Tuesday: Hili dialogue

April 28, 2020 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, about five days from Hatch Day. It’s National Blueberry Pie Day, and once again I will tout the considerable virtues of the fresh/cooked mixture of blueberries in the splendiferous pie produced by Helen’s in Machias, Maine. Sadly, I don’t know if they’re still producing the world’s best blueberry pie. It is a mixture of both fresh and cooked blueberries in a flaky crust, all topped with a thick layer of whipped cream. Here—doesn’t this get you salivating?

It’s also National Kiss Your Mate Day, which I assume is safe, Great Poetry Reading Day, Pay it Forward Day, and International Workers’ Memorial Day, commemorating workers killed, injured, or sickened by their work.

News of the Day: Dreadful. Reported coronavirus deaths in the U.S, as of this morning, stand at 56,634, while the world mortality figure is roughly 211,000.  I am finding it more difficult to either read the news or watch my regular bout of the NBC evening news.

Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot) goes to an interactive game of cricket, featuring crickets and snails, as well as to other past games:

Meanwhile, Trump, supposed to be the President for all Americans, is questioning why bailout should be given to states with Democratic governors and legislatures. I find this tweet completely out of line, but that’s nothing new:

Stuff that happened on April 28 includes:

  • 1789 – Mutiny on the Bounty: Lieutenant William Bligh and 18 sailors are set adrift and the rebel crew returns to Tahiti briefly and then sets sail for Pitcairn Island.
  • 1869 – Chinese and Irish laborers for the Central Pacific Railroad working on the First Transcontinental Railroad lay ten miles of track in one day, a feat which has never been matched.
  • 1881 – Billy the Kid escapes from the Lincoln County jail in Mesilla, New Mexico.
  • 1945 – Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci are shot dead by Walter Audisio, a member of the Italian resistance movement.
  • 1947 – Thor Heyerdahl and five crew mates set out from Peru on the Kon-Tiki to demonstrate that Peruvian natives could have settled Polynesia.

In fact, the Polynesians did not come from Peru, but from southeast Asia, perhaps Taiwan. The Peruvians descend from those who crossed the Bering Strait from Asia and migrated south.

Here’s a short video about Ali refusing induction, something that I would also have done had I not been given a conscientious objection. Ali was convicted of draft evasion, but the Supreme Court overturned the conviction on the grounds that there was no clear reason why Ali was denied conscientious objector status. He still lost his world heavyweight championship and boxing license. He regained them both.

  • 1973 – The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, recorded in Abbey Road Studios goes to number one on the US Billboard chart, beginning a record-breaking 741-week chart run.
  • 1986 – High levels of radiation resulting from the Chernobyl disaster are detected at a nuclear power plant in Sweden, leading Soviet authorities to publicly announce the accident.
  • 1988 – Near Maui, Hawaii, flight attendant Clarabelle “C.B.” Lansing is blown out of Aloha Airlines Flight 243, a Boeing 737, and falls to her death when part of the plane’s fuselage rips open in mid-flight.

Here’s a photo of the severely damaged Aloha Airlines plane. Miraculously, Lansing was the only fatality, but it’s still sad that she was sucked from the plane, and her body never recovered. A photo of her is below:

C. B. Lansing

Remember this photo? (Wikipedia has far more disturbing ones.) It’s “Lynndie England and Charles Graner posing behind a pyramid of naked Iraqi prisoners, giving the ‘thumbs up’ sign. Both spent several years in prison for their abuse of Iraqi. 


Notables born on this day include:

  • 1758 – James Monroe, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 5th President of the United States (d. 1831)
  • 1878 – Lionel Barrymore, American actor and director (d. 1954)
  • 1906 – Kurt Gödel, Czech-American mathematician, philosopher, and academic (d. 1978)
  • 1926 – Harper Lee, American novelist (d. 2016)
  • 1937 – Saddam Hussein, Iraqi general and politician, 5th President of Iraq (d. 2006)
  • 1941 – Ann-Margret, Swedish-American actress, singer, and dancer
  • 1974 – Penélope Cruz, Spanish actress and producer

Notables who cashed in their chips on April 28 were few, and include just these two:

  • 1903 – Josiah Willard Gibbs, American scientist (b. 1839)
  • 1945 – Benito Mussolini, Italian journalist and politician, 27th Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1883)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili decided to sleep on the editorial desk:

A: Hili, but you have so much room here in the house.
Hili: But I’m most comfortable here.
In Polish:
Ja: Hili, przecież masz tyle miejsca w domu.
Hili: Ale tu jest mi najwygodniej.

The cherry trees are in full blossom chez Hili, Malgorzata and Andrzej: a harbinger of a good harvest—and many cherry pies if I can just get to Poland this year. The house is in the background:


A gif from Matthew, which, he says, expresses how he often feels these days:

From the Purrfect Feline Page via Moto:

A cartoon (from @chazhutton) sent in by Heather Hastie:

I found this tweet; note that Larry, the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office at 10 Downing Street, replied to it:

Via Simon. Apparently a report in the New York Times, which described Trump’s private life and depicted him as sitting in the White House fretting about his reelection prospects, caused him to launch a bunch of tirades about journalists and the “Noble Prize” (see this article in The Hill). I believe his meltdown (see tweets below) also came from realizing that his “sarcasm” excuse about mentioning disinfectant and UV light didn’t go over well with the American public.

Yesterday Trump issued the three tweets that, according to Simon, have been deleted “due to much mockery of his inability to spell Pulitzer and misspelling it Noble (four times!). The mockery was brutal and funny.”

So now he put this up. Sarcasm? I don’t think anyone is buying that.

Crikey. We’ve had bad presidents, but none of them, even Nixon, acted out in this way. He’s like a damn three-year-old.

On to better stuff: a strangely obsessed Sphynx cat. Sound up for the narrative.

Tweets from Matthew. This “sea angel” is in fact a gastropod mollusk, related to snails and slugs. Isn’t it stunning and weird?

A nice classroom lesson in aerodynamics:


I never tire of watching sheepdogs do their thing. When I lived in the UK I could watch the television show “One Man and His Dog” for hours, though in this case it’s one woman and her dog. Sound up:

55 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. There will be additional deaths well into June, 2030. I checked yesterday and it is projected to be 10/d on June 10th. The rate is projected to be zero in August. I forgot the total.

    The death *rate*, however, has been decreasing for about a week now. This is evidence that precautionary measures are working. Grim evidence, but still evidence.

    I still don’t know if the model is using the “second wave”. I very much think not at this time.

  2. Speaking of UV, there are already people on Ebay trying to make a quick buck selling fake UV lamps. I found this video of someone tearing down one such device.

    1. Let’s hope they are really fake, otherwise in a couple of decades we will see rise of mortality due to melanoma.

    2. I just checked my UV flashlight that I use for detecting cat pee – it operates in the far UVA range at about 395 nm, which is far from the ideal disinfecting wavelength of 255 nm or so. I guess I won’t be opening up my drive-thru virus clinic after all.

  3. I keep plumbing the depths of frustration, anger, irritation etc. as I think all life is a lottery & the other risks in life are as bad like the RISK OF DAMNED GOING NUTS!!!!!


    1. How can we help? Are you able to get the necessities of life where you’re currently cloistered, Dominic? I hope it’s not too secluded.

      It would be great if we could all unload here, if Jerry wouldn’t mind that. Wish this thing was over.

  4. Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out states that contribute the most to the economy and Federal budget, in most cases Democrat run and managed?

    1. Now, YOU might be the person to explain to the Donald how “sarcasm” works.

      Though it would do you no good to write him to try to explain it; he is functionally illiterate. Every time I watch him struggle to read off a teleprompter or from the notes on a lectern that others have prepared for him, this thought occurs to me: Here is a man who has never once read for pleasure.

      1. Given the way he’s been using the word ‘hoax’ vis-à-vis the Democrats he doesn’t know the meaning of ‘hoax’ either. I think it’s apparent that he’s trying to say that the Democrats are the one perpetuating the hoax but the way he expresses it, the Democrats are the hoax, which makes no sense.

        And hamberger goes with potatoe.

        1. Trump was trying to echo the so-called “Russia hoax”, referring to the Democrats’ claim he was downplaying the pandemic. The Democrats and MSM were a bit unfair to Trump claiming he was calling the pandemic itself a hoax. I don’t think that was the case. On the other hand, he really was downplaying the pandemic so this hoax angle is all just his attempt at distracting everyone from that starkly obvious fact.

          1. Not sure which hoax you’re talking about, Paul, but at the start of the viral outbreak, when tRump first applied the word hoax at a rally, he was referring to the pandemic as a hoax constructed by the Democrats. His outburst seemed to have been triggered because the stock market started to tank.

              1. I see what you mean. His remarks do tend to confuse. On the other hand, one could argue that he was calling the *seriousness* of the virus a hoax. Which is bad enough. He thought it was just another flu thing after all.

    2. I definitely don’t know enough about the USA and federalism to have a confident opinion here, but it does seem a perverse incentive to expect taxpayers in states which live within their budgets to bail out states which don’t, or have I misunderstood Trump’s point?

      1. I am no expert on our Constitution here but the assumption has been that all states are in this country together. One for all and all for one! But I suspect the document is silent on how it is supposed to work in detail. It assumes a President and Congress that are eager to serve the population of the entire country with a sense of fairness. Silly Constitution!

        It’s typical Trump to disregard what’s reasonable and try to bend things to his warped perspective. Also typical for his to claim the opposite of what’s true. He’ll accuse the Blue states of cheating while the reality is the net flow of money is from Blue states to Red states.

        1. A great deal depends on what is meant by ‘fair’ and ‘reasonable’, and the duties of states and central government in a federal system.

          Trump seems to be saying that state governments which are troubled by poor management (white elephant projects, corruption, pork barrelling, etc) can’t expect taxpayers from more fiscally responsible states to pay for their profligacy. I think this, in my ignorance of the US constitution, is a reasonable and fair response, assuming mismanagement is the long-term cause of the immediate problem. Mismanaging politicians and those who vote them into power should take responsibility.

          This is not a problem unique to the US or federal systems. In my country, some city councils and local authorities persistently increase rates in excess of inflation and, despite separate predictions from Treasury and the Reserve Bank of a 35-40% drop in GDP arising from Covid-19, cannot bring themselves to focus on essential services and restrain spending this year.

          1. Sure but we can count on Trump not to be “fair and reasonable”. You can be sure he hasn’t analyzed any state’s finances. He only picks winners and losers based on his own personal agenda.

  5. Refusing the draft for religious reason is a bit amusing considering the religion. It certainly did not keep him from knocking heads off for a living. I would save my respect for Desmond Doss and Alvin York.

    1. Ali took a principled stand against an immoral war. For it, he paid a heavy price — stripped of his heavyweight championship, his license to box, and (for a time) even his passport. He was prepared to serve five years in federal prison.

      Ali easily could have gone the route of Joe Louis instead — accepted induction and spent two years putting on exhibition boxing matches. (Of course, for HIS patriotic efforts Joe Louis got fucked over by his Uncle Sam, hounded for the rest of his life with bogus unpaid income tax bills, forced into professional “wrestling,” and ending his days as a “greeter” at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.)

      1. Yes, could be I just have a higher bar and that is why I mentioned the two in my comment. An Islamic boxer/fighter claiming peace and non-violence is just a little rich. Is he really against the violence or maybe just against the military. Lots of people avoided the draft without going to jail. Some even joined the service to avoid the draft.

  6. My parents moved to west Wales when I was a teenager, and I loved working with our neighbour’s sheepdog, an intelligent Border Collie called Meg. She only knew Welsh commands, so I had to learn them phonetically, but she didn’t seem to mind as long as I made the right noises. She inspired us to have several Border Collies, but they do seem dreadfully prone to a progressive form of epilepsy culminating in status and death. Heartbreaking.

  7. Mesilla, NM is not in Lincoln County; it is in Dona Ana County.

    Dona Ana County was established in 1852.


  8. Jesus Christ, how many more cabin crew have to be sucked out of commercial aircraft before the government takes action.

  9. While Trump openly favors Republican governors over Democrat ones, this is undoubtedly the tip of an iceberg that won’t be fully measured until Trump and the GOP are out of office. Trump’s modus operandi for his entire life has been to reward “friends” and punish perceived enemies. When the analysis is done, I’m sure we’ll find that Trump has been favoring his pals with all sorts of money, contracts, masks, ventilators, COVID-19 testing, bailouts, etc. I sure hope no one talks about needing to “respect the Office of the President” when this is all over.

    1. Jeez, that’s pretty good. I’ve never had much interest in her music, from the little I’ve listened to it. But she displays a nice, throaty mezzo-soprano here.

  10. The tale of the unfortunate flight attendant who got sucked out of a plane reminded me of another incident in which things were strangely reversed, coming out better for the flight attendant involved. This was covered in an episode of MythBusters.

    A plane broke up in mid-air and a section containing a flight attendant came down in a field and she survived! I hope this story isn’t apocryphal. Does someone have a reference or did I dream this?

    1. I remember this story, or a similar one. It was a Lufthansa flight I think.

      There is another similar event that occurred somewhere over South America I think. A young girl was the only survivor. She walked out of the jungle.

      Let’s check memory bank integrity with a bit of googling.

      Huh. Not sure of the Lufthansa incident. The record fall is a stewardess that survived a 33,000 feet fall in the tail section of a JAT DC-9 that disintegrated in midair (bomb). That’s probably the incident I was remembering.

      The other incident was LANSA Flight 508 which broke up midair at 3.2 km altitude over the Amazon after a lightening strike. Teenager Juliane Koepcke was the lone survivor. She spent 11 days attempting to walk out of the jungle before being found.

      Actually, it turns out that there have been quite a few survivors of falling out of airplanes without a parachute. According to one source there are 157 on record between 1940 and 2008 and 42 of them were from over 10,000 feet.

      1. Yes, that makes sense. The parts of airplanes with people in them are of comparatively low density and, therefore, low terminal velocity. Plus, when they do hit, they can act as crumple zones which extend the deceleration over a longer time period.

        If I remember correctly, the MythBusters’ attempt to reproduce this event was inconclusive. Something about their setup went wrong but it was probably beyond their budget or schedule to do it over so they went with it as is.

        1. In the incident over the Amazon the girl was in the middle of a row of three seats that were attached together. The row of 3 seats fell freely from any other part of the plane.

          At least some of the events were of people falling completely free. One was a guy who fell from a bomber in WWII. He fell free and then hit and broke through the glass roof of a train station.

          Freak events in that the odds of survival are very long and these are all extreme outliers.

    2. That (Aloha 243) was an extraordinary occurrence, and extremely lucky to land in one piece.

      That 737 was quite a young aircraft in terms of flying hours but a very old one in terms of duty cycles – due to Aloha’s routes being all very short island-hopping flights.

      After the Comet disasters pressurised aircraft were supposed to incorporate ‘crack-stopping’ reinforcing in their structures but this one failed for various reasons.


  11. The tw337 by the President is consistent with the notion that he personally is to be portrayed in a conflict in which he “vanquishes his rivals”. I’m not sure specifically where that came from – a NYT article cited a nameless aide from the White House.

  12. At the risk of calling all sorts of obloquy down on my head, a reasonable blueberry pie for me would be about 40% pastry to 45% blueberries to 15% cream. That concoction appears to reverse those proportions. No thanks!

          1. Costco does have some really good products. We had some pork souvlaki/shish kebabs tonight which we’ve had in the freezer for a while. The lamb ones are also good – the beef ones not so much. Also their salmon stuffed with crab meat is delicious. They used to make a deadly granola which, fortunately for my waistline, they have discontinued. It was very nibbleable.

            1. I guess my wife has just been picking up the wrong stuff. We don’t usually buy our groceries at Costco because there’s only two of us and we don’t need to buy in bulk. You can’t even get a normal sized carton of milk there. She and her aunt made a big Costco run right at the beginning of the lock down. Not only did they buy toilet paper but they also bought a bunch of bulk food items. We’ve been eating them but they’ve all been terrible. Perhaps needless to say, I’m pretty picky when it comes to food.

              1. I’m picky, too, and love to cook, but the fresh salmon with crab is great(and actually freezes well, because of course it comes with too many portions.). We usually share one fresh (in toaster oven for 20 min) and then put the others in baggies in the freezer to spread them out. It’s quite difficult to get crabmeat these days. Might be easier for you in LA.

          2. I can’t imagine eating a pie from Costco, perhaps some other food such as Merilee mentions below.

            As for berry,cherry, and peach pies, I like them deep-dish and homemade. Those are the kinds of pies my mother would make.

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