Tuesday: Hili dialogue

Good morning ladies and gentlement, brothers and sisters, and all the ships at sea: it’s Tuesday, May 22, 2018, also known as National Vanilla Pudding Day (meh). It’s also World Goth Day, described by its originators as “a day where the goth scene gets to celebrate its own being, and an opportunity to make its presence known to the rest of the world.” Ooookay. . . .never into that.

Finally, it’s World Turtle Day, so if you have a pet turtle, send me a photo by 5 pm today Chicago time and a few words about it.

I’m busy this a.m. so posting will be light—at least until later. There will be no “readers’ wildlife”, but that will resume tomorrow.

First, a tweet (h/t Grania) from Tom NIchols, who teaches at Harvard and the Naval War College. I apparently haven’t followed the news enough to know what this means. Readers?

On this day in 1570, according to Wikipedia, the first atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, was published with 70 maps. Note that this was honored by Google the other day, so the date may be off. On May 22, 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition (named “The Corps of Discovery”) left St. Charles, Missouri for its trek to the Pacific.

It was banner day in 1826 for a ship that later became famous: HMS Beagle left on its first voyage, but that wasn’t the one that carried Darwin, which left five years later.  On this day in 1849, Abraham Lincoln was issued a U.S. patent for a “bellows” device to lift ships over obstructions (I doubt it was ever used). Still, he’s the only U.S. President to ever be issued a patent.

Speaking of patents, on this day in 1906, Orville and Wilbur Wright got U.S. patent 821,393 for their “Flying-Machine.” You know what that was! On May 22, 1915, Mount Lassen erupted in northern California; besides Mt. St. Helens, this was the only volcano in the contiguous U.S. to erupt during the 20th century. Of course Hawaii is not in the contiguous U.S.! On this day in 1987, the first Rugby World Cup began as New Zealand played Italy in Auckland. Australia and New Zealand hosted the event, with the All Blacks subsequently winning the title.

Finally, it was exactly one year ago today that Islamists attacked an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester with grenades, killing 22 people. Here’s today’s cover of the Manchester Evening News:

When I asked Matthew (who lives there), “What’s with the bees?”, he responded, “Symbol of Manchester. After the bombing there were bees everywhere, a sign of solidarity. This design is based on a famous mural in the centre of town.

Notables born on this day include Richard Wagner (1813), Mary Cassatt (1844), Arthur Conan Doyle (1859), Hergé (1907), Peter Matthiessen (1927), Unabomber Ted Kaczynski (1942), George Best (1949), and Maggie Q (1979).  Those who died on this day include Martha Washington (1802), Victor Hugo (1885), Langston Hughes (1967), Nobel winning geneticist Alfred Hershey (1997), and Martin Gardner (2010). We will all join that Innumerable Caravan some day.

Here is “Sara Holding a Cat” by Mary Cassatt:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is trying a new trick to get birds: hypnotizing them:

Hili: Hypnosis is not working.
A: Maybe you should try to purr gently.
Hili: I’ve tried that.
In Polish:

Some tweets from Matthew. Have a look at this snake pretending to be dead:

From Philomena, who’s astounded:

One reason to marry a royal:

Matthews says, “These are Buprestid jewel beetles and this is what they look like before they’re opened.”

Before they break out:

From Ann German via reader Heather Hastie, who calls this “Proof of the stupidity of dogs”:

From Grania, who shows the famous statue of Hachikō. It’s had a resident cat for some time.

Look at this bun eat! What kind of vegetable is it?

A lovely cat painting:


  1. Christopher
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Correction. World Turtle Day is tomorrow, Wednesday the 23rd. Today could be World Turtle Day Eve, I suppose. (sorry for the confusion.

  2. Posted May 22, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Trump demanded on twitter that the DOJ investigate the FBI (at his personal order) to (who knows?) prove that the FBI was operating against his campaign in 2016 on a political bent.

    • Posted May 22, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      Trump thinks the DOJ is his personal PI firm.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

        Nice, a quick review. The conversation now seems to be, is Rosenstein caving in or is he playing a delay game to give more time to Mueller. Some think he should have pulled the pin and brought several resignations to the meeting and others think he is doing the right thing. Sooner or later this thing is going over a cliff so get on your marching shoes. After the Korea deal falls flat and the war with Iran starts, he may be preoccupied?? Two or three wars at the same time – I wonder who is dumb enough to go?

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted May 22, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

          Rosenstein’s doing an Ali-like, Rumble-in-the-Jungle rope-a-dope move — lying back against the ropes, letting the brute he’s fighting flail away fecklessly.

          With any luck, Trump will punch himself out, be left spent, and we’ll get the same 8th-round-knockout result. 🙂

          • Ben Ricker
            Posted May 22, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

            Oh yeah, Rosenstein already knows about the “plant”, which seems like its a source which made contact at least three times (this seems like ALL the contact). So what does he have to lose. Trumpo could MESS this all up by going rogue and fire the lot which WOULD most definitely be a constitutional crisis of Biblical proportions, since I think Trumpo would survive a relative dictator.

            Rosenstein won’t roll it up because he knows the FACTS and they do not look good for anyone circling His Orangeness.

  3. Joseph O’Sullivan
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    The constitutional crisis is Trump’s public pronouncements that he is going to attack the FBI and Department of Justice. The more legalese questions are about the separation of powers in the federal government and how they balance each other. The more fundamental question is that no one including the president is above the law. Trump feels differently.

    Rosestein and the head of the FBI met with Trump and are trying to block Trumps attacks. Personally I think they are only delaying the inevitable.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Re the Nichols tweet:

    Trump tweeted on Sunday a “demand” that the Justice Dept. conduct an investigation of the supposed “spy” that was implanted in the Trump campaign. Acting AG Rosenstein could’ve have refused, and the result likely would have been his being fired and FBI director Ray (and a bunch of other people at Main Justice) resigning, Saturday-Night-Massacre-style. Instead, he told the DoJ inspector general to take a look to see “if anything improper” occurred. (Rosenstein is increasingly dealing with Trump’s unhinged demands the way Jesus dealt with the Pharisees.)

    Nichols is right; the constitutional crisis Rosenstein averted is still coming.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Rosenstein also knows that specifically what Trump is demanding, he cannot and will not do. If you are under investigation do you get to tell the prosecutor – I would like to see all the stuff you have on me and do an investigation on your investigation. No one, include the idiot is above the law. So yes he can refuse and yes, he will. He already knows that the accusations from Trump are false, he knows everything. He is playing Trump just like the little man in North Korea.

    • Historian
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Indeed, the constitutional crisis is coming. Trump’s creeping authoritarianism, fueled by the Mueller investigation, will force the DOJ officials to resign or cave. Whether or not Trump can be stopped will lie with the Republicans in Congress. They will have to decide whether democracy will survive. I am not hopeful. They are scared of the Trump cult since power is what is important to them. The few decent Republicans are deciding not to run. It is interesting to note that the Bolsheviks in 1917 and the Nazis in 1933 did not represent the majority in their respective countries when they took power. Can it happen here? Yes, but the result is not inevitable, but more people need to pay attention to the dangers facing the Republic.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        I have no faith in the congress and none is necessary. In the end, the people will decide and as Trump self-destructs it will all become clear. How long do those dictators survive and frankly, they were a hell of a lot smarter than this one. How long do you think his “base” will follow when it is time to go to his war?

        • David Evans
          Posted May 22, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

          My fear is that his war will start with “surgical strikes” on Iran. The Iranians will then block the Straits of Hormuz, pushing up the price of oil, making Putin very happy and probably triggering a recession. His base may never be sent to war.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted May 22, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

            The price of oil is already up because of Trump’s machinations. USians are somewhat protected. In NZ, Wellington and the South Island are already paying a minimum of $2.30/litre. I’m in the central North Island and paid $1.99/litre on Saturday. There is informed talk of $3.00/litre. That’s about $12.00/gallon.

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted May 22, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

              Yes and my ultimate question for his followers is, who among them is ready to dress up and go fight one of these wars, one of these self-inflicted wars. I suspect we will begin to see the separation of the stupid and the ignorant when gas goes to 5 dollars and they are attempting to reinstate the draft. Iran has done nothing to cause any of this. It’s all on the Netanyahu puppet named Trump.

      • Neil Wolfe
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        Trump is staring to resemble a parasitic fungi. Our republic is just a host for him to exploit for his own gain. We’re climbing up the stalk now…how long before the fatal burst of orange spores?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        Your question reminds me of this and this.

        Yeah, Trump’s moves are right out of the authoritarian despot’s handbook — attack the media for honest reporting and the notion of “truth” itself; undermine the justice system’s investigation of you; make a permanent state enemy of the person you beat for office; use the tools of government as weapons against your political opponents (the post office against Bezos/Amazon/WaPo, the DoJ antitrust division against the ATT&T-Time Warner-CNN merger).

        And, yes, the fate of the Republic may hinge upon whether congressional Republicans — and Trump’s own Republican appointees in the executive branch — continue to maintain their low profiles in courage.

        • Historian
          Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

          I was alluding to the Sinclair Lewis book. I read it many decades ago and its theme has haunted me since.

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

        Heck. Even a few very much undecent Republicans are deciding not to run again.

        And I seriously wonder, are there any decent Republicans currently in either house?

  5. barn owl
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Admittedly, my three little dogs aren’t very bright, but I love them and their goofy antics nonetheless. When I can no longer have dogs in my life I think I’ll be ready to go.

  6. Adam Yates
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Just a pedantic nit-pick – I’m sure those beetles are cetoniine scarabs, not buprestids.

    • Posted May 22, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Agreed – fruit chafers we used to call them. Definitely not buprestids

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    If you actually take the time to read through Patent #821,393 by the Wright Brothers you might think they were patenting everything, including the air that the vehicle would fly in. The Wrights spent way too much time fighting with the world to protect their flying machine and maximize their discovery. In the end, the only winners were the lawyers.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    We will all join that Innumerable Caravan some day.

    Well, hell, that calls for a little Van the Man. For my money, his performance of “Caravan” with The Band during The Last Waltz is one of the great moments in rock’n’roll history (and culminates with a “mic-drop,” avant la lettre):

  9. Mark
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    “Proof of the stupidity of dogs”

    Dogs? Ever see a cat chase a laser light dot?

  10. chris moffatt
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    before I gave up scrolling down I identified carrot top (bunnies usually don’t – and should not – eat carrots), parsley, broccoli, celery. As for Rosenstein he’s just doing (and protecting) his job investigating possible criminal acts. Would have been more of a crisis had he refused.

  11. Posted May 22, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I believe that dog is sharing in the You Tube profits so not really so stupid after all!

  12. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Advanced warning to all, be sure and get your Commemorative Peace Coin Trump-Kim Summit. Get them while they are hot and before the whole thing is cancelled. Both great dictators on the same coin. I am waiting for additional white house coins later, such as the Collusion coin, the Obstruction coin, the Corruption Coin and the always popular Extortion coin.

  13. revelator60
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    No surprise that Pugs are as stupid as they look. But German Shepherds carry out police work and Border Collies can learn more than 200 words, so the intelligence of dogs remains a fact.

    • barn owl
      Posted May 23, 2018 at 5:40 am | Permalink

      Often when I walk my dogs past a neighbor’s house, her Pug is scrabbling at the window and barking, while doing a Dance of Outrage on top of the back of the sofa. Never fails to make me laugh.

  14. Posted May 22, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    (re: tape worm)- Also inside your human, if you’re not careful!

  15. Posted May 22, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    The bee image is beautiful. I wonder whether the bees have a connection to the “worker bee” simile in this old industrial city.

  16. Posted May 22, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    FYI, the active agents used in small animal dewormers, ivermectin and pyrantel pamoate, are the same used in horses. Whereas a course for your dog will cost you a fortune, 1200 lb doses can be had for c. $2.99 and $6.99, respectively. They also have a long shelf life. Whenever I deworm my horses, I give my dog (& myself for good measure) a finger-tip’s dollop.

  17. Diane Garlick
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 11:52 pm | Permalink


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