Monday: Hili dialogue

July 19, 2021 • 6:30 am

Greetings on Monday, July 19, 2021: National Daiquiri Day (Hemingway’s favorite tipple). It’s also National Flitch Day (a “flitch” is half of a pig), National Raspberry Cake Day, and Stick Out Your Tongue Day. Even the greats observe it! (The story behind this iconic photo, taken in 1951 when Einstein was leaving his 72nd birthday party) is told here.

Wine of the Day: After a hard day at Botany Pond, I treated myself to an Oregon Pinot Noir, about which I have little information save it cost me $30. One rating from 2020 (they’re all good) says this (I’m giving up on this kind of subtle tasting note describing a panoply of flavors):

Ruby red in color. 13.8% ABV. Terrific nose of red fruits, black tea, rose petals and forest floor. Medium body with exquisite acidity. Expressive and fruit forward. Boysenberry, raspberry, spice and earth on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Tremendous Pinot Noir from a well established vineyard. Best over the next 4-6 years.

The food: two chicken thighs with hoisin sauce and rice, and fresh tomatoes.

The verdict: fabulous wine, all of the above with a bag of chips. Smooth, ripe, and fruity. Considering you’d pay $90 for this in a restaurant (they often triple the retail price, which means increasing the wholesale price sixfold), it’s worth buying for a special occasion and taking it to a restaurant, paying whatever corkage free they charge (never more than $20 in my experience). According to the above, it will be good for five more years, so if you like Pinot, want a splurge but don’t want to pay the exorbitant prices of Burgundies, I recommend this one very highly.

News of the Day:

Yep, we’re in another uptick of Covid in the U.S., with mask mandates being re-imposed, hospitals filling up with the unvaccinated, and many people still resisting vaccination. There are now at least three infected people in the Olympic Village, including two athletes, and tennis star Coco Gauff, after testing positive for the virus, has pulled out of the games. I couldn’t find out if she’d been vaccinated, and the absence of information implies that she hadn’t.  I’m completely baffled about why the Olympics didn’t require all athletes to be vaccinated. Nevertheless, the games must and will go on, as Japan’s investment is too great to stop them now. Let’s hope there’s no debacle in the offing.

Why are people such jerks on social media? At the NYT, op-ed writer Roxane Gay gives her take, which involves the relative powerlessness people feel at the dire state of the world. In such situations, people try to gain control by wielding power over others on the Internet, like petty dictators. Gay says this:

Increasingly, I’ve felt that online engagement is fueled by the hopelessness many people feel when we consider the state of the world and the challenges we deal with in our day-to-day lives. Online spaces offer the hopeful fiction of a tangible cause and effect — an injustice answered by an immediate consequence. On Twitter, we can wield a small measure of power, avenge wrongs, punish villains, exalt the pure of heart.

In our quest for this simulacrum of justice, however, we have lost all sense of proportion and scale. We hold in equal contempt a war criminal and a fiction writer who too transparently borrows details from someone else’s life. It’s hard to calibrate how we engage or argue.

Is she right? Well, I have noticed things getting more acrimonious, both on my site (thankfully, not much of a problem) and lots of other sites, with people hoping that folks from the other side of the political spectrum suffered terribly when they died of cancer. And yet horrible people like this think that they themselves are on the side of the angels. Is Gay right? As someone once said, “All this is as plausible as anything else.” It’s basically an extended kvetch, though.

There’s more discussion at the NYT about whether we’re going to need booster shots for COVID. The consensus of the experts, like Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, M.D. and journalist, is “yes”, though it’s not clear whether the shots will, as in Israel, be reserved for the very old and the immunosuppressed. It may also be a moneymaking venture for Pfizer, which stands to make $26 billion this year alone. But one thing’s for sure: if the FDA approves a booster, I’m getting it.

The Taliban has issued a diktat in Afghanistan ordering the locals to turn over their women to become “wives” (i.e., sex slaves):

The Taliban, fighting with Afghanistan forces to take control of a large part of the war-torn country, has issued a statement ordering local religious leaders to give them a list of girls over 15 years of age and widows under 45, reports have said. According to reports, the Taliban has promised for them to be married to their fighters and taken to Pakistan’s Waziristan, where they will be converted to Islam and reintegrated.

Do the women have any choice in this matter? Hell, no! This is only the beginning of the horrors that Afghani men—and especially women—face in the weeks to come. Such is theocracy: an imaginary God dictating what women can wear, whether they can work, whether they can sing and dance, and whom they can marry.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 608,189, an increase of 273 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,106,672, an increase of about 6,600 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on July 19 includes:

  • AD 64 – The Great Fire of Rome causes widespread devastation and rages on for six days, destroying half of the city.
  • 1588 – Anglo-Spanish War: Battle of Gravelines: The Spanish Armada is sighted in the English Channel.
  • 1843 – Brunel’s steamship the SS Great Britain is launched, becoming the first ocean-going craft with an iron hull and screw propeller, becoming the largest vessel afloat in the world.

The ship is still preserved in dry dock; you can see it in Bristol:

The meeting was organized by Quakers and by Elizabeth Cady Stanton (below; not a Quaker):

Here’s Garin. He won the 1904 Tour de France, too, but lost the title that year for CHEATING!

Here’s an X-15, launched, as are all of them, from underneath another airborne plane. In a few days Jeff Bezos will also exceed the international 100 km “space line”, though Branson didn’t.

He didn’t report the incident till 10 a.m. the next day, and the excuse was lame. It was this incident that, many thought, would bar Teddy Kennedy from ever running for President (it didn’t, but he lost the Democratic nomination to Jimmy Carter in 1980). Here’s Kopechne, who was 28 when she died:

I hiked there right before they created the National Park, and then soon thereafter. It’s lovely, of course, but I haven’t been back for ages and I suspect it’s really crowded (they’re building a road to Namche Bazar). Here’s a view from one of the trails (h/t Discover Nepal). Everest is in the distance, right below the snow cloud, while Ama Dablam is to the right. Lhotse is to the immediate right of Everest.

  • 1977 – The world’s first Global Positioning System (GPS) signal was transmitted from Navigation Technology Satellite 2 (NTS-2) and received at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at 12:41 a.m. Eastern time.
  • 1983 – The first three-dimensional reconstruction of a human head in a CT is published.

Here’s one of the CT scans from the paper of an infant with Apert Syndrome:

Notables born on this day include:

Here’s a patent for Colt’s 1836 revolver:

  • 1860 – Lizzie Borden, American woman, tried and acquitted for the murders of her parents in 1892 (d. 1927)
  • 1894 – Percy Spencer, American physicist and inventor of the microwave oven (d. 1969)
  • 1922 – George McGovern, American lieutenant, historian, and politician (d. 2012)

Notables who dropped on July 19 were few, and include:

  • 1374 – Petrarch, Italian poet and scholar (b. 1304)
  • 2009 – Frank McCourt, American author and educator (b. 1930)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has a premonition (probably related to d*gs):

Hili: I’m not going any farther.
A: Why?
Hili: My intuition tells me that I ought to stop here.
In Polish:
Hili: Dalej nie idę.
Ja: Dlaczego?
Hili: Intuicja mi mówi, że tu powinnam się zatrzymać.

And Andrzej has a photo of Kulka sleeping on MY sofa, where she is not wont to nap:

Caption: Kulka follows the example of grownups and is sleeping where nobody asked her to.

In Polish: Kulka idzie w ślady dorosłych i śpi tam, gdzie jej nie proszą.

From Stash Krod:

From David, a warning for the morons:

Here’s a lovely “super scratcher” from Jesus of the Day. Remember, a normal cat has 18 toes:

A heartwarmer from Barry:

Two tweets from Ginger K. The first should be tattooed on every Wokester:

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose:

From Matthew: another good example of Batesian mimicry:

Here’s a man from 1918 who bears a remarkable resemblance to Donald Sutherland. I’ve put a picture of Sutherland below the tweet:

Today’s Donald Sutherland:

You call that a chair? Now THIS is a chair!

30 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. re acrimony I’ve felt my hatred toward Trump and his cult rising to fever pitch since he lost almost 9 months ago. I have many nicknames for them, currently it’s the Delta Death Cult. I’ve been told by them via Fox News youtube comments that all covid victims over age 78 were not really victims because they had reached avg. life expectancy. And they insist that 94% of deaths were not from covid but from comorbidities. Fox News is a sewer pipe of lies and trumpaganda. Yesterday Karl Rove blamed Biden for not putting out correct info about covid! Rove said Biden needs to get the info to people trusted by trump fans, e.g., Franklin Graham. Huh? Biden has been pushing the vax for about a year now IIRC. These people don’t want correct info, they want trumpaganda. And Ted Cruz is blaming the pandemic on unvaxxed immigrants rather than on his own antivax party; FL and TX have 30% of U.S. cases!

    You can’t tell me Repubs are not a dangerous cult.

    1. So Matt – coming to a country near you, voting will no longer be necessary or even allowed. Women’s rights will be a distant memory, speaking of Afghanistan. Immigration requires a passport you cannot get unless you are white and healthcare is only a thing for the rich. Services will be everyday, not just Sunday and attendance mandatory. Taxes will be for the stupid only and television will just be a reality show staring orange man. Can’t wait for the next virus.

  2. “Nevertheless, the games must and will go on, as Japan’s investment is too great to stop them now. Let’s hope there’s no debacle in the offing.”

    The British team has eight people (six athletes and two staff) self-isolating. The total number of Olympic-related positive cases is 62, of whom 29 have arrived in Japan from abroad.

    One of the Games’ major sponsors, Toyota, has announced that its executives won’t be attending the opening ceremony and it is pulling all Games-related adverts in Japan (although international ads will go ahead).

      1. I shall add my one kvetch before I stumble off to slumber until my night shift comes around again… it troubles me deeply that so many good moral liberals, who spend so much time (on tw@tter, for instance) trying to “smash the patriarchy” are yet so willing to turn their backs on the women and girls of Afghanistan. Why are these particular “women of color” so easy to sacrifice to the religiously anti-female hatred of the taliban? Why was it so empowering for them to read “I Am Malala” yet so easy to turn away from girls and women just like her? I guess a good liberal cares not one bit to stand up for their education and cares not at all if they, too, are shot by the taliban. After all, we aren’t there to nation-build, only to help destroy it. To give women and girls a glimmer of hope, of human rights, then walk away.

        1. As I was against the Afghanistan intervention from the beginning , I thought I might answer (though I am actually against getting out like this now, without any kind of agreement in place, I think it’s irresponsible, one should have tried harder). As far as I know, the progress in women’s rights was largely confined to Kabul and the better-off circles there. The average Pashtu Afghan’s view of women is hardly better than that of the Taliban, and the tribal patriarchic traditions there are pre-Islamic and regressive even from an Islamic point of view. I heard from two different German small NGO people, one who did schools and one a female doctor who did clinics and lived and worked there as a doctor herself for years, that it was possible to work under Taliban rule as long as one agreed to separation of the sexes (which they did, they had a girls’ school and a boys’ school etc). They also both said that their work became more difficult under the Karzai administration after the US intervention because now the corrupt Kabul government didn’t allow them do work/start a new project unless they payed massive sums of money to Kabul officials. The school NGO did not want to pay and went on to work in a remaining Taliban-controlled area. The Taliban were not corrupt in those days, you see, and that was one of the reasons and possibly the main reason they had support.
          If US politicians of whatever party cared about the women, they should have supported the Soviets there instead of paying the primitive rural ultra-traditionalists Mujahedin to undo all the progress that had been achieved by then. The link to Ghetty images shows photos from Afghanistan in the 1970s.

          1. I am in the same boat as you, Ruth. Protested the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, not that anyone seemed to care, but now fear our leaving. What a world we live in, where a peacenik finds himself arguing for military to remain active! War is always Catch-22 I guess. And yes, I’ve seen those images, I knew a woman who had lived in Afghanistan back then. What a difference religion makes. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one out there feeling heartbroken over this, even if as you said much of the progress was in and around Kabul, I can’t imagine it spreading from there, not now. Take care.

  3. … a fiction writer who too transparently borrows details from someone else’s life.

    I don’t see this as a legitimate beef. The roman à clef is nearly as old as the novel itself. Heck, I recall one practitioner of the fictive arts explaining (seemingly only half in jest) that his method is to sit down and start writing a memoir and, once it’s full of a sufficient number of exaggerations and lies, he changes the names transmogrifies it into a novel.

  4. Here’s [Maurice] Garin. He won the 1904 Tour de France, too, but lost the title that year for CHEATING!

    Plus ça change …

  5. The article by Roxane Gay proved its own point. In the comments, some NYT readers couldn’t help themselves and castigated Ms. Gay for her failings on twitter. There is no forgiveness sometimes 🙁

      1. Ya I get the criticism of RG in Greenfield’s post (and the comments there). But something has to give in order for all this vitriol to be resolved. When somebody who has talked as much smack as Roxane Gay says maybe we’ve all gone too far, I think instead of calling her a hypocrite we should just agree and say thank you.

  6. The [SS Great Britain] is still preserved in dry dock; you can see it in Bristol

    Yes indeed: whenever I look out of my window since she is my next door neighbour.

    Also, note that, in the picture you can see the Matthew which is allegedly a replica of the ship in which John Cabot discovered continental North America (yes, I know lots of other people had also discovered North America including all the people who still lived there).

    And doesn’t the kitten technically have twelve toes and twelve fingers?

  7. From my “If There’s One Thing I Hate” file, I shall highlight sticking one’s tongue out, either in person or in a photo. I can’t even give Einstein a pass. About the only times I did it were as a child at Mass back when the priest placed the communion wafer (i.e., the host) on your tongue. Creepy–who knew where those fingers had been.

    1. I am so with you on this damn, stupid sticking the tongue out.

      Humm, maybe an exception would be as an insult, but there would still be better ways to do that.

      1. And yet, I’ve done it to great effect. It’s like flipping someone off, but somehow ‘less’ and can be used in a flirting situation. Einstein’s context was different though. I’ve probably only stuck my tongue out at someone as a measured gesture twice in my life…it’s not something to hate though, for me. Useful in rare circumstances imo.

  8. From Stash Krod:
    [Atheists, Cavemen and dinosaurs surviving the asteroid tweet image]

    But the cave men did survive the Kamil, Carancas, Sikhote Alin, Wabar, Haviland, Sobolev, Whitecourt, Campo Del Cielo, Kaalijärv, Henbury, Boxhole, Ilumetsä, Macha, Morasko, Tenoumer, Barringer, Xiuyan, Odessa, Amguid, Rio Cuarto, Tswaing (formerly Pretoria Saltpan), Kalkkop, Dalgaranga, Wolfe Creek, Lonar, Zhamanshin and Veevers asteroid impacts. (Just listing those since the fossil record for anatomically modern humans started ; some may have been comets not asteroids, but that’s two ends of a continuum in any case.)
    I wonder what thoughts go through the minds of Las Vegans if they stand on the edge of Barringer and consider if the arrival date changed to “later this afternoon”. Certainly, nosing around the Stac Fada ejecta site put uncomfortable thoughts into my head – and we’re uncertain of the location of that impact by several hundred kilometres.
    Is Las Vegas the closest large city to Barringer?

    1. Phoenix and Flagstaff are closer. Given the splash zone from a meteor the size that made Barringer, the point is moot.

      1. Surely it matters if you’re dead twice over, or thrice over, as long as you’re not red. (I’m channelling the sanity of Mutually Assured Destruction of my youth.)
        Also remember that Barringer was a dinky little friendly asteroidlet – a Roomba to the Terminator × Berserker of a Chixulub or Manicougain. (Name not Vredefoort, for fear of summoning another.)

  9. Re: National Daiquiri Day. Certainly the daiquiri at La Floradita (actually a double, called the Papa Doble) was a favorite drink of Hem’s while residing at the Finca, but . . . he had many others, too. For example, try the Hemingway Sidecar at the Ritz (have one today–bring a suitcase full of money), and of course the Montgomery at Harry’s Bar in Venice–not quite as expensive!

  10. Death in the Afternoon, also called the Hemingway or the Hemingway Champagne, is a cocktail made up of absinthe and Champagne, invented by Ernest Hemingway. … “Pour one jigger absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.”

    1. Sounds like a good cocktail for Chartreuse as well. I can do without the absinth flavor, but the wormwood is the key, so I’m told. 😉

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