Wednesday: Hili dialogue

August 1, 2018 • 6:45 am

Well, we made it to August, as today is Wednesday, August 1, 2018. It’s also National Raspberry Cream Pie Day, celebrating a dessert I’ve never tasted. In England it’s Yorkshire Day, so I’m compelled by the laws of physics to show this classic Python clip:

News tweet from Grania re Trump and his most recent outrageous pronouncement. I am still amazed that this man is the leader of our nation. History will not, to put it mildly, judge him kindly.

And the response from a professor of political science at Pusan National University in Korea:

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 108th birthday of Gerda Taro (1 August 1910 – 26 July 1937), a German photographer famous for covering the Spanish Civil War. Her photo is below the Doodle. She died at only 26, killed in a tank/car collision in that war.


A photograrph Taro took in 1937 of two Republican soldiers next to a wall covered with Nationalist slogans. Read more about her at the BBC article about her life.

On this day in 527, Justinian I became the sole ruler of the Byzantine Empire. On August 1, 1774, the chemist Joseph Priestly (re)discovered oxygen gas, which had already been discovered by the German-Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele. On this day in 1800, the “Acts of Union 1800” were passed, merging the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Big trouble ensued.  But 34 years later to the day, slavery was abolished in the British Empire, three decades before it happened in the United States.  On August 1, 1893, Henry Perky patented shredded wheat. Here’s a Nestlé ad featuring the inventor. (By the way, try frying shredded wheat according to this video. Has anybody had that?)

On August 1, 1936, “Hitler’s Olympics” opened in Berlin. Eight years later, the Warsaw Uprising against the German occupation broke out in Poland. It failed miserably and thousands of Poles were killed, though the uprising—the biggest civilian rebellion against the Nazis—might have succeeded had the approaching Russians helped the resisters. Some historians think that Stalin held back the Red Army so that that Polish Resistance would be destroyed.  On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman, firing a rifle from a tower at the University of Texas, killed 16 people before he was killed by police On this day in 1971, the Concert for Bangladesh, organized by George Harrison, took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. There were actually two concerts on that day, both featuring Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan, as well as other rock luminaries. Exactly ten years later, MTV broadcast its first program in the U.S. Its first video? “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. Finally, this was the day in 2008 that 11 mountaineers died on K2 (the world’s second highest mountain)

Notables born on this day include biologist Jean-Baptiste de Larmarck (1744), now famous for his discredited theory of heredity but who had many other accomplishments. This tweet (h/t Matthew) celebrates his birthday.

Others born on this day include William Clark (1770; of Lewis and Clark fame), Francis Scott Key (1779), Herman Melville (1819, call him “Hermie”), mountaineer Eric Shipton (1907), Ramblin’ Jack Elliott (1931; still with us), zoologist W. D. Hamilton (1936, no longer with us), Yves Saint Laurent (1936), and Jerry Garcia (1942). Those who died on August 1 include Calamity Jane (1903), Theodore Roethke (1963), Tommy Makem (2007) and Cilla Black (2015).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is making sport of Cyrus as they return from walkies, for Cyrus can’t get through the gate unless it’s opened by Andrzej:

Hili: We don’t have to wait for him. Let’s go home.
Cyrus: Don’t be such a smarty pants.
In Polish:
Hili: Nie musimy na niego czekać, chodź, idziemy do domu.
Cyrus: Nie bądź taka mądra.
A tweet from Grania about yesterday’s National Orgasm Day in the U.S., U.K., and Australia:

Tweets from Matthew, the first showing beetles opening their elytra (wing cases) to fly:

This fact might surprise you. I am cutting back on my consumption of all meat, but I’m still a bit of a hypocrite. I do my best.

Read the heartwarming thread about the rescue of these two baby birds:

Kitty makes purring text:

If you want to see what this is a photograph of, click on the original tweet and then read the thread:

A lovely picture with a cryptic moth. I’m sure you can spot it, but it’s not bloody obvious:

A brave and tenacious beetle (read the thread after the tweet).

Tweets from Heather Hastie showing the New Zealand Department of Conservation’s new uniforms. Her cousin Lucy Ferguson, who works for the organization, is the first woman in the video.

I love orchid bees, which are obligatory pollinators of many orchid species. Look at the tongue on this bee, and at its colors!

An animated view of migration in four North American bird species.

A new method of firefighting. Maybe it can be used to somehow rescue those trapped in high-rises:

Have a butchers at this playful tiger!


65 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. So, to summarize,:
    There were no meetings, except those two in Trump Tower, and that third one I just remembered, and there was no collusion at any of them, apart from the asking Russians to hack our electoral system, which isn’t “secret” collusion as I did it in public during the primaries and at Helsinki, and if there was any collusion it doesnt matter because it isn’t illegal to commit crimes when I do it, and anyway collusion isn’t a crime, except when the Dems do it, and and and…look over there, a bear!
    (Sound of running feet into the distance)

  2. I once read that there was, and maybe still is a small coat-room in the chem dept at Stockholms University where someone wrote, “In this room Sheele discovered oxygen. When he left, he took it with him.

    And Weyerhauser owns land about equivalent of West Virginia. National Parks look about the size of Alabama.

    Also like the NZ uniforms. In grad school, I had an office with walls about that peach color, with a carpet about the same apple green.

  3. I saw that first broadcast by MTV of Video Killed The Radio Star. If I recall correctly, in the first set of videos on that first broadcast MTV also played what came to be a controversial video of Girls On Film by Duran Duran. The originally aired video was banned and later replaced by an edited version.

    I miss the MTV of those early years. They f*%&ing ruined it.

    1. August 1st 1981 Duran Duran didn’t appear on MTV, HERE’S THE LIST. I don’t think the raunchy version of the video ever appeared on MTV but I could easily be wrong, there was a ‘daytime’ version already available following the BBC ban of the naughty** original.

      I was surprised how thin the info is on early Duran Duran & I couldn’t determine date of first MTV video. They are a Brummie band [my home town] who I saw a few times at the Rum Runner in the period ’79 to ’81 when the New Romantic fad was taking hold in the UK . I think they changed singers once or twice & I found them humourlessly contrived*** – they were a very poor live band before they developed a collection of backing tapes etc to fill out the sound.

      ** naughty = pretty dull stuff
      *** contrived = took their ‘look’ & themselves very seriously, unlike say Adam & The Ants [brilliantly promoted band]

      1. I think I agree with you about Duran Duran being contrived and I’ve heard more than once that they aren’t the best live band. But there are 2 or 3 of their songs that I like for one reason or another. Girls On Film & Wild Boys.

        Damn, Adam Ant. Aside from remembering him for his Adam & The Ants era music and stage personae which I thoroughly enjoyed, starting for me with Kings Of The Wild Frontier, I’ve apparently stored the factoid that he was in the band that was the regular house band at the venue at which the Sex Pistols played their 1st show in permanent memory.

        1. Bazooka Joe’s bass player. Sex Pistol’s first gig was supporting BJ at St Martin’s [?] school of art in a common room environment. I don’t know BJ but I read they were a 50s revival group – Eddie Cochrane & the like I suppose.

        2. My wife ran into Mr. Ant at a music store in Seattle in the 90’s. She said he was the most charismatic person she had ever seen…except for me of course. 😉

  4. Regarding the How America uses it’s land, I suppose they have suggestions on how else areas such as the western half of Kansas, Nebraska, most of Wyoming, and eastern Colorado should be used? Assuming of course, that we all stopped eating meat globally.

    On the no collusion issue – death is not a crime either but murder is.

    1. When they write “range land/pasture”, much of it is open prairie grassland or semi desert. I would not say that it is specifically reserved for meat production. It just does not have much in the way of other commercial uses that do not involve bulldozers. We have quite a bit of that land around us, but it is wild land, full of herds of elk, bighorn sheep, and lots of other critters. We move some cows through that land a couple of times a year, and they do not seem to have any notable impact on the wildlife. Certainly less than herds of buffalo did in the old days.
      The other big one, land used for animal feed, is another that we have quite a bit of. In our case, that does mean grassland. 11 months of the year the only occupants are the previously mentioned elk and other wild critters. Then in the late summer, we cut, rake and bale. Almost all of the hay goes to states where drought conditions exist. I have personally gone to a lot of effort to encourage the growth of native grass species so that it is traditional tallgrass prairie. Cutting the hay every year substitutes for the periodic wildfires and giant herds of bison which used to keep it under control.
      The overall impression given by the article and graphics was that much land is wasted on livestock. I disagree. Commercial feedlots, where much of the horror occurs, and which we do not participate, take up very little space overall.

      1. Of course, livestock in feedlots do need to be fed something. Land dedicated to growing livestock feed needs to be included in the calculation.

        1. I believe they show that section on the map. A pretty good size itself. I guess my question was – if they had a better or alternative use for the western plains.

          I would point out that lots of the land that use to be part of those dry western plains has been changed by all the irrigation. Not sure any of that was helpful and we are pretty sure the water will run out.

          1. Only four little boxes, a million acres, would suffice to make the US energy use completely solar.
            I’m shocked at the huge area used for biofuels. A medieval concept.

  5. I don’t each much beef these days and haven’t for a good while. Mostly because it has become stupid expensive. Also because either I’ve gotten pickier over time or the quality of beef, particularly steaks, at grocery stores and the average restaurant has declined as the price has steadily gone up. Perhaps because prices have increased so much. It’s just not worth $10 to $18 a pound or $15 to $25 a plate, depending on the cut, for a piece of meat that I’m going to be disappointed in. For a good steak these days you have to spend serious money at a specialty store or higher end restaurant. I do still enjoy a good burger though.

    1. Possibly you are in an area where there are lots of grass feed beef. If so, that could account for the not so great taste/quality.

      1. I’m relatively ignorant about beef, but I thought grass fed was relatively rare in the US and valued as being better tasting? For example, there are small packages of fancy grass fed ground beef at the typical grocery store that are $8 to $10 per pound while regular ground chuck is $4.50 or so per pound.

        1. I believe you will find grass fed beef less tasty than corn fed. I cannot say the grass fed would be cheaper or more expensive, I do not do the shopping. A store might try the idea of putting higher prices on the leaner meat and claim better taste but I would doubt that. Here in Kansas where I currently live the meat is not nearly as good as in Iowa. Lots of grass fed beef down here.

          Regarding restaurants, many will except choice cuts and not go for better cuts like prime. That can also reduce the quality and taste.

          There is a reason they raise millions of cows out on the plains and then ship them back to places like Iowa to “finish” them (fatten them). It is about taste.

          1. I’m not sure about beef, but the Karoo lamb, fed (by more or less extensive husbandry) grasses and shrubs in semi desert conditions is of superior taste -and highly valued.

      2. I also thought grass-fed beef was supposed to taste better than corn-fed beef. I did a little search and the HuffPo did an informal taste test in which grass-fed came out on top:

        Other articles also point out that grass-fed beef is leaner and healthier.

        As I said, I haven’t done a taste test but I suspect I would like grass-fed better. I have never understood the whole “marbled with fat is better” theory. I used to go to a place called Ye Olde Steak House in Windsor, Ontario just across the river from Detroit. Their menu had both Canadian and US beef with a menu page devoted to each. I always preferred the Canadian beef as it was leaner and more flavorful.

        1. I did not and would not say that the grain fed is better for you. I simply say it taste better/has a better texture. The grass fed beef tends to be drier and chewier. However, you are welcome to get your advice and info from Huffington Post. I was getting mine from my experience and also, you can get it from the internet as well.

          1. You are certainly welcome to your own opinion. I just wanted to remind other readers that the issue is controversial.

            While I understand people have issues with HuffPo, with which I sometimes agree, surely your claim of “fake news” is misplaced in this case. Do you really think that they did their taste test and falsely reported its results? Or perhaps the whole thing was a lie and the article was merely click-bait for meat enthusiasts?

            1. It would be a good suggestion that you take a couple of deep ones in between your comments. You can remind other readers all you want without putting it on a reply to me. You also admitted that most of your knowledge on the issue was from articles like Huffpost. That is fine but of no interest to me. I hope you can understand this? Stop coming up with imagined thoughts that you point toward me that have no foundation. That last paragraph would be a good example.

              1. It would be a good suggestion to send me about ten packets of about kg of corn fed beef and ten packets of grass fed beef. Just mark them with numbers so the test will be blind.
                It should contain different cuts: filet, rib eye, sirloin, rump, mince, etc. I’ll do the blind tasting for free(!) and mail you the results. I’ll take care of the accompanying wine myself 🙂

              2. Let’s replay this for the rest. You claim that you don’t like grass-fed beef. I remind people that this is not the only opinion and your head explodes. You need to cool off, man!

                As far as my comments are concerned, why would I consider advice from you, a corn-fed beef lover?

              3. I just realized that perhaps you don’t understand commenting. When someone replies to your comment, the reply is not only to you. It is also to everyone else who is reading the thread. I assume you know that but your last response made me think you needed a reminder.

              4. Nicky do yourself a favor and order whatever meats you want from the various companies on line that would be glad to have your order. I am not in the business. And Paul, please go make up your imagined thoughts someplace else. Maybe Huff post has a job for you.

            2. Now come on Randall, you want a solution to this problem. I offered myself as a(completely uninterested 🙂 party to solve it for you two. Just send me the beef!

              1. 2 x 20kg is 40 kg! I’m willing to sacrifice myself for you and Paul. Where is the beef?

    2. The quality of steak has gone down significantly in the last few year, and especially, it seems to me, in the last two. I never know if a regular steak I buy at the supermarket will be good or chewy as a dog toy these days. I’ve started buying from my local butcher, and only buying Prime when I use the supermarket. It costs more, but I know I’m not going to end up disappointed that I bought steak that will make everybody’s jaws hurt.

      1. Which locale are you BJ? Is ‘prime’ the equivalent of ‘aged’ or ‘mature’? I enjoy a good ‘aged’ [prefer dry aged] steak & that I think accounts for the major part of the variance in texture & taste. A 21-day or 28-day sirloin steak from any of the UK supermarkets tastes very fine indeed without being outrageously priced**. I don’t eat by choice a cut of meat unless it’s at least 21-day though I’ve had offered & eaten ‘minute steaks’ which I think were only 3 days old. They were acceptable, but that’s because they’re cut very. very thin & flash fried.

        In the UK nearly all home bred beef is ‘forage fed’ – no grain or corn & “grass fed” is regarded as the healthy option environmentally. I don’t recall seeing grain/corn fed promoted in beef although it is in poultry.

        ** A Waitrose 21-day steak is around £6-£8/steak or say £30/kilo

  6. It seems that Trump tweeted Sessions to urge him to stop Mueller’s probe. His discomfort signals that Mueller does a good job, is it not?

    Perhaps August 1 will also be remembered as the first day of Trump’s fall? Good luck to you, Americans, there is hope.

    1. Yes, it’s like Trump wakes up today and forgets everything he thought he knew yesterday. Telling Sessions to stop Mueller is just wrong since Sessions was recused from the Russian investigation long ago. Also, continuing to call it a witch hunt is just stupid. He has lost it.

      1. Everybody trying to be fair understands that if Trump is really an innocent victim of a “witch-hunt”, he just has to let Mueller finish to investigate. If mUeller is strongly biased against him, it will show in the resulting report. (But, most probably, it is the conflicts of interest and abysmal arrogance of Trump that will be exposed in this report.)

        Lets see if Republicans will show backbones or deflate, like before, fearing trump’s fans opprobrium.

        1. I suggested Alzheimer’s with Mr Reagan at the time, during his presidency the early signs were there. Turned out to be correct later.
          When I suggested the same for Mr Trump it was pointed out to me (by people having much more knowledge of him than me) that he always has been as unhinged, erratic and attention deficient as now.

  7. In the name of correct attribution, I am compelled to remark that the Four Yorkshiremen sketch was written for the At Last the 1948 Show by that show’s cast (which included John Cleese and Graham Chapman).

    Many people think it’s a Python sketch and I remember searching for it in vain when I bought my copy of the complete Python scripts before finding out that it isn’t one.

  8. Re the “brave and tenacious beetle” and the instruction to “read the thread after the tweet.” I tried to, but I don’t find any English, it’s all in Japanese, so it’s Greek to me.

    1. Perhaps this is the place to note that Michael Palin’s archive, deposited at the British Library, is now being explored; and there seems to be a treasure-trove of unrealised TV sketches and scenes for the films (eg the Pink Knight, who never made it into “MP and The Holy Grail”).

      The Times is running features on the archive this week – behind a paywall, sadly. But there will be other explorers. This one will surely run and run!

    1. Cockney rhyme slang, this one is common in Britain after long usage. Butcher’s – Butcher’s hook – look.

      1. A butcher’s hook is one of those double pointed S hooks seen in butcher’s shops. Now mostly use to hold ‘slingers’, or ‘bangers’ as they’re better known. (Here to help.)

            1. Professor Ceiling Cat uses a surprising amount of British expressions. His international English vocab is vast.

  9. “On this day in 527, Justinian I became the sole ruler of the Byzantine Empire. On August 1, 1774, the chemist Joseph Priestly (re)discovered oxygen gas, which had already been discovered by the German-Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele.”

    I first saw the “I became the sole ruler” without the first part of that sentence, and I thought for a half second: “now *that’s* an unexpected career move”.

    As for the discovery of oxygen, it is very complicated. What counts? If it involves the recognition that one has a new element or the like, then *Lavoisier* is the guy. Otherwise it is Scheele. If investigating the properties is needed, then some part of Priestly might get due credit.

    Priestly was never even convinced by Lavoisier’s arguments. This is often presented as a Kuhnian style incommensurability, but as far as I can tell it was just stubbornness – and Lavoisier himself started out unsure what he’d found. He had to convince himself that properties like (what we’d now call) molecular mass were relevant.

  10. Cows certainly take up a lot of land. Perhaps we should switch to goats and sheep? Good lamb is hard to get in the US.

  11. I think the first discoverer of Oxygen was Cornelius Drebbel, well before Scheele and Priestly. In 1620-24 he developed several wooden ‘submarines’, and used bottles of ‘essential’ to refresh the air. One trip is reputed to have lasted 3 hours under the water of the river Thames!
    The last, but completely acceptable (free of Priestly’s ideas about ‘Phlogiston’) in modern terms ‘discoverer of Oxygen’ was Lavoisier, he determined that fire and metabolism both used oxygen the same way.

  12. Raspberry cream pie – I usually have it once a year in Northern Indiana, and it is delightful. JAC – give it a try 🙂

    Also, grass feeding beef in Argentina is an art and a science – and the beef is the best! Of course, that’s an opinion.

        1. Unfortunately, much of the beef in Argentina is now raised in feed lots.

          USA agricultural policy is based on maize production which is why there is so much corn-fed beef. Even Australia finishes some beef production with corn-feeding because it allows the animals to put on a lot of weight in a short time.

          It’s obviously only an opinion, but mine is that animals that have had to work for a living – chewing the cud – develop better muscle structure which results in a more flavourful product. We tend to purchase only New Zealand grass-fed beef (living in Singapore). And dry-aging makes it even better!

          Mention was made earlier of Karoo lamb (South Africa). Those animals have to work very hard for their living on marginal land. The resulting taste is superb. When I lived in Argentina, one of the top chefs told me he thought Argentine lamb raised in conditions similar to the Karoo was the country’s finest meat.

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