Friday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

December 6, 2019 • 6:30 am

Good morning on a chilly but not freezing Friday: December 6, 2019. (At 4:30 am, the Chicago temperature is 41ºF or 5ºC.) It’s National Gazpacho Day, but eating that delicious soup is cultural appropriation unless you’re simultaneously cognizant of the historical oppression of the Spanish people (ignore the conquistadors). It’s also Faux Fur Friday (only those who grow fur on their bodies are allowed to wear that fur), Bartender Appreciation Day, and, in Canada, National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Timely reminder: there are only 19 shopping days until the beginning of Coynezaa.

Stuff that happened on December 6 includes

  • 1534 – The city of Quito in Ecuador is founded by Spanish settlers led by Sebastián de Belalcázar.
  • 1877 – The first edition of The Washington Post is published.
  • 1884 – The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., is completed.
  • 1897 – London becomes the world’s first city to host licensed taxicabs.
  • 1912 – The Nefertiti Bust is discovered.

Below is a photo of that lovely bust, which now reposes in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin despite persistent Egyptian demands to return it to the country where it was found. Wikipedia says this about it:

The Nefertiti Bust is a painted stucco-coated limestone bust of Nefertiti, the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten.The work is believed to have been crafted in 1345 B.C. by the sculptor Thutmose, because it was found in his workshop in Amarna, Egypt. It is one of the most copied works of ancient Egypt. Owing to the work, Nefertiti has become one of the most famous women of the ancient world, and an icon of feminine beauty.

More stuff from this day in history, including events centering on two books controversial for their erotic scenes or themes:

Here’s a grainy video of part of that match.

  • 1967 – Adrian Kantrowitz performs the first human heart transplant in the United States.

This was only the second heart transplant after Christian Baarnard’s in South Africa. In Kantrowitz’s operation, a heart was transplanted into an infant, but it lived only a few hours. (Barnaard’s patient lived 18 days before dying of pneumonia.)

Here’s a video of the incident, with Mick Jagger looking on, that appears in the 1970 documentary Gimme Shelter. The man who stabbed Meredith was acquitted on grounds of self defense, for Meredith had a gun.

  • 1973 – The Twenty-fifth Amendment: The United States House of Representatives votes 387–35 to confirm Gerald Ford as Vice President of the United States. (On November 27, the Senate confirmed him 92–3.)
  • 1998 – in Venezuela, Hugo Chávez is victorious in presidential elections.

Notables born on this day include two famous photographers:

  • 1896 – Ira Gershwin, American songwriter (d. 1983)
  • 1898 – Alfred Eisenstaedt, German-American photographer and journalist (d. 1995)
  • 1898 – Gunnar Myrdal, Swedish sociologist and economist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1987)
  • 1901 – Eliot Porter, American photographer and academic (d. 1990)
  • 1908 – Baby Face Nelson, American gangster (d. 1934)
  • 1948 – JoBeth Williams, American actress.

Below is a photo by Eisenstadt, perhaps his most famous after the “sailor kissing woman” photo on V-J Day. Taken in 1933, the photo caught Josef Goebbels unawares, and Goebbels didn’t like it (see the backstory here):

Few notables “passed” on December 6; they include:

  • 1889 – Jefferson Davis, American general and politician, President of the Confederate States of America (b. 1808)
  • 1951 – Harold Ross, American journalist and publisher, founded The New Yorker (b. 1892)
  • 1955 – Honus Wagner, American baseball player and manager (b. 1874)
  • 2017 – Johnny Hallyday, French singer and actor (b. 1943)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is now occupying much of the bed at night, including sleeping on Malgorzata’s face:

A: Hili, we are going to sleep.
Hili: I hope you will find some room in the bed.
In Polish:
Ja: Hili, będziemy się kłaść spać.
Hili: Mam nadzieję, że znajdziecie sobie trochę miejsca w łóżku.

Over in Wloclawek, Mietek has now gained 500 grams—over a pound! And you can see why: here’s a photo of Andrzej II eating dinner with Leon and Mietek. Roast meat for the cats!

And a Mietek Monologue:

Mietek: Which one will roll best?

In Polish: Która będzie się najlepiej turlać?

Some tweets. In the first one, I’ve been anointed by my contrarian soulmate Bari Weiss:

From Simon. Look at the difference between the younger people and total populations in 2018-2019:

Anti-Semitism at a school in Ohio; story here.

Reader BJ sent this tweet that links to a report on anti-Semitism in the Labour party (report here). It’s pretty clear that Labour is infested with Jew hatred. Weetman has 24 followup tweets that document Labour’s bigotry:

From reader Michael: Taylor Swift, who has three cats, polls her “itty bitty pretty kitty committee” to see if she should put out a Christmas song. They unanimously say “no,” but she did it anyway. LISTEN TO THE KITTIES!

Tweets from Matthew. When I retweeted this remarking on the ability of natural selection to modify different life stages (all coded by the same genome) independently, some killjoy replied, “Well done on ruining some caterpillar footage with science.”  Such is Twitter, and the reason I rarely read the comments on my few tweets. 

The second tweet below is the good one:

And a lovely protozoan:

35 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

  1. If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them about life today?

    I was born in 1950, give it a try. Surprise me. Oh wait a minute, I know – Donald Trump.

    1. From a European perspective [not particularly about USA politics] my list is.

      – Fake news & conspiracy theories
      – Superstitions not dead, just wearing new clothes
      – ‘Rationality’ not made much of a dent in astrology & other woo. Especially the expected fall in formal religion being replaced by hippy garbage more than say Humanism.
      – Obesity
      – Cult of the young & beautiful grows & grows
      – Splintering of political & trading blocs
      – Nationalism
      – Nuclear proliferation
      – Ineffectiveness of the UN
      – Manufacturing moves east [the speed is the surprise]
      – Educational attainment & general knowledge undervalued [this year alone: [1] One friend in her 50s came back from hols in S. Portugal & thought they’d been to Spain – didn’t notice the language was subtly different – didn’t leave the package holiday hotel/grounds in the ten days, thus mixed only with fellow Brummies & Geordies [2] Another went on a package to Tunis & smiled at my ignorance when I asked what she thought of North Africa.
      – Worker unions crushed & tycoons/oligarchs replacing governments
      – multi-generational underemployment & unemployment

      – Fall of the USSR
      – No Europe-wide wars in 76 years
      – No nuclear bombs exploded in anger [related to the above I suppose]
      – Drink driving, excess drinking & public smoking become social no-noes
      – The internet & associated personal electronics
      – Home shopping & home delivery
      – Music becomes vast & intermingled
      – Bright, cheap clothing that doesn’t smell of wet wool

      1. I suppose if you transpose these to the U.S.A. you’d have to magnify them, at least a bit. Curious Britishism, that “drink driving”. In the U.S. it’s called “drunk driving” (maybe you’re a Brimmie?). Why the hell isn’t there more mixing and homogenization of dialects in England? Don’t they all watch the same BBC? The folks who traveled and knew not where remind me of the late night comedian’s formula segment asking people on the street things a 4th grader should know. Even college grads questioned can’t find North Korea on the world map. Others struggle with the number of planets in our Solar System. It’s pretty amusing and sad.
        That’s a very good list. I’d add only that the sight of so many people walking around like zombies staring down at their smart phones would be very off-putting to such a time traveler.

        1. I was having some of the same thoughts. How do we have all these “young” people walking around with their head stuck in a smart phone 24 hours a day and yet know so little? Every one becomes a sucker, coned by their device and the likes of Donald Trump. Let go of the damn phone and read a book.

        2. Drink-driving is the official term found on GOV.UK websites & is the universally popular Brit expression for it. We also have “drug driving” as an official term, which is treated similarly in the main to drink-driving, but is a separate set of penalty codes & legal twists/turns due to some drugs being illegal while others are medicinal & others are medicinal, but impairing. The other factor is roadside testing kits are years behind the curve & can’t be easily upgraded/extended until tested in real situations. I imagine these are the reasons we still have booze & drugs in two bins. We don’t have a catch all term such as DUI, but I hear it in conversation cos US TV & even from a copper, although it is meaningless legally.

          The non-homogenization of British dialect & accent is a mystery to me – even the ones who slavishly adopt gang patois retain a formal backup speech mode & even the patois-afflicted have an accent layer that reveals their true origins. I can identify the neighbourhood origin of my local different Brummies and whether that north-easterner [150 miles away] is Newcastle, Washington, Middlesborough or Stockton-on-Tees – it’s as distinct to me ears as the various NYC/NJ urban accents. The southern States are harder for me to distinguish – I know it’s southern, but not always where. Little enclaves of California accents & modes [over emoting drama!] annoy me intensely – Valley Girls & so on.

          Thanks for liking the list – I’d forgotten about incurable Mobilitis nokia disease.

        3. Hey, c’mon, man, don’t diss our regional dialects, they’re pretty special to some of us! The Kentish rural accent is still alive (just about), and is distinct from, say, the East Sussex accent. I lived a long time in West Lancashire, and I can still tell the difference between the Southport, Preston and Blackburn accents – and long may they all live!

          1. I lived in Chorley, Blackburn, Darwen & Preston – all close [as you know] & all different once I got my ear in. Darwen the most skewed of the four. Then there’s the Scouse accent which hardens to the north of the city & so utterly different from the Mancs only 35 miles away.

            All very strange how it persists.

          2. Not a diss. Just an observation. You make a good point – it’s charming and it’s a good thing to preserve.

  2. Apropos the anniversary of the death of Harold Ross, James Thurber’s memoir The Years with Ross is very good on their friendship – and never-ending arguments about punctuation – at The New Yorker in its early days.

    1. The New Yorker still bears some of the idiosyncratic punctuation and spelling — including, infamously, the use of diaeresis — from those early Ross years.

  3. Those caterpillars are unbelievable.

    The first ‘still’, before I started the video, I was absolutely convinced some joker had put tiny green jackets on those four caterpillars.


    1. I think that twitter account is a bit spoofy – “Bringing you the very best of conspiracy theory-based fucknuttery in 280 characters or less”

  4. Only makes sense when the whole image is revealed… “Taha Bali @tahabito, The most under covered and arguably most consequential story out of Arab World in the last decade.”

    From Simon. Look at the difference between the younger people and total populations in 2018-2019:

    1. The data from Lybia and Tunesia (the age group 15 thru 29 are pretty close to a non-religious majority!) are encouraging. The low figures in Yemen seem to suggest a correlation between religiosity and the acute presence of warfare.

    2. IIRc, Richard Dawkins said an Arabic translation of The God Delusion had been downloaded more than 10 million times. So I wonder if some of the Gnu Atheists are partly responsible for religion beginning to recede in the middle east!

      1. Yes I think that’s true, but also the translation is quenching a thirst that must already exist in part.

        Rambling thoughts: Repressive, ‘fascist’ regimes [inc. political Islamic states] can’t help but create a pushback thirst & wish for change if the tools are available to the oppressed – I suppose if you rule by oppression you’ve got to be 100% committed to keeping your people uneducated, poor, terrified & unable to travel or eventually you get dethroned. That’s why so many of these regimes use educated foreigners to run all the critical infrastructure or you let the infrastructure crumble & cross your fingers.

        If only we’d blockaded NK harder, we could have made the dear leader receptive to acquiring dollars to survive – he’s got hundreds of miles of unexploited beautiful coastline & forested lands on his east coast worth billions to Trump & his kind. The real interest the Orange One has in NK – turn borrowed dollars into a cash machine away from regulatory oversight. Ker-ching.

  5. So do we have a new shooting trend at Naval facilities. Just had one at Pearl Harbor and now one at Pensacola Naval Air Station. In this one the shooter is dead, at least 5 wounded.

  6. One more time yet again:

    Because of this day, 06 December, in y1989,
    … … National Day of Remembrance and Action
    on Violence Against Women: Canada … …
    my USA flag flies at its half mast not for
    any dead man including the killer.

    But for the exterminated. For the destroyed.

    For the 14 killed … … that one day, 30 years ago now so withIN our lifetimes,
    our ‘civilized’ histories
    taking up only ~20 minutes’ moments thereof
    because and only because they were
    human beings … … female.

    It is at its half mast FOR these people:

    Ms Geneviève Bergeron
    Ms Hélène Colgan
    Ms Nathalie Croteau
    Ms Barbara Daigneault
    Ms Anne – Marie Edward
    Ms Maud Haviernick
    Ms Maryse Laganière
    Ms Maryse Leclair
    Ms Anne – Marie Lemay
    Ms Sonia Pelletier
    Ms Michèle Richard
    Ms Annie St – Arneault
    Ms Annie Turcotte
    Ms Barbara Klucznik – Widajewicz

    One here on WEIT, mocking me, queried how parents and grandparents and
    others could have The Way to not worry
    in re their sons becoming sometime
    for violent crimes falsely accused.
    I ‘ad stated that The Way was
    widely and for a long and long time known.

    Apparently that mocking one has no idea nor
    upbringing by his elders thusly cuz, o’course, .this. ‘ld BE The Way
    to … … no worries then:


      1. Yeah, I know that, Randall.
        However, everyone knows that.

        Folks strolling by, though, my home /
        my flag ? They yell out .at. me
        stating that I have the date wrong.
        For half – mast remembrance.

        O’course … … I do not. Do I ?


    1. Indeed…but if you saw this photo, uncaptioned, with no external clue as to who it was, would you think the same thing?

      The terrifying thing about nasty people is how normal they often look.

  7. Nefertiti’s Bust is fabulous to see. However, the assertion that it is ill-begotten is not that convincing.

    It was agreed that excavator side (represented by Borchardt) and the Egyptian Antiquities Service (represented by Gustave Lefebvre) would split the findings as was customary. Both names were top Egyptologist.

    The main argument is that Borchardt knew of the significance of the bust and mislead the other side. He allegedly did everything to downplay this finding. He must have known the bust was made of stucco and limestone rather than gypsum as he wrote in a documentation.

    She was also presented first in a bad photography, and then later all findings were open for inspection in a badly lit room, and in (open) boxes, but wrapped in cloth. We’re talking a hundred years ago. 1920s photography and lighting. If the manner of presentation was unusual for the time, how come it wasn’t seen as suspicious then?

    Such few details are presented as striking evidence for systematic deception. Of course, cherrypicking relies on picking details that are unfavourable to one side. However, she was also listed on very top of the exchange list, there was a photograph in the first place and the findings were open for inspection and were inspected.

    It’s also a mistake to confuse the significance after-the-fact with when she was unearthed. Archeology was a fashion in Europe, when people in sprawling European and American cities woke up to sense of a global village and were hungry for “exotic” location elsewhere.

  8. “Bartender Appreciation Day” – especially for the long-suffering barmaid at the Cock & Bull who has to put up with Jesus n Mo.

    1. Every day should be Bartender Appreciation Day. It’s the only way some of us are ever going to get served.

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