Thursday: Hili dialogue

April 21, 2022 • 7:00 am

Welcome to Thursday, April 21, 2020. I’m leaving tomorrow afternoon for Tenerife via Madrid, so don’t expect a slew of posts for two weeks. (I have more responsibility on this cruise than on my previous ones.) It’s National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day (in my view, covering these delicious nuts with chocolate doesn’t enhance them), as well as International Pizza Cake Day (celebrating cakes that look like pizzas), National Ask an Atheist Day, (go ahead!), National Tea Day, Tuna Rights Day, Bulldogs are Beautiful Day (this smacks of special pleading), and Keep off the Grass Day.

For Rastafarians, it’s Grounation Day (see below under 1966)

Here’s a cake that looks like a pizza:

Stuff that happened on April 21 include:

  • 753 BC – Romulus founds Rome (traditional date).
  • 1509 – Henry VIII ascends the throne of England on the death of his father, Henry VII.

Joos van Cleve was a contemporary of Henry VIII, and may have seen him, but this portrait painted in 1531 was probably not painted with Henry VIII posing for van Cleve:

Henry VIII is a king we should read more about, as he was somewhat of a Renaissance man, wrote music, jousted, and so on, but then there were all the wives he killed, and I can’t get this out of my mind, either (from Wikipedia):

Late in life, Henry became obese, with a waist measurement of 54 inches (140 cm), and had to be moved about with the help of mechanical devices. He was covered with painful, pus-filled boils and possibly suffered from gout. His obesity and other medical problems can be traced to the jousting accident in 1536 in which he suffered a leg wound. The accident reopened and aggravated an injury he had sustained years earlier, to the extent that his doctors found it difficult to treat. The chronic wound festered for the remainder of his life and became ulcerated, preventing him from maintaining the level of physical activity he had previously enjoyed. The jousting accident is also believed to have caused Henry’s mood swings, which may have had a dramatic effect on his personality and temperament.

Covered with pus-filled boils!

Houston (below) didn’t die at the Alamo, as many seem to think, but died of old age at 70 (is that old?). The image has been somewhat Photoshopped, as Wikipediia notes:

  • 1894 – Norway formally adopts the Krag–Jørgensen bolt-action rifle as the main arm of its armed forces, a weapon that would remain in service for almost 50 years.

And not just in Norway; it was used by the U.S. Army as their standard rifle for 12 yrs, by South Africans in the Boer wars, and by the Danish Army. It was a repeating-action bolt rifle, and a lovely thing (if you like guns.  Here’s a prototype, the “försöksmodell 1892”.

  • 1898 – Spanish–American War: The United States Navy begins a blockade of Cuban ports. When the U.S. Congress issued a declaration of war on April 25, it declared that a state of war had existed from this date.
  • 1918 – World War IGerman fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as “The Red Baron”, is shot down and killed over Vaux-sur-Somme in France.

See below for the remains of his plane. Richthofen was only 25 when he died.

Here’s that damn photo, which is a fake I’ve seen a gazillion times. It was a toy submarine on which had been fastened a head and neck made of putty. [GCM: see this for earlier treatment of the photo here at WEIT.]

  • 1960 – Brasília, Brazil’s capital, is officially inaugurated. At 09:30, the Three Powers of the Republic are simultaneously transferred from the old capital, Rio de Janeiro.

I never understand why the capital was moved to the planned city of Brasilia, located exactly in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps a Brazilian can explain this to me.

He should have come a day early: on 4/20. Haile Selassie was in Jamaica for just one day, but the Rastas, who regard him as a god, were Haile delighted.  They’ve been celebrating Groundation Day ever since. Read about the confusion attending his arrival by plane; he refused to walk on the red carpet:

  • 1977 – Annie opens on Broadway.
  • 1982 – BaseballRollie Fingers of the Milwaukee Brewers becomes the first pitcher to record 300 saves.

He wound up with 341. He wasn’t much as a starter, but excelled as a closer, once winning the Cy Young Award (best pitcher, not often given to a relief pitcher).  Here are some career highlights (I saw him play).

Remember “Tank Man,” the Chinese protestor who temporarily stopped four Chinese tanks in the Square on June 5 of that year? We still have no idea who he was/is, but this photo has made him immortal

  • 2014 – The American city of Flint, Michigan switches its water source to the Flint River, beginning the ongoing Flint water crisis which has caused lead poisoning in up to 12,000 people, and 15 deaths from Legionnaires disease, ultimately leading to criminal indictments against 15 people, five of whom have been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Notables born on this day include:

Here’s her most famous work, Jane Eyre (1847), a first edition and first printing in three good-condition volumes. It’s a bargain at just $65,000.  It was subtitled an “autobiography” and Brontë used the pseudonym “Currer Bell”:

  • 1838 – John Muir, Scottish-American environmentalist and author (d. 1914

We don’t talk about M**r any more, but here’s a good photo of him:

My favorite line from Anthony Quinn as Auda abu Tayi in Lawrence of Arabia. “I AM A RIVER TO MY PEOPLE”! For years afterwards, my friends and I would say that to each other.

The Queen is 96 today!

  • 1947 – Iggy Pop, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actor

A relevant tweet sent by Dr. Cobb:

  • 1958 – Andie MacDowell, American model, actress, and producer

Those who were judged by St. Peter on April 21 include:

  • 1699 – Jean Racine, French playwright and poet (b. 1639)
  • 1918 – Manfred von Richthofen, German captain and pilot (b. 1892)

Shot to death in the air, and then his plane crashed. Here’s a photo labeled by Wikipedia, “Australian airmen with Richthofen’s triplane 425/17 after it was looted by souvenir hunters”:

  • 1924 – Eleonora Duse, Italian actress (b. 1858)
  • 1946 – John Maynard Keynes, English economist and philosopher (b. 1883)
  • 2003 – Nina Simone, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and activist (b. 1933)

Allthough Simone didn’t write this song, it’s her favorite of mine. I love the walking piano and the laid-back singing. I first heard in as the background music in a Chanel #5 commercial and thought to myself “What IS that song?” It didn’t take me long to find out.

  • 2016 – Prince, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor (b. 1958)

I’ve only recently begun to appreciate Prince’s guitar work. Here he is with a smoking solo in an all-star performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”:


*Here’s the upper-left headline from today’s New York Times (click to read):

And the headlines (2000 fighters remain in the steel plant):

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said he was giving Ukrainians holed up in a steel plant in the besieged city of Mariupol a chance to surrender, after his defense minister said at a televised meeting that Russia had “liberated” the city.

Mr. Putin sought to claim that Russia had fully taken the port city, in a strategically critical location for Moscow’s fight for control of the eastern Donbas region and its aim to build a land bridge to Crimea. Troops have been fighting for weeks for control of the city, and the last remaining Ukrainian defenders and some civilians have been holding out at the Azovstal Iron and Steel works plant.

Mr. Putin instructed his military to blockade the plant and demand the Ukrainians surrender.

It’s all over for those soldiers (there are civilians and children inside, too). The only question is whether they’ll surrender or fight to the death.

*Here’s another NYT piece, this time about Biden’s infrastructure and social-relief spending (click to read):

The Dems can’t get credit for anything!

Unlike the New Deal, however, this $1.9 trillion federal investment in American communities has barely registered with voters. Rather than a trophy for Mr. Biden and his party, the program has become a case study in how easily voters can overlook even a lavishly funded government initiative delivering benefits close to home.

Mr. Biden’s popularity has declined in polls over the past year, and voters are giving him less credit for the country’s economic recovery than his advisers had anticipated. In Virginia, Democrats got shellacked in the 2021 off-year elections amid the country’s halting emergence from the depths of the pandemic.

Ambivalence among voters stems partly from the fact that many of the projects being funded are, for now, invisible.

I’m no pundit, but perhaps Biden should be calling attention to this stuff. I am worried about November. What if the GOP controls the House, Senate, and Supreme Court? Time to lock ourselves inside with food and a good book!

*Perry Bacon at the Washington Post notes that liberal venues CNN and the NYT (for reasons unknown; perhaps because of centrist pushback) have decided to cover the news more “objectively”—a “both sides” stance. Bacon doesn’t like that, as it seems to conjure up Trump’s hamhanded remarks about the “fine” white supremacists in Charlottesville.  He wants the media to be accounted to social media:

In recent interviews, outgoing New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet and his replacement, Times managing editor Joe Kahn, have emphasized that the paper must be “independent.” Baquet, in a memo he wrote before his departure, urged Times staffers not to use Twitter too much. CNN executives are suggesting that the network must return to largely covering “hard news.” Warner Bros. Discovery chief executive David Laslav, who oversees CNN, has announced that the network should not be involved in “advocacy.” Incoming CNN chief executive Chris Licht, in a tweet on Monday, announced that he would no longer be using Twitter.

Being independent, not doing advocacy, covering hard news and not being overly obsessed with Twitter all sound like generic, noncontroversial notions. But in the context of U.S. news and politics today, these comments have unstated but important meanings. Twitter has become code for “the cultural left” or “highly-educated liberals.” Baquet and Licht want to make clear that their news outlets are not captured by those mind-sets.

Disavowing Twitter is a mistake. The platform has empowered people and ideas that couldn’t previously get much traction on CNN, the Times and other mainstream media outlets, which tend to unconsciously promote a “don’t change the status quo too much” centrist approach that is roughly the ideological range between Hillary Clinton on the left and Jeb Bush on the right. Twitter was essential to the rise of Black Lives Matter — and also was a useful platform for former president Donald Trump. Trump is now off Twitter, but it remains a powerful tool for movements and activists, particularly on the left and outside both parties’ establishments.
Bacon is wrong with his “dog whistle” insinuations. Twitter is not the Voice of America: tweetstorms come from the most extreme and vocal factions of Right and Left.

*The Carroll County (Maryland) school board is debating whether ideological or political symbols can be displayed on school grounds. (h/t Bat)

The Carroll County school board voted last week to develop a new policy on the use of political symbols, specifically flags, inside public school buildings. The decision came in reaction to some parental concern about rainbow Pride flags that some teachers in Carroll County Public Schools have been displaying inside classrooms.

Community members and schools Superintendent Steven Lockard said that the Pride flags are used to show support for LGBTQ students, but school board members said they believe the flags are political symbols and displaying them in schools goes against the recently revised political neutrality policy of the school system. That policy requires employees to “remain neutral on political issues, parties, and candidates during classroom instruction” and avoid discussing such issues unless they are “aligned with the approved curriculum.”

Much as I support LGBTQ causes, this would open the door to all kinds of political statements, and quell the speech of young folk who disagree. I think Carroll County made the right decision, even if it was out of kindness and support: they’ve enacted a kind of secondary-school Kalven Report.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Szaron is jealous:

Szaron: Your Whiskas is better than mine.
Hili: Yours is from the same box.
Szaron: Anyhow yours is better.
In Polish:
Szaron: Twoje chrupki są lepsze niż moje.
Hili: Twoje są z tego samego pudełka.
Szaron: I tak twoje są lepsze.

Here’s Karolina on the windowsill with Kulka.

Caption: Never-ending dialogues with cats:

In Polish: Niekończące się dialogi z kotem.

From Not Another Science Cat Page:

From Facebook (a statement with which I agree):

From Facebook:

Lagniappe: HappyPassover!


God is not saying “no” to drugs:

From my Magical Twitter feed. Yes, this deer is indeed pronking (or stotting), seemingly for joy:


From Simon. I don’t know who this joker is (yes, he’s joking), but he puts on a good rant.

From Ginger K. This is one way of looking at wokeness:

Tweets from Matthew. He’s big on this upcoming series; as he says, “You’ll have to pay to watch the series, but it does look extraordinary. Lots of good paleo folk have been involved in it.” Looks good to me!

I’ve never heard of this drug, but Matthew notes, “Jebus, the trips recounted in this thread! ‘The walls are fucking brown; has nothing on these 5 min experiences!” Remember, the brown wall comment was a profound insight I had when on acid in college, which I wrote down so I could remember later.

I give one tweet about an experience on this stuff. There are more in the thread.

Speaking of 4/20:

You call that a good mother duck? Honey sat on SEVENTEEN three years ago: (her brood plus the brood she swiped from Dorothy.


30 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

    1. Although, to be fair, peace and “Born to Kill” aren’t NECESSARILY contradictory…since, when everyone is dead, at least there will be peace. (Tongue in cheek).

  1. Safe travels. What are the subjects of your lectures and what is your general itinerary on this journey? I don’t recall reading either here.

  2. “Can I get a kosher meal”

    When are these Muslims going to stop shoving their religion down our throats

    Fantastic, I’m stealing it.

    Anyway, I was going to take issue with the “all the wives Henry VIII killed” comment because he “only” killed two out six directly. But he was also involved in the death of his third wife, Jane Seymour since she died from complications after the birth of his son Edward. So he killed three of his own wives (50%) and probably the wives of several other people since execution was one of his go to solutions for political problems. Thus I think your comment is accurate, so I won’t mention it.

    Henry VIII is often thought of as one of the “good kings” of England but he was a tyrannical dictator.

    There is one windscreen wiper setting that satisfies me. If it’s not raining and the windscreen is clean and the wipers are set to off, I’m reasonably happy. I remember there was a day last November when all three of those conditions applied.

  3. Iggy Pop lives in South Florida now, where he broke bread with Anthony Bourdain, when chef Tony brought Parts Unknown to town for a show:

  4. We don’t talk about Joe Biden. That is the problem. So unlike his predecessor, he and his admin. definitely play politics on the down-low. Low key. And meanwhile everyone else with a social media bullhorn is dictating whatever counter-narrative they want without much dispute.

  5. The latest theory re that picture of Nessie is that it’s a whale penis. Must have been tanning it’s testicles.

    That Simone song charted over here in the UK in the 80s, and I played it over and over to learn that fantastic piano break in the middle: people still remember and love it.

    And ninthly, being a glass-half-full guy, I’d rather celebrate the genius of Robert Kearns, inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper, who was subsequently swindled out of his rightful profits by the big car companies.

  6. The still-newish city of Brasilia was featured in the 1964 film “That Man from Rio”. The 1964 or 1965 US release was probably one of the first movies I saw once old enough to go on my own. Also probably my first experience of French filmmaking, and the tone of good-humored mostly nonserious adventure was very attractive. I don’t think it is included in lists of canonical “French New Wave films of the sixties” but maybe should be.

    1. I watched that film at least 3 times when it came out. To me, Belmondo was the French version of McQueen. I admit, though, that I paid no attention to the Brasilia setting.

  7. Carroll County school board….I recall Tinker being the gold standard for allowing very broad political speech by students when I served on a local school board in the 80’s and 90’s. It derived from students wearing black armbands on school property in protest of the Viet-nam War but I do not know if it extended to the school board and its agents such as facilities and teachers. I cannot recall whether Kalven would allow a professor to display a bumper sticker or a political pin or classroom or lecture hall signage which might be their political opinion though in a situation where they cannot clearly state that it represented a personal opinion and not a university institutional opinion or position.

    1. It sounded like Carroll County was saying the *teachers* can’t display flags. Which seems fine to me, they are acting as state agents.

      I agree the school board should not prevent *students* from displaying flags, with exceptions being rare. I would not accede to some conservative’s insistence that the rainbow flag causes them emotional distress/creates disruption; that symbol is old and well-worn at this point. But if a school had Ukrainian and Russian exchange students putting flags in each others’ faces and it’s resulting in fights or classroom arguments, yeah that might be a situation where I’d say a temporary limit is a good idea.

      1. I think that i understood Tinker to say that the school must allow these clearly political displays of ukraine and russian flags and must control the situation by working with the students. But Ken K should know for sure.

        1. I just googled around to get some other coverage on the issue. Carroll County is definitely talking about setting a new policy that limits teacher displays, not student displays.

          So again, this seems fine to me. And not much to do with Tinker; while that decision does mention teachers in passing, it is IIRC primarily about the kids’ free speech rights.

  8. Also generally not known is that Sam Houston opposed Texas secession.

    Krags were the guns Teddy Roosevelt armed his Rough Riders with during the Spanish American War. The standard army rifle was still the older Springfield rifles that were single shot. I’d like a Krag, but I can’t justify the price, and it’s gone up recently.

    I invented a new word yesterday: kittywampus. It’s when a cat messes something up.

  9. Apropos windscreen wiper settings, we use a product called Rain-X which is a hydrophobic silicone polymer that is applied to the exterior surface of the windscreen. Rain simply beads up and slides to the top of the windscreen as the car moves forward, making windscreen wipers unnecessary under all but the most torrential downpours.

  10. I don’t know who this joker is (yes, he’s joking), but he puts on a good rant.

    This looks like the the man — same name, at least.

    He says:

    Hey! I’m comedian and podcaster Brent Terhune, but you probably know me as the Redneck Y’all Love to Hate.

    Anthony Quinn acted in The Guns of Navarone. Alistair MacLean, who wrote the book, was born on this day in 1922.

  11. I keep thinking there must be a way to resupply Mariupol. Obviously something like the Berlin Airlift won’t work as the Russian radar would tell them it was coming and they’d shoot the planes down before they could get close to their destination. Perhaps something more high-tech? Cargo drones flanked by drones with anti-aircraft missiles? Something.

  12. in my view, covering these delicious nuts with chocolate doesn’t enhance them

    I must call food blasphemy on this one. “Sweet and salty” combos (keep your thoughts to regular food, people) are always welcome in my abode.

  13. I thought Carnosaurs sort of squawked or squeaked like birds rather than roar?

    Salvia – gardeners will know mint & sage are close relatives. Nice purple flowers.

  14. Re: John Muir. Like most if not all men of those times, the 19th century and earlier, they had views on race that were universal and now intolerable to the woke of 2022 CE. The Sierra Club has a groveling statement quoted on Muir’s Wikipedia page. His contributions to preserving natural spaces are incalculable, but he is now all but cancelled. The Audubon Society is currently doing a pretzel dance around what to do about JJA and is currently on a tear renaming birds named for 19th century naturalists who’s attitude , again commonplace, don’t comport to todays ‘enlightened’ values, ignoring the contributions to science that these people made. Erasing historical people is the order of the day

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