Tuesday: Hili dialogue

July 6, 2021 • 6:30 am

Well, it’s back to work for those Americans with regular jobs. The holiday’s over now, and it’s Tuesday, July 6 2021: National Fried Chicken Day, celebrating a glorious dish that, while it might be found elsewhere, reaches its apotheosis in America—specifically at Stroud’s in Kansas City. It’s also International Kissing Day and National Air Traffic Control Day (do you ever ponder how important a job these people do?)

Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot) celebrates the life of Ángela Peralta, born on this day in 1845 (died 1883), a Mexican opera singer known as “The Mexican Nightingale”. Already internationally renowned by the age of 20, she died at only 38, along with most of her company, in a yellow fever epidemic in  Mazatlán. I’ve put her photo below the Doodle.

Peralta at 30:

News of the Day:

It’s now 167 days since Joe Biden assumed the Presidency, and there’s still no trace of the promised White House cat. I can cut Joe some slack for not missing his target of 70% of Americans vaccinated by the fourth of July, but the felid duplicity is inexcusable.

The death toll from gun violence in Chicago was particularly brutal this weekend. Besides our undergraduate student killed Thursday on the CTA (subway) as an accidental victim, 97 people were shot over the holiday weekend, 17 of whom died, many in the University of Chicago’s emergency room. It’s ironic that as gun violence spikes in our neighborhood, some University of Chicago students still call for defunding campus police as well as Chicago police.

The British Parliament is now debating an “animal sentience bill” (proposed by, of all people, Boris Johnson), which involves determining whether animals have qualia, and to enact safeguards if they do. Now that’s a tough question, to be sure, but there are already anti-animal-cruelty bills that implicitly assume that.  You can see the Animal Welfare Sentience Bill here.

An excerpt:

A centerpiece of the proposed legislation is the creation of an independent body of experts — the Animal Sentience Committee — who will scrutinize government decisions to ensure that ministers have paid “all due regard” to the welfare of animals as sentient beings, or explain why not.

Which animals, you ask? Are all animals equal but some more equal than others, as George Orwell wrote? It appears so.

Perhaps to speed its passage, the bill as introduced applies only to vertebrates — animals with backbones — meaning mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, both wild and domestic.

That may well extend animal protections further than we humans have gone before. But activists are pushing for the bill to include some invertebrates, and based on the early debate in the House of Lords, many lawmakers agree.

You wonder: Is there a lobby for lobsters? Yes, there is. It’s called Crustacean Compassion. I for one would never countenance lobsters being dropped into boiling water.

After successful surgery for a narrowed large intestine, Pope Francis, 84,  is expected to make a full recovery. He’s expected to be hospitalized for a week.

A controlled implosion brought down the remaining part of the condo that collapsed 12 days ago in Surfside, Florida. The standing bits were endangering the search for victims and survivors, though, at day 12, it’s hard to see this as a “search and rescue mission”. Absent access to water, it’s hard to imagine how any of the 118 missing could have survived. As of Monday evening, seven people are confirmed dead.

And some physics that’s been plaguing the internet. I turn you over to reader Mark Sturtevant:

This has been making the rounds. Can a wind powered vehicle go faster than the wind that pushes the vehicle? A $10,000 bet rides on the answer.

I am unable to intuit the answer, as I can see the point that the movement of wheels might generate electricity that could move the vehicle faster. What is conserved is energy, not speed. But I am not a physicist. What do you think?

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 604,793, an increase of 194 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,001,754 (exceeding 4 million for the first time), an increase of about 6,400 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on July 6 includes:

  • 1415 – Jan Hus is condemned by the assembly of the council in the Konstanz Cathedral as a heretic and sentenced to be burned at the stake. (See Deaths section.)
  • 1483 – Richard III is crowned King of England.

Here are Richard’s remains, unearthed in a Leicester car park. The scoliosis of his spine is evident. He was the last English king killed in battle:

  • 1535 – Sir Thomas More is executed for treason against King Henry VIII of England.
  • 1854 – In Jackson, Michigan, the first convention of the United States Republican Party is held.
  • 1885 – Louis Pasteur successfully tests his vaccine against rabies on Joseph Meister, a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog.

Here’s Meister, who lived until 1940, serving as a caretaker at the Pasteur Institute:

Here is “T.E. Lawrence at Akaba, striding to his camel surrounded by his bodyguards, in April 1918.”

And, from the same source, “Auda abu Tayi of the Howeitat (center) drew together the Arab force that he led to capture Akaba. He is flanked here by his two brothers.”

Finally, the famous “capture of Aqaba” scene from Lawrence of Arabia:

You can see the roster here, which included Ruth and Gehrig starting for the American League, with Lefty Gomez on the mound.

  • 1939 – Anti-Jewish legislation in prewar Nazi Germany closes the last remaining Jewish enterprises.
  • 1942 – Anne Frank and her family go into hiding in the “Secret Annexe” above her father’s office in an Amsterdam warehouse.

Here’s the entrance to the “Secret Annexe”, up stairs hidden behind a bookcase:

  • 1944 – Jackie Robinson refuses to move to the back of a bus, leading to a court-martial.

Did you know that Robinson was the Rosa Parks of his time?

  • 1957 – Althea Gibson wins the Wimbledon championships, becoming the first black athlete to do so.
  • 1957 – John Lennon and Paul McCartney meet for the first time, as teenagers at Woolton Fete, three years before forming the Beatles.

Here is the duo, very young:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1747 – John Paul Jones, Scottish-American captain (d. 1792)
  • 1887 – Marc Chagall, Belarusian-French painter and poet (d. 1985)

Here’s a Chagall featuring a cat:

Here’s Kahlo’s “Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird”. The cat and monkey aren’t mentioned:

Harrar was one of the party that first climbed the North Face of the Eiger, and later, arrested by the British in India, escaped and spent seven years in Tibet, writing a famous book with that title. Here’s the Eigerwand that he climbed. It took them three days, which means they had to sleep two nights on the face, roped to the wall.  I believe now it has been climbed in less than a day.

  • 1925 – Bill Haley, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1981)
  • 1946 – Peter Singer, Australian philosopher and academic
  • 1980 – Eva Green, French actress and model

Those who went to glory on July 6 include:

  • 1415 – Jan Hus, Czech priest, philosopher, and reformer (b. 1369)
  • 1893 – Guy de Maupassant, French short story writer, novelist, and poet (b. 1850)
  • 1916 – Odilon Redon, French painter and illustrator (b. 1840)

And a nice Redon painting, “Bezon, the artist’s cat”:

  • 1962 – William Faulkner, American novelist and short story writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1897)
  • 1971 – Louis Armstrong, American singer and trumpet player (b. 1901)

Here’s the song that made Armstrong famous. It’s his 1927 recording, made in Chicago with his Hot Seven, of “Potato Head Blues“. His trumpet solo was unique at the time, and could be said to have started the trend of extemporaneous solos in jazz. This still stands up as one of the best songs in the history of jazz.  The solo over stop time, beginning at 1:55, was a first.

  • 1998 – Roy Rogers, American cowboy, actor, and singer (b. 1911)
  • 2009 – Robert McNamara, American businessman and politician, 8th United States Secretary of Defense (b. 1916)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili doesn’t feel like walkies:

A: Are we going for a long walk?
Hili: No, we are enjoying life without unnecessary effort.
In Polish:
Ja: Idziemy na daleki spacer?
Hili: Nie, cieszymy się życiem bez zbędnego wysiłku.

A meme from Nicole:

A sign sent in by reader David:

From Jesus of the Day. I can’t vouch for its authenticity.

From Rick: Steve Pinker rarely comes out so strongly against Wokeism:

From Barry; TakeThatDarwin makes a good point:

Tweets from Matthew. He found this etched bone more amazing than I did, but Matthew had been more steeped than I in paleoanthropology and the view that Neanderthals had no capacity for symbolism—perhaps not even for language. The original paper with more figures is at the link.

If you don’t like maggots (fly larvae), don’t look! Sound up.  The tails of these maggots are snorkels that allow them to breathe underwater.

Matthew dedicates this trio of baby owls to the memory of Dick Lewontin:

Matthew says “Do NOT try this at home!”

This is incredible and will immensely please Dead fans. Have a look at those uniforms!

An 1850s hipster, also run through an AI movement program:

32 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

      1. As a result, it is indeed insane. But climbing as quickly as possible is perfectly rational.
        A very high proportion – likely a majority – of the fatalities on the Wall (and most other “big wall” climbs) are due to stonefall. So getting across the exposed sections is perfectly rational. Similarly, getting to the next exposed section before the rocks above you get loosened any more by the sun is totally rational. And the net result is that if you get your “alpine start” (bottom of the difficult bits as dawn allows you to put your head torch away) and you’ve got the skill to do the difficult bits un-roped and run up the easy bits, then that is exactly what you do.
        There is a separate sub-sport of speed climbing, but that’s generally done without the threat of decapitation by stonefall (vale, Brian).

  1. “Can a wind powered vehicle go faster than the wind that pushes the vehicle? A $10,000 bet rides on the answer.”

    America’s Cup racing yachts achieve speeds in excess of 50 knots, considerably faster than the wind.

    Pay up. 🙂

  2. Sailboats go faster than the wind by tacking at 90 degrees to the wind so a wind powered vehicle should be able to do the same under certain circumstances, but not all the time.

  3. The student from University of Chicago, Max Lewis, age 20, was not killed on Thursday. He was shot on Thursday. He was taken off life support, by his own choice, on Sunday. I think this is worth mentioning. What a tragedy.

    “He was transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition. The Cook County Medical Examiner reported Lewis died Sunday.

    Max’s family drove 14 hours from Denver, Colorado, to be by his side in the hospital.

    His mom, Dr. Rebecca Rivkin, told WGN News the bullet paralyzed Max from the neck down. The prognosis was that he would never walk or eat again, and he’d likely need a ventilator for the rest of his life.

    Rivkin said, despite his severe injury and suffering, Max was alert in the hospital. He wanted to know what happened to him and communicated with his family and doctors by blinking — once for yes, twice for no. That’s how Rivkin said Max spelled out a message on a letter board, which she wrote down. “If I have to live like this, pull the plug please. Seriously,” it said.

    Max was taken off life support Sunday.” (from wgntv.com)

    1. In my opinion, Max made a rational decision, one I would make, being much older than He. Losing a rational young man capable of making such a decision makes the outcome even more tragic. I wish his family well and am sorry for their loss.

    1. Impressive!

      Sales of the tie-dyed T-shirts continued, and the skeleton art’s creator, Greg Speirs, donated 100% of his profits, ultimately totaling $450,000, to continue to fund the team as well as Lithuanian children’s charities, thus acquiring ‘major sponsor’ status.

  4. I am unable to intuit the answer, as I can see the point that the movement of wheels might generate electricity that could move the vehicle faster. What is conserved is energy, not speed. But I am not a physicist. What do you think?

    I had terrible trouble getting my head around this but, as I understand it, it uses mechanical advantage.

    The first thing to recognise is that this isn’t a wind turbine driving the wheels, it’s the wheels driving a propeller. The energy “generated” by the wheels is equal to the resistive force on the wheel x the distance travelled relative to the surface and the force generated by the propellor is equal to the energy / the distance travelled by the propellor through the air in the same time period. This all assumes no energy losses of course.

    If the wheels and the propellor are rotating at the same angular speed (i.e. 1:1 gearing), then the distance travelled by the propellor through the air is proportional to the pitch of the propellor and the distance travelled relative to the surface is the same proportion of the circumference of the wheels. So as long as the pitch of the propellor is smaller than the circumference of the wheels, the force generated by the propellor is larger than the resistive force on the wheels and the vehicle must accelerate.

    Due to all the inefficiencies, the pitch of the propellor must be significantly smaller than the circumference of the wheels. In the model built by Xyla Foxlin the ratio was 0.7 I believe. In the full sized machine, there was gearing to further improve mechanical advantage.

    1. You clearly understand it better than that poor physicist! I don’t see why they had Neil deGrasse Tyson, or (especially) Bill Nye involved, other than a bit of celebrity spin. I had only the vaguest intuition that it would work.

    2. If I understand it correctly, the idea is for any wind-powered vehicle to exceed the speed of the wind when traveling directly downwind.

      It’s easy, I think to see this can’t work. Just think of the case when the speeds are equal. No relative wind speed, no energy transfer. Newton’s first law. You can’t go faster.

      1. You need to watch the video and also the construction video linked in my previous reply. It is possible and it has been demonstrated in the real world. The physicist who took your position lost his $10k.

      2. I haven’t watched the video, but this is not impossible. Yes, when you are going faster than the wind, the wind would blow you backwads, but there are ways to generate energy from wind passing over a chimney or vertical tube. You can store up as much energy as you want in the early downwind part part of the trip, so that when you pass trhough the speed thatis exactly equal to the wind, the stored energy could push you beyond that point.

  5. It’s ironic that as gun violence spikes in our neighborhood, some University of Chicago students still call for defunding campus police as well as Chicago police.

    Clearly, based on the double-down political argument rhetoric, the violence spikes require even greater defunding of the police.


  6. Are they sure the 51,000 year old “engraved bone” is not merely a random pattern on a tool for sharpening wooden spears? The apparent design could be nothing more than animals in clouds: Pareidolia. Perhaps Matthew could comment.

  7. “Potato Head Blues” has always been one of my favorite, if not my actually favorite, of the Hot Fives and Hot Seven sessions.

  8. she died at only 38, along with most of her company, in a yellow fever epidemic in Mazatlán.

    Another disease brought … if not under control, then at least greatly decreased … by vaccination. Another slap in the face for the anti-vaxx idiots.

  9. I’m quite sceptical that the attack on Aqaba was much like it was shown in the film. If military history has shown us one thing it is that a cavalry charge in such , maybe not closed, but pretty close ranks is mincemeat for those heavy machine guns. They would have been slaughtered.

  10. he standing bits were endangering the search for victims and survivors, though, at day 12, it’s hard to see this as a “search and rescue mission”.

    I don’t keep track on such things, but IIRC there was a live survivor pulled from recent-ish Mexico (-ish) earthquake debris after 20-plus days. So continuing to treat this as a S&R task remains rational.

    Absent access to water, it’s hard to imagine how any of the 118 missing could have survived.

    And survivor testimony (backed, I would expect, by autopsy results) is indeed strongly that access to water is necessary after the first few days. Assuming that the Miami S&R people have taken advice from outside, they will have kept the water supply plumbed in and supplied with potable water. If there’s a survivor in the fall line from a leak, that water may be keeping them alive.
    Bringing the remains of the building down – but not onto the debris pile and any survivors – must have been some skilful explosive engineering. I’m just getting ad-blocked elements from that site – was there video?
    From the Wiki page, I see the additional element that there is a hurricane incoming, and that was a trigger to demolishing the remains of the structure. The rescue managers had a selection of various nasty options to choose between.
    They’ll probably continue S&R for about another week, before switching to brute-force removal of the debris pile.

  11. Harrar was one of the party that first climbed the North Face of the Eiger, and later, arrested by the British in India, escaped and spent seven years in Tibet, writing a famous book with that title.

    Somewhat after that – early 60s – Harrer was involved in an attempt to climb the “Carstensz Pyramid”, the highest peak on the island of Papua New Guinea. He wrote a book about it – “I Come from the Stone Age” – which is more about the difficulties of getting to the peak than about climbing it. I remember it pushing my interest in geology, and was one of the reasons I applied for a job in PNG some years ago. An Australian-Indonesian team was chosen, unfortunately – that would have been “interesting” work.

  12. It is curious, at least to me, that in 1917 T.E. Lawrence had a contingent of bodyguards riding camels including Lawrence himself. Then in the movie version of the attack on Aqaba everyone is riding horses. Is this just cinematic effect or did they really switch from camels to horses to attack Aqaba?

    1. Correction, most everyone is riding horses but there was a one-second clip of TE Lawrence riding a camel

  13. I have been reliably informed that a motto among Air Traffic Controllers is:

    “If the pilot messes up, the pilot dies. If the ATC messes up, the pilot dies.”

  14. I guess this is s a little off topic, but it has been nagging at me for a couple of days. The “dialog” section seems as apt as any.
    We spent the 4th in Llano, Tx, where there is always a good show on the banks of the river. We had Cooper’s BBQ, then took our chairs and blankets to stake out a good viewing spot. It is very much a family event. There were bands playing, little kids swimming in the river, teenagers lurking in the shadows of the rocks. With the area’s demographics, the crowd was mostly White folks, but plenty of Hispanic families as well. There were those of Chinese, Philippine, and Cambodian heritage,
    There were several Black families, some interracial couples, gays and even trans folks. Everyone was treated as neighbors, and frequently are.
    Before the fireworks started, the Tom Petty cover band played the Anthem, at which everyone stood up, removed their cover, and faced one of the flags.
    The show as good, as expected. People wandered the venue, not at all worried that their property left on their blanket would be touched. Or that any of the chattering groups of young girls would be in any danger when they sat among the big rocks at the far end of the park, in the dark.
    Probably a majority of adults were armed, and a few old guys carried pistols openly. But there was no violence of any sort that I have been able to find out about. When it was over, people tidied up around their area, and chatted with others on the walk to the parking lot, where none of the cars had been broken into.
    It seemed to my to be almost idyllic, But the question in the back of my mind as i sat there was “With all the serious issues we face as a country, why do so many place high on their priorities the need to “do something” about the sort of folks who watched the Llano fireworks show. ?
    Admittedly, there are some things that readers here would find chilling. The ubiquity of guns might be the most obvious. But do guns themselves concern you, or does gun violence? We have very little of the latter. Perhaps the view that people here are vicious racists plays a part, except they are not. A person that treats everyone with equal politeness and kindness, and never makes racist remarks, even in private, is not much of a racist.
    People who support extremely limited government make poor fascists. .
    All the animosity I hear about flyover folks seems almost entirely manufactured. So what is the point of it, besides scapegoating?
    I suppose there might be something happening here that escapes my notice, but is serious enough that these people just cannot be allowed to continue living like that.

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