Monday: Hili dialogue

July 15, 2019 • 6:45 am

It’s Monday, July 15, 2019, and back to work for salarypeople. It’s both National Gummy Worms Day, celebrating a disgusting confection, but also National Tapioca Pudding Day. And in Kiribati it’s Elderly Men Day. I wonder how they fête us geezers there?

Things that happened on July 15 include this stuff:

  • 1099 – First Crusade: Christian soldiers take the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem after the final assault of a difficult siege.
  • 1799 – The Rosetta Stone is found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign.

The Rosetta Stone entry in Wikipedia is well worth reading, as the stone, with the same text in hieroglyphics, ancient demotic Egyptian, and ancient Greek, helped us decipher hieroglyphic. It now rests behind glass in the British Museum. It used to be in the open, surrounded by a fence, but too many damn tourists thought they need to touch it and, fearing wear on the stone, it was given more secure protection. Here it is (the inscription, by the way, is about the divine status of Ptolemy V):

  • 1834 – The Spanish Inquisition is officially disbanded after nearly 356 years.
  • 1838 – Ralph Waldo Emerson delivers the Divinity School Address at Harvard Divinity School, discounting Biblical miracles and declaring Jesus a great man, but not God. The Protestant community reacts with outrage.
  • 1910 – In his book Clinical Psychiatry, Emil Kraepelin gives a name to Alzheimer’s disease, naming it after his colleague Alois Alzheimer.
  • 2002 – “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh pleads guilty to supplying aid to the enemy and to possession of explosives during the commission of a felony.

Lindh was released on May 23 of this year, though he’ll still be on probation for three years. And he will be unable to profit from anything he writes about his experience.

It’s also a pretty dark day in the era of social discourse:

  • 2006 – Twitter is launched, becoming one of the largest social media platforms in the world.

I have mixed feelings about Twitter. I like to see animal pictures or announcments of scientific breakthroughs, but too often people engage in always-unproductive battles of words, and many news sources, especially the hated HuffPost, rely on Twitter to give a “feeling for what Americans think”, even though the demographic of the users isn’t representative of America. In fact, those sources just take selected tweets that agree with their ideology and use them as an index of general sentiment: “Twitter says. . .”  That I can’t abide.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1573 – Inigo Jones, English architect, designed the Queen’s House (d. 1652)
  • 1606 – Rembrandt, Dutch painter and etcher (d. 1669)
  • 1858 – Emmeline Pankhurst, English political activist and suffragist (d. 1928)

Pankhurst is (or should be) a feminist hero, a real activist for women’s suffrage who was imprisoned multiple times and force-fed in jail. Here she is in 1914 being arrested by police outside Buckingham Palace while trying to present a petition to George V (May 1914). Look at the expression on those men’s faces!

More births on this day:

  • 1919 – Iris Murdoch, Anglo-Irish British novelist and philosopher (d. 1999)
  • 1921 – Robert Bruce Merrifield, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2006)
  • 1928 – Carl Woese, American microbiologist and biophysicist (d. 2012)
  • 1930 – Jacques Derrida, Algerian-French philosopher and academic (d. 2004)
  • 1943 – Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Northern Irish astrophysicist, astronomer, and academic
  • 1946 – Linda Ronstadt, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress
  • 1950 – Arianna Huffington, Greek-American journalist and publisher (The Huffington Post)

Here’s Rembrandt’s famous etching Virgin and Child with a Cat (1654), with Joseph peeping through the window. There’s a cat to the left, and a snake slithering out from beneath the Virgin’s dress.

Those who died on July 15 include:

  • 1883 – General Tom Thumb, American circus performer (b. 1838)
  • 1904 – Anton Chekhov, Russian playwright and short story writer (b. 1860)
  • 1929 – Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Austrian author, poet, and playwright (b. 1874)
  • 1940 – Robert Wadlow, American giant, 8′ 11″ 271 cm (b.1918)
  • 1948 – John J. Pershing, American general (b. 1860)
  • 1997 – Gianni Versace, Italian fashion designer, founded Versace (b. 1946)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili finds diversity within the lawn:

Hili: Impressive biodiversity.
A: I know, when I was younger it was a manicured lawn.

In Polish:
Hili: Imponująca bioróżnorodność
Ja: Wiem, jak byłem młodszy to był zadbany trawnik.

Reposted on Facebook, and so true!

If Antonin Scalia were really an originalist, he’d have interpreted the Constitution thusly:


Here’s a tweet Grania sent me on September 20 of last year, and which I never posted. It’s similar to the wonderful tweet I put up the other day showing a red-winged blackbird singing a “frost song”:

Two tweets from Heather Hastie. Do you think the cat is really playing with the kitten here?

Classic “displacement behavior” in mammals:

Tweets from Matthew. Nightjar in the mug!

I love this one. Any idea what country it’s from? (“Polisi” might be a clue.)

Ingratiated to the rectum!

A guy with a bad case of the crabs:

Yes, this is probably male on one side and female on the other:


21 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. Twitter is like standing outside the public restroom handing out markers as people enter, only millions worse. Our current president spends a lot of time in the bathroom.

    1. To quote one author:

      “Nothing but good would come from pulling the plug and silencing Twitter forever. It is a chaos engine and needs to be dismantled.”

      Caitlin R. Kiernan

  2. Lindh was released on May 23 of this year, though he’ll still be on probation for three years. And he will be unable to profit from anything he writes about his experience.

    Technically speaking, Lindh is on something called “supervised release” (a period of supervision that automatically follows the completion of an offender’s sentence) rather than “probation” (a period of supervision generally imposed in lieu of imprisonment).

    Lindh will be unable to profit from anything he might publish regarding his illegal conduct because he assigned all such profits to the US government as a term of his plea agreement. In the absence of such an assignment in his plea, I think application of the federal statute prohibiting an offender of from profiting from writing about his or her crime (what is known colloquially as a “Son of Sam” law) would be of dubious constitutionality under the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment.

    1. That was my immediate reaction too. How can ‘they’ stop anyone from speaking (or writing).

      If he signed away that right as part of a plea deal, okay.


  3. Emmeline Pankhurst was a Mancunian. She was born in Moss Side, which is about 2 miles from Matthew Cobb’s office. The British suffrage movement got it’s start here with rallies in the Free Trade Hall.

    We’re very proud of her.

  4. “the cat is really playing with the kitten”. I can see a wire from the table with a ball on the end. The cat is pawing the wire which makes the ball move. Clearly, he enjoys watching the kitten chase the ball. So, yes, the cat is really playing with the kitten.

    1. My guess is Malaysia because you can see the bus traveling on the left side of the road, a British heritage. I would not expect this in Indonesia, a former Dutch colony.

  5. “2006 – Twitter is launched, becoming one of the largest social media platforms in the world.”

    In Worldwide Future Wars that begin in 2052, this will be known as “T Day.” The day it all began. And also because everybody still remembers the Terminator movies (well, at least the first two, as the rest will have been destroyed in an intentional fire) and the “T” makes for a nice tie-in. Hey, you have to get your humor in anywhere you can during the Future Wars!

  6. Saw the Rosetta Stone in 1985 at the British Museum while it was still in the open. I was really excited to see it, such a significant artifact I had read so much about, right there in front of me. I don’t recall trying to touch it, boy I hope I didn’t.

    1. The first time I visited Stone Henge, you were still allowed to walk around inside it. As a boy, I’m pretty sure I touched lots of the stones and climbed on them.

      In fact, it may be my fault you can’t get near them now.

  7. Gummy bears disgusting?! I have never been so triggered. Just for that I will have to take refuge in a 1 pound bag of Haribos.

  8. The cat crossing the road – my guess is Indonesia, since ‘bas sekolah’ is ‘school bus’ in Indonesian.

    (And ‘bas sekolah’ in Malaysian).

    So says Google, at least.


    1. Oops, that should be ‘BUS sekolah’ in Indonesian.

      Dammit. Oh for an Edit function.


  9. … and I see darwinwins et al have beaten me to it. I missed that comment.

    Moral: If ya don’t want to look stupid, check _all_ the comments before posting…



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