Monday: Hili dialogue

July 11, 2022 • 6:30 am

We’ll have a truncated Hili today as I prepare most of this the day before, and yesterday I was busy. That be said, readership seems thin on these posts, and I may cut them back to the original form: just the Hili dialogue.

But welcome to the beginning of the “work” week: Monday, July 11, 2022: National Blueberry Muffin Day—the State Muffin of Minnesota.) These are the best muffins, especially when warm and buttered, but oy! are they laden with calories. A “large” blueberry muffin (3.25 inches in diameter and 2.75 inches high) has 385 calories, and face it, that’s really a “small” blueberry muffin these days. We’re really talking about 500+ calories. But even a smaller blueberry muffin takes this much exercise to burn off its calories:

But of course nearly all muffins are loaded with calories. Still. . . .

It’s also Corn on the Cob Day, National German Chocolate Cake Day, World Gin Day, National Rosé Day (the wine), Free Slurpee Day (at participating stores of the 7-Eleven chain in North America; go here to learn how to get yours), and World Population Day.

Stuff that happened on July 11 include:

A note on that:

Six of the voyages occurred during the Yongle reign (r. 1402–24), while the seventh voyage occurred during the Xuande reign (r. 1425–1435). The first three voyages reached up to Calicut on India’s Malabar Coast, while the fourth voyage went as far as Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. In the last three voyages, the fleet traveled up to the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa.

The Chinese expeditionary fleet was heavily militarized and carried great amounts of treasures, which served to project Chinese power and wealth to the known world. They brought back many foreign ambassadors whose kings and rulers were willing to declare themselves tributaries of China.

  • 1576 – While exploring the North Atlantic Ocean in an attempt to find the Northwest Passage, Martin Frobisher sights Greenland, mistaking it for the hypothesized (but non-existent) island of “Frisland”.
  • 1804 – A duel occurs in which the Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr mortally wounds former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.
  • 1893 – The first cultured pearl is obtained by Kōkichi Mikimoto.

After a ton of effort, Mikimoto learned to produce cultured pearls by inserting a piece of “mother of pearl” covered with a bit of mantle membrane into an oyster shell, which the oyster would cover with nacre. Below is a photo of Mikimoto is doing just that. His pearls were often indistinguishable from the real thing, and are still sold at fancy prices in Tokyo:

After realizing that they wouldn’t get near the Pole, the men landed and then crossed the pack ice to an uninhabited island, where they died of unknown causes. They did recover the photographic plates, though. Here’s one showing the stranded balloon and two of the three men on the team.

(from Wikipedia): Örnen (The Eagle) shortly after its descent onto pack ice. Photographed by Nils Strindberg, the exposed plate was among those recovered in 1930. 

Brown, 20 (phot below), was drowned by her boyfriend after she told him she was pregnant. Based on the circumstances and the letters they exchanged before her death, Chester was convicted of murder and executed:

  • 1914 – Babe Ruth makes his debut in Major League Baseball.

The Babe was a pitcher then (a good one!), and, pitching seven innings, led the Boston Red Sox to a 2-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians. But he had no hits during two times at bat. (Babe’s contract was later sold to the Yankess, and the rest is history. Here’s the Bambino pitching for the Red Sox:

That’s a great trivia question to ask people.  Here’s Taft as Chief Justice; he served until 1930:

  • 1924 – Eric Liddell won the gold medal in 400m at the 1924 Paris Olympics, after refusing to run in the heats for 100m, his favoured distance, on the Sunday.

You’ll remember this if you saw the excellent movie “Chariots of Fire.” Here’s a video of Liddell winning the gold medal in the 400. This “muscular Christian” became am missionary and died at 42 of a brain tumor while interned in China by the Japanese. Watch the video below by clicking on the “Watch on YouTube” line below. A note:

Eric Liddell, also known as the Flying Scotsman, was an unlikely Olympic champion. With a unique style of running – with his head back and mouth open – he was even ridiculed by his opponents. Still, he overcame all of that in the Paris 1924 Olympic Games. Liddell’s first Olympic final took place in the 200 metres competition where he won the Olympic bronze medal with a time of 21.9 seconds. However, his most impressive performance would come later in the 400m, where he covered the first 200m in an astonishing 22.2 seconds. During the second half of the race, he was still able to increase his lead against his fellow competitors to win the Olympic gold medal. His time – 47.6 seconds – was now the new Olympic record.

The ship carried “4,515 Jewish migrants from France to Mandatory Palestine. Most were Holocaust survivors who had no legal immigration certificates for Palestine. The Royal Navy boarded her in international waters and took her to Haifa, where ships were waiting to return the migrants to refugee camps in Europe.”

The migrants wound up in Germany! Nobody wants the Jews.

Here’s a trailer for the 1960 movie “Exodus”, which featured the ship:. Paul Newman played a Jew who could pass for a goy because of his looks. Here his physiognamy is inspected for Semitic features. 

A first edition and first printing of this classic, unsigned, will cost you about $22,500 (below):

  • 1972 – The first game of the World Chess Championship 1972 between challenger Bobby Fischer and defending champion Boris Spassky starts.
  • 2015 – Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán escapes from the maximum security Altiplano prison in Mexico. It’s his second escape.

Guzman, below in a mug shot, is serving life plus thirty years at America’s toughest prison, ADX Florence. He won’t escape again.

Da Nooz:

Only one bit of news: The Washington Post reports on a Duck Lawsuit. A Texas couple has put their home up for sale because their homeowners association were feeding local ducks!

Their offense, according to the suit: feeding the ducks that roam their subdivision outside Houston.

Kathleen Rowe, 65, and her husband George moved into the home across from a waterway in Cypress, Tex., about a decade ago, soon after their only child died. She found feeding the ducks therapeutic and has continued ever since, according to their attorney, Richard Weaver. damages

In June, the Lakeland Community Homeowners Association decided it had had enough of the Rowes feeding the waterfowl despite what it said were repeated warnings not to. The association filed suit against the couple in Harris County Civil Court, asking a judge for a “permanent mandatory injunction requiring Defendants to cease from feeding any wildlife” in the neighborhood.

Feeding the ducks “runs afoul of the general plan and scheme of Subdivision” and has caused “imminent harm and irreparable injury to the Plaintiff,” the lawsuit reads. The lawsuit asks the court for permission for the HOA to foreclose on the property if the Rowes continue to feed the ducks.

Imminent harm and irreparable injury? I doubt it: if they fed the ducks only a little, and there wasn’t leftover food, and it didn’t attract more ducks, then what’s the harm. Of course I am not a biased observer!

But wait; there’s more. Many of these aren’t wild mallards:

“I’m a board-certified real estate attorney, and this lawsuit is truly the silliest lawsuit I’ve ever seen in my practice,” Weaver said. “This attorney has essentially claimed that feeding ducks is either noxious or offensive — I think that’s an incredible statement.”

Weaver said ducks are common in the neighborhood and are even visible on Google Maps street view in front of the Rowe’s home. Kathleen decided to start feeding the ducks because many of them were raised in pet stores and purchased by families for events such as Easter, then released into the wild, according to Weaver.

“They’ve never had a mother,” Kathleen told the Houston Chronicle. “I feel like I’m just stepping in.”
Nice people, asinine homeowners association!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is accusing Szaron of perfidy:

Hili: Stop reading and look at Szaron.
A: What happened?
Hili: I think that he is changing settings on your computer.

In Polish:

Hili: Przestań czytać, spójrz na Szarona.
Ja: Co się stało?
Hili: On chyba ci zmienia ustawienia w komputerze.

And a photo of Szaron:


From Merilee:

From Jean:

From Science Humor: “The best support ever.”


Two duck tweets to start the week off right:

You’ve got mail!

From Malcolm: a giant Flemish bunny (there is no sound)

Yes, the pelican is trying, but it won’t succeed:

From Simon: A tweet by Margaret Atwood:

From the Auschwitz Memorial: three days of mass slaughter:

Tweets from Matthew. Tony Sirico, who played Paulie Walnuts on “The Sopranos”, died on Friday at 79. Here’s an anecdote about his role in the show:

Two things to note in this one:

Two excellent of good advice for posterity from Bertrand Russell:

60 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. Nice people, asinine homeowners association!

    Maybe it’s just survivorship bias (of the bad and hence entertaining stories) but I don’t think I’ve heard anything good about homeowners’ associations ever. We don’t really have them in the UK and, if they are so bad, why do Americans put up with them?

    Also on the Jaws t-shirt, I get the missing arm thing but what is the second thing to note?

    1. A homeowners association plays a crucial and necessary role in assuring that certain housing complexes (that are extremely common in the U.S., particularly condominiums) maintain a quality standard of living for its residents. Wikipedia defines it is as follows: “A homeowner association (or homeowners’ association, abbreviated HOA, sometimes referred to as a property owners’ association or POA), or a homeowner community, is a private association-like entity often formed either ipso jure in a building with multiple owner-occupancies, or by a real estate developer for the purpose of marketing, managing, and selling homes and lots in a residential subdivision. In the United States, the developer will typically transfer control of the association to the homeowners after selling a predetermined number of lots.”

      Each association has a Board of Directors elected by the owners. The Board makes sure that all owners adhere to the rules and regulations of the Association that can be found in its policy manual. The Board votes on an annual budget to pay for the maintenance, repair, and improvement of the complex’s common areas. It determines the assessments owners have to pay to finance these actions. It can levy fines or take legal action against owners that violate the rules and regulations of the Association.

      If a majority of owners dislike a decision of the Board of Directors, they can vote them out at the next annual election. As a longtime member of the Board of my condominium association, I can assure you that no homeowner complex could function without it.

      1. Feeding wildlife, even ferals, is generally not a good idea as there are unintended consequences often inapparent to city-dwellers. I’m with the Homeowners’ Association on this one. Even if the mendicants are ducks.

      2. I can assure that a homeowner complex could function without it. I live in one such complex.

        If you buy a house in Britain, you will not be forced into joining an HOA. The idea would be considered laughable here. The same may not apply to apartment blocks but, as I said, I live in one that doesn’t have an HOA. There is a management company but it is not controlled by the residents.

        1. I do not know how a homerowners association works in Britain. I suspect you don’t know much about how they work in the U.S. Probably the term “homeowners association” has very different legal meanings in both countries. It is pointless to get into a detailed discussion about the legal differences between them, including their responsibilities and powers, and what are the requirements to join one. I think we are comparing apples and oranges. I will just point out that in the U.S. most purchasers of private, standalone dwellings do not join an association because they do not exist and there is no legal requirement for one. Most associations exist in condominium buildings (apartment buildings where each unit is owned by an entity that has legal title it). I believe that each condominium must have an association as mandated by state law. In the U.S. a homeowners association is a form of democracy and absolutely necessary to prevent chaos.

          1. I’m also not an expert but my belief is that homeowners associations vary greatly across the US. Some do very little and charge low association fees and some go the other way. There is also a huge variability in how much of the management job is done by the association itself vs deferred to a contracted professional property management company. These things also vary greatly depending on the size of the property. A property with, say, 10 units will almost certain use a property management company for virtually everything. One with, say, 40000 units may even have its own police force.

            1. You are right that what associations do vary greatly. I lived in a condominium with only 12 units. In that situation the association did all the necessary things by itself. That is, it didn’t hire a property manager. Now I live in a large multi-building condo complex. We have a property management company, an onsite property manager, and several maintenance employees. The Board of Directors (elected by the membership) plays an essentially oversight role. Most everyday decisions are made by the property manager, but based on certain criteria the property manager is required to get Board approval for certain actions. The Board reserves the right to overrule any decision (big or small) made by the property manager. Of course, all decisions made by the association or the property manager must conform with the state’s Condominium Act.

              1. Yes, that has been my experience over the years as well. My old association also used to switch property management companies every few years to counter the lock-in effect where the property management company becomes more expensive and less responsive over time.

        2. Some (*some*) of the aspects covered by American HOAs are covered in Britain (well, England, not Scotland, don’t know about Wales or NI) by the duties imposed by the freehold owner on the leasehold owner. We also had “feu duties” (same root as “feudal”) in Scotland until they were abolished in the early 1990s.

          What’s that, Lassie? It’s a tangled mess, everywhere? Better go push Timmy down a well then. We know what to do about that!

    2. I was going to say, “asinine homeowners association” is almost a redundant term, but I know that’s a biased response. I haven’t honestly had many irritating interactions with with such associations, though, to be fair. I’m willing to believe that overall they are beneficial, and unfortunately, we only interact with them in general except when there is a conflict…and so they get a bit of a bad rap. Similar sentiments surely arise regarding traffic cops, for instance, but I would NEVER want to do without traffic cops (Trafficking Cops is another matter).

    3. I decided the two things are simply the t-shirt and the missing arm.

      Homeowners associations do get a bad rap, but they are intended for housing people who do not want to live next door to people who do not keep up their property. But I keep hearing that they get out of hand in how they control everything like the color of your front door (which shade of beige do you want?), and whether you can have a trampoline in the back yard for the kids (the answer will be no).

      1. They can, and with some frequency do, get out of hand. I’ve experienced this . . . , first hand.

        I’d say the problem is that the majority of homeowners, the majority of people in general, aren’t interested in being hassled or in hassling their neighbors without a certain level of provocation, and they also don’t want to be bothered with running for HOA office.

        But there are very likely to be a few people in any sizable group that are highly motivated to get in other people’s business. Authoritarians that actively go looking, hoping, to find an infraction that they can raise a stink about. These sorts of people love being on HOA boards and are motivated to run for office. If the homeowners become complacent these kind of people in control of the board will pass new rules to give the HOA more authority and to make it more difficult to oppose them. Just like politics at state and national levels the nature of the job combined with human nature tends to result in the worst people for the job ending up with it and it gets worse over time. Unless enough people from the large majority of more moderate individuals motivate themselves to sacrifice their time for the greater good.

        1. Yes! HOAs attract a lot of petty tyrants. After all, why would anyone want the unpaid thankless job except to lord it over their neighbors? Actually, I can think of some valid reasons but the rule pretty much holds in my experience.

          1. In South Africa there are two distinct forms of complex living. Sectional Title, which is managed by a managing agent, and Full Title, which has a HOA. The former is usually larger complexes made up of many smaller properties, with the latter being the opposite. This is determined by law, and when buying into a Full Title complex one has no choice but to become a member of the HOA. In our case (HOA) the problem is usually people prepared to serve on the HOA!

  2. 7/11 is an anchor date for July
    11/7 is an anchor for November

    Anchor dates are the same day of the week, any year or leap year, any month.

    Regarding the readership : I delight in these daily pieces, if only reading from the email. Yesterday’s had technical errors.

  3. Well, I for one will miss these posts. I finally had time to catch them everyday after lockdown and they got me through the first year’s mornings. I look for them first every morning, even when I have to wait for them to be posted eastern time.

    (I read them via Feedly–not sure if that adds read-posts to your stats.)

    –signed, one of Greg’s first UW-P students.

  4. 1906 – Murder of Grace Brown by Chester Gillette in the United States, inspiration for Theodore Dreiser‘s An American Tragedy.

    Adapted to the big silver screen in 1951 as George Stevens’s classic A Place in the Sun staring Liz Taylor, Monty Clift, and Shelley Winters. (Nominated for nine Oscars, won six.)

  5. “… Sirico agreed to do the series as long as Paulie never became a ‘rat,’ aka a government informant, as the actor had a criminal past and took the issue seriously.”

    Now that’s an old-school stand-up gangster, one whose wiseguy DNA traces back to the days before Joe Valachi, Sammy the Bull, and Henry Hill.

  6. Joe Biden is expected to reveal the first image from the James Webb Space Telescope today, 5pm EDT. Presumably live on NASA’s youtube feed (and elsewhere?). Other images (and the first JWST spectrum of an exoplanet) tomorrow …

  7. I like the Hili dialogue with all the bits.

    Coincidentally, Kit Kat currently has a blueberry muffin version on their candy bar on sale.

    Love the Russell video.

  8. From the NASA link :

    “On Monday, July 11 at 5 p.m. EDT, President Joe Biden will release one of Webb’s first images in a preview event at the White House in Washington. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson will provide remarks. A live stream of the event will be available on NASA TV.”

    Thanks Coel for noting that! 5 PM EST – be there or B^2

  9. Was Bertrand Russell actually an incarnation of The Doctor? Or did the 12th Doctor just paraphrase him during his pre-regeneration speech to his future self (“Remember: Hate is always foolish, and love is always wise.”)

    1. Until I read your comment it hadn’t occurred to me that Russell bore a certain resemblance to the first Doctor, as portrayed by actor William Hartnell. Could the character of The Doctor have been modeled on Russell?

  10. I’ve always enjoyed reading Russell, ever since his Why I Am Not a Christian, which I stumbled on in high school, but I had forgotten how much he talked like Queen Liz.

  11. Do not cut back. Your info is about all I can stand to read anymore. And the news is bound to get worse in November.

    1. Agreed. Do not cut back on the content. I love all the info and it takes me quite awhile to get through because I tend to seek more info on Wikipedia, or recipes, or photos. Rabbit holes galore. I can spend hours learning new stuff. Do not cut back, please!

    2. Agreed, but if you’re using an old device, the page loads very slowly. (I used to skip the Hili Dialogue for that reason until I upgraded)

  12. Just FYI, there are two televised hearings planned this week by the Jan. 6th Committee: Tuesday morning and Thursday in prime time. Stock up on the popcorn!

  13. I read about Howard Taft that it was always his dream to become a judge on the U.S. Supreme Court. The presidential job, however, he is said to have rather hated. Can any fellow commentators confirm these assumptions?

    1. That’s what I remember reading too. Teddy Roosevelt wanted Taft to run as President and continue his policies, but when Taft began deviating from TR’s preferences things got ugly.

      I also recall that Taft supposedly was the only President to get stuck in the White House bathtub. I hope that hasn’t been debunked!

  14. I would encourage everyone who reads and loves these posts like I do to make sure you click on the post on the website and not just read in email or through some other means. That way there will be an accurate count of how many are actually reading. Thanks!

    1. For some reason the website pages only load partway. This has been happening for a few days. I wonder what the issue is. WordPress, Safari, viruses on my computer? I have been relying on the email message.

  15. “The revered pacifist, disarmer and philosophical titan, Bertrand Russell, dreamed up a wheeze that would have made even Nazi Germany’s eugenicists blush. He suggested the state issue colour-coded ‘procreation tickets’. Those who dared breed with holders of a different-coloured ticket would face a heavy fine. That way the high-calibre gene pool of the elite would not be muddied by any proletarian or worse, foreign, muck.”

      1. The point is Russell was a moral midget and left little of value to posterity. The article does a good job of tracing eugenics to socialism. “The names of Russell, Webb and Shaw still retain their lustre – despite their association with the foulest idea of the 20th century. They escaped the reckoning. Perhaps now, posthumously, it’s time to see them, and much of socialism itself, as they truly were.” Eugenics seems to be nicely attuned to atheism, too. Since the commenters here seem largely left leaning and atheistic, I thought the links between Russell, eugenics, leftism and atheism might be of general interest. But I see you’re already aware.

  16. I would certainly miss the morning rundown of news, events in history and all the rest. I love it all and look forward to it every day.

  17. “A Texas couple has put their home up for sale because their homeowners association were feeding local ducks!”
    I think your description of this story got mangled. The homeowners association was not feeding the ducks. Maybe you meant to write, “…their homeowners association *were angry at them* for feeding local ducks”?

  18. Good Atwood tweet. The priorities of Americans are very confusing.

    I don’t always comment on the Hili Dialogue, but I read it every morning, and wouldn’t know how to prioritize my day without it! 🙂

  19. What is “The Human Condition”?
    it has 3 parts, all keyed to our necessary & mutual COMMUNITY —
    To wit — belonging & contributing & receiving
    1] Us readers BELONG to Jerry’s community of readers …
    2] he CONTRIBUTES his blog to our community, but …
    3] what does Jerry RECEIVE from his readers?
    He receives … mostly silence, which is kind of pissing him off.
    So — my fellow readers: if you feel a bit of guilt for not contributing?
    Drop him [& the rest of us too!] a note of thanks, a nod of appreciation.
    I bet you will feel a bit like you … belong.

  20. 2021 – Richard Branson becomes the first civilian to be launched into space via his Virgin Galactic spacecraft.

    I expected someone else to have commented by now, but wasn’t Neil Armstrong a civilian test pilot employed by NASA?

    1. We’re all born civilian. It’s Branson’s status at launch that establishes the record. Actually, it’s more a comment about who funded the rocket launch.

      1. And they’re done – the pic looks great, on my tiny screen – anyway, exciting to experience a completely new image live.

    1. Zoom up on it and see so many spiral galaxies. Also more gravitationally lensed galaxies than in any picture I’ve seen before. Truly spectacular. More will be released tomorrow morning at 10:30 am Eastern.

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