Saturday: Hili dialogue

It’s Saturday, July 28, 2018, and soon August will be upon us. It’s National Milk Chocolate Day and World Hepatitis Day, which have no connection.

On July 28, 1540, Thomas Cromwell, charged with treason, was beheaded on the order of Henry VIII of England. On that very day, Henry married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. She too was beheaded in November of the next year. On this day in 1794, both Maximilien Robespierre and Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, leaders of the French Revolution, were hoist with their own petard—or rather with their own guillotine. On this day in 1821, José de San Martin declared that Peru was independent from Spain. In 1868, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was certified, establishing that blacks were United States citizens and deserved equal protection of the law.  On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia—the official beginning of World War I. On this day in 1939, the Sutton Hoo Helmet was unearthed in Suffolk, an amazing artifact from the 7th century. Wikipedia describes it:

The Sutton Hoo helmet is a decorated Anglo-Saxon helmet which was discovered during the 1939 excavation of the Sutton Hoo ship burial. It was buried around 625 and is widely believed to have been the helmet of King Rædwald of East Anglia, and its elaborate decoration may have given it a secondary function akin to a crown. The helmet is “the most iconic object” from “one of the most spectacular archaeological discoveries ever made,” and one of the most important Anglo-Saxon artefacts ever found. Its visage features eyebrows, nose, and moustache, creating the image of a man joined by a dragon’s head to become a soaring dragon with outstretched wings. It has become a symbol of the Dark Ages and also “of Archaeology in general.” It was excavated as hundreds of rusted fragments, and was first displayed following an initial reconstruction in 1945–46, and then in its present form after a second reconstruction in 1970–71.

Here is a reconstruction (with original bits) from 1970-71 and a replica showing its original appearance:

On July 28, 1973, the Summer Jam celebration took place at Watkins Glen, with a rock festival crowd of around 600,000. Yours truly was there with a pal, and I’m told it was the biggest rock festival in history. Finally, on this day in 2005, the Provisional IRA ended its 30-year armed campaign in Northern Ireland.

Notables born on this day include Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844), Beatrix Potter (1866), Marchel Duchamp (1887), Rudy Valée (1901), Malcolm Lowry (1909), Mike Bloomfield and Bill Bradley (both 1943) and Hugo Chavéz (1954). Those who died on July 28 include Antonio Vivaldi (1741), Johann Sebastian Bach (1750), Marie Dressler (1934), Roger Tory Peterson (1996), Francis Crick (2004), and Eileen Brennan (2013).

Heres Brennan playing Genevieve the waitress in my favorite American movie, The Last Picture Show; also appearing in this scene are Ben Johnson, Timothy Bottoms, and Jeff Bridges.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili seeks pleasure—but where?

Hili: Where to look for happiness?
A: I don’t understand.
Hili: In the kitchen or in the garden?
In Polish:
Hili: Gdzie szukać szczęścia?
Ja: Nie rozumiem.
Hili: W kuchni czy w ogrodzie?

Tweets from Matthew:

Look at this baby giraffe struggling to stand up only a few minutes after birth. With lions about, it better!

A miscreant cat:

Here’s something you didn’t know, but might have guessed given that the clitoris and penis have related developmental origins:

Well preserved dinosaurs: a Matthew Cobb favorite:

This footage is amazing:

Note the absence of women, which wouldn’t occur were this picture taken today. See how many evolutionists you can recognize. I’ll name one: my academic grandfather Theodosius Dobzhansky, fourth from left in the top row.

Tweets from Grania. First, an article (click on screenshot) about an Egyptian zoo scamming people:

And, inevitably, Twitter responds:

It’s been bloody hot and dry in Britain; look at these pictures!

Gli, the Hagia Sofia cat whom I’ve visited AND fed (see last part of my post here).

Baby cat drinking milk. Look at the ears!

And “Determinism Man,” a panel from the comic strip Bliss submitted by several readers. It commits the fallacy of asserting that intervention is useless if determinism be true.


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 28, 2018 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    im in haste, I apologize- eclipse highlights:

  2. freiner
    Posted July 28, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Is “bunch” the proper group-term for evolutionary biologists? (How about a “clade?”) Let the evolutionary biologists decide.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 28, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    I guess you are correct, the Watkins Glenn event was the largest as it was a one day event. Three years earlier the Isle of Wight estimated 600,000, possibly 700,000 but that was three days.

    • George Pawlus
      Posted July 28, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Watkins Glen was more of a two day event. The bands (Grateful Dead, The Band, The Allman Brothers) did sound checks on Friday which turned into full blown sets. There were already 250,000 people there. Only 150,000 tickets (at $10) were actually sold. Was PCC (e) one of the 450,000 who saw the show for free? I think you can spot Jerry in this picture:

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

        No, George, we dutifully had tickets. But by the time we got there, it was pandemonium and the fences were down. Great music, though.

      • Posted July 28, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        Jerry Garcia or Jerry Coyne?

    • GBJames
      Posted July 28, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Milwaukee Summerfest (which is primarily Rock music) regularly exceeds these numbers. Last year attendance was 831,769. However, that is over the span of ten days.

      (Attendance was down to 766,192 this year due to heat and rain.)

  4. Mike
    Posted July 28, 2018 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    The skill of “dark age” Silver and Goldsmiths ,never cease to amaze me.

    • Frank Bath
      Posted July 28, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Im with you there. There has been stuff shown over here on BBC TV that leaves you gasping.

  5. Hempenstein
    Posted July 28, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Who’s that behind those Foster Grants?

  6. Posted July 28, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Determinism Man had no choice but to let the train crash.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 28, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      I think he might be more aptly named “Fatalism Man” — not that he had any choice in being a fatalist.

      • Posted July 28, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        He couldn’t do anything other than what he actually did, which is where determinism is congruent with fatalism.

      • revelator60
        Posted July 28, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        That reminds me of Denis Diderot’s superb 18th century novel “Jacques the Fatalist”—I’d be curious to hear what PCC thinks of that work.

    • Wayne Y Hoskisson
      Posted July 28, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Mostly a matter of a poor upbringing. At least he is as effective as the thoughts and prayers people.

  7. Posted July 28, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    And I thought my cat was doing pretty good when he created a new Word document and named it “+”.

  8. Posted July 28, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    The LA Times had an article about the donkeys painted as zebras. It mentioned that they regularly paint burros as zebras in Tijuana, Mexico for tourist picture-taking. However, the tourists are in on the joke.

  9. Diane G
    Posted July 29, 2018 at 5:19 am | Permalink


  10. Andrea Kenner
    Posted July 30, 2018 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Sutton Hoo looks like he was wearing Ray-Bans. Very cool!

  11. Posted August 9, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    The painted donkeys remind me of the Summerlin’s fraud with the painted mice:

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