Monday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on Monday, May 22, 2017. It’s National Vanilla Pudding Day, but they left out the vanilla wafers, an essential accompaniment. It’s also a UN holiday: World Biodiversity Day. I’ll try to find some diverse photos for the next post.

I’ll be heading to Washington D.C. tomorrow for an onstage chat with Richard Dawkins on Wednesday, so posting will be light.  If you’re there and buy one of my books (Richard’s books will be the main draw), meow like a cat and I’ll draw you one along with a signature.

On this day in 1804, the The Lewis and Clark Expedition got underway as the group left for the West from St. Charles, Missouri. And on May 22, 1849, Abraham Lincoln was granted a patent for an invention to lift boats; he was the only U.S. President to ever have a patent. Here’s Wikipedia’s description of the invention, a model, and the tag. It was never used on real boats:

Abraham Lincoln’s patent is a patent for an invention to lift boats over shoals and obstructions in a river. It is the only United States patent ever registered to a President of the United States. Lincoln conceived the idea of inventing a mechanism that would lift a boat over shoals and obstructions when on two different occasions the boat on which he traveled got hung up on obstructions. Documentation of this patent was discovered in 1997.

This device was composed of large bellows attached to the sides of a boat that was expandable due to air chambers. His successful patent application led to his drafting and delivering two lectures on the subject of patents while he was President.

The tag:

On May 22, 1906, the Wright brothers were also granted a patent, this time for their airplane, called a “Flying-Machine”. In Auckland New Zealand on this day in 1987, the first Rugby World Cup began; the host nation of course won it. Finally, just two years ago on this day, The Republic of Ireland became the world’s first country to legalize gay marriage in a public referendum.

Notables born on this day include Richard Wagner (1813), Mary Cassatt (1844), Arthur Conan Doyle (1859), Hergé (1907), Laurence Olivier (1907), and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski (1942). Those who died on this day include Victor Hugo (1885), Lefty Grove (1975), geneticist and Nobel Laureate Alfred Hershey (1997), and Martin Gardner (2010).

Here are three paintings by Mary Cassatt, a rare woman Impressionist:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, everybody is having walkies, and you can see the shadow of the staff taking photos:

Hili: I like it.
Cyrus: What do you like?
Hili: Finally a normal communing of all animals.
In Polish:
Hili: To lubię.
Cyrus: Co lubisz?
Hili: Nareszcie jakieś normalne wszystkich zwierząt obcowanie.

Lagniappe: Lion hugs, sent by reader Barry


  1. Posted May 22, 2017 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    ‘How adorable’

    ….and ever so slightly terrifying.

    • darrelle
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Yeah. I wasn’t sure whether I should be scared or feeling the love. It wasn’t apparent to me which the person in the clip was feeling either.

      I’d love to experience a moment like that with a big cat though!

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    The Wright brothers spent lots of time and money protecting various patents, some would say far too much time. The Lewis and Clark expedition 100 years earlier was similar to a trip around the moon today.

  3. Szymon
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    The Polish dialogue sounds quite poetic! My cat just speaks Polish baby talk;)

  4. Gemma Jillian
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    so, legally, the boys of Ireland can have whatever sex they want; but the girls of Ireland can, too, so long as if they’re preggers from it, they cannot have an abortion ?

    what a churchy hypocrisy crock.

    • kieran
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      We passed marriage equality; in Ireland two people of age can marry each other, unfortunately will take them around five years to get divorced if it doesn’t work out.

      • kieran
        Posted May 22, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        I missed a bit, you can try to get an abortion in Ireland but only for suicidal ideation. That referendum will not be as easy to pass as marriage equality.

    • Richard Jones
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      They do have an out; they can go to England and many do. They can also get the medication by mail.

      Ireland and Northern Ireland are way behind. The Republic will need a referendum to change its constitution and this could happen before the cavemen of N Ireland (the only part of the UK where abortion and same sex marriage are illegal) see the light.

  5. darrelle
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I’d never heard of Mary Cassatt before. I like all three of the paintings in Jerry’s article, particularly the 1st one.

  6. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Abe Lincoln is the only U.S. President with a patent (non-President Ben Franklin could have gotten a lot, but didn’t bother to patent anything).

    But William Garfield is the only President of the USA to prove a math theorem, the Pythagorean theorem which now has 367 proofs. Garfield’s proof is almost identical to one in the ancient Chinese text Zhou Bing Suan Jing, compiled around the first century BCE, and is kind of a short-cut version (IMO) of the one attributed to Pythagoras himself.

  7. nicky
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    I gather that Ireland was the first country to legalise same sex marriages by referendum?
    In modern times, the Netherlannds was the first country to give same sex couples the same legal rights as married couples in the seventies, just short of marriage proper. Not long after that Denmark was the first country to simply legalise same sex marriages, followed by many others: the other Scandinavian countries, Netherlands, Belgium etc. etc. Ireland is a latecomer here.
    Note that in pre-Christian Europe & Middle East and ancient China same sex couples -official unions- were not unheard of. IIRC emperor Nero married his freed slave Pythagoras (no, not that Pythagoras).

  8. nicky
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    I see all 3 examples of Cassatt’s paintings have sympathethic depictions of cats. How can our host possibly resist? 😊

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