Thursday: Hili dialogue

May 4, 2023 • 6:45 am

Good morning on Thursday, May 4, 2023. Is it summer yet? No, but it is National Hoagie Day, celebrating the overstuffed sandwich also known as a “hero” or a “sub” (“hoagie” is the New Jersey and Philadelphia-area name).  There are at least three different versions of the etymology of this comestible’s name, and you can read them at the link. Here’s a big ‘un (compare this to the British “sandwich” with 1 mm of filling):

It’s also Bird Day, National Candied Orange Peel Day (I love the stuff!), National Day of Reason (also The National Day of Prayer, but we won’t go into that), National Orange Juice DayInternational Firefighters’ Day,  Star Wars Day (International observance), and World Give Day, when you’re supposed to donate, volunteer, or practice random acts of kindness.

Posting will be light today as I have a two-hour podcast this morning and galley proofs to correct later. Bear with me; I do my best.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the May 4 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Two drones from sources unknown exploded over the Kremlin, leading Russians to claim it was a Ukrainian attempt to assassinate Putin. Ukraine denies it, but who did it? Some say it could even have been done by Russia:

Russia on Wednesday accused Ukraine of staging a drone attack intended to kill President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, an incendiary allegation that was forcefully denied by Ukrainian officials, some of whom warned it could be a pretext for Russia to escalate its war.

Russia said that it thwarted the attack and that Putin was not in the building at the time.

Among the mysteries surrounding Wednesday’s alleged attack was how two drones could have successfully reached one of the most protected buildings in Moscow’s fortified city center. While some analysts said the incident might have been a false flag attack staged by Russia, others suggested it could be a performative gesture by Ukraine, striking at a preeminent symbol of Russian state power.

The allegation of an assassination attempt — which could not be independently confirmed and was broadly rejected by military experts — was made in a statement shared by the Kremlin press service with Russian state news agencies on Wednesday afternoon.

In the overnight hours early Wednesday, “the Kyiv regime attempted a drone strike on the Kremlin residence of the President of the Russian Federation,” the statement said. “Two drones were aimed at the Kremlin.”

“We regard these actions as a planned terrorist act and an attempt on the life of the president of the Russian Federation, carried out on the eve of Victory Day, the May 9 parade,” the Kremlin said, referring to the annual commemoration of the Soviet Union’s role in defeating Nazi Germany in World War II.

Well, I’m not sure what to think. It could be performative by Russia, and “allegations of an assassination attempt” have been rejected by experts, but is it possible that it wasn’t an assassination attempt but just a demonstration by Ukraine of what it could do? Can a drone even reach the Kremlin from Ukraine?  In my heart, I think the Ukrainians did it.

*The WaPo lists five possible outcomes of the debt ceiling crises, where furious maneuvering is going on involving Biden and both houses of Congress. A government shutdown, which could occur on June 1, would be disastrous. Here they are with my patented (and untrustworthy) assessments:

a.) Biden and McCarthy make a deal. It would stave off disaster but the problem would eventually reappear.

b.) An end run in Congress. (The Dems would team up with a handful of Republicans to effect a discharge petition.) They won’t be able to get enough Republicans to join the Democrats.

c.) A bill to buy more time. They could suspend the ceiling by Congressional vote. The downside is, again, this only postpones the problem. The Post considers this unlikely.

d.) The White House acts on its own. There are three ways this could happen, one of which is interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment as not requiring a debt ceiling. After pondering this, I think this is what Biden will try to do. Whether or not it’s a valid interpretation will then be up to the courts.

e.) The U.S. defaults. This is the worst possible outcome: it would shut down the government and likely cause a recession not just in the U.S. but possibly worldwide. A big disaster, but it might spur some action in Congress.

*For the first time, astronomers have watched an enlarging star engulf a planet:

In a study released Wednesday in Nature, a team at MIT, Harvard University, Caltech and other institutions reported that they observed a planet, likely a hot Jupiter-size world, spiraling close to a dying star that was 1,000 times its size, until it was finally ingested into the star’s core. The scientists say the star grew bigger and more than 100 times brighter in just 10 days, quickly faded and then eventually turned to normal as if it finished digesting the planet.

The novel observation helps us understand more about Earth’s own final bow. Many astronomers believe Earth will suffer a similar fate billions of years down the line, when our own evolving Sun will run out of fuel, balloon and consume its closest planetary neighbors. Humans likely won’t be around for this event, however, as our growing Sun will probably fry Earth first, makingit inhospitable for life.

. . . Co-author Mansi Kasliwal said planet engulfments are fairly common but are also dim and “wimpy,” which make them hard to find. The infrared data helped illuminate these processes hidden against much brighter stellar eruptions.

. . .There’s still a few billion years before the Sun is expected to grow large enough to encompass Earth. MacLeod said, our host star would first swallow Mercury and Venus before eventually getting to Earth. But he estimates it would still take tens of thousands of years for the aged Sun to expand from Mercury to Earth. The Sun’s radius will likely not expand so far as to reach the outer, larger planets in our solar system though.

Astrophysicist Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, who was not involved in the study, called the study’s findings a “groundbreaking result” but thinks it’s probably not relevant to understanding Earth’s fate and whether it would be ultimately engulfed by our Sun.

The Washington Post has a cool 32-second video of the engulfment, but I can’t embed it. Click the screenshot below to go to the site and watch:

(From the Post): Animation shows a gas giant planet spiraling around a star until it is completely engulfed. This event occurred in May 2020, 12,000 light years away from Earth. (Video: John Farrell/The Washington Post)

*Elizabeth Weiss, a professor of anthropology at San Jose State, is one of the anthrophology researchers whose work has been impeded by indigenous claims on human remains. These claims have prevented her from studying bones 500-3,000 years old found in California (it’s now required to immediately surrender remains to the indigenous people who claim the land on which remains were found). Her attempts to study paleoanthropology, and examine skeletons before they’re given back, led to her being removed as the curator of the collection of bones at her school, and then to retaliation by her school. She’s not only forbidden from studying the bones themselves, but studying X-rays of them or even photographing a box containing bones. She’s now suing her school for retaliation.  (As I’ve said, my own view is “first let the scientists study the remains, then return them—so long as an existing group has a valid and demonstrable claim on the remains, which is not easy to do!)

She’s let some of us know this:

. . . I have been locked out of my Twitter account because of my profile picture — the same one that I have been using for over two years since I started on Twitter.
I got two emails from Twitter, one calling the image one of “graphic violence” and the other saying that it displayed “hateful conduct”. I am attaching the photo below. It’s obviously neither of these things. I’m holding a 500-year-old Peruvian skull that had undergone cranial modification — an image I chose because people will ask me about it and I then explain why it has that shape, dispel myths about aliens, and spark interest in understanding the past and bone biology.
This is the photo showing “hateful conduct.” Elizabeth’s blocked (for now) Twitter account is here.

*Go have a look at the AP article, and especially the accompanying 13 pictures, of a new exhibit in Rome on ancient civilizations with an emphasis on Pompeii. The star of the show, which I’ll let you see for yourself (access is free) is a Roman bridal chariot from Pompeii that managed to escape looters.

A meticulously reconstructed Pompeii bridal chariot that eluded the ancient city’s modern-day looters is a star of an ambitious new exhibition in Rome, which invites viewers to reflect on today’s connections with classical Roman and Greek civilizations.

Shown for the first time to the public since it was discovered in 2021 under four meters (13 feet) of volcanic ash, the four-wheeled chariot features silver and bronze decorations, including of erotic scenes.

The chariot was found under the ruins of a villa just outside Pompeii, an excavation prompted by the discovery that artifact thieves were tunneling through the area in hopes of finding saleable ancient loot.

Wooden parts of the chariot, like the sideboards, didn’t survive the A.D. 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius that ended Pompeii’s run as a thriving, enterprising Roman city. But to reconstruct what didn’t survive of the chariot, experts used same the pioneering technique that have been employed for decades now to make casts of human victims of the eruption, by filling in the space left in the ash by the vanished organic matter.

There’s also a photo of this, which I’ve put below:

In a sobering reminder how life can vanish in an instant, as reflected in the show’s title “The instant and eternity, between us and the ancients,” the casts of two male victims — one of the pair is believed to have been the enslaved person of the other man — were transported to Rome from Pompeii’s archaeological park to greet visitors at the exhibition’s entrance.

But the chariot is just one of many stellar pieces in the exhibition, which opens on Thursday for a three-month run in the towering, cavernous halls of the Baths of Diocletian, a structure in central Rome that dates to about A.D. 300 and now is home to the National Roman Museum just across from Rome’s bustling main train station.
There are several pictures of the chariot from different angles; the photo below is presumably the two males: slave and enslaver. I don’t know how they made that judgment.
(From the AP) A view of the exhibition ‘Between us and the ancients. The instant and eternity’ in Rome’s Diocletian Baths, Wednesday, May 3, 2023. The exhibition will open to the public from May 4 through July 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn,  Hili pretends she’s leaving home (bye, bye). Paulina took a great photo of The Princess.

Paulina: Where are you running to?
Hili: To a better future.
(Photo: Paulina)
In Polish:
Paulina: Dokąd biegniesz?
Hili: Do lepszej przyszłości.
(Zdjęcie: Paulina)


A meme from Nicole: Amazon drive scared off by ducks and geese!

Another misspelling from David:

From Jesus of the Day:

From Masih: a hijab-wearing woman harasses two women without a headscarf, and she gets pwned:

Google translation:

This is Arak, and a harassing woman wearing a hijab drove a car in the street to disturb two women who did not wear a hijab. The sender of the video wrote that in Arak, women have been walking around the city for some time and they are getting stuck on the hijab of women. In this scene, this harassing woman in hijab gets a response befitting her behavior and is forced to leave the scene. Khamenei and Radan Nadan should know that Iranian women are not afraid of you today. Nosy in other people’s life and taste and style of dressing is called bullying, and stone is the reward for slanderers.

#Turn around to spin

From Paul. I believe this really is an ad for Bradley Fighting Vehicle, but using CATS!

From Frits. I believe this is a duck, not a goose.

Recalcitrant coffee from Merilee:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a nine-year-old girl gassed upon arrival:

Tweets from Dr. Cobb. First, clearly the inspiration for “Being for the benefit of Mr. Kite” on the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper” album. I’d never seen this before:

Matthew swears that this is a genuine and near-instantaneous form of color change:

Give ’em time, man; give em TIME!

31 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. The Mr. Kite poster is now available in the superdeluxe edition of Sgt. Pepper; I bought a repro at BeatleFest (now Fest for Beatles Fans, I believe) in Chicago, years ago. It hangs framed in my living room.

      1. Oh, yeah. It was mentioned on The Compleat Beatles, (narrated by Malcolm McDowell) WAAAY back, and it was in the various Beatles books and stuff my brother and sister and I had growing up. It surprised me the Eric Weinstein didn’t know about it, but I guess his foci tend to be elsewhere.

    1. I knew the story but I’ve never seen the poster before. It’s kind of eery how much of it John Lennon lifted for the song.

      And I thought the lines “And Mr. H. will demonstrate
      / Ten somersets he’ll undertake on solid ground” were pure Lennon because of the spelling and the “joke” about it being on solid ground.

  2. A nice selection of items today!

    “… emails from Twitter, one calling the image one of “graphic violence” and the other saying that it displayed “hateful conduct”. I am attaching the photo below. It’s obviously neither of these things. I’m holding a 500-year-old Peruvian skull that had undergone cranial modification …”

    The violence of white privilege is proven no better than in the plea above.

    Cultural theft is a crime with hidden, minoritized victims subjugated not by a socially constructed “true”/”false” binary, nor post-constructionist discourses, but a fundamental neo-capitalist nihilism not to be deconstructed, but sublimated in Boratian absurdity.

  3. On this day:
    1493 – Pope Alexander VI divides the New World between Spain and Portugal along the Line of Demarcation.

    1626 – Dutch explorer Peter Minuit arrives in New Netherland (present day Manhattan Island) aboard the See Meeuw.

    1776 – Rhode Island becomes the first American colony to renounce allegiance to King George III.

    1814 – Emperor Napoleon arrives at Portoferraio on the island of Elba to begin his exile.

    1904 – The United States begins construction of the Panama Canal.

    1910 – The Royal Canadian Navy is created.

    1919 – May Fourth Movement: Student demonstrations take place in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, protesting the Treaty of Versailles, which transferred Chinese territory to Japan.

    1926 – The United Kingdom general strike begins.

    1927 – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is incorporated.

    1932 – In Atlanta, mobster Al Capone begins serving an eleven-year prison sentence for tax evasion.

    1953 – Ernest Hemingway wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.

    1959 – The 1st Annual Grammy Awards are held.

    1961 – American civil rights movement: The “Freedom Riders” begin a bus trip through the South.

    1970 – Vietnam War: Kent State shootings: The Ohio National Guard, sent to Kent State University after disturbances in the city of Kent the weekend before, opens fire killing four unarmed students and wounding nine others. The students were protesting the Cambodian Campaign of the United States and South Vietnam.

    1979 – Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

    1982 – Twenty sailors are killed when the British Type 42 destroyer HMS Sheffield is hit by an Argentinian Exocet missile during the Falklands War.

    1989 – Iran–Contra affair: Former White House aide Oliver North is convicted of three crimes and acquitted of nine other charges; the convictions are later overturned on appeal.

    1994 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat sign a peace accord, granting self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.

    1998 – A federal judge in Sacramento, California, gives “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski four life sentences plus 30 years after Kaczynski accepts a plea agreement sparing him from the death penalty.

    1825 – Thomas Henry Huxley, English biologist, anatomist, and academic (d. 1895).

    1852 – Alice Liddell, English model (d. 1934). [Reputedly the inspiration for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.]

    1907 – Lincoln Kirstein, American soldier and playwright, co-founded the New York City Ballet (d. 1996).

    1923 – Eric Sykes, British actor and comedian (d. 2012).

    1928 – Thomas Kinsella, Irish poet, translator, and publisher (d. 2021).

    1929 – Audrey Hepburn, Belgian-British actress and humanitarian (d. 1993).

    1937 – Dick Dale, American surf-rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter (d. 2019).

    1939 – Amos Oz, Israeli journalist and author (d. 2018).

    1949 – Graham Swift, English novelist and short story writer.

    Pale death, with impartial step, knocks at the hut of the poor and the towers of kings:
    1912 – Nettie Stevens, American geneticist credited with discovering sex chromosomes (b. 1861). [Doubtless spinning rapidly at the “sex is a spectrum” nonsense being promulgated nowadays.]

    1924 – E. Nesbit, English author and poet (b. 1858).

    1972 – Edward Calvin Kendall, American chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1886).

    1975 – Moe Howard, American actor, singer, and screenwriter (b. 1897).

    1984 – Diana Dors, English actress (b. 1931).

    1987 – Paul Butterfield, American singer and harmonica player (b. 1942).

    2004 – David Reimer, Canadian man, born male but reassigned female and raised as a girl after a botched circumcision (b. 1965). [Tragically, he and his twin brother both killed themselves in adulthood. Their treatment and exploitation by John Money was disgraceful.]

    1. I didn’t know the Pulp Fiction intro music was in fact a period recording or by Dick Dale and his Del-Tones until recently.

      IOW I thought it might be a retro band Tarantino found – but no – it’s from his personal vinyl collection.

      That tune and recording is great – personally, I think they wrote it by wondering what Hava Nagila (1918) would sound like if it was written by a surf band.

      Hava Nagila is Hebrew for “Let us Rejoice”

  4. Two drones from sources unknown exploded over the Kremlin, leading Russians to claim it was a Ukrainian attempt to assassinate Putin. Ukraine denies it, but who did it? Some say it could even have been done by Russia

    Now Russia is blaming the US. The idea that it was a false flag operation that Putin intends to exploit in some way is a very real possibility, I fear.

    1. And I don’t see why any sensible Ukrainian group would have done it. It is a waste of military assets best used to affect the war, and using the drones in Moscow would only serve to inspire Russians to join the fight.

    2. I suspect false flag, motivated by May 9 Victory Day drawing nigh, as a pretext for some big effort which I assume the Ukrainians are bracing for and preparing one of their own.

      1. I suspect it might have been done by one of the Russian resistance groups opposing Putin. I see that as the most probable possibility. A false flag is slightly less probable, but far from impossible. Russia is reputed for it’s false flag operations.
        Probably one of those two, I do not think it was a Ukrainian action. Does Ukraine even have small fixed wing drones capable to fly 500+ km? I don’t think so, but stand to be corrected.
        And the most ridiculous assertion is that it was an assassination attempt of Putin. It is widely known Putin does not reside in the Kremlin.

  5. Is anyone else having trouble with the twitter links today? Is it because I don’t have a twitter account?

    1. I suspect so. I don’t have one either, and sometimes they run for me and sometimes they don’t, within a particular day’s posting. I’ve assumed that it has something to do with the way they’re embedded.

  6. IRT the death of our Sun and this quotation from the article: “Humans likely won’t be around for this event, however, as our growing Sun will probably fry Earth first, making it inhospitable for life.” Humans most definitely will not be around. Genus Homo will have long since changed into another genus, perhaps cyborg, and abandoned the Earth.

    1. Yeah, 5 billion years is father in the future than the solar system has existed so far. By then, it would be nice to think we would have figured out a few more things than we know now. Or else everyone and everything from Earth will already be dead, which may be best for the universe at large.

      1. “…which may be best for the universe at large.”

        This reminded me of Dan Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos where humans have populated the milky way, but brought Catholicism with it- to very bad ends.

  7. Just for the record, the sandwiches in question are also known as “hoagies” in the Pittsburgh area.

    1. There’s a sub-shop chain here in WA state that are called Jersey Mike’s Subs (good!). I wonder if in Jersey, they’re called Jersey Mike’s Hoagies (assuming they actually started there).

  8. Not one but two references to “Sgt Peppers” in the Hilli today. One in plain sight the other not so much

    If the Ukrainians did send the “message on a drone” Putin will be having a fair cow over it, huffing an puffing! I hope it’s not good for his heart (has he got one?) and he turns a little bit blue.

  9. presumably the two males: slave and enslaver. I don’t know how they made that judgment.

    First thing would be “material remains”. If one body (or cavity, now filled with Plaster of Paris) had associated decorative “high status” goods and the other didn’t, you’re fairly confident of the answer.
    If there were bones, it is common for the bones of the under-nourished and over-worked to show healed breaks, excessive and/ or asymmetric muscle attachment scars. Both of which can be addresses if not perfectly confirmed by MRI of the carcass/ cast.
    Periods of infant/ juvenile malnutrition also leave marks in the fine anatomy of tooth structure – similar conceptually to tree rings – when the tooth bud is growing before eruption. But that generally needs destructive sectioning and polishing of the cut surface.
    None of these are 100% indicators, more like 80-90%. But gang them together and you can get a 50% ~ 70% probability of an answer.

    1. I was pretty skeptical of the claim of the specific relationship between the two, so I looked at the data they used. Besides the physical evidence that one bore signs of a life of leisure and a good diet, while the other exhibited signs of hard work and poor diet, it was the location that gave them the most evidence.
      The remains, or voids where the remains once were, were found in the stables of a private villa near a horse and wagon that had been readied for travel.
      Of course, it might be that the presumed groom was an employee, or that the wealthier man might not have been a resident. Uncle Biggus from Rome, perhaps.
      Having visited there a couple of times, it seems like they prefer to construct narratives around the individuals and groups found in the ruins. Some of those narratives have proven to be false with more detailed examination.

  10. For the first time, astronomers have watched an enlarging star engulf a planet:

    Weeeelllll. There have been other observations previously, for which “star swallows planet” has been the explanation. Not so dramatic as this one, I’ll grant. But it’s not a first.
    For an example, when “Tabby’s Star” (aka the “WTF star” – “Where’s The Flux?”) was being investigated for it’s unusually deep dimmings, one of the first things to e done was compare the spectroscopy between “dim” and “bright” states, because previous stochastic dimmings in other stars had been associated with the appearance/ disappearance of spectral lines indicating calcium, silicon and iron in the stars photosphere, which was taken to mean the spreading of “heavy” elements into the star’s photosphere by absorption of “rocky” planetesimals the size of Ceres. Over a period of months, the lines would diffuse away and the flux towards us revert back to normal levels. That was about 2016, IIRC, and the observations weren’t hot on the dead-tree even then.

    The scientists say the star grew bigger and more than 100 times brighter in just 10 days, quickly faded and then eventually turned to normal as if it finished digesting the planet.

    #insert < taco_indigestion_jokes.h >

    The novel observation helps us understand more about Earth’s own final bow. Many astronomers believe Earth will suffer a similar fate billions of years down the line, when our own evolving Sun will run out of fuel, balloon and consume its closest planetary neighbors. Humans likely won’t be around for this event, however, as our growing Sun will probably fry Earth first, making it inhospitable for life.

    The Sun – main sequence hydrogen-burning stars in general – undergo a phenomenon of brightening as they age, at about 1% / Gyr. It’s due to the He accumulating in the core, raising the average particle mass there, reducing pressures, pushing the positive feedback loops towards higher reaction rates and luminosity. Well understood phenomenon.
    That is happening on Earth (well, in Sol) as well, and it’s a significant issue for planetary science. Earth has had liquid water at the surface since at least 2 Gyr ago, and has recovered from “Snowball Earth” conditions about a Gyr ago. Now, our average surface temperature is approaching 288 K. Add another percent or two of heat flux to that, and there’s a good chance of reaching a “tipping point” into a Venus-like positive feedback loop with the dominant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere being water vapour, not CO2 or CH4 (methane) (as it probably has been in the past). Exactly when that happens isn’t clear, but it is very likely to happen considerably before the Sun goes red giant. We probably have time for one mountain-building/ supercontinent cycle (and therefore production of of a new generation of ore deposits for Homo‘s successors) ; much less likely that there is time for 2 or 3 cycles. Not that they’re particularly cyclic.

Leave a Reply