Sunday: Hili Dialogue

July 15, 2018 • 6:45 am

It’s Ceiling Cat’s Day: Sunday, July 15 in the Year of Our Ceiling Cat 2018. And, for crying out loud, it’s National Gummy Worms Day, an execrable comestible if ever there was one. But most important, it’s the World Cup Final, with France playing Croatia at 10 am Chicago time. (France is favored.) Google has a Doodle showing the world enjoying the game; click on the screenshot to see it:

Finally, Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus) is down with a nasty cold, wheezing like a bellows, so posting may be light today as I watch the game and rest.

On July 15, 1099, during the First Crusade, Christian soldiers seized the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem after a difficult siege; the Church is one of the purported places where Jesus’s tomb lies.  On this day in 1799, a French soldier serving under Napoleon dug up the Rosetta Stone in the Egyptian village of Rosetta. With the same inscription written in three languages—hieroglyphic Egyptian, demotic Egyptian, and ancient Greek—the stone (now reposing in the British Museum) was vital in helping linguists decipher hieroglyphics. Here’s what it looks like (click to enlarge):

On this day in 1834, the Spanish Inquisition was disbanded after over 350 years. Nobody expected that!  Exactly four years later, Ralph Waldo Emerson gave an address at Harvard’s divinity school which, according to Wikipedia, discount[ed] Biblical miracles and declar[ed] Jesus a great man, but not God. The Protestant community reacts with outrage.”  And they’re still reacting that way, but get even more outraged if you maintain, as I do, that the evidence for a historical person on which Jesus was based is thin.  On this day in 2003, AOL Time Warner disbanded Netscape and established The Mozilla Foundation. Finally, exactly 12 years ago Twitter was launched, enabling everybody to weigh in on everything, launching innumerable and inconsequential internet battles, having a marginally positive effect on spreading non-fake news, and, most important, helping spread cat memes throughout the planet.

Notables born on July 15 include Inigo Jones (1573), Rembrandt (1606), Jean-Baptiste Charcot (1867), Iris Murdoch (1919), Robert Bruce Merrifield (1921; Nobel Laureate for devising a way to synthesize small proteins), Carl Woese (1928), Jacques Derrida (1930; much worse than Twitter), Jocelyn Bell Burnell (1943), Linda Rondstadt (1946), and Diane Kruger (1976). Those who expired on this day include General Tom Thumb (1883), Anton Chekhov (1904), Hermann Emil Fischer (1919; Nobel Laureate), and General John J. Pershing (1948).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is practicing obscurantism, but, as one might expect, it has something to do with food. Malgorzata explains:

Hili’s heard a new word “imponderables” and she liked it. She thought it means “important”, “indispensable”. You know cats: they have a mind of their own and Hili likes to brag about her superior intellect. So when Andrzej was supposed to go shopping she wanted to remind him about “imponderables”.

Hili: Let’s not forget about imponderables.
A: Which ones?
Hili: The most important ones.
A: Most important for whom?
Hili: For me.

In Polish:
Hili: Nie zapominajmy o imponderabiliach.
Ja: Których?
Hili: Tych najważniejszych.
Ja: Dla kogo najważniejszych?
Hili: Dla mnie.

A tweet from Grania, who notes something I missed in yesterday’s post. As she said, “A tweet pointing out an inconsistency in trans activism: either trans women are women or they are not. You can’t claim that they are for the purposes of bathroom usage and being assigned prisons and then claim they are a special “sui generis” class when it comes to being cast in a movie.”

Now Scarlet Johansson was to play a trans man before she was forced to resign from that role in the movie “Rub and Tug,” but the point is the same, because the same opporobrium would have come down on a cis male actor who wanted to play that role. You can’t say a trans man is both a “genuine man” and in a “special class of man.”

Also from Grania, an Official baby raven at the Tower of London:

Tweets from Matthew:

Wild pig and young. How many teats does that mom have?

Please be sure to watch this lovely story of a whale rescue. Who can say that the whale didn’t feel gratitude? As Matthew said, the world would be a better place if it had the Dodo Philosophy, and I agree:

Be sure to watch the beetle step delicately over moss:

This is a form of mimicry new to me: a beetle can reverse its elytra (wing covers) to become a bee mimic when necessary!

The tailless whip scorpion from yesterday lets its babies go:

A disturbing display in a bookstore:

I’d love an office like this!

The Trump protests continue in the UK, but do they do more than express outrage?

From Heather Hastie, an Egyptian tomb throne:

35 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili Dialogue

  1. Do the demonstrators in the U.K. do more than express outrage? I think they express whatever each individual out there wants to personally express. All of the demonstrators today in Helsinki are doing the same. There are environmental groups protesting, people protesting the immigration policies of Trump and everything under the sun. They demonstrated at the golf courses in Scotland as well. I’m guessing they dislike just about everything about the guy. He likes to generate the biggest audience. The embarrassment is to the people of the U.S.

    1. I think it is useful to express outrage at this man’s actions (though less effective to keep picking on his hairstyle), and these protests show local politicians (like T May) how widespread is the anti-Trump sentiment. With such popular disdain, maybe pandering politicians like May will think twice about accommodating his whims.

      1. That would be my feeling too.

        I would hate to think that *any* European politician would consider any demand or suggestion of tRump’s out of force of habit, simply because he’s POTUS and they’re accustomed to accommodating the (usually better grounded) requests of previous US administrations.


        1. I think it depends. If he demands or suggests something sensible, it should be considered. My country, a NATO member, currently allocates 1.5% of the budget for defense. We have accepted an obligation to make it 2% by 2024, and Trump reminds us of this in his boorish manner. Now, the same diehard communists who used to cry a river over our disbanded old Warsaw-Pact army and kept lamenting that “we no longer have an army”, now insist that it is absolutely unthinkable to extract that additional 0.5% and even if the money was available, it should be spent on pensions.

    2. People outside the US don’t have a vote in our elections, so it really doesn’t bother me at all if they want to express their outrage in the only way they can. I’m more critical of American liberals’ virtue signaling because it is emphatically NOT the only thing they could be doing and is notable far less effective than the alternatives.

      1. Am I to interpret your remark to mean that you consider demonstrations against Trump, here and overseas, to be just so much “virtue signaling, as “Dave” characterized them yesterday in the “Hili Dialogues”? I don’t.
        I second Randall Schenck’s comment in that thread in yesterday’s Hili Dialogues: “thanks to all the people of the U.K. for their demonstrations yesterday.” And as he points out at the beginning of this thread, the demonstrators have varied motives; and just because they can’t vote in our elections, they have a vested interest in his fate as US President, because he’s not just destroying the US, but the entire world and environment.

        And since you declare that demonstrating is “emphatically NOT the only thing they [virtue-signaling American liberals] could do, just what do you think they should do? And are all demonstrations “virtue-signaling in esse?

        1. That’s a lot of question begging.

          No, I do not think that demonstrations are inherently fruitless virtue signaling, but if hypothetically someone were to spend hundreds of dollars on constructing a giant Trump baby balloon in the US, I wouldn’t be able to help but think that money could have been better spent on getting out the vote or challenging Republican gerrymandering. But I don’t really care if UK citizens do it.

          I’m operating on Bill Maher’s wavelength: Anything we do that doesn’t win us elections is so much pissing in the wind.

            1. I fail to see how these protests are any different from Jerry Coyne’s protests against the Vietnam war, and why in this case they’re just ‘pissing in the wind’ whereas back then they were worthwhile and valid. There were plenty of people in support of the Vietnam war back then, so it can’t be on the grounds that protests are divisive and just alienate Trump supporters.

              It’s always the apologetic approach of those who disagree with the side that’s protesting to claim they’re pointless – but they’re not though are they? They demonstrate just how much opposition there is worldwide to this revolting little man and his revolting, moronic, deeply pernicious views. If I had been in London I’d have been there in a second.

        2. And why is it assumed that demonstration is the only thing these people are doing? They’re necessarily going to be the most politically engaged members of society – the fact that they turned up is testament to that – so to characterise them all as feckless middle-class dilettantes is just fatuous.

          There’s a nasty edge to some of the comments about the protesters that emanates imo from the fact that they’ve done absolutely nothing that anyone reasonable could criticise them for.
          They’ve been peaceful and well-behaved, infuriatingly so for their critics, so the last defensive manoeuvre is to call them ‘middle-class liberals’ or ‘spoilt children’ and say that ‘well of course they have every right, but it’s just so pointless, and they’re clearly just turning up because there’s a Waitrose nearby’.

          If Trump Derangement Syndrome is a thing then there should be an equivalent acronymal term for the habit of previously reasonable centrist liberals to hate the illiberal-left so much that they end up supporting their enemies, regardless of how odious those enemies are.

      2. If X is not the only thing we could be doing, or the most effective thing we could be doing, to achieve Y, this does not imply that X is a waste of time.

  2. Glad to see Bruce Merrifield mentioned in the milestones! On the other side, and coindidentally, yesterday the remembrance of Black Jack chewing gum brought the thought that maybe it was named for Black Jack Pershing (along the lines of Baby Ruth candy bars). Turns out it wasn’t, but the gum itself does have a connection to another personage. If you don’t already know who that was, where he was living at the time is equally astonishing.

    1. The Baby Ruth candy bar was named ostensibly for president Grover Cleveland’s daughter Ruth. The ill-fated and short-lived Reggie Bar, however, was named for erstwhile Yankee Reggie Jackson. 🙂

  3. There’s another final coming off, Wimbledon. Which some of us would rate as more interesting than soccer. Ymmv, obviously.

    In the ladies, last night Angelique Kerber of Germany defeated Serena in the final. Serena will just have to wait another year to take her eigth Wimbledon, still, she did remarkably well to reach the final so soon after her return to tennis. It would have been nice if she’d made it, but I was pleased for Angelique Kerber, taking her first Wimbledon win.

    After the massacre of the top seeds in the earlier rounds, there seem to be plenty of very talented 20-somethings coming through, tennis is in good hands.


    1. I was little bit surprised (positively) that Angelique Kerber won Wimbledon. Although I am a German, was my bet on Serena Williams. Luckily, I was wrong. 🙂
      Fun facts:
      1) It was Angelique Kerber’s third Grand Slam title after the Australian and US Open 2016.
      2) She is only the forth German Wimbledon winner after Steffi Graf, Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

    2. Between the Wimbledon final and the World Cup final, there was no question of which one I was going to watch. Very happy for Novak; it’s great to see him back on top. It’s unfortunate that Anderson wasn’t able to play his best tennis because of all the hours he had to play in previous two rounds, but man was his fight impressive. He just refused to give up.

  4. GO, C R O A T I A ! = within the red and white checkerboard !

    In central USA, one can view Final
    on one’s FOX – channel.

    N O W !


    1. It is raining in Russia; and, I too, am crying.

      It is okay, though. Two lovely teams’ worth of men.


  5. Those bats live in the Waugh Drive Bat Colony:

    From 1984 to 2002, I resided in the neighborhood where the bats live. I used to drive over the bridge which is their home on a daily basis.

    My accountant’s office is about a quarter mile north of the colony. But I have never heard of bats hanging on the side of her building. I’ll ask her next time I see her.

    The colony was severely flooded last year after Harvey. There were numerous reports of bats hanging on the side of buildings at that time.

  6. I don’t know the scientific paper Heinrich published in 2012, as mentioned in the tw**t, but he did mention it in his most recent book, “A Naturalist At Large: The Best Esays of Bernd Heinrich” in “Cooperative Undertaking: Teaming with Mites”, (from Natural History, May 2017) which discusses the cooperative relatioship between Necrophorus tomentosus (Sexton) beetles and mites that use them as transport to new carcasses. The mites eat fly larvae, which if they were not eaten would consume the dead animal that the Sexton beetle uses for food for its own young.

  7. Re “On this day in 1834, the Spanish Inquisition was disbanded after over 350 years. Nobody expected that!” And that left the Roman Inquisition to continue on over the next 150-160 years.

    On Sun, Jul 15, 2018 at 6:46 AM, Why Evolution Is True wrote:

    > whyevolutionistrue posted: “It’s Ceiling Cat’s Day: Sunday, July 15 in the > Year of Our Ceiling Cat 2018. And, for crying out loud, it’s National Gummy > Worms Day, an execrable comestible if ever there was one. But most > important, it’s the World Cup Final, with France playing Croatia ” >

  8. Really liked the mama Wild Hog and family reunion! At first I thought she was fleeing a predator, but apparently the speed help create the easiest path. (And to show the need for speed.)

  9. … they’re still reacting that way, but get even more outraged if you maintain, as I do, if you maintain, as I do, that the evidence for a historical person on which Jesus was based is thin.

    I’d maintain there is no evidence whatsoever.

  10. Emerson actually argues that classical religious belief undermines our best moral and “spiritual” impulses.
    My favorite line is
    “But the very word Miracle, as pronounced by Christian churches, gives a false impression; it is Monster. It is not one with the blowing clover and the falling rain.”

    1. I looked it up in Collins & it’s as you say

      As an aside: There was a note at the bottom that “dialogue” has come to mean a convo between two people when it ‘should’ mean a conversation involving any number. The ‘correct’ word for two peeps in convo is duologue

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