Tuesday: Hili dialogue

June 29, 2021 • 6:30 am

Welcome to Tuesday, June 29, 2021: It’s National Almond Buttercrunch Day, as well as National Waffle Iron Day (who has one?), and National Camera Day (who wants some 35-mm film using Nikons; I have several).

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the life and work of Mexican artist Pedro Linares Lópes (1906 – 1992), a Mexican artisan famous for creating the papier-mâché figurines called alebrijes. The craft spread throughout Mexico, and you can see examples of these fantastical figures at the preceding link. Lópes was born on this day in 1906.

Here are some alebrijes on sale at the market in Oaxaca (photo from Wikipedia):

Alebrijes en Oaxaca, Mexico

News of the Day:

It’s been 160 days since Biden took office, and, despite Joe’s promises, the White House is still catless. If not now, when?

When India ran out of oxygen: the New York Times reports some horrible events in India’s disastrous covid crisis, with hospitals suddenly running out of oxygen and masses of people on ventilators dying all at once. Both the NYT and I blame this on the Modi government, which was never really prepared for a crisis that seemed inevitable. An excerpt:

India is a major producer of compressed oxygen. But the Indian government moved too late to distribute supplies.

State governments feuded over oxygen and seized tankers, creating bottlenecks and delays.

Delhi city officials didn’t build systems to produce or store oxygen and struggled to allocate dwindling supplies. When tight supplies and government missteps led oxygen to run out at Jaipur Golden [Hospital], some families said the hospital offered no warning.

And now, with a shortage of vaccine, India may be about to get itself into a third wave of infection.

The website of my surrogate parents Malgorzata and Andzej, Listy z naszego sadu (“letters from our orchard”; Hili is the editor, and note her photo at the top) has just published a piece written by Andrzej about the erroneous reporting of the NYT, writing that’s duplicitous in the sense that known mistakes were never corrected. It’s about the death of Palestinian children during the recent battles with Israel. The piece was translated from Polish into English by Malgorzata and her English friend Sarah Lawson.

The death toll in Chicago last weekend: 74 shootings and six deaths between Friday evening and early Monday morning. It was one of the most violent weekends of one of our most violent years, and remember: we have the Fourth of July weekend coming up. The chief of police attributes much of the violence to “too many guns in the hands of the wrong people.”

Buffets are back! Or so says the Wall Street Journal, reporting on doings in Buffet City, otherwise known as Las Vegas. As a foodie, I love buffets, though it will take some time before they return in full form. Reopened ones, for instance, often forbid you to serve yourself, make you wear gloves, and at one buffet near me in Cicero, Illinois you aren’t even allowed to dip your own fruit into the chocolate fountain (this is for obvious reasons). Soon it will be “all you can eat” again!

Over at the NYT, Carl Zimmer has an informative article about the discovery and features of “Dragon Man,” an ancient hominin that lived between 309,000 and 146,000 years ago. It’s been designated as a member of a new species of Homo: H. longi. And it’s said to be more closely related to modern H. sapiens than what we used to think was our closest relative, the common ancestor of the Neanderthals and Denisovans (who split from each other after branching off the lineage that led to us). Some paleoanthropologists dissent, though, considering H. longi to be a Denisovan, a population that has not generally been seen as a species distinct from H. sapiens (there was interbreeding). Stay tuned.

Here’s a digital reconstruction of the beautifully preserved skull: a screenshot from a video at the NYT:

(from NYT): A digital reconstruction of the cranium nicknamed “Dragon Man” which could be a new species of ancient human. Video by Xijun Ni.CreditCredit…Xijun Ni

The Washington Post, to my dismay, is getting woker and woker, to the extent that it’s barely distinguishable in its biases from HuffPo. Here’s a screenshot of all the editorials highlighted on the front page yesterday afternoon. (And yet I still subscribe to the WaPo, the NYT, and the Wall Street Journal.) I don’t read the news or op-eds just to have my own opinions confirmed, but the “MSM” increasingly fails to challenge what I think.

Here’s a lovely comment that came in this morning. I banned the moron, of course, but it’s worth putting up:

The Jews won’t be happy until whites and white culture are eradicated forever. We should’ve oven crisped them all when we had the chance.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 603,758, an increase of 289 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,946,517, an increase of about 6,100 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on June 29 includes:

A second Globe Theatre was built in 1614 and closed 28 years later.  Here’s a “conjectural reconstruction of the [first] Globe theatre by C. Walter Hodges based on archaeological and documentary evidence.”

  • 1864 – At least 99 people, mostly German and Polish immigrants, are killed in Canada’s worst railway disaster after a train fails to stop for an open drawbridge and plunges into the Rivière Richelieu near St-Hilaire, Quebec.
  • 1888 – George Edward Gouraud records Handel‘s Israel in Egypt onto a phonograph cylinder, thought for many years to be the oldest known recording of music.

The first video plays Gouraud’s recording. Now, however, the earliest known recording dates from 1860, a lot earlier. You can hear that one in the second video below:

The earliest known recording of a human voice. See this NPR article for more information (the sound has been restored a bit):

  • 1889 – Hyde Park and several other Illinois townships vote to be annexed by Chicago, forming the largest United States city in area and second largest in population at the time.
  • 1922 – France grants 1 km2 at Vimy Ridge “freely, and for all time, to the Government of Canada, the free use of the land exempt from all taxes”.
  • 1927 – The Bird of Paradise, a U.S. Army Air Corps Fokker tri-motor, completes the first transpacific flight, from the mainland United States to Hawaii.

The flight took 25 hours and 50 minutes from San Francisco to Oahu; here’s its arrival at Wheeler Field in Hawaii:

  • 1956 – The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 is signed by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, officially creating the United States Interstate Highway System.
  • 1972 – The United States Supreme Court rules in the case Furman v. Georgia that arbitrary and inconsistent imposition of the death penalty violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
  • 1974 – Mikhail Baryshnikov defects from the Soviet Union to Canada while on tour with the Kirov Ballet.
  • 1975 – Steve Wozniak tested his first prototype of Apple I computer.

Here’s what Wikipedia captions as “Original 1976 Apple 1 Computer in a briefcase. From the Sydney Powerhouse Museum collection.” It went on the market at the Satanic price of $666.66.

  • 1987 – Vincent Van Gogh’s painting, the Le Pont de Trinquetaille, was bought for $20.4 million at an auction in London, England.

The painting below, not even a great specimen of Van Gogh, was re-sold for $34 million (plus $3.7 million in fees) in a Christie’s auction on May 13 of this year.

  • 2006 – Hamdan v. Rumsfeld: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that President George W. Bush’s plan to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals violates U.S. and international law.
  • 2007 – Apple Inc. releases its first mobile phone, the iPhone.

And here’s that first iPhone:

(From Wikipedia): First iPhone on display under glass at the January 2007 Macworld show
  • 2014 – The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant self-declared its caliphate in Syria and northern Iraq.

Notables born on this day include were few, and include:

  • 1858 – George Washington Goethals, American general and engineer, co-designed the Panama Canal (d. 1928)
  • 1919 – Slim Pickens, American actor and rodeo performer (d. 1983)

Here’s the scene from which we all know Slim Pickens; as Major Kong in Stanley Kubrik’s movie Dr. Strangelove, Pickens (previously an actor in Westerns) rides the Big H-Bomb to destruction and war:

  • 1941 – Stokely Carmichael, Trinidadian-American activist (d. 1998)

Those whose lives were discontinued on June 29 include:

  • 1852 – Henry Clay, American lawyer and politician, 9th United States Secretary of State (b. 1777)
  • 1895 – Thomas Henry Huxley, English biologist (b. 1825)
  • 1933 – Roscoe Arbuckle, American actor, director, and screenwriter (b. 1887)
  • 1940 – Paul Klee, Swiss painter and illustrator (b. 1879)

First, a photo of Klee with his cat, and then his famous “Cat and Bird” painting, in which a cat thinks of a bird (notice too the heart-shaped nose):

  • 1964 – Eric Dolphy, American saxophonist, composer, and bandleader (b. 1928)
  • 1967 – Jayne Mansfield, American actress (b. 1933)
  • 1995 – Lana Turner, American actress (b. 1921)

Turner was involved in a scandal about the death of her abusive boyfriend, Johnny Stompanato, a mobster. Angered that he wasn’t allowed to go to the Academy Awards ceremony with Turner, he attacked her when she returned home, whereupon Turner’s daughter Cheryl stabbed him in the stomach, killing him. Cheryl was found not guilty because it was “justifiable homicide.”  Here’s Stompanato with Lana Turner.

  • 2002 – Rosemary Clooney, American singer and actress (b. 1928)
  • 2020 – Carl Reiner, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1922)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili seems to be kvetching about the weather report, even though she doesn’t like rain. But that interpretation is wrong, as Malgorzata explains:

“She is not kvetching about the rain. She is full of disdain for experts, which is so very fashionable these days. There is never a mistake; there must be bad intentions. The good old rule ‘Do not ascribe to malice what you can ascribe to stupidity’ (or ignorance, or just the fact that there is knowledge humanity hasn’t yet obtained) is not popular. Unfortunately, Hili is following fashion here.”

Hili: They said it would be raining.
A: So what?
Hili: They lied again.
In Polish:
Hili: Mówili, że będzie padać.
Ja: I co?
Hili: Znowu kłamali.

And a photo of little Kulka taken by Andrzej:

From Facebook:

A clever painting sent in by Bruce:

From reader Paul, who wrote this: “I saw the attached last week while driving through rural North Carolina.  It’s a bit of a puzzle…”  Indeed it is! Does that mean all atheists are in Heaven, in limbo, or where?

From reader Barry, who says, “A funny tweet, and the two responses are great, too (one plays into your recent comment about Darwin’s attitude about slavery):

From Ginger K., a Gary Larson cartoon. (He was the best!)

Tweets from Matthew. This first photo must have been taken right after the scene in which Sonny is brutally murdered at a toll booth.

Poor Wally the Walrus! Nobody loves him, and he’s always being kicked off of boats or booted off of boat slips. He’s lonely and looking for a friend!

Winston Churchill’s version of Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language”:

Is it just the term “UFO”, or are aliens particularly attracted to America?

28 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. 1. I have a waffle iron.
    2. “Missippi” is the common pronunciation in the South.
    3. Did you know Larson posts a few “Far Side” cartoons every day? My favorite is the special place in hell for people who drive slowly in the left lane.


    1. Yes, I know, but Larson, I believe, has also said he doesn’t like other people reposting his cartoons. So I do it only very rarely, when someone else reposts them in a public site like Facebook or Twitter. He’s the best!

    2. Great cartoons but I can’t find the special place in hell for those driving slowly in the left (that would be right here) lane.
      [I’m equally irritated by people who have to turn left (right) and stay on that lane where there is a wide central reservation. Same on a traffic light (robot) crossing, those cars barely going forwards when it’s green, leaving the next car stuck before the red light]

    3. Does it count if it’s a Belgian waffler? Funny piece, by the way, in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal about the weirdness of Belgium.
      It’s just too danged hot and humid in Miss. to stick in that extra syllable. The same goes for Lousiana.

  2. So on the first non-stop flight from the west coast to Hawaii the Tri-motor Fokker was hardly making 100 miles per hour. Probably had a pretty good head wind. Roughly 25.5 hours verses 5.5 hours today. Wheeler field is or was next door to Scholfield Army Post.

    1. The proper name & spelling – Schofield Barracks. Exactly why an Army post get’s named Barracks, I don’t know.

      1. According to Wikipedia

        The English term ‘barrack’ […] derives from the Spanish word for a temporary shelter erected by soldiers on campaign, barraca; (because of fears that a standing army in barracks would be a threat to the constitution, barracks were not generally built in Great Britain until 1790, on the eve of the Napoleonic Wars).


        1. Yes, I kind of knew the definition of barracks but nearly all army facilities have barracks, however barracks is not in the name. The army has Post or Camp in the name as a general rule. In the Air Force we have Base.

          Interest they did not build barracks in GB many years ago – one wonders where did the army live and sleep, in tents? In this country at that time they were against any standing army because then we would be no better than GB. Militia fine but regular army no.

          1. Wikipedia does note that it was designed to provide for defense of Pearl Harbor and the island. Commonly it would seem that other defensive installations, like Fortress Monroe, actually have fortifications. Other forts, like Fort Dix, of course, don’t, so maybe there is something in the Army’s mind about the necessary components of a ‘fort’ that don’t exist at Schofield, like extensive training areas? The Army also used to have Camps (Camp Upton), which were not considered to be permanent facilities.

            1. Yes, I think Fort is a throwback to the days of forts and calvary. We still have Ft. Hood and Fort Bragg and others. I think the name Camp was kind of taken over by the Marines as they use lots of that – Camp Kinser, Camp Schwaub and many more. I think Wheeler Field, the field name is a throwback to when the army did the flying prior to the Air Force in 1947. Barracks is something found at nearly all military sites although the Barracks are usually attached to the enlisted ranks. Officers is either officer housing or BOQ for Bachelor officer quarters.

  3. Good piece by Andzej – and yes, the NYT should be as ashamed (as should the author of the antisemitic screed our host posted an extract from).

  4. I’m giving Joe the benefit of the doubt re cats in the White House. I’m assuming that Major, the resident c*n*n*, can not (yet?) be trusted not to maul a cat.

  5. What is the significance of the drink picture at the beginning of the post?

    Re Paul Klee: if you visit the museum devoted to him in Bern, you can see lots of cat sketches, puppets and pictures.

  6. 1919 – Slim Pickens, American actor and rodeo performer (d. 1983)

    Strangelove‘s Major Kong is Pickens’s most iconic role, but my favorite performance by him came in Mr. Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. The scene just after the shootout, with a gut-shot Pickens exchanging looks with the great Mexican actress Katy Jurado by the side of the stream to the rising strains of Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” is priceless:

  7. 1933 – Roscoe Arbuckle, American actor, director, and screenwriter (b. 1887)

    Jerry Stahl, the memoirist of Permanent Midnight fame, wrote a great, manic novel in the guise of Arbuckle’s autobiography, I, Fatty.

  8. “UFO” is “UFO” in German too (Unbekanntes Flugobjekt).
    Flying Saucer is Fliegende Untertasse, meaning the same.

    Why does the guy with the Walrus pictures a “boycott Israel”-sign as his Twitter profile?

  9. Given that Churchill wrote that memo in August 1940, one can imagine the time saved over the next five years.

  10. That is a helpful article by Carl Zimmer. If I have this right, based on details of morphology the new skull seems more related to H. sapiens than are neanderthals. And yet some details exist that put it near the Denisovans (and / or maybe another more obscure species). But DNA puts Denisovans nearer to the neanderthals then to H. sapiens. So some contradictions there, but that is not surprising right now.

    1. That’s not so hard to understand. Draw a number line 1-10. Put homo sapiens sapiens at 1. Put the new skull at 4. Put the Denisovans at 6. Put neanderthals at 8 All the above data is consistent with that.

      …now see those points as end points of a tree, rather than points on a number line. 🙂

  11. The Globe Theatre is a round structure with steep seats. The design is thought to have originated from theaters used for public dissections in the style of Rembrandt’s famous painting, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp. This according to “Rembrandt’s Portrait, A Biography” by Charles Mee. The anatomy theatres were a great source of public entertainment. They sold s lot of tickets across Europe.


  12. In the article by your friend Andrzej, he mentions this incident:

    > This newspaper earlier published a photo of an Israeli policeman standing over a bloodied man, and the journalist who sent this photo must have known that the policeman was defending the life of an American-Jewish tourist who was beaten by an Arab mob, but labeled it as a picture of a Jewish policeman harassing a peacefully demonstrating Palestinian

    I very well remember this incident of journalistic failure, which occurred over twenty years ago. I recommend your readers learn more about it; this article discusses it in detail and has further links: https://honestreporting.com/the-photo-that-started-it-all/

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