Tuesday: Hili dialogue

June 25, 2019 • 10:00 am

Welcome to the first Tuesday of Summer: Tuesday, June 25, 2019. It’s National Strawberry Parfait Day, though I’d much prefer a strawberry pie à la Anna Miller’s, and also World Vitiligo Day, calling awareness to that disease (I wasn’t aware that the cause of this disease was unknown, though there’s speculation it’s an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own skin-pigmentation cells. Fortunately, the effects of the disease seem limited to affecting skin color and not other aspects of health.)

News flash: I’m informed by my fellow duck farmers that yet another brood of newly hatched ducklings, a total of nine, entered Botany Pond this morning. There are now three hens and 27 ducklings in the water. While we have the noms to take care of them all, this is an unexpected (and unwanted) appearance of new ducklings. Of course we will strive to bring them all to fledging, but surely some tsouris is in store! Will everybody get along? Stay tuned.

The U.S. beat Spain 2-1 in yesterday’s Women’s World Cup soccer match, and so it’s on to a game with France for the quarter finals on Friday. Here are the highlights of the U.S./Spain game. You may have to click through to watch this video on YouTube.

Finally, it’s the tenth anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death (see below).

Here’s what happened on June 25s:

  • 1848 – A photograph of the June Days uprising becomes the first known instance of photojournalism.

Here’s that photo, showing barricades erected by French workers rebelling against a government plan to eliminate some low-paying jobs.

Barricades on rue Saint-Maur during the uprising, 25 June 1848
  • 1906 – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania millionaire Harry Thaw shoots and kills prominent architect Stanford White.
  • 1910 – The United States Congress passes the Mann Act, which prohibits interstate transport of females for “immoral purposes”; the ambiguous language would be used to selectively prosecute people for years to come.
  • 1910 – Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird is premiered in Paris, bringing him to prominence as a composer.
  • 1944 – The final page of the comic Krazy Kat is published, exactly two months after its author George Herriman died.

Matthew and I are both huge fans of Krazy Kat, and here is the last strip. Officer Pupp saves Krazy while Ignatz the Mouse looks on, but then Krazy finds a way to navigate the water.

  • 1947 – The Diary of a Young Girl (better known as The Diary of Anne Frank) is published.
  • 1978 – The rainbow flag representing gay pride is flown for the first time during the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade.
  • 1981 – Microsoft is restructured to become an incorporated business in its home state of Washington.
  • 1984 – American singer Prince releases his most successful studio album, Purple Rain.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1852 – Antoni Gaudí, Spanish architect, designed the Park Güell (d. 1926)
  • 1864 – Walther Nernst, German chemist and physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1941)[1]
  • 1900 – Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, English admiral and politician, 44th Governor-General of India (d. 1979)
  • 1903 – George Orwell, British novelist, essayist, and critic (d. 1950)
  • 1936 – Bert Hölldobler, German biologist and entomologist
  • 1945 – Carly Simon, American singer-songwriter
  • 1956 – Anthony Bourdain, American chef and author (d. 2018)
  • 1961 – Ricky Gervais, English comedian, actor, director, producer and singer
  • 1963 – Yann Martel, Spanish-Canadian author

Those who died on June 25 include:

  • 1533 – Mary Tudor, queen of France (b. 1496)
  • 1876 – George Armstrong Custer, American general (b. 1839)
  • 1916 – Thomas Eakins, American painter, photographer, and sculptor (b. 1844)

Eakins (1844-1916) is, I think, one of the greatest unappreciated American painters. Here’s one of his paintings, “Kathrin”, featuring a woman playing with a kitten:

Source: The Great Cat
  • 1984 – Michel Foucault, French historian and philosopher (b. 1926)
  • 1997 – Jacques Cousteau, French oceanographer and explorer (b. 1910)
  • 2003 – Lester Maddox, American businessman and politician, 75th Governor of Georgia (b. 1915)
  • 2009 – Michael Jackson, American singer-songwriter, producer, dancer, and actor (b. 1958)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili asks the impossible.

A: What can I do for you?
Hili: Teach me how to fly.
In Polish:
Ja: Co mogę dla ciebie zrobić?
Hili: Naucz mnie fruwać.

A tweet from reader Peter, who wrote, “If you ever need a cat abducted by a flying saucer than this is for you :)”

A tweet found by Nilou, showing the various levels of biological classification using emojis:

Two tweets from the Lost Trove of Grania’s Tweets. The first shows a great view of the Chicago skyline. That’s one of our water-pumping stations in the foreground:

A superb pun (I may have posted this before):

Two tweets from Heather Hastie. I agree with her characterization of this man, “What a wonderful guy!”

And, “what a good mum!”:


Tweets from Matthew. I’ll try a geeky caption on this one, which will probably be wrong: “Where Tardises come to die.” Yes, I recall that the Tardis wasn’t red.  But someone could make a pile of money by refurbishing these icons and selling them!


Two homeotic mutants (developmental mutations producing structures in unusual places). The Ubx fly has four wings; the Ubx butterfly is gorgeous:

A bad pun about a chicken in a weird place:

At first I thought these estimates came from data using genetic variation, but I see it comes from demographic data:


28 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

    1. My eighth grade class sang Aquarius at our graduation ceremony in 1970, and I still remember almost all of the lyrics. This was a surprising choice, because my school was in an ultraconservative Catholic parish that would have preferred that Vatican II had never happened and resisted the changes until the local archbishop showed his muscle by threatening to demote the pastor. I wouldn’t have thought that they’d have us sing a dirty hippie song from a musical that featured (shudder) nudity.

      The other odd thing is that my classmates were convinced we weren’t doing the whole song, not realizing that the version by the 5th Dimention that we heard on the radio was actually two songs. The “let the sunshine in” part was another number altogether (something they’d have known if they’d listened to the entire Hair soundtrack).

  1. 1906 – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania millionaire Harry Thaw shoots and kills prominent architect Stanford White.

    Stanford White’s murder spawned the original sex-and-violence filled “trial of the century,” hyped as it was by the yellow journalism of William Randolph Hearst’s newspaper chain.

    White’s murder was also one of the historical events serving as a backdrop for E.L. Doctorow’s celebrated novel Ragtime. Fellow novelist Norman Mailer played Stanford White in Milos Forman’s movie adaptation of that novel.

  2. 1910 – The United States Congress passes the Mann Act, which prohibits interstate transport of females for “immoral purposes”; the ambiguous language would be used to selectively prosecute people for years to come.

    The Mann Act was known colloquially as the “White Slave Act,” and was often used selectively to prosecute notorious black men for consorting with white women. Two examples are the first black heavyweight boxing champ, Jack Johnson, and rock’n’roller Chuck Berry.

    1. Amazing how someone could be a great writer of novels, essays, etc., but terrible in another medium like film. Still, I’m thankful for his contributions, as they gave us this gem of a scene useful for so many situations:

      1. I’m guessing that was meant to be in response to my previous comment, BJ, and is a clip from Norman Mailer’s directorial effort in the film adaptation of his own novel Tough Guy’s Don’t Dance — wherein Mailer took a novel I couldn’t put down and made it into a movie I couldn’t sit through.

        Ryan O’Neal was completely miscast in the lead role of “Tim Madden.” When I read the book, the only actor I could imagine was Nick Nolte.

        1. No, it was definitely supposed to be in response to your comment on the Mann Act 😛

          Ryan O’Neal may have been miscast, but I’ve seen this and one other film of his and both were terrible. They didn’t just have bad acting. The man had no eye for directing and I don’t think he understood how to translate writing to a visual medium. Some people are incredibly talented individuals…until they try to do something else.

          I never thought Ryan O’Neal was a good actor. Even in Barry Lyndon, it’s not as if he gives an exceptional performance; rather, the film is good because of the direction, costumes, lighting, pacing, and story. Basically, it’s a good movie because of Kubrick, some other background people, and some of the actors who play smaller roles.

          I remember seeing an interview with Mailer and — I hope I’m getting this right — when he was asked to cut this scene because it was so bad, he refused because he felt it was too integral to the plot. And he wouldn’t re-shoot it. And he wouldn’t even just cut out O’Neal’s reaction to the letter. He just felt it was too important. Yeah, the guy didn’t know how to make movies.

          1. Some people are incredibly talented individuals…until they try to do something else.

            The same could probably be said of ol’ Stormin’ Norman’s foray into politics (a subject on which he could write very well) regarding his 1969 campaign to be mayor of New York.

            Although I did love the campaign slogan that he and running-mate Jimmy Breslin came up with: “Throw the bums in!” 🙂

        2. Sorry, I meant one other film of Norman Mailer’s in my first sentence. It seems like i was saying one other Ryan O’neal film, which, now that I think about it, may be true…? I can’t remember seeing him in anything else but Barry Lyndon, but I’m sure I have.

          1. The other Mailer-directed efforts I recall seeing were a couple John Cassavetes-style cinéma vérité efforts, Maidstone and Wild 90, that played the art-house circuit in the Seventies.

            Neither was very good, but next to Tough Guys Don’t Dance they seem like Citizen Kane.

          2. Wait, BJ, you’ve never sat through Love Story, the big tear-jerker hit when I was in high school (and R. O’Neal’s breakthrough role opposite Ali McGraw)?

            Lucky devil, you.

          3. In the comedy What’s Up, Doc?. O’Neal did pretty well. He played a clueless buffoon, and the movie actually turned out to be rather good, including one of the best car chase scenes in cinematic history. It remains the only one of his movies I’ve ever seen, so I can’t comment on his other work.

            1. Yeah, he (and his Oscar-winning daughter, Tatum) were very good as a father-daughter pair of Depression-era grifters in Peter Bogdanovich’s Paper Moon, too.

  3. If Katie’s brood fledges soon, it will keep the population stable, so overcrowding shouldn’t be a problem.

    Also, if they’re not competing for food, that will minimize aggression.


  4. Those red telephone boxes are said to be worth a £1000 .
    Seen them on Malta .And on the Queen Mary at Long Beach there is a ATM inside one of them .

    1. PCC’s venture into geek humour should be applauded.

      But I’ll split a geeky hair and note that the Tardis was ‘disguised’ as a 1960’s police box, a different species and much rarer than the ubiquitous red phone box.

      Mention of the red phone box brings to mind this Banksy:


      But I’ll never contemplate a phone box in quite the same way again since I saw this Spanish short film:


    2. They’ve still got a few of them in Parliament Square in London. I used to visit a customer who had an office that looked out on the square and every day there would be long queues of foreign tourists at each one all waiting their turn to take photos of themselves and their friends inside.

      Ironically, many of them were taking photos with their mobile phones.

  5. The Chicago picture is lovely. At first glance I thought it was an oil painting. It has something of the look of Canaletto.

  6. in yesterday’s Women’s World Cup soccer match

    Oh, by the four balls of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, can that damned sport just work out who the winners are, shoot the losers, and stop interrupting our day-to-day screen life.
    BoJo is being a BoJo – a synonym for “idiot without clinical excuses”.

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