Friday: Hili Dialogue

Good morning! It’s Friday! Even here in Ireland the clouds have parted (for now) and the sun is shining (for now) and I’m taking things slowly after spending the evening frolicking with the local Skeptics group who actually have their own castle/observatory instead of just a pub.

Today is the day when the Swedish inventor of the three-point seatbelt Nils Bohlin was born in 1920, TWA Flight 800 exploded over Long Island in 1996 and in 1955 Disneyland opened its doors. Oh, and Jimi Hendrix refused to be the opening act for The Monkees in 1967. I’m not surprised, that was a really weird combination which would probably have caused a black hole to form spontaneously, so Hendrix probably saved the world there.

Over in Poland, Hili’s mind is on loftier things.

Hili: How do I get a grant?
A: What for?
Hili: For a study of the mouse population in the orchard.


In Polish:

Hili: Jak zdobyć grant?
Ja: Na co?
Hili: Na badania populacji myszy w sadzie.


  1. Sarah
    Posted July 17, 2015 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Disneyland in 1950?? I would have guessed 1955 or 1956.

    • Sarah
      Posted July 17, 2015 at 5:19 am | Permalink

      Now I’ve looked at the link and it was 1955. I’ve never been there, but I remember when it opened.

      • Posted July 17, 2015 at 5:43 am | Permalink

        Oy, the effect of morning-after-the-night-before disease. I’ve fixed it, thanks.

  2. Dominic
    Posted July 17, 2015 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Lovely location but I prefer to spell sceptic the proper way! 😉

    • Dominic
      Posted July 17, 2015 at 5:42 am | Permalink

      Looks very dry again in Hili Land – it still is in London 😦

    • Posted July 17, 2015 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      Hehe! Yes, that point did come up for discussion when the group formed. We were also told that Cork Skeptics sounded like we were skeptical of corks. You can’t win. But a castle counts for a lot 😉

      • rickflick
        Posted July 17, 2015 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        How about some pics of your castle/observatory. Include any refractors please.

        • Posted July 17, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

          It has its own website. It is a joint venture between the Cork Institute of Technology and the local city council.

          And here’s the page on the research, it is a working observatory.

          Because the Castle is all about promoting science literacy, they very kindly offered the founder of the Cork Skeptics group a permanent home there.


          • darrelle
            Posted July 17, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

            I’m a bit envious. Having a fricken castle, with an observatory in out, for a clubhouse?

            I miss living in Europe. Just about every little town has an ancient castle (mostly half in ruins) on a nearby hilltop.

          • rickflick
            Posted July 17, 2015 at 10:58 am | Permalink

            Very impressive. If I ever get to visit Ireland. I’ll be sure to stop and take a look. And, visit with the Cork Skeptics.

      • Dominic
        Posted July 17, 2015 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        “Cork skeptics” – that has laughing in the library!

        • rickflick
          Posted July 17, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

          Quietly, of course.
          (Do you believe in Cork?)

          • Posted July 17, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

            Frankly, modern screw-tops are just as good. Provided you are buying for drinking straight away, of course. Probably not so good for bottles you are planning on saving for a few years.

            • rickflick
              Posted July 17, 2015 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

              I think I’ve read that the modern screw top is actually much better. It keeps bacteria out very effectively while corks are a bit hazardous. They can dehydrate, shrink, and provide microbial access along the margins.
              But, oenophiles are romantic and hold to tradition. The corkscrew industry must be fighting the trend for all they are worth, but science shall prevail.

          • Posted July 17, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

            I believe in one Cork, the Stopper Almighty
            Keeper of wine and brut, of all things drinkable and alcoholic:
            And in one Bottle: Tinted Glass….


            • rickflick
              Posted July 17, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

              Tinted glasses. Rose colored.

  3. bluemaas
    Posted July 17, 2015 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    At this of Hili’s I guffawed right out loud so early this morning at the end of the week.

    My job is in an agency which has as its main mission … … grants’ – giving. Its annual competitive cycle began with all of the newly submitted preproposals of just last week; and after perusing those, why, Hili’s “preproposal” ranks right up there at the very, very top.

    She should be awarded the baits’ bucks !

    • Randy Schenck
      Posted July 17, 2015 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Likely that Hili would eat up all the profits.

      I thought all the Castles of Europe had been turned into eating places…who knew.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted July 17, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      I was thinking the same. I am sure there are studies on cat predation, but there is also an increase in animal adaptation to cities. (I recently learned that our ‘forest dove’ has joined the bleedin’ choir visibly urbanized in the last 2 decades.) Hili could do all sorts of studies of noms.

      Now, what bait to use for the grant givers…

  4. Kevin
    Posted July 17, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Hili: You have to catch many mice using other funding. Then write a proposal using still other people’s funding and then publish the work you intend to get funded before it gets funding and then maybe you will (might) get your funding to conduct the study of the mouse population in the orchard.

    • Blue
      Posted July 17, 2015 at 9:52 am | Permalink


      soooo, so true.true.true.

  5. Posted July 17, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    From that history site, I see that this was also the day on which the Potsdam Conference began:
    “The final “Big Three” meeting between the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain takes place towards the end of World War II. The decisions reached at the conference ostensibly settled many of the pressing issues between the three wartime allies, but the meeting was also marked by growing suspicion and tension between the United States and the Soviet Union.

    On July 17, 1945, U.S. President Harry S. Truman, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met in the Berlin suburb of Potsdam to discuss issues relating to postwar Europe and plans to deal with the ongoing conflict with Japan. By the time the meeting began, U.S. and British suspicions concerning Soviet intentions in Europe were intensifying. Russian armies occupied most of Eastern Europe, including nearly half of Germany, and Stalin showed no inclination to remove his control of the region. Truman, who had only been president since Franklin D. Roosevelt died three months earlier, arrived at the meeting determined to be “tough” with Stalin. He was encouraged in this course of action by news that American scientists had just successfully tested the atomic bomb. The conference soon bogged down on the issue of postwar Germany. The Soviets wanted a united but disarmed Germany, with each of the Allied powers determining the destiny of the defeated power. Truman and his advisors, fearing the spread of Soviet influence over all Germany–and, by extension, all of western Europe–fought for and achieved an agreement whereby each Allied power (including France) would administer a zone of occupation in Germany. Russian influence, therefore, would be limited to its own eastern zone. The United States also limited the amount of reparations Russia could take from Germany. Discussion of the continuing Soviet occupation of Poland floundered.

    When the conference ended on August 2, 1945, matters stood much where they had before the meeting. There would be no further wartime conferences. Four days after the conference concluded, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima in Japan; on August 9, another bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. World War II officially came to an end on August 14, 1945. “

  6. daniel bertini
    Posted July 17, 2015 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Gotta love the Scandinavians as well as jimi Hendrix and the monkees!!

  7. Karen
    Posted July 17, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Nope. Have to correct you on the Hendrix and the Monkees reference. Hendrix DID open for the Monkees, playing about 7 concerts. By Forest Hills he got so fed-up with the “We want Davy” chants he threw his still-plugged-in guitar into the air, uttered an expletive, and marched off. To my knowledge no black hole opened at any point during the previous six concerts!

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