Wednesday: Hili dialogue

June 13, 2018 • 6:30 am

It’s a hump day: Wednesday, June 13, 2018, and it’s “National Cupcake Lover’s Day“, but the placement of the apostrophe implies that there is only one cupcake lover, and this is his/her day. Either ditch the apostrophe or put it after the “s”!

It is one of those days when I arrive at work having no idea what I’ll write about on this site. Posting may be light, but, like Maru, I do my best.

The biggest news after the Trump/Kim Jon-un debacle is the ascent of a 20-odd story building in St. Paul, Minnesota by an errant raccoon. It took the creature nearly a day to make it to the top, and much of the climbing was on sheer vertical walls. Mr. Procyon lotor rested on ledges from time to time, and was still ascending when I went to bed.  And then there were reports that it was trying to climb down. I thought it was a goner for sure! But it’s okay! The report from the link below:

A raccoon who scaled the UBS tower in Minnesota with death-defying nerve has made it safely to the top of the building after close to 20 nail-biting hours for internet viewers worldwide.

The animal was originally spotted on the roof of a nearby office block and was safely removed by maintenance workers. But rather than find safety elsewhere, it jumped over to the UBS tower, one of the largest skyscrapers in the city, where it scaled the building all day – moving up, down and sometimes sideways.

MPR News, the local public radio station, helped break the story and since then the world has been following the plight of the raccoon on the hashtag #MPRraccoon.

Matthew was also gripped by this story, but I’m happy to report that as of this morning, the creature made it to the top (see below), and is being rescued, hopefully given food and water immediately, and then relocated to a place without skyscrapers. You can read the full story at the Guardian.

Now this is free climbing!:

UPDATE: The raccoon has been trapped and will be located to a less dangerous place!:

This is one of those days when not much happened in the world. On June 13, 1525, Martin Luther, defying the Catholic rule that priests and nuns must be celibate, married Katharina von Bora. She had been a nun, had six children with Luther (two died young) and also raised four orphans. As Wikipedia notes, “The marriage of Katharina von Bora to Martin Luther was extremely important to the development of the Protestant Church, specifically in regards to its stance on marriage and the roles each spouse should concern themselves with.”  On this day in 1966, over four centuries later, the U.S. Supreme court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that suspects could not be questioned until they’d been informed of their rights. Exactly one year later, Lyndon Johnson nominated Thurgood Marshall to be the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Four years after that, the New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers. Leaked by Daniel Ellsberg, they went a long way to turning America against the Vietnam War, by showing that the U.S. government had lied systematically to the public. Finally, exactly 18 years ago, the first North Korea-South Korea summit took place, with Kim Dae-jung, President of South Korea, meeting Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang. I doubt anything came out of it; perhaps there were some family visits allowed.

Notables born on June 13 include James Clerk Maxwell (1831), W. B. Yeats (1865), Paavo “Flying Finn” Nurmi (1897), Luis Walter Alvarez (1911; Nobel Laureate in Physics), Ben Johnson (1918; it’s his 100th birthday), and John Forbes Nash, Jr. (1928; Nobel Laureate).

In honor of Johnson’s birthday, here’s my favorite scene of his, which I’ve put up before. It’s from my very favorite American movie, “The Last Picture Show“. Johnson, playing Sam the Lion, a tiny Texas oil town’s small-time entrepreneur (he owns the pool hall, movie theater, and cafe), tells his young friend Sonny (played by Timothy Bottoms), about his young but intense love for a married woman.  It’s very sad but so realistic and true. (The woman was Ellen Burstyn, playing Lois Farrow, who was unhappily married to an oilman).

This may be my most favorite scene in all American movies:

Only two people of note died on this day: Martin Buber in 1965 and Benny Goodman in 1986.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili makes a reference that I asked Malgorzata to explain, “About ‘Neither Marx nor Jesus’: there is a book by a French philosopher, Jean-Francois Revel, ‘Ni Marx ni Jesus’, which was translated into quite a few languages. In English the title was ‘Without Marx or Jesus’, but in Swedish, ‘Neither… nor. . .” It was better for this dialogue to use the translation done by a Swedish translator..”


Hili: Neither Marx nor Jesus.
A: What then?
Hili: Mice.
In Polish:
Hili: Ani Marks, ani Jezus.
Ja: A co?
Hili: Myszy.

And up in Winnipeg, Gus is straining at the leash. He got it tangled around a pot and became frustrated after unsuccessfully trying to get free.


Reader Barry notes that although this tiger looks as if it were going for a kill, the “kill” isn’t what it seems:

From Grania, “He jump”. Indeed he does!

Matthew sent a few biology tweets. Be sure to watch the transformation:

I’m sure I’ve posted this before, but the camouflage is stunning:

A bee with light-blue legs, apparently from Thailand:

A lovely day on Mars!

And a plethora of fireflies:

Ignore the troll attack and look at the hilarious Muybridge cat photos!

Duck parade! The chicken is at the bottom of the class.

Lagniappe: if you need a present for someone, reader Pliny the in Between offers The Official Trump Chess Set:


27 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. If my device’s zooming capabilities don’t deceive me, the piece on the far corner of tRUMP’s chessboard looks like a pigeon with Franklin Graham’s face.

  2. … the U.S. Supreme court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that suspects could not be questioned until they’d been informed of their rights.

    Under the Fifth Amendment’s self-incrimination clause, statements obtained from a suspect in response to custodial interrogation cannot be used as evidence against the suspect at trial unless the suspect was given the fourfold Miranda warnings before questioning. The Miranda case itself involved the formal interrogation of a suspect at a police station. Later cases have extended it to all questioning after arrest (or a restriction on a suspect’s freedom equivalent to formal arrest). Police may question suspects without warning prior to arrest (or its functional equivalent).

  3. The raccoon reminds me of those ants who are hijacked by parasites and are driven to climb up vegetation to their doom.

    1. I believe the raccoon had heard stories of the unusual purposes to which porcupines (especially ‘rusty’ ones) are put in Minnesota, and fearing that such mistreatment might spread to Procyonidae à la Niemöller, was making a desperate bid for freedom and safety. I hope he has not been ‘relocated’ to Morris.

  4. What great taste you have in films ,and Ben Johnson was a great actor .
    He even had a cameo in Blazing Saddles .
    Talking of films anyone seen
    “Star Spangled Girl”,only seen it once back in the late seventies on tv ,

  5. I’ve loved Ben Johnson since I was a kid. That scene reminds me of a line from a movie (can’t remember which) where a young girl asks her aunt(I think), who was probably Charlotte Greenwood (Aunt Eller from Oklahoma!), why she never got married. The woman says, “Because the last time someone asked me, I didn’t know it would be the last time someone asked me.”

    1. If you look at the very first picture, close-up through the window, you can see that the concrete has a roughened surface for architectural reasons. (Often achieved by applying a retardant to the forms that the concrete is cast against and then waterblasting it as soon as the form is removed).

      But even so….


  6. Halfway into climbing that building, that raccoon was all like, “fuck fuck fuck. Why did I let Robbie talk me into this? I need to stop hanging out with that guy.”

  7. So what could that raccoon possibly have been thinking? Is it evidence that humans aren’t the only ones that suffer from mental illness? (Not that we really needed evidence. Why wouldn’t other animals have mental illness?)

  8. Hiya, I’m a native bee scientist (albeit from Australia, not Thailand) and whilst that blue legged ‘bee’ is very cool, it’s not a bee…definitely a Hymenopteran, but I would suggest it’s probably a female sawfly (Symphyta).

  9. The Last Picture Show is a great movie. Cybill Shepherd was 20 when it was filmed. Amazing how radiant she is in gorgeous black and white. Sadly, Peter Bogdanovich had a pretty mediocre career after such a great start. His two next best movies came right after Picture Show – What’s Up Doc and Paper Moon. Both were OK. The came Daisy Miller with a miscast Cybill Shepherd. And nothing since then.

  10. “Neither Marx nor Jesus” is certainly the better literal translation of “Ni Marx ni Jesus”, but the intent of the book is perhaps clearer to English readers with the “Without…or”

  11. This, too, from that evil Mr Martin Luther in re
    “the roles each spouse should concern
    themselves with” =

    ” A woman is never truly her own master.
    God formed her body to belong to a man,
    to have and to rear children. Let them
    bear children … … TILL THEY DIE OF IT. ”

    So … … from Dr Rosalind Miles in re him:
    “When man made himself God, he made woman
    less than human. In the grand design of the
    monotheistic male, woman was no more than a
    machine to make babies for him, with neither
    the need nor the right to be anything else.”

    Well, he got that one … … wrong.

  12. Re the climbing racoon tweet Hope he makes it down OK!”

    I live in Toronto. Can’t say I share that sentiment 😉

      1. No I don’t want the racoon to die. It was a joke, especially for Torontonians (or any other community afflicted by Raccoons).

        We in Toronto are in a perpetual battle with racoons. It’s like us vs the terminators.
        Racoons are like pigeons; cute when in nature, torment and spawns-of-the-devil when they take up roost outside your window.

        The roof to our back room is covered with racoon poo, they constantly fight outside our windows when we are trying to sleep, they get into our garbage so you have that lovely big stinking mess to clean up in the morning, they infiltrate under our deck tearing it open, and currently we have a diseased looking racoon constantly making appearances in our backyard during the day and night, that animal control can’t seem to help us with, so even going out in the backyard is fraught.

        Many Torontonians have such stories. So, racoons ceased to be cute for many of us.
        Mention racoons to an urban Torontonian and you are much more likely to get an exasperated eye-roll than any positive rooting-for-racoons emotions.

        Of course I don’t actually want the racoon to die, but again, it was a joke on the less-than-sentimental feelings many of us racoon-afflicted have for the critters.

  13. I remember Paavo Nurmi’s 70th birthday.

    He had avoided public appearances for years, but in June 1967 there was a half-hour radio special. Nurmi was interviewed, not by a sports reporter but by the President of the Republic, Urho Kekkonen.

    Some younger Finns were perplexed, knowing Mr. Kekkonen only as a statesman, but in fact he was an old team mate of Nurmi’s, a champion high jumper in the 1920’s.

    1. Hm! This has taught me something: another country which is a democratic republic (i.e., not a monarchy, etc.)

      I guess I had naively assumed that Finland was a constitutional monarchy, but …

      1. For all practical purposes, Finland’s socioeconomic system is exactly the same as Sweden’s or Norway’s.

        In 1918–19 there was a debate about whether to choose a constitutional monarch or a president. The first presidential elections were held in 1919.

        Mr. Kekkonen ruled for 25 years (1956–81). After him Finland adopted a two-term maximum for presidents.

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