Thursday: Hili dialogue

Good morning; it’s Thursday, October 26, 2017, and we’re already moving toward Halloween—and November. It’s the 299th day of the year. It’s also National Mincemeat Pie Day, a dessert I eschew rather than chew. And it’s Intersex Awareness Day.

I have shoulder therapy this morning, so posting may be a bit light. But it comes to you without remuneration, so forgiveness should be automatic.

On this day in 1774, the first Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia, and in 1863 the oldest football association in the world, appropriatly called The Football Association, was formed in London. It is the “FA” in the “FA Cup.” On October 26, 1881, the famous  Gunfight at the O.K. Corral occurred place at Tombstone, Arizona. It lasted only 30 seconds; only bad guys were killed while the good guys, including Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, were either uninjured or slightly wounded. Read about it at the link. On this day in 1947, the Maharaja of Kashmir and Jammu decided to let his kingdom join India rather than Pakistan—a decision that is still violently contested.

And, exactly 40 years ago, and I’ll quote Wikipedia with links here, “Ali Maow Maalin, the last natural case of smallpox, develops rash in Merca district, Somalia. The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider this date the anniversary of the eradication of smallpox, the most spectacular success of vaccination.”

There’s one other mammalian disease that’s been eradicated from Earth. I mentioned it the other day; do you remember what it is? It’s here. Try to remember this.

Notables born on this day include Domenico Scarlatti (1685), Beryl Markham (1902; read her wonderful book West with the Night), Mahalia Jackson (1911), Hillary Clinton (1947; did anybody read What Happened?), and Julian Schnabel (1951). Those who died on October 26 include Hattie McDaniel (1952), Igor Sikorsky (1972), and Nobel-winning biochemist Arthur Kornberg (2007), who discovered the enzyme DNA polymerase, which turns nucleotides into the DNA strings during DNA replication.

Today’s Hili dialogue was opaque to me again, so I asked Malgorzata for an explanation. Here it is:

I will try to explain: there is (in Polish) a saying “to look the truth in the eye” which means (more or less) “to confront an unwelcome truth”. And there is a search for the truth/facts which is what normal people do when they need to decide something or to form an opinion. Now, people who deal in narratives do not care about the truth/facts. So Hili combined all three and got the people who want to avoid unwelcome facts by looking only at their own narratives in which they see what they want, but definitely not the truth nor facts.

Hili is a smart cat! And, as you can see below, also a cute one:

Hili: Some people in search of the truth are looking their narrative in the eye.
A: And what do they see?
Hili: Whatever they want.
In Polish:
Hili: Niektórzy szukając prawdy patrzą swojej narracji w oczy.
Ja: I co widzą?
Hili: To co chcą.

Out in Winnipeg, we hear from one member of Gus’s staff that “Yesterday, I was in the garden tidying up a bit. Gus wanted to help.”

And so he did:

From reader Barry we have a tweet with videos of cats pwning kids; Barry adds:

If some of these are staged (that appears to be the case), isn’t that dangerous? I suppose a cat would only lash out with its claws when it’s really pissed or threatened. Still, as humorous as some of these clips are, I think it’s generally a good idea to not put babies and cats together.

From Heather Hastie we have a Pareidolia Cow. Look closely! I don’t think this is Photoshopped:

And my favorite New Zealand bird, the kea, won the country’s “Bird of the Year” contest. Yay! Here are a few celebratory tw**ts found by Heather:

And a video tw**t:

Heather also has a short analysis of the Harvey Weinstein affair in her latest post.


  1. MKray
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Domenico Scarlatti was born in 1685 (as were Bach and Handel) not 1882.

  2. Blue
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    With and expanding Mr Barry’s statement in re babes and household animals in general, I utterly concur.

    Too many attacks from “ our sweet little d*ggy ” have permanently disfigured (including a now adult niece of mine) very many a wee kiddo. Can it be (evidentiarily) guarandamnteed that Fido will not have its ancient genes suddenly kick in ?

    Parents and caretakers should . n e v e r. leave a babe on the floor with a canine, let alone, exit the room with either of those critters together … … unattended. No.

    ps 11 innings and 1: 1
    GO, ‘Strosz !

    • Posted October 26, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Agreed. I would have the parents involved charged with child endangerment, or whatever the appropriate charge might be. I saw several swipes that could have taken out an eye.

      • een
        Posted October 26, 2017 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        My eldest son still has a scar on his top eyelid where he was hooked by my cat when he was less than a year old. Much blood and wailing, but no permanent damage – a close call. My wife was most unimpressed. Especially since my ex-wife had asked me to take the cat back from her, as he wasn’t getting on with her young child. But, from the cat’s point of view, job done. My son left the cat well alone after that.

  3. bbenzon
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Not only pareidolia, but a pareidolia pair.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted October 26, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Actually a triple: the milk-white vase and the silhouettes of two men. Amazing. She should be some mascot. Don’t send to the slaughterhouse!

  4. Posted October 26, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately it is not the FA in “sweet FA”!

    Though they are a bunch of old farts now…

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    “… a dessert I eschew rather than chew.”

    That one made me groan and smile at the same time.

  6. Craw
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure where to post this, but it’s on point to some discussions we’ve had. The feminist necessity of “rewriting knowledge”:

    “I read this kind of “failure” as
    useful for challenging Science’s epistemic authority while also producing
    new kinds of science.”

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted October 26, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      “In a moment when the impulse to do real science is palpitating in our feminist hearts…” Lawdy! I’m making a valiant attempt to read this paper, but my brain is already aching just from reading the abstract.

  7. Posted October 26, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    …The Football Association…

    Curiously, the word soccer is derived from association.

  8. Stephen Barnard
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink


  9. W.Benson
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I didn’t recognize the name of Hattie McDaniel and didn’t know that she was the first afro-descendant to win an Oscar. I checked Wikipedia, first in Portuguese and then in English (more information), which confirmed:
    “The Twelfth Academy Awards took place at the Coconut Grove Restaurant of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. It was preceded by a banquet in the same room. […] McDaniel received a plaque-style Oscar, approximately 5 1/2 x 6 inches, the type awarded to all Best Supporting Actors and Actresses at that time. She and her escort were required to sit at a segregated table for two at the far wall of the room; her white agent, William Meiklejohn, sat at the same table. The hotel had a strict no-blacks policy, but allowed McDaniel in as a favor.” This was in 1940.

  10. Blue
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Maybe eschewed rather than chewed ( darling !, btw ), but I am thinking that Dr Coyne has not had the opportunity to try t r u e mincemeat. That of the Ancients. Cuz it is scrumptious.

    I rarely know of its being prepared anywhere within large municipalities; but I hafta say, just as my parents used to do our own butchering and thus Mama baked up the Absolute Best inside the county that ever there was in re mincemeat pies, why, little countryside coffee – and – pie joints out here on the Prairie ? One can easily at these hole – in – the – walls find the Ancients’ soooo – savory and superb recipe thereof baked up and readied to be served.

    A t r u e mincemeat pie is my second, most – favored ever one ! (O’course, Chickabooma Tree’s cherry … … is m’Number One ! )


    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted October 26, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Glad to see the link to the recipe, not only for the recipe, but for the commentary and recollections the blogger indulges in. My 19th century, Virginia-born paternal grandma’s long gone, and she made mincemeat, so I’ll have to find someone who’s old school, who can make the authentic mincemeat pie for me, but please no bear or moose meat. The sour cherry pie I can make myself and thanks for reminding me to make one — but only with Montmorency cherries, not the sweet stuff.

      I used to be in touch with someone who taught at IAS and she’d tell me about how she loved to go ice skating on some pond out there. Sounded great. Not cold enough yet, but the chill is coming.

      • Blue
        Posted October 26, 2017 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        I wholly concur, Ms Haniver, in re the tart /
        Montmorency ones. As a matter of fact, I have
        given such baby trees away as housewarming,
        and other reasons for, gifts. Available for
        shipping actually and near to Chicago / Saint Louis:
        = said product from this specific joint
        recommended to me decades ago by an organic
        horticulturalist professor.

        Save your fork ! Because P I E !

    • rickflick
      Posted October 26, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Check me if I’m wrnog, but mincemeat in a can has no meat.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 26, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        I was an adult before I had my first slice and realized it wasn’t merely a “we’ll make mincemeat out of ’em” metaphor.

      • Blue
        Posted October 26, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        A whole lotta.lotta stuffs “in a can” have
        to them no meat, no substance, no chutzpah !
        Oft hawked, too, that muck is as “suitable
        for vegetarians.” You are quite correct,
        Mr rickflick ! “in a can” – crud is of thus:


  11. Jenny Haniver
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Is PCC(E) being fickle or what? When in NZ, and again today,he professed that the Kea is his favorite bird. Yet back on Oct. 22, he stated that the Kakapo (my favorite bird) is his favorite bird.

    After reading about rinderpest, I wonder why it strikes even-toed ungulates and not odd-toed ones?

  12. Curt Cameron
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Wow – that cow has the image of a white vase on its face.

  13. een
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    It’s probably worth pointing out that the author(?) of the final kea clip there is the domestic partner of NZ’s recently elected Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.

    Unless it’s someone else of the same name – but being NZ I’ve gotta think that’s actually less likely.

  14. starskeptic
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Snopes says photo shop – includes original photo of cow

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