Wednesday: Hili dialogue

October 9, 2019 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Hump Day: Wednesday, October 9, 2019, and National Moldy Cheese Day (they mean cheese like Stilton and Roquefort, not cheddar that has gone off). It’s also International Beer and Pizza Day, Nautilus Night (celebrating the cephalopod), World Post Day (celebrating the formation of the Universal Postal Union in 1874), and National Pet Obesity Awareness Day. No “plus sized” cats!

Oh, and it’s National Bring your Teddy Bear to Work and School Day. I have no problem with that, as my 69-year-old teddy bear, Toasty, who I got when I was born, always resides in my office. To wit:

It’s Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, which ends this evening.

Posting will be light today as I have to scuttle downtown to the dentist to get my implant screw checked (it seems to be healing nicely). In fact, posting will be lighter than usual until I leave for Chile and Antarctica in 12 days. As always, I will do my best. Since internet on the ship will be spotty, and access limited, posting may be virtually nonexistent from then until the beginning of December.

Stuff that happened on October 9 includes:

  • 1446 – The hangul alphabet is published in Korea.
  • 1604 – Supernova 1604 is sighted, the most recent supernova to be observed within the Milky Way.

Here’s the modern remnant of that supernova, which apparently was visible in 1604 for three weeks during the day, and was by far the brightest star in the sky back then:

X-ray, Optical & Infrared Composite of Kepler’s Supernova Remnant
  • 1874 – A international postal union is created by the Treaty of Bern.

This could be said to have started the modern era of communications, since it standardized postal services throughout Europe and Russia, facilitating the international exchange of mail.

Many players on the Chicago White Sox conspired to throw the series for cash payments, and they lost in eight games (the World Series was nine games back then). Eight players were then tried for conspiracy to defraud, but were acquitted. But the new Commissioner of Baseball, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, banned all eight from baseball. (Needless to say, the team didn’t recover for years.) Here are the eight:

  • 1936 – Boulder Dam (later Hoover Dam) begins to generate electricity and transmit it to Los Angeles.
  • 1967 – A day after his capture, Ernesto “Che” Guevara is executed for attempting to incite a revolution in Bolivia.
  • 1986 – The Phantom of the Opera, eventually the second longest running musical in London, opens at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
  • 2006 – North Korea conducts its first nuclear test.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1852 – Hermann Emil Fischer, German chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1919)
  • 1873 – Charles Rudolph Walgreen, American pharmacist and businessman, founded Walgreens (d. 1939)
  • 1890 – Aimee Semple McPherson, Canadian-American evangelist, founded the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (d. 1944)
  • 1907 – Horst Wessel, German SA officer (d. 1930)
  • 1922 – Philip “Fyvush” Finkel, American actor (d. 2016)
  • 1934 – Jill Ker Conway, Australian historian and author (d. 2018)
  • 1948 – Jackson Browne, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • 1975 – Sean Lennon, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor
  • 1996 – Bella Hadid, American model

The source of this meme of Bella Hadid is here. The model with more sneakers than neurons!
Notables who perished on October 9 were few, and include:

  • 1967 – Che Guevara, Argentinian-Cuban physician, politician and guerrilla leader (b. 1928)
  • 1967 – Joseph Pilates, German-American fitness trainer, developed Pilates (b. 1883)
  • 1987 – Clare Boothe Luce, American author, playwright, and diplomat, United States Ambassador to Italy (b. 1903)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili craves human company—but only to supervise her on walkies. .

Hili: And how is the humanity today?
A: Busy.
Hili: A pity, I feel like going on a long walk.
Photo by Sarah Lawson
In Polish:
Hili: Jak się ma dzisiaj ludzkość?
Ja: Zapracowana.
Hili: Szkoda, bo mam ochotę na długi spacer.

From Amazing Things (I still think they should have spelled it “leek”):

From Hippie Peace Freaks via Stash Krod:

From reader gravelinspector, we get yet another reason why cats are better than d*gs. Nobody was ever shot by their cat! (Now I’m sure some reader somewhere will find a cat shooting!)

But of course cats can be malefactors, like this black one. A tweet from Heather Hastie:

Also from Heather, and Tweet of the Week: two pandas making the Bear with Two Backs, and interrupted by a voyeur!

The rest of the tweets come from Matthew. First, a boiling methane sea in Siberia! Sadly, this may be a sign of the permafrost thawing, i.e., global warming.

From the Auschwitz site. I guess I agree that they should teach about the Holocaust, but even if they didn’t, and you haven’t picked it up from your culture, it’s pretty embarrassing. 2/3 of Millennials don’t know what Auschwitz was? Seriously?

This is something that every organismal geneticist knows–or should know–but people still make the mistake that heritability within populations says something meaningful about differences between populations, even when those populations have different environments:

Of this Matthew simply says “Amazing!”. And it is—if the researchers are right. Having scanned the evidence, I’m not sure I’m fully convinced of where this neutrino came from.


31 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

    1. It is not cats or d*gs shooting, since they have no clear notion about firearms, it is irresponsible firearm owners, littering loaded firearms around, asking for an accident to happen.

  1. The ignorance of millennials about the Holocaust doesn’t surprise me. Some of their other opinions are very worrying for the future of Democracy.
    From a Harvard study:
    Just 19 percent of U.S. millennials agreed with the statement that “military takeover is not legitimate in a democracy.” Among older citizens, the total was a still-surprising 43 percent. (In Europe, by contrast, the corresponding numbers were 36 percent for younger people and 53 percent for older people.) Perhaps most alarming was the revelation than one quarter of millennials agreed that “choosing leaders through free elections is unimportant.” Just 14 percent of Baby Boomers and 10 percent of older Americans agreed.

    1. Thanks for the link. The poll is three years old and from that time to now things may have gotten worse. Democracy is in danger around the globe. In the U.S., Trump and his lawyers are arguing that the president is virtually a king and that the impeachment process, which is authorized in the Constitution, is somehow illegitimate.

      The difficult question to answer is why at this particular time is democracy threatened? In the U.S. at least, the economy is in fairly decent shape, so I don’t think economic conditions supply the answer. I have a theory. One part of the answer is the lack of old-fashioned civics being taught in schools. Humanities in general are being pushed away in favor of STEM type classes. I have nothing against young people specializing in these areas, but my concern is that a generation of drones is being produced – people very knowledgeable in their little areas of specialty, but knowing next to nothing about everything else. Perhaps, even more important, and as I have argued before, people believe in democracy only to the extent that they perceive it is helping them. This is particularly true in the cultural area. In times of demographic change, as is the case now, various groups are vying for power or fearing that they may lose it. These groups do not believe that government is doing enough for them. The government becomes distrusted. They look for a strongman to solve their problems. Trump is viewed by segments of the shrinking white majority as the metaphorical wall to keep out the barbarians, people they view as different and inferior. Meanwhile, the so-called marginalized groups also lose faith in government because they view it as supporting the interests of the traditional ruling cultural groups. The result of all this is that more and more people, whatever their political beliefs and cultural identification, become disgruntled with democracy. Social discontent and instability is growing. How all this will end nobody knows. But we can be confident that there will be lot more “bad” before the triumph of “good”, if the latter even happens.

      1. All we can do is look for the tiny bright spots. Yesterday a black man was elected mayor of Birmingham, Alabama. Never before and this was the first capital of the confederacy.

        1. Montogomery, AL, was he first capital of the Confederacy, but Birmingham is not far away. Atlanta has had by my count six black mayors, two of whom, including the present holder of the office, are women.

          1. Yes, I should have said Montgomery, not Birmingham. This is also where they just elected the first black mayor.

            Well, Atlanta is Georgia and Metropolitan Atlanta is a bit different from Alabama.

      2. As most probably know, democracy is threatened or gone in several European countries, such as Hungary. Now, democracy in Poland is hanging by a thread as described by political scientist Yascha Mounk. The world may be entering a period similar to the 1930s, which saw the ascendancy of dictators in many countries. At a horrific cost, many democracies emerged in the decades after World War II. Democracy is now in retreat and it is impossible to predict what will happen in the years and decades to come.

  2. I know you’re busy today, but how could you forget that it is also the anniversary of the birth of Sean Lennon’s dad? (Yes, born on the same day.)

    1. It’s kind of like blaming the dog why you don’t have your homework. Dog ate it. Actually I’m surprise he does not blame the gun.

      1. Right. Also, I don’t think she needs a hunting course to tell her not to leave her gun lying about for Trigger to step on 🙂

        ‘Ms Carter had not completed a hunter education course and urged all prospective hunters to do so.’

      2. To paraphrase the NRA: Guns don’t shoot people, pets with guns shoot people.

        (Also,Toasty is cute and doesn’t look a day over 30.)

  3. Don’t know who it was that said – Put your money where your mouth is, but I’m sure it was a dentist.

    1. But it may have blown up 519 years ago and we could be in for quite the show in a few months! Here’s hoping anyway.

    1. Trump has given an official order to the US military not to intervene in response to Kurds begging for air support or a no-fly zone.

      I’d be banned from this site forever if I used the words that I really feel best describe what I think of this foul President and anyone who supports him for any reason. I wish them the worst.

      1. I do think this will be the assurance this bastard will not be reelected and could improve chances of impeachment. I don’t think most people realize how rock bottom this country is now.

      2. Let us keep it civil: betraying one’s comrade in arms is the most unconscionable, deplorable, despicable, disgusting, odious, loathsome, hideous, execrable, abominable, contemptible, repulsive, nauseating action one can take (to put it mildly).
        Under slightly different circumstances this kind of betrayal would have lead to the firing squad.

  4. Methyl hydrate mats on shallow ocean floors and in permafrost are kept solid by low temperatures and fairly high pressures. Rising temperatures may cause them to ‘boil’, releasing the powerful greenhouse gas methane, which will increase the temperature even more, releasing more methane etc. a positive feedback kind of loop. It is definitely ominous.

  5. Oh, and on the heritability discussion: what *does* count as a different environment? People (like Lewontin and S. Sarkar) have claimed we shouldn’t worry about the heritability of IQ because in another environment it would be lower heritability. While I grant that is formally correct, can it be discovered what environment that would be, and would it be a social change (as they want)?

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