Sunday: Hili dialogue

May 3, 2020 • 6:45 am

It’s Sunday, May 3, 2020, just one or two days from Duckling Day. It’s National Chocolate Custard Day, Lemonade Day, National Raspberry Popover Day (?), World Laughter Day, International Sun Day (celebrating solar power), and World Press Freedom Day, a UN holiday.

The ducklings should hatch and jump as early as today, and I’m keeping watch, though not constantly, which would require me to sit near the nest for several hours a day. Like Maru, I do my best. Today would be a good day as it will be warm (high 67° F, 16° C), but tomorrow will be chilly (high 46° F, 8° C) and I’m a bit worried. Here’s Honey with last year’s brood of ten:


I will be checking the nests frequently today, hoping to see the Big Leap, so posting may be light.

News of the Day: States are beginning to open up, so we’ll see what happens. Illinois has loosened only a few restrictions, so that now we can play GOLF if we want to. Big whoop! As of this morning the reported death toll from coronavirus has reached 67,067, and the world (reported) total is about 244,000. The hope for a life that most of us are used to seems impossibly distant, and I find the phrase “the new normal” grating and, in the end, unacceptable.

Stuff that happened on May 3 includes:

  • 1715 – A total solar eclipse was visible across northern Europe, and northern Asia, as predicted by Edmond Halley to within 4 minutes accuracy.
  • 1848 – The boar-crested Anglo-Saxon Benty Grange helmet is discovered in a barrow on the Benty Grange farm in Derbyshire.

Here’s the remnant of the 7th-century helmet and a replica.

The most striking feature of the helmet is the boar at its apex; this pagan symbol faces towards a Christian cross on the nasal in a display of syncretism. This is representative of 7th-century England when Christian missionaries were slowly converting Anglo-Saxons away from traditional Germanic mythology. The helmet seems to exhibit a stronger preference toward paganism, with a large boar and a small cross. The cross may have been added for talismanic effect, the help of any god being welcome on the battlefield. The boar atop the crest was likewise associated with protection and suggests a time when boar-crested helmets may have been common, as do the helmet from Wollaston and the Guilden Morden boar. The contemporary epic Beowulf mentions such helmets five times and speaks of the strength of men “when the hefted sword, its hammered edge and gleaming blade slathered in blood, razes the sturdy boar-ridge off a helmet”.

  • 1913 – Raja Harishchandra the first full-length Indian feature film is released, marking the beginning of the Indian film industry.
  • 1921 – West Virginia becomes the first state to legislate a broad sales tax, but does not implement it until a number of years later due to enforcement issues.
  • 1948 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Shelley v. Kraemer that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities are legally unenforceable.
  • 1952 – Lieutenant Colonels Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedict of the United States land a plane at the North Pole.

Here’s the plane and the group of men who landed at the pole (story and photos at Historic Wings):


  • 1960 – The Off-Broadway musical comedy The Fantasticks opens in New York City’s Greenwich Village, eventually becoming the longest-running musical of all time.
  • 1973 – The 108-story Sears Tower in Chicago is topped out at 1,451 feet as the world’s tallest building.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1849 – Jacob Riis, Danish-American journalist and photographer (d. 1914)
  • 1898 – Golda Meir, Ukrainian-Israeli educator and politician, 4th Prime Minister of Israel (d. 1978)
  • 1903 – Bing Crosby, American singer and actor (d. 1977)
  • 1919 – Pete Seeger, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist (d. 2014)
  • 1933 – Steven Weinberg, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1950 – Mary Hopkin, Welsh singer-songwriter

Here’s Hopkin’s hit from 1969, “Goodbye”. It was written by Paul McCartney as a followup to Hopkin’s most famous song, “Those Were the Days.” I like this one much better, and Macca appears in the video below. You can hear McCartney’s own demonstration recording here.

Those who pegged out on May 3 include:

  • 1779 – John Winthrop, American mathematician, physicist, and astronomer (b. 1714)
  • 1989 – Christine Jorgensen, American trans woman (b. 1926)
  • 1991 – Jerzy Kosiński, Polish-American novelist and screenwriter (b. 1933)
  • 2007 – Wally Schirra, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1923)
  • 2014 – Gary Becker, American economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1930)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is a bit frightened among the blooming cherry trees (yes, there are eagles in Dobrzyn):

Hili: Eagles!
A: Don’t be afraid, they will not harm you.
In Polish:
Hili: Orły!
Ja: Nie bój się, nic ci nie zrobią.

From reader Norm. I like this one:

From Bad Cat Clothing:

Two memes from Jesus of the Day:

And a post-apocalyptic meme from Jesus of the Day. 

The Art Institute lions have masks! Some miscreant stole one a few days ago, but it’s been replaced.

From Ziya Tong. As I said when I retweeted it, “Every zoo and natural history museum needs this exhibit.”

From CNet. Not only was I unaware that this was possible, but I’m still unaware of why this beast does it!

Two from the Queen. Titania, being woke, of course holds a double standard—in fact, many of them:

This one comes pretty close to the truth for some Control-Lefties:

A tweet from Simon, who says, “Trump has managed to make Bush, Jr. sound like a President.” Hell, Trump makes me sound like a President!

Tweets from Matthew. Re the first one, he says that Victoria is a “BBC journalist and a pal.”

Did I tweet this already? There must be elebenty gazillion ducklings here. I wish I had that many to tend!



21 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. “I wish I had that many [ducklings] to tend” might fall into the category of “be careful what you wish for”?

    1. For sure. Wonderful entertainment this morning. Can’t decide whether the walking like people cats, squirrel with horsehead
      Beautiful balloon octopus or the ducks in the canal

  2. Looks like a greylag goose baby sitting, not a mallard. Goslings are yellowish. Ducklings are spotted. Geese have more tendency to baby sit. Mum in front greylag pattern. Dad at the back as geese do.
    Still, 40 (as the voice says} is quite a collection

  3. Listening to McCartney’s lovely song gives me a feeling a deep appreciation for his amazing skill, genius really, at the art of popular song. He writes mainly warm ditties that are very soul satisfying.

  4. “Heterosexuality is the most common form of homophobia.”

    I think I prefer a line attributed to Dorothy Parker (who gave the world some of its best quotes):

    “Heterosexuality isn’t normal; it’s just common.”

      1. ‘I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy’.

        Not quite the same thing, but a thought I find curiously appealing just at the moment.

        1. I hadn’t seen that one before. Probably works as an antimetabole after a couple of drinks.

  5. Your comment about how today is warm and tomorrow cold made me wonder whether the ambient temperature has any effect on when the chicks choose to emerge. Obviously, it is warmer in the day and colder at night so do chicks usually emerge during daylight hours?

  6. I’m pretty sure that the video linked to of McCartney singing “Goodbye” is actually a video of him performing “Yesterday,” because (1) the lip synching does not line up at all, and (2) George can be heard to use the same “Opportunity knocks” line – which is hilarious – on the Anthology, introducing McCartney singing “Yesterday.”

  7. re: Hili and the eagles: a small dog belonging to a friend of mine was carried of by an eagle. The eagle eventually dropped him, but the dog was so badly injured (including one eye missing) that he had to be put to sleep. If an eagle can carry off a dog or a rabbit, then it can carry off a cat. Hili is right to be concerned.

    1. I’m really sorry for your friend, Doug. That must have been horrible and totally unexpected.

  8. It’s only just occurred to me how much I look forward to reading the wonderful miscellany that appears each day (each day!) under this heading. There is always something to think about or laugh at, and a list of birth and death dates to keep everything in perspective.

    Thanks so much, Jerry. Please keep these daily delights coming!

  9. Gay is bad because if everyone was gay the human race would die out. Oops I slipped into fundy brain-dead wingnut mode there for a second. Poe’s law is real folks because that’s a real wingy-dingy argument. Spoken from many pulpits I’m sure.

  10. Thaaaank you Prof. “New Normal” grids my gears BIG TIME. And don’t START me on “xxxx Strong!” – usually employed when a city has utterly folded. It was invented when they shut down airspace (!) over New England in fear of two evil incompetent terrorist rabbits on the run in Boston.
    Strong my ass!
    Keep up the good work!

  11. Re Fiddlehead ferns: in case you don’t know (not likely with this group), the edible variety , the stem is U shaped, not round. Best cut when just out of the ground and tightly curled. Always leave at least one frond so that the crown will stay healthy to grow and produce another year. If dry, the dry paper like covering can be shaken off in a basket to blow away. Otherwise, dunk in big bowl of water, paper will mostly float to surface for removal. Bring to boil, stir, drain hot water after 20-30 seconds +/- and bring to boil again in fresh water til al dente. Do not over cook! They should be barely off bright green, not dull green. Tender but crunchy.

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