Wednesday: Hili dialogue

May 15, 2019 • 6:47 am

We’ve reached the Ides of May: Wednesday, May 15, 2019. It’s National Chocolate Chip Day, but of course you don’t eat them on your own (unless you’re stoned). It’s also International Conscientious Objectors Day, which I’ll celebrate because I was one.

The big news is of course the odious Alabama abortion bill, but we’ll get to that soon. In the meantime, Matthew calls to our attention the birthday of geneticist Mary Lyon, who discovered X-chromosome inactivation in mammals (including us, of course), which explains the patterns of calico and tortoiseshell cats in the picture below.

On this day in 1536, Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, was tried and convicted of treason, adultery, and incest. She was condemned to death and executed on May 19. In 1618, Kepler confirmed the third law of planetary motion (which he’d previously rejected): “The square of the orbital period of a planet is directly proportional to the cube of the semi-major axis of its orbit.” Got that?

On May 15, 1648, the Treaty of Westphalia was signed, ending the European Wars of Religion and the Thirty Years War. On this day in 1776, the Fifth Virginia Convention told its delegation to the Continental Congress to propose a resolution about becoming independent from Great Britain. This was the precursor to the Declaration of Independence.

On May 15, 1817, according to Wikipedia, occurred the “opening of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends HospitalPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania).” What a name! In 1869, the National Woman’s Suffrage Association was formed by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

On May 15, 1905, the city of Las Vegas was founded when 110 acres of what would become its downtown were auctioned off. It was incorporated as a city six years later, and now it’s the weirdest city in the U.S.

On this day in 1928, Mickey Mouse made his first appearance in the Walt Disney cartoon “Plane Crazy“. Here’s the cartoon: Mickey appears 32 seconds in, but note the assiduous duck before that:

On this day in 1941, Joe DiMaggio began a hitting streak that would last for 56 consecutive games. It’s the longest hitting streak in modern baseball, with Pete Rose’s 44-game streak in 1978 coming second.  Here’s a four-minute video about the streak, which experts say is one baseball record that may never be broken:

On this day in 1948, when the British Mandate for Palestine expired, Israel was invaded by Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, beginning the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Remember that, ye Israel haters!  And on May 15, 1963, the final launch of the Mercury Mission, Mercury-Atlas 9, carrying astronaut Gordon Cooper, did 22 orbits of Earth in 34 hours. This was the last time an American astronaut went into space alone.

On this day in 1972, Alabama governor George Wallace was shot (and paralyzed) in Laurel, Maryland while campaigning for President.  Finally, for you footie fans, it was on this day in 2004 that Arsenal F.C. went unbeaten in an entire English Premier League campaign (38 games), claiming (along with Preston North End F.C.) the title of The Invincibles.

Notables born on this day include L. Frank Baum (1856), Pierre Curie (1859, Nobel Laureate), Arthur Schnitzler (1862), Katherine Anne Porter (1890), Mikhail Bulgakov (1891), Richard J. Daley (1902), Eddy Arnold (1918), Mary F. Lyon (1925), Jasper Johns (1930), Brian Eno (1948), and Jamie-Lynn Sigler (1981).

Those who expired on May 15 include Emily Dickinson (1886), Edward Hopper (1967), June Carter Cash (2003), Jerry Falwell (2007, almost buried in a matchbox), and Carlos Fuentes (2012).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is acting out a Biblical story:

A: Why are you looking back?
Hili: Because they say: “Don’t look back”, but what if a pillar of salt is chasing you?
In Polish:
Ja: Czemu się tak oglądasz?
Hili: Bo mówili, żeby się nie oglądać za siebie, a co będzie jeśli jakiś słup soli zacznie mnie gonić?

And nearby, on the site of his future home, Leon enjoys the Spring with Elzbieta:

Leon: And so we are sitting here—it’s Spring.

Leon: Tak sobie siedzimy, wiosna.

A Non Sequitur cartoon sent by reader Rick:

From Facebook:

Two tweets from Heather Hastie.

From Heather Hastie. The first is 4.5-minute spoof interview with Melania Trump. It’s a bit mean-spirited, what with mocking her grammar and blaming the whole Trump mess on her. But the song is good.

This amazing plastic robot, which grows a huge tentacle, has all kinds of practical applications:

Heather says to be sure to read the whole thread. It shows the transformation of an ordinary man into #CatDad!

From reader Barry. You think atheists are maligned in the U.S.?  Look at what happens in Egypt!

Tweets from Grania. The first one shows what a real cat lover would do:

Why are these “sacrifices” comparable? Of course the guy is a Republican. . .

OMG: who could be seduced by this??

Tweets from Matthew. Be sure to see the original video, which is here.

Only in Australia: a big honking spider takes a feathertail glider: a marsupial gliding “possum”:


28 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. I will be making chocolate chip cheesecakes today, but they won’t be served until tomorrow because they have to set up overnight in the freezer. So, did I hit or miss chocolate chip day?

    And, I thought Austin, TX was the weirdest city. They even have bumper stickers that say, “Keep Austin Weird”.


  2. typos regarding DiMaggio:

    “games”, not “gains”
    “streak”, not “steak””

  3. I remember Pete Rose’s hitting streak in ’78. I was working nights as a cook while going to school, and had a transistor radio on which I could pick up the Cincinnati radio station that carried the Reds games. (This was long before the days of ESPN or satellite tv.) Once Rose’s streak reached about 30, I started bringing the radio to work with me to listen to the ballgames. Once the streak got to about 40 games, the other cooks, and some of the waiters, and an occasional customer who had wandered in from the dining room, would gather ’round the radio to listen every time Rose came to bat.

  4. Let’s get that house built Leon.

    Really good video Heather, but the name – Randy Rainbow?

    Yes Senator Cotton of Arkansas – Farming is not like serving in Afghanistan. Another Trump puppet.

  5. And on May 15, 1963, the final launch of the Mercury Mission, Mercury-Atlas 9, carrying astronaut Gordon Cooper, did 22 orbits of Earth in 34 hours.

    That provided the closing scene of the movie version of Tom Wolfe’s book The Right Stuff, with Dennis Quaid as Gordo and a voice-over by Levon Helm:

  6. The abortion law in Northern Ireland here in the UK are arguably worse than in Alabama – both abortion doctors and the women they operate on can be prosecuted. As in Alabama, no exceptions are made in cases of rape or incest.

    1. The law may be worse but the situation for many women may not be as bad. A thousand a year travel to the UK for abortions and there does not seem to be any legal impediment to that.
      (And, abortion in the UK as a whole is not under threat).

      I don’t know the situation re travelling out-of-state in Alabama.


      1. Not that I’m trying to defend Northern Ireland’s atrocious religious bigotry in any way, I hasten to add.


  7. I used to melt chocolate chips and then eat the melted chocolate and/or put it in milk. I was a weird kid.

  8. On this day in 1972, Alabama governor George Wallace was shot (and paralyzed) in Laurel, Maryland while campaigning for President.

    Prompting Richard Nixon to have his thugs go plant campaign literature from his presumptive Democratic opponent, George McGovern, at the apartment of Wallace’s shooter, Arthur Bremer.

  9. I remember being amazed at Kepler’s laws when I first saw them in a science book as a wee lad. Prior to that I thought they went about willy-nilly. Wait, planets do that? Acting all logical like that? Why the hell is everyone else not jumping around being all amazed out of their minds.

  10. Remind me to stay away from Coff’s Harbour🙀
    That Egyptian talk-show host sure knows how to lose his shit. Trained with FOX.

  11. Re. 110 acres and just for ref, that’s less than a “quarter section”, the standard unit of real estate in the upper midwest = 0.5mi x 0.5mi = 160acres.

  12. That ‘tentacle robot’ uses the same ‘inversion’ principle as sewer pipe lining techniques that have been in use for several decades.

    The liner is a felt sock impregnated with thermosetting resin, filled with water which is heated after installation to cure the liner.

    A very brief video:


  13. Why are these “sacrifices” comparable?

    Trade is something you do in goods. Soldiers are goods. Therefore comparable.
    What is the cost of a dead soldier? A million or so for the training, a fraction of a million for the equipment (that which can’t be washed and issued to the next in line from the cannon fodder factory). How much for a pension for a widow, until they find a reason to cancel that?

  14. Three observations:

    a. The Thirty Years War is possibly the deadliest in history. Eight million dead; in some states, 40-50% killed. We think we live in difficult times: things could be worse! (And yes, religion did have something to do with it).

    b. As a life-long supporter of Preston North End, I am proud to celebrate them as the original Invincibles.

    c. Kudos to Mary Lyon FRS.

  15. The spider is an orb weaver (Araneidae), probably Eriophora transmarina. Their webs can be extensive and very strong. The sugar glider probably became entangled in the web and died from exhaustion or hunger. The spider’s venom may not be potent enough to kill such large prey.


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