Saturday: Hili dialogue

It’s the Jewish sabbath, August 8, 2020: National Frozen Custard Day (it’s kosher). It’s also National Milk Chocolate with Almonds Day, National Ice Cream Sundae Day, National Freezer Pop Day, “Happiness Happens Day“, (not this year!), and, most important, International Cat Day, designed to ” to raise awareness for cats and learn about ways to help and protect them.” Can you imagine how much poorer the world would be without cats? If you wanted a pet, you’d have to get a gerbil, a ferret, a tank of fish, or g*d forbid, a d*g.

Celebrating the day, here’s a cat tweet about The Boss of Downing Street: Larry, the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office (his rival, Palmerston, has just retired to the country):

News of the Day: First, here’s the results of yesterday’s election poll as of 5:30 this morning. Despite a paucity of votes, readers overwhelmingly picked Biden. Fingers crossed!

Jerry Falwell, Jr., the president of straight-laced and Christian Liberty University, not only posted a salacious picture of himself and a woman (not his wife) on Instagram (note unzipped pants and drinkie), but then went on the radio to explain it (below). He’s just taken an indefinite leave of absence.

Talks have broken down between Democrats and Republicans in Congress trying to hammer out an economic stimulus package for the pandemic. I didn’t expect this to happen.

Loyola University in Chicago is going to fully online classes and closing its residence halls for the coming semester. On top of the Chicago Public Schools going to complete virtual instruction, it doesn’t look good for the University of Chicago, which is proceeding with a “hybrid” model of teaching and students living in dorms (there will be severe adjustments: one person per room, takeaway meals, and so on. But an ER doctor at the University Hospital told me today they’re not set up if an infection spread among the students.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 160,977, an increase of about 1400 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 719,164, an increase of about 6000 deaths from yesterday.

Stuff that happened on August 8 includes:

  • 1709 – Bartolomeu de Gusmão demonstrates the lifting power of hot air in an audience before the king of Portugal in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • 1786 – Mont Blanc on the French-Italian border is climbed for the first time by Jacques Balmat and Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard.

Here’s Mont Blanc (4808 m high):

  • 1863 – American Civil War: Following his defeat in the Battle of Gettysburg, General Robert E. Lee sends a letter of resignation to Confederate President Jefferson Davis (which is refused upon receipt).
  • 1876 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for his mimeograph.
  • 1908 – Wilbur Wright makes his first flight at a racecourse at Le Mans, France. It is the Wright Brothers’ first public flight.

Here’s a one-minute video of that public flight:

  • 1942 – Quit India Movement is launched in India against the British rule in response to Mohandas Gandhi’s call for swaraj or complete independence.
  • 1963 – Great Train Robbery: In England, a gang of 15 train robbers steal £2.6 million in bank notes.
  • 1969 – At a zebra crossing in London, photographer Iain Macmillan takes the iconic photo that becomes the cover image of the Beatles‘ album Abbey Road.

According to Wikipedia, there were six versions of the photo, with the fifth being used (photo below):

First Photo: John leads the group from left to right followed by Ringo, Paul, and George. They kept this order throughout all the photos. There is a Mercedes pulling out of the studio behind them. John is looking away from the camera and Paul and George are in mid step. Paul is wearing sandals.
Second Photo: They walk back in the same order. Good spacing but only John has a full step.
Third Photo: Left to right again, full steps this time but they are all too far left. There is now a traffic backup. There are a taxi, two vans, and a double-decker bus waiting to come forward. Paul is now barefoot.
Fourth Photo: Walking right to left, Paul, Ringo, and George all in mid-step. The traffic has gone through but the bus has stopped to watch.
Fifth Photo: This photo was used for the cover of the album and is the only photo where we see Paul smoking and the only one with their legs in perfect formation. The three men on the left above Paul’s head are Alan Flanagan, Steve Millwood, and Derek Seagrove. They were interior decorators returning from a lunch break. On the right side between John and Ringo’s head is Paul Cole, an American tourist.
Sixth Photo: Ringo is slightly too far behind John. The bus has turned around to leave.

Here it is:

Here is the moment that made us so happy 46 years ago today:

  • 1988 – The first night baseball game in the history of Chicago’s Wrigley Field (game was rained out in the fourth inning).
  • 1990 – Iraq occupies Kuwait and the state is annexed to Iraq. This would lead to the Gulf War shortly afterward.

Notables born on this day include:

Not well known, Henson was an African-American, born to sharecroppers, who accompanied Peary on many of his polar journeys, and in fact said that he was the first of the two to reach the North Pole (researchers are now dubious that anybody reached the Pole on that day). Here’s Henson:

Here’s a photo of Zapata from Wikipedia, labeled “Zapata in his characteristic large sombrero and his staff in all manner of hats.” He’s sitting in front (middle), and talk about xenophobic stereotypes!

Those who went belly-up on August 8 include:

  • 1975 – Cannonball Adderley, American saxophonist (b. 1928)
  • 1985 – Louise Brooks, American actress (b. 1906)

Brooks was the archetypal flapper, known for her dark bobbed hair. Her most famous film, critically celebrated, was the salacious “Pandora’s Box” (1929). The whole movie is on YouTube, and I’ve put it below:

  • 2004 – Fay Wray, Canadian-American actress (b. 1907)
  • 2013 – Karen Black, American actress (b. 1939)
  • 2017 – Glen Campbell, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (b. 1936)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is sleeping, but pretending not to:

A: Are you asleep?
Hili: No, I’m sorting my thoughts.
In Polish:
Ja: Śpisz?
Hili:, Nie, sortuję myśli.

And a picture of kitten Kulka romping in the yard.

Caption: Kulka put out to pasture.

In Polish: Kulka na wypasie.

From Bruce:

A useful poster from Nicole:

From Bad Cat Clothing:

A tweet from Barry. What the deuce is this all about?

A tweet from reader Roger and some welcome pushback against Poland’s conservative and Catholic-loving government:

Tweets from Matthew. First, a science update in a minute and a half:

This price is nearly twice what Pfizer will charge, and even that’s considered too high. Remember, taxpayers paid for the development of this vaccine through government funding:

If Germans weren’t obsessed with being naked outside, this embarrassing chase wouldn’t have happened. For more details, go here (h/t: j.j.)

Some day I must see one of these, but it’s hard to get permission. They’re the world’s only flightless parrot, and have been moved to an island to keep predators away:

Well, this is depressing:

An earwig taking of in slow motion. What a fantastic way to store the wings! Automatic translation:

“”The back wing of the Earwig” The flexibility to fold it compactly and the toughness that can withstand the load during flight should conflict with each other, but the flying-type earwig has achieved excellent compatibility. A recent study revealed that there is a protein called resilin inside the fold, which plays an important role.”


44 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. “What the deuce is this all about?”

    Harry Potter reference. Mail is delivered by owls. (I will avoid any references to the current management of USPS in regard to this)

      1. Ah. My misunderstanding. I am used to people not having a clue about the references.

        Why the owl has the letter is one I can not answer, other than in the general sense that it is not improbable that somewhere, sometime, that an owl will pick up a letter, as they pick up many things, and then end up at the window of someone, as they do, that may or may not be the intended recipient.

        The really interesting part to me is that the person had the wherewithal to get good video.. I would have taken the letter then thought “damn! I should have got that on video”, or taken so long getting set up to video it that the owl left.

    1. They were a couple of bicycle mechanics who managed to invent flying and later build airplanes. Overrated you think? Why do you think they were in France showing their aircraft? Because no one wanted anything to do with it in America. Overrated would apply to your comment as well. Read some history.

      1. Strong words: put up then, what exactly do you object to? The attempt of an argument you provide makes little sense: the Wright‘s are best-known pioneers of flight, whereas nobody knows the names of those who preceded them.

        1. The Gustav Weißkopf/Whitehead Wikipedia article you linked to is interesting, but his achievements don’t seem to be definitively proven?

          1. After a controversy with the Smithsonian, the Wright Flyer became an integral part of their collection, and item of national pride. The history of flight is influenced by their marketing concerns ever since, hence I made my remark. I see nothing contradictory presented by Mr Schenck, except that he‘s clearly upset about this (but hasn‘t come around to say why).

        2. Just the idea that you apparently did not understand my comment is enough. How much the Wright Brothers may be thought of compared to others is nothing but public opinion. It is also part of history whether you believe it or not. I do not talk down about other early pioneers; that is more to your area of expertise.

          The Wright Brothers spent years after their first successful flights attempting to gain interest by American companies and the military. They finally dismantled their plane, crated it up and sailed to Europe to try again. I see nothing over hyped about that.

              1. I did not even express any opinion on whether Aneris claim is true or not. You did not understand what Aneris said and you did not understand what I said either. Whatever, have a nice day.

      1. The great thing is that you can believe that. I don‘t, because their fame was always overbearing compared to all the other innovators and pioneers who risked life and limb, and who are virtually unknown to the lay person. In addition, their fame comes from a time when their invention was undisputed. But today this is a bit of a controversy, and not between some loons, hence, they are overrated. Overrated does not mean they don‘t deserve credit, it means overrated.

        1. Yes, I’ll believe it because it’s true. The Wright brothers invented modern powered flight. They were the first people to put together a scientifically designed aero foil, a good engine and critically a good method of controlling the plane in all three axes. They are deservedly credited with inventing the aeroplane and that’s the end of it.

    1. If his wife was taking this picture I can’t see annything wrong with it. Kind of cute.

  2. Earwigs are so good at hiding their wings I’m afraid I had thought them flightless.
    Next problem for researchers: where did the belief that they like to crawl into ears come from and why is it so widespread?
    Incidentally, I did once get called to the ER one night to see a lady who felt she had an insect in her ear and decided the hose of a vacuum cleaner should do the trick. Sadly she sucked out most of the structures of her middle ear. I have also removed a big black garden beetle from an ear, but never an earwig.

  3. Why is it wrong for a for-profit company to make a profit for a vaccine? Moderna does not work for our government, they work for their stockholders. If they can not profit, then they soon cease to be able to make beneficial products. This is how capitalism works.

    1. In this case, because they were contracted by the government, and funded, to develop the vaccine. They took no risk. (483M in april, for a start, plus what they accrued in the stock bump that provided)

      In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with them making a profit, but this is, essentially, a contract for service. If they fail to develop a vaccine that passes, no foul. They took profit from the grant. But this is a contract job. Again, it is a contract job. The DO work for the government, here.

      Imagine if, for example, a company was contracted to move equipment for the military. They move the equipment, and they get paid. This is better. If they find that they can’t move the equipment because they own too much stock in competing firms, they still get paid. Oh, sorry. I said I wasn’t going to mention the postal service management.

  4. The legs are NOT in formation in the famous Abbey Road photograph. McCartney is out of step with his right leg forward whereas the rest have their left legs forward. This was supposedly a clue in the ridiculous “Paul McCartney is dead” speculation.

  5. When Paul Dirac was quite old and living in Florida, one of the great pleasures he had in life was going out boating with a good friend. His wife was very protective of him and finally decided he should not go out anymore and kept him from going out or seeing his good friend. Thus, he died a lonely man. Sad end to a remarkable life.

    1. That is very sad. Her protectiveness sounds pathological.

      If Merilee is reading this she should know that Dirac criticized Oppenheimer because O liked poetry. He is quoted as saying “The aim of science is to make difficult things understandable in a simpler way; the aim of poetry is to state simple things in an incomprehensible way. The two are incompatible.” Dirac’s distaste for poetry was shared by Plato and Muhammad.

      Dirac would probably have blown a gasket if he knew that Oppenheimer was fond of Dr. Seuss!

      1. Yes, according to the biographer I read, his wife was a strange lass, and she loved the fame that went with being the wife of a well known scientist. I didn’t know the poetry comment.

    2. For some unaccountable reason I’ve been reading about Dirac for a couple of weeks. Perhaps you can clarify this: In Wikipedia I read that one of the things Einstein wrote about Dirac was “I don’t understand Dirac at all (Compton effect)” When I read about the Compton effect, insofar as I can understand it (admittedly, not much), it seemed to me that Einstein was using it metaphorically to describe the effect Dirac had on Einstein. Perhaps I’m wrong but if not, I think that was a very fine metaphor.

      1. I am not equipped to be of any help here. I only remember Dirac was considered a remarkably fine mathematician and physicist. He made critical advances in the science. But, he was very stubborn and went to his grave holding on to some disproved ideas. He spoke at his Nobel award ceremony and detailed many ideas that were already outdated.

        1. “He spoke at his Nobel award ceremony…”? From Wikipedia: “His colleagues in Cambridge jokingly defined a unit called a “dirac”, which was one word per hour.” Must have been a very long speech.

          After watching the video in “Hili Dialog” of the Kakapo walking, perhaps a similar unit of rate of taking a step could be called a kakapo.

    3. I heard that Dirac’s wife had so many traits that were opposite to his own that it could be said that he married his own anti-particle.

      1. Hard to blame him. She was said to be charming and lovely, which he was not. Good balance. At least superficially.

  6. Fun fact:

    The British band Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD) wrote a song in 1991 about Louise Brooks and the Film Pandora’s vox

Comments are closed.