Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

Happy Cat Sabbath: It’s Ceiling Cat’s Day, October 11, 2020: National Sausage Pizza Day, a comestible that clearly isn’t kosher. It’s also Southern Food Heritage Day, World Obesity Day, and Kraken Day, described this way:

Kraken Day, also known as Myths and Legends Day, is part of International Cephalopod Awareness Days, or Cephalopod Awareness Week, which takes place from October 8-12 each year.

Finally, in the U.S. it’s International Day of the Girl ChildInternational Newspaper Carrier Day (how many readers delivered papers?), and National Coming Out Day. 

News of the Day:

This happened yesterday (the CNN headline was “Trump delivers dark and divisive speech in first major appearance since Covid diagnosis“):

People wore masks, though the first thing Il Duce did when he appeared was to publicly peel off his mask, a clear signal; but there was no social distancing. Trump’s doctor (I don’t trust him) says he’s cleared to interact with people and is “no longer a transmission risk”, but still won’t say if he’s tested negative for the virus. And that surely means that he hasn’t tested negative.

The Washington Post reports that an after-midnight military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, featured the largest liquid-fueled, road-mobile nuclear missile anyone’s ever seen. Apparently it can carry several nuclear warheads that can be delivered inter-continentally, but the Great Leader says that it’s only for deterrence.  Here’s a photo, but I always wonder how experts can tell these are real missiles rather than dummies:

(from WaPo): This image made from video broadcast by North Korea’s KRT shows a military parade with what appears to be a possible new intercontinental ballistic missile at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang. (KRT via AP)

A strident atheist proclaims, “I’m ready for an atheist president”—in Cosmopolitan, of all places! (h/t Barry) An excerpt:

We may think of ourselves as “one nation, under God” (that lil phrase was only added to our pledge of allegiance in 1954, btw), but right now, nothing about our nation is feeling whole, one. Our insistence on religion as a unifying American principle feels just as outdated and illusory as the notion of civility in the White House. And when politicians wield their faith as a means to convince voters that they’re “good,” it strikes me as downright condescending.

Good news! LiveScience reports that, after Tasmanian devils disappeared from the Australian continent about 3,500 years ago, probably outcompeted by dingos, they’re back on the mainland again (see also National Geographic).

Aussie Ark, a wildlife nonprofit in Australia, has been breeding and studying Tasmanian devils for more than a decade, with the goal of eventually reintroducing devils into the wild once conditions were sustainable for their survival, according to the statement. For the recent release, Aussie Ark partnered with GWC and WildArk, another wildlife conservation nonprofit; they released 11 Tasmanian devils on Sept. 10. (h/t Sue)

The wild devils in Tasmania have been hit hard by a contagious face cancer, transmitted by bites from other devils, but the released population on the mainland is cancer-free, so there’s no chance that an expanded population will be afflicted by the disease. You go, o lovely fierce marsupials!

Tasmanian Devil (from Aussie Ark via Nat. Geog.)

The New York Times has a figure and a list of coronavirus cases in American colleges and universities. Right now the total is more than 178,000 cases at 1400+ colleges. Ohio State seems to hold the record, with 3,051 reported cases, but it has a huge enrollment—66,400 or so. The University of Wisconsin at Madison is only ten cases behind Ohio State (enrollment: 43,820), but clearly has a higher infection rate. The University of Chicago is on the low side, with 79 reported cases (enrollment: 14,467 counting grad students), and I hope it stays that way.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 214,184, an increase of about 600 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll remains at “1.0 million +”, with 4,646 deaths reported yesterday.

Stuff that happened on October 11 includes:

  • 1531 – Huldrych Zwingli is killed in battle with the Roman Catholic cantons of Switzerland.
  • 1767 – Surveying for the Mason–Dixon line separating Maryland from Pennsylvania is completed.

Here’s the Mason-Dixon line [dark red] from the Encyclopedia Brittanica. Surveyed to resolve a border dispute, it later became the informal line of demarcation between slave states in the South and free states in the North.

  • 1852 – The University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest university, is inaugurated in Sydney.
  • 1906 – San Francisco sparks a diplomatic crisis between the United States and Japan by ordering segregated schools for Japanese students.
  • 1954 – In accord with the 1954 Geneva Conference, French troops complete their withdrawal from North Vietnam.
  • 1962 – The Second Vatican Council becomes the first ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church in 92 years.
  • 1968 – NASA launches Apollo 7, the first successful manned Apollo mission.
  • 1976 – George Washington is posthumously promoted to the grade of General of the Armies.

That took long enough, and what was accomplished by it?

  • 1984 – Aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan becomes the first American woman to perform a space walk.

Here’s an short interview with Sullivan that shows scenes from her space walk (trigger warning: d*g!)

  • 1991 – Prof. Anita Hill delivers her televised testimony concerning sexual harassment during the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination.

Hill, now 64, teaches at Brandeis University and a works as a lawyer with the Civil Rights and Employment Practice group of the plaintiffs’ law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll. And of course we all remember the tense standoff between her, Clarence Thomas, and the Senate.  Here’s Joe Biden, who gave Hill a hard time during the hearings, asking her to say “Long Dong Silver”. It didn’t matter, but I did and do believe that Hill was telling the truth.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1844 – Henry J. Heinz, American businessman, founded the H. J. Heinz Company (d. 1919)
  • 1918 – Jerome Robbins, American director, producer, and choreographer (d. 1998)
  • 1925 – Elmore Leonard, American novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter (d. 2013)
  • 1937 – Bobby Charlton, English footballer and manager

There’s a good FIFA  video about Charlton, who played for Manchester United most of his career. You can see it on Youtube by clicking on the screenshot below (I can’t embed the video; it’s FIFA!):

  • 1946 – Daryl Hall, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
  • 1968 – Jane Krakowski, American actress and singer

Those who met their Just Reward on October 11 include:

  • 1779 – Casimir Pulaski, Polish-American general (b. 1745)
  • 1809 – Meriwether Lewis, American captain, explorer, and politician, 2nd Governor of Louisiana Territory (b. 1774)
  • 1940 – Vito Volterra, Italian mathematician and physicist (b. 1860)
  • 1961 – Chico Marx, American comedian (b. 1887)
  • 1963 – Jean Cocteau, French author, poet, and playwright (b. 1889)
  • 1965 – Dorothea Lange, American photographer and journalist (b. 1895)

Lange became well known for her photographs of people affected by the Great Depression, taken for the Farm Security Administration . Here’s one of them:

Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili likes to be admired, but not out in the open, where there may be d*gs. Here she is down by the Vistula:

Hili: Open spaces make me anxious.
A: Why?
Hili: Everybody can see me
In Polish:
Hili: Otwarte przestrzenie budzą niepokój.
Ja: Dlaczego?
Hili: Wszyscy mnie widzą.

In nerby Wloclawek, Mietek the kitten is no longer a kitten. He’s an adult cat, and showing all the signs of it.

Mietek: What do you mean that I had dinner already?!!!

In Polish: Jak to, jadłem już kolację?!!!

A Halloween meme from Nicole:

From Jesus of the Day; time to rectify the deficit of penguins in STEM:

And speaking once again about flies (I have to hand it to Pence—he’s made flies great again!), here’s a cat/fly meme from The Cat House on the Kings:

From Titania. This statement might sound ridiculous, but in fact it is the sentiment of some of the Woke:

I’m highlighting the second tweet below (I can’t figure out how to embed a single tweet in a thread). It shows Trump making another ridiculous statement (at the end). I guess he hasn’t heard of The Civil Rights Act of 1964. But the first video also shows one of his unhinged moments.

A tweet from Barry. Notice how the beasts become bipedal before the hit. As Barry says, “That’s gotta hurt!”, but I’m not so sure:

From Simon, the first animation I’ve seen from The Lincoln Project. Sound up. A “Walk of Shame” usually refers to a college woman sneaking back to her dorm or sorority house after spending a night with a guy, wearing the same clothes she wore the previous evening.

A lovely carving by a talented carver:

This is the most enlightened society ever:

LOL, a climbing frame:

More than one scholar has written me in the past week saying I was right about denying that Arab scholars anticipated Darwin’s theory of evolution hundreds of years before The Origin. And here’s another one.



  1. Posted October 11, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    You can make sausage out of chicken or turkey & then it’s kosher. Jus sayin.

  2. Linda Calhoun
    Posted October 11, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    The Trump rally was planned for 2000 people. 400 showed up, and they were PAID to be there. They were required to wear those blue shirts and red hats in order to earn their money.

    Sheep, like goats, have a sinus between their outer skulls and inner bony brain casing, so bashing heads doesn’t hurt them. That hollow space is what accounts for the pumpkin-thump sound you hear when they hit.


    • Posted October 11, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      I like the way you allow those two paragraphs to run together so seamlessly!

    • Max Blancke
      Posted October 11, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think that is completely accurate, although the sheep part seems to be in order.

      As for the rally, it appears that Candice Owens held a BLEXIT rally in D.C., and had told her supporters that “We are giving away a limited amount of travel stipends to those that really need them”
      How many such vouchers were given has not been released. ABC is reporting that it was a requirement of Owen’s group that participants wear the provided shirts to the BLEXIT event near the Washington monument. Trump’s speech was given on fairly short notice, so the White House invited some of the BLEXIT participants to the WH speech.
      The BLEXIT rally was scheduled before Trump came down with Covid.

      Trump’s “issues” should not need to be misrepresented or exaggerated.

  3. jezgrove
    Posted October 11, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    “This statement might sound ridiculous, but in fact it is the sentiment of some of the Woke” – intersectionality finally unites the Woke and Incels…!

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 11, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    When seeing the mason-dixon line it is good to recall those neutral states during the civil war – Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri and West by-g*d Virginia.

    • Historian
      Posted October 11, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri were not neutral states. They remained in the Union, although for a short time at the beginning of the war, Kentucky declared itself neutral, but this quickly ended when it was occupied by Union troops. However, a significant number of its citizens did fight for the Confederacy. West Virginia, when it broke away from Virginia during the war, became a Union state.

      Regarding Kentucky, Wikipedia states:

      “Kentucky was a border state of key importance in the American Civil War. It officially declared its neutrality at the beginning of the war, but after a failed attempt by Confederate General Leonidas Polk to take the state of Kentucky for the Confederacy, the legislature petitioned the Union Army for assistance. After early 1862 Kentucky came largely under Union control.”

      It goes on to say:

      “35,000 Kentuckians served as Confederate soldiers; an estimated 125,000 Kentuckians served as Union soldiers. Approximately, 24,000 Black Kentuckians, free and enslaved, served as Union soldiers.”

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted October 11, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        Call them whatever you like, whatever makes you feel good. They were slave states that did not secede from the union. That was what is important to the north and to Lincoln.

        • Historian
          Posted October 11, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

          I will take your advice and call them not neutral because they weren’t and that makes me feel good.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted October 11, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

            You should tell the internet folks to follow your beliefs. They are not listening.

  5. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted October 11, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    An email specimen from the president’s campaign :

    Subject : We’re developing a cure. And we’re doing it quickly.

    [email recipient],

    I got back from Walter Reed Medical Center just a few days ago.

    As your President, I knew I needed to do whatever it took to beat this thing so that I could KEEP FIGHTING FOR YOU and so that we could develop a cure quickly. I want every American to be given the incredible treatment that I received.

    We are also developing a vaccine in record time and should have it available to the American people very soon!

    The truth is: no one else would’ve been able to accomplish what we’ve accomplished under my administration.

    Of course, you’ll never hear this from the Do Nothing Democrats or the Fake News media. All they do is LIE and SMEAR the great work we are doing. They want you to be afraid of the virus. They want to MANIPULATE YOU into voting for their radical candidate.

    [ link to survey redacted]

    When the Left comes after me, I need YOU to defend me. Can I count on you?

    Add your name NOW to stand with me against the Radical Left.

    Thank you,

    President Donald J. Trump
    [ photo ]
    Donald J. Trump
    President of the United States
    Contributions to the Trump Make America Great Again Committee are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.

    Paid for by Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a joint fundraising committee authorized by and composed of Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and the Republican National Committee.
    Trump Make America Great Again Committee, 725 Fifth Ave New York, NY 10022

    We believe this is an important way to reach our grassroots supporters with the most up-to-date information regarding the efforts of the Trump Make America Great Again Committee and President Trump, and we’re glad you’re on our team. It’s because of grassroots supporters like you that we will Make America Great Again, and we appreciate your support. Thank you for all that you do!

    [ end of email specimen]

  6. bill
    Posted October 11, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    when did Southern Food Heritage Day and World Obesity Day split off?

  7. rickflick
    Posted October 11, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    The Tasmanian devil looks like the pit bull of the marsupials. Glad to see they are doing well.

  8. rickflick
    Posted October 11, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 11, 1884.

  9. Ken Phelps
    Posted October 11, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Mark Knopfler uses Mason and Dixon’s survey as the somewhat unusual subject for the song “Philadelphia”.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted October 11, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Ya beat me to it. That’s one of my favorite songs.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 11, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      The Knopfler-Taylor song “Philadelphia” was inspired, I believe, by Thomas Pynchon’s celebrated 1997 novel about the famous survey, Mason & Dixon.

      • John Dentinger
        Posted October 11, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        Inquiring mind(s) want to know: why hasn’t Pynchon won the Nobel? Oh, wait . . . he’s an old(er) white guy.

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 11, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Trump yells out of nowhere, “why isn’t Hillary Clinton being indicted?!”

    The Donald seems to have forgotten completely that his initial pretext for firing FBI director James Comey in 2017 was that he had been so mean to Hillary Clinton during the investigation regarding her emails.

  11. merilee
    Posted October 11, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink


  12. C.
    Posted October 11, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I don’t care one bit for college sports but I couldn’t help but watch a bit of it yesterday. The sidelines of the football game was just packed with players, coaches, staff, and maybe 1 in 10 were wearing a mask, maybe half wore it correctly, and social distancing was pretty much absent. I’m not surprised that the universities are seeing increased cases. Sports, plus parties, then throw in bars, restaurants, the students that have to work in high public contact service jobs, and the “invincibility” of youth mindset makes for a perfect viral environment. Can someone please give them the Cliff’s Notes version of basic virology please?

    • Derek Freyberg
      Posted October 11, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      I’m not a watcher of sports either, though a bit of it is unavoidable on the evening news; but I have seen it reported that the NFL is threatening fines of $100,000+ for coaches and sideline staff who fail to wear masks. Would that the college sports bodies were so conscientious.

      • Mark R.
        Posted October 11, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Here’s the latest rundown.

        Broncos coach Vic Fangio, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, Saints coach Sean Payton and Raiders coach Jon Gruden all were hit with $100,000 fines for not wearing their masks appropriately during their Week 2 games.

        Hope the money goes to a good cause. And I agree that the college coaches should be held to the same standard.

  13. Matt
    Posted October 11, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Trump saw the new NK missile and said “See, I told you he loves me.”

  14. J Cook
    Posted October 11, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    International Newspaper Carrier Day.
    I had paper routes when I was a kid. The Berkeley Daily Gazette. We called it the Gasjet. We carried the papers in a double sided bag worn over the shoulders with the head poking through. One bag in front, one in back. The bags could be slung over the handlebars of a fat tire, wide handlebar bike too. Several routes were delivered to a central corner by a guy named Cox. The bundles for each route were secured with wire and we had a device for cutting or breaking the wire tied to our bags. We’d sit on our corner and fold the papers into a triangle so we could toss them to the porch “Porch your paper” . Once a month we had to “collect”, knocking on doors of subscribers in the evening.
    This’d been in the late 40’s and early 50’s.
    I can’t remember stuff that happened yesterday but I remember what a drag it was to “collect” and the rest of paper route days very well. Dawgs chased us too, especially on a bike.

  15. openidname
    Posted October 12, 2020 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Enlightened? To require a license to feed stray cats? Wouldn’t it be more enlightened not to require a license? Certainly more libertarian and less authoritarian.

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