Tuesday: Hili dialogue

November 24, 2020 • 6:30 am

‘Tis Tuesday, November 24, 2020: National Sardines Day (and you can keep it!), and also D. B. Cooper Day, marking the day in 1971 when he parachuted out of a plane with a lot of dosh (see below).

Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot) celebrates Mexican mariachi music. As C|Net reports, “The Doodle features a mariachi serenade of the classic song Cielito Lindo – roughly translating to Lovely Sweet One.” You’ve surely heard the song before:News of the Day:

Most important, it’s EVOLUTION DAY, for it was on November 24, 1859 that Darwin published On the Origin of Species. A transformation of human thought between two covers! And, as a special treat, two pages of Darwin’s draft manuscript of the book (most of which was probably destroyed by the printer), have surfaced. Information below:

But wait! There’s more. Here are the pages:

Sadly, we have a loss that more than counterbalances this find: two of Darwin’s precious notebooks, worth millions, have been missing for 20 years from the Cambridge University Library, and they just now admitted it. This includes the notebook with Darwin’s famous “family tree” diagram of species:

They should have kept this stuff locked in a safe!  Here’s a tweet with the BBC article announcing the loss:

Matthew’s new book on the brain is in the running TODAY for the Baillie Gilford Prize, an award for the best nonfiction book of the year, and worth £50,000 (see tweet below) The results will be announced at 6 p.m. GST. Fingers crossed for Dr. Cobb! All the contenders are shown in the tweet below.

Michigan certified Biden’s victory in that state, putting yet another nail in the Orange Man’s coffin. (Trump tried to influence them by inviting Republican state legislators to the White House.) He hasn’t yet conceded, but he did issue the following tweet implying that he knows he lost Emily Murphy is the head of the General Services Administration, responsible for declaring the victor and then releasing funds to facilitate the Presidential transition. She has done both.

Here’s Joe Biden’s latest cabinet picks with their positions:

Alejandro Mayorkas: Head of Homeland Security
Avril Haines: Director of National Intelligence
Janet Yellen: Secretary of the Treasury
Antony Blinken: Secretary of State
Linda Thomas-Greenfield: U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.
Jake Sullivan: National Security Advisor
John Kerry: Climate Czar
Ron Klain: Chief of Staff

So far so good—at least according to the little I know about most of these people.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 257,629,  an increase of about 1,000 from yesterday’s figure. One American is dying every minute from the virus. The world death toll is 1,403,683, 1,394,833, a huge increase of about 9,000 over yesterday’s report, and the biggest daily increase I’ve seen yet. 

Stuff that happened on November 24 includes:

  • 1429 – Hundred Years’ War: Joan of Arc unsuccessfully besieges La Charité.
  • 1642 – Abel Tasman becomes the first European to discover the island Van Diemen’s Land (later renamed Tasmania).
  • 1859 – Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species.

You want a first edition, first printing? This one will cost you $400,000 in US currency (h/t Matthew):

  • 1917 – In Milwaukee, nine members of the Milwaukee Police Department are killed by a bomb, the most deaths in a single event in U.S. police history until the September 11 attacks in 2001.
  • 1922 – Nine Irish Republican Army members are executed by an Irish Free State firing squad. Among them is author Erskine Childers, who had been arrested for illegally carrying a revolver.
  • 1963 – Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of President John F. Kennedy, is killed by Jack Ruby.

Oswald’s shooting was broadcast live on television. Here’s a photo of Ruby attacking Oswald, with the caption, “Credit…Bob Jackson/Dallas Times-Herald, via Associated Press.”

You can see the video here.

Here’s Lucy’s skeleton, or rather the bits they found:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1713 – Junípero Serra, Spanish priest and missionary (d. 1784)
  • 1713 – Laurence Sterne, Irish novelist and clergyman (d. 1768)
  • 1784 – Zachary Taylor, American general and politician, 12th President of the United States (d. 1850)
  • 1864 – Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French painter and illustrator (d. 1901)

Everyone thinks that this poster for the famous cabaret was done by Toulouse-Lautrec, but it wasn’t: the artist was Théophile Steinlen.

Here’s Toulouse-Lautrec and his grave in Verdelais, in southwest France. He was a very great painter.

  • 1868 – Scott Joplin, American pianist and composer (d. 1917)
  • 1897 – Lucky Luciano, Italian-American mob boss (d. 1962)
  • 1941 – Pete Best, Indian-English drummer and songwriter
  • 1946 – Ted Bundy, American serial killer (d. 1989)
  • 1961 – Arundhati Roy, Indian writer and activist, recipient of Booker Prize
  • 1990 – Sarah Hyland, American actress

Those who went belly-up on November 24 include:

  • 1572 – John Knox, Scottish pastor and theologian (b. 1510)
  • 1957 – Diego Rivera, Mexican painter and sculptor (b. 1886)
  • 1963 – Lee Harvey Oswald, American assassin of John F. Kennedy (b. 1939) [see above]
  • 1991 – Freddie Mercury, Tanzanian-English singer-songwriter, lead vocalist of Queen, and producer (b. 1946)

Mercury loved kitties and owned many. Here he is with two of them (and wearing a Hawaiian shirt):

  • 2002 – John Rawls, American philosopher, author, and academic (b. 1921)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is politely and cutely asking for treats:

Hili: Could you be so kind and give me something very tasty?
A: Will liver pate do?
Hili: Yes, please.
In Polish:
Hili: Uprzejmie proszę o coś bardzo smacznego.
Ja: Czy może być pasztet z wątróbki?
Hili: Tak, poproszę.

A cartoon from reader Pliny the in Between’s site The Far Corner Cafetitled, “You’re a mean one, President Grinch.”

From Nicole:

From Facebook: One glance tells the (future) tale:

The meeting below is like having a panel of lions decide the fate of a gazelle. For more, go here. If white people aren’t supposed to decide what’s racist, how come BDS and opponents of Zionism are qualified to weigh in on anti-Semitism? Jewish Voice for Peace, despite its name, is an anti-Semitic organization.

From Luana. Do you really want children this young to be so adamantly supported in gender transition? (Sound up.) My view is to wait until they’re in their late teens before you start giving them hormones or surgery.

From Ken: “Tweet from Carl Bernstein identifying 21 GOP US senators who have privately expressed disdain for Donald Trump’s fitness for office, but who haven’t had the stones to say it in public:”

Here are all three of Bernstein’s tweets:

From Paul, if you need a bit of Internet insanity (sound up):

Tweets from Matthew. Sound up to hear the pleasurable sounds of the massaged kitty:

What a great find!

I’m not sure whether this cougar cub is worried about predators or interested in potential prey:

17 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. Monumental incompetence from the library to wait 20 years to report it. However it is not the first – one was stolen from Downe in the late 70s or early 80s –


    I once misfiled in the archive, an important notebook full of letters, & when I say misfiled I mean lost! I was furious with myself for about 2 years, then rediscovered the item, but it was my sloppiness that caused that.

    Oh well, we still have the idea, which is most important…

    1. At UCL a few years ago I was able to handle Galton’s copy. I did photograph as well as I could, in the light & circumstances, the page where he scribbled his calculation of Darwin’s elephant problem. I think I shared it with our Greg, & it may be in a draught post he never finished 🤭😉

  2. There is just one thing that irritates me about that clip of Pres. Trump dancing. He’s still a better dancer than me! 🙁

  3. I loved the breadth of education provided at the smallish liberal arts college of william and mary in the middle 1960’s where, though a math/physics major, i had wide ranging discussions with (now late) prof tom hearn of the philosophy dept. prof hearn introduced me to john rawls’ philosophy and book, “a theory of justice” with the central ideas of justice as fairness and a “veil of ignorance”. This simple but fundamental idea has served me well throughout my life since. I even taught it to some of my high school physics and math students in the 1970’s who tell me even now, 50 years later how they remember that and how it was a highlight of their class…i guess that says a lot about the science and math i tried to teach them! My dog eared copy of the green theory of justice paperback is always within reach on our bookshelves.

  4. “John Rawls”

    Yesterday this Rawlsian thought popped in my head : what if you exchanged places with a random individual? Thinking through the consequences of this thought experiment, what would you change or keep the same? I think Thanksgiving made the thought appear — what does that mean, “thankful”? It’s really at bottom all about the Christian god.

    It’s actually the basis for that movie Trading Places, but the comedy and show of it sort of dulls down the Deep Thinking. I wonder what other pieces of fiction use this premise.

    1. I wonder what other pieces of fiction use this premise.

      Mr. Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper is probably the ur-text in this regard (although earlier versions may exist).

      The switching-places trope is also the basis for innumerable Hollywood comedies. My favorite in this genre is probably Blake Edward’s Switch, in which the antihero is murdered by his disgruntled lovers, only to wake up the next morning in Ellen Barkin’s body.

  5. At Cambridge in 1976, the guy who’d been my Ph.D. supervisor 10 years before at Manchester, had close access, and took me over to see (the original IIRC) of Newton’s Principia at Trinity. But never saw any of those Darwin notebooks original notes.

    On an earlier of this series, I’d complained about Google Doodle mathematicians missing, but forgot about Euler [e=2.71828….(forever), which uses ‘e’ for him, and should be nearly as ‘famous’ as \pi]. Well, they did him, so that’s positive.

  6. Good luck, Matthew!

    “If white people aren’t supposed to decide what’s racist, how come BDS and opponents of Zionism are qualified to weigh in on anti-Semitism?”

    Because despite about 2,500 years of worldwide oppression and hatred; despite the per capita hate crime incidence for Jews being twice as high as the next group in the U.S.A; despite having their entire population nearly wiped off the face of the Earth while the other nations simply looked on; despite the fact that nations (including all the Western ones) in WWII were given the chance by Hitler to take in Germany’s Jews, but every single nation refused to take even one (talk about a recent history of oppression!); despite the fact that the vast majority of Jews have grandparents or great grandparents who were kicked out of their countries with all of their wealth and property confiscated; despite most Jews having ancestors who died in the Holocaust; despite the fact that Israel was given to the Jews as a consolation prize for having nearly half of their population wiped out; despite the Jews being the first people who had settled in Israel in the first place before being kicked out; despite the fact that all buy 2% or less of Israel’s land was given to them or taken in wars where they were defending themselves from aggressors; despite the fact that Israel has repeatedly negotiated in good faith with the PLA and even given in to all of their demands; despite Israel being a place where all are welcome and have full rights, including Palestinians, Muslims, LGBT, and atheists…

    Despite all of this, Jews are considered by the woke to be privileged colonizers on par with or even worse than white people. Conspiracy theories about them are regularly promulgated without repercussions. Leaders of many in the “woke” movement continue to espouse the idea that Jews control all of the world’s money and governments, and even members of Congress are allowed to say antisemitic things with little to no backlash from the media, or have histories of antisemitism that are never brought up (e.g. Rep. Keith Ellison’s defenses of Farrakhan). The media regularly ignores antisemitism coming from the “woke,” leaving it unreported, and the “woke” seem to have no problem with antisemitism within their ranks. Colleges regularly ignore antisemitism coming from the “woke,” BLM, and even professors. Antisemitism is tolerated. It is allowed. Unlike racism against any other minority, it is considered acceptable or even practiced by far too many people, especially “anti-racists.”

  7. I love the irony that Darwin’s “Origin” was published on the same day of Lucy’s discovery.

    Good luck Matthew! I hope you earn the prestige and the dosh! Yours is the only book on the list I’ve read, but I think it’s the best. 😉

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