Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Happy Sunday: August 28, 2016.  In the U.S. we have two bogus but proclaimed holidays: National Red Wine Day and National Cherry Turnover Day. I’ll be drinking the red, as usual, but since I’m not in Dobrzyn, I won’t get one of these (they are good, and strawberry turnovers are even better):


On this day in 1845, the first issue of Scientific American was published. Unless I miss my guess, it won’t be long until we see the last one. And on this day in 1955, Emmett Till was brutally lynched in Mississippi by two white men, reportedly for whistling at or flirting with a white woman. Till was visiting relatives in Mississippi but was from Chicago, almost certainly not prepared for Southern attitudes toward blacks. His mutilated body was returned here. And the body was horribly battered—the killers had bashed in his face and gouged out his eyes before shooting him and dumping his body in a river—and the stench could reportedly be detected two blocks away. His Chicago funeral was remarkable for what his mother did: she insisted on an open casket so that everyone at the public funeral could see what had been done to her son. The casket picture was published in Jet, a nationally circulated black magazine. (You can see a photo of Till in the casket here, but be aware that it’s really disturbing.) The open-casket funeral became a national rallying cry for blacks, and Emmett Till remains a horrible symbol of the segregationist South.  It also caused national revulsion and sympathy for the victim of segregation, and helped pave the way for the Civil Rights Act nine years later. The two killers were tried and found “not guilty” by an all-white jury (typical!) after just an hour’s deliberation. In a subsequent interview in Look magazine, the killers admitted that they had indeed murdered Till, and showed no remorse. They couldn’t be tried again because of America’s double-jeopardy laws. Do read the story at Wikipedia; it’s a grim reminder of what racism can do.

Notables born on this day include Bruno Bettelheim (1903), and deaths on this day included, besides Emmett Till, Max Shulman (1988). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, there are still many unpicked cherries (you can see below that they’re ripe), and Hili muses about the theological significance of the fruit:

Hili: Were there cherries in the Garden of Eden?
Cyrus: I don’t know but I doubt it.
Hili: I’m sceptical as well.

In Polish:
Hili: Czy w raju były wiśnie?
Ja: Nie wiem, ale wątpię.
Hili: Ja też jestem sceptyczna.
Leon is still vacationing in Southern Poland, and has a dilemma:

Leon: And now I don’t know which is better: the heat or the icy stream?



  1. rickflick
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    The Emmett Till story is a reminder of an element of human nature we sometimes pretend didn’t exist. There is hope in the bravery of Emmett’s mother who dealt with the issue so creatively.

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Off topic : there was an article on WEIT that was something like “what idea have you given up”. Anybody know the true title or where it is? I searched “what idea”, “what idea given up”, results didn’t look right.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 28, 2016 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      “Which Ideas Should be Killed?”
      March 1st 2015

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted August 28, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        I knew that was John Brockman’s book or tw##t, didn’t know it was a PCC(E) question, I’ll take a look, thanks.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted August 28, 2016 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Ehmmmm – I suppose I am losing it.

        BTW why can’t we comment on old articles?

        • Posted August 28, 2016 at 9:24 am | Permalink

          I’ve set the website so you can’t comment on an article after it’s been up 40 days. I just checked that, and also changed it to 60. The reason was that it seems useless to allow comments on pieces after that time, though I’m willing to listen to arguments for different limits.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted August 28, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

            Alright, well – I can offer “The Internet never forgets”, and some things take a while – consider religion’s resistance to stay in the museum – it’s like centuries from that being the place we teach our young about it. I think it can still be a “fast and furious” website, but I’ll still like it if the rules stay.

            Thanks PCC(E)!

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted August 28, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

            Oh I didn’t understand – you changed it – that’s great, thanks!

  3. bluemaas
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I was not in DC for this one of 28 August 1963, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom of ~250,000 gathered for that event.

    I was on DC’s Mall, however, from my having boarded one of the eight busloads which some of us organized and which all departed from various points within Iowa the day before, rode all day and all night, marched and gathered all of the Sunday of 25 April 2004, and without any stoppage, to reboarding those buses and riding all the way back to central Iowa. A march and gathering two to five times more in numbers of persons than that of the one 41 years earlier.

    Another and dreadful difference ? Anything at all about the 2004 March .to SAVE Women’s Lives. of some estimates of 1.15 million of us activists there FELL — in just two days’ time — RIGHT OFF of nearly all of the media’s and of society’s radars.,_D.C.

    Squat has been heard about it or its message and purpose thereafter then ! Nada.


    • bluemaas
      Posted August 28, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      “Handwritten records depict the extent of the exceptionally strange and damaging weather. In New England, snow fell on June 6. Frost coated the ground in the Northeast during the first week of July. Snow fell in Vermont on Aug. 20, and hard freezes were reported during the last week of August from the Shenandoah Valley to New England.

      ‘There was scarcely a vegetable came to perfection north and east of the Potomac,’ Charles Peirce, an avid weather historian, wrote in a journal that summer. ‘The cold weather during summer not only extended through America but throughout Europe.’

      Peirce received a newspaper from England which stated, ‘It will be remembered by the present generation that the year 1816 was a year in which there was no summer.'”

      Crikey, Mr Hempenstein, that history is terrifyingly fascinating !


      • bluemaas
        Posted August 28, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        addendum // //

        Mr Lincoln and Mr Darwin, then that August themselves both having been seven years old as they were born on the very same 12 February y1809 day, would have remembered this specific “summer” into their adulthoods. Ms Joslyn and Ms Anthony were, by then yet, just sparkles inside their mamas’ eyeballs; and Ms Cady was but a toddler of 15 months’ age.


        • bluemaas
          Posted August 28, 2016 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

          er, correction:
          … … Ms Elizabeth Cady was a mere nine months old !

          Me ‘nd m’finger – counting !

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 28, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Ah, the “year without a summer”.
      While there were doubtless other volcanic eruptions in the preceding year, the eruption of Tambora carries essentially the whole blame for that one.
      Since the turn of the calendars (1BCE to 1CE), there have been possibly two VEI rating 7 (“Volcano Explosivity Index”) ; one was in about 180 CE in New Zealand ; the other was Tambora. (Krakatoa, Mt St Helens, Pinatubo don’t get a look in – they were VEI-6 ; there have been hundreds of VEI-5s in the last couple of centuries. It’s debated, but Thira/ Santorini in 1760 BCE may have been a VEI-8.)

  4. Posted August 28, 2016 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Then I’ll take a turnover with my Petrus

    Sent from my iPhone


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