Saturday: Hili dialogue

It’s June 6, 2020, and all oldsters will know June 6 as D-Day: the day the Allies invaded Normandy in 1944 (see below; the date is also my late parents’ wedding anniversary). It’s also National GingerBread Day, though I don’t know why the “b” is capitalized. It’s also National Pineapple Day, National Bubbly Day (champagne), and National Applesauce Cake Day, a cake I love but haven’t had in years. Finally, we’re celebrating National Black Bear Day, Drive-In Movie Day, celebrating the opening of the first drive-in in 1933 (see below; these were a staple of my youth, but do they even exist any longer?), the D-Day anniversary (Normandy landings of the Allied Expeditionary Forces [D-Day], a.k.a. Operation Neptune, part of Operation Overlord in 1944), and, of great interest to many of us, Atheist Pride Day. I’m proud to be an atheist, for I’ve shed the shackles of faith. You can do it, too, for you have nothing to lose but your delusions.

News of the Day: It’s too depressing; I find it hard to deal with the deep divisions in America that I see everywhere.  And here’s most of today’s New York Times op-ed section, which shows a unanimity of opinion (most of which I agree with) but op-eds are supposed to show a diversity of opinion and challenge your thinking. The NYT has decided it can’t have that, as it endangers the “safety” of its staff.  Expect to see fewer editorials that challenge your (Leftist) thinking. More on that later.

Today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 109,071 , an increase of about 2200 from yesterday, and double the daily increases of the last week or so. The world toll now stands at 394,593, a one-day increase of about 15,000, another huge rise from the increase of 4,000 I reported between yesterday and the day before that.

My hair continues to grow. It’s now quite scruffy, but I am not yet ready to risk a haircut, though the tonsorial parlors are allowed to open in Chicago:

Stuff that happened on June 6 include:

If you don’t know about St. Martin, do read the entry, as he had a gastric fistula for many years whereby things could be inserted into his stomach and the process of digestion observed. It’s amazing that St. Martin lived to be 78.

  • 1859 – Australia: Queensland is established as a separate colony from New South Wales (Queensland Day).
  • 1892 – The Chicago “L” elevated rail system begins operation.
  • 1932 – The Revenue Act of 1932 is enacted, creating the first gas tax in the United States, at a rate of 1 cent per US gallon (​14¢/L) sold.
  • 1933 – The first drive-in theater opens in Camden, New Jersey, United States.

Here’s a not-so-graeat picture of that first drive-in. I wonder if they had the concession stand back then.

Crater disappeared after leaving a restaurant on August 1, 1930, and nothing is known about what happened to him, though he was probably murdered for being involved in gang-related corruption. His disappearance was huge news back then,  but now hardly anyone remembers him. The case was closed in 1979, though leads continue to emerge. Here he is:

  • 1944 – World War II: The Allied invasion of Normandy—codenamed Operation Overlord—begins with the execution of Operation Neptune (commonly referred to as D-Day), the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy in France. The Allied soldiers quickly break through the Atlantic Wall and push inland in the largest amphibious military operation in history.

The opening scene of Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan” gives a good idea of what the landing on Omaha Beach was like, and it was grim and bloody. Don’t watch this unless you can take the carnage.

  • 1985 – The grave of “Wolfgang Gerhard” is opened in Embu, Brazil; the exhumed remains are later proven to be those of Josef Mengele, Auschwitz’s “Angel of Death”; Mengele is thought to have drowned while swimming in February 1979.
  • 2002 – Eastern Mediterranean event. A near-Earth asteroid estimated at ten meters in diameter explodes over the Mediterranean Sea between Greece and Libya. The explosion is estimated to have a force of 26 kilotons, slightly more powerful than the Nagasaki atomic bomb.
  • 2005 – In Gonzales v. Raich, the United States Supreme Court upholds a federal law banning cannabis, including medical marijuana.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1755 – Nathan Hale, American soldier (d. 1776)
  • 1868 – Robert Falcon Scott, English sailor and explorer (d. 1912)
  • 1875 – Thomas Mann, German author and critic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1955)
  • 1918 – Edwin G. Krebs, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2009)
  • 1936 – Levi Stubbs, American singer (d. 2008)
  • 1955 – Lee Smolin, American theoretical physicist

Here’s the great Levi Stubbs, one of the best soul singers of our era. This live version of “Ask the Lonely” is numbered among my top five best live rock videos, and certainly the best soul video. The quality is poor, but listen to that voice! The sweat is pouring down his face from a surfeit of soul.

Those who croaked on June 6 include:

  • 1799 – Patrick Henry, American lawyer and politician, 1st Governor of Virginia (b. 1736)
  • 1832 – Jeremy Bentham, English jurist and philosopher (b. 1748)
  • 1961 – Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist (b. 1875)
  • 1968 – Robert F. Kennedy, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 64th United States Attorney General (b. 1925)
  • 1991 – Stan Getz, American saxophonist (b. 1927)
  • 2005 – Anne Bancroft, American actress (b. 1931)
  • 2006 – Arnold Newman, American photographer and educator (b. 1918)

Newman was a great formal portrait photographer, famous for incorporating his subject’s work into the picture. Here’s a portrait of Stravinsky:

Arnold Newman:  Igor Stravinsky, composer and conductor, New York, 1946. Gelatin silver print © 1946, 17 15/16 x 21 1/16 in. Arnold Newman/Getty Images. Source.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is inspecting the lodgers’ flat upstairs, where Szaron spends nights and weekends, sees a lack of food bowls. Malgorzata explained when I asked “Doesn’t Szaron have bowls?”

Of course he has. What’s more, he has one set of bowls downstairs [at Malgorzata and Andrez’s place] and one upstairs. But crafty Szaron knows that he is always stealing from Hili’s bowls in our house so he decided to lie to Hili, telling her that he had no bowls in order to prevent her from eating his food, and also to get some compassion from Hili so she would let him eat from her bowls when he is here. Remember, this is a streetwise cat.

The dialogue:

Hili: And where are your bowls?
Szaron: I’m very poor, I don’t have bowls.
(Photo: Paulina R.)
In Polish:
Hili: A gdzie są twoje miseczki?
Szaron: Jestem bardzo biedny, nie mam miseczek.
(Foto: Paulina R.)

A cute video: click on the screenshot below to see a video (and pie) made by Chris Andrews, a senior lecturer in biology at the University of Chicago who helped run my Ecology and Evolution Course for many years. Every year she participates in the South Side Pie Challenge, in which residents of Hyde Park compete for the best pie. (I always go and buy pie.)

Sadly, the Challenge is virtual this year; there will be no pies to eat. But the participants competed in making videos that showcased their pies. The one below is on Facebook, and was made by Chris. She’s shown making one of her famous cranberry pies (it won the overall blue ribbon last year), and then delivering it to Botany Pond. I find it when I’m feeding the ducks, and leap with joy. (It was GREAT!). This was all planned of course, and some of the footage comes from the Botany Pond Webcam

From reader Blue:

From Jesus of the Day:  I got only four of these.

A cartoon from reader Charlie:

Matthew sent me this, and I retweeted it after looking up the creature. It’s a remarkable mimic!

From reader Rick who asks, “Why does this sound sexy?” I didn’t have that take, but it’s pretty amazing that they can troubleshoot this thing from 91 million miles away.

From Simon. I posted this Bari Weiss tweet this morning, and it’s worth reading the thread if you haven’t to see the great divide at the New York Times. Frankly, it’s distressing to see that an editorial by Senator Tom Cotton favoring sending the military into cities to quash rioters caused so much panic at the paper. It’s all their woke writers who claim that the editorial makes them “unsafe”, which seems totally bogus. It’s an editorial!

Tweets from Matthew. The first asks a question I never though I’d see, as I thought all men would tick the first box. It turns out that that’s not true (see poll results below).

Here are the results as of yesterday afternoon, and I’ll declare I’m a stander (how else can you write your name in the snow?). But what on earth is “other”?

Well, at least the kids got a lesson in biology. . . .

Yes, we all know that Trump is brain-dead, but read this and even you will be amazed:

Finally, to get that sour Trump taste out of your outh, here’s a beautiful fly with eyes like navel oranges:


  1. George
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Dwight Eisenhower had prepared a short speech in the event that the Normandy landings had failed:
    “Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”

    It got me thinking, what if the Tangerine Wanker, Little Donnie the Smallhanded, had to give such a speech. I think it would go something like this:
    “The landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. This foolhardy decision was undertaken by individuals who were already serving in the military under Obama. The soldiers, sailors and airmen were cowards who failed to follow the orders I bravely gave from inside my bunker which I was just inspecting. In any case, I bear no responsibility for this fiasco. It is the fault of the unit commanders. I was just there as backup. It was their responsibility to get the equipment, train the men and implement the plan which I had nothing to do with. Obama
    did not leave me with a plan so I shut down the planners. And the equipment I had was for my purposes not to give to them. Just ask Jared. I am going to call my good friend Adolf to apologize for this attempt to interfere with his dominion over Europe. I think I will invite him to the next meeting of the Allies. Although I could not bring Jared to the meeting then. Maybe in an oven.”

    • enl
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      Frighteningly, likely accurate.

      The interview above gave me one thought: Bleu cheese or ranch? Which goes best with word salad??

      • John Conoboy
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Caesar salad dressing would be the appropriate choice.

    • Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      In Trump’s apologia, you forgot to use the words “fantastic”, “wonderful people,” and “amazing.”

    • Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink


    • Posted June 8, 2020 at 3:54 am | Permalink

      You got the first sentence wrong. The speech would start more like

      “Our landings in the Cherbourg-Alabama area have been a fantastic success, nobody did a landing like this, they said it couldn’t be done. We only withdrew the troops because Obama left us unprepared…”

      … and then the rest of your speech.

  2. George
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    I did 15 of the 24 items on the Bingo card (not including the free space). But I had done all 15 of those things in non-quarantine time as well.

    Bobby Kennedy was a sailor – not a soldier.

    I urinate sometimes sitting sometimes standing. Although more sitting as I get older. Does that qualify as “other”?

  3. Robie
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Hili can’t possibly fall for that sad tale after seeing Szaron’s fancy house (which even sits on top of a nice pillow).

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    It is important that the citizens get the history right on things that initially they did not, whether it be the American Indians, the African Americans or Normandy in WWII. We now give credit to Franklin Roosevelt for the plan and success of D-Day, however this fact is not well known until more recently. We know that Churchill fought against this strategy throughout, preferring to continue in Italy and wait for Germany to collapse. Our own military leaders wanted to make the channel crossing in 42 and 43 which would have been a disaster. But Roosevelt said no and planned for the spring of 1944. He even had to threaten Churchill by withholding nuclear information as it developed to get Churchill in line.

  5. David Harper
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Jeremy Bentham may have shuffled off the mortal coil on this day in 1832, but he can still be seen in a glass cabinet at my alma mater, University College London. He gave instructions in his will that an auto-icon was to be created from his body, consisting of his clothed skeleton and mummified head. The head was soon replaced with a wax replica.

    An enduring legend says that his auto-icon was carried to meetings of the college council, where he was recorded as “present, but not voting”. This, sadly, is a myth. But it’s a good one.

  6. J Cook
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Jerry, you were at UC Davis for awhile weren’t you? Do you remember the drive-in across I-80? When I lived there in 79-81 it had become an “Adult” drive-in And the big screen…. You can imagine what went on in the back seats in that college town. Or any town.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      I recall long ago when all the drive-ins went out of business. Now we are seeing many theaters going the same ways, particularly with the current covid-19 going on.

  7. prinzler
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Re sitting vs standing: I’ll never forget that it was San Francisco journalist Cynthia McFadden who questioned why men preferred standing by asking “Why take aim when you can take a rest?”

    Myself, I am ambi-urinatrous.

    • Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      At home, I sit. Particularly at night. Out, I stand.

    • enl
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      I am ambimicturitious as well.

    • sugould
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Why isn’t Titania McGrath all over this? Why did they not ask about women’s preferences?

  8. Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Going in for my haircut next week. Can’t wait any longer. Went to the dentist this week. The hygienist was dressed in a sort of hazmat suit.

    • George
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      I am getting a haircut on Tuesday. I made the appointment a week ago Friday. The shop used to be walk-in. Not anymore.

      I will see my dentist sometime in July. Told him to make the appointment and just let me know.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        I have already had the hair cut and been to the dentist couple of times. The hair cut was painless.

    • John Conoboy
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      I got a haircut on Thursday, but I cheat. Many years ago I got married and my wife cuts my hair. The last time I went to a barber was in 1969 or maybe it was 1970, when I had to go in for a draft physical and did not want to look like a hippie.

  9. rickflick
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    The fly with orange eyes has a surprise. If you click through to full resolution, you’ll see that the orange eyes are made up of hundreds of tiny oranges. This is an omen.

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Appreciate those selfies, Jerry, since I feel bad about my lack of a haircut until I see you. 🙂 I chanced to get a cut about a week or so before the first, voluntary quarantine recommendations came down, so I suppose I’m a good couple weeks behind you.

    But then, I once went the better part of a couple years in the early Seventies between trips to the barber, so figure I can hack this a while longer — though the hair’s the shaggiest and scruffiest it’s been since I came in from the cold to go to law school.

  11. Harrison
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    It’s really hard for the NYT to justify running pro-militarized-police-crackdown articles while police are actually on the streets cracking the skulls of geriatrics and other peaceful protestors.

    It’s not a cute little abstract concept, it’s cheerleading for real, ongoing state violence.

    Papers don’t need to run it any more than they need to run religious claptrap to “balance” the science section.

    • W.Benson
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      So true.

  12. Steve Pollard
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    My late parents were married on 6 June as well. 1942.

    • Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Ditto. There’s a few of us.

      • Steve Pollard
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        They had a week’s honeymoon in the Lake District, then my father was posted overseas (Egypt, Palestine, India and Burma). He got home in January 1946 – given compassionate leave because his father was dying of cancer (brought on in part by being gassed at Passchendaele in 1917). Not too many couples these days would be prepared to put up with three and a half years’ separation!

        • Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          My father got sent to North Africa shortly after and didn’t see my mother again until she came over as a war bride.

          • Steve Pollard
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

            Different times!

            I hope that when our nations get round to celebrating the 75th anniversary of VJ Day later this year, they’ll acknowledge the fact that a lot of our servicemen and women didn’t get back home until well into 1946.

  13. Roger
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    It’s like Donald is 100% reptilian brain or something. Every word is a primitive reflex.

    • rickflick
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      It’s definitely a mental illness. There may be no single name in the medical texts for it. They may have to name the disease after him. The tRump Verbal Reflex Syndrome.

  14. sugould
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Great pond pie video. And from an award-winning baker, no less!

  15. Doug
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    “But what on earth is ‘other’?”


  16. Doug
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    They WERE careful to say “person with a penis,” not “male.”

    But what if your penis identifies as a vulva?

    • Doug
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      This was supposed top be a response to Sugould’s comment about Titania McGrath above at #7.

  17. Robert Van Orden
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    There’s only one Drive In theatre left in New Jersey. The Delsea Drive In Theatre in Vineland NJ on Rt 47, AKA Delsea Drive. Theatres here have been closed due the virus but the drive in is open! I plan on going soon.

    BTW, The Delsea Drive got it’s name as it’s the old route from Philadelphia to Southern Jersey shore resort areas – or from the Delaware River to the Sea. It’s a really cool old timey two lane black top road that hasn’t changed much in 70 or 80 years. It likely dates back to foot trails when the Lenape used to make the Summer trek to fish.

    • rickflick
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Another interesting factoid about drive-ins as well as regular theaters – they used to have to employ operators to run the large reels through the projector. Now they are digital and no longer need specialists.

      • Robert Van Orden
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:12 am | Permalink

        I knew that and I believe that change happened in the late ’80’s early ’90’s. Is that correct?

        I distinctly remember seeing E.T. and The Curse of The Pink Panther is drive in theatres. But by the early ’80’s drive in theatres were in decline. Frankly, those clunky speakers that you would hook up to the car window didn’t work well.

        There is a shopping center (with a multiplex movie theatre) where the old drive in theatre once stood. For better or worse.

        • rickflick
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

          The switch to digital was very gradual. My hometown drive-in, the Overlook Theater in Hyde Park, NY, switched in 2017! Here’s a nostalgic story about the changes at the theater, called, The Last Projectionist:

  18. Gail
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the link to the South Side Pie Challenge! Loved the video of the pie ninja bringing you a pie, and the other videos, as well as the news that the Medici is still there(!), and a Pie Challenge sponsor.
    In the NY Times “Opinion” section, isn’t most everything an opinion piece, unless it is written by “the Editorial Board?” It seems like that attribution is necessary to make something an editorial.

  19. Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Oh. Easy. The “other” in peeing is “swaying between subway cars trying not to fall onto the tracks” of course. Its neither sitting down or properly standing up.
    D.A., Manhattan

  20. Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Nice tapa shirt Jerry! 🙂

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