Monday: Hili dialogue

June 6, 2022 • 6:30 am

Yes, it’s Monday again, June 6, 2022, and summer vacation has started at the University of Chicago. It’s also National GingerBread Day (why the capital “B”?), and also the D-Day Invasion Anniversary (also my late parents’ anniversary), as well as National Huntington’s Disease Awareness Day in the USA and Queensland Day in Australia (see below). 

Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot below) honors the life and caffeine-related accomplishments of Angelo Moriondo (June 6, 1851-1914), who invented the first patented espresso machine. (He never made them commercially.)

As Wikipedia says,

Angelo Moriondo, from Turin, is often erroneously credited for inventing the beverage, since he patented a steam-driven coffee beverage making device in 1884 (No. 33/256), probably the first Italian coffee machine similar to other French and English 1800s steam-driven coffee machines. The device is “almost certainly the first Italian bar machine that controlled the supply of steam and water separately through the coffee” and Moriondo is “certainly one of the earliest discoverers of the expresso [sic] machine, if not the earliest”.

60 ml (measured) of espresso and heated milk (later steamed to create a bit of froth):

The final product (I’m drinking it as I type):

Here’s Morindo and my own espresso machine having produced 30 ml of coffee for my morning latte. I find this machine the best quality for value, though you can spend a lot more for incremental improvements in quality:

Stuff that happened on June 6 includes:

St. Martin, a fur trader accidentally shot with a musket, was left with a permanent hole into his stomach (a “gastric fistula”) when the edges of the skin wound healed to the edges of the stomach wound.  The “science”:

When the wound healed itself, the edge of the hole in the stomach had attached itself to the edge of the hole in the skin, creating a permanent gastric fistula. There was very little scientific understanding of digestion at the time and Beaumont recognized the opportunity he had in St-Martin – he could literally watch the processes of digestion by dangling food on a string into St-Martin’s stomach, then later pulling it out to observe to what extent it had been digested. Beaumont continued to experiment on St-Martin off and on until 1833, performing an estimated 200 experiments in 10 years.

St-Martin allowed the experiments to be conducted, not as an act to repay Beaumont for keeping him alive, but rather because Beaumont had the illiterate St-Martin sign a contract to work as a servant. Beaumont recalls the chores St-Martin did: “During this time, in the intervals of experimenting, he performed all the duties of a common servant, chopping wood, carrying burthens, etc. with little or no suffering or inconvenience from his wound.”[1] Although these chores were not bothersome, some of the experiments were painful to St-Martin, for example when Beaumont had placed sacks of food in the stomach, Beaumont noted: “the boy complained of some pain and uneasiness at the breast.” Other symptoms St-Martin felt during experiments were a sense of weight and distress at the epigastric fossa and slight vertigo and dimness of vision.

Here’s a drawing with the hole. St. Martin lived to be 78:

  • 1859 – Queensland is established as a separate colony from New South Wales. The date is still celebrated as Queensland Day.
  • 1892 – The Chicago “L” elevated rail system begins operation.
  • 1912 – The eruption of Novarupta in Alaska begins. It is the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century.

From NASA:

For many years, the June 1912 eruption was mistakenly attributed to Katmai, which is 10 kilometers (6 miles) away. But in fact, the event at Novarupta—the name means “new eruption”—stole its contents from beneath the neighboring volcano. Most of the magma had been stored beneath Katmai, so when the new hole in the Earth opened to the northwest, the magma drained away and actually caused Katmai to collapse dramatically. The resulting caldera is now filled with a 200-meter-deep lake.

In the aftermath, a nearby river valley was filled with up to 600 feet of ash, pumice, and other volcanic debris. The debris around Novarupta seethed with heat and steam emissions from fumarole vents for more than a decade, leading scientist Robert Griggs to call it the “Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.”

Here’s the location (my arrow) and a photo of Novarupta’s lava dome in 1987:


Here it is, and there are a few of these left:

  • 1942 – The United States Navy’s victory over the Imperial Japanese Navy at the Battle of Midway is a major turning point in the Pacific Theater of World War II. All four Japanese fleet carriers taking part—AkagiKagaSōryū and Hiryū—are sunk, as is the heavy cruiser Mikuma. The American carrier Yorktown and the destroyer Hammann are also sunk.
  • 1944 – Commencement of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy, with the execution of Operation Neptune—commonly referred to as D-Day—the largest seaborne invasion in history. Nearly 160,000 Allied troops cross the English Channel with about 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participating. By the end of the day, the Allies have landed on five invasion beaches and are pushing inland.

Perhaps the best idea of what it was like to be on the beaches that day (researched by interviewing survivors) was portrayed in Spielberg’s movie “Saving Private Ryan”. Here’s part of the D-Day invasion scene from both Allied and German points of view. Warning: it’s gory:

  • 1985 – The grave of “Wolfgang Gerhard” is opened in Embu, Brazil; the exhumed remains are later proven to be those of Josef MengeleAuschwitz‘s “Angel of Death”; Mengele is thought to have drowned while swimming in February 1979.

Here’s Mengele’s skull, admitted as such by his son and later confirmed by DNA testing:


*From the Washington Post: “How the White House lost Joe Manchin, and its plan to transform America.” As you know, Manchin’s failure to support the Build Back Better bill largely killed Biden’s biggest initiative since he was elected. The cause?  Crossed wires about a White House statement:

The statement drafted by White House aides two days later named Manchin as the focus of negotiations. White House aides sent a draft of the statement to Manchin’s office ahead of its release. Manchin’s chief of staff responded by asking the White House legislative director either to remove the senator’s name, or to add Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

The White House issued the statement anyway. The president had personally signed off on it. ButManchin exploded, texting a senior Biden aide that the decision was “unconscionable and extremely dangerous” at a time when liberal activists were targeting Manchin’s family with protests.

Three days later, Manchin declared his opposition to the legislation on Fox News. The negotiations never recovered, and Build Back Better — encompassing years of Democratic policy aspirations to reduce child poverty, transform the nation’s housing system, enact new early education programs, tax the rich, and more — was effectively dead.

Sure, Biden should have paid attention, but Manchin seems to have acted like a petulant child, and in so doing killed a chance for the Biden administration to have done immense good.

*It’s already the 50th anniversary of the Watergate breakin and the 48th of the book All the President’s Men by Woodward and Bernstein. Steve Pinker called our attention to their new preface of the anniversary edition of the book, though it came out in 1974, not 1972, so it’s not really a 50th anniversary. The link to their article is below (also here), and it’s well worth reading.

A great book and a great movie. A snippet from W&B’s new essay:

As reporters, we had studied Nixon and written about him for nearly half a century, during which we believed with great conviction that never again would America have a president who would trample the national interest and undermine democracy through the audacious pursuit of personal and political self-interest.

And then along came Trump.

. . . By legal definition this is clearly sedition — conduct, speech or organizing that incites people to rebel against the governing authority of the state. Thus, Trump became the first seditious president in our history.

. . .Both Nixon and Trump have been willing prisoners of their compulsions to dominate, and to gain and hold political power through virtually any means. In leaning so heavily on these dark impulses, they defined two of the most dangerous and troubling eras in American history.

As Washington warned in his Farewell Address more than 225 years ago, unprincipled leaders could create “permanent despotism,” “the ruins of public liberty,” and “riot and insurrection.”

*From several sources, including ABC News 4 from Charleston, we hear that things are dire in Norway. A feminist named Christina Ellingsen and a representative of the global feminist organization Women’s Declaration International (WDI), has been questioned by police, and faces jail for committing gender heresy. It’s one thing to be uncivil and rude, another to suppress one’s speech by government threats of jail.

From ABC:

[Ellingtsen] criticized the Norwegian trans activist group Foreningen FRI in October for teaching children that males can be lesbians.

Ellingsen also called out one the group’s advisers, who is a biological male identifying as a lesbian woman.

That adviser, Christine Marie Jentoft, filed a police complaint that prompted law enforcement to question Ellingsen, according to news outlet Reduxx.

. . . In January 2021, Norway introduced “gender identity” into the bounds of its current hate crime laws. Around that time, WDI Norway (formerly WHRC) warned the adjustment of hate crime laws could lead to persecution for stating biological facts.

If Ellingsen is charged with a hate crime for her comments, she could face up to three years behind bars.

.  . .In another tweet, Ellingsen blasted FRI’s advisor Christine Jentoft for identifying as a lesbian despite being a biological male.

“Jentoft, who is male and an advisor in FRI, presents himself as a lesbian – that’s how bonkers the organization which supposedly works to protect young lesbians’ interests is. How does it help young lesbians when males claim to be lesbian, too?” Ellingsen reportedly said.

Jailing of others has already happened. According to one site:

In 2021, a Norwegian man was jailed for three weeks and a substantial fine for being found guilty of misgendering and insulting a person who identifies as trans on Facebook.

Amnesty International, which has become irreversibly woke, is also accusing Ellingsen of “harassment.” This is ridiculous. Yes, it’s offensive to misgender someone, but a hate crime? No way? What crime has been committed? Free speech that some people find offensive!  Norway, buck up and adopt the U.S.’s interpretation of the First Amendment! (h/t Anna)

*I reported yesterday that the original Gerber baby model had just died at 96. But now they have a new one, the result of a long search. Meet Isa Slish, 8 months old.

From the NYT: Isa Slish of Oklahoma is the latest winner of the Gerber Photo Search contest.Credit…Gerber

The little one has a medical problem:

On the “Today” show, Isa, who was born without a femur or a fibula in her right leg, a condition known as congenital limb difference, delighted the hosts while her mother, Melissa, said that the money would be “set aside” for her daughter’s surgeries.

Of course social media is grousing, as the NYT reports, and for no good reason except people like to kvetch. Best of luck to Isa!

*Finally, though I’m not an action-movie fan, I think I may see the new sequel to 1986’s movie “Top Gun”. It’s cleaning up like gangbusters, and the fans are not from the usual demographic.

The sequel to the 1986 classic featuring Tom Cruise as a veteran fighter pilot raked in an estimated $86 million in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, following a record-breaking debut over the Memorial Day weekend of $156 million. The figure is unusually strong for the second weekend of a high-grossing film, suggesting that a swath of moviegoers is returning to the theaters following a two-year drought caused by the pandemic.

Other Covid-era theater releases have shown that younger audiences will return to cinemas in droves. The blockbuster superhero film “Spider-Man: No Way Home” set records in December.

But Top Gun’s good showing is noteworthy because it has been driven by older viewers—a group distribution executives say has been one of the trickiest to lure back to cinemas during the pandemic, and one that is key to getting the industry back to pre-Covid levels. More than half of Top Gun’s ticket buyers were over the age of 35 years for the second weekend in a row, according to Paramount Pictures.

One reader emailed me this:

Go see Top Gun, especially in IMAX….fantastic movie and emotionally resonant in addition to being visually spectacular.  Tom Cruise is arguably a movie star on the order of Clark Gable or Humphrey Bogart or Joan Crawford or Bette Davis

If you’ve seen it, weigh in below.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, there’s an argument about indigenous possession. Hili needs to make a “sofa claim”:

Hili: Szaron is occupying my sofa.
A: He has the same right to it as you have.
Hili: No, he is not an indigenous cat in this house.
In Polish:
Hili: Szaron okupuje moją sofę.
Ja: Ma do niej takie samo prawo jak ty.
Hili: Nie, on w tym domu nie jest rdzennym kotem.
Here the cats are separated on the windowsill, with Kulka inside and Szaron outside:


From Donna: Helpful advice from Republicans:

From Divy:

From Malcolm:

A tweet from Earthling (Ziya Tong):

And one from God:

From Ginger K., a Stuart Smalley Cat giving his daily affirmation:

From Barry: Look at these newborn cheetahs!

From the Auschwitz Memorial, the only Scot recognized as Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem in Israel (these are non-Jews who saved or helped Jews during the Holocaust). She died in Auschwitz.

Tweets from Matthew Cobb, deep in writing his new biography of Francis Crick. I don’t think Matthew likes Elon, as he spells his last name M*sk:

There are a gazillion languages prison guards don’t know! What about Esperanto?

Matthew had to deal with a Bad Cat Accident:

And tweet of the year!

38 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. St-Martin allowed the experiments to be conducted, not as an act to repay Beaumont for keeping him alive, but rather because Beaumont had the illiterate St-Martin sign a contract to work as a servant.

    Not exactly up to the standards required by today’s “informed consent” statutes. But I reckon Dr. Beaumont was like a chef who figures you can’t make an omelet (or, in Beaumont’s case, figure out how an omelet gets digested) without breaking a few eggs.

  2. 1933 – The first drive-in theater opens in Camden, New Jersey.

    Drive-ins were where many American teenagers had their first experience with … um, er … watching B-movies, like Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!.

  3. I just watched the Saving Private Ryan clip (above). I didn’t remember the bombing of the beaches from the film, which I watched a long time ago — gone from my memory, I guess. Yikes! As I recall, the scene went from the cemetery to the brief shot with the date, and then to the landing crafts with the troops.

    The librarian gun is funny — good job the librarian from my old school didn’t have one back then. She would have used it to deal with the noise makers; and also, kids who hit cricket balls through library windows. Crash! Bang! Or rather, pop!

    1. This librarian likes the gun, too. But seriously, one of my Trustees, an arch-conservative who was MAGA before MAGA was a thing, wanted to arm us all after the Newtown tragedy. Fortunately for us, his opinion was the lone one among seven.

      1. I knew you guys would like it! 🙂

        But surely, all you need is a strong catapult and a good supply of medical textbooks (someone told me they are massive).

        The allied-and-German-points-of-view Saving Private Ryan is rather different 🙂

    2. I watched it too, it’s one of my top 3 war films and I couldn’t resist. But it seems they cut out a scene where a G.I. is stumbling around holding his detached arm. It was grisly and unforgettable (why I didn’t forget it) but the scene wasn’t in this snippet. I wonder why?

      1. I don’t know why that scene was cut. It is missing other bits from the beach assault.

        The inserted scenes (especially the bombers and the bombing) seem a little incongruous. Youtube says

        From the Academy-Award winning film, Saving Private Ryan and the South Korean film, My Way…

  4. Jerry, it’s also Western Australia Day! You can’t leave one state out here, they’re a very petty people the Australians (I am one, since 2020, so think I’m allowed to say that).

    It commemorates the founding of the Swan River Colony, the river on which Perth sits, in 1829 and is celebrated on the first Monday in June.

    It has been celebrated since 1832 and was intended to unite all the colony’s inhabitants, both the settlers and indigenous people. There’s still some way to go to unity here mind, many indigenous people here are sadly very poor.

  5. If you’ve seen it [the new Top Gun, weigh in below.

    I haven’t seen it, but I did sit through — barely — the trailer at a theater about a week ago. I’m still embarrassed over having gone to see the original back in ’86. If I had to watch the sequel, I’d go full Goose by bailing out and crash landing. 🙂

      1. Tom Cruise and Richard Gere both get to wear their white naval officer uniforms, and both wind up with the girl (Kelly McGillis and Debra Winger, respectively) in the final scene.

        So it’s no wonder, DrB.

  6. Michigan prison officials have banned dictionaries in Spanish and Swahili, saying “if certain prisoners all decided to learn a very obscure language, they would be able to then speak freely in front of staff” and could organize without their knowledge.

    “Psst. Ix-nay on the ictionary-day. The COs have wised up. Pass it along to Cellblock C.”

    1. Years since I’ve heard any pig Latin🤓 My smart-ass high school friends and I used to converse in pig German on the tram in Vienna. Ir-way ehen-gay ur-zay ule-schay.

  7. Back in the 1980s, the Esperanto Society of Michigan ran a free ten-lesson correspondence course in Esperanto. I did the corrections and sent out the next lesson to the students. We had four or five students who were inmates in prison.

  8. Does anyone else think that avoiding misgendering people (i.e. using their preferred pronouns, whatever they are) is the start of a slippery slope leading to all the woke nonsense about today?

    Also, does anyone know how long the Norwegian misgendering-hate-crime law has been on the books and who voted for it? (I can read Norwegian, so feel free to point me to original sources.)

    1. I’m looking up the Bokmal Norwegian terms Trakassering Feilkjønning (harassment and misgendering). One of the difficult things about harassment legislation is that harassment is often not narrowly defined / enshrined in legislation and is left to individuals to charge that they are being harassed and is left to judges to decide whether a given action constitutes harassment. I suspect that as long as charges are based on ‘How did you feel when that was said’, the matter will continue to accelerate. As I’m looking deeper, though, she is formally being charged with hate speech (‘hatefulle ytringer’).

      It looks like this is the Norwegian government page on hate speech.

    2. Misgendering is a clear indication that you do not believe enthusiastically in their delusion. We seem to be at the stage of the trans phenomenon where you must not only accept their right to live as whatever they claim to be, but to make sort of a pledge of belief compliance through the way you address them.

      Kind of like addressing a monarch using specific language, affirming your submission to their right to rule. They are just words, but words can be important. Forcing someone to deny their strongly held beliefs and principals is a method of breaking them to your will.

      I agree that these things become a slippery slope. You start out thinking you are just being polite to some people who appear to be harmless, mentally ill eccentrics, and pretty soon you start to hear about people going to jail for not humoring them, and see that there are laws proposed to ensure that they have almost unlimited access to your children, without your right to even know about it.

      It seems myopic. Crushing the rights of large numbers of regular people to indulge the whims of a tiny number of troubled folks. I don’t know how it ends, but I am positive that none of it will go any farther towards making even one of them into a real women.

      1. Trans people are not deluded about their gender identity. It is a mystery how we all, somehow, have a gender identity at all. It usually comports with our genetic and anatomical sex, and we don’t know how that even works. But sometimes one is not aligned with the other.

        1. One is deluded when one holds a belief that is not true. I have yet to encounter a trans person who does not regularly conflate gender and sex. They are deluded about their true sex, and their gender-associated behavior tends to be an exaggerated version of what they perceive is appropriate for their imagined sex.

      2. Forsake all preferred personal pronouns referring to them by name only: ‘Lia Thomas was happy beating those other girls, and Lia Thomas beat Lia Thomas’ own previous record.’

        Awkward as hell, but I wouldn’t want to risk misgendering anyone. Besides, people are said to love hearing their own name repeated.

      3. Good summary. With regard to Norway, we need some high-profile people, such as laureates for the Nobel Prize for Peace, to publicly refuse to enter the country as long as such a law is in place.

  9. Michigan prison officials have banned dictionaries in Spanish and Swahili, saying “if certain prisoners all decided to learn a very obscure language… What, like Spanish – the third most spoken language on the planet?!

  10. I loved the original Top Gun as a kid and have often enjoyed watching it when I’ve happened upon it on TV over the years. So my wife and I went to see the new one even though it is not the kind of movie we typically enjoy these days (we see *films* these days!). I struggled with the first 30 minutes or so and wondered if I overestimated the power of nostalgia. The first 30 minutes were pretty hard to take and I almost suggested to my wife (who is much less of a fan) that we should leave, opportunity costs being what they are. But we stayed and enjoyed ourselves. It was fun and cute but that’s all it was. I don’t think I would recommend it unless you really got a kick out of the original or if you are just really hankering for a blockbuster.

  11. I feel Matthew’s pain. We have two American Rag Dolls, and needed to do cleanup on one when he was a kitten. Claws. . . so many claws.

    1. Yes, cats are VERY spikey. My shorthaired doggie gets messed up behind on occasion. It is a disgusting but not dangerous operation in the shower afterwards, helped by a hand held shower nozzle. best, Dr. B., keep the right wing bon mots coming!

  12. Even though I was the perfect demographic for the original Top Gun in the 80’s (young male), I never saw it. I generally have no interest in that stuff, especially military oriented, war movies etc. And it just seemed utterly over the top obnoxious. The final nail in the coffin it being directed by Tony Scott, one of the few director’s whose style I actively hate (he was a tenth rate version of his brother Ridley, where Tony Scott’ sense of style was to shoot everything like it was a beer commercial…all those awful orange sky filters etc).

    I will however see the new Top Gun as it looks spectacular (and isn’t directed by Tony Scott…)

    1. Tony Scott directed one movie I love, True Romance (written by Quentin Tarantino), and another I like, Domino, but otherwise I agree with you. With him, it was all cut, cut, cut (some of his films have cuts something like every 1.2 seconds) and boom, boom, boom.

      1. Ken,

        Any time I’ve brought up my distaste for Tony Scott I always here “But…True Romance!”


        I admit to having enough of a grudge against TC that I even put off watching True Romance until this year! The only thing that got me to watch it was the script by Tarantino and the purported excellent performances (and the cast).

        I found I did enjoy True Romance. But it was mostly despite TC’s direction, not because of it. Loved the script, some of the acting, but I was often perturbed and taken “out” of the movie by TC’s “beer commercial level” directing.

    2. I could not stand the original film. I grew up around fighter pilots and aircraft, and even though I was in the key demographic for the film, it just seemed cartoonish.

  13. I just saw Maverick. I’m *well* over 35. I definitely enjoyed it. It’s solid entertainment, with no agenda, which is so rare these days. It’s a thumbs-up. Go.

    Now, having said that, the script could have been written in the 1930s or 1940s. All of the plot points are signaled by neon signs flashing, “Plot point! Plot point!” The foreshadowing is heavy-handed. Cruise and the female lead have no chemistry.

    I was shocked at how much it cost for IMAX. $18-something for a senior citizen, including fees for ordering online. At the same time, they spent a fortune on the movie, and you can practically see the money on the screen. Supposedly it’s all real — no CGI.

    On the whole, it delivers. It won’t require you to think. But sometimes, it’s nice to spend a Sunday afternoon without thinking.

  14. Re: parents wedding anniversary this day. Same for my long gone parents with the special feature that it was in 1936, thus 6/6/36 as specified by my retentive mom.

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