Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

December 6, 2020 • 6:30 am

It’s the end of the week as we know it—formally, though, the beginning of the week. Yes, it’s Sunday, December 6, 2020: National Gazpacho Day. It’s also National Microwave Day and St. Nicholas Day, the day when, in Europe, kids get presents placed in their shoes, stockings, or under their pillows. (By the way, it’s only 19 shopping days until the beginning of Coynezaa, and 24 until its end.)

News of the Day:

Yesterday the Devil went down to Georgia, ostensibly to help elect two Republican Senators from that state. But instead of stumping for them, the President-Eject spent most of his time claiming that he’d won the election and beefing about rigged votes. He will not go gentle into that good (for us) night, and of course we have to pay for his Secret Service protection for the rest of his life. 

The Washington Post has a survey of Republicans’ views about who won the election (h/t: Linda). It’s depressing but not surprising. Two figures tell the tale (note the number of cowardly Republicans!).  The buggers won’t answer!

ArtNet News has an article and a lot of fantastic photos of the recently-discovered series of ancient paintings covering seven miles of rock face in remote areas of the Amazon rain forest. They’re dated to about 12,500 years ago, not long after humans migrated to the area after their ancestors crossed the Bering Strait from Siberia. Here are a few photos of the paintings, some of which show extinct Ice Age creatures like giant sloths and mastodons.  (h/t Jon):

Matthew went sown to Cambridge yesterday to pick up one of his daughters at Cambridge Uni. He sent two lovely pictures of the town, which I’ve visited only once. The first is of Newnham College, where his daughter goes to school. I haven’t seen a punt before, but it looks like the second photo shows them. Punting on the Cam! I wonder if what applies in Oggsford applies here (my poem):

You have to be a don
To set foot on the lawn.


Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 281,202, a big increase of about 2,200 from yesterday’s figure, representing about 1.5 Americans dying per minuteThe world death toll is 1,535,979, a huge increase of about 9,500 over yesterday’s report—about 6.6 deaths per minute, or more than a death every ten seconds.  

Stuff that happened on December 6 includes:

  • 1534 – The city of Quito in Ecuador is founded by Spanish settlers led by Sebastián de Belalcázar.
  • 1790 – The U.S. Congress moves from New York City to Philadelphia.
  • 1884 – The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., is completed.
  • 1897 – London becomes the world’s first city to host licensed taxicabs.

Here’s one of those first London cabs, a Daimler Victoria gas-powered vehicle. It looks like a horse carriage without the horse:

Here’s the Nefertiti bust, now residing in Berlin’s Neues Museum.  The limestone and painted stucco bust, which the Egyptians have been demanding back (and they have a case for its repatriation), was found in a sculptor’s workshop in the ancient city of Akhetaten,. Wikipedia notes, “The bust of Nefertiti is believed to have been crafted about 1345 BC by the sculptor Thutmose. The bust does not have any inscriptions, but can be certainly identified as Nefertiti by the characteristic crown, which she wears in other surviving (and clearly labelled) depictions, for example the “house altar”.

It’s truly a beautiful piece of work.

The devastation:

(From Wikipedia): A view across the devastation of Halifax two days after the explosion, looking toward the Dartmouth side of the harbour. Imo is visible aground on the far side of the harbour. [JAC: The Imo is the ship with which a French ship, laden with explosives, collided, setting off a fire and then the blast.]

Yes he did Yes! A first edition of Ulysses (1000 copies were printed) will run you about $90,000 U.S. Mrkgnao! But that’s cheaper than I thought:

Here’s a video of the melee showing some of the violence and the stabbing of Hunter in slow motion.

And here’s one of the photos that indicated that, at least at one time, liquid water was present on Mars. The Wikipedia caption:

This image taken by Mars Global Surveyor spans a region about 1,500 m (4,921 ft) across, showing gullies on the walls of Newton Basin in Sirenum Terra. Similar channels on Earth are formed by flowing water, but on Mars the temperature is normally too cold and the atmosphere too thin to sustain liquid water. Nevertheless, many scientists hypothesize that liquid groundwater can sometimes surface on Mars, erode gullies and channels, and pool at the bottom before freezing and evaporating.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1896 – Ira Gershwin, American songwriter (d. 1983)
  • 1898 – Alfred Eisenstaedt, German-American photographer and journalist (d. 1995)
  • 1901 – Eliot Porter, American photographer and academic (d. 1990)

Here’s one of Porter’s many wonderful nature photos: “Frostbitten Apples, Tesuque, New Mexico” (1966):

  • 1908 – Baby Face Nelson, American gangster (d. 1934)
  • 1920 – Dave Brubeck, American pianist and composer (d. 2012)
  • 1948 – JoBeth Williams, American actress

Those who became extinct on December 6 include:

  • 1882 – Anthony Trollope, English novelist, essayist, and short story writer (b. 1815)
  • 1889 – Jefferson Davis, American general and politician, President of the Confederate States of America (b. 1808)
  • 1955 – Honus Wagner, American baseball player and manager (b. 1874)
  • 1956 – B. R. Ambedkar, Indian economist and politician, 1st Indian Minister of Justice (b. 1891)
  • 1988 – Roy Orbison, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1936)
  • 2017 – Johnny Hallyday, French singer and actor (b. 1943)

Voilà: Le Johnny, a phenomenon in France, unknown (and rightly so) elsewhere:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is eating like the queen she is:

Hili: There is no other solution.
A: To what problem?
Hili: We must buy more of the sirloin we just ate.
In Polish:
Hili: Nie ma innego rozwiązania.
Ja: W jakiej sprawie?
Hili: Trzeba kupić więcej takiej polędwicy jak ta, którą już zjedliśmy.

In nearby Wloclawek, Elzbieta is reading a story to Leon:

Leon:  Do you think this story will end happily?

In Polish: Myślisz, że ta historia zakończy się szczęśliwie?

From Facebook:

From reader Scott, a Gedankenexperiment:

And a bit of humor from newsman Dan Rather:

From Malgorzata: an anti-racist black woman who’s also anti-anti-Semitic.  Of course she’s also Jewish and Israeli. The panel she refers to was a real one.

From reader Peter, who shows that Jordan Peterson really does have some wacko beliefs, one being that the ancient Chinese didn’t just know about DNA, but also realized that it was a double helix! I may have previously posted his dumb opinion, in the first tweet, on atheists and art.

From reader Barry. Guess the species!

Tweets from Matthew. What a delightful sight—I hope they got some fish!

A beaver who needs air:

Matthew noted that this should read “Jerry and his duck”:

A dog-herding cat? Indeed, as it should be.

36 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

  1. In other news, “A capsule containing pristine asteroid fragments that may unlock secrets about the formation of the universe has been recovered in the South Australian outback after landing safely back to Earth on Sunday.” After a six-year mission the Japanese Hayabusa2 spacecraft delivered a sample with a mass of 0.1 grams. (Nope, that’s not a typo!)

    1. Information about “You-Know-Who”, “He Who Must Not Be Named”, from other sources, helps me a bit. Thanks to them, I do not have the impression of a global simulation of our life in some super-computer that is starting to crash. I have the impression that the world is divided into two parts. Normal people do their work, make scientific discoveries. An interesting mission of China on the moon and Japan on an asteroid. Besides, there is a little funny cabaret in the USA.
      It turns out that you can say everything without the consequences that someone will say “I check”.
      Every “You-Know-Who” nonsense finds people willing to listen. I have already checked his statements in many sources because I was afraid that I was the subject of some cosmic joke. This seems to be indicative of certain weaknesses in the US that have existed for a long time, but no one has bent over them before. No one was cynical and demoralized enough to do so.

      Or perhaps a some group of Americans felt they no longer wanted to serve the United States, felt strong enough and preferred to shape US policy rather than serve it.

      That’s enough for today because I noticed a strange relationship between my critical written word about orange snot and my physical well-being.

      1. I have a particularly undesired physical response when I see Trump at his rallies. This is not caused by what he says, but by the reaction of the crowd. I fall into despair when I realize how easy it is for a significant portion of the human race, anywhere in the world, to slide into cultish devotion to demagogues and hucksters. My despair deepens as it becomes clear to me that Trumpism will linger and pollute American politics for years to come. See the Geoffrey Kabaserve op-ed in the Washington Post. Worst of all, I can only conclude that those who think that because the world has never been better (assuming that it can bounce back from the pandemic, which is not a sure thing) and religion has been declining, we are, therefore, on the cusp of a new age where science and reason prevail, are only kidding themselves.

        1. I agree. This country has never been closer to failure in government and society. If our party can get control of the congress, and that is not certain at all, it must start making massive reforms to our government. The Trump example shows how weak it really is and how close to meltdown it has become. It should be the most important work to do along with defeating the virus and global warming. If we do not take action to prevent the Trumps just around the corner we are finished.

        2. As the monster says at the end of Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound: ” You cannot kill me; I am unbound!”

          At least that monster didn’t have children.

        1. First class and standard class. A first class ticket will cost about twice as much and gets you a better seat with more space and sometimes light refreshments.

          Some train companies do deals at the weekend where you can get a first class ticket for an extra £10 or £20 over a standard class ticket.

          The problem is that the English rail network is heavily focussed on getting from London to elsewhere or vice versa. If two different elsewheres are on the same line out of London, travel between them is easy. If they are not, it becomes a pain involving crappy local trains to get from one main line to another. Cambridge suffers additionally because it’s not on any of the main lines.

          Not only that, but train travel is a bit rubbish at the moment. You have to wear a mask the entire time and trains can’t travel at anything like full capacity.

        2. For some reason, website only gave 1st class ticket prices when I looked the price up earlier today – but the price I quoted was for an off peak journey with a railcard (railcards typically save 30%). It’s usually cheaper to fly from Manchester to London than to make the journey by train (standard class) at rush hour, which is pretty ridiculous (not least from the environmental aspect). As Jeremy says, it is much cheaper by train if you can book weeks in advance and know exactly which train you are going to take, but if you need to travel at short notice (e.g. because a family member is ill, or worse, to attend a funeral) or require any flexibility you have to pay through the nose.

  2. When I looked at the Amazonian rock paintings, the double helix-like figures in the third panel jumped right out at me. I even thought, now someone Is going to claim that the ancient Amazonians already knew about DNA! That made the Jordan Peterson clip later in the post even funnier. Compared to the Chinese and (especially) Egyptian depictions shown in the video, I’d say the Amazonian one is better, but of course they all lack the “rungs” of the helical DNA ladder.

    1. They also got the helix wrong. If the two snakes were side by side and wound around a central axis, rather than being entangled, then they might be on to something. Laughable really.

      1. Yes, and at the top of the second panel, I even see a drawing of a portion of cell surface with Y-shaped antibodies sticking out. I wonder what a nuclear physicist or astronomer would “see” in these drawings.

  3. I found an interesting saying “Do not do terrible harm to people from whom you cannot defend yourself in the future, in any real way”

    This is a very reasonable saying.

    The problem is that normal people do not hurt themselves terribly and do not have to motivate each other by fear, decency is enough and the unreasonable do not understand words, but strength.

  4. Those who died this day … … upon Wednesday, 06 December y1989.
    Because … … f e m i c i d e.

    Ms Geneviève Bergeron ( born 1968 ), civil engineering student
    Ms Hélène Colgan ( born 1966 ), mechanical engineering student
    Ms Nathalie Croteau ( born 1966 ), mechanical engineering student
    Ms Barbara Daigneault ( born 1967 ), mechanical engineering student
    Ms Anne – Marie Edward ( born 1968 ), chemical engineering student
    Ms Maud Haviernick ( born 1960 ), materials engineering student
    Ms Maryse Laganière ( born 1964 ), budget clerk in
    … … the École Polytechnique’s finance department
    Ms Maryse Leclair ( born 1966 ), materials engineering student
    Ms Anne – Marie Lemay ( born 1967 ), mechanical engineering student
    Ms Sonia Pelletier ( born 1961 ), mechanical engineering student
    Ms Michèle Richard ( born 1968 ), materials engineering student
    Ms Annie Saint – Arneault ( born 1966 ), mechanical engineering student
    Ms Annie Turcotte ( born 1969 ), materials engineering student
    Ms Barbara Klucznik – Widajewicz ( born 1958 ), nursing student

    E X C U S E S … … in re femicide:
    i) ” not all men ” and ii) ” isolated ‘ incidents ‘ ”

    from Ms Margaret Atwood:
    ” Men fear women will laugh at them.
    Women fear men will kill them. ”

    My USA flag, one more time yet again,
    flies today in y2020, at its half – mast.


    1. … … … …

      ” The missing and murdered Indigenous women ( MMIW ) EPIDEMIC
      affects Indigenous peoples in Canada and the United States,
      including the First Nations, Inuit, Métis ( FNIM ), and
      Native American communities. It has been described as
      a Canadian NATIONAL CRISIS and a Canadian GENOCIDE.
      A corresponding mass movement in the U.S. and Canada
      works to raise awareness of MISSING and MURDERED
      INDIGENOUS WOMEN and GIRLS ( MMIWG ) through
      organized marches, community meetings, the building of
      databases, local city council meetings, tribal council meetings
      and domestic violence trainings for police. ”

      h/t Ms Diana


    2. I didn’t know about that massacre. But following Jezgrove’s link I found there was a song about it, Australian singer/songwriter Judy Small, (now a Federal Circuit Court Judge).

      Montreal, December ’89

      It was a cold December afternoon, the line stretched round the block
      And some of them were weeping and some were still in shock
      Seven thousand came that day to pay their last respects
      To fourteen women slaughtered for no reason but their sex
      And the cameras and the mikes were there to record the grief and fear
      Of the ordinary people who worked and studied here
      And a woman in her fifties in a gentle quiet tone
      Summed up her sisters’ outrage at the murder of their own
      She said, I wonder why, as I try to make sense of this
      Why is it always men who resort to the gun, the sword and the fist
      Why does gunman sound so familiar while gunwoman doesn’t quite ring true
      What is it about men that makes them do the things they do
      And the man behind her in the line, he started getting steamed
      He said, It wasn’t because he was a man, this guy was crazy, mad, obscene
      Yes he was crazy, the woman replied, But women go crazy too
      And I’ve never heard of a woman shooting fourteen men, have you
      And all those other times came flooding back to me again
      A hundred news reports of men killing family, strangers, friends
      And yes I can remember one or two where a woman’s hand held the gun
      But exceptions only prove the rule and the questions still remain
      And don’t you wonder why, as you try to make sense of this
      Why is it always men who resort to the gun, the sword and the fist
      Why does gunman sound so familiar while gunwoman doesn’t quite ring true
      What is it about men that makes them do the things they do
      And I know there are men of conscience who aren’t like that at all
      Who would never raise a hand in anger and who reject the macho role
      And if you were to ask them about the violence that men do
      I know they’d say they hate male violence too
      And so we wonder why, as we try to make sense of this
      Why is it always men who resort to the gun, the sword and the fist
      Why does gunman sound so familiar while gunwoman doesn’t quite ring true
      What is it about men that makes them do the things they do

      1. I remember that day so clearly because I was in my first year of university and I felt so happy and privileged to be there and it just affected me so profoundly that these women who were probably also so happy to be going to university were murdered just for being women who wanted to go to university. My university marks this day with a ceremony every year as do many universities across Canada.

    3. Fact: Every 06 December when I fly my flag at half – mast,
      some passer(s)by, out ambulatin’ their hounds, invariably holler
      over to me ( upon my landing ) that, ” It’s tomorrow. Not today.
      You have the flag out on the wrong day, Lady. Tomorrow, not today,
      is Pearl Harbor Day. ”

      No one seems to k n o w and, WORSE, to truly care*.
      Every single year. Including this one. It is angering.
      Just angering.

      I have in re an explanation ? I have … … given up.


      * One is a neighbor. He is a high school h i s t o r y teacher.
      Given, he has been, many teaching awards. It is obvious to me:
      He .d e t e r m i n e d l y refuses. to teach … … such as thus. Truth.

  5. I wonder if what applies in Oggsford applies here …

    Givin’ it the old Meyer Wolfsheim pronunciation, eh, boss? Though, pace Wolfsheim’s impression, Jimmy Gatz attended only a brief program there offered to junior US military officers who passed through England at The Great War’s end.

  6. We were able to stay on campus in the dorms a few summers ago and walk through some of the private gardens attached to the college whose dorms we were in. It was like being in a different realm entirely.

  7. I have to admit I found Johhny Hallyday sexy when he was in his 20s and I was a teen😬
    Jordan Pedersen, on the other hand, is a total moron who THINKS he’s bright and sexy as hell.

  8. Punting on the Cam brings back memories of my first trip to Cambridge. Flo was at a meeting at University College London, then onto Warwick for her sabbatical. I had a free day while we were in London so I took the train to Cambridge, and as I usually do, I headed for the Botanics. Main recollection of the gardens were the signs warning of adders, and the apple descended from one on Isaac Newton’s farm. I labelled my slides of the tree as “first linear accelerator”.

    Anyway, the punts — after the Botanics, I located a nearby pub and nursed a pint of ale. Down the bank was the punt and canoe rental, quite sedate until a group of j7 or 8 young men who I took to be Chinese, rented a single punt and a couple of poles, with s many canoe paddles as they could handle. Soon they were dragon-boating up the Cam, scattering pole-only punts and swans alike..

    I’d do it again — that ale was fine!

  9. I’ve been thinking about the Black Knight for a while; Trump is obviously a fan of Monty Python – life imitating art etc

  10. Re Your “poem”: With great respect, PCC(E), and in full cognizance of Da Roolz, may I humbly point out that the words Don and Lawn do not rhyme in Oggsford, Cambridge, or anywhere else in England 🙂

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