Tuesday: Hili dialogue

November 2, 2021 • 6:30 am

Welcome to Tuesday, November 2, 2021: National Deviled Egg Day. I can’t resist putting up this meme about the recipe:

It’s also Cookie Monster Day, All Souls’ Day, Election Day (watch Virginia closely), Plan Your Epitaph DayCoronation of Haile Selassie (for Rastafarians), The second day of Day of the Dead, or El Dia de los Muertos celebration (in Mexico), and International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.

Google has an animated gif honoring the Day of the Dead (click on gif below), C|Net has an explanation of the drawing:

News of the Day:

*Joe Manchin still won’t sign onto the Big Biden Spending Bill, even though it’s been cut from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion. Biden said last week that the new bill would be supported by every Democratic Senator, but he may have been premature:

“I’m open to supporting a final bill that helps move our country forward,” [Manchin] said at an afternoon press conference. “But I’m equally open to voting against a bill that hurts our country.”

As for Kyrsten Sinema, it’s crickets as usual.

*Although Texas’s draconian abortion law was designed to be immune to challenges in federal court, Supreme Court Justices, hearing the case yesterday, said that abortion providers might indeed be able to challenge the law’s constitutionality:

That would represent an important shift from a 5-to-4 ruling in September that allowed the law to go into effect. Justices Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, who were in the majority in that ruling, asked questions suggesting that they thought the novel structure of the Texas law justified allowing the providers to challenge it.

Justice Kavanaugh said that permitting a challenge might amount to closing a loophole. Justice Barrett said the law was structured to prevent the providers from presenting a “full constitutional defense.”

A decision to allow a challenge would not conclude the case or address whether the law itself is constitutional. Instead, it would return the case to lower federal courts for further proceedings. Moreover, it was not clear whether the court would temporarily block the law while the case moved forward, if it allowed either the providers or the administration to sue.

*In a more serious (and pessimistic) piece in the NYT, two advocates of reproductive rights, Kathryn Kolbert and 

Five justices — Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito —are expected to eviscerate abortion access with their decision in Dobbs. None of these extremely conservative justices are likely to join a last-minute reprieve as happened in Casey.

When Roe falls, 26 states are likely or certain to ban abortion. Just 14 states and the District of Columbia will reliably continue permitting abortion, safeguarding women’s liberty.

Their solution? The only one possible, start organizing now to fight against abortion bans on the state level. They have other imperatives too, but too many to list here, so read their piece.

*Here are the three articles in the upper-left-hand corner of last night’s New York Times, which for me, at least, is where I look for important news. I guess the paper is trying to attract the People Magazine crowd now:

*This is humiliating for the Kiwis: a long-tailed BAT has won New Zealand’s Bird of the Year contest! Yes, the Pekapeka-tou-roa, a very endangered MAMMAL, has triumphed over the birds.

Of course it caused a big flap and ruffled feathers, as we see below:

But Kiwis have a sense of humor. Read the article to see accusations that a previous year’s contest was rigged by Russian votes.

Here’s a video of catching and marking this species:

*It took me 50 years or more to discover that the thigh is the best part of the chicken. It’s juicy (unlike the breast, which is dry), easy to eat by hand, and has the best ratio of skin to meat. I’m talking now about eating chicken parts on their own, not using them in dishes. If I were cooking a Chinese dish that requires chicken slices or cubes, I’d use the breast. Another good thing about the thighs is that they’re inexpensive. This is not news but I just thought I’d throw it in.

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 745,688, an increase of 1,309 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 5,022,941, an increase of about 6,100 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on November 2 includes:

  • 1917 – The Balfour Declaration proclaims British support for the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” with the clear understanding “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities”.

Here’s the letter from Foreign Secretary Balfour to Lord Rothschild (a leader in Britain’s Jewish community), which contains the “declaration (indented):

Here are the revolutionaries that declared the October Revolution preceding the meeting above. You’ll recognize one or two in the leftmost column:

  • 1920 – In the United States, KDKA of Pittsburgh starts broadcasting as the first commercial radio station. The first broadcast is the result of the 1920 United States presidential election.
  • 1947 – In California, designer Howard Hughes performs the maiden (and only) flight of the Hughes H-4 Hercules (also known as the “Spruce Goose”), the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built.

Below is a video of that lame flight—”less than a minute, less than a mile.” The plane never flew again. The wingspan? 321 feet (98m), longer than a football field. Wikipedia adds that its own characterization is wrong, though (me emphasis):

. . . . it had the largest wingspan of any aircraft that had ever flown until the Scaled Composites Stratolaunch first flew on April 13, 2019. The aircraft remains in good condition. After having been displayed to the public in Long Beach, California, from 1980 to 1992, it is now on display at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, United States

Although Van Doren left the show and his post as an English instructor at Columbia University, he never was charged with a crime. He went on to a career in editing and writing.  Here’s a short newsreel piece featuring Van Doren’s appearance before Congress:

A first edition of this book, wrapped in a plain cover (the issuing cover as the book was “dirty”), will cost you $18,500 but you get a postcard signed by Lawrence as lagniappe. It was first published privately in 1928, and not pubished openly until Penguin went for it in 1960—the year of the trial.

  • 1965 – Norman Morrison, a 31-year-old Quaker, sets himself on fire in front of the river entrance to the Pentagon to protest the use of napalm in the Vietnam war.

  • 1983 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs a bill creating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
  • 1984 – Capital punishmentVelma Barfield becomes the first woman executed in the United States since 1962. Shown below, Barfield was also the first woman executed by lethal injection. She was convicted of one murder but admitted to six. Her last meal: “1 bag of Cheetos and two 8-US-fluid-ounce (240 ml) glass bottles of Coca-Cola”

  • 2000 – Expedition 1 arrived at the International Space Station for the first long-duration stay onboard. From this day to present, a continuous human presence in space on the station remains uninterrupted.
  • 2016 – The Chicago Cubs defeat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series, ending the longest Major League Baseball championship drought at 108 years.

The Cubs won the 7th game with a 10th-inning rally, ending the “curse of the Billy Goat”. It was a great day in Chicago, I tell you.  Here’s a video of the win and a news report showing the team going wild:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1734 – Daniel Boone, American hunter and explorer (d. 1820)

This painting of Boone by Chester Harding, made in the year of Boone’s death, is the only known representation of the great frontiersman made during his lifetime.

  • 1755 – Marie Antoinette, Austrian-French queen consort of Louis XVI of France (d. 1793)
  • 1865 – Warren G. Harding, American journalist and politician, 29th President of the United States (d. 1923)
  • 1908 – Bunny Berigan, American trumpet player (d. 1942)

Berigan was a fantastic trumpet player, but died at 33 of alcoholism. Here’s his biggest hit with great solo work, “I can’t get started.” The voice is his, too. The clever lyrics, which reference a lot of things from that era, were by Ira Gershwin.

Vander Meer is the only player in the history of major league baseball to pitch two consecutive no-hitters (for Cincinnati). My dad, who was 19 at the time and always a big baseball fan, told me he saw the headlines after the second no-hitter and thought that it was an old newspaper. Here’s a very short clip showing Vander Meer on the mound:

  • 1961 – k.d. lang, Canadian singer-songwriter, producer, and actress

Those whose vital functions ceased on  November 2 include:

  • 1887 – Jenny Lind, Swedish operatic soprano (b. 1820)
  • 1961 – James Thurber, American humorist and cartoonist (b. 1894)
  • 1966 – Peter Debye, Dutch-American physicist and chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1884)
  • 1990 – Eliot Porter, American photographer, chemist, and academic (b. 1901)

Porter was a great nature photographer. Here’s one of his photos of aspens in New Mexico (1953):

van Gogh was murdered on November 2, 2004 by an Islamist Dutch-Moroccan, who was captured and received life in prison without parole. He was shot and then stabbed in the chest with a knife. Affixed to the knife was a note with death threats to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who went into hiding, got bodyguards and eventually moved to the U.S. Their crime: both van Gogh directed the short film Submission, Part 1, which decried Islam’s mistreatment of women. I’ll put it below the picture of van Gogh’s body; it is a perfectly respectable though hard-hitting film:

Watch it; it’s only 11 minutes long, and cost van Gogh his life and doomed Hirsi Ali to a lifetime of fear. There’s an English voiceover.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili is up in the trees again:

Hili: Even from here I do not see anything interesting.
A: Climb higher.
In Polish:

Hili: Nawet stąd nie widzę niczego ciekawego.
Ja: To wejdź wyżej.

A lovely picture taken by Paulina of Szaron and Kulka cuddling:

From Lorenzo the Cat: A cat and its staff dressed up on Halloween as twins:

This is a travesty! And it’s real because, if you click on the screenshot, you’ll see that it comes from the Hormel site itself, the makers of Spam. This stuff went on sale Sept. 23, selling out in a matter of only seven hours. There is no more Pumpkin Spice Spam, thank Ceiling Cat. But what is wrong with Americans that they want pumpkin flavor in their Spam?  (h/t Simon)

From Bizarre and Wonderful World on Facebook. Look at the size of that thing!

A tweet from Titania:

And one from God himelf (pronouns listed as “Thee/thou/thine”).

Ricky Gervais unplugged:

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Matthew. First, mouthbrooding! (Does it not eat while doing this?)

What a lovely photo! I presume they’ll be fertilized by sperm nearby in the water:

A win-win situation:

And a human-powered helicopter:

23 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. Justices Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, who were in the majority in that ruling, asked questions suggesting that they thought the novel structure of the Texas law justified allowing the providers to challenge it.

    I listened to as much of the livestream of the oral argument yesterday regarding Texas’s SB8 as time and other obligations would allow. The issue before SCOTUS doesn’t concern the validity of Texas’s ban on abortions after six weeks, only the legitimacy of its vigilante/bounty-hunter provisions designed by the Texas legislature to exploit a loophole in the US constitutional law to prevent the law from being enjoined from enforcement pending its wending its way through the courts to a final determination on its underlying constitutionality.

    From what I heard, justices Kavanaugh and Barrett did seem troubled by the implications of the Texas legislature’s playing cute with SB8’s exploitation of this constitutional loophole. It certainly sounded from their questioning as though they might be inclined to rule with the plaintiffs and against Texas on the preliminary question whether to let the law remain in effect while its underlying constitutional validity is under challenge.

    It ought to be borne in mind, however, that it’s easy to misinterpret an appellate court’s questioning. Sometimes judges ask questions seemingly opposed to their own views merely to test those views’ limits. Sometimes they ask questions to communicate with other judges on the bench. And sometimes they ask questions for other reasons aside from expressing their actual views on the issue at hand. (Some colleagues and I had a term for this phenomenon: “foreplay” — it feels good to get stroked from the bench with softball questions while it’s happening, but in the end, when the decision comes down, you nevertheless know you’re gonna get screwed, and not in the good way.)

  2. Here are the revolutionaries that declared the October Revolution preceding the meeting above. You’ll recognize one or two in the leftmost column

    Lenin top left and Stalin second left. Trotsky (whatever happened to Leon Trotsky?) below, but I only got him because the name in Russian looks a little like the name in English. I guessed Molotov for one of the others but, when I translated the name, it turned out I was one too far left.

  3. Actually the Hughes goose did not fly the first time unless we say ground affect is flying.

    I would stop worrying about Manchin. He will sign. The bill has yet to be marked up as they say in congress.

  4. Regarding chicken thighs. For years we have been buying day old rotisserie chicken quarters (thighs and legs). At our local grocers they come in a 4 pak for $5. We freeze them in individual bags for later use. The dark meat is most certainly tastier and moister. Just nuke when ready to eat some with a nice mushroom gravy.

    1. It’s also a very good way of getting pills into obstreperous cats. They are so pleased to get a tasty treat that they don’t notice you’ve hidden their medicine in it!

  5. 1960 – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the trial R v Penguin Books Ltd, the Lady Chatterley’s Lover case.

    As the Crown’s chief prosecutor asked of the dozen men in the jury box during the trial’s closing argument regarding the story of the sexual affair between Sir Clifford Chatterley’s wife and Mellors, the gamekeeper: “Is this the kind of book you would wish your wife or servants to read?”

    1. Any reference to this entertaining court case reminds me of the first verse of Philip Larkin’s poem ‘Annus Mirabilis’:

      Sexual intercourse began
      In nineteen sixty-three
      (which was rather late for me) –
      Between the end of the “Chatterley” ban
      And the Beatles’ first LP.

  6. I am skeptical about the God tweet. I don’t think He would have said ‘Yes, because I’m a fan of that sports team as well.’ Instead, He would have named the sports team, e.g., ‘Yes, because I’m a Bengals fan as well.’ Someone else wrote that tweet pretending to be God.

  7. When I was younger I pretty much never ate dark meat chicken, only breast meat. But, like you, as I’ve gotten older I’ve switched to the dark-side.

    Even when it comes to chicken fingers / nuggets I’ve come to prefer dark meat. I’ll buy boneless chicken thighs, which are pretty cheap, and prepare them the same way I would chicken breasts if I were making chicken fingers. Cut into appropriate size pieces, season, ‘marinate’ in buttermilk (the real stuff please, with all the fat) overnight, dredge in panko bread crumbs and then deep fry in peanut oil. Yum.

    However, you can get reasonably juicy results with even boneless skinless chicken breasts. The internal temperature window is very small though, and combined with carry-over and different sizes it makes it even trickier to get consistent results. The main thing is that you have to pull the breasts out at a much lower temperature than most home cooks, at least in the US, are comfortable with.

    For decades we’ve been told that chicken needs to be cooked to 165 or even 180 F to be safe. If you hit 165 in breast meat that’s pretty much inedible. You’ll need a gallon of water to choke it down. For years I decided that 150 F was the right temperature, and that does give better results, but not great. More recently, from watching real chefs, I’ve gotten brave enough to try going lower as they instruct. A large boneless skinless chicken breast needs to be pulled when the lowest internal temperature hits about 125 F, and carry-over will get the temp where it needs to be to finish cooking. Smaller breasts should be pulled at more like 135 F, as the smaller a hunk of meat is the less carry-over is a factor.

    An important point is the lowest temperature. You’ve got to poke around with a thermometer to make sure you find the area of lowest temperature. When practicing this you can confirm that carry-over is actually reaching an appropriate final temperature by leaving a thermometer probe inserted while the breast is resting. I can confirm that cooking to these temperatures gives much better results and I haven’t died or even gotten sick yet. But all risks are your own should you choose to try this!

  8. “2 November 1942 | An SS doctor selected 49 sick prisoners at the #Auschwitz infirmary. They were killed with phenol heart injections on that day.”

    People who learn stories only from books and live in peaceful regions of the world have a problem believing in people murdering and torturing for years on orders.
    And they exist and are doing well, there is a need for this type of “people” all the time.
    Everything is carefully hidden from the general public, but for 20-30 years there has been a disturbing tendency (accepted by the so-called mainstream) to return to medieval punishment methods. Formally, the prohibition of torture (or freedom from torture) is one of the few human rights without any limitation clauses, it is also not subject to derogation. It is an absolute prohibition, and therefore it must not be broken neither in the face of the state of emergency nor the war. The same applies to medical experiments without the consent of the subject.It is hard to say what “magically” caused the retreat from science in favor of a new pseudoscientific shamanism.
    There is a saying that opportunity makes a thief. Translating this into plain language, the lack of law,lack overt supervision, lack science, the existence of mutual benefits by people using such methods (parasitism) common benefits, they create human monsters.

  9. In so far as Machin’s motives have been reported, that he wants to read the bill before he votes on it, I support him. Legislators should not be voting on bills without reading them. Con men always tell you it’s too important to stop and think about it.

  10. In Re: Burt Lancaster. I recommend his movie “The Swimmer.” A psychological tale of a man treading water. A masterful performance.

  11. I’m sure it’s not an original thought but doesn’t it seem like Manchin and Sinema are always going to place one more hurdle in front of Biden’s bills? They’ve long ago figured out that if they actually vote for the bill, they will become instantly irrelevant — until the next bill anyway.

  12. Welcome to Tuesday, November 2, 2020: National Deviled Egg Day

    One year I had the bright idea to make Seattle Seahawk themed deviled eggs for the Superb Owl party. I soaked the cooked whites in blue food coloring and made the yolks turn green. They looked horrific- Hanford Eggs my friends jokingly called them. Truly satan’s spawn in food form.

    Re: thighs! I, too, prefer the thigh (bone in, skin on) for when I’m just buying chicken parts. Otherwise I stick to a whole bird, roasted in the oven. When it has cooled enough I break it down, and use the carcass to make a quick stock. The chicken can then be used for a variety of dishes throughout the week and nothing beats homemade stock.

  13. Regarding the winner of the NZ bird of the year contest…

    The competition is known as “bird of the year” only in English. In Maori, the competition is known as “Te Manu Rongonui o Te Tau”.

    The word “manu” translates into English as “any winged creature including bats, cicadas, butterflies, etc.”

    So, strictly speaking, the pekapeka-tou-roa, or long tailed bat, is indeed eligible for the competition.

        1. Oh, I totally agree! I’m just giving the reason the pekapeka-tou-roa was included in the competition.

          My knowledge of Maori is poor. I have no idea if “manu” encompasses the various species of kiwi since at first glance none of them have wings; or if it includes the korora, hoiho, or tawaki, penguins whose wings initially appear to be flippers. “Manu” doesn’t appear to be a term derived from biological principles. A strict translation of the Maori may exclude some avian species as well as allowing bats and even some insects, for all I know.

          My personal favourite bird is the piwakawaka, the fantail, since they occasionally fly aerobatics around me in my garden.

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