Wednesday: Hili dialogue (and Kulka monologue)

July 20, 2022 • 6:30 am

Welcome to Hump Day (Giorno della gobba in Italian): Wednesday, July 20, 2022. It as happens to be National Lollipop Day.  Here’s a colorized Shirley Temple singing about them (the movie is “Bright Eyes” from 1934).  The backstory:

Five-year-old Shirley Blake (Shirley Temple) and her widowed mother, Mary (Lois Wilson), a maid, live in the home of her employers, the rich and mean-spirited Smythe family, Anita (Dorothy Christy), J. Wellington (Theodore von Eltz), their spoiled seven-year-old daughter, Joy (Jane Withers) and cantankerous wheelchair-using Uncle Ned (Charles Sellon). After Christmas morning, Shirley hitches a ride to the airport to visit her late father’s pilot friends. The aviators bring her aboard an airplane and taxi her around the runways while she serenades them with a rendition of On the Good Ship Lollipop.

It’s also National Hot Dog Day (especially celebrated in Chicago),  Moon Day (see below), International Chess Day, Nap Day, Space Exploration Day, and National Fortune Cookie Day:

Wine of the Day: Here we have a skin-contact white wine from Spain: a white wine that is allowed to ferment while on the skin of white grapes (no red grapes are used to make it, see below for the grape varieties). Thus the color isn’t piink, but orangish (see below), ergo these are also called “orange wines” (see photo below).

I think this is the first “orange wine” I’ve ever had.  The vintage is not indicated on the bottle, but based on the review below, I suspect it was from 2020. It is an excellent white, more robust and flavorful than most whites or rosés that cost twice as much as this (this one went for a mere $9.99. It has a highly unusual flavor that is new to me; it’s a gutsy white, slightly redolent of orange blossoms, and tastes a bit like dried apricots. I had it with fettuccini Alfredo (with added peas), and the slightly off-dry wine went well with the cheesy pasta.

Vin Chicago, where I bought it, quotes Robert Parker, who gave it a 90 rating, high for a $10  bottle. He’s far better than I in both experience and ability to describe flavors:

“There is a new skin-contact white produced with a blend of the white grapes, Garnacha Blanca, Albillo Real, Palomino, Chelva and Chasselas-Dor called the 2020 La Transicin Blanco Especial. It was produced exclusively from old vines at a high altitude on granite soils. It fermented in concrete with skins after the grapes were cooled down for 28 days and then matured with lees for three months. It has a dark golden color, a medium body with moderate alcohol (12.5%) and an expressive nose of peach and yellow pit fruit, white flowers and some nuts. It’s mellow and has integrated acidity and good freshness, a round palate with pungent flavors and a salty sensation in the finish. Experiment with white meat dishes.”

If you see this wine for around ten bucks, buy a couple of bottles. Highly recommended, especially for its high quality/price ratio. I suspect, though, that this one is hard to come by.

The orange tint:

Stuff that happened on July 20 includes:

Here’s an 1806 diagram of the engine by the Niépce brothers, which was powered by solid fuel. It did drive a boat, but was replaced by other designs:

, which did power a boat, but was replaced by

  • 1848 – The first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, a two-day event, concludes. [JAC: I highlighted this yesterday,  but failed to mention that Frederick Douglass was also there and spoke.]
  • 1900 – An airship designed and constructed by Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin of Germany made its first flight near Friedrichshafen.

Here’s that first Zeppelin in the air above a boat on Lake Constance, but Wikipedia says that flight was on July 3 and doesn’t mention July 20 at all:

This would have been a Model A, shown below. This is the oldest surviving Model A, dating from 1903, and still with its $830 price tag–expensive as that’s the equivalent in modern money of $28,000):

I’ve been on it, and it’s a confusing mess.

The assassination attempt failed to kill Hitler, but those deemed complicit in it, including Rommel (who may have been innocent) were shot, brutally murdered by hanging on piano wire, or (in the case of Rommel) forced to commit suicide. Here’s the room showing how damaged it is, and a man holding up the tattered trousers Hitler was wearing when the bomb went off. Der Führer was saved because the briefcase was put behind a sturdy table support. Had Hitler been killed, the war might have ended much earlier.

Are you looking at a certain part of these trousers?

  • 1968 – The first International Special Olympics Summer Games are held at Soldier Field in Chicago, with about 1,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities.
  • 1976 – The American Viking 1 lander successfully lands on Mars.

Here’s a brief NASA documentary of both Viking 1 and Viking 2, launched less than a month apart, landed in different places in Mars. It worked for about 6¼ years.

  • 1997 – The fully restored USS Constitution (a.k.a. Old Ironsides) celebrates its 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.

Built in 1797 by the young U.S., this is the oldest ship still afloat. And look: it’s sailing!:

  • 2005 – The Civil Marriage Act legalizes same-sex marriage in Canada.
  • 2017 – O. J. Simpson is granted parole to be released from prison after serving nine years of a 33-year sentence after being convicted of armed robbery in Las Vegas.

Only nine years—less than half of the sentence? Well, apparently Simpson was released for “good behavior”. What’s he doing now? Fox News says this:

After being released from prison in 2017, Simpson reportedly resides within a gated community in Las Vegas. His social media presence indicates he enjoys playing golf and using Twitter to give his opinions on sports and politics.

That was just a year ago! Here’s a 19-minute video of the entire mission, but I bet some people won’t watch it because they don’t like Bezos:

Da Nooz:

*Well, the heat wave in Europe is a bad one, and, as predicted two days ago, Britain hit an all-time heat record yesterday. The NYT reports:

Britain made meteorological history on Tuesday when temperatures in some places topped 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time ever recorded in the United Kingdom, as a second straight day of record-setting heat gripped parts of Europe.

Fires raged in France, Spain and even areas of London, as the hot, dry conditions strained emergency services and brought misery to areas unaccustomed to such sweltering summers. By evening in Britain, however, thunderstorms were beginning to offer a respite, and milder temperatures were forecast for Wednesday.

But it was a day of scorching milestones in Britain, where in the morning the thermometer in Surrey recorded a provisional reading of 39.1 degrees Celsius (102.4 degrees Fahrenheit), the highest level ever recorded in the United Kingdom. That record was broken about two hours later, when the Met Office, Britain’s national weather service, said the provisional temperature at Heathrow Airport hit 40.2 Celsius (104.4 Fahrenheit). If confirmed, it would be the first time that the temperature in Britain had exceeded 40 degrees Celsius.

By the afternoon, that marker was surpassed when Coningsby in eastern England recorded a temperature of 40.3. At least 34 sites exceeded the country’s previous record of 38.7 degrees, the Met Office said.

In France and Spain, firefighters have been battling wildfires that have gobbled up forest and brush and in some places, forced evacuations. On Tuesday, more than 2,000 firefighters were facing off against a blaze in the southwest that has forced 37,000 people from their homes this week.

Here’s a tweet about da Heat. The time he’s referring to is 120,000 years ago! But of course Mr. Gooday can’t be sure about this claim! (h/t Matthew)

Readers in the UK: please comment below how you’ve dealt with the heat, and how bad it was for you.

*It’s even worse because there are no “cooling centers” in London, and I’m not sure that there are any in England overall, though some European countries have them. These are air-conditioned places (big ones, like auditoriums or stadiums) where people can gather, or spend the night to get away from brutal heat. We have them in Chicago

The people most at risk are the homeless, and there’s no plan in London, and probably in other British cities, to help them deal with the heat. As the chief executive of a charity for the homeless said, “the heat wave could be life-threatening for homeless people, many of whom already suffer from pre-existing health conditions such as respiratory diseases that can be aggravated in extreme weather.”

*At the same time, wildfires are burning up parts of southwestern France, though most seem to be under control (37,000 people were evacuated as 80 square miles of forest are burning).

As in other European countries, such as Greece, Portugal and Spain, the scorching temperatures have largely contributed to the spread of fires, and climate experts have warned that global warming is likely to make this situation increasingly common.

“It’s simply unprecedented,” Mr. Allione [president of France’s National Federation of Firefighters] said, noting that previous heat waves had never given rise to such intense, simultaneous wildfires. “But what’s really worrying is that all the future summers could be like this one.”

The Nooz will be truncated today as I’m feeling a bit under the weather, and posting may be light. Bear with me.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili chastise Andrzej for imprecise language:

A: You are lying in the middle of the road.
Hili: That is not a precise description.
In Polish:
Ja: Leżysz na środku drogi.
Hili: To nie jest dokładne określenie.

And a captioned Baby Kulka, who appears to be stalking an insect:

Kulka: If something went in there it will probably soon go out.

In Polish: Jeśli to coś tam wlazło, to pewnie zaraz wyjdzie.


From Tom, who correctly thinks this is a bad product idea (people have forgotten). Yes, it’s a real product!

From Merilee; source of the cartoon at the top:

From Jesus of the Day: Twitter God back in the day, with a bonus reply from his son:

And the latest Tweet of God:

Titania made a prediction that came true today! (See second tweet and yesterday’s post on anthropology.)

From Williams, a tweet from biologist/psychologist Steve Stewart-Williams. Only a drone could get video like this!

From Luana, a speech by Andrew Doyle, creator of Titania McGrath:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a woman departed at 21 who did not survive:

Tweets from Matthew. I hope they bring this duckling up properly:

I’m not sure that I see Freddie Mercury in this bird, but that’s one crazy parrot:

An excellent tweet:

Now this is a dog with what the kids call “mad skills”!

42 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue (and Kulka monologue)

  1. Yesterday was a lovely day here on the west coast of Scotland. Temperature a comfortable low-20s degrees C, with a fresh sea breeze and a gentle cooling rain shower in the early evening. Now it’s down to 16 degrees C with cloudy skies. No heatwave here!

        1. “…the due date was 2000”

          What are you expecting by way of confirmation that it has arrived? If you are looking for a single event like the touch down of a scheduled flight then I suppose you will be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for increasing frequency and severity of heat-waves and wildfires, melting of arctic permafrost, huge reductions in polar sea-ice, retreat of glaciers and such like, well, I’d suggest there are at least a few hints that it is happening.

          I assume you haven’t had your house burned down and I’m happy for you but I guess there are more than a few people around the World whose experience leads them to believe climate change has well and truly come for them.

  2. I mention this every year

    The Model A uses acetylene gas for headlight fuel. The acetylene is produced from, I think, an acid dripping on calcium carbide. The car had this on board.

    1. The beauty is, if they get knocked over and broken they self-extinguish instead of setting the barn on fire. They were sold as bicycle lamps for a long time after cars went to electronics lights.

    2. I remember my Dad, a farmer, had a calcium carbide crow-scarer. A wick dripped water from a reservoir onto the calcium carbide so the acetylene gas built up slowly in a sealed chamber until the pressure forced the door open. When this happened it caused a flint to spark, igniting the gas and causing a rather impressive ‘bang’.

    3. Carbide head lamps were the standard for years in both mining and cave exploration. I still have two of my old carbide lamps from my caving days, and a can of carbide in the garage.

  3. Readers in the UK: please comment below how you’ve dealt with the heat, and how bad it was for you.

    I walked up to our office at about 8am before it had really warmed up. When I got there I turned on the air con and stayed all day apart from a short walk at lunchtime. Bristol University is still doing its graduation ceremonies so I saw a lot of people wearing smart clothing and black academic gowns. I’m fairly pleased I was not one of them.

  4. Every year Germany celebrates, or at least commemorates, Stauffenberg’s assassination attempt against Hitler, tacitly implying that assassinations of political leaders is laudible in certain situations (though this is never stated explicitly). I thus find myself asking how that situation can be defined, described or perhaps exemplified. Of course, Hitler in 1944 is a rather clear and extreme case. But what about Kim Jung-un 2022? What about Putin 2022? Assad (post 2011)? Pol Pot 1979? Mao Zedong 1959? Stalin (any old time)? James Buchanen (by blacks?)? Andrew Jackson 1830 (by Native Americans?)? And would such assassinations be legitimate only if carried out by those under their rule or also if carried out by agencies of other countries?

    1. If it’s okay to kill soldiers and civilians, surely it’s at least as morally acceptable to kill political “leaders”…though it may be more chaos-causing, and set a bad president…er, precedent.

    2. Jared, easy rule of thumb:
      “Treason never prospers. What’s the reason?
      Why if it doth prosper, none dare call it treason.” —Alexander Pope

      Romantic notions of righting the world by assassinating a leader have to be tempered with a realistic appreciation of what the plotters are hoping to achieve with Il Duce out of the way. Sometimes the plotters just want to run the lucrative kleptocratic genocide their way. They might not even change the victims. But to consolidate their initially shaky hold on power they have to demonstrate ruthlessness by killing more of them. This is why Hobbes was not keen on revolutions and regicide. The power vacuum often destroys the peasant farmer, who cares not who the King is, while the robber barons fight in his fields and trample his grain.

      To take your last example of a good assassination, what would the Indians have hoped to accomplish by killing Jackson? Stop westward expansion? That dream died with Chief Tecumseh’s death in the Battle of the Thames. Frighten the Americans back over the Alleghenies and thence into the sea? Laughably unlikely. Instead the chain of succession would have instantly installed a new President and Commander-in-Chief who, now enjoying unanimous popular support even among Jackson’s political enemies, would have gone to war with the perfidious Natives and exterminated them.

      If you say a sovereign can be killed extra-judicially or by kangaroo court for bad deeds, then you grant the sovereign draconian powers to protect himself from those zealots. Tread carefully.

  5. Are you looking at a certain part of these [Hitler’s] trousers?

    If memory serves, didn’t der Führer have but one testicle going into Operation Valkyrie?

  6. In Norwich I think it got to 35C but it depends where you were. Everything is so very dry there was low humidity. I went for a walk to a supermarket, mid afternoon. I get antsy if I cannot open a window so I had to have s walk. Much worse today with humidity after a 10 minute torrential thunderstorm at 1.29am – poor dom now waiting for Ikea delivery so I can finally shelve MOST of my books!

    1. Idiots are still using barbecues & hosepipes! People really are very very stupid, and ignorant.

      Worse day for fire brigade since the war…

      Dom the anthropcene misanthrope

        1. Originally a hose was a cylinder of cloth or leather for encasing legs. The use of ‘hose’ to refer to things that convey water or other liquids is a metaphorical extension.
          1764 Museum Rusticum (1765) 3 lxvii. 304 There should be two which the leather ouses should be screwed. Note, Ouses are pipes of the same nature with the leather pipes used with the fire-engines. (OED Online)
          And yes, it was *hot* in London and Oxford yesterday. It was the first time I have seen Brits walking around using umbrellas for shade from the sun. Inside our flat, with the curtains drawn, it hovered between 26-32C for over 36 hours.

          1. Thanks for the info, Miriam. The correspondence of stocking hose and water hoses had never occurred to me. The pipe part still sounds funny to me because I think of pipes as being rigid.

      1. Don’t the idiots with hosepipes cancel out the ones with barbecues?! Hope the bookshelves arrive OK – I can supervise you assembling them tomorrow!

      2. What’s wrong with using barbecues, Dom, outside anyway? Surely that places less strain on the power grid than using an electric stove inside the house and then running the air-conditioning harder to compensate for the heat. Are people not allowed to cook their food in your Brave New World of Anthropcene Misanthropes?

        Of course in the brave new world there will be no air conditioning anyway, not even for homeless people.

        1. We haven’t had any rain to speak of for weeks, and much of the land is tinder-dry. Using a portable barbecue on a picnic in such conditions, which is what I think Dom might have been referring to, is lunacy. Using an ordinary patio barbecue is probably OK, if you watch where the sparks go. But who wants burnt sausages in weather like this?

          Yesterday morning we went to see my granddaughter in her school’s Year 6 end-of-term show (The Lion King; amazing). The school is airy and well ventilated, so that was OK. Wandered into town later on; very hot (our local rag suggests it was 39C), but low humidity so fairly tolerable. Windows open and curtains closed at home. What’s the problem?

          For days the media in the UK have been on about this two-day heatwave as if it was Armageddon. I would guess that a fair proportion of the population have been in much hotter climates, either on holiday or for work, and know how to get along with them. It feels like we are being either infantilised or medicalised at every turn. Enough of this sort of thing!

      3. Then there’s the hornpipe – a distinction with a difference. Or is it begging the question?

        Either way, the heat is getting to me!

  7. Hot day yesterday but not too bad, several short showers lasting just a few minutes during the day. All in all quite nice until about 17.30 when the heavens opened and we had a great thunderstorm for about 1/2 hour. After that, the humidity skyrocketed and the rest of the evening was very uncomfortable. Caithness, far north of Scotland.

  8. Only nine years—less than half of the sentence? Well, apparently [O.J.] Simpson was released for “good behavior”.

    I don’t know much about the extant parole system in Nevada, but under the old federal parole system — which was abolished for federal offenders who committed their crimes after November 1, 1987 — and for the parole systems in most other jurisdictions, an inmate got his or her first hearing before the parole board after completing a third of his or her sentence, and maxed out on their sentence (which is to say, were “out the door”) after completing two-thirds of their sentence. “Good behavior” while incarcerated was just one of many factors federal parole boards considered in determining an offender’s eligibility for release.

    Since federal parole was abolished in 1987, under so-called “Truth in Sentencing” laws, federal offenders serve 85% of their sentence, with 15% taken off the back end as an incentive to maintain good behavior while incarcerated. Federal offenders also have an automatic period of “supervised release” of up to five years that they must serve after their release from incarceration.

  9. Those temps are no joking matter, if you don’t have air conditioning. I remember the last heatwave I experienced in Chicago (2000 or 2001), when it go up to 104F. I came home from work to find that I had no power, and the substation near my house had overloaded and caught fire (as it had in the previous heatwave). I sat down at my desk, and it was warm to the touch from the ambient heat. My sister called and asked if I wanted to come over, but I was tired and just wanted to be at home. I realized that that’s how old people die in heat waves.

  10. I’m not in UK but I am in Paris where the temp reached 105F. My wife and I spent much of the day in the Pantheon crypt where it was pleasantly cool.

  11. Moon? It was mentioned, but not followed up (unless there’s something wrong with my desktop, which is certainly possible). Arguably the most momentous single event in human recorded history…our becoming a two “planet” species, at least for a short while.

    1. Our host hasn’t been doing many “Born /died on this day” lists for a little while. I see that Richard Owen, English biologist, anatomist, and paleontologist was akso born on this day (in 1804; d. 1892).

  12. Bezos’ space company, Blue Origin, is definitely moving slowly. Many are wondering why there aren’t a lot more tourist flights (New Shepard). Blue Origin says there’s a lot of interest but where are the flights? The mystery deepens.

    Blue Origin is also supposed to deliver its BE-4 rocket engine before the end of this year and be used on ULA’s new Vulcan rocket. No way of knowing whether that will actually happen.

    Finally, they are working on their New Glenn rocket but that’s years delayed. Now promised for next year.

  13. A Model A today at $28,000 is not expensive.I can’t find median but average new car price in 2021 in US was ~ $42,000.

  14. Here is my recent tale of heat woe.
    We needed to drive the RV down to my wife’s family ranch in Texas. Just the diesel for the trip is shockingly expensive.
    The chassis a/c barely kept up with the heat, and when we stopped for the night, turned on the generator and started the big a/c unit, it ran for about ten minutes then the exhaust fan turbine shattered dramatically. The lowest temp we got that night in the RV was 97f, and it was 103 in the bedroom. Just miserable, especially after driving 16 hours.
    After we got to the ranch, I was able to order a new fan, which came overnight. However, it was 111f today, which is actually above the operating range of the air conditioner.
    I had not really thought about it, but the condensor coil of those units is going to have a hard time getting the R410 below 126f, when the air blowing across the coils is over 110f.
    I talked to some of the old timers about how they dealt with the heat, which they believes comes in cycles. The answer was that in the worst of the heat, they did as little as possible.

    I can’t believe that as a teenager, I rode in long-distance bike races in this heat, across these mountains.

  15. Another UKian moaning about the heat here. Much cooler today so not moaning anymore.
    We are just not set up for these temperatures, there is no legal maximum workplace temperature for instance but there is now a big push to bring one in.
    AC is not widespread, although will probably become more common which is needed but not great from an environmental point of view. Never heard of a cooling centre. Historically we’ve just been able to get away without this stuff, not anymore it seems.
    As a teacher I can say AC is very rare in schools. Which where horrific on Monday and Tuesday. I was lucky I’m a supply teacher and hadn’t taking any bookings for this week, supposed to be on a rock climbing trip but cancelled that! My poor wife however was trapped in an upper floor box with south facing big glass windows, dodgy blinds, and 30 teenagers!

    P.S Dom you in Norwich? I’m in Norwich! 🙂

    1. You’ll never get to Net-Zero unless you let your government ban air conditioning, not with half your electricity now coming from natural gas. When you say A/C will become more common, you illustrate nicely how insoluble collective-action problems are. Everyone agrees that CO2 emissions must be brought down (note the passive voice) and a few even think we will be made extinct if we don’t. Yet people cope with heat by installing air conditioning and personal generators to protect against blackouts when the wind stops….and blithely assume they will be allowed to because, well, they need to.

      “Needed but not great for the environment”. Truer deeds were never spoken.

      Note that Net-Zero assumes that technology which hasn’t been demonstrated yet will be deployed at scale to remove as much CO2 from the air as we emit. So in reality, the world’s rich countries are pretending to aim for Gross-Zero, which means burning dung to heat your houses and importing all your food and cement from countries that scoff at the whole idea. Like China and India.

      1. The whole issue is written about and framed in a way that seems like key details are being omitted. Like, everyone needs to switch to electric cars, but if everyone did, the charge load on the grid would collapse it almost immediately. Also, there are not really the resources to manufacture all those batteries anyway.
        So if we do electric cars, there are just not going to be so many of them. Some classes of people are going to have to get used to not traveling much. Or perhaps, we will not need that many cars because there will not be so many people around.

        Part of it is compliance. It would be difficult to stop people from using illicit air conditioners when it is hot, but it will be impossible to stop them from burning whatever is at hand to keep warm when they are freezing. That always seemed to me to be a central conceit of the modern green movement. That making access to fossil fuels more costly and difficult will solve environmental problems. I think it comes with an assumption that untold millions of people will just quietly freeze or starve to death, and not make a fuss of it. The reality is that desperate people will happily cook the last elephant on a fire made from the last baobab tree. Or farther north, they will consume members of Extinction Rebellion cooked with a fire made from the collections of the Bodleian Library.

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