Wednesday: Hili dialogue

September 23, 2020 • 6:30 am

It’s Hump Day: Wednesday, September 23, 2020, and National Pancake Day. I could use one, as I haven’t had a flapjack in ages (make mine blueberry buckwheat with real maple syrup). Another thing I haven’t had is a good pot pie, celebrated today during National Great American Pot Pie Day. It’s also National Snack Stick Day, which I suppose celebrates stuff like Slim Jims, beef jerky, and string cheese, National Checkers Day, and Celebrate Bisexuality Day.

We’ve passed the once-unimaginable figure of 200,000 Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. (see below).

There’s a Google Doodle today, the winner among five K-12 finalists (click screenshot to see them all) entered on the theme of “I show kindness”. 9TO5Google explains the winner:

The winning Doodle, which will appear on the homepage for the entirety of September 23, 2020, comes from Sharon Sara, a 4th grader from Frisco, TX. Entitled “Together as One,” Sharon’s Doodle shows a group of girls with different hair styles, body types, skin colors, and clothing styles holding hands as friends.

As for the “Google” portion of this Doodle, not only do each of the girls have a letter of “Google” on their clothing, the letters are also included in each girl’s hairdo in a fun way.

The message is one that I like, and comports well with Dr. King’s message about the content of one’s character, but flies in the face of identity politics:

“People have not wanted to be my friend because of how I look, so I decided to draw what I do!” [Sara] told Google. “No matter what people look like, you look on the inside and then decide if you want to be their friend.

“Kindness means to not look at someone from the outside, but look at their personality, and being open to their friendship,” she added.

Sharon got a big prize: a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology package for her school. The winner:

News of the Day: Cindy McCain, the widow of Republican John McCain, has endorsed Biden for President. Here’s one of her tweets; there are two others on her page (h/t Ken)

The Supreme Court nomination issue is officially over since Mitt Romney said he’d vote for, well, whoever Trump nominates. He cited a precedent that doesn’t exist:

“The historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party’s nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own,” Mr. Romney said in a statement on Tuesday.

And isn’t it weird that the GOP is vowing to confirm Trump’s nominee before one is even chosen? I thought vetting the nominee is what hearings are for. Of course, it doesn’t matter this time, as no matter who Trump nominates, including Amy Coney Barrett, a strongly pro-life Catholic who will lie during hearings about her willingness to objectively re-adjudicate Roe v. Wade.

Furious (and rightly so) that they can’t stop the Trump/Supreme Court juggernaut, Democrats acted a bit childish yesterday, disrupting Senate business. From the NYT:

On a day of partisan acrimony on the Senate floor, Democrats refused to give the routine consent needed to allow committees to meet more than two hours after the chamber convenes, cutting short a closed-door meeting of the Intelligence Committee and a cybersecurity hearing.

“We can’t have business as usual when Republicans are destroying the institution, as they have done,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader.

. . . Top Democrats conceded that their objections would have no effect on the ultimate vote.

This doesn’t seem to be either smart or efficacious.

Here are the results of yesterday’s two polls on the Supreme Court nomination fracas. The readers opined that the Dems would do the same thing the Republicans are with respect to the President’s nomination, and almost all predicted (accurately, I think)  that the Senate would vote, and would do so to confirm Trump’s nominee.

Here’s Carly Simon’s new anti-Trump ad, which is great. “Your face it was apricot. . .” (h/t Randy)

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 200,731, a big increase of about 1,000 deaths over yesterday’s report.  We finally passed the grim figure of 200,000. The world death toll now stands at 969,429, an increase of about 5,700 deaths from yesterday. And we’re approaching a million deaths worldwide., which might happen within a week. 

Stuff that happened on September 23 includes:

  • 1338 – The Battle of Arnemuiden, in which a French force defeats the English, is the first naval battle of the Hundred Years’ War and the first naval battle in which gunpowder artillery is used.
  • 1642 – The first commencement exercises occur at Harvard College.
  • 1806 – Lewis and Clark return to St. Louis after exploring the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
  • 1845 – The Knickerbockers Baseball Club, the first baseball team to play under the modern rules, is founded in New York.
  • 1846 – Astronomers Urbain Le Verrier, John Couch Adams and Johann Gottfried Galle collaborate on the discovery of Neptune.
  • 1932 – The unification of Saudi Arabia is completed.
  • 1962 – The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts opens in New York City.
  • 1986 – Houston Astros’ Jim Deshaies sets a record, striking out the first eight batters he faces against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

This record was tied by Jacob deGrom of the Mets in 2014. Here’s a very short video showing Deshales last strikeout of the streak:

  • 2002 – The first public version of the web browser Mozilla Firefox (“Phoenix 0.1”) is released.
  • 2019 – The British travel company, Thomas Cook Group, declares bankruptcy, leaving employees without jobs and 600,000 customers stranded abroad. Hotels throughout the world are stuck with £3.5 million (U.S. $4.3 million) in unpaid bills.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1215 – Kublai Khan, Mongolian emperor (d. 1294)
  • 1865 – Suzanne Valadon, French model and painter (d. 1938)

Valadon modeled for many famous painters, painted herself (see a specimen below) and was also Toulouse-Lautrec’s and Erik Satie’s lover.  Here’s her photo:

From Wikipedia: “Valadon is depicted dancing in Pierre-Auguste Renoirs 1883 painting, Dance at Bougival”.  It does look like Valadon!

And one of Valadon’s own paintings, “Joy of Life”:

Those who crossed the Great Divide on September 23 include:

This is Padre Pio, famous for his stigmata. Here he is celebrating Mass with gloves covering his self-inflicted wounds:

Here are six of Fosse’s signature dance moves that appeared in the musical Chicago:

  • 2013 – Ruth Patrick, American botanist and immunologist (b. 1907)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is being a hardass editor, spying on Andrzej though the window:

Hili: I can see what you are doing.
A: What?
Hili: You are reading stupid articles instead of working.
In Polish:
Hili: Dobrze widzę co robisz.
Ja: Co?
Hili: Czytasz głupie artykuły zamiast pracować.

Here’s a picture by Paulina of Kulka and Szaron up a tree:

From Mary.  I don’t think this is real as I haven’t been able to find it on the Internet. Well, you might say nobody would use it anyway, but I found a recipe for homemade pumpkin-spice ranch dressing. Gag me with a spoon!

Trick or tweet! From Charles: a nice Stephan Pastis cartoon:

Terence sent a meme of a Killer Kat:

Titania explains intersectionality:

A children’s climbing frame gets adopted by a bunch of wildlife, including a badger who tries (and fails) to climb the rope. Sound up.

From Barry, who says this sums up Republicans quite nicely:

Tweets from Matthew. The cuckoo, as you may well know, is a nest parasite, laying its eggs in other species’ nests (one per nest). The baby cuckoo hatches, kills all the offspring, and proceeds to be the sole occupant, garnering the food that the mother brings. Apparently this wren, like most parasitized species, doesn’t recognize the much larger chick as “not her own”, and feeds it until she’s exhausted. It’s a maternal instinct gone wrong.

Wombats mowing grass from both ends!

Sporulation (sound up):

Okay, if this is true, how did he get the cat’s prescription?

And I thought I had too many mallards!

30 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. I saw the news about Cindy McCain – I don’t suppose her endorsement of Biden will change anything, but it’s jaw-dropping to see the widow of a Republican presidential candidate backing the Dems.

    1. Is it just me, or does that “smug and idle” cuckoo remind anyone else of another cuckoo squatting in a home where he doesn’t belong?

  2. The cuckoo, as you may well know, is a nest parasite, laying its eggs in other species’ nests …

    One flew east, one flew west …

    That great big chick being fed by the wren must be the bull-goose of the brood.

              1. I watched the first episode of Ratched and was underwhelmed. It’s beautifully produced but just dull. What’s it about? Well, there’s this nurse that wangles a job at some sort of mental institution. I’m guessing that Nurse Ratched is evil and is going to engage in some of this in each subsequent episode. It’s the kind of production where you have to be impressed with the dialog and the beauty of the sets but I just wasn’t that much. I think if you read some of the professional reviews, you will get pretty much the same opinion.

              2. I think it’s a pretty tenuous connection from what I’ve read. More inspirational than anything else. Based on the first episode, it has a completely different feel from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

  3. In that version of “You’re So Vain” Carly Simon does about the Donald, you can clearly hear her sing the line “You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte.”

    In the original, I misheard that as “watched yourself go by.” When I figured out a few years later that it was “gavotte” — some kind of 18th century fancy French dance, apparently the kind that rich girls like the Simon sisters (scions to the Simon & Schuster publishing fortune) did at society balls — well, it was one of those moments when I realized the rich really are different from you and me (or at least from me).

    It was one of those moments when I realized that, even were I to go on and make a fortune and buy a mansion in West Egg and throw lavish parties for the toffs across the bay, I’d still always have my nose pressed up against the outside of the window looking into their world.

    1. Well you learn something new every day, as they say. Until today I thought it was “watched yourself go by”. Better late (47 years?) than never I suppose.

  4. This seems apropos for a Hili Dialogue: This video of monkey selfies has been on the Internet for the past several days

    A Malaysian man’s cell phone disappeared from his house and when he found it later in the yard, the thief was revealed to be a monkey who’s filled the phone with selfies. What I find the silliest are the shots of the monkey’s gullet when it tries to eat the phone.

  5. How nice to hear Carly Simon again.

    The cuckoo tweet that Matt re-tweeted is badly misidentified. The species named as the mother lives on the other side of the world relative to the species named as the baby. That would be some really amazing brood parasitism!

    In fact the parent is not a Grey-breasted Wood Wren, which is from the Neotropics, not the Himlayas. The parent bird in the video looks nothing like a wood wren. I don’t know Himlayan birds so I won’t embarass myself attempting an ID.

      1. If one goes to the twitter thread there’s a correction. The small parent bird is identified as a prinia. As I don’t know Himalayan birds either I can’t say whether this is right.

        I remember seeing a documentary on the European cuckoo in England. Although the species is widely seen as an evil parasite, it is uncommon and in decline in the UK. This may be because host species are also declining but, if memory serves, the parasitic species in tropical America are the Pheasant and Pavonine Cuckoos and they’re both rare, so the parasitic cuckoo’s approach to reproduction may not be as easy as one might think.

  6. Make my pancakes plain buckwheat with blueberry or huckleberry syrup — try that sometime.

    I think flapjacks are to pancakes what a fiddle is to a violin, but British flapjacks are a different species altogether.

  7. “Furious (and rightly so) that they can’t stop the Trump/Supreme Court juggernaut, Democrats acted a bit childish yesterday, disrupting Senate business.”

    Perhaps this is just the first stroke in a Dem program to slow down the approval process so that it slips to after the election. If Biden wins, the Senate approval of Trump’s nominee will look even worse. Of course, the risk is that they will look childish and obstructive.

  8. “1846 – Astronomers Urbain Le Verrier, John Couch Adams and Johann Gottfried Galle collaborate on the discovery of Neptune.”

    That’s a rather odd take on one of the most disputed events in 19th-century astronomy

    Adams and Le Verrier worked independently of one another to calculate the position of the as-yet-unknown planet from its effect on Uranus. Le Verrier’s more accurate predictions enabled Galle to discover Neptune with ease. The British astronomy establishment then rallied round Adams to try to convince the world that Adams had made his predictions before Le Verrier. Even today, it’s a story that raises hackles among astronomers. There’s a good account by Dr Nick Kollerstrom, an historian of astronomy, in Astronomy & Geophysics, based in part on Nick’s own original research:

  9. The grey-breasted Wood Wren seems to be teasing the coo coo with the food. Maybe teaching it how to “hunt” on it’s own.

  10. “He cited a precedent that doesn’t exist.”

    But he’s right.

    Not every single time. However, 17 times out of 19, the same-party nominee was confirmed, whereas only 2 out of 9 times, the opposite-party nominee was confirmed. (I’m going from memory, but it was definitely that lopsided.)

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