Thursday: Hili dialogue

October 14, 2021 • 6:30 am

Welcome to the Thursday, October 14, 2021: National Dessert Day. Today’s Hili will be truncated because of my misfortune yesterday, which took up a lot of time (I prepare most of the Hili post the day before) and also makes it hard for me to type. Bear with me! The good news is that I am not in any pain.

News of the Day:

*This is almost unbelievable. Some guy killed five people and injured two in Kongsberg, a town outside Oslo, using a BOW AND ARROWS. Bows and arrows in NORWAY, for crying out loud! Some sources intimate that he may have used other weapons as well, but CNN says bow and arrows. The suspect is in custody, but a motive for the attack has not yet been determined (terrorism has been mentioned). Reuters notes that:

The death toll was the worst of any attack in Norway since 2011, when far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, most of them teenagers at a youth camp

*If you have access to the NYT online, do watch the 17-minute video, “My toxic Afghan love story“, a bittersweet video diary of Najlla Habibyar’s feelings for a country where (and from where) she’s been on the run much of her life, and is on the run now from the Taliban. (She worked with Americans and has a green card, but couldn’t get out.)

*Gail Collins, also at the NYT, has some news about new scams that robocallers are pulling (now it’s robotexts as well), how you should respond, and why Congress isn’t doing anything.  How many warning about the expiration of your car’s warranty have you gotten this week? (My car is 21 years old so I think they have some bad information.)

*Meteorite news: Ruth Hamilton in British Columbia says she was sleeping when her dog’s barking woke her up, she sat up, and a meteorite fragment came crashing through her roof and ceiling, landing on the pillow where she had just been resting.  (h/t Matthew). From the CBC:

A charcoal-grey chunk of rock roughly the size of a melon had plummeted from space, tearing through Hamilton’s roof before coming to rest on her floral pillowcase, inches from where her head had been moments earlier.

“I was shaking like a leaf,” said Hamilton. “You’re sound asleep, safe, you think, in your bed, and you can get taken out by a meteorite, apparently.”

Apparently! I’m glad she was okay, but that last sentence is pretty funny. Here’s a photo from the CBC article of the hole in her ceiling and the nefarious meterorite:

I have one question, though: Why was the dog barking? Did it hear the meteorite approaching? That seems weird.

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 719,725, an increase of 1,887 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,891,281, 4,883,492,  an increase of about 7,700 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on October 14 includes:

  • 1322 – Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeats King Edward II of England at the Battle of Old Byland, forcing Edward to accept Scotland’s independence.
  • 1586 – Mary, Queen of Scots, goes on trial for conspiracy against Queen Elizabeth I of England
  • 1908 – The Chicago Cubs defeat the Detroit Tigers, 2–0, clinching the 1908 World Series; this would be their last until winning the 2016 World Series.
  • 1947 – Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to exceed the speed of sound.
  • 1962 – The Cuban Missile Crisis begins when an American reconnaissance aircraft takes photographs of Soviet ballistic missiles being installed in Cuba.

Here’s one of those photos from a U-2 showing “Soviet nuclear missiles, their transports and tents for fueling and maintenance.” Can you see the missiles? I remember when I was young and this happened when my dad was in the Army. He called the family together and said that he may have to help with this issue,” and I truly thought we were going to have a nuclear war.

  • 1964 – Martin Luther King Jr. receives the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence.

He well deserved it! Here he is with his medal:

As the video below shows, a man (the hated Bartman) deflected a ball about to be caught by Cubs outfielder Moisés Alou. This would have been legal had Bartman not reached over the railing to get the ball, and it’s unclear if he did. Regardless, the Cubs (and Chicago) held Bartman responsible for setting up the Cubs’ loss of the game and then of what would have been their first National League pennant since 1945. Bartman became the Satan of Chicago, forever demonized. The ball was recovered, sold for $113,000, and blown to bits.

Such is my town

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1890 – Dwight D. Eisenhower, American general and politician, 34th President of the United States (d. 1969)
  • 1894 – E. E. Cummings, American poet and playwright (d. 1962)
  • 1918 – Thelma Coyne Long, Australian tennis player and captain (d. 2015)

I don’t know if we’re related, but I will announce the births and deaths of notable Coynes just in case. Here she is. Does she look like me?

Those who popped their corks on October 14 include:

About Rommel’s death: The Nazis found out that their great general had actually conspired to depose Hitler, and two generals drove to his home offering him a choice between suicide (in which case the public would be told he died of the aftereffect of wounds and his family taken care of), or a public trial, in which case his family would be disgraced, incarcerated and he’d be executed. Rommel opted for suicide, and an hour after being accosted, he had said goodbye to his family and was dead from taking a proffered cyanide capsule. He was given an elaborate state funeral. Here’s a 16-minute documentary of the downfall of Rommel.

  • 1959 – Errol Flynn, Australian-American actor, singer, and producer (b. 1909)

The great womanizer (he may have been the one for which the phrase “in like Flynn” was coined) died at only 50 of a heart attack. Here he is with Bette Davis in The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)

  • 1977 – Bing Crosby, American singer-songwriter and actor (b. 1903)
  • 1990 – Leonard Bernstein, American pianist, composer, and conductor (b. 1918)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili’s kvetching about her food.

A: Is it tasty?
Hili: Yes, but I would prefer a piece of raw beef.
Ja: Smaczne to jedzenie?
Hili: Tak, ale wolałabym kawałek surowej wołowiny.
Here’s a joke from a friend of mine: “What do Winnie the Pooh and Alexander the Great have in common?”  Answer at the bottom of the post. 

From Stash Krod:

From David:

From Not Another Science Cat Page:

Titania is prescient again—twice. To bring yourself up to speed on the Othello kerfuffle, I recommend this column by Cathy Young:

From Luana, who wants to know if Biden really said these things. Did he?

From Ken, who notes, “Texas governor Greg Abbott answering a question about banning the morning-after pill and birth control to curb women’s ‘incentives to be promiscuous'”: I knew these chowderheads hate the idea of women having sexual desires.

Tweets from Matthew. Have a gander at these mating big-headed flies:

Assassin bug about to go after a carpenter bee:

Mochi the feral kitten learns to accept love:

I’m inbred!

Answer to the joke: They both have the same middle name.

37 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. Regardless, the Cubs (and Chicago) held Bartman responsible for setting up the Cubs’ loss of the game and then of what would have been their first National League pennant since 1945

    I would say from my extensive research (which was reading the Wikipedia article) that this is not entirely true. This is the Cubs’ press release after the incident:

    The Chicago Cubs would like to thank our fans for their tremendous outpouring of support this year. We are very grateful.

    We would also like to remind everyone that games are decided by what happens on the playing field—not in the stands. It is inaccurate and unfair to suggest that an individual fan is responsible for the events that transpired in Game 6. He did what every fan who comes to the ballpark tries to do—catch a foul ball in the stands. That’s one of the things that makes baseball the special sport that it is.

    This was an exciting season and we’re looking forward to working towards an extended run of October baseball at Wrigley Field.

    More defending of Bartman by Cubs players and staff here:

    Furthermore, Bartman’s conduct after the incident seems to have been beyond reproach. He refused to take any kind of financial reward despite several lucrative offers.

    1. The Cubs press release is nonsense. If the fielder had been allowed to catch the ball, it would have been an out, regardless of his glove hanging over the railing. It’s part of the playing field according to the rules. Not sure if this is part of the official rules, ground rules, or just a convention but we’ve seen it many times and it has always counted as an out.

      1. The rest release doesn’t say anything about whether the catch would have counted or not. But that’s not really important: the press release (and other statements at the link) tells us that the Cubs did not hold Bartman responsible for the loss of the game.

        1. “We would also like to remind everyone that games are decided by what happens on the playing field—not in the stands.”

          Surely that implies that the guy in the stands couldn’t decide the game when clearly it did. That it also says they don’t blame Bartman is the acceptable part of the release, IMHO. I’m simply objecting them trying to pretend it didn’t matter to the outcome of the game. They should have just said that it is all part of baseball. Of course, that wouldn’t have let Bartman off the hook in the minds of many of the fans.

    1. The BBC is reporting that as fact.

      They are also reporting that it is thought to be an act of terrorism, but they also don’t know the motive yet. This seems somewhat bizarre to me.

  2. I was 10 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and at its peak I went to bed not knowing if I would wake up.

    That’s part of my lived experience.

    1. My brother was an Air Force pilot stationed in the southeast at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. He told his wife that if the sirens went off, he would probably never see her again and to put the kids in the car and start driving towards Texas.

    2. I was nine at the time, and I recall the whole family gathering around the black & white console tv to watch JFK address the nation. There was an air station in the region and, back in those days, military jets would regularly fly over. When they broke the sound barrier, they’d give off great big sonic booms that would rattle the picture window and give everyone a start, like a clap of thunder out of the blue.

      As we were gathered around the tv waiting for JFK, a couple jets flew over and let off a pair of sonic booms. I remember my dad looking toward the sky, pretending they were Russians, and saying, “guys, if you’re gonna drop the big one, at least wait until we hear what the president has to say.”

      The Cuban Missile Crisis is the first time I recall ever hearing the word “blockade” (which is what everyone called what JFK imposed around Cuba, although the Kennedy administration itself preferred the less bellicose “quarantine”).

      1. Perhaps this is why George Lucas used the word “blockade” in Star Wars in 1977 – it would have reflected real life experience of the audience, or his own. … or might have been the 1980 release…

        The word really stands out in the scene.

    1. I did Othello as a set text at school back in the early 1980’s. As part of our studies we saw several versions of the play. I don’t think they showed us the Olivier version but they definitely showed us Orson Wells’ version. I remember having trouble with the black make up because it seemed to emphasise the fact that Wells was white. It jarred my suspension of disbelief.

      1. I seem to recall that the Scottish accent Welles assumed when he played Macbeth seemed to emphasize the fact that he wasn’t Scottish. But that’s a different kind of problem, and I may be misremembering. It’s been a long time.

        1. The entire cast you mean.

          Welles had to re-record the dialogue using the actors’ natural accents before the distributors would release the film.

          I think the film was re-released with the original dialogue some time later.

  3. [begin excerpt]
    When I first heard his name, I said, just as you are going to say, “But I thought he was a boy?”
    “So did I.”
    “Then you can’t call him Winnie?”
    “I don’t.”
    “But you said—”
    “He’s Winnie-ther-Pooh. Don’t you know what ‘ther’ means?”
    “Ah, yes, now I do” I said quickly ; and I hope you do to, because it is all the explanation you are going to get.
    [end excerpt]

    – from Winnie-the-Pooh, Chapter 1, p.3, A.A.Milne

    … I still don’t understand it.

    1. I think “ther” is just a way of stressing the “the” (all capitals might have been less confusing). The baffled narrator then just goes along with the kid’s weird logic. Well, at least that’s my (uninformed, as usual) take.

      In real life, Christopher Robin renamed Edward, his bear, with “Winnie” coming from a black bear at London Zoo [ ] and “Pooh” from the name the family had given to a swan that they had seen on holiday.

      1. “But his arms were so stiff from holding on to the
        string of the balloon all that time that they stayed up straight in the air for more than a week, and whenever a fly came and settled on his nose he had to blow it off. And I think — but I am not sure —that *that* is why he was always called Pooh.”

        Op. cit., p. 20

  4. using a BOW AND ARROWS. Bows and arrows in NORWAY, for crying out loud!

    The killer was Danish, aged 37, and as Randall says, a recent convert to Islam. Very sad and bad news. Norway has only about 1/60th the population of the U.S., so 5 murders is per capita quite a big killing for them.

    How many warning about the expiration of your car’s warranty have you gotten this week?

    I get probably 1-2 a day. They don’t bother me anywhere near as much as the scam emails though (‘your netflix/bank/paypal account has been locked….”), though. That’s because I don’t worry much about people falling for the car warranty phone calls; I *do* worry about people falling for those emails and giving away account information that could be used to empty their accounts.

    I have one question, though: Why was the dog barking? Did it hear the meteorite approaching? That seems weird.

    As long as the meteorite was traveling slower than the speed of sound, then it’s possible it was making some noise out of human hearing range that dogs could hear but we couldn’t. Of course it’s also possible the person is engaging in a bit of post-hoc selective remembering. I guess one way to check if this was real is to ask if any of the neighbor’s animals freaked out at around the same time, because if there really was some very low- or high- pitched sound accompanying/preceeding the meteorite, it probably should’ve been heard by all the animals in the area (think fire cracker on the 4th).

  5. My cell carrier has a blocking system to prevent calls deemed spam or malicious from getting through. I get a display of the numbers and I can report if they are valid so they aren’t blocked in the future.

    Before this, on fake warranty calls I would ring in to an operator and ask for the year make and model, which they should have, since they called me.


  6. I wouldn’t be surprised if the d*g who’s barking saved a woman from a meteor strike was reacting to bits of debris from the same event landing on the house just before the rock hit. What we see as a meteor is really (usually) a shower of debris from the space junk disintegrating as it falls. So the poor d*g was probably frightened by the sound of the debris preceding the rock hitting the house.

  7. I would have thought that a meteorite landing on a bed might be hot enough to more than slightly singe the sheets! Something not quite right about that picture IMO.
    Also looks like it came in vertically, which is distinctly odd.
    I’d actually have thought it might go straight through the bed and floor too….

    There seems to be a sniff test failure, or am I just cynical?

    1. I’m with you on that – good call

      I recall other debunking of meteorite claims – most I think are in a narrow angular approach for some reason…

    2. Right. What makes her so sure it’s a meteorite? Could it just be a hunk of ordinary rock that hit her house for some unknown reason? (which granted would be unusual, but much less so than a meteorite strike).

    3. Sounds plausible to me. No way to tell if it came in vertically or not, at least not from the picture. Being on the smaller side much of its velocity would be scrubbed off by the time it approached the ground. It then hit the roof of her house and went through the roofing, plywood roof decking, probably insulation and finally the gypsum board on the ceiling, before hitting her pillow. As for heat, there are lots of factors, but the majority of the heat is in the air being compressed in front of the object and in material ablated away from the surface of the meteorite. Also, amino acids have been found in meteorites. Couldn’t have gotten too hot.

      A similar incident happened decades ago, 1954 in Alabama, except the meteorite hit a woman while she was sitting on her couch. The incident was pretty well verified. The meteorite that struck the women was determined to be part of a larger meteorite which was found a few miles away.

      1. [ simply joining the discussion – not necessarily a direct reply to darelle – which is all-caps on the reply interface ]

        I recall a discussion here about asteroids hitting the earth, volcanism in what is now India, and extinction of dinosaurs.

        In that discussion, as I recall, Tjörborn Larsson (apologies if mispelled, I did not look it up ) offered argument for the angle of incidence of, I think, asteroids. It was very interesting.

        Perhaps meteors require distinctions to be made – so whatever I learned in that discussion needs some … adjustments…

  8. Interesting clip of Abbot. Who appears to think the morning after pill is abortifacient (which it is most certainly not). Besides that, he falters on the BC question, probably because he realizes how unpopular it would be to say that particular quiet part out loud. My favorite legal podcast just did a deep dive on what could have to Connecticut v. Griswold with the current court. We are now at the point where it is not implausible that BC access will be restricted and abortion outlawed.

  9. “Why was the dog barking? Did it hear the meteorite approaching? That seems weird.”

    Sonic boom, perhaps. As it decelerated, the sound would overtake and precede the object to its destination.

    “Also looks like it came in vertically, which is distinctly odd.”
    Ballistics and drag. Throw a rock horizontally off of a high bridge. It will curve down towards vertical.

    “So the poor d*g was probably frightened by the sound of the debris preceding the rock hitting the house.”
    I think the smaller debris would not have as much horizontal travel in the atmosphere. If the object broke up while traveling straight down, there is still no good reason for the smaller bits to land first, unless they were more dense.

    Or, I could be completely wrong.

    1. I was going to suggest the sonic boom theory also but I thought better of it before hitting Send. Even if the meteor went subsonic just prior to hitting the ground, I doubt the sonic boom would arrive much before the meteor itself. Certainly, the delay wouldn’t be long enough for the dog to hear it, start barking, then the lady hear it and raise herself off the pillow. Even if she heard the sonic boom itself, I doubt she would have time.

      I believe the “debris preceding the rock” theory is not about a single meteor breaking up in the atmosphere but a group of meteors travelling together, some of which arrive nearby before the one that comes through the roof.

      1. Yes, I was sort of engaging in conjecture. I guess I could get out a calculator and do the math, but it would not be a simple equation. Especially without knowing the mass or Cd of the abject.
        Also, I had recently read some witness reports from the 2003 Columbia disaster, where some people heard the sonic boom or explosion, and had time to go outside before they started to see falling debris.
        But other similar objects whistling down to earth or striking nearby could certainly be a reasonable explanation.

  10. The website (American Meteor Society) has an article on this fireball/meteorite fall, including a spectacular photo of the fireball. Also a faq regarding fireballs in general, where answers to many of the questions and misgivings folks have expressed can be found. Note: the reference to “golden-meteorite” refers to the town of Golden BC where the event occurred, (sadly) not its composition.

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