Friday: Hili dialogue

It’s nearly April, for it’s Friday, March 30, 2018. It’s National Turkey Neck Soup Day, and WTF? In the US it’s National Doctors’ Day, a group that would probably prescribe turkey neck soup for colds.

Today I must hie to the suburbs to get the CeilingCatMobile emissions tested, something that happens every few years. My car is now 18 years old (with only 74,000 miles), but it always passes. Nevertheless, I approach each of these tests with the huge trepidation I felt when taking final exams in college. Will I pass? All this is by way of saying that posting will probably be light today, as I’ll be out in what they call “Chicagoland. (Note that there is no “New Yorkland” or “LosAngelesand”.) As always, I do my best.

On March 30, 1842, Ether anesthesia was used for the first time in an operation by Dr. Crawford Long to remove a neck tumor.  Exactly a quarter century later, the United States, via Secretary of State William H. Seward, bought Alaska from Russia for only $7.2 million, or a price of about 2 American cents per acre ($4.19 per square kilometer). This was again a bargain (though called “Seward’s Folly”), and had it not been done, Sarah Palin not only would have been able to see Russia from her house, but her house actually would have been in Russia.  On this day in 1945, the Red Army invaded Austria, capturing Vienna, while Polish and Soviet forces also liberated Danzig.  On March 30, 1981, John Hinkley, Jr. shot President Ronald Reagan in the chest outside a Washington, D.C. hotel, wounding three others, including White House Press Secretary James Brady, who was severely injured died from the aftereffects of his wound in 2014.  Hinkley was released from psychiatric confinement two years ago, and now lives with his mother in Williamsburg, Virginia, where I went to college, under strict legal supervision.  Finally, exactly one year ago today, SpaceX launched the first “reflight” of an orbital rocket—using a previously launched booster rocket.

Notables born on this day include the rabbi Maimonides (1135), Francisco Goya (1746), Paul Verlaine (1844), Vincent van Gogh (1853), Seán O’Casey (1880), Warren Beatty (1937), Eric Clapton (1945), my friend the science historian Janet Browne (1950; I implore you to read her two-volume biography of Charles Darwin, which is a masterpiece), and Celine Dion (1968; she’s fifty today). Those who fell asleep on this day include Beau Brummell (1840), Karl May (1912), Maxfield Parrish (1966; he was 94), James Cagney (1986), Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother), who died in 2002 at 101 (a kvetch at my friend Anne Magurran, who, when I lived in Edinburgh while the Queen Mother was alive, wouldn’t let me go into Ladbrokes to make a substantial bet that the dowager would live more than a century), Alistair Cooke (2004), Dith Pran (2008), and Phil Ramone (2013).

Here are two lovely Goya paintings:

Riña de Gatos (Cat fight), 1786-1787

Don Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuniga, 1788, which has two cats and a magpie!

Today Hili is discussing her resemblance to Andrzej, and, not remembering this picture, I asked Malgorzata if this was Andrzej. She responded, “Yes it’s Andrzej taken some time when he was between 35 and 40. I don’t remember the exact date but we were still in Sweden. It’s a picture hanging on my bookshelf. You must’ve seen it without noticing.” Now I know, but I still don’t see the resemblance!

Hili: You must admit that we are alike.
A: Amazingly, and we have the same ironic facial expression.
In Polish:
Hili: Przyznasz, że jesteśmy do siebie podobni.
Ja: Niesłychanie i mamy ten sam ironiczny wyraz twarzy.

Up in Winnipeg, Gus has been outdoors a lot since the weather’s been warming up. Back inside (he gets “coming in crunchies” when he returns), he sleeps off his outdoor adventures on the Katzenbaum:

A cartoon from reader Laurie, part of Theo’s staff:

Matthew sent a clip from All in the Family, the best television comedy of all time.  The more things change, the more they remain the same:

Matthew loves illusions, and here’s a good one. How on Earth did the guy do it? Guesses or answers below, please.

A correction in the Wall Street Journal, tweeted by a reporter at the Jerusalem Post:

Check out these classic evolution texts (I have my own list). If you’re an evolutionist, you’ll recognize Ernst Mayr on the left, George C. Williams standing, and John Maynard Smith on the right:

A very bizarre parasitic fly does its business underwater, and then floats to the surface in an air bubble! (click on tweet to enlarge)

Here’s another human ailment besides smallpox that may be eradicated from our planet: (we’ve also gotten rid of rinderpest, but that’s a disease of domestic cattle):

Grania loves Maine Coon cats because they’re big and fluffy. Here’s an awesome kitten she sent. Look at that split face, a color difference that bisects the nose, too. Do you know why?

Without a doubt this is the most bizarre skull I’ve ever seen!

The skull belongs to this creature:

Sound up to hear this baby bat and its keeper!

Grania loves interspecific affection between animals, and here is some in action:

19 Comments

  1. Michael Fisher
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Don Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuniga, 1788, “which has two cats and a magpie!”
    I see a 3rd cat. A pair of round eyes, black & yellow, at the mid-thigh height of the boy & positioned exactly between [& above] the two obvious cats.

  2. Posted March 30, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Re “Exactly a quarter century later, the United States, via Secretary of State William H. Seward, bought Alaska from Russia for only $7.2 million, or a price of about 2 American cents per acre ($4.19 per square kilometer). This was again a bargain (though called “Seward’s Folly”).”

    This, like the Louisiana Purchase was a sale in which the seller did not own what they “sold.” These countries “claimed” the right to those lands which, of course, were occupied by non-white people, who were not consulted, of course.

    The “ownership of these lands was basically a license from the rest of the world to exploit those lands, kill off any one on the way (the real reason for the Second Amendment, btw, and occupy their lands.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted March 30, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      This must be an example of how to connect the disconnected? The real reason for the second amendment? Rubbish…

    • BJ
      Posted March 30, 2018 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      “… kill off any one on the way (the real reason for the Second Amendment, btw…”

      I’d love to see any evidence for that statement, entirely because I relish you not being able to present it.

  3. Olena Tsvyetkova
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    nice cats!

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Captain Disillusion did an amusing remix of Kevin Parry’s ping-pong illusion, while being careful to not deconstruct it. Here:-

    Kevin Parry will publish how he did it tomorrow.
    [1] The background [wall, door, ceiling, stairs etc] was a green screen – note that all the edges of Kevin & the balls are fuzzy
    [2] The major edit is at around 0.08

  5. Hempenstein
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Crimony! Imagine if you had to try to floss that!

    (And I get no sound from the Vimeo, in case there’s something going on with the embed settings.)

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 30, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Vimeo of bat – I get sound in the embedded Vimeo

  6. Larry Smith
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Turkey neck stew appears in the Tom Waits song “Filipino Box Spring Hog” from his album “Mule Variations”:

    “Rattlesnake piccata with grapes and figs
    Old brown Betty with a yellow wig
    Tain’t the mince meat filagree
    And it ain’t the turkey neck stew”

    Great analysis of the song and its roots can be found at: http://www.tomwaitsfan.com/tom%20waits%20library/www.tomwaitslibrary.com/lyrics/mulevariations/filipinoboxspringhog.html

  7. Posted March 30, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Good to see a little Archie Bunker. So relevant after all these years. I was lucky enough to see a live taping of “All in the Family” when I was young. The great Norman Lear, creator of the show, warmed up the crowd beforehand.

    • Frank Bath
      Posted March 30, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Just to say the series was based on the BBC’s earlier family comedy Til Death Do Us Part. To get a taste of the original version of Archie Bunker, the London Alf Garnett, copy this into YouTube and prepare to be horrified: Paki Paddy Alf Milligan

      • Posted March 30, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        Yes, thanks for reminding me. I have seen them before. As I was born in England these things seem to follow me around.

  8. glen1davidson
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Well, the SNL Sarah Palin could see Russia from her house.

    Good joke, but just a joke.

    Glen Davidson

  9. glen1davidson
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I love it when babies grasp your finger with their little hands.

    Especially when those hands have evolved into leathery baby bat wings.

    Glen Davidson

  10. Posted March 30, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Trouble with the orangutan clip is that the baby bird looks like a coot. Coots live in water. Got to give the orangutan credit for good intentions, though. (Unless it then ate the coot. Sometimes I wonder about these clips.)

  11. Posted March 30, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I love the wasp life history. And the weird wolf eel jaws!

  12. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I was a classmate of John Hinckley (‘ck’ not ‘k’) and lost an election to him for homeroom president in 4th grade. He was far more handsome in elementary school than any other time in his life and a terrific basketball player. Upon his release 2 years ago, his supervisors included members of a local Unitarian church.

  13. Posted March 30, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Is the bifurcated kitten a case of twins fused into one body?

  14. Posted March 30, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Is the bifurcated kitten a case of twins fused into one body?


%d bloggers like this: