Wednesday: Hili dialogue

October 13, 2021 • 10:45 am

This is a truncated Hili dialogue, minus the historical photos and info, all due to my unfortunate mishap. But we shall have a Hili!

Welcome to the humpy Day of Wednesday, October 13, 2021, and National M&Ms Day. A perennially popular candy, society is divided up into those that like the plain ones, filled with chocolate, or the peanut M&Ms, containing a chocolate-coated peanut.  Invented in 1941, 340 million M&Ms are produced daily.

Why the name? Wikipedia explains:

The two ‘M’s represent the names of Forrest E. Mars Sr., the founder of Newark Company, and Bruce Murrie, son of Hershey Chocolate’s president William F. R. Murrie, who had a 20 percent share in the product. The arrangement allowed the candies to be made with Hershey chocolate, as Hershey had control of the rationed chocolate at the time.

Here’s one version; can you tell which?

It’s also National Yorkshire Pudding Day, National Fossil Day, International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, English Language Day, International Plain Language Awareness Day, Emergency Nurses Day, and Bring Your Teddy Bear to School and Work Day (school and work are same to me, and here I am this morning in my office with Toasty, who lives here).

News of the Day:

Texas is once again the site of political mishigass.

*First, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning any business or “entity” from enacting vaccine mandates for its employees. going smack against Joe Biden’s Presidential order for vaccine mandates (or weekly testing) for all employers with more than 100 employees. These conflicting orders put businesses in a bind, though some, like Southwest Airlines, have stated that the White House order supersedes that of Texas. They’re likely to be right given the “supremacy clause” of the U.S. Constitutuion. Abbott made this weaselly statement:

Abbott said that the vaccine is “safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus,” but he believes it “should remain voluntary and never forced.”

Yet even in his own state, no fewer than 8 separate immunizations are required for children to attend both private and public schools.

*And on the confusing Texas abortion front, where a judge’s ban on the state’s unconstitutional new anti-abortion law lasted but 48 hours before an appeals court reinstated the ban, the government has asked the same appellate court to overturn the law pending rulings at a higher level. I’m not sure why the Fifth Circuit would reverse what it had already ruled earlier, but the drama goes on as pregnant women from Texas flood abortion clinics in adjacent states.

*For years I took a daily aspirin as a preventive for heart attacks, though I have no family history and my heart is healthy. I asked my doctor a few years ago if I should continue, and he said “no.” He was right. The NYT reports that people not already taking aspirin for cardiovascular problems should not start taking it, as the risks of bleeding internally are greater than the benefits to the heart:

Doctors should no longer routinely begin prescribing a daily regimen of low-dose aspirin to most people at high risk of a first heart attack or stroke, according to new draft guidelines by a U.S. panel of experts. The proposed recommendation is based on mounting evidence that the risk of serious side effects far outweighs the benefit of what was once considered a remarkably cheap weapon in the fight against heart disease.

The U.S. panel also plans to retreat from its 2016 recommendation to take baby aspirin for the prevention of colorectal cancer, guidance that was groundbreaking at the time. The panel said more recent data had raised questions about the putative benefits for cancer, and that more research was needed.

*I’m not quite sure why there’s so much interest in the murder of 22-year-old Gabby Petito (probably by her boyfriend, who’s on the lam). Horrible as that murder was, things like this happen every day in America but this case, like the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, seems to dominate the media. At any rate, the coroner ruled today that Petito, who was last seen at the end of August, and whose body was found on Sept. 19 in a national forest in Wyoming, died of strangulation. Her boyfriend with whom she was traveling, Brian Laundrie, 23, has disappeared and under a warrant for debit card fraud, though he’s a “person of interest” in her murder.

*If you want to watch Captain Kirk William Shatner become the oldest person in the world to go into space (he’s 90), he’s scheduled to be one of four passengers on the “Blue Shepard” capsule that launches tomorrow. One of Jeff Bezos’s “Blue Horizon” space tourist ventures, the launch is scheduled for 10 a.m. U.S. Eastern Daylight Time (1400 GMT), and you can watch it below (if there’s no video site when this is posted, check back in an hour or so; I believe live coverage begins at 8:30 EDT):



*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 717,501, an increase of 1,938 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,883,492,  an increase of about 8,800 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on October 13 includes:

Wikipedia‘s caption of the photo below: “Part of the crowd looking at the Sun during the event.” Many are kneeling. 

Wikipedia notes that there are actually two records:

The IAAF recognizes two world records for women, a time of 2:14:04 set by Brigid Kosgei on October 13, 2019, during the Chicago Marathon which was contested by men and women together, and a “Women Only” record of 2:17:01, set by Mary Keitany, on April 23, 2017, at the London Marathon for women only.

I’m not sure why there is a record for a “woman only” race, but it implies that women run faster when they run with men. So what—surely that’s fair, isn’t it?

Notables born on this day include:

Simon is 80 today!

Those who expired on October 13 include:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili comments after having just read the newspaper:

Hili: Global lunacy.
A: It’s nothing new.
In Polish:
Hili: Globalny obłęd.
Ja: Nic nowego.

From Jean:

Matthew said I should read this book, which he found on Twitter. It’s for real; Goodreads summarizes it:

Heao is a member of Academe, a future group of intelligentsia on a planet in the throes of a receding ice age. She and all her people have been conquered by a primitive king whose dreams of destruction haunt him, and may doom all her kind. Heao is intelligent and loving, a devoted helpmate and mother. But Heao is not an ordinary woman. She is a member of a feline race, and her body, along with those of her peers, is covered with fur and ends in a long busy tail. She is a member of the master race of Shadowland, the race that keeps human slaves to do their work for them, the race that stands in powerless awe of the fiery ball of light she sees once a year—Godsfire!

From Stash Krod. Don’t choose #1!

From Masih: Texas pays people to report currently illegal abortions; Iran doesn’t have to pay its citizens to harass women who don’t dress “properly”:

From Barry, who says he can’t improve the caption. Some dude thought Jesus was really getting stabbed!

From Simon, with Rechavi using a common phrase to criticize scientific comparisons:

From the Auschwitz Memorial (all people pictured in these tweets were born on this day of the year):

Tweets from Matthew. This was yesterday morning in Chicago.

Check out this site, which has 14 animal species sitting on capybaras, the world’s chillest mammal.

Who hired the designer here? They’re called invertebrates for a reason!

Matthew told me I’d especially like the second joke on the list. I did! (it’s joke #4.)

38 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. “Emergency Nurses Day” – you certainly celebrated that one in style!

    That “Flight: Select your spot” cartoon brightened up my day.

  2. Ha! My wife and I were in Michael’s recently, and they had a spider skeleton. I pointed it out to my wife saying, “I hate to tell them, but spiders don’t have skeletons.” I didn’t find out if it was also pumpkin spice flavored.

  3. I’m not quite sure why there’s so much interest in the murder of 22-year-old Gabby Petito

    She’s a young, blond, pretty woman. I think people (and the news service’s themselves) have remarked before on how those victims get more coverage than others.

    Now on the plus side, the coverage of her case has led to the finding of bodies in two other (non-young-blond-female) missing persons cases. One an older guy, one an asian woman. The victim’s families and friends rightly asked their local police and media why their cases got shelved while this case gets lots of resources. So I guess if we we have a biased media cycle, it’s good to see how some folks are able to use the bias for a positive result.

    1. I think it has more to do with them both having been social media celebrities with a large following. There are tens of thousands of annual missing person cases involving young, white women. Presumably hundreds or perhaps even thousands of them are blond and pretty. But if they’re nobodies, then they’re nobodies…

      I suspect that there’s also a tendency to dogpile in the media. If one outlet starts covering a story, other outlets tend to cover it too. I’d say that their internet fame led to some media coverage, which led to more media coverage. And the more media coverage there is, the more police have to be seen to be doing something.

      1. I think I’m squarely in the ‘why not both?’ camp. Being young, white & pretty certainly played into her social media following as well.

        I’m listening to an interesting podcast at the moment (Faultline: Dying for a Fight) about the murder of a young anti fascist activist from Portland whose murder is 2 years unsolved. The podcast asks the question why. The mother thinks it is police apathy towards her son – because he was a frequent protestor at demonstrations and pretty loudly thought ACAB. The police they interviewed said it is because they don’t have eye witnesses coming forward. Anywho, kind of tangential, but I thought it was interesting considering you point about the media piling on, and when they do it.

      2. Gabby Petito was part of the “van life” movement in which people document their nomadic lives traveling around the country. Gabby had over a million followers on social media and lots of photos and videos of herself visiting scenic spots most of her followers will never see in person. Ironically, it was a “van life” family that captured Gabby’s van on video which enabled authorities to find her body. When even a minor “celebrity” vanishes, there will be a great deal of interest in the story.

      1. As I understand it, it was intended as a shorthand method for checking whether concert promoters had actually read the band’s contract, thereby ensuring that the technical specifications required for their performances had been met.

        1. i was fairly sure that you knew the real reason. The urban myth says that they were such prima donnas, they demanded the brown M&Ms removed. Most people believe the urban myth, and are unaware of the real reason.

          1. I’ve always wondered if there were any promoters who pled “I read everything, but I had better things to do than bother about picking out brown M&Ms.”

  4. Texas is once again the site of political mishigass.

    Texas governor Greg Abbott has also shut down a suicide prevention hotline for kids in foster care in response criticism from his even more wacko right-wing primary opponent, Don Huffines, that Abbott’s gone soft on LGBT issues.

    Can anyone remember the last time a Republican officeholder faced a primary challenge from a more moderate candidate?

    Re the Texas abortion law: to allow the abrogation of a constitutionally guaranteed right through the expedient of outsourcing enforcement of that abrogation to vigilantes is to invite constitutional chaos.

    1. Another guy running against Abbott is so crazy he got covid, had to go into the hospital and was still running his mouth about not making the vaccine mandatory. Got to have my freedom here in the ICU.

    2. I haven’t heard anyone mention this, but if you try to claim the $10k bounty, won’t your identity become public knowledge? And wouldn’t that person then be subject to an incredible amount of harassment? Would the $10k really be worth it ?

      1. It’s a minimum of $10k.

        I don’t think anyone ought to be “harassed,” but I should hope the bounty hunter would be exposed to public disapprobation. Then again, it’s Texas, Jake.

    3. Ken, surely the whole think is legally garbage, isn’t it? How does a third party have standing to sue either the doctor or the woman? How are they involved in any way?

    4. Another consideration: In Texas, if you obtain a judgment against an individual, you may NOT garnish wages, and you may NOT confiscate personal property to satisfy the judgment. All you may do is file a document with the court (can’t remember what it is called) which would prevent the person against whom you obtained the judgment from closing on real estate.

      So, given this, why would anybody go to the trouble of suing an individual? You will not collect any money after the verdict, and perhaps you’ll collect something in the future, when the person tries to close on real estate, but the odds are you just sued a permanent apartment dweller.

    5. Republicans are getting more extreme every election cycle.
      Huge numbers of people believe the 2020 election was stolen.
      The most extreme groups of R supporters appear to be growing and getting more extreme, more and more are openly calling for ‘civil war’ including preachers.
      Bizarre conspiracy theories are going mainstream in the party.

      Trump is probably going to run. Win or lose it will be a disaster. If he loses he will stoke his supporters into a rage. If he wins I can see him and his cronies using federal, state and local justice systems to destroy the left and any opposition. We know Trump already tried to do this.

      Meanwhile many Democrat supporters seem to not realize the danger Republicans are as Republicans move to consolidate power in state election systems and get rid of people who weren’t loyal to Trump. There is still a lot of people who Both Sides it (including the press) and are apathetic to voting except when facing someone like Trump. They ignore local elections and midterms which is one of the reasons why Republicans hold so many levers of power.

      Some people say it’s only a few extremists that are really violent but it’s more than just a few and it only takes a few to really screw up a complex system, especially one that is already stressed.

      I see no way of altering Republicans descent into madness.

  5. Why women-only? Shortest answer is that it’s “the roolz”. There are roolz all over athletics — in elite t&f many events have “tail-wind” rules — no record for short dashes, leaps, throws if there’s more than a stated maximum wind advantage. Cycling is notorious for such roolz, but still allows reduction of aerodynamic drag by going to high-altitude velodroms. Back to the marathon there’s a logic in the women-only field as well — elite marathonists run fast enough to get a very significant aerodynamic advantage from running in a group, or behind one or more fore-runners [additionally the fore-runners are hired to keep a pre-determined pace for the favored elite runner]. BTW, a well-known gravel bike race recently had a similar strategy of men helping a favored female participant. Gravel bike races were well known for a lack of roolz, and so a lot of unresolved ad-hominem that wouldn’t occur if all parties agreed beforehand..

    It’s pretty evident from the disparity between mens and womens marathon records that there are hundreds or thousands of near-elite male runners who are faster than the women’s record holder. So, of course, the roolz of marathoning might say “allow any pacers as long as no one is carrying the single woman in the field”. But they don’t, and I think that’s quite reasonable. Without roolz, surely some female [or male] runner might run the marathon drafting behind, say, a group of trained zebras [Mares, of course for the ladies, it’s a female-only marathon]. I’d guess that elite womens and mens records would fall in such ‘draft animal’ schemes.

    1. Two thoughts about the Chicago Marathon (in separate posts because WordPress doesn’t like more than one link per comment): They should clearly have a separate race for drinkers:

      In the early years, runners had their own regimens: John Lindquist from Brooklyn took a commanding lead in 1907 while doing whiskey shots, but by mile 23, he was apparently falling asleep; while, the next year, the French-born Chicagoan Albert Corey had more success sipping champagne.

    2. More seriously, the reason for a separate women’s marathon seems to be down to International Association of Athletics Federation rules that don’t allow records to be set by women if there are male pacers:

      Another problem with pacers is that they introduce an unnecessary element of ambiguity. Nowhere is this more apparent than in debates about the women’s world record in the marathon. In London, in 2003, Paula Radcliffe ran an astounding 2:15:25, still the fastest time ever run by a woman in the event. In 2011, however, the International Association of Athletics Federations decreed that a woman couldn’t set an official marathon world record if she was working with male pacers. (Among other things, this decision seems like a blatant acknowledgement of how much of a benefit pacers provide.) Since Radcliffe had male pacers at her side for almost the entire race in 2003, her record was retroactively revoked in 2011. The decision felt especially cruel since, as Outside contributor Peter Vigneron noted at the time, Radcliffe was just following the rules.I

      Unsurprisingly, the IAAF received considerable backlash for their decision, with the regrettable consequence that we now have two separate marathon world records for women: one for a “mixed gender” race and one for a “women only” race. In my opinion, it would make far more sense if both women and men had separate categories for “assisted” (i.e. paced) and “unassisted” records. Although this approach, I admit, has problems of its own, since in theory there can always be unofficial pacers—i.e. athletes who are officially taking part in the race, but have secret agreements to rabbit for someone else. There are rumors that Emmanuel Bett did this for Galen Rupp last year in Chicago. This is one can of worms that I’ll leave closed for now. Better yet, try to avoid the problem altogether and discourage races from enlisting official pacers.

      1. Jez: I agree that pacers [either sex, or zebras for that matter] detract from the essence of running. Drafting does arise naturally in a competitive lead group, and there you get spectacle [eg, the Commonwealth Games four-minute mile] as well as records.

        Back in my comfort zone, cycling, da roolz commonly prohibit cooperation between different fields sharing a course, with the potential for lapping. EG, a cat-4 beginner jumping onto a passing cat-2 field to separate from their competitors.

  6. In addition to the “Orphaned Punchline,” there’s also the “Orphaned Set-up.” When I was a kid, characters on TV shows would start to tell a joke, “There was a traveling salesman who stops at a farmhouse . . .” and the laugh track would go wild. I would ask “what’s the rest of the joke?” My parents said that there was no actual joke; it was just a way of indicating that the character was telling a dirty joke. I wondered.

    1. Guy walks into a bar.

      Another patron yells, “16!”

      The house laughs.

      A third patron yells, “63!”

      The house laughs.

      The first guy leans to the bartender and says, “what’s so funny about those numbers?”

      BT: “We tell a lot joke many times. We just save time by numbering them.”


      Fourth patron yells “137!”

      The whole house is rolling in the aisles for a minute.

      First guy, “Why did they laugh so hard about that one?”

      BT: *laughing* ‘new joke!” *laughing*

  7. How about an Orphaned Orphaned Punchline?

    I’m thinking of the joke with the punchline that begins, “I didn’t say she was crazy, Doc, I said…”

    Also, punchlines from the movie “Airplane” or “The Princess Bride” can just appear in conversation and be meaningful. Try saying “Surely, you must be joking” in a group, for example…

  8. Those are peanut M&Ms. It’s easy to tell the two types apart. The peanut types look like little footballs. The plain-chocolate types look more like inflated disks.

  9. Seeing the cover of Godsfire made me flash back to my early days as a bookseller when Boris Vallejo practically owned the fantasy illustration field.

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