Thursday: Hili dialogue

Good morning: it’s Thursday, August 24, 2017, and it’s National Peach Pie Day, a worthy dessert, especially when served warm with ice cream. I suspect this dessert is endemic to the U.S., as I’ve never seen it in the UK or Europe (which lacks pies altogether), though perhaps Canada has it.  In the U.S. it’s also Waffle Day, celebrating the patenting of a waffle iron, but in Sweden Waffle Day takes place on March 25 when, says Wikipedia, it’s customary for Swedes to eat waffles. Perhaps a local can verify this.

First, a dubious date for an event; from Wikipedia:

[August 24] 79 AD – Mount Vesuvius erupts. The cities of PompeiiHerculaneum, and Stabiae are buried in volcanic ash (note: this traditional date has been challenged, and many scholars believe that the event occurred on October 24).

On this day in 1349, 6,000 Jews died in the German city of Mainz after they were held responsible for an epidemic of bubonic plague. They had also been killed in in Toulon, Brussels, and Barcelona. The Mainz mob attacked Jews the day before, and, seeing a larger attack coming, the community decided to commit suicide by burning themselves in their homes rather than be murdered (some were murdered, of course). At that time, Mainz had the largest Jewish population of any European City. On August 24, 1456, the printing of the Gutenberg Bible was finished; it was the first major book printed with moveable type. 49 copies remain out of the 160-185 books printed; of these, only 21 are complete. The book is of course priceless as a historical icon, and no copy has been sold since 1978.  On this day in 1891, Thomas Edison patented the motion picture camera, and in 1954, the U.S.’s Communist Control Act went into effect, outlawing membership in the American Communist Party as a criminal act and prohibiting the Party on ballots. The act was dismantled by the courts in the 1960s and 1970s. Communists were of course feared as much then as Nazis are now, but, as with Nazis, there was never any danger that the Party would take over America. I suppose those who now call for violence against Nazis would have done the same with Communists back then.  On this day in 1981, Mark David Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for the murder of John Lennon. He’s still in prison and was denied parole for the ninth time last year. Finally, on this day in 1991 Ukraine declared itself independent of the Soviet Union, though things look dicey now with respect to Russia.

Notables born on this day include Max Beerbohm (1872), famous surfer and swimmer Duke Kahanamoku (1890), Jore Luis Borges (1899), Yasser Arafat (1929), Anne Archer (1947), paleoanthropologist Tim D. White (1950), and Stephen Fry (1957; he’s 60 today).  Here’s a recent clip of Fry on Irish television indicting any gods for malevolence, a clip that caused a bit of a furor but is well worth watching again:

Those who died on August 24 include Simone Weil (1943), Julie Harris (2013), and Richard Attenborough (2014).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, as always, is reluctant to go home when it’s dry. She’ll only appear on the windowsill if it’s actually raining and she’s soaked. The good news is that I’ll see her soon! Lose a duck, gain a cat.

Hili: There are clouds gathering over the river.
A: We had better go home.
Hili: Why? We have nice weather here.
In Polish:
Hili: Za rzeką gromadzą się chmury.
Ja: To chodźmy lepiej do domu.
Hili: Dlaczego, tu mamy ładną pogodę.
Two more eclipse photos. Reader ThyroidPlanet sent this one:
Taken  in Massachusetts – therefore, it was hazy and at peak 70% (0.70 magnitude, as calculated by – very good site for this ) at 14:46.I used an iPhone.I think the photos are interesting mostly because it almost looks like the moon disc is visible beyond the intersection of the sun-moon discs – though, this could be an illusion. The pics show that iPhone camera can still take decent pics, and that the eclipse experience, though not in totality, is still pretty good. This is unlike aurorae, which, in the same geographical location, can have an intensity value that seems pretty good (I look at Arora Alerts), but are rarely visible.
And from reader Amy, who was clearly in a celebratory mood:
We booked our campsites back in May at Babler State Park Wildwood, MO ; hanging out with 8 scientists for 3 days for the eclipse. Oh, my. The discussions and fretting over the weather. “Should we stay or should we move?” We were geared up and geeked out. Weather stations, cameras, telescopes, books etc. Having never witnessed a total solar eclipse I have to say that it was surpassed my expectations.Spectacular!!!. I wish I could say I saw the right hand of G*d but I did not even see his left hand.


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    PBUH! (Paws Be Upon Him)!

    ThyroidPlanet is famous!

    … seriously though, thank you – and other readers – fun to see DIY pics! It was a profound experience!

    Next solar eclipses :

  2. Posted August 24, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Also the birthday of John Taylor, the ‘water poet’ of London…

  3. Historian
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Typo: Julie Harris died in 2013.

  4. Hempenstein
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I wish I could say I saw the right hand of G*d but I did not even see his left hand.

    Don’t feel bad – Little Roy Lewis never saw Jesus, either.

  5. Posted August 24, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I spotted the cat, thank you.

  6. James Todd
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Not about this post, wanted to thank you for sharing the coot research. It was brilliant. Jim

    Sent from my iPhone


  7. Posted August 24, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    “suspect this dessert is endemic to the U.S”

    – I’ve seen them here in Canada too. Don’t remember the context – and peaches with ice cream is also definitely a thing here.

  8. ploubere
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Just fyi, the earliest book printed with metal moveable type was the Jikji, printed in Korea in 1377.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted August 25, 2017 at 5:39 am | Permalink


  9. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    “On August 24, 1456, the printing of the Gutenberg Bible was finished; ”

    PCC(E), you gotta see that BBC show with Stephen Fry, I think Hempenstein is with me on this.

    I think Hempy put a link to a nice single YouTube copy on a previous HD.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted August 25, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      I found the link :

      I had to set it up and watch over dinner.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted August 25, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

        I apologize again for being stupid about YouTube links.

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