Tuesday: Hili dialogue

September 24, 2019 • 6:45 am

Well, Fall is upon us, as the year wanes and the days dwindle down to a precious few:  September. . . November. . . .  Sing it, Willie!


It’s National Cherries Jubilee Day (a dessert I’ve never eaten), as well as Kiss Day (be careful about planting them),  Gallbladder Good Health Day (oy!), and National Bluebird of Happiness Day. See the link for the supposed origin of that phrase, and here’s a relevant Gary Larson cartoon:

Stuff that happened on September 24 includes:

  • 787 – Second Council of Nicaea: The council assembles at the church of Hagia Sophia. [Its main purpose appears to have been to restore the use of holy images in Christianity.]
  • 1890 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially renounces polygamy.
  • 1906 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt proclaims Devils Tower in Wyoming as the nation’s first National Monument.
  • 1929 – Jimmy Doolittle performs the first flight without a window, proving that full instrument flying from take off to landing is possible.
  • 1948 – The Honda Motor Company is founded.
  • 1957 – President Eisenhower sends the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce desegregation.

Here’s Elizabeth Eckford, one of the “Little Rock Nine” (nine black students who desegregated Little Rock’s Central High School), stoically walking to class on the first day, followed by an enraged racist mob. An iconic picture of bravery—and how times have changed. (More of the story here.)

  • 1975 – Southwest Face expedition members become the first persons to reach the summit of Mount Everest by any of its faces, instead of using a ridge route.

Here’s that daunting face, with the route climbed below it. Those who made it to the top included Dougal Haston, Doug Scott, Pertemba, and Peter Boardman, and the expedition was led by Chris Bonington (now Sir Chris Bonington).

Here’s a video about the expedition. It’s made by Barclays, which sponsored the expedition, and so has a lot of bank-related puffery. Start at 3:30 if you want to get to the mountain stuff:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1717 – Horace Walpole, English historian, author, and politician (d. 1797)
  • 1880 – Sarah Knauss, American super-centenarian, oldest verified American person ever (d. 1999)

Here’s Knauss, who died at the age of 119! She’s 99 in the photo:

More born on this day:

  • 1893 – Blind Lemon Jefferson, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1929)
  • 1895 – André Frédéric Cournand, French physician and physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1988)
  • 1896 – F. Scott Fitzgerald, American novelist and short story writer (d. 1940)
  • 1898 – Howard Florey, Australian pharmacologist and pathologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1968)
  • 1902 – Ruhollah Khomeini, Iranian religious leader and politician, 1st Supreme Leader of Iran (d. 1989)
  • 1905 – Severo Ochoa, Spanish–American physician and biochemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1993)
  • 1923 – Fats Navarro, American trumpet player and composer (d. 1950)
  • 1936 – Jim Henson, American puppeteer, director, producer and screenwriter, created The Muppets (d. 1990)
  • 1941 – Linda McCartney, American singer, photographer, and activist (d. 1998)

Notables who expired on September 24 were few; I found only two worth marking:

  • 1541 – Paracelsus, German-Swiss physician, botanist, and chemist (b. 1493)
  • 2016 – Buckwheat Zydeco, American accordionist and bandleader (b. 1947)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, in an astounding comment, says she’s not quite ready for breakfast:

A: Breakfast?
Hili: Wait a moment, I’m just waking up.
In Polish:
Ja: Śniadanie?
Hili: Za chwilę, jeszcze się nie obudziłam.

From Stephen Barnard:

From Merilee:

And from reader Jon: a cat cartoon by Hillary B. Price:


The next to last thing Grania tweeted (a retweet), on June 15:

Diana MacPherson emailed this, adding, “Leave it to Dinesh to go full Godwin on a girl trying to save the planet.” Indeed—have a gander at D’Souza’s lunacy:

Two tweets from Heather Hastie (sound up):

And a heartening tweet via Ann German:

From reader Barry: a woman saves a snake. Barry says, “This may be the first time that anyone has called a snake ‘sweetheart'”. Sound up, of course.

Three tweets from Matthew. Prometheus had nothing on this guy:


Yep, pretty much:

My cursory investigation suggests that this event really did happen:

48 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. In the spirit of the viral videos posted in the WEIT dialogues every day, many of which involve various animals being annoying or obnoxious in comical fashion, I’d like to recommend the following game:


    It’s short, simple and very funny. You control the goose: it can honk loudly and it can pick things up and/or drag them around the place. The premise of the game is simply to annoy the inhabitants of a small English town as they go about their daily business.

    It’s a kind of behavioural puzzle game/annoy-’em-up – if you’re curious there are plenty of YT videos showing the first ten minutes of the game, which will give you a feel for it.

    It’ll be a cult classic in years to come, I promise. And even if you’re not a gamer it’s short(two or three hours), simple and relatively cheap.

      1. I meant to say it’s available on Mac OS and PC as well as Nintendo Switch.

        And if do you end up getting it I will have no excuse not to give Stewart Lee more of a fair go…

        1. Some French chap has done the goose run in 3:46 [below quick vid]

          I use PC & it’s about time I got a controller
          I play strategy turn-based [reflexes unimportant] board war games, mainly from GMT & nearly always solitaire mode. Though I plan to seek online opponents & play via the VASSAL ENGINE – not a fan of Steam


          1. I’m going to avoid watching that, just for the sake of avoiding spoilers. The speedrunning community is just amazing though. I watched a guy stream a world record run of Zelda Ocarina of Time and it’s easy to get engaged in it. They have no idea if a particular run is going to be The One so they just film go after go. It’s only well into the run that they start really taking it seriously. Beyond my capabilities, even if I wanted to.

    1. Have you ever noticed that the farrightwingbats never, ever respond to the content of the argument; it’s always a personal attack on whoever is making it?

      If they have a counterargument to make, why don’t they do that? Why is it always mockery?

      Maybe we should be pointing that out more.


      1. Exactly. We know the counterargument would be garbage but could be no worse than dragging up Nazi propaganda to compare with this lovely girl.

      1. Her face is remarkably expressive- not just this example. Her parents are/were actor/actress – I think it was passed down.

        1. I only just started this – and I’ll listen to it all – but is her audience simply the members or attendees of this specific U.N. meeting? Or is this meant to be everyone in the world?

          1. I think it’s clear she’s talking to those who hold power and make decisions regarding energy policy everywhere in the world.

          1. He did not pull punches, but said everything in a mild and encouraging tone. I think (hope?) his message will be effective for many leaders.

  2. I’ve always thought ‘dinesshhhh’ is the sound of two cymbals coming together; a loud, pointless noise signifying nothing.

    The guy’s a worm-tongued grifter and he’s never been more at home than he is now, in Trump’s America.

  3. BELOW PIC: Consolidated NY-2 (Husky) biplane fitted with rear cockpit hood for use in first blind flying experimental flight by Lt. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle on September 24, 1929. Here the rear cockpit hood is seen in its closed position:


    “…I developed through trial and error a method of literally flying an airplane into the ground. At the far end of the field I had a radio beacon toward which I flew. At the other end I had a fan beacon of lights that marked my approach. On passing the fan beacon at a prescribed altitude, there was a mark on the throttle segment to which I put the throttle. That mark gave me just enough throttle to come down in a very flat glide, and I would just fly right into the ground, and the airplane would scarcely bounce. This technique, along with the new instruments we were able to acquire, allowed me to practice blind landings with a canvas hood over the cockpit.

    It was immediately obvious that the instruments then available—the altimeter, rate-of-climb, air-speed, and bank and turn indicators—were not adequate, particularly in bumpy weather. I heard about a chap named [Paul] Kollsman who had developed a very sensitive barometric altimeter, and I went to see him at his home in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He had built an altimeter that would show the altitude down to about ten feet, whereas the instruments we had been using were only accurate down to about one hundred feet. I took Kollsman—he was holding his altimeter on his lap — up on the first flight test of his device, which was the father of all altimeters used today.

    Another group that was extremely helpful was the Radio Frequency Laboratory in Boonton, New Jersey, which installed a lot of equipment in our test planes for following beams and beacons and so forth. In those days they didn’t yet have an instrument that pointed whether you were left or right of the radio beacon. What we had were two vibrating reeds. If you were to the right of the beacon, one reed would vibrate more. If you were to the left, the other reed would. To keep on course you had to visually maintain an equal vibration of the two reeds, which stopped vibrating altogether when you passed directly over the beacon. These were the primitive devices out of which today’s fine system finally evolved.

    Two things I knew I needed were a directional gyroscope, which could be periodically set with a compass to give you always your true north, and an instrument that showed the nose and wings of the airplane in relation to the horizon. Various attempts had been made to build such instruments, but they had never been successful. So I went to Elmer Sperry, Sr., who was then the world’s outstanding gyro-scope man, and I drew him a picture of what I wanted. It was a combination instrument in which a simulated airplane would be fixed on the face of the dial and the artificial horizon would be a bar that moved up and down and rolled sideways. And below the horizon bar would be a dial that showed the degrees of north, east, south, and west. Mr. Sperry said he could make that instrument but that it would be very complex and take a long time. He recommended two instruments, a directional gyroscope and an artificial horizon. I said fine, and he assigned the work to his son, Elmer junior. From then on, Elmer junior was an integral part of the blind-flying team. He and his wife became friends of ours and still were when they both passed on. I couldn’t possibly give too much credit to the Sperry people for what they did. Incidentally, about two years ago I climbed into a transport plane, and to my amazement, there on the instrument board was almost an exact replica of the original combination instrument I drew for Elmer Sperry, Sr., in 1928.


    Our big day came on September 24, 1929. About four that morning Jack Dalton called me—actually it was the same day we tested Raeder’s fog-dispersing technique. As I said, I had been doing blind landings under the hood for a considerable period of time, and this particular day I realized that here was an opportunity to try a flight in actual zero-zero conditions. So we immediately pushed the airplane out. I climbed in, took off, flew up through the fog, and came back and landed. This was, as far as I know, the first take off and landing ever made under zero-zero conditions of fog. About that time Harry Guggenheim arrived from his home. He suggested we make an official flight under a hood. I said fine. About that time the fog began to disperse slightly. I tried my best to get Harry to permit me to take off and make the hooded flight alone. But he wouldn’t permit it. He was concerned that there might be other airplanes flying above the fog. Harry insisted that Ben Kelsey go with me. So Ben got in the front seat, and I taxied out and made the flight completely under the hood, with Kelsey holding his hands up at all times—to show he wasn’t touching the controls.

    Q. Did Guggenheim know that you had flown solo before he arrived?

    I am positive he did, but that time I was not flying under the hood. I was flying looking out. Harry wanted the official flight to be completely blind, completely under the hood, by instruments alone. And so, for maximum safety, Harry wanted another pilot in the plane with me. After the FullFlight Laboratory was disbanded in 1929, all our equipment was turned over to the Army at Wright Field, where Captain Hegenberger modified and improved it, and then he made the first solo flight under a hood. Hegenberger received the Collier Trophy for that flight.

    Did you ever receive any award for your blind flights?

    Not as far as I know”

    Extracted from this very fine LONG INTERVIEW with Jimmy in which he reveals “I am not a very timid type” 🙂

    1. The idea that he would experiment with blind instrument flying and do it solo is kind of nuts. I mean, nobody does this today and we have much better instruments than back then.

  4. D’Souza & The Big Lie:

    In July 2017, D’Souza published The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left. In the book, D’Souza asserts that the 2016 Democratic Party platform was similar to the platform of the Third Reich.

    The statement received media attention in 2018 when repeated by Donald Trump Jr.. PolitiFact gave the claim its “Pants-on-Fire” rating, noting that “only a small number of elements of the two platforms are clearly similar, and those are so uncontroversial that they appear in the Republican platform as well”

    Historians refuted the assertion, with University of Maryland historian and Barack Obama critic Jeffrey Herf saying, “There is not the slightest, tiny sliver in which this could be even somewhat accurate”

    In another review of the book, historian Nicole Hemmer of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs wrote, “For a book about secret Nazis, The Big Lie is surprisingly dull … The Big Lie thus adds little to the no-you’re-the-fascist genre on the right”

    New York Times columnist Ross Douthat criticized the book, saying it was a “plea-for-attention” by D’Souza, and that the author had “become a hack”. Douthat further stated, “Because D’Souza has become a professional deceiver, what he adds are extraordinary elisions, sweeping calumnies and laughable leaps”


    1. Getting charged with fraud shattered his(thin) reputation as a borderline-respectable conservative commentator. Now all he can do is scream from the sidelines like the irrelevance that he is. He’s there in the muck with the Q Anon loonies and the Posobiecs and Laura Loomers.

      That must really grind his gears – he’s always had a high opinion of himself, he’s always been a snob, and now he has to get retweeted by trumpmommabear65 and appear on Ken and Buck’s Patriot Hour while fielding calls from people who don’t use verbs when they talk.

      He’ll still make a living: he’s a grifter after all, but it’s comforting to contemplate how bitter and fundamentally dissatisfied he must be. It’s just nice; a nice, happy thought.

      1. I think this sort of thing that D’Souza is doing here is intended to be perceived as somehow “standing up” to what is perceived to be (yes, I think it’s all about competing perceptions) everyone fawning/falling in love with this figure for no reason at all.

        1. Well, I have to say I’m impressed with his plucky courage in the face of overwhelming odds. A grown man with thousands of poisonous far-right conspiracy-theorist followers bravely called a sixteen year old girl a Nazi. Behind her back. Let’s give him a Purple Heart.

  5. What is it that gets under D’Souza’s skin about Thunberg (sp.?)? She’s magically charismatic, compelling, and appealing at the A-list celebrity level to a large number of young people, has done some interesting things (carbon neutral boat ride, plant-only diet), is talented at it all, and hasn’t even graduated high school … oh, I think I answered my own question.

    Meanwhile, D’Souza has rooted in the mud for one painting of an imaginary person. There must be countless such paintings, and countless such people with braids in their hair in that specific way. All it says is something about D’Souza.

    1. I just noticed that D’Souza’s observation – that there are the same style of braid on Greta Thunberg and the imaginary girl in the Nazi propaganda painting- is precisely the same observation that can be made about moustaches – I’ll pick Josef Stalin and Theodore Roosevelt – as having similar style moustaches.

      The only response to this observation is : “so what?”

      1. I know his argument is “look she has braids from an old time propaganda painting” and that is supposed to lead us into “damn Dinesh you’re right! She’s a Nazi! Thank goodness you noticed the braids or we could have started listening to what she has to say! You’ve saved us all!”

        1. Yes

          There’s a certain thrill D’Souza is looking to stoke – some fanatical against-the-grain “boldness”.

    2. The comparison to the HJ poster was silly.

      I do see what people find maddening about the Thunberg issue, but not so much her personally. I have no doubt she is as sincere and earnest as anyone her age is about a cause they have adopted.

      What troubles me is the people behind the curtain, Investment bankers, marketers and PR people who intend to make money out of the campaign.
      We Don’t Have Time is a for profit company, that intends to fund a social media platform. The hook is that people and companies can be rated for their environmental friendliness, and companies and individuals who do not have acceptable ratings can purchase climate indulgences from the platform.

      From their business prospectus-
      “As the Company is a niche social network, it is able to offer tailor-made services for its users. The Company has identified one such opportunity by offering its users the possibility of offsetting their climate impact by purchasing the platform’s proprietary certification.”


      I also think it is unfair to put a child out as the face of a company or political movement, and take the position that any disagreement with the company or movement is characterized as bullying the child.

      I personally have zero issues with the girl herself, but think Ingmar Rentzhog and her other handlers are cynical and sleazy.

  6. 1975 – Southwest Face expedition members become the first persons to reach the summit of Mount Everest by any of its faces, instead of using a ridge route.

    Don’t forget Mick Burke and an unnamed deaf-and-dumb porter died on that ascent. Which, by the standards of “expedition scale” Himalayan efforts was actually a pretty good (i.e. low) scorecard.

  7. Going from John Oliver’s spiel on it (below), There are two general approaches to Everest- one on the Tibet side, more technically demanding, and one on the Nepal side – less demanding. It seems this approach was neither – scaling the rock face. I think this is a class of its own and being in 1975 was before a boom in Everest expeditions in 1993.

  8. Willy Nelson’s September song was very sweet indeed. I was enjoying it most of the way through until, toward the end, I realized that whoever assembled the imagery for it, had focused entirely on older, white Americans. Every race and ethnicity grows old. So, why the exclusivity. Very disappointing to me, but, I don’t blame Willy.

  9. VIDEO BELOW. Fox News guest MICHAEL J. KNOWLES * calls Greta Thunberg a “mentally ill Swedish child.” The Network responded “The comment made by Michael Knowles who was a guest on The Story tonight was disgraceful — we apologize to Greta Thunberg and to our viewers”



    * ‘Born again’ Catholic Knowles [why are there so many Catholic monsters?] released a book called Reasons to Vote for Democrats: A Comprehensive Guide, which contained 266 empty pages and an extensive bibliography – it became the number 1 best-selling book on Amazon…

    ** Thunberg has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, obsessive–compulsive disorder & selective mutism. Knowles must surely be aware of this!

    1. I was reading some posters on the National Post (Canadian conservative newspaper) site. (Mainly to gauge state of opinions.) And they too were going on about how Greta Thunberg is mentally ill. Where did this (irrelevancy) start?

      1. As soon as she came on the scene. The poisoning of Thunberg started with the climate denier blogs & spread to their political ‘affiliates’ – such as the German right wing AfD who recently [2016] embraced climate denial & other anti-science stances. A month or two ago AfD turned up the volume on this stuff because they realised that these anti-stances [anti-rich, anti-immigrant, anti-EU, ant-‘globalism’, anti-Semitism, anti-finance & banking, anti-you-name-it] increases membership. It’s the easy path to power.

        There knives were buried well in deep before she hit the USA so ultimately the responsibility lies with those who fund the blogs such as the remaining Koch brother through ‘think tanks’ & the like.

        I looked at April 2019 using Google date filters [as a sample] & she is described by the usual suspects as “challenged” & “mentally ill” & her parents as “weirdos” & “manipulative.”

        Her families lifestyle will seem deeply strange & disturbing to tone deaf American Christians [which is ironic I think] – and Christians fear & hate ‘difference.’ I expect if she stays in the USA she’ll be seriously at personal risk.

        P.S. I think this is too much too soon for Greta at 16yo & I hope she has backing that are truly looking out for her. There’s a lot of stress in her life.

        1. “too much too soon”

          I’m inclined to agree, but from her extraordinary poise under the lights I have some confidence she’s got a great support staff who would pause her efforts if it seemed overwhelming.

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