It happens every September in the mid-latitudes: one day you've got over 13 hours of daylight and sunsets around 7:30, and two weeks later you wake up in twilight and the sun sets before dinnertime. In fact, Chicago loses 50 minutes of evening daylight and an hour-twenty overall from the 1st to the 30th. We get it all back in March, though. Can't wait.
Speaking of waiting:
Finally, Fareed Zakaria visited Kyiv, Ukraine, to learn the secret of the country's success against Russia.
My commute to work Friday might get a little longer, as Metra has announced that 9 out of its 11 lines (including mine) would likely not operate if railroad engineers and conductors go on strike Friday. Amtrak has already started cancelling trains so they won't get stranded mid-route should the strike happen.
In other news:
- Cook County tax bills won't come out until late autumn, according to the County President, meaning no one knows how much cash they have to escrow when they sell real estate.
- The Post has an interactive map showing everywhere in the US that hit a record high temperature this summer.
- US Rep. Marjorie Taylor "Still Smarter than Lauren Boebert" Greene (R-GA) has come up with a climate-change theory so dumb it actually seems smart.
- US Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), another intellectual giant of the 117th Congress, proposed a Federal abortion ban, demonstrating a keen command of how most people in the United States view the issue.
- Robert Wright explores "why we're so clueless about Putin."
- Block Club Chicago explains why my neighborhood and a few others experienced massive geysers coming out of storm drains during Sunday's flooding rains.
Finally, right-wing lawyer Kenneth Starr died at age 76. No reaction yet from Monica Lewinsky.
Meteorological summer ends in just a few hours here in Chicago. Pity; it's been a decent one (for us; not so much for the Western US). I have a couple of things to read this afternoon while waiting for endless test sessions to complete on my work laptop:
And via Bruce Schneier, a group of local Chicago high schoolers will never give you up and never let you down.
So I'm going to have to postpone reading all of these:
And Cassie, who has not actually had much patience the last few minutes, will now get a walk.
In just a few minutes I will take Cassie to boarding, then head up to Northwestern for a rehearsal (I'm in the chorus at Ravinia's upcoming performances of La Clemenza di Tito.) I'll then have to pack when I get home from rehearsal, then head to a hotel by O'Hare. Ah, how much fun is an 8:30 international flight!
As I'll have some time at the airport in the morning, and no time now, I want to queue these up for myself:
All right, I'm off. After I pack.
I will definitely make time this weekend to drool over the recent photos from the James Webb Space Telescope. It's kind of sad that no living human will ever see anything outside our solar system, but we can dream, right?
Closer to home than the edge of the visible universe:
Finally, an F/A-18 slid right off the deck of the USS Harry S Truman and into the Mediterranean, which will probably result in a short Navy career for at least one weather forecaster or helmsman.
A lot has happened in the past day or so:
- The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 down partisan lines that everyone can carry a gun anywhere they want to, because they had guns in 1791 and so we have to live by 230-year-old rules. (Fun fact: a well-trained militiaman in 1791 could fire four aimed musket shots in a minute! Another fun fact: in 1791, bullets didn't yet exist!)
- That will surely comfort the parents of Uvalde, Texas, about as much as the news that the school police chief finally got suspended in light of the abject incompetence of everyone he supervised.
- Josh Marshall thinks the Justice Department may, actually, prosecute some of the January 6th insurrection leaders—including, perhaps, the XPOTUS.
- Microsoft's president and vice chair Brad Smith explains how Microsoft has fought the cyberwar in Ukraine.
- Robert Wright (sub.req.) argues in favor of a negotiated peace in Ukraine, and that American foreign policy over the past 25 years has made the benefit of standing on principle less than it could have been.
- Philosopher Slavoj Žižek responds that pacifism is the wrong response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- Walter Shapiro shakes his head at how badly we (the West) squandered the "lost weekend" of 1989 to 2001.
- After investing $50m in the Republican primary election Illinois has next Tuesday, Ken Griffin has decided to up sticks to Florida. He will not be missed.
- Just four weeks before I visit my ancestral homeland, three transit-related industrial actions (strikes) have either started or will start soon, affecting the national railways, the London Underground, and Heathrow's ground staff. It's a good thing that the only modes of transit I typically use in the UK are planes, trains, and the Tube!
- The US Food and Drug Administration has halted sales of Juul e-cigarette products.
Finally, let's all congratulate Trumpet, the bloodhound who won the Westminster Kennel Club's dog show last night. Who's a good boy!
Even though I feel like I have a moderate cold (stuffy, sneezy, and an occasional cough), I recognize that Covid-19 poses a real danger to people who haven't gotten vaccinations or who have other comorbidities. So I'm staying home today except to walk Cassie. It's 18°C and perfectly sunny, so Cassie might get a lot of walks.
Meanwhile, I have a couple of things to occupy my time:
Finally, today is the 210th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the 207th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.
After four nights, five puddles, four solid gifts, and so much barking that the neighbors down the block left a note on my door, Sophie finally went home this afternoon. I also worked until 11:30 last night, but that had nothing to do with her. It did cause a backup in my reading, though:
Finally, army dude-bros in several countries have gotten into arguments over online tank games and, to win those arguments, have posted classified information about real tanks. The defense authorities in the US, UK, France, and China are investigating.
Even though it seems the entire world has paused to honor HRH The Queen on the 70th anniversary of her accession, the world in fact kept spinning:
Blogger Moxie Marlinspike wrote about their first impressions of web3 back in January. I just got around to reading it, and you should too.
- On the same topic, a group of 25 security professionals, including Grady Booch, Bruce Schneier, and Molly White, wrote an open letter to Congress advocating for serious regulation of cryptocurrencies.
- What's Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's strategy in Ukraine? Wait us out. (It helps that he gives no thought to anyone's life but his own.)
- Closer to home, Jelani Cobb writes about "the atrocity of American gun culture."
- The US Navy's last conventionally-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Kitty Hawk, has arrived in Brownsville, Texas, for dismantling. Apparently Chicago didn't want an aircraft carrier museum for some reason.
- Chicago has bungalows, L.A. has dingbats, Amsterdam has canal houses, and Dublin has over-basement row houses.
- Bloomberg suggests the Elizabeth Line could prompt a whole re-map of the London Underground.
Oh, and plastic recycling doesn't work, and probably can't.
And here, a propos of nothing, is a photo of St Boniface Cemetery I took this morning: