Tuesday: Hili dialogue, gooseful rush hour and a cold a frosty UK morning

November 19, 2019 • 2:56 am

by Matthew Cobb

In Poland, Hili is scary:

A: You frightened me.
Hili: That was my intention.
In Polish:
Ja: Wystraszyłaś mnie.
Hili: Taki był mój zamiar.
Meanwhile, in the UK, it is cold and frosty down on the farm, but the fowl are as keen as ever on their rush hour. This episode features a close-up conversation with Cuthbert the Goose. What is he thinking in his bird brain?

A number of folk on Twitter have been surprised by the chill:


Even the University of Manchester’s radio telescope at Jodrell Bank is looking a trifle cold:

It’s cold under the ocean, too, though not in the same way. Just hope you don’t meet one of these:

And last night on the Okeanos feed we had this – sound on, mos def’. The fish head drifted down and was scavenged by the isopod (a relative of a woodlouse or a pillbug) – most likely it was dropped by one of the many squid we saw, because squid are, it appears from the experts on the commentary, “messy eaters”. Whatever the case, the isopod seems pretty keen to protect its find from the ROV:

A reptile in the air over Yorkshire, hundreds of millions of years ago:

An interesting-sounding article – maybe The Boss will write it up on his return from the Frozen South. [JAC note: I may well do!]

The things you see in Central Park:

People on Twitter are showing pics of themselves in 2009 and 2019. We can all sympathise with this I guess:

Finally, this looks like something out of a science fiction film (Annihilation comes to mind), but it is tragically real:


17 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue, gooseful rush hour and a cold a frosty UK morning

  1. The crazy track of MS Roald Amundsen overnight & this morning [I’ve added a 1km x 1 km red box for scale]. The knotted part of the track represents around 5 hrs mostly of darkness – I am guessing the ship hung around in the hopes of inflatable-boat-landing-weather after dawn. It must be inefficient to drop anchor in such waters & the ship was allowed to drift in the current & corrected every 30 or 40 mins. Perhaps a more efficient form of approximate station keeping [without an anchor deployed] than running the thrusters at low revs. Does anyone know the ways of hybrid ships to comment on my theory?:



      1. Half the world more likely to die of lack of sanitation than violence? I would believe it. Took the nice interactive test. Not surprised by those results either.

  2. 18 GIANT ISOPOD FACTS is worth a click. I thought this one bit particularly interesting:

    One giant isopod in Japan went for five years without eating a single bite before dying earlier this year. Dee Ann Auten [an Aquarist II at the Aquarium of the Pacific, which has four giant isopods in its Wonders of the Deep gallery] attempts to feed her giant isopods every day, a ritual that requires a lot of patience. “The trick is what to feed them and how to eat them,” she says. “…the hit is mackerel. It’s usually what I feed them. I’ll butterfly a dead mackerel so that the insides are coming out, and then I will present it in front the isopod. I try offering food once a day and that’s just because one day they might not be active as much, and one day they could be really hungry and I might miss that opportunity.”

    All four of the giant isopods Auten cares for have eaten within the last year (Auten keeps track of who’s who based on the spines that are missing from their tails). “One of them ate twice last year, one of them ate four times last year, one of them ate almost ten times last year. Another one I think was seven times,” she says. “It’s fascinating and it’s rewarding when you put so much effort into taking care of them and a lot of patience and you finally figure out this what they like to eat”

  3. “A reptile in the air over Yorkshire, hundreds of millions of years ago:”

    I didn’t know Ichthyosaurs jumped out of the water into the air. It seems possible that they would leap out to eat pterosaurs, but I thought ichthyosaurs mainly ate fish and other marine creatures.

    1. That is a Yorkshire ichthyosaur from the early Jurassic when Britain was between 30° & 40° north of the Equator, most land was joined up, no polar ice, sea level was hundreds of feet higher & annual temperatures were 12–29°C. Britain [& Yorkshire] was an ocean.

      I suppose Matt means that if that ichthyosaur reptile magic materialised today, in a condition prior to death – in the ‘same’ spot, it would be flying through the air above the Dracula seaside town & port of Whitby, Yorks.

  4. Re: pineapples and whales graphic…original article in cell behind paywall (natch). As a general science reader, i would love to see a general reader level article that incorporates this graphic or something similar. Is this an example of horizontal gene transfer?

    1. Agree and I hope Dr PCC(e) will review that Cell paper on the evolution of land plants. It is a question I’ve not thought about; how did plants colonize the land? I hope to read about it here.

  5. Dr. Cobb, who is the “greetings and good morning” guy. He is so cheerful and enthusiastic. A great listen for those days when you need a lift.

    1. It is Chris “chatty farmer” Franklin of Caen Hill, near Devizes, Wiltshire, UK at the Caenhill [one word] Countryside Centre. He was a Civilian video scenes of crime officer with the police up until the millennium & is now a volunteer at CCC doing their ‘media presence'[or whatever the jargon is]. The farmer thing is a persona as his expertise is web design & the like.

      CCC is an abandoned 70 acre farm owned by the local council that was once in Franklin’s family & now it’s mainly for local urban kiddies to get to know about animals & nature.


      The farm has plenty of history and links. In particular with Chris Franklin, whose father was a tenant farmer here for over 40 years. Chris left the farm in 1987 to work with Wiltshire Police in the scenes of crime unit then moved on to Kennet District Council, and Wiltshire Council. He is pleased to be given this opportunity to return the farm to the way it once was.

      His father Ken Franklin, retired in 2002 and the land was used for part of the year only which led to some areas becoming untidy and overgrown with the buildings not fully used.

      Plans are to return the farm back to how it was 150 years ago putting back the hedges and ponds. Fields will be named after previous farmers located here – field names include Banks, Butler, Merritt , Hawkins Giddings, Brown and of course, Franklin.
      The team is actively looking to fund the project working towards a learning centre, a workshop area and toilet & wash down facilities.

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