Thursday: Hili dialogue

August 18, 2022 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Thursay, August 18, 2022: National Ice-Cream Pie Day (I’m not sure if the hyphen is correct). Frozen pie is better than no pie, but give me cherry, sour cream raisin pie, or Key Lime (which is refrigerated but not frozen).  Protip: NEVER eat a Key Lime pie if it’s green; that means that they’ve put food coloring in it and it doesn’t have the right fruit; they’ve probably used regular (“Persan”) limes. Real Key Lime pie looks like this:


It’s also National Fajita Day, Pinot Noir Day, Birthday of Virginia Dare (Roanoke Island), and Helium Discovery Day.  Virginia Dare, born on this day in Roanoke Colony, was the first English child born in a New World English settlement. As to helium:

The first evidence of helium was observed on August 18, 1868, as a bright yellow line with a wavelength of 587.49 nanometers in the spectrum of the chromosphere of the Sun. The line was detected by French astronomer Jules Janssen during a total solar eclipse in Guntur, India.

By my count, exactly 60 different black cats appeared in yesterday’s post for Black Cat Appreciation Day. I’ve added two more to accommodate late-senders. Thanks to readers for sending in the photos.

Stuff that happened on August 17 includes:

The “Lost Colony” was founded in 1587, and nobody knows what happened to it; it’s one of the great mysteries of American history. There’s one clue, given in the caption to the Wikipedia drawing below:

The Lost Colony, design by William Ludwell Sheppard, engraving by William James Linton. This image depicts John White returning to the Roanoke Colony in 1590 to discover the settlement abandoned. A pallisade had been constructed since White’s departure in 1587, and the word “CROATOAN” was found carved near the entrance. White explained to his men that this was a prearranged signal to indicate that the colony had relocated, but was unable to search Croatoan Island for further information.

Twelve (ten women and two men) were accused of murdering 10 people by witchcraft. Ten were convicted and hanged, and another died in prison. Only one was found not guilty.

It was visible for 15 minutes; here’s a painting, “The 1783 Great Meteor, as seen from the East Angle of the North Terrace, Windsor CastlePaul Sandby‘s original watercolour.”

Whether this flimsy biplane actually took to the air, and, if so, whether it was controlled, cannot be verified, but here it is:

A poster from 1920:

A first edition of this classic novel, signed by Nabokov, will run you $25,000:

Da Nooz:

*Well, we expected Liz Cheney to lose her House seat, but she lost in a real landslide: more than 35 points behind Republican challenger Harriet Hageman, who got more than two votes for every one that went to Cheney. Here are the figures from CNN (click to enlarge).

Cheney knew she would lose her seat, and since Wyoming is a red state, Hageman will be the only U.S representative from the state.  The reason, of course, is that Cheney, while maintaining a lot of conservative views I disagree with, did something that most of us do agree with: she went after Trump, not only as vice-chair of the January 6 committee, but in her campaign ads as well. Trump endorsed Hagamen, and that’s all she wrote.

This also conveys the bad news that Trump still wields huge influence in the G.O.P., and his endorsement can make or break candidates. According to the AP, Cheney is weighing a run for the Presidency in 2024 (as a Republican, of course), but how smart is that? No Republican who likes Trump will vote for her, so she immediately loses a huge slice of votes to her Democratic opponent. But I suppose we should be supporting her run because of that.

*In other election news, Lisa Murkowski, the sole Republican to vote to convict Trump during his impeachment, advanced in the Alaska Republican primary for a Senate seat. Not only that, but she’s leading in Alaska’s new “ranked choice” method of voting:

As expected, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was one of four candidates to advance to the ranked-choice general election alongside Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka. And notably, Murkowski actually held a narrow lead — something that, if it holds up, will augur well for her chances of survival in November.

With 68 percent of expected votes counted in the Alaska’s Senate primary, Murkowski led Tshibaka 44 to 40 percent.

Much of the vote has yet to be counted, which will take some time, but it stands to reason that the first votes counted would be more favorable to Tshibaka than the others. . .

And the best news—Sarah Palin is not doing so great:

With two-thirds of expected votes counted in the special election for the House seat of the late congressman Don Young (R-Alaska), former Alaska governor and GOP vice-presidential nominee Palin surprisingly trailed a Democrat, Mary Peltola, 38 percent to 32 percent. The other front-running Republican, Nick Begich, was at 29 percent.

This is a primary election with the final election happening in November, filling the seat of the late GOP Representative Don Young. Whoever’s elected, his term would have expired in January, 2023, and there will have to be another election. But this could lead to the loss of one Republican seat in the House.

*This got me wondering whether the Senate and House predictions of the FiveThirtyEight site would, reflecting recent Democratic achievements, show a shift in the likelihood that Dems could control both houses of Congress this fall, something previously deemed unlikely.

Sorry, there’s not much change. The Senate is still marginally favored to go Democratic. . .

. . . while the site’s simulations show that the House is more likely to go Republican than to stay Democratic:

Troubles as numerous as poppy seeds. . . .

*News From Ken:

The Tennessee legislature and governor are pushing a bill to ban “obscene” books from the state’s school libraries. (There are currently no books in Tennessee school libraries that meet SCOTUS’s definition for obscenity.) According to the bill’s backers, Tennessee schools are promoting porn and proliferating Communist and Marxist ideology.

Yay for the librarians who are defending this:

“If the intent behind HB 1944 is to keep obscenity out of the hands of minors, then our current Tennessee code and the sound professional judgment of our school libraries and school boards are already doing this,” said Sharon Edwards, president of the Tennessee Library Association.

Educators and opponents of the bill pointed out during a hearing Wednesday that most school districts already have policies for challenging or removing titles from school libraries.

Edwards also said parents already have a right to examine the curriculum and request alternative instruction.

Even Republican lawmakers noted a bill backed by Gov. Bill Lee, “the Age Appropriateness Act of 2022,” would assuage some of the fears of proponents of HB 1944.

Not a single lawmaker who said that libraries are pushing porn could come up with a single example. What we have here is censorship, plain and simple.

*Speaking of censorship, get a load of what happened in Texas:

This is what the Jewish Telegraphic Agency has to say about this ban:

A school district in suburban Fort Worth, Texas, has ordered its librarians to remove an illustrated adaptation of “The Diary of Anne Frank” from their shelves and digital libraries, along with the Bible and dozens of other books that were challenged by parents last year.

The book purge at the Keller Independent School District in Keller, Texas, was requested Tuesday by a district executive in an email, a copy of which was obtained by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. A copy of the email also circulated on social media.

“By the end of today, I need all books pulled from the library and classrooms,” wrote Jennifer Price, Keller ISD’s executive director of curriculum and instruction.

It was the latest in a string of book removals being implemented at schools at the behest of conservative activist parents and school board members who are challenging a slew of texts on grounds ranging from their LGBT-friendly content to their supposed connections to “critical race theory.” Some of these challenges have ensnared books with Jewish themes in the past.

It was only a matter of time before somebody ordered the Bible pulled (Trigger warning: Slavery, Genocide, Incest, Crucifixion). But wait. There’s more!

“When we got ‘The Diary of Anne Frank,’ we thought, ‘This is a joke.’ But it wasn’t,” Hawes said, adding that the complaint was that “the book shouldn’t be read without parent supervision.” She suspected that the parent may have objected to the unabridged diary’s references to female genitalia, same-sex attraction and other sexual matters, which have been deemed “pornographic” by parental challenges in the past. But she couldn’t be sure because the parent who challenged the book didn’t show up to the meeting.

*Poor University of Michigan! One of the great treasures of its library was a document supposedly written by Galileo, describing the moons of Jupiter. This is historically important because at the time the whole Universe was supposed orbit the Earth. Now, however, a researcher has found (and the University agrees) that the document (shown below) is a twentieth-century forgery.  How did they find that out? The detective was Nick Wilding, a historian at Georgia State University:

Wilding, who is writing a biography of Galileo, has uncovered forged Galileo works before: he previously found evidence that a copy of Galileo’s 1610 treatise “Sidereus Nuncius” (“Starry Messenger”), with several watercolors, was a fake. He became suspicious of the Michigan manuscript in May while examining an online image of it. Some of the letter forms and word choices seemed strange to him, and even though the top and bottom were supposedly written months apart, the ink seemed remarkably similar.

“It just kind of jumps out as weird,” Wilding said. “This is supposedly two different documents that happen to be on one sheet of paper. Why is it all exactly the same color brown?”

Wilding, who teaches a summer course on forgery at Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, began to research the Michigan document, and found there was no record of it in Italian archives. It first appeared at auction in 1934, when it was purchased by a Detroit businessman, and it was bequeathed to the university in 1938 after his death. Wilding emailed the library in May to ask for more provenance information and to request an image of the document’s watermark — an insignia visible when held to the light that can indicate where and when the paper was made.

. . . Pablo Alvarez, the curator at the library’s Special Collections Research Center, recalled the sinking feeling he got when he saw Wilding’s name on the email, knowing his reputation for unmasking forgeries. He retrieved the document from storage and photographed its watermark, a circle with a three-leafed clover and the monogram, “AS/BMO.”

.  .Alvarez couldn’t find the exact type of watermark found on Michigan’s manuscript, but no other document with a “AS/BMO” watermark appeared before around 1770 — making it highly unlikely that Galileo could have used the paper more than 150 years earlier.

Alvarez was crestfallen. “That’s it,” he thought. “Checkmate.”

But how could they have erred on this?:

Alvarez drove the document over to Michigan’s conservation laboratory, where Amy Crist, the library’s book and paper conservator, found that the ink and paper were consistent with the period — giving Alvarez a glimmer of hope that it was authentic.

Not any more. Now the document is being used for studies of forgery. Here it is:

(From NYT): The manuscript showed the draft of a letter at the top, and sketches plotting the positions of the moons Galileo discovered around Jupiter — which the university had believed were “the first observational data that showed objects orbiting a body other than the earth.”Credit…via University of Michigan Library

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is bargaining about Andrzej’s seat:

Hili: Do you want to sit down here?
A: Yes.
Hili: Go to the kitchen first and put something tasty in my bowl.
In Polish:
Hili: Chcesz tu usiąść?
Ja: Tak.
Hili: Idź najpierw do kuchni i włóż do miseczki coś smacznego.


From Divy, a Scott Metzger cartoon:

From Tom, a Dave Coverly cartoon:

From Divy as well: a First Responder Cat. Click the arrow to see the FB video.

The Tweet of God:

The birth of an African elephant. Sound up. Note how the group comes over to help get the newborn on its feet:

From Malcolm. Who doesn’t love baby hedgehogs?

From Simon. I’m SURE I’ve shown this one before, but it’s a great tweet and I’m showing it again:

From Barry, who calls this “my [Jerry’s] favorite song of the year.” It’s in the running: look at all those FBIs!

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Dr. Cobb. First, a catlike parrot:

Texas has officially jumped the shark!

The polarization of America, but involving God versus Satan. It’s the End Times!


17 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. I’m thrilled to see Alaska doing ranked choice voting. It seems a little too progressive for them. I’d love to see a combination of RCV and proportional voting everywhere; PV for large groups (legislatures, etc.) and RCV for single executives (president, governor, etc.).

  2. Although it is unclear what Cheney’s presidential plans are, she knows that she has zero chance of winning the 2024 Republican nomination, regardless of whether Trump runs or not. Assuming Trump runs, she may announce her candidacy simply to use the race for the Republican nomination as a platform for her to attack Trump and perhaps try to sway Republican primary voters to support another conservative (not her) instead of Trump. Assuming Trump gets the Republican nomination, she may decide to run as an independent (knowing she has no chance of winning the general election) with the hope of peeling off enough Republicans to make it easy for the Democrat to win. This is based on the assumption that Cheney would rather see a Democrat win than Trump. Who would have thought? If she goes this route, the strategy is tricky. It is possible that her run as an independent may peel off more Democrats than Republicans, thus helping Trump.

    It is a strange political world we live in. Four years ago, there wasn’t a pundit on the planet that would have thought that Liz Cheney would become the spokesperson for democracy, an apostate in the Republican Party, and a hero to many Democrats despite being an arch-conservative. Such is the world Trump has made.

  3. Here’s the thing about Cheney. Most Republicans don’t believe that January 6 was an attempted coup or a conspiracy, and are dubious that the last election was conducted fairly. They also think that the January 6 Committee is a completely partisan affair designed to prevent Trump from running again (which, in truth, it is) and potentially to discredit the entire Republican party. From that perspective Cheney doesn’t look like a warrior for democracy, but a dupe, a fool, or a turncoat. With her supporting the Democrats in this, voters hardly need Trump to tell them not to vote for her.

    1. Oh, and she was wrong in her concession speech. Lincoln did not lose his re-election to the House. He had pledged to only serve one term.

    2. Most Republicans don’t believe that January 6 was an attempted coup or a conspiracy, and are dubious that the last election was conducted fairly.

      And most three-year-olds believe in Santa. Anyone who takes at face value Donald Trump’s claim that he won a yooge landslide victory that was stolen from him by massive voting fraud is either too lazy, or too crass, or too incurious, or too biased, or just too damn dumb to face facts. (Hell, they’re probably too lazy, or too crass, or too incurious, or too biased, or just too damn dumb to run an errand to the corner store alone without being given exact change and instructions printed in big block letters.)

      And concerns over “election integrity” is just the foxhole Republican cowards hide in when they know there’s no support for Trump’s Big Lie, but lack the courage to take on his falsehoods directly.

  4. Well, we expected Liz Cheney to lose her House seat, but she lost in a real landslide…

    Might be time for her daddy to take The Donald quail hunting.

    I’d love to see Liz Cheney run for the 2024 Republican nomination for president. Not that she’d have any chance of winning, but she’s the one candidate who could clean Trump’s clock on a debate stage, since she knows the details of his coup plot better than he does (though I can’t imagine the Republican National Committee ever allowing her to debate him).

    Which highlights the conundrum for the rest of the Republican mopes — DeSantis, Pence, Pompeo, et al. — who’ve been mentioned as possible 2024 contenders. They all owe their name recognition one way or another to being Trump’s sycophants. And if they try to challenge him for the nomination now, you better believe he will never let them forget it. Trump will come out swinging, not just about this (talking about they would offer to get on their knees to ask him for favors, with its Trumpian implication that they were willing to fellate him), but by threatening to spill the beans on their ugly wives or their father’s involvement in assassinations, just as he did against his opponents for the 2016 nomination. (I don’t know how many of you have ever watched a speech by Ron DeSantis start to finish, but as one of his constituents, I have, and he’s every bit as “low energy” as his predecessor in the Florida governor’s mansion, Jeb! Bush.)

    Unless they’re prepared to punch back (and do a much better job of it than Little Marco did during the 2016 primaries), these GOP wannabees may as well not even get in the race. But if they do punch back, they risk incurring the wrath of the Trump cultists, without whose support they cannot win a general election, in the unlikely event they manage to out mud-wrestle Trump for the nomination.

  5. I was curious about which books in school were being deemed “pornographic” so looked up conservative sites to find examples. The most mentioned were It’s Perfectly Normal for 10 and up and Gender Queer, presumably for high school level.

    Looking at the illustrations, I can kind of see their point. It’s not pornography, no — but it’s pretty graphic, especially for middle school. Images of young people masturbating, having intercourse, oral sex, etc, genitals included. I would have been comfortable letting my own teenagers read it, but recognize that other parents wouldn’t. In the school library? Maybe with a permission slip. Taught in class? No.

    I was going to post a NSFW link, but thought better of it.

  6. Like the ones that I have seen there, those Masai Mara elephants look rather small and with short, nearly straight tusks. I have often wondered, therefore, whether at least some Mara elephants are hybrids of bush Loxodonta africana and forest Loxodonta cyclotis elephants. Elephants can migrate a long way, and they are not too far from the boundaries of the two species. Are there any elephant experts who could comment?

    1. An alternative hypothesis might be that this elephant population is the offspring of (relatively) small bodied, small-tusked elephants (which hadn’t been shot for their large tusks or because they’re impressively large), with (relatively) small bodied, small-tusked elephants (which hadn’t been shot for their large tusks or because they’re impressively large). Body size being very heritable, and tusk size also highly heritable, that would be a viable mechanism without invoking migration through populated areas of farmers with shotguns.

  7. The Democrats are likely to win the Senate and the Republicans highly likely to win the House.
    ‘Two weeks is a long time in politics’ (wasn’t that Harold Wilson?) and we’re still more than 2 months away from the midterms. With the inflation rate going down, a lot may still happen. I’m slightly more optimistic than before the SC struck down Roe vs Wade.
    I would not attach too much importance to Cheneys large loss in Wyoming.
    1 – it came just after the FBI searched Mar-a-lago, and
    2- this is Wyoming, the smallest state in the US and about the most Trumpist too.
    The latest from Alaska paints a somewhat different picture.

  8. The parrot is hilarious, out-catting cats.
    Metaxas is also hilarious, if he weren’t so sad and despicable (another Metaxas was the dictator of Greece from 1936, but he died in 1941).
    The first responder cat was hilarious too. I wonder if (s)he realised the danger to the kid if it had succeeded (not likely) to climb over.
    And all the FBI’s , not to mention the bicycle crash.
    Hili’s dialogue was a great source of pleasure today.

    1. Metaxas is also hilarious…

      Yes! I just watched it. I too am beginning to see clear indications that we are dealing with a demonic system in the absolute sense of Satanism. Maybe Jesus was Satan pretending to be God. Confusing stuff 🙂

  9. A school district in suburban Fort Worth, Texas, has ordered its librarians to remove an illustrated adaptation of “The Diary of Anne Frank” from their shelves and digital libraries …

    Do we know who snitched out the illustrated Anne Frank‘s hiding place to the Texas book Nazis?

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