Wednesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s Wednesday, May 2, 2018, and National Chocolate Truffle Day. Alas, I have none of these things. And in Bhutan, where I’d like to go if they’d rescind their huge per-diem tourist fee it’s the birth anniversary of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck the 3rd Druk Gyalpo, who began Bhutan’s first steps toward modernization.

On May 2, 1611, London printer Robert Barker published the very first King James Version of the Bible. I still claim it is not a great work of literature, even in that version. On this day in 1920, the first game of Negro League baseball was played in Indianapolis. Blacks weren’t allowed in “major league baseball” until Jackie Robinson started for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.  On this day in 1945, after the suicide of Hitler and Eva Braun, the Soviet Union announced that Berlin had fallen.  And on May 2, 1952, the world’s first ever commercial jet airliner, the De Havilland Comet 1, made its first flight: from London to Johannesburg. On May 2, 1986, the city of Chernobyl was evacuated six days after the uncontrolled nuclear reaction and explosion. Finally, it was on this day 18 years ago that President Bill Clinton announced that GPS technology would no longer be restricted to the U.S. Military. “Let there be Siri navigation!”

Here is drone footage of the abandoned city of Chernobyl, filmed between 2013 and 2016, 27-30 years after the accident:

Notables born on this day include Alessandro Scarlatti (1660), Catherine the Great (1729), Hedda Hopper (1885), Manfred von Richtofen, the Red Baron (1892; shot down at age 25), Satyajit Ray (1921), Jigme Dorji WangchuckDruk Gyalpo of Bhutan (1929, see above), Lesley Gore, born Lesley Sue Goldstein (1946), and Brian Lara (1969). Those who died on May 2 include Martin Bormann (1945, probably a suicide), Joseph McCarthy (1957), J. Edgar Hoover (1972), Oliver Reed (1999), Lynn Redgrave (2010) and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (2014).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is practicing her ornithological skills:

A: What are you looking at?
Hili: I’m trying to see what kind of bird that is.
In Polish:
Ja: Czemu się tak przyglądasz?
Hili: Patrzę, co to za ptaszek.

And Leon is still staking out his future home, suggesting a new plant for the garden:

Leon: Catnip aromatherapy? We could try.

In Polish: Aromaterapia kocimiętką? Można spróbować.

Some tweets from Grania; this one shows a concealed-carry kitten:

A sneaky sheep. Look at that coat!

This belongs in the National Enquirer, but it’s true:

And what did you expect given that the letter said that Trump was “the healthiest President ever elected”? What? With all that junk food he eats?

A lovely full moon over the high mountains of Pakistan:

From Matthew; a spry grandma:

And a painting with a GOOD picture of a cat:

The Einsteins test out a movie gimmick. Watch out, Albert!

 

22 Comments

  1. Posted May 2, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Re “On this day in 1920, the first game of Negro League baseball was played in Indianapolis. Blacks weren’t allowed in “major league baseball” until Jackie Robinson started for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.”

    Technically, Blacks weren’t allowed *back *into “major league baseball” as they were in but we excluded earlier on.

    On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 7:16 AM, Why Evolution Is True wrote:

    > whyevolutionistrue posted: “It’s Wednesday, May 2, 2018, and National > Chocolate Truffle Day. Alas, I have none of these things. And in Bhutan, > where I’d like to go if they’d rescind their huge per-diem tourist fee it’s > the birth anniversary of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck the 3rd Druk Gyal” >

  2. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    At last! A painting where the cat is at least as realistic as the human. 😉

    cr
    (Lovely cat, actually)

  3. busterggi
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Cave sheep – the next Sharknado?

  4. kieran
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdOgCJw3vto
    Cunk on Britain episode 5

    • Frank Bath
      Posted May 2, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Our Cunk really has to do American history next. Can you take it?

      • busterggi
        Posted May 2, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        we have history?

  5. Historian
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Typo: Efrem Zimbalist Jr. died on May 2, 2014. He was born in 1918.

  6. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    That Chernobyl drone footage – how did the drone operator avoid colliding with things e.g. at 0:52 when the drone rose up through the skeleton of a roof?

    And, just what is that incredible structure right at the end 3:51 with those tapered skeleton cylinders?

    cr

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted May 2, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      After reflection, the best guess I can come up with for that 3:51 array is something like, the power banks for the hyperspace drive. Seriously, it looks more like a sci-fi movie than anything else I can imagine.

      cr

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted May 2, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      It’s only a short clip of the drone rising vertically through the roof frame. We don’t see it manoeuvring into position or changing direction. The camera is looking down as the drone rises – it’s possible that piece of video is reversed with the drone sinking as it looked down.

      The tricky flying bits are all short clips. Please note that modern drone controllers give you a pilots eye view – often using a smartphone fitted to the controller.

      That 150m tall structure is the 40yo “Russian Woodpecker” or Duga – a frequency-hopping shortwave over-the-horizon backscatter RADAR for the detection of ballistic missiles [range 2,500km]. It played merry hell with TV & radio which had to have suppressor circuits fitted – difficult because it changed frequency. Against international radio frequency agreements of course, but the Russians don’t care about that stuff.

  7. David Harper
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    “Finally, it was on this day 18 years ago that President Bill Clinton announced that GPS technology would no longer be restricted to the U.S. Military.”

    Strictly speaking, GPS had been available to everyone since the early 1980s. I saw a demonstration of it at an astronomy conference in 1984, although the receiver was the size of a large suitcase and it took a couple of hours to get a good fix due to the small number of satellites then in operation.

    What happened in 2000 was that President Clinton ordered the DoD to switch off the “Selective Availability” feature which deliberately degraded the accuracy of the system for non-DoD users by adding “random” noise to the signals transmitted by the satellites. Only DoD users had access to GPS receivers that could remove the “noise” to give metre-level accuracy.

    • mikeyc
      Posted May 2, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Correct. I was given an early hand held GPS in the mid 90s to play with in the back country in Washington State. It was distressing to find that if I shut it off and turned it back on, my new position was sometimes more than a 1/4 mile away from where I was standing when I turned it off.

  8. W.T. Effingham
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    And HE said, “Let there be Siri navigation” . And HE saw that it was good, or at least good enough to get you… “Recalculating take the next left turn in approximately…”😬 .

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted May 2, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Ah, I loved tormenting the GPS on my rental in France by putting in a waypoint beyond which I knew the route and neglecting to turn it off or reprogram it when I passed the point. Every side road after that, “A trois cent metres tournez a droit…” which I would casually ignore, followed instantly by “Calcule un nouvel itineraire…” It never gave up or deduced it was wasting its time.

      cr

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Call me old-fashioned, but the clown makeup alone woulda been kinky enough, thank you.

  10. Posted May 2, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Birthday of Athanasius Kircher, inventor of the katzenklavier!

  11. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    A more authentic assessment of the health of presidents would be

    https://www.voanews.com/a/healthiest-presidents-ever-new-list-does-not-place-trump-among-fittest/4261930.html

    =-=-=

    My first exposure to the King James’ Bible was a selection of highlights and excerpts edited by one of the top experts of the KJB, Roland Mushat Frye (who also wrote a decent book on Shakespeare). It was read in a high school class I had on “Religion in Literature”. (Other readings included Robert Heinlein and Nikos Kazantzakis.)

    The excerpts were fairly impressive, including the almost full text of Ecclesiastes. However, when I later read the whole shebang, I found much of Leviticus and other parts to drag a bit, and “eclectic” would be the chief word I would employ to describe the whole book. Depending on context that could be a good or bad thing.

    The Bible has a sparseness of description allowing readers to project what they want into it (much like Greta Garbo’s blank face at the end of “Christina”) and most dramatists who adapt its stories have to drastically expand the narrative (which is notably not true of stage adaptations of Homer’s Iliad.)

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 2, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Bible’s got some pretty good writing here and there — especially Isaiah, Ezekiel, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, and Proverbs, you ask me — though not enough to make up for its abundant longueurs.

  12. Craw
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Found in The New Yorker:

    “Black studies is a dehiscence at the heart of the institution on its edge; its broken, coded documents sanction walking in another world while passing through this one, graphically disordering the administered scarcity from which black studies flows as wealth.”

    Plus a discussion of emulsions and the sublime. https://www.newyorker.com/culture/persons-of-interest/fred-motens-radical-critique-of-the-present

    I bet BJ regrets canceling now!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 2, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      There’s the nugget of a decent idea there — though the prose alone is enough to make my noggin dehisce.

      • Posted May 2, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        Ken,
        If you can make even a nugget of a sense out of this “English”, maybe you are the person fated to decipher Linear A!

  13. Christopher
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Anyone visiting Kansas City would do well to pay a visit to our Negro Leagues Baseball museum. It’s one of the three or four really great museums we have.


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