Monday: Hili dialogue

It’s Monday, August 28, 2017, and that means shoulder therapy, when I get put in a curtained cubicle and my arm yanked every which way by a kind but determined physical therapist. Fortunately, I’m regaining painless function rapidly. It’s National Cherry Turnover Day, and I vaguely remember this day from last year, which means I’m repeating the food every 365 days. This will be a busy week as I prepare for the Big Trip to Dobrzyn to see my adopted parents and The Princess. Cherry pies—far superior to turnovers—await as well.

On August 28, 1789, William Herschel discovered Enceladus, a new moon of Saturn, and one recently discovered to shoot geysers of water vapor and other chemicals into space, material that becomes part of Saturn’s rings. Here’s a time-lapse video based on photos from the Cassini Imaging Project:

On this day in 1833, the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 was approved by royal assent, thereby abolishing slavery in most of the British Empire. On August 28, 1845, the first issue of Scientific American was published, now, sadly, just a shadow of its former self.  On this day in 1955, Emmett Till, a black teenager visiting Mississippi from Chicago, was tortured and murdered by racists, supposedly for whistling at a white woman. (That wasn’t true.) The incident was important in energizing the civil rights movement and has recently been the subject of a “cultural appropriation” fracas detailed on this site. Speaking of civil rights, on this day in 1957 the old bigot Strom Thurmond began a 24 hour and 18 minute filibuster to prevent voting on the Civil Rights Act of 1957: the longest filibuster ever given by a single Senator. Finally, on this day in 1968, there was big rioting in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention. The police beat up and arrested many protesters, leading to the famous trial of the “Chicago Seven,” which absorbed many of us young folk at the time.

Notables born on this day include Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749), Bruno Bettelheim (1903), Roger Tory Peterson (1906), Donald O’Connor (1925), George Church (1954), and Sheryl Sandberg (1969). Those who died on August 28 include Augustine the Hippo (430; no corrections please), Junipero Serra (1784) and John Huston (1987).

O’Connor was a great dancer and gifted natural humorist, as seen in this famous clip from the 1952 movie “Singin’ in the Rain”. What great physical comedy!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, as always, in on the hunt for noms (I’m bringing her gourmet cat food):

ili: Something is walking over there.
A: Maybe we shouldn’t disturb it?
Hili: But suppose it’s tasty?
In Polish:
Hili: Tam coś chodzi.
Ja: To może nie powinniśmy mu przeszkadzać?
Hili: A jeśli jest smaczne?
 Here are two tweets found by Dr. Cobb. In this first one, the horizontal and vertical lines are straight. If you don’t believe me, use a ruler:

And a photo of some of the flooding in Houston, where they may get five feet of rain:


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 28, 2017 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Both the vertical and horizontal, I think.

    That’s a damn good illusion!

    Been off Twi##er for months – people, you have to try it. Let the WEIT staff fill you in.

    • Posted August 28, 2017 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      I did say the vertical and horizontal lines above.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted August 28, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        I see now.

        This isn’t a good way to start a day.

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted August 28, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    All the news of course is Texas, Houston and the Hurricane. It should be remembered that a good deal of the present and future problems within Houston are man made. Always we refer to natural disaster but take note, a good deal of this is not just nature.

    • somer
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      Genuinely curious; why not only natural causes or are you referring to climate change?

      • Randy schenck
        Posted August 28, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        No, I do not refer to climate change at all. If you are not familiar with the Houston, Tx. area, it is as flat as a board. For miles and miles around this area it is flat. Where does water go on a flat surface? Also, where does water go when you cement over thousands of acres and build houses with roofs all over it. What happens when you have years and years of no regulations, no city zoning or planning. This is the result of the wild west and unregulated human construction.

        Houston has had flooding problems for years, little hints of what could happen if you continue to operate this way.

        • somer
          Posted August 28, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

          Thanks for explaining – I feel sorry for so many people currently experiencing the result

          • Randy schenck
            Posted August 28, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

            No problem. Tomorrow the great leader will go to Houston to walk on the water and explain why any regulations on construction and building should be eliminated.

  3. David Duncan
    Posted August 28, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    “Augustine the Hippo (430;”

    Saint Augustine the Hippo.

    “(no corrections please)”

    Sorry, I can resist everything but temptation.

    • Paul S
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      I correct your correction. He wasn’t a saint when he died.

    • Posted August 28, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      At first glance I thought the reference was to a hippopotamus called Augustine that lived for 430 years 🙂

  4. rickflick
    Posted August 28, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    The great images of Enceladus makes me wonder if and when humans might visit the Saturnian system which is 1.2 billion kilometers from the Earth. The spacecraft that have visited take from 3 to 6 years just to get there. But, what a journey that would be. What amazing vistas! I suspect planners currently think in terms of sending robots, but at some point perhaps, it will become feasible to make it a vacation and wedding destination.

    • Posted August 28, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      That would be 6-9 years round trip, at its most optimistic.
      I had heard somewhere that Jupiter gives off significant radiation, making it unlikely that humans could get close to that planet. So perhaps Saturn would be similar.

      • Gregory Kusnick
        Posted August 28, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        At the most optimistic (i.e. lightspeed), it would be a couple of hours tops.

        A hypothetical fusion motor (if we knew how to build one) accelerating at one gee could theoretically get you there in a bit over a week.

        A nuclear-powered electric (ion) drive operating at one milligee could do it in about eight months. (We sort of do know how to build these.)

        So the 6-9 year figure is really the pessimistic estimate, since it assumes no advances in propulsion technology.

        • rickflick
          Posted August 28, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          That’s certainly encouraging. I’m at an age that it isn’t likely I’ll see humans reach Mars, let alone Saturn. But, then that means I can use my imagination liberally and speculate as much as I want. 😎

  5. Posted August 29, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    5 feet? Yowza.

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