Saturday: Hili dialogue

Well, it snowed for almost 24 hours yesterday, and we have about six inches on the ground in Chicago, but the worst is over, and it has become Saturday, February 10, 2018. No snow is falling now, but we may get an inch or two later. And no word whether the Harris/Krauss/Dillahunty event has been canceled. Today is National “Have a Brownie” Day, again with the mysterious scare quotes, implying that the brownie may be poisoned. Over in Eritrea, it’s Fenkil Day.

There’s another Google Doodle today (click on screenshot to see it), giving an animation of the Animal Olympics. Today is Turtle Curling. Let’s hope Kim Jon-bun doesn’t mess up the games.

On February 10, 1306, Robert the Bruce murdered John Comyn in Greyfriar’s Church in Dumbries, starting the Wars of Scottish Independence.  On this day in 1840, Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha. He was twenty years old, and in the next 21 years had nine children with Victoria. He died at 41 of an unknown stomach ailment.  On this day in 1940, according to Wikipedia, “The Soviet Union [began] mass deportations of Polish citizens from occupied eastern Poland to Siberia. During 1939–1941 1.45 million of the people inhabiting the region were deported by the Soviet regime, of whom 63.1% were Poles, and 7.4% were Jews.” They were engaged in “Sovietizing” the country for the Russians. On November 10, 1962, Gary Powers, pilot of a U2 spy plane that had been shot down two years earlier, was exchanged for the Russian spy Rudolf Abel. On this day in 1996, the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue first defeated chess master Garry Kasparov. And, exactly 11 years ago, Illinois senator Barack Obama announced his candidacy for the 2008 Presidential election. He won, of course, but the Drumpfenführer is dismantling everything Obama did.

Notables born on this day include John Suckling (1609), Charles Lamb (1775), Boris Pasternak (1890), Jimmy Durante and Bill Tilden (both 1893), Bertolt Brecht (1898), Leontyne Price (1927), Jim and Lou Whittaker, the mountaineer twins (1929; both still with us), and George Stephanopoulos (1961). Those who gave up the ghost on this day include Alexander Pushkin (1837). Honoré Daumier (1879), Joseph Lister (1912), Laura Ingalls Wilder (1957), and Shirley Temple (2014).

Here’s a nice Daumier print of Victor Hugo, done in 1849:

And here’s Leontyne Price singing the beautiful aria “Vissi d’arte” from Puccni’s Tosca:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, there’s been a murder, but Hili has clammed up:

A: There are some feathers on the verandah!
Hili: Nothing to talk about.
In Polish:
​Ja: Na werandzie są jakieś piórka!
Hili: Nie ma o czym mówić.  ​

Some tweets from Dr. Cobb. First, a lovely mantid fly (it’s a fly!). Look at those legs!

These are from Heather Hastie; and this one is especially sardonic:

I didn’t get this one at first, but when I did I chuckled:

Watch this video to see empathic elephants save a baby who’s fallen in a ditch and is being menaced by hungry lions:

Nevertheless, he persisted: A cat without forelegs descends the stairs:

And a hard-ass moggie:

This Far Side Cartoon appeared on my Facebook feed, and reminded me how good Gary Larson was. Why, oh why, did he have to completely give up cartooning? Even one a month would be better than nothing!



  1. George
    Posted February 10, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Dillahunty tweeted last night that he had arrived in Chicago.

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 10, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    “… Drumpfenführer is dismantling everything Obama did.“

    No no no! He wants to restrain power! Restraint! He doesn’t want power – he wants to restrain it. Right? Makes sense. (<—- this is all sarcasm)

    …. is that another PCC(E) original – Drumpfenführer -?

    • mordacious1
      Posted February 10, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      This is what happens when you legislate through executive orders, it only takes another executive order to overturn them. If you can work with Congress to pass legislation, then your accomplishments will probably be long-lasting. Too many presidents feed their base this way, refusing to compromise.

      As far as Obamacare, he crammed that through without bipartisan support. Had he been able to get the Republicans on board, Trump would have a difficult time overturning the legislation.

      • GBJames
        Posted February 10, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        There’s a hidden assumption in your comment that needs some light on it. You assume a congress willing to “work with” the president. Such a creature didn’t exist for Obama after 2010. Republicans refused to work with him from the day he was inaugurated.

        • mordacious1
          Posted February 10, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

          Leaders lead. Obama was more divisive than uniting. Both parties are currently unwilling to compromise to achieve permanent legislation. It can be done. Llately, no one has been willing to do it.

          • GBJames
            Posted February 10, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

            National Republicans determined not to cooperate regardless of Obama’s positions. The idea that this was a failure of “leadership” is not historically accurate. Frankly, I’m amazed that you and your compadres continue to pretend that wasn’t the case. Well, not amazed, really. Republican denial of facts is something we’ve become familiar with.

            • Rita
              Posted February 10, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

              +++++1 YES, YES, YES!

            • mordacious1
              Posted February 10, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

              I’m not a Republican. I voted for Obama twice. I’m just disappointed that he was such a failure.

              I’m also disappointed that the Democrats hate Trump so much, that they haven’t realized how easily he could be manipulated. All he wants is to have his ego stroked. He’s not an ideological zealot. It’s all about Trump. It’s not about Amurika, or the Republican Party with him. It’s Trump, Trump, Trump. If the Democrats could pull their heads out of their nether regions for 5 minutes, they’d realize this and could use him. But they can’t and they won’t…and life goes on.

              • rickflick
                Posted February 10, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

                Trump isn’t ideological but he is surrounded by zealots. Any move the Democrats make(have made) will be reversed.

            • Posted February 10, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

              The proof is how the Republicans reacted to the nomination of a very moderate, nonpartisan Supreme Court justice. How can you say Obama never compromised? He compromised on almost everything, far too much in my opinion.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted February 10, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

              Oh it’s a failure of leadership but not Obama’s leadership. Leaders aren’t just the people at the top. It’s a myth that only the top person leads. People in the upper levels of government like that – they are leaders too and they chose not to act like leaders.

          • BobTerrace
            Posted February 10, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

            The statement that Obama was more divisive then uniting is completely wrong. The Republicans were the devisive ones and they started even before he took office and stated publicly that they would not cooperate with him.

            • Rita
              Posted February 10, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

              AND, Obama foolishly TRIED to cooperate with them during negotiations on the ACA. Obama kept on including provisions (including the individual mandate, which Republicans wanted) that Republicans demanded, but in the end they STILL didn’t vote for it. So what we got was a watered-down version of the original plan, thanks to Republican trickery.

              • mordacious1
                Posted February 10, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

                So many Obama lovers here. Similar to the people who gave him a peace prize before he did anything. History will not look favorably on his lack of accomplishments. He kind of sucked.

              • rickflick
                Posted February 10, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

                Is there something fundamental you don’t like about our first black president? History hasn’t decided yet, but you seem to have it all wrapped up.

              • GBJames
                Posted February 10, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

                Mordacious offers perfect examples of Republican reasoning. Both sides. So many Obama lovers. He kind of sucked.

                Very convincing stuff.

              • BobTerrace
                Posted February 10, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

                That is what happens when Republicans give up logic, critical thinking, fairness, empathy, reason and rule-of-law just so they can give trillions of dollars to billionaires and corporations.

                “Those who kneel at games are awful but wife beaters and white supremacists are nice guys.” – Trump

      • rickflick
        Posted February 10, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        If Obama is to be criticized I’m sure there are better grounds than that. Mark Shields on PBS pointed out that Obama lacked a strong interest in political ground work – working to build the party from local to national. I’m not certain if that’s true, but I tend to trust Shields.

        • Posted February 10, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          Yes, he could have done more to lead the Democratic party. But I wonder if we only have this opinion in retrospect, looking for anything we could have done differently to avoid Trump’s election.

      • Posted February 10, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        I’ve seen this “Obama was so divisive” meme quite often lately. It NEVER comes with even a single instance of his divisiveness. Perhaps it is because his source of divisiveness is merely being black?

        In fact, Obama deliberately avoided playing the race card during his campaign and his presidency. He never said “Elect me because I am black” or otherwise encourage his supporters to be part of history by voting in the first black president. Many black people complain that he didn’t do enough for people of color.

        Obama knew that his color alone was divisive and didn’t want to make it worse. Turned out his efforts were in vain as we got a racist next president anyway. If Clinton had been a better candidate, we could have gotten through this.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted February 10, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Multiple changes were made to Obamacare in an attempt to get Republicans on board. That’s why the legislation ended up being such a sop to the insurance companies, which is perhaps the worst thing about it. The Republicans were never going to compromise no matter what.

        The executive orders later in Obama’s presidency were also mostly a result of Republicans refusing to compromise.

        Remember Mitch McConnell announcing on the floor of the Senate that their primary goal was to make Obama a one-term president? Not making the country better, or even doing all they could to, in their view, modify Democratic legislation to make it better.

        And remember the appalling actions by McConnell over the Merrick Garland nomination to SCOTUS?

        What about the nine Benghazi hearings costing millions to try and pin ANYTHING on Hillary Clinton?

        Or the more than 50 attempts to repeal Obamacare, which were all clearly theatre and achieved nothing when actual governing could have been done? Like fixing the things wrong with Obamacare for example.

        I could go on, at length. The Republican opposition to Obama was deliberate and resulted in a completely dysfunctional government. Just the constant CRs and failures to agree a budget make the U5 government a joke in the rest of the democratic world. No other modern functioning democracy has government shutdowns, or even operates without an annual budget.

    • rickflick
      Posted February 10, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Yes, stupidly dismantling. Trump has been slowly dismantling Obama’s many measures to shift from fossil fuels to renewables. But one Obama measure was to protect sensitive California desert areas from the encroachment solar farms. Trump stupidly rescinded that rule so that solar farmers could build anywhere without federal restriction. Dah.

  3. Posted February 10, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Jerry, please take care of that black dog, and get well 😦

  4. George
    Posted February 10, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Snowmageddon was disappointing. There was 7.8 inches (20cm) of snow at O’Hare – the official reporting station for Chicago. I took out my yardstick and measured 6.5 inches (16.5cm) where I live. I wanted more! We were promised up to 14 inches (35.5 cm). At least 10 inches. Does that sound sexual?

    It is snowing right now – just flurries. National Weather service says we will get 2-3 inches (5-7.5cm) overnight tonight. That will make it seven straight days with some measurable snow. But noting like the 21.2 inches (54cm) we got on Feb 1-2, 2011. Or one of my favorite childhood memories, the blizzard of 1967 (Jan 26-7) when we got 23 inches (58.4 cm).

    At least it is not like Jan-Feb 2011 when Chicago got NO measurable snow. First time that ever happened.

    • George
      Posted February 10, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      I meant no snow in Jan-Feb 2017 – last year.

  5. BobTerrace
    Posted February 10, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    My father-in-law was as one of those people exiled to Siberia from Poland with his brother. He was 20 and they survived by logging in a deportation camp. The rest of his family were wiped out by the Nazis. He died last summer at 99 1/2 after starting a shoe manufacturing business in lower Manhattan and raising a family with my mother-in-law after he looked for her after she left a Nazi concentration camp.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted February 10, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      What an amazing man. A true inspiration.

  6. RPGNo1
    Posted February 10, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    The tweet form the Flat Earth Society caused a hearty laugh. What a humiliation for those brainiacs! 😀

  7. Michael Fisher
    Posted February 10, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Greyfriars [or Grey friars] Church [or Kirk], Dumfries. I believe no apostrophe & no “b”.

  8. Michael Fisher
    Posted February 10, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    The complete elephant story is even more interesting, if you accept the interpretation of the person who recorded the video [full vid at bottom]:

    In October of 2015, I was in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. A pride of lions had killed a baby elephant the day before next to the water hole and were relaxing nearby, guarding the carcass.

    I thought the elephants were nervous due to the presence of the lions, until I realized that there was a baby elephant trapped upside down in the water trough, right next to the pipe where the water came out. National Parks was advised of the stuck youngster, but while they were organizing their rescue effort, several hours passed. During that time, we watched the frantic mother try again and again to pry the youngster out, unsuccessfully. She was also doing her best to keep the other elephants away from him, but this was during a heat wave in the dry season and everyone was desperate for water, so they pushed back. Her backside was covered in wounds from where they had pushed her off forcefully with their tusks. But as you will see, she still persevered – approaching them with her backside, in order to minimize the damage.

    At a certain point, I saw another elephant herd arriving at a break-neck speed, faster than any others had approached. They ran straight past the pride of lions and almost immediately, the matriarch mounted her own rescue effort. While you watch this video, also keep an eye on the rest of the family – who work together to keep the mother from interrupting the rescue effort – you will be able to recognize the mother as the one approaching walking backwards! The others eventually drove the mother off. After 5 minutes of continually trying, failing, and reassessing, she managed to free the calf, and the rest of the herd returned immediately, trumpeting with joy. After several minutes of calming the baby down, the matriarch separated him from the rest of the family and somehow gave the OK to the mother to come collect him!

    • Posted February 10, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      The video is definitely worth to be seen.
      It’s great to watch how the elephants prevent the mother from hindering the rescue of her baby elephant.

    • Posted February 10, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      That the rescue came from another elephant family, which felt responsible for the life saving of the trapped baby in opposite to his own group is very stunning too.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted February 10, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for that. They must have realized that the mother was too panicked to be effective, just like a panicked human parent that sometimes has to be held back forcefully to allow a professional rescue. Amazing story.

      If elephants had opposable thumbs …

  9. Janet
    Posted February 10, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Ditto re Gary Larsen! You can follow The Far Side
    on Twitter and they republish Larsen’s cartoons every day or every other day. Always brings a chuckle.

    • Janet
      Posted February 10, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink


    • David Coxill
      Posted February 10, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Took me a few minutes to realise it was not a match the Prof was going ,well you know .

  10. Diana MacPherson
    Posted February 10, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    It will continue to snow all weekend here. Terrible driving last night as the roads weren’t ploughed very well & I slid a couple times. Aimed for the curb at one point even though going slowly as I wasn’t stopping and didn’t want to hit the person in front of me. Luckily, I stopped before hitting the curb.

    • Rita
      Posted February 10, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      When you’re sliding and trying to stop, put the car into neutral gear, that will let you stop sliding faster.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted February 10, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Since this is a serious issue I am compelled to say something

        Putting the “car” in neutral must mean either:

        1. Putting the transmission in neutral

        2. Disengaging the transmission e.g. pressing the clutch in a manual

        (1) is relatively slow. (2) is immediate.

        1 and 2 detach the engine from driving the wheels.

        That’s ALL I am saying.

        • George
          Posted February 10, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

          Actually, that is bad advice. Putting the car in neutral will not make it stop any faster and you have given up control of the vehicle.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted February 10, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

            There is no advice of any sort in my reply.

            • David Coxill
              Posted February 10, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

              My advice is don’t drive in the snow .

            • George
              Posted February 10, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

              Sorry – I meant that in reply to what Rita posted.

              • ThyroidPlanet
                Posted February 10, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

                We’re cool then

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 10, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

          This is why I loved driving standard. See my reply below. In this case though, my tires had no contact with the road to get a good grip. It was bad like this my whole way home from work. I even slid coming out of our parking lot at work.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 10, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        It would not have made a difference in this case. It was the snow under my car that was sliding more than my car. I had not grip on the road surface because it was covered in snow and had barely been ploughed. My ABS was trying in vain. I was only moving about 5 kph and the curb was really the only thing that could stop me. Luckily, my tires found road before that had to happen.

        Also, no neutral for me anymore. I used to drive standard and would put my foot on the clutch, which disengages the engine, but now I drive automatic. Happily it is all wheel drive with traction control, dynamic stability control and ABS but when you’re tires can’t grip the road, none of that makes a difference.

  11. Damien
    Posted February 10, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    How do I know this Flat Earth Society proud message is not a fake ?

    • Diane G.
      Posted February 11, 2018 at 2:20 am | Permalink

      I thought it was probably a joke, too.

  12. George
    Posted February 10, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    If anyone wants to honor Robert the Bruce, 3 Floyds, a Chicago area (Munster, IN specifically), makes a great Scottish Ale named for him.

    It is described as – “A full-bodied Scottish-style Ale with a well-rounded malty profile and roasted biscuit-like notes.”

    PCC(e) – when you are having dinner with Harris, Krauss and Dillahunty, I would recommend any of the 3 Floyds products if available at the restaurant. Zombie Dust is excellent. Actually, just about anything from one of the local craft breweries would be excellent. Amazing these days that the United States has the best beer in the world while 90% of “beer” consumed in this country is the worst “beer” in the world.

  13. glen1davidson
    Posted February 10, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    The flat earth society having members all around the globe is a joke made well before the purported Facebook page. Here is a page casting doubt on the veracity of the screenshot, including the fact that a t-shirt with the joke preceded the page, and lack of any actual evidence that the Facebook page ever existed (can’t show that it didn’t, of course).

    Kinda cute, sure. A lot like “Intelligent Design Theory,” which fails to demonstrate much intelligence in that “theory.”

    Glen Davidson

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