Hili dialogue and a farandole of tweets

October 23, 2019 • 3:29 am

by Matthew Cobb

In Poland, Hili is hopeful:

A: Where are you going?
Hili: I’m looking for a tree of knowledge with better news.

In Polish:

Ja: Dokąd idziesz?
Hili: Szukam drzewa lepszych wiadomości. 

Two tweets from experimental psychologist Akiyoshi Kitaoka:


Arachnid on reptile amphibian [ 🙂 GCM]action from my colleague Amanda Bamford:


Fabulous 3-D printed fly:


I am listening to this right now. Very atmospheric/restful. You can sculpt your own soundscape…


Dawkins gonna be Dawkins. As somebody replied – I hope he tipped.


43 thoughts on “Hili dialogue and a farandole of tweets

  1. I tested the grayish eyes by cutting a hole in a piece of paper to mask out the background. The right eye was indeed grayish, but the left was still yellowish. Perhaps because my mask was a little small and allowed some background color to show.
    The wavy checkerboard moves if you scroll.
    Both illusions are impressive.

    1. Check this pic I made – no colours changed & I am using the original size in the Twitter:


      Both corneas are a similar colour-tinged grey [not a real grey]. The corneas are similar, but not identical in colour with the one to our right having yellow elements & the other more towards green-blue elements. It is my suspicion that Twitter compresses images a lot using an unintelligent algorithm that’s spread surrounding colour all the way into the grey areas.

      I’ll see if I can find an untwittered original.

        1. Did you expand the Twitter image before snipping? [SEE MY IMAGE BELOW] The illusion is drawn on paper which the photographer is holding up & bending with his clumsy fingers. The only reasonably straight lines in the illusion [as photographed] are near the top of the sheet. 🙂


          1. All such illusions are so compelling I used to screenshot them all and open them in Photoshop. They always proved to be true. Now I just use unlined index cards and hold them up to my screen. They are amazing.

      1. I thought there was something fishy. And, I notice you have given little Miss Muffet tears of rage befitting her imprisonment in a Twitter meme.

    2. I always enjoy these optical illusions, but I have to say that both eyes look gray to me — for whatever reason, this one totally doesn’t work for me.

  2. Presumably wheat is a contraction of “whole wheat”.

    Also, presumably Richard had that exchange in the USA because, in Britain, you’d be ridiculed for offering a choice between white bread which has wheat in it or wheat bread.

    1. Come to think of it, both of those breads are all brown on the outside.

      Then there’s be rye, or pumpernickel- that’s nearly black inside and out…. in the USA….

  3. Speaking from a UK perspective – maybe different elsewhere…

    When asked “white or wheat?”… It’s a contraction of “white [processed] bread or whole wheat bread?” AFAIK “white or wheat” is not a PC term designed to avoid saying “brown bread.”

    Over here in Britland we say “whole wheat”, a term which we copied from the US, or “wholemeal” or possibly “whole grain” – “brown bread” is old hat that I rarely hear today & I don’t know of any bread now labelled as such [was it ever? I can’t recall]. I think the change in terminology is because bakers want to stress the healthiness of their products & “whole” is now a step up from “white” unlike 150 years ago when “brown bread” was for the poor & white was for the dainty cucumber sandwich eating class of people.

    On this one I think the venerable Richard Dawkins is being the bloke stuck in his language past.

    1. I always assumed brown bread was colored that way using food dies to make you think it was made of more whole grain than it actually contained. You have to look carefully to see if it has significant amounts of whole grain. You can tell by the texture as much as the color. I buy wheat berries and grind my own flower. It’s actually not very brown. Note too that different kinds of wheat has different shades. “Red” wheat is for bread and is darker than “white” grain, which makes a better pastry flower.

      1. In the UK we still have some disgusting “brown bread” – Hovis especially. White processed flour is cheaper than wholemeal flour, because economics of scale, so the cheap brown bread is made from white processed flour dyed brown with bits of husk & etc thrown back in & sugar added too to make it more palatable. Dire stuff! Just put a slice to the nose & it’s instantly recognisable as wrong even if one hasn’t had ‘proper’ bread.

          1. Years ago when having more fiber in your bread became a “thing,” one respected label (Brownberry, I believe) introduced such a loaf. But the second or third listed ingredient was…sawdust.

            The campaign lasted for as long as it took for the health conscious to actually read the label— about a week.

        1. ***** to the baker ,brown bread .
          Who ****** Mary ,our Fred .
          How do you know this?
          I’am Fred .

          Sorry for lowering the tone ,again ,just a little ditty from my depraved childhood .

          Agree with you about Hovis ,Lidl do some nice multi seeded wholemeal bread .And their white Tiger loaf is great ,even smells like bread.

          1. I also like Tiger Loaf from LIDL although the excitement is all in the crust – the bread itself [the white bit] is standard fare & one has the annoyance of slicing it & clearing the crumbs.

            I like the sourdough bread Randall mentions, but it goes off quickly & dries out too [goes hard] so I buy it ready sliced & keep in frozen for toast – makes a nice dense plate for butter & marmalade/jam. 🙂

            Waitrose does an excellent half-baked [so to speak] two pack of smallish ciabatta rolls that freezes. 10 mins in the oven straight from the freezer makes a nice tasty hot roll for hosting bacon or pate or cheese/pickle or jams. Before ovening, stab the roll a few times so moisture can escape & whet it under the tap, otherwise the crust is like iron.

    2. I’ve heard brown bread used but only rarely. But black bread is a very commonly used term. Once upon a time in the little town of Hermersberg, each morning one of us kids had to walk to the bakery at 0-dark-thirty to get a just out of the oven loaf of schwarzbrot. Loved that stuff.

    3. I agree with Dawkins. As far as I’m concerned all bread is made with wheat. ‘Brown’ or ‘wholemeal’ is the alternative to ‘white’, so far as I’m concerned.


    4. Maybe I’ve led a sheltered life recently, but I don’t recall ever seeing ‘whole wheat’ in the UK. Wholemeal or wheatmeal, yes (and no, I don’t know the difference), or, increasingly, ‘multigrain’; but I agree that ‘brown’ seems to have vanished, if it ever existed.

      But I don’t buy supermarket bread, so what do I know.

      1. I was offered a “whole wheat” option just once in the UK – at an American coffee shop chain. Other than that, I’ve never encountered the phrase.

  4. For me, the best bread for toast or sandwiches is sour dough. If you can get it, Kneaders bakery & cafe bake daily.

    1. Well, that’s more like it. And one is fortunate enough to have a local bakery/coffee-shop where one can watch the artisans doing their kneading, proving and baking while sipping one’s morning espresso.

  5. I think the main thrust of Dawkins’ dialogue is how humorless his interlocutor is.

    The setup is a combination of silly naming conventions vs. truth and facts, plus the spectre of racism – here, it’s bread. There’s no racism. There can’t be. Yet, the interlocutor clearly is confused, wary of saying a dangerous word.

    From Dawkins’ perspective, I think he was just astonished with how humorless and fearful the interlocutor was. The conversation easily could have been perceived as light and witty – as in Ricky Gervais, or Jerry Seinfeld.

    1. The ‘white’ beers made with wheat instead of barley, are a wrong translation of Weizen (wheat) as Weiss (white).

  6. The Dawkins toast conversation is a bit tedious. Surely he knows that “wheat” is short for “whole wheat”. I will admit to considering the ambiguity when I was a small kid but I understood it immediately. Of course, he can choose to go without toast as he has free will.

  7. Unless you are attempting humor, being overly pedantic to someone is rude. The “No toast” is a little bit funny but the early part is not.

    1. I agree. I don’t read anything into the conversation apart from the server thinking “just tell me what kind of fucking bread you want”.

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