Saturday: Hili dialogue

April 4, 2020 • 7:00 am

It’s Saturday, April 4, 2020, and it’s both National Cordon Bleu Day (celebrating the dish of thinly pounded chicken filled with ham and cheese, then breaded and fried [I’ve never had one]) and International Carrot Day. Re the carrots, it’s also Vitamin C Day.  Further, it’s Hug a Newsperson Day (right sentiment, wrong year), National Rat Day, and National DIY (do it yourself) Day. Now’s a good day to make that reusable face mask out of an old tee shirt that I highlighted yesterday.

News of the Day: Very bad, as usual. As the pandemic spreads around the world, the death toll in the U.S. has passed 7,000. The CDC recommends that we all wear cloth masks in public, which I’ll do whenever I’m not taking a solitary walk but going “in public”, like to a gas station or a store.  Trump, however, says he won’t take the CDC’s advice. (I notice that during his press conference he also avoids “social distancing”.)  Nine U.S. states still haven’t ordered stay-at-home regulations, including Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota; Wyoming, Utah, South Carolina, and Oklahoma have such orders in only parts of their state. As I recall, all of these states have Republican governors. Anthony Fauci says he can’t comprehend the holdouts, and he’s right.

I also predict that there will be no major league baseball played in the U.S. this year (the season’s now postponed), though some optimists think otherwise. They are almost certainly wrong, as is everyone who thinks this pandemic will be over soon and it will be business as usual by fall. I hope I’m wrong in this prediction, but I don’t think I will be.

Lots of stuff happened on April 4, including:

  • 1147 – Moscow is mentioned for the first time in the historical record, when it is named as a meeting place for two princes.
  • 1581 – Francis Drake is knighted for completing a circumnavigation of the world.
  • 1796 – Georges Cuvier delivers the first paleontological lecture.

Cuvier is known as the Father of Paleontology, and Wikipedia says this about the lecture:

On 4 April 1796 he began to lecture at the École Centrale du Pantheon and, at the opening of the National Institute in April, he read his first paleontological paper, which subsequently was published in 1800 under the title Mémoires sur les espèces d’éléphants vivants et fossiles. In this paper, he analyzed skeletal remains of Indian and African elephants, as well as mammoth fossils, and a fossil skeleton known at that time as the ‘Ohio animal’.

Harrison was in office for exactly one month, taking up the Presidency on March 4.

  • 1949 – Cold War: Twelve nations sign the North Atlantic Treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
  • 1958 – The CND peace symbol is displayed in public for the first time in London.

You must learn where the sign came from:

The symbol is a super-imposition of the semaphore signals for the letters “N” and “D”, taken to stand for “nuclear disarmament”. This observation was made as early as 5 April 1958 in the Manchester Guardian. In addition to this primary genesis, Holtom additionally cited as inspiration Goya’s Peasant Before the Firing Squad.

Here’s that painting, also called “The Third of May 1808”:

If you can name the top five you’re an expert! Here they are:

  • 1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated by James Earl Ray at a motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • 1969 – Dr. Denton Cooley implants the first temporary artificial heart.
  • 1973 – The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City are officially dedicated.
  • 1975 – Microsoft is founded as a partnership between Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • 1979 – Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan is executed.
  • 1983 – Space Shuttle program: Space Shuttle Challenger makes its maiden voyage into space.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1802 – Dorothea Dix, American nurse and activist (d. 1887)
  • 1895 – Arthur Murray, American dancer and educator (d. 1991)
  • 1928 – Maya Angelou, American memoirist and poet (d. 2014)
  • 1948 – Berry Oakley, American bass player (d. 1972)
  • 1965 – Robert Downey Jr., American actor, producer, and screenwriter
  • 1979 – Heath Ledger, Australian actor (d. 2008)
  • 2012 – Grumpy Cat, American internet celebrity cat (d. 2019)

I never liked Grumpy Cat (real name “Tardar Sauce”) because his “grumpiness” was a developmental defect, probably based on a mutation (she lived only 7 years). But here she is, one last time:

This is the first cat I’ve seen commemorated on Wikipedia’s birthday lists.

Those who experienced mortality on April 4 include:

  • 1617 – John Napier, Scottish mathematician, physicist, and astronomer (b. 1550)
  • 1929 – Karl Benz, German engineer and businessman, founded Mercedes-Benz (b. 1844)
  • 1958 – Johnny Stompanato, American soldier and bodyguard (b. 1925)
  • 1968 – Martin Luther King Jr., American minister and activist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1929)
  • 1983 – Gloria Swanson, American actress (b. 1899)
  • 2013 – Roger Ebert, American journalist, critic, and screenwriter (b. 1942)

Meanwihile in Dobrzyn, today’s Hili dialogue needs an explanation, which Malgorzata has supplied:

There are problems in Polish agriculture that may lead to food shortages. And we have this huge garden with plenty of good soil on which only grass grows. So we found a gardener to dig a vegetable garden in one part of our yard. He will plant for us diverse vegetables, and beans are among them. Hili is full of enthusiasm and thinks that we should discard all flowers and just plant beans.

The dialogue:

Hili: Everything is growing amazingly.
A: Now the spring is real.
Hili: Maybe, instead of flowers we should plant beans?
In Polish:
Hili: Niesłychanie to wszystko rośnie.
Ja: Wiosna w pełni.
Hili: A może zamiast kwiatków zasadzić fasolę?

Also in Dobrzyn, Szaron is baffled by the blinds (note that he’s got the cord in his mouth:

Szaron: How do they do it?

In Polish: Szaron: Jak oni to robią?

And let’s not forget about Kitten Mietek, was photographed (with a caption) by staff Elzbieta. Like his stepbrother Leon, Mietek has taken to the leash!

Caption: Mietek gets to know the world.
In Polish: Mietek poznaje świat.

From Jim:

From Graham (I may have posted this a while back, but can’t recall):

And a gif from Twisted Sifter. Is this Proof of Ceiling Cat?

From The Queen’s continuing series on the pandemic:

I retweeted this tweet I got from Matthew and added some explanation and a link. The second tweet, with a video (sound on!), is the heartwarming one. Fricking Navy!

Tweets from Matthew. Have a look at this uber-weird tree!:

A fun-loving croc:

No comment:

In the word of nature (sans H. sapiens), life goes on. . .

Matthew explains this cartoon from the Times Literary Supplement, “The picture contains images that are synonyms/images/phrases for sex. So – screw, roll in the hay, netflix and chill, sowing wild oats etc etc”. How many can you spot?

Nature is getting ever closer to humans as the humans retreat into their houses.  Here’s an example:



20 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. I’ve only had those cheap frozen cordon bleu things you get in the freezer department. As terrible as they were, they were pretty good. If the bad ones are good then the real ones must be really great.

  2. Blinds: How do they work? My current cat ignores them, but I’ve had others that shared Szaron’s fascination.

    I once worked as a sous chef in a place that served Cordon Bleu, so I’ve made thousands of them. We sauteed them rather than frying them, so maybe we did it wrong. It’s pretty good stuff though! The sauce has to be right, though. Standard white sauce with a little good mustard works best.

  3. Goya’s memorable painting is actually an inversion of the piece sign. It is still suggestive somehow.

  4. I predict Trump will catch COVID-19 eventually. He has no self-control and doesn’t want to wear a mask lest he appear weak or hilarious. It seems very unlikely he distances himself much as he loves face-to-face interaction. After all, how many days could he go without humiliating and bullying someone? Twitter is fine but I’m sure it’s not as good as the “real thing”.

    1. I’ve heard he’s a total germophobe though and always washes his hands or uses hand sanitizer.

      1. Yes, but that doesn’t seem to jibe with his recent behavior in public. He’s shaken hands, touched microphones used by others, not distanced himself from those around him. We also know he has sex with porn stars without protection.

        My thought is that he really has no idea of which risks to worry about. Showing such poor judgement DOES jibe with what we know about the man, right?

  5. “Is this Proof of Ceiling Cat?”

    YES, it is. The time has come to study the furry scriptures and repent for any sins committed in sight of our feline overlord. Let us emulate the ancient Egyptians, the only people in the history of mankind to have divined the true purpose of religion.

    Let us sacrifice a can of tuna before our whiskered lord and master, his high and most holy felixity, Ceiling Cat. Ameow.

  6. Making masks … I’m glad we aren’t supposed to wear them here! (There is no statistics that our authorities recognize support wearing them outside of hospitals, and some work saying it makes some disease transmission worse. Not that COVID-19 transmission is well known yet…)

    1. There is new thinking transmission through the air is more common than previously thought. Also, the evidence that countries where masks are worn more widely seem to do better.

      If no access, here’s the text:

      An expert committee has concluded that the novel coronavirus is aerosolized through talking or exhalation, but it’s not yet clear if the viral particles are viable and emitted in doses sufficient to cause infection.

      “While the current SARS-CoV-2 specific research is limited, the results of available studies are consistent with aerosolization of virus from normal breathing,” wrote Harvey Fineberg, MD, PhD, chair of the National Academies Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats, in a rapid expert consultation issued April 2.

      Although aerosolization could be considered a third potential route of transmission — along with large droplets emitted from sneezing or coughing and the transfer of viral particles after touching a contaminated surface — the relative contribution of each mode is uncertain, Fineberg told Medscape Medical News.

      It’s also still unclear what it takes to cause infection through aerosolization, he said.

      “The best approach without that clear description is all three are possible and we have to guard against all three,” he said.

      Asked if there is any risk to operating on the assumption that the novel coronavirus can be transmitted through aerosols, Fineberg said, “I see no downside at this time at all.”

      But, he said, that assumption does not change what he thinks are the best precautions in healthcare facilities, which include handwashing and wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE). Although N95 masks provide the greatest measure of protection, it’s not realistic to expect that they can be worn by all personnel, said Fineberg.

      Another study in preprint looking at hospitals and public areas in Wuhan found that the highest concentrations of virus were in toilet facilities and in PPE removal rooms. Doffing of the PPE may potentially have aerosolized the virus, the researchers hypothesized.

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