Thursday: Hili dialogue

Hello all: it’s Thursday, June 28, 2018, and for the next 10 days I will have several rounds of visitors, so posting may become almost nonexistent. I’ll be back after the first week in July. It’s National Tapioca Day, and you have permission to ingest your tapioca in bubble tea. It’s also Tau Day, which Wikipedia describes this way: “Two Pi Day, also known as Tau Day, is lightly observed on June 28 (6/28 in the month/day format).”

As I mentioned, I have visitors coming on and off for about ten days, so posting will be very light. Do bear with me, as I’ll be back.

On June 28, 1838, Queen Victoria was crowned. Exactly eight years later, Adolphe Sax patented the saxophone, making possible a passel of great jazz, from Lester Young to Coleman Hawkins to Ben Webster to Stan Getz to John Coltrane. On July 28, 1880 Australian bushranger (criminal) Ned Kelly was captured at Glenrowan. He was executed in November of that year. On this day in 1914, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo; this was the precipitating incident of the First World War. On this day in 1950, there were three incidents in the Korean War; to quote Wikipedia: “Suspected communist sympathizers (between as many as 100,000 to 200,000) are executed in the Bodo League massacre”, “Packed with its own refugees fleeing Seoul and leaving their 5th Division stranded, South Korean forces blow up the Hangang Bridge in an attempt to slow North Korea’s offensive. The city falls later that day’: and, finally “Korean War: North Korean Army conducts the Seoul National University Hospital massacre.”

On this day in 1969, the Stonewall Riots began in New York City; this is considered the beginning of the Gay Rights Movement. Exactly nine years later, in the Case of Regents of University of California v. Bakke, prevented the use of quota systems in college admissions, but did not bar race as a criterion for college admission. Finally—and you may remember this—terrorists launched an attack at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport, killing 42 people and injuring over 230.

Notables born on this day included Peter Paul Rubens (1577), John Wesley (1703), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712), Paul Broca (1824), Richard Rodgers (1902), Mel Brooks (1926), Gilda Radner (1946), Lalla Ward (1951), and Elon Musk (1971).  Those who died on this day include James Madison (1836), Rod Serling (1975), and Mortimer J. Adler (2001).

Here’s a lovely video of mallard hens eating watermelon. The Japanese caption says, “I love watermelon!” Indeed they do—they sound like motorboats nomming it up! And, of course, I’m now contemplating giving Honey (or her brood) some watermelon. Check out this site, which gives more information about these two famous ducks.

Tweets from Matthew. He explains this first one (like me, he’s fasting to slim down):

I am at University of Lincoln externalling their Masters course. I stayed at the local Holiday Inn last night and tweeted this this morning

A lovely moth:

Foxes in Texas:

Check out the link here:

Tweets from Grania. This leopard fell into a well, but it ends well. Do watch this:

Watch the tail!

Amazingly, Germany lost to Korea in the World Cup, and Deutschland is kaput. Here are Mexicans (who are still in the tournament) congratulating Korea:

A tenacious kitty:

Yes, “cute arcane”:


  1. Dominic
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    In case PCC[E] misses his emails –
    Amazing mimicry –

    • Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Didn’t miss it, just busy. I’ve printed it out to read. A remarkable case of mimicry! Thanks.

  2. DrBrydon
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    When I was a kid, I never thought that Mothra looked like a moth.

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    I didn’t know 2pi is sometimes called tau… like when you use it all the time and don’t want to write it out…

    But 2pi is frequently written simply as 2pi or 2(Greek pi)…

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted June 28, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Tau makes more sense than Pi – geometers & mathematicians nearly always refer to “r” rather than “d” in their calculations

      If you want to designate a point one third of the way around the circle, you say it has gone two thirds pi radians. Three quarters around the same circle has gone one and a half pi radians

      By contrast, a third of a circle is a third of tau. Three quarters of a circle is three quarters tau.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted June 28, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        I see!

      • freiner
        Posted June 28, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        A nice way to think of tau — and your comment effectively does this — is to tie it directly to rotational symmetry. A half-turn is half-tau, a full-turn is tau, etc.

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted June 28, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        Tau has several meanings in math, much more than the word “tangent” (which has 2 meanings). There is the Kendall tau rank correlation coefficient, the torsion of a curve, etc.

        The same Greek letter has been used in several ways in physics: shear stress, an elementary particle, a time variable (when you want ‘t’ for temperature), etc.

        (Perhaps one could write a book about all of these called “The Tau of Physics” ! 🙂 )

        • freiner
          Posted June 28, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          Oddly enough, Coxeter used it for the golden section in his classic “Introduction to Geometry.” I never saw this anywhere else (except maybe other Coxeter.)
          (And kudos for the pun. I like taudry comments.)

        • Posted June 29, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

          A physics instructor I had in CEGEP pointed out that every Greek letter and I think it was every Cyrillic letter had several meanings, just within the context of quantum chromodynamics and cosmology (a journal of which he was reading).

    • Posted June 28, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      The idea is that 𝜏 is the better value for the circle constant. Using π introduces annoying factors of two everywhere. 𝜏r is the formula for the circumference of a circle. Angles work better: a whole circle is 𝜏 radians. A half circle is 𝜏/2 radians, a quarter circle is 𝜏/4 radians.

      Almost every single equation or formula that involves π works better using 𝜏. You have, for example ei𝜏 = 1 and ℏ = h/𝜏

      • Posted June 28, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        I see superscripts don’t work. ei𝜏 = 1 should be e^(i𝜏) = 1

      • freiner
        Posted June 28, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        But Viete’s formula loses its zest when it starts with 4/tau.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    So WWI was caused by a driver who made a wrong turn.

    Two nights ago a tornado hit a small town, Eureka, Kansas, just 60 miles east of here in Wichita. Around 78 homes damaged or destroyed and 8 people injured. Still working on getting the electricity back on for the town of about 2400. The high temp today in Wichita is forecast to be 103F or 39C.

    • Posted June 28, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      So WWI was caused by a driver who made a wrong turn.

      Coupled with the fact that, when he realised his mistake, he stopped right outside the café where Gavrilo Princip was having a snack having more or less given up on his assassination attempt.

      If you want an outstanding podcast about the episode, I strongly recommend Dan Carlin’s Blueprint for Armageddon I.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted June 28, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Yes, but of course determining actual reason for events is a bit more difficult than just looking at what one person did or even many. The driver made a wrong turn or the assassin who did the shooting. We kind of know that the killing of these two people in 1914, by itself, did not bring us to WWI. Books have been written attempting to untangle all the causes of WWI. Some of them will nearly put you to sleep. Some things in history caused great events but often it was a long series of things and associations that created the event. WWI was one of those.

  5. mrclaw69
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    It’s a Privet Hawkmoth (Sphinx ligustri). It’s the UK’s largest resident moth.

    I’ve never actually seen an adult in the wild, but I find the caterpillars near me from time-to-time. Big ol’ caterpillars they are too!

    (Not my photo)

  6. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Re the first paragraph, do you mean that you’ll be back to normal after the first week of July (not August)?

  7. freiner
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Wow! But are you sure that’s not a doctored photo of dachshund in a super-hero suit?

    • freiner
      Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Oops, meant to go with #5

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Charlie Parker — I think he deserves a spot in your crowning saxophone firmament, too, boss; I’d make it a pentalogy, with Bird smack dab in the middle, the Prez & the Hawk on one side, Getz & Trane on the other.

    • freiner
      Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      I gotta pull the lever for Johnny Hodges here. (Or as Bird put it, Johnny “Lily Pons” Hodges.)

    • Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Crikey, how could I forget Parker (or Ben Webster). I’ll add these two. And here’s Webster and Hawkins in a lovely piece:

      • freiner
        Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Yikes, Webster — another favorite. Gotta stop listing and just start listening.

  9. Rhonda
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Where’s Hili?

    • George
      Posted June 28, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Had to read the post twice – and scan it again. What is a Hili dialogue without Hili?

      • Posted June 28, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        It is like a Duck Report without ducks.

        • George
          Posted June 28, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

          If that happens, we will know for certain that PCC(e) has lost it. Whatever it is.

  10. freiner
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I like the tenor of your sax comment. I mean tenors. I mean both. Or all. Skip it.

  11. John Dentinger
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Re: Matthew–
    “so much depends
    a red wheel
    glazed with rain
    beside the brown

  12. Roger
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Yes make a video of the ducks eating watermelon with Yakety Sax as the background music! Could go viral! You’re welcome!

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted June 28, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Clearly, those ducks are watermelon fiends. Please feed Honey and her ducklings some watermelon — in its own bowl.

  13. Michael Fisher
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Princip Street in Birmingham’s Gun Quarter is named for Gavrilo Princip – the Bosnian Serb who shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand

    Princip made a few Brummies rich

  14. Monika
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    As a German I have to say: They deserved it, the German team simply played bad football.

    There’s much whining and wailing and finger pointing.

  15. Sarah
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Clever parody of William Carlos Williams!

  16. Ruthann L. Richards
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Yes, where’s Hili?!?

    • Roger
      Posted June 28, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      “Hili dialogue” has become genericized! Don’t need an actual Hili®!

  17. Posted June 28, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I have a question about the sex selection bit – I am missing something and it is likely obvious but I haven’t thunk it yet. Maybe someone can help…

    It was always my understanding that haploid selection in diploid animals (but not necessarily plants) is minimal. In mammals cell division in eggs ceases early in life and the eggs remain quiescent until fertilized – meiosis II is only initiated after fertilization. I suppose selection could be conferred on them by their respective ability to be fertilized? Anyway, during spermatogenesis proteins and RNAs are shared among cells across cytoplasmic bridges (called “syncytium”) into the late post meiotic stages meaning the haploid sperm share gene products. Further, due to condensation of the haploid genome, very few haploid genes are expressed during the life of the mature sperm cell. So there doesn’t seem to be much selectable stuff in the haploid gametes. Perhaps what there is is sufficient?

    If haploid gametes don’t (essentially) express their genes, how are they selected? But the paper says;

    “Haploid selection can drive transitions between sex-determining systems without requiring selection to act differently in diploid males versus females.”

    I am missing something. Perhaps the selection they’re referring to isn’t the kind of selection I’m thinking of (selection for likelihood of successful fertilization).

  18. bingingonabudget
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for posting, I love reading what you have to say.

  19. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Most folks of my age remember Lalla Ward as Ophelia opposite Derek Jacobi’s Hamlet as one of the more fetching Doctor Who companions.

    Although more or less retired from acting, she does co-read many of the books on tape of the works of her husband, Richard Dawkins (they separated in 2016), as well as the audio of Pinker’s “The Language Instinct”.

  20. Posted June 28, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    On June 28, 1928, exactly 90 years ago, in Chicago, Louis Armstrong recorded West End Blues. The world was never the same:

    • Mark R.
      Posted June 28, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Awesome! Thanks for posting this lovely tune.

  21. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    like me, he’s fasting to slim down

    You likely know this, but for the educational benefit: There is little evidence that specific diet fads such as intermittent fasting leads to weight loss in humans.

    The generic way to lose weight is to eat a little less (and move a little more). [ ]

  22. Posted June 28, 2018 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Hili? Where are you?

  23. Posted June 29, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    On the “Hello Kitty” thing – reminds me of “Hello Cthulhu”.

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