Tuesday: Hili dialogue

It’s June 19, 2018, and a cruel Tuesday. But palliate the cruelty with a drink, as it’s National Martini Day. And it’s also a day I didn’t know existed: World Sauntering Day, decreed to prompt us to slow down and smell the roses. Wikipedia defines what we’re supposed to do:

Sauntering is a verb describing a style of walking. It is simply to walk slowly, preferably with a joyful disposition. Sauntering has been spoken of most notably by many of the naturalist writers in history including Henry David Thoreau and John Burroughs. See saunter.

It’s also Juneteenth; see below.

Not much happened on this day in history. On June 19, 1269, Louis IX of France ordered all Jews to wear an identifying yellow badge in public or face a fine. Only a bit less than 700 years later, a similar order obtained in a neighboring country.  It’s also Juneteenth, a saddish holiday commemorating the day in 1865 on which slaves in Galveston Texas, fully two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, were finally informed that they were free. On June 19, 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, convicted of spying for the Soviet Union, were executed at Sing Sing prision in New York.  Also on this day, exactly 40 years ago, the comic strip Garfield made its debut; it now holds the Guinness World Record for the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world.

Here’s the first strip:

Finally, it was June 19 six years ago that Wikileaks boss Julian Assange asked for asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid extradition to the U.S. He remains in the embassy, as he’d be arrested for violating bail conditions were he to step outside.

Notables born on June 19 include Blaise Pascal (1623), Wallis Simpson (1896), Moe Howard of the Three Stooges (1897), Guy Lombardo (1902), Lou Gehrig (1903, died of ALS 1941), Lester Flatt (1914), Aung San Suu Kyi (1945), Salman Rushdie (1947), and Laura Ingraham (1963).  Those who expired on this day include J. M. Barrie (1937), Ethel and Julius Rosenberg (1953, see above), Slim Whitman (2013), and Otto Warmbier (last year after being transported to the U.S. from the DPRK).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has a taste for mouse:

Hili: Time for hunting.
A: You’d better come home.
Hili: Too late. I’ve heard the call of Nature.
In Polish:
Hili: Czas na polowanie.
Ja: Chodźmy lepiej do domu.
Hili: Za późno, usłyszałam wołanie natury.

From Matthew, who calls this tweet, “DON’T DO IT, FLY!”:

Some kind of mutant or developmentally messed up tadpole. LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT THING!

Thanks to natural selection, even the tiniest creatures can be ridiculously complex. Look at this gastropod larva:

Matthew has just returned from an academic sojourn to Switzerland, including a stay in Zermatt. Here’s a picture he tweeted from there:

Who could resist giving a magpie some money to watch it stick it in the bank?!

And a cat in some futuristic thing that I don’t understand because I don’t follow these things.

Finally, a tweet (modified) which Matthew says was modified from the Brazil/Switzerland World Cup game (a 1-1 tie).


  1. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Well the ‘thing’ the kitten is in, is a lampshade frame without its cover.

    The ‘teleport’ reference is to the general shape of teleport terminals in innumerable sci-fi TV/movies, though I’m not sure if any particular series has a teleport exactly like that one.


  2. Posted June 19, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Now that school is out, I can enjoy these dialogues. The bullfrog tadpole: I saw my first one just last week, and they are that big. It was amazing; it was as if I couldn’t understand what it was because it was so big. None of my photos came out, though. Fortunately, they are native here.

  3. Posted June 19, 2018 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    I love your post

  4. Posted June 19, 2018 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Julian Assange fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden (for investigation of sex charges), not to the United States.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted June 19, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Yes, importantly Assange is accused of being a simple rapist, and not the freedom fighter that he tries to make himself out as. He was sought for cases of rape and coercion of two women; then for fleeing his arrest. Assange has got repeated assurances that he will not get extradited to US for his other problems.

      Now the Swedish criminal cases are voided by time limits due to Assange acting precisely like a criminal. But England still wants to get him before a court due to his fleeing international justice. #MeToo.

      By the way, is the banking magpie fettered and – if so – is that legal in US?

      • Posted June 20, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

        It is my opinion that Julian Assange thinks he would probably get convicted if he faced trial in Sweden because the explanation for fleeing justice that he and his supporters give doesn’t stack up.

        The claim is that, were he to go back to Sweden, he would then be extradited to the USA. But he forgets that Britain also has an extradition treaty with the USA. He is no more safe from US justice in Britain than in Sweden. Furthermore, the USA has made no attempt to ask for his extradition from either Britain or Sweden.

        As well as possibly being a rapist, Assange stitched up some of his British supporters to the tune of £93,000 when he jumped bail. I think he’s a bit of a shit.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted June 20, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

          “He is no more safe from US justice in Britain than in Sweden.”

          This is why he is stuck inside the Ecuadorian embassy.

          You call it “US justice”, I call it “US revenge”. The same sort of ‘justice’ Ellsberg, Snowden and Manning were afforded?


          • Posted June 20, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

            No, he’s stuck inside the Ecuadorian embassy because he was facing charges of rape in Sweden and he can’t come out because the British would immediately arrest him as a fugitive from the law. He skipped bail and, in the process screwed over several friends who put up a total of £140k as a bond.

            The USA has so far shown zero interest in extraditing him.

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted June 20, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

              Your last statement is quite incorrect.

              “On 20 April 2017, U.S. officials told CNN that they were preparing to file formal charges against Assange.”

              Read the wiki page on Assange.



              • Posted June 22, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

                Ok so they showed some interest in charging him five years after he broke his bail conditions and there have so far been no requests either to the UK or to Sweden to extradite him. Certainly, at the time when he ran away rather than face rape accusations, there was no US initiative to extradite him.

                Have charges been filed yet? Has the US asked anybody to extradite Assange? As far as we know, the only people who currently want to talk to him are the British over the matter of breaking the law by skipping bail and the Swedes over the alleged rapes.

  5. George
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Is Matthew’s picture of the Matterhorn a “spot the plane?” I see a contrail but no plane.

    • pierluigi Ballabeni
      Posted June 19, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      There is no contrail without plane. Unless it is god’s flatulence.

      • George
        Posted June 19, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        Still don’t see the plane so I guess god had beans for lunch.

        • pierluigi Ballabeni
          Posted June 19, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

          LOL. Tons of beans.

          Last winter I read the novel The Hunters by James Salter. Not being a native English speaker I had to look in the dictionary what contrail means.

      • colin
        Posted June 19, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        Reminds me of an old, crude schoolboy joke.

        What’s white and streaks across the sky?

        The coming of the Lord.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    “World Sauntering Day” — the perfect day for flâneurs.

    • Merilee
      Posted June 19, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Flâner’s a much better word.

  7. Posted June 19, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    It would be interesting to see a time lapse movie of Jon and Garfield evolving from their primordial state pictured above to their present day modern form.

  8. Posted June 19, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    The proportions of the tadpole seem normal. The dimensions are extraordinary.

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    It was a few years ago that I learned of the judgment of Alan Dershowitz that Ethel Rosenberg was both guilty and unfairly framed, but I much more recently learned the reason.
    The U.S. government could not disclose the real reasons they knew Ethel was guilty without giving away that they had broken a secret communications code being used by the Soviets. Ironically, we now know that the Soviets already knew.
    Dershowitz’s source for this is….Roy Cohn, with whom he was apparently often on speaking terms.
    Still, the Rosenbergs were a better breed of human than their prosecutor, Roy Cohn, and I look forward to seeing for the 2nd time in a 12-month period “Angels in America” here in Berkeley. (I saw the simulcast of the London production back in September.)

    After their death, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg’s children were raised by the author of Billie Holliday’s “Strange Fruit”, so I take the occasion to post it here.

  10. Posted June 19, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Garfield at 40, wow.

    I still have a few books from youth, when it was good …

  11. Posted June 19, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink


    We will be in Zermatt in about 2 weeks. From where was the Matterhorn/moon shot taken? Looks like a terrific vantage point.


    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 20, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Oops, meant to reply to jblilie’s comment here, not post another comment. See below.

      (mutter mutter WordPress mutter mutter)


  12. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted June 20, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    From memory, anywhere at the south end of town (and more particularly across the river on the east side) that isn’t blocked by trees or hotels should have a view like that. (Or clouds of course).

    For the most spectacular views, take trip on the Gornergratbahn (trains every 24 minutes through the day). It isn’t cheap but the views are worth it.

    (This is from memory, I haven’t been there since 1991).


  13. Posted June 22, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    The magpie video is great. Both the bird and the boy’s happy face.

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