Monday: Hili dialogue

June 21, 2021 • 6:30 am

Welcome to Monday, June 21, 2021: National Peaches and Cream Day. That means that you can not only eat this dish, but that things will be fine. It’s also Take Your Cat to Work Day (if you’re working from home, that’s okay, otherwise forget it!),  National Selfie Day, World Giraffe Day, and, most important, Atheist Solidarity Day.

It’s the first full day of summer (the summer solstice started just before midnight last night) and today’s Google Doodle celebrates this with an animated gif (click on screenshot; there’s a different Doodle for the Southern Hemisphere, where winter just began).

Finally, it’s also these holidays (the solstice was at about 11:30 pm yesterday):

News of the Day:

The Bidens still don’t have a cat. I will report daily until they get one.

The shootings and killings continue to escalate in Chicago: I know when it’s bad when I drive to the grocery store early on Saturday or Sunday morning and pass the University of Chicago Emergency Room. When there are more than two cop cars outside, and when there are a bunch of cops milling about  in front of the ER door, I know it was a bad weekend. That’s what I saw this morning and, checking up, I found that five people were killed and 40 hurt in this weekend’s shootings. And that report was filed at 9 a.m. Sunday morning! (Note: the total hasn’t yet been updated.) The shootings thus occurred between Friday evening and early Sunday morning. It’s not over yet as I write this on Sunday evening. No wonder there were news trucks and live reporters from local stations also stationed outside the ER.

According to the Washington Post, scientists are still fighting about whether Covid-19 came from a natural host transmitting it to humans or a leak from a Wuhan lab. Both scenarios have problems—for the former it’s that the animal host has still not been identified. I suspect this will eventually be settled, though I don’t have a dog in this fight.

Also from the WaPo, click on the screenshot to watch a 5½-minute video on whiteness.  I gave in and watched how I’ve failed in many ways. Be my guest by clicking on the screenshot below. It’s  pure Kendi-and DiAngelican ideology, with not a word of dissent. The Washington Post is no longer an organ of objective journalism; like the New York Times, it’s become a vessel for social engineering and for purveying ideology, even to schoolchildren.

According to the narrator, this is only the first in a series of videos on the invidious nature of whiteness.

Via the Toronto site BlogTO, Diana MacPherson tells us that Toronto is installing “duck platforms” in its harbor to prevent ducklings from drowning. Ducklings have to get out of the water several hours a day to dry off as they have no way to waterproof their feathers (they get feather oil from their mother sitting on them). To prevent waterlogged babies, Toronto is installing these platforms that ducklings can climb onto and dry off:

Speaking of rescues, reader Debra sent this sign photographed by her cat-loving friend Paul in the New York City subway yesterday:

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. 601,442, an increase of 300 deaths over yesterday’s figure.  The reported world death toll is now 3,882,633, an increase of about 6,400 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on June 21 includes:

  • 1900 – Boxer Rebellion: China formally declares war on the United States, Britain, Germany, France and Japan, as an edict issued from the Empress Dowager Cixi.
  • 1915 – The U.S. Supreme Court hands down its decision in Guinn v. United States 238 US 347 1915, striking down Oklahoma grandfather clause legislation which had the effect of denying the right to vote to blacks.
  • 1942 – World War II: A Japanese submarine surfaces near the Columbia River in Oregon, firing 17 shells at Fort Stevens in one of only a handful of attacks by Japan against the United States mainland.

Nobody was hurt and no damage was done to the Japanese target, Fort Stevens.

The Japanese used child soldiers, aged 14-17, as front line combatants on Okinawa. Here’s a photo of some of them:

(From Wikipedia): Tekketsu Kinnōtai child soldiers on Okinawa

Here’s the FBI’s wanted poster before they found the killers: seven men, including KKK members, were convicted (maximum sentence was ten years in jail!), and one additional killer was not convicted until 2005 (see below).

Their remains uncovered on August 4. 1964:

Here’s a famous picture of two defendants who got off. The caption: “The main suspect were the local sheriff, Lawrence A. Rainey (above right), his deputy Cecil Price (above left) and 16 other men, all of whom were allegedly members of the Ku Klux Klan. They were charged with violating the civil rights of the victims.” Rainey is dipping a chaw of tobacco.

The Miller test for obscenity. It’s now of course violated regularly.

  • Whether “the average person, applying contemporary community standards”, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest,
  • Whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions specifically defined by applicable state law,
  • Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
  • 1982 – John Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
  • 1989 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397, that American flag-burning is a form of political protest protected by the First Amendment.

As I wrote five days ago, some Republican Senators are trying to get a Constitutional Amendment through Congress to prohibit flag burning (it would then have to be approved by 3/4 of the states). This will not stand.

  • 2005 – Edgar Ray Killen, who had previously been unsuccessfully tried for the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner, is convicted of manslaughter 41 years afterwards (the case had been reopened in 2004).

Killen, Jailed in 2005, died in prison in 2018.

  • 2009 – Greenland assumes self-rule.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1892 – Reinhold Niebuhr, American theologian and academic (d. 1971)
  • 1921 – Jane Russell, American actress and singer (d. 2011)
  • 1948 – Ian McEwan, British novelist and screenwriter
  • 1953 – Benazir Bhutto, Pakistani financier and politician, 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan (d. 2007)
  • 1957 – Berkeley Breathed, American author and illustrator
  • 1982 – Jussie Smollett, American actor and singer

This bit by Dave Chapelle on Jussie Smollett (said to be a French actor pronounced “Juicy Smole-yay”) is one of his funniest pieces. Trigger warning: strong language including n-word.

The unfortunate but endearing cat carried several mutations. Here’s a photo from the WaPo:

Photo: Mike Bridavsky/

Those who “passed” on June 21 include:

  • 1652 – Inigo Jones, English architect, designed the Queen’s House and Wilton House (b. 1573)
  • 1874 – Anders Jonas Ångström, Swedish physicist and astronomer (b. 1814)
  • 1908 – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian composer and educator (b. 1844)
  • 1964 – James Chaney, American civil rights activist (b. 1943)
  • 1964 – Andrew Goodman, American civil rights activist (b. 1943)
  • 1964 – Michael Schwerner, American civil rights activist (b. 1939)
  • 2001 – John Lee Hooker, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1917)

Here’s Hooker with “Boom Boom”, live at Montreaux in 1990:

  • 2015 – Gunther Schuller, American horn player, composer, and conductor (b. 1925)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili is full of herself, as usual (her views are always correct, so she’s made a tautology):

Hili: I’m proud of my correct views.
A: Which ones?
Hili: All of them.
In Polish:
Hili: Jestem dumna z moich słusznych poglądów.
A: Których?
Hili: Wszystkich.

From Bruce. BYU is “Brigham Young University” in Provo, Utah, a Mormon school. When I was younger and collected college tee-shirts, I went into the BYU bookstore to get one of theirs, but was kicked out because I had a beard and mustache. Jesus couldn’t go to BYU!

A photo from Barry, which he labels, “Cut your own fucking grass!” Let’s hand it to the Scots, though: they mowed a couple of feet into England!

From Jesus of the Day:

Masih talks about the new election for Iran’s President, won by a hard-liner. You may not agree with her on the boycott of Iran, which Biden is going to soften considerablyu, and I dislike imposing hardships on the Iranian people, who by and large oppose their theocracy, but if you don’t want Iran to have the bomb, what does one do? I am convinced that any Biden deal may marginally stall Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, but won’t by any means stop it.However, I don’t agree that foreign heads of state should be barred from entering the U.S. unless they’re liable to arrest.

Tweets from Matthew, who, like me, loves ferrets and stoats, even though they’re voracious predators. Here’s Moose the Ferret having a great time.

Bats, whales, and now add tree mice to the groups of mammals who use echolocation! Mice in the genus Typhlomys have very small eyes and are nocturnal.

Of this tweet, Matthew notes, “n.b.: the cladogrm isn’t quite right (e.g., “marine mammals”) but the variety of vaginas, etc. is”. Can you spot the phylogenetic errors?

I got this too late to put up yesterday, but by gum, FIFTY FIVE YEARS? Sunrise, sunset. . . .

A while back, I went through a few days when I was obsessed with watching watch restoration videos. As it says at the end, “Watch again.” The original video with the restorer is below the first one.  I can’t fathom the dexterity, patience, and skill required to do this kind of work.

Sound up, please.

A whole thread of medieval cats licking their butts! They observed the behavior fine, but the depiction of the moggies, as usual, leaves a lot to be desired. There are more in the thread:

23 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

    1. Seals are marine mammals, but in the general vicinity of “Canids”, not “ungulates”.
      Ditto most otter species whose ranges include marine coasts. (Are there any obligate marine otters/ mustelids – with marine-relevant derived characteristics?) I think they’re “Canids” too, but a different branch of that bush to the seals.
      The author would have been rather better with “whales & dolphins” than “marine mammals”.
      Don’t – just don’t – ask a dinosaur palaeontologist something about ichthyosaurs. Or an ichthyosaur palaeontologist about plesiosaurs, in particular Nessiteras rhombopteryx.

  1. I was binge-watching vehicle restoration videos over the weekend. One fellow restored a WWII Jeep over the course of several years. Then he turned his attention to a WWII Weasel (a tracked amphibian). He’s moving much more quickly on that, even though there has been more to do. He’s been at it for about seventeen months, and it won’t take him two years. As you say, the patience involved is amazing, not to mention the variety of skills needed.

    1. As you say, the patience involved is amazing, not to mention the variety of skills needed.

      But what about the ravening insanity and pharmaceutically enhanced imagination necessary to conceive of, then create, a half-track motorcycle troop transport and weapon platform?

      I really hope the inventors used pharmaceuticals to … reach that … level of design. A mind that could do it, un-lubrcated is slightly worrying.

    2. As I imagine the video related, Studebaker built the Weasels. Geoffrey Pyke had some involvement in the design. He was also involved in development of Pykrete, which was made from super-cooled water and sawdust. The plan was to build massive floating barges from the stuff, to launch airplanes from. The project never came to fruition, but Max Perutz, later Nobel Laureate for the first 3D structure of a protein (myoglobin).

      (Just for some eclectic segues.)

  2. Battle of Okinawa in 1945 (April-June) was the last and worst battle of WWII. Also a battle in which the top military leaders of both sides died or were killed near the end of the battle. For the U.S. it was a determining factor in the decision to use the bomb. If all of WWII was the result of the first world war, the end of WWII was the beginning of many future military mistakes by the U.S.

  3. It wasn’t that long ago that most general/popular news and weather reports would say something like “This is June 21, the Summer solstice, which means the longest day of the year”, that is, identifying the solstice with the entire day. And similarly, saying the equinoxes *are* the days when daylight and nighttime hours are equal.

    Of course, technically both an equinox and a solstice, in the modern understanding, are momentary (or short-term) events, marking particular astronomical configurations. I won’t strain my powers of 3D visualization and description, but those better than I at it can clearly explain which projected tangent or perpendicular planes are intersecting which axes or centers of the Sun or Earth. And as they sweep towards an intersection, then hit, then sweep on past, that is the equinox or solstice.

    Trying to hew to that technical correctness is slightly awkward, however, because it requires marking a day as “the day the solstice occurs” or “the day on which the equinox occurs”, which is less convenient than just saying “today is the summer solstice” and so on. And sometimes still that pedantic formulation will get a sort of “WWhat the heck are you talking about?” response.

    But OTOH local radio headlines that I heard this morning did say “The summer solstice occurred as 10:31 PM last night”, just as this post said “the summer solstice started just before midnight last night”. It’s good to see the spread of being sticklers for accuracy! 🙂

    Though there is a new source of oddity to it, as Sunday was technically “The day on which the solstice occurred” even though today, Monday, is being counted as longest day and first day of official summer. Well, in this time zone. Perhaps it works out better in zero zone.

    1. It is probably simpler to treat the solstices and equinoxes as point events when the the pole to the ecliptic is intersected by the Earth’s rotation axis (solstices) and the point in the Earth’s orbit when the line joining the Earth centre to the Sun centre is perpendicular to the solstice line (which gives you the equinoxes.
      Then approximate it to whole days for calendar writers, news anchor-people, etc. The rotation of the Earth on it’s axis isn’t related to the motion of the Earth about the Sun.
      That’s your first approximation. Of course, the Earth’s rotation axis wobbles because of torques from the Moon, Jupiter, and changes in the Earth’s shape (earthquakes) on periods from aperiodic to tens of thousands of years. And the shape of the Earth’s orbit also changes on time scales from mere hundreds of millennia (planetary torques) to multiple billions of years (increase in the orbit’s size as the Sun loses mass by radiation and Solar wind).
      You would think that equinoxes and solstices would be 3 months apart (well, a quarter year apart, really ; 365.25636 / 4 synodic days). But they’re not, since the Earth moves at different speeds in different parts of it’s orbit, and that shifts the dates by a day and a bit. Since the closest approach of the Earth to the Sun is not at an equinox or a solstice (why would it be?), that correction for orbital shape moves each of the four dates by different amounts.

      Kepler had about 40 attempts at getting his head around this sort of thing, and nobody has seriously considered him a mathematical slouch.

  4. Can I spot the phylogenetic errors?
    1. It is visually not right to separate the Afrotherian hooved mammals from the other hoofed mammals (ungulates), and to lump all marine mammals together (cetaceans are hoofed mammals. Seals and sealions are carnivores). Admittedly these are all lumped as one big polytomy, maybe to instead create groups based on reproductive anatomy but it don’t look right.
    2. Is the plural of vagina really “vaginae” ? Why not “vaginas”? This is not the weirdest thing I have written on the internet.

  5. As expected, the WaPo video is mostly woke BS. However, there is another one called “Why non-Black people of color can face racism and be racist at the same time”. I wonder if Black people can be racist?

  6. Atheist Solidarity Day? Do atheists need solidarity? Does it mean getting together with other atheists to share helpful hints for getting along with theists, converting them to atheism, and performing interventions on atheists who stray from the path? Dear PCC(E), have you covered this topic here before?

    1. Especially interesting since a decade earlier, Walt saved my moustache. I was working summers at Lane’s Auto Body, Alexandria VA, and the owner and quintessential curmudgeon, Old Man Lane, wouldn’t let the manager hire me unless I cut my beard off. So I shaved the bottom out making mutton chops and that worked. But OML whose every other word was goddam, was unhappy. He called me Ali Baba and would grouse around in the mornings,
      Where in the hell is that goddam Ali Baba, goddamit?” One afternoon he came by and asked, “Why in the hell don’t you cut off that goddam moustache, son?” To which I replied in all innocence, “Well, Walt Disney has a moustache and nobody ever made him cut it off.” He just turned, saying, “Aww, goddamit to hell goddamit.”

      1. Old Man Lane was fighting change even way back then. He would likely be a Trump supporter today, right? I’ll admit to having similar feelings now when I see someone covered in tattoos or with a piece of metal going through their lip or nose, but I keep them to myself.

  7. I’ve consulted for BYU since 2013. The grooming code applies to anyone who works for BYU in any way, so they had to (and did) write a beard exemption into my contract. (They also give students exemptions for (a) medical conditions, (b) beards grown for a theatrical performance, but they must carry at all times their “beard card” in case they are challenged.)

  8. Boxer Rebellion: Herbert Hoover, then a young mining engineer from Stanford, was in China at the time. At one point, while the house he & his wife Lou Henry Hoover (first female graduate in Geology from Stanford) were living in was being shelled, Lou was calmly making tea.

  9. There were certainly plenty of 17 year old Americans fighting on Okinawa, just as there were many at Normandy.
    The Japanese were facing a well equipped, better armed invasion force that vastly outnumbered them. The Americans had already demonstrated a pre-invasion pattern of shelling and bombing any structure that appeared capable of hiding enemy troops, as demonstrated most recently in the leveling of Manila the previous month. The battle of Saipan had demonstrated that even underground shelters offered little protection against the US forces.
    Whether this was good strategy for the US is another discussion. But the Japanese felt that they were facing unrestricted warfare from a more powerful enemy, on a battlefield that neither the military nor civilians could safely escape.
    In such a situation, it is reasonable to utilize everyone that could conceivably contribute to the defensive effort. It would certainly be reasonable to assume that a 14 year old boy could be of some use.
    When the battles were being fought in US territory, during the civil war, there were a lot of kids younger than those on Okinawa on the battle fields, and not just carrying powder charges for the artillery.
    Children being completely sheltered from want or responsibility seems to mostly be a modern, first-world luxury. It is not usually an option for people being invaded from air, land and sea.

    I saw a lot of children’s remains in the caves of Saipan. I don’t necessarily see that dying while huddled in a miserably hot cave in the dark is more noble than dying while trying to stab the invaders with a pointed stick. I see the deaths of child soldiers as one of the good reasons why war is to be avoided, if at all possible.

    I don’t suppose the use of that particular image was intended to disparage the Japanese in particular for their use of 14 year olds, but was instead just representative of the horrors of that particular battle. But I chimed in anyway, because this is my area.

  10. You go after WaPo as failing in objective journalism in the CRT area, but in the para above essentially give them a pass on COVID origins. WaPo’s behind a paywall for me, but This Week in Virology isn’t.

    Here’s what three reputable virologists have to say about that. The most recent episode discusses (beginning 0:34:50) a Cell preprint summarizing viral isolates from many sources collected before and up to the outbreak of the epidemic. Throughout the discussion they find no evidence pointing to anything constructed in a lab..

  11. Thx. I really enjoyed the Tissot watch repair video. I just have NO idea how people can do that kind of thing (I have trouble working my microwave!). I guess if those neurons are aligned in the right places: bingo! Not for me – but very entertaining nevertheless.

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