Thursday: Hili dialogue

September 26, 2019 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019: National Pancake Day. It’s also National Better Breakfast Day (I had a latte and two pieces of cinnamon toast, which I guess is a Worse Breakfast), Shamu the Whale Day, and National Dumpling Day. It’s a good day to eat!  Finally, it’s both National Good Neighbor Day and Lumberjack Day, described by Checkiday as:

Lumberjack Day celebrates the archetypal woodsman, the lumberjack. The day was created in 2005 by Marianne Ways and Colleen AF Venable as an excuse to eat pancakes and waffles with friends, and because International Talk Like a Pirate Day comes a week before it, and they wanted to celebrate a different character.

And give that today’s Lumberjack Day, the laws of physics dictated that I put up this famous skit:

Posting will be light today as I have things to do. As always (and like Maru), I try my best.

Stuff that happened on September 26 includes:

  • 1580 – Francis Drake finishes his circumnavigation of the Earth.
  • 1687 – The Parthenon in Athens is partially destroyed during the Morean War.
  • 1789 – George Washington appoints the first cabinet of the United States government.
  • 1905 – Albert Einstein publishes the third of his Annus Mirabilis papers, introducing the special theory of relativity.

Here’s the paper: “On the electrodynamics of moving bodies”. The Nobel Prize, however, was given not for relativity but for his paper on the photoelectric effect (the other two papers of the four were on Brownian motion and the equivalence of mass and energy.) Quite a good year for Einstein!

  • 1933 – As gangster Machine Gun Kelly surrenders to the FBI, he shouts out, “Don’t shoot, G-Men!”, which becomes a nickname for FBI agents.
  • 1942 – Holocaust: Senior SS official August Frank issues a memorandum detailing how Jews should be “evacuated”.
  • 1960 – In Chicago, the first televised debate takes place between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy.
  • 1969 – Abbey Road, the last recorded album by The Beatles, is released.

The album (not one of my favorites( those would be Revolver and Sergeant Pepper) features Ringo’s only drum solo in the entire history of the Beatles—on “The End”. There’s no good live recording of it, but here’s a 7-year-old, Harry Strunk, playing it:

  • 1981 – Nolan Ryan sets a Major League record by throwing his fifth no-hitter.
  • 1984 – The United Kingdom and China agree to a transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong, to take place in 1997.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1774 – Johnny Appleseed, American gardener and environmentalist (d. 1845)
  • 1849 – Ivan Pavlov, Russian physiologist and physician, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1936)
  • 1874 – Lewis Hine, American photographer and activist (d. 1940)
  • 1888 – T. S. Eliot, English poet, playwright, critic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1965)
  • 1914 – Jack LaLanne, American fitness expert (d. 2011)
  • 1925 – Marty Robbins, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and race car driver (d. 1982)
  • 1948 – Olivia Newton-John, English-Australian singer-songwriter and actress
  • 1962 – Chunky Pandey, Indian actor

I’m really not familiar with Chunky Pandey, but I like the name (his real name is Suyash Pandey). He doesn’t seem to be chunky at all.

Those who joined the Choir Invisible on September 26 include:

  • 1820 – Daniel Boone, American hunter and explorer (b. 1734)
  • 1902 – Levi Strauss, German-American businessman, founded Levi Strauss & Co. (b. 1829)
  • 1945 – Béla Bartók, Hungarian pianist and composer (b. 1881)
  • 1946 – William Strunk, Jr., American author and educator (b. 1869)
  • 1952 – George Santayana, Spanish philosopher, novelist, and poet (b. 1863)
  • 2003 – Robert Palmer, English singer-songwriter (b. 1949)
  • 2008 – Paul Newman, American actor, director, producer, and businessman (b. 1925)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili was out late and so had to spend the night in her “nest” that the staff has made on the veranda:

A: Didn’t you get cold?
Hili: No, although the nights are already chill.
In Polish:
Ja: Nie zmarzłaś?
Hili: Nie, ale noce są już chłodne.

From Amazing Things:

Also from Amazing Things. Is this a caracal?

The ante-antepenultimate Twitter post from Grania on her account. We’ll have one more and be done.

Click the link to see the cartoon. My children’s book isn’t like that!

From reader Barry, who asks, “Odd that the cat is not scrambling to get out. Maybe floating in water is… fun?”

Two tweets from Heather Hastie. I’m a sucker for these rescue cat videos:

The hypocrisy of Republicans, via Ann German:

Tweets from Matthew. This first one should put your troubles in perspective—or perhaps not:

Look at this beautiful and gentle monotreme anteater (the only monotreme other than the platypus). I used to pet one at Harvard’s MCZ (on the belly!)

A prank call to Nigel Farage, Brexiteer par excellence. (See more here.)


59 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. I almost hate to say it, but Ringo’s drum solo on the Abbey Road medley has always struck me as a much-abbreviated capsule version of the infamous four-minute drum solo a year earlier on the Iron Butterfly’s In A Gadda Da Vida:

      1. Hey, Ringo isn’t the greatest drummer ever, but he really doesn’t get enough credit. The way he keeps a beat and throws in little fills really makes their music pop while still allowing the rest of the band to be center stage. He was the perfect drummer for the Beatles. That’s my opinion, at least 🙂

        1. I agree. I think his drumming well suited the Beatles tracks – for example, in A Day in the Life. Perfectly fits your description.


        2. Yes, he was the right drummer and personality for the Beatles. I think he should have skipped the drum solo though. It’s not really bad but seems out of character for the band.

          1. Yeah, it doesn’t matter to me. They could have trashed it and I wouldn’t care either way. It is weird to hear a drum solo from Ringo though/in a Beatles song at all.

        3. I read somewhere that Ringo later produced a ton of records of which I know nothing. It seems he has a serious following of some sort.

      2. That’s a funny quote (if it is true), but the thing is, none of The Beatles were “the best” in a virtuosic sense at their own instruments either – I think they knew this and didn’t care.

        If anything, I think Lennon is saying The Beatles would be nowhere if it wasn’t for their music composition – which Ringo is left out of completely.

          1. I stand corrected- you mean he wrote the songs he sang (Octopus’s Garden, … Good Night …?)… Yellow Submarine?….

          2. Wikipedia has it :

            “He also wrote and sang the Beatles’ songs “Don’t Pass Me By” and “Octopus’s Garden”, and is credited as a co-writer of others, including “What Goes On” and “Flying”.

            I love those songs!

          1. YES! Let me tell you about Pete Best! I just read his Wikipedia entry, and it’s bery interesting! I found YouTube videos! He was a … a…

            oh… ahem. I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE

            (I didn’t really look up Pete Best material, but I suppose there might be some).

    1. Never cared much for Iron Butterfly (also the nickname of Imelda Marcos, btw), but In A Gadda Da Vida is brilliant, even without the drum solo.

      1. Caracals have ear tufts and are smooth reddish (hence their name ‘rooikat’ (= red cat) here) in colour. No hint of spots.
        They are predominantly living in arid and semi-arid areas (just in case your -correct- ‘tropical’ might give the wrong idea).
        Sadly, in some rural areas these marvelous cats are still considered ‘vermin’ and shot on sight, poisoned and trapped, because they are supposedly preying on sheep. Where have we heard that before?

        Ratabago is right: serval kitten, no doubts there.

  2. “Have I Got News For You” is an excellent show, but times like these make me long for the return of “Spitting Image”, a satire show which featured latex puppets of prominent politicians. It ran for several years in the early 1980s, and it skewered the Thatcher government and the ineffectual Labour opposition reually mercilessly. Ronald Reagan was also a regular. Johnson and Trump and their lackeys would be perfect fodder for the Spitting Image treatment.

      1. Scene – Margaret Thatcher and her Cabinet ministers sitting in a restaurant.

        Waiter: What would you like to order, sir?

        Thatcher: I’ll have the steak.

        Waiter: How would you like it?

        Thatcher: Oh, raw, please.

        Waiter: And the vegetables?

        Thatcher: [Looks at her Cabinet ministers] Oh, they’ll have the same as me.

          1. Yes ,a bit hard on the snail ,and norman tebbet was a leather clad bovver boy .

            A few years later Channel 4 came up with “Drop The Dead Donkey ” ,about a TV News station, there was a running gag about peter lilley being the slimy git of the week .

    1. My two favorite political comedies are both British: Yes Minister/Prime Minister and The Thick of it. Have you seen them? Absolutely brilliant!

  3. Never thought I could even stand to be in the same room as Bill Kristol but lately he has become almost likable.

    Who knew that George Washington’s selection as Secretary of Treasure would be the best one in over 200 years. We currently have the bottom of the pile.

  4. My favorite Beatles albums:

    1. The White Album
    2. Revolver
    3. Abbey Road
    4. Sergeant Pepper’s
    5/6. Magical Mystery Tour/Rubber Soul

    Those are the ones that will always stick with me. Obviously, I’m a much bigger fan of their later work, but man are those albums great.

    1. White Album’s my favourite by a distance. Every single one of them were at their songwriting peak – even Ringo wrote a good tune – and Lennon was freewheelingly brilliant.

      I don’t care about the inessential tracks. To me they’re obviously intentionally throwaway so they don’t drag the quality down at all. If they were outright failures, attempts at something great that missed the mark, then there might be some merit to the argument that they taint the album, but they’re not. They’re little pastiches and curios that act as tonal isthmuses between the various serious, high-quality songs.

      And the size of the thing, with all these gorgeous songs on it that people forget about completely, like Long Long Long, or Julia or Cry Baby Cry…it’s a secret garden of an album. You roam at your leisure and the deeper you go the richer and more heady it all gets. It’s in my top five, maybe top three albums of all-time.

      1. More oft-forgotten gems:

        Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, Happiness is a Warm Gun, Martha My Dear, Rocky Raccoon, Savoy Truffle…

        Love your description of the album. Very vivid.

  5. “Before this paper [Brownian motion], atoms were recognized as a useful concept, but physicists and chemists debated whether atoms were real entities. Einstein’s statistical discussion of atomic behavior gave experimentalists a way to count atoms by looking through an ordinary microscope.”

    It is fascinating to think about the timing of these ideas.

    For some reason (perhaps not paying attention or caring when it ever came up), long ago I got it in my head that atoms were something trivial that was in some way sorted out in a non-mysterious way a “very long time ago”. It really wasn’t a “very long time ago”.

    Source: Wikipedia

  6. The DNI, that’s director of national intelligence is currently testifying before the house intelligence committee. He obviously is a toady for the administration. His main reason for not forwarding the complaint as he is suppose to do is because instead, he went to the judicial branch. His whole argument is about executive privilege. He must have said that 100 times. Yet, when asked if executive privilege had been declared he could not say. The man is, among other things, an idiot. Just put the cuffs on this guy and get him out.

    You have a whistleblower complaint that implicates BARR, the attorney general and who do you take it to. BARR.

  7. “… … the laws of physics dictate that I put up this:”
    Today is World CONTRACEPTION Day.

    Fitting as creationism is a factor
    in poverty, the marginalization of women,
    access to education, and waaaay more.

    The World Health Organization has a brief page
    about today @

    ” World Contraception Day takes place on
    September 26th every year. The day’s mission
    is to improve awareness of all contraceptive
    methods available and enable young people
    to make informed choices on their sexual and
    reproductive health. ”


  8. I’d be happy if you were to continue working through Grania’s back-catalog of material. It’s a nice reminder of her.

  9. I want to hug that prank-caller… everything about it was perfect; the delivery, the timing and that majestic punchline.
    And Farage playing his part with the huffy ‘oh do grow up’ response just made it even better.

    Top marks. Of course, it’s probably hardened a few more attitudes against the remain side among Farage’s listenership, but it was worth it.

  10. Somehow a lot of stuff from a site called “Love Meow “gets sent to my phone it is full of cat rescue stories ,also cats becoming friends with dogs and cats deciding they are going to adopt strangers as their staff .

    While we are on the subject of cats anyone care to hazard a guess as to why my cat Misha growls at me when i give him a Pathe type food ? Does he thinks i am going to steal it off him?

  11. Amazing facts: “T.S. Eliot, English poet, playwright, critic, Nobel Prize laureate” was born on this date in 1888, in St. Louis, Missouri, and only moved to live in England at the age of 25.

  12. Paul Newman was also a race car driver. He got hooked while filming “Winning” in 1969, a film about a racer. “Driving a Lotus Elan, he won his first-ever Sports Car Club of America race in 1972 before graduating to a series of ever-more powerful Datsun racing sedans while winning four SCCA professional national championships between 1979 and 1986…Newman’s greatest accomplishment as a driver was a second-place finish in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in ’79, driving a Porsche 935. He remained active in endurance racing, making his last start at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway in 2006 at the age of 81.”

    I know a professional pilot who transported Newman, his pit crew and the rest of his entourage to races for many years.

    1. Hey! I had a Lotus Elan when I was quite young. It had the most beautiful, responsive, predictable, well-balanced and controllable handling I have ever experienced. The Elan was a revelation. And the one car above all I wish I’d never sold. (That’s an aside).

      I suppose the other Hollywood icon with a link to Le Mans and racing has to be Steve McQueen, who made the movie ‘Le Mans’ and ran a Porsche 908 as a camera car in the 1970 race. Reputedly he wanted to drive a Porsche 917 himself with Jackie Stewart in the race but the backers put their foot down. The Solar Productions 908 camera car actually finished 9th, but was not classified as a finisher due to having not covered enough mileage. (Out of ~50 starters, only 16 were running at the finish and only 7 were ‘classified’ as finishers).


      1. Yes, you should’ve kept the Lotus Elan. A beautiful car. So low to the ground, how could it not handle like a dream? I wish I had had one. I had to make do with my Sunbeam Alpine.

        1. I should point out that, though quite low (though no more so than most other sports cars), the Elan got its handling from perfectly tuned spring rates and suspension geometry, not from rock-hard settings (as so many ‘lowered’ cars do). In fact it was as good on rough surfaces as on smooth.


            1. Okay, spring *and* damper rates. And the right geometry.

              As a car goes into a turn it tends to roll, and the relative stiffness of the springs at each determine how the sideways weight transfer is apportioned, which in turn affects the grip of the tires at each end and induces oversteer or understeer accordingly. Also, dynamically, as the car rolls into the turn the shock absorbers (dampers) have a short-term influence.

              Getting the balance right, to allow great responsiveness without the risk of over-response (oversteer), and still (in the Elan) without making the ride hard, is a fine art. These days they probably use computers (Electronic Stability Control, anybody? I’m not a fan).


              1. I still don’t see how that makes the Elan so special- your interesting description applies to every car, and at the end, it seems there’s still something unknown – shock absorbers can vary, the spring type can vary – I don’t know what your particular Elan was set up with, the rear suspension type, or what – and is this on a track?

                Not that I know anything about this, I’m just interested is all.

              2. Makes sense

                Is there a list of center-of-gravity of cars? And is this independent of springs which can raise or lower the height?

              3. Hi Thyroid
                I agree that all cars have handling which is dependent on suspension geometry, spring rates, damper settings etc., and which designers have adjusted with varying degrees of success. My point is that in the Elan the designers got the parameters near-perfect. I’m talking about road use here, on much more uneven and variable surfaces (including loose) than you would find on a track. My Elan was standard ex-factory settings, so far as I know.

                And Paul is correct it had a low C of G and fairly wide track, which would have been a part of it – but far from all of it. My Elan superseded an Austin-Healey 100/4 which had demonstrated graphically on occasion that super-low did *not* always result in good handling 🙂


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