Friday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on Friday, May 4, 2018, and it’s National Hoagie Day (also called a “sub”): the overstuffed sandwiches that Made American Great. For you sci-fi fans, it’s Star Wars Day, whose origin Wikipedia describes as:

The date was chosen for the pun on the catchphrase “May the Force be with you” as “May the Fourth be with you”. Even though the holiday was not actually created or declared by Lucasfilm, many Star Wars fans across the world have chosen to celebrate the holiday. It has since been embraced by Lucasfilm as an annual celebration of Star Wars.

The geese may have left the pond; I didn’t see them either yesterday afternoon or this morning. If they’re gone, I wonder where they went. But Frank is still there, waiting for his wife and offspring. . .

On May 4, 1886, the Haymarket Riot took place in Chicago when someone threw a bomb at police who were breaking up a labor rally. The bomb and subsequent police fire killed 11 and wounded 60. Eight anarchists were convicted of the crime, and four were hanged. On this day in 1904, the U.S. began building the Panama Canal. In 1953, Ernest Hemingway won the Pulitzer Prize for his overrated novel The Old Man and the Sea (he was later to win a Nobel). On May 4, 1961, the civil rights “Freedom Riders” began their first bus trip through the American South.

A day of infamy for us oldsters: it was on May 4, 1970, when the U.S. National Guard killed four unarmed students at Kent State University in Ohio who were protesting the Vietnam War. That inspired this song by Neil Young:

On this day in 1979, Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. And, in 1994, Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Peace Accord giving Jericho and the Gaza Strip self rule. The two, along with Shimon Peres, won the Nobel Peace Prize that same year—surely a premature award!

Births of notable people were thin on the ground on this day (and none took place in the air, either). Those born on May 4 include Thomas Henry Huxley (1825), Alice Liddell (1852), Audrey Hepburn (1929) and Randy Travis (1959). Those who died on this day included Moe Howard (1975) and Nobel-winning biochemist Christian de Duve (2013).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is concerned with the usual vital matters (notice how she’s slimmed down).

Hili: What did you buy?
A: Bread, tomatoes, apples, cheese…
Hili: Tell me only about things that are important.
(Photo: Zuzanna Frydrych)
In Polish:
Hili: Co kupiłeś?
Ja: Chleb, pomidory, jabłka, ser…
Hili: Wymień tylko to, co ważne.
(Foto: Zuzanna Frydrych)

Up in Winnipeg, Gus is in the garden enjoying the young Spring:

From Grania; the certificate can accompany getting a graduate degree through extension school, so a snooty Harvard person told me this wasn’t a “real” certificate!

Here’s one of the courses that you can take to get a Harvard Social Justice certificate. How low the mighty school has fallen!

Dinosaur gastroliths!

Hummingbirds sip lemonade. How nice to have these featherweights perch on your hand!

A parrot turns on its own bathwater:

Swans and their cygnets:

From the creator of The Oatmeal, a three-part tweet in which his video is turned into a cartoon. And yes that’s a squirrel inside the moving bag!

And a kitten who hasn’t learned how to eat properly:

From Matthew; look at that larva!

Note the much larger size of male than female jaws. It isn’t because they eat different things!

And this is freaky. . . .


  1. Mike
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    I love those Gastroliths, lovely patina.

  2. Posted May 4, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    You have a born where there should be a died!

    Also died this day, in 1600, Jean Nicot who introduced tobacco to France & Linnaeus named Nicotiana after him…

  3. George
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    The Maroon posted a snippet of video of the geese and goslings on their instagram site:

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

    An interesting & readable 2007 Paper on gastroliths “No gastric mill in sauropod dinosaurs: new evidence from analysis of gastrolith mass and function in ostriches”:-

    Polished pebbles occasionally found within skeletons of giant herbivorous sauropod dinosaurs are very likely to be gastroliths (stomach stones). Here, we show that based on feeding experiments with ostriches and comparative data for relative gastrolith mass in birds, sauropod gastroliths do not represent the remains of an avian-style gastric mill. Feeding experiments with farm ostriches showed that bird gastroliths experience fast abrasion in the gizzard and do not develop a polish. Relative gastrolith mass in sauropods (gastrolith mass much less than 0.1% of body mass) is at least an order of magnitude less than that in ostriches and other herbivorous birds (gastrolith mass approximates 1% of body mass), also arguing against the presence of a gastric mill in sauropods. Sauropod dinosaurs possibly compensated for their limited oral processing and gastric trituration capabilities by greatly increasing food retention time in the digestive system. Gastrolith clusters of some derived theropod dinosaurs (oviraptorosaurs and ornithomimosaurs) compare well with those of birds, suggesting that the gastric mill evolved in the avian stem lineage.

    I also read somewhere that some ancient marine animals [not fish] took to stomach stones to adjust their buoyancy.

    • Posted May 4, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Yes, the gastroliths were indeed ingested by some plesiosaurs (as well as by some living marine animals such as penguins or sea lions) but the role of stones in providing ballast/buoyancy is unclear. See also another 2007 paper by the same author (Wings 2007).

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted May 4, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        Cheers. Am reading your link now.

    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted May 4, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Thank you for posting this fascinating link.

  5. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    The de Duve date – confused

  6. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Well, I guess in the interests of social justice, and in order to reduce its ‘privilege’, Harvard is aiming to have its degrees rate equivalent to a diploma in building maintenance from Hicksville Technical Institute, Mississippi…

    Though I guess the ‘practical’ component could be quite enjoyable (unless, of course, you’re watching your weight)


  7. Blue
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    O, the horror that this day was. Kent State.
    … to try .to STUDY. as students anywhere:

    of MICAH 4:3 =
    ” … … they shall beat their swords
    into plowshares, and
    their spears into pruninghooks:
    nation shall not lift up
    a sword against nation,
    neither shall they .learn. war any more. ”

    THE only phrasing outta christianity that
    one ‘ll ever hear from me. One o’m’sons
    is thus so named. Cuz of this statement.


  8. barn owl
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    My pressing real-world question related to chocolate consumption is: Why did I leave the bag of Coffee Nut M&Ms at home instead of bringing them to work with me?

    • Christopher
      Posted May 4, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Huh? Coffe Nut M&Ms? That sounds intriguing.

      As for the course, I could imagine a course on chocolate that would be worth attending, if one took out the social justice privilege-shaming garbage. A botanical, evolutionary, and historical focus on the plant, which, yes, could include discussions on the current and historical issue of slave labor, sounds quite interesting, but I’ll bet that’s not where they’re going with it.

      • barn owl
        Posted May 4, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        With all the potential privilege-shaming and cultural appropriation accusations related to food choices, I’m not sure what a USAian of northern European heritage (like myself) is “allowed” to eat any more.

        The Coffee Nut M&Ms are just peanut M&Ms with coffee flavoring in the chocolate part. They’re quite tasty though!

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Wikipedia reports that

    “One of the most outspoken critics of The Old Man and the Sea is Robert P. Weeks” author of “Fakery and the Old Man and the Sea”. (I both enjoyed reading it, but didn’t quite see what the big deal was.)


    I was a student at Kent State 23 years after the shooting, and boy the aftermath was still palpable and major in 1991! I could go on…

  10. Christopher Bonds
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    RE: Gastroliths. If I see one for sale on eBay, how do I know if it’s really a gastrolith and not just a river rock that may have been tumbled a bit?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted May 4, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Don’t buy – it’s easier to fake than ‘modern’ art, antique furniture or love for money/security – ss a rule people just want to believe. QUOTE:

      Beware: There are more fake or misinterpreted dinosaur “gastroliths” than actual fossil stomach stones. The only way to prove that a polished or abraded stone is a true fossil stomach stone is to find it in the abdomen of a fossil animal, and then to show that similar stones are not found in the rock in which the fossil animal was found.


  11. Bob Bottemiller
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    “A parrot turns on its own bathwater:”
    OK, clever. But did it shut off the water when it was done bathing? I doubt it. Rude parrot.

  12. John Dentinger
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    As a diehard Hem fan, I’m disappointed that PCC thinks TOM&TS is over-rated. On the other hand, I know that he is an admirer of The Sun Also Rises. It’s all good!

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