Tuesday: Hili dialogue

June 15, 2021 • 6:30 am

Welcome to Tuesday, June 15, 2021: National Lobster Day.  It’s also National Cherry Tart Day, National Electricity Day (see below), Native American Citizenship Day, Magna Carta Day (agreed to on this day in 1215 by King John; see below), Nature Photography Day (take some photos and send them to me!), Global Wind Day and, in the UK, National Beer Day (United Kingdom).  Would some reader in the UK please drink a pint of Landlord for me? I keep asking readers to quaff a pint of my favorite British ale, but everyone says they can’t find Landlord.

I am rather low today, so posting is likely to be light.

Today’s Google Doodle (below), created by senior Milo Golding at Lexington (Kentucky) Christian Academy, was the winning submission among thousands of entries from K-12 in a national contest. Milo wins a $30,000 college scholarship on top of a $50,000 technology package for his school.

The Doodle honors MIlo’s dad, who died of a heart attack when the artist was just 13. As the Lexington Herald-Leader reports:

“Milo’s Doodle, titled ‘Finding Hope,’ speaks to the resilience and hope that lives in all of us,” Google officials said. “The Doodle is inspired by his father’s advice to find hope in all circumstances as a source of strength. It was inspired by Milo’s journey to find hope after the loss of his father”. . . .

“I am strong because I have hope,” Milo said, describing his entry and its inspiration. “I once asked my father how he overcame obstacles and became who he wanted to be. “

His father, Deeno Golding. replied, “Hope, hope keeps me strong.”

“After I unexpectedly lost him at 13 due to a heart attack, it helped me overcome grief and support other children who lost loved ones.,” Milo said.

The Doodle:

An old photo with Milo, his mom, and his dad:

Lexington Christian Academy senior Milo Golding with mom Yanya Yang and dad Deeno Golding. PHOTO PROVIDED

Congrats, Milo, and may you attain your dreams.

News of the Day:

The news is thin as Biden slowly wends his way towards Russia for the big summit with Putin. Some good news for conservationists, though: Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has asked President Biden to restore environmental protections for three national monuments that were eroded by the Trump Administration. From the NYT:

In a report sent to the White House earlier this month that has not been made public, Ms. Haaland recommended that Mr. Biden reinstate the original boundaries, which included millions of acres at Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante, two rugged and pristine expanses in Utah defined by red rock canyons, rich wildlife and archaeological treasures.

Mr. Trump had sharply reduced the size of both national monuments at the urging of ranchers and many Republican leaders, opening them to mining, drilling and development. At the time, it was the largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation’s history.

I’m pretty sure Biden will assent; so far, his efforts on the environment have been excellent.

BIG MOUSE PLAGUE DOWN UNDER! As the Washington Post reports, agricultural areas in Southern Australia are overrun with millions of mice, ruining the crops and costing farmers millions. They also carry diseases that can infect humans and die in the walls of houses, making an unbelievable stench. NOTE: if you like mice, don’t look at the pictures! One below just shows the density of the rodents. (h/t Randy)

Photo credit not given at the WaPo

Jump for Joe: You java drinkers should take heart, for a new piece in the NYT gives us good news, “The health benefits of coffee.” Coffee is no longer bad for you! And the benefits are many; here’s an excerpt:

The latest assessments of the health effects of coffee and caffeine, its main active ingredient, are reassuring indeed. Their consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of all kinds of ailments, including Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, gallstones, depression, suicide, cirrhosis, liver cancer, melanoma and prostate cancer.

In fact, in numerous studies conducted throughout the world, consuming four or five eight-ounce cups of coffee (or about 400 milligrams of caffeine) a day has been associated with reduced death rates. In a study of more than 200,000 participants followed for up to 30 years, those who drank three to five cups of coffee a day, with or without caffeine, were 15 percent less likely to die early from all causes than were people who shunned coffee. Perhaps most dramatic was a 50 percent reduction in the risk of suicide among both men and women who were moderate coffee drinkers, perhaps by boosting production of brain chemicals that have antidepressant effects.

It’s not all positive: coffee can cause insomnia (duh!) but can also increase the rate of miscarriage. There’s also this: “When brewed without a paper filter, as in French press, Norwegian boiled coffee, espresso or Turkish coffee, oily chemicals called diterpenes come through that can raise artery-damaging LDL cholesterol.”  Still, I’ll keep using my espresso machine.

This year’s Westminster Dog Show, held outside because of the pandemic, was won by a male Pekingese named Wasabi.  Here’s a photo of the Best in Show winner from the NYT. Put a stick up its rear and you’d have a mop!

And for you dog lovers, here’s an eight minute video of the competition. Wasabi shows up at 5:58 and wins his crown at 7:20.  I love the way he walks!

And for you lovers of Greece, a group that includes me, there’s a short but colorful article in the NYT on unvisited corners of rural Greece where people still wear their traditional costumes. Now I have a list of new places to visit. (My last visit, to the Peloponnese one September about 20 years ago, was one of the best trips I’ve ever had. The tourists had left, but it was still warm and the seas wonderful for swimming. Go see the Mani!)

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 599,486, an increase of 339 deaths over yesterday’s figure. We will probably pass 600,000 deaths by Thursday.  The reported world death toll is now 3,828,472, an increase of about 8,300 over yesterday’s total. Remember when 200,000 deaths was regarded as an unimaginable toll?

Stuff that happened on June 15 includes:

Here’s one of four surviving copies of the document, though the King’s wax seal has been lost. You can see this in the British Library:

  • 1520 – Pope Leo X threatens to excommunicate Martin Luther in Exsurge Domine.
  • 1648 – Margaret Jones is hanged in Boston for witchcraft in the first such execution for the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • 1667 – The first human blood transfusion is administered by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys.

Denys performed several transfusion (forcibly) on a madman abducted from the streets. The first one seemed to work, but the man died after the second one.

  • 1752 – Benjamin Franklin proves that lightning is electricity (traditional date, the exact date is unknown).
  • 1844 – Charles Goodyear receives a patent for vulcanization, a process to strengthen rubber.

The original additive to harden rubber was sulfur, discovered by Goodyear when he accidentally dropped a mixture of sulfur and rubber into a hot frying pan, and it didn’t melt.

  • 1877 – Henry Ossian Flipper becomes the first African American cadet to graduate from the United States Military Academy.

Here’s Flipper who, predictably for a black officer, was court-martialed and discharged. He was first exonerated and then pardoned by Bill Clinton:

Here’s that series with the caption from Wikipedia; note that in two photos (second and third in top row) all the horse’s feet are off the ground. This was a long-standing debate that was settled with a single piece of empirical evidence. (Of course, one could argue that other horses’ feet never left the ground.

“Sallie Gardner,” owned by Leland Stanford; ridden by G. Domm, running at a 1.40 gait over the Palo Alto track, 19th June, 1878 (1878 cabinet card, “untouched” version from original negatives)

Alcock and Brown landed in a bog in Ireland, and the result is below, but neither were hurt and both feted as heroes:

The mountain, called the “Killer Mountain” was finally summited by Hermann Buhl in 1953. It’s a lovely peak:

  • 1970 – Charles Manson goes on trial for the Sharon Tate murders.
  • 1977 – After the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, the first democratic elections took place in Spain.

Latest news: Franco is still dead.

  • 1992 – The United States Supreme Court rules in United States v. Álvarez-Machaín that it is permissible for the United States to forcibly extradite suspects in foreign countries and bring them to the United States for trial, without approval from those other countries.
  • 2012 – Nik Wallenda becomes the first person to successfully tightrope walk directly over Niagara Falls.

Here’s Wallenda’s walk; he seems to have no safety rope!

Notables born on this day include:

Here’s one of Steinberg’s cat cartoons:

  • 1937 – Waylon Jennings, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2002)
  • 1941 – Harry Nilsson, American singer-songwriter (d. 1994)
  • 1943 – Johnny Hallyday, French singer and actor (d. 2017)
  • 1963 – Helen Hunt, American actress, director, and producer
  • 1970 – Leah Remini, American actress and producer

Those who relinquished their ghost on June 15 were few, and include:

  • 1849 – James K. Polk, American lawyer and politician, 11th President of the United States (b. 1795)
  • 1996 – Ella Fitzgerald, American singer and actress (b. 1917)
  • 2014 – Casey Kasem, American radio host, producer, and voice actor, co-created American Top 40 (b. 1932)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili has a rodential “present” for Paulina:

Paulina: You brought something from the garden to the verandah, again.
Hili: It’s a still life meant for later consumption.
In Polish:
Paulina: Znowu przyniosłaś coś z sadu na werandę.
Hili: To martwa natura przeznaczona do późniejszej konsumpcji.

From the Harnish Vet Service’s Facebook page. The best thank-you note ever!

From Divy:

A bad groaner from Bruce:

A tweet from reader Ken, who helpfully adds, “Trump daughter-in-law Lara (wife of son Eric) tells Fox New’s Jeanine Pirro that the solution to problems at the US border (which consist in large measure of crossings by unaccompanied minors) is for locals on the border “to arm up, get guns, and take matters into their own hands”:


Tweets from Matthew.  Lovely photo in the first one. But where are the clowns? Well, maybe next year.

A lovely portrait of a lion:

I believe this is a fruit bat who needs something to cuddle:

Speaking of fruit bat, here’s a lovely video tweet from Bat World, home of Statler the geriatric fruit bat:

You do remember Statler, don’t you. He’s too old to fly, but the workers carry him about so he can flap his wings and remember the old days. . .

Even though his cinematic roar was fearsome, Leo must have been pretty tame!

And the only cat gargoyle I know of, complete with a kitten as lagniappe!

39 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. Nik Wallenda is walking five stories up TODAY in Buffalo, NY to celebrate the opening of a new health-sciences building at D’Youville College. He will be going over West Avenue. It will be broadcast live on WIVB-TV. My sister is an alumnus of D’Youville.

    1. Kind of an odd thing to do to promote a health-sciences building. A bit like holding a cigarette-smoking contest or a speed-eating event….

      1. I don’t know, tight rope walking is very reliant on making use of certain principles of dynamics so I can see a connection to science in general. Not formally of course, I’m sure tight rope walkers don’t typically take engineering or physics courses, but as Jerry likes to say “science broadly construed.”

    2. The dude did have a safety harness at the insistence of ABC, which had the TV rights. By the time he reached the midpoint, he was 11m (35 feet!) lower than when he set off because of the sag in the wire! He had to carry his passport with him and to present it to Canadian officials when he reached the other side.

  2. Hi Jerry,

    I hope I can be of some small consolation by letting you know that I enjoyed a pint or two of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord in The Hand and Shears pub in the City of London on Friday. Shamefully, I had no idea that it was National Beer Day today, but I promise that I will do my best to make up for this lapse.

  3. “Remember when 200,000 deaths was regarded as an unimaginable toll?”

    The estimate has not aged well but Neil Ferguson et.al. were warning of 2.2 million deaths in the U.S. alone in the spring of 2020 (allowing Trump to claim he saved millions of lives). This estimate seemed fairly well publicized to me at the time.


    1. I’ve never heard the 2.2 million estimate. Throughout the pandemic the most publicized estimates I recall here in the US ranged from 200,000 early on and then later as much as 500,000. Since we actually hit and passed 500,000 I’ve not seen any further estimates publicized. Not saying there haven’t been any, but prior to the past few months estimates of deaths were highly publicized by lots of media outlets all the time, whereas lately the media seems to have lost interest in total death estimates.

    2. I believe the Imperial college estimate was for a scenario without any mitigation/non pharmaceutical inteventions (indeed it was the rationale for the interventions), and as such may not have been that far off the mark.
      Ioannidis estimated 40.000 deaths in the US in April 2020 and was far off the mark no matter what scenario he assumed.
      And the CDC was also off the mark in April (too low even with NPI).
      Jerry, hope you feel better soon.

    3. “….. Covid-19 death toll …..will probably pass 600,000 deaths by Thursday.”

      An old story coming from me: if defined as death #s that wouldn’t have happened but for Covid, and if that is measured by # deaths in excess of the statistical average, then the number for US is very likely over 800,000 at present. The error seemed in the 30 to 35% range (under-reported, of course), though a recent BBC etc. story had it at 52% for US. I’m extremely dubious about the latter. But we’ll learn in good time just what the death toll from Covid was, to a pretty high degree of accuracy. By that time de Santis in Florida, etc.–some Republican governors who likely deliberately under-reported,–will hopefully be no more than political history.

  4. Happy that the series of photos of a horse running was the basis for the motion picture.

    But seriously, any rider could tell you that the horse’s feet are all off the ground at once, just by the rhythm of the ride at a gallop.


  5. I see that my local Tesco supermarket claims to have Timothy Taylor’s Landlord beer, so I shall look for a bottle on my next shopping trip and try it out. Meanwhile, for National Beer Day, I shall drink to PCC(E)’s health with a bottle of my own favourite, Adnam’s Ghost Ship.

    1. My local Majestic wine store has 12-bottle packs of Landlord, but I don’t have any on hand at the moment. Next time, maybe. Meanwhile, I have just drunk Jerry’s health with a bottle of Shepherd Neame’s Bishop’s Finger: best I’ve got in the house just now!

  6. The picture of the circus folk reminds me of a thought I had recently (don’t ask me what prompted it): How would the Woke react to the half-man/half-woman in the freak show?

  7. 1992 – The United States Supreme Court rules in United States v. Álvarez-Machaín that it is permissible for the United States to forcibly extradite suspects in foreign countries and bring them to the United States for trial, without approval from those other countries.

    It was more a straight-up kidnapping than any kind of extradition. Alvarez-Machain was a Mexican doctor who’d helped keep DEA agent Enrique (“Kiki”) Camarena Salazar alive so he could be tortured and interrogated by members of the Guadalajara drug cartel. Alvarez-Manchin was tried in the US over the objections of the Mexican government that his abduction violated the US-Mexico extradition treaty (which it plainly did).

    At the time the Alvarez-Machain decision was handed down, it was seen by many in the legal community as a message from Chief Justice Rehnquist (who authored the opinion) and the other conservative justices on SCOTUS to Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian strongman who’d been brought to the US as a prisoner of war after the US invasion of Panama and was then standing trial on drug-trafficking and RICO charges in Miami, that he could damn well forget raising any appellate issues regarding the circumstances under which he’d been brought to the US to stand trial.

  8. I, for one, appreciate your warning about the Australian mice article! Hope the low feeling passes for you today.

  9. Regarding the circus-folk vaccination line and the absence of clowns, perhaps they are sending a message: Only clowns don’t get vaccinated?

    Also, let’s face it…we don’t really want to protect clowns, do we? Clowns are abominations. And no sane person wants to get close enough to a clown to catch anything from it, so a clown’s state of vulnerability produces minimal public health risk.

    Although SOME clowns (the Joker and Pennywise come to mind) might deliberately get COVID and then try to spread it.

    It’s just best to avoid clowns.

  10. How can we cheer you up, Jerry? Hope you feel better soon.

    I watched the dog show, and I thought Striker, the Samoyed, or the English Sheepdog were top contenders. I was quite surprised that Wasabi won and that the whippet was second! Wasabi’s mother’s name is Sushi.

  11. That FOX news chyron is laughable. “Lara Trump slams Biden admin’s failed policies”. Are FOX viewers so stupid that they actually believe a POTUS who has been in office for 6 months already has “failed policies”? Other than the success of the Covid relief bill, what enacted policies are failing? The border? That’s just cleaning up Trump’s mess piled on top of decades of mismanagement and forces beyond America’s control. The border has no clear cut solution, and vigilantes murdering children and others crossing the border is simply insane. The cynicism and hate of FOX propaganda has done more to debase this country in the last 30 years than anything else I can think of.

    1. The short answer is “yes”. They live in a bubble where the only news worth watching is Fox News. A few might prefer OAN but they are truly lost. They regard CNN and other news networks as fake news or at least biased against them. Of course, Fox isn’t really the cause of all this but they certainly prevent it from going away.

      1. And it’s well known and backed by a number of studies that people who only watch FOX know less about current events than people who don’t watch ANY news. So people who just read PCC(E)’s “news of the day” paragraph in HD would know more about current events than FOX viewers. That’s kinda funny.

  12. As a proud whippet owner, I demand an audit of the American Kennel Club (those guys in Arizona should be available soon). That thing that won was not a dog. Clearly the fix was in.

    1. Agreed! Either the Samoyed or the Whippet should have won. The Pekinese is too comical looking to be a dog. Or perhaps they hold one competition for proper dogs and another for “Can you believe this was descended from a wolf?” dogs.

      1. Yep. If it could die because you accidentally stepped on it, then it shouldn’t qualify as a dog. Puppies excluded.

  13. When I was a kid in Australia (1970s/80s) every decade or so there’d be a mouse plague somewhere (fortunately not where I lived) – and the ABC news online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1ilCy6XrmI is reporting on one there now: they’re just HORRIBLE. A nightmare.

    They get in everywhere in your home, life, underware drawer, food, pets, swarms of them – like a scurrying blanket of darting, stinky mice. And if you’re farmer your livelihood is screwed b/c they eat ALL the crops. They make locusts look like a picnic in the park.

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