Friday: Hili dialogue

Congratulations! We’ve almost made it through another work week, as it’s Friday, April 21, 2017. It’s also an odd food holiday: National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day. An estimable comestible to be sure, but I’ve never had one. It’s also an important Rastafarian holiday in Jamaica: Grounation Day, honoring Haile Selassie’s 1966 visit to Jamaica.

On this day in 1509, Henry VIII became King of England on the death of his father, Henry VII. On April 21, 1918, Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron, was shot down and killed after becoming Germany’s biggest Great War ace, having downed 80 Allied planes. Here’s a rare video of him and his famous three-winged Fokker Dr.I plane:

Finally, on this day in 1934, the most famous photo of the Loch Ness Monster, the “surgeon’s photo” (it was supposedly taken by a London gynecologist), was published in the Daily Fail (below; I’m sure you’ve seen it). It was later shown to be a hoax: a toy model towed by a disgruntled Fail employee as a form of revenge:

Notables born on April 12 include Charlotte Brontë (1816), John Muir (1838), Garrett Hardin and Anthony Quinn (both 1915), Iggy Pop (1947), and Andie MacDowell (1958). Those who died on this day include Mark Twain (1910), John Maynard Keynes (1947), Nina Simone (2003), and Prince (just last year). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn. Hili is on the prowl:

Hili: I’m determined.
A: And where are you going?
Hili: I don’t know yet.
In Polish
Hili: Jestem zdeterminowana.
Ja: A dokąd idziesz?
Hili: Jeszcze nie wiem.

And out in Winnipeg, where Spring is arriving, Gus is pretending to be a polar bear on the tundra:


  1. TJR
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Its also the Queen’s birthday today.

    But I’m sure a devout royalist like you knew that!

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Looking at the film on the Baron, reminds us how primitive the flying machines were in those early days of flight. The few who have flown in replicas of airplanes of the day, explain how difficult is was just flying them, not to mention attempting to do battle in one. Another point is that generally, most kills were made by sneaking up on an enemy plane and shooting the plane down before the pilot even knew you were there.

  3. rickflick
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    At about 2:00 of the Red Baron film, you can see the assistant turning the prop. Curiously, the radial cylinder set can be seen turning with the prop! Seems bizarre. How would it even work, and wouldn’t the vibration cause fatigue and collapse? How would they get the fuel into the cylinders? So many questions…so little time.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Some of those early rotary engines operated that way, with the entire bank of cylinders spinning around the crankshaft. I cannot tell you the specifics of how the fuel and oil got to everything but today, it seems very odd. The amount of oil required to keep any rotary engine running is endless.

      Also, with everything spinning clockwise, the amount of left rudder required to just fly straight must have been something. I suspect they had to keep a lot of mechanics on the payroll.

      • Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        Yes, fixed crankshaft, rotating engine body around it. Seems pretty strange to us now.

        Probably didn’t need an oil pump and that may have been the motivation, though it’s probably way more complex than that. That engine layout (radial) was a pretty new beast then — they were still solving the basic issues (first about 1900).

        As I’ve always said (as a former aerospace engine for several decades): Propulsion drivers airplane design (bad pun intended).

        • Randy schenck
          Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

          As many in your career would know, the lack of good and reliable engines were a big drag on progress in aviation. Nearly the drag of that Tri-wing beast the Baron was flying.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      On how they work, etc:

  4. DrBrydon
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I’ve seen that Loch Ness Monster photo countless times before, but never noticed until now that it illustrates a problem with miniatures and water, commonly seen in old pirate movies. You can make the miniature as realistic as possible, but water doesn’t miniaturize, so waves always look out of scale.

  5. busterggi
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    OMC! Is that Nessie right behind Hili?

  6. Kevin
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    In my view Hili settle the free will debate:

    Hili: I’m determined.
    A: And where are you going?
    Hili: I don’t know yet.

    Because the future is unknown, this determined universe is indistinguishable from one with free will.

    • rickflick
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      “Because the future is unknown, this determined universe is indistinguishable from one with free will.”

      Comcatibilism ?

  7. Melissa Johnson
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Gus is so handsome and so sweet. I always enjoy the updates (and remember the sad story about his ears). Such a wonderful staff for Gus!

  8. darrelle
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Gus is looking a bit stout!

    Years ago, in the ’70s my father took me to see a performance of Hal Holbrook reading Mark Twain. I was not particularly familiar with Mark Twain at the time. About all I knew was that he was the author of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, famous books that I would probably be forced to read some day for school. I was not happy about being forced to go to this event and was sure that it would be dreadfully boring.

    Boy was I wrong. The event was in a small venue, fairly close and cozy. Hal Holbrook impersonated Mark Twain for the reading. It wasn’t really a reading, it was more like Mark Twain speaking to a group of people on various topics. I don’t even remember any of the topics. All I remember is how fascinating and eye opening it was. How not-boring it was. I’d had no idea that Mark Twain was such a cool, anti-authoritarian person. For that time and my life experience at the time it was positively X rated. It got me hooked on Mark Twain and, combined with a couple of other events around the same time, got me hooked on reading in general.

  9. darrelle
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    One of Fred Saberhagen’s Berserker short stories* featured the Red Baron. A history expert used personality reconstructions of several ancient aces, typically produced for use in historical research, to trick the bad guys and win the day. The artificial personalities were used to pilot fighter spacecraft. The Red Baron was the only one to survive. Upon his return he demanded that his craft be painted red.

    *Saberhagen’s Berserker short stories are some of the best examples of that format in science fiction, and would fair well in comparison to shorts of any genre.

  10. Marion
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Henry VII was succeeded by his older son Edward VI. Edward died young, and his younger brother Henry VIII succeeded him.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Henry VIII’s older brother was named Arthur. He died before Henry VII died. Henry VIII directly suceeded his father. Edward VI was Henry VIII’s son. He also died young, but did reign for a few years after his father.

  11. Gemma Jillian
    Posted April 22, 2017 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    “Notables born on April 12 include” those born, perhaps actually, on April 21, instead?

    “Those who died on this day” in 1948? Aldo Leopold, conservationist.

    • Gemma Jillian
      Posted April 23, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      ?transposition of the date’s numbers – typo, PCC(E), probably?

  12. Gemma Jillian
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    A joke? The UN a joke? The joke is on any of us who think this is the least bit unusual. We aren’t at all shocked by this of “15 EU countries voted for the Saudi membership.”

    Bottom line everywhere is just like it really really was for those who actually voted in the last US election and has been all along: keep the women down. Got to. Else she will overtake me and mine.

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