Saturday: Hili dialogue

It’s Saturday, June 23, 2018, and it’s GRANIA’S BIRTHDAY! On her natal day, let me thank her for covering for me when I’m traveling, and contributing mightily to this website as Our Correspondent in Ireland. Happy birthday!

Sadly, it’s also Nation Pecan Sandy Day, a cookie so dry it will suck the saliva right out of your mouth.

On this day in 1868, Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for an invention called the “Type-Writer,” and in 1926 the first SAT exam was administered by the College Board. The test may be on its way out: some schools, including the University of Chicago, no longer require it for entry.  On June 23, 1972, Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was altered to prohibit sex discrimination by any educational institution that receives federal funds. That was a good change, but its further interpretations under Obama’s “Dear Colleague” letter has created a huge muddle when it comes to sexual harassment and assault cases. On this day in 1993, Lorena Bobbitt of Price William County, Virginia, cut off the penis of her husband John. If you were alive then, and a male, you probably involuntarily reached for your nether parts when you heard that news. On June 23, 2013, Nik Wallenda became the first man to successfully cross the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. Here’s his 1500-foot walk, actually not over the Grand Canyon proper but a subsidiary Canyon (no tightrope-walking allowed in the National Park). Notice he had no safety harness; it was a sure fall to the death if he slipped.

This is about the scariest feat I can imagine:

Finally, it was exactly two years today that the UK voted to leave the European Union. Brexit Day! Surely an unwise move, and we’ll see what ensues.

Notables born on this day, besides Grania, include Alfred Kinsey (1894), Edward VIII of England (1894, abdicated in 1936), Alan Turing (1912), Bob Fosse (1927), June Carter Cash (1929), Wilma Rudolph (1940), Martin Rees (1942), and Clarence Thomas (1948).  Those who died on June 23 include a rhyming pair: Jonas Salk (1995) and Peter Falk (2011).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, as usual, wants to be the center of attention, but Cyrus obscures her:

Hili: Am I visible enough?
A: Not really.
Hili: Well, sometimes the best of friends may spoil everything.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy dobrze mnie widać?
Ja: Nie bardzo.
Hili: No tak, czasem najlepszy przyjaciel może wszystko popsuć.

Some tweets from Matthew, first some Arty Fish. I like the “Munch”:

Matthew has been tweeting paeans to the power of natural selection, and someone responded showing the power of sexual selection (which, despite what Martin Nowak tells you, is a form of natural selection, one based on mate choice):

We’ve seen this before, but you can’t see it too often. Kitty brings home a toy.

From Grania: a nice photo of Maajid and Ayaan celebrating Maajid’s victory over the odious Southern Poverty Law Center, which defamed both of them:

I still maintain that the Pope, though he seems like a nice guy and all, is still being the Vatican’s Useful Idiot: perpetuating the harms of Catholicism but with a genial and smiling mien:

Grania also sent this groaner:

A nice simile, but that must make the wearer dizzy!


From reader Blue, a very sad clip of a cat viewing its owner on the phone after the owner had died: (actually, the translation “hostess” is better than “owner”).


  1. GBJames
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Many Happy Returns of the Day, Grania!

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Happy days to Grania.

    I wonder, what was it like in the office before the typewriter.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 23, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      I think they had scriveners, like Melville’s Bartleby.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted June 23, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        A very quiet office for sure. When the clerks all become typist I knew the office during those days. There would be a typist or clerk for every 5 to 10 middle to lower management staff workers. All drafts written by hand would then go to the typists for further drafts or final. As desk top PCs came into the mix, that was the end of the clerk typist and managers become their own clerks.

      • Mark R.
        Posted June 23, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        That was one sad tale.

      • freiner
        Posted June 24, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        If they were like that not a hell of a lot got done.

  3. Blue
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    ” On her natal day, let me thank her, ” too !
    I am glad, Ms Grania, you are THERE for when
    W E I T .needs. you !

    ps What a smashing phrasing, PCC(E), for
    ones’ birthing days ! As birthdays of
    My Precious Ones are huge holidays for me,
    Imagonna use it m’self from time to time !

  4. Debbie Coplan
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Have a wonderful birthday Grania!

  5. dabertini
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Happy birthday, Grania.

  6. Lee Beringsmith
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Happy birthday Granis, may your special day be filled with smiles and laughter.

  7. Lee Beringsmith
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Oh my gosh, I mean Grania. Fat fingers strike again.

  8. Lee Beringsmith
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Happy birthday Grania, may your special day be filled with smiles and laughter.

  9. Jenny Haniver
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Dear Grania, lá breithe shona duit! And many more!

  10. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday Grania

  11. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    The art school of fish is 20th-century chauvinist (though, before that, art was largely representational, so the fish woulda looked like, well, fish).

  12. Liz
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday, Grania!!

  13. DrBrydon
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Happy birthday, Grania!

  14. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    What about the Innocent Pineapple also shown in Granias’ picture? That fruit looks like it had been up to something!

  15. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I am inclined to believe Pope Francis may be more radical then he is willing to let on because he is a Jesuit, and not European.

  16. Mark R.
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday Grania…thanks for keeping the Hili Dialogues going when our host is out and about. And also thanks for enriching the dialogues with the “what happened today” factoids that are now a standard addition.

  17. Christopher
    Posted June 23, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    In defense of the dry and humble Pecan Sandy, I belive they are the go-to bait for many myrmecologists. Ants like ’em, and they were a staple in my childhood, especially my Lake of the Ozarks vacations, so I’ll always have a soft spot for them.

    and Grania, congratulations on yet another successful navigation of the 940 million km trip around the sun.

  18. Posted June 23, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Our cats love pollock, but I love Pollock. But I also love Mackintosh, so these days talk of Art Schools is a bit of a downer. I’m sure Matthew and Grania understand.

  19. Posted June 23, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I was moved by the cat with the phone.

  20. Posted June 24, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    A belated Happy Birthday, Grania! Many thanks for all you do.

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