Thursday: Hili dialogue

This is a sad beginning to the day: I awoke to find that there’s been yet another stabbing of civilians, this time in Russell Square, London, an area I know well. According to CNN, a woman was killed and five others injured in a stabbing attack, and the suspect is in custody. Mental health has been mentioned as a factor, as well as terrorism. As the CNN piece notes:

Officials briefed on the investigation told CNN earlier that based on early evidence, investigators believe the incident was a terror attack.

“The fact that they’re even mentioning terrorism leads me to believe that some of the witnesses and some of the victims may have said that this guy may have made some statements while he was carrying out the attack,” former FBI agent Bobby Chacon said.

“The normal posture is to calm the public and say we don’t have any information that it’s terrorism yet.”

UPDATE: CNN now says this:

London Metropolitan Police say a knife attack on Wednesday night that left an American woman in her 60s dead was spontaneous, and said the attacker’s victims were selected at random.

Police are looking at mental health issues as the main line of inquiry and essentially ruled out terrorism as the likely motive.


So it’s Thursday, August 4, and time is flying in Dobrzyn, what with walking, working, and eating pie. And somehow it’s appropriate that today is the Christian Feast Day of Sithney, of mad dogs.  On this day in 1944, the Gestapo found the hiding place of the Frank family in Amsterdam, arresting the whole lot. Anne, her sister Margot, and others were transported to Auschwitz, and then the sisters to Bergen-Belsen, where they died, probably of typhus. Anne was 15. On this date in 1964—and I remember this well—three young civil rights workers, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney, were murdered in Mississippi by the Ku Klux Klan, probably with the help of the local police. Eight people were ultimately convicted of the murder, an event that helped galvanize the civil rights movement.

Notable people born on this day include Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792), Knut Hamsun (1859), Louis Armstrong (1900), Raoul Wallenberg (1912) and Barack Obama (1961). Those who died on this day include Hans Christian Andersen (1875). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is being prescient:

A: What are you doing there?
Hili: I’m looking into the future.
In Polish:
Ja: Co tam robisz?
Hili: Patrzę w przyszłość.


  1. Rick Bannister
    Posted August 4, 2016 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    One more birthday you missed: Barack Obama August 4, 1961

  2. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 4, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    That link to “London Police say a knife attack”… brings up a University of Chicago Xmail login page with a phishing warning.

    Anyway – sceptical nitpick: That ‘former FBI agent’s comment has all the hallmarks of someone who knows no facts, making stuff up. One of my pet peeves is, when any sensational incident occurs, the press grab the nearest talking head to speculate on something he knows nothing about. Most commonly, it occurs when there’s a major air crash and long before there’s any information the press grab some retired pilot who flew a different type of plane for some other airline on different routes (and who should know better) to pontificate on what he thinks might have happened.


    • Posted August 4, 2016 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Fixed the link, thanks.

    • Tom
      Posted August 4, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Please note that a Police “talking head” also spoke before the investigation had been properly begun never mind completed.
      Surely just a “no comment at this stage” would have been better.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 4, 2016 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        I quite agree. However I still place most part of the blame on the press who demand a story – never mind the accuracy – and if there aren’t any facts they’ll just make something up.


  3. George
    Posted August 4, 2016 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I should belatedly point out that you missed Jerry Gatcia’s birthday – August 1, 1942. His death anniversary is coming up – August 9, 1995.

    • George
      Posted August 4, 2016 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Ack – Garcia. The t is two rows away from the c on the keyboard. How did I goof that up?

      • Barney
        Posted August 4, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

        but the ‘t’ is next to the ‘r’ that it should have been, so that’s an easy typo to make.

        • Georgw
          Posted August 4, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink

          This is not going yo be a good day. I cannot even figure out the typos that I know I have made.

          • George
            Posted August 4, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

            I’m going back to bed. Misspelled my name so comment got moderated. Another typo in the actual comment. Was supposed to go to an outdoor concert tonight but it will be too hot. Will still be 80F (27C) at 10pm.

            BTW, concert is at Cantigny (not Ravinia) and it is free! Watch the Chicago Sinfonietta surrounded by tanks – real ones. If you are in the western suburbs of Chicago, check it out if you don’t mind the heat.

  4. Posted August 4, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    According to Al Jazeera, the London attacker was a Norwegian of Somali origin. With this background of the alleged perpetrator, I think police are too quick to exclude terrorism. Also, they talk about mental illness without saying whether the suspect had a preexisting diagnosis. I am very skeptical about mental issues first discovered after a grave crime.

    • mordacious1
      Posted August 4, 2016 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      It’s either a mental health issue or religion. The two are almost indistinguishable, so I understand the media’s problem.

      • Posted August 4, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        Besides, both can coexist. I have seen people of my culture with mental health issues seeking solace in religion (Orthodox Christianity). A militaristic, belligerent religion can easily make use of them and this has happened before.

  5. rickflick
    Posted August 4, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    “Hili: I’m looking into the future.”

    A key element of the Touring Test for conscious intelligence is the ability to remember and integrate the preceding parts of a conversation into the current discussion. Has Hili ever demonstrated this ability?

    • darrelle
      Posted August 4, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      What? Now they make you take a test after you go on a tour? Does it go on your permanent record? Maybe I should take it easy on that whiskey tour next week.

      • rickflick
        Posted August 4, 2016 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Not to worry. You will be absolved due to the fact that whiskey tours delete conversational memory – which is often a good thing.

  6. Scientifik
    Posted August 4, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Also on this day (the fourth day of the Warsaw Uprising), died Polish poet Krzysztof Baczyński…

  7. Posted August 4, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Tragic – and I too remember Russell Square, staying near by the last times I was in London.

    I seem to remember that B. Russell used to stay near there when in London …

  8. darrelle
    Posted August 4, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Hili looks like she is just finishing a Flehmen response.

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