Wednesday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on a Wednesday, June 24, 2020, and welcome to a temporarily truncated version of the Hili dialogue (Botany Pond calls!). Please bear with me while we have a Temporary Duck Interruption.

It’s National Praline Day, as well as World UFO Day, celebrating this:

June 24 marks the anniversary of one of the first UFO sightings in the United States, when Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine high-speed crescent-shaped objects near Mt. Rainier in Washington, in 1947.

This is the sighting that gave rise to the term “flying saucer,” though the Wikipedia link above gives several explanations for the sighting that don’t involve extraterrestrial beings

News of the Day:

Coronavirus is surging in many parts of America as people pretend that the pandemic is over. Anthony Fauci delivered a grim warning yesterday about the persistence of the disease, while also holding out hope for a vaccine at the end of the year.

Today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 121,178 an increase of about 800 over yesterday’s report and one of the smallest death tolls yet.  The world death toll now stands at,, 477,237 an increase of about 5400 from yesterday.

Major League Baseball says it will resume a short 60-game baseball season on July 23 or 24 (the usual season is 162 games). Presumably the games will be played in empty stadiums.

I reported yesterday about a huge and heartwhelming show of support for black NASCAR driver Bubba Walters when a noose was reportedly found in his Talladega Speedway garage stall. Yesterday the FBI revealed that it wasn’t a noose but a door pull, and had been there well before Walters occupied the space.

I believe that yesterday there was a kerfuffle in the comments here about whether President Trump was joking when he said that he called for a slowdown in coronavirus testing (I claimed he wasn’t joking). He’s now said he wasn’t joking, so I hope this settles that.

Article of the day (from HuffPost, of course. Click on the screenshot to read it.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili disappeared for a while:

A: Where have you been, I haven’t seen you since yesterday.
Hili: I was exploring the surroundings.
In Polish:
Ja: Gdzie byłaś, nie widziałem cię od wczoraj?
Hili: Zwiedzałam okolice.

Reader Ginger K. sent a link to a cool interactive map showing which prehistoric creatures lived in your locality (this applies throughout the world.)

Finally, a meme from reader Peter; a shortened version of the movie Alien. 

76 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. For those still interested in the daily corruption of this president after the Geoffrey Berman mess, today Arron Zelinsky will be testifying to the House judicial committee about the pressure put on by AG Barr to go light on Roger Stone. Another whistleblower, will also be testifying.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/democrats-to-subpoena-william-barr/2020/06/23/2fd49260-b558-11ea-a510-55bf26485c93_story.html?utm_campaign=wp_todays_headlines&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_headlines

    1. I think it starts at noon edt and is listed to be carried live by one of the cspan tv stations

      1. Yes, the menu on my TV shows 11 am central time on C SPAN. House Judiciary Committee. C Span 2 is Senate

            1. Thanks, Edward. I’ve been impressed with Schmidt and will read this when I finish my online zumba class, which really helps me maintain some sanity🤓

              1. Have you ever tried masala bhangra, Indian exercise dancing based on a Punjabi dance style? I think it’s very cool and fun and I love the music — one must use Indian music, usually Bollywood because it’s energetic. There are videos, such as this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xGTrc1trO4 but I haven’t explored zoom classes.

                Then I just found this African dance workout class https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7ytBN8eaiM, which looks very cool. And it’s genuine, not some knockoff.

              2. Wow, thanks Jenny. I will most def try the African dance – love the music and have done some in the past. For some reason I’m not crazy about Indian music.

              3. Just read the article. Thanks! I just realized that I heard Schmidt talk at my 2018 Stanford reunion, in a round table with Mike McFaul and others (also the brother of the other billionaire besides Bloomberg who was running for prez – blanking on his name…).Schmidt was very impressive.

            1. I hadn’t been all that aware of Wm Cohen but he really nailed the problems with Trump in this interview. I’ve only really discovered Christiane Amanpour in the last couple of months, but now I watch her show on PBS “religiously”. I think she’s an excellent interviewer.

              1. Christiane is a treasure. I’ve watched her for years and always learn something worthwhile from her interviews. I wish more Republicans would speak up like Bill Cohen.

      1. Yes, it seems there are many distinguished groups sending letters of contempt and disgust to the White House. Note “77 Nobel laureates…” asking the administration to restore funding to bat research in China (my comment 5). These seem to have little effect. Perhaps the final complaint will be sent by millions of citizens on November 3rd.

      2. Mr Barr, with his unsolicited memo of June 2018, made himself guilty of “offer to procure appointive public office”, a felony. In it he offered to protect Mr Trump (something of value) if appointed AG. And he was appointed, and he did protect Mr Trump. Slam dunk case, meseems.
        IANAL, but are there some legal minds here that can explain why he was not indicted?
        [Note, I think on top of the accusations in that faculty letter, he also protected Mr Trump by forcing Mr Mueller to close the investigation prematurely, something rarely mentioned]

          1. Can there be no ‘citizens indictment’ or so? Checks and balances? Who’s checking the AG?

  2. Trump said, “I don’t kid,” which is ridiculous, since that is his standard excuse when he says something outrageous. I swear his brain isn’t connected to his mouth.

    1. Either it was a joke and he was lying when he said he was kidding, or it wasn’t a joke and he is spectacularly and lethally stupid.

      I’d prefer to believe “I don’t kid” was a lie. The alternative is too horrible o contemplate.

        1. Let’s not rule out the multi-tasker hypothesis. It seems likely to me that he was joking to some degree, lying to some degree and that he’s also lethally stupid.

          He also lives entirely in the moment and exhibits little to no ability to make detailed plans or follow them. Many people of all stripes, on all sides, try to explain his behavior as if his motivations are based on rational execution of thought out views, positions or plans. The human norm, basically. I really don’t think Trump is capable of that. His motivations are much more simple. More like unfiltered autonomic reactions to stimuli.

            1. 🙂

              Hi Merilee. I tried the naan recipe. Not sure I got it quite right though. Probably the actual cooking part. I’ll have to try it again.

              My wife has been killing it in the bread department though. She started teaching herself during the lockdown. Mostly recipes from Paul Hollywood and Peter Reinhart, Walnut Roquefort bread, Salami & Provolone bread, Orange & Coconut bread, Herb bread, Lemon & Mint bread, Sour Cherry & Chocolate bread.

              The Walnut Roquefort bread is unbelievably good.

              1. Darrell, the cooking part should be a piece of cake – er, or naan. Just a dry cast iron skillet and almost burn it. I’m planning to make the full recipe soon and experiment with cooking two “balls”, refrigerating two, and freezing the last two. Your wife’s breads sound deelish! I can sense the calories floating through the ether.

              2. And right into my midsection.

                Yeah, the cooking should be easy. I’m pretty sure I simply didn’t have the pan hot enough. The last one of the batch turned out pretty good as I got the heat dialed in.

              3. Yeah, I think the heat’s probably the key. Those official naan ovens are very hot, I believe.

          1. Yeah, it appears he really ‘thinks’ with his (ample) gut.
            A bit stegosaurus-like? 🙂

      1. We know he is brash, not that clever, and a bad listener. But people are reading the headlines and not listening to what he says. He may have said “I don’t kid.” but you can see from the video in his head he wasn’t even responding to a specific question. The reporter can tell that’s what happened. She rephrases while he’s babbling, “are you going to slow testing?” (which he never actually answers). He was kidding yesterday. And today he was responding to some nonsensical comment that the reporter didn’t say. And the proof will be in the number of tests coming in the next few weeks. Let’s revisit when the test numbers show they have gone up not down.

    2. Trump has no functioning sense of humor. His only laugh lines are insults directed at his perceived enemies. It’s shtick, tout court.

      1. It’s ironic that every time he insults someone, such as Bolton whom he just called a Creepster and a Lowlife, I invariably see *his* visage as the embodiment of the insult.

        1. Good point. Maybe he’s really repeating the voice of his father’s scorn he hears echoing in his head.

        2. I tried to post my comment a few minutes ago and got a message saying the site wasn’t responding, so I’ll try again. Hope my prior comment vanished into the ether.

          My observation is that the term for what you identified is called “projection” in psychology, and Trump does it constantly. Whenever he trashes other people, he’s really speaking about himself but projecting it onto others.

          This from his twitter feed on May 20th of this year is priceless example: “Some wacko in China just released a statement blaming everybody other than China for the Virus which has now killed hundreds of thousands of people. Please explain to this dope that it was the “incompetence of China”, and nothing else, that did this mass Worldwide killing!”

            1. Thanks for the link.

              I don’t think Trump is at all aware that he’s engaging in projection and so isn’t aware that everyone (except his minions) is aware of it.

            2. Projection – “When used by adults, it reveals less emotional maturity and indicates impaired emotional development.”

              That’s always the feeling I get watching tRump, and it’s why I have a mix of disgust and sympathy. How horrible it would be to be trapped in the mind of a small child forever. tRump must have no adult friendships.

    1. There’s film of the garage stall that Bubba Wallace recently was assigned from 2019 – yes, it was a garage door pull down, and yes the end of the rope was fashioned into a noose. You can see it in the footage. There’s a certain amount of randomness to the assigning of garage stalls for a race, so it wasn’t aimed specifically at Bubba, but it most definitely was a pull rope fashioned into a noose. And left that way for at least several months.

      1. The fashioning of nooses with string, cord, or rope, while not a regular activity among adolescent boys in the South, is also not unusual. They can be considered decorative when use as a garage door pull-down or hanging basket or shelf attachment. Just part of a certain culture.

        1. Kids learn how to do this. In my case, and in the case of my siblings and come to think of it my own children, it was learned thru cub scouts (along with other knots) and/or from peers. If the latter, we learned this knot as we learned how to spit, throw a curve ball, or give someone a wedgie. It was a skill to be learned in order to impress and to fit in.

          And without exception this particular knot tieing skill only conjured up Western movies. Nothing more.

          1. When I was a kid I learned to make them. It was entirely a western movie thing for us. (I was born in 1950.)

            These days, of course, western movies aren’t much of a thing anymore.

      2. So whoever did it could not have known that many months after they fashioned it that that garage would be randomly assigned to Wallace, clearly indicating it was not a racist taunt directed at him.

        So we’re done here, right?

        *check news*

        Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  3. Reading the article on Fauci’s testimony, there is a reference to tRump’s cancellation of a grant given for research into the bat-human connection in the origin of coronavirus. “77 Nobel laureates are asking the Trump administration for an investigation of the cancellation of an NIH grant for virus research in China”. It seems to me the decision to cut funding was ridiculous and dangerous. Shouldn’t such funding be under the control of congress and not be subject to the whim of a toddler?

      1. I can’t see the 60 minutes show ($$$), but reading the text I see he emphasizes how his work earlier had been important in combating SARS and would likely be important to fighting COVID-19. So, I ask you, why is tRump not considered a criminal? A man with the moral compass of a falling piano needs to be imprisoned for the few miserable years he may have left.

        1. Must be because you’re not in the US because I can access the video without cost. Good there was a transcript Here’s another interview with Peter Daszak if you’re interested. https://www.democracynow.org/2020/4/16/peter_daszak_coronavirus. He’s not only the head of Eco Health Alliance, the group that got th grant but he’s the main US researcher for the Wuhan project. From his Wiki “Peter Daszak is a British zoologist [parasitologist] and an expert on disease ecology, in particular on zoonosis.” Scrolling through his twitter feed https://twitter.com/PeterDaszak yields some very interesting info.

          1. Thanks. Yes, he seems like a man with a mission. I so glad we have so many folks like him in all areas keeping the ship afloat while we change horses (to mix some metaphors) . In November, we’ll probably see the funding resumed.

  4. Trump’s buddy from Poland, Andrzej Duda will be visiting the white house today so maybe the campaign interference will go both ways, who knows. Let’s hope the losing go both ways as well.

  5. Regarding the “Alien: The Short Version” meme, it resonates with something I’ve always said (with perverse admiration): To anything smaller than it, a cat is a true monster. Of course, the same and worse could probably be said of humans; perhaps that’s why we get along so well.

    1. Interesting point. I live with several cats and they seem fearless towards those smaller and/or less intelligent. Very human like.

  6. I am more worried about his comments that the coming election will be rigged. If he wins of course he will not keep on saying that the election was fixed, but if he looses, he’ll say that it’s a coup d’état by the medias, the Dems, deep state and foreign countries. He will want a recount that will last for months. I am really worried that if he loose the election, violence will erupt from his fanatic and armed followers. I wonder if it maybe enough to start a new civil war.

    1. My own expectation isn’t quite as doleful as yours, but it ain’t gonna be pretty.

      But then my view is informed by the hope that congressional Republicans and the GOP establishment will finally say “enough” and refuse to follow Trump down this path of treachery — the type of hope that’s been dashed time and again for the past five years.

    2. If T* loses, he may *want* a recount that will last for months but he will not/cannot get it, because of the Constitutional mandate that the term of the president begins on 20 January (20th Amendment). That’s one reason why the Bush/Gore fiasco didn’t drag on longer: the Supremes knew that a decision was required before Inauguration Day.

      1. “..the Supremes knew that a decision was required before Inauguration Day.”

        Yes and they knew exactly who they wanted in the office. Or at least one, in particular, did.

  7. The term “flying saucers” is due to the fact that Arnold described the crescent-shaped UFOs as skipping through the atmosphere like tossed saucers. Had they been invented sooner, Arnold might have said the UFOs were skipping like Frisbees, and UFOs would now be called “flying frisbees.”

  8. The interactive fossil locality map is quite an amazing compendium of data. Because of the daily reader photos, I was wondering Just the other day about how the overall diversity of mammals changed since humans arrived on this continent. I’m familiar with the famous ice-aged animals, of course, but it’s nice to be able to look for more obscure critters that may also be gone.

  9. “Coronavirus is surging in many parts of America

    Today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 121,178 an increase of about 800 over yesterday’s report and one of the smallest death tolls yet.”
    My guess is that more younger, healthier people are getting it. Because they are outside due to weather, they are also getting a lower initial viral load.

    More cases with fewer side effects is the best way to inch toward herd immunity. IMO, we should encourage all outside activities while the weather is nice. Protect the vulnerable and edge to normality for the rest of us during the next few months. I think it will lower the risk of a second wave. If hospitalizations rise significantly, we would obviously need a course correction.

    Locking down while waiting for Godot, I mean a vaccine, is an optimistic strategy which may work or fail miserably. In Oregon, over 70,000 people are still waiting for their unemployment benefits.

    1. There’s no proof that “herd immunity” will be effective with this virus; it’s folly to put hope in that strategy. It sure didn’t work in Sweden. No one knows how long immunity lasts either. There are reports of people being re-infected…don’t know the veracity of these reports.

      1. There’s no proof that we will ever have a vaccine and, if immunity does not last from infection, it it less likely that it will last from a vaccine. Perhaps we will need a vaccine every few months or perhaps we are years from a vaccine. What then?

        This virus is tricky and deadly. On our current course, it seems likely we will be having the exact same conversation in another year or two. Because of politics, the medium term is not being discussed.

        It seems like the summer is the time to take some risks. I could be wrong and, if I am, I hope someone can point to a better strategy. Waiting for Godot is not helpful.

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