Saturday: Hili dialogue

September 4, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Cat Sabbath: Saturday, September 4, 2021: National Macademia Nut Day.  It’s also International Bacon Day, Eat an Extra Dessert Day, National Tailgating Day, National Hummingbird Day, World Beard DayNewspaper Carrier Day, and National Wildlife Day (to celebrate, I’ll tend wild mallards).

Jerry feeding Honey and her swain

News of the Day:

The death toll in New Jersey due to the effects of Hurricane Ida has reached 25; many of these people were trapped in their cars or swept away by torrents of water. Who would have thought such a thing was possible?

The infamous “QAnon Shaman”, whose real name is Jacob Chansley, famous for his fur hat and horns, has pleaded guilty to a single count of “obstructing an official proceeding before Congress.” It’s a felony, and prosecutors have recommended that he spend 41-51 months in jail. That seems to me to send the appropriate message. (He’ll no doubt demand organic meals, as he did when being held earlier.) Remember this?”

Thinking about your booster shot for Covid? Officials of the FDA and CDC have suggested that boosters will probably be available to Americans by late September, but will be limited to those who got the Pfizer-BioNTech shot. But no worries: the others will be available soon thereafter.

I’ve often thought of going to Bali, and my investigations have included the Sangeh Monkey Forest, a reserve that harbors gray long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) as well as other wildlife. Now, however, the macaques have lost one of their main sources of food—bananas and peanuts given by tourists. The hungry primates have taken to storming nearby villages in search of noms, and people are worried about a full-scale macaque assault (if you’ve encountered these beasts in the wild, you’ll know they’re not shy!). Villagers are donating fruit and nuts, but it’s not enough. It’s dire!

Frequently, monkeys wander into the village and sit on roofs, occasionally removing tiles and dropping them to the ground. When villagers put out daily religious offerings of food on their terraces, the monkeys jump down and make off with them.

“A few days ago I attended a traditional ceremony at a temple near the Sangeh forest,” Gustu Alit said. “When I parked my car and took out two plastic bags containing food and flowers as offerings, two monkeys suddenly appeared and grabbed it all and ran into the forest very fast.”

OY! Here’s a local distributing donated food (they neat $60/day for vittles):

CNN reports that the skeleton of the world’s largest Triceratops is going on sale. The skeleton, 60% complete, with a 75% complete skull, is 8 meters long and was found 7 years ago in South Dakota.  Dubbed “Big John”, the skeleton will be auctioned off in Paris this October, and is expected to bring between 1.2 million euros ($1.4 million) and 1.5 million euros ($1.7 million). A photo of the restored specimen is below (h/t Barry):

How can anyone not love Juliette Binoche? But that’s the theme of her latest movie, “Who you think I am”, in which she plays a 50-ish woman, abandoned by her husband for a younger woman, who resorts to online dating. (In real life she’s 57, but her beauty is timeless.) But she then pretends to be 24 online, predictably leading to a bunch of trouble.

The Wall Street Journal gave it a positive review (a quote: “Social media is not an inherently cinematic subject, but Ms. Binoche is, and in the hands of director Nebbou and cinematographer Gilles Porte the story of Claire becomes, both visually and psychologically, a bridge between worlds, ethereal, tragic and more than a little scary”); and it has an 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I’ll see it for sure, and here’s a trailer:

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 647,361, an increase of 1,550 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,568,655, an increase of about 10,000 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on September 4 includes:

  • 1607 – The Flight of the Earls takes place in Ireland.
  • 1666 – In London, England, the most destructive damage from the Great Fire occurs.
  • 1781 – Los Angeles is founded as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels) by 44 Spanish settlers.
  • 1862 – American Civil War Maryland Campaign: General Robert E. Lee takes the Army of Northern Virginia, and the war, into the North.
  • 1882 – The Pearl Street Station in New York City becomes the first power plant to supply electricity to paying customers.

The electricity was generated by dynamos powered by coal fire; here’s a photo of one:

Here’s Geronimo in 1898 (he was 69) and then a photo of his warriors with an instructive caption:

Photograph by C. S. Fly of Geronimo and his warriors, taken before the surrender to Gen. Crook, March 27, 1886, in the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico. Fly’s photographs are the only known images of Indian combatants still in the field who had not yet surrendered to the United States.
  • 1888 – George Eastman registers the trademark Kodak and receives a patent for his camera that uses roll film.

Here’s a copy of that patent:

This is because Robeson was black, a communist, a trade-union advocate, and of course a great performer. He gave two concerts: after the first one, he was lynched in effigy, a cross was burned, 13 people were seriously injured, and Klan membership in Peekskill skyrocketed.

Here’s a 44-second snippet of President Harry Truman speaking at that conference:

In Cooper v. Aaron,  the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Arkansas, which was dragging its heels on desegregating public schools, would not be allowed to delay desegregation for a requested 30 months.

Here’s one of the “Little Rock Nine”, black students who enrolled in the school. Her name was Elizabeth Eckford, and in this famous photo by Will Counts you can see the jeering she endured just to go to class. This was, however, only the beginning of the abuse she and the eight other suffered. Read more here about the Nine, about Eckford, and what she endured in school.  She spent only a year there, later attempted suicide, and was diagnosed with PTSD. But she’s still with us!

Spitz with his medals:

This is a soccer-ball shaped sphere of carbon (“buckyballs”) that, while cute, has no use in the real world. A model:

  • 1998 – Google is founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University.

Notables born on this day include:

Two future Nobel Laureates in genetics: Delbrück (left) and Salvator Luria at Cold Spring Harbor, 1953:

  • 1908 – Richard Wright, American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet (d. 1960)

Wright’s masterpiece is the novel Native Son, set near where I live. Here’s Wright doing a screen test for the movie based on that novel, playing the protagonist Bigger Thomas.  YouTube says this:

A screen test for “Native Son” with Richard Wright as Bigger Thomas in three scenes, two takes each and a running time of approximately seven and a half minutes, from 1948.

In fact Thomas (twice Bigger’s age) played the boy in the first of three movies made from the novel:

Native Son has been adapted into a film three times: once in 1951again in 1986 and a third released in 2019. The first version was made in Argentina. Wright, aged 42, played the protagonist despite being twice the age of 20-year-old Bigger Thomas. The film was not well received; Wright’s performance was a particular target of critics.

I’ve seen the 1986 version, with Oprah Winfrey as Bigger’s mother, and it was pretty good. But none of these, I suspect are even close to the quality of the book, which is a must-read.

Cohen, a member of the Jewish mafia, was convicted for tax evasion à la Al Capone and sent to Alcatraz in 1961. He was later moved to another prison and released in 1972, dying four years later.

Cohen also owned a heavily armored Cadillac, more secure than even the U.S. Presidential limousine (below); it was confiscated by the feds (he had no permit to drive an armored vehicle) and is now on display in New Zealand:

  • 1920 – Craig Claiborne, American journalist, author, and critic (d. 2000)
  • 1981 – Beyoncé, American singer-songwriter, producer, dancer, and actress

Those who abandoned their earthly existence on September 4 include:

  • 1907 – Edvard Grieg, Norwegian pianist and composer (b. 1843)
  • 1965 – Albert Schweitzer, French-Gabonese physician, theologian, and missionary, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1875)
  • 1993 – Hervé Villechaize, French-American actor (b. 1943)

Remember this? “Da plane! Da plane!”

  • 2014 – Joan Rivers, American comedian, television host, and author (b. 1933)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Szaron knows that summer is ending:

Szaron: Autumn is coming.
Hili: It’s still warm.
Szaron: But the nights are cold.
In Polish:
Szaron: Zbliża się jesień.
Hili: Jeszcze jest ciepło.
Szaron: Ale noce są chłodne.
And Paulina bought herself a heather plant.  Kulka is sampling it:
In Polish: Paulina kupiła sobie doniczkę z wrzosem.

From reader John:

From Jesus of the Day:

From Facebook: an ad for a personal injury cat lawyer:

From Masih: The women of Afghanistan aren’t having any of the Taliban’s notorious sharia-based regulations. They’re brave as hell given that you could be killed for demonstrating like this. You can read about this demonstration here; the Taliban were nearby, but didn’t stop it.

From Ginger K. This will put a smile on your family’s faces. Do it (but where do you get googly eyes?)

Today’s Auschwitz Memorial tweet. This is a day late, but I wanted to show a Zyklon-B container (it was used first on Soviet prisoners of war). “GIftgas” means “poison gas”:

From Barry; How does the guy do this trick? The answer is here.

Tweets from Matthew. Sound up to revel in the awesomeness of badgers. There are fifteen species of badger, but these are European badgers (Meles meles).

Is this really “incredible”?

75 years making movies. Read more about Lillian Gish here; she lived to be 99.

If your prospective college tells you this, go to another school:

23 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. On Mark Spitz: it is pretty amazing what the well-honed male body used to look like before steroids and other performance enhancing drugs became ubiquitous among athletes.

    1. I was thinking similarly, comparing this photo of Spitz with photos of Michael Phelps and Caeleb Dressel. Without denying your point about PEDs, for nuance I must say that I’ve been impressed with the positive developments in exercise physiology and sports medicine over the past fifty years. Training methods, diet, prehab and rehab have improved tremendously. These improvements have contributed to athletes becoming stronger, faster, and better conditioned, as well as helping all of us remain functional and injury-free into our advanced years.

      1. I’m not a woman, but I think Mark Spitz looks way more attractive than Phelps.
        I suspect that Phelps has used, somewhere along his path , some products like anabolics, carnitine or other enhancing substances. I’m not sure though, just a suspicion
        For Arnie or the Rock I have no such doubts.

  2. …pleaded guilty to a single count of “obstructing an official proceeding before Congress.” It’s a felony, and prosecutors have recommended that he spend 41-51 months in jail.

    Two complaints. One: that penalty seems extremely excessive for the description of what the charge is. Two: he should’ve been charged with a host of other violations (B&E, trespassing, possibly sedition, etc.).

    Our whole justice system is out of whack and needs reform. Not just PCC’s standard argument that it needs to be more focused on rehab than punishment (with which I agree), but the penalties for nonviolent crimes need to generally be reduced across the boad, the plea bargain concept needs to be revised…the list goes on. It is unacceptable that we “make up” for not charging someone with the serious crimes they committed, by allowing minor civil crimes to carry long jail sentences so we can ‘get them by other means’ instead. That’s not justice; that’s the government creating laws so flexible and so in their own favor that they can do anything to anyone.

    1. Two complaints. One: that penalty seems extremely excessive for the description of what the charge is. Two: he should’ve been charged with a host of other violations (B&E, trespassing, possibly sedition, etc.).

      In addition to the offense to which he pleaded guilty, Chansley was also charged with civil disorder, obstruction, disorderly conduct in a restricted building, and demonstrating in a Capitol building. It is standard US Department of Justice policy to require that, as part of any plea bargain, a defendant plead to the most serious charge in the indictment. The dismissal of the other charges has a negligible impact on the sentence ultimately given a defendant such Chansley anyway, since under the applicable section of the federal sentencing guidelines related charges are consolidated for purposes of calculating the recommended sentence.

  3. The fact that the milk completely fills all four glasses shows that they all have the same volume. This means they must have sneaky inserts that you can’t see. In fact, the two middle glasses must have two inserts to give two different volumes so that you can appear to have milk in all four glasses.

    1. I believe the three larger glasses are flattened, so that they appear to be normal from the camera’s point of view, but have little front-to-back depth. At the end, the smallest glass is not as full as it started, allowing for the extra milk to fill the first two flat glasses.

      1. The answer is explained in the link. I was still puzzled about the 2nd part where the milk filled 3 of the glasses, as if there was suddenly more milk. But that detail you say is probably the basis of the answer.

        1. This is an old, old magic trick called Multum in Parvo. It’s so old and well-known that magicians don’t do it anymore. Maybe it will come back, although you all have figured it out. There are professional, antique, versions that are more deceiving, however. Cheap versions still on sale at magic shops (e.g., penguin magic–recommended to biologists!).

    2. “Because Robeson was black, a communist, a trade-union advocate, and of course a great performer”, will he be cancelled or is he continuing to be cancelled?

  4. In Cooper v. Aaron, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Arkansas, which was dragging its heels on desegregating public schools, would not be allowed to delay desegregation for a requested 30 months.

    Such heel-dragging occurred in part because, in the 1955 follow-up case to Brown v. Board of Education (generally referred to as Brown II), Chief Justice Earl Warren, to placate the Court’s conservatives and thereby maintain the Court’s unanimity, inserted the phrase “with all deliberate speed” into the opinion directing that schools be desegregated. School systems in the Jim Crow south interpreted these words to mean “when hell freezes over.”

    1. That was also the name of a pretty good album by the Eagles. Just kidding, desegregation kind of went the same way as voter rights — nowhere.

    2. Of course nowadays they call racial segregation ‘affinity grouping’ which makes it all ok. The latest episode of the ‘So To Speak’ podcast mentions a case in Atlanta where it took a Black parent complaining for anyone to realise that’s what was going on.

  5. From Jesus of the Day: (dopey comment about horses)

    I don’t understand the pretense that ivermectin is inappropriate for humans when the 2015 “Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine” was awarded to the people who discovered “avermectin, which led to Merck’s development of Mectizan (ivermectin), a treatment for river blindness (also known as onchocerciasis) in Africa, Latin America and Yemen.”

    Nature: “Ivermectin plays a role in several biological mechanisms, therefore it could serve as a potential candidate in the treatment of a wide range of viruses including COVID-19 as well as other types of positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses. In vivo studies of animal models revealed a broad range of antiviral effects of ivermectin, however, clinical trials are necessary to appraise the potential efficacy of ivermectin in clinical setting.”

    1. I have to call you out for your ignorance in this matter. Just because somebody won a Nobel Prize for a drug that could be modified to treat a serious human disease does not mean that the original drug is efficacious against a different disease. Here: read what the FDA says about it.

      1. It has not been approved for treatment of Covid
      2. It is ineffective against Covid in humans
      3. It is used in humans for worms, lice and skin conditions.
      4. Taking large doses can be dangerous.


      Say “yes”.

      1. Indeed!

        An Oklahoma doctor has said overdoses of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin, which many believe without evidence can prevent or cure Covid-19, are helping cause delays and problems for rural hospitals and ambulance services struggling to cope with the resurgent pandemic.

        Ivermectin is used to kill internal and external parasites in livestock animals and, in smaller doses, in humans.

        “There’s a reason you have to have a doctor to get a prescription for this stuff, because it can be dangerous,” Dr Jason McElyea told KFOR, an Oklahoma TV station.

        “The [emergency rooms] are so backed up that gunshot victims were having hard times getting to facilities where they can get definitive care and be treated.

        “Oklahoma hospitals deluged by ivermectin overdoses, doctor says”:

        1. “The [emergency rooms] are so backed up that gunshot victims were having hard times getting to facilities where they can get definitive care and be treated.”

          This was one of my favorite quotes from the last few days. While we all want to get back to normal, that is life the way it was before COVID, it is a bit sad that for that part of Oklahoma, that means back to people going to the ER every day to get their gunshot wounds treated. Only kind of the good old days.

  6. “I wanted to show a Zyklon-B container (it was used first on Soviet prisoners of war). “GIftgas” means “poison gas””

    I just learned today that Zykon-B was used by the US beginning n the 1920s, where they applied it regularly to the clothing of Mexican immigrants in order to kill lice.The immigrants were also doused with DDT and many had their hair shaved off.

    The Nazis noticed this.

    Timestamp 8:50 ff

    1. Zyklon-B was basically a concoction that gave off hydrogen cyanide (HCN) gas along with an added eye irritant to facilitate leak detection. This is the same gas used in the US, beginning in 1921, to execute criminals in gas chambers. The product/gas was (and is) used as a pesticide. HCN was nothing more than a well-known, simple, cheap, and convenient poisonous gas that could be used for evil purposes. [I am unable to get the video to play].

  7. So you’re in the ER and the doctor says: “Sorry, sir, your bleeding gunshot wound is going to have to wait because we have too many IDIOTS who read on facebook that a de-wormer would work (on the covid they got b/c they won’t vaccinate, again, thanks Facebook) despite the weight of modern medical opinion…. Cool?”
    I’ll say I wouldn’t be so cool with that and I get REAL angry with a bleeding gunshot wound these days.

    And THIS is where we are at.


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