Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

June 3, 2018 • 6:37 am

It’s Sunday, June 3, 2018: National Egg Day (but whose eggs?) It’s also both World Clubfoot Day and the first official World Bicycle Day.  The ducklings are still eight, and look healthy, but now when they see me walk by, they come peeping up to the bank with Honey. I think they now recognize me.

Despite this, I am depressed this morning after finding out that so many readers not only think it’s fine to call Ivanka Trump a “feckless cunt” just for posting a Twitter picture of her and her baby, but that it’s great to do that.  These are the same people who would be upset if Nancy Pelosi (or their own mother or sister) were called the same name. Apparently it’s okay to call anyone as vile a name as you want so long as you disagree with their politics. I am disappointed that so many people defend the use of name-calling on a site where I don’t allow one reader to do that to another. Do not bother to reply in the comments here; I am just saying that I am disappointed at some people. (It’s even worse on Facebook.) /rant

On this day in 1539, Hernando de Soto claimed Florida as a Spanish possession. Nearly 400 years later, in 1937, the Duke of Windsor married Wallis Simpson, having abdicated the throne of England after reigning for only 11 months as Edward VIII. For mountaineering fans like me, this is the day in 1950 on which Lionel Herzog and Louis Lachenal, members of a French expedition, reached the summit of Annapurna, the first 8,000 m peak (8091 to be exact) to be scaled. Herzog’s book on the expedition, Annapurna, which details the climb and its gruesome aftermath (many fingers and toes lost to frostbite) is one of the classics of mountaineering literature. Here’s the cover of Paris Match showing Herzog on top:

On June 3, 1989, the Chinese government sent troops to Tiananmen Square to remove the protestors after seven weeks of occupation. I remember that well; it was a sad time. On this day 6 years ago, the pageant celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II took place in London. Finally, exactly five years ago today, U.S. Army private Chelsea Manning went on trial for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks. At that time the name was Bradley Manning, but he transitioned to a woman. Manning served seven years in jail and is now free.

Notables born on this day include the geologist James Hutton (1726), Jefferson Davis (1808), Raoul Dufy (1877), Alla Nazimova and biologist Raymond Pearl (both 1879), Josephine Baker (1906), Jimmy Rogers and Torsten Wiesel (both 1924), Allen Ginsberg (1926), Larry McMurtry (1936) and Anderson Cooper (1967). Those who died on June 3 include William Harvey (1657), Johann Strauss II (1899), Franz Kafka (1924), Ozzie Nelson (1975), Anthony Quinn (2001), David Carradine (2009), and Muhammad Ali (two years ago today).

Here is Le Chat by Dufy:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is plotting for beef:

Hili: We have to persuade them that they can eat any old thing and that the tenderloin in the fridge is for us.
Cyrus: Good idea.
In Polish:
Hili: Musimy ich przekonać, że mogą zjeść cokolwiek, a ta polędwica w lodówce jest dla nas.
Cyrus: Dobry pomysł.

Leon and his staff’s house, a few km from Hili and her staff, is being built at last!. For the nonce the family is staying in their flat in Wloclawek, where it’s been rainy:

Leon: Oh, these storms!

(Note the lovely blotches on his forelegs.)

In Polish: “Leon: Ach, te burze!”

Out in Winnipeg, here’s a video of Gus getting his very first taste of salmon: grilled Pacific salmon. He’s a bit wary of new foods, but winds up scarfing it:

From Matthew we have this is an amazing but sweet tale:

A not so amusing tale: Only in America:

Some nice science:

Some puzzling data:

A fluffy leaping cat:

A peregrine in Chicago! I must see it!

Here’s an angle I didn’t know existed:

From Grania, samurai cats!

. . . and pet sweat.

51 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

  1. Isn’t it against the law in America to block the rear window of cars ,how can he see anything in his rear view mirror ,the irony of it being a Honda would be lost of the owner .

    The photo in the bottom right of the guys with beards looks like beaker from the Muppet show .

    1. It is not against the law to have your rear view blocked, so long as you have side mirrors. Many, many delivery vehicles would be impounded if this were true. So would many cars towing anything.

  2. There is a BBCTV Natural World programme featuring Chicago falcons available on iPlayer- IF you can get it – until Friday 8am gmt.

  3. I saw that picture of that minivan with the mural comparing Trump to god himself. I wonder (hope) if it wasn’t photoshopped, it was satirical.

    Are peregrine falcons established in Chicago? About 20 years ago they started coming back to NYC. In 2001 I worked in downtown Manhattan and there was a pair nesting on top of one of the buildings. You’d see birders with binoculars trying to catch a view of them. Now peregrines are common here, and birders don’t really go out of their way to spot them.

  4. I know there is a soft drink that is popular in Japan and Korea called Pokari Sweat. Goodness knows what this stuff is.

  5. I think it is OK to call someone feckless. It is not OK to call anyone a cunt. At least in the US. Seems to have wider use in Ireland and the UK.

    Interesting that feckless does not mean lacking feck. Here is Merriam Webster’s definition:
    1 Scottish
    a : the greater share : majority — usually used with the
    the feck of the town council didn’t fancy his backers —John Buchan
    b : part, portion took the best feck of a year sold the best feck of the litter
    2 Scottish : value, worth no feck would come from it
    3 Scottish : a number or quantity especially when large a whole feck of them came

    While feckless means
    1 : weak, ineffective She can’t rely on her feckless son.
    2 : worthless, irresponsible
    a feckless maneuver that could only serve to strengthen the enemy —Simon Schama

    1. I’ve called some men cunts in my day, and if they deserved the appellation, I’d do it again with no compunction.

    2. Not to forget the use of the word in Mrs Brown’s Boys – “it’s a man in a fecking dress”. Don’t know what that means however; just something irish.

          1. That’s the feckin oirish way to say “fetching,” or it could be the antonym of “feckless.” Of course I’m being facetious. Here’s a video on the way some people in the British Isles say “fuck” and “fucking.” The speaker is Welsh, but he covers the dialectal differences quite well, I fookin think.

  6. The sentiments expressed on the car equating Trump with Jesus perhaps should not be surprising. The owner may simply be expressing what his/her fellow evangelicals are afraid to say in open. A recent poll indicates that Trump’s support among white evangelical Protestants has never been higher! How desperate these people must feel as their grievances grow and fester as they are becoming an ever smaller minority in the country. Their support for Trump is classic identity politics. Curiously, right wingers seem to ignore this.

    The poll summarizes the current situation as this:

    “Trump’s support among white evangelicals at this stage of his presidency is strikingly solid. While there are modest differences by gender, Trump’s favorability among white evangelical women is still a robust 71 percent, compared to 81 percent among white evangelical men. And Trump’s favorability is still a strong 68 percent among college-educated white evangelicals, compared to 78 percent among those without a college degree. “

    1. Evangelicals would support the devil if he covered their agenda. They would probably support a serial rapist. How far from trump could that be? By the way, for those who think there is still this republican party, forget it. It is the Trump party and many Republicans will tell you this.

    2. I listened to an evangelical Christian talk show recently where the hosts said that it doesn’t matter if trump is a Christian or not because it’s obvious that god is using him to achieve what god wants for mankind. They also had a discussion in which they were careful to say that they didn’t think Obama was the antichrist but obviously if the antichrist comes, he will be a lot like Obama.

      1. The antichrist is Dick Cheney. We are currently living in the last of the last days. If evangelicals weren’t taken up in the “Great Rapture” of 2004 they are sinners like the rest of us.

    3. Michael Reagan, a fellow moron who only got where he was thanks to his father, also wrote a recent column likening Trump to Jesus. Of course, he said some pretty scathing things against Trump before he won the election, but that’s in the past.

      Evangelical support for Trump will have turned out to be a bad, bad bargain for the former group. Nobody is taking the moral scolds seriously after they’ve wholeheartedly backed literally the least godly candidate in history.

    4. I’ve always thought that the evanjaculars would be easily seduced by a fascist movement, if such a movement were to arise. I still hold this opinion. Once Trump is defeated we could be in danger of this happening.
      BTW look up the word “Trumpery” in the dictionary. It fits our man perfectly.

      1. I agree. The evangelicals are interested in having the US government adopt Christianity as its official religion. They know that only a fascist-leaning leader like Trump has any chance of delivering. They also know that not everyone will be a believer in such a country so they’re ok if Trump is not one. In their eyes that would be a small price to pay.

        1. All the evangelicals I’ve spoken with seem genuinely convinced Trump is one of them despite all the evidence to the contrary. Hell I’ve probably been inside a church 20x as often as Trump and I’m a godless heathen. But considering rhe gullibility of that crowd evidence counts for next to nothing.

          I’ll bet some other Republicans are secretly pretty sore about it. They spend their whole lives practicing the good little Christian act to court the evangelical vote, then Trump doesn’t even try to act devout and they embrace him anyway.

  7. “Seemingly inspired by the survival movie 127 Hours, a tenacious crayfish …

    I noticed that crayfish’s uncanny resemblance to James Franco straight away. Something in the eyes …

    1. Example: Poopy-head. I am a “poopy-head” because I always forget to click the “Notify me of new comments” thingy. Poopy-head.

  8. Yeah, Trump resembles Jesus of the Gospels about as much as the picture of Jesus the Divine on the hatchback resembles the 1st century Palestinian Jew Jesus of Nazareth (if any such person ever there was).

  9. I didn’t know who Samantha Bee was until I googled her. Maybe it is an age thing, but this seems to be an inappropriate way of offering up criticism. I much prefer the way the Canadian comic Rick Mercer handled former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in this video from 2007. I have no idea how WordPress will handle this link.

  10. I saw a person with a club foot sometime in the last few months. It made me realize how uncommon they are now. When I was a boy in the 70s, it seemed a lot more common. I hope we can view that as a sign of progress.

    1. We have Dr Ignacio Ponseti to thank for that – in the 60s he reinvented [kind of] a technique from very, very long ago that manipulates the foot & sets it into a new position on a weekly basis with casts. The patient has to be young [as in under 2 years old I think] – some surgery is required eventually to do with tendons. It’s a cheap procedure so it can be universal where there’s a health system because it doesn’t require a lot of expertise nor a hospital bed. There’s another treatment almost as good with physiotherapists & bandages, but it’s labour intensive & not as successful.

      The history of clubfoot treatment is pretty horrible with surgeons inflicting a lifetime of pain on their subjects!

      1. I just read all about that at Wikipedia, and found this great example of a serious case. Do read the caption:


        (Remove spaces after //)

    1. If I were disposed to employ Christian imagery, I myself would liken Trump to an apocalyptic beast.

      Trump in no sense left his life behind, and he is not serving America.
      All his policies are self-serving and self-aggrandizing, and there is nothing remotely Christian about building the wall.

      60 years ago conservatives could legitimately claim a religious basis for some of their policies- the Protestant work ethic, opposition to Communism because it is atheistic, etc. But there is nothing remotely Christian or ethical about Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. It is sheer xenophobia of the most inexcusable kind.

      Conservative Christians are in panic mode which is driving them into deeper and deeper pits of gross irrationality.

      Some historians of American Evangelicalism see the early 20th century as the period of the “Great Reversal” when Evangelicalism reneged on its earlier socially progressive positions. It’s a term coined by Timothy Smith
      and it’s being talked about more these days since Trump is such an embarrassment. (The recent Atlantic Monthly article from this April on “Can Evangelicalism survive Donald Trump?” is quite good on this.)

      The following article from a Mennonite journal is also reasonably good.

  11. I am pleased and heartened to read
    this news in re Leon and his staff’s house !

    O finally ! I so .know. in re
    all of their months and months and months
    of … … waiting =

    = Patience Beyond R e a s o n. Almost.


  12. Wonderful video clip of that fluffy white cat leaping over the stream, but I don’t get the “clarification”. All I see is the same video clip inserted twice. What am I missing?

    1. You’re not alone – according to the page source it’s the same clip twice.

      (It’s still a fine clip.)

      1. Thanks. The original one looks more death-defying though the stream is not really much of an obstacle in either one. I’d like to think that both my cats could make the leap. Of course, I’m their Dad so my opinion is not worth much.

          1. In one of my physics books is a side bar about how cats do the “always land on their feet” thing. It is illustrated with drawings – I imagine these days one could easily do a slow-mo even at home to illustrate.

  13. If you are interested in mountaineering, a very good doco/film “Touching the Void” is a great and i would add, amazing story and its true. It can be found on You Tube under the title.

  14. I’m with you, P.C.C.(E). Trading insults don’t get nobody nowhere. It certainly never makes for any kind of civilised conversation/discussion. What do people get out of gratuitous insults against others? It simply isn’t a pleasant way to conduct yourself or to witness.
    I also very much like the fact that anyone throwing insults about on this site gets warned then banned, which is why it’s invariably a good, interesting and enjoyable read.

    1. Me too! Let’s all adult!

      (Though I did get a kick out of the suggestion that “feckless pussy” would have been a lot more awkward for Trump, et al, to complain about… 😀 )

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