Tuesday: Hili dialogue

I’m feeling a bit better today, though perhaps not so chipper as to guarantee a surfeit of posts. Like Maru, I do my best.

It’s Tuesday, August 7, 2018, and National Raspberries and Cream Day. (All things told, I prefer strawberries and cream.)

News of the day: Trump has finally admitted, after lying about it before, that the meeting of his son with a Russian lawyer in 2016 was to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. This may have been a crime. Next tweet: “It was collusion, but it was not illegal.” The tweet after that: “It was a crime, but it was not illegal.”

On this day in 1890, Anna Månsdotter becomes the last woman in Sweden to be executed in Sweden; her crime was the 1889 Yngsjö murder. In 1930, the last confirmed lynching of black people took place in America: the place was Marion, Indiana (Indiana is really a southern state) and the victims Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith.  On this day in 1942, the battle of Guadalcanal began in the Pacific, with American troops landing in the Solomon Islands. The first major offensive of the U.S against Japan, the conquest took six months.  On August 7, 1947, Thor Heyerdahl’s raft Kon-Tiki, landed (or rather, broke up) on the reef at Raroia in the Tuamoto Islands after sailing 7,000 km (4,300 miles) from South America. Heyerdahl was trying to prove that ancient peoples colonized Pacific Islands from South America. Sadly, he went in the wrong direction!

Finally, on this day in 1987, the intrepid Lynne Cox became the first person to swim from the U.S. to the Soviet Union. She crossed the Bering Strait from Little Diomede Island (Alaska) to Bio Diomede (Soviet Union). It took her a bit over two hours, but the water was only a few degrees above freezing. Here’s a short video of her swim, one among many of her swimming feats.  She wore only a one-piece bathing suit (no wetsuit): what a feat!

A special shoutout to a reader’s birthday cat: Theo Sindoni-Jones, staffed by Gethyn and Laurie, was born on August 7, 2004, thus turning 14 today. Theo is famous on this site for drinking black espresso, as shown in the video below. While other cats come running when they hear the electric can opener, Theo darts to the kitchen when he hears the coffee grinder (note: he gets only a few sips). Laurie’s paean to her moggie, on her own website, is here.


Notables born on August 7 include Mata Hari (1876), Louis Leakey (1903), Don Larsen (1929; can you name his greatest feat in baseball?), and Garrison Keillor (1942). Those who died on this day include Oliver Hardy (1957), Luis Ángel Firpo (1960), Peter Jennings (2005), and Judith Crist (2012).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is being uppity:

Hili: Do you know what kind of worm this is?
A: No.
Hili: We are all ignoramuses.
In Polish:
Hili: Wiesz co to za robak?
Ja: Nie.
Hili: Wszyscy jesteśmy ignorantami.

Some tweets from Grania:

This kind of behavior by army ants is almost unbelievable. They make a catenary chain of bodies to reach a wasp nest!

From Andrew Copson, head of the UK Humanists, who criticizes the Saudi government. Last week, the Canadian government, in a move to be applauded, publicly called for the release of women’s rights activists and atheist writer Raif Badawi, imprisoned in Saudi Arabia (Badawi for “apostasy”). In response, Saudi Arabia froze all new trade with Canada.  So much for their “liberalization”!

As this tweet shows, Saudi Arabian state media darkly threatened Canada for calling for human rights. This is intolerable. You can contact the Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C. by filling in the message form here.

On a lighter note, a hedgehog takes a shower.

Frosty dunes on Mars:

I don’t understand why cats to this, unless they’re repeatedly testing the law of gravity (video). Readers are welcome to limn their own their, which is theirs:

From Heather Hastie: more bizarre cat behavior:

This is what some Americans have come to. “I’d rather be Russian than Democrat.” Unbelievable!

You wouldn’t know you were on this beach unless you had a microscope:

We all need this today:



  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Top of the morn and hope you are soon back to full tilt. I believe you mean first battle with Japan…not last.

  2. Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Ooh the thought of bathing in the Bering Sea – delicious!
    dom is HOT! 😦

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Trump’s claim that he didn’t know about the June 9, 2016, Russia collusion meeting at Trump Tower doesn’t withstand analysis. No way would Trump Jr. not tell his father he got an email saying the Kremlin wanted to help his father by supplying dirt on Hillary.

    Plus there’s strong circumstantial evidence that Trump Sr. knew. Right before the meeting Trump made a public announcement that he would be giving a speech the following week about Clinton’s dirty dealings. There were also phone calls, just before and after the collusion meeting, from DJTJ’s phone to a “blocked” phone number — the type of blocked number Trump Sr. had (which Mueller’s investigators no doubt have obtained the records of). Plus, it was Trump Sr. who, when the story about the collusion meeting broke in the NYT, dictated the bullshit statement from Air Force One that the meeting was only about the adoption of bouncy little Russian babies.

    If Trump knew about the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower collusion meeting, then Trump Jr. perjured himself before Congress — and Trump Sr. has been blatantly lying to the American people’s faces (and, in so doing, obstructing justice) about his campaign’s ties to Russia from the get-go.

    • Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Yes, it’s clear from Trump’s announcement of a “major speech” (his words) about the Clintons that he knew this meeting was going to happen. He never gave the speech because he didn’t get good enough dirt…

      • Harrison
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        Trump and his team are probably stupid enough to think they were just going to be handed a dossier. What’s more likely is that Russians simply offered to coordinate the leaking of documents via Wikileaks with his campaign. Which means they can truthfully say Russians didn’t give them anything at the meeting, but that doesn’t get them off the hook.

        • darrelle
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

          How this works is well known by US intelligence agencies like the FBI. This kind of thing, Russia and previously the USSR attempting to meddle in high US politics has been a pretty regular thing since at least the 60s. Perhaps earlier.

          The difference now is that in all past instances of Soviet / Russian agents feeling out a US politician about helping them with their election run the US politician quickly contacted the FBI and reported it. Even politicians who were very much opposed to whoever their competition in the election was did so. Until Trump. There is little doubt that Trump is a tool of Putin. He fits the profile for such a mark perfectly. All of the signs one would expect to find if it were so are evident. The FBI knows this better than anyone because they have been playing this game against the Soviets / Russians for decades and are very familiar with their tactics.

          Those walking, talking deplorables wearing the “I’d rather be Russian than Democrat” T-shirts? They are grade A morons and traitors to their country. They are of the type that in their younger days wore “I Kill Commies For My Mommy” T-shirts as proudly as they wear their current ones. While they rabidly support a tool turned by one of the finest agents of the late Soviet era who now leads Russia and has as his goal the weakening of the US. Directly opposite of Trump’s MAGA, which his deplorables actually seem to believe.

    • Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      King Trump’s final tweet on this: “It was collusion, it was illegal, I’m guilty, and I pardon myself.”

  4. Desnes Diev
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    “You can contact the Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C. by filling in the message form here”

    One problem may be that regressive Saoudian “traditions” are encouraged by your POTUS. How not to think that their disproportioned reactions to Freeland’s relatively harmless comment relate somehow to their “friendship” with Trump?

  5. George
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Curious what is meant by the last confirmed lynching. Was what happened to Emmett Till in 1955 not a lynching just a murder? It was certainly confirmed.

    The good people of Mississippi continue to shoot up the sign memorializing this horrible act.

    • George
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Also, Illinois, like Indiana, is mostly a southern state. It is sometimes said that I-80 (an interstate highway south of Chicago) is the Mason-Dixon line. Chicagoans love Wisconsin. The rest of Illinois – not so much.

    • Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      I’m not actually sure what qualifies as a lynching, but I think it’s a mob getting a person and stringing them up.If simple murder counts, then the murder of civil rights worker James Chaney (a black man) along with his white co-workers Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner in 1964 would count. As would the death of Martin Luther King.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        If that’s the criterion, I should think that James Byrd, Jr., the black man dragged to death behind a pick-up truck by three white supremacists in Texas in 1998 qualifies.

        I’m guessing the stat you cited was limited to hangings — to the strange fruit growing on poplar trees, as Lady Day put it.

      • Posted August 7, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        I think there has to be an alleged offence, a group, no judicial process, and a killing to qualify. Hanging is optional (a lot of lynching victims were tortured first as well–often publicly)

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

          If whistlin’ at a white woman (allegedly) counts as an “offence,” and two rednecks as a “group,” then Emmett Till would qualify.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    … the place was Marion, Indiana (Indiana is really a southern state) …

    Indiana was a hotbed of Klan activity in the first half of the 20th century.

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Guadalcanal was the first major ground offensive by the US against the Japanese Empire. (The Battle of Okinawa was the last.)

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      The last at Okinawa was one I studied a bit as I also lived in Okinawa for 5 years. You can still tour some of the underground facilities where many Japanese spent much of the 3 month battle. At the south end of the Island is Peace park where the memorials to the Americans, the Japanese and the Okinawan people can be viewed. There is a trail where you can walk to the edge of land where the Japanese general finally committed suicide. One has to remember there were as many Okinawan people killed as Japanese. Over one hundred thousand each. So Okinawa was the last battle of the war and it was the most costly for us against Japan.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I believe Don Larsen threw the only perfect game in World Series history.

  9. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    “the intrepid Lynne Cox became the first person to swim from the U.S. to the Soviet Union. She crossed the Bering Strait from Little Diomede Island (Alaska) to Bio Diomede (Soviet Union).”

    I think that was Big Diomede (not Bio Diomede – typo).

    I don’t want to take anything away from her achievement but –
    Legally she did cross from US to USSR. But she didn’t cross the Bering Strait as we would normally interpret it. There are two islands in the middle of the Bering Strait, a distance of maybe 2 1/2 miles apart. They lie, conveniently, each side of 169 degrees west which is the international border. Also the Date Line (so her swim technically took her 26 hours? 😉

    The distance right across the Strait from mainland to mainland is about 50 miles. I doubt anyone could ever do that in those waters. Even in a wetsuit.


    • Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Yes, of course. But there was a swim across the entire strait by a tag-team of swimmers.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        I wasn’t aware of that.

        They all have my respect. I like swimming, but in comfortably warm (or at least non-cold) water.


    • darrelle
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      I had never heard of this and I find it amazing. Much more so than other much longer ocean swims, like the English Channel. Typical warnings are that a person in water that cold has minutes before becoming so incapacitated that death is certain unless they are rescued quickly. And then there is still a battle recovering from hypothermia which can be tricky.

      I wouldn’t have thought swimming even just 2-1/2 miles in the Bering Strait in nothing but a swim suit was possible.

  10. Historian
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    The picture of the two guys at the Trump rally wearing the T-shirts is symbolic of how sick today are American politics. This article from Vox explains:
    This attitude — hatred of the other party above all else — is at the heart of so-called “negative partisanship,” a concept that Georgetown University’s Jonathan Ladd defines as “the tendency to vote for a party not mainly because you like it, but because you are repulsed by the other major party.” This phenomenon, he explains, is why Republican leaders and voters were able to get past their policy disagreements with Trump and vote for him: They’d rather have a Republican in office, however unorthodox and unqualified, than any kind of Democrat.

    The crucial feature about negative partisanship is that it isn’t really about policy; it’s about identity. Negative partisanship becomes really powerful, political scientists Alan Abramowitz and Steven Webster write, when “supporters of each party perceive supporters of the opposing party as very different from themselves in terms of their social characteristics and fundamental values.” The other party is your cultural enemy, hostile to people “like you,” and therefore must be defeated at all costs — even if, as in this instance, it means siding with a foreign power.



    The demographics of the country are changing rapidly and some people cannot accept that, hence we see the emergence of a particularly vicious version of cultural warfare. Of course, the Democrats have their own version of negative partisanship. In American history cultural issues have sometimes overshadowed the economic ones. For example, the secession of the South in 1860 and 1861 was due more to cultural than economic factors. Today, the differences between the pro and anti-Trump forces are profound and deep. Trumpism is a reactionary movement; its core supporters are old, white men. The men in the picture are the perfect stereotypes. They will not go out without a fight. This means that the bitterness of American politics will likely continue for a decade or two until this generation passes from the scene.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      No matter how we explain it these old guys who would wear such a T-shirt and actually think that is the smart way to go are extremely ignorant and brainwashed. If they had done that a few years ago, others, just like them, would probably attack them. The affect that Trump has had on these old white guys is outrageous. It is truly the same affect that Hitler had on some followers.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        I find it bizarre, considering who they are.

        I’d rather be a Russian than a Republican, without a moment’s hesitation. Rather Russian than a Democrat? – maybe. For me it wouldn’t be an outrageous statement. But then I’m a lefty from way back and good ol’ Joe McCarthy would have lynched me, egged on by guys like them.

        But then, if I was Russian, I wouldn’t want guys like them…


        • Randall Schenck
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

          I would suggest you might want to give that some more thought. Maybe spend of few years living in Russia first.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

            I’ve visited Russia for a couple of weeks (which is probably more than those Trump supporters have). I didn’t see anything that said to me, ‘this is a terrible place to live’.

            On the other hand, I’ve seen plenty of information about Republicans (including your comments of course) and I would hate to be one of those assholes.

            The point of those dumb Trumpite’s slogans is based, I assume, on the presumption that being Russian is somehow terrible. For anyone who doesn’t share that prejudice, it just falls flat.


            • Posted October 6, 2018 at 6:13 am | Permalink

              It is a terrible place to live. Years ago, my father heard a female Russian tourist who hanged with his company plead: “Please find me some man, any man, to marry so that to remain in this beautiful country!” I remember this every time when I read about Russian mail order brides.
              A friend of mine turns on Russian news or orders a Russian movie when he feels depressed by our reality, and the comparison to their reality cheers him up.
              We have a lot of politicians who play to the tune of Russia and say how good Russia is and how we should support it. But not one of their children has emigrated to Russia, while many have emigrated to the dreaded West.
              To me, the worst part of living in Russia would be that too many around you are brainwashed.

        • Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

          Dunno. I might like to try being a Russian Oligarch for a while.

          • Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

            Still not wearing the t-shirt though.

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

              Agreed 🙂


    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      I get “negative partisanship.” To an extent, anyway. Hell, I’ve been a registered Democratic my whole voting life (mainly so I could vote in primaries), but I’ve never been a party activist or a straight-up supporter of the Democratic platform. My Party support has been more of an anti-Republican thing — albeit of a mild, worthy-opponent variety (though Dick Nixon could sometimes stir me to high dudgeon). I’ve even brought myself to vote for a Republican on occasion, although generally only in local races where the GOPer was running on a good-government platform

      That was then, this is now. The only thing holding today’s Republican Party together is a loathing of the Left; their main interest isn’t in conservative principle as such, but in trolling the Democrats, pwning the Libs, melting the snowflakes. The principled Republican conservatism of yesteryear is muerto. The old keepers of that flame have abandoned the GOP for the “never Trump” camp; they’re outside the Trump tent, pissing in.

      And, frankly, with Republican approval for a dangerous thug like Trump hovering near 90%, a lot of us on the Left are beginning to return the Republicans’ enmity.

    • Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      I have tried engaging with the occasional Trump supporter online (I’m a psychologist–Its kind of my job, and anyway I’m fascinated wtachign a personality cult develop in a civilised country). What you say certainly fits with my experience. A lot fo them find it tough to believe that anyone really doesn’t give two hoots about “Obastard” or the “KKKlintons” (these are quotes from how they talk) and just wants to hear the positive stuff. When they finally get to that its either slogans (MAGA) or uncritically regurgitated nonsense that he spouts (such as lies/ exagerations about the economy)

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        “I have tried engaging with the occasional Trump supporter online …”

        Must be quite the exercise in abnormal psyche, HH.

        • Posted August 8, 2018 at 4:39 am | Permalink

          That is my day job, yes. Leon Festinger (one of the heroes of my field–cog psy) had to go to considerable lengths to explore cult membership. Me? I just turn on the internet and cognitive dissonance falls out everywhere.

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      This means that the bitterness of American politics will likely continue for a decade or two until this generation passes from the scene.

      I wonder if Tom Brokaw still considers them the “Greatest Generation”. Seems like they’ve collectively lost their minds. At least they have #Qanon to show them the truth and the light.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation” applies to the folks that lived through and fought in WW2, as I understand it. They’re all well north of 90 years old now.

        • Mark R.
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          When I was out on my errands I reminisced on what I wrote and thought exactly that. Those Russiaphiles were baby boomers.

  11. DrBryon
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand why cats do that. The interesting thing is that they stop and look at (in this case) the pens after they’ve fallen. What is it they are looking to observe?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      I looked up what vets & other experts say & the consensus is that the objects are seen as prey when a kitty cat first starts batting objects.

      When a batted prey item is near an edge it shoots off downwards [under gravity] trying to ‘escape’ in a manner interesting to the cat – the cat studies the prey after it shoots off to see if it starts to move again

      If this behaviour is noticed by the staff & the staff come running, then kitty learns a new way to push the buttons of it’s servants

    • Ruthann L. Richards
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Most of the numerous cats I’ve been privileged to be staff to over the years have knocked items off a table, etc., but only occasionally. One, however, spent most of his time learning about gravity (after eating and sleeping, of course). He did not bat the items off, but slowly and deliberately pushed them, an inch at a time, until they were ready to fall off, then watched as they fell. He pushed them so slowly I don’t think he considered them prey. After something fell, he continue to watch it for several seconds, then on to the next one.

  12. Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    On the ant bridge, the phenomenon is indeed remarkable. However, it doesn’t really display much intelligence IMO.

    Firstly, there is evidence in the video that the ants are able to walk upside down on the ceiling, so why do they not just walk straight across it to get to the wasps’ nest.

    Secondly, even if they couldn’t walk across the ceiling, why did they make the catenary so long and droopy?

    I would also love to see the video of them finding the nest and building the bridge.

    • Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Seems to me it had to start with a chain of ants across the ceiling that got detached, but the ants kept following the bodies. The accumulating weight eventually pulled it into the droopy catenary.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        I hadn’t expected to see anything that would make me feel sympathy for wasps (which I hate), but that does.


    • Neil Wolfe
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      My thought was that the ants can walk on the ceiling but cannot carry the large wasp pupae when walking upside down. Walking on the bridge allows them to carry their plunder upright.

      • Posted August 7, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        That sounds right. Who are we to tell ants their business anyway?

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Time to watch “The Naked Jungle.”

    • Scott
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      That was my first thought too, that the bridge was entirely unnecessary and wasteful.

      • mikeyc
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        It wasn’t built that way – darwinwins has got it right. I saw something similar some years ago. Based on watching something quite similar, here’s what I think happened;

        The ants crossed the ceiling to the nest, but of course to do this they must be upside down. These ants often use each other to make bridges when upside down – they do this by walking over “anchoring” ants (ants that cling to the substrate). As more ants began to cross the ceiling, the ants who were “anchoring” the column to the ceiling could not maintain their grip, so the chain detached and began to sag. The bridge simply became detached from the ceiling as more and more ants crossed.

        It’s not intelligence, it’s instinctual behavior plus gravity.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          Still, the tensile strength of an ant must be quite considerable. Each ant at the top of the chain must be supporting a hundred (or so) times its own weight.


          • mikeyc
            Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

            They are crazy strong, but there are hundreds of ants who make up the bridge structure so no one ant is supporting all the weight.

          • mikeyc
            Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

            BTW, I watched ants do this under tree limbs (the chains hanging down -I’m sorry to say- reminded me of olde people and their arm bags) but I never could see what they were after. Whatever they were going for was out of view (or in once case, I couldn’t find the footing to see it). I suppose these ants are going after the larvae.

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Don’t look for the US to follow suit in denouncing human-rights abuses in Saudi Arabia — at least not from the top, anyway. The Saudis hosted Trump’s first state visit as president, and fêted his nibs with a grand to-do, replete with sword dancing and glowing orbs. Plus, our Prince Jared is butt buddies their new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

    I mean, what’s a piddling little thing like human-rights compared to something like that.

    • Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Stunning that Saudi state media would threaten Canada with that image of a civilian airliner heading to the CN tower. Is the Saudi government taking credit for 9/11?

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        I believe there’s a considerable body of opinion that believes they should take the credit for it. (‘Credit’ maybe not quite the right word…)


      • Posted August 13, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        They’ve got more right to the credit for it than any other state, that is for sure.

  14. Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Here’s my interpretation of what cats are thinking when they push things off tables. They simply enjoy manipulating their environment, just as we do.

    As you can see in the video here, the cat is not particularly excited. It certainly is not attacking prey or even pretending to. We see that all the time when cats play-attack each other or moving objects. They don’t want the prey to get away. This is something different. The cat is not crouched, ready to leap after prey but relaxed. The cat is obviously not expecting the pens to leap to safety. It doesn’t run after the launched pen but merely watches what happens when it hits the floor with a satisfying clunk.

  15. Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    The cat with the pens reminds me of my cat Chundi who often slept in a box on my desk. He would roll pens of the desk. I’d give them back. He’d contemplate the situation a while, then push them off again. Repeat.

    Or he’d roll a pen and I’d roll it back to him. At first, he seemed alarmed. Soon, though, he got so he’d think about it, then roll it toward me again. Repeat. We’d play a kind of low-key catch.

    Good memories.

  16. Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Re: Cats pushing things off. A thought that occurs is that a recurring elelemnt in their umwelt would be eggs (I had a cat who brought me eggs every once in a while).
    Pushing said things out of a nest and eating the resultant contents would make sense. I could imagine some tests for this (e.g. do they particularly like to knock around egg-shaped/sized objects compared to other options? Do they go down to the fallen object to check on it?)

  17. Posted August 7, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Th sand dunes on Mars…wow!!!

  18. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    The kitten video with the pens reminds me of the meme that the earth cannot be flat because if it was cats would have knocked a bunch of stuff off it by now.

  19. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Why all these variously-plausible explanations of why cats push things off other things? They do it because it’s fun!

    ‘You set ’em up, I knock ’em over’. Universal instinct of sentient beings. 😎


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