Thursday: Hili Dialogue

It’s Thursday, and the first day of June, 2017; it’s going to be a lovely, sunny day in Chicago. June is National Candy Month, National Dairy Month, National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, National Iced Tea Month and National Papaya Month, while June 1 is National Hazelnut Cake Day, something I didn’t even know exists. Most likely it’s a promotion funded by Big Hazelnut. It’s also World Milk Day, a holiday established by the United Nations, and World Neighbour’s Day, about which there’s little information.

On June 1, 1495, the monk John Cor of Fife was named as having produced the first recorded batch of Scotch whisky. Here’s the reference: ““To Brother John Cor, by order of the King, to make aqua vitae VIII bolls of malt.” — Exchequer Rolls 1494–95, Vol x, p. 487.”  On June 1, 1533, Anne Boleyn became the Queen of England; she was beheaded three years later. And on June 1, 1916, Louis Brandeis became the first Jewish justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 1, 1962, Adolf Eichmann was hanged in Israel, and exactly 12 years later The Journal of Emergency Medicine published a paper on how to save choking victims using the Heimlich maneuver.

Notables born on June 1 include Brigham Young (1801), Andy Griffith and Marilyn Monroe (both 1926), Pat Boone (1934), Morgan Freeman (1937; he’s 80 today), Ronnie Wood (1947; 70 today), and Heidi Klum (1973). Those who died on June 1 include Hugh Walpole (1941), Helen Keller (1968), Reinhod Niebuhr (1971), David Ruffin (1991, lead singer of the Temptations, died at 50 of a cocaine overdose), Yves Saint Laurent (2008), and Ann B. Davis, whom you might remember as Alice on The Brady Bunch or, if you’re as old as I, as Schultzy on The Bob Cummings Show.

David Ruffin, who was the Temptation’s lead singer from 1964-1968, had many great songs; his most famous recording was, of course, “My Girl.” But I like this one, written by Smokey Robinson, the best: “Since I Lost My Baby“. This stanza is pure poetry:

The birds are singing and the children are playing
There’s plenty of work and the bosses are paying
Not a sad word should a young heart be saying
But fun is a bore and with money I’m poor.

Here’s Ruffin and the Temptations in the recorded version. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listen (and danced) to this:

Out in Dobrzyn, two hours west of Warsaw, a small (?) cat is contemplating the garden. I would have thought she’d like being seen!

Hili: The positive side of a mowed meadow is that I can see better.
A: And a negative side?
Hili: That I’m better seen.
In Polish:
Hili: Zaletą skoszonej łąki jest to, że ja lepiej widzę.
Ja: A wadą?
Hili: Że mnie lepiej widać.

Lagniappe from Grania: a kitten stealing a potato:

Matthew sent this with the note below; as there’s no caption, it’s not clear what’s happening here:

It isn’t clear how he’s done it – whether the polygons are relevant or not, whether the dots are moving at the same speed, etc. There’s a thread in the tweets below it arguing about how he made it.

Readers: Figure it out! (One clue is here.)

And a lovely cat blanket. Would you put this on your bed?


  1. Posted June 1, 2017 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I just like the multiple polygons in the geometric figure.

    I recently read du Sautoy’s book on the primes and it gets into regular polygons with very large number of sides >10^5. As an engineer, I immediately see that as: A circle, within practical tolerances (and even impractical tolerances).

  2. dabertini
    Posted June 1, 2017 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    It is also the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The watershed moment in the enlightenment of PCC(e).

    • Posted June 1, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Yes, and an album decried as having inimical effects on women by Amanda Marcotte at Salon. She said it made rock music seem “male, nerdy, and important”, and that that change wasn’t good.

      Thie essay has to be read to be believed:

      • frednotfaith2
        Posted June 1, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        I have to respectfully disagree with Ms. Marcotte’s assessment. Apparently she would have preferred the Beatles remain unchanged from 1964 on, which if they’d tried they likely would have been hasbeens by 1967 and hardly anyone would be talking about them in the present. Moreover, seems there were plenty of men who enjoyed the early Beatles as well as plenty of women who enjoyed their later phases. She’s entitled to her particular tastes, but IMO her thesis doesn’t hold up. But then I’m a guy and Sgt. Pepper was the first album I ever purchased, 10 years after it came out, so what do I know?

        • dabertini
          Posted June 1, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          Interesting. I think the first I ever bought was in the same year but it was Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl.

  3. Randy schenck
    Posted June 1, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Bob Cummings or Love that Bob I think they called it for a time. Also around the time of Burns and Allen on the old Black and White. Shows that were really about nothing but at 6 or 8 years old we didn’t need much.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 1, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    When it comes to David Ruffin’s lead vocals for the Temps, my favorite is “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.” It’s got a raw, Four Tops-like quality to it.

    I remember seeing The Bob Cummings Show as Love That Bob.

  5. darrelle
    Posted June 1, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    The polygon and dot thingumagigger, it looks to me as if the dots are all traveling at the same radial rate and that the paths they are following, defined by the nested polygons, are of lengths that then result in the dots creating the regular formations / patterns that they do. How the polygon shapes were calculated to have the lengths necessary to achieve the desired motion given a constant radial velocity I have no idea, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it involves a well known function.

    • Posted June 1, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      According to the hint, the center balls move fastest. You can see that when they traverse the downward “spoke”, which also shows that the polygons are constructed with sides of equal length so the polygon circumferences are 3, 4,…,15. Beyond that, I am clueless.

      • darrelle
        Posted June 1, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        I admit, I didn’t even look at the hint. But, if the balls are moving at the same radial rate then the center ball would be moving the fastest and then each ball further from the center moving slower than the one inside it.

        I’ve seen similar patterns demonstrated with multiple pendulums with varying lengths / periods lined up with each other. I wouldn’t be surprised if the math that describes both of these is very similar or even the same.

        • Posted June 1, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

          Yes, and there would be occassional alignments of the balls as the inner ones catch up with the outer ones. It is kind of similar to how planets orbit the sun, and these too periodically have alignments. Although of course planets move at different rates depending on their distance.

        • Posted June 1, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, I should have said middle balls, not center balls–those straddling halfway between the triangle and the pentadecagon.

          • darrelle
            Posted June 1, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

            What? Dog’s bollocks? (balls & straddling are probably trigger words)

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted June 1, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      I’m not clear on what you mean by “the same radial rate”. They’re clearly not all moving at the same angular speed, or they’d sweep around together like the hands of a clock.

      I thought they might be moving at the same linear speed along the perimeters of their respective polygons, but that doesn’t seem to be the case either. If it were, the hexagon dot would line up with the triangle dot at the bottom of every cycle.

      • darrelle
        Posted June 1, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I think my angular speed idea is clearly wrong. I was thinking that the non-circular paths and the changing distances from center were causing the differences, but I can see that that is wrong.

        Taking another look it actually looks as if the dots might all be traveling at the same speed. It is hard to tell for sure by eye but it looks like the outermost dot moves along three sides of its polygon in the same amount of time that the innermost dot moves once around the center triangle. If that is the case then the patterns are the result of multiples of the number sequence of the sides of the polygons.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted June 1, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          I noticed that the outermost dot goes around 2x, the next one in 3x, the next 4x etc. They all appear to be moving the same speed to me, but naturally the further out the further it has to travel to get around. Each shape clearly has one extra side to the previous one, and they’re nested, so that would make it work.

  6. Merilee
    Posted June 1, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink


  7. Posted June 1, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Regarding the Temptations song: the great unsung (no pun, honestly!) hero of the time is playing on it: the simple, elegant bass line that holds the song together is James Jamerson on his Fender Precision Bass. So many of the great Motown songs rest on his work. He was a great musician, and is getting better known. Interesting man, look him up!

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 1, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    And on June 1, 1916, Louis Brandeis became the first Jewish justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Thereby creating the long-rumored “Jewish seat” on the Court. There was at least one Jew on the high court for the next half-century, until Abe Fortas’s resignation in 1969. Jews number three on the current Court — Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan (all on the SCOTUS’s liberal wing). The Catholic count is down to five with the death of Justice Scalia last year. Neil Gorsuch is the first Protestant on the Court in seven years (the first such Protestant-free gap in the Court’s history), since J.P. Stevens (now 97 y.o.) cashed in his chips and took his winnings home in 2010.

  9. Posted June 1, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I have a cat that steals potato chips. I even have pictures of her in the act.

    • merilee
      Posted June 1, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      My old one used to love to lick the salt off potato chips I put out in a bowl for company.
      Made them kind of soggy.

  10. Posted June 1, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Amazing how much booze seems to have been initiated by clergy …

  11. rickflick
    Posted June 1, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Hili’s astute observation parallels my own. I’ve often thought robins would be far fewer if many lawns were left unmowed. They can’t hop in long grass and predators would find them easy pickins.

    BTW, Wikipedia says:
    “According to some sources, the American robin ranks behind only the red-winged blackbird (and just ahead of the introduced European starling and the not-always-naturally-occurring house finch) as the most abundant extant land bird in North America.”

  12. revelator60
    Posted June 1, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    How strange that the man who so sang such sweet, innocent classics like “Since I Lost My Baby“ and “My Girl” would later die of a crack overdose.

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