Tuesday: Hili dialogue

Good morning to all; it’s Tuesday, April 25, 2017, and it’s both National Crotilla Day (think “croissant + tortilla” and National Zucchini Bread Day. I’ve never had a crotilla, and I don’t like zucchini bread (I despise the ubiquitous and easily-grown vegetable), though for some reason I love carrot cake, especially with cream cheese icing. Here are crotillas, devised by Wal-Mart (has anybody had one?):

What was this invented?

It’s also ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand; I know, having just returned from NZ, that they have deep reverence for their lads who died in the wars, and will be honoring them in every town, large or small.

On April 25, 1792, there were two events of note:  Nicolas J. Pelletier, a robber,  became the first person executed by guillotine, and the French national anthem, “La Marseillaise” was composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle. On this day in 1859, the French and British began digging the Suez Canal, and in 1915 the disastrous Gallipoli invasion began, which is why it’s ANZAC Day. This is also a big day for biologists, for on this date in 1953 Francis Crick and James Dewey Watson published their famous Nature paper “Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid,” describing the proposed double-helix of DNA. As you see, it’s a very short paper:

And two years ago today, the death of Freddie Gray, 25, in police custody led to violent riots in Baltimore. Gray died of spinal cord injuries after detention for what was alleged to be an illegal switchblade knife. Some cops were charged, but none were convicted.

Notables born on this day include Oliver Cromewll (1599). Wolfgang Pauli (1900), Edward R. Murrow (1908), Ella Fitzgerald (1917), Meadowlark Lemon (1932), Al Pacino (1940), and Renée Zellweger (1969). Those who died on this day include William Cowper (1800), Dexter Gordon (1990), Ginger Rogers (1995), and Bea Arthur (2009). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili judges a portrait of Andrzej (I like it):

Hili: Well, I don’t know…
A: What don’t you know?
Hili: I have a feeling I could paint your portrait better.
In Polish:
Hili: No, nie wiem…
Ja: Czego nie wiesz?
Hili: Mam wrażenie, że ja bym lepiej namalowała twój portret.


  1. Frank Bath
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I was pleased to see Crick & Watson’s paper thanks Wilkins and Franklin.

  2. dabertini
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Have you ever tried thinly sliced battered and fried zucchini. Delish! Even better is battered and deep fried zucchini flowers.

    • BikerProf
      Posted April 26, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      How about sprayed with olive oil then very quickly grilled at high temperature? Just enough to get nice brown grill lines but leave the interior with a slightly crunchy and not mushy texture.

  3. Posted April 25, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Two things:

    1. Although I too, at one point, really disliked zucchini, I have since found that there is no vegetable (at least none I’ve ever met) which isn’t made delicious by slicing thin, spread on a baking sheet, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and/or cayenne pepper powder, and baked until just browned. It works for everything, but my favorite is cauliflower, which I absolutely hated until I had it prepared this way.

    2. Is there a preference between “deoxyribose nucleic acid” and “deoxyribonucleic acid?” I see the latter used more commonly in the present, and the former more commonly in historical writing. Is one more correct, or preferable?

    • Hempenstein
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      In re. 2, Altho it kinda grates on my ear, A might be OK for the monomers, but I’ve never seen anything other than B used for the polymer.

      • Hempenstein
        Posted April 25, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        … in current papers, that is.

  4. Posted April 25, 2017 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    World Penguin Day!

    Bizarrely that is in addition to penguin Awareness Day in January…

  5. Timothy Anderson
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    It is worth remembering why ANZAC Day is commemorated in New Zealand and Australia. These were small countries at the time that the government of Britain sent the young men of those countries to fight in Turkey.

    from Wikipedia:

    “The Allied casualties included 21,255 from the United Kingdom, of which were some 4000 Irish soldiers from the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an estimated 10,000 dead soldiers from France, 8,709 from Australia, 2,721 from New Zealand, and 1,358 from British India.

    4000 Irish, 10,000 French, 9000 Australians, 3000 New Zealanders and 1500 Indians.

    If you watch the ceremonies at Gallipoli each year you will see that the government of Turkey honours the dead from the countries that attempted to invade their country.

    For which, I think, as a citizen of Australia, we should be grateful.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      I think people in the U.S. do not understand the impact of WWI on the rest of the world, mostly because they know little of history.

      Churchill was a good war time leader for Britain, however in military strategy he was far from good.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Shame the government of Turkey still won’t own up to the robbery, buggery, and murder of all those Armenians, though.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted April 25, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        Did you see this https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/22/world/europe/armenian-genocide-turkey.html?_r=0? A researcher says that he’s found a telegram that’s a “smoking gun” re Turkey’s complicity in the extermination of Armenians. But in these days of “post truth” and conspiracy theories, I doubt that it’ll make any difference as far as Turkey owning up.

      • Dave
        Posted April 25, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        “…the government of Britain sent the young men of those countries to fight in Turkey”

        Just worth pointing out that every one of those young men had volunteered for service, i.e. they chose of their own volition to put themselves at the disposal of the British government.

        “4000 Irish, 10,000 French, 9000 Australians, 3000 New Zealanders and 1500 Indians.”

        And ~17,000 from the British armed forces, by far the largest share of the casualties. Actually, the correct British death toll is 21,255, since all the Irish were British at the time.

        “Turkey honours the dead from the countries that attempted to invade their country.”

        Well, if they hadn’t chosen to ally themselves with the Kaiser’s Germany in the hope of some cheap gains, it wouldn’t have been necessary to invade them.

        I am in no way intending to denigrate or minimise the sacrifice of the ANZACS or anyone else. I salute their courage and heroism, and yes, Gallipoli was a disaster. But I do get a bit tired of revisionist versions of history implying that the perfidious British cynically sacrificed the lives of Empire troops to save their own, while carrying out an unprovoked invasion of poor innocent little Turkey. Russell Crowe’s execrable movie of a few years back being a prime example of this.

        • Derek Freyberg
          Posted April 25, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          Dave, I refer you to my comment that appears below yours. If you look at losses in proportion to population (and the population of the UK plus Ireland in 1915 was 44.4 million), you will see that dominion forces suffered relatively much greater losses than the UK.
          Also, the dominion soldiers were soldiers of their countries; it was their countries’ governments that put them at the service of the British government – and regretted it later. No-one here is accusing the British government of the time of perfidy, but it is most certainly not revisionist history to consider the relative losses at Gallipoli and the consequences in Australia and New Zealand as reflected in their actions in WWII.

    • Derek Freyberg
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      If you look at those numbers as a proportion of the populations of the countries at the time, you can see that NZ and AU suffered a terrible loss in just this one action: 3000 of a total population of 1.1 million in NZ and 9000 of 5.0 million in Australia.
      Up to and through WWI, colonial and dominion troops were under overall British command.
      In WWII, the NZ government (and I think Australia as well, though I don’t know AU military history at all well) insisted that its troops be under NZ command and that the NZ commander report to the government of NZ as well as militarily to senior British commanders, so that he was free to decide whether or not NZ troops were to be used in the way the British high command wanted.

  6. rickflick
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Reading the DNA paper I’m struck by several lines:

    UNDERSTATEMENT(keep reading):

    This structure has novel features which are of considerable biological interest.


    It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately
    suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material.

    DEFERENCE & MODESTY(micro-contrition):

    We have also been stimulated by a knowledge of the general nature of the unpublished
    experimental results and ideas of Dr. M. H. F. Wilkins, Dr. R.E. Franklin and their co-workers at King’s College, London.

  7. Mike
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    One of Churchill’s few Wartime disasters, as it was his decision as First Lord of the Admiralty to launch the Invasion, which caused the First Sea Lord Admiral Fisher to resign.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      I would also remember how he favored going into Italy as somehow a way to Germany. It was not and was very costly.

  8. Kevin
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    That’s a nice portrait.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      I think so too.

      Did Andrzej do it himself?

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    … crotillas, devised by Wal-Mart …

    By Wal-Mart? Really? From the initial description I’d’ve thought “crotillas” were devised by some hot-shot nuevo-wavo French-Mexican fusion chef.

    I’ve never heard of them before. They sound tasty enough, and but for the Wal-Mart connection, I’d gladly give ’em a try.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Hey, Walmart, where America shops. Also where America works.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 25, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        Many of Wal-Mart’s employees are paid so poorly they qualify for food stamps and Medicaid. The employees of the companies that build its products overseas are wage serfs. Wherever it goes, it despoils the environment. And it has essentially gutted the American mom-and-pop retail business.

        What’s not to like, huh? 🙂

  10. Posted April 25, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Crotilla, eh? That’s a weird form of fusion cuisine I’ve never heard of. (If it was invented by Walmart, I’m not surprised about that, though.)

  11. Posted April 30, 2017 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m from Texas and love this idea!!

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