Thursday: Hili Dialogue

According to my best information, it’s August 25, 2016, and another cool but drizzly day in Chicago. But we have good news from the University of Chicago, so stay tuned! And it’s a big day for foodies, too: according to Wikipedia, it’s National Banana Split Day, National Whiskey Sour Day, National Cherry Popsicle Day (?), and National Pots de Creme Day—all in the U.S.  And pots de creme isn’t even an American dish! Well, I wouldn’t mind eating either that French treat or a banana split, as I haven’t had either in ages. (Whiskey sours, a decent drink, I’ve had more recently).

On this day in 1609, Galileo demonstrated his telescope to the bigwigs of Venice; little did he know the consequences. And, on this day in 2012, the Voyager I became the first spacecraft to enter interstellar space. It’s now 20,000,000,000 km from the Sun, and still sending out data, which will continue until the batteries die about 2025.

Notables born on this day include Nobel Laureate Hans Krebs (1900), Leonard Bernstein (1918; smoked himself to death), Althea Gibson (1927), and Elvis Costello (1954). Those who died on this day include David Hume (1776), Michael Faraday (1867), Henri Becquerel (1908), Truman Capote (1984; read A Christmas Memory), Ted Kennedy (2009), and Neil Armstrong (2012). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is kvetching about the number of sofas, even though she already could be the subject of a children’s book: Hili has Two Sofas:

Cyrus: I’m glad we have two sofas.
Hili: I envy those who have three.
In Polish:
Cyrus: Cieszę się, że mamy dwie sofy.
Hili: Zazdroszczę tym, którzy mają trzy.
In Winnipeg, Gus was given a special treat of fresh catnip leaves (actually only a single leaf), which, as you can see, he much loves. The catnip plant is kept well out of his reach!

Finally, from Trendingly via reader Michael, here are Iriss and Abyss, 9 month old twin kitties with eyes that don’t match within cats but do match among the cats:



  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 25, 2016 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I wonder, why do we have a day for everything. How about a day for night?

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted August 25, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Naming rights for days are for sale, just like ballparks. Today was apparently sold to four different industry lobbyists.

  2. Posted August 25, 2016 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    I also give my highest recommendation to Capote’s In Cold Blood. Most excellent.

    • rickflick
      Posted August 25, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      The 1967 film version is also very good. Robert Blake plays Perry Smith, the main killer.
      Another good film on the subject is “Capote”, 2005 staring Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote.”

  3. mordacious1
    Posted August 25, 2016 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Yes, great news coming out of University of Chicago. Everyone connected to that school should be proud. Whiskey Sours for all! I can’t wait to find out if PCC(E) had any direct input.

    • Posted August 25, 2016 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      No, I had no input. I’m not in the administration, and I’m superannuated anyway. But I’m still proud of my school. I’ll put up a post in an hour or so.

      • mordacious1
        Posted August 25, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        When I read it last night, I said, “Boy, this sounds like something Prof. Coyne would write”. It’s a great document that is a real slap in the face to the despots running around on some campuses.

  4. Dominic
    Posted August 25, 2016 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    An national hamburger day in the UK, for some reason…!

    • Graham Head
      Posted August 25, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Cynical of me I know but I suspect that selling hamburgers might have something to do with it.

  5. darrelle
    Posted August 25, 2016 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    That picture of Iriss and Abyss is gorgeous.

    • Kevin
      Posted August 25, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      I could look at those cats all day.

  6. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted August 25, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    The catnip plant is kept well out of his reach!

    One day, a cunning cat – correction, a more cunning than average cat – is going to train squirrels too fetch catnip.

    What are the odds of the cat’s eyes? I guess it matters if the eye-colour is dominant or recessive.
    Or is it one of those Y-silencing traits?

    • jaxkayaker
      Posted August 25, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      I believe eye color is another X-chromosome linked trait. One X is silenced in female mammals. That explains tortoiseshell cat colors, and partly explains calicos.

    • jaxkayaker
      Posted August 25, 2016 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Also, the full import of what you wrote just occurred to me. Y-chromosome silencing is not a thing.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted August 25, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        One of these days I’ll remember enough about human (or other mammalian) genetics to not get Xs and Ys confused with Ws and Zs (birds, IIRC ; not sure about others in the “reptiles”. Or amphibians.)

        • jaxkayaker
          Posted August 25, 2016 at 11:49 am | Permalink

          Snakes and some turtles have ZW/ZZ chromosomal sex determination. Many turtles have temperature dependent sex determination, as do lizards and crocodilians. Not sure what amphisbænids do.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted August 25, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

            Hmmm, there’s probably evidence in there for the paraphyly of the “reptiles” (also the case for the “amphibians”, AFAIK).

  7. Posted August 25, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    The first pic wld be even better if we cld see more of Cyrus’ face. Get the roses out of the way.

  8. jaxkayaker
    Posted August 25, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    If you gaze long at Abyss, Abyss also gazes at you.

  9. Posted August 25, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Cherry popsicle day? Ok, that’s getting a bit too specific for me. Are there days for other flavours?

  10. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 25, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Italy was even already on the Gregorian calendar when Galileo found Jupiter’s moons, which is ironic, since this depended on sophisticated readings of the sun’s mean longitude, and the astronomically correct vernal equinox.

    (The motive for the GregCal was to correct for a 10-day drift in the celebration of Christmas and Easter since the Council of Nicea in the 4th century.)

    Both the Gregorian and its predecessor were solar calendars so these were developed long before a heliocentric view of the solar system.

  11. hrichmon
    Posted August 25, 2016 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Years ago an uncle told me that all blue-eyed white cats were deaf. Does anyone know of a counter-example? And what about white cats with only one blue eye?

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