Thursday: Hili dialogue

February 24, 2022 • 6:15 am

Good morning on Thursday, February 24, 2022: National Tortilla Chip Day. But without guacamole, they are as tinkling cymbals and sounding brass.

Hold the cilantro!

It’s also National Toast Day in the UK (not even beans with it?), National Chili Day, Fat Thursday, and World Bartender Day.

Posting will be light today as I have tasks downtown to do. As always, I do my best Thanks to the three people who emailed me letting me know that I shouldn’t be going to Antarctica because it leaves too much of a carbon footprint.

News of the Day:

The news below is now obsolete: Russia attacked Ukraine. Here’s the NYT headline (click on screenshot):

Read the details at the screenshot below; this is a full-on attack and not just a takeover of the two eastern “independent areas”. The whole country is under assault. It’s heartbreaking. The Washington Post estimates that up to 50,000 civilians will die. I don’t have the heart to fill in the rest of the Hili dialogue, but we will have a discussion thread right after this. Here is a tweet from Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

From the NYT: A map of where attacks have taken place in Ukraine:

Malgorzata says that the BBC and Polish news report that Russian troops are already on the outskirts of the capital city of Kyiv, and it’s certainly being attacked with missiles an bombs. The Ukrainian Army is fighting bravely, but they can’t stand up to the Russian army:

Ukrainian forces were in “all-out defense mode” on Thursday to repel a multipronged Russian assault by land, sea and air. The Ukrainian military claimed to have shot down several Russian military aircraft, and civilians lined up at recruitment offices to take up arms against President Vladimir V. Putin’s forces.

More than 40 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and dozens were wounded in fighting on Thursday morning, said Oleksiy Arestovich, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

*Here’s what’s happening in Ukraine as I write this Wednesday night:

a.) Ukraine has declared a state of emergency and is being buffeted by cyberattacks from Russia (the US is experiencing some as well.

b.) The Pentagon has pronounced the Russian troops in and around Ukraine as “ready to go.” and added that “a full-scale military assault is most likely imminent.” Meanwhile, Putin’s playing his little game and laying phony grounds for the attack:

Russian media have claimed that Ukraine is about to launch an offensive against the Russia-backed separatist territories in eastern Ukraine — something the government in Kyiv denies having any intention of doing. Western officials fear that Russia could use a claim of Ukrainian aggression as a pretext for an invasion.

c. The EU has agreed to impose its first round of sanctions against Russia, which sound ineffectual, as all these sanctions do:

The European Union agreed to slap sanctions Wednesday on Russia’s defense minister, a top adviser to President Vladimir Putin and hundreds of Russian lawmakers who voted in favor of recognizing the independence of separatist areas in southeast Ukraine.

The sanctions, mostly a freeze on the assets of those listed and a ban on them traveling in the 27-nation EU, are the first steps in a planned series of retaliatory measures designed to be ramped up should Putin launch an attack or push troops deeper into Ukraine. They are expected to take effect later Wednesday.

d.) About 4,700 U.S. troops, heavily involving the 82nd Airborne (the same troops involved in the rout in Afghanistan), are stationed in southeast Poland to help with the flood of refugees expected if Russia invades Ukraine.

Polish officials have indicated that a worst-case scenario could see as many as 1 million people arriving from Ukraine in case of a full-scale Russian invasion. Hungary, which also borders Ukraine, has said it is sending troops to the border, partly in preparation for refugees. Romania has said it is considering refugee camps.

The NYT is even more pessimistic:

A full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine would create one of the largest refugee crises in the world, with as many as five million people displaced, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said on Wednesday.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the General Assembly that already, nearly three million Ukrainians — half of them older people or children — needed food, shelter and other lifesaving emergency assistance and that “the tidal waves of suffering this war will cause are unthinkable.”

*And now for something completely different. A huge 500-pound black bear, now named “Hank the Tank,” is wreaking havoc around Lake Tahoe, California, and has learned how to break into houses. 150 incidents are now attributed to Hank. So  far he’s eluded capture, but his future is uncertain:

Also known as Jake or Yogi or simply Big Guy, the bear is what Tira described as a “severely food habituated bear” that has “lost all fear of people” and thinks of them as a food source.

A homeowners association agreed during a meeting last week to allow state wildlife personnel to capture the bear. Previous trapping efforts, which are generally more successful in wooded settings, have proven futile in residential areas where the bear has become acclimated, SF Gate reported.

After the break-in Friday, officials collected DNA evidence to make an accurate match if they capture the bear. If Hank is captured, officials said the bear could be relocated to accredited facilities such as zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, Tira said.

“You relocate it to the wilderness, and they starve because they’re not used to hunting for food,” Tira said.

Because of Hank’s gluttony, he’s bigger than the average bear—twice as large.

Here’s a news report with video of the giant ursid. I will be really pissed off if they euthanize him.

*The NYT reports that Francis Ford Coppola, now 82, is restoring his classic film “The Godfather”—which is now 50 years old (!). He’s interviewed in the piece along with his company’s archivist James Mockoski, and I learned something new:

Do you ever get tired of watching “The Godfather”?

COPPOLA No. Never.

MOCKOSKI I’m always nervous to show him because maybe he’ll say, “Ah, but you know what I’d like to do that I wasn’t able to is make these changes ——” and here comes a different cut. But he would sit there and watch it. He never gets tired of it and he’ll have the greatest stories. [To Coppola] You told me when we did the last review that they didn’t want you to shoot the scene where Brando has a heart attack.

COPPOLA That was cut from the script. Paramount figured, when you cut to the cemetery, you’ll know he died. But I stole that [scene] by getting a little early at the wedding and having the tomatoes in the same place. Brando said, let me do this trick that I do for my own [children]. And he did the orange-peel trick. It was his idea and he saved me. Thanks to Marlon Brando and Dean Tavoularis for getting the tomatoes. We had to fly them in from some other place and it was a big scandal of how much they had cost for a scene that was cut from the script.

Brando was a genius at his trade, and so is Coppola. Remember that scene, which almost didn’t make it into the movie?

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 937,380, an increase of 1960 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 5,927,7812, an increase of about 16,000 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on February 24 include:

Notables born on this day include:

Those who were judged in St. Peter’s book on February 24 include

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s decided to stay in for the night. She’s afraid of the darkness.  Malgorzata said “And with the current situation one of our readers already commented that we all are now looking into darkness.”

Hili: I’m looking into the darkness.
A: And?
Hili: Nothing is tempting me.

In Polish:
Hili: Patrzę w mrok.
Ja: I co?
Hili: Nic mnie nie kusi.

If you want to see a video of the new white kitten, click on the video below and then go to the short video on the lower right.

From Stephen Law: NASA’s letter to Chuck Berry:


More snow fun from Peter:

God has a lot to say today!

and another:

I got the tweet below from a person in New Zealand who thought that the Cat Pausé author fake (and it may be a made-up name), but she’s real: one of the four Kiwi authors on an article on feminism. You can see Dr. Cat Pausé’s Massey University website here; she specializes in Fat Studies.

Is this real? I think so, because we now realize that cats, along with many other animals, can see in the ultraviolet.

From Ginger K.:

Sexual selection via jazz hand. Believe me, she’s registering every move he makes. Know the species?.

Tweets from Matthew. Be sure sound is up on this first one:

These people devised a tracking device for magpies that was very hard to remove. But of course magpies are smart:

During our pilot study, we found out how quickly magpies team up to solve a group problem. Within ten minutes of fitting the final tracker, we witnessed an adult female without a tracker working with her bill to try and remove the harness off of a younger bird.

Within hours, most of the other trackers had been removed. By day 3, even the dominant male of the group had its tracker successfully dismantled.

Read the short popular article!

I’m not a huge fan of this song (it reminds me of “MacArthur Park”), but this is much better than the original.

Procol Harum performing A Whiter Shade of Pale with the Danish National Concert Orchestra and choir at Ledreborg Castle, Denmark in August 2006.


27 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

      1. My friend asked me for an example of a double meaning, so I gave her one.

        In the meantime, I discovered a highlights video from the 1970’s British sitcom “Are you Being Served”. This aired at prime time on BBC1. These are all about the cat belonging to one of the characters. They seem much funnier now than when I was eight.

        1. I remember watching the show with my family as a teenager, all awkwardly aware of the double entendres. Later, I discovered that my parents were much less prudish than I had imagined and we ended up bonding over Ivor Biggun’s Winker’s Album (misprint). It turned out that one of dad’s pals knew Richard “Doc” Cox.

      2. RE: Wanker’s Corner. I grew up a few miles from there in Lake Oswego, Oregon. We usually called it Wanker’s Corners…plural….which makes more sense, actually. At that time it was just a rural intersection with a gas station and later a store. We thought nothing of the name….figured it was named after someone. Didn’t learn until an adult of the slang meaning.

    1. A Professor of Fat Studies.
      Evidently obese folks have been so oppressed that they require their own epistemology.

  1. Since you are very busy getting ready for your trip it is understandable that you would repeat the day’s USA covid deaths as 1960 from yesterday rather than 1908, the actual number.
    (Surely the comma queen will find me lacking…..)

  2. It looks like another attempt to use judicial action to destroy Trump is failing. I have no love for the man, but even less for supposedly virtuous government officials who abuse their power for political ends. We need to remember that neither party is the sole receptacle of virtue or vice.

  3. The Jazz Hands bird looks like a member of the family Mimidae (thrashers and mockingbirds), but only if it’s in the New World. If it’s Old World, I don’t know enough to offer a guess.


  4. I liked “Whiter Shade of Pale” just fine, but my favorite Procol Harum tune is “Bringing Home the Bacon” — straight ahead rock’n’roll:

    1. I believe that at some point Whiter Shade of Pale was voted the favorite pop song over at least a few previous decades in the UK. It is best treated as a “sound picture” without close scrutiny of the inscrutable lyrics. I think it stands the test of time, and yet nicely reflects its period. The use of a church organ in a pop song was novel and effective; it really makes the song. Legend has it that John Lennon listened to it over and over again in the summer of ’67 from the back of his limousine. I don’t know if the timing is correct, but I wonder if it inspired I am the walrus to some degree.

    2. Great song, Ken, though I have to admit I’ve never heard it. I always think of Procol Harum as a one-hit wonder, rather llke Don McClean with “American Pie” (both of which songs I love.) Come to think of it, those seven vestal virgins could have easily gone over and driven their Chevy to the levy.

  5. I can’t help feeling that a 500 pond bear wandering around destroying things is the perfect euphemism for the day.
    I don’t know which direction Hili is looking in, but if it’s east a level of concern seems appropriate.

  6. The birds are one of the four species of Riflebird; the displaying individual is a juvenile male; the adult males are mostly glossy black. They are found in New Guinea and Northern Australia.

  7. Good thing it is Tortilla Chip Day and not Potato Chip Day. An explosion and raging fire has completely leveled a major potato chip factory in Hermiston, Oregon which supplies chips to much of the Northwest. Our lives are ruined.

  8. Scorns (THREE OF THEM? Damn) irritating our host re his carbon footprint. Damn that kind of stupidly bothers me. I note our friend Pinker addresses this “your sacrifice must save the world” small mind dumbassery in his last book (not Reason). He gets similar letters and dispatches them beautifully. He also notes that the IQ lead liberals have over conservatives is lost when you include the environmental movement in the liberals’ total.
    I’m all in on climate change and environment (I have no car, no children even!), but I detest the kind of scornful lunacy of the type our host received. It is all about transference of notions of sexual purity, the earth as sacred virgin despoiled by man and utterly disconnected to sane reality.

    Enjoy your trip conscience free PCC (E). Your (again, 3!) correspondents – do they DRIVE? Eat meat?

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