Wednesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s Hump Day: Wednesday, August 15, 2018, the Ides of August. This morning I’m to the KentPresents in Connecticut, which I’ll try to report about as “boots on the ground”. I’ll be back Monday, and posting will be light until then, but Grania will be doing the daily Hili dialogues (thanks to her!). Please refrain from sending me any unnecessary emails until I return, as I’ll be busy, and if you have readers’ wildlife photos, hold onto them as well—until next week.

It’s National Lemon Meringue Pie Day, one of the better pies when made with butter, lots of lemon juice and fresh lemon zest. It’s Independence Day in India, marking the day in 1947 when Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act 1947. They’re celebrating with a national holiday in India.

On this day in 1057, the Scottish King Macbeth was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan. Although the Shakespeare tale is based on this man, the play is not historically accurate. On August 15, 1483, Pope Sixtus IV consecrated the Sistine Chapel. On this day in 1534, Ignatius of Loyola and six of his classmates took their vows, eventually leading to the formation of the Society of Jesus six years later. On August 15, 1843, Tivoli Gardens, one of the world’s oldest amusement parks, opened in Copenhagen (I’ve never been to either Tivoli or Denmark). On this day in 1914, the Panama Canal opened to ship traffic, with the first vessel passing through being the cargo ship SS Ancon.

On this day in 1935, both Will Rogers and Wiley Post were killed when their airplane, piloted by Post, crashed in Barrow, Alaska. Exactly four years later, the movie “The Wizard of Oz,” a great classic, opened at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. On August 15, 1962, the American soldier James Joseph Dresnok crossed the Korean DMZ heading north, defecting to North Korea. He was one of six America soldiers who defected to North Korea after the Korean war. Having spent 54 years in the SPRK, Dresnok died in 2016. On this day in 1965, the Beatles entertained about 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City, often seen as the birth of “stadium rock”, a genre I despise and have never attended. It was also on this day in 1998 that the  Omagh bombing occurred in Northern Ireland. In that terrorist incident, set off by a splinter group of the IRA, 29 people were killed and 220 others injured. Finally, on this day five years ago, the Smithsonian announced the discovery of the olinguito, a procyonid mammal from South America. It was the first mammalian carnivore discovered in 35 years.

Notables born on this day include Walter Scott (1771), Thomas De Quincey (1785), Ethel Barrymore (1879), Louis de Broglie (1892; Nobel Laureate), Julia Child (1912), Oscar Peterson (1925), Stephen Breyer (1938), Jimmy Webb (1946), Debra Messing (1968), Ben Affleck (1972), and Jennifer Lawrence (1990).

Those who died on August 15 include Macbeth (1057. see above), and Wiley Post and Will Rogers (1935, see above),

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili gets some biotech instruction from Andrzej:

Hili: How did spiders get the idea to make spider webs?
A: Start-ups are best at innovations but it wasn’t always so.
In Polish:
Hili: Jak pająki wpadły na pomysł robienia pajęczyn?
Ja: Najlepsze w innowacjach są start-upy, ale nie zawsze tak było.

Nearby, Leon, on a walk, has a dilemma that he expresses in rhyme:

Leon: Here or there? I don’t know myself.

(This rhymes in Polish: Tu czy tam, już nie wiem sam.)

Tweets found by Grania. This first one is pretty funny (except, perhaps, to devout Muslims):

Another bizarre medieval fantasy about cats:

More on the possibly anti-Semitic Jeremy Corbyn from Maajid Nawaz:

From Heather Hastie (via Ann German): a six-minute election campaign ad from Hillary Clinton in 2016 that looks remarkably timely now:

Also from Heather and Ann: the joys of wildlife photography.

Thirsty kittty! (video)

Chill cat going for a bike ride:

seven pound pigeon? Who knew?

An adorable baby sloth (video):

Here’s a cat who might learn to jump rope:

From reader Barry; is this woman nuts or brave?



  1. David Harper
    Posted August 15, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    “Potatoes are the Greatest” is, of course, the state motto of Idaho.

    (You think I jest? Look at their licence plates!)

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 15, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      I thought you did jest, and then I googled it…

      And the message on the plates isn’t even ‘Potatoes Are The Greatest’, which would at least convey a very definite message – instead it’s ‘Famous Potatoes’. Which leaves open the question of whether Idaho are famous for potatoes, or their potatoes are famously good, or there are a group of nine or ten potatoes that are famous because they look like Jay Leno or Jesus or something.

      Brilliant nonetheless. All license plate slogans should be as enigmatic and mysterious. Famous Potatoes – now I’ve begun to wonder what it means I won’t ever be able to stop.

      • David Harper
        Posted August 15, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

        They grow a lot of potatoes in southern Idaho. According to Wikipedia, a third of the potatoes grown in the United States are from Idaho.

        At the end of the Pixar movie “Toy Story”, Hamm the pig congratulates Mr Potato Head with the cry “Way to go, Idaho!”. That’s how famous Idaho potatoes are.

  2. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 15, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Well, I see no reason why you couldn’t train a crocodilian the same way you could train e.g. a lion. Just keep it well fed and it won’t feel the need to munch on you.

    I’d sooner trust it than a bull, for example.


    • Lurker111
      Posted August 15, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Gators at least seem to possess some sense. Not so much for crocs.

      Still, it’s really a bad idea to have top-level predators like this come to associate humans with food. And even if nothing happens to this lady, what happens if she moves and the gator wants goodies from the new tenants/owners?

      • Desnes Diev
        Posted August 15, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        The place is some kind of zoo, no? There are fences all around and people who are looking.

      • mikeyc
        Posted August 15, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        It looks like she’s a trainer at one of those gator farm tourist traps in Florida. This is not likely a wild gator.

      • David Coxill
        Posted August 15, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        As long as she doesn’t say Gucci Gucci gu ,i fink she will be just fine .

        • Diane G
          Posted August 15, 2018 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

          Grooannnn. 😀

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 15, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      It’s GATOR COUNTRY ADVENTURE PARK, Beaumont, southeast Texas. They rescue & house ‘nuisance alligators’. The woman is Makenzie Noland, who recently posed with that same gator, Big Tex, in her graduation photos. She was a wildlife & fisheries sciences student & interned [free labour] at the park – they seem to ’employ’ quite a few gator snacks interns.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted August 15, 2018 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        I love your ‘gator snacks’ comment.

        I RT’d this with the comment:

        Seriously? Fu€ki₦g nutter.

        At her funeral we’ll probably hear that she thought Jesus was protecting her. I guess he got distracted by someone tightrope walking across the Grand Canyon, or which team to support in the Superbowl.

        • Posted August 15, 2018 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          I think one day the gator might tire of the hors d’oeuvres and go for the rump roast!

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 15, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          There’s a photo on the site of a bunch of snacks interns sitting on & around an unrestrained Big Tex. He came from the wild fairly recently & he’s almost 14′ nose to tail. They are known to eat their young & don’t exactly bond with their own never mind us apes…

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted August 16, 2018 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

            Ha! Good one.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted August 15, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      This gives me an idea how the Egyptian priests at Crocodilopolus interacted with their crocodiles. “[Herodotus] writes of how the inhabitants of Crocodilopolis worshipped a tamed crocodile named Suchus. The sacred reptile was kept apart by itself in a temple pond, and fed by the priests with offerings of bread, meat, wine, and other succulent delicacies.” There are other accounts of the crocodile priests.

      • revelator60
        Posted August 15, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        Speaking of writers with a gift for tall tales who wrote about Egypt, the 17th century Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi (author of the longest travel book ever written) claimed the Egyptians had sex with crocodiles:

        “Some Arab tribesmen, in order to rid themselves of gonorrhea, or else prompted by lust, hide in the sand and scrub and, while the female [crocodile] is lying on her back and before the male has done the deed, rush out of their ambush with a shout. The male runs off into the Nile, but the female is left paralyzed, like a tortoise, unable to move. This is because her forelegs are short, her locomotion in the water being through her tail and mouth; and unless the male, after sex, turns her right side up, she is stuck there with her vagina sticking out beneath her hind legs. So the lustful pervert covers her hind legs with sand and piles sand over her tail as well, then fearlessly performs the ugly deed—God be our refuge!”

        Evliya adds “the pudendum of a man who has sex with a crocodile exudes a musk-like perfume for an entire week.”

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 15, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Have a good time there in the “far east”.

    I have been to Denmark, although it was long ago on a NATO exercise. We lived in the woods, in tents for two weeks. Did get into the city of Aarhus for one evening.

  4. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted August 15, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Jeremy Corbyn is a prize example of what happens when someone who hasn’t changed their mind on anything since they were eighteen is elevated to a position of total influence in an opposition party. And his elevation really couldn’t have come at a worse time.

    The swampy far-left faction which makes up his core support and which dominates his cabinet is:

    – hostile to the EU,
    – opposed to the notion of electoral politics, even democracy itself
    – viciously dogmatic and incapable of moderation or compromise on a whole host of issues
    – only interested in campaigning to people who already agree with them.

    What a perfect combination for today’s Britain!

    Labour are simply not doing their job as an opposition party, and the 48% of the country who voted remain can’t rely on them for anything. We’re effectively voiceless when it comes to party politics.

    As you can see, Corbyn’s history of aligning himself with some of the most poisonous Muslim voices in the I/P conflict is just the rotten cherry on the foot fungus cake that is his leadership.

  5. Alan Jardine
    Posted August 15, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    >>Wednesday, August 15, 2018, the Ides of August.<>Ides (calendar), a day in the Roman calendar that marked the approximate middle of the month. For March, May, July, and October it is the 15th day of the month. For other Roman calendar months it is on the 13th.<<


  6. Blue
    Posted August 15, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    y1945 = the Emperor tells his people that Japan will surrender.

    y1969 = first day of Woodstock, Mr Yasgur’s acres.


  7. kieran
    Posted August 15, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I remember watching the pictures come in from the Omagh bomb, my first thought was that it was an old bombing footage. This was after the good Friday agreement, we thought we’d won the peace away from the terrorists.

    • Posted October 11, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      I think peace was won away, but some terrorists were slow to get the news. My father knew a military pilot taken down in 1945 by German troops the day after Germany capitulated.

  8. jaxkayaker
    Posted August 15, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Lemon meringue pie is my favorite. Too bad I’m fasting. I recently discovered a brand of ice cream that has a flavor called lemon icebox, which tastes like vanilla ice cream with a lemon meringue pie blended into it.

    An interesting thing about the discovery of the olinguito is that it’s a cryptic species, nearly identical to, but slightly smaller than its sister species, the olingo, hence the diminutive in its name. Specimens were on exhibit in zoos as olingos and with olingos because biologists didn’t realize there were two species.

  9. Alex K.
    Posted August 15, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    You’re taking a Chicago to Hartford flight, are you?

  10. Posted August 15, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    A seven pound pigeon is indeed impressive (particularly when accompanied by such gorgeous looks)but nevertheless would have paled alongside the Dodo which was also a pigeon and I believe could weigh up to 40 lbs!

  11. Charlie
    Posted August 15, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    A trip to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh will reward you with both Victoria crowned pigeons and young sloths. Worth the price of admission!

  12. Richard Jones
    Posted August 15, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Where is Gus lately?

  13. Hempenstein
    Posted August 16, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Not that surprised you’ve never been to Tivoli (I have), but am surprised you’ve never been to DK at all. They are known to enjoy their comestibles.

    I was at a non-scientific meeting there once, and there was a late session. The organizer got up at the end, said a little, and then said something like, “But now it is midnight, and this is Denmark, so… it is time to eat!” A curtain was pulled back revealing a big spread!

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