Thursday: Hili dialogue

It’s Thursday, January 18, 2018, and, dammit, a fast day for me. (This is getting tiring.) It’s National Gourmet Coffee Day, which, in the form of a homemade latte, is the only thing besides water I’ll consume today. It’s also the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which is repugnant, but since prayer is ineffectual, innocuous as well.

On this day in 1535, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city of Lima, now the capital of Peru. On January 18, 1778, James Cook was the first European to land on the Hawaiian Islands, which he called the “Sandwich Islands.” And here’s a weird one from Wikipedia; do read the entry: on this day in 1884, “Dr. William Price attempts to cremate the body of his infant son, Jesus Christ Price, setting a legal precedent for cremation in the United Kingdom.”  Jesus Christ Price? Wikipedia adds this:

After cremating his dead son in 1884, Price was arrested and put on trial by those who believed cremation was illegal in Britain; however, he successfully argued that there was no legislation that specifically outlawed it, which paved the way for the Cremation Act of 1902. Upon his death, he was cremated in a ceremony watched by 20,000 onlookers.

Known for adhering to such principles as equal democratic rights for all men, vegetarianism, cremation and the abolition of marriage, all of which were highly controversial at the time, he has been widely labelled as an “eccentric” and a “radical”. Since his death he has been remembered as “one of the great Welshmen of all time” with a permanent exhibition and statue dedicated to him being opened in the town of Llantrisant, where he had lived for much of his later life.

On January 18, 1911, Eugene Ely landed his Curtiss pusher plane on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania, an armored cruiser, in San Francisco Bay. This was the first time an aircraft landed on a ship, and here’s a picture of the feat:

Two events in Poland on this day: in 1919, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, a pianist and composer as well as a statesman, became the Prime Minister of the newly independent Poland. And in 1943, the first uprising of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto took place: when Nazis began deporting people from the Ghetto, the Jews fought back with weapons. They lost, of course: it was all over by May. On this day in 1977, the bacterium that produced Legionanaires’ disease, a previously unknown microbe, was identified as the disease’s cause. Finally, on this day in 1993, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was officially observed for the first time in all of America’s 50 states.

Notables born on this day include Daniel Webster (1782), Paul Ehrenfest (born 1880, sad end to his life, but look it up), A. A. Milne (1882), Oliver Hardy (1892), Cary Grant (1904; real name Archibald Alec Leach), and Danny Kaye (1911; real name David Daniel Kaminsky).

Those who joined the choir invisible on January 18 include Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1873), Rudyard Kipling (1936), and Curly Howard of the Three Stooges (1952, died at only 48; real name Jerome Lester Horowitz [having a Jewish name was not good in show business, as you can see from Danny Kaye]). Here is Curly’s gravestone; I can’t quite understand what the coins are spelling beside it:

Several musicians also died on this day, including Kate McGarrigle (2010), Dallas Taylor (2011), and Glenn Frey (2016). Here’s one of my favorite songs by the McGarrigle sisters, which is ineffably beautiful. It was written by Anna. Kate is the one on the piano:

The song was made famous, of course, by Linda Rondstadt, and you should also watch this version in which Linda sings with Kate, Anna, and, I believe, their older sister Jane. I think the other singer is Maria Muldaur, though I’m not sure. You can see a nice half-hour documentary about Kate and Anna here.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn Hili is still hatin’ on winter. She also looks quite round. 

A: Winter is beautiful.
Hili: That’s your opinion.
In Polish:
Ja: Zima jest piękna.
Hili: To jest twoje zdanie.

A couple of tweets stolen from Heather Hastie (be sure to look at the pictures in the first tweet’s link):

From Grania:

I was saddened to hear of the sudden death of The Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan. So, apparently, was the recipient of this note:

From reader Barry. Do you think this video is for real?

And some SCIENCE, delivered in a palatable form so you will read it. Matthew found this tweet:


  1. Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    In regard to the Three Stooges – “Oh a wise guy, eh?”

    • George
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      A video of Curly’s grave is posted on youtube. The coins/stones are moved around in that one. I imagine that is what happened in that pic.

    • Alpha Neil
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      At least embed a video that features curly for crying out loud. It is his death anniversary after all.

      Here is a clip from the great short “Hoi Polloi” where the guys take on the nature vs. nurture debate.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      That’s the other 3rd stooge, Shemp, not Curly.

  2. busterggi
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    I’m voting for real on the snow cat and that its’ name is Streaky.

    • Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Agreed. I have seen other videos showing much the same thing. If they live in a place that gets regular snow, the cat knows snow can be moved in order to get to something. The cat’s reaction to seeing the door blocked by snow is bound to be to attempt to dig through it.

    • Markham Thomas
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Cat video is staged, you can see the arm that launched the cat through the snow to the right of the door frame. The cat also comes through the snow sideways as opposed to straight on as it would if it were leaping through the wall of snow.


  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Re: fasting :

    I recommend what Penn did – eat potatoes. Only potatoes. Maybe add spices. For a while.

    It’s my second time doing this, and I think it’s better in general to have something in the system than to cold fast.

    Sorry for diet advice mixed with good advice.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Manual correction to auto correction on tiny screen:

      Penn Jillette

      Food not good

    • Bob
      Posted January 19, 2018 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      I followed Penn’s diet, mainly, and lost 65 pounds.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted January 19, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        Well done – imagine carrying around six 10-pound free weights.

        Though I applaud your discipline, I was aware that fasting could be used for specific medical outcomes – but I couldn’t help suggest the potatoes thing, because PCC(E) expressed exasperation with fasting and I’m just trying this again…

        But let’s not get into an endless diet discussion here

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Interesting bit about Glenn Curtis and his Curtis Pusher airplane. He used ailerons for lateral control on this airplane partly because the Wright Brothers had patents on wing warping used on their plane. Many think that Curtis invented the aileron but actually it was a British scientist years earlier, Mathews Boulton.

  5. Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    That last picture, the black thing. What is that? 🙂

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 19, 2018 at 4:05 am | Permalink

      It appears to be some sort of cat toy.


  6. rickflick
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    The drinking lesson looks like the mom’s mirror neurons are triggered by junior’s crude attempts. The goal of drinking is clear to her but dimly glimpsed by the youngster. Like when you have the urge to complete someone else’s sentence.

  7. Michael Hart
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Just to show how closely I read this science post: I don’t think that’s a seaweed next to the the amphipod. It’s a hydrozoan colony (a benthic cnidarian). Caprellids are often found on hydroids, and I think they eat the polyps.

  8. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

    Thats a name that rings a bell, but only faintly. Seafloor mapping?

    the well-known opening line “It was a dark and stormy night”

    Oh, him!

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Here’s a rare shot of “Curly” Howard with hair and the wife of his most successful marriage.

  10. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Here is my favorite poem by A.A. Milne

    Spring Morning

    Where am I going? I don’t quite know.
    Down to the stream where the king-cups grow-
    Up on the hill where the pine-trees blow-
    Anywhere, anywhere. I don’t know.

    Where am I going? The clouds sail by,
    Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.
    Where am I going? The shadows pass,
    Little ones, baby ones, over the grass.

    If you were a cloud, and sailed up there,
    You’d sail on water as blue as air,
    And you’d see me here in the fields and say:
    “Doesn’t the sky look green today?”

    Where am I going? The high rooks call:
    “It’s awful fun to be born at all.”
    Where am I going? The ring-doves coo:
    “We do have beautiful things to do.”

    If you were a bird, and lived on high,
    You’d lean on the wind when the wind came by,
    You’d say to the wind when it took you away:
    “That’s where I wanted to go today!”

    Where am I going? I don’t quite know.
    What does it matter where people go?
    Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow-
    Anywhere, anywhere. I don’t know.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      That is beautiful.

  11. Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Have you considered the 12/8 method of intermittent fasting, PCC(E)? It’s easier than the 24-hr fast.

  12. TJR
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    You mean some people *haven’t* repeatedly played Zombie at full volume this week??

    What’s wrong with them??

    • darrelle
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink


  13. Posted January 18, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    My WordPress Reader can’t seem to show the Twi**er posts, and even the website isn’t showing them. Anyone have any solutions?

  14. Posted January 18, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Musical videos were great. Christian unity, eh? Wonder if they are going to gather representatives from all 40,000 plus brands of Christianity.

  15. Posted February 4, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    The cat videos are great!

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