Friday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

September 24, 2021 • 6:30 am

Greetings from Chicago (I’m back!) on Friday, September 24, 2021: National Cherries Jubilee Day! (Their exclamation mark.) Here’s Wikipedia’s definition and photo:

Cherries jubilee is a dessert dish made with cherries and liqueur (typically kirschwasser), which is subsequently flambéed, and commonly served as a sauce over vanilla ice cream.

It doesn’t say anything about cake

Sounds good to me, but I’ve never had it. It’s also German Butterbrot Day, Hug a Vegetarian Day, Kiss Day (again verboten this year), National Horchata Day (I love the stuff), Native American Day, Save the Koaka Day, and National Bluebird of Happiness Day, which always reminds me of this Gary Larson cartoon:

News of the Day:

Once again there’s a paucity of news that I know about. There’s a big blow-up about the treatment of Haitian refugees trying to get into the U.S., with the result that Daniel Foote, the senior American diplomat overseeing Haiti policy, has resigned in anger:

A senior American diplomat who oversees Haiti policy has resigned, two U.S. officials said, submitting a letter to the State Department that excoriated the Biden administration’s “inhumane, counterproductive decision” to send Haitian migrants back to a country that has been wracked this summer by a deadly earthquake and political turmoil.

*The Washington Post reports a sex abuse case at the University of Michigan that may be the largest one in U.S. history. Robert E. Anderson, a deceased doctor at the University has already been accused by more than 950 people (mostly men and boys) of molesting them, and not just at the University. He never faced any sanctions while he was alive.

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 684,488, an increase of 2,036 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,743,487, an increase of about 9,100 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on September 24 includes:

  • 787 – Second Council of Nicaea: The council assembles at the church of Hagia Sophia.
  • 1789 – The United States Congress passes the Judiciary Act, creating the office of the Attorney General and federal judiciary system and ordering the composition of the Supreme Court.
  • 1890 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially renounces polygamy.

Yes, but of course many sects of Mormonism remain polygamous. Here’s a photo from

  • 1906 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt proclaims Devils Tower in Wyoming as the nation’s first National Monument.
  • 1929 – Jimmy Doolittle performs the first flight without a window, proving that full instrument flying from take off to landing is possible.

Here’s Doolittle in his “blind flight” plane. The site Pioneers of Flight says this:

Doolittle made the first “blind flight” on September 24, 1929. He took off in the Guggenheim Fund’s Consolidated NY-2, flew a set course, and landed while under a fabric hood and unable to see outside the airplane. He relied entirely on a directional gyro, artificial horizon, sensitive altimeter, and radio navigation.

  • 1950 – The eastern United States is covered by a thick haze from the Chinchaga fire in western Canada.
  • 1975 – Southwest Face expedition members become the first persons to reach the summit of Mount Everest by any of its faces, instead of using a ridge route.

Here’s the daunting Southwest Face and the route they took up it. Three UK climbers and a Sherpa made the summit:

  • 2015 – At least 1,100 people are killed and another 934 wounded after a stampede during the Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1717 – Horace Walpole, English historian, author, and politician (d. 1797)
  • 1880 – Sarah Knauss, American super-centenarian, oldest verified American person ever (d. 1999)

She lived to be 119 years old, second only to the world’s oldest verified person, Jeanne Calment of France, who lived to be 122½ years (that age, however, is controversial! Here is Knauss at 98 or 99 years old:

Here’s the only photograph of Blind Lemon. He died of a heart attack at just 39:

And his version of “Black Snake Moan”:

Scott, Zelda, and their daughter Scottie in a Christmas photo from Paris. Scott couldn’t spell worth a damn (that’s what his editor was for), but he sure could write.

  • 1905 – Severo Ochoa, Spanish–American physician and biochemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1993)
  • 1923 – Fats Navarro, American trumpet player and composer (d. 1950)

Those who Went West on September 24 include:

  • 768 – Pepin the Short, Frankish king (b. 714)
  • 1541 – Paracelsus, German-Swiss physician, botanist, and chemist (b. 1493)
  • 1945 – Hans Geiger, German physicist and academic, co-invented the Geiger counter (b. 1882)

Geiger was a scary-looking dude:

  • 1991 – Dr. Seuss, American children’s book writer, poet, and illustrator (b. 1904)


  • 1994 – Barry Bishop, American mountaineer, photographer, and scholar (b. 1932)

Bishop, who made the summit as one of five successful climbers on the 1963 American expedition to Everest, had to overnight without shelter at high altitude and lost all his toes and the tip of one finger. He continued to climb, though, but was killed in an auto accident in 1994. Here he is with his frostbitten and soon-to-be-amputated toes after descending the mountain:

  • 2004 – Françoise Sagan, French author and screenwriter (b. 1935)
  • 2016 – Buckwheat Zydeco, American accordionist and bandleader (b. 1947)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has given up pondering the world and is now thinking about math:

A: Are you still in a Manichean mood?
Hili: No, I’m now plagued by Zeno’s paradoxes.
In Polish:
Ja: Nadal jesteś w nastrojach manichejskich?
Hili: Nie, teraz dręczą mnie paradoksy Zenona z Elei.

And in nearby Wloclawek, Mietek is overwhelmed, as school has started:

Mietek: And again I have plenty of subjects to grasp.

In Polish: I znów mam dużo tematów do ogarnięcia.

From Merilee. I, too, am a fan of the Oxford comma.

A heartwarmer from Bruce:

From Jesus of the Day:

From Simon: Titania knocked it out of the park with this tweet:

From Barry. I don’t know the species of bird, but the staff is teaching it to perch:

From Ginger K., showing that it takes only one anonymous complaint:

Tweet from the Auschwitz Memorial. This poor soul looks like he had a very rough ride in the cattle car. He lasted a week after arrival.

Tweets from Matthew, who told me, when I asked whether that outfit was painted on the bird, “No the bird is real. You can see it is safe – it is wearing a harness that is connected by a wire to the inside of the car so it can’t fly off. It has very strong talons!”

Matthew tweeted this photo of one of his cats, Ollie, adding a note, “Now he doesn’t look psychotic there, does he?” Ollie is indeed psychotic: he laid open my nose with a deft swipe of his claws and I bled like a stuck pig. Ollie just “presents well,” as the therapists say.

Matthew says about this one: “Nothing to wait for; just watch.” But do watch the whole thing. It’s funny when the goats jump down.

The eruption in the Canaries is relentless, and nothing can stop the lava. Google translation: “The lava tongue of the eruptive process of La Palma devastates everything in its path on its way to the sea.”

33 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

  1. Jimmy Doolittle led the first bombing raid on Tokyo, and the first on Rome, but was denied permission to lead the first US raid on Berlin because he was by that time privy to the information about the breaking of German codes (commonly known as Ultra). The risk of his capture was considered too great. He was also one of the first people in the US to get a doctorate in aeronautical engineering.

  2. “The lava tongue of the eruptive process of La Palma devastates everything in its path on its way to the sea.”

    Gravity rules, OK?

    1. I notice the ava flow is excessively slow, not nearly as scarely as a ‘ nuée ardente’ a pyroclastic flow running at up to 360 km/ hr

      1. Yeah, 2 quite different things. The lava flow shown in the video is lava flowing along the ground like water. The surface is solidifying as it goes and the lava can vary quite a bit in viscosity depending on its make-up.

        Pyroclastic flows are quite different, no lava. It’s a churning mass of hot gasses and volcanic matter ranging in size from dust to boulders. That’s why it can move so fast compared to a lava flow. It’s the ground flow that moves so fast. It’s like an air hockey puck falling down a slope.

        Looking at Wikipedia, a USGS source says pyroclastic flows can reach up to 700 kph!

        During the 1902 eruption of Mount Pelée on the island of Martinique a pyroclastic flow wiped out the city, with temperatures in the cloud estimated at 1,075 C. The flow reached the city in under 1 minute and engulfed the entire city of 21 km^2. Estimated death toll was 29,000 – 30,000 people.

        Pompeii is another example of a pyroclastic flow. Very scary!

        1. Yes, that was precicely my point about pyroclastic flows, way more scary and dangerous than lava flows.
          Something not often addressed, but at least as dangerous as pyroclastic flows are mud slides that occur after a volcanic eruption and heavy rains.

          1. Where I live, previous eruptions and lahars have swept through and taken out huge swaths of land. Obviously, it’ll blow again someday, we just don’t know when. I usually go the the county’s Disaster Preparedness Expo, where I get to learn all of the terrifying ways the land where I live could kill me. Fun times!

  3. Scott [Fitzgerald] couldn’t spell worth a damn (that’s what his editor was for), but he sure could write.

    Okay, so once and for all: that “orgastic” in the penultimate paragraph of Gatsby‘s famous final page — Fitzgerald’s use of an obscure word or a misspelling of the more common “orgiastic” that Maxwell Perkins let slide?

    I’ve heard that one argued both ways by publishing mavens.

  4. What are the odds that the lady in the checkout line with the rope, the duct tape, and the machete is driving a white panel van?

  5. “1950 – The eastern United States is covered by a thick haze from the Chinchaga fire in western Canada.”

    Two days later, the smoke had crossed the Atlantic, and the Sun turned blue in Scotland due to the unusual light-scattering properties of the smoke particles. A young astronomer named Robert Wilson (later a distinguished professor of astronomy at University College London) had the presence of mind to make spectroscopic observations of the blue Sun at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh. Comparing them with observations of a “normal” Sun, he was able to demonstrate that the red and orange components of the sunlight on 26 September were suppressed, giving the blue colour. That night, he recorded, the Moon was also distinctly blue in hue.

    He wrote up his observations, and an explanation of the phenomenon, in Monthly Notices of the RAS, a leading astronomy journal:

    The paper is open-access.

  6. The most glaring omission of the Oxford comma I know of comes from the (perhaps apocryphal) book dedication: “For my parents, God and Ayn Rand.”

    Must’ve been one hell of an interesting Annunciation that the Archangel Gabriel made to the author’s mom. 🙂

  7. Are all Oxford comma dissers unaware of the colon? The writer would use it if that really were the intended meaning.

    Actually, I can see the point sometimes, but usually its a badly constructed list:
    “dedicated to ‘a set of two people, one person and another person’ ” is just bad English and easily fixed. For example use ‘as well as’ in place of the only comma to break the symmetry, and probably reduce the tedium of the writing. Or, in this case, ‘my mum, my dad, God and Ayn Rand’.

    1. In a reply re writing, I shouldn’t use “its” for what should have been an it’s. Ugh! Murphy had his sights on me, not you.

  8. That photo of the parent’s listening to the heart of their dead son was intense. That should win some kind of award imo.

    Also, today is the 30th Anniversary release of Nirvana’s Nevermind. Whether you like them or not (I like) they changed and influenced the art of music and created their own trajectory. Hard to do…an excellent drummer helps.

      1. Indeed, and after years of saying how great it was to be the Nevermind baby, too!

        It is a weird thing to get my head around, being part of such a culturally iconic image. But it’s always been a positive thing and opened doors for me. I’m 23 now and an artist, and this story gave me an opportunity to work with Shepard Fairey for five years, which was an awesome experience. He is a huge music connoisseur: when he heard I was the Nirvana baby, he thought that was really cool.

        It helps with girls, too. Sometimes girls chat me up about it more than the other way around. I don’t tell them it’s me, and my friends boast about it more than I do. I would never go up to anyone wearing a Nirvana T-shirt and say, “Hey, that’s me”, but I was once recognised on a bridge in Venice when I was there for the Biennale. An Italian guy stopped me and said, “You’re the Nirvana baby!” which I thought was the craziest thing. I don’t know how anyone would recognise me.

        I might have one of the most famous penises in the music industry, but no one would ever know that to look at me. Sooner or later, I want to create a print of a real-deal re-enactment shot, completely naked. Why not? I think it would be fun.

      2. Yeah, I don’t think he’ll get anywhere with that suit. Interesting to read what Jez cited. Seems like a conflicted person who let greed get the better of him.

        1. The claim appears frivolous on its face to me, in that it doesn’t meet any of the three-prongs of the test for obscenity established by SCOTUS’s decision in Miller v. California — its primary appeal isn’t to prurient interests; it doesn’t depict sexual conduct in a patently offensive manner; and it’s not without serious artistic value.

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