Friday: Hili dialogue

February 5, 2021 • 6:30 am

It’s Friday already: February 5, 2021. And it’s a cold one in Chicago, with snow last night (also predicted for today) and the current temperature 13° F (-11°C), with a wind-chill temperature of -4° F (-20°C ). Having left my hat and gloves at work, I found that my ears were half frostbitten and very painful after a brief but bareheaded 11-minute walk back to work. It’s going to be a very cold weekend, and I’m worried about my ducks. I’m hoping they’ll flee to a place with more open water.

It’s World Nutella Day. (I tried the stuff, for it’s very popular, but I didn’t really like it.) It’s also National Frozen Yogurt Day, National Chocolate Fondue Day, Bubble Gum Day, National Shower with a Friend Day, Disaster Day (supposedly named because an earthquake in Pompeii occurred on this day in 62 AD), and National Fart Day, whose site gives these suggestions for celebration:

  • Fart. There are many healthy foods such as beans and cruciferous vegetables that can help you fart more than average today.
  • Conversely, if you already are a prolific farter, you could celebrate the day by learning about ways to lessen the frequency of your farts.
  • Count how many times you fart today.
  • Plan a trip to the World Fart Championships. They have been held in Finland in the past, having taken place in 2013 and 2018.
  • Pick up a whoopee cushion and pull some fart pranks.
  • Tell some fart jokes.

Here’s a joke on the list!

I farted in front of my son.
He said, “That sounded like a duck!”
I told him, “That’s because I have a butt quack”

You can buy duck boxer shorts to remember this joke:

And an appropriate tweet from Matthew:

But wait! There are more ways to celebrate National Fart Day!

Here’s an extended hippo fart, accompanied by the scattering of dung that these creatures famously effect by twirling their tails:

News of the Day:

The House “impeachment managers” have requested that Donald Trump personally testify during his impeachment hearings, which start next week.  Trump has turned down the request, but it’s not clear whether he could be forced to appear with a subpoena. But even if he appears there, he could plead the Fifth and refuse to answer questions. That, however, would look very bad, and Trump himself has said that pleading the Fifth “is for criminals.”

Curiously, the Democrat-controlled Senate voted down a major part of Biden’s stimulus package yesterday: the proposed raising of the minimum wage to $15 per hour. As the NYT notes,

By a voice vote, senators backed an amendment from Senator Joni Ernst, Republican of Iowa, to “prohibit the increase of the federal minimum wage during a global pandemic.” It was a signal that the wage increase would be difficult to pass in an evenly split Senate, where at least one Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, was on record opposing it.

On to Marjorie Taylor Greene. Yesterday, facing punishments in the House over her lunacy, she started walking back her statements, claiming that she no longer believes in QAnon, admits that 9/11 really happened, and says that school shootings like the one at Sandy Hook might have occurred after all. But she won’t apologize. (h/t Jez).

“I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true,” she said. “And that is absolutely what I regret.”

But Mrs Greene stopped short of an apology, and cast blame on the media.

“The media is just as guilty as QAnon for promoting lies,” the 46-year-old said.

Allowed to believe? Bloody hell! I don’t accept her retractions for a second; she’s lying to avoid sanctions. And, just after I wrote the above last night, I found out the House Democrats didn’t believe her either, and stripped Greene of her committee assignments.  The vote was largely along party lines, with every Democrat and 11 brave Republicans voting for the sanction, with the rest of the Republicans demurring.

Here’s one of Greene’s campaign ads:

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 455,805, a  big increase of about 5,500 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The number of new cases is now falling (see below), but we’re still likely to exceed half a million deaths within a month. The reported world death toll stands 2,296,281, an increase of about 16,000 deaths over yesterday’s total and about 11.1 deaths per minute.

Stuff that happened on February 5 includes:

  • AD 62 – Earthquake in Pompeii, Italy. [See above].
  • 1852 – The New Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, one of the largest and oldest museums in the world, opens to the public.
  • 1869 – The largest alluvial gold nugget in history, called the “Welcome Stranger“, is found in Moliagul, Victoria, Australia.

Here’s a drawing of the nugget with a foot-long ruler as a scale.  It weighed about 110 kilograms (241 lb 10 oz) with a net weight of 72 kilograms (192 lbs 11.5 oz). The two men who found it an inch below the surface got  £9,381 for it, or about $3.4 million (U.S. currency). 

And here are the finders (caption from Wikipedia). One finder lost most of his dosh in investments, but both eventually became farmers and spent their dotage farming.

Miners and their wives posing with the finders of the nugget, Richard Oates, John Deason and his wife[8]
  • 1907 – Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland announces the creation of Bakelite, the world’s first synthetic plastic.
  • 1917 – The current constitution of Mexico is adopted, establishing a federal republic with powers separated into independent executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
  • 1919 – Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D. W. Griffith launch United Artists.
  • 1924 – The Royal Greenwich Observatory begins broadcasting the hourly time signals known as the Greenwich Time Signal.
  • 1939 – Generalísimo Francisco Franco becomes the 68th “Caudillo de España“, or Leader of Spain.

And he’s still dead.

He said he’d return and he did:

It’s likely, but not 100% certain, that the bomb was disabled before the flight, and thus we don’t have to worry about it exploding.

  • 1971 – Astronauts land on the Moon in the Apollo 14 mission.

Here’s Alan Shepard on the Moon with the MET, a sort of wheelbarrow to cart stuff around. Those were in the days before lunar rovers:

. . . and a panorama of the Apollo 14 lunar module in situ:

  • 1988 – Manuel Noriega is indicted on drug smuggling and money laundering charges.
  • 2020 – United States President Donald Trump is acquitted by the United States Senate in his impeachment trial.

Well, he’ll probably be acquitted in Trial #2, which begins next week.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1788 – Robert Peel, English lieutenant and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1850)
  • 1934 – Hank Aaron, American baseball player (d. 2021)
  • 1944 – Al Kooper, American singer-songwriter and producer
  • 1964 – Laura Linney, American actress

Those who died but didn’t meet their maker on February 5 include:

  • 1881 – Thomas Carlyle, Scottish philosopher, historian, and academic (b. 1795)
  • 1941 – Banjo Paterson, Australian journalist, author, and poet (b. 1864)

Here’s Banjo, who wrote, among other things, “Waltzing Matilda”, on the Aussie $10 note:

  • 1972 – Marianne Moore, American poet, author, critic, and translator (b. 1887)
  • 1999 – Wassily Leontief, Russian-American economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1906)
  • 2020 – Kirk Douglas, American actor (b. 1916)

Here’s the trailer for the 1952 movie that earned Douglas his first nomination for an Academy Award. It was nominated for six Oscars and won five (Douglas lost):

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Andrjez have some badinage:

Hili: Sometimes I can’t find the right words.
A: This happens both to cats and poets.
In Polish:
Hili: Czasami nie mogę znaleźć właściwych słów.
Ja: To zdarza się kotom i poetom.

Here’s Szaron. Caption: “From Paulina’s camera”:

(In Polish): Z aparatu Pauliny

Here’s a cartoon for geneticists, contributed by Luana. It’s true!

A spider meme from Nicole:

From Jesus of the Day:

Titania highlights one of the two ACLU tweets in their campaign to allow transgender women (whether or not they’ve been medically treated to “transition”) to compete in women’s sports.

Statler the Senior Fruit Bat had a busy day on Wednesday. And he has a girlfriend! (Sound up.)

From Simon, who asks, “Did someone show him a video and he’s trying to copy it?”

From Dom: This fungus endemic to the UK was described only six years ago. It’s weird-looking, too.


Tweets from Matthew. LOOK AT THAT TAIL!

No, this is not Sid Vicious running away from you into the woods. Look again!

One of Matthew’s beloved illusions. Are the arrows really helping fool you here?

Another episode of The Way Things Should Be:

43 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. Can’t say I’m too upset about the minimum wage thing. I’m fine with it as policy and I hope the Dems try to pass it as it’s own bill…but splatting it into the Covid relief bill seemed fairly underhanded when I heard about it.

    1. Even Bernie was ok with leaving it out. I think part of being the party of good governing is not combining somewhat unrelated bits into bills. That always bugged the hell out of me. If there was some way of practically defining it, it ought to be a law itself.

      1. In WA state, the title of the bill must contain its intent in entirety. It’s illegal for stick in unrelated bits.

    2. Roughly speaking, everything in a reconciliation bill [the only kind that can pass with a majority vote] must be budget related. If it is not, the Parliamentarian can toss the offending provision out, which is most likely what have happened to the minimum wage provision if it had not been removed by amendment. It doesn’t look good to have the Parliamentarian toss out part of your bill.

  2. A rather young family member referred to farts as “butt burps” in the past, before finding out what they were usually called.

  3. All those fart jokes fell flatulent.

    The senate vote was to not increase the minimum wage during the pandemic. Bernie Sanders wants to raise it to $15 over 5 years, which better be long after the pandemic is over.

  4. In this podcast heard a couple nights ago there’s an account of a woman bitten by one, one night. Awakened, she finds the spider, puts it in a jar, and takes it to the MD the next day where they ID as Brown Recluse. A few days later she takes the jar out into the woods and releases it!

  5. Jerry, have you considered investing in an extra hat and pair of gloves?

    That MET cart on the moon reminds me of a glorified version of the cleaning cart used in hotels.


    1. I’ve tried that. It just results in a lot of hats and gloves cluttering up the office and still none at home when needed.

  6. Here’s the trailer for the 1952 movie that earned Douglas his first nomination for an Academy Award.

    I recall seeing an interview with Michael Douglas in which he discussed accompanying his dad to the set of The Bad and Beautiful when he was a lad of about seven or eight. Turned out, it was a day on which Kirk had a big kissing scene with Lana Turner. He said Kirk stopped the scene in the middle and waived the kid out of his sightline, saying he couldn’t concentrate on kissing Lana Turner with his son was looking on.

    Movie stars face different workplace problems than the rest of us. 🙂

  7. In about 5th grade I invented a fart simulator, comprised of a bit of wire hanger, a steel washer and a pair of rubber bands. Worked great and was very popular among students. I sold a bunch of them. The teachers hated them.

    1. Is that where you use the hanger as a frame and the bands to wind-up and spin the washer?

      Something like that also makes a good kid’s practical joke if you wind it up and stick it in an envelope. Person opens it and the spinner goes off.

      1. You mean, someone stole my idea! 🙂

        Yes, that’s it. Made it so that you sit on it and slightly lift your leg to set it off.

  8. As an undergrad at SLU, I had an English seminar in the Kirk Douglas Room at Owen D. Young Library. I don’t remember anything but the KIRK DOUGLAS room!

  9. Here’s my one fart joke.
    The county ball in a stately home.
    Lord Bagshott: ‘How dare you fart before my wife!’
    Young man: ‘I’m terribly sorry, I didn’t know it was her turn.’

  10. This is suppose to be a liberal site on the internet? I think not and the comments about a $15.00 minimum wage kind of makes that clear. Just too much money you say? For what kind of job? Computer work? No not that. Teaching? Oh no.

    When was the last time the congress raised the minimum wage? I’ll save you looking it up – 2009. That’s about 12 years ago. And before that the minimum wage was stuck at $5.15 for 10 years. Yes this is the home of liberal thinking.

    1. Randall I look up at the comments before yours, and I don’t see any objecting to the minimum wage raise in substance. My post, and the responses to it, are objecting to the procedural move of sticking it into the Covid relief bill. I even explicitly stated I hope the Dems re-introduce it.

      Please don’t do the woke thing and search around for false reasons for outrage.

  11. Some toffs and their wives at dinner:
    First toff to second toff: “I say! I say! You’ve just farted in front of my wife!”
    Second toff in reply: “So sorry, old chap – I didn’t realise it was her turn.”

  12. Man running into the snow? I just see a dog.

    Mainly trying to draw people away from the fart (=trump in proper English) jokes……

  13. From the propaganda spotting exercises from yesterday, I can see the political ad for Greene as clear propaganda.

    She is holding a gun. The husband is holding a gun. “It’s just that simple.” Outside the frame, however, it is clear that skill and competence are significant. But that is counter to the propaganda. The objective is that any gun is effectively like a car – anyone can operate one. They even have both at amusement parks. Point in the general direction and keep pulling the trigger, eventually the threat will be inactivated.

    But clearly, even with some training, if Greene waltzed into Stoneham high that day to “neutralize the threat”, undoubtedly there would be a difference than if a Navy SEAL did the same thing.

  14. Does anyone doubt that 9/11 happened? The WTC towers are gone. It is a false claim about who did it that the conspiracy theorists spread. Greene is playing word games.

  15. A kid farts in the classroom and his teacher gets really upset and throws him out.

    Sitting outside the class he can’t stop laughing. The principal walks by and asks, “Why aren’t you in your classroom?”

    “I farted in class and the teacher threw me out.” “In that case,” the principal asks, “why are you laughing?”

    “Because those idiots are sitting in the class smelling my fart while I’m outside in the fresh air.”

  16. “I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true,” she [Marjorie Taylor Greene] said. “And that is absolutely what I regret.”

    Were that true, one would have expected at the least that she would have made some contemporaneous public pronouncement in 2018 in an effort to disabuse others of the falsehoods to which she’d fallen prey. She did nothing of the sort.

    Her claims yesterday were cynical dissimulations meant only to salvage her committee appointments.

    1. Hmm, I wonder if “restorative justice” is applicable here. I’m reminded of, “My teacher should have made me . . . .”

    2. Why wasn’t she arrested for direct incitement to murder? Bullet to the head of Ms Pelosi, hanging/lynching of Mr Obama and Ms. Clinton. Or is direct incitement to murder not a felony in the US?

    1. A fraternity bro of mine had the vinyl record–never forgot the Triple Fluggerblast! Training on rotten cabbage! The Farting Post in the middle of Maple Leaf Gardens! Good Times!

  17. I saw my first earthstar earlier this year. Fabulous fungi! Re: MTG – she’s a callous, dangerous liar. Scandalous that her own party refused to do the work of sanctioning her. Re: brown recluse spiders – we don’t have them in the PNW! I can’t tell you how many people think they’ve seen one. But they haven’t. The hobo, maybe. Which brings me to my hobo story:
    When I was young, I moved into a rather sketchy half-basement apartment. I thought it was a sweet deal, $450 a month, two rooms, washer and dryer – and it came with a cat! (who promptly delivered a litter of kittens). I moved in in July, and soon noticed that there were an abundance of large, scary, hair brown spiders in the place every day. I’d come home at lunch and spot ten to twelve. I should mention, at that time, I had a terrible phobia of spiders. So I took to the web (pun intended) to figure out what they were. After some exhaustive research, I settled on the hobo. They are hunting spiders, with a fall breeding season where the males go searching for the funnel-webbing females. They have terrible eyesight and are bad climbers. So basically, they were falling into my apartment and couldn’t get back out. So I figured I should get my slumlandlord to exterminate them. But he, being a cheap guy, didn’t believe they were hobos. After all, there are thirty or so other spiders that look the same to the naked eye, that don’t have necrotic venom. My apartment was a few blocks from a swanky liberal arts school that had its very own entomologist. I figured that if I could get a specimen over to him for identification, I could force the landlord into acting. So I bought spider traps. Lots of them. And set them against the floorboards in every room. They worked like magic, every day, three to four per trap would greet me when I arrived home for work. I put them into the freezer all fall. I wanted lots of proof!

    Well, fall ended, and with it the onslaught of creepy crawlies. I forgot about my quest. And when I was moving out, a friend came to help. She offered to tackle the kitchen. She opened the freezer, where she was treated to row after row after row of spider traps filled with spiders. She screamed. We threw them out. I never learned if they were, in fact, hobos. And that is the end of my very exciting spider story.

  18. I often wonder why the human species finds farting so funny. Fart humor is universal or almost universal across cultures I believe. I can imagine our hominin ancestors farting and laughing in their caves. My cat and dog would fart without so much as a how-do-you-do.

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