Friday: Hili dialogue

July 5, 2019 • 7:00 am

It’s Friday, July 5, 2019, and I hope all you Yanks enjoyed yesterday’s holiday. This fellow did, doing his best to make America great again!

I had an excellent time looking at fish underwater, and I’ll do it again tomorrow at Captain Cook Monument. It’s National Apple Turnover Day, though I much prefer cherry or strawberry turnovers. And, after yesterday’s American Independence Day, we have three more from other lands:

Stuff that happened on July 5 include these events:

  • 1687 – Isaac Newton publishes Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.
  • 1915 – The Liberty Bell leaves Philadelphia by special train on its way to the Panama–Pacific International Exposition. This is the last trip outside Philadelphia that the custodians of the bell intend to permit.
  • 1937 – Spam, the luncheon meat, is introduced into the market by the Hormel Foods Corporation.

Spam, of course, is the Unofficial State Food of Hawaii, and is served as a kind of meat sushi with rice and seaweed (spam musubi), and is also available at every McDonald’s as a breakfast item. Here’s a photo I took this morning:

Reminds you of the Monty Python sketch, no? “Spam, sausage, egg, rice, and Spam. .  ” etc.

  • 1946 – The bikini goes on sale after debuting during an outdoor fashion show at the Molitor Pool in Paris, France.
  • 1950 – Zionism: The Knesset passes the Law of Return which grants all Jews the right to immigrate to Israel.
  • 1954 – Elvis Presley records his first single, “That’s All Right,” at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • 1962 – The official independence of Algeria is proclaimed after an 8-year-long war with France.
  • 1975 – Arthur Ashe becomes the first black man to win the Wimbledon singles title.

Here’s a video of Ashe beating Jimmy Connors in that tournament (note the bit about the libel suit):

  • 1996 – Dolly the sheep becomes the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.
  • 2009 – The largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever discovered in England, consisting of more than 1,500 items, is found near the village of Hammerwich, near Lichfield, Staffordshire.

Here’s a piece from the Staffordshire Hoard, identified by Wikipedia as “a gold sword hilt fitting with cloisonné garnet inlay (below), uncleaned by conservators, still showing traces of soil.” The hoard, containing 3500 items, probably dates from the 7th century:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1805 – Robert FitzRoy, English captain, meteorologist, and politician, 2nd Governor of New Zealand (d. 1865)

FitzRoy, of course, was the captain of HMS Beagle when Darwin sailed on it around the world. FitzRoy later became a creationist and a big opponent of evolution. He attended the great Oxford Debate on evolution in 1860, where he made a spectacle of himself. As Wikipedia reports,

During the debate FitzRoy, seen as “a grey haired Roman nosed elderly gentleman”, stood in the centre of the audience and “lifting an immense Bible first with both and afterwards with one hand over his head, solemnly implored the audience to believe God rather than man”. As he admitted that The Origin of Species had given him “acutest pain”, the crowd shouted him down.

A depressive who also became bankrupt, FitzRoy committed suicide, cutting his throat with a razor in 1865.

  • 1810 – P. T. Barnum, American businessman, co-founded Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (d. 1891)
  • 1889 – Jean Cocteau, French novelist, poet, and playwright (d. 1963)
  • 1904 – Ernst Mayr, German-American biologist and ornithologist (d. 2005)
  • 1940 – Chuck Close, American painter and photographer
  • 1946 – Gerard ‘t Hooft, Dutch physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1950 – Huey Lewis, American singer-songwriter and actor
  • 1985 – Megan Rapinoe, American soccer player

Those who died on July 5 were few; they include:

  • 1965 – Porfirio Rubirosa, Dominican race car driver, polo player, and diplomat (b. 1909)
  • 1969 – Walter Gropius, German architect, designed the John F. Kennedy Federal Building and Werkbund Exhibition (b. 1883)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s words need an explanation, which Malgorzata supplied:

Postmodernizm, “wokeness”, anti-vaxxers, “alternative” medicine, fake new, and more – all this is breaking humans covenant with reality. Hili loves the absurdity of the idea that humans went into a covenent with the ineffable god and she bemoans the fact that they are breaking their covenant with reality which gave us so much in the last few hundred years.

The dialogue:

Hili: We have to renew the covenant.
A: Who with?
Hili: Not who with but what with—with reality

In Polish:

Hili: Musimy odnowić przymierze.
Ja: Z kim?
Hili: Nie z kim, tylko z czym, z rzeczywistością.

Here’s a fox from reader Merilee, showing that sometimes nature imitates art—medieval art, that is:

Several readers sent me this short BBC piece, complete with a video of Her Majesty and Olive the Duck. Click on the screenshots to see it:


Salon just won’t stop trying to out-woke the Huffington Post. I hope Salon goes after the Bible next, as it’s far worse than the Declaration, as it also condones genocide, obedience to dictators, allowing your daughters to be raped, and slavery, not to mention a host of other ills.

A tweet from reader Barry, who calls this “the greatest cat leap ever,” and notes, “From that swift move of the front paws to the back paws and then a perfect landing, we’re talking Olympic-like poise and confidence here.”

A cat tweet from Heather Hastie, showing how all good moggies should be tucked in:

Tweets from Matthew Cobb. Condolences to Brian Cox (I believe he has a calico named Herschel as well):

I’m not sure that your kids would really appreciate this:

Primates certainly have fun, as we see here:

Turtle courtship (do harder slaps attract mates more strongly?):

Yes, the swift is a truly remarkable bird, and you should read the article linked to this tweet. Among other things, you’ll learn that from the time a baby swift free-falls from its nest, its feet aren’t likely to touch ground, or a tree, or anything—for FOUR YEARS! They’re flying (and sleeping on the wing) all that time.

43 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

    1. Jesus H. Christ. Even beyond the asinine airport remark, that clip is full of historical inaccuracies: Ft. McHenry and the star-spangled banner that waived above it occurred during the War of 1812, not the Revolution. And Cornwallis wasn’t “of Yorktown”; Yorktown’s where Cornwallis got his ass handed to him by Washington and Lafayette.

      Who the fuck wrote that speech for Trump, a drunken Sarah Palin?

      1. Why a drunk bible spice ,would a sober Palin write something better .

        And while we are on the subject of the snatch snatcher and airports ,didn’t he remark to the Queen it was a shame they built Windsor castle under the Heathrow flight path ?

      2. Allegedly, the teleprompter broke when it got wet. But it’s OK because Trump “knew the speech pretty well”.

        It must be true because I got that snippet from an unimpeached source.

  1. OK, can someone explain to me by Spam is so popular in Hawaii? What the heck happened? How did it happen? I’ve never eaten it, but that’s because it looks like cat food and smells like somebody tried to set a record for the world’s most processed ham.

    1. Its WWII, it never expires and it’s pretty good. It is very popular in S. Korea and less so in Japan. When times were tough in Hawaii it was the food of the poor. Its like the people in Hawaii, very diverse. Fried spam and sticky rice is the national breakfast. Don’t know what else to tell ya.

      1. I should also say it is similar to the question, Why do they eat rice. In the orient that is the most basic food. You eat rice from the time you have your first teeth. They do not buy rice by the lb. or the box. It is 25 or 50 pound bags. Everyone has a rice cooker and it is used for every meal.

      2. I understood in the Korean and Japanese context it had to do with the US military presence. Since there are bases and such in Hawaii – and it is a recent colony-to-state situation – maybe that’s connected?

    2. I am going to guess it started because Spam is a cheap, tinned meat, and Hawaii is a state with limited ability to raise meat. Then it caught on because it’s awesome.

      1. Did you know there was a Kosher version for the Israeli military ,it was made from chicken or beef ,i kid you not.

        1. The IDF’s ‘loof’ tinned beef shortened from meatloaf] ceased manufacture almost a decade ago & it wasn’t a “Kosher version” of SPAM – SPAM dates back only to 1937 while ‘loof’ is older. The New Yishuv [precursor to the IDF] had loof for almost as long as the British Army was doling out “Preserved Meat (1 Tin)” [to use military parlance] i.e. since Boer war days 120 years ago.

          The Jewish armed irregulars that became the IDF in 1948, just copied the Brit rations that they stole at every opportunity – many of them had served with the Brits before & during the Mandate 100 years ago. “Bully Beef”** is corned beef & gelatine & it was already Kosher.

          ** The Tommies called it “bully beef” – supposedly a corruption of the French for boiled beef.

          1. I sit corrected ,i got the bit about kosher spam from the interweb ,have we come to the stage where you can not believe stuff on the internet ?

    3. Isn’t corned beef popular in Fiji ? Or else where in the Pacific ,it has a higher fat content that normal .

      And America sent loads of Spam to Russia during WW2 .

    4. HISTORY:

      At one time Hawai’i was a republic all to its own. In 1898 it was annexed by the USA, despite the opposition of nearly all native Hawaiians. Between then & 1959 it was a mere territory of the USA & the USA did what it wanted – the locals didn’t have a voice politically. The US interest with the islands was as a forward Pacific base – extending military power in much the same way as China is doing today in the South China Sea.

      From approx the ’30s the US went on a mad one in the islands – building army bases, military docks, airfields & on-base & off-base accommodations. If a piece of land was wanted for any of the above or for radar or anything at all it was simply obtained or had already been granted back in 1898.

      Today, according to a militant site who might be exaggerating, the military takes up 21% of the total land area of the State of Hawai’i. 56% of these lands are “ceded lands”, or lands once under the Hawaiian monarchy that were granted when Hawai’i was annexed…


      Come WWII [Dec 1941 for Americans] Hawai’i was put under martial law – the place was run by the US military. Intense rationing. The rate of building increased & the 400,000 population of Hawai’i was swamped by additional military & foreign contractors. SPAM made this all possible as the tropical climate could not possibly feed the expanded population with fresh food – you can imagine the logistics problem of supplying all those extra stomachs with fresh protein in a place not yet networked with roads, power stations, electricity & refrigeration – much of the islands were ‘off grid’ in one way or another.

      In the UK SPAM is a fish & chip shop staple – round slices are battered & deep fried. It tastes oily, salty & porky – it is exactly what the body needs after 11 pints of lager on a Friday night – it ranks third to the British boozer’s superfoods: The takeaway curry or kebab. All hail the mighty SPAM fritter [best with chip shop curry sauce]!

      1. 11 pints and then slices of Spam? My eyes say “howdy”, but my stomach says “You’ll have to send that back”. I couldn’t have handled that when I was 21 and at my fighting weight.

        1. Just your 5% ABV blond session lager – not the hazmat chemical loopy juice. Or a session ale at 3.5% ABV if feeling unadventurous.

  2. I remember that tennis match. What a surprise, and I loved it.

    Gotta luv that jumping cat as ours won’t jump a two-foot barrier to get into a room that she loves but that we don’t want her to e in. She has the ability but just won’t use it in this case.

  3. I remember that Ashe-Connors finals at Wimbledon ’75. Connors seemed all but unbeatable going in — having not lost a set on his way to the finals, and having won the “grass slam” the year before (the three major tournaments — Wimbledon, US Open, and Australian Open — then played on grass. He’d been prevented from playing in that year’s fourth major — the French Open, on clay — and thus been denied the opportunity to win the 1974 Grand Slam).

    Ashe’s victory was a huge upset, of the Clay-Liston variety. And it revealed Connors’s Achilles’s heel. Later the summer, Connors lost the US Open — played that year on clay at Forrest Hills — to the Argentinian clay-court specialist, Guillermo Vilas. And he lost in the Wimbledon finals the next two years to Björn Borg.

    Connors remained a great player, and won several more majors, but he was never again the unbeatable juggernaut he’d seemed going into that Wimbledon match with Ashe.

    1. Long ago when I was going to school in St. Louis a friend who was a fair tennis player used to play some at a club in Belleville, Ill. The Connor’s family was well known there and I think his brother taught some there. Connors was still at the top and I guess he was one of the first power tennis guys and the medal rackets were new, replacing all the wood. They use to practice in gyms with wood floors because it was really fast tennis.

    2. I started following pro tennis closely the following year (and I still do today), so I missed that classic Ashe-Connors match. I remember reading all about it, though.

      The pedant in me demands that I make a few corrections to Mr. Kukec’s comment: Connors’ loss to Vilas at the US Open was in ’77 (two years later). In ’75 he lost on clay to Manuel Orantes of Spain. And Connors’ two losses to Borg at Wimbledon occurred in ’77 and ’78. In ’76 he didn’t make the final, which was played between Borg and Illie Nastase. The former won, of course, starting a run of 5 consecutive victories at Wimbledon. I completely agree that Connors, while remaining very intimidating, began to lose his aura of invincibility at about that time.

      1. I stopped following tennis years ago, but 15-year-old Cori Gauff upset 39-year-old Venus Williams in the first round at Wimbledon on Monday. She’s still advancing. I might start watching tennis again.

        1. The Grunts – I can’t handle it!
          And if it’s a Wimbledon Summer there’s some risk of Sir Cliff Richard, OBE getting up on his hind legs as per 1996 & embarrassing all us Brits in front of the entire World. [video]:

      2. Thanks for the corrections, Mr. Matthews; they refresh my recollection, which I should’ve refreshed myself by reviewing the records before posting my comment.

        For a while in the ’70s, Connors won the US Open in the even years, winning it again in ’76 against Borg — the middle of the only three years it was played on clay, at Forrest Hills, before it moved down the road in Queens to Flushing Meadows, where it’s been played on hard courts since (and where Connors won again against Borg in ’78).

        1. The same player winning the US Open in ’74, ’76, and ’78 on three different surfaces (grass, clay, and hard, respectively) is a curiosity … and a mighty impressive feat. I have to admit I hated Connors back in the day, but now I can appreciate that, while not someone who’s particularly likable, he came to play and gave absolutely 100% every time.

          My favourite player back then was Brian Gottfried. I wonder whether anyone here remembers him.

  4. Jean Cocteau was a celebrated filmmaker, too, a godfather of sorts to the French “New Wave.”

    1. I’ve always been partial to translating “Nouvelle Vague” as New Vague because “vague” in French carries the English meaning as well as wave, and New Wave French cinema was and is très vague to me.

  5. “Can everybody just Please look at this cat”

    The little bounce just before the jump is a dead giveaway. He’s waiting for every one to watch him. 😎 Could there be an Olympics for cats?

  6. I think Hili is right on the money about needed a new convenant with reality, if it’s still amenable.

    RE: the Declaration, no one reads the Declaration, and says, OMG, it’s been almost 250 years, and we still haven’t changed how we treat women, etc. We have; things are better.

    1. Re: The Declaration, they do, it’s called ‘presentisim’ they think people knew and thought exactly the same things/ways we know now. Any differences in attitudes therefore can be put down to wickedness and the inherent racism of the ‘White Race’

  7. I see that Olive the Duck, like Donald the Trump, broke royal etiquette by walking in front of Her Majesty.

    At least unlike the Yank lout, Olive hasn’t hasn’t insulted Meghan Markle (that we know of).

  8. A bit disappointed in the tithead in the boat clip ,i was hoping he would fall in when he had the weights above his head .

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