Monday: Hili dialogue

I wake up to find that more than 20 people have been killed in Las Vegas [UPDATE: CNN now reports 50 dead] and over 200 wounded, after a lone gunman—apparently a retired American guy—holed up in a hotel room with a gun and fired on people attending a big outdoor music concert.  The man was killed by police. This was apparently a “lone wolf” act of unknown motivation, save that it wasn’t a terrorist attack like those last week in Edmonton and Marseilles.  On the news this morning, I heard the man was using an assault weapon; these have been legal in the U.S. for the last 13 years. I won’t start your day with pictures of the dead, which you can see at the link, but that’s at least 20 50 people who leave behind husbands, wives, parents, children, and friends, all asking “why”? One answer is “because the government and courts think people should have guns.” And now the endless and fruitless debate over gun control will start again, and peter out until the next mass murder. If we can’t ban guns—or regulate them the way the British do—can we at least stop selling automatic weapons that have no purpose except to kill lots of other people? Naaah—forget it; this is America. As in the past, I’m sure that at least one reader will justify the possession of such weapons: what would you do, they say, if five burglars invade your home at once? It’s insanity.

There’s been a Nobel Prize awarded in Medicine & Physiology today, but I’ll defer that issue till later this morning.

It’s Monday again (October 2, 2017), and though it shouldn’t matter to a retired person, I always feel the Sunday Evening Dread creeping in the night before—just like when I was in school. It’s National World Farm Animals Day, and the site gives us this inspiring fact:

Goats and sheep don’t have teeth on their upper jaw. They have a hard palate that helps them grind their food.

Well, I’ll be! That I didn’t know. In India it’s Gandhi Jayanti, one of only four national holidays, and celebrating the birthday of you know who.

On this day in 1789, George Washington sent 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution (including the first ten: The Bill of Rights) to the States for ratification. The approval of 3/4 of the states for the first ten amendments, making them law, was secured in 1791. In 1919, Woodrow Wilson, the President of the U.S., sustained a massive stroke, leaving him partly blind and paralyzed. This news was hidden from the public for a long time, and he continued to serve as President until 1921. On October 2, 1950, the first Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz was published. Here it is:

On this day in 1967, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first African-American justice of the U. S. Supreme court, and a good justice he was.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is engaged in biological identification, but to no avail:

Hili: Do you know the name of this worm?
Cyrus: No, it’s not my area of expertise.
In Polish:
Hili: Wiesz jak się ten robak nazywa?
Cyrus: Nie, to nie moja specjalność.
Here’s one more tweet put up by Heather Hastie, showing this year’s hatch of kakapo chicks in New Zealand. They’ll all be released after they’re taught how to act like flightless parrots (kakapo parents don’t do a very good job). Note the reduced wings:


  1. Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Looks like being far worse than 20… these are the numbers you sadly expect in a war zone. The USA is at war with itself.

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    I must say, the gun fire did not sound semi-automatic to me. More than 50 killed as shown on CNN. The shooter was 64 years old. Just business as usual in a gun society.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      Further information says it was “automatic fire”. So he either had an illegal gun or bought a legal gun and converted it with a kit. And what difference does it make. Shooting down on people from a hotel room.

  3. Randy schenck
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    It was thought that Wilson’s wife was pretty much acting president after his stroke. Too bad she is not available today.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Hands up those who think Melania would make a better stand-in for Prez than the present incumbent… ?


  4. David Harper
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I suspect that the rest of the world gave up expecting the United States to implement sensible gun control measures when it failed to do so after the Sandy Hook Elementary School killings.

  5. Carey Haug
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    The authors of the second amendment could never have foreseen automatic weapons and would never have wanted private citizens to massacre innocent people in public. Sensible gun control would not violate the spirit of this amendment.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      The letter of the Second Amendment, either.

      • Carey HaugIts
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        I agree. The wording is so ambiguous that it’s easy for gun adovacates to interpret it to mean no limits on weapons for private citizens.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      The second amendment clearly means to apply the need for arms to the militia. The author, James Madison and others in the first congress would not have any idea what a bullet (cartridge) is as they did not exist in 1789. The only arms were ball and powder rifles and canon.

  6. Hempenstein
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Re. LV: Sigh. A great pity that Wayne LaPierre wasn’t at that concert. Not much else to day.

    Re. goats, I did not know that either. Info all the more timely since I now have two goats as neighbors. I feed them weeds which they love since only grass is left in their paddock. They are very talented eaters, too. Handing them weeds with roots still attached (which they salivate over on seeing them), they’ll grab the prize in the middle, consuming from both ends. If there’s some of the top end left when they get to the root end, they can keep consuming the top from one side of their mouth, leaving the root end static.
    But beyond that, they don’t seem to display much of any affection or intelligence. It’s easy to see why wolves were domesticated for companionship while bovids were tweaked for meat and clothing.

    • Linda Calhoun
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      The affection you might see has to do with how they are raised.

      If you’re not seeing intelligence, I suggest you watch them in a varied environment.

      Mine are all born knowing how to untie shoelaces.


    • Linda Calhoun
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Be careful about the weeds.

      If they are milking, the weeds will affect the taste of the milk.

      And, some weeds are poisonous. Make sure that whatever you’re feeding them will not make them sick or kill them.


  7. Rasmo carenna
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    I have never understood America’s infatuation with guns.

  8. Linda Calhoun
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    “Goats and sheep don’t have teeth on their upper jaw. They have a hard palate that helps them grind their food.”


    Goats and sheep, and most other ruminants, don’t have any INCISORS in their upper jaws. The lower incisors cut off their food against the hard palate on the upper jaw, and have no role in grinding their food.

    They have molars in both upper and lower jaws, and it is these teeth that are responsible for grinding their food. Most of what they bite off is not thoroughly chewed, but swallowed into the rumen, or “first stomach”, where it is fermented, then regurgitated as cud, at which point it is chewed by the molars, and swallowed again into the reticulum, or “second stomach”.

    I’m sorry; this all seems irrelevant in light of current events, but I get really sick of all the misinformation circulated about my beloved goats.


    • Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the correction!

    • Blue
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Ms Calhoun, for this thorough

      Pictures !
      Kinda weird but also at that same time
      kinda cool.

      Some domestic ruminants like to suckle on
      little kiddos’ hands / fingers. Perhaps
      the flesh’s saltiness. It does not hurt the
      wee ones. Of those I have ever known, that


  9. Randy schenck
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Just a quick update on the numbers. Besides 50 dead, the injured taken to hospitals is at 400. The person who did all this, Steve Paddock is dead, killed by the police who had to blow the door open on the 32 floor hotel room.

    • Dragon
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      The LV police said he had a camera system which alerted him to the police approaching. He took his own life.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Same thing, same result.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      He must’ve been a very good shot. Those numbers suggest he wasn’t just shooting at random.

      (P.S. Where were the ‘good guys with guns’ who are traditionally supposed to protect against this sort of thing…?)

      [Yeah, that was sarcasm]


      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        Oops, spoke too soon, I just listened to the tapes. I take back what I said about ‘good shot’. Yes that was definitely automatic fire.

        How did he get all the artillery (16 rifles it says) and ammunition into his hotel room unnoticed?

        [But I don’t take back the sarcasm]


  10. Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  11. E.A. Blair
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    The items that became the Bill of Rights were articles three through twelve of the original bill (which means that people who attach special significance to the order of the amendments are wrong). Article two became the twenty-seventh amendment on 5 May 1992 (after remaining pending for 202 years); article one remains pending after 228 years and we should be glad it never passed, since it would increase the size of the House of Representatives to around 6,000 members.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      I believe it is still interesting that Madison and many others at the Convention in Philly said no, to a bill of rights and for a couple of reasons. Any rights included would infer that all those not included would not apply. Also, the only actions allowed by the govt. were in the document and all others would belong to the people. Much later when Madison reluctantly changed his mind to appease the anti-federalists, he speculated that it would avoid further legal actions by clearly stating the rights. Boy was he wrong on that one.

  12. Claudia Baker
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Just watched Trump’s remarks on the LV shooting. It was like listening to a church service ffs. Despair is what I feel right now, for the US of A.

    • Posted October 2, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Yes. The cause is “evil” rather than access to military-grade weaponry by people (anyone) who might go insane or be infected by fanaticism.

      And, of course, “thoughts and prayers” are offered rather than solutions.

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