Sunday: Hili dialogue

It’s the Christian sabbath: Sunday, August 9, 2020, and National Rice Pudding Day. I have a serious weakness for good rice pudding, the best specimen of which is at L’Ami Jean in Paris. It used to be served in a large bowl that held about a gallon, and it was à volonté, or eat as much as you want, accompanied by side bowls of praline, candied fruit, jam, and other toppings. No more. Now you get a lame individual portion with a few nuts on top. It is this niggardly service, among other things, that has made me vow never to return to what was once my favorite restaurant in Paris.

Here’s their rice pudding ten years ago, when I first had this ethereal version of that dish:

It’s also Book Lovers Day (that’s all of us, I think), National Hand Holding Day (not this year), Gay Uncles Day (the site says Gay Uncles are also called “guncles”), and a UN holiday: International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. 

Finally, it’s the 75th anniversary of the explosion of the “Fat Man” atomic bomb over Nagasaki. See below.

News of the day: In possible violation of the Constitution, which reserves this kind of spending for the Congress, Trump has signed an executive order providing emergency relief after the latest pandemic-relief bill expired.  The House and Senate couldn’t agree on a compromise bill.

The U.S has now passed 5 million coronavirus cases—putting us way ahead in the world count, including among nations more populous.  Brazil is number 2, but with about three million, and India is third with two million. The NYT adds that we’re eighth in per capita cases, between Oman and Peru.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 161,964, an increase of about 1000 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 725,302, an increase of about 6200 deaths from yesterday.

Stuff that happened on August 9 includes:

Curiously, the name “Edison” isn’t mention in the Wikipedia article on telegraphy.

  • 1907 – The first Boy Scout encampment concludes at Brownsea Island in southern England.
  • 1936 – Summer Olympic Games: Games of the XI Olympiad: Jesse Owens wins his fourth gold medal at the games.
  • 1945 – World War II: Nagasaki is devastated when an atomic bombFat Man, is dropped by the United States B-29 Bockscar. Thirty-five thousand people are killed outright, including 23,200–28,200 Japanese war workers, 2,000 Korean forced workers, and 150 Japanese soldiers.

Here’s a video of “Fat Man” exploding over Nagasaki:

  • 1965 – Singapore is expelled from Malaysia and becomes the only country to date to gain independence unwillingly.
  • 1969 – Followers of Charles Manson murder pregnant actress Sharon Tate (wife of Roman Polanski), coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Polish actor Wojciech Frykowski, men’s hairstylist Jay Sebring and recent high-school graduate Steven Parent.
  • 1974 – As a direct result of the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon becomes the first President of the United States to resign from office. His Vice President, Gerald Ford, becomes president.

Although I put up a video of Nixon announcing his resignation yesterday, it was effective only as of August 9.  Here’s the official letter, sent to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Note the Kissinger annotated it when he received it:


  • 2014 – Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American male in Ferguson, Missouri, was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer after reportedly assaulting the officer and attempting to steal his weapon, sparking protests and unrest in the city.
  • 2019 – 220 million trees are planted in one day in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1593 – Izaak Walton, English writer (d. 1683)
  • 1921 – Ernest Angley, American evangelist and author

I used to watch Angley on television as he was so bizarre, and his wig was terrible. And he’s still alive! (He was brought down because, after a lifetime of preaching that homosexuality was a sin, he admitted to sexual relations with males.) Have a short gander at this:

  • 1922 – Philip Larkin, English poet and novelist (d. 1985)
  • 1938 – Rod Laver, Australian tennis player and coach
  • 1963 – Whitney Houston, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress (d. 2012)
  • 1968 – Gillian Anderson, American-British actress, activist and writer
  • 1985 – Anna Kendrick, American actress and singer

I’m surely not the only man enamored of Ms. Kendrick. Here’s her famous scene singing “When I’m Gone” from the movie Pitch Perfect:

Those whose lives were extinguished on August 9 include:

Comment not needed:

Nobody could paint meat like Soutine. Here’s his “Carcass of Beef” (1925):

  • 1962 – Hermann Hesse, German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1877)
  • 1969 – Sharon Tate, American model and actress (b. 1943)
  • 1969 – C. F. Powell, English physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1903)
  • 1995 – Jerry Garcia, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1942)
  • 2003 – Gregory Hines, American actor, dancer, and choreographer (b. 1946)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is lolling in the sun:

Hili: It’s summer, I have to sunbathe.
A: Don’t lie in the sun too long, you could get a headache.
In Polish:
Hili: Jest lato muszę się poopalać.
Ja: Ale nie leż za długo na słońcu, bo cię głowa rozboli.
And here’s a wonderful picture of Szaron and baby Kulka sleeping together. They are the best of friends now! According to Malgorzata, the Polish caption “Poduszkowce”, is a pun:
It’s a not very good pun. “Poduszkowiec” means really a hovercraft. But “poduszka” means “pillow”. These two cats are lying on a pillow and Szaron is using Kulka as a pillow, so they are two “poduszkowce”.
In Polish: Poduszkowce.

Here’s an illusion from Facebook. Nothing is moving here: it’s a picture. And try scrolling the page up and down.

From Bruce:

From Jesus of the Day:

From reader Ken, who captions this, “Antifa umbrella repeatedly attacks Dear Leader.”

From Barry, who says, “Guys, take it outside! Oh wait. . . you’re already outside.”

Tweets from Matthew. The first is for World Cat Day (yesterday); Matthew explains, “Ladybird books are small, illustrated UK kids’ books. Strong nostalgic element.”  I like the cats’ names:

A very good question!

This is what Twitter is best at. Forget the squabbling!

Laura Helmuth is editor-in-chief of Scientific American, and has some good news about evolution education in America:

Do NOT cross a possum:

The link to the paper, and a nice animation, are in the second tweet, and there’s an article about this paper in The New York Times.

30 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. Fortunately, Jerry, rice pudding is ridiculously easy to make, and can be as rich and delicious as your imagination desires. I gave up using the traditional oven method my mother taught me years ago when I bought a Zojirushi rice cooker. With a little effort it can be fooled into making perfect creamy rice pudding. The most-hardened bachelor can easily do it, and it’s cheaper than going to France!

  2. The “No Geese” sign is likely for the people who buy young goslings (for Easter, school projects, birthdays, gags, etc.) and tire of them as adults, so they look for a place to “set them free”.

  3. “The House and Senate couldn’t agree on a compromise bill.”

    Don’t blame the House. The Senate Republicans couldn’t agree with themselves to the point of coming up with a version to send to conference with the House. And of course Moscow Mitch refused to bring the House version up for a vote.

    1. Some say that the whole brouhaha was cooked up by Senate Republicans so that Trump could issue his executive order (some aspects questionable in this instance) to bolster his chances of re-election to erode congressional powers and to begin his campaign to destroy social security.

      1. I think that gives too much credit to the Republican senators. Not that they wouldn’t destroy Social Security in a heartbeat, but they are simply too cacophonous a caucus to agree on anything and as a group they have no commitment to competent governance at all.

      2. Here’s an excerpt from a NYT article which pretty much summarizes the problems with Trump’s EO.

        Even conservative groups have warned that suspending payroll tax collections is unlikely to translate into more money for workers. An executive action seeking to essentially create a new unemployment benefit out of thin air will almost certainly be challenged in court. And as Mr. Trump’s own aides concede, the orders will not provide any aid to small businesses, state and local governments or low- and middle-income workers.

        If the actions signal the death of a congressional deal to provide that aid, economists warn, the economy will limp toward November without the fiscal support that hastened its recovery after its quick dive into a pandemic-induced recession.

        1. As usual, Trump only cares about how a move looks to his stupid followers. Taking action, regardless of how foolish or illegal, will be taken by his tribe as “Trump takes charge and helps us.” Our only hope is that some of his followers are starting to wise up.

          I think there’s another possible reason for Trump’s EOs. I believe the Dems have made support for the USPS part of their demands. As Trump is trying hard to cripple the USPS to interfere with voting by mail, taking things out of the hands of Congress (or delaying them with confusion) allows his war on the USPS to continue. He knows that every week that goes by without help getting to the USPS makes it more likely to be a problem in November. Ironically, USPS trouble may hurt his voters more than help them. Of course, it hurts democracy which is the main point.

    2. The MSM doesn’t report this correctly either. They always say “Congress” can’t agree, when it’s Senate Republicans who can’t agree. And they never mention the House “Heroes Act” was past 3 months ago and sent to die in McConnell’s graveyard. Goddamn I hate how politics is reported in the poisonous era of Trump.

  4. For someone who’s a bit of a grammar nerd like me, that’s a great sign, even better than “Eats Shoots and Leaves”, the title of the well-known pop book on punctuation. Would not have expected it at a lumber yard.

    1. I read that many food historians believed rice pudding originated in China since they had an ancient rice culture, but nowadays historians believe it originated in India because they had an ancient rice AND sugar culture. I agree with you and Jerry though, it’s delightful. Though I’ve never had an Indian version. That’s one thing I miss about not living in Northern California anymore- not many good Indian restaurants around here in Western Washington. They were ubiquitous in the Bay Area. Hell, even a strip mall would have better Indian food than “fancy” restaurants in Seattle. (Though to be fair, I haven’t eaten at a lot of Seattle’s touted Indian restaurants.)

      1. The Indian version often has a few small pieces of nut and cardamom seeds. Otherwise, by my taste it is identical to the British and American versions. The kind I like best, which is usually only in homemade versions, is when it is baked and has a crust on top. I don’t remember seeing that done in restaurants as it’s probably hard to do when they make it in large batches.

      2. I would expect Seattle to have excellent Indian food as Microsoft, Amazon, and other tech companies employ so many immigrants from India and pay them well.

        I’m lucky to live near Southern California’s Little India in Artesia. Just a 15-minute drive to some excellent Indian places and some of the more regional dishes. I’m a big fan of dosa.

        1. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Seattle has some places that would knock my socks off, I just haven’t taken the time to look.

          Cardamom/nuts would greatly enhance a rice pudding imo.

          Dosa! I’ve always wondered what a dosa filled with mu shu pork would taste like. Something I’ve thought about making. I bet it’d be stupendous. I love fusion (sorry Bourdain); Korean tacos with bulgogi and kim-chee are frickin’ amazing. I could go on. 🙂

          1. I’m leery of most attempts at fusion cuisine but I’m usually willing to give them a try. I find the classics, well-executed, are hard to beat. I’d try a mu-shu pork dosa as I like both of its culinary parents.

        2. I meant to add, yes, you are lucky. You’ve mentioned here a lot of the food available in your locale, and I’ve taken notice. I lived in L.A. (the valley) for a year or so in ’89. Damn, if I still don’t miss some of the Mexican restaurants I frequented. Just little holes in the wall that were unbelievable. I’ve still never had a birria like this one a grandmother made, not even close. I’ve actually stopped ordering it if I see it on a menu because I’m always disappointed. Spoiled me 😉

          1. I haven’t had birria made by anyone’s grandmother but I have had quite a few birria tacos lately. They come with a cup of the gravy to dunk them in. I love them.

            We do pretty well with any kind of Asian, Mexican, and South American foods but not so well with European cuisines as on the east coast. There are many Italian restaurants but most are pretty bad.

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