Sunday: Hili dialogue

July 18, 2021 • 6:30 am

Greetings on Sunday, July 18, 2021: National Peach Ice-Cream Day (why the hyphen between “ice” and “cream”?). It’s also National Ice Cream Day (in general), National Caviar Day, National Sour Candy Day, and World Listening Day (I still note that people still seem to be talking more than they did before the pandemic, monologuing instead of having conversations).  Finally, it’s Nelson Mandela International Day, celebrating his birthday (he was born in 1918).  Here’s a photo of Mandela revisiting Robben Island, where he spent 18 of his 27 years in prison:

News of the Day:

It’s been 179 days since Joe Biden took office—nearly six months—and there’s still no sign of the promised White House cat. That man will say anything to get elected!

This just in (i.e., I just learned it). A baseball game between the San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals was suspended in the sixth inning yesterday after three people were shot outside the stadium. The victims will survive, and the game will be resumed this afternoon..

The COVID pandemic isn’t over—not by a long shot. The CDC now calls it a “pandemic of the unvaccinated“, with over 99% of those hospitalized with COVID being unvaccinated. Cases have now risen in all 50 states, and restrictions are being reimposed. The Los Angeles indoor mask mandate started last night, but the sheriff says it won’t be enforced (was it enforced anywhere by the cops rather than by stores?):

The “underfunded/defunded” sheriff’s department “will not expend our limited resources and instead ask for voluntary compliance,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a news release Friday.

Curiously, three of the 60 Texas Democrats who fled to Washington, D.C. to avoid having a vote on the state’s proposed voting restrictions have also tested positive for the virus, yet all three were fully vaccinated. We’re in trouble.

It’s even worse in Japan, which is going on with the Olympics despite only 30% of the population being vaccinated. The first case of infection in someone staying in the Olympic Village has been reported (not in an athlete), and I was surprised to hear that there was no requirement for the athletes themselves to be vaccinated.

The floods are receding in Germany but the damage will take years to repair. In Germany alone, the death toll stands at 143 with hundreds missing, while in Belgium 27 have died. Germany has blamed the extreme downpours on climate change.

The Washington Post reports on Biden’s immigration dilemma, with the massing at the border reaching huge numbers and little being done about it. As the paper notes:

The huge increase in illegal border crossings that President Biden described as “seasonal” is growing larger despite the summer heat. Americans rate his handling of immigration poorly, polls show. And the president himself worries that Republican attacks on the issue will resonate politically, according to people familiar with his thinking.

When President Barack Obama faced a similar situation, he toughened enforcement, detained families and increased deportations. But under Biden, such measures have become anathema to Democrats who feel they were badly abused by President Donald Trump.

That leaves Biden in a vise, caught between the costly reality of a historic border influx and supporters who erupt in anger when his administration hints at tighter controls.

. . .The White House is pursuing what even some allies regard as a muddled immigration strategy, embracing policies that make it easier for migrants to come while often deploying stern rhetoric warning them not to.

Let’s face it: “progressive Democrats” want to do nothing, favoring de facto open borders, but this is a killer issue for the GOP in the midterms and in 2024. Will Biden and the Dems propose some sensible reform? I’m not counting on it.

From reader Ken, a good example of the naturalistic fallacy: Evangelical preacher Jack Hibbs explains why one can be either an evolutionist or a proponent of same-sex unions, but not both. Have a listen to the 2-minute video. According to Hibbsian logic, though, evolutionists should also be in favor of marital infidelity and widespread adultery.

Woo in the NYT: the paper has this piece on dowsing as a way finding water during the California drought (click on screenshot, and not the subheader):

The National Ground Water Association, a group of experts, including hydrogeologists, that promotes responsible water use, describes water witching as “totally without scientific merit.” Some California farmers who pay for the service, however, say it often provides a cheaper alternative to traditional methods, such as hiring a geologist or prospector.

To be sure, the article mentions a couple of times that there’s no science behind dowsing, but they don’t say that tests of it have repeatedly failed. Instead they say above the method is “disputed”, which is like saying that existence of evolution is “disputed”, and they also give considerable space to the method and its practitioners. The subheadline should have said. . “practice an ancient and disproven method for detecting water”.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 608,153, an increase of 278 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,100,087, an increase of about 7,000 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on July 18 includes:

The Church of England will soon apologize for this, though the Church wasn’t in existence until Henry VIII, centuries later.

  • 1862 – First ascent of Dent Blanche, one of the highest summits in the Alps.

Here’s a picture from Wikipedia with the caption, “Panorama from the Grand Mountet Hut with the Dent Blanche north face on the far right, the summit on the left is the Ober Gabelhorn.”

  • 1870 – The First Vatican Council decrees the dogma of papal infallibility.

Here’s Archie Bunker discussing that particular doctrine in a bit I remember very well:

Perhaps not surprisingly, a first edition of this book isn’t that valuable, even though fewer than 10,000 copies were issued. Here’s a two-volume first-edition set (I think the volumes are identical). Even though it was signed by Hitler, the pair went for only $43,750 six years ago:


  • 1936 – On the Spanish mainland, a faction of the army supported by fascists, rises up against the Second Spanish Republic in a coup d’état starting the 3-year-long Civil War, resulting in the longest dictatorship in modern European history.
  • 1942 – The Germans test fly the Messerschmitt Me 262 using its jet engines for the first time.

This was the first operational jet aircraft; below is a photo of one that resides at the U.S. Air Force Museum:

Here’s Comaneci’s perfect 10—on the uneven parallel bars:

  • 2014 – The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant requires Christians to either accept dhimmi status, emigrate from ISIL lands, or be killed.

Notables born on this day include:

Quisling, whose name is synonymous with “traitor”, headed the Nazi puppet government of Norway from 1942 to 1945, after which he was tried for treason and executed. Here’s a photo of him (left) seated next to Henrich Himmler:

Kelly (nicknamed after his favorite weapon) was convicted of kidnapping a wealthy Oklahoma man, was caught, convicted, sentenced to life imprisonment, and died in jail. Here’s a Wikipedia photograph taken of Kelly leaving court after the kidnapping trial:

  • 1908 – Lupe Vélez, Mexican-American actress and dancer (d. 1944)

Velez was one of the earliest famous Hispanic actresses in Hollywood. Read the bit about her public imagine and personality in Wikipedia.

Here’s Velez in the movie “Mexican Spitfire” (1940), which was also one of her nicknames:

  • 1913 – Red Skelton, American actor and comedian (d. 1997)
  • 1918 – Nelson Mandela, South African lawyer and politician, 1st President of South Africa, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2013)
  • 1921 – John Glenn, American colonel, astronaut, and politician (d. 2016)
  • 1933 – Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Russian poet and playwright (d. 2017)
  • 1937 – Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist and author (d. 2005)

After Thompson died by suicide, his ashes were fired out of a giant cannon in an elaborate funeral that cost $3 million. Johnny Depp paid for it:

Martha’s 80 today. Here’s one of her group’s great songs (clearly lip-synched):

  • 1950 – Richard Branson, English businessman, founded Virgin Group
  • 1967 – Vin Diesel, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter

Those who became the Dearly Departed on July 18 include:

  • 1792 – John Paul Jones, Scottish-American admiral and diplomat (b. 1747)
  • 1817 – Jane Austen, English novelist (b. 1775)

A tweet sent by Matthew (I hadn’t realized she died so young):

  • 1954 – Machine Gun Kelly, American gangster (b. 1895)

He died on his birthday (it happens).

  • 1969 – Mary Jo Kopechne, American educator and secretary (b. 1940)
  • 1988 – Nico, German singer-songwriter, keyboard player, and actress (b. 1938).

Here’s Nico in 1982; Velvet Underground fans will remember this song:

  • 2001 – Mimi Fariña, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1945) [JAC: also younger sister of Joan Baez]

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is confusing:

Hili: I like to return home.
A: Why?
Hili: It’s an ideal place to go out from.
In  Polish:
Hili: Lubię wracać do domu.
Ja: Dlaczego?
Hili: To jest idealne miejsce, z którego można wyruszać w drogę.

And a photo of a sleepy Szaron from Paulina:

From Stash Krod, and you’d better know the song:

From reader David. I can’t vouch for its truth.

From Mark Plotkin:

Titania has been very quiet lately, but today she shows some language-policing. All well and good, but imagine what the introduction, “Ladies and gentlemen” would become. . .

A tweet from Luana. This, unfortunately, is the character that Brazil has chosen to be the official mascot of COVID vaccination. Oy.

From Barry, “A sweet family photo session” (except for the appearance of the smallest one):

Tweets from Matthew. This is one freaking gorgeous fish!

This is pretty well known though I don’t know if the phenomenon has a formal name (“blinking mimicry”?). One genus of firefly can imitate the blinking pattern of another, luring in males which they then eat. Two tweets here:

Check out the absolute stability of the head:

And a pair of extraordinarily friendly owls. Translation: “They are like cats. Owls are simply stunning.” Indeed they are—especially this pair. Lucky photographer!

57 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. The Church of England will soon apologize for this, though the Church wasn’t in existence until Henry VIII, centuries later.

    This is commonly supposed but is not strictly true. The “Church of England” dates back to about AD 597 when Augustine of Canterbury became the first Archbishop of Canterbury.

    What happened under Henry VIII was that the Church renounced Papal authority, and looked instead to the King as its “supreme head on Earth” (a role now played by the current queen).

    1. Furthermore, as far as I can tell (the Telegraph article is behind a paywall) they are not apologising for the expulsion but they are going to apologise for the Synod of Oxford (800th anniversary next year) which did not expel the Jews but introduced a form of apartheid.

  2. “…monologuing instead of having conversations…”. I still recall, from a Thursday evening philosophy dept lecture series in 1966, a Professor Kaplan from the University of Michigan, speaking about people who talk at one another more than engaging in a back and forth conversation. He defined the paragon of that behavior as two television sets, turned on and facing each other. I do not recall much from the 60’s but have always retained that imagery.

    1. Missed the edit window, but forgot to mention that Prof Kaplan defined this behavior between two people as a ‘duologue’ as opposed to a dialogue.

  3. I believe the dipstick story.

    During high-school and into college I worked behind the Service Desk at a department store, and so often took returns. Two of the best:

    “I want to return this fan. It only blows hot air.”

    “I need to return this compass; it won’t point North.” (He apparently thought the “N” was supposed to turn, not the needle–although he didn’t ask for an exchange, so maybe he thought he needed to come up with an excuse, however lame.)

    1. A woman I worked with told me a story about her sister who bought a new car but had to take it back because it was using too much oil. The mechanic reported that the dipstick was missing, to which she responded that she kept it at home on a shelf in the garage so it wouldn’t get lost.

      1. Hmmm, probably depends on the car, but every one that I’ve got sufficiently personal with to find out where the dipstick is, it has been inserted into a tube near the top of the engine (where it’s easy to find), so any spray (from the sump?) is going to have to projectile along at least 50cm of 1cm tube. That’s not going to be a big leakage rate, in itself.

        Trying to remember the engine on my only rear-wheel drive (an Amazon, older than I was), but I think that had the dip at the top too.

          1. Ummm. Not unless American engines are built very differently to the ones I’ve dealt with. The dipstick dips into the unpressurised side of the oil circuit – the sump – with the low mark indicating the point at which the oil pump will start to “suck air” and the high limit being constrained by not having the oil’s thermal expansion pressurise the whole engine and force oil out of (say) the sump-engine block joint.
            The dip stick doesn’t go into the pressurised side of the oil circuit, downstream from the pump.
            The same principles apply with my 1000 cubic metre oil-based mud drilling systems – we measure volumes at the unpressurised side of the circuit, and circulating pressures just downstream from the circulating pump. (Actually, we typically have three sets of pumps, so we have to measure preure downstream from the manifold where they join – but the principle is the same.)

    2. I have a younger relative who just drove down to Florida. On the way her Audi’s warning light told her that the oil was a quart low, so she stopped, and put in a quart. Then it told her there was too much oil. At this point I’m thinking, “Does she know how to check the dipstick.” Well, she does, but it turns out this model of Audi doesn’t have a dipstick; it relies on a sensor, which was malfunctioning. Luckily a friendly dealership on her route sorted this for her in twenty minutes, and didn’t charge her.

  4. I think Hunter’s funeral cost $3 million, rather than $3.

    Shame he wasn’t around to see his President Trump prediction come true…

    “They invented the perfect tool for the New Dumb. They can now flourish in a land of stupidity and greed. They can infest the planet with every sick asshole you can dream of and make him sound sane. Now any cheap, lying fuck can become President of the United states and sound good.”

    Hunter S. Thompson quoted in The Joke’s Over (2006) by Ralph Steadman.

  5. That mascot was created a long time ago. It’s a droplet because the polio vaccine is given through droplets. He is called “joe droplet” and it became very famous in Brazil so that’s why they are reusing it now. Those are just examples of bad costumes, they are not official. No one in Brazil
    would think about ku lux klan when seeing the offical Joe Droplet. The past vaccination campaigns were very effective and 10 million children were vaccinated in a day and it was free for every children.

    1. I hope it really burns KKK humanoids to see their beloved symbology associated with something good.

    2. The thing is, the online drumbeat about it causing “harm” and “violence” can just get louder and louder and louder anyway, since the virtue signaling machine knows no logic and lacks any form of temperance.

  6. As for the Brazilian vaccination mascot, it looks OK in cartoon form and it’s possible that white pointy hoods are not associated with the Ku Klux Klan there.

    Ninja’d by Daniaq

    1. If Brazil’s vaccination mascot puts you off, get a load of the Eastertime Procissão do Fogaréu (see link to video — ).
      And, remember that the standard KKK sheet uniform was invented in 1915 by Hollywood, and that this second KKK shortly afterwards became a nationwide racist organization. The original KKK, which was never a formal organization with chapters and unified membership lists, died out on or around 1871.

  7. The situation at the Tokyo Olympics is getting worse, with some athletes amongst those who have now tested positive. According to the BBC, “In total, organisers on Sunday reported 10 new cases connected to the Olympics including media, contractors and other personnel. That compares with 15 new cases on Saturday.”

    1. Meanwhile, in the UK our (double-jabbed!) Secretary of State for Health has tested positive and the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer are amongst those who will have to self-isolate after being in contact with him.

      Ironically, tomorrow is Johnson’s so-called “Freedom Day” when legal Covid restrictions are lifted in England – the government insists that it will go ahead with lifting them from midnight tonight, although at this rate half the cabinet will all be isolating…

      1. The Grauniad pinged that story at 08:20 this morning. At 10:50, they pinged that Sunak and the Prime Liar will be isolating.
        Isn’t this the party that, a couple of elections ago, promised “strong and stable government”.
        I’m going to have to re-evaluate the seismic stability of the NW European Archipelago. With buffoons like this in charge, you can’t rely on anything.
        It could be worse. Trump doesn’t (at the moment) have his hands on the nuclear football briefcase.

        1. Yup, the Grauniad updated the story but left the old headline in the name of the link…

          Strong and stable indeed, though the horse/virus has well and truly bolted…

    2. Do you think the Olympics will be cancelled before or after the Prime Liar gives them his unqualified support?
      My bet is they’re waiting for that kiss of death.

        1. Uh, “Banzai!” ?

          I heard the abridgement of Prof Gilbert’s “Vaxxers” book on the radio this morning, and noted two very significant words which I hadn’t previously.
          It is well-publicised that the OAZ vaccine is being developed under an “at-cost” pricing deal ; the news to me (from Prof Gilbert’s book) is that that contract is in perpetuity.
          I think that gives a hint of how long the virologists and vaccine people think the problem of SARS-COV2 virus is going to be with us.

  8. three of the 60 Texas Democrats who fled to Washington, D.C. […] have also tested positive for the virus, yet all three were fully vaccinated. We’re in trouble.

    Could it possibly be … I’m going out on a limb here … is there the slightest possibility … that some of these politicians were [whisper] lieing [/whisper]?
    I know. Heretical. Unbelievable. No politician would ever do that. Besides, there’s no sane reason for them to have lied, is there?

    No, I’m not going there. Insane politicians? Unthinkable! Doubleplus unpossible unthinkable!

    1. No. They are Democrats. 😉

      But seriously, doesn’t this just mean that people who are vaccinated can still catch the disease but that their immune systems mount a strong response and they don’t get sick? The fact that the group was tested en masse is the reason they found a few positives. It simply means that the virus is still out there, which we know anyway.

      1. 3 out of 60 is a worryingly high proportion. Either of ineffective vaccination (is there maybe an age effect?
        10 second penalty of Hamilton. Ohhh, harsh. But someone is burning or leaking oil in the midfield. Hope that’s not going onto the track.
        Where was I – an age effect on vaccine efficiency? Possible, but worrying nonetheless. Does the US do a lot of variant monitoring? It’s perfectly reasonable to anticipate differing effectiveness against different variants. The virus will evolve such eventually, as long as there are significant numbers of cases.
        “Lawnmower re-entry” for Raikonnen? Too much rallying. [G]
        Britain is starting to make noises about combining a COVID “booster” with the annual round of flu vaccinations. Which is remarkably rational.

  9. Germany has blamed climate change on the extreme downpours.

    Slight cart and horse sequential disarray there, I think.

  10. Ohh, that’s gotta smart.
    Hamilton and Verstappen fighting for the lead round 3/4 of the first lap, and Verstappen into the barriers really hard.
    Verstappen is walking away, but that looks like a re-start.

    1. I say it was a racing incident and no penalty should apply. They are making a big deal of Hamilton’s position but that is just crap. Verstappen had lots of room on the outside and he was turning in on Hamilton. We will see….

      1. We’ll see. Given where he was on the corner, his brake records might defend him – if he was standing on the anchors pretty much to the max, then … well it’s a racing incident. But the way it sounds at the moment he’s going to get a penalty for, essentially, poor judgement.
        The stewards are somewhat boxed in by the last few races where they have put in 5- and 10- second penalties against drivers for somewhat similar collisions.
        Oh dear – looks like they’re going to re-start without a stewards decision. That’s about the worst result possible.

        1. Ten second penalty. I don’t agree but that is F1. They claim to want racing however, when someone does, they get a penalty.

          1. This argument makes no sense, racing is what they did the 8 corners before that. Making a dumb move and hitting a competitor is not. This is called a false dilemma.

          2. Regardless of what “corporate culture” any business (e.g., F1 Inc, or whatever the holding company is called this week) asserts, in the UK the directors of all businesses have a personal responsibility for the health and safety of their employees, customers and visitors.
            Directors get jail time occasionally for violations of this.
            So, yes, they do have to issue – and be seen to issue – penalties for what they perceive as dangerous rules violations.
            Enjoy the racing while it happens. Eventually it will die.

          3. BTW : I agree 10sec is harsh.
            OTOH, Wossname (the head of Red Bull) has a point that, eventually the penalty applied did not damage Hamilton’s race outcome.
            And OTGH, imposing a stop-go (the next up in the penalties available, AIUI) would have cost about 27-30 seconds on track, and would probably have meant LeClerc winning.
            So … fair, unfair? The stewards had to “**** or get off the pot”, and that’s the decision they made.

        2. I guess that lewis has made an updated statement regarding aggression in this very different year. We will see how or if max recalibrates his strategy for close racing.

  11. Woo in the NYT: the paper has this piece on dowsing as a way finding water during the California drought

    Every so often, UK dowsers get caught by cavers who are completing a survey on some new passage. The cavers know – they’ve just done the survey – where the water is underground. The dowsers don’t know where the water is. They jiggle their chicken bones, stroke their woo, do whatever they do and produce a map of where they think the water is.
    Dowsing is not an effective tool for finding water, in places where there is water in some places and not others.
    It’s getting hard to find a dowser stupid enough to take on such a challenge. Instead, you find a stooge to trick the dowser into doing their chicken shaking and rod rubbing and produce their map, then you hit them with the cave survey. It’s more fun than pulling the flies off wings, but ethically much more defensible.

  12. 1937 – Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist and author (d. 2005)

    I saw the documentary about Anthony Bourdain, Roadrunner, yesterday. It’s great and riveting and well-made, although, in its ending, it is, as one would expect, dark and sad and unsettled.

    Early on, there’s a montage of the writers who influenced him most heavily, including Hunter and Hemingway and William Burroughs (two of whom, like Tony, ended their lives by suicide). [Trigger warning for those thinking of seeing it: there’s a brief scene of Bourdain shooting a duck while hunting, plus some other gore regarding animals being slaughtered and butchered for consumption around the world.]

  13. From Stash Krod, and you’d better know the song …

    Well, at least, they have never taken the very best.

  14. “Will Biden and the Dems propose some sensible reform? I’m not counting on it.”

    I really don’t understand why they haven’t mounted a more coherent response and sold it to the American public. It seems they are just hoping it goes away. The recent Federal court ruling against DACA may force their hands, though that really affects the Capitol more than the White House, where gridlock is the name of the game.

  15. “Some California farmers who pay for [water witching], however, say it often provides a cheaper alternative to traditional methods, such as hiring a geologist or prospector.”

    Is it possible that water witchers learn enough geology and water prospecting to be successful? In other words, they are really just unlicensed geologists who work for cheap. Ain’t capitalism marvelous?

  16. None of the “progressive Democrats” I know have any sense of politics.

    And re. the dipstick, the garage I now patronize – staffed entirely with mechanics of the liberal persuasion – has an inordinate number of Volvo wagons that they tend to. On casual inquiry re. the problem with one, I was told that it simply would not run. Why? Too much oil. The owner knew that it leaked oil so he (I think) kept adding oil. Did he ever check the dipstick? “No, I know it’s leaking.”

  17. The vaccines are not designed to prevent infection with the virus. They do help a great deal against that but the primary purpose is to prevent symptoms from the disease. Fully vaccinated people testing positive is exactly what you would expect and nothing to worry about. The vaccines work very very well to prevent severe symptoms and hospitalization.

  18. We are going to have to get used to the idea that antibodies do not prevent virus from entering the nasal passage. They aren’t maintaining a magical bubble around us. Antibodies neutralize virus that has gotten inside us. They will quickly render the virus harmless, but there will be broken virus pieces lying around the battlefield afterward. Those pieces will still show up as a positive in a PCR test, which does not discriminate between live virus and broken pieces of virus.

    We need to insist that reports of a positive PCR test for a person be accompanied by reports on symptoms displayed by the person. If it is none or only mild symptoms, then all is well with the vaccine.

  19. Ted Cruz is raging about how Biden is letting in immigrants with covid.

    Let that sink in. The antivax party says immigrants with covid are making the pandemic worse.

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