Thursday: Hili dialogue

June 21, 2018 • 7:00 am

Good morning to all; it’s a rainy Thursday, June 21, 2018, the June solstice, and the official beginning of summer, which starts in exactly two minutes (5:07 a.m.). That makes it the longest day of the year, and it’s celebrated by Google with an animated Doodle:

It’s National Peaches and Cream Day, though I haven’t seen a fresh peach in Chicago since last year. More important, it’s World Humanist Day, set to coincide with the solstice.

Posting will be light today as I must do errands downtown. As always, I do my best.

On June 21, 1749, the town (now city) of, Halifax, Nova Scotia was founded. On this day in 1940, according to Wikipedia, “The first successful west-to-east navigation of Northwest Passage begins at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.” Curiously, though, the relevant Wikipedia article on the Northwest Passage gives the starting date as June 23. Another error! On this day in 1964—and I remember this well—the three civil rights workers Andrew GoodmanJames Chaney and Michael Schwerner (two whites and a black) were murdered by the Klan in Neshoba Country, Mississippi. Ultimately four people were convicted of violating the murdered men’s civil rights (the trial of one man was in 2005), but none convicted in the first trial served more than six years.

This is a picture of Neshoba County Sheriff Lawrence Rainey (right, a Klan member) and deputy sheriff Cecil Price on trial for the murders. It typifies their cockiness; Rainey is dipping into some Red Man chewing tobacco, and both are smiling. Rainey was acquitted; Price served 4.5 years for civil rights violations.

On this day in 1989, the U.S. Supreme court ruled in the case of Texas v. Johnson that burning the American flag was a form of political protest and was protected free speech. On June 21, 2005, the case of the Chaney, Goodman and Scherner murders continued: Edgar Ray Killen, previously acquitted, was convicted of manslaughter 41 years later. He died in prison in 2018. Finally, on June 21, 2009, Greenland assumed self-rule, making it largely but not completely independent of Denmark.

Notables born on this day include Increase Mather (1639), Reinhold Niebuhr (1892), Jean-Paul Sartre (1905), Mary McCarthy (1912), Michael Ruse (1940), Nils Lofgren (1951), Benazir Bhutto (1953), Edward Snowden (1983), and Rebecca Black (1997). Remember Black’s self-financed song “Friday”—the worst song of our era? Here it is again, now with over 122 million views on YouTube. She’s still trying to forge a music career, but it is not going well:

Notables who died on June 21 include Inigo Jones (1652), Nikolai Rimsky-Kirsakov (1908), Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman (1964; see above), Preisdent Sukarno of Indonesia (1970; he ruled from 1945-1967), and Carol “Archie Bunker” O’Connor (2001).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is once again being a narcissist. I asked for an explanation of Hili’s behavior, and Malgorzata responded:

“Hili thinks she is the navel of the world. If she decides to hide under the magnolia the world should be worried and look for her. But the world didn’t oblige and after getting bored sitting there alone she came out and complained.”

The dialogue:

Hili: I’ve been under the magnolia.
A: What for?
Hili: I was hoping somebody would come to me.
In Polish:
Hili: Byłam pod magnolią.
Ja: Po co?
Hili: Miałam nadzieję, że ktoś do mnie przyjdzie.

Some tweets from Dr. Cobb. I love this first one, or rather the response below the photo:


Remember Ötzi the Iceman, who died about 5000 years ago and whose corpse was preserved by cold? Well, shade is being thrown on him.

An amazing partly cryptic butterfly. When it wants to hide, it folds its wings (watch the video).

Some reading for you:

And from reader Pliny the in Between, a scathing cartoon:


66 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. That’s Pliny the Magnificent today.

    Rainey and his chew. That would be red neck and Redman. I suppose cancer is the only hope.

    1. He did die of cancer – but not until he was 79.
      “He suffered from throat cancer and tongue cancer, and died in 2002 at the age of 79.”

      `Guys like Rainey and Price had more in common with poor blacks than they did with the white aristocracy which ruled the South, keeping themselves priviliged and rich while everyone else struggled. Yet they could rely on Rainey and Price to do their dirty work just by making sure they felt slightly superior to blacks.

      1. Subverting poor whites with racist and divisive rhetoric to policies that directly harm them is the modus operandi of the modern Republican party.

  2. IIRC the guy who does the rap breakdown in Black’s video owns the company that makes music videos for the children of rich parents and appears in several others.

    1. Really ? I thought he was just a creepy middle aged guy riding around in his Mercedes, following around a school bus full of thirteen year olds ???!!!

  3. I saw some news last night that gave me some hope. A Honduran mother jailed at the border, her child taken away from her, started a Facebook fund raising page with a goal of $1,500 in hopes that she could post bail and go find her child. As of last night, a matter of days, her page had received $12 million. Volunteers have already begun to organize an effort to find and eventually reunite all of the kidnapped children with their parents using this money. They’ve got more volunteers than they know what to do with. There is still good in the US. Damn near brought me to tears of relief. I’d really been wondering about that.

    1. I happened to overhear some Fox News yesterday and one talking head or another said they don’t think voters are likely to remember this issue in November because “people don’t even remember the Korea summit and that was just last week.” Talk about living in a bubble.

        1. Maybe so, but that talking head is correct; this issue is too early in the year to matter in November. When it comes to politics, USAans have the attention span of a retarded gnat.

          1. I disagree, although what I took objection to was the ridiculous idea that there was any substance to the Korea talks that made them even a fraction as notable as these events. In the mind of the Trump faithful, it’s inconceivable that people would care more about some foreign kids than Trump getting his picture taken with Kim and then agreeing to nothing substantial.

            And I really don’t think this issue will have been forgotten in six months. Because even with Trump being cowed into immediate action (a first there) it won’t be resolved by then.

    2. I notice and approve of the term ‘kidnap’. The perps have openly admitted that the policy was to coerce people to not come to the border.

  4. Shortest day of *our* year, down in Jacindaland.

    Just means the new arrival will have the shortest birthdays going. Just 9 1/2 hours of daylight (or 8 1/2 hours if he ventures down to the southern end of the country).


    1. He? HE? It’s a GIRL, mate! For now anyway. I guess there’s always the chance she’ll feel differently. At least in NZ and with parents like Cindy and Clarke, that won’t be an issue if it happens.

      1. Oh, yes, you’re right. What a mistake-a to make-a.

        Believe it or not I just hadn’t registered the gender of the Prime Ministerial offspring. What was in my head at the time I posted was our regular weatherman twitting on at length about the shortest day on the six o’clock news, so the ‘he’ was just absent-minded.


  5. I will not tolerate you saying that Rebecca Black is a “notable.” I’m sorry, Jerry, but I think I have to break up with you. Sshhhh, I know. We had some good times. No, don’t cry. I’m sure you’ll find another commenter who’s right for you! You’re great! We just have some…irreconcilable differences. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you.

    Please, don’t make a scene. This is a nice restaurant. You’re embarrassing me. Come on! Yes that’s why I brought you here, I didn’t think you’d make a scene like this in public! I should have known better. Oh so that’s a bad thing? Because this is what you always do when I say Rebecca Black sucks! See? This is what I’m talking about, this is just like calling Rebecca Black “notable.” This is just like the time you broke down crying in the middle of that movie theater while we were seeing The King’s Speech because I told you to stop asking questions every second and wait until after the movie was over. What?!? Because you don’t have conversations about the movie in the middle of a movie theater!!! It’s not all about you! Jesus, the manager is coming over. This is just like the movie theater all over again.

    I can’t take this! What about my mother? You think I like it when your parents visit us and your mom not-so-subtly suggests I don’t make enough money and your dad constantly asks when our son is going to start playing some sports that “aren’t for sissies”? Oh, of course, everything is always so hard for you and so easy for me. You never think about me, you only think about yourself and Rebecca. Well, I’m done. Fine, then I’ll leave. You can get the check.

    1. Huh? Me no unnerstand

      Either I am completely out of touch with kids these days and this means something, or you’ve had one to many Bloody Marys this morning, BJ.

      Help this olde man out here.

      1. My single sentence comment about Rebecca Black not being a notable person turned into the dialogue from a cliched scene of me breaking up with someone in a restaurant. I don’t know how it happened. It just did.

          1. Well, thanks 🙂 I don’t think mikeyc should have blamed his bloody mary or age. I might have been confused myself if someone else posted that. But you’re only as old as you feel!

            And, if you had no idea who Rebecca Black is in the first place, that doesn’t make you old. Just lucky.

            1. Well I have no idea who Rebecca Black is. And still don’t. I was just about to click on the Youtube link when I saw PCC’s description of ‘the worst song of our era’ – so I didn’t.

              There are some things it is better not to know.



              1. … having said which, curiosity then forced me to click on it. Curiosity lasted 26 seconds before I managed to hit the ‘stop’ button. I think I’ll be able to forget it again.


  6. Pliny hits the moving morals of America. They might as well put a Trump statue on Liberty Island, with small hands, of course.

    ‘America is better than this’ meme is thin on ice. We now lead in white supremacy and xenophobia. A sizable chunk of Americans think evolution is nonsense and Trump is the dear supreme leader. Still religion is not fairing so well, especially among the young, and there is always hope for tomorrow.

    Alas, religion is

    1. There’s a cartoon of just what you describe.

      There’s another I like even better of Trump dismantling the Statue of Liberty and using the materials to build the border wall.

      Another one has the statue being sent back to France as an illegal immigrant.

      Others have Trump rewriting the words at the bottom to exclude huddled masses etc.

      There are several others too. I made copies yesterday, but haven’t had time to post them anywhere yet.

    1. I’ve seen that pic before, and every time it makes me literally feel ill. What it represents is so disgusting, and it couldn’t happen unless most of men in the region felt the same.

      I wish Rainey was still alive so I still had the chance to tell him what I thought of him. He’d probably just laugh at me. I hope he believed in hell so that at least while he was alive he worried about that. It might give him a taste of the fear he inflicted on his victims. (I wouldn’t wish the reality of hell on anybody of course.)

  7. Flint knapping, like evolution, isn’t about perfection but about just good enough. We are not talking about crafting the finest Viking sword for battle, but a quick and easy tool that will break after one or a few uses and be discarded or re-knapped for a new purpose. And the more readily available the material, the less likely one would be to spend a great deal of time on its manufacture. Few cultures raised knapping to a fine art, as some late Central American cultures or the North American mound builders did.

    1. It should also be pointed out that he had a copper axe. A… copper axe. So he sucked at stone tools. The guy was still packing some serious heat for the time.

      1. Yeah and that copper axe was an extremely valuable item in his day. I saw a documentary on him and it’s a mystery why he still had it – either those who killed him never came by the body to check him out after he was shot (but if that’s true, who removed the arrow from his body?) or it was such a powerful talisman that his murderers were too fearful of taking such a valuable item.

          1. It was, but the shaft had been broken off and was not present. Bits of it should have been, so it indicates someone tried to remove the arrow from his body. Arrows were very expensive and they likely would have tried to recover it.

            1. He might have tried to remove it himself. If it was separate from his body, I assume it’s less likely to have been preserved?

              1. Well that was considered but several things mitigate against. It really was some nice deductive investigating they did.

                Here’s what I recall from the doco – the arrow was pulled out; the head was broken and no trace of the shaft, bindings or any piece of the broken arrowhead were found in his body.

                The arrow shot killed him and he died very quickly after being shot. It wasn’t in a place where he could have easily removed it either – he was shot through the back in the upper scapula.

                If he did remove it, where is it? His quiver, a kind of rucksack and a bow were found next to him. Why wasn’t the arrow found too? If he pulled it out before he died it should have been there.

                Further, his quiver had only unfinished arrow shafts (no arrowheads or fletchings were found) and the bow itself was unfinished. This led researchers to believe someone rifled his belongings, removing finished arrows, arrowheads and a functional bow (if he had them).

                So if the arrow was pulled out and his belongings rifled, why didn’t they take the copper axe? It would be worth a king’s ransom in those days. One thing that might explain it is that since the axe had not been used for axing (there were no wear marks on it) it’s possible Otzi was some kind of leader or shaman or perhaps an emissary for one and the axe was a symbol of his power. As such, despite being immensely valuable, his murderers might have been afraid to take it.

                Or they simply missed it. This was hard for them to believe as the axe was found with his other belongings. I think it is still possible, though. I once spent most of the morning looking for my reading glasses. Which were on the top of my head.

                No matter, I find it SO kewl that Otzi is so well preserved he serves as an ancient Who Dunnit mystery.

              2. How do we know he died ‘very quickly’? Unless it pierced his heart or aorta, it is not sure, unlikely even, he died very quickly. The fact it was in his back is not an argument he could not have removed it himself. He probably would have.
                The fact that the copper axe was still with him is mysterious. I mean, you’re not afraid to kill a ‘shaman’, but are afraid to steal his copper axe, worth a fortune? I don’t buy that. I also find the notion that the axe had not been used pointing to him being a ‘shaman’ moot. It was a valuable piece, and he did not want to damage or blemish it sounds just as probable, if not more so. Maybe he was not robbed (‘rifled’) after his death? Unfinished arrows are a very weak argument, IMMO.
                In other words, there are many things still quite moot, and the narrative you refer to appears to have some gaping holes. Any link to this investigation? (Maybe I’ll change my mind after reading it).

              3. Nicky – I’ll look for a link to the documentary and send it along later (I am not sure but I think it aired on a US program called Nova).

                A couple of points – the arrow shattered Otzi’s scapula, bisected his pulmonary artery and punctured his lung. Forensic pathologists said he died in minutes from blood loss alone and would have died even in today’s ERs. Also, he had other wounds indicating he had been under attack – he had a head wound and he had defensive wounds on his hands and arms. Since he was shot from distance and from behind, it is thought these wounds came earlier in the day he was killed (they had not healed, so they were inflicted shortly before he was shot).

                It was the researchers who speculated about his role – it’s not unreasonable, I suppose, but personally I think they just missed it. In the end they were left with the mystery of why no trace of the arrow that killed him was found though other equally degradable things – other arrow shafts, his clothing, rucksack, etc, were preserved in nearly perfect condition and why he carried no functional arrows or bows. A parsimonious interpretation (and one that makes sense) is that someone took them.

                Again, I’ll look to see if I can find the documentary.

  8. One of my very favorite atheist ethical thinkers (Jean-Paul Sartre) and one my favorite Christian ethical thinkers (Reinhold Neibuhr- also popular with many atheists) born on the same day.


    The only thing I saw Caroll O’Connor in outside of playing Archie Bunker was playing a Martian (with no alien makeup) in an old Outer Limits episode in which he had a crisp British accent and a tweed suit.

    1. Jean-Paul Sartre was a great writer of theatre pieces, I’ll give him that, but he was a worm of a human, extremely naive about Mao’s China, and a weak philosopher too, IMMO.

  9. I’m the only one that likes Friday apparently. Anyone else like Greta Van Fleet by the way? Or is that just me too haha.

  10. The 21st of June is the shortest day of the year here (Heather will agree), and winter has begun, so the days will be lengtening again.
    On this day, more than 2100 years ago, Eratosthenes of Cyrene, working at the Library of Alexandria, measured the shadow of a pole planted in Alexandria, at midday, and by comparing it to the shadow cast by a pole in Syene (Asouan (0)), calculated the circumference of the Earth with remarkable precision. It is less well known that he also calculated the inclination of the Earth’s axis and the distances of Moon and Sun from the Earth, again with great accuracy. He also had a method to find prime numbers (the Sieve of Eratosthenes), and a musician too, a true polymath if any.
    He is really one of the Greatest early scientists, and certainly not estimated high enough.
    It also illustrates nicely how the barbarians and Christians put us back for more than a millennium. Only in the late Middle Ages and especially the Renaissance, did we pick up where Alexandria -and Eratosthenes- left us.

    1. I thought the murder of Hypatia and demolishing of the Library of Alexandria showed that “barbarians and Christians” were one and the same.

      1. I notice that Christians today never admit that the Vandals had converted to Christianity before they sacked Rome.

      2. I don’t think xtians, were the ones who did it – or at least the evidence for them being the perps is scant.

        The library(ies) were apparently destroyed on multiple occasions, once during Julius Caesar’s reign in what is believed to be an accidental fire that spread into the city from their ships, another time (or another library) during Emperor Aurelian’s time when that part of the city was destroyed in fighting to suppress a revolt and another time -or another library- was destroyed by the Caliph Omar in 642. This time the destruction was deliberate; the Caliph destroyed it because of the books which weren’t in agreement with the Koran.

        The only suggestion that Xtians played a role in the destruction of a Library(ies) of Alexandria is when the Emperor Theodosius I ordered all the pagan temples destroyed around 390 AD. It is thought some version of the library might have been housed in a temple at the time and if so, it was destroyed along with it.

        1. Yes, that was the event I was thinking of:

          “The Serapeum was vandalized and demolished in 391 AD under a decree issued by Coptic Christian pope Theophilus of Alexandria, but it does not seem to have housed books at the time and was mainly used as a gathering place for Neoplatonist philosophers following the teachings of Iamblichus.”

          Maybe Theophilus thought of philosophers as pagans – platonists were mystics – but it seems odd today.

      3. 🙂

        I was not just thinking of the Library of Alexandria, but the whole of classical culture, that reached heights only to be improved upon during (or at best late Middle Ages) and after the Renaissance.
        Yes, many barbarians converted to Christianity, and many Christians emanating from “classical” civilisations did not care about science, nor did several ‘pagans’ like Ptolemy VIII Physcon.
        I left them loosely as two different groups, because many ‘barbarians’ were not Christians, and I wanted to stress it was not just the ‘Barbarians’ who destroyed. But of course, history is more complicated than that.

    2. Correction: In Syene (Aswan) he did not use a pole, but a vertical well/pit, where the sun shone straight in at midday 21 June. Does not make a real difference to his expoit though.
      He made some mistakes too, he calculated the sun being 27 times bigger than the Earth, while in reality it is much more than 100 times.

  11. I am happy that Trump quickly reverted – for the first time under outside pressure – from the hurtful and cruel policy his regime instated, as US gains momentum towards the moral abyss.

    If US had ratified its signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as all other states that had signed it, the separation of children from parents beside “own best interest” (hurtful parents) would have been unlawful from the beginning [ , ]. That could be the next step, since Trump has blinked. Or if not under his regime, so with a more normal one.

    1. We need to wait to see if this Executive order is going mean the end of Trump’s cruel policy. There are multiple line items that might end up making things worse, depending on how they choose to interpret them.

      The 2300 children that have been sent all over the US, in secret, are not getting out of jail free, not yet. Who knows when?

  12. Really ? I thought he was just a creepy middle aged guy riding around in his Mercedes, following around a school bus full of thirteen year olds ???!!!

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