Monday: Hili dialogue

by Grania

Good morning!

It’s World Environment Day today. Go and hug a tree, take a walk or have a picnic in the garden.

Today is the day in 1989 that Tank Man halted a line of tanks during the Tiananmen Square protests. His identity is not known.


The Orient Express first started its regular journeys from Paris to Istanbul (Constantinople) in 1883. It was immortalised in Agatha Christie’s novel Murder on the Orient Express and was synonymous with wealth and luxury.

In 1995 the first Bose-Einstein condensate was created in experiments under Randall Hulet at Rice University. It is a low-density gas of boson chilled to a temperature near to absolute zero where macroscopic quantum phenomena can be observed.

It’s the anniversary of the death of Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) who probably more than anyone else made me fall in love with the sci-fi genre as a child. He’s probably most famous for the dystopian Fahrenheit 451, his work goes beyond a single genre and is the author that introduced me to small-town America in his book Dandelion Wine.

Finally, on to Poland, where our furry friends are still philosophising.

Hili: I’m not sure…
Cyrus: Sure of what?
Hili: Maybe it’s better to go back to the garden?

In Polish:

Hili: Nie jestem pewna…
Cyrus: Czego?
Hili: Może lepiej wrócić do ogrodu?


  1. Posted June 5, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Rule of thumb in the northern hemisphere for broad-leaved trees in open country: hug it with your arms outstretched, get your friends to do the same until you surround the tree. 1 human’s arm-span = roughly 75 years of growth. So, if 3 of you can just about hug the tree in a circle, the tree is about 3 x 75 years old = 225.

    Source: Tristan Gooley, The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs.

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Yes, only 15 days until summer officially takes over at least on half of the earth. Hili should stay out a bit longer.

    • Posted June 5, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      Meteorological summer starts with the 1st of June – & it seems daft to talk of Midsummer’s day 4 days after the solstice!

      • Randy schenck
        Posted June 5, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        You can take that up with Wikipedia.

        • Christopher
          Posted June 5, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

          The arrival of a new season is of course dependent on your latitude. I’ve forgotten the source, but it takes roughly two weeks for spring to fully arrive in the U.K., south to north, if you take flowering plants as one method of measurement. Our seasons, based on solstices and equinoxes are astronomical more than meteorological, and of course mean next to nothing in the tropics and poles.

        • Posted June 6, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

          That was what the BBC weather man told us!

  3. Eric Hayman
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    If you have any real concern for “the environment”, forget tree hugging – try to convince people that should have no more than two children per couple. Better still, no children at all; there are plenty to adopt. Only by cutting the world’s population will any significant change come to pollution levels, demand for resources, human made climate change etc. Get governments to put the same message across.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted June 5, 2017 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      I am doing my part as, I believe is PCC. Of course it is where the population rise is located as well, don’t you think?

      • Eric Hayman
        Posted June 5, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

        ” Of course it is where the population rise is located as well, don’t you think?”

        No – there is no part of the world that a reduction in the human population would not benefit. Any human presence means use of natural resources, destruction of the natural habitat, and ground and air pollution.

        • Randy schenck
          Posted June 5, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

          Well, if you want to take such a narrow view of the population problem, be my guest. I tend to think the over population problem in parts of the world and in combination with poverty is a bigger problem. Thank you.

        • Posted June 5, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

          When the richest ten percent are responsible for five times more carbon emissions than the poorest three and half billion, it appears that some population reductions would be more beneficial than others.

          • Posted June 5, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

            Yet every poor person dreams and works to increase his carbon emissions.

        • Posted June 5, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

          I used to think like you. Now, I think that the best course is slow reduction in population number. Say, an average of 2.0 children for the population, a little below full replacement – that is, I suggest as average what you suggest as maximum.

          Total fertility rate significantly lower than 2.0 creates a push for massive immigration, because, you know, entrepreneurs want workers and governments want taxpayers; and because people sharing your values are likely to have a similar low fertility, governments resort to accepting immigrants with other values. Next thing you know, you cannot draw cartoons.

    • darrelle
      Posted June 5, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      I think my multi-tasking is good enough to handle both. Maybe even a few more things.

  4. Posted June 5, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    It usually is better in the garden… if you have one!

  5. rickflick
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    We are stardust, we are golden
    We are billion year old carbon
    And we got to get ourselves back to the gaaaaaaaaarden.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    “… the author that introduced me to small-town America …”

    If it’s fictional small-town America you’re lookin’ for, Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio is probably the ne plus ultra.

    • Posted June 5, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      I grew up in an urban district, but my childhood was similar to that described in the Dandelion Wine. The children wandering around by themselves, discovering the world and humanity on their own. I am a little nostalgic for this world.

      • Posted June 5, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        My childhood was urban and British but the wandering around and discovering the world on your own thing seems to have been universal until only a few decades ago.

  7. Mike
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I believe “Tank Man” disappeared shortly after the Photograph was taken, and China being China, never more was heard from.

  8. Frank Bath
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I loved the Silver Locusts – The Martian Chronicles outside Britain – which I read in my early teens before I went on to read all I could of Bradbury.
    Years later I went to look around The Bradbury Building in LA – set used in Bladerunner – but not the same man. Alas.

  9. Posted June 5, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    “Most of Earth’s oxygen comes from tiny ocean plants,called phytoplankton, that live near the water’s surface and drift with the currents.”

    Hug a phytoplankton today!

  10. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Bradbury has long been more honored and feted in Europe and South America (and Russia) than in his native United States.

  11. Posted June 5, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov made me a forever sci fi fan. Rays’ short story There will come soft rains totally sent a shiver down my spine, at the peak of the cold war.

  12. Posted June 5, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Bradbury was a great myth maker, like JG Ballard. His approach to science and science fiction was more poetic than realist and, for that reason, I suspect his work may outlast Asimov or Heinlein. His influence on Leigh Brackett and Michael Moorcock is quite clear.

    • Colin McLachlan
      Posted June 6, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Agreed. His work is sheer prose poetry, and I have loved it all my teenage and adult life. What a wonderful imagination.

  13. W.Benson
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Ray Bradbury was born on Aug. 22, 1920. Time has arrived for this date to become Ray Bradbury Day. And so we can begin planning, Aug. 21 of this year is the day of the Great American Eclipse. I’ll be watching it in South Carolina.

  14. biblia
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    Dandelion Wine. The archetype of summer, anytime, Usa.

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