Friday: Hili dialogue

Welcome to the end of the “work week”: Friday, July 17, 2020: National Peach Ice-Cream Day (why the hyphen?). It’s also World Emoji Day, World Day for International Justice, and IInternational Firgun Day.

News of the day: Good news! Despite the cancellation of the Minnesota State Fair, the tradition of sculpting the state’s dairy princess out of a 90-pound block of chilled butter will continue! Here’s a picture from the 2018 fair:

Crikey! Russian hackers are targeting firms in Canada, the U.S. and the UK to steal information about coronavirus vaccine research. This doesn’t endanger public health, but does impact the financial incentives for companies making vaccines. This is on top of the recent Twitter hacking of Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, Jeff Bezos, and Kim Kardashian West.

Is Joe Biden moving to the Left while still selling himself as a moderate? Read this take.

Bad news: The U.S. broke the record for new coronavirus cases yesterday, with more than 75,600 reported. That is a huge number! Also, India has hit a million cases, third only to the U.S. and Brazil in total infections and new infections per day. We are in deep doo-doo.

The governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, in a spectacular feat of foot-in-mouth, sued Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance because she required masks in the city, an order that, says Kemp, violates his own order that masks are encouraged but cannot be required by cities and counties. Good optics, Kemp! Why do you insist on endangering people?

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 138,268, an increase of about 1000 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 589,568, a big increase of about 5500 deaths from yesterday.

Stuff that happened on July 17 includes:

Here’s the second-ever recreation of that event:

  • 1762 – Catherine II becomes tsar of Russia upon the murder of Peter III of Russia.
  • 1867 – Harvard School of Dental Medicine is established in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the first dental school in the U.S. that is affiliated with a university.
  • 1918 – Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his immediate family and retainers are executed by Bolshevik Chekists at the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
  • 1918 – The RMS Carpathia, the ship that rescued the 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic, is sunk off Ireland by the German SM U-55; five lives are lost.
  • 1938 – Douglas Corrigan takes off from Brooklyn to fly the “wrong way” to Ireland and becomes known as “Wrong Way” Corrigan.

Corrigan claimed he was heading back to California after a flight to New York, but screwed up and crossed the Atlantic instead. He clearly lied, but never publicly admitted it. Here’s the reverse headline in the New York Post celebrating Corrigan’s “achievement”:

  • 1955 – Disneyland is dedicated and opened by Walt Disney in Anaheim, California.
  • 1979 – Nicaraguan dictator General Anastasio Somoza Debayle resigns and flees to Miami, Florida, United States.
  • 1984 – The national drinking age in the United States was changed from 18 to 21.
  • 2018 – Scott S. Sheppard announces that his team has discovered a dozen irregular moons of Jupiter.

How many moons of Jupiter do we know of now? Answer by the black dog at the bottom.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1763 – John Jacob Astor, German-American businessman and philanthropist (d. 1848)
  • 1871 – Lyonel Feininger, German-American painter and illustrator (d. 1956)

Here’s a fein painting by Feininger, whom I consider one of the best artists of modern times. This painting of a church, “Gelmeroda“, was done in 1936:

  • 1894 – Georges Lemaître, Belgian priest, astronomer, and cosmologist (d. 1966)
  • 1898 – Berenice Abbott, American photographer (d. 1991)
  • 1899 – James Cagney, American actor and dancer (d. 1986)

Remember this famous number from the movie “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” in which Cagney plays George M. Cohan:

I don’t know this dude, but he bears my last name—he might even be a distant relative.

Those who crossed the River Styx on July 17 include:

  • 1793 – Charlotte Corday, French murderer (b. 1768)
  • 1887 – Dorothea Dix, American nurse and activist (b. 1802)
  • 1912 – Henri Poincaré, French mathematician, physicist, and engineer (b. 1854)
  • 1918 – Victims of the Shooting of the Romanov family
    • Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia (b. 1901)
    • Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia (b. 1899)
    • Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia (b. 1895)
    • Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna of Russia (b. 1897)
    • Alexandra Fyodorovna of Russia (b. 1872)
    • Aleksei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia (b. 1904)
    • Nikolai II of Russia (b. 1868)
    • Anna Demidova (b. 1878)
    • Ivan Kharitonov (b. 1872)
    • Alexei Trupp (b. 1858)
    • Yevgeny Botkin (b. 1865)

I couldn’t not put up a video of Billie Holiday. Here she is, at the end of her career (she died in 1959), singing “Fine and Mellow”. If you’re a jazz aficionado, you’ll recognize the instrumentalists.

  • 2009 – Walter Cronkite, American journalist and actor (b. 1916)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has settled herself in the basement for a while, probably to avoid Szaron:

A: The basement is dark and damp.
Hili: But uninvited guests don’t come here.
In Polish:
Ja: W piwnicy jest ciemno i wilgotno.
Hili: Ale na ogół nie przychodzą tu nieproszeni goście.

I got this ad for pet food in the mail yesterday. Unfortunately, America’s favorite vet doesn’t know how to spell his own profession—or somebody doesn’t.  Protip: If you’re not absolutely sure how to spell a word, look it up. (Or maybe this is a job I don’t know about, like looking after veterans’ pets. . . )

From Ken, a J. C. Penny teapot that’s caused a furor because it looks like Hitler (see 2013 story from NPR).

From Gregory, the GOP agenda:

A pretty good tweet from Titania:

Sarah Cooper does Trump once again on “How to Immigrate”:

An amusing tweet from cesar about selling footage to CNN versus Fox News:

Tweets from Matthew. This is heartbreaking: look at the expression on the face of that jealous kitty!

Note as well that cats have six ends, and five of them are pointed.

Translation: “This is a male and female mating body individual of Miyaku stag beetle collected by a friend last year This is also a wonderful half & half.” What we have here is a gynandromorph beetle, with the left half being male (big fighting jaws) and the right half female. These can be produced in various ways, but loss of a sex chromosome during development (here it would be during the two-cell stage) is one way. I’m not sure, though, how sex is determined in this species. Anyway, it’s a cool individual.

Caprybaras (the world’s largest rodent) are largely aquatic, but have you seen them underwater? They’re also favorites of the Internet because they’re so chill.

Squish the duckling, who had to be helped out of his shell when he couldn’t hatch properly, is now doing well.

Black D*g says, “There are 79 known moons of Jupiter.”


43 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. Surely, that should be “a J. C. Penny teapot that’s caused a fuhrer”? (Insert Airplane! joke here.)

  2. Biden’s so called move left is really more like moving forward. Getting out of a car crash takes more than campaign rallies.

    1. As long as he steers clear of The Authoritarians, there’s plenty of room for old Uncle Joe (and the nation itself) to maneuver to the Left — on issues like healthcare and the environment and minimum wage and worker and consumer protections and middle-class tax cuts.

      This country’s been stuck in a right-wing rut since the days of Ronald Reagan.

      1. Yes, and this will be the second time in a row the republicans have run everything into a ditch and the democrats left to clean up the mess. I think the idea of minimal government, championed originally by Thomas Jefferson should finally be dead and buried.

  3. The Republican Agenda To Do List needs at least one more category: Keep ‘em Divided. The Republican elite (the business class) retains power by inciting culture wars. The formula is simple and has worked for decades, at least back to Reagan and the southern strategy. Stoke white working class grievances by blaming other races and ethnicities for their woes. Also, blame liberal elites for supposedly trying to destroy their religion and cultural values, such as opposition to abortion. This white populism induces counter responses from the attacked groups. Hence, the culture wars have continued for decades. So, the dominance of culture conflict mutes class conflict since there is no working class movement. Trump is now the elite’s man because he inflames culture conflict and supports their economic agenda. With the culture wars in full bloom, the combatants barely notice or even care that Trump and the Republicans in Congress are working to give even more tax breaks to the rich while shredding the social safety net. For the Republican elites, if it weren’t for that damn pandemic, which has hurt Trump’s re-election chances due to his usual bungling, life would be sweet indeed.

      1. Yes, I should have been clearer. Nixon initiated the southern strategy and was carried on by Reagan. Thanks.

  4. Here’s the second-ever recreation of that event

    The blurb on the Youtube site claims it is the second ever performance which implies it would be the first ever recreation.

  5. I suspect Biden, like most politicians, is trying to appear both centrist and leftish. As this election is mostly a referendum against Trump, he can probably get away with this more easily than in other elections. This also makes him a moving target for Trump. I love that Trump is having trouble making anything stick to Biden. Trump is bound to make more and more outrageous strikes against Biden but everyone outside his cult will ignore our liar-in-chief.

    1. He still has his Senate minions working hard for him, as a Senate committee prepares to authorize subpoenas for current and former advisers to Joe Biden, as part of an investigation into Hunter Biden and his role on the board of Burisma, the Ukranian energy company.

      The subpoenas could be authorized as soon as Wednesday, when the committee holds its next business meeting.

      Desperation moves to try and shore up the reelection effort.

      1. We’re so over Hunter Biden. If that was going to stir up real outrage, it would have done so already. Plus, who comes out on top of a morality battle between candidates’ families? Not Trump.

        1. who comes out on top of a morality battle – I’m imagining the amusing scene in the hearing: after every GOP condemnation, Biden’s team reads from a laundry list of tRump shenanigans. Dole them out 5 or 10 at a time without repeating any. It will be interesting to see if the full list runs out before the hearing is voted adjourned.

  6. I noticed among the 50 musicians on the barge on the Thames, some players were women wearing fashionable curly wigs. I wonder how many women actually played in those early orchestras. Maybe not in the larger venues at all. Perhaps in some smaller groups, there were some.

  7. Received our mail in ballots for the 4 Aug. primary. Since ours are Democratic Ballots there are only 2 persons listed for the Senate seat and one for U.S. Representative. If it were a Republican ballot there would be 9 or 10 persons listed for Senate alone. All of the republican candidates are pro Trump, pro life, pro guns, and pro g*d. Hard to choose which ones to not vote for. Oh yeah, one or two of them also said pro wall.

  8. Jerry, you have capybaras misspelled as “caprybaras”, which brings to mind thoughts of capybaras dressed in Capri pants.

  9. 1979 – Nicaraguan dictator General Anastasio Somoza Debayle resigns and flees to Miami, Florida, United States.

    In the late Eighties, I was living in Coral Gables in a neighborhood that was about 80 or 90% Hispanic (mostly Cuban and Central American and a few South American immigrants). On the weekends, I’d load my older son and his neighborhood buddies in the car and take them down to the playground at the local youth center, to pitch them batting practice, or shoot hoops, or toss around a football (depending on the season) then on to to a nearby 7-11 for slushies. (When I’d tell ’em to let their parents know where they’d be, I’d here them yelling down the street they were going out again “con El Americano“.)

    Most of the kids, I knew mainly by their first names (and most seemed to have common Latino last names like Rodriguez or Garcia). One day, there was some kind of program going on at the youth center that the kids wanted to sign up for, so I had to write all their names down on a list. I went around asking each of them to make sure I had their names and the spellings right. I asked one kid i’d known for a couple years his last name, and he says, “Somoza” (which was also a fairly common name in the neighborhood). Not thinking anything of it, I said something flippant like, “spelled the same way as the vicious right-wing dictator?” The kid looks at me and says, “Yeah, that was my grandfather.”

    I immediately felt like crap for disparaging the poor, innocent kid’s family, but the kid himself didn’t bat an eye or seem to take the slightest offense. The sense of it I got was that his immediately family hadn’t been particularly close to the old man, and that the kid had heard a lot worse said of his late abuelo over the years.

    1. Damn Ken. Your life is much more interesting than average. You might want to consider writing a memoir. I thoroughly enjoy the little bits you’ve related here over the years.

  10. In the “Fine and Mellow” video, Lady Day is missing the customary gardenia in her hair. Among the soloist players, I recognize Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young (in his trademark pork-pie hat) and Gerry Mulligan on sax, and Doc Cheatham and Roy Eldridge on trumpet.

  11. 1. The thing I love about the Wrong Way Corrigan headline is that the Post would have had to make backwards type specifically to do that.

    2. Note to self: capybaras are just hairy, miniature Rhinos.

    3. It’s a heresy as a jazz fan. I know, but I have just never cared for Billie Holiday, neither her style nor her voice. It’s a shame because a lot of her work was done with Teddy Wilson, who I do love. Whenever their music comes on the (satellite) radio, I can identify the band right away. Then I listen to the intro, and change the station.

  12. So has there been any shift in attitudes toward that Tom Cotton op-ed now that we appear to have armed paramilitary brownshirts disappearing Americans on the streets of Portland in accordance with some of the Senator’s wishes?

  13. The story behind this video is that Lester Young had fallen out with Billie Holiday for some reason and was so ill that he nearly got axed from the ensemble but they decided to let him sit in a chair and take a solo. When he took his solo – Gunther Schuller says it’s a masterpiece of understatement and recalls Lester’s earlier greatness before his decline in the 1950s – people in the control room, including Nat Hentoff, who relates this, were crying because they understood that something got repaired between Billie and Lester through his solo, and it’s interesting to watch Billie’s reaction to his solo in this video. They didn’t see each other again and were both dead within a year.

      1. That is a great link. I’ve never seen him work like that. It’s amazing the detail that goes into crafting something like that. And, there’s the funny line when he says, “Yeah, that was my fault.”

      2. Thanks. Watching this, one cannot help feeling a deep sympathy with humans. They are amazing critters.

  14. Today is also the anniversary of the day that Mary Leakey found the first Zinjanthropus skull.

  15. Not only did my father never publicly admit he had flown to Ireland on purpose, he never privately admitted it either – although my brother did say he sort of let it slip out once. Other than that little fib, he really was a pretty truthful person. Last year I gave the plane to the Planes of Fame museum in Chino, CA. Well, I gave them all the parts to the plane; needs a little work. They were going to have a special Wrong Way Corrigan program tomorrow [the 18th], but for obvious reasons, that has been postponed.

    1. Thanks for what seems to be an annual update.

      I have moved from Western Australia to Queensland and having the ocean as a guide my N-S navigation is often 180° worng!

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