Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

Good morning on Ceiling Cat’s Sabbath: Sunday, October 4, 2020: National Taco Day (we recently had National Soft Taco Day). It’s also Cinnamon Roll Day, National Vodka Day, National Golf Day, World Animal Day, and, for chrissake, National Blessing of the Animals at the Cathedral Day(what a ludicrous ceremony!). It’s also the first day of World Space Week.

News of the Day:

The news about Trump’s viral infection is worrisome, despite reassurances from people like Mitch McConnell who have called him and said he’s “sounds well”. In contrast, Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows sounded a more somber note. From the Washington Post:

The White House on Saturday created a startling amount of confusion on the timing of President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis and the status of his health through conflicting statements, injecting an extraordinary degree of uncertainty into the nation’s understanding of the president’s condition and who may have been exposed to the deadly virus.

At a Saturday morning news conference, members of Trump’s medical team at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center said that the president is fever-free and that they are “extremely happy” with the progress he has made. But Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, said Trump went through a “very concerning” period over the last day.

“The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning, and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care,” Meadows said. “We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”

How did Trump get infected? One likely scenario, mentioned on the evening news last evening, as well in the Washington Post piece above, is that the virus spread during the Rose Garden event and reception for Amy Coney Barrett a week ago yesterday, when people were hugging each other, social distancing seemed nil, and few people were wearing masks. Here are two photos from the event:

From WaPo: President Trump and the first lady pose Sept. 26 in the Oval Office with his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and her family. (Andrea Hanks/White House)


The audience at a Sept. 26 Rose Garden ceremony where Trump introduced his Supreme Court pick, Amy Coney Barrett. (Andrea Hanks/White House)

The NYT has another article (below) with many pictures, and the lack of pandemic precautions is disturbing, both outside the ceremony and at the reception inside. Seven people who sat outside (sans masks) watching the ceremony have contracted coronavirus, six in the first couple of rows (see the photos).

Reuters also shows the President’s activity timeline since September 24, which shows a lot of potential scenarios of transmission via photos, and a number of potential contacts.  Several people at the Rose Garden event have already tested positive for the virus.

Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, and who helped Trump prepare for last Tuesday’s debate, is also hospitalized with coronavirus.

If you want to know what happens if the President is too ill or incapacitated to serve, this article tells you what is supposed to happen. It’s not as simple as you think.

Finally, as you might guess, Trump’s most ardent supporters are shrugging off his hospitalization, and of course won’t start taking more precautions. As the WaPo reports:

As an unseen President Trump battled the coronavirus at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, hundreds of maskless supporters gathered shoulder to shoulder for rallies on Staten Island and on the Mall. In Iowa, a bright red “Team Trump on Tour” bus traversed the state for events, including at least one indoor stop where few were masked.

On a weekend when it felt like so much had changed, Trump’s most fervid supporters across the country reacted to his illness with a fatalistic shrug about what that meant for him and for them.

“If the leader of the free world can get this, I think it’s kind of silly for the rest of us to pretend a $3 handkerchief from Walmart is going to protect us,” said Brian Westrate, the Wisconsin Republican Party treasurer who believes the coronavirus is a real threat and complies with a statewide mask mandate but is a “skeptic of the societal response.”

On the lighter side, it’s Fat Bear Week, sponsored by Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Readers can vote at their site for the brown bear who’s gained the most pre-hibernation weight by scarfing down salmon. And the bears can eat 240,000 calories per day in salmon! Below you can see the kind of weight gain we’re talking about, and it’s not dangerous.

Bears are paired off against each other for the greatest induced corpulence, and next Tuesday the Prize Fatty will be chosen. Here are one of the two pairs in competition (I picked 128!):

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 209,271, an increase of about 700 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll remains at”1.0 million +”. 

Stuff that happened on October 4 includes:

  • 1535 – The Coverdale Bible is printed, with translations into English by William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale.

This was the first Bible printed in the English language, and here’s a first edition specimen:


  • 1936 – The British Union of Fascists and various anti-fascist organizations violently clash in the Battle of Cable Street.

Here’s a short video of the battle, which pitted Oswald Mosley’s blackshirted British Union of Fascists, marching and guarded by police, against demonstrators that included socialist, Jews, and a variety of anti-Fascists. Were Trump there, he would have said “There were good people on both sides.”  You can see a 40-minute documentary, with interviews with participants and onlookers, here.

As Wikipedia notes, Willie Gillis was an “Everyman soldier” who made many appearances on the Post

Willie Gillis, Jr. (more commonly simply Willie Gillis) is a fictional character created by Norman Rockwell for a series of World War II paintings that appeared on the covers of 11 issues of The Saturday Evening Post between 1941 and 1946.[1] Gillis was an everyman with the rank of private whose career was tracked on the cover of the Post from induction through discharge without being depicted in battle. He and his girlfriend were modeled by two of Rockwell’s acquaintances.  Here’s that first picture, showing Willie, in the service, getting a food package. He’s followed by his mates, just as the ducks follow me when I come to Botany Pond with my bag of duck food:

  • 1957 – Sputnik 1 becomes the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth.

I well remember how scared Americans got when the Russians launched this satellite, as we all feared that the Russians were ahead in the cold war. (I was in elementary school in the D.C. suburbs at the time, and also remember “nuclear strike” drills, in which we’d huddle under our desks.  Sputnik ran out of battery power after two weeks and disintegrated in the atmosphere in January, 1958.

Here’s a replica; it wasn’t very big but had a huge effect in heating up the Cold War and launching the “space race”:

  • 1991 – The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty is opened for signature.
  • 2006 – WikiLeaks is launched.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1626 – Richard Cromwell, English academic and politician, Lord Protector of Great Britain (d. 1712)
  • 1822 – Rutherford B. Hayes, American general, lawyer, and politician, 19th President of the United States (d. 1893)
  • 1861 – Frederic Remington, American painter, sculptor, and illustrator (d. 1909)
  • 1895 – Buster Keaton, American film actor, director, and producer (d. 1966)

Today’s Buster’s 125th birthday. Matthew loves his comedies, and Keaton was a terrific actor. He often did his own stunts, and here are some of them:

  • 1923 – Charlton Heston, American actor, director and gun rights activist (d. 2008)
  • 1941 – Anne Rice, American author
  • 1943 – H. Rap Brown, American activist
  • 1946 – Susan Sarandon, American actress and activist
  • 1976 – Alicia Silverstone, American actress, producer, and author

Those who drew their last breath on October 4 include:

  • 1669 – Rembrandt, Dutch painter and illustrator (b. 1606)
  • 1944 – Al Smith, American lawyer and politician, 42nd Governor of New York (b. 1873)
  • 1947 – Max Planck, German physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1858)

Here’s a short video biography of Plack:

  • 1951 – Henrietta Lacks, American medical patient (b. 1920)

If you have’t read the bestselling book by Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, you should do so immediately.

  • 1970 – Janis Joplin, American singer-songwriter (b. 1943)
  • 1974 – Anne Sexton, American poet and author (b. 1928)
  • 1982 – Glenn Gould, Canadian pianist and conductor (b. 1932)
  • 2000 – Michael Smith, English-Canadian biochemist and geneticist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1932)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has commandeered Szaron’s bed in the apartment upstairs, and is hissing at him from Szaron’s own bed!. Szaron dearly wants to be friends with Hili, but she’s not having it.

Hili: Don’t even think about it.
Szaron: Oy! This is my home and my bed.
(Photo: Paulina)
In Polish:
Hili: Ani o tym nie myśl!
Szaron: Hej, to mój dom i moje łóżko.
(Foto: Paulina)

And, fresh from Wloclawek, there’s a Mietek monologue!

Mietek: Morning exercises are necessary.

In Polish: Poranne ćwiczenia muszą być.

From Su. Identify all 12 people, each of whom has a connection with an apple:

From Mary: a banana duck:

From Terence:

The famous rapper M. C. Hammer has been dissing evolution and touting intelligent design on his website. First Matthew corrected him and I got my knickers in a bunch.


A tweet from Barry, who adds, “I love those little jumps off the rug. . . It’s as if they can’t run away unless they do”:

Simon says, “It’s not just CATS.” Indeed; for your pleasure, a gator chasing a laser pointer. Sound up.

And some science via Matthew via Ziya:

This is fricking AWESOME!


  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Everyone who is old enough remembers Sputnik. The great enemy Russia was ahead of us in the space race and this was considered very dangerous. The being behind propaganda lasted throughout the 60s even when it was no longer true. The fact that we won did not seem to mean much in the end just as the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 80s did not accomplish much for this country.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      That Sputnik is an object of great beauty.

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    testing out writing without autocorrect functions… standby…

    … its working… I mean it’s

  3. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I’m looking for a better word than ‘schadenfreude’. According to the dictionary, schadenfreude is malicious glee at the misfortunes of another. But that’s too broad, and has no connotation of divine retribution.

    The word I want is, that feeling of satisfaction you get when someone who has been behaving arrogantly/obnoxiously/stupidly, deservedly and inevitably drops themself in it. Shakespear had a phrase for the circumstance, ‘hoist with his own petard’. A.k.a. ‘shooting oneself in the foot’.

    Any suggestions? ‘Karma’?

    (Obviously I have the Amy Barrett covid party in mind as current #1 example).


    • A C Harper
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Just deserts or comeuppance or even poetic justice perhaps?

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Yes AC, ‘Comeuppance’ and ‘just deserts’ are the operative terms!

    • Derek Freyberg
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Well, the Darwin Awards were created for the participants, but not for the observers. I don’t know of an English term that has the connotation you’re looking for.

  4. Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Lol, Mr Hammer is responding to most criticism by posting a link to David Berlinski’s book.

  5. SRM
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Soon as I heard about Trump infection I went immediately to a right wing chat forum to see how long it would take before a new conspiracy theory was borne. They beat me to it: already many were suggesting he was purposely infected by some (predictably undefined) combination of the deep state, CIA, the Clintons, or the Obamas.

    Now they have a shiny new plaything to add to the dozen conspiracy theories each right wing conservative seems to be convinced of these days.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      • SRM
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Heh, heh. Somebody should tell him to get in line. There is only one person who can’t be blamed for anything these days.

  6. Stephen Mynett
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I hope you change your mind about that tweet, the Drosophila melanogaster rap sounds great fun.

  7. Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Ah, now I get it, I think. Carter is a chameleon.

  8. J Cook
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Have you noticed the shoes the “First Lady” is wearing? Howinhell can anyone walk in those things?

    • rickflick
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Especially in the grass. She must be able to put all her weight on her toes without losing balance. A remarkable feet.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Oh I do hope that was a deliberate typo 😎


        • rickflick
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

          Everything I do is on porpoise.

      • grasshopper
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink


        And it is an ironic mocking how her husband walked when he had heel spurs.

        • rickflick
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

          He still stands all tipped forward. Saving his heels they say. What a heal.

  9. harrync
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I can identify everyone at the table except the blond next to William Tell. And I think that is Robin Hood at the head of the table; if I am right, why? What connection with apples does he have?

    • Katey
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      I think the blonde is meant to be Aphrodite possibly (Judgement of Paris myth), and perhaps the boy seated next to William Tell is his son?

    • Kathleen Vincent
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      I think the blond is meant to be Atlanta. She was distracted during a footrace by her suitor throwing golden apples. Can’t remember the suitors name.

      • Kathleen Vincent
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink


        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

          Yes, that is possible too.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Wilhelm Tell, The snake in paradise, Adam and Eve, Newton, Snow White, Bill Gates, the queen in Snow White in her witch persona, Helena (or Aphrodite) and Paris, and Wilhelm Tell’s son. I can’t place the waiter though.

  10. merilee
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink


  11. Posted October 5, 2020 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    M.C. Hammer beef:

    Great burn there, but professor – it isn’t worth your time arguing with musicians about science. Unless they KNOW something about it and propose something not stupid or insane.
    Don’t waste your time.
    D.A., NYC

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