Monday: Hili dialogue

July 2, 2018 • 7:00 am

Here we are back at Monday, the second day of July, 2018, and we’re also into the latter half of the year. It’s National Anisette Day, celebrating a drink that nobody imbibes in the U.S., and also World UFO Day, in which we’re supposed to look for alien vehicles. If any reader provides me convincing proof that they’ve seen one, I’ll give them two autographed books and a crisp $20 bill.

Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus) is on the job again, at least until Friday afternoon, when I have a hiatus to hang out with visitors. Ms. Grania of Cork will be doing the Hili Honors during my four-day hiatus. In the meantime, the weather will cool a bit this week, with a high of only 78°F (26°C) today, and just a 1% chance of rain. The ducks are all splashy and hungry, and energized in the cool weather.  To show how much they’ve grown, I’ll put up a picture taken on June 1 (yes, the tiny fluffballs in the foreground are the ducklings, and the noisome Frank was still around):

. . . and then one taken this morning, at the same spot one month later:

On July 2, 1698, Thomas Savery patented the first steam engine.  And on this day in 1776. the Continental Congress adopted a resolution severing ties with Great Britain; this was formalized by the publication of the Declaration of Independence two days later (this Wednesday is our Independence Day Holiday). On this day in 1881, Charles J. Guiteau shot U.S. President James Garfield, who lingered on until September 19, probably dying of an infection caused by doctors who probed the wound with unsterile hands and instruments. Guiteau was executed on June 30 of the next year.  This day in 1934 was The Night of the Long Knives, when the Nazis consolidated power by killing many of their own, including SA chief Ernst Röhm. On this day in 1937, Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan were last heard from in the Pacific in their attempt to fly around the world. We still don’t know what happened to them. On July 2, 1962, the first Wal-Mart store opened in Rogers, Arkansas, and exactly forty years later Steve Fossett became the first person fly fly solo around the world in a balloon, the Spirit of Freedom. Here’s that balloon:

Notables born on July 2 include Hermann Hesse (1877), Thurgood Marshall (1908), Medgar Evers (1925), Patrice Lumumba (1925, executed 1961), Imelda Marcos (1929, still alive, but with fewer shoes), Jerry Hall (1956), Jose Canseco (1964) and Michelle Branch (1983). Those who died on this day include Nostradamus (1566), Ernest Hemingway (1961, suicide, aged 62), Betty Grable (1973), Vladimir Nabokov (1977), James Stewart (1977), Beverly Sills (2007) and Elie Wiesel (2016).

I think the song performed by Branch and Santana, “The Game of Love,” which came out in 2002, is one of the best rock songs produced in this century. It has great vocals, wonderful and subtle accompaniment by Santana, and a smoking guitar solo starting at 2:17:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Cyrus is clueless:

Cyrus: Hili stayed in the forest again.
A: No, she is walking behind you.
In Polish:
Cyrus: Hili znowu została w lesie.
Ja: Nie, idzie za tobą.

A tweet from reader Barry showing a Most Chill cat (and not Woke):

From reader Gethyn. I wish I had one of these in my office for my brood:

From Matthew: a homeowner makes a new friend:

Be sure to click on the tweet and take a virtual tour of the inside of Scott’s hut:

Emma Darwin finds out what proportion of her genome came from her great-great grandfather:

Well if this don’t beat all! They’ve now found hybrids between Denisovans and Neanderthals!

In this brutal summer, we should learn how to help our heat-stressed insect friends:

An arcane tweet from Matthew:


What are these machines doing?

The amazing balance of goats (be sure to watch the video):

Matthew tweeted a poem the other day but it wasn’t original; it came from William Carlos Williams’ poem “This is just to say“, to wit:

I have eaten
the plums that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold.

Matthew wrote his own tweet after breakfast at the Holiday Inn in Lincoln:

And here’s a new response:

A great tweet from Persian Rose:

From reader Charleen: it turns out the oldest artistic representation of a bird that can be identified is a DUCK (I deny that it’s a diver or a cormorant)!

Tweets from Grania: Sad but true Department:

The wife and daughter of imprisoned Saudi dissident Raif Badawi have just become Canadian citizens.

What is this adorable elephant doing?

Finally, a duckling is reuinted with its mom. Look how it jumps out of the box!

33 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. Anisette — It’s what Johnny Ola drank when he went to visit Michael Corleone in Lake Tahoe on behalf of Hyman Roth in Godfather Part 2.

    1. The real question is who is the Johnny Ola and/or Hyman Roth of the Trump administration. For that matter, who is Fredo? Some say Don Jr. is Fredo. More likely, they are all Fredos.

  2. I have The Sincerely Held Belief (SHB) that there’s UFO’s.


    That’s great pic of foster dad with his foster kids! <- this one is sincere- sincerely!

  3. That Santana song and performance is wonderful. I think that is my favourite of their recent collaborations. Superb!

    I different band nowadays – sadly the great Raul Rekow is no longer with us. His playing and solos – when his and Karl Perraza’s turn – were always a highlight of their live gigs.

    1. A good song but sadly ruined by Branch’s pitchy vocals. She really cannot cut it live. It’s the same story with every live version of this song that I’ve heard.

      1. I quite like her voice and style on this one – then again I have only heard her on this single piece.

  4. Bloody Hell this is a right old lengthy, treasure trove of fun today. Grania – you been up all night playing with ‘substances’ & now got the munchies?

    Steam engines & patents:
    Some Spanish chap – Jerónimo de Ayanz patented a machine using steam power to propel water from mines – in 1606, that must count as an engine & that’s 92 years before the guy in the OP patented a steam engine. [I’ve mentioned patents FOUR times, to still the inevitable “but the Greeks” blah, blah]

    1. Just realised this is all Jerry’s work. He needs to have visitors more often! Good stuff.

      1. There is a modern illustration of it on THIS PAGE
        Water in a tank is turned to steam by fire
        The steam transfers under its own pressure to a water chamber. The water in the chamber is pushed up a pipe against air pressure & gravity to a higher level. There are no wheels, gears, levers or other moving parts – other than a stopcock & what looks like a pressure valve.

        1. So the machine is accumulating energy. Fascinating! I suppose that, if mirrors are added to focus sunlight onto the tank, it could work also with solar power.

          1. You could say it’s accumulating gravitational potential energy by moving water uphill, if the raised water was stored, but AFAIK the raised pumped water is thrown away – the intent was only to clear water from the mine.

            Augustin Mouchot is interesting – he made a solar cauldron in 1860 to boil water & improved it around 1866 with mirrors. His intent was to replace coal power. More info & pics HERE. Modern versions are to be found in desert climates using molten salt rather than water as a heat storage medium. A good scheme if done on large scales – not efficient on the single home scale.

          2. HERE’S info on the Solar Power Tower concept using liquid sodium or molten salts to store thermal energy [higher heat capacity per kg than water] from mirrored solar rays. The stored thermal energy can then be used [only as & when required] to turn water into steam to drive turbines to generate electricity at those times when there’s insufficient direct solar energy to drive PVs [at night for example].

      2. Now that I’ve described it – it’s not much of an advance on an alcohol distillery & they’re at least 2,000 years old. The tricky part of the design is the steam vessel would have to be outside the mine to burn huge amounts of fuel & then you’ve got to pipe that underground to the waterlogged mine level. Then a further drainage pipe back to the mine head. A lot of pipe even in a shallow mine.

  5. You report that Nostradamus died this day in 1566. Do you know if he predicted it or did he cock up on this important end of life event?

    1. If he didn’t predict it, I would be seriously unimpressed. I can certainly predict that I will die and I am 100% certain I am correct.

      If you want me to qualify that with a time scale, given my age and general health, sometime within the next 50 years.

  6. I’m pretty sure there are some commenters here who think his guitar playin’ is overrated, but is there anybody doesn’t like Carlos Santana — both his musical oeuvre and the man himself, since, for a guitar god, he seems like such a regular, self-effacing guy?

    I been diggin’ him going back to the Woodstock soundtrack. First really hot day each summer, I make it a point to put on the tune he did back in the ’90s with Rob Thomas, “Smooth.”

    1. Back in the 1976, I saw Santana and Hot Tuna at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Loudest concert I have ever been to. I think it caused my tinnitus.

  7. While I don’t have photographic evidence of my UFO encounter I can describe what happened and there is no doubt in my mind that it can only be explained in one way:

    I was out walking home from the pub in the evening, it was dark, and the village was quiet. Suddenly I saw two very bright lights coming from the road in front of me, parallel with one another, and then as the lights reached the corner of the road another light appeared next to one of them and started flashing, almost like a car indicator.
    I gazed in a drunken stupor at this craft as it glided past me and I was amazed to see two of my friends from the pub being transported in the alien craft, no doubt to be invasively probed. They looked perfectly happy too, chatting with one another, even waving at me as the UFO drifted off into the distance, following the contours of the road much like human vehicles do.

    The next day I woke up in a ditch, and when I asked my friends about their UFO abduction they were incredulous, and tried to convince me that I’d been drunk and simply watched them driving home in their car, at which point I grew angry and ran off to the woods to wait out my hangover and calm down.

    I have never heard a convincing explanation for what happened on that sinister evening, and I am sure you would agree that this is proof and that I deserve the twenty dollar reward. Thanks!

    1. I think you deserve a crisp $20 & ONE book. Good story – very down to Earth for a UFO encounter – very British aliens.

      1. Thanks, the $20 would go some way to erasing the horror of that night, which has haunted my dreams ever since, although $100 would erase it even more obviously.

  8. the second day of July, 2018, and we’re also into the latter half of the year

    Yesterday’s Hili dialog incorrectly stated that yesterday was the middle day of the year, not today. The second half of the year began/begins at 11am today for those of us on daylight savings time.

  9. Ok

    heresmy test of iOS and iPhone on this comment system wth most keyboard things shut off.

    seems better,…


    backspacing symptom is… seems gone.

    still something funny, but…

    ok thanjs.

  10. I like that fMRI factoid. I am amazed at this bit; 220 km of axons and 22 km of dendrites from 5.5e6 neurites. km.

    Unless that’s a typo?

  11. That baby elelephant looks so hairy that it looks like a baby wooly mammoth. The resolution isn’t good, so maybe that’s the explanation, or else those scientists at Harvard have finally cloned one.

  12. UFO stands for unidentified flying object. I have seen many flying objects that nobody has identified (and probably some of them weren’t even objects or were objects that were falling rather than flying). I suspect that most adults who can see well have had such sightings. I doubt that any such sightings were of spacecraft of extraterrestrial origin.

    1. UFO’s fly over my house regularly. I mean, I’m pretty sure I know what they are, but if the plods were to lead me onto the apron at Auckland Airport and ask me “Can you identify the aircraft in question, sir” there’s no way I could even start.


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