Thursday: Hili dialogue (and Kulka monologue)

Good morning as we rush toward the “weekend”: it’s September 24, 2020, and National Cherries Jubilee Day, a dessert I’ve never had. It’s also Gallbladder Good Health Day (?), National Punctuation Day, Kiss Day (severe restrictions this year), and National Bluebird of Happiness Day, which prompts me to violate protocol and post this classic Gary Larson cartoon:

News of the Day: Tonight at 8 pm, on many PBS stations in the U.S., there’s a special on RBG (see below). Check your local station for details. (h/t Blue).

Here’s Ginsburg’s memorial service, a very short one, at the Supreme Court, as broadcast by CBS News:

The big news, of course, is that only one of three police officers involved in the killing of Louisville resident Breonna Taylor has been charged, and only with “wanton endangerment”: firing a shot that went into an adjacent apartment. This decision prompted widespread protest in Louisville, as well as in other cities (including Chicago) Two Louisville police officers were shot during the protests; both will be okay and a suspect is in custody.

As if we don’t have enough troubles, Thomas Edsall, in a long op-ed at the New York Times, discusses “Five things Biden and his allies should be worried about.”  An excerpt:

Robert Griffin, the research director at the nonpartisan Democracy Study Voter Study Group, provided data to The Times on trends in suburbia that show a very modestly fluctuating line from last January into this month. Biden’s advantage over Trump ranged from 9.7 to 12.0 percentage points.

“I’m not seeing any substantial changes since January,” Griffin noted by email.

Why, then, should there be any doubt about the outcome on Nov. 3?

Let’s take a look at the answers in the order listed above. . . .

BUT, this might bring a bit of cheer: the election forecast from FiveThirtyEight:

But, back to anxiety, remember this, too (second tweet), Trump won’t agree to concede if he loses. More on this later today.

For something light, here’s a nice article on Erno Rubik, inventor of the eponymous Cube, talking about the history of his ever-popular invention. I didn’t realize that the world record for solving the cube is 3.47 seconds, despite the fact that there are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 ways to arrange the squares.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 201,822, an increase of about 1,100 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands 975,841, an increase of about 6,400 deaths from yesterday. And we’re approaching a million deaths worldwide., which is likely to happen within a week. 

Stuff that happened on September 24 includes:

  • 787 – Second Council of Nicaea: The council assembles at the church of Hagia Sophia.
  • 1789 – The United States Congress passes the Judiciary Act, creating the office of the Attorney General and federal judiciary system and ordering the composition of the Supreme Court.
  • 1890 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially renounces polygamy.
  • 1906 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt proclaims Devils Tower in Wyoming as the nation’s first National Monument.
  • 1929 – Jimmy Doolittle performs the first flight without a window, proving that full instrument flying from take off to landing is possible.

Read more about that flight here and here, and below is a photo; the hood is covering the second seat from which Doolittle piloted the plane.  But there was a guy in the front seat; did he give any directions?

  • 1932 – Gandhi and Dr. Ambedkar agree to the Poona Pact, which reserved seats in the Indian provincial legislatures for the “Depressed Classes” (Untouchables).
  • 1948 – The Honda Motor Company is founded.
  • 1960 – USS Enterprise, the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is launched.
  • 2015 – At least 1,100 people are killed and another 934 wounded after a stampede during the Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
  • 2019 – An impeachment inquiry is initiated by the United States House of Representatives against President Donald Trump.

Notables born on this day include:

Here’s Blind Lemon singing one of his famous songs, “”Black snake moan”, the title of a 2006 movie. He died at 36.

Fitzgerald is one of my literary heroes. Although he couldn’t spell worth a damn, he could write like a dream. Here he is with Zelda on their honeymoon in 1920. He died of a heart attack at only 44.  It was because of him that I wanted to go to Princeton, but my folks told me they didn’t have enough money to send me. So I went to a much cheaper state school: William and Mary. And I’m glad I didn’t go to Princeton!

  • 1898 – Howard Florey, Australian pharmacologist and pathologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1968)

Florey, Chain, and Fleming shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology in 1945. It’s estimated that their discovery saved some 200 million lives. 200 million!

  • 1905 – Severo Ochoa, Spanish–American physician and biochemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1993)
  • 1923 – Fats Navarro, American trumpet player and composer (d. 1950)
  • 1936 – Jim Henson, American puppeteer, director, producer and screenwriter, created The Muppets (d. 1990)

Notables who struck out on September 24 were few, and include:

  • 768 – Pepin the Short, Frankish king (b. 714)
  • 1541 – Paracelsus, German-Swiss physician, botanist, and chemist (b. 1493)
  • 1991 – Dr. Seuss, American children’s book writer, poet, and illustrator (b. 1904)
  • 2016 – Buckwheat Zydeco, American accordionist and bandleader (b. 1947)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili remembers the good old days.

Hili: Life was easier in the past.
A: When?
Hili: Last Friday.
In Polish:
Hili: Dawniej życie było łatwiejsze.
Ja: Kiedy?
Hili: W zeszły piątek.

And we have our first Kulka monologue, as she joins Szaron on the shelf on the veranda.

Kulka: You will not be alone on this shelf.

In Polish: Kulka: Nie będziesz na tej półce sam. (Photo by Paulina R.)

From Stash Krod, a Dr. Seussian cat-and-d*g meme:

A cat meme from Nicole:

From Pets Emergency Hospital via Stephen Barnard:

Titania continues her perpetual series on things that have been deemed racist:

A tweet from Simon (I may have posted this before), who said, “That duck must be quackers.” Rechavi gives it an academic spin, as is his wont.

Tweets from Matthew. Here’s the record-breaking women’s surf ride, not that much different from the men’s record:

Look at this adorable porcupines!

Oh, come on! This guy is covered with something sticky!

I don’t think this cheetah is going to get lunch:

We did stuff like this in grad school, but never this elaborate:

Ceiling Cat bless this Serbian man (even though he was drunk). Ćevapi are grilled sausages made from minced meat, and they’re good: just the ticket when you’re loaded.

27 Comments

  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    “Kiss day”

    I wanna rock and roll all night – AND PARTY EVERY DAY!
    Yeahhhh!
    Detroit Rock City!
    BRWWWWNNNN!!!!!

  2. jezgrove
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    “I didn’t realize that the world record for solving the [Rubik]cube is 3.47 seconds, despite the fact that there are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 ways to arrange the squares” – unbelievably, the record for
    solving the Rubik’s cube one-handed is 6.82 seconds and for solving it using just your feet is 15.56 seconds! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubik%27s_Cube#Competitions_and_records

    • Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      And the blindfold record <= 15.50 seconds

      (I found a YT video of somebody solving a Rubik’s cube in 15.50 seconds while blindfold – don’t know if it still the record).

      • jezgrove
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        Yup, still the record according to Wikipedia. And that includes the time memorising the cube before the blindfold is put on!

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Here he [F. Scott Fitzgerald] is with Zelda on their honeymoon in 1920.

    I thought Mr. Allen did an incredible job of casting the “Lost Generation” figures in his film Midnight in Paris, from Corey Stoll as Hemingway to Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein, and especially Tom Hiddleston as Scott and Alison Pill as Zelda.

    Here’s the befuddled protagonist (Owen Wilson) making the acquaintance of the Fitzgeralds in Twenties’ Paris:

  4. DrBrydon
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    From Doolittle’s autobiography, I Could Never Be So Lucky Again:

    When flights under the hood were made, it was essential, for safety reasons, to have Lieutenant Ben Kelsey in the airplane to look out for other plans and also to make sure that I didn’t get into trouble due to instrument or equipment failure.

    Doolittle was a remarkable man, and a true scientist, who earned one of the first doctorates in aeronautical sciences. I would strongly recommend his autobiography.

  5. eric
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    only one of three police officers involved in the killing of Louisville resident Breonna Taylor has been charged, and only with “wanton endangerment”: firing a shot that went into an adjacent apartment

    This is not surprising to me. The real problem was the judicial order; issuing a no-knock warrant for a residence not directly involved in any known criminal activity, merely because one of the people of interest had been known to stay there in the past. Once the police busted through the door (at like 1am) and the boyfriend started shooting thinking it was a robbery, the police responding with overwhelming fire and thus killing someone in the apartment is pretty much to be expected.

    The judiciary needs to be far, far less trusting of police requests for no-knock warrants.

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Doolittle was an early super pilot and also a test pilot. Many of the instruments in that plane were very new to aviation. I would want to know more about the radio & marker beacon and special radio reciever with vibrating reed. That must have been a really early idea of ILS, instrument landing system that was developed much later. Doolittle was taking instrument flight to the limit before it was even well known. In 1929 I don’t think you even had to have a pilot’s license to fly. I know because my grandfather started flying in 1927, and his instructor told him at the time, go ahead and start flying and don’t worry about that license.

    For those who may not know, becoming an instrument pilot does not include a full landing blind. You are still required to see the runway to make the landing.

  7. Jenny Haniver
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I think that Kulka is giving Szaron a shiatsu massage. Hili doesn’t know what she’s missing out on.

  8. Petu W.
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    The singer is Blind Lemon Jefferson indeed. But the song is “See that my grave’s kept clean”. And the musician in the picture? He is another country blues legend – Blind Blake, whose Piedmont style was totally different from Blind Lemon’s Texas style.

  9. boudiccadylis
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    I think Hili has cause for concern regarding Kulka’s near looks and now her headline appearance. Sharon certainly seem happy with his situation.

  10. boudiccadylis
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Its interesting how this machine decides when and how to correct my spelling. One more time -Sharon =Szaron I think

  11. boudiccadylis
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I have a middle-aged Aussie. One night last summer he was out for his ritual before bed out and he started barking in a strange way. So I went out to see what had him making this bark. I live in the city,after all. When I got there I truly expected something in the huge silver maple tree, squirrel like as they are in bed by then way up there. And here’s my Aussie attempting to herd a small black and white skunk. The poor thing couldn’t get an aim and was literally spinning as Jasper was working. It did ultimately spray most of one side of the tree after I had called him off and we went into the house
    I suspect by the size and time of year that this was a very young one. It sure could twirl.

  12. boudiccadylis
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I have a middle-aged Aussie. One night last summer he was out for his ritual before bed out and he started barking in a strange way. So I went out to see what had him making this bark. I live in the city,after all. When I got there I truly expected something in the huge silver maple tree, squirrel like as they are in bed by then way up there. And here’s my Aussie attempting to herd a small black and white skunk. The poor thing couldn’t get an aim and was literally spinning as Jasper was working. It did ultimately spray most of one side of the tree after I had called him off and we went into the house
    I suspect by the size and time of year that this was a very young one. It sure could twirl.

  13. Posted September 24, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    I believe Hili’s “good old days” were before Szaron and Kulka showed up.

  14. rickflick
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    “Will you commit to a peaceful transfer of power..?

    tRump’s negative response sounded to me like a reality TV producer looking to generate more viewers for the next episode.

    • sugould
      Posted September 25, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Yet that’s what a third(?) of America seems to want: a reality show. Not reality.

      • rickflick
        Posted September 25, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        They must be deeply disappointed in life, for whatever reason.

  15. tubby
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Hilli is not wrong. Life was better last Friday morning.

  16. merilee
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    🐾🐾

  17. KD
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    That picture is not Blind Lemon Jefferson, its Blind Blake:

    That’s Blind Lemon Jefferson:


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