Thursday: Hili dialogue

July 25, 2019 • 6:30 am

It’s Thursday, July 25, 2019, and we still have two months of summer to go, though the weather has turned refreshingly cool in Chicago. It’s National Parfait Day as well as National Wine and Cheese Day. For me it’s Fasting Day (Mondays and Thursdays).

News of the day (h/t Nilou): According to the BBC, the oldest known extract from Homer’s Odyssey has been found on a clay tablet, found in Olympia Greece and dated “to Roman times” (better dating is impending). The extract “contains 13 verses from the Odyssey’s 14th Rhapsody, in which Odysseus addresses his lifelong friend Eumaeus.” It will be interesting to compare this to other extracts to see how well an orally transmitted work was reproduced in writing. Here’s part of the tablet:

Stuff that happened on this day includes the following:

  • 306 – Constantine I is proclaimed Roman emperor by his troops.

Constantine was, of course, the first emperor to convert to Christianity, and promoted Christianity heavily in the Empire, including calling for the first council of Nicaea.

  • 1603 – James VI of Scotland is crowned king of England (James I of England), bringing the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Scotland into personal union. Political union would occur in 1707.
  • 1783 – American Revolutionary War: The war’s last action, the Siege of Cuddalore, is ended by a preliminary peace agreement.
  • 1797 – Horatio Nelson loses more than 300 men and his right arm during the failed conquest attempt of Tenerife (Spain).
  • 1866 – The United States Congress passes legislation authorizing the rank of General of the Army. Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant becomes the first to be promoted to this rank.
  • 1909 – Louis Blériot makes the first flight across the English Channel in a heavier-than-air machine from (Calais to Dover, England, United Kingdom) in 37 minutes.

Here’s some footage of Blériot making his flight in what looks to be a rather rickety plane:

  • 1934 – The Nazis assassinate Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss in a failed coup attempt.
  • 1965 – Bob Dylan goes electric at the Newport Folk Festival, signaling a major change in folk and rock music.

There’s a whole Wikipedia entry on “Electric Dylan controversy” (link above), and here’s the very first song in his set, “Maggie’s Farm”. I can’t hear the audience boos on this video, but maybe you can:

  • 1976 – Viking program: Viking 1 takes the famous Face on Mars photo.

Here’s that photo, and it is striking:

This fired up many believers in extraterrestrial intelligence, including those who thought that the “face” was evidence for an ancient civilization on Mars. But it would be remarkable, no, if the Mars aliens looked just like humans? It would be a spectacular case of convergent evolution, though one could argue that Earthlings somehow came from Mars. But, given evidence for human evolution on Earth, that seems impossible.

But over 20 years later, this picture of the “face” was taken by the Mars Global Surveyor:

And Wikipedia says this, giving similar instances of pareidolia on Earth:

Since it was originally first imaged, the face has been accepted by scientists as an optical illusion, an example of the psychological phenomenon of pareidolia. After analysis of the higher resolution Mars Global Surveyor data NASA stated that “a detailed analysis of multiple images of this feature reveals a natural looking Martian hill whose illusory face-like appearance depends on the viewing angle and angle of illumination”. Similar optical illusions can be found in the geology of Earth; examples include the Old Man of the Mountain, the Romanian SphinxGiewont, the Pedra da Gávea, the Old Man of HoyStac LevenishSleeping Ute, and the Badlands Guardian.

Have a look at all the formations.

More stuff that happened on July 25.

  • 1978 – Birth of Louise Joy Brown, the first human to have been born after conception by in vitro fertilisation, or IVF.
  • 1984 – Salyut 7 cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya becomes the first woman to perform a space walk.
  • 2010 – WikiLeaks publishes classified documents about the War in Afghanistan, one of the largest leaks in U.S. military history.

Brown, who turns 41 today, has a new book that she flogs on her website:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1848 – Arthur Balfour, Scottish-English lieutenant and politician, 33rd Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1930)
  • 1870 – Maxfield Parrish, American painter and illustrator (d. 1966)

I’m a big fan of Parrish, and here’s one of his illustrations for Puss in Boots (1913):

  • 1875 – Jim Corbett, Indian hunter, environmentalist, and author (d. 1955)
  • 1920 – Rosalind Franklin, English biophysicist, chemist, and academic (d. 1958)
  • 1921 – Lionel Terray, French mountaineer (d. 1965)
  • 1941 – Emmett Till, American lynching victim (d. 1955)

Notables who expired on July 25 were few, and include:

  • 1834 – Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English philosopher, poet, and critic (b. 1772)
  • 1997 – Ben Hogan, American golfer (b. 1912)
  • 2008 – Randy Pausch, American computer scientist and educator (b. 1960)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is wheedling for noms:

Hili: Why is the garage open?
A: Because I’m going shopping.
Hili: I will make you a shopping list in a moment.
In Polish:


Hili: Dlaczego garaż jest otwarty?
Ja: Bo jadę na zakupy.
Hili: Zaraz zrobię ci listę.

A meme sent by Stephen Muth:

Another cat meme from FB:


A tweet Grania sent me on November 29 of last year:

In an email titled “Lizard heaven,” reader j.j. sent a tweet showing a lizard enjoying a “never-ending snack of ants,” but wants to know what species the lizard is. Readers?

Reader Simon has contributed his first tweet, and it’s a good one, showing a lazy Larry the Cat, Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office (that’s an official British government title):

A tweet from Nilou; Steve finally made it!

Two tweets from Heather Hastie. This one is very cute!

All it took was a glare to stop this kitten in its tracks:

Two tweets from Matthew. The first is “Pet Fennecs Gone Wild”:

This one’s hard to read, so I pulled the photo and enlarged it below the tweet. What a jerk that woman was (and I mean the one who’s having a girl):


40 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

    1. You’d hope so. That was psychotic. Worse than George Costanza and the whole ‘naming your kid Seven’ fiasco.

      1. Ha ha – or as bad as George Costanza pushing elderly people & children when there was a threat of fire. God, I love George Costanza.

        1. I loved them all. The appeal to me was the easy charm and lazy cynicism of the four of them, and the interplay. Watching it was like catching up with friends. Really, really shitty friends.

          IDK if you’ll see this but the outtakes from Seinfeld are a joy:

          Julia Louis Dreyfus corpsing is one of the most joyous sights.

    2. It actually recalls for me conversations I’ve had with people. The reaction is very much something I’ve experienced from people. It’s the immature tantrum scream and screech reaction when you don’t give them what they want and it gets personal and nasty immediately. I would not be surprised if this is real, especially the immediate “you don’t have children so you don’t know” is very common.

      1. Whoa ! This is totally t r u e, Ms Diana.
        Immediate … … the screech.
        NO thinking upon .from where. the other person is coming.


      2. That’s precisely why I think it’s genuine. Jennay should have congratulated her for naming her baby after the dog.

    3. Looking around the internet it’s supposedly a facebook back & forth & this is a screenshot of a mobile phone display where I assume one can conduct facebook messaging interactions [I dunno for sure as I don’t do fb nor smartphones].

      The image is a jpg & the left message boxes have been cut & pasted individually & you can see one horizontal join near the end [I would expect two] in a very long interaction [I think that interaction length is about 2.5 screens on a smartphone].

      I would guess it’s a fake because of all the jpg compression artifacts from resampling when resizing. Also note how the font changes size & the hue of green changes at this point:

      That’s too high up to be the join between two screenshots IMO.

      Do smartphones join up multiple screens automatically for a screenshot or do users tend to join them up externally?

      1. If it’s bogus, that doesn’t diminish the fact that these narcissistic female jerks exist and, sadly, they’re not rare. They abound on social media.

        BTW, I read that Amanda Knox is crowdfunding her wedding. She denies it, but here’s the website Judge for yourself.

      2. This would be an iPhone SMS message back and forth (the green indicates that) and the styling is iPhone’s iMessage. The screen shots would need to be joined by the user who took them.

    4. I believe it because I know of a similar story. A couple were all but ostracized from a family over their dog having the same name as the husband’s brother’s daughter. The only thing that really solved it was the dog having to be put down unexpectedly about four years later.

      1. “The only thing that really solved it was the dog having to be put down unexpectedly about four years later.”

        Good thing there wasn’t a mix-up between the kid and the dog

  1. I believe that the Bleriot anniversary is being marked by someone making an attempt to be the first person to cross the Channel with a jet pack (same guy who performed at the French Bastille Day celebrations).

    1. Just seen somewhere he has fallen in the channel ,and i read somewhere Bleriot would have gone for a swim if a rain shower had not cooled his over heating engine .

  2. I don’t understand why the IVF woman’s written a book about her life. Surely the interesting thing about her happened before she actually existed – what has she done since?

    Coasting on past achievements if you ask me.

      1. Wikipedia says there are eight species. I had a couple of these, way back when. My daughters christened them Mr & Mrs Spiny. They ate crickets with gusto.

  3. Hitler discovers Bob Dylan Has Gone Electric:

    THE SET:
    Maggies Farm
    Like a Rolling Stone
    It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry
    It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
    Mr Tambourine Man

    href=””>HERE at Newport ’65 is the magnificent Like A Rolling Stone, which had just come out as a single. Just this one song makes Dylan a genius legend IMO.

    It’s Dylan on harmonica, vocals & a bit of strumming, Mike Bloomfield on electric guitar, Al Kooper on piano, Barry Goldberg on organ, Jerome Arnold on electric bass & Sam Lay on drums. Lay’s drumming is pedestrian & a bit ‘military’, but Bloomfield does a fine job & the organ part is 90% great [a few slips].

    1. Al Kooper, I know, played organ on the studio recording of “Like a Rolling Stone.” Several times I’ve heard him recount the famous story of how he showed up at the studio with his electric guitar that morning, took one listen to Mike Bloomfield warming up, hid his guitar in a corner, and slid onto the stool at the organ, hoping nobody’d notice he wasn’t really a keyboard player.

      Kooper came up with those famous (and often copied) descending chords.

      1. Thanks – that’s very interesting – Al Kooper has balls & still going at 75. He says that at the recording session he played a little behind the rest of the band, “an eighth,” because he was unsure of the tune & yet he produces that chord progression you mention.

    2. Love that Hitler video. The reference to The Producers cracked me up.

      If thyat’s how Hitler feels, I think the most suitable (cruel and unusual) punishment would be to lock him up in a cell with nonstop Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk playing.


      1. 🙂 & Can for dessert. My nightmare in hell would be Level 42 on eternal repeat. Or Bread – I worked as night porter in a hotel for the summer in the mid 70s where Bread was on a 24/7 loop in reception & in the lifts. Horrible.

  4. That’s a remarkable comb jelly. At first it’s twisted randomly, then stretches wide and shakes, then it curls into a cylinder. It’s fairly complex behavior (for something without a brain). It deserves an explanation. It reminds me of an octopus which assumes crazy shapes and patterns to protect from predators.

  5. If you have an appetite for more electric Bob Dylan, the Martin Sorcese film on Netflix “Rolling Thunder Review” has some pretty good concert footage. Isis, about 20 minutes in, is mind-blowingly good and bizarre. If I was going to trapped on a desert island with just one music video….

  6. The face-in-the-moon pix? Wasn’t it Carl Sagan who wrote that next time they do a fly by, take a photo from a different angle, just to show people it all depends on perspective?

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