Thursday: Hili dialogue

It’s Thursday already: March 8, 2018, National Peanut Cluster Day (yeech). Better yet, it’s International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day, celebrating women brewmasters (brewmistresses?) who make craft beer.

More important, it’s International Women’s Day itself. Be sure you see the Twitter collection,  “How the world is celebrating International Women’s Day” There are some touching tweets and some funny ones; here’s one that’s both—and very American (this is a McDonald’s in California, and the hamburger company is also changing its website logo for today; see below):

From the webpage (click on screenshot):

Happy IWD from the women of Simon’s Cat!

And if you click on the Google Doodle below, and then on the purple arrow on the linked page, it will take you to a page of twelve women’s stories, each comprising a series of illustrated frames with text.

On this day in 1618, Johannes Kepler discovered the third law of planetary motion. Do you know his three laws? If not, go here. On March 8, 1817, the New York Stock Exchange was founded. And, appropriately for this day, it was on March 8, 1910, that the French aviator Raymonde de Laroche became the world’s first woman to receive a pilot’s license. (Speaking of which, I hope to get to the latest Amelia Earhart “finding” later today.) Sadly, Laroche crashed and died nine years later. Here she is in her  Voisin aeroplane in 1909:

On this day in 1965, the first US land combat forces to engage in Vietnam landed in that country: 3500 Marines. Exactly six years later, in 1971, the “Fight of the Century” between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier took place in Madison Square Garden in New York City. It was the first time that two undefeated heavyweight fighters faced each other for the championship; Frazier won by unanimous decision after 15 rounds.  On March 8, 1974, Charles de Gaulle Airport opened in Paris, and I’ll be landing there in May.  Finally, on this day in 1979, the Philips company made its first public demonstration of the compact disc. Now they’re almost obsolete!

Notables born on March 8 in include Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841), Otto Hahn (1879), Cyd Charisse (1922), John McPhee (1931; I love his books), Lynn Redgrave (1943) and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (1948). Those who died on this day include Hector Berlioz (1869), Millard Fillmore (1874), Henry Ward Beecher (1887), William Howard Taft (1930), the Japanese dog Hachikō (1923; the only animal I’ve seen memorialized in this way on Wikipedia), Billy Eckstine (1933), Joe DiMaggio (1999), and the great George Martin (2016).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has climbed up on Malgorzata again, always draping herself over the arm. I’ve seen this many times, but Malgorzata is too softhearted to move the moggie:

Malgorzata: I’m afraid you are not helping.
Hili: On the contrary, I’m forcing you to write slowly and reflect deeply.
In Polish:
Małgorzata: Obawiam się, że mi nie pomagasz.
Hili: Przeciwnie, zmuszam cię do wolniejszego pisania i głębszej refleksji.

Up in Winnipeg, where Spring has yet to show its face, our Gus is sleeping soundly and sweetly in the warmth:

From Grania: a cat helps make a bowl. The caption is great:

My white cat Teddy used to ride me like this:

Matthew thinks these are shrews, and I agree; I don’t think mice form these critter trains:

Look at this wingless wasp; the size of a period!


Matthew found a honking big prime number:

A smart bovid; who says cows are dumb?

And more LOLs from Dan Arel, everybody’s favorite Antifa Clown. As of today, he hasn’t yet punched a Nazi (see this website for the Arel Nazi Punching timeline).



  1. David Harper
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    “On this day in 1618, Johannes Kepler discovered the third law of planetary motion. Do you know his three laws?”

    First Law of Planetary Motion: We don’t talk about planetary motion.

    (And you’d better believe I would have used that joke in my celestial mechanics classes, except that I was teaching this stuff several years before the movie came out.)

    • Dominic
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      Whenever I attend some dull course or training event & you have to introduce yourself I start to stand & say “I’m Spartacus”…
      Jerry’s mate Steve Jones has a series of terrible jokes he uses in public lectures & for students!

      • Richard
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        Whenever ‘Spartacus’ is on TV and it gets to that scene, I can’t help thinking of ‘Life of Brian’ and I cry out “I’m Spartacus, and so is my wife!”.

        • ThyroidPlanet
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink


          Little help here?

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted March 8, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

            It won’t make sense if you haven’t seen the movie ‘Life of Brian’. It’s a scene from that.

            • ThyroidPlanet
              Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

              The key thing is to have remembered it. Alas.

              • Richard
                Posted March 9, 2018 at 5:41 am | Permalink

                It’s the crucifixion scene near the end of the film, when a Roman soldier has come with orders for Brian to be taken down from the cross. All of the others on the crosses start calling out “I’m Brian!”, including the rather posh man Gregory, who is there side-by-side with his wife, who calls out “I’m Brian, and so is my wife!”.

              • ThyroidPlanet
                Posted March 9, 2018 at 5:46 am | Permalink

                Thank you, it’s coming back now

                We’ll see if this results in my reviewing LOB…

      • Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        I would love to learn some of them. I need more material.

    • nicky
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      And I thought I was clever knowing the second one!

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    “On this day in 1618, Johannes Kepler discovered the third law of planetary motion. […]. On March 8, 1817, the New York Stock Exchange was founded.”

    199 years – a prime number – and as of right now,

    “The largest known Mersenne prime (277,232,917 − 1) is also the largest known prime number.[2]”

    I like that 6400 digit prime number – not sure what’s going on but I don’t think it’s a Mersenne prime…

    • Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      The superscripting is messed up on your Mersenne prime. It should be 277,232,917 – 1 or, in case comments don’t support superscripting, 2^77,232,917 – 1.

  3. Dominic
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Konrad Lorenz wrote of & drew such behaviour in shrews!
    King Solomon’s Ring – great read!

  4. Dominic
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Here’s a nice new article –
    Morphologically cryptic Amazonian bird species pairs exhibit strong postzygotic reproductive isolation

  5. jaxkayaker
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    When is Twitter going to do something about Dan Arel’s abusive treatment of other Twitter users?

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      When will Dan Arel do something about his problem?

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        I clicked on it(unwisely) and had a read of his Twitter account. It really is one of the most depressing, relentlessly poisonous accounts I’ve ever seen. There’s nothing in it but bile.
        I literally cannot imagine being that consumed by hatred on a day-to-day basis and I’d pity him if he wasn’t such a colossally nasty guy.

  6. Jon Mummaw
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Here’s a nice four minute elucidation of Kepler’s laws of planetary motion by Carl Sagan from the original Cosmos ( and a short segment from Cosmosa about his difficult life and persecution).

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    The post about French aviator Raymond de Laroche, first licensed pilot had me wondering. Possibly France is the first country to actually have and require a pilot’s license. I am pretty sure they did not have them in the U.S. until the 20s.

    • Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Yes, the Air Commerce Act of 1926.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        I had to go back and do a bit of checking. The French had a club, similar to what they had in the U.S. in the early days. A social club that developed training schools and presented licenses to those who passed. It was nothing official but went on for many years before the govt. became involved in flying.

        I kind of knew this because my grandfather learned to fly in 1927. The CAA was brand new at that time and a guy from the CAA asked him if he wanted to test to get a license. Actually called a certificate. He asked the guy at the airport and the instructor told him to forget about that guy and just get your airplane and fly. Anyway he did go ahead later and get certified and his number was still in the three digits at that time.

        • Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, everything is a “certificate” with the FAA. I used to help certify airplane designs (after I did airplane designs and before I helped operate commercial airplanes).

  8. Jenny Haniver
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure just what you mean when you write that Hachiko is ” the only animal I’ve seen memorialized in this way on Wikipedia.” Wojtek, the heroic WWII Polish bear, who served in the army (was at the Battle of Monte Casino), has a Wikipedia page, though his birth and death dates are calculated only to the year. Does this count “in this way”?

    • Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      I mean on the date page: March 7. I don’t remember seeing any animal appears in the “born on” or “died on” columns on date pages. That’s what I mean by “in this way.”

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        Thank you for the clarification.

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

          I’m sure that Wikipedia would memorialize more notable animals if the exact dates of their births and deaths were known.

          • Richard
            Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

            It has an article on “Able Seacat” Simon, who served aboard the RN sloop HMS Amethyst and was wounded in action in the Yangtze Incident.

            • Jenny Haniver
              Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

              That’s another great animal story; but poor Simon.

  9. glen1davidson
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I always wondered if that was a prime number.

    Glen Davidson

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink


  10. glen1davidson
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Kepler, the last to successfully model physical systems just by using mathematics.

    A real Pythagorean.

    Glen Davidson

  11. Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    And it’s this man’s 73rd birthday. Considered to be one of the greatest pop/rock vocalists of his era. Here he is singing live to the backing track in 1967, filmed by Bob Rafelson (Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, etc.) Dig those colours, man.

    Mr. Micky Dolenz

  12. allison
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    There has been a different photograph of an anonymous black dog (or dogs) at the end of each Hili dialogue entry for the last several days. I wish to know the meaning of this!

    • Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      We’ve been asking for a while …

      I’m thinking: Favorite Led Zeppelin song …?

      • Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        I think Jerry is being visited by “the Black Dog” as he is pining for his bird.

        • nicky
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

          As said earlier, despite his posturing, I think Jerry surreptitiously loves d*gs too.

  13. BJ
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    As someone who has always been on the left, the corporatizing of leftist politics really disgusts me. My disgust is not for the corporations, as they always follow trends in attempts to court demographics. What truly grabs my goat and brings it to a slaughterhouse for execution, packaging, and distribution is that left-wing activists are now demanding and elated by corporations making symbolic gestures like this. Today’s generation of slacktivists have completely abandoned working class people, economic issues, and fighting for them in the realms of living wages, better job conditions, etc. Instead, much of the left — the loudest, most self-righteous portion that shuts down disagreement because they believe themselves to be so morally pure and fighting for the rights of others — seems to think actions like this by Macdonald’s are their greatest achievements and what they focus on the most (besides getting diversity in enormous Hollywood movies). They don’t seem to care about real issues that affect the working classes and the poor. They will cheer exploitative corporations like heroes as soon as those corporations make the slightest superficial gesture toward a progressive statement that costs the companies nothing. They’re giving free publicity and unwarranted praise to the same organizations they should be fighting to curtail power simply because it makes them feel like they’ve accomplished something.

    “What an achievement! McDonald’s turned their logo upside down to celebrate Women’s Day! And Google made a doodle on X day celebrating a female scientist! We’ve done it!”

    • Hunt
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      You just wrote the post that I didn’t have the spoons to. Mine would have gone something like this:

      They wouldn’t be cynically pandering to half the population to sell more junk food would they?


      Basically the same sentiment, differently expressed. There was a time when the left wasn’t duped by superficial gestures like this. Appears those days are gone.

      • BJ
        Posted March 9, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        Hey, you callin’ me verbose? Why I oughta…


  14. Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    It may just be my evil brain; but those inverted golden arches might be interpreted in a non-alphabet way, with regard to Women’s Day …

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Particularly given the shape of the arches.

    • BJ
      Posted March 9, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      McBoobies are bigger than regular boobies, but they have more preservatives and fillers.

  15. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I believe that in formulating the 3rd law of planetary motion, Kepler said “sidereal” while many paraphrasers say “orbital”. More people know that latter word.

    NASA’s website, instead of saying “semi-major axis” says “mean distance from the sun”. I’m going to have to take a bit of time to convince myself those are identical quantities!!!

  16. nicky
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    These shrews, as well as the wingless wasp, are absolutely amazing! Thanks for that.

  17. Mark R.
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    The cat on the shoulder marks him as a cool dude; the Zappa t-shirt confirms it. 😉

  18. Zetopan
    Posted March 11, 2018 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    “… make a mouse centipede”

    Wouldn’t that be a mouseapede?

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