Sunday: Hili dialogue

July 24, 2022 • 6:30 am

Well, it’s the Sabbath, but not for cats: it’s Sunday, July 24, 2022: National Jellybeans Day ( Ronald Reagan’s favorite, he ate them to reduce his craving for smoking his pipe ).

It’s also National Drive-Thru Day (I refuse to order food this way), National Tequila Day , Pioneer Day , and Amelia Earhart Day (she was born on this day in 1897).

Here’s an interview with Earhart; how many of you have ever heard her voice?:


Stuff that happened on July 24 include:

The War Wolf was a giant trebuchet that could sling huge stones. This one was so big that, when disassembled, the parts filled 30 wagons. Here’s a “Scale model of Warwolf in front of  Caerlaverock Castle”

Here’s an attempt to recreate the War Wolf used on Stirling Castle. It wasn’t easy to make or use, even now!

She had reigned over Scotland for 24 years, and was beheaded in 1587. When her severed head was held aloft, it fell out of the red wig she was wearing, revealing that she actually had short gray hair. Here’s a painting of her created of her during her lifetime: ” Mary in captivity, by  Nicholas Hilliard c. 1578.”:

Young in 1870:

  • 1866 – Reconstruction: Tennessee becomes the first US state to be readmitted to Congress following the American Civil War.
  • 1901 –  O. Henry  is released from prison in  Columbus, Ohio , after serving three years for embezzlement  from a bank.

He had fled to Honduras but returned to the US when he heard his wife was dying. He wrote while in prison, and became most prolific when he was released, writing nearly 400 short stories at a rate of one per week. Here he is in 1909:

This picture was taken in 1912 after Bingham and his crew had cleared the vegetation away but before the structures were reconstructed. I’m scheduled to visit here, as well as the Galápagos, in February of next year as a lecturer on an alumni tour.  (I’ve been to both places before, and consider Machu Picchu, at least when I went there a couple of decades ago, as one of the four most beautiful places I’ve seen.

And now: a picture of the area taken by Allard Schmidt and posted on Wikipedia:

  • 1915 – The passenger ship  SS  Eastland  capsizes while tied to a dock in the Chicago River. A total of 844 passengers and crew are killed in the largest loss of life disaster from a single shipwreck on the Great Lakes.

The capsized boat:

  • 1929 – The  Kellogg–Briand Pact , renouncing war as an instrument of foreign policy, goes into effect (it is first signed in Paris on August 27, 1928, by most leading world powers).”

Well,  that one didn’t work, did it?

  • 1935 – The Dust Bowl heat wave reaches its peak, sending temperatures to 109 °F (43 °C) in Chicago and 104 °F (40 °C) in Milwaukee.
  • 1937 –  Alabama  drops rape charges against the ” Scottsboro Boys “.

You need to read about this case, as it’s one of the classic cases of Southern racism leading to the unfair convictions of black men. In this case, nine young men and boys were accused of raping two white women in 1931. Eight of them were convicted by all-white juries and sentenced to death. Several years spent in prison before they were pardoned (some posthumously). Even after rape charges were dropped, some still spent time in prison on other charges related to the false story.

There were convictions even after one of the women admitted the story was fabricated. They got an able (but futile) defense from Samuel Liebowitz, a Jewish defense lawyer who spent years enduring vilification fighting on their behalf. I miss the days when Jews and blacks were friends, seeing each other as demonized groups.

Here’s a photo labeled “The Scottsboro Boys, with attorney  Samuel Leibowitz , under guard by the state militia, 1932.”

  • 1966  –  Michael Pelkey  ​​makes the first  BASE jump  from  El Capitan  along with Brian Schubert. Both came out with broken bones. BASE jumping has now been banned from El Cap.

This video from 1980 says that BASE jumping had been allowed, with a few permits per day, but since 2013 BASE jumping is illegal in all National Parks. .

  • 1974 – Watergate scandal: The United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that President Richard Nixon did not have the authority to withhold subpoenaed White House tapes and they order him to surrender the tapes to the Watergate special prosecutor.
  • 1987 –  Hulda Crooks , at 91 years of age, climbed Mt. Fuji. Crooks became the oldest person to climb Japan’s highest peak.

Here is Crooks making the ascent. She began climbing at 65, and kept on until she died at 101.

Associated Press

Da Nooz :

*Hot enough for you? Heat records are being set everywhere, but particularly in Europe. The Washington Post has a handy calculator showing what the temperature equivalent of the record in London (104°F) in other cities in the US

This July, temperatures in London and Hamburg in northern Germany teetered over an edge that seemed unthinkable in previous centuries: 104 degrees (40 Celsius).

In large areas of the western and central United States, where temperatures routinely exceed 105 (40.5 Celsius), that may not seem particularly hot. But London and Hamburg are northern, maritime climates, where average July high temperatures are in the mid-70s (23 to 25 Celsius), and they don’t have close counterparts in the Lower 48 states.

To translate these records to cities in America, The Washington Post and the nonprofit Climate Central calculated how much warmer the record was relative to extreme high temperatures in London for the month of July.

Enter your city, and you get something like this:

That is way above the hottest temperature Chicago has ever experienced, which is 105° F on July 24, 1934. So Londoners got a temperature rise higher than anything Chicago has ever experienced. Go to the site, enter your city, and sweat.

*Speaking of heat, the Forest Service is beginning a plan to protect the giant sequoias of California [Sequoiadendron giganteum]; and if you’ve seen them (you MUST), you’ll know why people are concerned. They are stupendous: bigger than a tree has any right to be. They are the most massive trees on Earth. And although they seem to have escaped damage in the latest round of wildfires, they’ve been damaged in recent years:

Of the 37 giant sequoia groves on 37,000 acres of national forests in California, all but five have burned or partially burned in recent wildfires, according to the Forest Service. Many giant monarchs—the largest sequoias in a grove—were killed.

Since 2015, wildfires have caused significant destruction of the giant sequoia groves, which grow only in California’s Sierra Nevada range. Wildfires have destroyed nearly one-fifth of all giant sequoias in the last two years, the agency said.

The Forest Service emergency action plan will cover roughly 13,300 acres and protect 12 giant sequoia groves. It calls for the removal of what are known as surface and ladder fuels, a category that includes grasses, logs, stumps and standing dead trees with limbs close to the ground.

The emergency actions also include more prescribed burns, a forestry management tool that uses an intentionally set and controlled fire to clear underbrush and thin out overcrowded trees.

I had no idea there had been a 20% attrition in the last five years, but trees can’t run away from fire, and if these go, they won’t come back—perhaps ever.

Here’s a big one, the “Grizzly Giant” in Yosemite. Look at the tiny people at the bottom! These trees are adapted to withstand fire, but have still been burned, and the species is endangered. 

* Here’s a NYT article that should be called. “Monkeypox is spreading. Here’s what you need to know.” (Yesterday WHO declared monkeypox a “public health emergency of international concern.“) At any rate, it tells you whether you should consider yourself at risk, and what you should do if you are. It also describes the two shots you need to immunize yourself:

Why you need to know this:

The monkeypox outbreak continues to swell across the globe, leading the World Health Organization on Saturday to declare it a  public health emergency of international concern . The designation means that a coordinated international response is needed to prevent the virus from spreading further and may push member countries to invest more funding in vaccines, treatments and other resources for curbing the disease.

First, immunizations:

Two vaccines originally developed for smallpox and kept in the United States national stockpile can help prevent monkeypox infections. The one that is most commonly used for monkeypox is called Jynneos. It consists of two doses given four weeks apart. But because its supply is limited and is controlled by the federal government, it is not widely available to the public. Instead, the vaccine has largely been offered to two groups of people: health care or laboratory workers who might handle infected samples and people who have had a confirmed or suspected monkeypox exposure.

Are you at risk? Besides the above:

A few states where monkeypox case numbers are high have expanded their eligibility criteria for the vaccine to include anyone at high risk of getting it. For example, in New York and New Jersey, you can also get the vaccine if you attended an event where known monkeypox exposure occurred or if you identify as gay, bisexual, a man who has sex with other men, transgender, gender nonconforming or nonbinary and have had several sex partners, or anonymous partners, within the past 14 days.

What are the signs that are suspicious?

But if you start to notice red lesions, pimples or pustules, you should contact your primary care physician and let the physician know that you suspect a monkeypox infection

You can then get a PCR test. If you’re positive, here’s the treatment: FIrst, isolate yourself and wear masks. The NYT says this, but of course consult your doctor:

After you get a diagnosis, monkeypox treatment mainly involves managing symptoms, Dr. Camins said. Patients with anal or rectal lesions may experience a lot of pain, especially while defecating, and in those cases a doctor may prescribe pain killers or recommend stool softeners and shallow  sitz baths , used to relieve pain or itchiness in the genital area, he said. Patients with sores in their mouths may have difficulty swallowing and can get medication to help with that. Some may develop secondary bacterial infections and require antibiotic treatment, especially if they have large, open lesions.

* Liz Cheney, Republican congresswoman from Wyoming, has been a major figure in the January 6 hearings, and has run them very well. But of course she’s a rogue Republican—not even close to being a Democrat, though—and the specter of Trump will haunt her, for she’s facing a Republican primary election in three weeks. According to the AP , things don’t look good for her:

“Donald Trump made a purposeful choice to violate his oath of office,” [Cheney] said during Thursday’s hearing .

Dean Finnerty, a rancher from Wheatland competing in the steer wrestling competition, was not moved.

“I tell you what: I voted for Cheney when she ran last time and I won’t vote for her ever again,” Finnerty said. “I don’t know if she’s representing the conservative Americans that voted her in.”

Cheney’s unrelenting criticism of Trump from a Capitol Hill committee room represents the centerpiece of an unconventional campaign strategy that may well lead to her political demise, at least in the short term. Many Cheney allies are prepared for — if not resigned to — a loss in Wyoming’s Aug. 16  Republican primary  against Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman.

. . But as primary day approaches, there is also a pervasive belief among Cheney’s team that her unorthodox strategy in 2022 may put her in a stronger position for the 2024 presidential contest. Cheney’s fierce anti-Trump message from her as vice chairman of the congressional committee investigating the insurrection has strengthened her national brand while expanding a national network of donors and Trump critics in both parties who could boost a prospective White House run.

Cheney has yet to finalize any decisions about 2024, but she has not ruled out a presidential run as a Republican or an independent.

Would I want her as President? Hell no! Would I want her as the Republican candidate instead of Donald Trump? I have mixed feelings. Depending on who the Democrats run, if we lose it would be better to lose Cheney rather than Trump. But Trump may be the stronger candidate, even though he’s a bull-goose looney.

*It’s a slow news day on Cat Sabbath, so let’s protect our dental health by finding out what the NYT says about “The worst foods and drinks for your teeth,” an article guaranteed to make us all feel bad. Your goal is to avoid the buildup of plaque and tartar, which hurts your gums, and (secondarily) to avoid tooth decay.  You probably know some of this, but not all of it.

Sugary foods — and in particular, those composed of sucrose, or table sugar — are especially bad for your teeth because harmful bacteria thrive on them. . .

. . . In addition, any foods that are sticky, gooey or chewy — like gummies, dried fruits, syrups and candies — get stuck in the nooks and crannies of your teeth and the spaces between them.

. . . Certain drinks — like sugary sodas, juices, energy drinks and milkshakes — are also heavy offenders. They wash your teeth in sticky and sugary solutions, and they’re acidic to boot.

. . . Other carbonated beverages like seltzers are also acidic. So are coffees and alcoholic drinks which are often consumed with sugary syrups and mixers as well.

Coffee? Seltzer? Oy, my kishkes! But wait! There’s more!

Some fresh fruits, vegetables or starchy foods — like citrus, potatoes, rice or even bananas — are often maligned as bad for your teeth because they may contain sugars or acids that can wear away at your teeth. But they also contain nutrients that will boost your overall health, which in turn can benefit your teeth. .

Besides avoiding these foods (except for everything above), the article recommends brushing your teeth twice a day (once in the morning and once before bedtime) and flossing daily. Here’s my regime:

Brush three times a day with a Sonicare toothbrush: after morning coffee, after lunch, and before bedtime. Then I floss.
Then I use a Waterpik to get rid of any schmutz loosened by flossing.
Then I brush with the Sonicare using a special presciption toothpaste.
Finally, I swab around my two implants with a periodontal solution, which everyone with implants needs to do.

This routine take a long time, but my last several years’ worth of cleanings have given me a clean bill of dental health. I can’t say that’s true for my mental health. . .

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili denies that she’s interested in what Szaron is looking at:

Szaron: I assume you want to know what I’m looking at.
Hili: And what proof do you have for that?
In Polish:
Szaron: Zakładam, że chcesz wiedzieć na co patrzę.
Hili: A jakie masz na to dowody?
. . . and a photo of baby Kulka:



From Divy: Which of these things isn’t like the others?

Another one from Divy: how cats can be useful. I particularly like their use in opening cardboard boxes. Just click “watch on Facebook” or go here.   And turn up the sound; it’s Redbone!

From Malcolm, a Bill Whitehead cartoon:

The Tweet of God:

A retweet from Titania:

This duck cannot be exhibiting interspecific altruism, can it?

From Simon, who notes, ” There are a bazillion versions of Hawley running set to music. But this is the spontaneous laughter in the committee room when the video was first played.” This refers to Republican Senator Josh Hawley, who riled up the crowd at the Capitol on January 6, and then fled like a scared rabbit when the crowd got riled. 

From Barry: the caption is wrong; cats can be severely injured or even killed if they land on their feet, but this one was lucky. The soft dirt landing didn’t hurt:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a survivor who was 91 yesterday:

Tweets from Matthew. All is explained!

This appears to be a nightly existence of bats from a cave to go hunting during the night, which you can also see from the Congress Street Bridge in Austin, Texas.

The Google translation: “This is the majestic CUEVA DE LOS MURCIÉLAGOS 15 minutes from Los Mochis, entering El Maviri beach… they leave as soon as they feel that the sun is going to set, this daily show is a beauty and a Sinaloense treasure.”

A most excellent caption (from Dylan Thomas, of course):

14 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. Glad to hear about a survivor turning 91 – so many other memorial postings … [ speechless ]

  2. The highest temperature I have personally recorded from my front porch in Milwaukee is 42° C (That’s 107.6° F for readers in Myanmar, Liberia and that other place that uses Fahrenheit¹). The temperature sensor on the porch is not in direct sunlight.

    ¹ I spent a number of years working at Argonne National Laboratory and all my projects used metric units, so I just got used to them. My relevant home appliances (stove, air conditioners, weather monitor) are all calibrated in Celsius; when I bake a frozen pizza, I set my oven to 220­°.

  3. Christine Goerke, who quotes Dylan Thomas above, and goes by the handle HeldenMommy, is a superb Wagnerian soprano with the Metropolitan Opera.

  4. I miss the days when Jews and blacks were friends, seeing each other as demonized groups.

    Dunno about you, boss, but I felt a touch of that old Jewish’n’Black political mojo in the air on the night of January 5, 2021, when Democrats Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff, running in complimentary fashion, beat a couple of Republican humps in the Georgia US senate elections — this, in the state where Lester Maddox had once been governor and where Leo Frank was lynched.

    According to my winter book odds, Ossoff is the leading contender eventually to become this nation’s first Jewish president — mind you, by no means an odds-on favorite yet, but still the shortest odds in the field. The young fella (just 35 years old) has got himself some mad political skills.

  5. Jerry, please forgive me for this modification of one of your sentences above, but I wish to use it to make a point. You wrote, “But Trump may be the stronger candidate, even though he’s a bull-goose looney.” I would change it to say, “But Trump may be the stronger candidate, because he’s a bull-goose looney.” As I’ve said before, Trumpism is Steve Allen’s Dumpth triumphant.

  6. How can the highest temperature in Chicago be 105 when a few paragrapghs above the temperature was 109?

  7. Sucks to hear about the sequoias…I’ve seen the SoCal giants in person and their cousins the giant redwoods in the North. Both are a must see, and can’t be comprehended unless you see them in person…and even then it’s hard to wrap your mind around their immensity and age.

    We shouldn’t worry about it though and instead remember what justice Roberts said when SCOTUS recently gutted the EPAs enforcement power and instead gave it to a dysfunctional, 50% climate denying congress…Roberts’ reassuring words about climate change was that it’s merely “the crisis on the day”. I get scared when SCOTUS justices, especially the chief justice, speaks in euphemisms while making monumental decisions.

  8. Stonewall got absolutely “ratioed” for the tweet that Titania commented on. Did themselves no favours at all!

    The tweet also linked to this (now archived) story from the UK newspaper Metro; shockingly the detail that the child’s mother is a “transman” (i.e. born female, now claiming to be a man) is buried towards the bottom of the article:

  9. “It’s also National Drive-Thru Day (I refuse to order food this way)”

    Back in college I was at a busy Wendy’s drive-thru with some friends. When our car pulled up to the window the employee took our cash and asked “Are the people in the car behind you friends of yours?”

    “No” we replied.

    “Good,” he said, “because I’m going to spit in their food.”

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