Sunday: Hili dialogue

July 3, 2022 • 6:30 am

Greetings on the Christian Sabbath: July 3, 2022. God rested and so should you. It’s National Chocolate Wafer Day, of which the best example by far is this luscious Canadian treat, Coffee Crisp. Sadly, it’s not available in the U.S. although kind reader once sent me some. Terrific stuff!

It’s also Emancipation Day in the United States Virgin Islands, National Eat Your Beans Day, National Fried Clam Day, and “the start of the Dog Days according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac but not according to established meaning in most European cultures”

Stuff that happened on July 3 includes:

  • 987 – Hugh Capet is crowned King of France, the first of the Capetian dynasty that would rule France until the French Revolution in 1792.
  • 1035 – William the Conqueror becomes the Duke of Normandy, reigns until 1087.

Here’s an embroidered William, with the caption “William as depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry during the Battle of Hastings, lifting his helmet to show that he is still alive.”

There are actually several islands in an archipelago, only one of which is inhabited. From Wikipedia:

The Pitcairn Islands, officially the Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, are a group of four volcanic islands in the southern Pacific Ocean that form the sole British Overseas Territory in the Pacific Ocean. The four islands—Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno—are scattered across several hundred miles of ocean and have a combined land area of about 18 square miles (47 km2). Henderson Island accounts for 86% of the land area, but only Pitcairn Island is inhabited. The islands nearest to the Pitcairn Islands are Mangareva (of French Polynesia) to the west and Easter Island to the east.

Pitcairn is the least populous national jurisdiction in the world.

What’s the population? Just 47 in 2021. Must be lonely there!

Here’s the location:

Below: a shot of Adamstown, the only settlement on the island. This is of course the island where nine of the mutineers on the H.M.S. Bounty landed, settled, and burned the ship. Many of the inhabitants descended from the mutineers. But the native language isn’t English:

Most resident Pitcairn Islanders are descendants of the Bounty mutineers and Tahitians (or other Polynesians). Pitkern is a creole language derived from 18th-century English, with elements of the Tahitian language. It is spoken as a first language by the population and is taught alongside English at the island’s only school. It is closely related to the creole language Norfuk, spoken on Norfolk Island, because Norfolk was repopulated in the mid-19th century by Pitcairners.

Has any reader ever been to Pitcairn?

  • 1819 – The Bank for Savings in the City of New-York, the first savings bank in the United States, opens.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: The final day of the Battle of Gettysburg culminates with Pickett’s Charge.

Pickett’s charge, a bad mistake in generalship by Robert E. Lee, led to tremendous casualties on both sides, but mostly on the Confederate side, which was mowed down by Union artillery and rifles. Gettysburg was regarded as “the high water mark of the Confederacy”, for after that everything was downhill for them.

Here’s the bit on the Battle of Gettysburg and (mainly) Pickett’s charge from Ken Burns’s epic documentary, “The Civil War” (for another video showing untold Gettysburg stories, go here). What a slaughter!

Here’s the auto, which, according to Wikipedia, had an original cost of “600 imperial German marks, approximately 150 US dollars (equivalent to $4,524 in 2021).”

Here’s a rather touching photo of two groups who, fifty years before, were desperately trying to kill each each other. The Union soldiers are on the left in blue, the Confederates on the right in gray. Read the caption, which comes from Wikipedia. The “bloody angle” where they’re shaking hands is the only place where the two sides fought hand to hand that day, and is mentioned in the Burns video above.

. . . Across the stone wall, which marks the boundaries of the famous “Bloody Angle” where Pickett lost over 3,000 men from a force of 6,000 these old soldiers of the North and South clasped hands in fraternal affection / / International News Service, 200 William St., New York.
  • 1938 – World speed record for a steam locomotive is set in England, by the Mallard, which reaches a speed of 125.88 miles per hour (202.58 km/h).

Here’s the engine (what a great name!): steam locomotive No. 4468 Mallard at the National Railway Museum in York. And her record still stands!

This ship still holds the record for the fastest average speed across the Atlantic. Our family sailed to England on this ship back in the days when Army officers and their families were sent overseas in style (we were headed to Athens for a 2.5-year tour of duty). Here’s the ship, which ended its own tour of duty in 1969 after only 17 years.

(Image: Cruise Maven)
  • 1996 – British Prime Minister John Major announced the Stone of Scone would be returned to Scotland.

Da Nooz:

*In the wake of the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, several states have allowed abortion to remain in place pending the inevitable court challenges. This was true in Texas too, until yesterday, when the Texas Supreme Court overturned ta court-mandated freeze of abortion bans, allowing a draconic antiabortion law from 1925, still on the books but not enforced until now, to take effect:

The Texas Supreme Court allowed a 1925 law banning abortion to take effect late on Friday night, overturning a lower court ruling that had temporarily blocked it.

The decision was the latest in a series of legal battles across the country following the Supreme Court’s decision on June 24 to overturn Roe v. Wade, a nearly half-century-old ruling that had established a constitutional right to abortion nationwide.

In Texas, that meant a 1925 law written before Roe that had banned abortions and punished those who performed them with possible imprisonment automatically went into effect, said Ken Paxton, the state’s attorney general. Though the law was not enforced after Roe was decided in 1973, it had nevertheless remained on the books.

That ban was temporarily blocked by a Harris County judge after abortion clinics sued for a stay, arguing that it had effectively been repealed after the landmark Roe ruling.

On Saturday morning, Mr. Paxton called the reversal of the stay a “pro-life victory!” on Twitter.

“Our state’s pre-Roe statutes banning abortion in Texas are 100% good law,” he wrote. “Litigation continues, but I’ll keep winning for Texas’s unborn babies.”

The article quotes the ACLU as saying that Texas won’t enforce criminal prosecution of abortion pending further appeals and court battles.

*If somebody shot me every time I prefaced bad news by saying, “Shoot me now!”,  I’d have more holes than a sieve. The latest is Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s announcement that civics training of Florida teachers will now include a repudiation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause. (DeSantis may be our next President, and then I will shoot myself!)

New civics training for Florida public school teachers comes with a dose of Christian dogma, some teachers say, and they worry that it also sanitizes history and promotes inaccuracies.

Included in the training is the statement that it is a “misconception” that “the Founders desired strict separation of church and state.”

Other materials included fragments of statements that were “cherry-picked” to present a more conservative view of American history, some attendees said. In a possible effort to inoculate some Founding Fathers against contemporary political complaints, some slides in a presentation pointed out that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson repudiated slavery; unsaid is that both men held enslaved people and helped worked toward a Constitution that enshrined the practice.

“My takeaway from the training is that civics education in the state of Florida right now is geared toward pushing some particular points of view,” said Broward County teacher Richard Judd, who attended the three-day training. “The thesis they ran with is that there is no real separation of church and state.”

Goodbye democracy; hello theocracy!

*Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, the police chief of the Uvalde, Texas school district, where the cops botched the takedown of the man who murdered 19 children and two teachers, has resigned from the Uvalde city council. He was elected on May 7, two weeks before the shooting. He’s not a police chief now, either, as CNN reports:

Arredondo’s role in the police response to the May 24 shooting — in which a gunman entered adjoining classrooms and killed 19 children and two teachers — has been under intense public scrutiny and criticism from the Texas Department of Public Safety. That’s in part because more than an hour elapsed before officers entered the classrooms and killed the gunman.

Arredondo was placed on leave from his job as school district police chief by the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District last week.

An investigation of the police screwup is underway, and until then Arredondo is merely “on leave”. But I’d be very surprised if they didn’t fire his tuchas.

*YOU ALMOST CERTAINLY DO NOT NEED TO TAKE VITAMINS! They can even hurt you! That’s the message of a new analysis that was reported on last night’s NBC Evening News and is on the NBC website.

Vitamins and supplements offer little to no benefit in preventing cancer or heart disease, a new review of 84 studies found.

Based on that conclusion, an independent panel of experts at the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said on Tuesday that it had “insufficient evidence” to either recommend or discourage the use of multivitamins or supplements to prevent those health outcomes.

The review examined the impacts of popular supplements like beta carotene, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc, as well as multivitamins and vitamins A, B, C, D and E.

But the guidance came with caveats: It does not apply to children, people who are chronically ill or those with a known nutritional deficiency. The task force also recommended a daily folic acid supplement for people who are pregnant or considering pregnancy.

For the average healthy adult, however, “there’s no reason to start taking dietary supplements more broadly,” said Dr. Howard Sesso, associate director of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Sesso is not a member of the task force but two of his studies were included in the review.

“For those who are currently taking a multivitamin in particular, I don’t think this statement necessarily ought to change what you’re doing, but it’s always important to reevaluate why you’re taking dietary supplements,” Sesso said.

Vitamin E and beta-carotene, they say, can actually be injurious. As always, consult your doctor, for unless you absolutely need a vitamin supplement for a condition like the ones named above, you probably don’t need to waste your money. During my entire childhood I was forced to take foul-tasting liquid vitamins from a dropper every evening.

*Here’s the sleazy, lying way that Russia pretends it’s not attacking civilian targets in Ukraine, despite the recent deaths of 21 people in a missile attack on an apartment.

Russian attacks on civilian sites sharply increased in the second half of June, Ukrainian officials say, with the strikes involving older and more imprecise weapons from Moscow’s Soviet arsenal that result in greater casualties.

Over 200 missiles were fired on Ukraine in that period — more than double the amount in the first half of the month — Brig. Gen. Oleksii Hromov said at a news conference on Thursday.

“To carry out rocket strikes, the enemy in more than 50 percent of cases is using missiles from the Soviet reserve, which are not sufficiently precise,” General Hromov said. “As a result, civilian buildings are being hit.”

Some of the deadliest strikes occurred in the past week. On Monday, two old Kh-22 missiles hit a mall in the industrial city of Kremenchuk, killing at least 20 people, and an attack in the northeastern city of Kharkiv killed five people and wounded 22. And on Friday morning, missiles ripped into an apartment building in a town near Odesa, killing 21 people and injuring dozens.

Russia has claimed that it aims only at targets of military value — even though some were hundreds of miles from the front lines in eastern Ukraine — and that whenever a civilian facility was hit, it was one that the Ukrainian military had co-opted for use as a command post, a shelter for foreign fighters or storage for weapons.

The Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, told reporters on his daily conference call on Friday that Russia targeted ammunition and arms depots, plants that manufacture and repair military equipment, and places where “foreign mercenaries” and “nationalist elements” are based and trained.

Russia also often accuses the Ukrainians of staging the attack and using paid crisis actors.

Crisis actors and staged attacks my tuchas!

*Finally, I am sad to report the demise of reader Linda Calhoun’s cat Clawed Monet died on Friday night in New Mexico. He passed peacefully in his sleep at the ripe old age of 18.  Linda gives this caption to the photo of Clawed below (I still think he had the best cat name ever!).

Here is Clawed on top of the pellet stove.  He HATED being cold, and always found the warmest place he could get into during the winter.

RIP Clawed. Linda has seven other cats, all of them black.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is philosophizing:

Hili: One Big Bang and so many troubles.
A: What do you have in mind?
Hili: You have to admit that it must’ve been quieter before the Big Bang.
In Polish:

Hili: Jeden Wielki Wybuch i tyle kłopotów.
Ja: Co masz na myśli?
Hili: Przyznasz, że przed Wielkim Wybuchem musiało być spokojniej.

A picture of sweet baby Kulka taken by Paulina.

Caption: Paulina left cleaning aside and took a picture of Kulka,

In Polish: Paulina oderwała się od sprzątania i pstryknęła zdjęcie Kulki.


This is from Facebook, and Snopes deems this a genuine quote from Trump:

From reddit: Cat watches onions being cut (h/t Peter). It’s crying!

to watch onions being cut from therewasanattempt

An atavistic mutation or developmental anomaly that reactivates quiescent “hairy mammoth” genes?

The tweet of God:

This is not speeded up:

From Luana. As biology has its facts denied by the Woke, we see things that look almost like parodies But this was for real. Imagine needing security for discussing why there are two sexes! Such are the times that try men’s and women’s souls:

From SImon, who says that I need one of these. I’m not sure if he’s referring to the bear or the crater!

From the Auschwitz Memorial: a soccer player who did not survive:

Tweets from Matthew. This video is lovely, and of course you must turn up the sound:

A 45-second montage of a crater on Mars. Amazing!

Sequential wags!

Post of the Month (so far). Is that a sugar glider?

28 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. Pitcairn in 2010, also Ducie and Henderson. Great Noble Caledonia expedition cruise in a small ship from Easter Island to Tahiti.

    1. Condolences indeed. Also, that is a good name for a cat.
      We always let our kids name the cats, and they displayed no creativity at all. We ended up with “Mrs. Cat”, or “Barn Cat #4”.

    2. Sorry about Clawed Monet. The name makes me smile.

      I have learned that pets can mean a lot to their owners. Hard to express in a comment.

  2. > You are living in a simulation

    I do wonder sometimes…

    > and the creature running the simulation has become an alcoholic.

    If the human fixation on reality shows us anything, the critter is a sadist with a short attention span. I wonder sometimes if the twenty-first century would have been nearly as toxic if social media and reality shows hadn’t evolved in tandem. They have a fascinating symbiosis.

  3. In Germany, gender activists are also gaining more and more influence. The Humbold University has cancelled the lecture (title: “Sex is not equal to gender. Sex, gender and why there are only two sexes in biology”) by biologist Marie-Luise Vollbrecht, which was to be given as part of the “Long Night of the Sciences”. A “Working Group of Critical Lawyers at Humboldt University Berlin (Arbeitskreis kritischer Jurist*innen an der Humboldt Uni Berlin)” called for strong protests against the lecture. The university justified its cancellation with safety concerns.

    Marie-Luise Vollbrecht commented on the incident as follows on Twitter.

    @HumboldtUni has decided to cancel my speech about biology and the evolution of the two sexes. According to the university, it was canceled it for security risks for this public science event. Ironically, the theme was the role of science in an area of fake news. Shame!

  4. I notice the WP’s piece on Florida curriculum attributes the separation of church and state info only as “some teachers say.” We’ll see if this report is of the same caliber as “don’t say gay.”

    1. Other reports included slides from the presentation. One of the ‘common misconceptions ‘ slides was about state church separation.

  5. You have my sympathies, Linda. I hope you take solace in many fond memories of him. His name is indeed one of the best cat names ever. You may appreciate another, also a Francophile allusion, that a friend of mine gave one of his cats: Darius Meow.

  6. Apropos the steam locomotive Mallard, PCC(E) and fellow anatidaephiles may like to know that the statue of its designer Sir Nigel Gresley at Kings Cross station in London was originally intended to include a mallard duck, in recognition of Gresley’s love of water fowl. Alas, his descendants vetoed the idea, and the statue is sans duck. However, in the best British tradition, many people waved yellow rubber ducks at the unveiling ceremony, as the BBC reports here:

    1. I was given an electric train set for my fifth birthday, featuring the Mallard locomotive plus a number of appropriate coaches and a guard’s van. I played with it a lot.

      I wish I still had it. Unfortunately my father sold it when I was away, without asking me. Shame.

  7. Sorry, Linda, for your loss. Losing an 18-year-old family member must be crushing. Only time can heal these wounds.

  8. That Mars crater looks oddly like a flower.

    That Kulka photo is adorable.

    That Trump is still an utter fool.

  9. Thanks to all who offered condolences.

    I worried about him when Pewter died because they were so bonded, but he took it in stride. He turned into kind of a curmudgeon as he aged, demanding attention in a loud voice any time a human passed into his line of sight.

    He started out being feral, born into someone’s horse barn. I got him at a year old, intending him to be a barn cat, but he moved into the house quickly once it became obvious that he needed more attention than he was likely to get outside. He had only spent one winter in a barn, but it was something he was determined not to ever let happen again.

    He was one of two animals that came with us from our previous location, the other being Burrito, our donkey, who is still with us and is likely to be for a long time, as he is in excellent health.

    Thank you again for your thoughts.


    1. As others have written, that name was a classic! And as a cat person, I’m especially sorry for your loss. My oldest of nine is 16, and I dread the thought that she may not be with me too much longer. All of mine are ferals who came to me from the woods behind my house–most injured at the time. It is so wonderful when they begin responding to you, as Clawed Monet clearly did to you.

  10. I think Russian duplicity should be exposed in all its forms.

    At the same time, I want to be no less informed about duplicity from anyone else. For example, are Ukrainian munitions striking schools the children of Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine attend? I want to see photos of that.

    The NY Times has been good in the last couple of weeks to show dead Ukrainian soldiers in their coffins. I think the world, and Americans, should see that, just as I think Americans, especially those gung-ho, should have to have seen American service members in their coffins returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.

    I’ll go ahead and say that, if one is going to eat beef, etc., I think s/he should visit and observe what goes on at a slaughterhouse/abbatoir. (I have visited. I was shocked.) That would elicit frantic calls for trigger warnings and safe spaces.

  11. If that crater on Mars actually exists, I think we would have seen that photo many times before now.
    And there would have been voluminous commentary explaining the amazing structures visible there.
    It looks organic to me — like a flower, as one person commented above.
    Did somebody suggest a pig’s eye?
    That porcine allusion suggests a false or mistaken notion, as in the old quip — “In a pig’s eye!”
    The honeycombed central area looks pristine — unlike any crater on any planet or its moons I have seen photos of.
    All the craters I can recall having seen are riddled with other, smaller, craters.
    I hope we hear clarification if indeed this is a joke, or a misidentified photo.
    And it it’s real — Where is the trove of commentary?
    Are you-all having flashes of the alleged canals on Mars from way back yonder?

    1. “All the craters I can recall having seen are riddled with other, smaller, craters.”

      You are probably thinking of craters on the Moon or some of the other planets and moons with no atmosphere to erode them. Plenty of the Mars craters have interesting formations inside them due to swirling winds. They aren’t very strong as the atmosphere is thin but given plenty of time … Here’s a Google search for lots of Mars crater pics:

    2. Your skepticism is odd. Lots of weird and interesting pictures of Mars’ surface. This one’s hardly the strangest. Have you ever seen the Martian ‘trees’?

  12. LOL! Your memories of childhood vitamin taking bought back memories of my own Jerry. Each morning, when I was a young child, I was a given a dessert spoon of cod liver oil. Spoonful of a concoction called Lane’s Emulsion, a thick white syrup that tasted OK, but I guess anything tastes OK after cod liver oil! Finally, a spoonful of malt. YUM! So it seems that my mother’s care was unnecessary. Perhaps, but I have never been sick in my life so who knows?

  13. “Has any reader ever been to Pitcairn?”

    No, but I worked with someone who claimed to be a descendant of the Pitcairn islanders.

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