Monday: Hili dialogue

May 10, 2021 • 6:30 am

Top o’ the morning to you on this top o’ the week: Monday, May 11, 2021. Unfortunately, once again it seems to be National Liver and Onions Day, a dish I and many others despise but that some people actually like. One of those was my dad, and so we were occasionally subject as kids to my mother cooking this malodorous dish. It’s National Shrimp Day, too, but offset that with the fact that it’s also National Lipid Day, and shrimps are loaded with lipids. It’s Golden Spike Day, celebrating the linking of the U.S. Transcontinental Railroad, and National Clean up Your Room Day (mine is clean, and every morning I make my bed, which, Konda-like, I see as a key to getting the day started right).

I have not yet fed the ducks and ducklings this morning and am in fact afraid to go down to the pond for fear of what I’ll find. But I will; our motto is “no duckling left behind”.

Wine of the Day: As you can see from the purchase price I wrote on the label, this Argentinian chardonnay was about $23. At that price, it’s a terrific value if it doesn’t exceed your psychological price limits. Slightly off-dry, and blessedly not overoaked like many California chards, this rich and luscious wine is redolent with apples and pears (malic acid?), and is just a delight on the palate: it goes down like velvet, and has a lovely light gold color.   I don’t know if it’s available, but if you can find this vintage, buy it. (I don’t know about other vintages.)

News of the Day:

More than 80 schoolgirls, victims of a school attack by what seems to be the Taliban, were buried in a mass grave yesterday. It was heartbreaking to see the ceremony on the news with the wailing families and the bodies of children who never had a chance to live, but there was one heartening thing: many parents wrote “Education” on the ground in the local language.

Medina Spirit, the horse who just won the Kentucky Derby, has failed a drug test. According to the NYT:

The drug found in Medina Spirit’s system was betamethasone, a corticosteroid injected into joints to reduce pain and swelling. In a news conference Sunday morning outside his barn at Churchill Downs, Mr. Baffert said neither he nor anyone else on his team had administered the drug to Medina Spirit. He insisted the colt had not been treated with it.

The trainer, Bob Baffert, has had his horses fail drug tests five times in five years, so it’s suspicious, though Baffert strenuously denies the charges. It’s unclear whether Medina Spirit will be allowed to run in the Preakness.

The Washington Post reports that a rare calico lobster appeared at a Red Lobster (it’s not red!), destined for dinner, but was saved. (Photo below.)

Freckles is a rare catch. The odds of seeing a calico-colored lobster like it, with its head, tail and claws dotted with dark blue and bright orange spots, is about 1 in 30 million.

And the crustacean was almost dinner at Red Lobster.

But instead of being butter-poached and served alongside cheddar biscuits, the calico lobster is headed to an exhibit in Virginia.

Employees at a Red Lobster in Manassas, Va., discovered the creature on April 25 as part of a shipment from Maine. Recognizing the unique animal, the Virginia restaurant contacted the company. Red Lobster then contacted a zoo that had rescued a different rare lobster from one of its restaurants last summer.

“Calico-colored lobsters like Freckles are so rare, it was almost unbelievable that we received one,” the company said in a statement sent to The Washington Post. “We are so proud of our employees for recognizing that Freckles was so special — and for reaching out so we could make arrangements for rescue.”

After contacting the zoo, the company was put in touch with the Virginia Living Museum, which has a science center, zoo and aquarium in Newport News. It sent a rescue team to Manassas on April 29 to retrieve Freckles.

Voilà: Freckles!

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 581,302, an increase of 667 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,307,496, an increase of about 9,400 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on May 11 include:

  • 1497 – Amerigo Vespucci allegedly leaves Cádiz for his first voyage to the New World.
  • 1503 – Christopher Columbus visits the Cayman Islands and names them Las Tortugas after the numerous turtles there.
  • 1534 – Jacques Cartier visits Newfoundland.
  • 1773 – The Parliament of Great Britain passes the Tea Act, designed to save the British East India Company by reducing taxes on its tea and granting it the right to sell tea directly to North America. The legislation leads to the Boston Tea Party.
  • 1774 – Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette become King and Queen of France.
  • 1869 – The First Transcontinental Railroad, linking the eastern and western United States, is completed at Promontory SummitUtah with the golden spike.

Here’s a photo of the Golden Spike Ceremony with the Wikipedia caption below it:

The ceremony for the driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10, 1869; completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad. At center left, Samuel S. Montague, Central Pacific Railroad, shakes hands with Grenville M. Dodge, Union Pacific Railroad (center right).

Here’s the golden spike itself now in on display at the Cantor Arts Museum at Stanford University:

Notables born on this day include:

I love to show this dance number by Astaire and Rita Hayworth, “The Shorty George”. She matched him step for step. The movie is “You Were Never Lovelier”  (1942). Xavier Cugat is the bandleader. Did you know that Rita Hayworth was such a great dancer?

  • 1909 – Maybelle Carter, American autoharp player (d. 1978)

Here’s mother Maybelle on a guitar, doing her most famous song, “Wildwood Flower.”

  • 1946 – Donovan, Scottish singer-songwriter
  • 1957 – Sid Vicious, English singer and bass player (d. 1979)
  • 1960 – Bono, Irish singer-songwriter, musician and activist

Those whose existence was obliterated on May 11 include:

  • 1818 – Paul Revere, American engraver and soldier (b. 1735)
  • 1977 – Joan Crawford, American actress (year of birth disputed)
  • 1990 – Walker Percy, American novelist and essayist (b. 1916)
  • 1994 – John Wayne Gacy, American serial killer (b. 1942)
  • 2012 – Carroll Shelby, American race car driver and designer (b. 1923)

Here’s Shelby with his famous Cobra:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili wonders whether critical race theory might be less divisive if it were applied to different species (“CST”):

A: What are you thinking about?
Hili: About a critical race theory of canaries.
In Polish:
Ja: Nad czym myślisz?
Hili: Nad krytyczną teorią ras kanarków.

And we have some photos (of Kulka) from yesterday.

“A few of Paulina’s pictures for this Sunday” (In Polish: “Kilka zdjęć Pauliny na niedzielę dzisiejszą.”)

A tweet from Bruce:

From Stash Krod. I love this contest:

From Jesus of the Day. It’d totally use this; in fact, I have a cream pitcher shaped like a cow that dispenses milk from its mouth:

A tweet from Ginger K.  Bo, the Obama’s family dog, died two days ago:

From Luana:

Tweets from Matthew. First: lanternflies (actually planthoppers or “true bugs”—hemipterans, not dipterans).

A talented elephant playing cricket:

As Paul Crowley shows, trees are not monophyletic (i.e., all sharing a common ancestor). The tree “phenotype” with wood and leaves has evolved multiple times independently.

I don’t often read comments on my tweets, but when I do I discover this truth that Matthew imparted to me:

Matthew says this is “Iggy Pop” and his bird. Well, I don’t know from Iggy Pop, so I’ll take his word for it:

How many takes did each of these scenes take?

40 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. Please, keep us posted on the ducklings. Everyone is very concerned, or maybe worried is more like the right word.

  2. Why East Jerusalem violence is not mentioned a single time in the news section? Is it because this time it’s impossible to blame Arabs for Netanyahu’s maneuver, attacking peaceful people and provoking violence to remain in power?

    1. Good eye. Thought he looked familiar. Anyone who wants to be a guitar picker must learn Wildwood Flower.

  3. If that Chard has strong apple aroma, it’s likely it did not go through malo-lactic fermentation and has retained its malic acid. M-L is pretty typical in Burgundy. Mellows the acid significantly.

      1. Sorry, it won’t be Tuesday for about an other hour. Guam, where America’s day begins.

    1. Numenor and points west of there.
      Just because Tolkein’s day job was in Anglo-Saxon literature doesn’t mean that he couldn’t cut it as a non-Euclidean physicist on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

  4. Did you know that Rita Hayworth was such a great dancer?

    Fred Astaire danced with all the greatest women hoofers of his era, and was reticent about choosing among them, but once conceded that Rita Hayworth was his favorite partner.

    And Ms. Hayworth put the whammy on a generation of cisgendered hetero American males when she Put the Blame on Mame and shed her elbow-length black gloves in Gilda:

    1. Yes, Rita–one of the great beauties “of all times,” as Muhammed Ali used to put it! Her Gilda whammy was a crucial, memorable ingredient in the movie “The Shawshank Redemption.” Stephen King had made the ingredient explicit in the title of his novella on which the movie is based, viz., “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.”

  5. (Robert E has read this before.😉) File under “Six Degrees of Separation” as well as “Brush with Greatness:” Today’s calendar caused me to flashback to the one and only time I met Donovan. It was in the late 1980s, and I was living in an apartment on Sheridan Road in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. My apartment was almost directly across the road from Biddy Mulligans, the famous nightclub. One afternoon I was walking home from the Howard Street L-stop, and as I turned the corner onto Sheridan road, I almost bumped into Donovan, who I recognized immediately, standing alone with some luggage and his guitar case in front of Biddy Mulligans, most likely waiting for a ride. I’m sure my jaws were agape at the surprise, we looked each other in the eye, and I think I mumbled something like, “Donovan! Thanks for the music!” I think he nodded and said “Sure, you’re welcome,” and I continued on my way home. It’s most likely he was coming from a rehearsal for an upcoming gig at Biddy’s, but, though I’ve seen many acts at Biddy’s, I didn’t go to see him–my loss.

  6. From Stash Krod. I love this contest:

    This sounds like a round from ISIHAC some time in the early 1970s.
    Somebody, somewhere must have collated the neologisms that have been neologised several times, preferably in sequential years.
    As Graham Garden would have put it, “Pray silence for the bellringer’s ball!”

    Here’s the launch of that ship on April 24. It’s amazing it made it to South Georgia, where Shackleton got help and eventually rescued every one of his men:

    But not, to the sadness of the ship’s carpenter and many of the crew, the ship’s cat. (IIRC). A sidenote to that incredible (and highly commendable, contra Scott) survival story is that the expedition’s cameraman, camera, and a stock of exposed and unexposed glass plate negatives (I think quarter-plate size, but bulky enough regardless) were included in the survival plans, and made it home with the rest. That’s a significant amount of bulk and clutter to include with people, rations tight enough to preclude feeding the cat, and water in a small boat. I also note that the deck of the lifeboat is largely sheeted-over, to provide considerably better weather protection for the off-watch personnel. Clearly some lessons had been applied from the open-top lifeboats of the Titanic era just 4 years earlier. TEMPSCs are the way to go – with the corollary that passengers do need to pay attention to loading procedures for their holiday cruise.
    “My Twitter is full of idiots” I’m sure I’ve seen that before. I wonder who did the original … [searches] Well, my back-brain did say “Goya”, and I should’ve listened to it. It’s “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters”, including some artistically-dissatisfying cat-oids. Part of his Capricios series.

    1. The Uxbridge English Dictionary round still makes appearances on I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue.

  7. Thanks for an immense eclectic Monday post!

    Language question. “ Amerigo Vespucci allegedly leaves Cádiz for his first voyage to the New World.”. That was in today’s anniversary list, but several times I’ve noticed you writing ‘allegedly’ in places I probably wouldn’t . For me, it requires a sense of something improper being alleged. (So I might say “supposedly” in that context.). Does it not carry that implication for you?



  8. I’m strangely touched that Red Lobster found Freckles a suitable home, rather than serving him up with some extra bucks slapped onto the price. And it sounds like they have spared other lucky rarities in the past, too.

    1. Yes. And the lucky home, the Virginia Living Museum, is a small nonprofit educational organization just about two miles up the road from me. I understand that Freckles is in a quarantine tank for a bit before making his debut to the kids. Small world.

    1. All modern trees are descended from Paleozoic tree ancestors, although different linages pop into and out of sub-arboreal categories, such as treelets (<10 cm in diameter), shrubs, herbaceous, etc. Also, I disagree where the chart shows pineapples and banana plants (just overgrown celery in my view) as "trees". In my book, trees have trunks more than 4 inches across made of wood.

  9. Sometimes when you highlight a famous novel, you’ll add what a 1st print will cost. In regards to Incredible Hulk #1, a fine specimen in “Near-Mint minus” (9.2) sold in 2016 for $375,000. Only 6 exist in that grade, and there is one higher, a 9.4. There is no data on how much the lone 9.4 is worth, but I would guess at least $500,000. And just 20 years ago, the 9.2’s were going for around $52,000. Comics have appreciated mightily these past 2 decades.

  10. Iggy Pop and a toucan (?) listening to Sleaford Mods – cracking!

    (Is Jerry really saying he’s never heard of Iggy Pop? Not even Lust for Life or Passenger?)

    Talking of music, am I the only person who didn’t know that 6-times world snooker champion Steve Davis is now a musician in the band The Utopia Strong and has played Glastonbury? Pretty good too. Improvised ambient prog minimalism, if you’re interested.

    1. I don’t know whether PCC(E) knows who Iggy is, but that is definitely him! (Some people occasionally used to say that I looked like Iggy – I didn’t regard it as a compliment. Did I really look that wasted?!!)

  11. It’s odd that good new is ignored especially about coronavirus.

    Yesterday US coronavirus death toll was 238. That’s the lowest since March 2020. The much more meaningful 7 day average is at 646 or 80% lower than January’s peak.

  12. Notice the Golden Spike ceremony lacks a single Asian or African face in the crowd, although Chinese workers did much of the work. Railroad construction went on without break, as did the killing of American Bison and of unruly Native Americans, through the Civil War, although it wasn’t until the following decades that this reached its peak.

  13. On the Washington Post neologism contest, the first description (of coffee) sounds a bit like the amusing play on words: —It wasn’t the cough that carried him off, it was the coffin they carried him off in–.

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