Sunday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on Sunday, April 26, 2020: about one week day until Hatch Day. It’s also National Pretzel Day, Audubon Day, celebrating the birth of the famed illustrator in 1785, Hug a Friend Day (sorry, not this year), Hug an Australian Day (ditto), National Help a Horse Day, and World Intellectual Property Day.

Here’s Audubon’s print of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos). The beaks are too long relative to the head size.

News of the Day: Still bad. Officially reported coronavirus deaths in the U.S are now 54,161; those throughout the world are roughly 203,000.

Many lockdown orders expire this week. The New York Times has an interactive map (click on screenshot) in which you can see how each state’s regulations are changing. Three states (in light green) have partly reopened, those in light tan will partly reopen April 30, and the rest (dark orange-yellow) remain locked down). Note that it’s mostly the South and the West (save the sensible states on the Left Coat) that are reopening. Go to the map and click on each state to see what’s happening:

Frank Bruni, noting correctly that Trump is self-destructing in public view, muses that his loss in November is entirely possible. I hope he’s right (and I win $50 if he’s dumped).

Stuff that happened on April 26 includes:

  • 1564 – Playwright William Shakespeare is baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England (date of actual birth is unknown).
  • 1777 – Sybil Ludington, aged 16, rode 40 miles (64 km) to alert American colonial forces to the approach of the British regular forces
  • 1803 – Thousands of meteor fragments fall from the skies of L’Aigle, France; the event convinces European scientists that meteors exist.
  • 1865 – Union cavalry troopers corner and shoot dead John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, in Virginia.

Here’s Booth (left), who came from a famous family of actors. To his left are his two brothers:

John Wilkes Booth, Edwin Booth and Junius Booth, Jr. (from left to right) in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in 1864.

  • 1933 – The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, is established.
  • 1937 – Spanish Civil War: Guernica, Spain, is bombed by German Luftwaffe.
  • 1964 – Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge to form Tanzania.
  • 1981 – Dr. Michael R. Harrison of the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center performs the world’s first human open fetal surgery.
  • 1986 – A nuclear reactor accident occurs at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union (now Ukraine), creating the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

Here is Reactor Number 4, the one whose core blew up and caused the disaster, now entombed in a steel “confinement building”:

  • 1989 – The deadliest known tornado strikes Central Bangladesh, killing upwards of 1,300, injuring 12,000, and leaving as many as 80,000 homeless.
  • 2018 – American comedian Bill Cosby is found guilty of sexual assault.

Cosby remains in state prison in Pennsylvania.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1785 – John James Audubon, French-American ornithologist and painter (d. 1851)
  • 1798 – Eugène Delacroix, French painter and lithographer (d. 1863)
  • 1889 – Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian-English philosopher and academic (d. 1951)
  • 1917 – I. M. Pei, Chinese-American architect, designed the National Gallery of Art and Bank of China Tower (d. 2019)
  • 1918 – Fanny Blankers-Koen, Dutch sprinter and long jumper (d. 2004)
  • 1933 – Carol Burnett, American actress, singer, and producer
  • 1938 – Duane Eddy, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor
  • 1961 – Joan Chen, Chinese-American actress, director, producer, and screenwriter
  • 1970 – Melania Trump, Slovene-American model; First Lady of the United States; wife of United States President Donald Trump

Those who drew their last breaths on April 26 include:

  • 1951 – Arnold Sommerfeld, German physicist and academic (b. 1868)
  • 1970 – Gypsy Rose Lee, American actress, striptease dancer, and writer (b. 1911)
  • 1984 – Count Basie, American pianist, composer, and bandleader (b. 1904)
  • 1989 – Lucille Ball, American model, actress, comedian, and producer (b. 1911)
  • 2013 – George Jones, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1931)

Here’s one of the more famous scenes from “I Love Lucy”, in which Lucy and Ethel are working in a candy factory:

Here’s George Jones singing “He Stopped Loving Her Today“: the song that, on Ken Burns’s “Country Music” series, was judged by other singers to be the most representative piece of all country music. Wikipedia notes, “It has been named in several surveys as the greatest country song of all time.” I suppose “representative” means “expressing the nature of the genre,” but I’d prefer “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is being philosophical:

Hili: Life is constantly throwing up new challenges.
A: And?
Hili: And nothing, I ignore them.
In Polish:
Hili: Życie ciągle rzuca nowe wyzwania.
Ja: I co?
Hili: Nic, ignoruję je.
The cherry orchard is blooming in Dobrzyn, which presages many cherry pies—so long as I can get to Poland this year:

And a bonus picture of Szaron. Do you think his tail is unsightly because it’s too thin?

From BeeMeadowFarm:

From xkcd via Bob, a funny take on the virus genome:

A fake but funny paper from Merilee:

From Bruce: I think that if this is a real sign (and I doubt it), the station isn’t in any danger of dispensing free gas:

This photo was posted on FB by Seth Andrews:

A few notables strike out at Trump’s “I was only being sarcastic” excuse:

From a history professor at Princeton:

And from a California congressman:

A tweet from Simon; it looks as if this is what I’ll be reduced to:

John Cleese again on stupidity, this time from Heather Hastie:

Heather also found this one on earthquakes:

Two tweets from Matthew. He doesn’t think this is a real class, even a real virtual class, but it’s still good:

A commercial pasta machine. I had no idea, but then again I never thought about how they’d make all those shapes. Look how they make the shells!

28 Comments

  1. Historian
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Ken Jennings on Twitter: “I would like to announce that when I gave wrong answers on Jeopardy, I was being sarcastic.”

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    The projection for the U.S. at IHME :

    10 deaths per day on June 10th. There is projected to be 67,572 deaths on June 10th – between 48,058-122,878. Today it’s apparently 1,590 deaths, but I’m not sure about my interpretation of today.

    The U.S. is past peak deaths by 11 d, past peak resource use by 9 d.

    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america

    I don’t see how to adjust it to the entire world.

  3. Linda Calhoun
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Map is incorrect, probably old information.

    NM’s lockdown has been extended two weeks until May 15, and will be reevaluated at that time.

    Things appear to be slowing somewhat, except for the Navajo Nation, which is exploding in both new cases and deaths.

    L

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Trapper John, M.D. -Good one!

    Amanda Kerri = a man to carry?

    I don’t see the joke in the other names? This is like the credits on Car Talk.

  5. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Also the thing with gas – I went to get some yesterday- it was over $2/gallon – more like full normal price. . I thought it was supposed to be way less.

    • Posted April 26, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Odd. But I think they switch to a different ‘recipe’ for gas with the change in season, and that is marked by a temporary price spike.

  6. Roger
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I’m convinced he was really being sarcastic because he said it was very sarcastic. He could have just said it was sarcastic, which he did, but then he added that it was very sarcastic.

    • rickflick
      Posted April 26, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Does sarcasticity come in degrees? I didn’t know.

      • Roger
        Posted April 26, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        All I know is it’s hard to say very. V is one of the more difficult letters of the alphabet. And then there’s the “ery” part which is also hard to say. He must be telling the truth.

  7. Posted April 26, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Maybe… he was being sarcastic when he said he was being sarcastic. I tell ‘ya, that man has a real big brain!

  8. boudiccadylis
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Actually I think he really meant ironic. Sarcasm is so nothing.

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    1970 – Melania Trump, Slovene-American model; First Lady of the United States; wife of United States President Donald Trump.

    Only one of the Donald’s three wives to make it to age 50 with him. I’ve my doubts whether they’d be together still were he not president. And I’ll lay odds they’re no longer married a year from the date he leaves office. The body language of their joint public appearances does not exactly connubial bliss bespeak.

  10. Dawn Flood
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Professor Coyne,

    An interesting post:

    https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap200426.html

    It should, IMO, give pause to those who quote earlier thinkers who believed in the existence of a god(s), and especially, particular religious gods.

    Dawn

  11. rickflick
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    When you really miss traveling…
    Amusing, but that’s not the part of travel we miss. I miss the baby puking in isle seat next to you. Walking 5 blocks with your bags in tow to find your hotel. Waiting 4 hours while the plane has mechanical difficulties. Lunch in the airport at a candy machine.

  12. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    John Cleese again on stupidity …

    I think this should be known henceforth as “the Cleese Paradox.”

  13. smm2221@gmail.com
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    @rickygervais
    ·
    Oct 30, 2013
    When you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It’s only painful & difficult for others. The same applies when you are stupid.

  14. Ruthann Richards
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Earthquake map amazing!
    And John Clease wonderful as usual.
    No, I don’t think there is a problem with Szaron’s tail! My largest cat, about 14 pounds, has the skinniest tail, I think in part because his fur is so sleek and lies close to his body. Szaron is beautiful just as he is, especially those eyes.

    • Ruthann Richards
      Posted April 26, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Ooops–Cleese

      • JezGrove
        Posted April 26, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        At least it wasn’t autocorrected to “Cheese”!

        Until our cat Marcus Clawrelius (pretentious? moi?) had a minor operation earlier in the year, I had no idea how thick the fur of a cat is. He is very skinny, but viewed from above, it looked like half his body had been scooped away, despite the fact that he had only been shaved to expose his skin. (Btw, he’s fine now, but it took a full couple of months for his fur to grow back.)

  15. John Conoboy
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Today is also National Richter Scale day in honor of the birthday of Charles Richter (b. April 26, 1900; d. September 30, 1985). I took one seismology course from Professor Richter in 1967. He had a seismometer in his house, so if there was an earthquake in Southern California, he would come into class with the printout.

    • Posted April 26, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      And Jerry failed to mention it. I’m shaken to the core.

      Still it probably wasn’t his fault.

      • grasshopper
        Posted April 26, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        You made the earth move for me, Jeremy 🙂

  16. Diana MacPherson
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m happy the states that border my province are remaining locked down.

  17. Roger
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    The latest Trump defense in the wing-o-sphere is that “Disinfectant is a broad term applying to anything used against infections.” Which conveniently overlooks that he said he was being sarcastic, but hey it’s the wing-o-sphere.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      “Disinfectant is a broad term applying to anything used against infections.”

      Good thing Trump brought it up at his presser and asked the doctors to look into it, then, ’cause the doctors would’ve never thought to do THAT on their own.

      Jesus H. Christ, call me naive, but I’m still shocked at how low the Trumpists will sink to defend the Great Man, no matter how preposterous the lie.

      • Roger
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

        They actually had me going a little when they said he didn’t say stuff. Then he said he was being sarcastic. Hilarity ensued.

  18. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    I note that South America has very deep (and large) earthquakes. I wonder if they are related to the Altiplano-Puna Magma Body which is at 40 km depth but fed from the Earth’s deepest crust-mantle boundary [ https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-63454-1 , https://luthagsnytt.se/arkiv/12003 ]?


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