Wednesday: Hili dialogue

Well, the big holiday weekend is over, and now it’s back to work on Wednesday, July 5. 2017. It’s National Apple Turnover Day, undoubtedly a plot by Big Apple. I do like these pastries, but cherry turnovers are better, especially if there’s lots of butter in the pastry. Here are both kinds:

It’s also Tynwald Day, the big holiday on the Isle of Man. I wonder if the Manx cats get extra treats.  And they just introduced “cocoa snuff” on the market: it’s a finely-powdered chocolate, called Coco Loco, that you sniff like snuff, and is said to give you a buzz. Who knows whether it has long-term harmful effects? Here it is, and you can see a video review here.


Although not much happened in history on July 5, it’s a banner day for science, for it was on this day in 1687 that  Isaac Newton published his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, famously described by Sandra Harding as a “rape manual.” Exactly 250 years later, in 1937, the Hormel Foods Corporation introduced the lunch meat Spam to the market. And with that, how could I not post this video:

In 1946, the first bikini was marketed after a fashion show at the Molitor Pool in Paris. On this day in 1954, Elvis recorded his first single record: it was “That’s All Right,” and was laid down at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. On July 5, 1962, Algeria gained its independence from France. Thirteen years later, Arthur Ashe became the first black man to win a Wimbledon singles title. On this day in 1996, the first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep, was born. She lived 6½ years—about half the normal span for her breed, dying of a panoply of afflictions. Finally, exactly two years ago, the U.S. team won the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Vancouver, Canada.

Notables born on this day include Robert FitzRoy (1805), captain of the Beagle and, later, Governor of New Zealand. Afflicted with depression and financial woes, he cut his throat with a razor in 1865.  Also born on July 5 were P. T. Barnum (1810), Jean Cocteau (1889), the evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr (1904, died 2005; I wrote an “in memoriam” piece for him in Science and a longer one in Evolution ), and Nobel-winning physicist Gerard ‘t Hooft (1946; can someone tell us how to pronounce that?)

Those who died on July 5 include architect Walter Gropius (1969) and baseball great Ted Williams (2002). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is, as usual, raising a ruckus about nothing:

Hili: We have a serious problem.
A: What problem?
Hili: We have to decide our priorities.
We all know what Hili’s priority is!
In Polish:
Hili: Mamy poważny problem.
Ja: Jaki?
Hili: Musimy ustalić priorytety.
Lagniappe: A cat tweet found by Grania:


  1. bric
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    In the famous Monty Python Spam sketch Bromley was stated to be the location of the fictional Green Midget Café, where every item on the menu was composed of spam in varying degrees. In another Monty Python sketch it was stated that all seven continents are visible from the top of the Kentish Times building in Bromley – Wikipedia.
    Bromley is the home of Darwin’s Downe House. This cannot be a coincidence

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted July 5, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      It’s Down House [no e]. It’s a short walk south of the village of Downe [with an e] – the “e” was added some time after Darwin’s day. I don’t know the reason.

  2. bric
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Just read a new biography of Fitzroy by John and Mary Gribbin. Quite a remarkable man, he was a fourth great-grandson of Charles II, and nephew of Viscount Castlereagh, who also committed suicide (as did his predecessor captain of the Beagle Pringle Stokes.

    • bric
      Posted July 5, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink


  3. David Coxill
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    The battle of Kursk started on the 5th of July 1943 ,a major turning point of WW2 .
    Bromley ,yuk when i was a motorbike courier in London always hated going there .
    Poor cat ,i wonder how many times his staff did it to him?.

  4. Historian
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    My McAfee anti-virus software warned me that the site of the Harding article you linked to is dangerous. So I didn’t go there.

  5. rickflick
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    The US has it’s hot dog eating contest. Does the UK have a Spam eating contest? A better venue might be Hawaii. I remember that Spam was very popular among the native Hawaiians.

    • Colin McLachlan
      Posted July 6, 2017 at 4:13 am | Permalink

      That would be spam, spam, spam, pineapple, spam and spam – delicious.

  6. Hempenstein
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    In my book, Minerva Bakery in McKeesport PA (since 1923, IIRC) is the only reason to go to McKeesport. (Even the whiners on Yelp give them five stars). They have these these things called apple puffs that are like triangular apple turnovers except the apples are embedded in something more like vanilla pudding. Call ahead to see if they have them. Also get some elephant ears and a loaf of raisin bread.

  7. Mark A Clements
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    In Dutch, “Gerard t’ Hooft” would be pronounced something like “Gggggairard t-Hohft” – with a back-of-the-throat growled “G” and a long “a” sound for the first “e” in “Gerard,” and a long “o” sound in “Hooft.”

  8. Jenny Haniver
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I think that the serious problem worrying Hili is the impending visit from Trump.

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Wikipedia gives the following citation to establish that Sandra Harding regretted her characterization of Principia Mathematica as a rape manual.

    Nemecek, S. (1997) The Furor Over Feminist Science, Scientific American 276(1), 99-100

    I’ve heard the claim of rape manual applied to Playboy magazine, and I thought that was fairly confused, but it takes a special form of kaleidoscopic vision to apply this to a book which outlines the laws of gravitation and the foundations of calculus.

  10. Mary L
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    It’s my birthday, too!

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