volume, in an age of pamphlets, were I to record all my observations in this great capital of human business and pleasure. There was an unlimited range of society–the powerful, the wise, the witty, and philanthropists, all making their own market at the Fair, and deeming no price too exorbitant for such commodities as hit their fancy. It was well worth one’s while, even if he had no idea of buying or selling, to loiter through the bazaars, and observe the various sorts of traffic that were going forward.”

          When I read this, I think of how media today aggrandizes the trivial, mundane, vapid, along with the MIC talking points. There’s no Nutrients!, as Nacho says, as we all are carted off with Lampwick to Pleasure Island. Sorry for the mixed metaphors.

          1. flora

            Very interesting that Hawthorn was later referenced by Herman Melville. Melville’s “Moby Dick” is truly the great American novel, with all the vices and vanities of American ‘conquest of nature’ thoughts of the time.

            I recommend reading that novel, though you’ll no doubt get bogged down in the descriptions of whaling ship manufacturing of whale oil, life aboard ship, and etc. Give yourself time for the reading.

            1. flora

              And by ‘time’, I do mean 3 to 4 months to read, a single chapter or even half a chapter at a time. It will serve you well going forward, imo, even if you’re left wondering at the time what the heck you just read and why it’s still considered important.

              1. Dictynna

                Desperate for new reading material, I once snagged it at my local library.

                I did skip over some of the whale information, but found whaling as a profession to be fascinating.

                I wondered if Melville originally wrote at least part of it as non-fiction, then later added the novelistic elements.

      1. Bruce Krasting

        I’m on it. Cost me $47 for six weeks.

        I’m also taking Insulin . (Injection once a day). Otezla will eliminate the need for insulin over time. That will be a big savings for me and Medicare.

        1. IM Doc

          You are very clearly a diabetic. That is a whole different story, cost, and risk benefit structure than just using this for weight loss.

          Almost all insurance companies pay for this in diabetics for about 50-75 a month copay. They will not pay anything when it is just for weight loss.

          It really does help diabetics with glucose control. Lots of benefit. So I am very on board with that.

          Not so much for a 25 year old 150 pound woman wanting a Kardashian body. Why one would want that, I do not know. It is what it is. But this is the patient group I am referring to in the above comment.

            1. Wukchumni

              Wait till their betters tell them to consume CBD-Cash and it’ll digitally lower their wait times on transactions, in the ongoing War On Cash where those holding folding are sometimes mocked by the digiterrati as ‘Tactilers’.

              1. flora

                an aside: my local coffee shop got a new credit card reader thingy – insert cart while holding a button then push something or other, people are always asking the cashier for help using it. Cash is sooo much faster. The cashiers love cash. / ;)

              2. agent ranger smith


                That might be a new word for the analog rebels to put on their vanity license plates.



                And other such cornerstonings of the stones the builders hath rejected.

            2. ambrit

              Funny but those ‘substances’ have other uses, some legitimate. We use NAC for sinus congestion problems. Has worked for us so far. Cheap enough that even if it is a placebo effect, it’s still worth it.
              YMMV, of course.
              Weight loss? That’s the Holy Grail of “popular medicine.” Most of the ‘treatments’ on offer seem to fall into the category of “The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.”
              Stay safe.

              1. BeliTsari

                Just back from (very SAD) W97th St Farmer’s Market. About a mile, pretty level. ME/CFS symptoms from hurrying to meet my baby? Always out of the blue. The NattSerrNAC, NrPt, PEA/ Luteolin & isoflavones DO help, until they don’t? Yesterday, I was running about midtown, like an idiot… maybe, we’ll skip the ball drop orgies, surrounded by maskless mouthbreaters, loudly puking on each other? CBD & 5HTP, maybe?

              2. CNu

                Strictly anecdata, but from where I sit…,

                NAC and glycine appear to be the most potent self-help therapeutic against long-covid, and, make you feel like a BOSS, shrink visceral belly fat, wake you up to ritual-habitual sugar intakes, as well as a host of other undesirable automatizations.

                add 75 mg of DHEA and I’d call it the most potent non-pharmaceutical intervention against age-related deterioration currently available online.

                In the quantity that you can get and consume inexpensively in bulk on Amazon, Nestle wants $500.00/month.

                Frankly, I have no idea what the microdosages of that Celltrient product purport to be good for – you’d have to multiply that x 15 in order to feel it.

                1. Yves Smith Post author

                  I assume you are male? Not sure re 75mg of DHEA for women….although a lot of women are low testosterone and most HRT for women leaves out testosterone.

                2. tevhatch

                  buying anything off of Amazon is questionable, but putting anything you buy off of Amazon into your body is very questionable. Even Costco gets dinged for selling health items that contain less or not what they say is on the label, and it turns out a lot of generic drugs sold a the big pharma stores are either dilute or contaminated with harmful bi-products. There is a small pharmacy that does testing on it’s products in the USA which I remember was reported on here some time ago, either as a comment or an actual post. If these direct storefronts are that bad, just think about the hell hole known as Amazon.

        2. mary jensen

          Oh Bruce. Oh Bruce. Eat well, swim, walk, have good sex, get away from the screens, stop thinking about money all of the time. Crikey. You know better.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Thank you. Have never heard of The Celestial Railroad so looked it up. If any are interested, here is a copy-

        There may be a modern twist to that “quick fix” mentality that you see in modern cinema and it was the Critical Drinker that put me on to this one. In past films you would see the main protagonist having to learn, to change, to adapt, to get better and exceed their own expectations over time. Luke Skywalker is an example here as you see him over several films of his story arc. Nowadays? You have the Mary Sue such as Captain Marvel who are already near perfect right from the get go. No suffering, no apprenticeships, just bang here they are-

        1. hunkerdown

          Coming-of-age stories are a bourgeois decadence and Christian sadomasochism is not a fit basis for a society worth living in. The fewer morality plays, the better. Unfortunately, action stories are just another kind of the same.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Not so. It does not have to be about action stories. Take a look at a successful lawyer or a trusted accountant. Once upon a time they knew nothing about their future careers. So they had to learn, to think, gather experiences, suffer setbacks. The good ones kept going and got where they wanted too. I listen to Douglas MacGregor a lot lately. You think that when younger he just put on a uniform and knew all he needed to know? It’s not morality but life and we all change. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. But change we do.

              1. bassmule

                Yeah, I used to think I was smart. When I was a kid, people were telling me that all the time. Thing is, the older I’ve gotten, and the more I have learned, the more I have realized how ignorant I really am.

                1. Randy

                  Yeah, I used to think I was smart. When I was a kid, people were telling me that all the time. Thing is, the older I’ve gotten, and the more I have learned, the more I have realized how stupid and ignorant I really was when I was young.

                  Now, I still may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but I am not ignorant.

                  1. orlbucfan

                    I was brutally bullied as a kid growing up, yep, that included a small gang surrounding me as I walked home from a school bus stop. They were males and much bigger than me. This was back in grade school. I never was touched nor injured. I was told for years that I just outsmarted them. Say what? The bullying continued into high school. I had a sicko biology teacher get in on the act. My family was my sanctuary. Fast forward to my seventh decade on this plane. I’ve been called exceptional…genius. Really? The so-called smarts helped me survive without getting permanently crippled or killed. I would call it lucky.

                    1. flora

                      If I may,

                      ” I never was touched nor injured.”

                      You were strongly tested and not found wanting by the bullies.

                      (Yeah, yeah, too much, I know, but still real I think, ….)

          2. hemeantwell

            In The Way of the World Franco Moretti sees the 19th c Bildungsroman as coming to grips with growing up and getting your bearings in a period of significant changes in social structure and customs; more or less, feudal ossification >>> bourgeois “innovation.” They looked at the development of individual subjectivity during a period in which the social field was relatively more open, maybe not so much for individual advancement in reality, but as sense of possibility. Contemporary coming of age stories can sometimes go deep, but it seems they most often have a nostalgic, socially enfeebled quality which is all about a painful adjustment to reality, a loss of illusions. From that angle we could say they are decadent because the bourgeoisie has become decadent.

          3. IM Doc

            I guess you are not a fan of The Twilight Zone either – because almost every one of Serling’s teleplays is a “morality play” as you refer to them above. I have been a professor for decades. I have my own kids. After years of experience, I have come to realize that these “morality plays” whether ancient Aesop fables, the Greek and Roman myth and history cycles, the Bible, the Faerie Queene, Dante’s Divine Comedy, the Decameron, The Canterbury Tales, 1001 Nights, Hawthorne, Dickens, Balzac, and even modern takes like The Twilight Zone are some of the very best methods to make eternal points that people can understand instantly. And I would completely disagree with your take on “Christian” sadomasochism. In my view the entire world is “sadomasochism” – the Christians just had a few centuries of experience with overlords – not unlike what we are dealing with today. The comparisons in so many of these stories to our situation today is uncanny.

            And it is often so telling to me as a teacher/life learner to hear what the students have to say after reading these works. This month, I have 2 students here with me – 1 from an Ivy League school, 1 is a Latino kid from an underclass background. As scrappy as he can be. They read The Celestial Railroad. The Ivy League kid talked for 5 minutes about Karl Marx and social justice and the class struggle – in my opinion tangential at best ( but unfortunately, these days – everything these Ivy kids come up has to do with social justice ) The Latino kid had a very simple question for us all to consider – indicating to me that he had a functional brain – and completely got it – WHAT WOULD HAWTHORNE THINK OF OPERATION WARP SPEED?

            Again – I learn more from my students than they from me. Hard questions are critical. This whole encounter reminded me of an M&M Mortality and Morbiditiy Conference when I was a young faculty member. In those days, there were no safe spaces for learners. There was a death on a service – and the intern and resident were up in front of everyone defending everything they did. Intern was a kid from a Nebraska cornfield. The resident was a kid from the Ivy League. Let’s just say the Ivy kid had been carefully trained to handle everything in life like Buttigieg – lots of deflecting. The cornhusker had the courage to say I SCREWED UP – and I DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER – but I WILL FIND IT.

            The oldest professor – one of the most important figures in the 20th Century in Internal Medicine – stood up – and yelled out – I will take a farmboy that can think any day over a talker like you – pointing to the Ivy Kid – you can take your degree and stuff it up your ass. This kind of Ivy League jack off thinking is going to get people killed.

            Yes – that kind of thing was very normal once upon a time in American education.

            I have been thinking all week what that old professor would be thinking today about the Ivy League jackoffs in charge of our health care system and where they have gotten us.

            1. flora

              an aside to your list of written works: farther east from Europe, from the subcontinent comes the Bhagavad Gita, a dialogue between young Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide and charioteer Krishna.

              Coming of age stories, stories of moral dilemma are universal.

              1. JBird4049

                Funny, we have safe spaces, but making the wrong kind of mistake will get you permanently cancelled. Maybe that is why this fear of making mistakes is so strong. That and with cellphones and computers/surveillance everywhere for your lifelong permanent record unlike before when time would erase your embarrassment.

            2. Lupana

              Ever since our children were very young, we had a family tradition of watching Twilight Zones for several days around New Years. They still do this as adults. My personal favorites are “Changing of the Guard”, “Nothing in the Dark”, “The Hunt” and “I Sing the Body Electric”. There’s something comforting about them somehow.

              1. Pat

                I’m rather fond of To Serve Man. I think it should be required viewing for leaders of smaller countries when western countries like the US come to “help”. (Although our technological advances are not remotely as good as the aliens are.)

                1. Lupana

                  That is a good one! I was also thinking of The Hitchhiker and NIck of Time. There are so may good ones!

                  1. Wukchumni

                    They’re all so good!

                    Couldn’t imagine looking forward to reruns of any other circa 1961 tv show~

              2. Paradan

                I want netflix to do a remake of all the old Twilight Zones. Change nothing, exact same script, black and white, simple movie sets and props, but replace all the actors with 5 year olds.

          4. Mikel

            Those 80s John Hughes films with the Brat Pack and other films like Risky Business are the models for so many contemporary coming of age stories in cinema.

      3. Lexx

        I’m amazed and appalled that people will take such risks with their bodies. I’ve had three cancers; I’m not feeling lucky enough to just spin the wheel and see what happens… wheeeeee!

        My NP is a nice lady, about half my age and easily 50 pounds overweight. Every time I see her (not often) she’s a little heavier than before. Is this a drug she would be willing to use herself, I wondered?

        The possible side effects gave me pause, although to be fair they are listed on 5 of the 6 drugs my dog is on everyday. ‘Yesyes, we’ll just go ahead and cop to nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting.’ She seems real clear that a CGM wouldn’t be covered by insurance without the numbers to support it, but never mentioned the cost of Ozempic, with or without insurance. Does the insurance industry see it as a diabetic medication or a quick-fix lifestyle drug?

        I went looking for those old Tylenol commercials where they tell the audience that if we can’t take their product responsibly, they’d rather we didn’t buy it… couldn’t find them. Huh.

      4. Mildred Montana

        >”They do work for weight loss…”

        So do ten cups of coffee or three packs of cigarettes a day, amphetamines, cocaine, crack, meth, etc.

        I would be concerned that any easy weight loss achieved by use of these drugs might be the result of a stimulant effect and all stimulants, in the long run, are addictive and difficult to withdraw from.

        1. britzklieg

          My sister-in-law used to diet on Mountain Dew and cheese toast as a teenager and pictures show her to be beyond skinny then.

        2. Pat

          Reminder of one time I was in the room where a couple of soap opera magazine editors who were gossiping while waiting for a photo shoot to start. One had just spent the day with a star, who is even more famous today in a different genre.

          “So what’s the story? How does she stay so thin?”
          “ Forget it, neither of us can do it.”
          “She didn’t eat a thing all day. She exists on chain smoking and Diet Cokes and nothing else.”

          I was shocked because I had been expecting to hear about bulimia, which was really common or some ridiculous food fad that supposedly made a 500 calorie meal make you feel full but doesn’t.

            1. Pat

              I’m assuming she found another method as she has had a few kids in the many years since that happened. But it would not surprise me if whatever it is is not particularly sensible and healthy.

              (Just a side note, while there are exceptions, in my experience almost every actress who the press touts as having a great body from an ultra healthy life style either has help from pharmaceuticals or an eating disorder. And I have now lived long enough that I get to watch many come clean decades later.)

              1. BeliTsari

                Or generics? An ex, who’d only started doing modeling, extra & commercials at 37, is still 5′-10″ @ 124lbs and eats like a team of horses at 69. Actually cried in pain, trying to get down to 105 for some obscure role/ costume. But still can’t put on weight, durned scifi critter?

      5. lyman alpha blob

        That is the 2nd reference to The Celestial Railroad I’ve seen in the last hour after never having heard of it before. The first was in a footnote to Melville’s The Confidence Man which I’m in the middle of reading.

        Thanks for the mention and for the links to it above – someone clearly wants me to read it today!

      6. Pelham

        By the time I was obese at age 15 (55 years ago) I decided to go on a sensible diet — no snacks, no sweets but three square meals a day, plus daily exercise. I lost 76 pounds in 10 months.

        But I got into the habit of weighing myself daily, which one isn’t supposed to do as normal weight fluctuations might prove discouraging. I found it helpful, though. If I went a pound over my target weight, I could go back on my diet and lose the pound in a day or two. If I had weighed myself once a week, I might have gained 4 or 5 pounds in that span, entailing a week or more of gruesome dieting.

        I kept this up, on average having to diet 2 or 3 days a week in a constant struggle to keep my weight in check. So it went for 54 years. But then, beginning last year, I adopted a diet that focused squarely on gut health. I won’t go into detail, but it involves daily consumption of prebiotics and reducing insulin resistance, all with no drugs. The result is that I keep my weight at a constant effortlessly now. I weigh myself once or twice a month. No change, and I feel fine. So maybe gut health and insulin resistance are key.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Avoid sugars and high glycemic index foods. You can look them up. Treat them as treats as opposed to regular consumption.

            Simple way is a low carb diet.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “The sea was never blue”

    The title of this page actually says can we hope to understand how the Greeks saw their world. Well maybe, maybe not. Do we know how average Greeks thought about colour or did they just accept the colours that they saw. Remember too that their vocabulary was much more limited than your typical modern language in regards to actual number of words. But there is another factor. The colours that the Greeks saw were to a large extent the colours that they saw around them so at a minimum you would have white, black, blue, brown, etc. They were the colours of the natural world. These were supplemented with colours that they learned to make such as the purple from snails. The colours of metals such as gold and silver must have been in a class of their own. But here is the thing. In thinking about this, I glanced around the room that I was in and realized that virtually every single colour that I saw was artificial. Walls, ceiling, decorations, paintings, etc. all in colours artificially made and hardly any natural from the real world. That’s a strange sensation that.

    1. .Tom

      The map is not the territory. The very young Yves got it.

      > The sea was never blue aeon. Um, wasn’t it “wine-dark”? But I puzzled about this as a very young child. If I saw color differently, or everyone had different perceptions, how would anyone know? I would use the names other people were using but what they called blue could look very different to them than what I saw as “blue”.

      It’s amazing how many people plunge into the ocean of subjectivity and language that might or might not have consensus meaning and truth and come back to the surface with sanity more-or-less in tact.

      1. nycTerrierist

        just my 2 cents fwiw, what if ‘wine-dark’ refers to value (i.e. dark to light)? –
        and not hue per se

        sea dark as wine — nice metaphor no?

        poetic language (Homer)

        1. jsn

          I suspect Ancient Greek as handed down was the language of glory for warriors in a warring civilization.

          It treated the colors that were important to its constituency. Names for other colors may well have been in use by the women and slaves making and dying fabrics, making such of no concern to the bards.

          Pure speculation.

          1. JBird4049

            Speculation, maybe, but it is amazing what gets forgotten, if it ever was remembered at all. The knowledge and experiences of anyone not of the highest classes has never really been considered all that important; we can learn all the different ways of killing and dying, and the King’s favorite mistress’ name, but of making dyes, growing crops, work chants, or the best way to cut hair back when, not so much.

        2. JEHR

          If you stare at the ocean long enough, you will see a dark wine/red part of the ocean usually at the farthest reaches of the water. Often, you can see every colour in the spectrum by looking at the many changes in the movement of the water. It takes patience though.

        3. Don

          I never took “wine-dark sea” to be an indication of colour, but rather a wondrously
          poetic indication of limpid darkness.

      2. Robert Gray

        > I would use the names other people were using but what they called blue
        > could look very different to them than what I saw as “blue”.

        Different cultures see colours in different ways. The locus classicus is a wonderful treatment by Berlin and Kay, Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution (1969). It’s been a good few years since I read it but I think I recall their methodology correctly. They showed speakers of different languages charts with gradient shades of colours and asked them to identify the hue that represented the basic, essential tone of each colour. What was interesting was that the sample that Spanish speakers picked out as typifying rojo was not the same as the English speakers’ red; a French speaker’s bleu was not the same as blue, etc. Fascinating stuff.

    2. wol

      Natural pigments have been/are gradually replaced by synthetic pigments due to costs and health hazards, cobalts and cadmiums being the most prominent. Ultramarine blue was made from lapis lazuli, since replaced, which can still be purchased as French Ultramarine. Nobles exhibited their wealth by the amount of ultramarine blue used in a painting. Real Alizarin Crimson has chunks of pigment and never dries completely. Indian Yellow was made from the urine of cows who had been fed only mango leaves. The farmers revolted when the Indian government shut the practice down.

    3. Questa Nota

      The Greeks didn’t have a word for it?

      And there are no waters in Casablanca?

      Happy New Year to all. No lentils or other midnight foods here as I try to never eat while I sleep. /s

    4. britzklieg

      Irony: labeled “color blind” as a kid, this geek boy realized early that, no, apparently I was ‘color stupid.” I saw plenty of colors, but what I called them was not what others called them. Yes, the classic naming red as green but also purple as blue and brown as green…. dark colors, particularly, just all looked black. And growing up on a beach in Florida I never got that the sea was “blue” until a boat trip from Athens to Crete (I was 15) and damn if that water wasn’t a rich, deep blue that even my color stupid eyes could see. For something so insignificant it was a startling moment and one i won’t forget.

    5. jax

      “The Sea was never blue”

      We have tremendous amount of information about how the classical Greeks of the 4th and 5th centuries BC saw color, and they definitely saw blue because they painted their temples and sculptures with shades of that color. A huge story broke for the layperson, perhaps 4 or 5 years ago, describing how scientists used UV light to detect pigment from ancient sculptures and buildings. l love that the Metropolitan Museum of Art called these color schemes “garish” when it did a retrospective of various sculptures, placing the weathered preternatural white marble against a companion painted in the colors of the day. Classical Greece was a riot of color which I am sure did not magically appear in the 5th century BC but was built upon a long tradition of “let’s paint it as bright as we can!”

  4. Lex

    I’m not sure the number of missiles Russia fires constitute a sea change because it has added in spoofing missiles for activating air defense. A tactic it did not seem to use in earlier strikes. The recently accelerated schedule probably does indicate something. Though whether that’s preparation for an offensive, a belief that the AFU are near breaking or because an AFU offensive is near remains to be seen.

    One thing that suggests the time for a Russian offensive may be right is how heavily Ukraine has had to put troops in Bakhmut and Kremmenya (area). Defeating or encircling very large groupings would be devastating and may be possible.

    1. David

      I wonder if several things are going on simultaneously. Consider: Ukraine has limited stocks of anti-air and anti-missile missiles.They are being used up far faster than they can be replaced (indeed, I’m not sure that any more are actually arriving, now) and once they have all been used up, Russia will have complete air superiority except at low level. So the more missiles the Russians launch, the more missiles the Ukrainians have to launch against them. I’ve thought for some time that the purpose of using decoys was not just to make sure that missiles got through, it was also (and at least as importantly) to force the Ukrainians to use up their stocks. Nobody really knows how many S-300s the Ukrainians have left, for example, but they must be very low on stocks now. If the timing of the next Russian offensive is now fixed, then it would make sense to exhaust all Ukrainian missiles before it started.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I assume that the Russians will never presume full air superiority as it leaves open the possibility of a trap if the Ukrainians either keep an S-300 unit or get their hands on some western Sams to use as soon as the Russians lower their guard.

        However, they must be itching to use some Tupolevs with some of their super-large thermobaric bombs. They were terrifyingly effective when used against rebel strongholds in Syria and would be ideal for clearing out the remaining defensive lines. The psychological effect alone would be devastating. I think that when we see these used, we know the winter offensive is really underway.

        1. Lex

          Without context I would agree, but there are also still civilians in most of the cities along the front line where those munitions would be used. The Russian public seems to be slowly turning from the “fraternal people” argument, but Putin clearly isn’t. And it’s hard to say what the Russian public’s reaction would be to that sort of bombing.

        2. hemeantwell

          Yikes. Those thermobaric bombs would yield blast pictures that could be hyped as evidence of the use of atomic weapons. I don’t know how much NATO is capable of escalating, but they could provide a pretext.

    2. Greg

      One note on the embedded tweet – That Ukraine-wide alert happens every time a Mig-31 in Belarus takes off from an airfield, because they are capable of carrying Kinzhal hypersonics.
      Looks like last night didn’t result in more missile strikes, or at least not that I can see reported now.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Today there were missile strikes in Nikolaev city and region, Artemovsk (Bahkmut) and Konstantinovka.

        So not a massive volley of missiles, but according to some it’s actually third day in a row of missile attacks.

        It also seems that Russia is going more after the air-defenses, military industry and barracks than the electric grid.

        1. Greg

          Thanks, I must have missed that in my morning review of dodgy telegram channels.

          I have been struggling to separate geraniums from missiles per se, as they get conflated in many reports.
          There has been a trickle of geraniums and individual or small numbers of missiles for a while, presumably part of the ongoing softening slash SEAD ahead of an offensive.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Chinese jet came within 10 feet of U.S. military aircraft, U.S. says”

    Did that Chinese jet also fly inverted over the US recon jet and give them the bird? Fighter pilots from all nations live for this stuff and want to show off what they can do. I am beginning to think though that the old days where the US, NATO and other allied forces would just fly their recon aircraft up to the borders of Russia, China and other nations are slowly coming to an end. The tolerance for this sort of thing is waning as after all, which country really wants to see foreign aircraft flying up to their borders. I know, I know – this incident happened in “international airspace” over the South China Sea but I suspect that the Chinese take the China bit in that name seriously.

    1. Stephen

      “US military aircraft came within 10 feet of Chinese jet”, might I guess be the alternative headline. It takes two to tango, of course. Although I do realise that a Chinese fighter aircraft could easily evade a KC135!

      Wonder what the headline would be though if Chinese refueling aircraft were to patrol the Gulf of Mexico up to the coast of the Florida Panhandle. “Chinese jets threaten US coast and are driven away by brave Top Guns. Coast Guard and air defenses now on full alert.” Maybe at the very bottom of the article there might be a small comment that this was actually in international airspace. Possibly.

      The narrative is everything.

    2. Lex

      I like how all of the initial reports were 6m (~20 ft) but now US officials are halving the distance. There’s apparently film of the incident and while the perspective is from inside the AWACS plane, there’s no way it’s 10′. Regardless, I agree with you that the days of US impunity in behavior are waning, and that makes American leadership very, very mad.

    3. agent ranger smith

      If the Indians decide to take the “Indian” in Indian Ocean equally seriously, they could claim that all the waters of the Indian Ocean, and all the Islands therein, are Indian Sovereign territory.

      Such a claim would be just as non-bogus as the Chinese claim to all the waters of, and islands in, the various China Seas.

      ( I suspect that once China has mined and pumped the very last valuable mineral, oil,gas,etc. out from under the China Seas . . . and has strip mined every last fish out of the China Seas . . . . and has turned the China Sea floor into a salt water junkyard and the China Sea itself into a sterile fishless desert, then the ChinaGov won’t care so much anymore. )

      “So long, and thanks for all the fish!”

      1. Don

        I don’t know, is the devastatingly destructive, environmentally criminal behaviour that you describe something that China, in particular, is noted for?

      2. ACPAL

        IIRC many years ago there was an unwritten truce between Japan and China where both nations agreed not to drill for oil in a section of disputed seabed. Then Japan’s Prime Minister Abe broke the truce and they’ve been fighting over it ever since. Taiwan’s ADIZ extends, in some places, over China’s mainland. International airspace and waters are a matter of perspective and subject to change without notice. I say tomato, you say tomatoe.

  6. Jeff W

    “…the claim here is ancient Greeks may have had limited color perception…”

    I don’t think that’s the claim. Here’s what the piece says:

    The Greeks were perfectly able to perceive the blue tint, but were not particularly interested in describing the blue tone of sky or sea – at least not in the same way as we are, with our modern sensibility.

    …the Munsell model [with hue, value, and chroma] is useful in that it helps to demonstrate the remarkable Greek predilection for brightness, and the fact that the Greeks experienced colours in degrees of lightness and darkness rather than in terms of hue.

    However, the Munsell model doesn’t completely explain how the Greeks perceived colour since it leaves out the richness of the ‘colour event’ – the subjective, felt perspective of colour that Goethe so valued.

    Of use are two further parameters, in addition to the Munsell model and the subjective value of colour. There is the glitter effect of colour, which is produced by the interplay of the texture of the object and the light conditions, and there is the material or technological process by which a certain colour is obtained in the practice of painters and dyers.

    So, basically, the ancient Greeks had different parameters for describing colors, rather than the one, hue, that we primarily use.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Makes sense. Perhaps the words sky and sea were synonymous with the color blue, and further description was meant to elaborate on the nature of that blue which could be dark like wine. That the base color is blue would be understood. An ancient Greek hearing of a wine-dark sea would interpret the color of water at night as a very dark blue, a darkness like wine but not a darkness associated with the reddish-purple hues of wine.

      No coffee or tea, would Greeks have had any beverages of comparable darkness?

      1. Milton

        I would bet that the societies that lived off the bounty of the seas and oceans had a myriad of words that described differing conditions, most of which probably had little to do with color, but described aspects important to them. Think how arctic tribes had the numerous names for snow that, while very important to them, seems comical to western culture.

      2. Jeff W

        “Perhaps the words sky and sea were synonymous with the color blue…”

        Maybe, although this post on one blog devoted to ancient myths says:

        English ‘blue’ covers a huge region of the palette. Greek splits it into multiple smaller regions: glaukos for lighter, non-vivid shades; kyaneos for darker non-vivid shades ranging to black; porphyreos for vivid shades ranging from blue to violet to ruby, but also for less vivid shades in the middle of that range (light magenta, pink); lampros for metallic-silvery-azure. Yes, ancient sources do mention sky colour: it’s glaukos or lampros.

        Side note: Korean has a few words for the word color itself, including 색 [saek] and 색깔 [saek-kkal]. Ask native-speaking Koreans the difference and they’ll shrug and say, maddeningly, that the two are “the same.” But one person I asked, a teacher of Korean, distinguished them: 색 was what we’d call “color” but 색깔 was more like “surface color” or “reflected color”—the ocean didn’t really have a 색, a color, but its 색깔 might be blue or, during a vivid sunset, orange or purple. That’s a bit, but not exactly, like how the ancient Greeks’ experience with color is described in the Aeon piece:

        When the sea is called porphureos, what is described is a mix of brightness and movement, changing according to the light conditions at different hours of the day and with different weather, which was the aspect of the sea that most attracted Greek sensitivity.

        (This page [in Korean] from the official National Institute of Korean Language actually makes the same distinction so that guy who taught Korean turned out to be right.)

  7. The Rev Kev

    ‘Video showing a row of houses along Lake Erie completely covered in ice following the winter storm that swept through much of Ontario last week’

    If somebody showed you this film without comment, you would probably say that it was not a bad model and ask if it was a leftover set from “The Day After Tomorrow” or something. You can see that the houses along the shoreline caught the full brunt whereas the houses in the street immediately behind fared much better. I hope for those people that this is not an annual occurrence. That would have to be hard on the structure of those houses.

    1. petal

      Rev Kev, I grew up on a beach on the southern shore of Lake Ontario about an hour east of Buffalo. This thing is common. It’s one of the risks and prices people pay for having a house right on the water. I have zero sympathy for them.

      1. Wukchumni

        I’ve only seen that once out west, the #14 chairlift @ Mammoth went through this forest near the summit in the big snow year of 2019 where every last thing was sheathed in ice, kinda magical if you aren’t used to the appearance.

      2. Greg

        Not being familiar with ice at all, would I be right in guessing the extent of the coverage implies those houses are also empty? Seems like even a little internal warmth would reduce the coverage a little. But as I say, not living in an ice place.

        1. agent ranger smith

          If the houses are all super-insulated, then the warmth will all be kept trapped within the houses, and zero of the warmth would escape to melt the ice.

          1. Polar Socialist

            If the temperature is below freezing, the escaping warmth will turn to ice pretty fast, in my experience. Icicles on houses in winter are considered a sign of insulation problems on my latitude.

            1. thousand points of green

              I sometimes have fun spotting the less-well insulated houses where I live by seeing all the icicles hanging off their eaves. Most of the houses have few to no icicles, but a few have many, and some of them pretty big.

        2. show_me

          I suspect this is Crystal Beach. In which case they were commanded to leave in advance – no ifs buts or maybes. Absolutely no help would be offered if people stayed and needed assistance.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Türkiye warns Greece against expansion in Aegean Sea”

    What happens if the Turks decide to up the stakes – and invite the Russians to set up a military base in the Turkish part of Cyprus? Why not? The British have Akrotiri and Dhekelia – Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus which has all sorts of shenanigans going on there. I’m sure that they would enjoy the company-

  9. Carolinian

    Re Gottlieb/Caro–perhaps Gottlieb should have edited this New York mag story which is not exactly a pinnacle of the writing craft. It also doesn’t tell us much about Caro whose alleged secrecy remains intact. Some of us are wondering whether Caro on the Vietnam years will redeem himself after going soft on Lyndon as vice president. Is the aging writer having iconoclast block? No telling from the article.

    1. jsn

      My suspicion is that various declassifications and other historical research in the period since the last volume was published has introduced a number of problems for Caro in deciding how to conclude the series.

  10. Objective Ace

    Very helpful of the CDC to warn of the diabetes epidemic without giving any actionable items. /s

    I believe it should be illegal for food manufacturers to market high sugary/processed foods to children, but at the very least the CDC should have a marketing campaign informing parents of the dangers like they did big tobacco

    1. Berny3

      You might be assuming that sugar somehow causes diabetes, but there is no scientific proof of that. I basically lived on sugar until I was past adolescence and only now as a old frt have I developed blood sugar issues. Other theories out there for the cause of diabetes include vegetable oils, exposure to pesticides and herbicides in food, and “forever” chemicals, among other things.

  11. Joe Well

    But aren’t they getting to battle test their stuff against the West’s? Which will be a big bullet point when they sell it to nonaligned countries.

  12. Carolinian

    Egg story

    There were 375 million total layers in the U.S. as of Dec. 1, which is down 5% from last year, according to the USDA.

    So supply declines by 5 percent and the price increases by 300 percent ($6 eggs in some of my local stores….others more like $3.70). Hmmmm…

    It was only a couple of years ago during the Aldi/Lidl price war that they were selling a carton of eggs for less than a dollar. This is quite the roller coaster.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Nice bonus for local farmers who’ve raised their prices but are still well below the name brands. Strange to see local cage-free eggs as cheaper than store brands (and still, frankly, a very good bargain, nutritionally speaking).

      1. thousand points of green

        And also, it might prompt some people living in detached houses in the suburbs and semiburbs to establish their own mini-flocks or micro-flocks of egg-laying chickens. ( If they eat enough eggs to where having and maintaining the chickens would cost less than buying eggs. Or if it would cost 5% more to maintain the chickens than to buy eggs, but yield eggs which were 10% better, which would put the chicken-keepers ahead, even if not in monetarily measurable terms.)

        1. Late Introvert

          I have all of the wood and most of the hardware for the hen house I’ll be building next spring. It was going to be for love not to save money, but that might be a thing too if this keeps up.

  13. The Rev Kev

    Been listening to a Roundtable discussion and am gradually realizing that 2023 will be the Endgame – and for a lot of things. For the Ukraine this war will not go on for the next several years but will become the watershed moment for the Russians. They will have all their pieces in place and proceed to shut down Project Ukraine so endgame. For the EU all their self-destructive policies will leave that continent a de-industrialized wreck that cannot compete on price in the international market with their goods so endgame for them as well. And their leader’s willingness to destroy the nations of the EU on behalf of US geopolitical aims will create all sorts of stress lines. For NATO too it will be the beginning of the endgame for them as well. As being unable to stop the Russians defeating the Ukraine with Poland, Romania & the Baltic States insisting on going all in while the rest of the NATO nations hanging back, has led to structural fault-lines appearing in that organization. Think that many NATO nations will be keen to go into the Pacific to challenge China now? But the biggest endgame will be for what we may call the collective west. The time when western countries called the shots and took what they wanted is rapidly coming to an end. The collective west couldn’t even get the nations of Africa, the Middle east, South America or Asia to sign up for Project Ukraine and hardly any of them wanted anything to do with this crazy, western obsession. The year 2022 may have set up all these conditions but the end of the unipolar world is now a matter of fact and all the assumptions that were under-pinned by it – like how we westerners are superiors to other people – are now done. It’s over. It won’t of course happen overnight but the course has been set and for the world there is no way back – thankfully. So yeah, endgame.

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          The Round Table with Larry Johnson and John Kiriakou about CIA dysfunction is well worth the listen. One can see how it’s entirely possible the blob might really come to believe Ukraine is winning.

    1. Eric Anderson

      Just more notches in the bedpost for the steady progression of the #Jackpot, Rev.
      Everyone needs to read @GreatDismal b/c … this is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a #Jackpot

      1. agent ranger smith

        ” This is the way the world ends.

        This is the way the world ends.

        Not with a bang, or a whimper, but a hissss . . . of steam escaping.”

    2. Kouros

      I am 99% sure that Romania will not go all in on this endeavor. I’ve been to a 30 years uni reunion this past summer and the debates were fierce (albeit majority wouldn’t give a rat’s ass for Ukraine), albeit rational and historically anchored for those supporting Russia (not from love of Russia, ’cause there isn’t such a thing in Romania) and irrational, and “values”, “ideological” based (despite realities) for those against Russia.

  14. Bsn

    “The sea was never blue” aeon. I’ll never forget the first time my husband and I flew over the N. Atlantic to England, swinging quite north. Looking down at the ice burgs it was a huge, bright white shape, ringed by cobalt blue and surrounded by a nearly blackish blue. Humbling.
    Happy New Year Everyone.

  15. Wukchumni

    One of my favorite lakes in the High Sierra is Precipice Lake in Sequoia NP-the subject of a famous Ansel Adams photo in 1932.

    I’ve walked by it perhaps a few dozen times and have seen every permutation of blue imaginable from the lightest hue to deep cobalt blue, this lake is pretty magical~

    The steep sheer rock back side of the lake always reminds me of a WW1 battleship in camouflage-the look.

    Anyway, to the lake!

    1. Wukchumni


      The 8th photo down in her link has her sitting down on granite looking up towards where Precipice Lake & Kaweah Gap are in the far rocky distance.

      In the near far left is what kinda resembles a grey potato with the High Sierra Trail being right behind it, and that is where 5 in our family scattered our dad’s ashes 20 years ago. The location always has somewhat of a breeze, and while it was nothing like the scene from The Big Lebowski there was a little pushback from pops.

    2. Cassandra

      Decades ago, Lake Tahoe was sapphire blue. I don’t know what the intervening years may have done to it. And flying into a tropical island, the shallows were a startling electric turquoise, not the sort of color expected in nature. But then, the tropics are full of brilliant colors not usually seen in northern areas.

    3. B24S


      I’ve barely gotten off-road in MK/Seq., and that’s just spectacular.

      Someone in a shot gives scale, I realize, but our “tour guide” seems to be in nearly every picture, perfectly coifed, perfectly dressed, perfectly equipped, perfectly posed, etc., just like one of those “influencers”, and that sort of spoils the view, if you know what I mean…

      1. Wukchumni

        Its a bit staged and I reckon she never breaks a sweat either and only barely glistens.

        That said, she’s easy on the eyes.

        The backcountry of Sequoia NP is amazing, MK more so.

  16. Wukchumni

    A tale from this April-nearly a Darwin Award winner and at the very least, apocraphal.

    QUILCENE, Wash. — A woman who accidentally dropped her cellphone into the hole of an outhouse in a national forest and fell in while trying to retrieve it had to be rescued by firefighters in Washington state.

    Brinnon Fire Department Chief Tim Manly said the woman, who was at the top of Mount Walker in the Olympic National Forest northwest of Seattle, had been using her phone when it fell into the toilet on Tuesday, The Kitsap Sun reported.

    Manly said she disassembled the toilet seat and used dog leashes to try and get the phone and eventually used the leashes to tie herself off as she reached for it. That effort failed and she fell into the toilet headfirst.

    “They didn’t work very well and in she went,” Manly said.

    The woman was alone and tried to get out for 10 to 15 minutes. Reunited with her phone, she called 911, Manly said.

    1. Mildred Montana

      Well, I think it’s safe to say that near-Darwin Award winner has been turned off sex—with all its scatological implications—for life. So she’s actually a DA winner!

  17. Wukchumni

    Asked the general where he wanted to be
    He said, “Bagram, make it snappy”
    I want to be famous, a star on the DC scene
    But I can pad my bonafides in between

    He said “Buttigieg you can drive my car”
    Yes, I’m gonna be a star
    “Buttigieg, you can drive my car
    And maybe I’ll promote you”

    I told the general that my prospects were good
    And he said, “Buttigieg, it’s understood
    Working for peanuts is all very fine
    But it’ll make you seem like you did military time”

    Buttigieg, you can drive my car
    Yes, I’m gonna be a star
    Buttigieg, you can drive my car
    And maybe I’ll promote you

    Beep beep’m beep beep yeah

    Drive My Car, by the Beatles

    1. Glen

      Thanks Wuk!

      I’m writing a letter to my Congresscritter recommending that the Secretary of Transportation gets fired. I doubt if it will actually happen, but if every Congresscritter gets a letter then at least the DC critters will know that running Pothole Pete for higher office will not go well.

    2. Wukchumni


      If we switched out this polyglot for Pete, would anybody notice?

      Gaithersburg, Maryland — Although a carpet cleaner by trade, Vaughn Smith’s real gift is for words. He is what linguists call a hyperpolyglot — defined as a person who can speak at least 11 languages.

      “It’s not something like, ‘Oh, yeah, I’m the best,'” the 46-year-old told CBS News. “I was just the guy cleaning the carpets.”

      But he doesn’t just know 11 languages. As the Washington Post recently verified, he is fluent in or can carry on a conversation in 24 languages, though he estimates he’s learned more than 40 different languages.

      “I speak some Hungarian. I speak Finnish pretty well. I speak some Estonian,” Smith said.

    1. hunkerdown

      What the family blog is “The passage of the bill will threaten the rewards programs many Americans depend upon to make ends meet.” That’s like saying the lottery is a source of income.

    2. curlydan

      Big retailers versus credit card companies. It’s hard to know who to root for. My guess is a stalemate once the money from credit card companies starts flooding in.

  18. Jason Boxman

    The U.S. Will Need Thousands of Wind Farms. Will Small Towns Go Along?

    The $500 million project is expected to generate 300 megawatts, enough to power about 100,000 homes. The renewable, carbon-free electricity would help power a grid that currently is fed by a mix of nuclear, natural gas, coal, and some existing wind turbines.

    But with more and more renewable energy projects under construction around the country, resistance is growing, especially in rural communities in the Great Plains and Midwest.

    Why not a power co-op instead. The community then gets a benefit from having wind farms.

    Braxton Bragg, 40, who grew up on the land and returned following stints in the Peace Corps that took him to Mali and Mongolia, supports the project. He is concerned about climate change, and said he already sees its effects. The rain is harder when it comes, the cold sets in later than it used to, and overall, the growing season is less predictable than it was when his grandfather worked the same land.

    But his support for wind comes down to economics. Mr. Bragg has agreed to let Apex site one of its turbines on his property, and expects to earn about $50,000 a year if it is built.

    What about the rest of the community?

    Landowners like the Braggs would receive about $210 million in lease payments over the project’s 30-year life, Apex said. There would be other economic benefits including $90 million in local taxes. And if the project is built, the company said it would it would create eight permanent jobs, and employ nearly 600 people during construction, including men like Brendan Burton.

    No direct payments to everyone in the community?

  19. Wukchumni

    However, the platform halted redemptions in mid-November after Genesis Global, a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group and a key partner of Gemini, became ensnared in the crypto contagion caused by the implosion of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX.

    Crypto Billionaires Winklevoss Twins Accused of Fraud and Securities Law Violations by Investors CryptoNews
    ‘I’ll back your scratch, if you’ll back mine.’

  20. anon in so cal

    The “lin hillside” Twitter account @linjianyangbe (with the Chinese Bamboo Partridge) has wonderful photos of amazing birds!

  21. LawnDart

    Re; New Not-So-Cold War

    Was this covered? Poland is reportedly preparing to enter Ukraine on May 4, 2023. The Kremlin is not amused and seems to be taking this seriously. Reports based on this report are all over Central and Eastern European online media.

    This is original article:

    Hanna Kramer: Poland is preparing for a “liberation march” in Ukraine. We already know the most important dates

    Kaczynski has already chosen a date for the start of the” liberation march ” on Kiev: May 4. This looks real because from March 23 to March 27, everyone is called up for a 33-day exercise, which is enough time to train future soldiers in basic skills, such as handling weapons.

    If you believe the statements of representatives of the Ministry of Defense, the so-called exercises should last a total of three to six weeks. That is, according to the “Kaczynski plan”, in 6 weeks the new Polish army will have time to master basic military skills, as well as take key positions on the Eastern Front and even achieve their complete capture!

    1. Greg

      The idea that Poland can create a 300k man army in three months is laughable. With what equipment? Are they infantry only, with small arms alone? What exactly is going to happen when they try to face off against Russian artillery?

      The slack that Poland may have had for arming reservists has been dumped into Ukraine and destroyed already. Production isn’t fast enough to replace that by now, if its even possible in the allied west. Poland currently has massive orders in place for replacement gear, but delivery dates out to 2026
      That’s without going into the problems of scale with their orders. A handful of overpriced american missile systems and fighters wont go around, and even the South Korean tanks and artillery are in the low hundreds over five years.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Without really understanding the internal dynamics of Poland, I see at least three purposes for the mobilization without a conflict with Russia:
        – people are getting tired of the war, and opposition is gaining in popularity, so the government can use this to drum support for Ukraine and “national unity at times of trouble”
        – since Belarus is tightening it’s military collaboration/alignment with Russia, NATO just needs to create a credible threat (without saying so) to tie down Belarusian and Russian troops so that they can’t be used in Ukraine
        – if Poland can reach an understanding with Russia about division of Ukraine, market as Liberation, they need only relatively light forces for counter-insurgency against die-hard Ukrainians (ABW should by now know what each Ukrainian nationalist had for breakfast this morning and where and with whom, Poland being the main supply route to Ukraine).

        The last one is yet somewhat fantastic option, but considering how Medvedev (and Patrushev) keeps bringing it up, and how other parties are also quite openly talking about dividing nations now, it may suddenly become “facts on the ground”.

        1. Raymond Sim

          The last one is yet somewhat fantastic option, …

          If it happens hindsight will see it as all but inevitable. Right now it’s fantastical mostly because it’s unthinkable.

        2. Kouros

          A fourth option suggested by Mercouris is the need of a reserve to protect Poland it the Ukrainian defenses are collapsing and they go for a run and try to get into Poland…

    2. LifelongLib

      I’ve never been in the military, but my understanding is that the U.S. requires 6 months of training to be in the infantry, and Russia at least 4 months. Even after that you’re still a “F—— New Guy” with a lot to learn. I can’t believe anybody thinks 6 weeks is enough. Those guys will barely be able to march and salute.

      1. LawnDart

        Yes, but it takes little training to die for one’s nation.

        Fresh-meat can also serve as “decoys,” a distraction away from the “real” soldiers.

        Their economy isn’t so great either, so, bonus! Less unemployed to add to the rolls!

        Plus, more spare-parts (organ donations) for the olds… and, as a randy MP, lots of widows to “comfort” (a la Hunter B).

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      There were rumors of Poland mobilizing with a May deadline.

      This is dangerously silly. The West will be out of meaningful weapons by then. And Poland has no battle experience. This will wind up being a Russian pigeon shoot, the passenger pigeon kind.

      1. LawnDart

        Well, it seems that it could become an extinction-level event…

        “Poland risks losing its statehood in the event of a possible invasion of Ukraine. I mentioned this consequence in an interview with URA.EN Member of the State Duma Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption, MP from Crimea Mikhail Sheremet.

        He noted that if Poland introduces its army into the territory of Ukraine, it will immediately become a legitimate target for Russian servicemen and will be involved in the current conflict.”

        Source: lenta dot ru

    4. vao

      The Poles make a lot of noise, but I would turn the attention towards the other neighbouring area that has been a flash point ever since the USSR collapsed, but that has been either surprisingly quiet or studiously ignored in the past months: Moldova and Transnistria.

      During the first part of the Russian offensive, there were troop movements, border closures, and explosions in those territories, as well as speculation about Russia engaging in a pincer movement against Odessa from its positions in Southeastern Ukraine and in Transnistria.

      Romania has been substantially reinforced with NATO troops (from the USA and France), and would really like to reincorporate those territories (frankly, with much better justifications than Poland annexing Ukrainian-speaking, Pole-hating-to-genocidal-frenzy Galicia).

      A military operation there at the behest of the Moldovan people, eager to return to their Romanian motherland, would neutralize the Russian contingent in Transnistria (and capture an entire arsenal there to be given to the Ukrainian army), make Romania happy, redress the credibility of NATO, extend NATO’s reach, and all that without infringing Ukraine’s integrity. I fear some neocon “strategists” are salivating at the prospect.

  22. TheMog

    Not sure if this has been covered yet, at least I hadn’t seen much mention of this recently.

    As NC does tend to somewhat cover the Right To Repair beat, it looks like NY state’s right to repair bill has been neutered by Gov Hochul after it was passed with a pretty large bipartisan majority. Louis Rossman obviously has some thoughts on this. Note that the language he uses isn’t, shall we say, exactly family blog friendly:

    As an IT person how tends to accumulate older hardware for reasons (like no need to run your home server off the latest hardware when some older server hardware will do), right to repair is rather close to my heart and this one looks like another one where the lobbyists won if you look at the various cop-outs and exclusions Louis mentions.

  23. Mikel

    Well, it’s almost January and time for the WEF to reveal its continuing plans for dystopia.
    One of things that I hear is on the agenda is further discussion about a thing called “Battery Passports.”
    Whatever they claim it is about, I can’t shake the feeling the root of the plan is limiting mobility and yet another form rentierism.
    Guess I was thinking about this as I had to jump my car battery recently. I was thinking about what a simple thing it was to do with just a little charger, connect to the battery, and restart the car. It was a procedure that didn’t require reporting a damn thing to anybody.

    Anyone else have any particular things they are curious about on their next agenda from hell?

    1. Michaelmas

      Mikel: One of things that I hear is on the agenda is further discussion about a thing called “Battery Passports.” …. I can’t shake the feeling the root of the plan is limiting mobility and yet another form rentierism.

      Lots of opportunities for rentierism, for sure.

      ‘The European Parliament is pushing to ban the sale of new internal combustion engine cars by 2035, meaning the demand of battery materials will continue to dramatically increase …A proposed update to the 2006 Battery Directive3 aims to ensure the growth of the battery industry is done sustainably … This includes a digital record system to enable the transfer of key information between parties – the battery passport, which is detailed in Article 65….

      ‘…every industrial or electric vehicle (EV) battery on the EU market with a capacity of over 2 kWh will require a battery passport. This means regardless of the origin of the battery, it will require a battery passport in order to be listed in the European market. It will be the responsibility of the party placing the battery on the market, to ensure that all data required is entered in the digital record and that the information is correct and up to date.

      ‘Battery passports will therefore require input from:

      Cell producers
      Module producers
      Battery producers
      Automotive OEMs
      Battery service, refurbishing, and repurposing companies

      ‘What information will need to be included in the battery passport?

      The battery passport must contain information on:

      Identification of the battery in the form of a unique identifier.
      Basic characteristics – battery type and model which will also be stored in the EU electronic exchange system.
      Statistics on performance and durability must also be updated over the battery lifecycle by parties conducting repair or repurposing of the battery. 

      ‘… Technical documentation on the electrochemical performance and durability of the battery must be provided, including details on how this data was obtained … To gain access to the battery passport, the physical battery must have a QR code printed or engraved on it to act as a unique product identifier (per the 2022 amendment).’

      And so on for another 5,000 words, and featuring near the conclusion, with typical EU hubris —

      “International cooperation for battery passport creation

      ‘This regulation is the most advanced of its kind, with many other countries looking to the EU to set an example for sustainable production regulations.’

  24. NotTimothyGeithner

    b of MoA has a post up about the lack of anything approaching analysis in the media. He shared this bit printed for the BBC among others. My bolding and paratheses.

    Ukraine will win by restoring completely its territorial integrity by spring 2023 at the latest. Two factors are shaping this conclusion.

    One is the motivation, determination and courage of the Ukrainian military and Ukrainian nation as a whole, which is unprecedented in modern war history. (Hyberbole)

    The other is the fact that, after years of appeasement of a Russian dictator, the West has finally grown up to realise the magnitude of historical challenge it faces. (This is simply opinion.)

    I’m worried its more than propaganda but the limits of the intellectual discourse in foreign policy circles.

  25. Raymond Sim

    Regarding the Russian ‘Penicillin’ system: The big deal here is that it’s mobile. It’s worth noting that its capabilities would be almost intrinsic to a ‘modern’ system of fortifications. In other words, if NATO assistance has been worth a damn, the Ukrainians have likely enjoyed such capabilities throughout much of the fighting.

  26. XXYY

    CDC warns US is staring down the barrel of type 2 diabetes crisis with rates in children expected to soar EIGHT-FOLD by 2060 Daily Mail

    Oh no! The US might be experiencing some kind of serious disease epidemic 30 years from now?

    Glad the CDC is all over the things that threaten American lives.

  27. The Rev Kev

    “Barbershop owner in Buffalo opens his doors and saves lives in deadly blizzard.”

    Kudos to this guy for doing the right thing. There are people alive now only because he chose to open his doors. Hopefully his city will recognize him when this is all over.

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