Saturday: Hili dialogue

October 12, 2019 • 6:30 am

It’s Saturday, October 12, 2019, and both National Pumpkin Pie Day and National Gumbo Day. It’s also Freethought Day (yay!), International African Penguin Awareness Day, Pulled Pork Day (double yay!), and UN Spanish Language Day.

Stuff that happened on October 12 includes:

  • 1692 – The Salem witch trials are ended by a letter from the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Province.
  • 1773 – America’s first insane asylum opens.

This was Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia, and was still operating when I was in college. Now it’s been turned into a museum about mental illness and another hospital has opened in the area. .

  • 1810 – The citizens of Munich hold the first Oktoberfest.
  • 1892 – The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited by students in many US public schools.
  • 1901 – President Theodore Roosevelt officially renames the “Executive Mansion” to the White House.
  • 1915 – World War I: British nurse Edith Cavell is executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape from Belgium
  • 1917 – World War I: The First Battle of Passchendaele takes place resulting in the largest single day loss of life in New Zealand history.

That loss of life for the Kiwis comprised 950 dead or mortally wounded.

  • 1928 – An iron lung respirator is used for the first time at Children’s Hospital, Boston.

Here’s that first iron lung. Those of us who remember polio scares as children were terrified that we’d wind up in one. Now they are obsolete due to the polio vaccine and to better kinds of aids for respiration:

  • 1945 – World War II: Desmond Doss is the first conscientious objector to receive the U.S. Medal of Honor.

As I was a c.o., I greatly admire this man, who wouldn’t fight but would go to battle as a medic to save lives. (His c.o. was based on religious grounds: he was a Seventh-Day Adventist.) And Doss saved 75 Americans during the battle of Okinawa, climbing an escarpment and, under enemy fire (and wounded four times), tending wounded men and dragging or carrying them to safety. His exploits are recounted in the 2016 movie “Hacksaw Ridge,” which is pretty good. Here is Doss is atop the Maeda escarpment:

  • 1960 – Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a desk at the United Nations to protest a Philippine assertion.

And here’s the volatile Premier pounding his shoe on the UN desk:

  • 1979 – The lowest recorded non-tornadic atmospheric pressure, 87.0 kPa (870 mbar or 25.69 inHg), occurred in the western Pacific Ocean during Typhoon Tip.
  • 1998 – Matthew Shepard, a gay student at University of Wyoming, dies five days after he was beaten outside of Laramie.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1872 – Ralph Vaughan Williams, English composer and educator (d. 1958)
  • 1875 – Aleister Crowley, English magician and author (d. 1947)
  • 1932 – Dick Gregory, American comedian, actor, and author (d. 2017)
  • 1935 – Luciano Pavarotti, Italian tenor and actor (d. 2007)
  • 1949 – Carlos the Jackal, Venezuelan terrorist and murderer

Carlos is serving a life sentence in a French prison. Here he is at two ages:

  • 1950 – Susan Anton, American actress and model
  • 1968 – Hugh Jackman, Australian actor, singer, and producer

Those who croaked on October 12 include:

  • 1858 – Hiroshige, Japanese painter (b. 1797)

Here is a cat print by the esteemed painter, “A cat in a window”:

  • 1915 – Edith Cavell, English nurse (b. 1865)
  • 1924 – Anatole France, French journalist, novelist, and poet, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1844)
  • 1940 – Tom Mix, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1880)
  • 1946 – Joseph Stilwell, American general (b. 1883)
  • 1969 – Sonja Henie, Norwegian figure skater and actress (b. 1912)
  • 1978 – Nancy Spungen, American figure of the 1970s punk rock scene (b. 1958)
  • 1997 – John Denver, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (b. 1943)
  • 2012 – James Coyne, Canadian lawyer and banker, 2nd Governor of the Bank of Canada (b. 1910)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is rebuking the staff:

Hili: What do you have in this cupboard?
A: A horrible mess.
Hili: This you have everywhere
Photo by Sarah Lawson
In Polish:
Hili: Co masz w tej szafce?
Ja: Okropny bałagan.
Hili: To masz wszędzie.

Reader Su found this cartoon, “Existential Kitty” from WhiteOuts:From Liubo: cat commands

A cartoon from Mark Parisi:

I think this woman had it coming:

A tweet from Canadian science writer Ziya Tong. (Yes, the animal is what you think it is.)

From reader Dom. Is this thing a d*g? Why is it running that way?

From Barry, who adds, “If I were there I wouldn’t be smiling or laughing!” I would, and I’d be stupid enough to pet it! Sound up.  Note that one guy turns his back on the cat to get a selfie!

Two tweets from Heather Hastie. In the first one, a red panda appears to freak out when the staff appears:

Look at the pouch on that hamster!

Two tweets from Matthew Cobb. Read the article: the guy gives us too much information:

Just when you think you’ve seen every weird insect, something like this comes along:

55 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. The SDA’s are very proud of Desmond Doss, rightly so, and have his story on CD which they have passed around for years. I can also say there is a hospital in Okinawa owned by the SDA. I went to it a couple of times when I lived in Okinawa.

  2. Ralph Vaughan Williams was the nephew of Charles Darwin – for interesting stories see the biography written by Ursula Vaughn Williams.

    … Coyne – any relation?

  3. The Matthew Shepard story is very interesting. Thankfully, a ton of good came from such a horrible tragedy, but we know now that it apparently was not about homophobia. For some reason, the defense in the case used said its clients were homophobes as…a defense? I don’t really understand why they thought claiming that Shepard made sexual advances toward the murderers would work in their favor.

    Anyway, it was over drugs and prostitution. You can read about it here:

    Still, like I said, I’m very grateful that so much good came from an avoidable tragedy, like legislation protecting gay rights, more attention to violent hate crimes, and increased sympathy and visibility of the LGBT community.

  4. Sort of off topic:

    Any other readers getting lots of ads in YouTube like “meet elder Reyes” or “we want to pray with you”? “Come Unto Christ” – Yechh! The ads seem to never end.

    I think YouTube looks through your email (so, email subscribers have these posts, for instance), and figures you need a god in your life – that and Mormon cash, that is…

      1. It’s in the YouTube app

        I rarely use a conventional browser for YouTube

        They might have a tier to avoid ads.

          1. This seems to be a prescription for blocking ads. Yes, I know about ad blockers. Thank you.

            I am pointing at the ads as an object to evaluate. They are laughable, IMHO.

            But more specifically, I am suggesting that my personal email pile is being parsed by YouTube, finding some things in the WEIT category, and somewhere, religious individuals with lots of money for ads have paid for YouTube to show their ads to individuals who have things like those discussed on WEIT in their email. I find that interesting, but not surprising.

            1. Did you give the YouTube App permission to read your emails and addressbook(s)? If they asked for such unnecessary access, then for sure they are reading all the emails etc which are no longer private.
              Did you ask your correspondents’ permission for their messages to you to be read by YouTube, before you gave that permission to the app and the company behind it. They’ll probably be getting the same adverts, influenced by your email contents.

              1. “Did you give the YouTube App permission to read your emails […]”

                well, of course I disallow access to things I deem are irrelevant – but only if there’s a setting for it…

                ” […] and addressbook(s)?”

                Again I’d expect not, because it should work perfectly well without. Can you recall every setting of every program you use across any span of time?

                “Did you ask your correspondents’ permission for their messages to you to be read by YouTube, before you gave that permission to the app and the company behind it.”

                Did you check the “agree” button on anything ever?

                obviously, there are privacy issues even trying to discuss this thing.

    1. Strange, I do get some religious advertising, but most of the advertising is sexy Asian, Russian, Ukrainian, African and other women looking just for me. I guess they somehow know I’m a sordid widower.
      I guess you’re an atheist/apostate and they smelled that out too]
      Kinda scary this targeted advertising.

      1. well, from what I was discussing with gravelinspector, it revealed that, if people subscribe with their email, then all the users who comment on this site are in their email stash. Of course they could delete them, or use an email like “”, but usually people just have to use their standard email.

        this is separate from the owner of WEIT accessing all the reader’s emails – this is the email / subscribe results that go into the readers’ email accounts.

        so… I hadn’t really thought about that, but obviously, that’s a big deal.

    2. I’m in agreement with Aiden. The below is copied from a year old post

      Google has moved to assure Gmail users that their inboxes are private and secure. However, in doing so it has admitted that third-party apps can read your Gmail, and that this is all your fault. After all, you’re the one giving developers access.

      For many years, Google analysed the emails passing through your Gmail inbox for advertising purposes. However, in 2017, Google announced it was going to stop scanning your emails altogether. Unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to third-party apps.

      The Wall Street Journal recently published an article claiming software developers “scan hundreds of millions of emails of users who sign up for email-based services.” This includes an accusation that some developers allow employees to read emails.

      Google was quick to fire back, making it clear that no one at the company reads your emails. However, in a post on The Keyword, Google admits that third-party apps can indeed access the content of your Gmail account once you give them permission

      Please note that Google will have around 5Gb of data just on you! They will use this for directed advertising, but they have no need to read your emails or email headers to discover your interactions on the internet in the minutest detail. Googles problem isn’t collected data, it’s knowing what 99% to dispose of & what advertising gold to keep. Here is the fairly accurate data [front page summary] that Google has on me as an example. It’s accurate except for golf & the team sports – I despise them all & the locale hints, which I have spoofed a little bit as Google don’t need to know.


  5. Question (not a joke question despite the set-up): How does the beaver cross the road with a large dead tree on its back?

    It’s not as if another beaver tied the dead tree on its back. It doesn’t have extra appendages like arms that could hold it while its four legs are moving. It can’t be some balancing feat.

    I’m missing something. What’s going on?

    That little puppy cracks me up.

      1. … and had got it’s “shoulder” under a crook (branching point) in the trunk. A trick that works just as well for humans – you can drag five-plus body weights of wood like that, when you generally struggle to carry one body weight.

      2. My response to both rickflick and Gravel Inspector is that I don’t think either suggestion could possibly answer the question, given the physiology of beavers as opposed to humans. I don’t know what beaverthink is.

        I’ve searched beaver sites on the Internet and haven’t (yet?) found anything to explain it. I read that beavers can drag or push logs but nothing addresses what’s in the video, and I don’t get the impression that they do this over considerable distances — rather, they’ll make canals close to the trees they fell so that they can transport them by water. They can stand on their hind legs and carry mud in their front paws, but interesting as that is, it suggests nothing about carrying anything that way.

        I’m beginning to think that I should submit the question to “Coast to Coast AM” and one of George Nouri’s paranormal cryptozoological “experts.”

        It works for humans but a beaver doesn’t have shoulders, even with quotes around the word.

        1. I don’t understand your reluctance. This is clearly a beaver and clearly a log. Weather by hook, or by crook, she’s got that log held pretty firmly and is dragging and lifting it across the road. What more explanation do you really need? Perhaps you have not read Dawkins’ Extended Phenotype.

      1. Is it some kind of Huskey ? I like Huskys .
        I have told my three cats ,
        Misha ,if you don’t stop biting me .
        Sooty if you don’t stop murdering all the local wildlife ,
        Callie ,if you don’t lose weight ,

        I am going to replace you all with a Husky puppy .
        Of course they didn’t take a blind bit of notice .

        1. Ha! That’s funny.

          I like Huskys too, and it does have that look. The background looked somewhat Asian to me so my first thought was it’s an Akita. I have no idea though.

          1. Looks more Akita to me than husky, or there’s another kind of small Japanese dog with a double name…Something Enu??

          1. Aw ,whatever they are they are the only type of dog i like .I understand they take a lot of caring for .
            Would never get rid of my cats .

    1. Here is a blow up of Mrs. Beaver with her latest shopping, which is indeed across her back:

      The red circle I added indicates where her nose is throughout the crossing – it’s always just visible & moves in harmony with the branch. As she walks the rear of the branch bounces up & down on the twig suspension [twigs in contact with the road] as her back moves up & down slightly.

      I think she’s holding her branch by a side twig which anchors her nose just in shot. As she’s dragged her branch the free end has crossed over her body from right to left a little – this is because the branch is riding high due to the side twigs in contact with the ground.

      I don’t think she’s crossed the branch over her back to ease the load. I’ve looked at other videos of beavers dragging similar sized branches across roads [yes, there’s a few!] & usually the branches are much better trimmed for transport dragging & the branch remains alongside the beaver as it moves. Here’s a pic of one:

      My question is, does the smarter than the average beaver leave a side twig at the heavy end for grasping with their teeth, on longer, thicker branches?

      1. You have a good explanation based on the observations you cite but I’m not 100% convinced re carrying the log on its back. Dragging is different from carrying, and even with the dragging, how do they hold on to the log/tree with one of their legs and move at the same time?

        Before I saw your reply, I put the question to a beaver expert at boston U. Hope he responds. Hope, too, that you don’t mind me sending him your comment.

        1. JH, I don’t mind – interested in the reply of course. I don’t get why you think she holds “on to the log/tree with one of [her] legs and move[s] at the same time” – all her limbs are free with the branch/log [or side twig of] gripped in her jaws.

          1. I can’t see the photo you provide very clearly and can’t enlarge it enough to determine just how the wood is being held so I was making assumptions based on fuzzy image and my general bewilderment, even if it’s held between the beaver’s teeth. I admit to making a bunch of speculations but I want to see this phenomenon close up.

            I don’t really think that the log could be held by one of its legs but I was laboring under the anthromorpomorphic fallacy just as I think the first to attempts at explanation were, because I’m bewildered as heck.

          2. Here’s the professor’s response, which came into my inbox just now:

            Thanks for the cool video link.It does look like a beaver, although it is difficult to see the tail or exactly how the head is positioned. If it it is indeed a beaver then I think the head is turned and it is holding a branch of the small tree in its mouth. How it got it on its back is a good question since my experience is that beavers usually drag their. cut trees and branches. There must be water somewhere near to the road.

            Without better analysis of the video I’d say that animals behavior is always full of surprises – or at least that is my experience. In ecological terms this appears to be an energy minimizing event since it may expend less energy moving the “tree” in this manner compared to dragging it across the roadway.

            Where is the video from (geographical location)?

            Thanks for passing this along.

            Peter Busher

            So he agrees with you that the beaver must be holding a branch of the tree in its mouth but he, too is mystified as to how the tree came to be on the beaver’s back.

            1. Thanks for going to the trouble. I notice Prof. Peter Busher has a BEAVER PELT as a head rest on his office chair 🙂

              He asked about the locale – it is supposedly Canada, which makes sense given the vegetation, the fairly good road condition [a first world tendency] & the single yellow line road marking [yellow line not seen in rural Russian roads for example – they seem to use white paint nearly everywhere or none].

              I still favour the notion that the Beaver ended up with the branch across her back because the branch is supported on twig ‘legs’ – she need only change travel direction by a few degrees to the left & the branch will naturally end up across her body. No forethought involved necessarily.

      2. I can’t figure out any part of the anatomy of that beaver, let alone that it’s female or that its nose is where you say it is Michael, but I’ll take your word for it🤓

        1. I don’t know that it’s Mrs. Beaver Merilee, but ‘her’ nose does appear in the circle [95% sure that’s what it is], but I have a good screen & I maximise the gif [limited res obvs] on there. I found the @imgur that it came from, but res no better & no indication of where they got it from.

          I did notice the beaver is ‘high stepping’ with her front feet as if she can’t see the ground in front of her, thus I think her head is pointed at an angle upwards & thus her nose showing. Here’s a beaver with more normal gait doing the same task:

  6. 1978 – Nancy Spungen, American figure of the 1970s punk rock scene (b. 1958)

    At the hand of her boyfriend, Sex Pistol Sid Vicious, in NY’s Hotel Chelsea. Gary Oldman (who later won an Oscar playing Winston Churchill) made his leading-role big-screen debut as Mr. Vicious in the 1986 film Sid and Nancy.

  7. While Columbus Day is celebrated on Monday, today is when “…a sailor on board the Pinta sighted land, beginning a new era of European exploration and expansion. The next day, the ninety crew members of Columbus’ three-ship fleet ventured onto the Bahamian island that he named San Salvador (now Watling Island, and then called Guanahaní by the natives), ending a voyage begun nearly ten weeks earlier in Palos, Spain.” Now folks want to celebrate Native American Day instead.

  8. And here’s the volatile Premier pounding his shoe on the UN desk:

    Does anyone care to take a bet on when Trump emulates that performance? (Stake in head-weights of beer?)

  9. Hiroshige, Japanese painter (b. 1797)
    Here is a cat print by the esteemed painter, “A cat in a window”:

    Phone has new wallpaper. At least until #dinocup2019 starts, at least.

  10. Read the article: the guy gives us too much information:

    Passenger ‘sorry’ after breaking wind on Derby bus

    On the other paw, the “Blue Peter” pub looks like a lovely piece of 1930s architecture. I almost dread to imagine what uses squeezy washing-up liquid bottles and toilet roll middles have been put to in it’s interior decor.

  11. Our bloated gasbag of an Attorney General has given a speech in which he condemns secularism in America for all of our ills.

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