A partial eclipse of the sun

I did have an eclipse adventure today, of sorts.

Understand that I really don’t care about eclipses. I can understand that astronomers find them valuable for looking at the sun’s corona. But fundamentally, we’re talking about the moon in front of the sun, which just isn’t that interesting to me. And I’m completely mystified that anyone thinks this is really that big a deal.

My calendar had the eclipse timed possibly for when it began in Texas and that was the time for the eclipse I had in my head when I happened to come out of a shop and see people gazing upwards. I noticed too late that the girl among them was wearing eclipse glasses that looked like they might have come from Amazon. The adults with her were not.

People were looking up. I looked up. It had been a cloudy day and I wasn’t thinking of the eclipse. I saw a partial eclipse. The moon’s occlusion had reached about halfway across the sun. I realized what I was looking at and quickly looked down.

I guess we’ll find out soon enough if I have eye damage.

As I drove on, I noticed lots of folks viewing the eclipse, completely without eye protection. I guess we’ll find out soon enough if they suffered eye damage.


Imperialism

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[1] fair use.

William Booth and Lorenzo Tugnoli, “Inside the ruins of Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital,” Washington Post, April 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/04/01/gaza-al-shifa-hospital-israel/

Times of Israel, “Israel acknowledges killing 7 aid charity workers in ‘tragic, unintentional’ airstrike,” April 2, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-promises-probe-as-slain-aid-workers-home-countries-demand-explanation/

Yasmeen Abutaleb and Matt Viser, “Biden rebukes Israel over aid workers, but his Gaza policy is unchanged,” Washington Post, April 3, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/04/03/biden-world-central-kitchen-tough-statement-israel-policy/

Hafiz Rashid, “‘Unacceptable’: White House Cancels Event as Biden Struggles on Gaza,” New Republic, April 3, 2024, https://newrepublic.com/post/180409/white-house-cancels-event-gaza-outcry

Haroon Siddique, Eleni Courea, and Patrick Wintour, “Former supreme court judges say UK arming Israel breaches international law,” Guardian, April 3, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/apr/03/former-supreme-court-judges-say-uk-arming-israel-breaches-international-law

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel’s ‘unintentional’ strike on aid workers stirs global outrage,” Washington Post, April 3, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/04/03/israel-strike-world-central-kitchen-aid-workers-global-outrage/

Yasmeen Abutaleb and Matt Viser, “Biden warns Netanyahu the situation in Gaza is ‘unacceptable,’” Washington Post, April 4, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/04/04/biden-warns-netanyahu-situation-gaza-is-unacceptable/

Trinidad Deiros Bronte, “The unpunished deaths of other civilians question Israel’s willingness to clarify the attack on WCK,” El País, April 4, 2024, https://english.elpais.com/international/2024-04-04/the-unpunished-deaths-of-other-civilians-question-israels-willingness-to-clarify-the-attack-on-wck.html

Michael R. Gordon and Nancy A. Youssef, “Biden Ties Support for Israel to Civilian Protection in Gaza, ” Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2024, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/biden-netanyahu-set-to-talk-as-gaza-aid-worker-deaths-add-to-pressure-on-israel-9dee3793

Jacob Magid, “Senior Israeli official warns of growing ‘shoot first, ask later’ culture in IDF,” Times of Israel, April 4, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/senior-israeli-official-warns-of-growing-shoot-first-ask-later-culture-in-idf/

Kate Sullivan, “Trump says Israel needs to ‘finish what they started’ and said war with Hamas is ‘taking a long time,’” Cable News Network, April 4, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/04/politics/trump-israel-comments/index.html

Adam Taylor, “Biden’s ‘red line’ on Gaza is nowhere to be found,” Washington Post, April 4, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/04/04/biden-wck-world-central-kitchen-israel-policy-change/

Dov Lieber, Rory Jones, and Margherita Stancati, “Israel Says Troops Lacked Grounds for Strike That Killed Aid Workers in Gaza,” Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2024, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israel-to-allow-more-aid-into-gaza-after-biden-warning-over-u-s-support-49bc42e4

Michael Tomasky, “Is Biden Really Going to Let Netanyahu Lose Him the Election?” New Republic, April 5, 2024, https://newrepublic.com/post/180481/biden-israel-netanyahu-lose-election

Lazar Berman, “Israel’s begrudging approach to humanitarian aid could cost it the war in Gaza,” Times of Israel, April 6, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-begrudging-approach-to-humanitarian-aid-could-cost-it-the-war-in-gaza/

Karen DeYoung, “Six months into Gaza war, Biden confronts the limits of U.S. leverage,” Washington Post, April 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/04/06/gaza-israel-biden-war/

Emanuel Fabian, “IDF chief says withdrawal of troops from Gaza doesn’t mean war is close to end,” Times of Israel, April 7, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-chief-says-withdrawal-of-troops-from-gaza-doesnt-mean-war-is-close-to-end/

M. J. Lee, “Inside President Biden’s pointed phone call with Benjamin Netanyahu,” Cable News Network, April 7, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/06/politics/biden-netanyahu-israel-gaza-war-phone-call-details/index.html

David Horovitz, “Israel’s major ground war in Gaza is over; the state of war inflicted by Hamas is not,” Times of Israel, April 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-major-ground-war-in-gaza-is-over-the-state-of-war-inflicted-by-hamas-is-not/


Electric vehicles


Fig. 1. “A Toyota bZ4X electric sport utility vehicle: EVs currently on the market are fitted with batteries that use liquid lithium-ion electrolytes.” Photograph by Kiyoshi Ota, n.d., via Financial Times, fair use.

[Elon] Musk’s attention, meanwhile, has sometimes been elsewhere. He bought Twitter, sold some Tesla stock along the way and started an artificial-intelligence company. Of late, he has been picking fights with everyone from OpenAI to Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger. Surveys suggest his public persona has alienated some would-be Tesla buyers.[2]

Nobody disagrees with me when speaking of Elon Musk’s various ventures, I say that I prefer to do business with grownups.

I’m hearing a fair amount of punditry that suggests, as Rebecca Elliott does, that “[c]onsumer appetite for electric vehicles is cooling”[3] Musk denies this,[4] but I started hearing it soon after Toyota announced a substantially better battery that will be available in a few years.[5] And yeah, I have to think this “cooling appetite” is really about a bunch of people like me who want that better performance.

We will see, of course, when that battery actually makes it to market.

Rebecca Elliott, “The Inside Tale of Tesla’s Fall to Earth,” Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2024, https://www.wsj.com/business/autos/tesla-sales-decline-elon-musk-20613265

Steve Gelsi, “Elon Musk stands his ground on EV adoption, but admits threat of Chinese competition,” MarketWatch, April 8, 2024, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/musk-stands-his-ground-on-ev-adoption-but-admits-threat-of-chinese-competition-908408e6


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Finances


Fig. 1. Trump International Hotel, Las Vegas, undated image credited to https://www.flickr.com/photos/glynlowe/ [bad link], via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

Apparently the loan shark who backed Donald Trump’s bond 1) doesn’t have the money to actually do so, and 2) isn’t licensed in the state of New York.[6]

David McAfee, “’They had a duty’: Experts erupt over Trump lawyers’ potential ‘deception’ on fraud bond,” Raw Story, April 7, 2024, https://www.rawstory.com/trump-lawyers-deception-fraud-bond/

Ben Metzner, “The Shady Company Backing Trump’s Bond Somehow Just Got Even Shadier,” New Republic, April 8, 2024, https://newrepublic.com/post/180525/company-backing-trump-bond-just-got-shadier


  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Rebecca Elliott, “The Inside Tale of Tesla’s Fall to Earth,” Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2024, https://www.wsj.com/business/autos/tesla-sales-decline-elon-musk-20613265
  3. [3]Rebecca Elliott, “The Inside Tale of Tesla’s Fall to Earth,” Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2024, https://www.wsj.com/business/autos/tesla-sales-decline-elon-musk-20613265
  4. [4]Steve Gelsi, “Elon Musk stands his ground on EV adoption, but admits threat of Chinese competition,” MarketWatch, April 8, 2024, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/musk-stands-his-ground-on-ev-adoption-but-admits-threat-of-chinese-competition-908408e6
  5. [5]Akito Tanaka et al., “Toyota bets on solid-state as CATL eyes Thailand,” Financial Times, June 15, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/09e23ac9-f73a-4104-aa2e-33ea48eba67a
  6. [6]Ben Metzner, “The Shady Company Backing Trump’s Bond Somehow Just Got Even Shadier,” New Republic, April 8, 2024, https://newrepublic.com/post/180525/company-backing-trump-bond-just-got-shadier

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.