Thursday: Hili dialogue

June 3, 2021 • 6:30 am

We’re past the apogee of the week, so it’s now Thursday, June 3, 2021, National Egg Day. Eggs are good for you! If you want something not so good for you, it’s also National Moonshine Day (in the U.S., “moonshine” is illegally distilled and usually vile whiskey. Further, it’s Chimborazo Day, celebrating the mountain in Ecuador that is actually the closest spot on Earth to the Moon, as well as World Clubfoot Day, Love Conquers All Day, National Itch Day, and World Bicycle Day. 

Here’s the lovely mountain Chimborazo (I’ve seen it), which, because it’s located on the “equatorial bulge”, is Earth’s closest spot to the Moon:

News of the Day:

NYT op-ed: “How Joe Manchin could make the Senate great again.” You know the answer: his vote could ditch the filibuster (of course, this is the NYT’s construal of “great”). But has author Ira Shapiro forgotten about Kyrsten Sinema, also vowing to defend the filibuster rule?

An agreement reached yesterday between Israeli political parties almost surely will lead to the ouster of Netanyahu. This involves a delicate coalition of eight parties, including an Arab one.

And this is amazing: Biden is offering FREE BEER to anyone who gets a coronavirus vaccination. This ticks me off because I got bupkes when I got my shot. Not even a drop of brewski! From HuffPost:

One of the more eye-catching perks dangled by the White House is free beer from brewing company Anheuser-Busch, which is asking of-age people to upload a photo of themselves at their “favorite place to grab a beer” to this website in order to snag a free drink when the U.S. hits that 70% threshold.

“That’s right. Get a shot and have a beer. Free beer for everyone 21 years or over to celebrate the independence from the virus,” Biden said. It’s not yet clear how Anheuser-Busch plans to distribute the drinks.

Well, those of you who haven’t yet been vaccinated, you get your reward for dallying, while those of us who got a shot as early as possible go thirsty. Is that fair?

According to the Washington Post, there’s been an unusual use of Florida’s “stand your ground” law—one involving animal cruelty.

By the time an animal-control officer found the green iguana in September, blood was flowing out of its mouth and nostrils. Its head appeared to be injured. It was breathing, but unconscious, according to an arrest report accusing a man of torturing the creature.

The iguana died while the officer was driving it back to the animal-control office in Florida’s Palm Beach County, the arrest report says. PJ Nilaja Patterson, 43, was charged with animal cruelty for allegedly kicking, throwing and stepping on the animal until it was near death.

He later employed an unusual argument in his defense: The iguana started it.

Patterson, who stands 6-foot-3, argued that the three-foot iguana had “viciously attacked” him and that he was immune from prosecution under Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which allows a person to use force against someone who poses an imminent threat. Circuit Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen on Friday rejected Patterson’s argument, the South Florida Sun Sentinel first reported.

While it’s legal to “humanely” kill iguanas in Florida because they’re invasive (I don’t like that law), you can’t beat them to a pulp like this guy did. Patterson faces five years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Animal cruelty is never punished as severely as it should be.

Big tomato purée in the UK! The Guardian reports that a crash between two trucks in England, one of which was carrying olive oil and tomatoes, left 23 miles of British highway “looking like a scene from a ‘horror film’ after a lorry crash spilled tomato puree across the tarmac on Tuesday. (h/t Jez). Here’s a tweet:

According to the site Elder of Ziyon, because the Palestinian Authority criminalizes gay behavior—Israel, which is friendly to gays, is said by critics to do so merely as a form of performative “pinkwashing”—the PA will not permit LGBTQ groups to meet in the West Bank. Ergo, Haneed Sader, the head of AlQaws, the main organization promoting gay rights in the West Bank, has decided to live in Haifa while criticizing Israel for “pinkwashing.” It’s ironic that she can’t do any gay activism in Palestine. Why does the Progressive Left overlook this stuff? You already know.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 595,321, an increase of 397 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,707,585, an increase of about 13,800 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on June 3 includes:

His romance with Heloise is one of the saddest love stories of all time. Here’s a depiction:

(From Wikipedia): Jean-Baptiste Goyet, Héloïse et Abailard, oil on copper, c. 1829.
  • 1539 – Hernando de Soto claims Florida for Spain.
  • 1839 – In Humen, China, Lin Tse-hsü destroys 1.2 million kilograms of opium confiscated from British merchants, providing Britain with a casus belli to open hostilities, resulting in the First Opium War.
  • 1885 – In the last military engagement fought on Canadian soil, the Cree leader, Big Bear, escapes the North-West Mounted Police.

Big Bear, released from prison, died in 1888. Here’s a photo from 1885:

  • 1889 – The first long-distance electric power transmission line in the United States is completed, running 14 miles (23 km) between a generator at Willamette Falls and downtown Portland, Oregon.
  • 1937 – The Duke of Windsor marries Wallis Simpson.

Simpson was a divorcée, and royal rules said that the Duke couldn’t marry her. He gave up the throne to do so. Here they are about a year before King Edward VIII (already King in this photo) abdicated in favor of George VI. I don’t regard this as a great love story because I think Edward was a doofus:

It was a heroic climb as recounted in the mountaineering book Annapurna, but frostbite cost Lachenal all his toes and Herzog lost every one of his fingers and toes.  Here’s Herzog on the summit and on his way back to France sans digits:


  • 1965 – The launch of Gemini 4, the first multi-day space mission by a NASA crew. Ed White, a crew member, performs the first American spacewalk.
  • 1989 – The government of China sends troops to force protesters out of Tiananmen Square after seven weeks of occupation.
  • 2013 – The trial of United States Army private Chelsea Manning for leaking classified material to WikiLeaks begins in Fort Meade, Maryland.

Manning, now a trans woman, has had a tough life since she was released from prison:

  • 2017 – London Bridge attack: Eight people are murdered and dozens of civilians are wounded by Islamist terrorists. Three of the attackers are shot dead by the police.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1726 – James Hutton, Scottish geologist and physician (d. 1797)
  • 1808 – Jefferson Davis, American colonel and politician, President of the Confederate States of America (d. 1889)
  • 1877 – Raoul Dufy, French painter and illustrator (d. 1953)

Here’s a nice Dufy Woodcut, “Cat on a Table with Flowers”, made for poem Le chat, from Le Bestiaire ou Cortege d’Orphee by Apollinaire:

Cat on a table with a vase of flowers, woodcuts by Raoul Dufy (1877-1953) for the poem Le chat, from Le Bestiaire ou Cortege d’Orphee by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918).
  • 1879 – Alla Nazimova, Ukrainian-American actress, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1945)
  • 1879 – Raymond Pearl, American biologist and botanist (d. 1940)
  • 1906 – Josephine Baker, French actress, singer, and dancer; French Resistance operative (d. 1975)

As I’ve said before, Baker had a pet cheetah named Chiquita. Here’s a photo from Lisa’s History Room with the caption “American entertainer Josephine Baker (1906-1936) often performed onstage in Paris nightclubs with pet cheetah Chiquita. Chiquita wore a diamond collar. Sometimes, during a performance, Chiquita would decide to jump off the stage and into the orchestra pit, causing quite a ruckus. ca. 1931. Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.”

  • 1924 – Torsten Wiesel, Swedish neurophysiologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1926 – Allen Ginsberg, American poet (d. 1997)
  • 1936 – Larry McMurtry, American novelist and screenwriter (d. 2021)

Writer of the book that became the screenplay (which he also co-wrote) for what I consider the best American movie of the last century, “The Last Picture Show”. Once again, a scene from the movie: Sam the Lion’s soliloquy for his lost love:

McMurtry also wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for the movie “Brokeback Mountain.”

Those who ran down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ Choir Invisible on June 3 include:

  • 1657 – William Harvey, English physician and academic (b. 1578)
  • 1924 – Franz Kafka, Czech-Austrian lawyer and author (b. 1883)

Here’s Kafka at 23. He died of tuberculosis at age 40:

  • 2001 – Anthony Quinn, Mexican-American actor and producer (b. 1915)
  • 2011 – Jack Kevorkian, American pathologist, author, and activist (b. 1928)
  • 2016 – Muhammad Ali, American boxer (b. 1942)

Here’s some scenes from Ali’s life:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is kvetching about the lack of yard work:

Hili: Poison these dandelions.
A: Why?
Hili: They make it difficult to catch mice.
In Polish:
Hili: Wytruj te mlecze.
Ja: Dlaczego?
Hili: Utrudniają mi łapanie myszy.

And here’s a tongue-y photo of Kulka taken by Paulina:

A meme from Nicole:

From Bruce:

From Jesus of the Day (looks like fun to me!):

From Titania. This could be called “pitching to your local audience”, or, as I see it, “hypocrisy”. The catering of the “progressive” Left to homophobic Arab states (or rather, their ignoring that homophobia) is disgusting:

From Barry, the scariest bird EVER! Sound way up!

Tweets from Matthew. He says “DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! (apparently the guy knows the animal, but still . . .

Forget getting boxes or bags for your cat; just dig them a hole:

Frogs had teeth, but lost them repeatedly over evolutionary time. I guess their diet doesn’t require choppers, whose development requires unneeded metabolic energy.

Simultaneous polyamory in the Hymenoptera. I had no idea that this occurred in any animal:


Jays can be fooled by sleight of hand, but not exactly in the same way as humans. From the paper’s abstract:

While we know that humans are often deceived by magic effects, little is known concerning how nonhuman animals perceive these intricate techniques of deception. Here, we tested the susceptibility to be misled by three different magic effects on a sample of six Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius). We demonstrate that, similar to humans, Eurasian jays are susceptible to magic effects that utilize fast movements. However, unlike humans, Eurasian jays do not appear to be misled by magic effects that rely on the observer’s intrinsic expectations in human object manipulation. Magic effects can provide an insightful methodology to investigate perception and attentional shortcomings in human and nonhuman animals and offer unique opportunities to highlight cognitive constraints in diverse animal minds.

29 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. … in the U.S., “moonshine” is illegally distilled and usually vile whiskey.

    I dunno. I had a client got busted one time on the interstate in the hinterlands of Tennessee driving a tractor-trailer load of weed. After we got a favorable result in his case, his kinfolk there invited me to come celebrate with them by going fishing on their boat on a local lake, and made me a gift of a jug of what was claimed to be the region’s finest moonshine. It was surprisingly smooth, though it did pack the kick of a mule.

  2. The tomato puree spillage caused chaos on the roads around Cambridge, because it closed the main route from the international cargo port at Felixstowe to central and northern England for almost 24 hours. Several hundred metres of roadway had to be torn up and re-surfaced before the road could be re-opened. And that section of the A14 was only built a couple of years ago.

  3. WaPo article: [“Stand your ground”] took a turn in the national spotlight in 2012, when it formed the basis of a not-guilty verdict in the case of George Zimmerman,”

    Incorrect; it was ordinary self-defense.

    “O’Mara, who famously defended George Zimmerman for the murder [sic – it wasn’t murder] of Trayvon Martin in 2013, said because Zimmerman had no opportunity to retreat, “there wasn’t a stand your ground case because there was no standing of ground.”

    Here’s a better article about the iguana.

  4. As someone who used to drive most of the A14 three or four times a year, I dreaded it. The road is one of the most boring trunk roads in Britain and was riddled with speed cameras.

    I can’t imagine anyone composing as song about it (thinks ‘Route 66’) unless it was a dirge.

    Your mileage may vary….

  5. Early vaccination got you a trip to TX. I’d take paying for brisket over a free but still tasteless bud product.

    But whatever works to get more people jabbed

    1. I agree. Water’s already free. At least they could offer you enough beer to get through the lousy days after the second shot.

  6. McMurtry also wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for the movie “Brokeback Mountain.”

    Not to mention the 1986 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Lonesome Dove, later adapted into a tv-miniseries starring Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones.

  7. “Patterson faces five years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Animal cruelty is never punished as severely as it should be.”

    Believe me, five years in a Florida prison is no joke. Not that he’ll probably get the full sentence or fine, but it’s not a light punishment.

  8. A doofus can’t have a grand love affair?

    & Bradley — oops Chelsea — Manning might have a better life if he — oops “she” — got some decent mental health help. She is a man. She looks like a man. You can’t tell me that that’s a happy person & she’s any happier than she was when she was a he. But she can’t go back … that would be saying that he was wrong. & men just can’t do that. Especially someone who is such a poster boy — girl — whatever — for the trans team. It’s very sad. He was a hero. Now she’s just another transwoman … a fake.

    1. Woah with the vitriol. I wouldn’t presume to know any of those things about her – I simply wish her the best.

  9. “…the PA will not permit LGBTQ groups to meet in the West Bank. Ergo, Haneed Sader, the head of AlQaws, the main organization promoting gay rights in the West Bank, has decided to live in Haifa while criticizing Israel for ‘”pinkwashing.'”

    Man, every time we make a joke about the woke, it ends up coming true. This time, it was the “I bet all of these people who hate Israel and support the terrorist organizations that run Palestine would never be willing to live in Palestine, and would flee to Israel the first chance they got.” And now it’s happened. “How dare the country I live in support gay rights! It’s just disgusting, supporting gay rights while Hamas and its affiliates throw gay people from rooftops. Clearly the country I live in just wants to show that they’re better than terrorists like Hamas. It’s definitely not that they’re a democracy that respects the rights of their citizens.”

  10. 2016 – Muhammad Ali, American boxer (b. 1942)

    Ali’s fellow Louisville native, Hunter Thompson, wrote a long two-parter about him, centered on his two bouts with former Olympic gold-medalist Leon Spinks (in the second of which, Ali regained the world heavyweight championship for an unprecedented third time), when Ali was clearly on the back slope of a long career.

    In it, HST called Ali “our Brown Gatsby.” noting that he occupied “an orbit so high, a circuit so fast and strong and with rarefied air so thin that only “The Champ,” “The Greatest,” and a few close friends have unlimited breathing rights.. Anybody who can sell this act for $5 million an hour all over the
    world is working a vein somewhere between magic and madness. . . ”

    Thompson finished the piece off with this passage:

    Muhammad Ali decided one day a long time ago, not long after his twenty-first birthday that he was not only going to be King of the World on his own turf, but Crown Prince on everybody else’s

    Which is very, very High Thinking — even if you can’t pull it off. Most people can’t handle the action on whatever they chose or have to call their own turf; and the few who can usually have better sense than to push their luck any further.

    That was always the difference between Muhammad Ali and the rest of us. He came, he saw, and if he didn’t entirely conquer — he came as close as anybody we are likely to see in the lifetime of this doomed generation.

    About sums it up, I’d say.

  11. Kyrsten Sinema may actually be worse than Joe Manchin. Her lame excuse for missing the 1/6 commission vote was delivered at the side of John Cornyn, Republican from TX. Some have suggested she may announce she’s going to the other side, and that it was her intention all along, but that may be just idle speculation.

    Sinema on why she skipped vote on Jan. 6 commission: ‘I had a personal family matter’

  12. Evidently, these reward programs to encourage people to get vaccinated are working. Although these programs are somewhat distasteful, I think they demonstrate that resistance to the vaccination is pretty weak for most folks. Many will put off getting a shot if they think the disease is not that much of a threat. Some undoubtedly resisted it because their Trumpy neighbor or family told them it was expected of Republicans. They didn’t need much encouragement to do the smart thing. I suspect the Biden admin’s program for increasing convenience and availability plays a role too. Hopefully, it will snowball and result in most people getting vaccinated.

  13. In regard to the arrested iguana-beater, what would the Florida authorities make of the 1980s pop lyric “Mexican Radio”? One verse goes: “I wish I was in Tiajuana, Eating barbequed iguana”. I suppose the song itself could be prosecuted for cultural misappropriation.

    “1937 – The Duke of Windsor marries Wallis Simpson.” Wasn’t Wallis Simpson the grandmother of Homer Simpson?

  14. I don’t regard this as a great love story because I think Edward was a doofus.

    He was worse than a doofus, he was a Nazi sympathizer.

    1. He was an idiot before there was a Nazi party for him to sympathise with. It was his main PR schtick when Robber Barons Inc were only just getting to understand that they had to do PR ; shortly after they changed the family name to “Windsor” to stop sounding so German.

  15. Forget getting boxes or bags for your cat; just dig them a hole:

    Inverted “King of the Castle” syndrome.

  16. The BBC website has published an interesting article on “How the Dutch are facing up to their colonial past” ( Here is an excerpt that includes commentary from the Rijksmuseum’s curator of history, Eveline Sint Nicolaas:

    ‘The Protestant Dutch were initially reluctant to involve themselves in the slave trade with one pastor referring to it as a “popish aberration” perpetrated by the Spanish and Portuguese. However, attitudes began to shift as the Dutch expanded their operations overseas. “It became clear if we wanted to compete and take over from the Portuguese then the Dutch had to participate in the slave trade and that caused a shift in the message spread by the church,” says Sint Nicolaas. “They looked for stories in the Bible to legitimise slavery, and argued that the Old Testament said that slavery was acceptable because of the story which saw Noah curse Ham’s descendants into slavery,” she explains. This was despite there being no explicit mention in the Bible of Ham being black. “It’s such a complicated argument that I always find it hard to understand that it’s possible… but only a few clergymen questioned it, and then you get the de-humanising of ‘the other,'” says Sint Nicolaas.’

    Following this is a more debatable paragraph:

    ‘ “I think it’s important to point out that racism is not something that always existed,” says the Rijksmuseum’s head of history, Valika Smeulders. “Discrimination is universal, but to legalise it as a system that a certain group of people was meant to serve the other half of the world, that is something that was installed by colonialism, and at the end of colonialism that was reinforced through ‘scientific’ racist ideas. Racism was borne out of colonialism, not the other way round.” ‘

  17. Frogs had teeth, but lost them repeatedly over evolutionary time. I guess their diet doesn’t require choppers, whose development requires unneeded metabolic energy.

    Obligatory Beelzebufo, complete with up to 60+ teeth, large enough to chow down on small dinosaurs in a 15cm-wide mouth, the mandibles and maxillas being braced to the skull by strengthened joints, “all the better to eat you with”.

    Damn, but that’s a good generic name.

  18. “Here’s the lovely mountain Chimborazo (I’ve seen it), which, because it’s located on the “equatorial bulge”, is Earth’s closest spot to the Moon:”

    It is also the highest point on earth, if height is measured from the center of the earth .

    1. Not the highest point on earth. Furthest point on the earth’s surface from the earth’s center (geometric). Is the ocean “higher” at the Galapagos than it is at Svalbard or Antarctica?

      What matters is elevation of above the local sea level. (Which obviously has to be estimated for all mountains not rising directly from the ocean (e.g. Mauna Kea / Mauna Loa).)

      1. The highest point on earth IS the furthest point from its center. The decision to measure height with respect to sea level is a useful convention, nothing more. From a geometrical point of view, distance from the center is the most logical choice.

        One way to see this is to consider two identical irregular spheres, with exactly the same surfaces. One of the spheres is made of solid iron and one made of a thin hollow iron shell. They have exactly the same shape. Why should the highest point on the solid sphere be different than the corresponding point on the hollow one? From a strictly geometric viewpoint, the highest point of each world must be independent of the kind of organism that lives on the spheres. It may be convenient for some organisms to measure height by electrical potential, or temperature, or gravitational attraction, or something else, but these are just decisions based on the particulars of the biology of the resident species.

Leave a Reply