Monday: Hili dialogue

July 25, 2022 • 6:30 am

It’s back to work, heigh-ho: Monday, July 25, 2022: National Hot Fudge Sunday Day. Here’s where you can get the best one in the world, and I’ve put a photo of the dish below. (It’s in Chicago.) I’ve had this several times, but Margie’s is also famous for their “turtle sundaes”. Note the pitcher of hot fudge (best I’ve ever had), which you can add to the sundae as you eat it (or even slurp from the pitcher!):

It’s also National Wine and Cheese Day, Culinarians Day, and International Red Shoe Day, calling attention to Lyme Disease.

Stuff that happened on July 25 includes:

  • 306 – Constantine I is proclaimed Roman emperor by his troops.

He was the first Roman emperor to adopt Christianity as his faith, subsequently issuing an edict mandating tolerance for Christians, convening the Council of Nicaea, which produced the Nicene creed—still a definite statement of Christian belief—and building the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, shown below, which supposedly contained the site of both Jesus’s crucifixion and tomb. It’s been reconstructed several times since Constantine had it erected:

  • 1538 – The city of Guayaquil is founded by the Spanish Conquistador Francisco de Orellana and given the name Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de Guayaquil.
  • 1797 – Horatio Nelson loses more than 300 men and his right arm during the failed conquest attempt of Tenerife (Spain).

He died at the Battle of Trafalgar; Wikipedia’s account of his death:

At a quarter-past one in the afternoon, Hardy realised that Nelson was not by his side. He turned to see Nelson kneeling on the deck, supporting himself with his hand, before falling onto his side. Hardy rushed to him, at which point, Nelson smiled:

Hardy, I do believe they have done it at last …. my backbone is shot through.

He had been hit by a musket ball, fired from the mizzen-top of Redoutable, at a range of 50 feet (15 m). The ball entered his left shoulder, passed through a lung, then his spine at the sixth and seventh thoracic vertebrae, and lodged two inches (5 cm) below his right shoulder blade, in the muscles of his back. Nelson was carried below to the cockpit, by sergeant major of marines Robert Adair, and two seamen. As he was being carried down, he asked them to pause while he gave advice to a midshipman on the handling of the tiller. He then draped a handkerchief over his face to avoid causing alarm amongst the crew. He was taken to ship surgeon William Beatty, telling him:

You can do nothing for me. I have but a short time to live. My back is shot through.

While dying, he muttered “Thank God I have done my duty,” and his last words were reportedly, “God and my country.”  Below is a painting: “Nelson is shot on the quarterdeck, painted by Denis Dighton, c. 1825″. I put an arrow in to show Nelson:

This is a “five needle” telegraph in which electrical current moved a needle to send messages. It was commercially used (with mixed success) on the Great Western Railway in England:

In fact, this guy is “of dubious historicity”: we don’t know if he existed, much less the day he died. Wikipedia should remove this date.

  • 1898 – Spanish–American War: The American invasion of Spanish-held Puerto Rico begins, as United States Army troops under General Nelson A. Miles land and secure the port at Guánica.
  • 1909 – Louis Blériot makes the first flight across the English Channel in a heavier-than-air machine from Calais to Dover, England, United Kingdom in 37 minutes.

The landing was “heavy”, damaging the propeller and undercarriage, but Blèriot was fine. Here’s Blèriot and the crowd after the landing:

Here’s short news item showing the sinking. I’d like to know what was in the Andrea Doria’s safe. In fact, I looked it up, and it contained little of value.

  • 1965 – Bob Dylan goes electric at the Newport Folk Festival, signaling a major change in folk and rock music.

Here’s the first electric song he played, “Maggie’s Farm”, with backing by Al Kooper on organ and the Paul Butterfield Blues band. After the song was over, the audience booed, but they were at least polite enough to refrain from booing during the performance itself.

Here’s the original photo of the “face”, which of course inspired a lot of woo about aliens, followed by a more recent photo, which shows no evidence that it was made by aliens. It’s a case of pareidolia: a hill on Mars that from certain angles looks like a face (under low resolution!)

From another angle:

  • 1978 – Birth of Louise Joy Brown, the first human to have been born after conception by in vitro fertilisation, or IVF.

Robert Edwards got the Nobel Prize in 2010 for pioneering IVF. And Louise Brown is now 43 and fine. Here’s an interview with her about the procedure.

  • 2010 – WikiLeaks publishes classified documents about the War in Afghanistan, one of the largest leaks in U.S. military history.
  • 2019 – National extreme heat records set this day in the UK, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany during the July 2019 European heat wave.

That was three years ago. Now it’s worse!

Da Nooz:

*A huge forest fire is burning near Yosemite, and it’s out of control. Many residents have been driven away, and of course the Park itself, one of our nation’s glories, is also endangered:

A destructive wildfire near Yosemite National Park that was burning out of control Sunday through tinder-dry forest land has grown into one of California’s biggest blazes of the year, forcing thousands of residents to flee remote mountain communities.

Some 2,000 firefighters battled the Oak Fire, along with aircraft and bulldozers, facing tough conditions that includes steep terrain, sweltering temperatures and low humidity, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.

“It’s hot out there again today,” Cal Fire spokesperson Natasha Fouts said Sunday. “And the fuel moisture levels are critically low.”

. . . The fire erupted Friday southwest of the park near the town of Midpines in Mariposa County. Officials described “explosive fire behavior” on Saturday as flames made runs through bone-dry vegetation caused by the worst drought in decades.

By Sunday the blaze had consumed more than 22 square miles (56 square km) of forest land, with no containment, Cal Fire said. The cause was under investigation.

. . . Evacuations were in place for over 6,000 people living across a several-mile span of the sparsely populated area in the Sierra Nevada foothills, though a handful of residents defied the orders and stayed behind, said Adrienne Freeman with the U.S. Forest Service.

“We urge people to evacuate when told,” she said. “This fire is moving very fast.”

*This New York Times story (link below) deserves top billing because it’s about Chicago’s premier food item: the hot dog. Yes, the humble dog has, in the hands of some purveyors in Chicago, become a goal for gourmets and gourmands (you must have at least two dogs, with fries). Not all Chicago places have the best version of The Dog, and by that I mean a Vienna Beef hot dog with a natural casing, served on a Rosen’s poppy-seed bun with the Holy Seven Condiments:

Mustard (putting ketchup on a dog is a criminal offense in Chicago; many places won’t serve you a dog that way. One place rings a bell with a customer orders ketchup
Green relish
Celery salt
Dill pickle spear
“Sport peppers” small hot jalapeños
Onion (often raw, but I get it grilled)

That is a “regular” dog, called by tourists “dragged through the garden.”  The NYT article is called, “Welcome to Chicago, Hot Dog Town, U.S.A.”, and it’s about damn time our dogs got their due. Note that a dog has your daily serving of vegetables!

The Chicago dog has a special place in the city’s heart: a humble, affordable food that anyone can enjoy, across cultures, creeds and proclivities. With French fries, it’s lunch; on its own, a snack. A source of civic pride, the Chicago-style hot dog is a nexus for many people’s relationship to a city they so adore.

Therein lies its magic: In its architectural specificity, the Chicago dog has been largely standardized and agreed upon, making it a unifying force that binds the city together. Everyone has their favorite spot, sure, and of course there are subtle and delicious differences among the many stands, but the product itself never strays too far from the canonical design.

So what makes a great one?

Well, everything, but they properly lay emphasis on the Vienna Beef Dog, made from good cuts of beef and inserted into a natural casing that gives the dog the essential snap when you bit into it.

They recommend beer with the dog, and I nix that. (For chrissakes, they even suggest a Riesling!) Have a soda! Also, they don’t even mention SuperDawg in the Far North, the best dog in Chicago. If you don’t want to drive that fare, go to Portillo’s, though they’ve debased themselves by having created a “vegan dog.”

Here’s the NYT picture of one fully loaded. Now I’m slavering for one, and there’s no place anywhere near Hyde Park that has a decent specimen.

Dane Tashima for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

*I expected the January 6 House committee to be pretty much over soon, but Liz Cheney says that it nevertheless will persist, as a bunch of new witnesses have turned up. That’s not at all a good sign for The Donald, who, say the pundits, will still never get indicted.

The panel probing the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol plans to push its investigation further in the coming weeks, interviewing additional members of Donald Trump’s cabinet and his campaign, as well as U.S. Secret Service members, the committee’s vice chair said on Sunday.

In eight hearings over six weeks featuring testimony from former White House officials and Trump associates, the panel painted the former president as responsible for the attack on the Capitol in a bid to stay in power following his 2020 election loss. The hearings have also outlined efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the election results.

The committee has yet to decide whether to make a criminal referral concerning Trump’s conduct to the U.S. Justice Department, Cheney said, “but that’s absolutely something we’re looking at.”

They’ve been looking at the possibility of charges for a long time, and I expect that they will make a referral, but if it goes nowhere (that’s up to Merrick Garland), I’ll be sad. One thing that Trump can’t do is make a perp walk look good to anyone.

*O Canada! The world’s worst airport for delays this year, after having five years of getting encomiums for efficiency, is Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. (I landed there only once, but the process of getting into Canada was a two-hour nightmare, and that was years ago. But I digress. More than half the flights leaving Pearson arrive late at their destinations:

This year, Toronto Pearson International has earned a different distinction. Amid a summer of flight disruptions at airports around the world, delays are worse here than anywhere else.

Over 53% of flights departing Toronto Pearson between June 1 and July 18 arrived late at their destinations, according to flight-data specialist FlightAware. That was the highest rate among the world’s top 100 airports by number of flights.

. . .Deborah Flint, chief executive of the airport’s operator, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, said the airport was overwhelmed in the final weeks of June. So many passengers were stranded by delays and missed connections on Father’s Day weekend that the airport kept its departure gates open overnight to allow a few hundred displaced travelers to sleep.

“We have a long way to go to get the system and Pearson where we want it to be,” Ms. Flint said.

Here’s a figure of the worst airports in the world; you might want to consult this if you’re flying soon. (Click to enlarge.) Pearson is a HUGE outlier!

*Pamela Paul is becoming my favorite NYT op-ed writer, and has increased her standing with a new piece, “There’s more than one way to ban a book.” The new way is publisher’s bowing to ideological or social-media pressure to simply not publish books:

In the 1950s, Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita” was banned in France, Britain and Argentina, but not in the United States, where its publisher, Walter Minton, released the book after multiple American publishing houses rejected it.

Minton is part of a noble tradition. Over the years, American publishers have fought back against efforts to repress a wide range of works — from Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” to Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Just last year, Simon & Schuster defended its book deal with former Vice President Mike Pence, despite a petition signed by more than 200 Simon & Schuster employees and other book professionals demanding that the publishing house cancel the deal. The publisher, Dana Canedy, and chief executive, Jonathan Karp, held firm.

The American publishing industry has long prided itself on publishing ideas and narratives that are worthy of our engagement, even if some people might consider them unsavory or dangerous, and for standing its ground on freedom of expression.

But that ground is getting shaky. Though the publishing industry would never condone book banning, a subtler form of repression is taking place in the literary world, restricting intellectual and artistic expression from behind closed doors, and often defending these restrictions with thoughtful-sounding rationales. As many top editors and publishing executives admit off the record, a real strain of self-censorship has emerged that many otherwise liberal-minded editors, agents and authors feel compelled to take part in.

Here are some methods:

In the face of those pressures, publishers have adopted a defensive crouch, taking pre-emptive measures to avoid controversy and criticism. Now, many books the left might object to never make it to bookshelves because a softer form of banishment happens earlier in the publishing process: scuttling a project for ideological reasons before a deal is signed, or defusing or eliminating “sensitive” material in the course of editing.

Publishers have increasingly instituted a practice of “sensitivity reads,” something that first gained traction in the young adult fiction world but has since spread to books for readers of all ages. Though it has long been a practice to lawyer many books, sensitivity readers take matters to another level, weeding out anything that might potentially offend.

She discusses a lot of examples, including not selling a book (e.g., Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage, and school boards banning books). Not all of this is done by the left, especially banning in school libraries.

*A Dane won the Tour de France, and he was a long shot.

Jonas Vingegaard completed an improbable run to a Tour de France victory Sunday only three years after turning professional, with the 25-year-old Danish rider soaking in the atmosphere along the Champs-Élysées in Paris to close the 21st and final stage in cycling’s most prestigious event.

Competing in the Tour de France for just the second time, Vingegaard secured the triumph after claiming the penultimate stage by such a comfortable margin that no other rider was able to make up enough ground to overtake him on the traditional celebratory closing day.

Vingegaard’s winning time was 79:32.29. Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar took second place (+3.34), and Geraint Thomas of Great Britain was third (+8.13) in the three-week

Crikey! He looks 12!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is importuning for her favorite tidbit:

Hili: I agree to your proposal.
A: I didn’t propose anything to you.
Hili: Never mind, you can give me a piece of tenderloin from the refrigerator anyway.
In Polish:
Hili: Zgadzam się na twoją propozycję.
Ja: Niczego nie proponowałem.
Hili: Nie szkodzi i tak możesz mi dać kawałek polędwicy z lodówki.

And baby Kulka:



From David P.  Now what do you suppose engendered this sign?

From Lisa, a great sign from Dorset in the UK:

From Diana MacPherson, a New Yorker cartoon by Ellis Rosen:

From Titania:

From Barry. I’m sure I posted a similar one, but you can’t see enough sugar gliders!

From Simon: Calling the grammar police!

Two smooth landings:

From the Auschwitz Memorial (today sent by Matthew): gssed at 10

Tweets from Professor Cobb. Here we have the Irony of the Week (sound up). Rick Scott is the junior Senator from Florida, and is a Republican, of course.

Rat used as a weapon! Note the ill-drawn medieval cat, bipedal and with drumsticks for forelegs:

Yearly expanse of sea ice in Antarctica. The penguins are doomed.

Body percussion (sound up, and watch the whole thing). They should have gotten some skinny guys to vary the pitch.

24 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. Wow, I love the Nelson story, I believe I have seen his tomb but it means more after reading this, than it did when I was there beside it. Thanks for sharing all this info

    1. You should visit HMS Victory. There’s a plaque on the deck where he fell – I’m not surprised, I tripped over it myself.

      Thank you, I’m here all week. Also, you should definitely visit HMS Victory, and the National Maritime Museum has got the coat he was wearing. Note that the blood on it is not his own, but that of his secretary, John Scott, who was cut in half by a cannon ball whilst standing next to Nelson.

      1. Very good, Jeremy! My mother always complains that HMS Victory is on display in Portsmouth and not in Chatham dockyard were she was built.

    2. You might be interested to know the black marble sarcophagus was originally made for Cardinal Wolsey, passed to Henry VIII after Wolsey’s disgrace, but apparently he wouldn’t fit in it when he died!

  2. I second our host’s props to SuperDawg in Chicago. I used to live near the original one on Milwaukee Ave. just south of Devon Ave. Now that I’m living in the northern suburbs, I can go to the new SuperDawg in Restaurant Row (same Milwaukee Ave.!) in Wheeling.

  3. Interesting about Chicago dogs (no asterisk!). In my town, Rochester, there are no dogs–only hots, and the best ones were originally served at Nick Tahou’s on a garbage plate with meat sauce. Now every diner in the area serves a plate, but the original hots and po-tots (fried potatoes & baked beans) is still a great way to pig out. Nota bene–there are some crazy people who think a hot can be steamed or boiled. This is monstrous, even worse than serving a properly grilled hot with ketchup.

    1. A wonderful place, Nick’s. Way back when (a very, very long time ago), at 3:00 am the place was full of cops and crooks (and an occasional nurse or two). “Hots, potatoes, everything….” Thanks for the memory!

  4. Jonas Vingegaard finished second in last year’s Tour de France and was one of the favorites in pre-race discussion. I wouldn’t necessarily identify his win as a “long shot”.

  5. I don’t know about the golf, but it appears that it’s still ok to dance on people’s graves.

    1. Maybe someone got beaned in the head by a golf ball during an (abortive) resurrection. Probably a great surprise to both parties.

  6. Ah, yes, Rick “Dickless” Scott, aka (former) Governor Voldemort of Florida. As dishonest, cowardly, selfish, and disgusting as He Who Must Not Be Named, but not anything like as intelligent or gifted. But one doesn’t need to be intelligent to get elected to high office–indeed, it’s practically a handicap.

    1. He’s also a criminal, no? Wasn’t he involved in the biggest Medicare scam in the nation’s history? I’ll never understand Florida voters…too much sun, I guess. 😉

  7. If I don’t tell people not to put raw tomatoes on their hot dogs, I certainly don’t want anyone saying anything if I want to put much-less-icky-and-seed-riddled, processed, “pickled”, liquified tomato on my hot dogs…otherwise I might be forced to find an alternative red fluid with which to replace it. Along with a side of fava beans and nice Chianti.

  8. I had a Chicago Dog with the Works for lunch yesterday. It looked exactly like the one pictured here except the bun wasn’t toasted. I get ketchup for my fries but I also put some on the dog. It works well.

    1. One thing I’ve noticed about Chicago Dogs. It must come on a poppy seeded bun, of course, but some places serve a bun that is very sweet to my taste, almost like brioche. Luckily, my go-to place locally serves it on what I consider a normal hot dog bun. I would be interested to know what the official Chicago Dog bun tastes like. Perhaps it varies from place to place.

  9. The Pearson meltdown is discouraging evidence that Canada just can’t seem to do anything anymore that requires a cooperative effort.
    With the airport it’s not all a single factor like persisting Covid controls. Everyone has his own theories and they’re probably all correct. Selling more seats than you are going to have air and ground staff to handle when it comes time to fly the people in them is undoubtedly part of it. But hasn’t every airline at every airport in the world been trying to do the same thing?

  10. Ilona Raabová: If von Stauffenberg had succeeded, she might well have survived along with all others murdered by Nazis after 7/20/44.

    I got a little resistance to that idea not long ago by someone who had heard the claim that D-Day succeeded because nobody would awaken Hitler that early. I had to point out that D-Day came 6wks before Operation Valkyrie.

    1. It is true that when D-Day began, no one wanted to wake Hitler since at this point in the war, he was crazed. I think he was addled on drugs and such and knew the war was lost. But if he was awakened, I doubt that would have had any outcome on the success of D-Day. Cornelius Ryan’s The Longest Day describes these events in detail.

  11. Now what do you suppose engendered this sign?

    The sign is facing the wrong way. It is well known that the deceased elderly play golf — this I have seen at a nearby golf course. However, cemeteries do not allow it because cemeteries are not golf courses.

  12. Perhaps too late for PCC(e)’s perusal, but speaking of hot fudge sundaes, did you ever go to Gifford’s on Lee Highway in Arlington? Big treat when I was young. I vaguely recall they had a massive one (including a banana split) for which you got some sort of reward for finishing it.

  13. Flew out of Pearson last Thursday to Kelowna, BC. Was less grisly than I had dreaded; we left almost 2 hours late, but a 75-minute delay had already been announced by email at 3 AM for an originally 11:45 flight. Long line-ups but no surprise covid rapid tests, and no unpleasant passengers or staff.

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