Tuesday: Hili dialogue

July 2, 2019 • 7:00 am

]G <—These letters were typed by the wandering paws of Opi, the resident cat at the Dophin Bay Hotel in Hilo, a place I recommend most highly. Not only are there friendly owners and great accommodations (and location), but the resident cat Opi (short for “opihi”, which I believe is Hawaiian for “limpet”) is uber-friendly and will even sleep in your room. My theory, which is mine, is that “Opihi” comes from the clingy nature of this friendly tabby. Here she is resting on our microwave:

That aside: Good morning from Hawaii on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. It is the precise midpoint of the year, with 182 days before it and 182 days to go until December 31.

It’s also National Anisette Day, which is cultural appropriation since the drink isn’t native to America. I find that the various foreign versions, like Pernod or ouzo, always taste better on their home ground. It’s also World UFO Day, celebrating the occurrence of the notorious Roswell UFO Incident (a crashed surveillance balloon mistaken for an alien vehicle) in 1947.

If you click on today’s Google Doodle, you’ll be taken to a page listing the last two games of the Women’s World Cup of soccer. In the semifinals tomorrow, England plays the U.S. and the Netherlands play Sweden on Wednesday.

There will be a total eclipse of the sun today visible from parts of the South Pacific, Chile, and Argentina. You can watch a livestream here, starting at 12:23 Pacific Time (7:23 pm Greenwich Mean Time.

Stuff that happened on July 2 includes the following:

  • 1776 – American Revolution: The Continental Congress adopts a resolution severing ties with the Kingdom of Great Britain although the wording of the formal Declaration of Independence is not published until July 4.
  • 1816 – The French frigate Méduse struck the Bank of Arguin and 151 people on board had to be evacuated on an improvised raft, a case immortalised by Géricault’s painting The Raft of the Medusa.

Here’s that famous painting; Wikipedia notes this about the launching of the raft three days after it ran aground:

On 5 July 1816, at least 147 people were set adrift on a hurriedly constructed raft; all but 15 died in the 13 days before their rescue, and those who survived endured starvation and dehydration and practised cannibalism. The event became an international scandal, in part because its cause was widely attributed to the incompetence of the French captain.

  • 1871 – Victor Emmanuel II of Italy enters Rome after having conquered it from the Papal States.
  • 1881 – Charles J. Guiteau shoots and fatally wounds U.S. President James Garfield (who would die of complications from his wounds on September 19).
  • 1897 – British-Italian engineer Guglielmo Marconi obtains a patent for radio in London.
  • 1934 – The Night of the Long Knives ends with the death of Ernst Röhm.
  • 1937 – Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan are last heard from over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight.
  • 1962 – The first Walmart store, then known as Wal-Mart, opens for business in Rogers, Arkansas.
  • 1964 – Civil rights movement: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant to prohibit segregation in public places.
  • 1976 – End of South Vietnam; Communist North Vietnam annexes South Vietnam to form the unified Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
  • 2002 – Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1877 – Hermann Hesse, German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1962)
  • 1904 – René Lacoste, French tennis player and businessman, created the polo shirt (d. 1996)
  • 1908 – Thurgood Marshall, American lawyer and jurist, 32nd Solicitor General of the United States (d. 1993)
  • 1922 – Pierre Cardin, Italian-French fashion designer
  • 1925 – Medgar Evers, American soldier and activist (d. 1963)
  • 1929 – Imelda Marcos, Filipino politician; 10th First Lady of the Philippines
  • 1947 – Larry David, American actor, comedian, producer, and screenwriter
  • 1956 – Jerry Hall, American model and actress
  • 1964 – Jose Canseco, Cuban-American baseball player and mixed martial artist

Those who “passed” (I dislike that euphemism) on July 2 include:

  • 1566 – Nostradamus, French astrologer and author (b. 1503)
  • 1778 – Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Swiss philosopher and composer (b. 1712)
  • 1961 – Ernest Hemingway, American novelist, short story writer, and journalist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1899)
  • 1973 – Betty Grable, American actress, singer, and dancer (b. 1916)
  • 1977 – Vladimir Nabokov, Russian-born novelist and critic (b. 1899)
  • 1991 – Lee Remick, American actress (b. 1935)
  • 2007 – Beverly Sills, American operatic soprano and television personality (b. 1929)
  • 2016 – Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, activist, and author (b. 1928)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is plotting:

A: Hili, did you get into mischief?
Hili: Not today but I must think about it.
In Polish:
Ja: Hili, czy ty coś zbroiłaś?
Hili: Dziś nie, ale muszę o tym pomyśleć.

From Facebook, a cup for all peevish grammar sticklers:

From reader Meriliee:

Reader Barry sent a Twitter exchange he had about cultural appropriation:

Three tweets from Heather Hastie. The first shows fuzzy oystercatcher chicks:

Raccoons are smart; this one has learned to ride a scooter (of course there’s a treat at the end):


Retrieving his lost dog, a man gets some lagniappe:


Speaking of goats, Nilou sent this. Be sure to wait till the end and turn the sound WAY UP!



Tweets from Matthew; the first is an awesome art installation:


A vivid demonstration of the metabolic investment of being wind-pollinated:

Matthew’s comment on this: “And you thought they couldn’t draw cats!” Indeed; I guess all medieval artists anthropomorphized their depictions of animals:


I’m not sure why this tweet fascinates people, but I submit it for your consideration:


21 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. It’s also National Anisette Day …

    The drink of choice for Hyman Roth’s Sicilian errand boy, Johnny Ola, in Godfather Part II (played by Dominic Chianese, Uncle Junior from The Sopranos):

      1. Now, now. FirstClown is one of my favorite people on Twitter. He’s always savage when taking down religion and does a great job at dismantling any theist’s “argument” that crosses his path. If you’re on Twitter, check him out. But I do think he’s mistaken here: “cultural appropriation” IS the issue here.

        1. He’s like, oh I’m mister smarty pants, I know what kimono means, and copyrighting words that mean the same thing as clothing is arrogant.

  2. I just noticed there are no women on Géricault’s raft. It is impressive that through the struggle, the naked guy sprawled on the left has managed to keep his socks on (modesty?).

  3. I hate “passed”, too. I do NOT use that word. He died. She is dead. (Pass the butter, please.)

    1. “He’s passed on. He is no more. He has ceased to be. He’s expired and gone to meet his maker. He’s a stiff. Bereft of life, he rests in peace…He’s run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible”.

      That seems to cover it.

  4. I doubt that Jean-Jacques Rousseau can be called Swiss. He was from Geneva, an independent republic that in the 18th century was not yet part of Switzerland. It joined the Swiss Confederation only in 1815.

  5. The Netherlands and Sweden play tomorrow, however England plays the United States today at 3:00 PM EDT.

  6. “passed” (I dislike that euphemism)

    Me,too! It is so mushy and evasive. And now pervasive! Can’t we start a protest club or something? It promotes inaccurate and sentimental thinking. My kids know how I feel so when such happens to me, they are supposed to look anyone who uses the phrase in the eye and say” she didn’t pass anywhere, she died”.

  7. I hate that use of the term ‘passed’ as well. I write fiction. In one of my stories, an adult friend tells an orphaned 7-year-old girl something like “I’m so sorry your mother passed away.” The girl responds with, “My mommy is dead. ‘Passed’ sounds like something you do in the toilet.”

    1. I agree. ‘Passed’ what? The time? Wind? Slow traffic? The parcel? Kidney stones?


      1. Hey!! I said “Pass the butter” quite a few posts ago!! I want the %*&#(# butter for my baked potato!!

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