Sunday: Hili dialogue

July 22, 2018 • 6:45 am

It’s Ceiling Cat’s Day: Sunday, July 22, 2018, and National Penuche Day. What is penuche? It’s a fudge-like candy made without chocolate but with brown sugar, butter, and milk. I’d eat it. It’s also Pi Approximation Day, which, according to Wikipedia, is observed on July 22 (22/7 in the day/month format), since the fraction 22/7 is a common approximation of π, which is accurate to two decimal places and dates from Archimedes.”

On July 22, 1298, William Wallace and his Scotsmen were defeated by the forces of King Edward 1 of England in the Battle of Falkirk.  In 1793, Alexander MacKenzie, reaching the Pacific Ocean, became the first known person to completely traverse North America. This preceded the journey of Lewis and Clark by twelve years.  On July 22, 1793, during the Battle of Santa Cruze de Tenerife, Admiral Nelson was wounded, leading to the amputation of his arm. 96 years later, again according to Wikipedia, “Katharine Lee Bates writes America the Beautiful after admiring the view from the top of Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs, Colorado. If you’re not an American (we all know the song), here’s a Ray Charles version:

On July 22, 1942, the deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto began. You know where they went. Finally on July 22, 2011, there were two terror attacks in Norway committed by  Anders Behring Breivik: the first a bomb attack in Oslo that killed 8 people and injured 209. In the second, Breivik attacked a youth camp on the island of Utøya, killing 69. He’s serving 21 years in prison, the maximum sentence in Norway, but that can be extended by five-year increments if he’s found (as is likely) to be unsuitable for release.

Notables born on this day include the Nobel Laureate and biochemist Selman Waksman (1888; my aunt worked for him as a secretary), Stephen Vincent Benét (1898), Bob Dole (1923; he’s 95 today), Tom Robbins (1932), Alex Trebek (1940), Peter Habeler (1942), Don Henley (1947), and Willem Dafoe (1955).  Those who died on July 22 include Flo Ziegfeld (1932), John Dillinger (1934; gunned down by The Law), Carl Sandburg (1967) and Illinois Jacquet (2004).

Don Henley, of course, did many great songs with the Eagles, but this solo song, about a man remembering his wild youth, especially resonates with this aging professor. “Boys of Summer” was released in 1984. It’s a great example of good ’80s rock:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili professes a general anxiety, but I suspect she’s worried about her food. Note that she’s especially cute today.

Hili: I’m more and more anxious.
A: About what?
Hili: About the future of the world.
In Polish:
Hili: Narasta we mnie niepokój.
Ja: Na jaki temat?
Hili: O przyszłość świata.

Here’s a tweet from Grania (once called “Miss Grania” by her South African students in KwaZulu-Natal):

Some tweets from Matthew, the first showing an otter teaching its unwilling babies to swim:

I believe these are prairie dogs, with one using ASL (animal sign language):

Learn your collective animal names. For cats it’s a “clowder”:

Lovely pictures of Saturn’s moon Titan, which has a diameter 40% that of Earth:

Now this would be something to see!

Hildegard Von Bingen was a German nun with a scientific bent, but also a visionary/spiritual one, both seen in this drawing of hers:

Look at that yawn!

An amazing species of Chinese drama:

A lovely bird (Ptilinopus porphyreus) from Indonesia:

I’m not a big cricket fan but I know we have fans reading here. Perhaps someone can identify this incident and the match:

A cat on a hot stone floor:

The fallout from Trump’s stupid statement continues:

Tweets from Heather Hastie; the problem of sleeping with cats:

This is truly bizarre:

Heather notes about this one: “I don’t care what USians seem to think of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. I think the former is great and I’ve never understood why the latter was lionized.” And yes, Carter is the very model of a modern ex-President.

49 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. I think Hili is watching too much news and should cut back. Not an expert on Cricket but I think it is an out. Ball caught off the bat before it touched the ground.

    1. The sad thing is that a careful observer of the news would have realized his greatness even at the time. But Americans are sitting ducks for exploitive nationalism, and Republicans have no shame about manipulating our jingoism. That’s why Reagan beat Carter.

      1. We in Eastern Europe, however, are happy about how the events turned. And I disagree that the photo is a credit to Carter. What I see is a very old, pompous man interfering with people busy with an actual work in order to advertise himself.

        1. No, he regularly helps out at Habitat for Humanity, with no publicizing of the work he does there, and he is not devoid of skills.

          He left the Baptist Church because of the way they treat women.

          He’s also the only one who managed a lasting peace treaty in the Middle East.

          And I don’t see how the Berlin Wall coming down should somehow count against Carter.

          Apart from the good Reagan did regarding his speech at the Berlin Wall etc., there’s little else about what he did that’s positive and a lot that’s negative. At the time, almost no one even noticed Reagan saying, “tear down this wall.” It was only really brought up 2.5 years later when it began to happen. Most historians don’t consider what Reagan said in that speech historically significant in relation to the events that followed.

          In fact, as I said in a post almost four years ago:
          “… Gorbachev of Russia was committed to the policies of Glasnost and perestroika, and was making his country into the most open and democratic state it had ever been. It can even be argued that if Reagan’s speech had been widely reported at the time, its war-mongering qualities would have made Gorbachev’s efforts more difficult as it would have lost him some support within Russia.”

          1. Absolutely agree with you re Carter and Reagan.
            Jimmy Carter is the US president I have the most respect for.

            And Gorbachev the Russian premier I have the most respect for.


  2. “It’s also Pi Approximation Day, […] since the fraction 22/7 is a common approximation of π, which is accurate to two decimal places and dates from Archimedes.”

    I like this. [thumb up] or whatever inadequate ASCII character combination is supposed to be a substitute for expression of a simple idea that takes way too many words. And I didn’t get coffee yet.


  3. Great Jamaican batter Chris Gayle takes a spectacular catch, with a distinct element of luck/chance, as well as good reflexes and a relaxed mindset. (The latter can be a mixed blessing, especially so in Gayle’s case!)

    The game seems to be some kind of training match or exhibition game in the Caribbean.

  4. I have no difficulty finding Americans who lionize President Carter, and who continue to hold disdain for Reagan. But of course these opinions will generally fall out among political lines.

    1. I’ve studied Hildegard Bingen, and she did a lot of amazing drawings, but I didn’t know about the one in this tweet.

      Yes was an amazing woman. She wrote music, wrote medical and scientific treatises, ran a huge monastery, all while suffering from some mysterious illness (probably a form of epilepsy) that gave her visions (which she drew) and sometimes saw her confined to bed for extended periods.

      She was the tenth of ten children and given to the Church as a child – a real life tithe!

  5. Kathy Bates wrote “America the Beautiful”? Is that before or after she smashed James Caan’s ankles with a sledgehammer?

  6. Can anyone explain why scientists (or maybe just the English language…?) developed a different word for a group of every damn animal? What is the point, exactly? If you say “a shiver of sharks” or “a gam of whales,” nobody has any idea what the hell you’re talking about, except for shark and whale scientists. One could just say “a group of sharks/whales” and lose absolutely nothing in the change.

    1. I don’t know the answer to this but here in England people make up collective nouns for the pure fun of it. Much as we do with rhyme slang.

      1. A flange of baboons is a notorious one, then there’s
        a pounce of cats
        a kindle of kittens
        a business of ferrets
        a romp of otters

  7. “A cat on a hot stone floor”

    Good title for a Tennessee Williams sequel about Maggie and Brick and those little no-neck monsters.

  8. Re: “Grania (once called “Miss Grania” by her South African students in KwaZulu-Natal).

    This construction seems to be fairly wide-spread in (at least) parts of Africa. In our favourite Kenyan hotel, I was addressed by the more junior hotel staff as “Mr Richard” and my late wife was “Mrs Sue”. It seems to be a rather charming mixture of respect and familiarity.

    1. I understand in Arabic contexts one uses “Mr. [given name]” as a way of showing admiration and respect.

      And the “Miss [given name]” is how we addressed some of my nursery school teachers. Don’t know why exactly.

  9. @ #10
    According to the wonderful book, An Exaltation of Larks
    by James Lipton, most of these collective nouns date to the 15th century, and were “terms of venery,” (the midieval word for the hunt). There were a number of lists published, the earliest surviving dating to 1450, which included common terms we know today, such as “a school of fish.” I can’t recommend this book highly enough, both for the history of such words and exhaustive lists of them.

  10. In other news Scandinavia is burning up. We have had the the warmest July in 260 years, no contest. Can you guess the cause?

    Literally burning up, yesterday we topped out at roughly a 100 large active fires – which is little compared to Norway’s 300 – making 0.03 % of Sweden on fire. I never thought I would compare the areas…

    Finland, bordering areas of Russia and UK has fires too. EU is helping out, and the by Trump much belittled NATO civilian help has been consulted. (Mostly US and Russian water bombing planes are too large to be useful due to long turnaround times, even more so with our smaller concentration of large airfields.)

    Breivik attacked a youth camp on the island of Utøya, killing 69

    I read today that active survivors from that political youth camp are still getting death threats. Oy vey.

  11. Bian Lian is best appreciated at a distance.
    If you see it up close, and are a good problem-solver, you might be able to figure out how it is accomplished (hint: the mask isn’t made of what you think it is).

    One of my magician friends, Julianna Chen (google her), does a multiple mask change as part of her act.

  12. “…the island of Utøya…”

    This is redundant, since “øy” is the Norwegian word for “island”, rendering the phrase as “…the island of Ut island…”

    1. Yeah…

      I shouldn’t be too concerned about the importance of this redundancy. There are 7 000 languages around the Globe. Finnish is full of names including “joki” (river) and “järvi” (lake). I live by the lake Pyhäjärvi (lake Sacred Lake if you want to make an issue of it).

        1. Up north (where Jesse Puljujärvi is from) “pulju” stands for “ridge” or “hill”. The lake in Kittilä resides on a ridge. Confusingly, here in southern Finland “pulju” is a slang word for “company” or “club”.

          1. Awesome. Thanks for the info.

            Glad to see someone else is a hockey fan 🙂 I imagine that’s much more common in Finland than here in the US, though. Probably not as exciting for you to meet fellow hockey fans.

  13. If one has been in the near vicinity of Canada geese on land, one does not fail to notice that the Canada geese have huge poop! Not kidding…

  14. The guy playing lead guitar on Boys of Summer? Steuart Smith, guitarist extraordinaire.

    He was the latest member added to the Eagles, before Glenn Frey died. Smith can play all the guitar licks from all the Eagles songs (and then some).

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