Monday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

May 27, 2019 • 7:00 am

It’s Monday, May 27, 2019, and tomorrow I’ll be heading back home tomorrow to resume my work, now including Duck Duties. Posting will be light today as I finish my  R&R.

In the U.S. it’s Memorial Day, a national holiday honoring fallen members of the armed forces, but ducks don’t stop eating on holidays.

It’s also National Italian Beef Day, a sandwich for which Chicago is justifiably renowned. I get mine “hot and wet”, local jargon for “garnished with hot giardiniera (pickled vegetables) and dipped in the beef juice”. Here’s a classic Italian beef: hot and wet.

May 27 was a fairly busy day in history. In 1703, Tsar Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg, which once again bears that name (it was Leningrad for a long time). On May 27, 1927, the last Ford Model T was made and the company began retooling its plants to produce the Model A. Here is the difference:’

On this day in 1933, Walt Disney released the cartoon Three Little Pigs, famous for its hit song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” Here it is:

On this day in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge, linking San Francisco to Marin County, California, opened to pedestrian traffic. Vehicle traffic began crossing the next day. From Wikipedia:

The bridge-opening celebration began on May 27, 1937, and lasted for one week. The day before vehicle traffic was allowed, 200,000 people crossed either on foot or on roller skates. On opening day, Mayor Angelo Rossi and other officials rode the ferry to Marin, then crossed the bridge in a motorcade past three ceremonial “barriers”, the last a blockade of beauty queens who required Joseph Strauss to present the bridge to the Highway District before allowing him to pass.

On this day in 1940, the Nazis shot 99 British prisoners of war in the infamous Le Paradis massacre. Two Brits survived and lived  to testify against the SS commander who ordered the shooting, who was hanged in 1949. Exactly two years later, SS Commander Reinhard Heydrich was fatally wounded in an attack by Czech partisans. In reprisal, the Germans completely destroyed the villages of  Lidice and Ležáky, which were razed; all males over age 16 were killed and everyone else was sent to  concentration camps to die.

On this day in 1967, according to Wikipedia, “Australians vote in favor of a constitutional referendum granting the Australian government the power to make laws to benefit Indigenous Australians and to count them in the national census.” Finally, on this day three years ago, Barack Obama became the first U.S. President to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and meet some survivors of the bombing.

Notables born on this day include Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794), Julia Ward Howe (1819), Wild Bill Hickok (1837), Georges Rouault (1871), Dashiell Hammett (1894), Vincent Price (1911), Henry Kissinger (1923), and Ramsey Lewis (1935).

Those who croaked on May 27 include John Calvin (1564), Niccolò Paganini (1840), Robert Koch (1910, Nobel Laureate), Robert Ripley (1949), Jawaharlal Nehru (1964), and Gregg Allman (2017).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili shows unusual solicitude for Cyrus:

Hili: We have to wait for Cyrus.
Andrzej: He will catch up.
Hili: Yes, but his feelings will be hurt if he has to run after us.
In Polish:
Hili: Musimy zaczekać na Cyrusa.
Ja: Dogoni nas.
Hili: Tak, ale może mu być przykro, że musi nas gonić.

And Leon and Elzbieta are out for a hike in the woods (Elzbieta is doing most of the hiking).

Leon: You see, mother, what an attractive walk I came up with for your day?
Leon: Widzisz matka,jaki atrakcyjny spacer wymyśliłem z okazji twego święta?!

Two Judeo-Christian memes from Facebook:

And a lovely Jesus clock:

A tweet from Nilou. Spoiler: they all make it up the stairs. (n.b.: it’s not “duck chicks” but “ducklings”.)

From reader Paul we have an epic battle between rhinoceros beetles. Look at that final flip!

From Gethyn: a ship’s cat doing what a ship’s cat does:

From reader Barry we have some synchronized howling. I swear that at one point they’re howling in harmony!

Tweets from Grania. Well, ducks sometimes do stand on one foot, even without flamingos.

This cat needs to brush up on its hunting:

A beautiful octopus and a superfluous apostrophe:

Tweets from Matthew. It’s a good year for kakapos, though of course some chicks didn’t make it. But here’s the good news:

A lovely French building from the Dordogne. Why is it so high, though? Were there floods?

Bithorax is a “homeotic” developmental mutation in Drosophila that adds extra bits of the fly’s thorax to its body, sometimes producing an extra pair of wings, as you can see below.  E. B. Lewis was born on May 20, 1918, and won the Nobel Prize in 1995 for this work, which marks the founding of “evo devo”: the field concerned with how evolution molds development. Read more about his work here.



38 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

  1. I played the wolves’ synchronized howling and Gunner, our Walker hound, stared intently at the speakers and cocked his head from side to side. Cute.

    The cat with the red ball appears to be inept, but it conforms to expectation. Don’t cats have poor near vision?

  2. The Wicked Witches House looking thing

    We are seeing it out of context – the wood building is perched on a defensive wall that originally encompassed Puy-Saint-Front – nothing to do with flooding. The wall has entirely gone except this one piece & possibly another piece mentioned that I can’t track down.

    It is on the edge of the medieval/Renaissance part of the city of Périgueux – though back then it was a smaller place – the village of Puy-Saint-Front. To find it on the map walk 100 metres south from the Pont De Barris along the west bank of the River Isle. The Pont De Barris is only from 1861 & I assume the medieval bridge landed next to this building. Another source describes it as the toll-bridge guard tower built in 1347 often mistakenly called “The Old Mill” although it never was such.

    1. Thanks! I doubt anyone building a house would make a foundation like that. However, as a guard-house on a pre-existing defensive wall, it makes complete sense.

      I was puzzled by it but I was going to be too lazy to try and track it down 🙂 So thanks.


    1. “An interesting town/city with the best bits gone because the car = ring roads & car parks. Shame.”

      This did not happen only in Dordogneshire but everywhere in Europe.

      Thank you for the pictures and te information!

      1. I agree – the 60s/70s & city planners did more damage to the overlaid patina of European history than WWI & WWII combined. Probably.

        1. It actually started much before the 60/70s. Old Paris was destroyed in the 19th century to build the boulevards, ancient Rome in the middle ages, and so on. I think the idea of conserving old buildings is very recent in history.

        2. Here in the US, there is no ancient infrastructure to preserve and we are doing our best to make sure there never is.

          1. There are probably “Native American” sites that are being bulldozed at this very moment because of this belief that there is no ancient infrastructure.
            Don’t farming systems count? Don’t roadways and footpaths and hunting or transhumance routes count?
            We’re as bad in Europe, I suppose. There’s a significant discovery of a half-henge-like structure being excavated in Englandshire at the moment, which is comparable in size with Stonehenge (which is far from the biggest). That was only discovered because of pre-earthworks inspections before installing a power line from a wind farm. Obviously it’s been trashed by centuries of the plough – well down to a half-metre below soil level.
            Bloody archaeology – getting in the way of profitable development! Smash it before anyone notices!

            1. I understand that those were actually inhabited at the time of contact but local animals “ran ahead” of the Spanish, French and English and wiped out the inhabitants before the Europeans got there.

              Shame, because like in (what is now Mexico) there was an opportunity to realize that these people were “as advanced”- even on their own racist terms – as those in Europe.

    2. The bottom pic: You can see the grey tarmac road to the right of the image with pedestrian crossing markings – that road runs along the river bank which is further to the right. I assume the medieval bridge foot was at the other end of that crossing more or less.

      PS The UK has Spring Bank holiday today so comments might be sparse, but it’s raining nearly everywhere here so maybe not…

      1. Sorry about the rain. You Brits are cleaver to have a nice Spring holiday, but why include banking? You can do that any time. 😎

        1. No, you can only effectively bank if the bank in your country of the nation is open and the bank in the other country of the nation are both open. Otherwise things take a day or two (whichever is more profitable to the bank) to pipe thorough.
          What did you say Scooby? Have coordination of bank opening and closing towns and days throughout the nation? But that would defeat the purpose of having multiple countries in one nation!
          Though Brexit is looking increasingly likely to solve that problem, sooner not later.

        2. I had to look this up, but it’s all down to John Lubbock, first Baron of Avebury, scientific writer, banker & politician who, in 1871, drafted the Bank Holiday Bill which, when it became law, created the first bank holidays.

          Before Lubbock banks chose their holidays to suit themselves & it varied from bank to bank which was somewhat chaotic. To stabilise banking & to reduce chances of bank bankruptcy, four days were chosen for banks to close all at the same time.

          P.S. Lubbock tried to teach his poodle to read [there – the most interesting info at the end]

          1. Very interesting. Compared to synchronizing the banks, teaching a poodle to read isn’t very logical. Probably a case of senility.

            1. I think it’s the spirit of the experimentalist – a habit which I’m sure he picked up from Darwin – he lived a mile from the Darwin clan & Charles D. became like a 2nd father, also of course you are not an English gentleman unless you demonstrate that you are a mild loony. He kept a pet wasp for a while… MUST READ LUBBOCK ARTICLE

              Related to the poodle in a way is a character I can’t track down that I read about 40 years ago – possibly an English king – who also was an experimentalist. From a literal reading of the Bible OT there was a universal human language after the Flood & God punished us for the hubris of building the Tower of Babel by insta-imposing many languages. This king took a new born child & isolated it from hearing or reading language in the hopes that it would grow up speaking the ur lost language. Kings eh – what they like?

              1. A remarkable guy. “…he spent some time teaching Van, his poodle puppy, to recognize flash cards, but felt it was unkind to keep a dog in London, and so sent him back to Kent and gave up the experiment.” He shows great compassion.

                …and he was a preservationist: “…he introduced the 1882 Ancient Monuments Protection Act”

  3. “A lovely French building from the Dordogne. Why is it so high, though? Were there floods?”

    Defense from enemies? Food/grain storage outside the reach of rats?

    1. An Italian beef sandwich by any other name tastes as good. A very close relative here on the West Coast is the French Dip (aka Beef Dip). The only difference I can discern is that one is made with an Italian roll(sometimes served with giardiniera), while the other is made with a French roll (sometimes served with cheese). Both use the curiously named “au jus” dipping sauce (the ‘au’ is now part the name, perhaps like Mount Fujiyama), now sold in packets of dehydrated ingredients for home use, such as McCormick’s “Au Jus Natural Style Gravy Mix.” “Natural style”?

      1. I have a feeling I would probably like their gravy mix but oh my gosh their stroganoff mix is terrible, as well as utterly pointless. I mean, you still have to add sour cream so what’s the point of adding a white powdery thingy packet too that tastes bad lol.

        1. You can buy already prepared au jus in containers, either frozen or shelf stabilized. I think these would be closer to the flavor one gets by using the pan juices from a roast. Alternatively, you can buy beef broth or bone broth (get the good stuff) and add seasonings to make your own. Lots of recipes online. Trader Joe’s sells thinly sliced raw beef, your butcher could cut some for you, and then you could cook it in the jus and it’d taste pretty close to the real thing from a restaurant, perhaps even better.

          All this has got me salivating. I’m going to make one, maybe tonight.

  4. It should be noted that Heinz Heydrich, brother of Reinhard Heydrich was a Nazi, but when he learned about the Holocaust, he helped Jews escape by forging documents for them.

    Albert Göring, brother of Hermann Göring, detested Nazism and also did much to help Jews during WW2.

    1. That is completely new to me. It is, well kinda, heartening info.
      A pity it was Reinhard and not Heinz that became Stellvertretender Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia.
      Just as it is a pity it was Hermann and
      not Albert, that became Reichsmarschall.
      Both Albert and Heinz must have been courageous men.

      BRWm does Mr Trump have a living brother?

      1. Like you, I found the information “kinda heartening.” Their acts shouldn’t be buried because of the monstrous acts of their brothers; in fact, all the more reason their actions should be remembered. As for Reinhard H., it seems that his involvement with National Socialism came about not because of ideological fervor but because he jilted the wrong woman. Such is fate.

        Re Trump’s siblings, I learn from that Trump has one living brother, younger than he. The article has info on his siblings.

  5. I am a great admirer of Walt Disney, and a fan, though of decreasing fervor, of Disney generally. After The Three Little Pigs, Walt decided to make a sequel, which flopped. This led him to the observation that “You can’t top pigs with pigs.” Unfortunately, this seems to be all that Disney does these days, for, aside from the Marvel brand, there seems to be no creativity left in the studio.

        1. I draw no conclusion whatsoever. Just because they are making a fourth in the series does not preclude the film containing any creativity nor does it mean they are not making other films also with lots of creativity.

  6. You can see the second beetle clinging to the surface with its hind legs creating extra tension which is what makes the launch so spectacular.

  7. I think the Jesus clock should be adjusted so as to run slow. That way it will always be later than you think, thus allowing a little enjoyment (if you know the song) in what must otherwise be a depressing household.

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