Sunday: Hili dialogue

Good morning; it’s another warm and sunny day in lovely Puebla Mexico: November 19, 2017. I’m speaking today, but for only 10 minutes. But I’ll have plenty of fuel in my belly! It’s National Macchiato Day, and maybe I’ll have one this morning at the Green Room coffee bar. It’s also an official UN observance day, National Toilet Day. Be sure to use your toilet, and be thankful you have one!

It’s likely that I’ll be able to post only the Hili dialogue this morning (and maybe tomorrow), as I’m off early and then must be at the venue all day. Tomorrow I leave for my flight at 5:40 a.m. Bear with me until I return to Chicago and can post properly.

On this day in 1863, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at a dedication ceremony for the military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. On November 19, 1959, the Ford Motor Company discontinued the unpopular Edsel, which remains (though decreasingly so as the Millennials forget about that car), the poster child for a bad idea. It was the front grill, which looked like a sucking mouth and turned people off:

On this day in 1969, the Brazilian football player Pelé scored his 1,000th goal.  On November 19, 1998, the U.S. House of Representatives began impeachment hearings against President Bill Clinton for lying to investigators during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Notables born on November 19 include James A. Garfield (1831), Tommy Dorsey (1905), Indira Gandhi (1917), Ann Curry (1956), Meg Ryan (1961), and Jodie Foster (1962). Those who joined the Choir Invisible on this day include The Man in the Iron Mask (1703), Franz Schubert (1828), Emma Lazarus (1867), Joe Hill (1915), and Frederick Sanger (2013).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is too busy nomming to go for walkies:

A: Let’s go for a walk.
Hili: Wait, breakfast is the most important meal before the second breakfast.
In Polish:
Ja: Chodź, idziemy na spacer.
Hili: Poczekaj, śniadanie jest najważniejszym posiłkiem przed drugim śniadaniem.

Here are some tweets from Matthew Cobb; the first two show predation (or scavenging):

Nature red in tooth; not a pretty picture but intriguing; I’m pretty sure the hyenas didn’t kill the lioness but scavenged her carcass:

Matthew says, “This is a sad story but a nice drawing”:

Matthew’s comment on this: “Fishfly? Never heard of it. Ross is a greta invert biologist who has posted on WEIT.” I haven’t heard of it either.

And a deer inadvertently decorated for the holidays;

Finally, Grania, who’s been AWOL, sent this tw**t with the note “Here’s a happy ending for you.” Indeed! Be sure to watch the video and turn the sound up to hear the adorable squeaks.


  1. Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    The Hand of God goal was “scored” by Maradona, not Pele. It shouldn’t be included in either player’s CV. 😉

    • Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Oy. Fixed, thanks

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      And a big chunk of Pele’s goals were apparently scored in meaningless friendlies and testimonials; stuff like that. The 1000 figure is pretty dubious.

  2. Frank Bath
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Pele was a wonder but ‘the hand of god’ goal is credited to Argentina’s Diego Maradona.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Lovely video from Grania. AWOL? Had no idea you had joined.

    National toilet day. How would one celebrate that day? Happy Plumbing.

    • Liz
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      The video is adorable.

    • Blue
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      I had just last week been wondering
      upon and in re Ms Grania’s whereabouts !

      Maybe all, or most, is okay and
      that she is … … back ?! Yes ? !


  4. Bernie Hernández
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    About “the hand of god” goal, that was Maradona’s, not Pelé’s. Pelé was always a fair player, never cheated, as Maradona.

  5. Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    . It was the front grill, which looked like a sucking mouth…

    That’s the polite version 😉

    That could be a fishfly, but I can’t see the hook 😉 . Perhaps we should ask that Turkish guy Adnan Oktar, who if I recall correctly, is an expert on fishing flies.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    It’s probably just as well that the Edsel itself disappeared, but it’d be a shame if “the Edsel” disappeared as metaphor. For a couple generations of Americans, if one called something the Edsel of _________, everyone knew immediately what was meant.

    • Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Not a shame for people called Edsel.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        Edsel himself was long dead before the first car bearing his name rolled off an assembly line — and I doubt many have been accursed with the name since.

        Lesson being, if you’re going to name an automobile after an esteemed figure, make sure it ain’t “an Edsel.” 🙂

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      For a couple generations of Americans, if one called something the Edsel of _________, everyone knew immediately what was meant.

      I was probably well into my 30s or 40s before I discovered that it meant anything to do with cars, and wasn’t just some slight upon the residents of Edzell.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Not those scabby dobbers!

      • yazikus
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        As a former resident myself, I concur.

  7. GBJames
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I think the Edsel grill looks like something other than a sucking mouth.

    • Posted November 20, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Yup. At the time, I don’t remember anybody referring to a mouth, rather another body part. But I don’t want to be accused of sexism. 😉

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 21, 2017 at 12:16 am | Permalink

      Oh bugger. I wish you hadn’t mentioned that. Now I can’t get the image out of my imagination… 8-(


  8. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Ha, the Trumpmobile!

    Japan regularly honors biologist:

    “Dr. Kathleen Drew-Baker, “Mother of the Sea”, a Manchester scientist celebrated each year for half a century in Japan.”

    ; ]

    • rickflick
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      This bit of the story caught my attention.

      “She had been a lecturer in botany at the University of Manchester … But the university did not employ married women. So when she got married to fellow academic Henry Wright-Baker she was kicked off the faculty and relegated to a job as an unpaid research fellow.” The Brits were hard core chauvinists as late as the 1950s!

  9. David Harper
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I thought that the Pinto was Ford’s greatest failure. The Edsel may have been ugly, but at least it didn’t kill its owners through poor design like the Pinto.

    • Jamie
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      That may have been because not enough were sold. Only a little more than 100,000 Edsels were sold in the three years Ford offered them. About 6,000,000 pintos were sold, which produced 27 deaths due to rear end collision fires. According to Wikipedia (I know… but it cites a source) the Pinto’s overall safety was average and above average for it’s class. It was not the only car that suffered from rear end fires, and was only slightly worse than average for its class in that regard. It was not “Unsafe at Any Speed”, anymore than other autos. Our culture decided a long time ago to accept auto deaths as a trade off for convenience. What was so damning in the case of the Pinto were memos showing that the executives knew about the faulty design and decided not to fix it. There simply were not comparable memos for other car companies and other cars.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        Maybe not memos but there were many defects that killed and injured lots of people before anything was done. One going right now is Ford and their Explorer/carbon monoxide. The gas tanks in Chevy pickups went on for years before they did anything. Lots of people killed with that one. Toyota and their excellerator. Explorer and the Firestone Tires. Chevy and their ignition switch. Many more…

      • Ken Phelps
        Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        Speaking of “unsafe at any speeed”, interesting how differently the concept of a rear-engined car with swing axles that was definitely not idiot-proof was handled in Germany. They evolved the Porsche 911. The U.S. evolved a culture of litigious incompetence.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted November 21, 2017 at 1:02 am | Permalink

          I do have to mention that modern 911’s are not swing-axle any more, in fact Porsche over the years have done a lot of hard work to tame the concept. And also the engines are about as far forward as they can be got without becoming mid-engined.

          Rear swing-axles (in their basic form) were always a really bad idea, not just in the VW, as such front-engine rear-drive cars as the Triumph Spitfire and GT6 Mark 1 amply demonstrated. The problem is that if you lift off (or brake) when cornering hard, the tail rises (as it will with any car), but with swing-axle the side-force on the rear outer tyre causes the wheel to ‘tuck under’ thus jacking the back of the car up further, the wheel now is leaning the wrong way for optimum tyre grip, so the back of the car slides out and the car goes sideways, and if it hits a little bump with the car’s tail high in the air and the wheel tucked in almost under the centre of gravity, well over she goes. This tendency can be controlled, most often by changing the rear geometry so it isn’t true ‘swing axle’ any more, but then of course the parts count shoots up so the financial advantage of ‘pure’ swing axle disappears.


  10. Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Fishflies, aka dobsonflies, are insects in the order Corydalidae. Their larvae are aquatic, and around here are called ‘hellgrammites’. In most species the adults are pretty much just brown in color. This is a very colorful one that is new to me. Anyway, you can see some info at

  11. Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Hyenas are known to kill lions and vice-versa. So it is possible that they had taken this lionness, which looks to be a young one. The hyena in this picture also looks young to me.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      That’s probably why the rest of them have let it get away with a lump of bone with relatively small amounts of flesh.
      The brain might be nutritious. If you can get into the braincase.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      I have a vague recollection of a fact that hyenas kill more than lions and lions scavenge more than hyenas. It’s just because of their looks and reputations that most think otherwise.

      Great bunch of tweets today, especially Grania’s! I’m envious!

  12. George
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Second breakfast is an actual meal in Poland – as well as in parts of Germany and Bavaria.

    And then there is podwieczorek between lunch and dinner.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      I was hoping that Hili was a LOTR fan!

  13. Jeff Morgan
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Lincoln would be horrified by the current state of affairs in the US: “Government of the people, by some people, for some people”.

    Here in the UK it’s always been like that. I weep for the American dream.

  14. Hempenstein
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Here’s what Edsels looked like when they were discontinued. Just under 3000 were produced for the truncated 1960 model year. Here’s a very rare ’60 convertible (just 76 produced), parked beside a ’58 convertible.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted November 19, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      A lot of the styling in that ’60 ragtop ended up in early ’60s Chryslers.

  15. Posted November 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I don’t often find myself wiping away a tear while reading an article that includes a pic of a hyena carrying the severed head of a lion in its mouth.

  16. Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    That’s so weird! I dreamt I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me.

  17. Dale Franzwa
    Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    When the Edsel first came out, all the guys I knew thought the same thing about that grill. At the time, the only question was whether the designers were just stupid about the grill’s design, or did they know exactly what they were doing?

    The toilet plays a small but important role in a far out modern opera titled, The Avenging Angel. The Met just telecast it in HD for movie theaters but, if you didn’t see it (which I presume most or all of you here didn’t), there’s no point in my trying to explain it.

    • CJColucci
      Posted November 20, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      So was the Edsel objectively a bad car, compared to what else was available, or did people just not buy it?

      • Dale Franzwa
        Posted November 21, 2017 at 12:02 am | Permalink

        My personal opinion, at the time and over subsequent years, was that grill turned people off. But, who knows?

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted November 21, 2017 at 12:08 am | Permalink

          That grill is just – bad. Much too narrow. A vertical grill *could* work if it was a lot wider.

          That’s aside from the overall excess of chrome on the front, but that was common to most ‘murican automobiles of the period.


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