Wednesday: Hili dialogue

August 26, 2020 • 6:30 am

Good morning on a Hump Day:  Wednesday, August 26, 2020. The weather for the next two days is predicted to be the hottest of the year: highs of 92° F (33.3° C).  Then we’ll have dramatic cooling. I worry about my ducks.

By the way, we’re totally out of “photos of readers.” If people don’t send them in, the feature will disappear.

It’s a lousy food holiday, too: National Cherry Popsicle Day.  And it’s also National Toilet Paper Day (we’ll all celebrate by using this once hard-to-find item). If you find bogroll humdrum, you might want to get one of these standalone t.p. holders. I have one, whom I’ve named Rollo, and he’s a source of great merriment to visitors. Note the speculum, yellow bill with “key” at the tip, and the leg band. (h/t: David).

I have to mention, against my will, that it’s National D*g Day (in fact, the period now is called “the d*g days”). Dom sent a d*g photo to celebrate the day. The creature below is a Skye Terrior, which Wikipedia describes as “one of the most endangered dog breeds in the United Kingdom.”

And reader Paul sent this evolution-themed poster from the UK Humanists:

Finally, it’s Women’s Equality Day in the U.S., celebrating the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment that guaranteed women the right to vote.  That was in 1920—a hundred years ago today.

News of the Day: I GOT A HAIRCUT! Here’s what it looks like now:

And for comparison, yesterday. I think I lost a few pounds of hair:

Some good news: an Israeli drone was used to deliver food to the single-parent chick of an endangered bird, the Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), whose mother was electrocuted. There was also virtual-reality control of the drone to ensure precision delivery of the carrion, and the chick has now fledged and is on its way. (The species is endangered in Israel). Here’s the chick eating the dropped food:

Xtend’s drone drops food to an orphaned vulture chick in Israel. Photo courtesy of Israel Raptor Nest Cam

This just in: after another questionable police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, riots (and looting) have been taking place over the past few days, and now there’s a report of gunfire and shootings, with two people killed and one injured.

After waffling a bit, Jerry Falwell Jr. has finally resigned as President of Liberty University, as well as chancellor and member of the board of directors. He did not go gentle, or in a seemly way:

Appropriating Martin Luther King Jr.’s final words from iconic his I Have A Dream speech, Falwell told NPR’s Sarah McCammon that he is stepping down from his role at the university in Lynchburg, Va., saying he is “free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty, I am free at last!”

“That’s the way, I feel,” the 58-year-old added.

I can’t be arsed to watch the Republican National Convention, but for some reason people are excited to hear Melania Trump’s speech tonight. I actually feel sorry for her, as I don’t think she bargained for what she got when she married the world’s most prominent narcissist. One thing is for sure, she’ll be attacked no matter what she says. I predict that after Donald is defeated in November and leaves the White House in January, she’ll leave him.

More outbeaks of coronavirus on college campuses: the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa has experienced 531 students testing positive in just the last week. USC and Iowa State have also reported outbreaks. 

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 178,410, a big increase of about 1200 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 818,827, another large increase of about 6,700 deaths from yesterday. 

Stuff that happened on August 26 includes:

  • 1542 – Francisco de Orellana crosses South America from Guayaquil on the Pacific coast to the mouth of the Amazon River on the Atlantic coast.
  • 1768 – Captain James Cook sets sail from England on board HMS Endeavour.

This was Cook’s first voyage; it lasted three years and, during it, he encountered both Australia and New Zealand.

There are no photographs of that eruption, which, along with the tsunamis created, killed at least 36,000 people, but here’s the volcano erupting in 2018 in a much milder way:

See above.

The two photos below are disturbing, but both are famous and I decided to show them. It shows the mobile killing squads of Germans (“Einsatzgruppen”) executing Polish Jews, one holding a baby.

(From Wikipedia) Executions of Jews by German army mobile killing units (Einsatzgruppen) near Ivangorod Ukraine. The photo was mailed from the Eastern Front to Germany and intercepted at a Warsaw post office by a member of the Polish resistance collecting documentation on Nazi war crimes. The original print was owned by Tadeusz Mazur and Jerzy Tomaszewski and now resides in Historical Archives in Warsaw. The original German inscription on the back of the photograph reads, “Ukraine 1942, Jewish Action [operation], Ivangorod.”
Caption from Wikipedia: A member of Einsatzgruppe D is about to shoot a man sitting by a mass grave in Vinnytsia, Ukraine in 1942. Present in the background are members of the German Army, the German Labor Service, and former Hitler Youth.[10] The back of the photograph is inscribed “The last Jew in Vinnitsa”

And here’s a tweet about that sent by Matthew, an expert on the liberation of Paris. The story of Georges Dukson is told in Matthew’s excellent book, Eleven Days in August. 

  • 1977 – The Charter of the French Language is adopted by the National Assembly of Quebec
  • 2009 – Kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard is discovered alive in California after being missing for over 18 years.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1743 – Antoine Lavoisier, French chemist and biologist (d. 1794)
  • 1880 – Guillaume Apollinaire, Italian-French author, poet, playwright, and critic (d. 1918)
  • 1882 – James Franck, German physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1964)
  • 1901 – Jimmy Rushing, American singer and bandleader (d. 1972)

Rushing sang with the Basie band for 13 years, and was known as “Mr. Five by Five” because of his girth. Here’s a sample:

  • 1904 – Christopher Isherwood, English-American author and academic (d. 1986)
  • 1910 – Mother Teresa, Macedonian-Indian nun, missionary, Catholic saint, and Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1997)
  • 1949 – Leon Redbone, Canadian-American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (d. 2019)

Those who joined the Choir Invisible on August 26 include:

  • 1666 – Frans Hals, Dutch painter and educator (b. 1580)
  • 1723 – Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Dutch microscopist and biologist (b. 1632)
  • 1910 – William James, American psychologist and philosopher (b. 1842)
  • 1974 – Charles Lindbergh, American pilot and explorer (b. 1902)
  • 2004 – Laura Branigan, American singer-songwriter and actress (b. 1952)
  • 2018 – Neil Simon, American playwright and author (b. 1927)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili helps with the shopping. I bet the list has “cream” on it!

A: I’m going shopping.
Hili: Wait, I will make you a list.
In Polish:
Ja: Idę na zakupy.
Hili: Zaczekaj, zrobię ci listę.
And Kulka, a very active and curious kitten, climbed the lilac bush:

Jon offers a cartoon; he notes that “Stephan Pastis may have inadvertently (or intentionally) offered a motto for HuffPost.”

A cat poem from reader Blue:

From Jesus of the Day, a psychedelic Ceiling Cat. Don’t look at it too long. . . .


Two tweets from Barry. First, multiple breaching!

Look at the athleticism of that cat!

From reader Ken: more bizarre mishigass from Jerry Falwell, Jr. (he’s just officially resigned from the presidency and board of directors of Liberty University):

Tweets from Matthew.

As the New York Times link says about this bomb:

[It was] 3,333 times as destructive as the weapon used on Hiroshima, Japan, and also far more powerful than the 15 megaton weapon set off by the United States in 1954 in its largest hydrogen bomb blast.

And here’s the 30-minute documentary for your viewing pleasure. There are English subtitles.

This is a heartwarming story, but given that this woman spent much of the war in a Russian camp in Siberia, it’s questionable whether she can be called a “Holocaust survivor”, a term I’d use for Jews who lived under Nazi occupation, often in ghettos or concentration camps.

Newborn millipedes!

I see Paul took off his sandals. . .


37 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. Bravo for the haircut!

    I mean, even I feel 5 years younger looking at it – that’s a good haircut!

  2. Re: The Holocaust photos from Ukraine.

    The fact that they took photos of these murders shows that they thought they were just fine doing these murders. (If you thought you were committing a crime, would your record it for the prosecution?)

    This is as described in Hitler’s Willing Executioners, by Daniel Goldhagen.

    1. Also, Holocaust by Bullets, written by Fr. Desbois.

      Without going too far in the direction of pedantism, it is interesting that all of the rifles shown are Czech Vz24s.
      I guess they were seized by the Germans after the 1939 invasion, or possibly a pre-war German Police contract.
      It is entirely possible that those same rifles, after being seized by the Soviets, might have ended up in the hands of a Viet Cong, or some other revolutionary cadre somewhere. It is grim subject matter, but interesting to me.

  3. Jerry Falwell is not only now “free” but also rich. The Washington Post reports: “His contract entitles him to a $10.5 million severance package, Falwell, 58, told The Washington Post late Tuesday — in part because he is departing from the university without being formally accused of or admitting to wrongdoing.” How many scholarships could have been offered for this money?

    1. Gee, one might hope that the board would have had a moral turpitude clause in the boiler plate president’s contract … giving cause for tham to can him without reward. And go ahead and defend against his personal lawyers contesting it.

  4. You haircut looks great…clearly done by a professional. I know that it feels so much better. And i am happy that you waited until we had a better idea of risk, spread, and protective measures than we had back in the spring timeframe.

  5. After waffling a bit, Jerry Falwell Jr. has finally resigned as President of Liberty University, as well as chancellor and member of the board of directors. He did not go gentle, or in a seemly way …

    Is it true that, as part of his severance package, Falwell retains the right to sit in the corner and watch as his replacement runs Liberty U?

  6. There are some photos of ghastly, grisly stuff from dark periods of history out there, but a mom holding her child?… there are no words… but … a mom holding her child.

    That it is a beautiful sunny day in a field makes how tragically sickening it is even worse. I actually feel sick and have tears.

    1. Even though it happened nearly eighty years ago, it sears into your soul. And note the wehrmacht, Hitler youth and others watching in the second picture. So much for the German claim that the holocaust was “the work of a sick few and we didn’t know anything about it.”

  7. I can’t be arsed to watch the Republican National Convention, but for some reason people are excited to hear Melania Trump’s speech …

    I fell asleep last night during Melania’s speech in the Rose Garden. I guess maybe because it was like being a little kid again, listening to my grandmother tell me a bedtime story in her Slovenian accent.

    1. Using the grounds for political campaigning would never be done by real politicians but then this is Trump. Even the building they are holding the convention in is a no no. If you are not going to follow the law, why follow traditions of any kind. And the Kansas gas bag speaking from Israel, I won’t even mention.

  8. re. Melania Trump. Does anybody else think it slightly creepy than Donald Jr’s partner, the shouty Kimberly Guilfoyle, is a dead ringer for his step-mother? Weirdly, when she was younger his wife (is she ex-wife yet?), the woman replaced by the step-mother look-alike, bore more than a passing resemblence to Junior’s sister, Ivanka.

      1. Nice.
        Donnie Junior’s method appears to be: don’t act directly on those uncomfortable urges for family members, just find a look-alike – and be damned sure not to call her by the wrong name at *that* moment.

  9. Those whales in Newfoundland – I mean the first two breeches were OK but the last two were just showing off.

  10. I think it’s remarkable that voting rights for woman and the abolition of slavery were executed by the groups that are typically viewed as their opponents (men and whites, respectively).

    I had no idea that “Mr. Five by Five” was written about a specific person. I like the version by Ella Mae Morse.

    1. Since white men held an enormous power advantage in both cases, how could it be otherwise?

      In both cases blacks and women, respectively, had to fight long and hard and, particularly in the case of blacks, endure relentless persecution and violence at the hands of their fellow white / male citizens and by the white male law enforcement and other government agencies.

      I suppose that may be reason to consider that enough white males in the right places deciding that granting blacks and women the same rights they had themselves during a time when they held all the cards was the right thing to do could be considered remarkable. It at least shows that humans are not complete assholes and that is something to be thankful for. But I’m not sure it’s anything to brag about.

    2. In the good old USA, no one did much of anything effective against child labor until 1938, not even the moms. But here, different from women and slaves, children were to be seen and not heard.

  11. 26 August 1920 – 2020

    V O T E, All.

    However one can. Pandemic or not. Derecho or not.
    Women died for this. Likely you did know
    that although … … within NO American History
    classes’ curricula have I ever heard that … …
    ANY of Us All were .actually taught. this f a c t.

    By mail – ballots for Iowans will first
    be sent out upon Monday, 05 October 2020.
    Please fill them out and send them back … …
    right away. Then, at your states’ auditors’ sites
    ( likely ) follow up with tracking
    your completed ballot’s proper receipt.


    1. Thanks for the poem. My cats only catch lizards, and they refuse to share them.

      Vote like your life depended on it.

  12. I predict that after Donald is defeated in November and leaves the White House in January, she’ll leave him.

    She certainly has a restrictive Prenuptial Agreement, so I’m quite sure she will stay with him for the same reason she married him $$$$$$. Oops, forgot that’s also how she got citizenship.

    1. The widespread reporting’s been that when Melania delayed moving into the White House for months after the Donald’s 2017 inauguration — ostensibly so her son Barron could complete the school year in New York — it was actually a power play to renegotiate her prenup.

      I don’t think Melania’s malicious, unlike her husband; she just seems shallow — with little interest beyond fashion and beauty and marrying a rich and famous Yank. But she definitely didn’t figure to be signing on for this shitshow. And I don’t sense a lot of warmth between her and her other half. I’m laying odds the two will be splitsville within a year of the Donald’s taking a powder from the White House in January.

      Plus, the Donald’d probably just as soon trade her in for a younger model. Melania-bot is old now, like Mir space station:

  13. Not sure how effective it would be, but it might be a good idea to send some 8 x 10 glossies of Einsatzgruppen to Sarsour, and her little cadre of anti-Semites. Give them something to think about when Farrakhan calls to ask a favor.

  14. “I can’t be arsed to watch the Republican National Convention, but for some reason people are excited to hear Melania Trump’s speech tonight.”
    I assume you meant um, last night. The RNCC is a bizarre and shouty reality program that finds no winner and everyone voted off the island. But if you get a chance you really should view some of last week’s Dem convention as something optimistic &/or offering a glimmer of hope going forward.

  15. This will be another day in history. The entire African continent was declared *free from polio*!

    Africa has been declared free from wild polio by the independent body, the Africa Regional Certification Commission.

    Polio usually affects children under five, sometimes leading to irreversible paralysis. Death can occur when breathing muscles are affected.

    Twenty-five years ago thousands of children in Africa were paralysed by the virus.

    The disease is now only found in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    [ ]

    (It’s a good article, discussing the disease, how Africa went about eliminating it, what the challenges were, how the polio survivors helped, and more.)

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