Saturday: Hili dialogue

June 9, 2018 • 6:47 am

It’s Saturday, June 9, 2018—graduation day for my University’s class of 2018. It’s thundering outside now and very overcast, with strong predictions of showers: I fear that this graduation, which is held outside rain or shine, will be spoiled by thunderstorms. The University does pass out portable rain ponchos (in plastic spheres) when this happens. At least people won’t hang around to bother the ducks! Best of luck to all the grads who, like newly hatched ducklings, will be rudely tossed into the Big Pond of Life to make their way as best they can. It’s National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day, and I’ll assert once again that the addition of rhubarb to any dessert always makes it worse. It’s a vegetable, not a fruit!

Although Queen Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926, today is celebrated as the Generic Queen’s Birthday in the UK.  Here’s a tweet sent by Matthew. Those of you who tell me how savvy and wonderful she is, well, have a look at this video. “COWS!”

On June 9, 1497, Vasco da Gama’s expedition set out to India (the first European voyage there) in four ships. He made it to the west coast of India on 14 May, 1498, and, after having lost more than half his men, returned to Portugal on August 29, 1499. On June 9 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read in public for the first time by John Nixon, accompanied by the ringing of bells, possibly including the Liberty Bell. On this day in 1932, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its lowest point during the depression: 41.22. It now stands at a bit over 25,000.  On June 9, 1947, reports were broadcast that a UFO had crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, in a huge public delusion now known as the Roswell UFO incident. Finally, on June 9, 1994, Kim Jong-il replaced his father, Kim Il-Sung, after the first Kim died. Birds sang the new Dear Leader’s name, and there were miracles, of course.

Notables born on this day include Eli Lilly (1838), John D. Rockefeller (1839), Igor Tamm (1895), Nelson Rockefeller (1908), Billy Eckstine (1914), Kevin Bacon (1958), Joan Osborne (1962), and reader Laurie Sidoni (1965, staff of the coffee-drinking cat Theo).  Those who bought the farm on June 9 include Christiaan Huygens (1695), Percy Bysshe Shelley (1822, drowned at 29), Kim il-Sung (see above, 1994), John Templeton, who willed his dosh to mess up science with the incursion of religion (2008), Betty Ford (2011) and Ernst Borgnine (2012).

In honor of La Osborne’s birthday, here’s her smoking version of “Heat Wave,” backed by the Funk Brothers (the original Motown studio band):

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is once again being solipsistic:

Hili: I do not have any big ambitions.
A: Really?
Hili: Really. I’m a goddess and that’s enough for me.
In Polish:
Hili: Nie mam wielkich ambicji.
Ja: Naprawdę?
Hili: Naprawdę, jestem boginią i musi mi to wystarczyć.

Some tweets. I found this one, but for once I beat Pinker, as I have a VERTEBRATE species named after me, the frog Atelopus coynei. Is that better than all Pinker’s honorary degrees and “scientific bling”?

From Heather Hastie:

From Grania: the sound of one bot talking to another:

If you have autocorrect stories like this, put them in the comments:

From Matthew, who loves capybaras and says “Sound on!”

An amazing Greek disc from 2700 years ago. 4 cm, to Americans, is only about 1.6 inches.

A d*g. No comment.

Well. . . . .

Something from the language mavens:

Matthew loves this Japanese frog painting:

. . and the scale of the deep sea:

17 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

    1. In the last month or two I’ve encountered “rhubarb gin” and a rhubarb beer. Both actually quite toothsome.

        1. Dad would move the compost heap about every 4 years, and move the rhubarb crowns into it’s place. They thrive. Something like 20 kilos would go into Kilner jars each year.

  1. I agree that rhubarb is technically a vegetable. Does anyone have recipes for using it as a veggie?

    1. Google for rhubarb savoury dishes – I haven’t tried it as a savoury, but the most promising to my eyes is THIS PERSIAN RECIPE called Khoresh Rivas [ خورش ریواس ] which features a sweet & sour sauce. I love Persian food so I’m sure it tastes great & the site I linked to is reliable [ingredients at end of loooong page at the link].

    2. I don’t have a problem with veggies in sweets. Carrot cake and zucchini bread with chocolate chips are two of my faves. Well I guess zucchini is still a fruit, but you get my drift.

  2. I wonder who comes up with these days? I suppose if it’s a world day or a national day it is bigger than a region or a state?

  3. I enjoy auto correct stories, thanks for this morning’s smile.
    My personal favorite is when a co-worker send an email apologizing to a client for a SNAFU on a large project. He was tripping all over himself to beg forgiveness and wrote that the issue had made him feel incompetent, spell checker changed the word to incontinent.
    The angry client read it and phoned laughing hysterically, auto correct saved the day. Although my co-worker was teased unmercifully ever time he met with the customer for years.

  4. “Although Queen Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926, today is celebrated as the Generic Queen’s Birthday in the UK.”

    Strictly speaking, it’s the Queen’s Official Birthday, which is always the second Saturday in June. It is marked by the Trooping of the Colour ceremony in Horseguards Parade and by the handing out of various honours. This year, classicist Professor Mary Beard becomes a Dame (the equivalent of a knighthood), as does actress Emma Thompson, whilst novelist Kazuo Ishiguro becomes Sir Kazuo.

    1. The Queen having two birthdays a year explains her great age of course. Not a lot of people know that.

  5. Lest one thinks auto-response bots are purely an Internet development, here’s a story I read several decades ago –

    A small dam in Wales had an unmanned water pumping station, and in the event of breakdown the autodialler called the local police station and said “This is Llandaff pumping station. There has been a breakdown. Please advise Cambrian Water in Llandysilio”.
    However at some point the local constable was reassigned, and the police station phone was replaced with an answerphone which said “Llandaff Police. This station is currently unmanned. In emergency please call Newtown 12-345”.

    Nobody knows how long the two machines were talking past each other…


  6. YES! Queen’s Birthday means that this year’s Trooping the Colour will be on YouTube tomorrow!

  7. “VERTEBRATE species named after me”

    – Are you a vertebrate chauvinist, Jerry? 😉

    As for the “butt question”, I have been told by a lady friend that she would never dare ask any of her male friends that sort of thing, because she regards it as a horrible trap!

    1. And no sensible man would answer it. Except by sticking two pencils up their nostrils and saying “wibble”.

  8. Watch a virtual Stegosaurus walk around as Sir David Attenborough explains how this dinosaur would have moved.

    I missed the NHM tweet on my feed, but I now have a mental image of a stegosaur walking around a model of David Attenborough, explaining it’s anatomical peculiarities.

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