Tuesday: Hili dialogue

April 27, 2021 • 6:30 am

It’s that cruelest day of the week again: Tuesday, April 27, 2021: another Two Bun Day as there were two rabbits grazing in the grass together on my way to work. It’s National Prime Rib Day; we sometimes used to get roast beef for Sunday dinner when I was a kid, but I don’t think I’ve eaten it in years.  It’s also National Devil Dog Day (a snack pictured below), Marine Mammal Rescue Day, and Babe Ruth Day (the day in 1947 when, ill with cancer, he said farewell to Yankee Stadium).

A Devil Dog, first confected by the N.E. Drake Baking Company. It consists of two oval pieces of devil’s food cake sandwiched with “cream” (lord knows what’s in it that stuff):

And here’s the Bambino’s short farewell speech, given with a raspy voice (he had throat cancer):

News of the Day:

The results of the new census are out, and there will be some reshuffling of Congressional seats. CNN reports:

The US Census Bureau announced Monday that the total population of the United States has topped 331 million people. The Census results found that Texas will gain two seats and Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon will each gain one seat in Congress.

California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will all lose congressional seats ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

The new numbers represented a decrease in population growth when compared to growth between 2000 and 2010.

The numbers highlight what experts had expected: Political power in the country is shifting from states in the Midwest and Northeast to states in the South and West.

You do the math: will this likely increase the number of Republican seats in Congress? I have no idea, but it looks like it.

There’s another cancellation attempt by employees of a publisher. This time it’s Simon & Schuster, set to publish, in 2023 the memoirs of ex-VP Mike Pence, for which he was paid several million bucks. According to the Guardian, an unknown number of S&S employees signed a petition objecting on the grounds that “legitizes bigotry. To wit:

By choosing to publish Mike Pence, Simon & Schuster is generating wealth for a central figure of a presidency that unequivocally advocated for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Blackness, xenophobia, misogyny, ableism, islamophobia, antisemitism, and violence. This is not a difference of opinions; this is legitimizing bigotry. . . People will look back on this one day, and see that through our complicity, we chose to be on what is clearly the wrong side of justice.

Good god, what rhetoric! Publishing the memoirs of an admittedly odious VP is “being on the wrong side of justice”? What about the history he has to impart, at least from his point of view? But S&S President Jonathan Karp basically told the protestors to get stuffed; read his excellent statement at the Guardian (h/t: Ginger K.)

The Supreme Court has agreed to take a Second-Amendment gun case involving New York’s severe restrictions on carrying guns in public (you need to apply for a license showing “proper cause”, and that’s hard to get in the state). If the conservative court overturns the New York law, watch out! The city will be full of Loren Boebarts packing Glocks.

Read the WSJ about a big battle in a Nebraska field over the right to be called “Josh Swain”. It was, of course engineered on the internet. After one of the two Josh Swains who showed up won a battle of rock, paper, and scissors, 70 other “Josh”s (not Swains), who came from all over America, duked it out with foam pool noodles to win the title of “The Josh”. That prize was nabbed by a 4 year old. Over a thousand people went to this godforsaken place to attend the contest, and JoshFight fans donated more than $10,000 for charity. This is what the Internet was made for.

Here’s the contest for the title of the “Real Josh Swain”:

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 5722,237, an increase of 706 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,135,602, an increase of about 12,900 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on April 27 includes:

  • 711 – Islamic conquest of Hispania: Moorish troops led by Tariq ibn Ziyad land at Gibraltar to begin their invasion of the Iberian Peninsula (Al-Andalus).
  • 1667 – Blind and impoverished, John Milton sells Paradise Lost to a printer for £10, so that it could be entered into the Stationers’ Register.

The greatest literary bargain in history.

The U.S. wanted a MiG to see how it worked, as it was tough in combat to U.S. planes. And they got one: “Early in the morning on September 21, 1953, Lieutenant No Kum-Sok flew a MiG-15bis, bort number ‘Red 2057’, of the 2nd Regiment, Korean People’s Air Force, from Sunan Air Base, just outside Pyongyang, North Korea and landed before 10:00 a.m. at Kimpo Air Base in South Korea.” Num-Sok was unaware of the reward and was simply defecting. He was advised by the U.S. to decline the money in return for a free education in the U.S. at the college of his choice. Here’s his MiG, repainted in the U.S. Air Force logo. Among the U.S. pilots who test-flew it was Chuck Yeager.

Here’s inventor Bill English with his first mouse, which used two metal wheels at a 90-degree angle. It was a great idea, and has hardly changed since it was introduced. Yes, it uses lasers and is more sophisticated, but the principle is the same.

  • 1992 – Betty Boothroyd becomes the first woman to be elected Speaker of the British House of Commons in its 700-year history.
  • 2007 – Israeli archaeologists discover the tomb of Herod the Great south of Jerusalem.

This is supposed to be his tomb, but it appears that scholars dispute it:

Notables born on this day include:

Whymper was the first to ascend the Matterhorn, but four climbers in the party died when an old rope they were using broke. Here’s Gustav Doré’s famous depiction of the tragedy:

Here’s Lantz with the most famous character he created. Originally voiced by Mel Blanc, Woody Woodpecker was replaced by several other voice actors, though Blanc’s characteristic laugh was still used for Woody”

  • 1927 – Coretta Scott King, African-American activist and author (d. 2006)
  • 1969 – Cory Booker, African-American lawyer and politician

Those who evinced their mortality on April 27 include:

  • 1521 – Ferdinand Magellan, Portuguese sailor and explorer (b. 1480)
  • 1882 – Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and philosopher (b. 1803).

And condolences to the reader who is our biggest Emerson fan, Laurie Ann Sindoni-Jones from London.

Emerson (not Laurie)
  • 1965 – Edward R. Murrow, American journalist (b. 1908)
  • 2007 – Mstislav Rostropovich, Russian cellist and conductor (b. 1927)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Kulka defers to the Princess:

Kulka: You have a very high status in this garden.
Hili: Yes and I try to maintain it.
In Polish:
Kulka: Masz bardzo wysoki status w tym ogrodzie.
Hili: Tak i próbuję go utrzymać.

Little Kulka on the windowsill, announcing that she wants to be let in:

A very sweet meme from Cats Without Gods:

Reader Lynne sent me an alternative sign to the one from Hyde Park I posted two days ago; this one appeared online as nobody would dare post it on their lawn:

And, in response to my asking whether conservatives post such signs, here’s a pretty odious one sent in by Larry, who notes,

“The sign was in a front yard in my neighborhood in Thousand Oaks, CA. We are about 40 miles northwest of L.A. I noticed a Q flag on their house, and then the sign which from a distance resembles the “Love is Love” type sign. Taken in by this mimicry (Batesian? Aposematic? Mullerian?), we casually walked past it and I took the picture.”

And a cartoon from Stash Krod:

Reader Paul sent me this tweet, and added: “James Wong is an ethnobiologist and was interviewed recently by Channel 4 in the UK. His assertion that it’s racist to talk about ‘native’ plants is really interesting because it seems to be projecting Critical Race Theory onto what should be an objective, scientific issue. (I guess CRT enthusiasts would deny that objective, scientific truths exist.) It seems to me that he’s objecting to more than just the terminology.”

From Ginger K.: Four lovely domino patterns:

From reader Ben (and Matthew): This one reminds us of how many insects there are:

More tweets from Matthew. Sometimes crows pull tails for fun, but this time there’s a food reward:

The second tweet has to be a duck, though I don’t know what species.

Talk about dispersal!

42 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

    1. Also “legitising” instead of “legitimising”.

      I only bring this up because I was going to have a rant about the employees of a publishing company making up new words, but fortunately, I checked the article and found the error was Jerry’s.

  1. You saw two rabbits on the way to work. While I sit here reading the post three foxes are in the front yard. I run to grab a camera to attempt a few photos for proof. I may send them but don’t be to picky. There was no time for these to be good.

  2. Tuxedo cats are (along with ragdolls) some of the loveliest, sweetest-natured creatures that ever walked the earth.

  3. The cat with the pregnant lady reminded me of how oddly my dog, a Border collie-Corgi cross, reacted to my daughter’s pregnancy eleven years ago.
    Every time my daughter visited the dog would sit with his nose pressed to her stomach and make a low growling noise. This went on throughout her pregnancy, and we were quite concerned about how he might react to the baby once he arrived, especially as he mistrusted children anyway (the dog was rescued and came to us at 6-months-old: he had previously been severely mis-treated, kept in a cage in a garden where the owners kids would thrust sharpened sticks through the bars, drawing blood – he has many scars from puncture wounds). If a child approached him he would back-off, snarling and baring his teeth, so we assumed that he would be the same with our grandson.
    To our surprise, when our grandson was born, from the first time he was brought to our house the dog, by then 5-years-old, was absolutely devoted to him and would not leave his side.
    He acted exactly the same during my daughter’s second pregnancy beginning 9 months later. The dog is now 16, still fit and healthy, and as devoted to my grandsons as they are to him.
    He also lost his mistrust and will happily be petted by any child.
    I do wonder what drives the reaction that some animals have to pregnant women, what it is that they are aware of about pregnancy in humans.

  4. The Mig 15 was at the time of our F-86. It is likely that most of the pilots of the Migs were Russian. Not many North Korean pilots were good enough at that time in the Korean war. The Mig was high performance at the time but you would want a good parachute.

    1. This all brings to mind the story of a prank Chuck Yeager pulled on a visiting pilot while he was flying the F-86 in Korea. The visiting pilot showed up at the base Yeager was stationed at with a newer model of the F-86 that was a bit faster than the model Yeager’s squadron was flying. The story goes that Yeager had blocks of woods installed on his plane’s engine exhaust nozzle to constrict it to a narrower diameter which allowed him, to the great surprise of the other pilot, to keep up with the newer, faster F-86 when they went on a flight together.

      1. What? Sorry but I find that extremely hard to believe. How would you install wood in the exhaust area and if you could, how would it not burn up?

        1. The story is related in his autobiography. Perhaps he made up a tall tale, I couldn’t say, but it’s there in his autobiography. If you haven’t read it it’s a good read you might enjoy.

          As far as the wood burning up, it seems plausible that it wouldn’t be much of a problem in the short term, which is all this story requires. I had always assumed that the wood blocks were placed somewhere in the mechanism that changes the exhaust nozzle from dry configuration to afterburning configuration, not somewhere that would have them in contact with engine exhaust gasses. In any case he didn’t go into that much detail in the book.

    2. A very beautiful novel set during the MIG 15 vs F-86 battles: The Hunters, by James Salter.

  5. Picture is of Douglas Engelbart of the Stanford Research who is generally credited with invention of the mouse.

  6. Maybe someone who lives there can explain the 15/16 percent increase population in North Dakota. Was it oil drilling or what? Nobody moves to North Dakota for the climate. Many people who go there in summer and then after the first winter, they are gone.

  7. Re Wong on gardening: It is a longstanding (but little known) contention of the right that environmentalism derives from Nazism. As Lord Monckton says, the Hitler Youth were a “green” organization. It’s interesting to see essentially the same critique taken up by the woke. Here’s a great Hamster Wheel bit in which Lord Monckton is interviewed, under the contention that he must be a Sacha Baron Cohen character, as no actual person could be so absurd.


    1. As I recall, Stephen Jay Gould published on this topic – Nazis and native plants – years ago. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum. I know you’re not a fan of Gould, I suppose we could say he was “prematurely woke”. Will try to attach a link here, but I am no computer jockey.

      Well, that failed. But there is some evidence, from Gould’s paper, that Nazis had some “green” ideas, although hardly the forerunners of environmentalism that Lord Monckton posits.

  8. You do the math: will this likely increase the number of Republican seats in Congress?

    Most of the gain in these states is do to an increase in their Hispanic population. But four of the six states (including Texas, with two new seats) have GOP legislatures that will undoubtedly gerrymander the new districts in favor of Republican candidates, unless H.R.1 (the “For the People Act”) can avoid a GOP filibuster in the senate.

    1. I think Texas is going democrat sooner than most think. All they need to do is get the people registered and vote. The republican’s time is nearly done down there in a very hot state.

      1. Let’s hope so. Those GOP bastards control the state government and will fight like hell
        to keep it that way.

  9. “If the conservative court overturns the New York law, watch out! The city will be full of Loren Boebarts packing Glocks.”

    I don’t know. Here in Vermont we have never required a permit for concealed carry. We have one of the lowest rates of gun violence in the nation. You never see anyone carrying a long gun on the streets, because that is illegal here. (A very good thing imho) So, you never see anyone actually carrying any gun on the streets.

  10. Hyvä Suomi!

    Regarding the signage – I think one really overlooked impact on job creation and the economy during the Trump years is the flag industry. Who knew they’d need so many flags? And I imagine they are not cheap. Earlier this year, pulling out from my driveway onto a rural road, I was caught in a Trump motorcade. So. Many. Flags.

      1. Not in all countries, though. While the right wing usually or always embraces flags (sometimes not the official flag of the country), not all who embrace flags are right wing. Sweden is a good example, where there are flags everywhere, almost always with no right-wind nor other negative association.

        1. “not all who embrace flags are right wing”

          Indeed. I regularly fly the US flag on our house and have done for almost three decades. I began doing it when I realized the stupidity of allowing the symbol to be owned by right wing nuts. In fact I fly two flags. The other one is periodically changed out. Currently it is the Irish flag but maybe I’ll change it to Germany or Bohemia or Newfoundland. It entertains the neighbors, I’m sure.

  11. So according to the Q tips, all lives matter but climate change is fake? Guess all those people living along the coasts don’t matter, people living on islands don’t matter, all the people fleeing massive forest fires don’t matter, people getting hit by hurricanes don’t matter, people getting flooded don’t matter, people dealing with increasing desertification don’t matter, people who rely on glacial melt water or winter snowpack for drinking and irrigation don’t matter…

      1. Possibly! The right-wing letters, logos, signs, flags, etc are pretty universally poorly designed and tacky. (They don’t seem to think paying money for designers is warranted.)

  12. Reader Lynne sent me an alternative sign to the one from Hyde Park I posted two days ago; this one appeared online as nobody would dare post it on their lawn:

    We would definitely post that sign on our lawn if our homeowner’s association allowed signs.

  13. This is supposed to be his tomb, but it appears that scholars dispute it:

    Ummm, isn’t that an ossuary (bone box) rather than a tomb?

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