Tuesday: Hili dialogue

It’s Tuesday, the cruelest day: June 12, 2018, and it’s National Peanut Butter Cookie Day. It’s also Loving Day in the U.S., referring not to amour but to the case of Loving v. Virginia in 1967 (see below). In this case, at the amazingly late date of 1967, Richard Loving had been sentenced to a year in prison for marrying a black woman, Mildred Jeter. The Supreme court ruled unanimously that it was unconstitutional to prohibit interracial marriages. Here are Loving and Jeter:

On June 12, 1817, the first incarnation of a bicycle, the dandy horse, was driven by Karl von Drais. It seems inefficient, as it had no pedals and you pushed it with your feet. Scooters would have been better. Here’s one from 1820:

On this day in 1939, the Baseball Hall of Fame opened in Cooperstown, New York.  Exactly 3 years later, on her 13th birthday, Anne Frank received a diary; the rest is history. On June 12, 1963, NAACP field secretary and civil rights activist Medgar Evers was murdered at his home in Jackson, Mississippi. The perp, Klan member Byron De La Beckwith, was tried in 1964 but got off after two hung juries. He was finally convicted three decades later and died in prison.  On this day in 1964, Nelson Mandela, leader of the ANC, was sentenced to life in prison for sabotage. And in 1967, the Supreme Court gave its ruling in the case of Loving v. Virginia (see above).  On June 12, 1994, Nicole Brown SImpson and Ron Goldman were murdered in Los Angeles. Although O. J. Simpson was acquitted of the crime, many folks (including me) think he was guilty.  Finally, it was two years ago today that Omar Mateen murdered 49 people and injured 58 others in an attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. He died three hours later in a shootout with police.

Notables born on this day include Egon Schiele (1890), Weegee (1899), David Rockefeller (1915), George H. W. Bush (1924; he’s 94 today), Anne Frank (1929; see above), photographer Eddie Adams (1933), and Jordan Peterson (1962).  Those who died on this day include Medgar Evers (1963; see above), critic Edmund Wilson (1972), Karl von Frisch (1982), and Gregory Peck (2003).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is messing with Andrzej:

Hili: What was the name of that philosopher?
A: Which one?
Hili: That’s what I don’t remember.
In Polish:
Hili: Jak się nazywał ten filozof?
Ja: Który?
Hili: No właśnie nie pamiętam.

Matthew sent a bunch of tweets. Zeb Soanes, reports Matthew, “is a newsreader on Radio 4. He has a very close relationship with this fox that lives near his house.” What a delightful friendship!

Did you know this? I’ve eaten my share of Toblerones, but didn’t know this. But from this day on you will always look for the bear!

A soon to be long-suffering wife:

This is amazing: bacteria sucking in DNA from the environment, although I’m not sure they do it to “speed up their evolution.”

Matthew wants you to pay attention to the eyes on these midges, which seem to have two parts:

Is this goose really imitating the flamingos?

Burnt toast from Pompeii:

Clouds in the valleys:

And a dextrous sheep shearer, back from retirement:



Finally, more depressing news from the Land o’ Trump:


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Not to mention how riding the dandy horse would hurt your rear end something fierce

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 12, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      The fundamental problem with the dandy horse is that it’s easier to push it backwards with your feet than forwards. If someone could come up with a design whereby you could conveniently travel backwards on one (yeah, I know, impossible to do) it would have been far more useful and successful.


    • barn owl
      Posted June 12, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Horses across the globe are insulted that they share a name with this abomination.

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    The specific Hili Dialogue today is straight from A.A. Milne – my favorite for sure.

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I’ve heard the movement of clouds like that shows air or gasses are fluids – is that right?

    I mean, I see how it’s LIKE a fluid, but is it precisely described as a fluid?

    • enl
      Posted June 12, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Yes. Gasses are fluids. A simple definition is that they conform freely to the shape of their container.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted June 12, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

        Fluids, not liquids.


        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted June 12, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

          That was a bit cryptic. Gases and liquids are both included in the category of fluids.


    • Michael Fisher
      Posted June 12, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Clouds appear to act as a unified body at times & mostly [but not always!] that appearance is correct. As long as the air remains saturated molecular cohesion acts to keep the cloud from breaking up – it behaves like a fluid.

      But appearances can be deceptive – you often see clouds anchored in the lee [downwind] of a mountain range. The clouds hang still in the sky despite being located in strong winds. What’s going on? The almost water saturated air coming over the mountain is compressed by the journey & boom! the air reaches its dew point & crystals of ice appear – that’s what a cloud is. But the crystals of ice fall through the cloud & they’re also blown downwind where they melt & disappear. So that stationary cloud is made of different crystals of ice as time passes. The apparently still cloud is actually moving, but it’s growing a fresh front end as the back end downstream melts away.

      • Posted June 12, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        You can see that dramatically in those time-lapsed videos of lenticular clouds. For example: https://youtu.be/6_oPD2OjtS8

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted June 12, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          Good example – that video. Thanks.

          Those stationary clouds especially confuse when other clouds nearby are moving normally. Must be a UFO…

          • Posted June 12, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

            I used to live in Boulder, CO and we saw this kind of cloud very often coming over the Front Range. It was easy to see in real time that the cloud was condensing at one end and evaporating at the other.

  4. Sarah
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    That proto-bicycle isn’t a patch on the design by Leonardo da Vinci, which even has a sprocket and chain–although the “chain” is made of leather with square holes to catch on the cogs.

    • een
      Posted June 12, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Sad to say, but the Leonardo “bicycle” is generally regarded as a forgery – drawn in by another hand at a later date.

      • Sarah
        Posted June 12, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        No! What a disappointment! I saw a mock-up of it at the museum in Vinci and thought it was eerily like a modern bicycle, but then a lot of Leonardo’s things are eerily modern. I suppose that “later date” is very much later?

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    There was a pretty good film out about a year and a half ago on the travails of Mildred and Richard Loving, called simply Loving — which I took to be an equivoque on the couple’s surname and the concept of amour.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    There was also a movie, about 20 years back, about the Medgar Evers case, Ghosts of Mississippi — featuring Whoopi Goldberg as Medgar’s saintly widow Myrlie, and Alec Baldwin as the crusading DA who wins the conviction. It was pretty mediocre, but James Woods as the cantankerous sonuvabitch Byron de la Beckwith was worth the price of a ticket all on his own.

  7. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    That Toblerone bear is definitely intentional. The mountain is the Matterhorn, unmistakeably, and it’s easy to find hundreds of pics of the summit on the Intertoobz, but the bear has been added, it isn’t pareidolia.


  8. Serendipitydawg
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    The Google doodle in the UK celebrates the birth of Eugénie Brazier – she earned 3 Michelin stars in 1933!

  9. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I’d happily buy a picture of the Forth Bridge.
    Even if I did already live in Queensferry (how to tell? because the Forth road bridges aren’t visible behind it).

    (IMO the Forth Bridge is one of the most magnificent bridges ever built, and also, IMO, extremely graceful when seen in profile. Reputedly, when it was completed some Victorians complained about how ugly it was and suggested it should be… decorated in some way. How the hell would you ‘decorate’ the Forth Bridge?)


  10. Jenny Haniver
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Re the carbonized bread from Pompeii, and things preserved at Pompeii, I recently read about the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius https://www.minnpost.com/global-post/2010/08/scientists-question-accepted-wisdom-what-killed-pompeiians-when-mt-vesuvius-erup. The term “cadaveric spasm” is mentioned https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadaveric_spasm and these facts are mentioned: “1) The cause is unknown but is usually associated with violent deaths under extremely physical circumstances with intense emotion.” and 2) “Cadaveric spasm often crystallizes the last activity one did before death and is therefore significant in forensic investigations, e.g. holding onto a knife tightly.” One thinks of those shadows at Hiroshima, and many at Pompeii.

    One vulcanologist speaking about Pompeii opined: “one of the most vivid examples of cadaveric spasm sits behind lock and key inside a storage room full of broken urns and fountains. There, the cast of a man with his fists blocking his face sits suspended in time, squatting over a latrine.”

    This then reminds me of the graffiti found in the latrine at the baths of the Seven Sages at Ostia. One inscription reads “Bene caca et irrima medicos,” which is open to various literal translations about who does what to whom, but irrima has to do with forcible anal penetration, and the quote basically means “Shit well and fuck the doctors in the ass.”

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted June 12, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Perhaps the man’s last words were “Merda! or
      “Stercus accidit[shit happens].”

  11. Posted June 12, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Since interracial marriage was still an issue in 1967, it is not at all surprising we still have racism 51 years later.

  12. Hempenstein
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Hili! Think hard! Was it the one who was a real pissant, the boozy beggar, a beery swine, or another?

    • Sarah
      Posted June 12, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Maybe Whiskasstein?

  13. Teresa Carson
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Thank you for recognizing the courage of Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving. In 1976 I married a black man from Virginia (who happens to be a cousin of Mildred Jeter), and I was astonished to learn about some of the bizarre laws and regulations Virginia still had regarding race. For some reason (probably because I’m white), at the time, I thought legalized racism only persisted in the Deep South.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted June 12, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Brava to you, too!

    • nicky
      Posted June 12, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      In South Africa it persisted until the ’90’s. before engaging in sexual relationship by a white with a black or coloured was considered ‘bestiality’, let alone a marriage.
      But even well after that some attitudes persisted. My wife was often taken to be the nanny of our children….(which, with their highly honed sense of racial intricacies, is kinda mysterious)

  14. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Have to ask

    Is there any connection to Derek Jeter?

    His father was African-… African-USAian??…

    Or Just African…?

    Anyway – Jeter as a family name seems rare to me, so….

  15. Jenny Haniver
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Most African American surnames derive from white names; and the origins are preponderantly, but not exclusively derived from those of their slave owners. There is information on the history of African American surnames online.

    The number of blacks who bear of some of these surnames seems to have almost completely eclipsed the number of Caucasians who bear the name; so,ironically, these days you find a heck of a lot of black Washingtons and Jeffersons, but precious few white people bearing those surnames.

    • Posted June 12, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Perhaps this is because the number of slaves a white Washington owned far outnumbered the number of immediate family members.

      • nicky
        Posted June 12, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        And let us be honest, slave owners nearly systematically ‘took advantage’ of their female slaves. So there is a good chance that a ‘black’ Washington or Jefferson is indeed a direct descendent of their famous namesakes.
        Laura Betzig estimates that slave women gave the Roman aristocrats several million offspring over the centuries.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted June 12, 2018 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

        Our Founding Fathers were very busy being founding fathers.

    • Teresa Carson
      Posted June 12, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Some of the English names in Virginia actually come from English soldiers who came with the earliest settlers and intermarried with Native Americans who later intermarried with Africans. In some areas of Virginia, the same families have remained for centuries and the Native Americans, African Americans and Europeans/white Americans have intermarried so much over time that individuals self-identify as a certain race, but certainly cannot be distinguished by their appearance. The Native Americans in the state have been treated horribly. For a long time, they could not identify themselves as Native American on birth certificates — they were all “mulatto.” By the 1990s, the state had a program so that people could correct their race on their birth certificates. I probably sound like a nut case, but it’s true and shows how crazy people are when it comes to race. I’ve known Dr. Coyne for a few decades, and I think he would testify that I’m mostly of sound mind!

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted June 12, 2018 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        I know virtually nothing about the Native Americans in Virginia, except, I am ashamed to say, for the set stories we were taught in school as children about the earliest settlers and their relations with the Indians, Pocahontas and all that, yet some of that blood runs in my veins.

        The video clip explaining how Derek Jeter got his last name was fun to watch, as well as being instructive. I’ve always thought it kind of amazing that even just a few Africans who survived the Middle Passage managed to hang on to their original names, surnames, first names, sometimes both, sometimes so broken and bastardized that little of the original name remained, but it did; and in a very few instances, the name was carried down the line into modern times.

  16. Posted June 12, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    This has to be about the only website I’ve read that has two articles which touch on burnt bread!

  17. nicky
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    The Draisienne or Draisine , invented by Freiherr (baron) Karl Christian Ludwig Drais von Sauerbronn (Oh I love these titles), used to be the ‘push-bike’ shown. Later it became the designation of those small railway vehicles powered by human muscle.
    My Children loved push-bikes, the best -by far-, in solidity as well as achievable speed as well as training for balance is the so called “Y-bike”. If you have children under 3 this is the thing to get if you are contemplating a push-bike.(no, I have no financial interest in the company that produces them)

    • nicky
      Posted June 12, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      I think the difference with other push- bikes, making it a superior design by far, is the rather long frame allowing for large steps, as well as the two back wheels being close together within the frame, instead of outside the frame. More solid, more speed, more balance.
      Sorry to go on about this, but when a design is brilliant it should be recognised.

  18. John Black
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Jerry, both Lovings were sentenced to a year in prison as a result of their (then illegal) marriage, not just Richard. I think it’s important to note that both individuals were penalized by the state of Virginia, not just the husband.

    The Lovings were allowed to escape this sentence by moving out of Virginia and not returning for 25 years; they moved to DC and started their appellate proceedings with the help of the ACLU. Richard Loving died a few years later in a car accident.

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