Friday: Hili dialogue

Good morning: it’s Friday, May 12, 2017. How did the week go by so fast? (I have a theory, which is mine, that time seems to pass faster when you’re older, as we may judge time relative to the span you’ve lived.Test: ask people of various ages to judge when a minute has gone by, without counting.) It’s National Nutty Fudge Day (I prefer mine nutless), and, it’s also International Nurses Day, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth in 1820.

On this day in 1784, the Treaty of Paris (signed the previous year) took effect, formally ending the Revolutionary War between the U.S. and Great Britain. In 1932, the infant son of Charles Lindbergh was found dead ten weeks after having been kidnapped; it was the biggest news story of the year in America,and Bruno Hauptmann was executed for the kidnapping and murder. And on May 12, 2002, ex-President Jimmy Carter went to Cuba for a five-day visit with Castro: the first U.S. President, active or former, to go to Cuba since the Revolution in 1959.

Notables born on this day include Edward Lear (1812), Katharine Hepburn (1907) and Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (1910). When Hodgkin won the Nobel Prize in 1964 for her work in X-ray crystallography, some of the headlines looked like these:

Wife!  Would they say “husband” if a man won the Prize back then? Thank Ceiling Cat we’ve moved on. Also born on May 12 were Julius Rosenberg (1918), Yogi Berra (1925), Burt Bacharach (1928, still with us). George Carlin (1937), and Steve Winwood (1948). Those who died on this day include J. E. B. Stuart (1864), Amy Lowell (1925), Saul Steinberg (1999), and Perry Como (2001). Steinberg, who worked mainly for the New Yorker, loved to draw cats; here’s one of his cartoons and a photo of him with a tabby kitten:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is just being a cat, turning every discussion into food:

Hili: The smell of lilac reminds me of something.
A: And what is that?
Hili: That we have another can of turkey pate in the pantry.
In Polish:
Hili: Zapach tych bzów coś mi przypomina.
Ja: Co takiego?
Hili: Że w spiżarni mamy jeszcze jedną puszkę pasztetu z indyka.

And out in Winnipeg, Gus’s staff sends word of his new toy—and a video of him playing with it:

A friend brought Gus a new toy today, a peacock feather! What a great cat toy it is, but it won’t last long. 🙂

Finally, moar cat stuffz: Here’s a cool tee-shirt, and if you buy it some of the proceeds go to feed shelter cats:


  1. Posted May 12, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Hey! that is MY theory too!!! Publish it in a Predatory journal… 😉

    • MKray
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Exactly. To a five year old, a year is twenty percent of their life.

      • Posted May 12, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        The Weber-Fechner law applied to the perception of time. And the denominator just keeps getting bigger, until it doesn’t.

        • Posted May 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          Once I heard about W-F, the perception of time was one of first things I thought about – it is much more transparent than, say, brightness.

  2. Posted May 12, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    I love the tee…no money at the moment

  3. David B
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    I’m a bit disappointed, PCC(E). You have a HYPOTHESIS, not a theory.

    • Posted May 12, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      You don’t know where that statement comes from. Try this:

      And seriously, you’re tut-tutting about this?

  4. Randy schenck
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Our cats have gone through many peacock feathers.

    George Carlin – one of the finest and way ahead of his time as many of the great ones are. He will continue on You Tube.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      On that idea about time going faster as you get older. There is no doubt. My idea on the cause – the young are always waiting to get somewhere and time always goes slow in this condition. The old have already been there.

  5. Christopher
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I like to cat shirt, although I cannot help but wonder why I need to choose a gender to buy one. Size, colour, style, yes, but I don’t need a shirt with a vagina or a pair of bollocks, be they gay, straight, trans, or what have you. I just want it to look good and fit comfortably; I don’t care what gender my clothing identifies as! (And yes, I’m being a smart ass. I know what they mean, but do they?)

    • bric
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      As a former director of a clothing company I can assure you that, for fairly obvious reasons, men’s and women’s shirts are cut from different patterns. True, women can sometimes wear a man’s shirts to great effect, but a man would probably find a shirt cut for womankind tight on the shoulders and baggy on the chest.

      • Christopher
        Posted May 12, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Yes but that has nothing to do with gender, does it? Sex and gender are different but often confused. After all, I can be an slightly effeminate bi male but I’d still be 6’4″, 210lbs, with wide shoulders. That was sorta my point, not that male and female bodies aren’t different but the gender identity of said person has no bearing on the fit of said t-shirt. The company is trying too hard, just like those responsible for a scientific survey from a university I took a few months ago, which asked not for the sex of my (now sadly deceased) d*g, but his gender! And for the record, I have no idea what my d*g identified as.

  6. bric
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Nutty fudge day? I thought it was this one

  7. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    My prediction is that older people are, if anything, better at gauging the passage of real time, simply from a lifetime of training with tea timers, microwaves, snooze alarms, and the like. But this is a different skill from estimating the recency of remembered events, and I see no reason to expect the two skills to be correlated.

    Consider two tasks of distance estimation. In one, we ask people to hold up their hands six inches (or 15 cm) apart. In the other, we ask them to guess the distance to prominent features of the landscape (mountains, skyscrapers, what have you). My prediction is that most people would be quite accurate on the first task, and much less accurate on the second task. Nor would I expect their score on the first task to have much predictive value regarding their performance on the second.

  8. GBJames
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    My theory has been stolen.

    • Colin McLachlan
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Your theory? It was mine first, but then I forgot it.

  9. Markham Thomas
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I read that the perception of the passage of time can be affected by creating new memories or the anticipation of new experiences. The idea is that as you get older you have a tendency to do fewer “new” things, which makes time seem to go by faster.

  10. Posted May 12, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    My colleague once made a poster about female Nobel prize winners in science and other distinguished female scientists. She remarked that they initially tended to be single for life, but the more recent achievers were often family women. So I do not view negatively the portrayal of Dorothy Hodgkin as a wife and mother. To me, this reflected an evolution in the perception of women in science. It was first thought that they do not / should not exist at all, then that they can exist but must “devote themselves to science”, i.e. sacrifice an important part of their femininity, and finally that they can contribute to science and have a personal life at the same time.

    It is easier for men to combine work and family, hence no need to stress that a male scientist is also a husband. But I’ve read somewhere that centuries ago in some British (I think) academic institutions, men of science were expected to stay single. I do not remember details and I have forgotten the source. Does anyone know anything of this sort?

  11. Taz
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Wife! Would they say “husband” if a man won the Prize back then?

    No, they wouldn’t have, but I’m actually surprised they used “wife” instead of “mother”.

  12. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    What were the headlines when Eric Betzig won?

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