Saturday: Hili dialogue

July 21, 2018 • 6:30 am

July is waning, and it’s Saturday, July 21, 2018, and we’re back at National Creme Brulee Day, a dessert I find not only insubstantial, but vastly overrated.

Breaking news from the BBC (h/t Kevin; click on screenshot). Remember this next time you hear all police dismissed as fascists or pigs:

On this day in 356 BC, The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World (can you name the others?), was destroyed by an arsonist who set fire to the building’s roof beams. He was put to death.  It was located near what is now Izmir, Turkey. What did it look like? here’s a model of the temple in a park in Istanbul:

On this day in 1861, in the first major battle of the American Civil War, the Confederates licked the Union at the First Battle of Bull run at Manassas Junction, Virginia. Northerners, who thought the war would be over in a matter of days, were taken aback, and of course the war lasted four more years. In the main square of Springfield Missouri on July 21, 1865, Wild Bill Hickock shot and killed Davis Tutt in what is seen as the first “showdown” in the Old West. The duel was over Tutt’s wearing in public a gold watch he’d won from Hickock in a pocker game. On this day in 1873, in Adair, Iowa, the first successful train robbery in the Old West took place, with Jesse James and his gang lifting $2,337 from the safe in a baggage car. On July 21, 1904, according to Wikipedia, “Louis Rigolly, a Frenchman, becomes the first man to break the 100 mph (161 km/h) barrier on land. He drove a 15-liter Gobron-Brillié in Ostend, Belgium.”

Here’s Rigolly and his record-breaking car:

A day in the history of evolutionary biology: on July 21, 1925, in the “Monkey Trial” in Dayton, Tennessee, John Scopes was convicted of teaching evolution in a high-school biology class. He was fined $100, though the conviction was later overturned because the judge rather than the jury levied the fine. Another speed record was set on this day in 1925: Malcolm Campbell, driving at Pendine Sands in Wales, became the first man to exceed 150 mp in a vehicle on land. His car was a Sunbeam 350HP, and here he is with the car:

On this day in 1944, shortly after the unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Hitler, Claus von Stauffenberg and his co-conspirators were executed by a firing squad in Berlin. You can see a re-enactment of the execution from the movie “Valkyrie” here.

And if you count Greenwich mean time (now UTC), today was the day on which Neil Armstrong became the first person on the moon (it was viewed the evening of July 20 in the US). Here’s a relevant tweet:

On Juy 21, 1983, the world’s lowest recorded temperature in an inhabited spot was marked at Vostok Station, Antarctica. It was a cool −89.2 °C, or −128.6 °F. Finally, on this day in 2012, the Turkish-American Erden Eruç finished the world’s first the first solo human-powered circumnavigation of the world. It took him, using bicyles, rowboats, and his feet, 5 years, 11 days, 12 hours, and 22 minutes. Read about it at the link to his name.

Notables born on this day include Ernest Hemingway (1899), Marshall McLuhan (1911), Isaac Stern (1920), Don Knotts (1924), Janet Reno (1938), Cat Stevens (1948; now named Yusuf Islam), Robin Williams (1951), and Juno Temple (1989). Those who joined the choir invisible on July 21 include The Great Agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll (1899), Claus von Stauffenberg (1944; see above), Basil Rathbone (1967), E. B. Lewis (Nobel Laureate; 2004), and E. L. Doctorow (2015).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is doing ornithology, which in this case is NOT useful to birds:

Hili: Notice the astonishing feathers of this bird.
A: This is a little ringed plover.
Hili: I haven’t eaten one yet.
In Polish:
Hili: Zwróć uwage na zdumiewające upierzenie tego ptaszka.
Ja: To siweczka rzeczna.
Hili: Nie jadłam.

A tweet contributed by reader Gethyn:

And some tweets from Grania. A thirsty frog takes a bath:

This is indeed true; see the tweet right below it to find out how the trolling was done:

If you want to read how this trolling was done, go here.

Another miracle of Jebus:

I know the song is from “Saturday Night Fever”, but I’m not familiar with “Blackadder”:

Tweets from Matthew, and I HIGHLY recommend you read the thread:

Start the “bad penguin” thread with this tweet:

Amazingly, Utrecht has torn down freeways to make waterways. Have a gander:

And a video about the restoration of canals:

Well, here’s a rare photo!

A lovely picture of Neptune. It’s BLUE!

A giant ammonite. Matthew says: “Go to Paris and see this.” It’s in the Natural History Museum, of course.

Ceci n’est pas un chien. What animal is this below? Go to the link to find out.

Tick cakes!

Matthew is somewhat of a socialist, and calls these items to our attention:

Finally a baby European water vole (Arvicola amphibius). Video and sound on, please:

65 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. In chronological order the seven ancient wonders are: The Great Pyramid of Khufu, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, The Temple of Artemis (mentioned in this piece), The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (the original mausoleum – the tomb of King Mausolus), The Lighthouse of Alexandria and The Colossus of Rhodes – and I no I did not have to look this little lot up.

      1. Yes, as a child we learned them by heart, and that the pyramids were the only ones left. Brings me straight back to my childhood!

        1. Well, the pyramids are in Egypt, not far from Cairo, the Artemis temple was in Ephesus, near Izmir in ‘Asia’, now Turkey (as our host mentioned), the hanging gardens of Babylon (if they existed) in Babylon, near Bagdad in present day Iraq, The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus would now be in Bodrum, also in ‘Asia’, now Turkey, The statue of Zeus in Olympia, now Olympia in Greece, The lighthouse of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egyptian coast, and the Colossus of Rhodos in Rhodos, island in the Eastern Mediterranean.

          There is also “the seven wonders of the modern world”, although there are some one could take issue with:
          -Chichén Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.
          – The Christ the Redeemer Statue, Rio, Brazil.
          – The Colosseum, Rome, Italy.
          – The Taj Mahal, Agra, India.
          – The Great Wall of China.
          – the carved city of Petra, south west Jordan.
          – Machu Picchu, high in the Andes mountains, Peru.

  2. The article about Bezos reminds me of Andrew Carnegie, the steel tycoon and one of America’s richest men in the 19th-century. After making a fortune, he spent most of the rest of his life giving it away to schools, libraries etc. When he was asked why, if he was so generous, he didn’t share his wealth with his employees by giving them raises, he said that they’d just waste it.

  3. I visited Izmir, Turkey and the region around it many years ago but not quite 356BC, so I did not see the temple. One of those awful NATO things the president does not care much for. Also toured the Ephesus not far from Izmir.

    1. Damn, Erwin beat me to it.

      This is what happens when you post a comment without refreshing the page first.


      1. I woulda posted the comment if no one else had! 🙂

        “Catsitting for a bud and this angry little land bat won’t stop SHOUTING AT ME”

        I have a big orange kitty that I’ve threatened to have officially renamed “Relentless Meow.”

  4. Apropos the Aylesbury duck story, I should explain that southern England is currently suffering its longest period of hot and dry weather since 1976. We haven’t had significant rainfall since early June. The Guardian reported today (Saturday) that the company which supplies drinking water to much of north-west England has asked permission to start drawing water from lakes in the Lake District, including Lake Windermere, because its reservoirs are running low.

    Also in northern England, a 55-mile section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal is to be closed to boats because there’s not enough water left in the summit-level reservoirs to replenish water lost when locks are emptied. This is a very popular waterway with leisure boaters, and I cannot recall a similar closure.

  5. Blackadder was a four-series British historical comedy with Rowan Atkinson as Edmund Blackadder, a scheming but unsuccessful courtier. Each series was set in a different historical period.

    His manservant Baldrick had, as I recall, an obsession with turnips (among other things).


      1. Blackadder was da best, especially Baldrick with his cunning plans and his lack of irony (he did, however, have goldy and silvery…)

        1. The name Blackadder was shared with the senior BBC doctor who was not amused and tried to get the show re-named. No luck.

        2. Blackadder was definitely “da best” and now that I know I can find the show on Youtube, I can get my fix whenever the jones hits.

          1. Sadly, the episodes on Youtube are, like many such shows, not all available and often the picture has been cropped or otherwise deteriorated, possibly for some obscure reason to do with copyright.

            There seem to be a fair few used DVD sets on Ebay or Amazon for a reasonable price, though.


        1. Ah, so they noticed it. Bugger.

          Also, a bit stupid of them. I would have thought it to their advantage to leave a few episodes up in the hope of attracting people to buy the whole series.


      1. I never saw House so remember Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster with Stephen Fry as the best Jeeves ever

        1. Saw Stephen Fry live last week in Niagara-on-the-Lake doing one of his one-man Mythos trilogy. Delightful as always. Hugh Laurie played many wonderfully feckless roles in Blackadder😻

      2. Fry, of course, wrote the best poetry guide ever (“The Ode Less Travelled”) as well as many other books, but not many people know Laurie as a thriller writer: I recommend “The Gun Seller”.

        Baldric was played by the great Tony Robinson, whose (uncredited) eyes were featured in a Hili dialogue a few days ago…

  6. That ‘dog’ in the snow – I think you can tell from the ears in the photo that it’s a kitteh.


  7. Wild Bill Hickock shot and killed Davis Tutt in what is seen as the first “showdown” in the Old West. The duel was over Tutt’s wearing in public a gold watch he’d won from Hickock in a pocker [sic] game.

    Wild Bill got a similar comeuppance himself, at poker table in Deadwood, Dakota, but to the back of the head, while holding Aces & Eights — known to this day as “the Dead Man’s hand.”

  8. Re: Cat Stevens (1948; now named Yusuf Islam)
    (and originally Steven Demetre Georgiou)

    I recently learned that in his heyday even Salman Rushdie (in his early 20s in the early 1970s) was something of a fan of CS, owning a treasured copy of “Tea for the Tillerman”, so Cat Stevens ambiguous (i.e. slippery) remarks about the “Satanic Verses” related fatwa must have been especially painful.

    Cat Steven’s earliest stuff from when he had short hair and no beard is almost unknown in the USA.
    In many videos from that period, he strikes me as sullen, and he has one especially disturbing song from that era “I’m Going to Get Me a Gun”. His 1969 bout of tuberculosis was the first of two near-death experiences which motivated him to radically transform his identity. Then he become the “Tea for the Tillerman” Cat Stevens. 8 years later his near-drowning shifted him towards Islam.

    I kinda liked the first of his two transformations more.

      1. Gee, I’m agreeing again, and tonight I’m going to sit down with a nice, “simple, well-made flan” (don’t have time to fuss with the Brûlée part) while I watch an episode of Blackadder. It will be a delicious evening.

  9. About that Utrecht freeway-to-waterway, that was the most disturbing thing I saw in Belgium, while being shown around by a local, was informed that the street we were standing next to was actually a river at one time but because it became so polluted the citizenry chose to cover it over rather than clean it up and thus it became a sewer with a roadway on top. I never thought that anyone would reverse such a move but I’m thrilled beyond belief to see somebody has!

    1. That is not at all unusual in cities, particularly in times before the 20th century. Towns grew up around streams. As the town grew, and before modern sanitation, everything drained into the stream, which eventually became so polluted it was either covered over or piped and became a sewer.

      Check out e.g. the ‘Fleet sewer’ in London.


  10. Great pix of Neptune. My father invented adaptive optics and always held that it would beat or exceed space-based resolution. Looks like this multi-guidestar approach proves that right.

  11. RE: “Breaking news from the BBC (h/t Kevin; click on screenshot). Remember this next time you hear all police dismissed as fascists or pigs”

    Wish they would display such empathy for people of color…

  12. The Google Image trolling was priceless!

    Matthew is somewhat of a socialist, and calls these items to our attention:

    An anecdote. Even if we look at the Gini index spread, the modern scarcity of the tenting workers is because the process takes down poverty.

    Though socialism has its uses because the index spread has problematic effects (not including tenting). I just wish the analysis was serious.

  13. I’ve always been fascinated by Ammonites- esp. the giant ones as in the tweet. Alas, they went the way of the dinosaurs by the same K-T extinction event.

    Idiot- made my day, thanks for that.

  14. That Virgin Mary statue:

    Catholic Church officials do not seem so much concerned with why the statue of the Virgin Mary appears to be crying oily tears or where the tears may be coming from — God, Satan or man — but, Winder said, the diocese is monitoring the response from the community. “That, in all honesty, is what’s most important — that it’s prompted people maybe to be closer to God,” the deacon said. “That’s what really matters.”

    Translation: We don’t care about the truth, we just want more followers.

    “If it’s not man-made,” he said, “that leaves two possible sources — Satan and God. All we can say at this point is what it is not.”

    “It’s definitely not an accident!”

  15. “On July 21, 1904, according to Wikipedia, “Louis Rigolly, a Frenchman, becomes the first man to break the 100 mph (161 km/h) barrier on land.”

    I wonder what the over all speed record was and how it was made? It isn’t as if there were fast airplanes at the time!

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