Wednesday: Hili dialogue

July 11, 2018 • 6:45 am

I’m back, and many thanks to the diligent Grania who filled in for me for five or six days. Today happens to be Wednesday, July 11, and it’s National Blueberry Muffin Day. If you’re in the U.S., it’s “Free Slurpee Day“: as Wikipedia notes, “Small-size Slurpees are free on “7-Eleven Day”, on July 11.” If you’re near a 7-11, try your luck.

On this day in 1576, Martin Frobisher, during an attempt to force the Northwest Passage over North America, sighted the southeast tip of Greenland, but did not land there. On July 11, 1735, according to Wikipedia,  “Mathematical calculations suggest that it is on this day that dwarf planet Pluto moved inside the orbit of Neptune for the last time before 1979.”  Note that PLUTO IS A PLANET!  On July 11, 1804, in a duel between Vice President of the U.S. Aaron Burr and former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, Hamilton was fatally wounded: the end of a great mind.  On this day in 1893, Kokichi Mikimoto obtained the first cultured pearl. Or so Wikipedia says, but if you look up Mikimoto’s bio, you’ll see that another man had not only obtained a cultured pearl, but also a patent for making them, four years earlier. Wikipedia, get your act straight! On July 11, 1914, Babe Ruth made his debut in Major League Baseball, pitching for the Boston Red Sox. On this day in 1924, Eric Liddell, the “muscular Christian” in the movie Chariots of Fire, won a gold medal at the Paris Olympics in the 400 m run, but didn’t run in the heats for the 100 m dash as those were on Sunday. Here’s Liddell, an underdog, winning the 400; the film also shows his rival, the Jewish athlete Harold Abrahams:

On this day in 1960, the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, was first published in the United States. It now faces countrywide banning for the use of the “n word”, a travesty of Pecksniffism. Finally, exactly 12 years later, the epic chess match for the World Championship of 1972 began, pitting challenger Bobby Fischer against defender Boris Spassky. Fischer won.

Notables born on this day include John Quincy Adams (1767), E. B. White (1899), Yul Brynner (1920), Harold Bloom (1930), and Sela Ward (1956). Those who died on July 11 include George Gershwin (1937), Pär Lagerkvist (1974), Laurence Olivier (1989) and Lady Bird Johnson (2007).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili disses the neighbors (I hope they don’t read Listy!):

Cyrus: Does stupidity have limits?
Hili: Ours does but our neighbour’s stupidity doesn’t.
In Polish:
Cyrus: Czy głupota ma granice?
Hili: Nasza tak, ale u sąsiadów, żadnych.

Tweets from Matthew. This is a harmless moth that’s a Batesian mimic of a wasp. I bet you wouldn’t touch it!

This wonderful raccoon mother is the mammalian equivalent of Honey. Sound on, and don’t miss this one:

Nature red in tooth and fin!:

This is the larva of a crab. Look at those eyes!

Matthew et famille are vacationing in Norway, and are astounded at how long it stays light. Here’s 11 p.m.:

The ability of some cephalopods to not only change colors, but put on a light show, is amazing. Sound on:

The Thai boys trapped in a cave were saved, but let’s not forget that one man lost his life diving in to save them:

There are several tweets in this thread about how awful this trillion-dollar plane is; I’ve put two below the first one, but go to the whole discussion to see what a disaster American taxpayers are financing.

Here was a tweet showing an awesome pass with a heel tap in the France vs. Belgium game, but stupid FIFA made them take down even the tweet. Readers are welcome to direct us to that marvelous pass.

From Heather Hastie, a snowy egret.

. . . and a thirsty kitty:

Millions and millions of stars. Can you spot them all?

And a leaping little puffball:


35 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

    1. I wonder if any of those making comments know anymore than what they read or study? Can they spell bankruptcy. What are they going to use the airplane for? Shooting down non-existing enemy aircraft or blowing up camels in the desert.

    2. Happy birthday raf! When i gave a nasa talk at bae warton in the 1980s the engineers showed me a spitfire that they had recently restored and was flyable. Did that airplane fly in the show?

      1. It arrived at Samlesbury aerodrome in June 1984 & then on to Warton until early 1987. HISTORY HERE. You saw reg. PS915 – a Spitfire PR* Mk XIX belonging to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight [BBMF] which was sent there to be refurbed & fitted with a monster Griffon engine from a Shackleton. The BBMF has six Spitfires & PS915 was indeed one of the three that took part in the display. It is the one in a high altitude ‘aluminium’ finsh above the Lancaster in the picture below: [*PR = Photo Reconnaissance]

        1. Wow. What a great pic! Thank you. I did not remember the whole story…just the deep respect the bae folks had for it as we walked around some makeshift plywood walls in an out of the way high bay area in the lab. Just beautiful sitting there.

          1. It was a Spitfire of identical spec to this one that holds the altitude record [to this day] for a single piston engine airplane 52,500 ft! As you can imagine it didn’t needs guns for the photo recce role & with the help of the Griffon [replacing the Merlin] it was 100 mph faster than the earliest Spit. A groovy machine. In the pic you can see the side-looking camera window just in front of the fuselage RAF roundel.

  1. The F-35 is a fine example of the U.S. military industrial complex. Another thing the American people seemingly could care less about.

    1. Yeah. You can with some accuracy claim that the F-35 program was a travesty that cost way too much, that as usual the design requirements were way to complicated, it has taken way too long, way too much money and it still isn’t 100% yet. You can also reasonably claim that an aircraft like this just isn’t necessary and therefore the vast fortunes spent on it so far were a complete waste.

      But one thing that doesn’t seem to be accurate is that it is a piece of shit, at least in the context of its intended performance capabilities. Many of the commonly told stories used to demonstrate how much of a piece of shit it is have later been convincingly explained by people with relevant expertise to be out of context, misinterpretations or misrepresentations.

      The problems with the F-35 are largely due to too many different wish lists and too many wishes on those lists. Trying to fulfill all those wishes with one aircraft was a really difficult undertaking due both to the large number of new systems that needed to be developed and the number of roles the aircraft is supposed to be able to fulfill. Both of those issues are pretty typical problems with US military procurement. But in the F-35 they reached new heights.

      But, while it may not turn out that it never fulfills all of its intended design capabilities it seems pretty clear already that it is a very capable aircraft that can do certain things that no other aircraft is capable of, yet. Whether we really need those capabilities or whether they are worth the cost is a separate argument that I am not attempting to address here.

      1. The most scathing report yet (15 pages):
        I think the best thing the US military could do is cut their losses, scrap the whole monster, and go back to the drawing board designing 3 different planes: air-to-air, deep interdiction bomber and close air support.(and maybe a fourth: drones).
        In the meantime, upgrade the existing aircraft such as the F-16 and 18 and the A-10’s

      1. @Randall posted under 1
        The F-35 is an expensive, very expensive, piece of scrap. That is the flippant answer.
        What are they going to use that airplane for? Simple answer, as fodder for the J-31’s or the T-50’s (PAK-FA’s) (equally flippant).
        The idea was to use it for about everything, combat fighter, Close air support, bomber, mini-AWACS, etc, etc..
        In a dogfight the F-35 is even taken out by the ageing F-16. Admittedly it is not designed for dog fights though. It’s main capability is stealth and electronics.
        I think it’s greatest problem is that it was designed to be all different things at the same time, good at much, but the best at nothing (see eg. close air support, the A-10’s job). It also makes it overweight and underpowered. The stealth and electronics are thought to outweigh that though. We will only know when used in actual combat.
        The Russians appear very confident in their PAK-FA though

  2. Pluto is a dwarf planet not a planet. The problem with calling it a planet is that there are hundreds of other objects in the solar system that we would have to call planets if we classified Pluto as a planet. Either that or the word “planet” loses any useful meaning.

    1. Yes. Pluto was always a bit of a strange duck with its orbital parameters out of synch with theeight others. Its angle with the ecliptic is relatively exagerated as is the eccentricity of its orbit…passing inside the eighth planet for part of its orbit. So there is turning outto be pretty much a continuum of massive objects in orbit about our sun; humans classify them by type and even specific name as a data reduction exercise. I am glad that the dwarf planet discussion can awaken todays k12 students to the rapidly increasing knowledge that science has gained through our ever better engineered technologies.

  3. Those two tweets on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II by MikeRoach3 “professor by day, Poster by night. Middle Tennessee” are shite.

    [1] The second tweet is a link to the Russian government-controlled RT news. RT has taken a non-controversial 2014 report from Luke AFB HERE & published it as if RT was there & talked to the individual involved. No link to the original Luke AFB report of course.

    ** The Fuel truck tanks are being repainted at a cost of $4,000 per truck to help keep the F-35 fuel a little cooler. The F-35 will not take off if the fuel is too warm because the fuel must be below a certain temp threshold is it’s used as a heat sink – Not mentioned in the reports from 2014: the software monitoring the fuel temp has been set at a lower than operational threshold temp for other testing reasons.

    [2] The list of issues in the beginning of the first tweet are scraped from various 2014 news reports without any understanding by “Roach” [good name] & he’s got nearly everything wrong. Examples:

    ** The F-35 uses a lot of special lightweight materials that are glued by design – they can’t be bolted or screwed together. This is an extension of the highly successful F-22 which had over 20% of its airframe made from similar/same composite materials. The fact they’re glued is of necessity for increased strength/weight ratio. I’m not aware of design changes where F-35 bolted components are glued to save weight!

    ** The STOVL F-35B isn’t designed to go into combat from VTOL & it would never [or very rarely] need immediate refuelling after a VTOL launch! The purpose of VTOL is very short hops of a few hundred yards to reposition F-35s if under attack supposedly [although I am suspicious of this official rationale – did it arise after the fact?]. For combat the F-35B uses STOL mode.

    ** The stealth coating [“paint”] needing reapplication after every mission because of humidity? Sounds like bollocks to me. I can’t find a reference to this & I assume Roach has taken a developmental problem molehill & blown it up into a dwarf planet [NOT a planet]

    I could go on extensively, but there’s no point as “Roach” doesn’t understand what he’s writing.

    My own opinion is the F-35 program is ‘too big to fail’ & the roundabout is spinning too fast for gov & industry to jump off. The UK should find a different carrier-borne aircraft if possible or we’ll be stuck with a very, very, very high-maintenance monster in an era where the cutting edge is robot planes & robot missiles. In 10 years the F-35 will be irrelevant against swarms of flying robot attackers & even more importantly – so will the refuelling planes – a great point of weakness for our sophisticated fuel-guzzling jets [all of ’em, not just F-35]

    1. Aside from all of that, no one but the U.S. would dump the billions into this project and create such an expensive thing. The pentagon has plenty of earlier examples of such waste but this one ranks number one. In addition to being way to complex, they had learned on earlier jet fighter projects that building one aircraft to fit all services, air force, navy and marines was a dumb idea. In the end the result is a product that no service particularly likes.

    2. PS the concept of airplane stealth as currently implemented [the RADAR stealth – not so much the heat source stealth] is probably approaching end-of-life. Russian SAMs + the associated RADAR networks – sold to 3rd parties – are uncomfortably close to ‘seeing’ the stealth target accurately enough to fire at it at long range [over the horizon if the RADARs are cleverly tuned & laid out]. Interestingly it’s easier to ‘stealth’ a large plane, such as the B2-bomber, compared with an F-35-sized plane for radio wavelength reasons plus it’s easier to lessen the heat signature of a big plane.

      1. What they would do – theoretically is send in the B1, B2 to eliminate the Sam’s and then send in the F-35 to do whatever and look important.

    3. Thanks for that. I think there is a lot of crap talked about the F-35 although as you say, there are issues too.

      The UK cannot go for different aircraft, by the way because of the decision not to fit the carriers with catapults. This was a costly mistake IMO probably made so that the F-35 decision gets “locked in”.

      1. Without researching – I was hoping we could ‘buy back’ some USMC Harrier IIs for our two new carriers 🙂

  4. Note that PLUTO IS A PLANET!

    Oy. In the interest of science, note that Pluto is not an astronomical planet but a “dwarf planet”.

    It was historically a planet, and there was also a discussion if Ceres – and, I think, some of the other large asteroids – would be a planet. But it was impractical. Coincidentally no other asteroids or Kuiper Belt Objects is similarly handled re planethood these days, as they should be for consistency.

    Science has moved on, we now have a clear model for that a planet looks like – clears its orbit – and Pluto and Ceres are not that. Here is a planet:

    [ From ]

    Even a newborn planet can sweep open a gap in the protoplanetary disk, that is how the planet forms.

    1. “a clear model for that a planet looks like” – a clear model for what a planet looks like.

  5. “The Thai boys trapped in a cave were saved”
    And if you read the comments you will readily find multiple supremely superstitious people crediting the rescue results with petitionary prayers to their magician in the sky. None of them try to explain why their ultimate magician killed one of the rescuers though.

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