Hili dialogue: Saturday

Good morning: it’s Saturday, August 12, 2017, and the weather in Chicago promises to be lovely. On the other hand, it’s the worst food day ever: National Julienne Fries Day, which are just thinly cut fries (chips or frites to Europeans), and contain many poisonous carbs. On the upside, it’s World Elephant Day, dedicated to preserving and protecting the world’s pachyderms. As the Wikipedia page notes, “Many notable celebrities have spoken out about the urgency of elephant protection, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Kristin Davis, William Shatner, Yao Ming, Prince William, Jorja Fox, Alec Baldwin, Stephen Fry, Ashley Judd, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kathryn Bigelow, and politicians such as Barack Obama, and Hillary and Chelsea Clinton” (since when is Chelsea Clinton a politician?)

On this day in 1851, the American Isaac Singer got a patent for his sewing machine, considered the first modern machine, but there were antecedents going back to 1790.  On August 12, 1883, the very last quagga (Equus quagga quagga) died at a zoo in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is considered a subspecies of the plains zebra rather than a separate species. Here’s one at the London Zoo in 1870, the only specimen ever photographed alive:

On August 12, 1944, German troops finished killing at least 40,000 Poles after the Warsaw Uprising: the cruel and infamous Wola massacre.  On this day in 1981, the IBM Personal Computer was released, and in 1990 the fossil skeleton of Sue, the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton ever found (90% of it recovered), was discovered by paleontologist Sue Hendrickson in South Dakota. Here’s the specimen, which now resides in Chicago’s Field Museum, where I saw it not long ago (the original skull, too heavy to mount, is upstairs in a case). Although it’s named Sue, we’re not sure of the sex, and the idea of “male” and “female” dinosaurs is a social construct, anyway, since science has told us that sex is a continuum:

Notables born on this day include Klara Hitler (Hitler’s mom; 1860; died 1907), Cecile B. DeMille (1881), Erwin Schrödinger (1887), and mountaineer Rick Ridgeway (1949). Those who died on this day include William Blake (1827), Thomas Mann (1955), Ian Fleming (1964), Henry Fonda (1982), William Shockley (1989), John Cage (1992), Loretta Young (2000), Les Paul (2009), and Lauren Bacall (2014).

Here’s Blake’s own illustration for his famous poem “The Tyger.” As with many artists, he simply was unable to draw cats. Look at that face!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s dialogue is enigmatic, but Malgorzata explained it: “In the autumn, plenty of fermented fruits are lying under the trees. Animals can get quite drunk on them. Hili thinks that this butterfly ate too much fermented fruit.”

A: What’s there?
Hili: A butterfly but it’s probably drunk.
In Polish:
Ja; Co tam jest?
Hili: Motyl, ale chyba pijany.

And we have a cat picture from reader Pyers:

A friend of mine has three black, all rescue, cats and she took this photo.. Triple decker black cats? The slave is a very good friend of mine —Caroline—and the mogs (and they are classic mogs) are Meeka, Maisy,  Maya (in that order).

Maisy just arrived in the hotel only a few weeks ago and has arranged life around her purrfectly ( sorry!). The other two adopted their slave a few years ago and have dominated the surroundings. (Meeka is the most vocal cat I have ever known: any excuse for a “Meeeooow” !)

We have a lovely tw**t found by Matthew Cobb. Look at at that beard—a perfect nest for a cat!

 Finally, reader Barry sent this tweet of loopy cats:


  1. Randy schenck
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Speaking of dinosaurs, apparently the next biggest dinosaur ever was discovered in Argentina a few years ago – Patagotitan Mayorum, estimated 120 feet long and 69 tons. A long distance from flight.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted August 12, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      I should say, however, if you had one of these around today you could haul it in a modern 747 cargo aircraft. Getting the weight and balance correct might be a little tricky.

  2. Posted August 12, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    “Although it’s named Sue, we’re not sure of the sex, and the idea of “male” and “female” dinosaurs is a social construct, anyway, since science has told us that sex is a continuum.”

    An LGBT Rex?

  3. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Lighthouse cat must be a relative to Hili, it looks like it is waiting for nesting birds.

    Today’s dialogue seems a bit comment teasing, which suits me fine. I will eschew the “sex is a continuum” discussion and latch onto “poisonous carbs”. The Swedish Food Agency – Livsmedelsverket – which is generally considered scientifically based and conservative against food trends, does not describe any poisonous level of carbohydrates and recommend that 45 – 60 % of food energy comes from them.

    Instead the LV consider carbohydrates healthy and unhealthy during food consumption. The problems with the latter is that processed (“whitened”) flour has high energy content and makes it hard to take in enough vitamins and minerals. They also contain little (carbohydrate based!) fibers. Potatoes are not considered unhealthy. [ https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/livsmedel-och-innehall/naringsamne/kolhydrater ; https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/globalassets/livsmedel-innehall/naringsamnen/kolhydrater/vad-ar-nyttiga-och-onyttiga-kolhydrater.pdf ]

    I would think that major health problems with fries is adding too much salt and high energy oils. So “‘poisonous’ (unhealthy) lipids” rather.

    • nicky
      Posted August 13, 2017 at 1:35 am | Permalink

      Yep, even many low-carb ‘Paleo-dieters’ have no problem with some patatoes on occasion.

  4. Jacques Hausser
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    “Singer got a potent for his sewing machine”.
    I’m glad for him 🙂

  5. Roger
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Typo: Cecile B. DeMiller!

  6. Posted August 12, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    I want a thousand black cats!

  7. George
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Slight correction – the Wola massacre occurred during the Warsaw Uprising not after it. The Warsaw Uprising began on August 1, 1944 and lasted until October 2, 1944. The Wola massacre occurred early during the Warsaw Uprising.

  8. bric
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Damn! I was looking forward to posting that lighthouse keeper in the Trifecta thread.
    Here’s a bit more information
    Louis Coulon - Beard 3,30 m -10,50 feet long

    • bric
      Posted August 12, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Sorry it was this bit I intended to link:

      Louis Coulon – Beard 3,30 m -10,50 feet long
      Photo of 1904 of Louis Coulon, “moulder” to Montluçon.
      His beard was 3,20 meters long.(10,50 feet)…
      Not very clean maybe! This poor cat could catch some fleas
      My great-grandmother had this photo of this old man from her town (Montluçon in France)

  9. claudia baker
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Jorja Fox is my cousin. That’s it. That’s all I got. My only claim to fame.

  10. Posted August 12, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    On August 12, 1944, German troops finished killing at least 40,000 Poles after the Warsaw Uprising: the cruel and infamous Wola massacre.

    It is specious to describe the perpetrators as “German troops”

    Your wiki link lists the units involved as the:
    * Kaminski Brigade
    * Dirlewanger Brigade (36. SS Grenadiers)
    * An SS penal unit commanded by Dirlewanger.

    The first was a notoriously undisciplined unit of Russian defectors; the other two, “special purpose” units filled with hardened criminals led by a complete sociopath and depraved sadist. None were front-line combat units (the Kaminksi having been withdrawn due to unreliability), rather only employed by the Nazis for anti-partisan reprisals and genocidal actions. Nor were regular army combat troops employed in such atrocities.

    • rickflick
      Posted August 12, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      That’s nice. 😶

    • Posted August 12, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      They were troops fighting for the Germans, so
      “German troops” is not that inaccurate. And seriously, do you really want to make a big deal about that and call my description “specious”?

      Note that I did not say that they were “regular army combat troops” or “front line combat units”, so I’m not clear where that came from.

      I have to say that these uncivil “corrections” are irritating. I don’t mind clarification, but “specious”?

      • Posted August 13, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        I feel, especially in our current political climate, it’s important to avoid demonizing entire groups or classes. So when I see the label ‘nazi’ uniformly applied to all German military of WWII (as in “Nazi planes in DUNKIRK”), then actual, depraved nazi death squads described as “German troops”, I bristle.

        I’ve also long felt the need to distinguish the two, not as apologetics, but so we can remember how easy it is for a free, liberal society to slide into a totalitarian nightmare. When we demonize – even inadvertently – all Germans as nazis, we consider ourselves immune, forgetting that lest we remain diligent, anywhere anytime a small minority of evil people can rise to power.

  11. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    I love those skinny fries, been eating a lot of them recently. (Say what you like about MacDonalds, if you’re in a foreign country and don’t speak the language and don’t have a clue what the names on a menu mean, McD have pictures and prices clearly on display and often a touch-screen menu system that avoids the necessity to figure out how the words are pronounced. And they’re not the cheapest but certainly not expensive).

    ‘Carbs’ are *poisonous*? Howcome I’m still alive? ‘Poisonous’ is methyl mercury, or polonium, or VX, or hydrogen sulphide.

    P.S. The cat video is hilarious.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 12, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      I see Torbjorn (sorry I can’t do an umlaut) already addressed that. I’d settle for ‘unhealthy’.


  12. nicky
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    Except for the eyes and the shortened face, and especially the neck, Blake’s rendition of the Tiger is not that bad. Well, the stripes and legs (his humans often had kind of heavy legs too) are also not really capturing it. My point: I presume (well, speculate) he just based it on older illustrations (such as Conrad Gessner?) and had not seen a live tiger.
    [He admittedly didn’t paint many cats, but ‘His Ode on Death’ of a favorite cat is much better.]

  13. Posted August 13, 2017 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    I think you’re thinking of Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat Drowned in a Tub of Goldfishes, by Thomas Gray. A truly wonderful poem, beautifully mocking the overblown poetic style of the time.

    • Posted August 13, 2017 at 5:17 am | Permalink

      That’s a reply to Nicky #12, of course.

      • nicky
        Posted August 13, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        Yes, obviously.

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