Friday: Hili dialogue

May 1, 2020 • 6:45 am

It’s May! It’s May! The lusty month of May!

Yes, it’s Friday, May 1, which means about 2 or so days until the ducklings hatch and jump. I am very anxious! However, the very last arrangement is in place:

This morning, Brandon from Facilities came out at 5:30 or so and placed vegetation on the duck islands because they are muddy and full of standing water. With the vegetation, the ducklings now have a dry place to huddle and sleep. Here’s a screenshot from the DuckCam, taken at about 6 a.m., showing Brandon in the pond in his waders and me “helping” from the shore.  Kudos to these great people, including Brandon and Tracy, once again.

It’s a new month, and a big food month:

National Beef Month
National Barbecue Month
National Loaded Potato Month
National Egg Month
National Hamburger Month
National Salad Month
National Salsa Month
National Strawberry Month

It’s also National Chocolate Parfait Day, Save the Rhino Day, International Space Day, International Tuba Day (?), and No Pants Day. The last one requires you to go about your day not wearing pants. Fortuitously, many more people will be observing those guidelines this year.

It’s International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day, Lei Day (Hawaii), May Day, and International Workers’ Day.

I have been up since 2:30, so I’m a wreck. This is pandemic-induced insomnia. If you have it, you can find some tips here.

Today’s Google Doodle continues the attempt of that company to amuse us by giving us animated games to play in lockdown. When you click on the screenshot, you go to a game called “Garden Gnomes,” which I haven’t essayed:

News of the Day: Did you expect good news? States are opening up, but we don’t know the results yet, and I suspect they are premature. California opened its beaches, but those in Orange County became so crowded that they had to close them again. As summer approaches, people will get increasingly frustrated that they have to stay at home.  The death toll for coronavirus now stands at 63,746 in the U.S. and about 233,000 worldwide.

Stuff that happened on May 1 includes:

  • 1328 – Wars of Scottish Independence end: By the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton, England recognises Scotland as an independent state.
  • 1753 – Publication of Species Plantarum by Linnaeus, and the formal start date of plant taxonomy adopted by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
  • 1840 – The Penny Black, the first official adhesive postage stamp, is issued in the United Kingdom.

Here’s the Penny Black. Examples run between $100 and $3,000:

  • 1851 – Queen Victoria opens The Great Exhibition at The Crystal Palace in London.
  • 1886 – Rallies are held throughout the United States demanding the eight-hour work day, culminating in the Haymarket affair in Chicago, in commemoration of which May 1 is celebrated as International Workers’ Day in many countries.
  • 1915 – The RMS Lusitania departs from New York City on her 202nd, and final, crossing of the North Atlantic. Six days later, the ship is torpedoed off the coast of Ireland with the loss of 1,198 lives.

Here’s an amazing video of the last departure from New York. About 800 people survived the torpedoing, so about half of the people you see on this ship died less than a week later.

  • 1930 – “Pluto” is officially proposed by the for the name of the newly-discovered dwarf planet Pluto by Vesto Slipher in the Lowell Observtory Observation Circular. The name quickly catches on.
  • 1945 – World War II: A German newsreader officially announces that Adolf Hitler has “fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancellery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany”. The Soviet flag is raised over the Reich Chancellery, by order of Stalin.
  • 1945 – World War II: Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda commit suicide in the Reich Garden outside the Führerbunker. Their children are also killed by having cyanide pills inserted into their mouths by their mother, Magda.
  • 1956 – The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk is made available to the public.
  • 1960 – Cold War: U-2 incident: Francis Gary Powers, in a Lockheed U-2 spyplane, is shot down over the Sverdlovsk Oblast, Soviet Union, sparking a diplomatic crisis.
  • 1967 – Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu are married in Las Vegas.

Here’s Elvis and Priscilla on their wedding day:

  • 1999 – The body of British climber George Mallory is found on Mount Everest, 75 years after his disappearance in 1924.

You can see a video of the discovery and photos of Mallory’s body here. (His companion Irvine’s body hasn’t been located.) And it’s still not clear whether either or both of them ever made the summit.

  • 2011 – Pope John Paul II is beatified by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1852 – Calamity Jane, American frontierswoman and professional scout (d. 1903)

Here’s a photo of the frontierwoman who, unlike Annie Oakley, favored men’s clothes. The caption from Wikipedia: “Cabinet photograph captioned in the negative, Calamity Jane, Gen. Crook’s Scout. An early view of Calamity Jane wearing buckskins, with an ivory-gripped Colt Single Action Army revolver tucked in her hand-tooled holster, holding a Sharps rifle.

  • 1857 – Theo van Gogh, Dutch art dealer (d. 1891)
  • 1923 – Joseph Heller, American novelist, short story writer, and playwright (d. 1999)
  • 1924 – Terry Southern, American novelist, essayist, and screenwriter (d. 1995)
  • 1939 – Judy Collins, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • 1945 – Rita Coolidge, American singer-songwriter

Those who began pushing up daisies on May 1 include:

  • 1873 – David Livingstone, Scottish-English missionary and explorer (b. 1813)
  • 1904 – Antonín Dvořák, Czech composer and academic (b. 1841)
  • 1945 – Joseph Goebbels, German lawyer and politician, Chancellor of Germany (b. 1897)
  • 1965 – Spike Jones, American singer and bandleader (b. 1911)
  • 1998 – Eldridge Cleaver, American author and activist (b. 1935)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is admiring the advent of May and the full blooming of the cherry trees. It will be a good year for cherries, and you know what that means!

A: What are you looking at?
Hili: I wonder which of the trees is most beautiful.
In Polish:
Ja: Czemu się tak przyglądasz?
Hili: Zastanawiam się, które drzewo jest najpiękniejsze.

Nearby, Leon and Mitek are hunting together, like a mini-pride of mini-lions:

Leon: Look to the left and I will look to the right. Not a mouse can sneak through.

A gif that is just WRONG! (I blame the d*g.)

From the Purrfect Feline Page:

From Divy, who found this at her local cat cafe:

It’s World Robber Fly Day! These beasts are vicious and voracious predators, but here’s a pretty one:

Some tweets from Titania. First, what is this new hate-crime law in Scotland? I’ve heard nothing of it! Titania, of course, loves it.

What’s more, the Queen has a new book coming out in October:

A tweet from reader Simon. If you’re not a Murican, “Five Guys” is a hamburger chain frequented by Obama when he was President.


Tweets from Matthew. He and I have been discussing the trolley problem, but not in this context:

This happened yesterday? What have we come to??

And fantastic robber fly fossils:

50 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. Darwin went with the family to the Crystal Palace several times. The Royal Parks have now got a virtual tour of it online…
    PCC[E] & Matthew are clearly off their trollies! 🤭
    Is it a problem? In a deterministic world?

  2. Please note that although the Penny Black was issued on May 1st, it was not valid to pay postage until May 6th. Examples used before May 6 are known on envelopes.

    1. On a positive note, it does abolish the law of blasphemy.

      On another positive note, it doesn’t ban sexist insults so it’s still legal to call the legislators a bunch of c**ts.

  3. Concerning the armed demonstrators in Michigan, I was reminded this is only a few hundred in a state with over 10 million. Some Trump followers I’m sure.

    1. And they’re PAID Trump supporters if some of the reports are correct. As I’m sure Gov. Whitmer knows, the lockdowns have good support in the population at large.

  4. It’s May! It’s May! The lusty month of May!

    Good musical. Though like many old shows, unconsciously sexist/dated in a way that wouldn’t cut it today, if someone were to try and write a musical about the same plot.

    Though maybe that just makes it another good example of your previous post about how we judge art. Personally, I’d say in the particular case of Camelot, the artistic value survives the sexism. But I’m sure some people would disagree.

  5. Multiple armed gunmen storm Michigan’s State House …

    Heard some wag the other day refer to these groups as the “Branch Covidians.”

    Reckon they’re waiting for a version of David Koresh to come along to lead them to a final standoff.

  6. The lusty month of May!

    Ms. Redgrave couldn’t hold a candle to Julie Andrews in the voice department, but she did have a smoldering lustiness — put on excellent display the year before in Mr. Antonioni’s Blow-up.

    1. Thanks for that.

      He may take over from James Brown as “the hardest working man in show business.”

    2. My ex used to refer to this as “the farting song”. This version really highlights this😬

  7. I have come to the conclusion that people who want our society “reopened” too soon are conceiving of it as a way to get rid of their philosophical enemies. They think that they will be fine, and the people they don’t like will die.

    Poor people? Fine. Homeless? Fine. People of color? OK, too. They, on the other hand, will be protected by Jebus.

    And, on the left? Well, those who are stupid enough to go out when it’s not safe may be next to get it. I will admit myself to a certain hoping that Mike Pence gets it.


    1. Speaking of Mr. Pence, I happened to be listening to The Basement Tapes and was struck by the following lines in the song “Clothes Line Saga”:

      Have you heard the news?
      He said with a grin
      The vice-president’s gone mad
      Last night
      Hmm, that’s too bad.

      1. Just so long as the nation is never exposed to the fulfillment of Bob’s line in “It’s Alright, Ma” that “even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked.”

      1. No, but I am.

        It’s MY hope that he gets it. If he doesn’t, he will see that as evidence that Jebus is protecting him.


  8. Michigan’s State House – Having grown up in Michigan, I can vouch for the lunacy. There are a lot of Michiganders who fantasize about the American Revolution as if it happened yesterday. The want to keep the flame of rebellion alive – whether it’s by making their own bullets in the basement, or papering their trailer with Confederate flags and beer posters. The romance of the frontier days is strong. Their great grandfather either was an Indian fighter or was an Indian himself. There generally nice people, but a bit weird.

    1. Yeah, that’s not delusional. The government created by your revolution is your enemy and it is run by your leader, Cheeto.

  9. It makes me sad to learn that Obama liked Five Guys burgers. They are terrible. Ironically, their french fries are wonderful as they are made from fresh potatoes on the spot and fried in peanut oil (I believe). Perhaps Obama, like me, only goes there for the fries.

    1. I agree (about the terrible part). I’ve been to Five Guys a couple of times and couldn’t believe what I was charged for a pretty crappy burger and dog. Didn’t get any fries. Not sure why I went a second time but won’t be returning.

      1. If you like really good fries, give Five Guys another try. When I was in Brussels a year ago, I was surprised to see that they had several Five Guys locations here. Of course, Belgium is famous for having the best fries and Five Guys can compete on that basis.

        I actually once bought a burger at In-n-Out and then fries at Five Guys just down the street. The best of each! It’s too much trouble so I won’t do it again.

        1. Thanks for the tip. I like good fries but usually get veggies when there’s a choice of side. It occurs to me that if one wanted the WORST of two worlds (why would one?), one could get a burger at Five Guys and fries at Swiss Chalet (soggy, awful). Not sure whether Swiss Chalet exists in the US. Their food’s decent — except for the fries.

    2. I’m with you on this. I never got the whole “5 Guys is awesome!” thing. Their burgers are not good. Unimpressive flavorless burger patties, unripe tasteless tomatoes, “cheese food” cheese product and mediocre buns. Also very messily constructed and roughly handled. They look bad. Like an old wrinkled shirt that’s been lying on the floor and getting stepped on for weeks.

      I’m with you on the fries too. Their one saving grace. The fries are good. Especially with the Cajun seasoning.

      1. I agree totally with your description of their burgers. What amazes me is the fact that while they specialize in allowing the customer to add many toppings individually, they don’t have anything like thousand island dressing on the list. It’s as if to say you can make your burger any way you want but just don’t try to reproduce any of those other burgers you can get elsewhere. That’s some kind of sacrilege to them.

        I’ve never tried the fries with Cajun seasoning and probably never will. I get mine with salt only, sometimes vinegar, and no ketchup.

        They never seem to have many customers at Five Guys. Perhaps their high prices are all that keeps them in business.

        1. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in one. The few times I tried them, when they were new and popular, they were always very busy. I wonder if perhaps over time people realized the burgers were twice as much and no better than any other fast food joint?

          I really like “secret sauce” (aka thousand island dressing) on ordinary burgers, but on a really good burger I don’t like any condiments except mayo on the bun. 5 Guys burgers need a generous amount of condiments.

        2. I agree with your descriptions, but, looking back, the people who have told me how much they love Five Guys are the ones who would go there late at night after getting pissed. A sloppy burger can taste like a heavenly embodiment of Americana in the proper state of inebriation.

          1. Back in the day, White Castle fit the bill whenever I happened to be in their territory. I used to work for a non-airplane division of McDonnell Douglas in the early 80s and would go to St. Louis quite often and go out drinking with our home office buddies. We would virtually always end up at White Castle at the end of the night. One of the features of those establishments is that the grill is behind a big window so the patrons can see the burgers being cooked. One of our party was famous for delivering a mini lecture to all those in line on how each burger patty had square holes in it and how they formed the burgers around the holes rather than making holes after the patties were formed. Somehow he made it hilarious.

            1. Oh, oh, yes! White Castle! (“I’ll have what she’s having”)

              White Castle was also a favorite of mine and my buddies, though that was back when we were getting wasted in high school. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, since nobody should be driving while intoxicated, but I was a stupid youngster), there was no White Castle near my college, but there was a sandwich delivery place that delivered straight to your dorm room and made phenomenal sandwiches. They were great whether you were nearly passed out or sober!

              1. I was not allowed to party in high school which probably made me all the more eager to do so in college. Staying in the dorms at USC in downtown LA, we had a lot of option but one of the best was the original Tommy’s Burgers at Rampart and Beverly. My skin still smelt of their chili after my morning shower.

                Unfortunately, White Castle never made it to the west coast but, strangely, clones West Castle and Castle King opened up across the street from each other but both were closed within six months. Lawsuits?

  10. Re: Lusitania footage. Hats. When did we stop wearing hats? When I become the benevolent dictator everyone will be required to wear hats. And flip flops will be outlawed .

    1. Yeah, that was the first thing that struck me about the clip, too: musta been lotsa money in the chapeau business in those days.

    2. Speaking of hat wearing in those days, yesterday I watched some videos of the Romanovs playing lawn tennis. Not always but frequently, men and women both wore hats (and women wore long dresses not very conducive to playing sports. Was it because they were royalty or was that de rigueur for everyone in those days? Nobody wore flip-flops.

    3. You can take my freedom, but you can never take my Birkenstocks!

      I’m pretty sure that’s how that line goes…

Leave a Reply