Tuesday: Hili dialogue

April 6, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. The days of my vacation dwindle down to a precious few: Tuesday.  . . Wednesday. . . . Thursday. .  . and I’m home.

It’s National Caramel Popcorn Day, which is usually repugnant, but finds a delicious instantiation in Chicago’s Garrett Popcorn Shop. It’s especially good when mixed half and half with the chain’s cheese corn, which we call a “Chicago Mix”. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, and if you come to Chicago you must try it.

Today’s Google Doodle emphasizes the importance of still wearing masks (click on screenshot to go to the message):

News of the Day:

The chief of the Minneapolis police testified yesterday that officer Derek Chauvin, on trial for the murder of George Floyd, was not using approved techniques to subdue Floyd, I suspect that that testimony, along with similar testimony from two other senior police officers, will seal Chauvin’s fate, even before the defense presents its case.

New Zealand has just opened up a bit for travel. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that both Australia and New Zealand are in a “bubble,” and people will be able to travel between the two countries without mandatory quarantining in hotels. (Both countries have very low infection rates.) The Kiwis, of course, are celebrating this with their typical wry humor: here’s a NZ travel ad:

Of course now that I’m vaccinated, and there’s no evidence that Pfizer-vaccinated folks can be asymptomatic carriers, the Kiwis still won’t let me in. . .

Speaking of religious osculation, the NYT op-ed writer 

The way forward for the Islamic world lies in reconciling faith and reason. A good first step would be to reconsider what Ibn Tufayl’s “Hayy ibn Yaqzan” and the works of Ibn Rushd were trying to tell us.

No, the way forward for the Islamic world lies in abandoning Islam (or at least its oppressive tenets) as well as ditching a literal belief in the Qur’an. A good first step would be to read the books of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The one good point of the article is that it criticizes modern Islam for straying from the more inclusive and moderate views of Abu Bakr.

Evanston, Illinois (just north of Chicago) is rapidly become the test laboratory for the application of Critical Race Theory. They teach it in secondary schools, which also gave children of color first access to in-person learning when the pandemic began to abate, and now they’ve become the first place in the U.S. to give out official reparations for African-Americans, in the form of housing grants. In the latest Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf interviews Ndona Muboyayi, a fifth-generation American woman of Congolese ancestry, about her distress with how her children are being taught in Evanston. One they were educated decently, now they’re being hoovered into the divisiveness of CRT, told that they’re the perpetual victims of racism and white privilege. (h/t: Merilee)

And the latest hot news from HuffPost (click on screenshot), rapidly becoming a tabloid site:

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 555,109, an increase of just 530 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll stands at 2,876,067, an increase of about 8,400.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is much nicer to Kulka these days, but Kulka is still wary:

Hili: Don’t be afraid, I will not harm you.
Kulka: I prefer to be cautious.
(Photo: Paulina R.)
In Polish:
Hili: Nie bój się, nic ci nie zrobię.
Kulka: Wolę być ostrożna.
(Zdjęcie: Paulina R.)

Two from Jesus of the Day:

A meme from Nicole:

From Bruce:

We haven’t checked in with Masih Alinejad (exiled Iranian activist and feminist) for a while. Here she shows some brave Iranian women who are risking jail by their actions and words:

Tweets from Matthew. Here are two of his cats snuggling. But don’t be deceived: Ollie once laid open my nose with a deft swipe of his paw:

Well, the second tweet tells you where “moxie” really comes from, but read about the Mars MOXIE, which is designed to produce oxygen from the carbon dioxide in Mars’s atmosphere in the future when we kill humans by trying to put them on Mars.

I always thought that when hares boxed each other, it was two males competing for females or territory. Nope: it’s female hares fighting the patriarchy:

Brown hares are famous for their energetic behaviour, and during the month of March in particular they are known to ‘box’ frantically with one another. These ‘mad March hares’ do this because they are in their mating season, with the males (bucks) seeking out any females (does) that have come into season.

The boxing usually occurs when a male is being too persistent with a female, chasing her across fields in an attempt to mate. When she’s had enough, she’ll turn around and try to fend him off in a fierce boxing match!

More waxy secretions to protect larvae from predation:

Some springtails, whose placement in the tree of life is still obscure:

17 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. You know longer have to point out specific woke areas within the liberal party. The noise coming out of the almost defunct republican party is that all democrats are consumed with this disease, counter culture and all. Boycotting Georgia they say was just uncalled for. Voting yes for anything is the same as treason. And isn’t voting so full of fraud anyway.

    1. It is, but they haven’t started the defense yet. In America the prosecution goes first, and then, after they’re done, the defense goes. At the end each side makes a statement.

      It’s my view that the testimony of the police chief, coupled with the finding of the coroner that Floyd died of asphyxia, will ensure a “guilty” verdict on one of the charges–probably one of the two murder charges.

      1. I completely agree with you. Before the case started, I could see a way out (from murder at least) for the defence based on Chauvin not knowing the medical condition of Floyd whilst subduing him with an agreed procedure. However, the prosecution has sunk that one by proving that kneeling on somebody’s neck is not a police procedure.

        My comment was more about the subtleties of English and the use of “even” which implies the bit after it would make it more likely that Chauvin would be convicted.

        1. To quibble, the MN Chief of Police’s testimony is not policy, it’s his understanding of policy. If Chauvin’s defense team can find some documented procedure he can cite, the Chief’s testimony would be undercut and we’d be back at “with an agreed procedure.” However, fully agree, it’s a big blow to the defense to have the Chief so testify. It’s not looking good for Chauvin when the ‘thin blue line’ leadership says he did wrong.

          1. It also occurred to me that, since Chauvin had been on the force for many years, perhaps training had changed since he joined. Of course, if they had changed their policies, they would have to update their officers’ training. It all seems a reach. I think Chauvin is toast.

    2. I think that 17 year old girl with the camera phone sealed his fate. There would not even be a trial without her.

      1. It’s yuuuge. It’s 2000 miles long. State of the art. It’s the best fence anyone’s ever seen. Everyone says so. No one will get through this fence. And the Mexican government paid for it.

        Wait, wrong subject.

        1. NO! It’s tremendous! The best fence/wall/70s beaded curtain anybody has ever seen. The most beautiful. A ’10’ wall. Maybe an 11! They’re telling me…. people are saying…. they’re coming up to me, one guy in tears, saying “Sir, this is surely the best fence we’ve ever seen…”

          And so it goes.
          “And as time went by they got a little bit older and a little bit slower” Beatles, White Album

  2. I am not sure that being the inspiration for something is particularly laudatory: How many people have been inspired by poverty? I wouldn’t go making a statue to it.

    I am not sure if I thought “moxie” was Yiddish or not. Until I was in my 20s, I assumed “skosh” was, but it turned out it was a corruption of the Japanese “sukoshi”.

    1. I knew about the “Moxie” beverage as the source for the name, but I always wondered if the beverage had taken its name from the traditional Chinese practice of moxhibustion, since it was branded as a nerve tonic, but after reading the uselessetymology entry, I don’t think that seems likely.

  3. Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe was more likely inspired by the Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk who lived alone on a desert island from 1704 until 1709.

    1. It was Definitely based on that, but inspiration comes from all over, & yet trying to pin it down to an islamic story seems to be just an attempt to lever islamic stuff into literature history. Stories are international & universal – anyone who has read about folk tales knows that.

  4. [Mustafa Akyol op ed] The way forward for the Islamic world lies in reconciling faith and reason. A good first step would be to reconsider what Ibn Tufayl’s “Hayy ibn Yaqzan” and the works of Ibn Rushd were trying to tell us.

    [JAC] No, the way forward for the Islamic world lies in abandoning Islam (or at least its oppressive tenets) as well as ditching a literal belief in the Qur’an.

    You say potato, I say potahto…
    A more liberal faith is likely the endpoint both Akyol envisions and you envision in your “or at least it’s oppresive tenets” comment.

    Though even we’re talking about completely leaving it, IMO both ‘normalizing’ and ‘abandoning’ are valid strategies that we can pursue at the same time. Personally, I’m fine supporting folk like Masih Alinejad in their work, and don’t really care if her goal is an Iran where she can practice her own more liberal faith, or an Iran where she can practice no faith at all. They go together.

    1. I agree. By all means, let’s support the awareness of literature that came out of the Islamic world (if not literally from Islam). And by all means, let’s celebrate the fact that the Islamic world (not Islam!) gave us Algebra, and imported and disseminated

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