Wednesday: Hili dialogue

March 18, 2020 • 7:00 am

We’ve made it through this wretched week to Hump Day: March 18, 2020. It’s National Sloppy Joe Day (a sandwich unknown in the rest of the world), as well as National Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day (whatever they are, and I eat oatmeal cookies only under duress). It’s also two weird holidays: National Forgive Mom and Dad Day, and Awkward Moments Day.

The big news, besides the spread of the coronavirus, is Biden’s sweep in yesterday’s primary elections of Florida, Illinois, and Arizona. Here’s the current delegate count (Biden needs 1,991 delegates to win the nomination.

I think we can assume that Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee. . .  I am, however, chagrined at the many readers who seem to think Trump is a shoo-in come November’s election. Perhaps he is, but I am happy with my bet against him. But will we even have a Democratic convention this summer?

Good luck, Bernie, and thanks for all the fish—and thanks for your honesty and consistency, though I wasn’t completely on board with your platform. I hope you support Biden when the dust settles.

Stuff that happened on March 18 includes:

  • 1850 – American Express is founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo.
  • 1865 – American Civil War: The Congress of the Confederate States adjourns for the last time.
  • 1915 – World War I: During the Battle of Gallipoli, three battleships are sunk during a failed British and French naval attack on the Dardanelles.
  • 1922 – In India, Mohandas Gandhi is sentenced to six years in prison for civil disobedience, of which he serves only two.

Here is Gandhi in 1922:

  • 1940 – World War II: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet at the Brenner Pass in the Alps and agree to form an alliance against France and the United Kingdom.
  • 1965 – Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, leaving his spacecraft Voskhod 2 for 12 minutes, becomes the first person to walk in space.

And here’s a two-minute video of that spacewalk, which must have required considerable bravery:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1495 – Mary Tudor, Queen of France (d. 1533)[4]
  • 1782 – John C. Calhoun, American lawyer and politician, 7th Vice President of the United States (d. 1850)
  • 1837 – Grover Cleveland, American lawyer and politician, 22nd and 24th President of the United States (d. 1908)
  • 1869 – Neville Chamberlain, English businessman and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1940)
  • 1909 – Ernest Gallo, American businessman, co-founded the E & J Gallo Winery (d. 2007)
  • 1932 – John Updike, American novelist, short story writer, and critic (d. 2009)
  • 1941 – Wilson Pickett, American singer-songwriter (d. 2006)
  • 1950 – Linda Partridge, English geneticist and academic

Happy 70th to Linda, with whom I once collaborated on Drosophila field work. I have to say, that work was very clever! Click to see the paper (from The American Naturalist):

  • 1969 – Shaun Udal, English cricketer
  • 1970 – Queen Latifah, American rapper, producer, and actress

Those who packed it in on March 18 include:

  • 1745 – Robert Walpole, English scholar and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1676)
  • 1768 – Laurence Sterne, Irish novelist and clergyman (b. 1713)
  • 1845 – Johnny Appleseed, American gardener and missionary (b. 1774)
  • 2009 – Natasha Richardson, English-American actress (b. 1963)
  • 2010 – Fess Parker, American actor and businessman (b. 1924)
  • 2017 – Chuck Berry, American guitarist, singer and songwriter (b. 1926)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili decries the use of ads on websites. But Listy has no ads, prompting Hili’s comeback.

Hili: Ads again!
A: They have to make money on something.
Hili: They will not make much on me.
In Polish:
Hili: Znowu jakieś reklamy.
Ja: Na czymś muszą zarabiać.
Hili: Na mnie dużo nie zarobią.

From Wild and Wonderful. Look at this gorgeous duckling!

Two fake but funny tweets sent by reader Bruce:

From Merilee:

From Jesus of the Day:

From reader Ken: they’re playing pranks on poor Tom Hanks:

From Barry. We all know about social distance and precautions for the aged now, but why not hear it from Mel Brooks and his son?


From Simon: more on Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium penguins, who were allowed to walk around the exhibits to relieve their boredom in the absence of people:

Tweets from Matthew. Have some sympathy for this bird displaying his heart out to impress the female. She was not impressed.

I’m not sure what the “experiment” is here, but

Yes, it’s the Cuomo brothers embarrassing themselves on CNN. Jebus, what were they thinking?


30 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. But will we even have a Democratic convention this summer?

    I’m betting (figuratively) yes. In China, the disease appeared in January, peaked in February, and is in steep decline by mid March. Granted, their government took much stronger measures than ours is taking. However, the DNC isn’t until mid July – 4 months from now. Even if we add, say, an extra month or two of peak time in the U.S. case, we’d still expect it to be in steep decline by July.

    This is why I said in an earlier thread that I’m afraid voters will basically have forgotten Trump’s incompetent response to the virus when they vote in November; because the public has a very short attention span, and the coronavirus will be ‘old news’ even by August. It seems impossible to think something so impactful on us right now could be so quickly ignored, but IMO it’ll disappear from the public’s attention just as quickly as the Mueller report or Trump’s impeachment. Remember that?

    The Senate aquittance was only about 6 weeks ago. Yet it’s completely gone from the news cycle. The coronavirus will be gone from the new cycle mere weeks after schools reopen and everyone goes back to work.

    1. The short attention span of the American public is perfect for our strategic failure of American foreign policy in the post – Cold War years when the central problem is the absence of any comprehensive strategy at all.

      We can make all kinds of wagers on this.

    2. I dunno. Estimates are that up to a third of the US population could eventually be infected by the coronavirus. At a mortality rate of 1-2%, we’re talkin’ about a million or two dead Americans.

      As short as the attention span of the US public may be, somethin’ tells me they’re not gonna forget their dead relatives quite as quickly as they did the perfidious Republicans in US senate acquitting Dear Leader.

      1. Not likely to forget the loss of a job, particularly if another one cannot be found. Most of the people that lived through the depression in the 1930s remember it forever. It is a shame we have no FDR today.

        1. Yeah, I know my grandparents, who raised families during the Great Depression, never got over it completely. It took a long time, and an act of congress establishing the FDIC, before people were confident enough again to put their money back in banks. And many of the people who lost all their dough in the bank runs of the early 1930s kept at least some of their money stashed in mattresses and around their homes until their dying day.

        2. Congress is now talking about direct, $2,000 payments to individuals who lose their jobs/can’t work. This is in addition to payouts to companies to cover sick leave, etc..

          It certainly doesn’t make up for loss of a job, but if the Dems do bring up the coronavirus response to attack Trump, you can bet he’s going to mention that over and over and over again. And the people who receive that money may not care about what he should’ve done better.

    3. “voters will basically have forgotten Trump’s incompetent response”

      Not a chance.

      1) Even if we get a spike in, say, late April and it is declining in June, we’ll get another spike as soon as people are socializing again.

      2) Presidents are hard to beat when the economy is strong. This is the only thing tRump had going for him, other than the devotion of the religious cult. The economy will suffer from this pandemic for much longer than a year.

    4. “because the public has a very short attention span”

      I am not USian but I am very worried by the idea of four more years of Trump’s corruption (a viral – memetic – infection in itself).

      So, I pray you to keep in mind that you are a part of this public. And if you can remember Trump’s ineptitude, others can too. Refresh their memories often (ex., by referring to and, if needed, hard.

      I understand that some of your compatriots are rendered immune to reason by his propaganda organ (Fox Intox), but you should try. And vote. Please.

  2. The experiment with human-like faces seems to be someone having fun with the AI that extracts faces for ‘deepfake’ style manipulations. There are a considerable number of recent papers concerning face and feature extraction that tout new AI systems that can do all sorts to single images, including manipulations to change viewpoint, change of scenery, etc.

    Some wag with a sense of humour evidently had a laugh with face like objects 😀

  3. For the Pin-tailed Whydah bird clip, it is amusing to repeatedly hit play then pause to see the male in a range of awkward mid-flight poses.
    A thing to try while in isolation.

  4. I took the persiflage between the Cuomo brothers as a bit of needed comic relief during these trying times.

    I frequently have such bantering exchanges with my siblings, albeit not on national teevee. It was practically a standing joke at family gatherings that at some point I used to turn to my mom and say, “Ma, tell my brother and sister what you were telling me on the drive over here … you know, the part about how, if you’d’ve known what disappointments the others were going to turn out to be in comparison, you’d have stopped having kids after your firstborn.” 🙂

  5. I always found sloppy joes, a concoction of loose ground beef, tomatoe sauce, ketchup and spices served on a hamburger bun, with french fries, night to be a highlight at my otherwise fairly dismal college dining hall. This was back in the 1960s and early 70s before colleges found that good food options were an inducement to getting students.

    1. Even as a kid I was a rare Sloppy Joe hater. Taste is “meh” at best to me and often more towards “yech.” And then there’s the impracticality of eating the thing. By the time you’ve picked it up and taken the first bite half or more of the goop has fallen / been squeezed out and your left with very messy hands eating a boring hamburger bun that isn’t really food and is really only suitable for holding the stuff you really want to eat (burger, cheese lettuce, tomato, pickles, etc.).

      1. Not that I’ve had one in a long while, but, you ask me, the proper way to eat a Sloppy Joe is open face with a fork, a slice or two of cheese melted on top.

        1. My youngest is staying with his girlfriend right now, since we are a plague house. He did come over today to get some beef, which we have more than 300 pounds of at this time.
          The girlfriend is a vegan, so we will see how that works out.

          I always liked things like Sloppy Joes, because they were never served at home.

  6. Hoping this doesn’t count as an example of Godwin’s Law, but re. faces in house facades, I’m always reminded that one at Hitler’s Berghof (I think the architectural description would be the end facade of the ell) is one such “face”. I couldn’t find a pic of just that facade, but it should be apparent in the first pic here.

    1. Apparently, a fake photo of Hanks with “Wilson” – from The Betoota Advocate (a satirical website).

  7. It’s very amusing the way that penguin walks up to the aquarium exhibit, seems to read what’s on the info word, looks at the fish, then looks at the info board, as if checking out their details.

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