Friday: Hili dialogue

July 13, 2018 • 6:30 am

It’s Friday, Friday, kicking back on Friday! Which seat can you take? Yes, it’s July 13, 2018: Friday the Thirteenth. To stave off bad luck, partake of today’s comestible, for it’s National French Fry Day. In Mongolia it’s the last day of Naadam, a big holiday for engaging in and watching horse racing, archery, and wrestling.

First Grania sent tweets from the news.  Yesterday FBI Agent Peter Strzok, who oversaw the beginning of the Agency’s Russia investigation, testified before Congress, where House Republicans tried to take him apart, even bringing up Strozok’s extramarital affair. If the video below is representative, Strzok acquitted himself well.

And Grania reports that, as Tr*mp visits London to talk to PM Theresa May, “the Brits are not happy”. To wit:

The “lad with the striped hat” is in the third photo:

Back to This Day in History. On July 13, 587 BC, Babylon finished its siege of Jerusalem by destroying Solomon’s Temple. In 1793, revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat was stabbed to death in his bath by Charlotte Corday. On July 13, 1923, the Hollywood Sign was dedicated in the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles. But it originally said this until a 1949 renovation:

On July 13, 1973, White House deputy assistant Alexander Butterfield revealed to the Senate the existence of Nixon’s tapes, which incriminated the Prez as a crook and ultimately led to his resignation. Exactly four years later, New York City experienced a 24-hour electrical blackout that caused widespread rioting, looting, and pandemonium.  On July 13, 1985, The Live Aid benefit concerts took place in London and Philadelphia, as well as other places.  Finally, exactly two years ago today, David Cameron resigned as Prime Minister of the UK, bringing aboard Her Brexitress Theresa May.

Notables born on July 13 include Julius Caesar (100 BC), John Jacob Astor IV (1864, died in the Titanic sinking in 1912), Kenneth Clark (1903), Paul Prudhomme and Patrick Stewart (both 1940), Harrison Ford and Roger McGuinn (both 1942), and Cheech Marin (1946). Those who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on this day include Jean-Paul Marat (1793; see above), Alla Nazimova (1945), Alfred Stieglitz (1946), Arnold Schoenberg (1951). Frida Kahlo (1954), Red Buttons (2006, born Aaron Chwatt), and Nadine Gordimer (2014).

Here’s a nice photo by Stieglitz:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hlli is exploring the little playground in the front yard:

Hili: There is nobody in this little house.
A: Did you check it?
Hili: Yes, but it still requires further investigation.
In Polish:
Hili: W tym domku nikogo nie ma.
Ja: Sprawdzałaś?
Hili: Tak, ale to jeszcze wymaga dalszych badań.

Some tweets from Heather Hastie: “Fallstreak holes” are plain WEIRD; have a look at the description and pictures on Wikipedia.

Shaking hands with a groundhog (play video):

Look at the size of this beautiful moth!:

Heather and my favorite parrot, the flightless kakapo, which are tended lovingly by New Zealand conservationists:

Kitten wants its treats:

Watch this heartwarming (and catwarming) tale:

More kittehs: baby black panther (a melanic jaguar) learns to swim:

From Grania, who had to explain this tweet to me but assured me that most readers would understand it:

Re the Iranian woman arrested for dancing (what a country!):

How streets are oriented in major cities:

All one can say is, “Oy gewalt!”:

The Brits will be buying these in droves this week:

More on this later: the opprobrium received by Scarlett Johansson’s decision to play a transgender man in an upcoming movie (she’s not trans, don’t you know?) A Business Insider columnist was fired for simply writing an editorial defending the actor’s decision:

Tweets from Matthew. The first is by a woman whose wish has been fulfilled. World Cup final this weekend!

Matthew notes, “It was the 100th bday of the RAF on Tuesday.. There was a flypast by planes from 1940 onwards. Here are the flightpaths – rather mesmeric.”

Matthew’s a big fan of Buster Keaton:

And a few more tweeets from Grania, the first showing The Way Things Should Be:

A lovely and weirdly-shaped moth:

Matthew’s comment: “What the internet is for”:

Truth spoken to power:


70 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

    1. He also told them he doubled & tripled the GDP in the U.S. since becoming president. Also he polls higher than Abe Lincoln. You have to be really stupid to lie like this. Crazy.

      1. The Abe Lincoln claim is, in a certain sense, actually true, since we didn’t have polls during Lincoln time. It is, of course, equally true that no poll showed less than 95% support amongst the American populace for Mr. Lincoln during the entirety of his tenure.

        With regard to the economy, his claims a year into his predecessors tenure that the continued recession was all Obamas fault, and not a holdover from Bush, are consistent with his current claim, and equally bovine scat.

        Wait, did I just find something consistent in the statements of his-Orangeness? I must remember this date.

        1. That is one of the most contradictory and incorrect statements I have heard here at WEIT. Must be a speech writer for Trump. It is true because there were no polls during Lincoln’s time? So something that did not exist is true. Then although there were no polls Lincoln always polled 95%. The only consistent you found is your own inconsistency. Recession was a product of Bush and it was Obama who took action to get us out. Your memory or wherever you get your information is very poor.

          1. I think you maybe didn’t appreciate enl’s intent. Quite the opposite of how you took it, I think.

      2. The Russian hacking indictment just came down. It charges 12 Russian military intelligence officers with hacking the DNC and Podesta computers and state election computers.

        Coulda been a 400 pound guy on a bed in New Jersey, though.

      3. Here is a recent Trump quote from the Irish Post:
        Speaking ahead of the trip [to England], which began on Thursday, the 72-year-old told reporters: “I believe that the people in the UK — Scotland, Ireland, as you know I have property in Ireland, I have property all over — I think that those people they like me a lot and they agree with me on immigration.”

        Trump thinks Ireland is part of the UK!

    2. The Donald told the tabloid The Sun that the UK should go back to being called “England.”

      This clueless buffoon is the so-called leader of the free-world.

      1. He also claimed to have “predicted” the result of the Brexit referendum during his visit to Scotland in 2015. The Beeb’s US correspondent Jon Sopel pointed out that in fact Trump arrived in Scotland the day after the referendum, after the result was known. Trump’s spokesperson denied it! – even though Sopel could cite as many actual facts as any reasonable person could want!

        You couldn’t make it up – except that Trump does. All the time.

        PS: my daughter took our granddaughter on the march in London today – with a placard reading “Toddlers against Trump”. I bet they enjoyed their day more than he did!

        1. I recall the first reporters who asked Trump about “Brexit” when he arrived in Scotland saying that he did not recognize the term. Yet now he claims he “predicted” the outcome.

          Good for your distaff progeny; hope they enjoyed their day of protest!

  1. Understand there will be demonstrations in 50 cities in the UK today. I watched most of the hearings yesterday and saw the sickness that rages through the republican, I mean the Trump party. Why have the demonstrations not started here in a big way?

    I would also mention for those who do not know the background on FBI agent Peter Strozok, he is the top counter intelligence agent in the FBI. This guy was in charge of the mission that covered and then in 2010, rounded up 8 or more Russian spies that were returned to Russia. He is the best of the best in the FBI. These Trump congress lackies do more to assist Putin and Russia than anyone but Trump himself.

  2. I’m with Matthew on Buster Keaton. And “One Week” has a fantastic ending.
    I’d also like to see what Pittsburgh or Cincinnati look like on that orientation thing.

    1. Pittsburgh *has* no reliable orientation, from what I remember from my 2 years there. There’s even a street which *crosses itself*, which makes it even more confusing than my native Montreal area.

  3. Re those RAF flightpaths, I was watching Wimbledon and they showed some of the aircraft flying over. At that stage there was a (small) possibility that the women’s tennis final might have been between two Germans which would have strongly appealed to my sense of irony.

    (The reason the possibility was only small was, of course, Serena 🙂


  4. Note that that fascinating chart showing the orientation of streets in cities only shows American cities. Which, of course, were all set out by surveyors. All the major European cities developed ‘organically’, one might say, with streets oriented randomly in all directions.


      1. I don’t think the existence of rivers, etc., accounts for whether a grid pattern is imposed on the landscape although it might influence the orientation of a grid should one be used. These patterns reflect history more than anything else. Old cities came to their patterns long before city planning was a thing. Unless they undergo a lot of “modern” growth their graphs understandably look “round” rather than cross-like.

        1. I never claimed the terrain imposes a grid! I never mentioned a grid.

          Glasgow is built on a straight river in a fairly gentle river valley. The major old roads respect this geography & hence the program picks up this tendency without there being a grid. The polar histogram for Glasgow has a lot of ‘noise’ around the circle but the influence of the river/river valley is clearly shown by the cross on top of the noise.

          1. You are right, my brain inserted grids into your comment. But you need some grid in order to end up with one of these crosses.

            I read grids into it since you have to have them to be the alternative to what you referenced as “streets orientated randomly in all directions”. The latter is unrelated, IMO, to rivers/etc.

            (It is the rare ancient city that didn’t arise on the edge of a body of water. Didn’t really happen much until railroads started criss-crossing open plains. And even there… try finding cities that aren’t on a water body.)

            1. Look at Glasgow below in the image I’ve supplied – I’ve twisted it to make the river run right to left. There’s no grid, but as I’ve said there’s a cross superimposed on the ‘noise’ due to the tendency of roads to parallel the river & for there to be a few orthogonal to that tendency. The program uses a lot more roads than I’ve shown, but each sub-block of roads tends to conform to the sub-block rectangles…

      2. Okay, I used ‘randomly’ very loosely. ‘Apparently randomly’ would have been better, I fully acknowledge that many streets grew from country lanes and the like that were influenced by local quite small-scale topographic features such as a (long-since diverted) stream or pond.

        Paris, on the other hand, shows signs of being laid out by a surveyor but not on a square grid! There are certain nodes and many straight streets radiating from each in a ‘star’ pattern connecting to other nodes – so the streets are straight but NOT rectilinear.


        1. Which is why I didn’t list Paris in my counter-examples! I did list Barcelona – an interesting case of a metro constrained by a straight coastline, a city coastal plain & a long strip of rolling hills behind that are parallel to the coast.

          The old routes in the city mostly respect that geography & so does the extensively gridded Eixample ‘Expansion District’ that surrounds the Gothic district & old city. The Eixample dates from the 19th & early 20th century.

          I can name a number of old European gridded cities, but we don’t have polar histograms for those. Madrid to the north of the Centro has a very large area of north-aligned grid. There’s a fair number of European grids: Derry in Ireland [1600ish], Mannheim, Edinburgh ‘New Town’ [1767 onwards] & Glasgow city centre. There’s the marvellous old Valletta in Malta [in the EU]…

    1. Having been to some of those cities I do not understand the chart at all. Just as example, look at any road map of Seattle. Look at San Francisco. When a city is built on a bay or by a river, there is nothing straight lined or north south east west about it.

      1. No… really look at San Francisco. Or rather, look at a map of San Francisco. Most of the streets conform to a cross-grid, almost but not quite oriented to cardinal directions. That’s why it has that graph shape.

      2. The road map of Seattle city is almost as well ordered as Manhattan, but on a NSEW grid

        San Fran city has two grids like two crystals – looks right to me.

        The author of the program…
        ** Divided the compass rose into segments of 10 degrees [18 orientations for the full circle].
        ** The program is told what boundaries to work within
        ** The program calculates what % of total road belongs to each of the 18 available bins & then graphs it [a curved road might have say 1/3 & 2/3 in adjacent orientation bins]

        1. Well, that is all very interesting but when I look at a road map, even google maps, I see something different. Tell me, does the author exclude all the freeways running through and around the cities as well. Certainly a city that was laid out in the 18th and mainly 19th and 20th century is going to look different than say, a city in England that began many centuries earlier. You can get on a street in London and watch it change names three times.

          1. The author uses all roads as they are today. The program doesn’t care about history. There is no weighing for major routes having more traffic & I don’t think [couldn’t see anything mentioned] there’s weighting for number of lanes. If you picture even the smallest roads as being a % of total road length then it’s obvious that say Broadway & Greenwich Village will not impinge much on the Manhattan graph & even Greenwich Village isn’t too far off the preferred direction north of 14th Street.

      3. The head of the San Francisco Peninsula, on which the city is situated, is roughly square in shape. SF’s streets are laid out in basically four separate grids that don’t quite align.

        That being said, it’s hell to drive in (don’t forget those hills), and even worse for parking than Boston. And that’s saying a lot.

  5. ‘Her Brexitress Theresa May.’ The British Prime Minister was a Remainer before she stepped into David Cameron’s abandoned shoes. Such is the nature of political ambition.

    1. And it’s one reason why we are being sold down the river and will end up as a vassal state of the EU.

      1. Richard:

        “And it’s one reason why we are being sold down the river and will end up as a vassal state of the EU”

        What reason is that? You say there’s a reason, but don’t state what that reason is.

        The other thing that puzzles me is you claim we’ll end up as a “vassal state of the E.U.”, but we are already a “vassal state” of the E.U. in that we are IN THE EU & subordinate to the EU by definition.

        So how do we become what we definitionally already are?

        Wordz have meaningz

  6. The lad with the striped hat is paying homage to this classic – Father Ted has been ordered to protest outside a ‘blasphemous’ film:

  7. People it’s okay to admit that you like the Friday song. The sky is not going to fall or anything.

    1. Do you like it? You don’t say. 🙂

      I intensely dislike the autotune, the heavy use of dynamic range compression – especially on the ‘drums’ & vocals – which hurts my ears. Then there’s the airhead embracing of consumerism, car culture & overdressing for school. I assumed the lyrics & tune were hers, but her mum paid ARK to do the braining & produce the video, so it isn’t even from her heart. Here’s the Undertones – the ultimate teen tune!

        1. Yeah that’s good, but it’s not told from a teen POV so doesn’t count as ultimate teen tune

      1. I like compressed stuff! “Once in a Lifetime” is compressed too but I don’t hear nobody complaining! Not to mention overdressed haha.

        1. I asked if you liked the Friday song, but you didn’t say. If you like it what do you like?

          Regarding dynamic compression – if it’s overdone it removes all the subtleties. When I first listened to Talking Heads it was over the radio in the early eighties – working 36hr sessions at a drawing board to meet deadlines. The compression really pays off on a cheapo radio to give the feeling of ‘punch’ – listening on my hi-fi today in FLAC [& near FLAC] it’s all too much. My ears are working unnecessarily hard.

          As an oldish geezer I prefer mainly [fairly often] live or studio-live tracks these days that haven’t been heavily remastered to pump up the energy to a constant peak. I like the silences & the buzzings & missteps of real electrified & acoustic instrumentation. Good examples of wide range to my ears is the semi-live studio work of Miles Davis/Teo Macero on Bitches Brew or Miles’ Sketches of Spain or Coltrane’s Olé Coltrane

          1. Dunno why I like it. It’s just catchy. By the way these days youtube and other sites turn down the volume on too loud songs. On youtube you can see it in right-click “stats for nerds”. You can see they turned down Friday by 3db. So too-compressed songs will end up having their volumes turned down, defeating the purpose of trying to make a song play louder by over-compressing it. (Yeah I know that doesn’t affect the compression, just the average volume.)

            1. You know my complaint isn’t about the loudness – you’ve said so in fact. It’s the squeezing of the quieter parts of the music upwards thus reducing the overall range of sound levels. It’s the technique used in TV ads & it’s an evil thing when used only to grab the ears. It’s extraordinarily tiring on the listener.

              It’s like taking a J. M. W. Turner & turning it into paint-by-numbers using only 50 points on the colour wheel & setting all 50 colours to the same pumped up neon colour intensity. I like cartoons, but…

              1. I think that’s a jolly nice example. His flattening of perspective in The Starry Night or The Sower has a lot to do with his use of colour hue & constant intensities despite distance from the observer. Nice one.

              2. I absolutely agree about the loathsomeness of TV ads, especially when they turn up the volume on them by several dB compared with the adjoining programs.

                Fortunately there is a way to render them innocuous. The ‘mute’ button on my remote is well worn.


              3. I gave up on commercial TV as my solution [strictly BBC, NetFlix & Amazon now], but your perception of increased dB is incorrect – peak dB is the same as the rest of the programs, but they boost the quiet sections upwards towards the peak.

                This is what’s happening, as explained on a Channel 4 page HERE :-

                “There’s a common complaint from the viewing public that commercials sound too loud when compared with programmes.Why is this? To gain impact, commercial advertisers tend to “compress” the sound levels which means they lift them all up to the higher end – and this is what creates the greater impact.

                However, when compared against programmes which have a wider dynamic range – a wider variation in sound levels – this can cause irritation, because the two types of sound treatment don’t sit very well together.

                Channel 4 has recognised this as a problem for viewers, and we use perceived loudness meters which give us a measure of the way the brain perceives the actual loudness of the sound. This allows us to adjust the levels of commercials and other interstitial material in accordance with Ofcom guidelines, so that they no longer cause irritation when compared with the wide majority of programme types transmitted by Channel 4. We continue to strive for an even perceived loudness through all our programming junctions on all our services.”

  8. Remember, Pogo told us that we only have to worry about Friday, the thirteenth when it comes on Monday

    1. Boston is more orderly than it feels. Lots of little “orderly” grids. They are just haphazardly oriented with regard to each other.

      1. A square is an orderly shape. A rectangle is an orderly shape. A trapezoid is an orderly shape.

        A whole bunch of squares and rectangles and trapezoids mashed together randomly is not orderly 🙂

      2. @BJ – Make sure to pull up a Boston city image on Google with its boundaries outlined – it’s a lot different from the metro that includes Boston along with Medford, Somerville, Cambridge, Brookline etc. Boston proper is a rectangle running north-east with Dedham at SW end & the harbour at the NE end.

        Running almost down the middle of the rectangle from the SW to the NE is Washington St. This lines up with the polar spike on the histogram.

        The polar spike is caused by all the little crystals [grids] that are fairly closely aligned with Washington Street. There are many that are not, but there’s sufficient that are for the ‘x-ray crystallography machine’ to note it with a spike

        1. I did pull up an image before posting. I understand why it is the way it is. If a city is built like a house that has multiple additions added over the years, it can end up looking very strange. A city has to be well-planned to end up easily navigable.

          1. I’m explaining the spike best I can. The spikes would probably disappear if the program took the whole harbour metro rather than the fairly artificial official Boston area sub-division which has a ‘gravity’ pulling to the NE harbour & the down-town business area.

      3. Is Boston proper like this (it has been a long time since my trip) or is it due to the surrounding municipalities? This is one reason that Montreal is haphazard – the island it is on is not all one city; another is because it has absorbed others over many years; a third is because the rivers drastically change direction (particularly the St. Lawrence)

  9. That video of the frozen cat was adorable and I’m so glad that family took him in, but those people named their four kids Brexen, Hazy, Krew, and Ryler. That’s child abuse.

  10. On the Strzok hearing, I think Mr Strzok did an outstanding job there, exposing Mr Gowdy, Mr Gohmert (‘snowball Gohmert’) and Mr Jordan for the loudmouth ignorants they are.
    [Intermezzo: I think Mr Gowdy is jealous of Mr Mueller, two and a half years of investigating Ms Clinton : zilch, nada, one and a half years into Mr Mueller’s investigation: 2 dozen indictments, 5 guilty pleas, and more to come]
    He wiped the floor with them. I’m not really surprised, he was, after all, the head of the FBI counter intelligence for quite a while, they clearly underestimated him.
    I fear the hearing of Ms Page will not be such a rout, but then I know little about Ms Page.

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