Saturday: Hili dialogue

August 10, 2019 • 6:30 am

It’s Saturday, August 10, 2019, and national S’Mores Day. This foodstuff, surely endemic to the U.S., consists of two graham crackers, between which one sandwiches a hot, toasted marshmallow and a few squares of a Hershey Bar, which melt when in contact with the marshmallow. (“S’more”, of course, is a contraction for “some more”.) It’s designed to be made by scouts around a campfire, and looks like this (from its own Wikipedia page; this one is an “open faced S’more” so you can see the inside. They are good!

Here’s the tweet of the day from the New York Times. It shows again—as if we needed more evidence—the gun insanity in the U.S.:

It’s also National Duran Duran Appreciation Day, as well as National Bowling Day.

Stuff that happened on August 10 include:

  • 1519 – Ferdinand Magellan’s five ships set sail from Seville to circumnavigate the globe. The Basque second-in-command Juan Sebastián Elcano will complete the expedition after Magellan’s death in the Philippines.
  • 1628 – The Swedish warship Vasa sinks in the Stockholm harbour after only about 20 minutes of her maiden voyage.

You can see the Vasa in Stockholm, where it was meticulously recovered and preserved. It’s well worth seeing. Here it is:

  • 1675 – The foundation stone of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London, England is laid.
  • 1776 – American Revolutionary War: Word of the United States Declaration of Independence reaches London.
  • 1793 – The Musée du Louvre is officially opened in Paris, France.
  • 1846 – The Smithsonian Institution is chartered by the United States Congress after James Smithson donates $500,000.
  • 1897 – German chemist Felix Hoffmann discovers an improved way of synthesizing acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin).

In case you want to see the structural formula for aspirin, here it is:

  • 1969 – A day after murdering Sharon Tate and four others, members of Charles Manson’s cult kill Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.
  • 1977 – In Yonkers, New York, 24-year-old postal employee David Berkowitz (“Son of Sam”) is arrested for a series of killings in the New York City area over the period of one year.
  • 1995 – Oklahoma City bombing: Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols are indicted for the bombing. Michael Fortier pleads guilty in a plea-bargain for his testimony.
  • 2003 – European heat wave: The highest temperature ever recorded in the United Kingdom, 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) in Kent, England.

Well, that no longer stands. On July 25 of this year, the temperature reached 38.7° C (101.7°) in Cambridge, England, breaking the record by a fraction of a degree.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1874 – Herbert Hoover, American engineer and politician, 31st President of the United States (d. 1964)
  • 1902 – Norma Shearer, Canadian-American actress (d. 1983)
  • 1902 – Arne Tiselius, Swedish biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1971)
  • 1928 – Jimmy Dean, American singer, actor, and businessman, founded the Jimmy Dean Food Company (d. 2010)
  • 1928 – Eddie Fisher, American singer and actor (d. 2010)
  • 1947 – Ian Anderson, Scottish-English singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • 1959 – Rosanna Arquette, American actress, director, and producer, bearer of white guilt
  • 1963 – Phoolan Devi, Indian lawyer and politician (d. 2001)
  • 1966 – Charlie Dimmock, English gardener and television host

Notables who went to the Great Beyond on August 10 were few; they include one d*g:

  • 1932 – Rin Tin Tin, American acting dog (b. 1918)

If you go to the link, you’ll see that Rin Tin Tin was a puppy rescued by a soldier during a battle in World War I. Taken back to America, he starred in 27 movies. Although there have been later Tins, this is the original:

And here he is as the mascot of the 135th Aero Squadron in 1918:

This is one of the few instances of a d*g appearing in Wikipedia’s obituary log.

  • 2001 – Lou Boudreau, American baseball player and manager (b. 1917)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej counts a photo of Hili as his own selfie:

Hili: People adore selfies.
A: I don’t have to, I have you and you are my alter ego.
In Polish:

Hili: Ludzie uwielbiają selfie.
Ja: Ja nie muszę, mam ciebie, a ty jesteś moim alter ego.


A cartoon sent by reader Bruce. If you don’t know what a Ding Dong is, go here, and of course the song referred to is this doo-wop classic (have a listen).

From Ivan (I may have posted this before):

And from Merilee, the ideal companion animal:

A Pinker tweet Grania sent me on January 23 of this year. This referred to Gillette’s woke razor ads featuring toxic masculinity, and links to a column by Faye Flam:

A monster-cat movie from reader Barry:

And another tweet from Barry. Poor Sarah Silverman:

A ghoulist tweet from reader j.j.:

A tweet from Heather Hastie, who says, “I don’t endorse the violence, but what kind of a$$ho£€ spits on someone because they’re black? I think most men would react this way. The coward only spat because he thought he was safe.”

Three tweets from Matthew. The first one is adorable.

An amazing aerial choreography of storks;

And a bit of feline history:


33 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. 1947 – Ian Anderson, Scottish-English singer-songwriter and guitarist

    multi-instrumentalist, but particularly known for being that rare beast, a rock flautist. And even rarer still – & non-partying, healthy living, early-to-bed rock star:

    1. Fuck yeah, Ian Anderson! What a genius. Dude tried to make an album parodying the excesses of progressive rock at the time and ended up with a great progressive rock album because he and his band were too good to parody it.

      I’ve been on a big Jethro Tull kick lately. It’s just remarkable how Anderson was able to weave a flute into so many rock songs so damn prominently and seamlessly. He really somehow made a flute the front and center instrument, even for solos. And what pipes!

      1. ‘Locomotive Breath’ is an all-time classic and very distinctive. From the long meandering bluesy piano intro which segues into a hammering rock beat, to the hard-rocking flute solo –

        There may be more unlikely instruments for a rock song than a flute, but I can’t think of one.

        By the way, I can’t decide whether
        “He picks up Gideons Bible
        Open at page one”
        is a sign that ‘he’ is desperately seeking salvation, or a reference to the hopeful legend that the local ladies of negotiable affection used to write their phone numbers on the flyleafs of hotel Gideon bibles. 😉


    2. Hey, this just reminded me: did you receive my email from August 1st? It might have gone to your spam folder. It was entitled “Hey Michael, it’s BJ.”

  2. I don’t know if it’s because I just woke up, I’m hungover, or something else, but I burst out laughing when I saw the “a ram a lamb a ding dong” and a badger wearing an emotional support animal vest.

    1. Not just a badger, but a honey badger, aka ratel.
      If you can somehow keep them from savaging you, a great ’emotional support animal’ indeed 🙂

  3. TWEET:

    Viorel Popescu @vioreldpopescu

    Happening now above my parents’ house in Braila, Romania: onset of white stork migration has the best choreography… beats Bolshoi

    The stork choreography is the birds ‘thermalling’ – gaining altitude for little cost, by circling upwards in a column of rising air. They then set off in search of the next thermal & hop thermal-to-thermal all the way to Africa.

    Without thermals these large birds would not be able to make the trip, they choose a land route, that avoids crossing the thermal-less Mediterranean Sea, by flying via Gibraltar to the west or Syria to the east.

    1. Good too they are so successful in ranging out to pick up their precious cargo. Else the races of humanity would come to a babyless end. 😎

  4. According to Wikipedia, in 1929 Rin Tin Tin received the most votes for best actor in the Academy Awards. However, the award was disallowed (species bigotry), and the award was given to an ape.

  5. In John Keegan’s Face Of Battle he says the men killed in the battle of Visby were buried in their armour because of the hot weather and the great number of men killed ,2,000 bodies found 600 years later ,usually bodies were stripped before being buried .

  6. Once the nitwit spitter saw guy was able to *open* the door, he should have taken off as fast as his cowardly little rabbit feet would have taken him. And plain stupid to target someone much bigger than yourself.

    1. It’s impossible to know but perhaps that fine young gentleman on the train deserved to be spat upon. We have all encountered the type. It is highly unlikely (spitter seems a garden variety racist lunatic), but we simply don’t know what transpired a few moments before the video begins.

      1. “…perhaps that fine young gentleman on the train deserved to be spat upon. We have all encountered the type.”

        You may be right. But perhaps the spitter had harassed this man many times before, and this time, the *second* spit just set him off.

        We’ve all encountered “that kind,” too.

  7. Can’t believe anyone would enjoy watching a man beaten unconscious, regardless of the reason for it. And how do we know it was “just because he was black?” People get into fights over things other than race sometimes.

    1. Our high school had a tough who beat competitors to a pulp like this. He was nurtured by the staff until he turned into a sports coach and a decent human being.

  8. What happened to provoke the spitter? And who says he spat at him “because he’s black”? Sorry but you don’t get to beat someone unconscious and kick them in the head if they spit at you.

    1. What makes you think anything provoked the spitter at all? And what kind of hypothetical behaviour warrants being spat at twice in the face?

      If someone spat twice at me in the face, from behind almost closed doors, in front of a carriage full of people, I would do exactly the same thing.

  9. I am a fan of Doo-Wop, and “Rama Lama Ding Dong” (1958) by the Edsels is my favorite of the genre. It was referenced in the Barry Mann hit “Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)” (1961) with the lyric “Who put the ram in the Rama Lama Ding Dong.” Now I kinda want a Ding Dong.

    1. We have yet to find out who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong, who put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop, and who put the dip in the dip da dip da dip.

      The identity of this man remains one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of our age. I would like to shake his hand for making so many people fall in love (or fits of laughter). I mean that from the bottom of my boogity boogity boogity shoop.

      1. No one here has any doubt this is the mystery of the century. And, curious minds want to know what he meant by boogity, boogity, boogity, boogity, boogity, shoo.

  10. So, why did the Vasa sink as soon as it was launched? “Vasa was dangerously unstable and top-heavy with too much weight in the upper structure of the hull. Despite this lack of stability it was ordered to sea and foundered only a few minutes after encountering a wind stronger than a breeze.”

  11. I know you can’t mention all the noteworthy folks who share this birthday. And commend your good taste in leaving out Kylie Jenner! But I have to give a mention to one of the most beautiful women who ever lived (imo), Ronnie Spector. And few, if any, greater pop songs ever than “Be My Baby”.

    1. Didn’t Phil Spector force her to ride around with a cut-out/blow-up doll of himself whenever she was driving alone in LA? Because of his control-freakery? Very bad guy. Visionary, but very bad guy.

  12. Yet another reason to love Sarah Silverman. If she can have that effect on the Jesus freaks…

    But I do hope she stays safe.


  13. Mot a fan of the beating video, that behavior should mot be encouraged either.

    Faye Flam:

    In the Times, he also criticized the psychology guidelines because they never mentioned testosterone, instead insisting the root of all gender problems must be cultural. Sound familiar? The punch line at the end of Alan Alda’s essay is that testosterone poisoning doesn’t exist. But it sounds like the matter may require a little more study.”

    “Some of us would like to think that we’d be able to step back and evaluate the situation dispassionately, but the reality is that our emotions often drive important decisions (and besides, as the clip from The Good Place linked above shows, there isn’t always time for careful evaluation). Since testosterone influences both emotions and decision-making, many people had ideas about how it might alter the decisions made by people weighing these moral issues. But when a team of researchers from the University of Texas, Austin, decided to test those ideas, it turned out none of them was right.

    That doesn’t mean testosterone does nothing, but it certainly indicates we don’t understand what it might do.”

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