Friday: Hili dialogue

July 20, 2018 • 6:30 am

It’s Friday, July 20, 2018, and National Lollipop Day (some Americans call them “suckers”). It’s also International Chess Day, celebrating the day that the International Chess Federation (the pusillanimous FIDE) was founded 94 years ago.

Things happening on this day: In 1807, according to Wikipedia, “Nicéphore Niépce is awarded a patent by Napoleon for the Pyréolophore, the world’s first internal combustion engine, after it successfully powered a boat upstream on the river Saône in France.” In 1848, after only two days, the Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention ended in New York. You’d think they would have required a lot more than two days to discuss the inequities and what to do about them! On this day in 1903, the Ford Motor Company shipped its first automobile from Detroit. The proud owner was Ernest Pfennig, a Chicago dentist, who, on July 23, received a Model A that looked like this:

On July 20, 1944, German Army Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg and his co-conspirators tried, unsuccessfully, to assassinate Adolf Hitler by putting a bomb in the Führer’s field headquarters. More than 7000 people were arrested after this attempt, and nearly 5,000 executed, including von Stauffenberg and Erwin Rommel, who was forced to commit suicide even though he might not have even been part of the plot.  On this day in 1960, Ceylon elected Sirimavo Bandaranaike its Prime Minister, making her the world’s first elected female head of government.

And who can forget this day in 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon. Here’s the famous film from that Apollo 11 landing when the first human foot stepped on another celestial body (I was watching on television, a callow youth of 19):

On July 20, 1973, Bruce Lee died at age 32 from brain edema.  Exactly three years later, the American Viking 1 probe successfully landed on Mars. It was active for 2307 days: over six years. On this day in 2005, same-sex marriage was legalized in Canada. Finally, exactly one year ago today, O. J. Simpson got parole, released from prison after serving only 9 years of a 33 year sentence.

Notables born on July 20 include Petrarch (1304), painter and photographer László Moholy-Nagy, (1895), Edmund Hillary (1919), Cormac McCarthy (1933), Natalie Wood (1938), Carlos Santana (1947) and Sandra Oh (1971). Those who passed on on this day include Bernhard Riemann (1866), Pancho Villa (1923), Bruce Lee (1973; see above), Lucian Freud (2011), and Theodore Bikel (2015). Here’s a nice self portrait by Lucian Freud, one of the few modern painters (i.e., working after 1950) I like:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is scornful of humanity. Malgorzata explains: “Do you approve human conduct in almost every field? Hili doesn’t and she thinks they should know better. Andrzej is of the same opinion.”

Hili: Humans should know better.
A: I think so too.
In Polish:
Hili: Ludzie powinni wiedzieć lepiej.
Ja: Też tak myślę.

Tweets from Heather Hastie, with this one a bizarrely shaped treehopper that has clearly evolved to mimic an ant. The ant “sculpture” emanates from its head and thorax:

Here’s a lovely woman who rescues bats; be sure to put the sound on:

A gaggle of goats jump over a chasm. The adults seem to do it effortlessly:

Look at this thing! How can it even be alive?

Bengal cat family. Some day one like these will be mine. . .

A rabbit who consumes mass quantities:

And a budding romance between a woman and a white tiger:

From Matthew, we have several tweets, including this one giving yet another paper with no evidence of “epigenetic inheritance” of stress-induced changes in DNA:

The marvels of sexual selection:

God, in danger of being expelled as Chief Deity, tenders an apology:

More evidence of Matthew’s love of nightjars. Look at that chick!

Can you guess the two novels alluded to in the following tweet?

What aliens might think if they looked at the “universal contact plaque” upside down (this was partly designed by Carl Sagan):

Damselfly with really spiffy boots!

And a weird geological formation that I’d love to see in person:

Finally, an Off the Mark cartoon by Mark Parisi, sent by reader Diane G. It’s a clever and foolproof method for keeping d*gs off the Internet:



26 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. Related to the “universal contact plaque” I used to feel embarrassed that we blasted a mix tape on a phonograph album into space. But now.. now I’m sure the aliens will say: “Whoa, check it out! These creatures have gone back to vinyl. Clearly they are civilized. We shouldn’t eat them.”

  2. The model A, a real collector’s item.
    I watched the moon landing in the day room in the barracks at RAF Lakenheath.

    1. I listened on the radio from Lai Khe, Vietnam while with Alpha Company, 227th Assualt Helicopter Battalion, 1st Calvary Division.

      One wag asked if they took fire while landing.

  3. >>Apollo 11 landing

    I was fortunate to be in the USA on that glorious and memorable day.

    I also remember the papers the next day. Volkswagen had taken a centre-spread ad in all of the papers I read. Under a picture of the Lunar Module, it simply said, “It’s ugly, but it gets you there.” There is no other car ad I remember from that year(or any other).


    1. The Third Policeman is one of my favourite books of all-time. It’s completely mind-blowing.

    2. The Third Policeman and The Poor Mouth (aka An Béal Bocht in the original Irish), I think.
      The Poor Mouth one depends on pronouncing “paw” & “poor” more or less the same, which might work better for Bostonians than most? Doesn’t work well for this Dubliner in any case.

      1. Yep, you’re probably right. I interpreted the first emoji as bird footprints and that, together with the female lips, gave me two birds, “bird” being British/Irish slang for a young woman. What the hell was I thinking!

  4. Here in London I sat up most of the night with my heavily pregnant wife to watch the Moon landing. It seemed something close to a miracle. Such courage. Armstrong and Aldrin had the right stuff by the bucket load. Collins too of course.

    1. I did a presentation on Freud in my Art History class two years ago. When showing the images of Leigh Bowery, Benefits Supervisor Sleeping and others, I suggested we think of the artist approaching flesh as a landscape. That approach gave me a fresh perspective – and several others agreed.

      1. An interesting perspective. Freud is so honest, paints what he sees, warts and all. Rembrandt did the same.

  5. O ! in re “I was watching on television,” as
    was I ! I can still in my brain’s neuron
    see that black and white – screen’s worth of The Walk !

    And with two fully paid for – tickets in tow,
    I was also getting readied that / this day
    some 49 years ago … … for thumbing it
    over the very next month to Mr Yasgur’s Bethel acreage
    and … … Woodstock !

    What a summertime y1969’s was !


    1. So you made it to Woodstock in 69 and I made it to the Isle of Wight Festival a bit later in 70. Between us we covered the two largest outdoor music events in history. It is stated that as many as 600,000 made it to the Isle festival but I was not counting.

      1. We did DO that, didn’t we, Randall ? !

        My three Boys, when they introduce their mama
        to their friends ? Well, I have done a few
        other things within my life; actually I have.

        But. When those three, since they were wee and
        who are now all within their late 30s and
        two into their 40s, one of whom was born on 15 August, ie, nine years to its first day later ?!

        I only .ever. get introduced as,
        “And this is our mother, Blue.
        She was at Woodstock.”

        The ensuing conversation goes
        … … from there on.


Leave a Reply