Wednesday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on June 10, 2020: National Iced Tea Day (is this beverage, the perfect accompaniment to barbecue, imbibed outside the U.S.?) It’s also National Black Cow Day, celebrating the concoction of root beer and vanilla ice cream, also known as a root beer float, and very good at that. Here’s one of them (for some reason it’s a lot better than the “Coke float”, a similar drink made with Coca-Cola).

Finally, it’s Ballpoint Pen Day and National Herb and Spice Day.

News of the day: The bad news (for readers) is that I still hate rhubarb in pie—alone or with strawberries. The good news is that I don’t have to eat it!

Demonstrations continue across the U.S. as George Floyd was laid to rest yesterday. Meanwhile, our Chief Embarrassment is promulgating false conspiracy theories that a 75-year-old man—injured when he was pushed down without reason by two Buffalo, New York policemen—was a member of Antifa. He wasn’t, and, like Joe McCarthy, Trump won’t apologize. At long last, he has no decency, no empathy. But we knew that.

Today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 112,114, an increase of about 1300 from yesterday (the increase in deaths in our country appears to be slowing). The world toll now stands at 411,141, a one-day increase of about 5,700 from the day before.

Stuff that happened on June 10 includes:

  • 1692 – Salem witch trials: Bridget Bishop is hanged at Gallows Hill near Salem, Massachusetts, for “certaine Detestable Arts called Witchcraft and Sorceries”.
  • 1793 – The Jardin des Plantes museum opens in Paris. A year later, it becomes the first public zoo.
  • 1829 – The first Boat Race between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge takes place on the Thames in London.
  • 1886 – Mount Tarawera in New Zealand erupts, killing 153 people and burying the famous Pink and White Terraces. Eruptions continue for three months creating a large, 17 km long fissure across the mountain peak.

The terraces, silica “sinter deposits”, were reportedly the largest on Earth, and a huge tourist attraction. They may still be there under the earth or water, but we don’t know. Here’s what they looked like:

  • 1935 – Dr. Robert Smith takes his last drink, and Alcoholics Anonymous is founded in Akron, Ohio, United States, by him and Bill Wilson.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Lidice massacre is perpetrated as a reprisal for the assassination of Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich.
  • 1944 – In baseball, 15-year-old Joe Nuxhall of the Cincinnati Reds becomes the youngest player ever in a major-league game.

Here’s a short video of Nuxhall’s initial appearance in the major leagues at age 15. He lasted 2/3 of an inning and then was sent back to the minors, returning to the Reds in 1952 for a respectable career. He later became a famous baseball broadcaster:

  • 1947 – Saab produces its first automobile.

Here’s the prototype Saab, the “Ursaab”, on which the first commercial vehicle, the Saab 92, was based:

  • 1963 – The Equal Pay Act of 1963, aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on sex, was signed into law by John F. Kennedy as part of his New Frontier Program.
  • 1964 – United States Senate breaks a 75-day filibuster against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, leading to the bill’s passage.
  • 1991 – Eleven-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard is kidnapped in South Lake Tahoe, California; she would remain a captive until 2009.
  • 2002 – The first direct electronic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans is carried out by Kevin Warwick in the United Kingdom.

Notables born on this day include:

Here’s Courbet’s “Woman with a Cat”:

McDaniel, of course, was the first African-American to win an Oscar, which she nabbed for Best Supporting Actress in the 1939 film “Gone With the Wind,” in which she played Mammy. Here’s her acceptance speech, with a nice introduction by Fay Bainter. McDaniel cries a bit at the end; it’s very moving.

  • 1915 – Saul Bellow, Canadian-American novelist, essayist and short story writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2005)
  • 1922 – Judy Garland, American singer, actress, and vaudevillian (d. 1969)
  • 1928 – Maurice Sendak, American author and illustrator (d. 2012)
  • 1929 – E. O. Wilson, American biologist, author, and academic

Ed is 91 today and still going strong.

  • 1965 – Elizabeth Hurley, English model, actress, and producer

Those who went the way of all flesh on June 10 include:

  • 323 BC – Alexander the Great, Macedonian king (b. 356 BC)
  • 1926 – Antoni Gaudí, Spanish architect, designed the Park Güell (b. 1852)
  • 1940 – Marcus Garvey, Jamaican journalist and activist, founded the Black Star Line (b. 1887)
  • 1967 – Spencer Tracy, American actor (b. 1900)
  • 1988 – Louis L’Amour, American novelist and short story writer (b. 1908)
  • 2002 – John Gotti, American mobster (b. 1940)
  • 2016 – Gordie Howe, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1928)

Here’s “Mr. Hockey’s” last playoff goal. It was in 1980 when he was 52 (not 42, as Wikipedia notes). He was the oldest man to play in an NHL game.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, being a (secular) Jewish cat, is kvetching to Szaron.

Szaron: There is no reason to complain—we have it good here.
Hili: One can always find a reason to complain.
(Photo: Paulina R.)
In Polish:
Szaron: Nie ma co narzekać, dobrze nam tu.
Hili: Do narzekania zawsze jakiś powód się znajdzie.
(Foto: Paulina R.)

From Jesus of the Day, not the best solution! Or can deer read?


From Bad Cat Clothing:

Posted on my FB page by Ant Allan:

A tweet from me, but the original came from by reader Barry, who commented, “Really, they are the craziest damn creatures on the planet.” No disagreement here, though I’d put in a word for frogs. . .

A tweet from Simon. Ducks are, as we know, awesome!

Tweets from Matthew. Here’s one that directs you to a long and enlightening conversation between our own Matthew Cobb and author/doctor Siddhartha Mukherjee about Mukherjee’s latest book on “The Gene”.  It was sponsored by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Now this is amazing: look where a tick’s eyes are located!

By all means watch this time lapse animation of the slave trade, most through the Middle Passage. Think how many sundered families this represents, and how many people ripped from their homes.

Matthew wants this toy hornet (with a modification):

This is a prescient statement by Obama; sadly, his administration didn’t do much about it:

And a broken sheep (sound up, please):


  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 10, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    No way I’d rather spend Black Cow Day than with The Dan:

    • GBJames
      Posted June 10, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink


    • BJ
      Posted June 10, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Man do I love the Dan!

    • Posted June 10, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Excellent version of a great song!

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 10, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    A very odd comment made during the Glenn Show yesterday, trashing Stacy Abrams for not accepting the loss in the Georgia vote. They should have been in line yesterday in Georgia trying to vote. It was yet another disaster election thanks to the republicans of that state. The democrats better wake up or this next election will be stolon by the crooks as well. I hope they are ready to accept it.

  3. jezgrove
    Posted June 10, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    I can’t see the erroneous “42” in the Wikipedia article about Gordie Howe, and it hasn’t been edited for six days?

  4. Posted June 10, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    That is an amazing toy hornet. It looks like it will be available in August. This web site offers a bit more detail: You can choose to show the text in English.

    • Posted June 10, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      I agree. I need to try to get one when it’s available!

  5. Simon Hayward
    Posted June 10, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Re Trump’s tweet. The story yesterday evening was that he was retweeting a conspiracy theory from a Russian reporter working for OANN, see e.g.

    No idea if it’s true but, coming from multiple sources. It implies, of course, that Trump is retweeting Russian talking points. Every time you think you’ve hit the bottom he goes deeper.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted June 10, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      That is Trumps favorite news – OAN FOX is old news, lots of traitors over there.

    • BJ
      Posted June 10, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      I think Trump’a twitter feed is just a collection of Righty nutjobs and he just tweets out any conspiracy he likes. He never gives a thought to what he’s doing, just like when he blurted out that he has totally been taking hydrocychloroquine (and then spent two weeks trying to convince everybody that it was true). He just says and tweets things because the man has no filter. He thinks he’s brilliant, and why would a brilliant mind filter his brilliant thoughts? Did you see him say that even his doctors are so impressed with his knowledge that he thinks he could have been a doctor himself?

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted June 10, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        I feel a bit ashamed now, thinking that Trump had invented that crazy conspiracy theory himself – but of course it was too much mental and physical effort involved!

        That brings home the difference between Worst US President Ever™ and other presidents on pandemic responses as in the brilliant comparison video.

  6. Hempenstein
    Posted June 10, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    At least we agree on rhubarb.

  7. Simon Hayward
    Posted June 10, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    On the food/drinks issue, is it possible to drink Root Beer as an adult if you were never exposed to it as a child? I first had it in my 30s and to me it tastes like mouthwash with a hint of toilet cleaner.

    To dig the hole a bit further. The perfect accompaniment to BBQ is beer. (Iced tea! sirs)

    And to get completely in trouble, rhubarb is not a food fit for humans! It (and kele for that matter) should only be eaten by creatures with a rumen.

    Happy Wednesday

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted June 10, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      “Kele” do you mean kale or plantains? I ask because I looked up “kele” and find that plantains are called kele in Hindi.

      Both are delicious when well prepared, and there are many varieties of kale, each with a different taste. I usually saute kale, but if finely shredded or chopped in a food processor, it makes great slaw.

      • Simon Hayward
        Posted June 10, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink


        That’s what I get for typing without my glasses on! Aging is a sad process, I can’t type worth a damn and now I can’t read my mistakes.

        I’m not stopping you from eating it. I’ll file some seasoning off the salt lick.

        • GBJames
          Posted June 10, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

          Tell me about it! I missed a food store pickup yesterday because I typed “06” instead of “60” in my phone number on the online form. Oy. (Got it figured out this morning.)

        • Posted June 10, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

          The Hulk is green because he’s made of kale. That’s why he’s called “The Inedible Hulk”.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 10, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    This is a prescient statement by Obama; sadly, his administration didn’t do much about it …

    The Obama administration left the Trump administration this detailed playbook for dealing with a pandemic (which the Trump administration proceeded to ignore). The Obama administration also conducted a pandemic war game-style briefing for the incoming Trump administration seven days before Trump’s inauguration, for all the good that did it, too.

    If we’re talking here about funding — well, under Article 1 of the US constitution, the power of the purse lies with congress, which, let us recall, was under the control of that other political party, which was none too happy to give Obama anything he wanted.

    • Steve Gerrard
      Posted June 10, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink


      “The Global Health Security and Biodefense unit — responsible for pandemic preparedness — was established in 2015”

      “In May 2018, the team was disbanded and its head Timothy Ziemer, top White House official in the NSC for leading U.S. response against a pandemic, left the Trump administration”

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:54 am | Permalink

      It’s 69 pages long!

      How would anybody expect tRump to read that?
      How many Tweets would that amount to?

      Or anybody in his administration**?

      **Bearing in mind that anyone who could comprehend 69 pages would be far too clever and sophisticated (i.e dangerous) to be trusted by Trump.


  9. rickflick
    Posted June 10, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    The first boat race, Oxford/Cambridge: Since 1856, the race has been held every year, except for years 1915–1919, 1940–1945 and 2020.

  10. Posted June 10, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Free the Pink Terraces!

  11. Mike
    Posted June 10, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Among #9’s contributions to hockey is the Gordie Howe Hattrick: a goal, an assist, and a fight in the same game. The fight must be gloves-off and must result in a 5-minute penalty to qualify (no tussling face-wash).

  12. Andrea Kenner
    Posted June 12, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    If you want a GREAT root beer float in Chicago, check out Eleven City Diner.

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