Sunday: Hili dialogue

September 6, 2020 • 6:30 am

Good morning on the Christian cats’ Sabbath: Sunday, September 6, 2020: National Coffee Ice-Cream Day (they put an hyphen in “ice cream” for reasons unknown). It’s also Barbie Doll Day (the doll first went on sale on September 6, 1959) and Read a Book Day,

News of the Day: The horse Authentic won the Kentucky Derby yesterday, leading from beginning to end. It was the seventh fastest finish ever.

As I’m writing this on Saturday evening, Portland, Oregon is bracing for its 100th straight night of protests, which have gotten quite violent: several deaths, violence on many sides, and people arrested for felonious rioting. I wonder what the point is any more, and it’s dispiriting. Rochester, New York, is also predicted to have a rough night. I’ll update this Sunday morning,  Similar clashes, but without the shootings, are occurring in Rochester, New York, where people are reacting to the death of Daniel Prude.

SUNDAY UPDATE: ABC News reports that the protesting in Portland last night, which was violent, was declared a “riot”, with protestors reported throwing “fire bombs” at police.  Well, at least nobody was shot.  Protesting was also violent in Rochester, New York, with protestors throwing fireworks at cops and cops shooting pepper balls and tear gas at protestors.

After Fox news reporter Jennifer Griffin confirmed and extended the Atlantic report about Trump’s denigration of military people who died in action, she was defended by her colleagues at Fox. This really pissed off Trump, whose favorite source of news is the right-wing Fox, and he tweeted this:

The Boston Globe reports that 11 first-year Northeastern University students were sent packing without a refund of their tuition; they violated social-distancing requirements in their “dorm”: the Westin Hotel in Boston. They’ll be allowed to return in the Spring. Universities should take a similar hard line if they’re serious about avoiding pandmic outbreaks.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 188,409, 187,698, an increase of about 700 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 878,858, an increase of about 500 deaths from yesterday. It looks like the prediction of 200,000 deaths in the U.S., once considered shocking and unthinkable, will be surpassed soon, and the world total will go over a million. 

Stuff that happened on September 6 includes:

  • 1492 – Christopher Columbus sails from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, his final port of call before crossing the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.
  • 1522 – The Victoria returns to Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain, the only surviving ship of Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition and the first known ship to circumnavigate the world.
  • 1628 – Puritans settle Salem which became part of Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • 1803 – British scientist John Dalton begins using symbols to represent the atoms of different elements.

Here’s Dalton’s table of atomic weights, with photo and caption taken from Science Photo Library:

John Dalton’s table of atomic weights and the symbols he used for a number of “elements”. Compiled in 1808, some of the 20 substances included in the table are compounds & not pure elements: lime, for example. Dalton calculated the weight of each substance relative to hydrogen, the lightest, ending his list with mercury, to which he had incorrectly assigned a greater atomic weight than for lead. Dalton’s view of each element consisting of a unique type of indivisible atom was consistent with contemporary observations & “laws” concerning the combination of elements to form compounds.
  • 1870 – Louisa Ann Swain of Laramie, Wyoming becomes the first woman in the United States to cast a vote legally after 1807.
  • 1962 – Archaeologist Peter Marsden discovers the first of the Blackfriars Ships dating back to the second century AD in the Blackfriars area of the banks of the River Thames in London.

Here’s a reconstruction of one of the ships to scale; it was a Roman cargo ship:

  • 1972 – Munich massacre: Nine Israeli athletes die (along with a German policeman) at the hands of the Palestinian “Black September” terrorist group after being taken hostage at the Munich Olympic Games. Two other Israeli athletes were slain in the initial attack the previous day.
  • 1991 – The Russian parliament approves the name change of Leningrad back to Saint Petersburg. The change is effective October 1, 1991.
  • 1995 – Cal Ripken, Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles plays in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking a record that had stood for 56 years.

Ripken eventually played 2,632 games, a record unlikely to be broken. (The first record was held, of course, by Iron Man Lou Gehrig.) Here’s a short video of Ripken’s record-breaking game:

  • 1997 – The Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales takes place in London. Well over a million people lined the streets and 2​12 billion watched around the world on television.
  • 2018 – Supreme Court of India decriminalised all consensual sex among adults in private, making homosexuality legal on the Indian lands.

Notables born on this day include:

Addams, a Chicago resident, was a pathbreaking social worker and sociologist, who built her famous Hull House in my town. This picture was taken in either 1924 or 1926. I didn’t know until today that she’d won the Nobel Prize:

  • 1888 – Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., American businessman and diplomat, 44th United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom (d. 1969)
  • 1947 – Jane Curtin, American actress and comedian
  • 1980 – Kerry Katona, English singer and actress

Those who packed it in on September 6 include:

  • 1907 – Sully Prudhomme, French poet and critic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1839)
  • 1939 – Arthur Rackham, English illustrator (b. 1867). Here’s one of Rackham’s paintings: “Benevolent Cat” (1920):

  • 1972 – Perpetrator and victims of the Munich massacre
    • Luttif Afif, Palestinian terrorist (b. 1945)
    • David Mark Berger, American-Israeli weightlifter (b. 1944)
    • Ze’ev Friedman, Polish-Israeli weightlifter (b. 1944)
    • Yossef Gutfreund, Israeli wrestling judge (b. 1931)
    • Eliezer Halfin, Russian-Israeli wrestler (b. 1948)
    • Amitzur Shapira, Russian-Israeli runner and coach (b. 1932)
    • Kehat Shorr, Romanian shooting coach (b. 1919)
    • Mark Slavin, Israeli wrestler (b. 1954)
    • Andre Spitzer, Romanian-Israeli fencer and coach (b. 1945)
  • 1984 – Ernest Tubb, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1914)

Here’s Tubb, a pioneer of country music, singing his most famous song:

  • 2017 – Kate Millett, American feminist author and activist (b. 1934)
  • 2019 – Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwean politician, 2nd President of Zimbabwe (b. 1924)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, being a Jewish cat, is having some angst:

Hili: I’m feeling melancholy today.
A: Why?
Do you have to have a reason?
In Polish:
Hili: Jestem dziś w melancholijnym nastroju.
Ja: Dlaczego?
Hili: A trzeba mieć powód?

And, as fall comes along, Leon and Mietek are enjoying the future site of their country home, where Elzbieta and Andrzej the Second have planted a lovely garden:

From Merilee. I wish this were real!

Our Savior, from Divy:

From reader Charles. This is a real sign because a friend sent me a photo of it from South Africa.  What worries me is how many penguins got squashed before they put it up.

Actress Meggie Foster does Meghan (“Meggie”) Markle à la Sarah Cooper:

From Simon, who likes this account that makes science metaphors from videos:

From gravelinspector. Check out the photos and videos at the link.


Tweets from Matthew. He didn’t know what this was and neither did I till I looked it up. It is indeed a real bird, the smew (Mergellus albellus), and breeds in northern Eurasia. Females are brown and look nothing like these white males. Anyway, Matthew sent me the original tweet and I retweeted it.

Here’s Dr. Cobb at his most cynical (sound up).

And yes, Matthew: they do catch oysters:

What a fantastic picture! Did the camera stay mounted in one spot for a year?

Squid spawning. The Google translation of the Japanese is “The spawning of the squid is truly mysterious no matter how many times you look at it. I am impressed by the appearance of a squid that exceeds 80 centimeters passing in front of me and the effort to connect the next life. Scenes that can never be seen in everyday life are taken for granted in the sea.”

Flu avoidance during the last pandemic. Only the last panel gives an efficacious preventive measure:


37 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

    1. Yes, it’s Earthshine. It’s a composite image: one for the terrestrial foreground, and one for each of the Moons. The crescent Moon images at either end will probably have used a longer exposure to bring out the Earthshine.

      1. Cool

        Any idea what explains the apparent angular discrepancy between those extremes? IOW what does it look like the crescent points to different locations- the western (left) one points almost down, the eastern (right) one is not.

    1. Although Hitch denied the accuracy of her characterization, you can see in that clip why his wife, Carol Blue, claimed he sometimes had a bit of a chip on his shoulder, almost as though he were looking for a fistfight.

  1. Good morning on the Christian cats’ Sabbath: Saturday, September 6, 2020: National Coffee Ice-Cream Day (they put an apostrophe in “ice cream” for reasons unknown).

    Oh dear, Jerry, not having a good start to Sunday. Don’t you mean hyphen?

  2. This [Jennifer Griffin’s reporting] really pissed off Trump, whose favorite source of news is the right-wing Fox …

    I think our “favorite president” (as he is wont to call himself) has a new favorite news source: One America News Network. OANN is a font of batshit crazy conspiracy theories (including QAnon) and of Russian propaganda. (Indeed, at least one of its reporters comes directly from “Sputnik,” the Russian state-owned outlet.)

    Nevertheless, the Trump White House has allotted OANN one of its coveted briefing-room press passes, and Trump calls on its soi-disant White House correspondent whenever he needs a softball question at a presser. (Fox’s WH correspondent, John Roberts, spins the news Trump’s way, but at least he asks legitimate questions when given a chance — he’s almost always the first reporter Trump calls on — at presidential press-room briefings.)

  3. The sails on those Blackfriars Ships of Roman times don’t look like they’d be much for tacking into the wind. But the boats are double-enders, so would’ve been better able to navigate a current coming or going.

    1. Central London is a good way up the Thames from the mouth. Whether they were sailed upriver, or towed from the bank (horses, or cheap slaves?), or rode the incoming tide then anchored against the outgoing tide … isn’t the sort of behaviour that is likely to leave much physical evidence. Except, as you point out, in the shape of the boat.
      The Romans were very familiar with transshipping a cargo from a sea-going vessel to a canal/ river vessel. The port of Ostia at the mouth of the Tiber was one of the biggest ports in the Empire, largely devoted to such traffic.

  4. Cal Ripken, Jr., played most of his career at shortstop, a position at is more difficult to play with even a minor injury than at first base, where Lou Gehrig played. Plus, in several seasons during his streak, Ripken played every inning of every game, rather than merely make a single plate appearance to keep the streak alive.

    Lou Gehrig was captain of the “Bronx Bombers” Yankee teams of the late 1930s. As such, one of his duties was to deliver the team’s written starting line-up to the home-plate umpire. When the ump looked down at the line-up on May 2, 1939, and saw that Gehrig’s name wasn’t on it, he was so shocked it’s said he damn near fainted. The decision to end the streak was Gehrig’s; even though Lou was sick and struggling in the field and at the plate, the Yankee manager, Miller Huggins, couldn’t bring himself to pull the great Lou Gehrig from the starting line-up.

  5. No, several people have not died in the Portland protests. One right-wing protester was killed 8/29, and his probable killer was killed by police in Lacey, Washington, a few days later. I live in downtown Portland, five blocks from the federal building. Portland is not burning, we are not under siege, and, except for the park in front of the federal building and the area around the police union building, things are peaceful. Don’t play into Trump’s hands by making more of this than there is.

    1. I can confirm. I live in SE Portland. If I didn’t read the news, I’d have no idea there are protests still happening. Early on I attended some family friendly protests in parks. Informative speakers and energized young people were the highlights.

    1. With oysters, the hard part isn’t so much the catching, as the opening. (I say that as someone who once worked as a shucker.)

  6. ” . . . 11 first-year Northeastern University students were sent packing without a refund of their tuition; they violated social-distancing requirements . . . allowed to return in the Spring. Universities should take a similar hard line if they’re serious about avoiding pandmic outbreaks.”


    ‘Students at The Daily Tar Heel, the student newspaper at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, shared their thoughts . . . “If the success of your plan relies on 18- to 24-year-olds being responsible, then maybe it’s not a very good plan,” says Anna Pogarcic, a senior at UNC and the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper . . . Many college students still have developing brains, so it’s not that they aren’t informed or that they don’t understand the risks — it’s that they’re wired differently. “Peer networks and having connection with other people is absolutely critical in terms of development for young people,” Song says. “There is a lot going on in the brain to reward those kinds of interactions.”‘

    Apparently the ability to independently and critically think for oneself and to stand ones [spellcheck thinks third person singular possession should be “one’s”} ground against peer pressure (like Lauren Victor with the BLM mob) is not one of those rewards.

    Yeah, they have it really rough compared to, say, Middle East refugee orphan children, or the Uighurs of Western China.

    Maybe one should wait until full brain development occurs before attending college. One might get more out of the experience. Per the article, not every student is acting so personally irresponsible. No doubt, they have had the great good fortune to have won the genetic lottery and have had greater brain development at an earlier age.

    I wonder about the brain development (bias) at NPR, what with the title of its article “Colleges Play the Blame Game.” Of course students could not possibly ever play the blame game. Never make oneself the least bit personally accountable/responsible if there’s the least possibility that one can make another the scapegoat. In terms of appealing to the better angels of students’ natures and giving them the benefit of the doubt, the colleges have given a good college try.

    A thousand apologies for the logorrhea.

  7. Ironically, all the placebo treatments are effective since it is social distancing at home. While – at least around here – the work place (and larger households) that have been the drivers of the pandemic, and the booth is of dubious value.

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