Friday: Hili dialogue

It’s Friday, July 27, 2018: National Scotch Day. Have a wee dram of a single malt, and make mine Springbank! In Finland it’s a curious holiday: National Sleepy Head Day, when, according to Wikipedia, stuff like this takes place:

In the city of Naantali, a Finnish celebrity is chosen every year to be thrown in the sea from the city’s port at 7 a.m. The identity of the sleeper is kept secret until the event. People who are chosen have usually done something to the benefit of the city. Every city mayor has thus far been thrown to the sea at least once, but other sleepers have included the president Tarja Halonen’s husband, Dr Pentti Arajärvi, the CEO of Neste Oil Risto Rinne, along with many writers, artists and politicians. The celebrations continue into the evening in Naantali and include activities for people of every age.

I have arrived at work with no idea what I’ll write about today, so don’t be surprised if you get either persiflage or nothing.

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the life of humanitarian and chess champion Lyudmila Rudenko, born on this day in 1904 (died in 1986). As Newsweek notes, she was not only the Women’s World Chess Champion between 1950 and 1953, but organized the rescue of children during the German siege of Leningrad during World War II:

Dog bites man news: the Trumpism of the day:

On this day in 1299 (according to Edward Gibbon via Wikipedia), “Osman I invades the territory of Nicomedia for the first time, usually considered to be the founding day of the Ottoman state.” On July 27, 1794, Robespierre was arrested after himself decreeing the execution of over 17,000 “enemies” of the French Revolution. He lost his head like many of his victims. On this day in 1866, the first transatlantic cable, between Valentia Island, Ireland, and Heart’s Content, Newfoundland, finished being installed. On July 27, 1890, Vincent Van Gogh shot himself in the chest, dying thirty hours later of an infection that could have been cured had there been antibiotics. On this day in 1921, researcher Frederick Banting and his team at the University of Toronto showed that insulin regulated blood sugar. This was, of course, to lead to insulin-injection treatment of diabetes and his Nobel Prize (shared with John Macleod) in 1923.  On July 27, 1953, the hostilities ended in the Korean War when the U.S., China, and North Korea (but not South Korea) signed an armistice. But technically the war still isn’t over.  Finally, on this day in 1974, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee voted 27 to 11 to recommend that President Richard Nixon be impeached for obstruction of justice.

Notables born on July 27 include Charlotte Corday (1768), Hilaire Belloc (1870), Hans Fischer (1881; Nobel Laureate), Leo Durocher (1905), Norman Lear (1922, still alive at 96), Peggy Fleming (1948), and Alex Rodriguez (1975). Those who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on this day include Mikhail Lermontov (1841), John Dalton (1844), Gertrude Stein (1946), Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1980; last Shah of Iran), James Mason (1984), Bob Hope (2003) and Sam Shepard (last year).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili evinces some stoic sentiment, but Malgorzata says, “Hili is pretending.”

Cyrus: Am I pressing on your paw?
Hili: A bit but suffering ennobles.
In Polish:
Cyrus: Nie uciskam ci łapki?
Hili: Trochę, ale cierpienie uszlachetnia.

Tweets from Grania, who says she spots “several Hollywood knuckleheads in the audience”: people paying good money to see the silent charlatan Braco. Can you spot any stars? (I couldn’t.)

This is a good one!

A wobbly baby elephant takes a bath:

I think this tweet is jocular, because what Shermer said certainly does NOT refute determinism! All it shows it that some people don’t accept it.

Tweets from Matthew:

Re the water discovered under the Martian polar ice cap, which I mentioned the other day (that water is salty!)

How did this man get to be our President? Never mind, I’ve heard the theories. . . .

A rare (and hopefully left-alone) whale:

I haven’t been to this bookstore; has anyone?

Tweets from Heather Hastie; first, serval vs Spider Man:

Pole-dancing bear:

And a cat who’s particular about which part of the body is used to pet it:


  1. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted July 27, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Maybe Hillary Clinton was near the end of the Braco clip?

    • Anna Wilson
      Posted July 27, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Looks like Christine Baranski to me. Heavy sigh!

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 27, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Seems like a good time to share this :

    a nifty math fact :

    1^3 + 5^3 + 3^3 = 153

    16^3 + 50^3 + 33^3 = 165033

    166^3 + 500^3 + 333^3 = 166500333

    1666^3 + 5000^3 + 3333^3 = 166650003333

    source :

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 27, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Are these like prime numbers, in that there are an infinite number of them? Should that be known as “Thyroid’s theorem”?

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted July 27, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        For the record : I’m just reporting this fact.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted July 28, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink




        That was funny.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 27, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    How about that. In 1974 articles of impeachment were put into play very similar to the articles put forward the other day to impeach our assistant attorney general. But we need a vote by the house to do this you know. They never got to a full vote in 1974 as I recall. Yet many of people think Nixon was impeached?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 27, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Nixon’s impeachment was a fait accompli. He resigned in advance of a vote on the proposed articles of impeachment by the full House of Representatives because some of the old bull congressional Republicans went to the White House and told him he was through. As Barry Goldwater put it when Nixon asked how many votes he could count on in the Senate: “Not many, and not mine.”

      Remember when there were still Republicans like that, buddy?

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted July 27, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        I remember and it does not make these current bandits look anything but worse. The idea that the congress and parts therein would attempt to destroy our justice department, our FBI and their only reason is to protect that thing in the white house. There are parts of this house that need to be covered in tar and feathers.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 27, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Re the pole-dancing bear: looks like something could get a gal pinched on a lewd & lascivious beef in Columbus, OH.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted July 27, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Oh dear, that link works for about ten seconds then a paywall appears demanding subscription to read further. I had to resort to ‘view page source’ to read it.

      The arrest of Stormy Daniels does look very fishy. Especially since the detective involved had noted Daniels’ advertised appearance in advance and later emailed colleagues “You can thank me in person later”. Especially since it was the first time Sirens (the club involved) had been targeted.

      The charges were dropped on the rather lame grounds that the law applies only to ‘regular performers’ and Daniels was a ‘guest artist’, and against the other two arrested on grounds of ‘inequitable application of the law’. Looks like the top brass realised they were holding a hot potato.

      Here’s a non-paywall summary:


      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted July 27, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        And here’s more specificity about the apparent targeting of Daniels in a non-paywalled version:

        Ain’t emails lovely when they leak?


        • Randall Schenck
          Posted July 27, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

          speaking of leaked…the latest on the leaked info that Cohen says Trump knew about the famous meet in the Trump tower. If found to be the case, Trump is finished and guilty of everything he says he is not guilty of. I suspect Pence is already calling moving companies in preparation for a future move. I just hope he is not thinking of pardon.

          • Mark Sturtevant
            Posted July 27, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

            I can hope you are right, but the Republicans of today are nowhere near the forthright, honest, and country-before-party Republicans of 1974 😶.

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted July 27, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

              It seems slightly curious that so many commenters want to stick with the skeptical and pessimistic view that nothing will change the status quo. I like to think they have this guy by the short ones and when everything is laid out, even his ignorant follows will fold. When it is crystal clear that he colluded with the Russians on the election from beginning to end and he obstructed justice in many ways along the way he will go, one way or the other. All the girl friends and lying about that area means nothing. A portion of them will continue to ignore reality as long as possible but that does not mean that we must.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted July 27, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

              I think all 51 Republicans in the US senate hate Donald Trump’s guts. They know he’s completely unfit for office, an embarrassment on the world stage, and has turned the Party base into a rabbling white-nationalist horde. And I think the majority of Republicans in the House feel the same, save for the far-right wackos in the so-called “Freedom Caucus” and their fellow travelers.

              But all these Republicans fear his horde, since Trump’s approval rating among the Party faithful is near 90%, much higher than anyone in congress. Nevertheless, should they ever sense they can turn on Trump without incurring the horde’s wrath, they’ll cut him loose so fast his head will spin.

  5. Desnes Diev
    Posted July 27, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    “Tweets from Heather Hastie; first, serval vs Spider Man”

    It does not really matter but the doll looks more like Deadpool than Spiderman.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted July 27, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      It is Deadpool.

      • drawingbusiness
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        Yes, definitely Deadpool. I came here just to make sure someone had noticed, because, y’know, this stuff is important and stuff.

  6. Lurker111
    Posted July 27, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Re: the white whale. SMBC recently addressed the matter:

  7. Posted July 27, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    This year’s Sleepy Head in Naantali was the CEO of an energy corporation, Tapani Bastman (not Bestman or Batman):

  8. BJ
    Posted July 27, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I’ve never heard of this Braco, but it’s amazing how a group of people can influence one another, which is clearly what’s going on (combined with the expectations created by hearing about and believing in this nonsense before newcomers show up). It’s just like a fundie church, where the charismatic priest convinces thousands that he can bring health back to the sick or whatever.

    • BJ
      Posted July 27, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      In other words, the weirdness that goes on in even the most fervent and insidious religious belief is not at all confined to religion.

    • rickflick
      Posted July 27, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Group pressure. Fear of being the odd man/woman out.

  9. revelator60
    Posted July 27, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Comics nerd correction for PCC: that is Deadpool, not Spider Man, fighting the serval.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted July 27, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      I request the comics nerd give us a Deadpool-style snarky comment on the error- or something?…

      • Mark R.
        Posted July 27, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        Wade Winston Wilson, aka Deadpool first appeared in The New Mutants #98. Rob Liefeld art. Collectors can acquire a nice graded copy CGC 9.8 for aroung $700.00. Good investment actually.

        • ThyroidPlanet
          Posted July 27, 2018 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          That’s great but I mean doesn’t Deadpool make rude, humorous remarks? Might be fun … but…

          Anyway, never mind.

  10. Posted July 27, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    What a post. Lots going on here. Regarding Shermer’s thought experiment, I like how he cavalierly dismisses the multifarious variables that would make any decision more or less probable. Those variables are as intractably aligned to determinism as the final “choice” is. Simply put, the brain is made of atoms, Shermer, and atoms are gonna do what atoms are gonna do. The rest is post-hoc analysis, for the sake of seeking explanatory solace, by constructing convenient narratives. Ceci n’est pas une decision.

  11. rickflick
    Posted July 27, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Sweet baby Jesus! Springbank 1966
    Local Barley Cask #489, costs $4,000!

  12. Hempenstein
    Posted July 28, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Pity that’s not a Chinese flag on that golf-hole pole. It would be a good visual metaphor, or something like that.

  13. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 28, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    had a moment to listen to Shermer

    my two cents

    yes, he is correct – for people who would opt to … whatever he says – cheat on his wife? what kind of example is that?..

    however, he is incorrect for two other conditions. how about I enumerate all the possibilities :

    1. people who would cheat on their wife (bad example, Shermer) except they reconsidered their actions. Shermer’s prediction fails.

    2. people who wouldn’t cheat on their wife anyway. Shermer fail.

    3. people who would cheat on their wife. Shermer win.

    4. people who would not cheat on their wife but for some reason want to buck the system. Shermer win.

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  1. […] to Jerry Coyne of WEIT for the following snippet. Thanks to Ed Peeling for bringing it to my attention. Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili evinces some […]

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