Tuesday: Hili dialogue

June 1, 2021 • 6:30 am

It’s JUNE! Tuesday, June 1, 2021, to be exact, and It’s National Hazelnut Cake Day, but also the entire month is dedicated to these foodstuffs:

National Candy Month
National Dairy Month
National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month
National Iced Tea Month
National Papaya Month

It’s also National Olive Day, World Milk Day, Dinosaur Day, National Go Barefoot Day, International Children’s Day, Say Something Nice Day (here’s mine: “Nice shirt!” ), National Nail Polish Day, and Heimlich Maneuver Day (do you know it? It’s pretty much outmoded, though, as the Red Cross recommends a new procedure involving alternately striking the victim between the shoulder blades and then compressing the abdomen). Finally, it’s the one-month anniversary of Dorothy’s ducklings jumping into Botany Pond. In two more weeks they should be doing some rudimentary flying.

Wine of the Day: I discovered that, as summer approaches, I am woefully short of white wines. I found the bottle below in my disorganized pile of wine boxes, and decided it was just the ticket to have with chicken tortillas, made with shredded pullet, slice green peppers, hot sauce, and a bit of hoisin sauce. This south Australian Riesling must have been inexpensive, though I have no record of what I paid for it. I suspect it was around $12-15.

It’s a light, low-alcohol (12%) Riesling, a good quaffing wine that would go, I think, with spicy Mexican or Chinese food. It’s turned a golden straw color after 6 years but shows no sign of being over the hill. The fragrance is floral and fruity, with overtones of lemon, though the flavor lacks the guts of a good German Riesling (this one is pretty dry, like a German Kabinett). It was a decent buy, but I’d spring for the extra $5 to get a good German Kabinett.

News of the Day:

Texas was poised to pass a restrictive new voting-rights bill (promoted by the GOP, of course), which included the ability of some judges to overturn election results without evidence of fraud. Enter the canny Democrats, who stalled the passage by simply walking out of the legislature, creating a situation where there was no quorum to vote. But Texas governor Greg Abbott, who wants to sign the bill, will likely call for a special session of the legislature, which, forced to convene, will pass the bill.

As the Taliban slowly reclaims Afghanistan after U.S. troops began withdrawing, there is no sign that they’ve tempered their brutality. As the Wall Street Journal reports:

Yet accounts from Kamaluddin and others living under Taliban rule, as well as insurgents themselves, suggest that the group’s governance is as ruthless as ever and, with decades of experience, also more adept.

The Taliban still ban music, force men to grow beards, limit girls’ education and forbid women from leaving home without a male relative or burqa. Residents of areas they control say beatings and executions of those accused of crimes—with the bodies of the offenders put on display as warnings—are still commonplace. In one instance, men accused of kidnapping were publicly hanged, shot and left for all to see, their clothes bloodied.

You can’t have a smartphone, either, because you could use it to play music, which is godless and un-Islamic. Such is the nature of theocracy. That sounds like an apartheid regime to me.

You’ve probably heard that the Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka, ranked #2 in the world, has withdrawn from the French Open and is taking some time away from tennis. This was after she was fined $15,000 for refusing to give interviews after her first win at the Open, saying that it was detrimental to her “mental health.” And indeed, she’s been despondent in public interviews when she lost, and reported that she suffers from depression and anxiety. What I don’t understand is why someone should be required to give interviews or face a big fine (she could also have been suspended had she persisted). If it’s terribly stressful for her, let her be! She’s there to play tennis, not answer reporters’ questions.

Her announcement is saddening but I wish her luck:

I should have figured out that dogs might be able to detect the smell of coronavirus, which, after all, should be more odiferous than cancers, which some dogs can also detect. The New York Times reports that dogs can detect the infected with remarkable accuracy:

. . . three Labradors, operating out of a university clinic in Bangkok, are part of a global corps of dogs being trained to sniff out Covid-19 in people. Preliminary studies, conducted in multiple countries, suggest that their detection rate may surpass that of the rapid antigen testing often used in airports and other public places.

“For dogs, the smell is obvious, just like grilled meat for us,” said Dr. Kaywalee Chatdarong, deputy dean of research and innovation for the faculty of veterinary science at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

The hope is that dogs can be deployed in crowded public spaces, like stadiums or transportation hubs, to identify people carrying the virus. Their skills are being developed in Thailand, the United States, France, Britain, Chile, Australia, Belgium and Germany, among other countries. They have patrolled airports in Finland, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, and private companies have used them at American sporting events.

These tests are less sensitive that tests that amplify viral nucleic acids, but are useful for rapid screening. I would imagine that if one wants to go, say, on an Antarctic cruise, a dog sniff combined with a vaccination record should be sufficient to pronounce you “clean”.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 594,201, an increase of 392 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,565,891, an increase of about 8,400 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on June 1 includes:

This appears to be a copy of the document, which says Brother John Cor, is given ‘8 bolls of malt, wherewith to make aqua vitae for the King’.

She was beheaded three years later.

  • 1779 – The court-martial for malfeasance of Benedict Arnold, a general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, begins.
  • 1812 – War of 1812: U.S. President James Madison asks the Congress to declare war on the United Kingdom.
  • 1857 – Charles Baudelaire‘s Les Fleurs du mal is published.

Here’s a first edition with the author’s notes (I couldn’t find a first edition for sale), followed by a picture of Baudelaire, who died at 46 of opium and poverty:

Here’s Brandeis in about 1900:

  • 1950 – The Chinchaga fire ignites. By September, it would become the largest single fire on record in North America.

The first occurred in Alberta and British Columbia and, according to Wikipedia, burned between “1,400,000 hectares (3,500,000 acres) and 1,700,000 hectares (4,200,000 acres).” It’s still the largest fire in recorded North American history.

  • 1962 – Adolf Eichmann is hanged in Israel.
  • 2001 – Nepalese royal massacre: Crown Prince Dipendra of Nepal shoots and kills several members of his family including his father and mother.
  • 2004 – Oklahoma City bombing co-conspirator Terry Nichols is sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of a parole, breaking a Guinness World Record.

Nichols is serving his sentence in ADX Florence in Colorado, the toughest prison in the U.S.

Here’s that final landing:

Notables born on this day include:

Here’s Young in 1870.

  • 1926 – Andy Griffith, American actor, singer, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2012)
  • 1934 – Pat Boone, American singer-songwriter and actor.
  • 1937 – Morgan Freeman, American actor and producer
  • 1947 – Ronnie Wood, English guitarist, songwriter, and producer
  • 1950 – Charlene, American singer-songwriter.

Charlene is the singer of what I consider the worst pop song ever recorded. Voilà: “I’ve Never Been to Me” (released 1977 and 1982).  Listen to those lyrics, which include, “I’ve been undressed by kings and I’ve seen some things that a woman’s not supposed to see.”

Those who pegged out on June 1, include:

She was acquitted and died, right in the town where she was accused of murdering her father and stepmother: Fall River, Massachusetts. Here’s a photo:

Here’s Hitler and his sister Paula. Do you see a resemblance?

  • 1962 – Adolf Eichmann, a German Nazi SS-Obersturmbannführer (b. 1906)
  • 1968 – Helen Keller, American author and activist (b. 1880)
  • 1971 – Reinhold Niebuhr, American theologian and academic (b. 1892)
  • 2008 – Yves Saint Laurent, French fashion designer, founded Saint Laurent Paris (b. 1936)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili wanted to post against the multicolored lilacs:

A: Why did you stop?
Hili: I was searching for the right background.
In Polish:
Ja: Czemu się tu zatrzymałaś?
Hili: W poszukiwaniu właściwego tła.

A cartoon from Jean:

A meme from Nicole:

. . . and another cat meme, this time from Bruce.

A tweet from Barry. I’ve never seen a video quite like this one. How lovely!

From Ginger K. There’s a reason this cat hasn’t been adopted (see the thread), but it’s not a good enough reason. What a great old curmudgeon! I hope somebody takes him!

Tweets from Matthew. Here’s Bubbas, a carrier pigeon of a cat!

Spot the Amur leopard. It’s one of the rarest cats on earth (it’s a subspecies of the leopard): only about 20 remain in the wild.

Translation:”Wonderful! A rare image of a mother of #Leopardo of the Amur and her cubs just caught by the cameras of our fellow WWF Russia! Only 100 remain in the wild, 30 more than 20 years ago but it is still critically endangered.”

Beautiful female birds:

A capybara riding a fish:

I may have just posted this, but you can’t see it often enough. The head stabilization of this bird (and many other birds) is remarkable; it’s almost as if the bird’s head had been nailed to something.

These kind of joke phrases used to be known as “Tom Swifties,” after the adverb that frequently accompanied Tom’s statements:

52 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. My “Word of the day” – enucleation – poking your eyes out with your mother/ wife’s chiton-brooches.
    It’s what happens when you’re listening to a half hour “Stand Up for the Classics” about Jocasta. Helps the lunch settle.

  2. I think professional sports would be greatly improved if we weren’t forced to sit through anodyne comments from the stars in response to anodyne questions from the media. If I want to know the answer to “what are your emotions?” (I really detest that question), I’ll check out the relevant star’s Twitter feed.

  3. Re Naomi Osaka: it’s a business jake! Any thoughts that what used to be amateur sporting is still about the sport rather than about business should be dispelled by the blatant inhumanity of this incident. In Formula 1 racing, drivers have contractual obligations to interact with the press and how much they must schmooze with a team’s big dollar sponsors. Just recall the expense and effort to get professional basketball and college football playing back on tv without real regard to possible long term impacts of covid on these payers’ health as the normal world quarantined.

    1. [F1] drivers have contractual obligations to interact with the press

      There was a case I remember – long time ago, it may have involved “Hunt The Orifice” – of an F1 driver being fined significant coinage for doing his post-race interview with the collar of his fire-proof coveralls undone. Straight out contract violation – the sponsor paid significant coin themselves for the collar square inches precisely because of the eyeball-channel-seconds their logo would get in that position (compared to, for example, a shoulder-flash).
      Osaka’s position, whatever it is, is going to cost her major coin because her sponsors cannot trust her to provide them with the eyeball-channel-seconds that they pay her to provide. Even I can recognise that as bad business practice.
      Have any of them publicly demanded return of their money? Yet?

      1. And then there was Lightening McQueen’s dismissive attitude to his Rusteze sponsorship deal and the rusty old trucks that used their product…!

      2. This wasn’t a sponsor-athlete issue. The tournament itself fined her.

        Which is much more troubling (IMO) in terms of business ethics, because a professional athlete can be an athlete and practice their profession even if they don’t contract with sponsors, but they can’t practice their profession if they don’t contract with the tournament hosting the athletic event.

        I hope this leads to changes. The contract they sign with the tournament should not require activities that are irrelevant to actual job performance and detrimental to ones’ psychological health.

        Perhaps in the future they should be structured such that the tournament awards are lower, but you get a monetary bonus for press interviews. So instead of 40,000 Euro for winning her first round match, make it 30,000 Euro or 40,000 with an interview. The outcome might be functionally similar to a fine for not doing it, but its much less judgemental on the part of the tournament staff, its less arbitrary, it puts the decision-making power more in the players’ hands, and to reference Osaka’s own statement, it would keep the focus on the tennis by removing any notion of “distraction/scandal” associated with a player opting not to give interviews.

        1. But business is the same issue for the sponsor. If you watch these pressers, you will likely see major sponsors’ trademark and badge ads across the background behind the athlete and judiciously displayed water and energy drink bottles on the desk framing the microphone. It’s all about exposure minutes…whether the sponsor of the athlete or the sponsor of the competition. So of course the tournament is going to fine her if she does not support getting free tourney sponsor media exposure

          1. These tournaments are run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). You can read their Constitution here. On paper, they very clearly put supporting the sport of tennis above profit motive (see page 1-2). This is a mission oriented LLC, not a for-profit venture.

            With a for-profit venture, you logic would hold water. But for a mission-oriented LLC, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to ask ‘are you as a company fulfilling your legally stated mission and obligations here? Or have you maybe lost your corporate way in trying to extract an extra $15k out of a 24-yr-old player who is willing to play, but says her clinical depression makes interviews too difficult?’ Naomi Osaka not giving interviews is not an existential crisis for the ITF. To the extent that it supports the purpose for which they incorporated in the first place, and to the extent they financially can, they should support such requests as part of their mission to support the game and the players.

        2. I don’t see what the issue is. Nobody is compelled to attend a specific tournament (you can generally make up ranking points by competing in other tournaments). If she was complaining about the contracts being misleadingly worded, then she’s got a case there – but I don’t think that’s her claim.

          The contract they sign with the tournament should not require activities that are irrelevant to actual job performance and detrimental to ones’ psychological health.

          Work in general is detrimental to one’s mental health. The question is, “is the remuneration sufficient to compensate for the damage”. I sometimes found it very stressful having to be polite to right-wing nutjobs who literally wanted to have people like me hung from the Vee-door and shot. And when I knew I was going to have to tolerate two-legged turds like that, I put my day-rate up for the next job.
          If she leads a walkout and 3/4 of the “tennis-erati” follow her, then fine, the contract will be re-negotiated. But just her? She should have RTFC.
          RTFC-ing and advising of “gotchas” was one of the tasks we’d do at the union for individuals working as consultants. We charged a fee – because our lawyers charged us fees, and the work only affected one member and couldn’t be spread across multiple members. I’m sure there are lawyers who specialise in sporting contracts, and charge a lot less than 10 k€.

    2. The ultimate jock media appearance was probably that of the great point guard for the Philadelphia ’76ers during the late 1990s and early 2000s, Allen Iverson:

      1. Soooo… just a dumb question… for a friend… he’s talking about practice? Or is he talking ABOUT talking about practice? Or… cuz I just want to get this – he’s not… or, maybe we … we are not talking about the game – right? Because it might have been someone else.. but I get that – the game is everything – but it is not what they are talking about.

        Just can’t wrap my head around it. I guess that means I have to practice?

      2. Yeah. Iverson was from my hometown and played all his high school ball here. He was really a piece of work!

    3. Yep, it’s a business which depends on audiences for (advertising) revenue. Presumably one of the reasons for the collapse of the LPGA was the domination by Asians,
      And is it a sign of success or failure that we are talking about the mental stresses involved in a 23 year old accumulating upwards of ~ $50 million?

    4. Yes, I was going to say something like this.

      Osaka is a professional and has to adhere to contractual obligations to the FO tournament and the WTA, which includes attending pressers for the benefit of: the FO, WTA, the sponsors, the fans, and herself.

      It’s professional tennis. If you want to be paid, you follow your contracts.

      1. I spoke too soon earlier. I agree, though she can certainly try to negotiate tailored contracts wrt her medical issues and see how far her sponsors and tournament officials are willing to go in order to have her participation.

    5. I see no way that the league can concern itself with players’ mental condition. Although she blamed journalists for asking tough questions, that’s their job. She signed a contract to play in the league that requires she meet with the press. The cause of her mental condition is not the press but her inability to handle losing. Since she’s dropped out, I suspect people have explained this to her. I hope she gets the help she needs.

  4. Wine of the Day

    Pewsey Vale, Eden Valley? If those names reflect the origins of various South Australian immigrants, then these new neighbours came from almost literally opposite ends of England. Pewsey being a white horse-bearing (so, Chalk rock) vale in Wiltshire and the Eden Valley a fault-bounded graben forming part of the eastern border of the Lake district in the NW.
    Mix and stir.
    After displacing the natives.

  5. a special session of the legislature, which, forced to convene,

    I don’t know if Texas do this, but I recall seeing some USian legislature starting a session with a roll-call (including apologies, “I’m in a committee” excuses, etc). So, if such a roll call is taken in these circumstances, I would expect a sufficient number of Democrats to sign in with “I am Joe SixPack, representative of Somewheresville, and I am not present.”
    But … will the Guvn’r empower a special firing squad for lieing to the legislature before or after the roll-call starts? That’ll get some cheers from the Republican benches. Short cheers, but cheers nonetheless.

    1. This anti-democratic bill will eventually get passed here in Texas by hook or crook. You have to understand that the GOP is enslaved to Trump now and is hell bent to destroy democracy and place an authoritarian such as Trump into perpetual power (like Putin). There are significant polls that show that the power of the GOP is waning with Texas voters and they are going to make sure that this is not reflected in the next general election.

      1. You’re probably right but the Dems are smart to do whatever they can to draw attention to what’s going on in TX and other red states. Their walkout got a lot of national attention. The GOP should be made to pay as high a price as possible and the outrage of Dem voters stoked.

      2. Absolutely no surprises there.
        I noticed “The Handmaid’s Tale” is being rebroadcast here. As Ms Atwood has said previously : it’s a warning, not an instruction manual.

  6. A cartoon from Jean:[six bullets, nine lives]

    Didn’t some revolvers sport 7 or even eight chambers in the whatever-the-revolving-bit-is-called? With poorer metallurgy and casting (forging?), you could get generally thicker chamber walls and a more robust axle, making for a more reliable mechanism.
    My memory did it’s “hang on a minute” trick, and came up with “pepperpot” as a related term, and even with my dislike of military hardware, it did a good job : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepper-box includes reference to several non-six shooters, including an 8-barrel shotgun monstrosity. I guess that 8 individual barrels are a lot less prone to jamming than a chamber-reloading mechanism. I’ll stick to my BFG-9000.

  7. followed by a picture of Baudelaire, who died at 46 of opium and poverty:

    Judging from the picture, he had a poor life balance. Too much poverty ; not enough opium.

  8. 1495 – A monk, John Cor, records the first known batch of Scotch whisky.

    This appears to be a copy of the document, which says Brother John Cor, is given ‘8 bolls of malt, wherewith to make aqua vitae for the King’.

    So, the 1495 meaning of “aqua vitae” (L : “water of life”, Gaelic : “uisge bhagh”) included something significant in addition to the “spirit”. Probably “herbs” of some sort – obviously something “healthy”. I’m trying to think of a spirit-grade version of “mulled wine” but I’m having a brain-fade on bringing up a name for such.
    “Boll” – etymologically related to “bottle”, or “ball”? Or even “bail” – as in the small bucket or large ladle with which you bail out water from the bottom of a boat?

  9. These kind of joke phrases used to be known as “Tom Swifties,” after the adverb that frequently accompanied Tom’s statements …

    The antidote to “Tom Swifties” was provided by perhaps the most influential writer of American dialogue in the 20th century, novelist Elmore Leonard, in the third and fourth of his Rules of Writing:

    3. Never use a verb other than ”said” to carry dialogue.

    The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But said is far less intrusive than grumbled, gasped, cautioned, lied. I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with ”she asseverated,” and had to stop reading to get the dictionary.

    4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb ”said” . . .

    . . . he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin. The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange. I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances ”full of rape and adverbs.”

    1. I was aware of these before, but – having read a lot of books lately with this glaring, tiresome writing feature – I seem to understand the depth of the satire now.

  10. I hadn’t heard the new procedure to replace the Heimlich. I guess they’re going to be looking to rename it. How about “Choking Day”, “Heimlich Maneuver or Whatever Day”, or “Spit It Up or Die Day”? Perhaps just as well they don’t ask me.

    1. Anti-choke-ist day

      You are either choke-ist or anti-choke-ist – time to pick a side of history.

    2. I’ve used the Heimlich maneuver twice. First time, I had to leap over the bar I was tending to administer it to a guy in a wedding party who was choking on a piece of steak. He was so fat, I could barely get my arms around him, but I was pumping so much adrenaline I lifted him clean off the floor.

      Second time, it was to my ex-wife (who taught me the technique when she was in nursing school). She and my sons came over my house for dinner one night, when she started choking. No sooner had she coughed up whatever she was choking on than she accused me of giving her a couple of unnecessary shots to the solar plexus. 🙂

      1. Good job! I witnessed it once at a local restaurant. I found the most fascinating part was that it killed all conversation for about ten minutes while everyone contemplated their fragile lives. As far as I remember, the choker went back to his meal eventually.

      2. I have saved from choking:

        My Mom (twice). She passed suddenly in 2020 (from neither COVID nor choking)
        My wife
        My son (he knew how to signal choking by grasping his throat)

        All of them I cleared by bending them over and thumping their backs. This often works and is a good first step.

        And: Myself. I gave myself a Heimlich maneuver using the back of a kitchen chair. It was 4am, I was eating breakfast, half-asleep (but not for long!) when I choked. Couldn’t draw breath. Used the back of the chair to self-Heimlich. Then I panted in a cold sweat. No one else in the house was awake. Close call.

  11. The future of Afghanistan, especially its women and girls, is so depressing. But the alternative, leaving troops there to police the country in perpetuity, is lousy. Truly a lose-lose situation.

    1. Agree. The best we can do now is make sure we don’t leave any ordinance for the Taliban to use. We left areas in Iraq without removing the equipment, and that’s what helped arm ISIS.

  12. The footage of that kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is amazing: head completely immobile in what appears a pretty strong wind.

  13. A judge may annul an election without proof of fraud? B-rate me for the question, but is that constitutional?
    Can a law like that just stand?

  14. Sniffer dogs are notoriously unreliable when it comes to detecting drugs, so I worry about false positives when dogs are used to detect cancer and covid.

    As an aside, I remember watching a documentary about Dutch police attending a crime scene, who would open and close a glass jar to preserve a sample the air. When a suspect was available a sniffer dog would sniff the contents of the jar and then attempt to identify the suspect from a line up.

    1. OMG! How did I miss the capybara riding the fish the first time through. Thank You, Marcello!! I love those guys.

  15. I was initially unsympathetic to Naomi, as these things are part of the show and part of the generation of money they and she benefits from.

    However, then I remembered the 2018 US open final and the reprehensible treatment she got there.
    The charming (not) US crowd booing her, the interviewer saying it wasn’t the result we wanted and the ever charming Serena whining about line calls and making a huge scene shrieking about sexism and whatever. Serena actually threatened to kill a line judge once.
    Poor Naomi was left being stomped on by everyone in what was the greatest moment of her life until finally they all realized she was there and was the winner. So they then pretended to show some respect but the damage was done.

    1. … yes, the most appalling spectacle I’ve ever seen in sport… I have no respect for Williams at all after that exhibition, and admit to a bit of schadenfreude whenever she loses…

  16. “Charline’s” I’ve never been to me song is indeed the most obnoxious rock song ever to poison vinyl. I remember it well from the early 80s. I was 10 and thought it horrible then also. It was SO popular, though- always on the radio (kids: “radio” is like spotify but a separate device).
    Don’t forget Charline’s other hit, something like “Jesus is Love” or some rot.

    Oh… I love how dogs can sniff covid. I have an old lady friend who is quite a serious epileptic and her trained dog alerts her as to when she’s going to have a seizure.

    My dog, pictured herein, is no diagnosis expert but he CAN sniff out bacon nearly a block away!
    And he’s a good boy! 🙂


  17. Regarding Osaka, there seems to be quite sufficient freedom of the press; not so much freedom from the press. (Brought to mind by FFRF.)

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