Thursday: Hili dialogue

July 5, 2018 • 6:30 am

It’s Thursday, July 5, 2018: National Apple Turnover Day. It’s also Tynwald Day on the Isle of Man—an ancient holiday.

Starting tomorrow, Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus) is having moar visitors, and posting will be thin until Wednesday of next week. Grania will be on Hili Duty (thanks!), and posting will be light. I do my best.

And it’s the day in 1687 when Isaac Newton published his seminal work Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.  He was 45.  On this day in 1841, Thomas Cook conducted the first package excursion: sadly, it was from Leicester to Loughborough. On July 5, 1915, the Liberty Bell—although it did not ring on July 4, 1776, as often assumed—traveled by train to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. It was the last time the bell left Philadelphia.

On this day in 1937, the luncheon meat Spam, produced by Hormel, entered the market. And of course that gives me an excuse to post this skit:

On July 5, 1946, the first bikini went on sale in France, advertised as the world’s “smallest bathing suit”. After striving to find a model willing to be photographed in it, designer Louis Rénard got an exotic dancer, one Micheline Bernardini, to don one. Here is that first bikini with photo and caption from Wikipedia:

The new ‘Bikini’ swimming costume (in a newsprint-patterned fabric), which caused a sensation at a beauty contest at the Molitor swimming pool in Paris. Designer Louis Reard was unable to find a ‘respectable’ model for his costume and the job of displaying it went to 19-year-old Micheline Bernardini, a nude dancer from the Casino de Paris. She is holding a small box into which the entire costume can be packed. Celebrated as the first bikini, Luard’s design came a few months after a similar two-piece design was produced by French designer Jacques Heim. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

But there were earlier and even skimpier bikinis: here’s one depicted in a mosaic from Sicily, dated about 300 AD:

On this day in 1954, Elvis recorded his very first single at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. Here it is: “That’s all right.”

On July 5, 1975, Arthur Ashe became the first black man to win the singles title at Wimbledon. Exactly 21 years later, Dolly the Sheep became the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.

Notables born on this day include David Farragut (1801), Robert FitzRoy (1805, captain of HMS Beagle), P. T. Barnum (1810), Cecil Rhodes (1853), John Howard Northrop (1891), Ernst Mayr (1904, a famous evolutionary biologist who worked on speciation; you can read two of my pieces on him: an obituary in Science here, and a summary of his work in Evolution here), Robbie Robertson (1943; 75 today), and Huey Lewis (1950).  Few notables died on July 5; they include Walter Gropius (1969), Howard Nemerov (1991), and Ted Williams (2002).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili emits some wisdom during a temporary heat wave. I’m pleased to report that late rains saved the cherry crop, so there will be plenty of pies for me during my next visit.

Hili: It’s a golden rule.
A: What rule is that?
Hili: When there is a heat wave it’s cooler in the shade.
In Polish:
Hili: Złota reguła.
Ja: Jaka?
Hili: Kiedy jest upał w cieniu jest chłodniej.

Some tweets from Matthew:

First, a funny (to me, at least) duck tweet!:

I’m not sure where the video below was filmed:

Matthew’s comment on this one: “It doubles up as a metaphor for the appearance of terrestrial tetrapods”:

I saw a stuffed specimen of this bird at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá. Its bill is a stunning feature.

Be sure to click on the individual pictures below. Cat shaming! Why did they put these on matchboxes?

“Inserperable” sheep:

If you want to learn what “epigenetics” really is, click on this tweet:

And tweets from Grania. First, Buddy the Miracle Cat:

This one is a clever ad. Kudos for the proper use of an apostrophe:

I’m there. Just give me a huge stick and a bonfire!


28 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. A more important anniversary for us Brits than any of the above (except possibly the publication of Newton’s Principia) is that today is the 70th anniversary of the start of the NHS.

    The sandwiches are a small price to pay for healthcare independent of ability to pay. In fact, even the extra taxes are a small price to pay, in my opinion.

    1. Most thoroughly agreed.

      (Though I’m not in UK, but NZ has a fairly close equivalent health service).


      1. Canada too has a decent healthcare plan for everyone. I am so very grateful. Wish everyone on the planet had, at least, decent basic healthcare and clean water.

  2. “It’s also Tynwald Day on the Isle of Man—an ancient holiday.”

    I think we should take note on this occasion that the Isle of Man, from being one of the most regressive regimes in Europe so far as abortion was concerned, looks set to beat Ireland to the post in liberalising abortion law.


  3. “On this day in 1841, Thomas Cook conducted the first package excursion: sadly, it was from Leicester to Loughborough.”

    What’s sad about that? Admittedly Loughborough is hardly the Shangri-La of the Midlands, (though it’s surely not too bad!) – but you’ve got to start somewhere.


      1. No, Loughborough Junction (had to Google it) is in south London, so named after a railway junction, and (I think) not one of the more select districts, though I don’t know the area.

        Loughborough is a town in the Midlands maybe ~100 miles away – I presume that’s the one Cooks Tours went to. (Interlude for Googling). Yep, in 1840 the Midland Counties Railway opened through Loughborough (to become part of the Midland Railway’s main line to London). It was 60 years before the second main line, the Great Central, opened through Lougborough.

        Cook’s first excursion was organised from Leicester, just 11 miles away, to Loughborough – by rail of course – for a temperance rally (now that *is* sad! but Cooks Tours eventually got over the wowser factor.)


    1. I don’t get it. It’s only twelve miles. Was there that much pent up demand to visit Loughborough?

      1. In 1841 the railways had only just begun to develop (the Liverpool & Manchester, the first significant main line, opened in 1830, and the Midland Counties through Leicester and Loughborough had just opened in 1840)

        So I guess even an 11 or 12-mile trip was an adventure. Quite possibly further than some of the participants had ever travelled before.
        It’s kinda hard to comprehend how limited (in geographical terms) many peoples’ lives were in those days.


      2. If one reads “Rural Rides” by William Cobbett (1830), it becomes apparent that 12 miles was a great distance to travel for many back then.

  4. Why is spam so popular in some places? Do not know, it just became part of the daily food. In Hawaii and even more so in Korea it is as normal as rice. Spam and rice is probably the most typical breakfast you see. The spam is cooked on the grill just like bacon and eggs. Spam and two scoops of rice is breakfast.

      1. Probably not your vacation destination, all of my trips were while working. But it is a great place to see and lots to do.

    1. Personally, I much prefer spam, sausage, baked beans and eggs any day, rather than- yechhh!- sausage, baked beans, spam and eggs.

    2. The story is that Spam was created specifically for the military in World War 2. It became popular with non-military types in places where the US military were stationed in large numbers. It certainly makes sense.

      I’m a big fan of spam. Which reminds me that I should buy some. It now comes in flavors which I don’t recommend. I usually get the low-salt variety, not because I have to avoid salt in my diet but because it tastes better. The regular stuff is good too.

  5. (At the risk of exceeding my commenting limit – )

    That clip of the ute (pickup truck? whatever) narrowly escaping from the flood, – I just had to track it down – was in Saudi Arabia. A flash flood. Here’s the full Youtube video:

    I note there are some even-more-than-usually moronic and incongruous comments, even by Youboob standards, from raving god-bothering trolls, the currently first one is “Time to repent and bow down to jesus christ. He is the only true god and only saviour and the only son of god” and it gets even loonier from there.


  6. Robbie Robertson is 75? Da-amn, where’d the freakin’ time go?

    I was just listening to one of my favorite Robertson compositions yesterday, “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” — love the blend of Richard Manuel and Levon Helm’s voices on the chorus, and the way the tune starts on the chorus rather than a verse. Here’s the boys doing the tune in Robbie’s basement studio in Woodstock 1970.

  7. The Sword-billed Hummingbird is indeed a bizarre and magnificent bird, but I think Mr. Torres may have engaged in a bit of (forgivable) hyperbole, in that I don’t believe that the species is particularly elusive, at least at some Ecuador locations. Certainly I did not have too much trouble finding it the one time I was in the country, but perhaps I was lucky (Lou Jost may want to weigh in and correct me if I’m wrong).

  8. I had an apple turnover just two days ago. It was at some local bakery with a French-sounding name so I was hoping it was in the style of a Chausson aux Pommes with flaky pasty and pure apple flavor without the too-sweet and too-cinnamony stuff inside most American ones. This one was only ok.

    I used to get these often when I lived in Boulder, CO. I’ve forgotten the name of the bakery but they were fantastic with a cappuccino. I’ve tried to find ones as good in France. I know they must exist but nothing so far. Good but not great. I’ll admit that I haven’t tried really hard.

  9. That tweet stream (is that what those are called?) by Dr. Birney at EMBL was one of the best short bits on epigenetics I’ve seen. Thanks!

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