Saturday: Hili dialogue

March 13, 2021 • 6:52 am

Good morning on Saturday, March 13, 2021: Chicken Noodle Soup Day. I consider this anti-Semitic because matzoh ball soup, which is basically chicken soup but greatly improved by using matzoh balls instead of noodles, does not have its own day!  Further, a good bowl of that soup has at least two matzoh balls, which means killing an entire matzoh:

It’s also National Coconut Torte Day, Ken Day (the Ken doll was introduced on either March 11 or March 13, 1961, so this day was chosen as a compromise), Donald Duck Day (celebrating his birthday), and International Fanny Pack Day (the world’s ugliest carryall; also, I think the word “fanny” is obscene in the UK).

News of the Day:

TiME CHANGE: Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, so before you go to bed tonight, set your clocks forward an hour. This means that you lose either an hour of sleep or an hour of waking.

The NYT has a history of daylight saving time, which may have begun with a suggestion by Benjamin Franklin. Now a group of U.S. Senators are starting a movement to abolish it. Can you guess whether that group is Democratic, Republican, or both? See here for the answer (and the history).

The calls for Andrew Cuomo to resign have intensified, with both Senators from New York, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillebrand, joining the chorus calling for him to step down. There are now claims that his office workplace was toxic for young women, and we now have another claim of sexual misconduct, this time with a reporter saying that when Cuomo was photographed with a her, he kept his hand around her waist a little too long and also didn’t let go of her hand. He’s toast.

Here’s an example of HuffPost circling the drain after it was acquired by BuzzFeed. Don’t they know that “apiece” is one word?

And the NYT is circling the drain as well. Is this really a good op-ed to publish in The Former Paper of Record? Click on screenshot to read, if you must, how Taylor Swift uses “nature-themed words” far more often than other songwriters.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 532,058, an increase of 1,707 deaths over yesterday’s figure.  The reported world death toll stands at 2,653,390, an increase of about about 9,700 deaths over yesterday’s total. 

Stuff that happened on March 13 includes:

Oldest college in the U.S. But a close second is William & Mary (1693). I went to both, which makes me special.

Uranus is actually quite complex, and did you know it has rings? Here’s an image from Wikipedia:

(From Wikipedia): A 1998 false-colour near-infrared image of Uranus showing cloud bands, rings, and moons obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope’s NICMOS camera.
  • 1845 – Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto receives its première performance in Leipzig with Ferdinand David as soloist.
  • 1862 – The Act Prohibiting the Return of Slaves was passed by the United States Congress, effectively annulling the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • 1930 – The news of the discovery of Pluto is announced by Lowell Observatory.

Pluto was discovered on the same date as Uranus. Here’s a picture of the planet (yes, I decree it a planet) that you don’t often see. The Wikipedia caption is this:

Pluto’s image taken by New Horizons on July 14, 2015, from a range of 22,025 miles (35,445) kilometers. The striking features on Pluto are clearly visible, including the bright expanse of Pluto’s icy, nitrogen-and-methane rich “heart,” Sputnik Planitia. The natural-looking colors result from refined calibration of data gathered by New Horizons’ color Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC). The processing creates images that would approximate the colors that the human eye would perceive, bringing them closer to “true color” than the images released at the time of the encounter. The source single-color MVIC scan includes no added data from other New Horizons imagers or instruments.

Here’s a group of Kraków Jews being herded out of the town by SS men. They are heading for a concentration camp (Auschwitz is nearby), and many will die within a few days:

The tunnel spans this gap; the undersea bit (there’s also a railway bit) is 23.3 km long (14.5 miles). But I think the Channel Tunnel, which has an undersea section of 38 km., is longer, so the Wikipedia entry above is WRONG. Could an editor correct this?

  • 1996 – The Dunblane massacre leads to the death of sixteen primary school children and one teacher in Dunblane, Scotland.
  • 2003 – An article in Nature identifies the Ciampate del Diavolo as 350,000-year-old hominid footprints.

Here are the footprints in northern Italy; there are three sets of tracks, presumably of hominins walking down the slope of a volcano 350,000 years ago:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1855 – Percival Lowell, American astronomer and mathematician (d. 1916). 

Lowell started the effort that led to the discovery of Pluto, which was announced on his birthday after he’d been dead for 14 years.

  • 1884 – Hugh Walpole, New Zealand-English author and educator (d. 1941)
  • 1911 – L. Ron Hubbard, American author (d. 1986)

How many cultists have had their lives warped by this man?:

  • 1914 – Edward O’Hare, American lieutenant and pilot, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1943)
  • 1939 – Neil Sedaka, American singer-songwriter and pianist
  • 1956 – Dana Delany, American actress and producer

Those who crossed the Great Divide on March 13 include:

Here are Darrow (l.) and William Jennings Bryan at the 1925 Scopes Trial. Bryan died a few days after the trial ended (he won, but the decision was overturned by an appeals court on a technicality):

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej is exercised about the dire state of education in Poland:

Hili: You are writing about education, again.
A: How do you know?
Hili: You look as if you wanted to strangle somebody.
In Polish:
Hili: Znowu piszesz o edukacji.
Ja: Skąd wiesz?
Hili: Wyglądasz jakbyś chciał kogoś udusić.
The dark tabby Szaron is resting:

From Bruce: It took me a while to get this one:

From Nicole:

From Jesus of the Day. The “reveal” is below:

What it really is:

From Barry: A caracal asking for noms, followed by an update:

From Simon: another tweet and response. Barry Moore is a US Representative from Alabama (and of course a Republican).

Tweets from Matthew. Has anybody read this book?

Duck calls I’ll have to try: Bid, bid, bid! Diddle! Dill, dill! Wid! Wheetie! (Do they like cereal?)

This is a clever tweet, and I haz a screenshot, but the account has mysteriously vanished:

Now this is a color morph I’ve never seen or heard of:

Okay, I said this couldn’t have been a video from a real drone, but I was wrong. It was the tenth take, as you’ll see from the linked New York Times article. Amazing!

40 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. So, what should the caption be for Rep. Barry Moore of Alabama? On my way to Washington DC for another Trump coup attempt. Or maybe, Just headed down the road to the elementary school. Teacher or student we could not say.

      1. Regarding Ted Cruz and how he acts and what he says and how he sounds, for some reason I’m reminded of a late 80’s Tennessee local civil engineering newsletter which had a “Quotes” section. One was by some fundamentalist, evangelical preacher who said: “I’d rather French-kiss a rattlesnake with AIDS than negotiate unilateral nuclear disarmament.”

  2. “Now this is a color morph I’ve never seen or heard of” – and the tweet is from the genius who brought us the “What’s the Deal with Birds?” paper, too!

  3. Pluto- I recommend an excellent book (general reader) on the Pluto mission, “Chasing New Horizons” (Picador 2018), by the mission’s PI Alan Stern (and co-author science writer David Grinspoon). The book covers the trials, tribulations, and successes of more than two decades of getting this mission accomplished. In the book’s photographs, you can see the author age over the development period. There are excellent mission photos and Stern provides insight into the science, engineering, and politics of this extraordinary accomplishment.

  4. I’ve long thought that abolishing Daylight Savings Time could get bipartisan support. And I’ve long been amazed that it hasn’t happened. Maybe this time!

      1. It makes no difference which they do. The problem is the bi-annual changes, not how bright it is at x-o’clock.


          I hope they Abolish this relic non-utility ASAP. It may have been a minor nuisance when clocks were mechanical devices with round faces and hour and minute hands you could manually move.

          Today I count that I have 8 electronic household clocks* to be reset and each has different reset instructions that I never remember and none are intuitive or named Alexa.

          I do not look forward to tomorrow’s unuseful chore

          Also I live on the East Coast and have friends in Arizona that I am never sure whether they are 2 or 3 time zones away from me.

          * 3 clocks radios. 1 microwave oven. 1 stove/oven. 1 Coffee maker 2 automobiles

          1. Spare a thought for this dude!

            It’s just myself, and I have one colleague at Buckingham Palace who changes all the clocks there,” Fjodor told the BBC.

            For some clocks there is an extra time difference to take into account.

            “People are still amazed that at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace there is a small time zone in the kitchens, where the clocks are always five minutes fast.

            “This is so that the food arrives on time… it’s a constant reminder that this is important.”

            1. The clock on the Balmoral Hotel, Princes Street, Edinburgh, directly above Waverley Station, is always three minutes fast, to give passengers a last push to get to their platform (track) on time.

            1. That video was great, thanks Aidan! And yes, we’re a couple of weeks away from jumping through the BST hoops.

          2. And some car clocks are sooooo much more complicated than others. My Ford Escape is a piece of cake. Just hit clock and the appropriate time.

    1. Abolishing Daylight Savings time would never work, because whichever one of the hour times the Democrats want to fix on, the Republicans will immediately want the other one.

  5. The tunnel spans this gap; the undersea bit (there’s also a railway bit) is 23.3 km long (14.5 miles). But I think the Channel Tunnel, which has an undersea section of 38 km., is longer,

    It seems to be a regular occurrence on Wikipedia that the one liner on the date page is different to the full article. The Seikan tunnel is the World’s longest tunnel with an undersea segment. The Channel Tunnel is shorter overall but has a longer section under the sea.

    The discovery of Uranus gives me an excuse to post this clip from Futurama. Unfortunately, the person who put it up missed part of the joke and cut th Professor’s last line which is “let me locate it for you”.

    1. Yes, both tunnels’ main articles are correct, but the list articles for particular dates etc. often seem to introduce errors in the brief summaries that they use. This one seems to have been fixed now.

      1. Indeed! As we saw yesterday with the chocolate bar names, “The English and the Americans are two peoples divided by a common language”.

  6. Dollars to donuts the NYT gets called out for publishing its Taylor Swift column and not making it about Beyonce.

  7. Methinks the caracal must be Jewish?🤓
    Saw a cute one in the rafters of an open-sided dining hall in Kenya

  8. HuffPo didn’t make a mistake with “a piece” — if Cruz got his hands on a bunch of books, and is selling / autographing each individual page for 60 bucks.

  9. “Don’t they know that “apiece” is one word?”
    – well, it’s not compulsory, either… ‘a piece’ is perfectly grammatically valid. After all, in context, ‘piece’ _also_* means one (item).

    “1639 – Harvard College is named after clergyman John Harvard.
    Oldest college in the U.S. But a close second is William & Mary (1693).”
    – 54 years…’close’ ?!
    _also_* hmm, on YouTube (for example) the underscores make it italicised after posting. Don’t know how else to do it.

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