Monday: Hili dialogue and some random tweets

October 28, 2019 • 3:58 am

by Matthew Cobb

It’s a frosty morning across much of the UK, and all my cats are in. Out in Dobrzyn Hili is also inside, and feeling minxy:

A: What are you waiting for?
Hili: For somebody I would be able to disturb.

In Polish:
Ja: Na co czekasz?
Hili: Na kogoś, komu będę mogła przeszkadzać.
Today’s tweets come without any kind of preamble or explanation, apart from the first, which was sent by Barry Lyons. If any of them provoke or inspire you, chip in below.

30 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue and some random tweets

  1. Thank you for the astonishing Petr Spatina and his musical glasses. There’s more on YouTube too.
    ‘Crossing guards’ in the UK are ladies on ‘zebras’ armed with a pole supporting a circular sign that reads Children Crossing.

  2. is over 5.5 million trees today

    Check it out – Arbor Day Foundation planting 20 million trees by 2020 – time is running out.

    See cool YouTube videos on the project- Mark Rober, Veritasium, Smarter Every Day – anyone know precisely how a tree gets water to the top, or why burning a tree you planted is good for the tree?


    1. Just in case some might wonder where is the home of Arbor day foundation. Nebraska City, right on the Missouri river on the Nebraska side of course.

    2. If one million people plant one tree each, you’ve already got a million trees in the ground. Do that every day and you’ll be done before the end a month.

      1. It’s not trivial to plant and ensure viability of large numbers of trees. The videos show this. I think a group of 20 volunteers planted … can’t recall … 250?… with something like 6 hours of good labor. The Arbor Day Foundation assures maximum viability of the trees in this project.

        Also see Mark Rober’s channel for a brilliant and impressive approach to the planting problem in challenging terrain.

        1. Yes, I’m sure it’s a bit more challenging than I assumed with my rough-ass calculation. However, many species of tree grow very easily. you can plant pines from the back of a tractor very rapidly on smooth ground. 40 or 50 per minute. These trees grow rapidly and will suck significant carbon after just a few years. If someone at the UN would coordinate the worldwide effort you could probably stop any increase in carbonizing the atmosphere and maybe begin to reverse it in a decade.

            1. Back in the 60s, my father hired a planter to put in pines (I think Scotch pine) on about 7 or 8 acres of cleared sandy soil in Michigan. One guy drove the tractor while the other sat in the back and fed seedlings into the furrow. I think it took only a day to plant. They grew a foot a year. No fertilizer or irrigation was needed. Obviously the process could be sped up and further automated using modern technology.

              1. I’ll have to watch it again but the video focuses on pine – loblolly and another one, and only one did well in their area – including requiring prescribed burning. Most of the first years it was developing roots.

  3. Just explained to a delighted American that we call ‘crosswalks’ ‘zebra crossings’. Then she asked what we call ‘crossing guards’, and I said ‘lollipop ladies’ and now she thinks I’ve just made the whole thing up.

    Well at least we do have lollipops in the UK. Zebras, not so much. Nor Pelicans come to think of it.

    1. Reminds me one of the Misleading Guides for Tourists, originated by the great Gerard Hoffnung:

      ‘Zebra parking places are provided everywhere’.

      Others include:

      ‘On entering a railway carriage, make sure to shake hands with all the passengers’;

      ‘All London brothels display a blue lamp’; and

      ‘Have you tried the famous echo in the Reading Room of the British Museum?’

      1. Hoffnung was hilarious? I had forgotten about him. What was his most famous spiel?
        Something about brick-laying?

        1. The brick-layers lament – a cautionary tale about lowering a barrel of bricks from the top of a building with a rope and pulley and falling foul of the laws of physics in the process.

        2. Delighted that other people remember Hoffnung! He organised a number of concerts around 56/61 that affectionately spoof the world of music: from Malcolm Arnold’s Grand, Grand Overture (‘The Hoover’: including parts for four rifles, three vacuum-cleaners and an electric floor-polisher) to ‘Let’s Fake an Opera’, which incorporates pastiches of pretty well every operatic tradition from Mozart to Puccini. I have the three original LPs in my collection!

          1. I didn’t discover him till the early 90s, when an Indian bf who had gone to college at Manchester played some of them for me. I must look up the opera ones!

  4. A wonderful way to start the day with an amazing and beautiful giant moth, and a recital with musical glasses. But I can’t forget Miss Hili the minx, ever flirtatious and mischievous.

  5. In South Africa traffic lights are known as ‘robots’ which for the visitor can cause confusion when asking for directions.

    I am not sure what the origin for this usage is but I recall seeing a documentary film set (I think) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where there was a road junction with a traffic controller that was in the form of the classic sci-fi humanoid robot.

    1. Even more confusing for past visitors to South African roads was the question of what a “sleg” is. They would be greeted by road markings at intersections with arrows and the words “slegs only”. In case you were wondering, “slegs” is the Afrikaans word for “only”.

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