Friday: Hili dialogue

July 30, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Friday, July 30, 2021: the penultimate day of July and National Cheesecake Day (didn’t we just have one of these?). There are two acceptable versions: plain and with cherry topping.(See below for cherry pie.) Here’s a plain cheesecake from Junior’s in New York, one of the best around. A slice, washed down with coffee, would make an excellent breakfast.

It’s also National Support Public Education Day, Paperback Book Day, Share a Hug Day, World Snorkeling Day (do not forget to see the superb movie “My Octopus Teacher“), World Day against Trafficking in Persons, and  International Day of Friendship.

News of the Day.

There’s not much going on as I write this on Thursday evening. Beyond the COVID news—which includes the fact that Israel has started giving (third) booster shots to vaccinated people over 60, and that Biden continues on with his plan to require all federal workers to be vaccinated or face regular testing and further severe restrictions (and doesn’t know if this is legal)—we have a panoply of oddments.

Oh, but there’s this as well:

The recommendation that vaccinated people in some parts of the country dust off their masks was based largely on one troublesome finding, according to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New research showed that vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant carry tremendous amounts of the virus in the nose and throat, she said in an email responding to questions from The New York Times.

The finding contradicts what scientists had observed in vaccinated people infected with previous versions of the virus, who mostly seemed incapable of infecting others.

We’ll be wearing masks for the foreseeable future. And getting booster shots.

Hooray! Governor Pritzker just signed a new Illinois bill into law, The Bird Safe Buildings Act. The law stipulates that all state-owned buildings, whether newly built or renovated, be designed to be “bird safe”, to prevent migrating birds from killing themselves by flying into structures. Due to its position on migration routes and light pollution, Chicago is the worst city in America for bird collision deaths. The stipulations:

This new law will require the use of bird friendly construction techniques for all new construction or renovation of Illinois state-owned buildings. At least 90 percent of the exposed façade material on new state buildings will be need to be made of glass that helps stop bird collisions. It will also require that, when possible, outside building lighting is appropriately shielded to protect wildlife.

This legislation also empowers the Director of the Bureau of Property Management to monitor bird mortality at each State building and report on the issue as needed.

Click on the screenshot to read about our new law in Audubon Great Lakes (h/t Steve):

A 60-year old charred letter to Santa has been found by chimney sweeps in Worksop, England (I love that city name). Written by Robert Crampton’s father in 1961 when Robert was just five, it asks for “”a cowboy suit and guns and a hat and everything”. The letter was stuffed up the chimney, where Santa apparently gets his mail. Robert got his swag, and hopes to get the letter back as a memento of his late father. For some reason, the owners of the new house haven’t yet given returned the letter to Robert. (h/t: Jez)

The letter:

Young Robert:

Robert now (with wife Mary), a retired policeman.

The other day I posted in a tweet a letter purporting to be from an organization called Dallas Justice Now, asking white parents near Dallas not to send their kids to Ivy League schools so that students of color could fill them. It seemed over the top, but who knows these days? Here’s the letter:

Now, however, Dallas Magazine suspects, for five reasons, that this is an elaborate hoax. It may well be, and if so is a pretty lousy thing to do, presumably designed to make white people angry at black people.

Reader Simon, who lives north of Chicago, informed me that he was driving halfway around Lake Michigan. I advised him (or rather ordered him) to go the The Cherry Hut in Beulah, Michigan, an old and famous local spot specializing in home cooking and cherry pie. And that’s what he had. Below: his cherry-ade and a bit piece of cherry pie a la mode (one quarter of a whole pie). He reported that it was excellent. If you’re on the east shore of Lake Michigan, stop at the Cherry Hut in Beulah. By the way, its icon is named Cherry Jerry.

Simon’s pie and cherry-ade. I bet you’re hungry now.

Cherry Jerry:

C’est moi

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 612,098, an increase of 320 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,215,129, an increase of about 11,200 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on July 30 includes:

A 1618 woodcut of the defenestration, which none of the seven defenestrated survived:

There were two other defenestrations in Prague, one in 1483 and the other in 1618. The first one killed eight, but all three survived the second, possibly falling 70 feet onto a pile of dung.

  • 1619 – In Jamestown, Virginia, the first Colonial European representative assembly in the Americas, the Virginia General Assembly, convenes for the first time.
  • 1930 – In MontevideoUruguay wins the first FIFA World Cup.

The score was Uruguay 4, Argentina 2.   Here are some poorly filmed highlights:

Here’s the cartoon, and it’s great!

Before that, the de facto national motto was much better: “E Pluribus Unum” (“from many, one”). During the Cold War, we had to demonstrate to the Godless Communists that we were a country of faith. In 1954 they had already added “One nation under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance (it wasn’t there before), and in 1957 “In God We Trust” was added to paper currency. Every atheist who passes currency is complicit in religion! That’s why, at the annual meeting of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, they raffle off “clean money”: bills printed before 1957. The FFRF also sells stamps that you can imprint on currency: “In Science We Trust” or “In Reason We Trust”. I think it’s legal to stamp your bills this way.  What’s below, though, is my own comment:

The Rover is one of many artificial objects left on the Moon, including a Bible. Look at all this junk!

  • 1974 – Watergate scandal: U.S. President Richard Nixon releases subpoenaed White House recordings after being ordered to do so by the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • 1975 – Jimmy Hoffa disappears from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, at about 2:30 p.m. He is never seen or heard from again.
  • 2003 – In Mexico, the last ‘old style’ Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line.

21,529,464 Beetles had been built since World War II. Here’s the last one being built, painted in unattractive green. There’s a ceremony at the end.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1857 – Thorstein Veblen, American economist and sociologist (d. 1929)
  • 1863 – Henry Ford, American engineer and businessman, founded the Ford Motor Company (d. 1947)

It’s not well known that Henry Ford was a rabid anti-Semite. Here’s the first issue of a series of Jew-hating article that his newspaper published (yes, he had a newspaper, the Dearborn Independent). If he was after another minority, the name “Ford” for cars would already have been canceled.

  • 1898 – Henry Moore, English sculptor and illustrator (d. 1986)

Here’s Moore’s sculpture “Nuclear Energy“, erected in 1967 just a block from where I’m sitting on the site where the first sustained chain reaction took place at the University of Chicago. It’s supposed to celebrate the benefits and dangers of nuclear energy, but to me it looks like an atomic bomb explosion. It’s weird to see busloads of Japanese tourists dismount in front of the sculpture to have their picture taken in front of it:

  • 1936 – Buddy Guy, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • 1939 – Peter Bogdanovich, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter
  • 1947 – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor, and politician, 38th Governor of California
  • 1956 – Anita Hill, American lawyer and academic
  • 1974 – Hilary Swank, American actress and producer

Here’s the scene from “Million Dollar Baby” in which the paralyzed boxer Maggie (Swank) asks her manager Frankie (Clint Eastwood) to help her die. Here he refuses, but eventually gives in.

  • 1977 – Misty May-Treanor, American volleyball player and coach
  • 1981 – Hope Solo, American soccer player

Those who died on July 30 include:

  • 1718 – William Penn, English businessman and philosopher, founded the Province of Pennsylvania (b. 1644)
  • 1996 – Claudette Colbert, French-American actress (b. 1903)
  • 1998 – Buffalo Bob Smith, American television host (b. 1917)
  • 2007 – Michelangelo Antonioni, Italian director and screenwriter (b. 1912)
  • 2007 – Ingmar Bergman, Swedish director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1918)

Click on “Watch n YouTube” to see classic Bergman:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is once again pondering the ineffable

A: What are you doing?
Hili: I’m considering all options.
In Polish:
Ja: Co robisz?
Hili: Rozważam wszystkie opcje.

From Marie, a real thing in Hyde Park, Chicago:

Another bizarre sign from David. It’s not necessarily superfluous, though, as  people have stepped into empty elevator shafts:

From Jesus of the Day:

Titania’s latest installments of things that have been deemed racist (for real):

A tweet from Cherry Simon, who says, “I don’t think Matthew would appreciate this approach.” Neither do I: don’t kill lizards!

From Ken, who says:

How far was Jeb Bush’s son willing to go to debase himself in his unsuccessful effort to gain Donald Trump’s endorsement for his bid to become Texas’s next attorney general? Take a look at this campaign swag:

From Ginger K.:

Tweets from Matthew. I love these restored old films, even if they’re colorized. This one’s over two minutes long (they’ve also added music). And nearly everyone is dressed up and wearing a hat:

It’s great to find identifiable species in ancient art:

I think all but three squares qualify, but I think they want you to click “none”.

35 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. Well it finally happened. Allende is apparently not one of the departed. He was spotted by Stevie Wonder last Sunday in Central Park.

  2. The Ship of Theseus is shown being sailed. This means it is being shown at the beginning of its life before it became a museum piece in Athens and had all its bits replaced.

    So for me the questions are:

    1. Do oars count as part of the ship?

    2. is the tip of the pennant part of the ship?

    3. How do we know that this is Theseus’ ship and isn’t just any old ship?

    1. I have similar questions with most Captchas. Is the light poll part of the traffic light? My favorite gif of the last few years shows a robotic hand touching the computer screen to attest that the person logging is not a robot.

      1. Is the light poll part of the traffic light?

        No, it’s a barbarous thing to do to the back end of a horse.

    2. Yup, reCAPTCHA started off well when it was used to assist in digitizing books by getting people to verify words that Optical Character Recognition had failed to read. I’m not sure whether the subsequent takeover by Google is related to the current level of annoyance..

      Of course, Luis von Ahn who was the founder of reCAPTCHA is also responsible for the free language learning app Duolingo, so an interesting and successful guy!

      1. I couldn’t help noticing a lot of puff about Duolingo being floated (or is it “sunk”?) on the stock market.
        So, that’s that one broken then.

    3. 3. How do we know that this is Theseus’ ship and isn’t just any old ship?

      I suspect that the viewer is meant to know that the ship was reputed (I’m not sure in whose version) to have sailed from Athens with black sails to denote it’s cargo of human sacrifices, but if Theseus completed his minotaur-mission, he was meant to change to white sails for the return. But Theseus forgot (after the effort of marooning his savioueuse Ariadne on the island of … was it Naxos?), so when the ship was spotted returning at Cape Sounion (famous temple of Poseidon ; a moonset picture appeared here not long ago) and Theseus’s Dad asked about the sails, the watchman reported “black”, and Theseus Sr threw himself off the rocks.
      Sorry, I binge-listened to too much “Stand Up For The Classics” this morning. It shows.
      How much “black” dye does it take to dye 25m^2 of canvas? Probably quite a lot. And did the Greeks have a “good” black dye?

  3. Dallas Magazine suspects, for five reasons, that this is an elaborate hoax. It may well be, and if so is a pretty lousy thing to do, presumably designed to make white people angry at black people.

    If it’s a hoax, I’m sure the right-wingers who wrote it will tell us all it was just a joke. And I’m not sure which is worse: them thinking we would believe that, or them thinking this is humor.

    1. Did you see the things Titania has posted? Why wouldn’t someone these days believe this is real?

  4. Here’s the scene from “Million Dollar Baby” in which the paralyzed boxer Maggie (Swank) asks her manager Frankie (Clint Eastwood) to help her die.

    Million Dollar Baby was based on a story from a great collection, Rope Burns: Stories from the Corner, written by a former fight trainer and manager under the pen name F.X. Toole. I didn’t think it was the best story in the book, and I thought Clint’s movie was pretty good, but not his best work as a director. Or maybe that’s just the disappointment one often feels watching a favorite book adapted to the screen.

  5. I have a great deal of respect for Eastwood making movies such as Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino because they explore the difficulties and complexities of death and honor in a way that most actors who tend to be conservative shy away from. In Gran Torino, he tackled racism by showing how a bigot comes to understand the Hmong as people and (spoiler alert) sacrifices himself for his Hmong neighbors. And in Million Dollar Baby, his character sees that euthanasia is often the compassionate choice. I am really surprised that there wasn’t more hue and cry from the Catholic Church over this movie, and perhaps it was because he is a conservative and not a “Hollywood Lefty.” I started watching his older movies in a new light after these came out, especially Hang ’em High, in which he sees how the power of a judge can be abused.

    Plus, he’s a great actor.

    1. I watched The Outlaw Josey Wales again a couple weeks ago. Clintwood was pretty damn good in it, and It’s arguably the best western made in the ’70s.

      I think his best directing effort was Mystic River. He got great performances up and down the cast, and hewed true to the Dennis Lahane novel.

      1. Yes, Mystic River is an excellent movie, and another one that should have pissed off the Catholics as it dealt with priests abusing children and the long-term aftermath.

        Agree on Outlaw Josey Wales, too.

    2. As a rejoinder to ageists, I offer Clint Eastwood, along with Giuseppe Verdi and Michelangelo, as an example of an artist whose creative powers increased with age. When in Carmel, I frequented the restaurant he owned at the time, Hog’s Breath Inn, in hopes of meeting him, but never did.

  6. Growing up in the 70s, we had a couple of VW bugs. They were my favourite car, maybe because of the “Herbie” movies. I can’t believe my parents took them on long trips around Ontario with 3 kids in the back seat.

  7. This Egyptian painting is nice because it disproves the Young Earth Creatioinist view that the ark carried “baramin” (generalized ancestors of modern animals) and that microevolution happened after the Flood to give us today’s animals. Of course there are a million other things that disprove this, but this is one of those things that disproves it.even inside their own worldview, because they don’t deny the antiquity of the Egyptians. These Egyptians were actually THERE, and this is what they saw. Even a completely brainwashed YEC can sometimes be persuaded by this..

    1. Even a completely brainwashed YEC can sometimes be persuaded by this..

      by printing the picture out, then wrapping it around a clue-by-four and applying the informative construct to their cognitive apparatus?

  8. Are we sure that isn’t a Jewish cat’s wedding? With regard to “In God We Trust”, whenever I hear it, I can’t help but add, “All Others Pay Cash.” Taken together they are the title of the book by Jean Sheppard upon which the movie A Christmas Story was based. In other news, my wife the other day gave me an 1903 silver dollar that she’d had in her jewelry box. It has “In God We Trust,” so I think the question is, if this was already on coinage, why wasn’t it added to paper currency all along?

    1. It is generally OK to write on paper money :
      “While federal law makes it a crime to “deface” paper
      money, 18 USC 333, that law applies only when there
      is an “intent” to make the bills “unfit” for further
      circulation. People who stamp bills with a political
      message do not have such an intent, since their point is
      to have their message continuously circulated among
      those who spend and receive the bills. So long as the
      stamping is done in a way that does not render the
      information on the bill illegible, then it remains fit for
      further circulation, and the law has not been violated.”

      As to the recent addition of ‘In God We Trust’ to paper money, the 1864 $20 interest bearing notes [yes, at one time there was legal tender that also paid interest], carry the phrase ‘In God Is Our Trust’. Also, ‘God and Our Right’ – though that sounds like something a divine right King might say.

  9. “The letter was stuffed up the chimney, where Santa apparently gets his mail” – for the uninitiated, back when every house had a coal fire small children would write a letter to Santa in early December and then release it up the chimney when a fire was burning in the grate. The updraft would carry the letter up the chimney, supposedly to Santa. Presumably, this was connected to the fact that the old man came down the same chimney with his sack of gifts on Christmas Eve. Of course, the main aim of the exercise was for parents to get a sneaky peek at their children’s Christmas wishlist so that the more affordable items could miraculously appear and be ready to be opened on Christmas Day.

    1. “Worksop, England (I love that city name)” – I never have liked it, myself. Worksop is where both of my parents were born and grew up, and although I have never lived there I too was born in the town. Since my birthday is just before Christmas I was likely born within days of the young Robert Crampton posting his letter to Santa up the chimney.

      Weird fact: when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries, Worksop Priory and its land was given to the Earl of Shrewsbury on condition that he and his successors provide a glove for the right hand of the sovereign at the coronation. The tradition is still going, although since Liz II has had a long reign it’s been a while since the Earl’s family have had to make the effort. The English and their quaint ways…!

  10. Now, however, Dallas Magazine suspects, for five reasons, that this is an elaborate hoax. It may well be, and if so is a pretty lousy thing to do, presumably designed to make white people angry at black people.

    Does American politics have the tradition of a “false flag” operation, or of using “agents provocateurs”? It has been part of the standard bag of dirty tricks for as long as I can remember – and we’ve caught several attempting to infiltrate our organisation on occasions – so I doubt the concept is foreign. Whether the people who own the press like it being mentioned where the proles can read about it is another question.
    [Later in the thread]
    There are reports of it being the product of a PR company. Well, that’s no surprise at all. Loyalty brought and paid for is soooo reliable. Until the cheques start bouncing.

    1. Yes, false-flag operations are alive and well in America (of course, this is America Jake!). We also revel in false false-flag conspiracies. Trump backers (including the Oregon Republican party) said the Capitol insurrection was a false-flag operation by leftists.

      1. As one infamous example, Nixon tried to have George McGovern campaign literature planted in the apartment of Arthur Bremer, the guy who shot George Wallace during the ’72 campaign, immediately after the shooting. The plot was foiled when the cops got to the apartment just ahead of Nixon’s dirty tricksters.

        1. Whoa…I hadn’t heard of that. Does HST cover that in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72? Incidentally, I’m reading that (and loving it) for the first time right now- on page 150 or so.

  11. We’ll be wearing masks for the foreseeable future. And getting booster shots.

    And getting earache from antivaxxers. [sigh]

    1. As so often, the Wikipedia list article for today’s date had an error in the summary. I’ve fixed it now – the actual Trans-Canada Highway article didn’t contain the misinformation.

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