Monday: Hili dialogue

November 7, 2022 • 7:00 am

I have landed, arriving at Midway Airport yesterday afternoon. And Botany pond is nearly empty of water, but not of ducks, who arrive in small numbers to grub around for food in the mud. Anyway, greetings at the week’s beginning, Monday, November 7, 2022: National Chocolate Almonds Day. It’s also Hug a Bear Day (Toasty will get a squeeze) and International Inuit Day. 

And REMEMBER TO VOTE TODAY. (I voted by mail over a week ago, and will do so permanently.)

I invite readers to consult the November 7 Wikipedia page to call out attention to notable events, births, and deaths on this day.

Some Nooz:

Here’s Five Thirty Eight‘s latest prognostication for Congress, and it’s moved even more Republican. Shoot me now!

Dr. Oz, a quack, could become a senator!

Nate Silver has a talking-to-himself essay called “The Case for a Democratic Surprise on Election Night“, but it’s not much of a case. Here’s Nate talking to himself; “Bleu” is the Democratic angel on his shoulder:

Bleu: Have you agreed with a single thing I’ve had to say, Nate? I could once count on you to defy conventional wisdom. Now you sound just like everybody else. What do you really think?

Silver: My least favorite question! I don’t have some private set of beliefs that I keep to myself! I trust our forecast, which is based on a computer program I wrote four years ago and not my mood as I’m sitting here with a glass of pinot! Our forecast says that the Senate is a toss-up at best for Democrats, and the momentum has been with Republicans. But I’m not sure what we’re really arguing about. I agree that the special elections were good for Democrats. And I very much agree that Democrats could beat their polls. It’s an entirely realistic scenario. But it’s not the likeliest scenario. Besides, the president’s party doing poorly in the midterms would be about the most normal thing imaginable, especially with inflation at 8 percent.

Here’s Biden’s popularity since January, 2021. Not great right now. . .   An approval rating of 42.7%, disapproval at 51.4%.

Meanwhile, over at the NYT, Mo Dowd asks plaintively if we’re in for the “Marjorie Taylor Greene-ing of America“, with Republican loons being in charge. The collection of quote is priceless. A snippet:

Are we ready for a pumped-up, pistol-packing Lauren Boebert?

“How many AR-15s do you think Jesus would have had?” Boebert asked a crowd at a Christian campaign event in June. I’m going with none, honestly, but her answer was, “Well, he didn’t have enough to keep his government from killing him.”

The Denver Post pleaded: “We beg voters in western and southern Colorado not to give Rep. Lauren Boebert their vote.”

The freshman representative has recently been predicting happily that we’re in the end times, “the last of the last days.” If Lauren Boebert is in charge, we may want to be in the end times. I’m feeling not so Rapturous about the prospect.

And at the Washington Post, you can guess the results of 15 gubernatorial, Congressional, and overall elections (“which party will take the House?”) and match them with the other readers’ predictions. You can even get yourself emailed how well you matched the final outcomes. It’s just for fun, but I have a feeling we better get some fun out of the elections because we’ll be feeling low when they’re over.

Remember that there will be a total lunar eclipse on Tuesday night, something that won’t happen again for five years. And it will be visible throughout most of the U.S.:

The total lunar eclipse will be visible throughout North America in the predawn hours — the farther west, the better — and across Asia, Australia and the rest of the Pacific after sunset. As an extra treat, Uranus will be visible just a finger’s width above the moon, resembling a bright star.

Totality will last nearly 1 1/2 hours — from 5:16 a.m. to 6:41 a.m. EST — as Earth passes directly between the moon and sun.

Known as a blood moon, it will appear a reddish-orange from the light of Earth’s sunsets and sunrises. At the peak of the eclipse, the moon will be 242740 miles (390,653 kilometers) away, according to NASA scientists. Binoculars and telescopes will enhance viewing, provided the skies are clear.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Andrzej are deep in philosophical discourse:

Hili: How do you define skepticism?
A: An uncertainty whether I’m right and an uncertainty whether they are right.
Hili: Who?
A: That varies.

In Polish:

Hili: Jak definiujesz sceptycyzm?
Ja: Jako niepewność, czy ja mam rację i niepewność, czy oni mają rację.
Hili: Kto?
A: A to różnie.


From Meriliee:

From Malcolm: A one-legged guy makes some great Halloween costumes:

A swell rescue video from Jesus of the Day:

Sophisticated Theology® from God:

From Masih. I didn’t know that knocking off turbans had become an Iranian sport, and I can’t say I approve of it, but I can surely understand it.

From Barry, who didn’t know that Jews were “vocal and demanding of assistance”.  This book, chock full of stereotypes, could never be published now.

From Simon. Get it?

From Luana, who thought this might be a joke. I don’t think it is:

From the Auschwitz Memorial: a girl who was gassed on arrival:

Tweets from Matthew. What a sight! The pebbles are for their nests.

As Matthew notes, medieval artists couldn’t draw bees (or cats, as we know). The second one is better, but the bees are the size of a human head!

This t better, but the bees are the size of a human head:

It took me a second to get this one:



43 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this 07 November date
    … … in y1867, two – time Nobel Prize winner Maria Salomea Sklodowska ( Curie ), was born in Warsaw, Poland,
    … … in y1943, singer – songwriter Roberta Joan ” Joni ” Anderson ( Mitchell ) and
    … … in y1982, writer and producer / editor Alexandra Rachel ” Sasha ” Druyan Sagan was born to Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan.



    I think you mean tomorrow, boss — you know, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November and all that stuff. I believe most jurisdictions suspend early voting a couple days before before the polls themselves open.

    1. The Senate unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act in March. So far, the House hasn’t touched it. Does anyone know why not? Both the EU and the US have been on the verge of scrapping DST for the last few years. It’s strange to see how both efforts stalled out.

      And don’t forget to check your smoke detectors!

  3. “…my mother’s been sick. And I visited her in the hospital and she said, “It’s weird, you know?” There was this Jewish volunteer service that came by and they were visiting the Jewish patients, which is nice, but isn’t that so, like, elitist? Like what, do they, like, banana around the non-Jewish patients? Like, “None for you.” But my mother’s last name is O’Hara. She married a John O’Hara. And she said, “They visited me. Like, how did they know I was Jewish?” And we looked into it and it turns out they count how many times you press the call button.” – Sarah Silverman

  4. Some incredible things in today’s Hili – how that racist nursing manual got published is beyond me.

    The basil and sage story tool me a minute before the penny dropped.

    1. Well, it’s not really “racist”, it’s at worst cultureist. I think that distinction does matter. And yes, culture does differ across the world, and there’s nothing wrong with that or with acknowledging that. A nurse should indeed be aware that a patient with a different cultural background from their own might have different attitudes. The reporting of pain is one area where this can matter, since, unlike blood pressure, there’s no objective measurement of pain that the nurse can make.

      Without necessarily endorsing the wording of this particular screenshot, different cultural attitudes in the reporting of pain is a legitimate topic for nurse training.

        1. Yes, perhaps so, though it repeatedly says that people from those groups “may” or “often” take those attitudes, and it’s hard to fault the intent of raising awareness of different cultural attitudes, which can’t really be done without stereotypes.

          (Note also that stereotypes often have a large dollop of truth when describing groups on average [e.g. link], that’s why they became stereotypes; the problem with stereotypes is not that they are inaccurate, the problem is with assuming or insisting that all individual members of groups do or must conform to the stereotype.)

        2. At least she got the “client” part right. Referring to them as patients would have got the dogs set on her.

          I think Coel is on the right track here and I applaud his persistence in sticking to his guns.

      1. Well, “cultural competence” is being emphasized in education. Should it not be in nursing/medicine? I take it that it is on a cultural basis that certain medical residents take umbrage at being expected to show up on time for daily rounds. Do/Will they argue with patients whose cultural perspective is such that they expect a doc to be on time for an appointment?

        Regardless of patients’ cultural orientations, nurses are well advised to anticipate the occasional patient monumental sense of entitlement, and try to reasonably accommodate it as they can see their way to do so. Certainly preferable to the physical attacks on and murders of nurses.

  5. On this date in 1837, Elijah Lovejoy, the editor of an abolitionist newspaper, was killed by a mob in Alton, Illinois, while defending his printing press (three of which had previously been destroyed).

  6. The Trafalgar Group released a poll last week on the question: “Are you more or less likely to vote for a candidate in the 2022 midterm elections who supports allowing underage minors to use puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and undergo sex change surgeries?” The result is 72.7% “not likely,” including 63.3% “not at all likely.”

  7. who didn’t know that Jews were “vocal and demanding of assistance”.

    If that manual is correct (it’s very big if), then Jews are the only sensible ones listed. They feel pain: they ask for pain relief. Everybody else seems to think they have to suffer because God or something (allegedly).

    And I don’t know whether to be happy or sad that the group I am in – white Anglo-Saxon ex protestant – isn’t listed at all.

  8. I teach a section on communicating across cultures to my college students. I assign small groups with a culture they know little about and provide the link below. 

    With this link you can select your culture/nation and quickly learn their common etiquette for a variety of topics: greetings, dining, gift-giving, business meetings, etc. I always tell my students these are generalizations meant to prepare you for respectful communication with people from that culture, not as means to label or confine someone to their culture.

    1. I notice that the site you link to includes many countries. I notice also that Israel is omitted. Why do you think that is?

        1. It might be worth noting, however, that they state on their site that they include 80+ countries. Since there are 193 UN recognized countries (not including the Vatican and Palestine) that leaves up to 113 counties that are not covered. Reasons for not including Israel may or may not be nefarious in nature. If they had included Palestine, (I didn’t see it on the list) then I’d be more inclined to question the matter than I am at present. I will be curious to see what you find out.

  9. Meanwhile, over at the NYT, Mo Dowd asks plaintively if we’re in for the “Marjorie Taylor Greene-ing of America“, with Republican loons being in charge.

    MoDo has been in a long slide since the Bush-Clinton-Bush era gave her weird family dynamics to goof on. And her ditzy-Dorothy-Parker act has grown stale. But when she’s on, she’s on — and she’s on in this piece.

    Heaven help us, indeed.

    1. It is a common tactic of fascists, oops, I mean Republicans, to destroy the public faith in existing democratic institutions. This is what we will see next year when that group controls one or both houses of Congress. It cannot be repeated often enough that fascists use democracy to destroy democracy. I feel that I am in a car heading for a cliff and the brakes and steering do not work.

      1. I’ve all but come to grips with the Dems losing the House. And see a small silver lining in that the nation will daily have its nose rubbed into what whacked-out bunch of far-right extremists are in the GOP caucus and just what an emasculated, hollowed-out husk of a human being (likely Speaker) Kevin McCarthy is.

        Losing the Senate, OTOH, would be an intolerably bitter pill to swallow, since it will mean “Old Crow” Mitch McConnell putting the kibosh on the confirmation of Biden-nominated federal judges (not to mention the potential end to majority-rule American democracy as we’ve come to know it).

  10. Had some difficulty embedding a video, but if you search YouTube for ‘iranian cleric turban’ you’ll have an enjoyable time…

    1. You can still post the direct URL, even if you don’t embed the video. I’m never a fan of embedded media, anyway.

  11. “As an extra treat, Uranus will be visible just a finger’s width above the moon, resembling a bright star.”

    According to my planetarium program, Uranus will be magnitude 5.64, just barely visible to the unaided eye if viewing conditions are favorable. What is there about a lunar eclipse that could make a planet so far from Sun and Earth, apparently undiscovered until 1781, suddenly appear as a “bright star”?

    However, if the eclipse is a good dark one and your sky is clear and dark, this might be a good opportunity to see Uranus, with binoculars or even the unaided eye, using the eclipsed moon as a locating aid. Using a planetarium program like stellarium-web [dot] org, note that there several stars of similar brightness at similar (apparent angular) distances from the eclipsed moon.

  12. On this day in 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed. The bridge had been opened just four months earlier, and had earned the nickname “Galloping Gertie” because of its tendency to move alarmingly in strong winds. The wind on 7 November 1940 triggered severe torsional oscillations, twisting the bridge deck one way then the other repeatedly, until it eventually collapsed. There is a famous film of its final moments, which is a firm favourite among teachers and students of both physics and engineering.

  13. Anyone see that Musk is encouraging voters to vote for a Republican congress. This dude is way too unstable. Oh, and the “free speech absolutist” is requiring all parody accounts to label themselves “parody”. So free speech, but only impotent parody.
    I’m actually wondering if Musk died and this is a clone. I read an article suggesting it’s possibly true. Tbc, this was satire and I do not wish to spread a conspiracy theory.

  14. The Sunshine Protection Act proposes year-round DST, which I think would be a mistake. It’s been tried before, in the early 1970s as a response to the oil crisis, and was abolished quickly.
    The EU, on the other hand, proposed simply going off the DST mechanism (i.e., where time changes twice/year) but allowing countries to choose whether each wanted to go to permanent DST or permanent standard time.
    If we are to keep the same time year-round, I strongly favor standard time.

    Sorry, this was supposed to be a “reply” to Linguist at 3.

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