Wednesday: Hili dialogue

September 14, 2022 • 6:30 am

Top of the morning to you on this Hump Day (“Kambar Günü”, as they say in Turkish), September 14, 2020. It’s National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day, though the chances that you’ll find a doughnut filled with actual cream or its derivatives is virtually nil. Now they’re filled with “creme” or “kreme”, probably petroleum byproducts that never saw the inside of a cow. “Creme” the dairy equivalent of the odious “krab.”

It’s also Eat a Hoagie Day (see below if you are unfamiliar with hoagies), Gobstopper Day (celebrating “jawbreakers”), National Parents Day Off, and, in Ukraine, Mobilized Servicemen Day

A hoagie is the Philadelphia term for a submarine sandwich, also called a “grinder” or a “hero”, depending on where you are in the U.S. (some claim these are actually different, but they’re not).  In New Orleans they’re called “po-boys”, because they were a filling mill for the impecunious. Here’s a lovely Italian hoagie:

Stuff that happened on September 14 includes:

Well, the Eucharist is the wine-and-wafer ceremony but I had no idea what “perpetual adoration” of that was. Here’s what Wikipedia says:

When the exposition and adoration of the Eucharist is constant (twenty-four hours a day), it is called perpetual adoration. In a monastery or convent, it is done by the resident monks or nuns and, in a parish, by volunteer parishioners since the 20th century. In a prayer opening the Perpetual chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope John Paul II prayed for a perpetual adoration chapel in every parish in the world

And there are livecams of this because it’s perpetual! Here’s a livestream from Melbourne, 24/7. Nothing changes but the candles; but GOD KNOWS it’s there.

I always wonder how this worked: what about appointments that were made during the skipped period?

The deed for which she was canonized was founding the American parochial (Catholic) school system. But of course that’s not enough: you need two miracles to become a saint. I could find only one, but I couldn’t be arsed to look for the other. This is the first one that leads to the minor leagues of sainthood: beatification:

In 1952, a miracle involving the healing of 4 year old Ann O’Neil from leukemia was attributed to the intercession of Seton after a nun prayed for the girl to Seton. The miracle was a factor in the beatification of Seton and Seton was beatified by Pope John XXIII on March 17, 1963.

A portrait of the saint, to whom you can now pray for intercession to Jesus or God, is below; the Wikipedia caption is tortuous:

This portrait of Elizabeth Ann Seton is a reproduction of a portrait painted by Amabilia Filicchi. The reproduction was sent to the Daughters of Charity by Patrizio Filicchi in 1888. It’s based on an engraving by Ceroni from the 1860s, which in turn was based on a 1797 engraving by Charles Balthazar Julien Fevret de Saint-Mémin.


I couldn’t find a video of that, but Kittinger, who had a remarkable career (and is still with us at 94) made the first “space jump” ever in history: a parachute jump from a balloon from beyond the edge of space (conventionally, 100,000 feet). A YouTube video gives the details:

On August 16, 1960, Joseph Kittinger jumped his last Excelsior jump, doing so from an air-thin height of 102,800 feet (31,334 meters). From that nearly 20 miles altitude, his tumble toward terra firma took some 4 minutes and 36 seconds. Exceeding the speed of sound during the fall, Kittinger used a small stabilizing chute before a larger, main parachute opened in the denser atmosphere. He safely touched down in barren New Mexico desert, 13 minutes 45 seconds after he vaulted into the void. The jump set records that still stand today, among them, the highest parachute jump, the longest freefall, and the fastest speed ever attained by a human through the atmosphere. Somewhat in contention is Kittinger’s use of the small parachute for stabilization during his record-setting fall. Roger Eugene Andreyev, a Russian, is touted as holding the world’s free fall record of 80,325 feet (24,483 meters), made on November 1, 1962.

And here’s Kittinger describing that jump.

You remember this. Here are the confirming data with the caption from Wikipedia. Look at the match between expected and observed. (The expected comes from applying the theory of relativity to the merging of two black holes. These “ripples in space-time” are so small that even Einstein doubted they could be detected. Thus they build two huge detectors far apart (below) to find them. It was a remarkable discovery.


(from Wikipedia): First observation of gravitational waves by LIGO (signal GW150914). Shows the gravitational wave signals received by the LIGO instruments at Hanford, Washington (left) and Livingston, Louisiana (right) and comparisons of these signals to the signals expected due to a black hole merger event.

The method, as described by Wikipedia, was capable of detecting extremely small events:

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a large-scale physics experiment and observatory designed to detect cosmic gravitational waves and to develop gravitational-wave observations as an astronomical tool. Two large observatories were built in the United States with the aim of detecting gravitational waves by laser interferometry. These observatories use mirrors spaced four kilometers apart which are capable of detecting a change of less than one ten-thousandth the charge diameter of a proton

Here’s one of the two observatories, the one in Hanford Washington. I’m still gobsmaked that this was possible:

Da Nooz:

*Professor Ceiling Cat’s Prediction: We’re heading into a recession.  Here’s Tuesday evening’s headline from the WSJ (click to read):

and a big article in the NYT:

Been to the grocery store lately? That $4 for a dozen eggs isn’t going to suddenly go back to $1.00, which was the on-sale price where I shop.  From the NYT:

Inflation remained uncomfortably rapid in August despite a decline in gas costs as prices continued to soar across a broad array of other goods and services, evidence that the sustainable slowdown the Federal Reserve and White House have been hoping for remains elusive.

Prices rose 8.3 percent from a year earlier compared to 8.5 percent in July, a fresh Consumer Price Index report released Tuesday showed, a still-rapid pace of increase and not as much of a moderation as economists had expected. The disappointing data came even as falling gas prices pulled inflation lower, with rapidly rising costs for rent, health care, restaurant meals and goods such as furniture offsetting the relief consumers were feeling at the fuel pump.

Compounding the bad news, a core index that strips out gas and food to get a sense of underlying inflation trends accelerated by more than was expected.

For policymakers at the Federal Reserve, who have been raising interest rates to slow the economy and try to tame recent rapid inflation, the report was a fresh sign that price increases have yet to come back under control — and that continued aggressive action may be needed to wrestle them lower.

It may be too late, at least for the hopes of the Democrats this fall. I hope I’m wrong, but I smell the “r” word in the distance.

*Those scrappy Ukrainian soldiers are right up the butts of the fleeing Russians, and while none of us knows how this will end, I’m delighted to read that the Russians are skedaddling towards home like rabbits. The pressure is on, as the Associated Press reports:

Ukrainian troops piled pressure on retreating Russian forces Tuesday, pressing deeper into occupied territory and sending more Kremlin troops fleeing ahead of the counteroffensive that has inflicted a stunning blow on Moscow’s military prestige.

As the advance continued, Ukraine’s border guard services said the army took control of Vovchansk — a town just 3 kilometers (2 miles) from Russia seized on the first day of the war. Russia acknowledged that it has withdrawn troops from areas in the northeastern region of Kharkiv in recent days.

Russian troops were also pulling out from the southern city of Melitopol, the second-largest city in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region, the city’s pre-occupation mayor said. His claim could not immediately be verified.

Melitopol has been under Russian occupation since early March. Capturing it would give Kyiv the opportunity to disrupt Russian supply lines between the south and the eastern Donbas region, the two major areas where Moscow-backed forces hold territory.

. . .It was not yet clear if the Ukrainian blitz, which unfolded after months of little discernible movement, could signal a turning point in the nearly seven-month war.

But the country’s officials were buoyant, releasing footage showing their forces burning Russian flags and inspecting abandoned, charred tanks. In one video, border guards tore down a poster that read, “We are one people with Russia.”

Momentum has switched back and forth before, and Ukraine’s American allies were careful not to declare a premature victory since Russian President Vladimir Putin still has troops and resources to tap.

Just remember that Putin is a mean and evil man, and is capable of any kind of killing if his back is to the wall. I predict a nefarious attack on Ukrainian civilians.

*Matthew’s been keeping me abreast (excuse the bad pun; see below) of how England is mourning the late Queen. Some of it is dignified and touching—the pile of marmalade sandwiches at Buckingham Palace was cute, albeit messy— but much of it seems not only  senseless and an over-the-top flaunting of grief, but also but maladaptive. Look at this tweet:

And now, because of the Queen’s funeral, they’re also canceling funerals of nonroyal people throughout Old Blighty.  Matthew sent me this link to the Daily Mirror, adding “Many other funerals have been cancelled, either because the family wants to (fair enough) or because the crematorium or parlour are closed.”

But as the subheadline states, other people are angry because they have their own loved ones to bury, and have to wait until the Queen is in the ground. That’s unfair.

However, the decision to cancel funerals has been slammed by the public, with many already having been “arranged many weeks ago”.

People have taken to Twitter to share their grievances and heartbreak regarding this decision.

One person wrote: “No one can be buried (or cremated) on Monday 19th September except for the Queen,” to which another confirmed that this is true, saying “My family have had a funeral cancelled for that day. They’ve been told no funerals ever go ahead on a Bank Holiday”.

Another explained that many funerals taking place on September 19 will be moved to a different date. They said: “Although work is still ongoing, some funerals will go ahead, others are moving to a different date – led by the needs & wishes of the bereaved families involved.”

They also added: “Most funeral services booked for 19 September will have been arranged many weeks ago, so funeral directors and cemeteries/crematoria are working with families to find the best approach for each one.”

The article also mentions that surgeries are likely to be canceled on Monday, in line with what Matt tweeted above, and with long waits at the NHS, that could be really bad. Is that what the Queen would have wanted?

*The long-standing arms race between Sydney’s sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) and the residents’ wheelie-bins continues. For years the birds have foiled efforts by the good citizens of Sydney to keep the pesky birds from getting at the food in the bins. And the cockies have simply learned to deal with each new obstacle. This is a good example of cultural coevoution by learning: human vs. bird.  New Scientist reports (h/t Grant):

Residents of Sydney, Australia, are caught in a battle of wits with cockatoos, as they try to stop the crafty birds raiding their rubbish bins for food.

As fast as they come up with new ways to stop the sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) from opening the bins, the birds are working out ways to defeat them. It is a classic example of an arms race in cultural evolution, says Barbara Klump at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Radolfzell, Germany.

The saga began when cockatoos discovered that people’s bins often contain food, with bread and fruit being particular favourites. The lids are heavy, but a few birds found they could pry them open at the front, grip the lid in their beak while walking around the rim towards the hinge, and flip the lid over.

The trick was seen in only three suburbs of Sydney in 2018, but by 2019 it had spread to 44 suburbs as cockatoos learned the trick by copying each other, Klump’s team reported previously. The behaviour is a nuisance for residents since the birds often toss rubbish over their front yards and streets.

. . . Some residents started putting bricks and other items on top of their bin lids, but some of the hungry birds figured out they could nudge the bricks off with their heads.

The humans are ahead, but only temporarily. I love the learning clusters in both birds and humans:

A more sophisticated tactic – which hasn’t yet been defeated – is to wedge a stick or a pair of trainers between the hinges and the bin to stop the lid from flipping over.

“Bricks seemed to work for a while, but cockies got too clever,” one resident told the researchers. “Neighbours on [the] other side of [the] highway suggested sticks. They work.”

The researchers found that protection tactics tended to cluster among neighbouring houses, leading them to conclude that they are copying each other’s tactics just like the birds do.

A video:

*But there’s good news, too: CERN announced the discovery of three new particles, courtesy of the LHC (h/t Malcolm)

The international LHCb collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has observed three never-before-seen particles: a new kind of “pentaquark” and the first-ever pair of “tetraquarks”, which includes a new type of tetraquark. The findings, presented today at a CERN seminar, add three new exotic members to the growing list of new hadrons found at the LHC. They will help physicists better understand how quarks bind together into these composite particles.

Quarks are elementary particles and come in six flavours: up, down, charm, strange, top and bottom. They usually combine together in groups of twos and threes to form hadrons such as the protons and neutrons that make up atomic nuclei. More rarely, however, they can also combine into four-quark and five-quark particles, or “tetraquarks” and “pentaquarks”. These exotic hadrons were predicted by theorists at the same time as conventional hadrons, about six decades ago, but only relatively recently, in the past 20 years, have they been observed by LHCb and other experiments.

. . . The discoveries announced today by the LHCb collaboration include new kinds of exotic hadrons. The first kind, observed in an analysis of “decays” of negatively charged B mesons, is a pentaquark made up of a charm quark and a charm antiquark and an up, a down and a strange quark. It is the first pentaquark found to contain a strange quark. The finding has a whopping statistical significance of 15 standard deviations, far beyond the 5 standard deviations that are required to claim the observation of a particle in particle physics.

As for their significance, well, judging that is above my pay grade, but I always like it when they find new particles.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Szaron walks warily:

Hili: Are you afraid of me?
Szaron, No, I’m applying the precautionary principle.
In Polish:
Hili: Boisz się mnie?
Szaron: Nie, stosuję zasadę ostrożności.

And a photo of baby Kulka:


From Facebook:

From Seth Andrews. Is it Euromart in France?

And another from Facebook. This sounds like a song title:

Lagniappe. This is true, and Buckingham Palace has requested that no more marmalade sandwiches and Paddington Bears be left in front of the fence.

The Tweet of God, who, like a schmear, is on a roll:

From Malcom, a FB video:

Via Simon, a cat attack:

A screenshot of a tweet sent by Bruce:

Entranced kitties from Barry:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a boy gassed at six:


Tweets from Matthew. The first one shows punishment for holding up blank signs in two cities. The cops are IMAGINING what’s on the paper!

What are Trump and his cronies doing?

The mystery deepens!

And this one just arrived from Ken. It’s the Tweet of the Week

24 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. much of it seems not only senseless and an over-the-top flaunting of grief, but also but maladaptive

    Monday has been made a “bank holiday” in the UK. Like with all other UK public holidays, most of the public expects not to have to work on that day (although there is no legal right to time off work for bank holidays). Hospital operations are probably cancelled because hospital staff are contractually allowed to take bank holidays off. Similarly, for funerals, I expect there are enough people involved who have a right to take bank holidays as leave in their contracts to make it impossible to hold funerals.

    Center Parcs – a chain of upmarket holiday camps in the UK has got into a lot of trouble because they were going to close for the day and require any guests staying to find alternative accommodation for that night. They’ve backtracked because it is a ridiculous thing for them to do.

    Is it maladaptive? Well, yes. It’s probably persuaded a lot of people who were otherwise OK with a hereditary head of state to become republicans because they don’t want to have to go through this crap again when King Charles kicks the bucket, which will be some time in the next couple of decades.

    1. The problem for the NHS is childcare. All the schools have closed for the day meaning that the NHS staff have got to stay at home looking after the brood.

      Some hospitals have bribed staff to work on Monday ( extra time off in lieu etc ) but that doesn’t solve the childcare issue.

  2. … how England is mourning the late Queen. Some of it is dignified and touching … but much of it seems not only senseless and an over-the-top flaunting of grief …

    I don’t watch much tv as a matter of course, and I’ve been trying to avoid even that since HRM’s death. But occasionally, when there’s some breaking news, I’ll pop on one or another of the cable news outlets to see what’s what.

    The first thing to come on is often some of the incessant coverage of this business. Out of respect for our Special Relationship with our UK cousins, I’ll generally just turn off the telly quietly. But when there’s some particularly maudlin rambling underway, especially by someone with a Yank accent (who presumably ought to know better), I can’t help but make the universal tossing-off semaphore at the screen.

    If this funeral and coronation stuff keeps up much longer, I may develop repetitive strain injury.

    1. I’ve tried to ignore it as well but it’s impossible. It’s turning into Weekend at Bernie’s over there. How long are they going to cart that corpse around just to keep the party going?

  3. Perpetual Adoration makes my gorge rise. Sort of like getting a whiff of over-ripe dead possum. It’s one of several things about the RCC that perfectly encapsulates all that is gross about Christianity. I’m hard pressed to think of anything more disgusting than training people that perpetually abasing themselves before an authority figure so that they don’t piss it off and maybe get themselves consigned to an eternity of pain and suffering, is a glorious thing to do. Makes ’em easier to keep in line I suppose.

  4. The news should be treated with caution, but it seems that the morale of Russian troops continues to go downhill.

    As the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces announced on Facebook in a statement, many Russian soldiers prefer to flee rather than continue fighting in the war. Not only the actual number of Russian soldiers killed in the war, but also the treatment of their own war wounded does not seem to help improve the morale of Vladimir Putin’s (69) troops.

    The Russian soldiers are not only not given time to recover, but their battle wounds are even played down in the hospitals. According to Ukraine, the Kremlin wants to ensure that Russian soldiers can be sent back to the front as quickly as possible.
    But that’s not all: As the Ukrainian General Staff announced on Facebook on Monday, the Kremlin is even said to have stopped sending new troops. The current situation in the theater of war and the distrust of the high command have forced countless volunteers to refuse military service, according to the report.

  5. Certainly not the most important topic from today’s post, but no, that is not a good looking hoagie. I’m not sure if the comments will embed the image or just link to it, but here’s a comparison I put together for another site, comparing a Subway sandwich to real hoagies. You can immediately tell which is the sterile Subway sandwich, and which ones are the real hoagies that will tempt you to cheat on your diet.

    The sandwich pictured in this post certainly doesn’t look like a bad sandwich, but it also doesn’t look like a real hoagie that would tempt me to cheat on my diet.

    (Yes, yes. Tastes are subjective. I’m not trying to imply that people shouldn’t like the sandwich depicted here, just that it’s not really representative of a hoagie.)

  6. “Although work is still ongoing, some funerals will go ahead, others are moving to a different date – led by the needs & wishes of the bereaved families involved.”

    Perhaps the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association can spare a few chaplains from its Rapid Response Team – deployed to minister to Britons distraught over the Queen’s death – to similarly minister to these bereaved families (who I assume are surely no less worthy in the eyes of the BGEA).

  7. Re the rout of the Russians in the North East, I heard this great meme: “The Russians are retreating victoriously, while the Ukrainians pursue in panic”.
    I just hope the Ukrainians don’t get too enthusiastic and overstretch their supply lines. On the other hand, they have shown to be sly strategists, and well disciplined. I guess the Ukrainian command knows what it’s doing. They have been systematically destroying what really matters in a war: the enemy’s (Russian) logistics. That turned out to be a very smart move.
    I bet that Ukraine will oust Russia, back to the 2013 borders. However, I have notoriously been wrong on several occasions in this war, starting with my bet that Putin would not be crazy enough to invade. (Ominous in this regard is that I think Putin will not actually be crazy enough to use nukes, I hope I’m not wrong again there).
    One thing is almost certain, the West’s (the US’ in the first place) aid to Ukraine has not been a wasted enterprise.

  8. “1752 – The British Empire adopts the Gregorian calendar, skipping eleven days (the previous day was September 2).

    I always wonder how this worked: what about appointments that were made during the skipped period?”

    There is a curious relic of this event which affects anyone who pays tax in Britain. Until 1752, March 25th was the day when annual rents and taxes had to be paid, because it was also New Year’s Day, when the year number changed. When eleven days were omitted from September 1752, it was considered unfair that people should have to pay a full year’s taxes in March of 1753 on a “year” of only 354 days, so the 11 days were added to March 25th, giving April 5th as the new date on which taxes had to be paid.

    Then in 1800, which would have been a leap year in the old calendar, but was an ordinary year in the new one, the end of the tax year was pushed back by another day. The British tax year then began on April 6th each year.

    No adjustment was made in 1900, presumably because the 1752 calendar changes had passed beyond living memory, so the British tax year still begins on April 6th to this day.

    Ironically, New Year’s Day was moved to January 1st as part of the 1752 calendar changes, to bring England into line with Scotland and most of the rest of Europe.

  9. Jeez! The whole ‘queen is dead, let’s all be devastated’ situation is way out of hand, it’s driving me nuts! The establishment media, particularly the BBC, just will not shut up about it. I hardly watch TV, especially the news, but even I can’t avoid it. I just have to walk past a room where the kids have TV on and there it is: the black screen border and somber presenters dressed like professional mourners from the 19th century.

    Often, they’re talking to a ‘royal insider’, who is a posho called something like Tinkabelle Trixie. She’s never met a royal, but said she’s best mates with King Charles and got the gig; a posh voice goes a long way in England! I could turn the volume off and guess 90% of the conversation correctly:

    “Yes.. Yes.. Mmmm.. Well, royal protocol doesn’t specify the funeral breakfast of the new sovereign. But knowing The King as I do, I suspect he may start it with a drink of water, or some grapefruit or orange juice, maybe some tea; infact, he might even drink or not drink coffee too. Charles will then take his ritual bath in swans’ blood, while eating a soft boiled dodo egg wrapped in gold leaf.. …On the way to the abbey, he will sit in the back of a car, and may possibly appear sad, or not. Knowing King Charles as I do, he may even shed, or perhaps not shed a tear. Moving on to The Queen Consort, well, knowing her as I do, she may start the day with water, or possibly orange….”

    GO AWAY! I don’t care. Yes, the queen was great monarch, with a remarkable sense of duty, but this forced wallowing in grim sombreness is obscene. The mawkish performances of ‘grief’ from the public are even worse. I actually liked and respected the woman, but I can’t stand any of this nonsense.

    It all belongs in a world that disappeared decades ago, and most of us in the UK don’t want it. So, to disrupt the nation to this extent is out of touch, and plain wrong. The FA banned football games last weekend, but what does that achieve? Spoiled weekends for millions, anger at the FA for bending over backwards, and masses of resentment against the royal family. Worse still, we have people missing surgery and other treatments which is just mad. If Charlie is looking to piss people off to the extent that we will get rid of him, he’s doing a bloody good job.

    Worst of all, my dearly beloved uncle died yesterday, but the undertaker is unable to make definite arrangements with us yet. They have had to shift their schedules all over the place, creating a backlog. Of course, it’s down to this silly public holiday the undertakers have suddenly been confronted with.

  10. It surprises me that the Brits for one had no idea about what they were in for. You had Charlie boys wedding and then “the death” by road accident of the ex. Following that the grand children’s nuptuials, all taking considerable amounts of time in pomp and ceremony, including everyone in the Commonwealth… and money. It seems proportional to all that time and effort for this women who made all that happen.🙄😁

  11. In re ” September 14, 2020. ” = NO. ‘Tis y2022, of course.

    WHAT 14 September was, however, decades’ time ago ? =
    14 September was my Darling’s birthing day, yes; but also … …
    just back from Woodstock upon Ms Mimi Yasgur’s dairying acres that y1969,
    … … 14 September was the Viet Nam D R A F T LOTTERY’s #ONE – PICK.

    OFF to there … … m’Love, Larry, had had to go.


Leave a Reply