Wednesday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

We’re in July already! Good morning on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.  As it’s the 182nd day of the year, we’re just about halfway through 2020. For nearly all of us it’s been a dreadful year: good riddance to the first half!

Here are the official Food Month designations for July:

National Baked Bean Month  [JAC: Just one baked bean being celebrated? Which one?]
National Culinary Arts Month
National Hot Dog Month
National Ice Cream Month
National Picnic Month
National Pickle Month

And it’s National Gingersnap Day. Further, it’s International Chicken Wing Day, Canada Day, International Tartan Day, Second Half of the Year Day, and International Joke Day. Here’s a joke:

A rabbi walks into a Manhattan bar holding a frog.  “Where’d you get him?!” asks the bartender.  “Brooklyn,” says the frog.  “They’ve got hundreds of them over there.”

Add your joke below!

News of the Day: All bad, despite the attempt of television news to inject some “good news tonight” at the end of a dismal broadcast. CNN reports that Trump’s phone calls with leaders of other nations have been so dire, with the Prez so woefully unprepared, that they constituted a threat to national security.

You all know how the coronavirus is coming back with a vengeance. Yesterday a one-day record for new cases was set: 48,000 of them! Here’s a NYT plot of new cases per day since March. Look at that uptick! Not only that, but Anthony Fauci has declared the pandemic out of control, and says that we could hit as many as 100,000 new cases per day.

Tom Friedman suggests a new bumper sticker for Biden: ““Respect science, respect nature, respect each other.”  I don’t think it has much zing. The “science” and “nature” parts look a bit dweeby. And “respect”?  I don’t think Friedman gets out much.

A federal judge has struck down another aspect of Trump’s immigration policy, one applying to (and restricting) refugees from Central America.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 127,460, an increase of exactly 1,300 death over yesterday’s report.  The world death toll now stands at 510,837, an increase of about 6000 from yesterday.

Readership on this site continues low: the views of the site are about a third of what they were a few years ago.

Stuff that happened on July 1 includes:

Darwin wasn’t there, of course. Here’s the beginning of those papers. I still maintain that Wallace’s theory was one of group selection, and Darwin hit on natural selection more accurately than did Wallace, though both envisioned the way selection operates:

Oddly, in his annual report for 1858, the President of the Linnean society said this: “The year which has passed… has not, indeed, been marked by any of those striking discoveries which at once revolutionise, so to speak, the department of science on which they bear.” That was a spectacular misstatement!

  • 1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Gettysburg begins.
  • 1881 – The world’s first international telephone call is made between St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, and Calais, Maine, United States.
  • 1903 – Start of first Tour de France bicycle race.
  • 1908 – SOS is adopted as the international distress signal.
  • 1931 – Wiley Post and Harold Gatty become the first people to circumnavigate the globe in a single-engined monoplane aircraft.

Here are Post and Gatty in that plane:

  • 1963 – ZIP codes are introduced for United States mail.
  • 1980 – “O Canada” officially becomes the national anthem of Canada.
  • 2007 – Smoking in England is banned in all public indoor spaces.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1804 – George Sand, French author and playwright (d. 1876)
  • 1818 – Ignaz Semmelweis, Hungarian-Austrian physician and obstetrician (d. 1865)
  • 1941 – Twyla Tharp, American dancer and choreographer
  • 1952 – Dan Aykroyd, Canadian actor, producer, and screenwriter
  • 1961 – Diana, Princess of Wales (d. 1997)

Remember Akroyd’s parody of Julia Child on Saturday Night Live?

Those who checked out on July 1 include:

  • 1896 – Harriet Beecher Stowe, American author and activist (b. 1811)
  • 1925 – Erik Satie, French pianist and composer (b. 1866)
  • 1997 – Robert Mitchum, American actor (b. 1917)
  • 2004 – Marlon Brando, American actor and director (b. 1924)

And in honor of one of Brando’s great (and late) roles, here he is as Vito Corleone discussing, on his daughter’s wedding day, a request from one of his “constituents”. It is a very great scene, and note the cat. (The “service” that the guy, a funeral director, performed was making Sonny’s body presentable after he was shot to bits.)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili makes fun of Szaron’s difficulty in jumping up to the windowsill. As Malgorzata says, “Szaron falls off very often. It’s quite obvious that when he jumps he doesn’t know how high things are. But sometimes he manages to get there.”

Hili: Can a cat be a poor mathematician?
A: Why do you ask?
Hili: Because Szaron cannot calculate even the height of the window sill.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy kot może być kiepskim matematykiem?
Ja: Dlaczego pytasz?
Hili: Bo Szaron nie umie nawet obliczyć na jakiej wysokości jest parapet okna.

And in nearby Wloclawek, Mietek smells a new scent (look how big he’s gotten!)

Mietek: I’m not sure I like the smell of lavender.

In Polish: Nie jestem przekonany, czy podoba mi się zapach lawendy.

From Jesus of the Day. This is totally macabre:

From reader Pliny the in Between’s Far Corner Cafe:

A cat meme from Nicole:

From Simon, who says this video a bit long but funny anyway.. It’s amazing that she can’t figure out which side to park the car next to the gas pump. Read the commentary, too. (The tweet seems to have vanished but I’m searching for a replacement.)

Tweets from Matthew.  Dawkins is of course right in his language, but he’s gonna get slammed anyway:

The great comedian, director, and writer Carl Reiner died on Monday at 98. Here’s a tweet, and look at what Dick Van Dyke is doing in the gif!

Matthew took the COVID-19 antibody test and turned out negative. Here’s his tweet about it but crikey, what a bloody job!

This gets the TWEET OF THE MONTH award, even though the month has just begun. Those foxes are not only smiling, but laughing. This requires you to turn the sound up!:

A prescient film about the future from 1947. Everyone’s looking at their mobile devices!

How come I didn’t take this bus? What a cool trip—FURTHUR! (Look at the itinerary and “amenities”.)

Look at the mouth on that nightjar (the yawn is right at the beginning)!


61 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

  1. Regarding food days, months or whatever.. I have just started fermenting my second batch of home-made dill pickles. I was surprised that the first batch worked, and hope for the best for this one. It’s mid-winter, and out house is not warm so it might take a while for them to mature!

  2. I read your daily briefs in my email. Does that make a difference in how many reader are registered? Don’t know anything about how modern technology works.

    1. The views are only counted if you click through and read the post on the website.

      But I’m still convinced that there are now two parallel WEIT versions, one – not the one I see – apparently has Like buttons below the comments. So maybe the page views aren’t being counted properly?

  3. Carl Reiner maybe thought it’s just no longer funny. There is not much to laugh about.

    1. When Trump was elected, Reiner said that it gave him a reason to live: he was going to hold on until he saw Trump out of office. Sadly, he didn’t make it.

  4. A traitor and his accompanying firing squad guards are marching down a muddy dirt road on a miserably rainy day to the execution site. After 20 minutes of walking the prisoner comments “This is a hell of a day to die on.”
    One of his guards replies “Stop complaining, we have to walk back in this shit”.

  5. National Baked Bean Month [JAC: Just one baked bean being celebrated? Which one?]

    Doesn’t matter; I just ate it.

  6. “Readership on this site continues low: the views of the site are about a third of what they were a few years ago.”

    Or more people read in other ways (not clicking on the website) as other ways of reading get better?

        1. Actually in a way, this serves to honor Carl Reiner- Rob is his son.

          Sad to learn about Carl – 98 years – wow!

    1. London-Calcutta — You suppose Cassady could’ve driven the entire route himself, sans shut-eye?

      Wouldn’t’ve bet against him, myself.

  7. A man had eight o’clock reservations at a downtown restaurant. It was nearly eight and he couldn’t find a single parking spot. He circled around the block with no luck. Finally, he called out, “God, please help me find a parking space!” Still no luck. “God, if you give me a parking spot, I’ll go to shul every day.” No spot. “God, I’ll keep kosher!” All of a sudden, right in front of the restaurant, a car pulled out – leaving a large parking space. Eagerly, the man maneuvered into it, while calling out, “Never mind God, I found one!”

    1. He prayer was misdirected. When looking for a spot, one should pray to Asphalta, the patron saint (or goddess, if you want) of parking spaces. The approved invocation is

      “Hail Asphalta full of grace;
      Help me find a parking space.”

      It works like a charm (pun intended).

  8. Brando was an exceptional actor but I believe he must have had an affection for cats based on the actions in that film. On the other hand that was one well trained cat 🐱 I need to watch that film again.

    1. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the cat wasn’t in the script but was a studio ‘mouser’ that happened to wander onto the set. Brando made a fuss of it and the cat attached itself to him. When the time came to film that scene Brando kept it on his knee rather than put it down and risk having it keep interupting filming.

      1. I saw an interview with F.F. Coppola where he said he would never consider giving an actor of Brando’s stature any type of “performance notes.” But he would hand him props from time to time, a nonverbal communication of sorts regarding what Coppola was looking for from a scene. He handed Brando the cat, a stray from the Paramount lot, as one such spur-of-the-moment bit of inspiration.

    2. Before the pandemic, our local theater was playing classics on the big screen every Tuesday. I finally got to see the Godfather the way it was intended and I couldn’t have been happier. I was only 3 when the movie came out and had only seen it on tv. I miss the big screen!

  9. “Readership on this site continues low: the views of the site are about a third of what they were a few years ago.” I’m sad to read this. I started reading it everyday about 3,4 years ago.

  10. I suspect the “resurgence” plot will make more sense when viewed per state – New York will contribute less, Florida, Texas more.

    1. It is interesting that while positive cases are rising quickly, deaths per day/week seem to be dropping steadily from the peak in mid-April.
      This info seems to be omitted from most reporting now.
      It also seems to be taken now for granted that approved activities pose less risk of transmission than unapproved ones.
      From what I have been reading, surveys of contacts in at least Florida and NY have been prohibited from asking whether those testing positive have attended protests. So as simple as that, attending protests cannot be found to be contributing to the spread.

      1. “… deaths per day/week seem to be dropping steadily from the peak in mid-April. “

        No – my suggestion is solely based on deaths per day, as reported on the ihme site. I’d have to look again but anyone is free to check it out, it’s easy to do.

        I recall in particular a clear peak for New York, tapering to a very low death rate.

      2. From what I have been reading, surveys of contacts in at least Florida and NY have been prohibited from asking whether those testing positive have attended protests.

        Which surveys in Florida? Prohibited by whom?And reported where?

  11. On Prof. Cobb’s result: what are the probabilities of the outcomes of this test?

    1. Possibly antibody tests just cover 50 % of infected:

      “People testing negative for coronavirus antibodies may still have some immunity, a study has suggested.

      For every person testing positive for antibodies, two were found to have specific T-cells which identify and destroy infected cells.

      This was seen even in people who had mild or symptomless cases of Covid-19.

      But it’s not yet clear whether this just protects that individual, or if it might also stop them from passing on the infection to others.

      Researchers at the Karolinksa [sic; Karolinska] Institute in Sweden tested 200 people for both antibodies and T-cells.”

      [ ]

      But it’s just a preliminary population study with low N and no repeat.

  12. Werner Heisenberg is driving down the freeway, late for a talk and gets pulled over. The cop says; “Do you know how fast you were going’? Heisenberg replies; “No. But I know where I am.”

    1. (Zero times Infinity) can be anything you want it to be.

      Or alternatively,
      he replies ‘my gadget here says 60 km/hr (the speed limit) , but it won’t even say where we are to within 999 km.’

      I’ve got the constant rather badly estimated when you do this multiplication, to say the least (unless he really was an extraordinarily tiny amount over the limit).

  13. Is it possible that Szaron could have a defective eye? A lack of depth perception might explain his inability to judge distances when jumping.

  14. Could Szaron possibly have a defective eye? A lack of depth perception might explain his inability to accurately judge his jumps.

    1. Ignore the repeat post; the original didn’t appear until I posted the second one.

  15. A priest, a rabbi, and an imam walk into a bar. The barman looks up and asks ‘Is this some kind of joke?”

    1. A priest, a rabbit and an imam walk into a bar. The barman asks the rabbit “What’ll you have?” The rabbit replies “Dunno, I’m only here because of auto-correct”.

      1. A bartender tells a drunk “You’ve had enough. Go home.”

        The drunk goes out and comes right back in again. The bartender says “You’re drunk! Go home!”

        The drunk goes out and comes right back in. The bartender says “I’m not serving you! Go home!”

        The drunk says “Christ! Do you work at every bar in town!?”

  16. Let me add 1867 to your list of anniversaries.

    From Wikipedia. It celebrates the anniversary of July 1, 1867, the effective date of the Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act, 1867), which united the three separate colonies of the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada.

  17. ‘Pretentious? Moi?’ OK it’s well known but is there a joke that’s any shorter?

  18. A farmer in the Yorkshire Dales meets god strolling across the fells, and asks why he’s there. “Working from home today”, replies god.

    Americans reading this might replace Yorkshire with Texas, and the fells with the prairies, since I believe that people from Yorkshire and Texas share similar chauvinistic views about their county/state.

  19. A science nerd walks into a bar and orders a beer, and also orders a beer for the empty stool next to him. Bartender asks “Why did you do that?” Science nerd says “I am a quantum physicist. Because of quantum fluctuations there is a tiny chance that a beautiful woman might materialize next to me.” Bartender says “Why wait for that? Ask that single beautiful woman at the end of the bar to join you.” Science nerd says “What are the chances of that happening?”

  20. ‘ “Respect science, respect nature, respect each other.” I don’t think it has much zing.’

    How about ‘Accept science, Love nature, Respect humanity’, where implicitly the first is ‘accept the truth of science’.

    Maybe still no zing; I’m really, really, really old, almost 12 years older than you, I think!

    1. I was going to say that “Respect science, respect nature, respect each other” could be shortened to “R-E-S-P-E-C-T!”, but I like yours better.

  21. A rabbit hops into a butcher’s and asks the man behind the counter, “Got any carrots?” The man replies, “This is a butcher’s shop. We only sell meat.”

    The next day, the rabbit hops into the same shop and asks, “Got any carrots?” The butcher angrily replies, “I told you yesterday, we only sell meat. If you come here again asking about carrots I’ll nail your ears to the floor!”

    The next day, the rabbit appears again. “Got any nails?”, he asks. “No”, replies the butcher, a little puzzled. “Great!”, says the bunny, “Got any carrots?”

    1. We saw some good jokes here, but this one had my young (6 and 9) kids in a fit of laughter.

  22. The smartphones in 1947 Paris are surprisingly prescient. Even the antennas were a thing on early versions of mobile phones. At the same time, it is kind of obvious. An easy guess?

  23. Did everyone hear about the latest big news in topology? The inscribed square, I think? Check out this old video from 3blue1brown- I haven’t seen such an elegant, clear treatment of a complex problem for a long time!

    Who cares about topology?

  24. Next year is the 500th anniversary of the conquest of Mexico by Cortez. I’m not expecting much celebration down there.

  25. I was once in a greasy spoon which had a prominently displayed sign reading,


    A barefoot guy with a hairy chest and back dropped a menu on my table and said, “Get it yourself.”

  26. In that incidence graph, the new June cases surpass the peaks of mid-April. The daily death numbers will follow suit about 2-3 weeks later.
    I note the daily death rate is up to 1000+ again, after a period of 3-400/d.
    And yes, this is probably due to relaxing measures too much too early.

    1. “And yes, this is probably due to relaxing measures too much too early.”

      It could easily be that states like Florida and Texas were slow to do anything and even then we’re not as aggressive as states like New York, because not every state is showing an average increase in cases.

  27. I read all the posts every day. Don’t know why everyone doesn’t.

    Man walks into a bar, takes his hat off, and reveals a toad on top of his head. The barman says ‘Hey, where d’ye get that?’ The toad replies ‘Would you believe it started out as a wart on my arse?’

  28. Physicists think they have all the questions.

    Chemists think they have all the solutions.

    Biologists are just cell mates.

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