Saturday: Hili dialogue

April 25, 2020 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Saturday, April 25, 2020: about 8 more days until the ETH (estimated time of hatching). As for food holidays, it’s both National Zucchini Bread Day (don’t get me started on that) and National Crotilla Day, celebrating a made-up Wal-Mart breadstuff said to be a cross between a tortilla and a croissant. These were first produced in 2017, and I wonder if they’re still sold:

It’s also Eeyore’s Birthday (my spirit animal), Save the Frogs Day, Independent Bookstore Day, National Go Birding Day, DNA Day (see below), World Malaria Day, National Plumber’s Day, Anzac Day, and World Penguin Day! Today in Austin, Texas, if it doesn’t violate quarantine restrictions, they’ll be having Eeyore’s Birthday Party, an annual celebration on the last Saturday of April. It has its own Wikipedia page with photos of activities and monuments, including this Eeyore of Liberty:

The British Museum honors World Penguin Day with a tweet including a TRUE quote from John Ruskin (h/t Paul):

News of the day: Bad, of course. Coronavirus deaths in the U.S. are now 52,400; the figure for the world is about 196,000.

Many health agencies, doctors, and even the makers of Clorox bleach and Lysol are pushing back against our “President’s” suggestion that putting disinfectants in the body might help cure coronavirus infection.  Trump says his suggestions were sarcastic—an elaborate prank on reporters—but nobody save his deluded supporters believe him. He’s just making up stuff again.

Speaking of bleach, the New York Times tells you how to use bleach solutions (and other disinfectants) properly. This does not involve ingesting them!

Stuff that happened on April 25 includes:

  • 1792 – Highwayman Nicolas J. Pelletier becomes the first person executed by guillotine.
  • 1792 – “La Marseillaise” (the French national anthem) is composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.
  • 1846 – Thornton Affair: Open conflict begins over the disputed border of Texas, triggering the Mexican–American War.
  • 1898 – Spanish–American War: The United States declares war on Spain.
  • 1915 – World War I: The Battle of Gallipoli begins: The invasion of the Turkish Gallipoli Peninsula by British, French, Indian, Newfoundland, Australian and New Zealand troops, begins with landings at Anzac Cove and Cape Helles.
  • 1916 – Anzac Day is commemorated for the first time on the first anniversary of the landing at ANZAC Cove.
  • 1945 – Liberation Day (Italy): The Nazi occupation army surrenders and leaves Northern Italy after a general partisan insurrection by the Italian resistance movement; the puppet fascist regime dissolves and Benito Mussolini is captured after trying to escape. This day was set as a public holiday to celebrate the Liberation of Italy.
  • 1953 – Francis Crick and James Watson publish “Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid” describing the double helix structure of DNA.

It has not escaped my notice that it’s DNA Day, and here’s what that paper looked like. One page that changed biology—and the world.


  • 1954 – The first practical solar cell is publicly demonstrated by Bell Telephone Laboratories.
  • 1959 – The Saint Lawrence Seaway, linking the North American Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, officially opens to shipping.
  • 1960 – The United States Navy submarine USS Triton completes the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1599 – Oliver Cromwell, English general and politician, Lord Protector of Great Britain (d. 1658)
  • 1900 – Wolfgang Pauli, Austrian-Swiss-American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1958)
  • 1917 – Ella Fitzgerald, American singer (d. 1996)
  • 1932 – Meadowlark Lemon, African-American basketball player and minister (d. 2015)
  • 1940 – Al Pacino, American actor and director
  • 1947 – Johan Cruyff, Dutch footballer and manager (d. 2016)
  • 1969 – Renée Zellweger, American actress and producer

Here once again is a display of the skills of the great Dutch soccer player:

Those who left the building on April 25 include:

Here’s Teniers’s “Das Katzenkonzert”. A lovely piece of art! But there are monkeys and an owl, who appears to be the conductor:


  • 1744 – Anders Celsius, Swedish astronomer, physicist, and mathematician (b. 1701)
  • 1800 – William Cowper, English poet (b. 1731)
  • 1944 – George Herriman, American cartoonist (b. 1880)
  • 1990 – Dexter Gordon, American saxophonist, composer, and actor (b. 1923)
  • 1995 – Ginger Rogers, American actress, singer, and dancer (b. 1911)
  • 2009 – Bea Arthur, American actress and singer (b. 1922)
  • 2019 – John Havlicek, American basketball player (b. 1940)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili sees Szaron behind her:

Hili: I’m not paranoid.
A: Why do you say that?
Hili: Somebody is constantly walking behind me.
In Polish:
Hili: Ja nie mam paranoi.
Ja: Dlaczego to mówisz?
Hili: Ciągle ktoś za mną chodzi.

A bonus picture of Szaron:

From Gregory. Where is your god now?

From Jesus of the Day:

From Facebook:

Maarten Boudry’s kitten Winston Purrchill is not handling the lockdown well. He’s destroying a fortune!

Two tweets from Simon: a woman aping Trump. For some reason other people just mouthing Trump’s words is hilarious:

Yep, The Donald will never live down the bleach/UV light gaffes:

From Heather Hastie via Ann German:

Tweets from Matthew—more on BLEACH:

Even more on bleach! Read the article.

I adore this tweet. Bats 1, Pope 0:

I haven’t checked whether this tweet is true—whether Trump’s fortune really did start in the 1918 pandemic. Perhaps a reader will know:


34 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. I like in particular the third paragraph from the end: “It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material”. I have no formal education in the life sciences but i think that is important isnt it?

      1. The actual observations that changed the world were derived from the DNA pictures of DNA made by Roslyn Franklin. There is no mention of her in the Watson Crick paper. Also of interest, perhaps, is that there is no use made of the word ‘hypothesis’. This article was written before the historians and philosophers of science had worked out what they thought science ‘really was’. Instead we read: suggestion; proposed and model. For anyone interested there is an excellent and moving film on the discovery of DNA: ‘Life Story’; not to be missed by anyone interested in the history and nature of science.

        1. But the photo was not taken by Franklin but Gosling, I assume!? “The other contribution included an X-ray photograph of B-DNA (called Photo 51)[178] taken by Franklin’s student Gosling that was briefly shown to Watson by Wilkins in January 1953,[179][180] and a report written for an MRC biophysics committee visit to King’s in December 1952 which was shown by Perutz at the Cavendish Laboratory to both Crick and Watson.”

          [ ]

          Unless “taken by” means something else here. (I don’t have access to the references right now.)

          Both Gosling and Franklin would earn recognition then, Franklin from work independent of the photo [see the context of the link], but mostly Gosling.

        2. Also here:

          “Photo 51 is an X-ray diffraction image of a paracristalline gel composed of DNA fiber [1] taken by Raymond Gosling,[2][3] a graduate student working under the supervision of Rosalind Franklin in May 1952 at King’s College London, while working in Sir John Randall’s group.[4][5][6][7] The image was tagged “photo 51″ because it was the 51st diffraction photograph that Franklin and Gosling had taken.[8] It was critical evidence[9] in identifying the structure of DNA.[10]

          Use in discovering structure of DNA
          James Watson was shown the photo by his collaborator, Maurice Wilkins, without Rosalind Franklin’s knowledge. Wilkins did this, as by this time, Gosling had returned under his supervision, since Franklin was leaving King’s and Randall had asked Gosling to share all his data with Wilkins.[11”

          [ ]

          Group politics aside, and possibly Franklin should get some added group leader recognition in the classical style of biology, but arguably Gosling did the deed.

        3. Don, “There is no mention of her in the Watson Crick paper” is simply not true, the paper does mention “Dr. R. E. Franklin and her co-workers”

  2. Dana Milbank, columnist at the WP, explains the Trump science in detail: While not peer reviewed yet my evidence based on a hunch that originated in my gut — is very strong.

  3. I don’t know anything about crotillas, but I’m making scratch chorizo and cheddar biscuits right now.

    1. I can’t help thinking of tRump as a Big Time Wrestling actor going on about stuff in the ring. And then I think, who watches Big Time Wrestling? Apparently 40% of Americans think it’s legit.

      1. And then I think, who watches Big Time Wrestling? Apparently 40% of Americans think it’s legit.

        My guess is that there is much overlap between this 40% and the 40-45% of the American public that has consistently approved of Donald Trump’s performance in office.

        As to both the Donald and the wrestlers, everything hinges on always, but always maintaining the kayfabe.

  4. “Yep, The Donald will never live down the bleach/UV light gaffes”

    I am not sure that it’s a good example. The more people joke about it, the less it becomes a serious matter.

    A better example may be the ad by Republicans for the Rule of Law using his gaffe. The catchword is really good: “Donald Trump: Unfit. Unwell. Unacceptable.”

    If republicans started to be vocal against Trump you may be able to win your bet.

  5. In addition to the Lysol inhaler, there is a photoshopped bottle of Chlorox chewables out there.

      1. Which reminds me, there is a technique to inoculate by scratching the virus in the wall of the rectum. The idea is you get a mild case that creates immunity but not involving the respiratory system. I wouldn’t try this at home.

  6. Though I applaud the bat’s efforts, and hopefully it won’t hear me clapping and attack my hair, I don’t think quoting Bible verses at the Pope will do any good. The Pope is basically the cherry-picker-in-chief of his particular cult.

    1. Those week old data looks much better than the projections I saw in a local newspaper that (futilely) tried to compare death rates! There the US curve was still heading up at constant exponential rate.

      I do hope the trend is peaking.

  7. Trump says his suggestions were sarcastic—an elaborate prank on reporters—but nobody save his deluded supporters believe him. He’s just making up stuff again.

    The argument of the Chief Moron was severely weakened by his repeating the idea the day after at a meeting with NASA head Bridenstine, either after or before the ‘sarcastic duck’.

    “After Bridenstine explained how AMBUStat’s device fogs rooms, leaving every surface in the room sterilized, Trump asked whether people could breathe it in. Bridenstine clarified the cleansing occurs without people in the room.”
    [ ]

    Worst President Ever!

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