Saturday: Hili dialogue

November 14, 2020 • 6:30 am

Greet the Sabbath and get your shabbas goy in: it’s Saturday, November 14, 2020: both Pickle Appreciation Day and National Guacamole Day. It’s also National American Teddy Bear Day, World Diabetes Day, and Operating Room Nurse Day (a shout-out to those who helped in my recent hernia operation, including shaving my nether parts).

Today the Google Doodle (click on screenshot) goes to an animation celebrating the life of Maria Tallchief (1925-2011), a native American on one side (her father was from the Osage Nation), often considered America’s first star prima ballerina. It was on November 14, 1942, that Tallchief set out for New York City on her voyage to the Big Time. She danced first for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and then, after it was founded, for the New York City Ballet. Google has produced a nice video about her and the making of the Doodle.

News of the Day:

First, the good news. CNN reports an amazing hole in one by John Rahm at the Master’s. Rahm skipped the ball over the water, and it then took a tortuous course into the hole (see video below). When I wondered why he skipped the ball over the water, I found out that this was a practice round, and it’s a tradition to water-skip a ball at hole 16 during practice. (That sort of takes the shine off the achievement.)

Cloned kitten!: A Chinese man, bereft after the death of his cat “Garlic,” paid $35,000 to have a somatic cell from the late cat put into an egg, the egg implanted into a surrogate mother cat, and, mirabile dictu, they produced a seemingly normal kitten that was a genetic clone of Garlic:  (we shall see if it grows up okay). Although this is done fairly regularly with d*gs, it’s not done so often with cats. Meet Garlic 2.0 and its predecessor (there already appear to be some pattern differences):

Photo: Sinogene

In other news, Franco is still dead and Trump still hasn’t conceded the election. The President-Eject addressed reporters yesterday, but spoke mainly about the pandemic and the vaccine. He didn’t mention the election except very briefly (implying that it’s still undecided). And his team just lost two bids for election recounts, one (actually six separate suits) in Pennsylvania and the other in Michigan, where a judge proclaimed that Team Trump’s allegations of election fraud were unevidenced.

Here’s the NYT’s graph of newly reported Covid cases over time;  the 163,402 new cases reported on Thursday set a record.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 244,250, a big increase of about 1,400 from yesterday’s figure. The world death toll is 1,311,047, a big increase of about 10,200 over yesterday’s report.

Stuff that happened on November 14 includes:

The source was of the “Blue Nile”, and comprised three small springs in the Ethiopian town of Gish Abay.

The first American edition will cost you a cool $65,000:

  • 1886 – Friedrich Soennecken first developed the hole puncher, a type of office tool capable of punching small holes in paper.
  • 1889 – Pioneering female journalist Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochrane) begins a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days. She completes the trip in 72 days.

Bly’s real name was Elizabeth Jane Cochran; here’s a photo from Wikipedia labeled, “A publicity photograph taken by the New York World newspaper to promote Bly’s around-the-world voyage.”

Bridges’ attending the school, where of course she was met with much hatred and bigotry (and had to be escorted by U.S. Marshals), was the subject of Norman Rockwell’s famous 1964 painting The Problem We All Live WithDuring his presidency, Obama had the painting hung outside the Oval Office, despite the presence of the n-word on the wall below:

  • 1967 – American physicist Theodore Maiman is given a patent for his ruby laser systems, the world’s first laser.
  • 1995 – A budget standoff between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress forces the federal government to temporarily close national parks and museums and to run most government offices with skeleton staffs.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1797 – Charles Lyell, Scottish geologist and lawyer (d. 1875)
  • 1840 – Claude Monet, French painter (d. 1926)

Here’s Monet’s “Cat Sleeping on Bed” (1865):

The first Prime Minister of India, Nehru served for 18 years until his death. Here’s a photo of him with his daughter Indira (the first woman Prime Minister of India, later assassinated by her guards), and his grandsons Rajiv (assassinated in a separate incident), and Sanjay (killed in a plane crash).

Banting, who got the prize at 32 with James Macleod for the discovery of insulin, is still the youngest winner in Physiology or Medicine. He’s shown below (right) with his colleague Charles Best, co-discoverer who was snubbed at Prize time (Banting split his prize money with Best).

  • 1900 – Aaron Copland, American composer, conductor, and educator (d. 1990
  • 1906 – Louise Brooks, American actress and dancer (d. 1985)
  • 1954 – Condoleezza Rice, American political scientist, academic, and politician, 66th United States Secretary of State

Those who bought the farm on November 14 include:

  • 1716 – Gottfried Leibniz, German mathematician and philosopher (b. 1646)
  • 1915 – Booker T. Washington, American educator, essayist and historian (b. 1856)
  • 1997 – Eddie Arcaro, American jockey and sportscaster (b. 1916)
  • 2016 – Gwen Ifill, American television journalist (b. 1955)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili begins her annual cold-weather kvetching. November is a grim month, weatherwise, in Dobrzyn:

Hili: And once again, Autumn has left all this litter.
A: There is nothing to it, we’ll have to rake it all up before Winter.
In Polish:
Hili: I znów jesień naśmieciła.
Ja: Trudno, trzeba to będzie przed zimą zgrabić.

In nearby Włocławek, Mietek, no longer a tiny kitten, muses. The title is “An Autumn Reverie”:

In Polish: Jesienna zaduma

From Stash Krod:

From Gregory James:

From Su:

Just to remind you that Iran still oppresses everyone, but especially women. Sound up to hear the illegal singing.

Via Simon:

From reader Ken who says, “If this courageous whistleblower isn’t proof positive of massive voting fraud, I dunno what is.” Unbelievable!

Tweets from Matthew. First, a lovely flying fox. Don’t you just want to rub its tummy?

Thomas, the ship’s cat, snug in his hammock:

A musical and educational video. Be sure to turn the sound up:

Here’s the channel-billed cuckoo from Australia, Indonesia and New Guinea: the largest brood parasite in the world:

If you enlarge the drawing, you might be able to see the fish swimming to the left. There’s only one.


25 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

    1. I apologize— what a terrible error —a quick look suggests not. I saw something from Tw1773r the other day which said that — now I have to check. Was I duped?

  1. Here’s Monet’s “Cat Sleeping on Bed” (1865):

    Clawed Monet loves that painting, but he thinks the cat’s spots should have been orange.


    1. You can only be saying that yes, there are 70 million or so racist in this country that would rather suck it up and vote for a psycopath because of their bigotry. The core of this group are evangelical Christians as well. Sure they will point to other things they like about this idiot, maybe how many people he can kill during his lame duck.

      1. The other frightning thing is how I (white male) would have reacted if I would have lived then and there.
        I am not so sure.

        1. Well, if you were not there it is only speculation I suppose. I was only 10 years old in 1960 so I’ll take a pass. We do know what happened to the democratic south soon after so there is not much doubt about them.

      2. On the day after election dy 2016, I overheard a Filipino physical therapist say that he voted for Trump because his priest said to ignore all the negatives about Trump, and focus on the goal of banning abortions.

        1. My anecdote is I heard a story about a guy who said he was going to vote for Trump in 2020 because Trump sent him a check for $1,200. I always wondered if Trump’s con of having his signature printed on the Covid relief checks would work. A sucker born every minute…

          1. Of course, it is really more subtle than just a sucker getting fooled. Trump, like most president’s, takes credit for everything that happens under his administration. The signature on the check is just a gentle reminder of that. It’s brilliant in a way. On the other hand, it sends the signal that taking credit is more important to Trump than actual accomplishment. It’s a crass gold toilet move.

  2. …found out that this was a practice round, and it’s a tradition to water-skip a ball at hole 16 during practice. (That sort of takes the shine off the achievement.)

    Not only that but he didn’t take the shot off the tee. He was standing at least 30 metres in front of the normal tee for the Masters.

    However, it’s still a pretty amazing shot.

  3. I found this from Wikipedia on Ruby Bridges:

    On July 15, 2011, Bridges met with President Barack Obama at the White House, and while viewing the Norman Rockwell painting of her on display he told her, “I think it’s fair to say that if it hadn’t been for you guys, I might not be here and we wouldn’t be looking at this together”. The Rockwell painting was displayed in the West Wing of the White House, just outside the Oval Office, from June through October 2011.

  4. Garlic 2.0 is fascinating. As you say, there are some differences. If the original and clone can differ in this way, I would presume that differences can occur in the way 2.0’s brain develops, resulting in different behavior. Of course, there’s no way to precisely duplicate the environment in which 1.0 grew up. I wonder what the owners of such cloned pets think about the differences they see from the original. Do they see much difference? If they do, do they complain about the cloning process? Or do they put it down to simple failure to repeat history. Do they regret having the clone produced? Anyone know?

  5. “1922 – The British Broadcasting Company begins radio service in the United Kingdom.” This year’s BBC Radio Christmas Appeal will be the 93rd.

  6. The Trump “campaign” found Newt Gingrich to write a special piece of propaganda to “appeal” to those with a job like PCC(E)… or indeed for preschool teachers, it isn’t clear :

    [ begin excerpt ]
    This Election isn’t over.

    It’s time for us to get MAD.

    This Election is unlike any we have ever witnessed. The systemic corruption is breathtaking. The mainstream media, the Left-wing academics, and the entrenched Democrats will all ask us to roll over right now. There is voter fraud in this Election that MUST be reported and uncovered.

    President Trump isn’t backing down – nor should he – but he needs YOUR help to keep going. He’s calling on a select group of his STRONGEST supporters, like YOU, to step up and bolster our critical Election Defense Fund.

    This is the moment that will decide everything – will you join President Trump and FIGHT for America’s future?
    …[ request for donations — redacted ]
    The Democrats have absolute contempt for the American people and believe we are so spineless, so cowardly, so unwilling to stand up for ourselves that they can try to take the Presidency.

    They’re WRONG and we’ll prove it

    [ big tough guy bust-photo of scowling Newt Gingrich — redacted]

    Newt Gingrich

    [ end excerpt ]

    1. I saw a News report that showed that similar Trump campaign money requests had some fine print. All donations under $8000 go to Trump and the RNC. Not to the purpose for which they claim.
      Note: I do not recall if the Newt one was the one demonstrated.

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