Saturday: Hili dialogue

July 31, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Cat Sabbath and the last day of the month, July 31, 2021: National Cotton Candy Day (I believe it’s called “candy floss” in the UK and “fairy floss” in Australia and New Zealand).  It’s pure sugar (one cone has about the calories of a can of Coke), sometimes with a bit of coloring, and here’s how it’s made:

It’s also National Avocado Day, Shredded Wheat Day, National Raspberry Cake Day, National Jump for Jelly Beans Day, and National Mutt Day, celebrating the canid equivalent of moggies.

News of the Day:

The only news I wanted to hear about Trump after he left office was that he was in court being tried for malfeasance.  But the news reveals tells us that Trump pressured the Department of Justice to declare the 2020 election “corrupt“. As the NYT reports:

The exchange unfolded during a phone call on Dec. 27 in which Mr. Trump pressed the acting attorney general at the time, Jeffrey A. Rosen, and his deputy, Richard P. Donoghue, on voter fraud claims that the Justice Department had found no evidence for. Mr. Donoghue warned that the department had no power to change the outcome of the election. Mr. Trump replied that he did not expect that, according to notes Mr. Donoghue took memorializing the conversation.

“Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me” and to congressional allies, Mr. Donoghue wrote in summarizing Mr. Trump’s response.

“Leave the rest to me.”  Clearly that meant that Trump was going to press Congress to nullify or change the election results, and oy, did he try. To quote Big Daddy, Trump is surrounded by the odor of mendacity.

Oh, and speaking of the Department of Justice, they’ve just declared that Trump has to turn over his tax returns to Congress, which can use them to see if he violated tax law. Remember during the campaign when he promised to turn them over? Now he’s fighting their release tooth and nail. He will appeal, and he will lose. Most readers here don’t think he’ll ever go to jail.

Perhaps stung by criticism of the recent sharp rise in immigration from the south and the administration’s handling of it (court cases can take months or years to resolve), President Biden announced yesterday that the government would begin what they call “expedited removal”, the deportation of immigrants without requiring a hearing before an immigration judge.  The Washington Post notes:

Authorities carried out the deportations using a procedure known as Electronic Nationality Verification that allows them to determine migrants’ country of origin through biometric information-sharing programs. The procedure, also known as “no-doc flights,” allows ICE to deport migrants who cross the border without passports or identification.

Sadly, Statler, the geriatric fruit bat who had to be “flown” by hand, and became an Internet favorite (and an animal I loved), has passed away at the ripe old age of 34. HuffPost notes:

Statler suffered from arthritis, could no longer fly and had only one eye, but he still enjoyed an active routine.

He spent his days lounging with two other elderly bats in the “geribatric ward,” munching fruit salad, getting warm sponge baths and, most famously, going out for his daily simulated flight. Statler would spread his wings as his caretakers carried him through the air around the facility.

(h/t Barry).  Here’s the announcement on Instagram:

Inspired by the visit of reader Simon to The Cherry Hut in Beulah, Michigan, reader James, passing through the area, also went there yesterday, sending a picture of the restaurant (with its mascot, “Cherry Jerry”) and his large piece of cherry pie (sadly, without vanilla ice cream). He also pronounced the lunch special of grilled cheese sandwich and tomato/basil soup excellent. If you’re on the west coast of Michigan, near the lake, be sure to visit this place for homestyle cooking and the best cherry pie around. And tell them that (non Cherry) Jerry said hello.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 612,775, an increase of 301 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,225,434, an increase of about 10,300 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on July 31 includes:

After he died, his paramour, Cleopatra, also killed herself. Here’s a Romantic painting in earlier and happier days, with the Wikipedia caption, “Antony and Cleopatra (1883) by Lawrence Alma-Tadema depicting Antony’s meeting with Cleopatra in 41 BC.”

  • 781 – The oldest recorded eruption of Mount Fuji (Traditional Japanese date: Sixth day of the seventh month of the first year of the Ten’o (天応) era).
  • 1492 – The Jews are expelled from Spain when the Alhambra Decree takes effect.
  • 1588 – The Spanish Armada is spotted off the coast of England.
  • 1790 – The first U.S. patent is issued, to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.

Here’s U.S. Patent #1, and it’s signed by George Washington:

Well, that sentence is a bit misleading. Healy, who was only 1/16 black, self-identified and passed for white his whole life and was widely recognized as the black president of Georgetown only after his death. As Wikipedia notes, “Though he himself identified as White, knowledge of his mixed race background would not be a secret while he served as president of Georgetown University. His fellow Jesuits knew of his mixed race, but it is unlikely that this was widely known outside of Jesuit circles.”

Here’s the letter from Göring to Heydrich about the Final (really “Overall”) Solution of the Jewish question (“die Gesamtlösung der Judenfrage”). What they meant by the “final solution” was the deportation of all the Jews to Poland, where they would be exterminated. Click photo to enlarge:

A photo from Ranger 7, with the caption “Last picture by Ranger 7, taken about 488 m above the Moon, reveals features as small as 38 cm across. The noise pattern at right results from spacecraft impact while transmitting.”

I couldn’t find a picture of the actual Black Tot Day, but here’s a photo of British sailors lining up for their daily rum ration: one-eighth of a pint. Note the traditional “God Save the King” rum barrel.

How many medals? 28!: 23 Gold, 3 Silver, and 2 Bronze. Look! (The runner up is the Russian woman gymnast Larysa Latynina, who won 18 medals (9 gold, 5 silver, and 4 bronze).

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1800 – Friedrich Wöhler, German chemist and academic (d. 1882)
  • 1912 – Milton Friedman, American economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2006)
  • 1919 – Primo Levi, Italian chemist and author (d. 1987)

Levi, a Jewish chemist, spent a year in Auschwitz before he was liberated. He wrote two great books: If This is a Man, about Auschwitz, and The Periodic Table, about chemistry. Here he is:

  • 1932 – John Searle, American philosopher and academic
  • 1965 – J. K. Rowling, English author and film producer [I’m surprised they didn’t say “transphobe”]

Those who checked out on July 31 include:

  • 1556 – Ignatius of Loyola, Spanish priest and theologian, founded the Society of Jesus (b. 1491)
  • 1784 – Denis Diderot, French philosopher and critic (b. 1713)
  • 1886 – Franz Liszt, Hungarian pianist, composer, and conductor (b. 1811)
  • 1966 – Bud Powell, American pianist (b. 1924)

Powell was a fantastic pianist as you’ll hear in his rendition of Dizzy Gillespie’s song “A Night in Tunisia” below.  Sadly, like many jazz musicians, Powell died young of tuberculosis: he was only 41. Charlie Christian, Jimmy Blanton, and so on. . .  we’d have a lot more jazz without that bacterium.

  • 2012 – Gore Vidal, American novelist, screenwriter, and critic (b. 1925)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili has become a woke penitente:

A: Aren’t these stones too hard for you to lie on?
Hili: They are, I’m trying to atone for my cat privilege.
In Polish:
Ja: Czy nie jest ci twardo na tych kamieniach?
Hili: Jest, próbuję odpokutować za mój koci przywile

Another superfluous sign from David:


A rock alphabet from Bruce. Some poor schmo had to find all these stones!

From Jesus of the Day, and this is pretty much right.

Titania has started tweeting more regularly now:

From Ken, who notes, “Does this man strike anyone as telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”:

From Ginger K., a kid after my own heart:

Tweets from Matthew. First, a thread with lots of lies told to kids. I’ll show only two:

An art joke captcha. If you don’t get it, brush up on your Magritte:

I was feeling low yesterday morning, and Matthew sent me this tweet, adding, “This will cheer you up, momentarily.” He knows me!

But look at that face and those bottle-green eyes!

No comment needed:

29 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. It will be a real pleasure to see Trump end up going where he belongs but even better if Jordon and some of the other Trump babies go as well. Some justice was had in Watergate but very little in this worst case of all.

  2. 1970 – Black Tot Day: The last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy.

    Thence, it was down to sodomy and the lash?

  3. In that photo, Primo Levi bears a striking resemblance to the great American character actor, and Brooklyn-born son of Jewish immigrants from Poland, Eli Wallach.

  4. I enjoyed the thread about the parental lies; can we start one? When I was a kid, we went to Maine every summer, and my parents taught my siblings and me that lobsters taste horrible, and that adults only ate them for health benefits. Every time they suffered through eating their expensive lobsters, we looked on in disgust and felt lucky to get a hamburger or hot dog instead. Whenever we reminisced about those vacations over the years, my father would shake his head sadly remembering when we learned the Truth about lobsters, and he had to provide them for six people instead of two.

    1. But lobsters do taste horrible. Your dad was telling the truth, at least as far as that.

      1. Something similar: I work in a supermarket, and a guy came to the checkout with a very young girl. He was buying beer, and she said “Yay! Root beer!” he said “This is Daddy’s root beer.” “Why can’t I have any?” “It has caffeine.”

    2. My parents weren’t as artful: they just said “Lobsters aren’t for kids” and gobbled down theirs in front of me. Aaahhhh the 1970s. But that’s OK, now 40 years on I get to pick which nursing home I’ll stick ’em in. Probably one that doesn’t serve lobsters is my guess….

  5. While this picture of the moon from Ranger might not impress us in 2021 given images from throughout the solar system that we have been treated to over the past fifty years, NASA’s Ranger series were key to defining the navigation, guidance, and control requirements to “hit” the moon and to get some higher resolution photos of the surface to prepare for design of landing gear for the Surveyor soft landing missions and, of course, the Apollo missions. The Rangers also provided guidance information for the Lunar Orbiter missions, which entered into low orbit around the moon to give gravitational data and high resolution photography of potential Surveyor and Apollo landing areas.

  6. To resurrect an old joke, which might well puzzle the younglings,

    The noise pattern at right results from spacecraft impact while €$£%&%^*^ NO CARRIER

  7. 1970 – Black Tot Day: The last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy.

    That’s the daily rum ration. Every so often (a royal hatch, match, or dispatch typically) the order still goes out to “splice the mainbrace”, upon receipt of which an issue of grog goes to all hands (over 18).

  8. An art joke captcha. If you don’t get it, brush up on your Magritte:

    Ceci n’est pas un Magritte!

    A rock alphabet from Bruce. Some poor schmo had to find all these stones!

    A good morning’s fossicking would probably suffice. The base material looks like a fairly uniform mudrock or muddy limestone, so fossicking could well be productive at this site.

    That baby ocelot has mischief in it’s heart. Which is a good thing.

  9. Sorry to break it to the “tooth fairy doesn’t exist” kid, that’s only anecdotal evidence. He’s got to lose a lot more teeth before he can publish his theory.

  10. The least attractive characteristic of some of the posters here is their need to share their extreme antipathy for a washed up, defeated, aged ex-president. Whether it’s virtue signaling, truly felt, reflexive, whatever, please give it a rest. Trump doesn’t deserve to live rent free in anybody’s head and I don’t really care to know how deeply anyone hates anyone. Otherwise, this is a wonderful site with intelligent commentary on issues that I care about.

    1. That washed up, defeated, ex-president that bores you is still active in his party. He still tries to overturn the election. He still controls much of the republican party. Really sorry you don’t want to know, otherwise who cares what your opinion might be? Sorry if this conversation is not intelligent enough for you.

      1. We can certainly agree that even the mention of Trump continues to cause problems. He is truly gifted as a catalyst for conflict.

        1. You are correct that he continues to cause problems and makes the news almost daily. I wish that he were behind bars and isolated somewhere safe but so far, it is not to be.

          1. In prison he’s a martyr to his political foes who used the apparatuses of partisan government to bring him down. Martyrs tend to have staying power. If we treat him as someone who doesn’t matter he loses all his power to injure us, as long as we deny him the political and technical levers of power. The tech world is doing its part. We can join it in erasing him from public life by ignoring him.

            1. Trump isn’t a martyr but a loser. A martyr gains a lot of power from having made “the ultimate sacrifice”, something Trump would never do as he does everything for personal gain.

            2. There is absolutely no chance Trump will ever go to prison. 30 to 40 percent of the potential jurors believe beyond any reasonable doubt that he walks on water. You could never seat a jury of 12 persons without at least one that would never vote guilty. Indeed, he could bludgeon someone to death on a crowded public street and get away with murder.

    2. He needs to go to prison. He broke the law multiple times when in office and if he doesn’t end up paying in some way, the message to any other grifters that make it to be POTUS is that you can get away with anything.

  11. The ocelot certainly looks very poised. Feet together,coy eye contact and (hopefully) on a real log in a environment of her own. Do love those green eyes.

Leave a Reply