Monday: Hili dialogue

Happy (?) Monday: June 29, 2020: National Lasagna Day, a celebration of cultural appropriation. It’s also National Almond Buttercrunch Day, created by Big Almond Buttercrunch, National Waffle Iron Day, and Please Take My Children to Work Day.

If you’re unfamiliar with Almond Buttercrunch, it’s a delicious form of toffee with a hard center coated with chocolate and dusted with crushed almonds. Voilà:

News of the Day: The Washington Post reports that those Russian bounties offered to the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers indeed resulted in the death of American troops. The US administration has yet to formulate—or articulate—a response.

The global death toll from coronavirus has now reached half a million (see below), with over 10 million cases reported.  In the U.S., of course, new cases are surging, and the NYT reports a disturbing statistic:

It’s not just case counts that are going up. In many places, another statistic is also trending the wrong way: A rising share of coronavirus tests are coming back positive.

In Los Angeles County, officials said Saturday that the positivity rate there had risen to 9 percent; two weeks ago it was averaging 5.8 percent. In Texas, the rate climbed above 13 percent on Friday; it was around 7 percent two weeks ago.

Arizona’s positivity rates have been climbing steadily since early May and have been averaging above 20 percent for a week, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Public health experts watch positivity rates, along with hospitalization rates, deaths and other key indicators, to get a sense of how prevalent the virus is in a particular city or state, and how fast it is spreading.

Although Americans are expected to be independent, in this case they needed to be compliant and weren’t. The result: all of us are tarred with the stupid policies that resulted in this resurgence. This is due not just to a failure of leadership, but also to a failure of people to understand or, worse, a failure of people to care about others.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 125,814,, an increase of about 300 over yesterday’s report.  The world death toll now stands at 501,604, an increase of about 3400 from yesterday.

Stuff that happened on June 29 includes:

Here’s that recording; it’s not great, but hey, it was 1888!

The earliest recorded sound, however, is one from 28 years earlier, 1860, described on Classic FM:

An oil lamp helped capture the first recording of the human voice known to exist. Parisian inventor Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville created a device called a phonautograph, which etched visual sound waves onto paper covered in soot and smoke from a burning oil lamp.

The inventor never intended to playback the recording, but one-and-a-half centuries later, the etchings have been deciphered and digitised.

Here it is:

  • 1889 – Hyde Park and several other Illinois townships vote to be annexed by Chicago, forming the largest United States city in area and second largest in population at the time.

Hyde Park is US!

The flight took 25 hours and 50 minutes, the crew misplaced their food, but they made it in the plane below (same year that Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic).

Atlantic-Fokker C-2 “Bird of Paradise” side view. (U.S. Air Force photo)

  • 1972 – The United States Supreme Court rules in the case Furman v. Georgia that arbitrary and inconsistent imposition of the death penalty violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
  • 1974 – Mikhail Baryshnikov defects from the Soviet Union to Canada while on tour with the Kirov Ballet.
  • 1975 – Steve Wozniak tested his first prototype of Apple I computer.

Here’s the first on-sale Apple 1 from Wikipedia. The retail price was—get this—$ 666.66:

Original 1976 Apple I computer in a briefcase. From the Sydney Powerhouse Museum collection.

  • 2007 – Apple Inc. releases its first mobile phone, the iPhone.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1858 – George Washington Goethals, American general and engineer, co-designed the Panama Canal (d. 1928)
  • 1861 – William James Mayo, American physician and surgeon, co-founded the Mayo Clinic (d. 1939)
  • 1936 – Harmon Killebrew, American baseball player and sportscaster (d. 2011)

Those who Went West on June 29 include:

  • 1852 – Henry Clay, American lawyer and politician, 9th United States Secretary of State (b. 1777)
  • 1933 – Roscoe Arbuckle, American actor, director, and screenwriter (b. 1887)
  • 1940 – Paul Klee, Swiss painter and illustrator (b. 1879)
  • 1964 – Eric Dolphy, American saxophonist, composer, and bandleader (b. 1928)
  • 1967 – Jayne Mansfield, American actress (b. 1933)
  • 1995 – Lana Turner, American actress (b. 1921)
  • 2003 – Katharine Hepburn, American actress (b. 1907)

Director Sydney Pollack on Bogie and Hepburn in The African Queen:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is weary of The People. When I asked why cats weren’t populists, Malgorzata replied for Hili: “Of course, they are not populists. Cats are sophisticated thinking individualists. How could they fall for populists’ cheap tricks?”

Hili: The populism among humans astounds me.
A: Why?
Hili: Cats would never fall for it.
In Polish:
Hili: Zdumiewa mnie u ludzi populizm.
Ja: Dlaczego?
Hili: Koty nigdy nie dałyby się na to nabrać.

From Nicole. I hope you know “cow tipping“.

From Paul, an ungrateful cat (is that redundant)?

From Bruce Thiel. Hard to argue with the logic!

A tweet from sherfolder, who says, “on Twitter I found this interesting presentation where you can quickly find an overview of the quintessence of all the different philosophies in a few simple pictograms.”

Check it out: it’s not so much about the meaning of life as the various philosophies’ goal of one’s life. I fit into many categories!

Tweets from Matthew. Check out this pair of Canada geese with 47 offspring. Honey has nothing on this mom!

Is this dog trained to do this, or is it just really, really smart?

I can’t imagine a more beautiful wasp. And another tweet with a link to the collection (the Wikipedia link to the group is here).

Really, really bad typography. Examine each one:

A very dignified poo:

Kat Kong!


  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    If you ever saw a Tri-motor Ford, similar to the Fokker shown here, the metal on that plane was corrigated like you would see on an old roof.

    My grandfather started flying in 1927 and his first airplane was an American Eagle, made in Kansas City.

    • Posted June 29, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      The Ford Trimotor is practically identical to the Fokker Trimotor except being built of metal by ripping off the Junkers metal construction techniques.

      The same construction techniques were also used in the other famous three engined aircraft – the DC10…

      … no, I’m kidding, the Junkers 52/3M

    • jezgrove
      Posted June 29, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      The Bird of Paradise transpacific flight was an amazing feat of navigation! Especially given they couldn’t pinpoint their sandwiches and thermos flasks.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    News of the Day: The Washington Post reports that those Russian bounties offered to the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers indeed resulted in the death of American troops. The US administration has yet to formulate—or articulate—a response.

    When a leader learns something such as that the Russians have been putting bounties on the heads of US soldiers in Afghanistan — whether that information comes in January or in March or just last week — what we should expect of that leader is to ask pertinent questions, to listen to people with first-hand information on the ground, and then to take decisive action. Kinda like this:

    • Hempenstein
      Posted June 29, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Yep, waiting now to hear stories of people with giant Tr*mp signs who live close to people who served in Afghanistan or have kids who have served there.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 29, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Trump’s bullshit dancing around on this issue isn’t playing well with the veterans — especially the combat veterans — in congress, including the Republicans.

        Hell, even Dick Cheney’s far-right-wing daughter Lynne, the third highest ranking Republican in the House, is demanding immediate answers on this:

        • Mark R.
          Posted June 29, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          I would answer Liz Cheney:
          1. I’m sure they were and I’m sure it was in the PDB.
          2. good question
          3. Nothing has been done and nothing will be done.

    • W.Benson
      Posted June 29, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      I’m skeptical of the Russian bounty report. Many WP contributors are enough anti-Trump, not to mention the profit motive, to invent something like this. It could even be planted false news, designed to embarrass Trump foes later on. The charge is based on just one anonymous source; a little thin for me. And finally, if a Taliban entrepreneur actually killed a US soldier and escaped, how would he go about proving this to the Russians and collecting his payment? And why isn’t the system of payments widely known and reported on in Afghanistan itself, at least the bounty part? There is enough going against Trump as it is. I wouldn’t go too far out on a limb on this one.

      • Posted June 29, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        These things with Trump always end up being true, your manufactured skepticism notwithstanding. This story has been out for a few days now and no one credible has denied it. I think we can bank on it.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 29, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        The WaPo story was originally reported by The New York Times, and has been confirmed by NBC News.

        Are you saying that no information regarding bounties was ever reported to US intelligence agencies or that such information was never included in the President’s Daily Brief?

        As I’ve explained in comments here before, one sure way to tell when Trump is lying is when he denies knowing anything about a topic. When he actually knows nothing, he’ll try to bullshit his way through. It’s only when an answer would embarrass or incriminate Trump — his endorsement by David Duke, his campaign’s Trump Tower meeting to get Russian dirt on Hillary, Mike Flynn’s telephone conversation with Russian ambassador Kislyak about sanctions, Michael Cohen’s hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, etc. — that Trump clams up and claims he knows nothing.

        We’ll see. The American people surely have the right to know, one way or the other.

        • Posted June 29, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          Trump is always the smartest guy in the world on a topic unless he has a reason to deny his knowledge of it. Ergo, he’s lying, the intelligence was reported to him, and he’s done nothing about it.

          Now the intelligence could be wrong but we may never know that. Trump can say he doesn’t believe the intelligence but he would have to offer a plausible explanation to back it up. Without that, we can safely assume it is due to Trump’s usual Russia/Putin support.

        • rickflick
          Posted June 29, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

          Your rundown of tRump’s sins reminds me that Biden will do well in a debate with tRump to walk in with a fistful of newspaper clippings reporting tRump’s wrongdoings, and just read from several when it’s his turn to talk.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 29, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        The Kremlin just issued a denial, so, obvs, we can take THAT to the bank.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted June 29, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      I really love Pulp Fiction. “You got to appreciate what an explosive element this Bonnie situation is.”

      • Mark R.
        Posted June 29, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, and Jewels is my favorite character Tarantino has created, and boy has he created a lot of memorable characters.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 29, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Hate to say it, but Putin is Zed, and Trump goes to the back room willingly.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted June 29, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          Yea and tells the public “Zed’s dead baby, Zed’s dead” but he so isn’t.

  3. DrBrydon
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    The fact that you can physically capture sound on a medium, and then reproduce it mechanically, continues to amaze me.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted June 29, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      And that when you talk on a cellphone, you are hearing the electronic reproduction of a person’s voice, not the actual person’s voice….creppy….like cloning. 🙂

  4. Posted June 29, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Kat Kong!

    All Brits of a certain age will remember Kitten Kong

  5. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I always thought that Jane Mansfield was a WWII pin-up girl (like Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Nancy Porter and many other beautiful women). But I see she was born 1933 so she can’t have been.

    Fokker airplanes were great airplanes, I flew the F-27 friendship, possibly the most used workhorse-airplane in it’s time and well beyond that. I would not be surprised if they still fly them. Relatively cheap and extremely reliable.
    I also flew the F-100. Great passenger plane.
    Sadly the company went bankrupt in the ’90s, so we will not see any new ones anymore. Some branches of the company still exist though.

    Bruce Thiel’s mask contribution deserves to go viral. What a brilliant argument!

    • Posted June 29, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      When my cousin was at school, her teacher brought in a Polish airman who had fought in the Battle of Britain in Hurricanes. He was in the middle of a story when he said [you’ll have to imagine a thick Polish accent] “we were on patrol when these Fokkers came out of the sun…”

      There was a certain amount of giggling from some people in the class, so the teacher explained to them that the Fokker was a kind of aeroplane. Then the Polish airman said “yes, well these Fokkers were in Messerschmitts”.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Mark R.
      Posted June 29, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Agree on the mask/assault rifle tweet- brilliant!

  6. busterggi
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    But Trump has responded to the Russian bonus on US military – twice! Yesterday he said he’d never heard of it, today he says he heard about it but didn’t belive it. At least one is a lie but that’s Donnie.

  7. Richard Jones
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    That’s all we need; more Canada geese!

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted June 29, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Those mofos are nasty. They’ll get you!

  8. Posted June 29, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    On the latest Trump debacle over Russian bounties on American troops in Afghanistan, I saw a good tweet yesterday (paraphrasing):

    “Just like Benghazi but real.”

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted June 29, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Well let’s hope no one in the military votes for him now.

      • Posted June 29, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        I think he was losing ground with the military even before this latest insult. This ought to finish him off as far as they’re concerned but who knows?

        • Posted June 29, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          That last question always applies, doesn’t it? It’s very frustrating.

  9. rickflick
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Here’s more info on the earliest sound recordings and how they were processed.

  10. Posted June 29, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Lasagna is my dinner tonight, and I had no idea. It is Costco lasagna but, hey, no work.

    • Mark R.
      Posted June 29, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Is it their beef or vegetarian lasagna? They’re both good, though I haven’t eaten one for many moons.

      • Posted June 29, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        Tonight it is beef. I am not sure Costco sells veggie lasagna in my neck of the woods, but I’d like to try it. Or maybe a “beyond meat” version.

        • Mark R.
          Posted June 29, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          Maybe they don’t make it anymore. I haven’t looked for a long time. I better put it back on my Costco list. Haven’t been there since the lockdown.

  11. merilee
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I had heard of cow-tipping (glad it’s a myth) but never the cinnamon challenge.

  12. uommibatto
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Re: philosophies: where’s Utilitarianism?

    It took me awhile to realize the Pragmatism is represented by someone unclogging a toilet. I have to admit, that is a pragmatic activity.

    L. Smith

  13. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I guarantee a lot more Americans would wear masks if the orange one would put one on but by saying he won’t personally do it, he models the wrong behaviour…but of course that’s what cult leaders do – issue confusing statements to keep their faithful in a state of confusion & dependence.

    • Posted June 29, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      A lot of people might be wearing masks just to spite tRump.

  14. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Oy vey! I read US is reinstating federal death sentence – poison to be used.

    Also, US has a 1/4 of pandemic cases in 1/30 of the world population!? That’s an order of magnitude you don’t want to have!

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