Monday: Hili dialogue

It’s another damn work week; welcome to Monday, October 5, 2020: Apple Betty Day, a dessert also called “Brown Betty”. As for who Betty was, Quora says this:

The story behind this classic dessert is somewhat nebulous. The Oxford Companion to Food deduced that there was in fact a real “Betty” of African-American descent for which the dish is named. It is believed that “brown” wasn’t referring to the dish, but to the cook herself, who may have been of mixed racial background. During colonial times it was common to name desserts after people, and there is further speculation that this Betty might have been a slave. The recipe, made from Granny Smith apples, lemon juice, sugar, sandwich bread, butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar, was first published in the Yale Literary Magazine as “brown Betty” in 1864.

The dessert is best served warm with vanilla ice cream. (p.s. Costco has fabulous and huge pumpkin pies on sale now. If you’re a member, get your tuchas over there and get one. They freeze well, too.)

It’s also World Teachers’ Day, World Architecture Day, and International Day of No Prostitution.

News of the day:  First the good news: According to the BBC, Stumble the duck, who lost a leg in a one-on-one with a fishing line has been given a wheelchair to help him in his old age (he’s twelve).  It warms my heart to see so much care given to a duck, but, after all, that duck’s well being is all he’s got. If you save just one duck life, it’s as if you’ve saved the world.  There’s a lovely 2-minute movie of Stumble at the BBC site (h/t: Jeremy).

About a week ago I featured a report on the cancellation of shows by renowned (and deceased) artist Philip Guston, who, as an antiracist, painted Ku Kux Klan-like figures in some of his work. Despite the representation being pejorative, people couldn’t bear to see hooded figures of any sort—a form of pathological hypersensitivity, and three of his shows were “postponed” (read: canceled).  Guston’s getting some support, though, according to the New York Times:

On Wednesday, a letter drafted by the art critic Barry Schwabsky addressed to those museums — the National Gallery of Art in Washington; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Tate Modern, London — and signed by nearly 100 artists, writers and curators, was published by the Brooklyn Rail, protesting the postponement. To date, more than 2,000 names have been added — young and old, Black, Asian, Persian, Arab, L.G.B.T.Q.

Will the three canceled shows be reinstated? I wouldn’t count on it.

Trump took a quick car ride outside Walter Reed Hospital yesterday, and also issued a video, all trying to reassure people that he’s fine, though reports are that he had several episodes of low oxygen levels in his blood. It looks as though he’ll recover quickly (given his age and weight, I’m surprised).  But his doctors should really not have let him leave the hospital, and his tootling around inside a car with other people endangered those people, including his Secret Service agents. It was a selfish act, but when has he cared about infecting others? Photo from the NYT:

The NBC News last night featured a segment on Trump’s personal physician, an osteopath named Sean Conley. I’m dubious about him, not because he’s an osteopath (they can be good doctors, but there’s an element of chiropractic in what some of them do), but because he’s using a variety of untested and non-CDC approved treatments on Trump. Also, Conley admitted that he lied about when Trump used oxygen, though he called it “putting a good face on things.”

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 209,603, an increase of about 350 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll remains at”1.0 million +, with 3,778 deaths reported on October 4. 

Stuff that happened on October 5 includes:

  • 1838 – The Killough massacre in east Texas sees eighteen Texian settlers either killed or kidnapped.
  • 1905 – The Wright brothers pilot the Wright Flyer III in a new world record flight of 24 miles in 39 minutes.

Here’s that plane exactly 115 years ago on the record flight (caption from Wikipedia):

Front in-flight view of Wright Flyer III during its 46th flight (which was the last photographed flight of 1905); Huffman Prairie, Dayton, Ohio, October 4, 1905.

Here’s all the information I could get about that from Wikipedia: “In October 1914, an airplane was shot down by a handgun from another plane for the first time over Reims, France.”  A handgun!

  • 1938 – In Nazi Germany, Jews’ passports are invalidated.
  • 1943 – Ninety-eight American POWs are executed by Japanese forces on Wake Island.
  • 1945 – A six-month strike by Hollywood set decorators turns into a bloody riot at the gates of the Warner Brothers studio.

Nobody was killed, but 30 were injured. Read more about this incident here.

  • 1947 – President Truman makes the first televised Oval Office address.
  • 1970 – The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is founded.
  • 1982 – Tylenol products are recalled after bottles in Chicago laced with cyanide cause seven deaths.

Nobody was ever convicted of the murders, though one man who sent a letter to Johnson & Johnson trying to blackmail them was convicted of extortion and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

  • 1984 – Marc Garneau becomes the first Canadian in space.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1703 – Jonathan Edwards, American pastor and theologian (d. 1758)
  • 1829 – Chester A. Arthur, American general, lawyer, and politician, 21st President of the United States (d. 1886)
  • 1864 – Louis Lumière, French director and producer (d. 1948)
  • 1879 – Francis Peyton Rous, American pathologist and virologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1970)
  • 1882 – Robert H. Goddard, American physicist, engineer, and academic (d. 1945)
  • 1902 – Larry Fine, American comedian (d. 1975)

You know Larry Fine, right? His real name was Louis Feinberg. Will this refresh your memory? He’s on the left.

And the boys in their civvies (left to right: Jerome Horwitz, Louis Feinberg, Moses Horwitz:


  • 1902 – Ray Kroc, American businessman and philanthropist (d. 1984)
  • 1923 – Philip Berrigan, American priest and activist (d. 2002)
  • 1926 – Willi Unsoeld, American mountaineer and educator (d. 1979)

Unsoeld, a great mountaineer, was part of the first American expedition to Everest in 1963. He succeeded in reaching the summit on the difficult West Ridge route, but lost seven toes afterwards. Unsoel died in an avalanche on Mount Ranier. Sadly, his daughter, Nanda Devi Unsoeld, named after the mountain, died of altitude sickness on an ascent of that very mountain in 1976. I know of no other person named after a mountain period, much less one who died on that eponymous mountain.

Willi Unsoeld and Nanda Devi Unsoeld, from Barnstorming:

You can read Unsoeld’s account of the death of his daughter here.

Nanda Devi, the second highest mountain in India:

  • 1936 – Václav Havel, Czech poet, playwright, and politician, 1st President of the Czech Republic (d. 2011)
  • 1951 – Bob Geldof, British singer-songwriter and actor
  • 1958 – Neil deGrasse Tyson, American astrophysicist, cosmologist, and author
  • 1966 – Sean M. Carroll, American physicist, cosmologist, and academic

And three actors born on October 5.

  • 1975 – Parminder Nagra, English actress
  • 1975 – Kate Winslet, English actress
  • 1983 – Jesse Eisenberg, American actor and writer

Those who gave up the ghost on October 5 include:

  • 1813 – Tecumseh, American tribal leader (b. 1768)
  • 1941 – Louis Brandeis, American lawyer and jurist (b. 1856)
  • 1976 – Lars Onsager, Norwegian-American chemist and physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1903)
  • 2004 – Rodney Dangerfield, American comedian, actor, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1921)
  • 2011 – Bert Jansch, Scottish singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1943)

Here’s Jansch performing live on Norwegian television in 1973. This song, “Running from home”, is on his first, eponymous, album, released in 1965. I discovered Jansch when I was in high school, and still think this is one of the best “folk” albums of our era. That album and Lightfoot!, released a year later, were the two acoustic albums that got me through my pre-college years. (For a live performance of his most famous song, “Angie” (written by Davey Graham), go here.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Paulina photographs both Hili and Szaron, though Hili would prefer to be the only subject:

Hili: Move your camera to the right.
Paulina: Why?
Hili: The angle will be better.
In Polish:
Hili: Przesuń obiektyw w prawo.
Paulina: Dlaczego?
Hili: Będziesz miała lepsze ujęcie.

From Jesus of the Day:

From Nicole:

From Charles:

A tweet from Titania via Simon. I had no idea that the virtue-flaunting Sainsburys was largely owned by the Qatari government.

A tweet from Barry. No social distancing here, except for prospective H. sapiens (otherwise known as “lunch”):

Tweets from Matthew. This religion has a problematic doctrinal issue (sound up).  Their Lord is a jealous God, and sends people to hell for a cuppa Joe: a twist on W. C. Fields’s “The fatal glass of beer.”

It’s better than having taken a dose of Enditol.

A very lovely piece of art and craftsmanship:

Crikey, these red deer can swim! Read more here.

This bug (“true bugs” are in the insect order Hemiptera) really is gussied up. The Google translation from the Japanese is this: “Kibara helicopter stink bug. It really had a refreshing scent of green apples.”

Matthew says to be sure to watch the video. By now, though, we’ve probably all heard Trump denigrating Biden for his masks which, by the way, are no larger than normal.

Matthew said that this would soothe me, and it did a bit. The ducks, however, are not diving but dabbling:



  1. flayman
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Trump’s car is hermitically sealed, so the risk of infection inside is as high as any small room. Higher. These masks worn by the Secret Service agents don’t do nearly enough. It’s outrageous. If one of them gets sick and dies, it’s probably manslaughter.

    • Posted October 5, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Yeah, and that’s surely NOT a death risk that’s part of their job description.

      • flayman
        Posted October 5, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        They put their live on the line, of course. But there’s no justification for this. It goes against all medical advice (except apparently the White House physician). He’s meant to be isolating for 2 weeks. Secret Service are not disposable. Being in a sealed car, they may as well inhale his breath through a snorkel.

  2. kieran
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Bob Geldof is Irish! Though we sometimes wish he wasn’t

    It’s all part of the conspiracy!

    • jezgrove
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      That was great, thanks kieran!

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Trump’s cruise outside Walter Reed hospital in a presidential SUV so he could see and be seen by his subjects was the move of a third-world dictator, the worst since he had the military clear peaceful protestors out of Lafayette Park so he could waddle to St. John’s Episcopal for a photo-op with a prop bible (a book that did not belong to him, and the contents of which he has never read, nor to which he has ever even made so much as an unscripted allusion).

    • sugould
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink


    • rickflick
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      It reminds me of Muammar Gaddafi holding an umbrella when there was no rain getting into his limo, just before he was tracked down by a mob and executed.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 5, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        The umbrella-in-the-absence-of-precipitation thing never seems to work out well for world leaders. Ask Neville Chamberlain. 🙂

        • rickflick
          Posted October 5, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          I’ve been trying but always get a busy signal.

    • Posted October 5, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Since Trump has no clue about the Bible’s content, I’ll quote John 11:50 for him: “You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 5, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        The way Trump likely sees it, he and the Lord have a mutual non-aggression agreement — like Hitler and Stalin with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

        Wonder if they both get a chunk of Poland.

    • denise
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      The Lafayette Park event and the joyride were apparently both the bright ideas of Ivanka and Jared. Or so I read somewhere last night – sorry, I can’t say where I saw it anymore.

  4. Posted October 5, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I had no idea that the virtue-flaunting Sainsburys was largely owned by the Qatari government.

    It isn’t. They own about 21%. They are the largest single shareholder though.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Imagine attaching metal to the propeller so you could shoot the machine gun. If you shot yourself down did that count as a kill?

  6. Blue
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    funny. funny. Thank you, Doctors Cobb and
    Coyne = thus = ” Itolduso-19 ” and
    ” Enditol “.

    As someone within the healthcare panoply of personnel,
    I have long and long guffawed in re the ” naming ”
    of pharmaceuticals. Over and over the names,
    not the scientific ones but those brand names
    for which someone actually gets a paycheck
    for ” thinking up, ” … … for new – ish,
    ( FDA – ) released drugs. Similarly, too,
    the common – type nomenclature used for identifying
    beasts’ untoward conditions of dis – eases.

    Relatedly, a brand name – drug ending in the
    suffix of -ol is .often.often. a tranQ, even
    one which may be fatefully powerful – enough
    to … … ” euthanize ” some previously living
    / breathing critter.


  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    The NBC News last night featured a segment on Trump’s personal physician, an osteopath named Sean Conley. I’m dubious about him …

    As former FBI director James Comey has observed, Donald Trump eats the souls of those around him one bite at a time. (I don’t know whether Comey meant that metaphorically, but I do.) And it’s plain that Trump has been munching away on Dr. Conley’s, making of the osteopath a bumbling, uncomfortable campaign spokesman.

    • Posted October 5, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Actually, I’m hoping Conley releases tRump from the hospital today. It is too early I know, but I can’t help it. I’m a miscreant.

      • Posted October 5, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        He’s not going home because his condition has improved. Trump’s trip to the hospital was mostly because he couldn’t get the necessary medical equipment sent to the White House in time to deal with his escalating condition. He can go back now as the scanner and such have been set up.

        I can’t prove it but I know it’s true. 😉

        • Posted October 5, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

          Sounds very plausible. Of course, the risk to the WH staff is irrelevant to tRump.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 5, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        Should Trump gets discharged from Walter Reed today, I’m betting his chart will be notated “AMA” — against medical advice.

  8. E.A. Blair
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Today is also the 51st anniversary of the premiere of Monty Python’s Flying Circus on the BBC in 1969.

  9. Posted October 5, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    “It looks as though he’ll recover quickly.”

    Exactly what he wants you to believe. I’m guessing that COVID-19 is not through with him yet.

    • Posted October 5, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Even if his condition worsens, the Repugnants will continue to claim that he is in good spirits, working hard for America, and that Biden and all mask-wearers are fools.

      • Posted October 5, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        They can say, “He’s never been better.” That’s pretty much true.

    • Gingerbaker
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      I’m the opposite. I have a feeling he has had nothing but a very mild case, and the symptoms he supposedly suffered could be nothing more than him holding his breath, and a temperature spike normal to the administration of the nostrums applied to him “in an abundance of caution”.

      I think they have been doing all they could do to hype up his illness so he can return as a “COVID warrior”.

      When you are really hit by COVID, you don’t recover in a day or two.

      • Posted October 5, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Given that Trump bases everything he does on looking “strong”, I doubt he would go to the hospital unless he absolutely had to. As evidence, remember his sudden visit to the very same hospital on a weekend which he claimed was getting a head start on his annual physical or some such unbelievable crap. You also don’t get all those drugs and supplemental oxygen if you have a mild case.

        • Gingerbaker
          Posted October 5, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          You get supplemental oxygen when your blood sat dips. You can dip your blood sat by holding your breath for thirty seconds. You can get an experimental concoction by using a malleable DO instead of an actual MD.

          I used to be a pharma sales rep. I have known a LOT of DOs. Let’s put it this way – if you can get into a real med school, you don’t go to DO school.

          And look at his messaging – it fits the COVID warrior who has really learned a lot about the disease by going through it. Are we really expected to believe he went through hell and back in one day, when he was able to still dress and sign blank sheets of paper as if he was “working”?

          No, this seems to be a highly choreographed stunt to me.

          • Gingerbaker
            Posted October 5, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

            Latest messaging from Trump campaign:

            “He has experience — now — fighting the coronavirus as an individual. Those firsthand experiences, Joe Biden, he doesn’t have those.””

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted October 6, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

          As I recall, some Covid cases appear to be doing fine, and have maybe even stabilised, then all of a sudden they have a flare-up and drop down dead.

          Not saying this will happen in Mr Trump’s case, but hope springs eternal…


          • Posted October 6, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

            Yes. I think he’ll be back at the hospital soon. There’s also a good chance that someone in his inner circle or a White House worker will die from it. It will be hard for him to talk around that, though I’m sure he’ll try.

            • Posted October 6, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

              If Trump’s clinical course follows that of Herman Cain, he will die on election day.

              Don’t know if this image will come through..

  10. pablo
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    The top 3 Stooges photo shows Shemp, and the lower photo shows Curly. Different performers, not the same with a change of clothes.

    • Posted October 5, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Good eye. You must be a Stooges scholar. There was turnover, so confusion happens. I will watch only the classic trio—Larry, Moe and Curly Howard. Although he is a Horwitz brother, I never warmed to Shemp. And definitely not Curly Joe DeRita.

      • pablo
        Posted October 5, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        I used to watch them as a kid. A local channel would air them at 3Pm just when I got home from school. It was followed by reruns of Adam West’s Batman.

      • jezgrove
        Posted October 5, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        I have to confess, I never got the whole Stooges thing (or Abbott and Costello) – not sure if it’s just me or whether their humo(u)r didn’t survive the Atlantic crossing very well.

        • Posted October 5, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

          I like to say that it is an acquired taste, but it isn’t. You either like them or don’t. Also seems a male thing. My wife just shakes her head when I watch them.

          How do you feel about Laurel and Hardy? They seemed to have crossed the Atlantic well, perhaps because Stan Laurel is a Brit and they actually straddled the Atlantic.

          • jezgrove
            Posted October 5, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

            Laurel and Hardy were brilliant – my favourite episode is “Them thar hills”, when the boys turn up in a remote house just after the previous occupants have tipped moonshine down the known and left in a hurry to escape the cops.

            • Doug
              Posted October 5, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

              Did you see the movie “Stan & Ollie” that came out a few years ago? Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as Laurel & Hardy. Each actor was really playing two roles: the actors Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, and the characters Stan & Ollie. I thought they did an excellent job.

              Depressing news: No-one I talked to who was under 40 ever heard of Laurel & Hardy. Or the Marx Brothers. One teenager knew Abbott & Costello, and a couple of teens had heard of the Little Rascals.

  11. Vaal
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    And the predicted spin with Trump using his illness to downplay of COVID has begun:

    He just tweeted:

    “I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

    If there really were a God….

    • Posted October 5, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      That’s just got to be the drugs talking.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 6, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      “We have developed, under the tRump Administration, some really great drugs and knowledge, and we only had to kill 210,000 Americans to do so”

      There, ftfy


  12. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    This is nit-picking, but I don’t think that the original ‘Brown Betty’ was made with Granny Smith apples in 1864. The original seedling was identified by Maria Anna Smith in NSW in 1868; then she had to grow it and propagate others by grafting. It was recognised as a cultivar in 1895. (All according to Wikipedia) Of course now it is the ideal apple for such baked desserts.

  13. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 6, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Re the video from Pastor Alex Love, whatever fruitcake sect she belongs to, I am happy to declare that my sinful caffeine-related addiction is such that I am in no danger of ever ending up in that sanctimonious pious purgatory known as ‘heaven’…


    • Barbara Radcliffe
      Posted October 6, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Given the ‘sinfulness’ of coffee and the mention of the temple, it seems she is likely Mormon.
      I’m happy not to go to her heaven as well — no coffee (or wine) and I’m not keen on harps!

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