Monday: Hili dialogue

September 25, 2023 • 7:02 am

Welcome to Monday, September 25, 2023, and National Food Service Workers Day. Kudos to those who give us our noms! Here’s a SNL skit celebrating those workers (differs from the cheezborger skit I put up recently):

It’s also National Psychotherapy Day, World Dream Day, National Lobster Day, National Quesadilla Day (cultural appropriation), National Crab Meat Newburg Day, National Cooking DayDay of National Recognition for the Harkis in France, and National Research Administrators Day.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the September 25 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*The deadline for the government shutdown is just five days away, and the GOP is sweating bullets that it can avoid it and not be blamed by the public, something that would hurt Tr*mps election chances next year. Things don’t look propitious, but it’s worse for the government workers who wouldn’t be paid than for the image of a dumb party:

Congress heads into a make-or-break week for avoiding a government shutdown, with leaders of the Republican-controlled House hoping they can persuade GOP holdouts to get on board with four full-year bills and a short-term funding patch.

With a shutdown set for Oct. 1 unless Congress acts, the plan marks a last-ditch effort by Republicans to find a way forward. If no deal is reached, hundreds of thousands of federal workers are set to be furloughed.

“When it gets crunchtime, people that have been holding off all this time blaming everybody else will finally hopefully move,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) told reporters Saturday.

McCarthy laid out the path forward in a GOP conference call. The House is expected on Tuesday to vote on a rule establishing the parameters for debate on a defense-spending bill, a bill funding the Homeland Security Department, one funding the State Department and another funding agricultural priorities.

. . . GOP leaders know that time has run out to pass all 12 annual appropriations bills individually, so they are pleading with Republican colleagues in their narrow 221-212 majority to sign on to a stopgap spending measure to avoid a shutdown. Leaders are effectively putting forward the four funding bills as a good-faith down payment to dissidents.

, . . McCarthy, who won his job after 15 rounds of voting, has spent the year wrestling with a bloc of conservative Republicans who have used their leverage to repeatedly derail leadership’s plans, particularly on legislation related to spending. Last week, rebel Republicans twice blocked a vote to advance one of the 11 spending bills that have yet to clear the House, the defense appropriations bill that is set to be voted on again this week, a sign of the high hurdles facing the speaker.

There’s a double blockage in Congress now, what with two houses having different majority parties, and now the GOP itself divided. (Dems aren’t that united, either.) I fear that we’re in for a rough year politically, culminating in what may be a huge disaster in 13 months.

*According to the NYT, a college once admired for its rigor and unconventionality—New College of Florida—is being undermined by Governor Ron DeSantis, determined to turn it into Trump University:

As the fall semester began at New College of Florida, a small public school known as proudly unconventional until Gov. Ron DeSantis set about overhauling it this year, new students were easy to spot.

Many were recruited athletes, clad in T-shirts branded with the school’s new mascot, a muscled, flexing banyan tree. They stood out from returning students, many of whom roamed the campus in bare feet or with vividly dyed hair.

“Will these people be OK with us being weird as we are?” said Emma Curtis, a 21-year-old fourth-year student, voicing a concern shared by others.

The influx of athletes is just one of the sweeping changes that have come to New College since Mr. DeSantis and his allies vowed in January to transform the liberal arts institution, known as Florida’s “public honors college,” into a bastion of conservatism. More than a third of last year’s faculty members — about three dozen — are gone. So are about 125 students who chose not to return.

In a school that last year had about 700 students total, the freshman class of 338 is the largest ever; it also has a higher proportion of Black, Hispanic and male students than previous ones did, according to the administration. More than 200 students have been moved from on-campus dorms to off-campus hotels to make room for the recruited athletes and other new students.

The pronounced change in climate has led to a flurry of legal challenges. Alumni, faculty and students have sued, claiming free-speech violations that they say amount to academic censorship. The U.S. Department of Education is investigating a complaint that New College, in its new iteration, discriminated based on disability. A separate federal complaint accuses the new leadership of discriminating against L.G.B.T.Q. students by creating a hostile environment that drove some of them out.

Oy gewalt! It’s one thing to take down a state, but it’s even worse to take down a college once admired for the high quality of the students it turned out. And replace quality students with jocks!

*Matthew sent this tweet, which puzzled me as I haven’t followed the news.  But then I read a WaPo report that explained it (excerpts below):

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft flung a capsule the size of a car tire onto a bombing range in Utah on Sunday, delivering safely to Earth a sample of the intriguing and potentially hazardous asteroid Bennu.

The capsule, released four hours earlier by the spacecraft, parachuted onto the muddy Utah Test and Training Range. Recovery teams in four helicopters raced to the landing site in a carefully rehearsed effort designed to bag the capsule quickly to lower the risk of contamination and then spirit it to a hangar on a military base. It will be flown Monday to the NASA Johnson Space Center in Texas for future scientific study.

Mission managers, pleased with the trajectory of the spacecraft, voted early Sunday morning to proceed with releasing the capsule, which spent four hours nearing Earth before plunging into the atmosphere. The parent spacecraft then fired thrusters to ensure that it would not wind up in Utah, but would instead move on to another target, the asteroid Apophis, with a scheduled encounter in 2029.

Here’s a Post photo of the collecting site.

This image shows the sample-collection site on Bennu dubbed the Nightingale Crater, with a graphic overlay to illustrate the relative size of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

Why did they do this? Two reasons:

Bennu contains rocks that date to the earliest epoch of the solar system. The mission is designed to give scientists samples of these “fossils” that date back 4 billion years. The molecular makeup of the material brought back to Earth could provide clues to how it became an ocean planet, with the kind of environment where life could appear (and eventually evolve into complex organisms such as astrobiologists).

. . . and

Beyond the science, there’s the issue of planetary defense. Bennu could spell trouble. Its orbit crosses Earth’s, and there is a small chance it could hit us some time in the coming centuries. NASA keeps track of such “near-Earth objects” (including comets) that might pose collision risks, and right now Bennu is at the top of NASA’s list of potentially hazardous space rocks.

Knowing how to get a spacecraft there makes it easier to change its trajectory by blasting it with a spacecraft.  However, we’ll probably be extinct before that happens. Even so, this is one of those fantastic feats that makes us proud to be human.

*Did India suborn the assassination of a Canadian Sikh dissident, one of many Sikhs calling for their own homeland? Things were going well between Canada and India, and then a Canadian citizen was killed. And there’s evidence that India was involved, evidence partly provided by the U.S.:

Information shared by members of an intelligence-sharing alliance was part of what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used to make public allegations of the Indian government’s possible involvement in the assassination of a Sikh Canadian, the U.S. ambassador to Canada said.

“There was shared intelligence among ‘Five Eyes’ partners that helped lead Canada to (make) the statements that the prime minister made,” U.S. Ambassador David Cohen told Canadian CTV News network.

CTV News released some of Cohen’s comments late Friday, and the network said that it would air the full interview with the U.S. envoy on Sunday. No further details were released about the shared intelligence.

On Thursday, a Canadian official told The Associated Press that the allegation of India’s involvement in the killing is based on surveillance of Indian diplomats in Canada, including intelligence provided by a major ally — without saying which one.

The “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance is made up of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

. . .The relationship between Canada and India reached its lowest point in recent history when Trudeau said there were “credible allegations” of Indian involvement in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a 45-year-old Sikh separatist, in June in a Vancouver suburb. Both countries have expelled some top diplomats.

India, which has called the allegations “absurd,” also has stopped issuing visas to Canadian citizens and told Canada to reduce its diplomatic staff.

Canada has yet to provide public evidence to back Trudeau’s allegations.

Nijjar, a plumber who was born in India and became a Canadian citizen in 2007, had been wanted by India for years before he was gunned down in June outside the temple he led in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver.

Well, it’s too early to pass judgement, but the Modi government is not one I admire, and it’s also moving towards a Hindu theocracy. I love India, but I don’t love Prime Minister Modi and his BJP party.

*And the AP oddity of the day: juvenile drivers on a freeway!

A 10-year-old Florida boy and his 11-year-old sister who were running away to California drove 200 miles (320 kilometers) in their mother’s car before they were stopped by sheriff’s deputies on an interstate highway, authorities said.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office says deputies spotted the sedan on Interstate 75 near Gainesville in north Florida just before 4 a.m. Thursday. The children’s mother had reported it stolen and her children missing four hours earlier in North Port, a city in southwest Florida.

The deputies, thinking that they were dealing with car thieves, drew their guns and ordered those inside the car to step out.

“Much to their surprise, deputies observed a 10-year-old male driver exit the vehicle along with his 11-year-old sister,” the department said in a statement.

The children told deputies the girl had been upset that their mother had taken away her electronic devices for misbehaving, so the boy was driving her to California. The children were interviewed by detectives, who said there was no indication they had been mistreated by their mother or anyone else in the home.

The mother declined to press charges and the children were released to her.

Wouldn’t you know that this would involve “devices”?  I’m surprised either of the kids survived. How did the ten year old boy know how to drive?

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has an impossible task.
A: What are you looking at.
Hili: I’m trying to count all the swifts in the sky.

In Polish:

Ja: Czemu się tak przyglądasz?Hili: Próbję policzyć wszystkie jaskółki na niebie.


From Ducks in Public:

From Divy, one messy eater!

From David.  I’m not sure why they’re telling you this unless you’re a male and don’t want a woman “servicing” the lavs while you’re in them.

From Masih, another Iranian woman who’s mad as hell and doesn’t want to take it any more.

It’s good to see Titania back tweeting again:

From gravelinspector, who says “Image in Txeetx (?) leaves little doubt about pilot’s level of joy and happiness.”

I’ve always wondered if this were true, as the pilot could get in big trouble

Kitty forced to clean up its own mess! That’ll teach it (not!):

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a retweet by me.

From Dr. Cobb. First, the bad news:


A great video from The Dodo:

17 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1066 – In the Battle of Stamford Bridge, Harald Hardrada, the invading King of Norway, is defeated by King Harold II of England. [The victorious army then has a long march to confront the Normans invading the southern coast.]

    1237 – England and Scotland sign the Treaty of York, establishing the location of their common border.

    1513 – Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa reaches what would become known as the Pacific Ocean.

    1690 – Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, the first newspaper to appear in the Americas, is published for the first and only time.

    1789 – The United States Congress passes twelve constitutional amendments: the ten known as the Bill of Rights, the (unratified) Congressional Apportionment Amendment, and the Congressional Compensation Amendment.

    1890 – The United States Congress establishes Sequoia National Park.

    1906 – Leonardo Torres Quevedo demonstrates the Telekino in the Bilbao Abra (Spain), guiding an electric boat from the shore with people on board, which was controlled at a distance over 2 km (1.2 mi), in what is considered to be the origin of modern wireless remote-control operation principles.

    1926 – The international Convention to Suppress the Slave Trade and Slavery is first signed.

    1956 – TAT-1, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system, is inaugurated.

    1957 – Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, is integrated by the use of United States Army troops.

    1977 – About 4,200 people take part in the first running of the Chicago Marathon.

    1983 – Thirty-eight IRA prisoners, armed with six handguns, hijack a prison meals lorry and smash their way out of the Maze Prison.

    1992 – NASA launches the Mars Observer. Eleven months later, the probe would fail while preparing for orbital insertion.

    2018 – Bill Cosby is sentenced to three to ten years in prison for aggravated sexual assault.

    1644 – Ole Rømer, Danish astronomer and instrument maker (d. 1710).

    1764 – Fletcher Christian, English sailor (d. 1793). [And mutineer.]

    1773 – Agostino Bassi, Italian entomologist and author (d. 1856).

    1866 – Thomas Hunt Morgan, American biologist, geneticist, and embryologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1945).

    1888 – Hanna Ralph, German actress (d. 1978).

    1897 – William Faulkner, American novelist and short story writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1962).

    1903 – Mark Rothko, Latvian-American painter and educator (d. 1970).

    1906 – Dmitri Shostakovich, Russian pianist and composer (d. 1975).

    1927 – Colin Davis, English conductor and educator (d. 2013).

    1929 – Ronnie Barker, English actor and screenwriter (d. 2005).

    1929 – Barbara Walters, American journalist, producer, and author (d. 2022).

    1930 – Shel Silverstein, American author, poet, illustrator, and songwriter (d. 1999).

    1932 – Glenn Gould, Canadian pianist and composer (d. 1982).

    1937 – Mary Allen Wilkes, American computer scientist and lawyer.

    1942 – Dee Dee Warwick, American singer (d. 2008).

    1944 – Michael Douglas, American actor and producer.

    1946 – Felicity Kendal, English actress.

    1949 – Pedro Almodóvar, Spanish director, producer, and screenwriter.

    1951 – Mark Hamill, American actor, singer, and producer.

    1952 – bell hooks, American author and activist (d. 2021).

    1952 – Christopher Reeve, American actor, producer, and activist (d. 2004).

    1955 – Steven Severin, English bass player, songwriter, and producer.

    1968 – Will Smith, American actor, producer, and rapper.

    1969 – Catherine Zeta-Jones, Welsh actress.

    1975 – Declan Donnelly, English entertainer.

    And come he slow, or come he fast,
    It is but Death who comes at last:

    1621 – Mary Sidney, English writer (b. 1561).

    1828 – Charlotta Seuerling, Swedish singer, harpsichord player, and composer (b. 1783).

    1849 – Johann Strauss I, Austrian composer (b. 1804).

    1893 – Louise von François, German author (b. 1817).

    1917 – Thomas Ashe, Irish Republican Brotherhood volunteer and rebel commander. Died as a result of forced feeding while on hunger strike. (b. 1885).

    1980 – John Bonham, English drummer and songwriter (b. 1948).

    1984 – Walter Pidgeon, Canadian-American actor (b. 1897). [The anniversary of his birth was noted here on Saturday.]

    1991 – Klaus Barbie, German SS captain, known as the “Butcher of Lyon” (b. 1913). [Good riddance!]

    2003 – Herb Gardner, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1934). [Great name! Mum once knew a Clifford Edge – everyone called him Cliff, which his parents apparently hadn’t seen coming…]

    2012 – Andy Williams, American singer (b. 1927).

    2016 – Arnold Palmer, American golfer (b. 1929).

    1. “The victorious army then has a long march to confront the Normans invading the southern coast.” And we all know how that turned out.

    2. “1957-Central High School integrated by use of US Army troops…” This was a long and drawn out process and told well through the eyes of one of the nine Black students, Terrence Roberts in his 2009 paperback, “Lessons from Little Rock” (Butler Center Books, 190pp). Illustrated with period photographs, the author speaks to the ongoing racist culture that did not end with the simple arrival of troops, a culture that I saw at that same time, and still see to some extent, in my own Southern US city.

  2. OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft – but WEIT readers were given a heads up on this event a few weeks ago when Jezgrove listed the 2016(?) launch and mission start on his daily events and I replied with a few mission details including the scheduled landing date. So much good stuff on WEIT and so little time to absorb it all!

  3. National Food Service Workers Day.

    Let me honor this day with the best song, you ask me, about the plight of lower-end food servers, performed by the great trio of sisters known by their family name The Roches:

  4. The story of the kids taking their mom’s car brought to mind an incident with my kids. They were much younger, still in diapers not much older than toddler age. My wife and I woke up one morning and couldn’t find the twins in the house. We looked outside, started another search through the inside, and then suddenly heard some giggling. We traced it to the garage.

    We opened the door to the garage and caught them in the act. The were each perched on a motorcycle pretending to race, having a great time. We nearly fainted. Me because they may have scratched or otherwise damaged the bikes climbing up onto them (at that age kids have no conception of how or why to be gentle), my wife because they were barely toddler age and how on Earth did they manage to get up onto the bikes without killing themselves?

    1. Oh, man! Funny and scary. 3 questions: do either of your kids remember the incident? If not I’m sure they love to hear the story. Do you know who instigated it? Are the twins still interested in riding motorcycles?

      1. I’m not sure if they remember it, I’ll have to ask them.

        No way to be sure, but if I had to bet I’d say it was my daughter. She’s a troublemaker! Meaning she is the adventurous one that intentionally seeks to find new things to do that scare her.

        Oh yes, they are both still interested in riding motorcycles. They both took the MSF riding course and got their motorcycle licenses at 15, and then bought motorcycles to ride on the street. Took years off my life, I’m sure. They’d been riding off road since about 5 or 6. So far my daughter has never owned a car, only a bike. My son has cars, a truck, bikes, etc.. Drive’s me nuts. Since about 10 years old he started filling my garage up with all manner of bikes, 4 & 3 wheelers that he’d fix up and resell.

        1. What’s that saying about acorns not falling far from the tree. 🤣 Sounds like you have some fun kids, but I can see how that can induce stress. I’m not a parent, but I believe allowing kids a long leash is the best philosophy- no helicopter parenting!

  5. So amazing that we now have asteroid samples that were collected directly. We’ve long had samples deposited on Earth naturally—via meteorites. But this is way cooler! It’s a testimony to the amazing technology that science has wrought. Try doing this with a different “way of knowing.”

    1. I think, according to Matauranga Maori, the ancestors of the Maori sailed to the asteroid on outriggers five hundred years ago, and it taught them (in person) the part of their cultural knowledge of just how the solar system and the Earth was created.

      Of course, Vikings dispute this, saying they have reached all bodies in the solar system and some interstellar sites long before five hundred years ago, and there is at least SOME evidence of Viking long boats on the moons of Jupiter.

      [The above was snark.]

      1. and there is at least SOME evidence of Viking long boats on the moons of Jupiter.

        Look closely at the patterns of ice cracks on the surface of Europa and, sure as pareidolia is tricky to spell, you’ll find a longboat image somewhere. Good chance of some runes too, though in an unknown language.

        [The above was snark.]

  6. It may be true that India arranged to kill Mr. Nijjar in Canada (no public evidence so far). The announcement by Trudeau served only domestic political goals: Trudeau is unpopular, and has ignored other foreign political interference by China. The context for the killing is complicated. Many Sikhs in Canada and other parts of the diaspora are violent religious extremists (see Air India bombing) who support political independence for Khalistan. That independence movement is not popular in Punjab, but India pays attention to Khalistanis in other countries. Some of them tried to burn down the Indian consulate in San Francisco back in July. Of course none of that would justify India killing a Canadian in Canada.

  7. I remember back in February that when I shared that story about Christopher Rufo’s Twitter fight with Steven Pinker over academic freedom at New College, some commenters disagreed with me and Pinker, saying that Rufo’s actions were a justifiable response to wokeness. In retrospect, I think Pinker has been vindicated.

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