Friday: Hili dialogue

I can’t believe the week has flown by so fast: it’s Friday, August 24, 2018, and National Peach Pie Day. Now that’s a fine pie, especially when made with fresh peaches and served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s also International Strange Music Day.

Breaking news sent by Grania (click on the tweet to go to the article.  The “care home” was run by a Catholic organization, of course:

This is an eerie echo of a similar mass interment at a Catholic institution in Ireland (click on screenshot to go to article):

On August 24, 79 AD, Mount Vesuvias erupted, destoying the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae, and nearly all their inhabitants. However, Wikipedia notes that “this traditional date has been challenged, and many scholars believe that the event occurred on October 24).” To compound the Roman misery of this date, in 410 the Visigoths began their sacking of Rome, and exactly 45 years later the Vandals did the same thing.  On August 24, 1456, the printing of the Gutenberg Bible was completed. This was the first book printed in movable metal type, inaugurating the era of the printed book, which is now beginning to pass. 49 copies of the complete Bible exist; here is one:

On this day in 1891, Thomas Edison patented the motion picture camera, also inaugurating a new age of information (and entertainment). On August 24, 1981, Mark David Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life for murdering John Lennon. He’s still in jail, having been denied parole ten times.  On August 24, 1989, Pete Rose, manager of the Cincinnati Reds after a long career as a player, was banned from baseball by the Commissioner of the game.  Finally, exactly 12 years ago the International Astronomical Union pulled a fast one, redefining the word “planet” and declaring Pluto a “dwarf planet.” I decry that as ableism. Pluto is just “planetarilly challenged.”

Notables born on August 24 include Max Beerbohm (1872), Duke Kahanamoku (1890), Jorge Luis Borges and Albert Claude (both 1899, Claude a Nobel Laureate in biology), Yasser Arafat (1929), Anne Archer (1947), Tim D. White (1950), Stephen Fry (1957), Cal Ripken, Jr. 1960), and Marlee Matlin (1965).

Duke Kahanamoku was a championship Olympic swimmer and the man who revitalized the ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing. Here he is with his board, equipment that’s changed a lot since this photo was taken in 1920:

And here’s a video biography of Duke: an appearance on the television show “This is your life.”

Notables who died on this day include Thomas Chatterton (1770), Simone Weil (1943), Julie Harris (2013) and Richard Attenborough (2014).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej makes a funny:

Hili: What are these windmills producing when there is no wind?
A: Subsidies.
Hili: Co dają te wiatraki jak nie ma wiatru?
Ja: Subwencje.

A tweet from Heather Hastie via Ann German. The first is a real rarity! “Best wishes, God.”

Tweets from Grania. The first is horrific Facebook practice, and Grania comments,

“Multiple people on Facebook have had pictures of gravestones of loved ones pushed in their faces in recent years by an algorithm that picks a photo from your albums based on the amount of interaction / likes to remind you of, so you would think that this would have warned Facebook not to do something extra tasteless and stupid by adding animations to this weird and pointless function.”

There’s nothing cuter than a pile o’ kittens (except, perhaps, a group of newborn ducks):

A lovely Aby:

Poor kitty!

Here are three people on free speech, all on the right side. And that includes Glenn Greenwald:

Will the Internet make this behavior obsolete?

From Matthew Cobb: A stephanid, or parasitoid wasp. As Wikipedia notes,

Stephanids are noted for their ocellar corona, a semicircular to circular set of projections around the middle ocellus, forming a “crown” on the head.

You can see the lovely video itself here.



  1. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Bolded bit is my addition:

    “On August 24, 1456, the printing of the Gutenberg Bible was completed. This was one of the first books in Europe printed in movable metal type, inaugurating the era of the printed book, which is now beginning to pass”

    China = first use of movable metal type – probably for currency, but the whole page wasn’t moveable. Printing of books using full page moveable type dates to 13th century at the latest. In 1234 the first books known to have been printed in metallic type set were published in Goryeo Dynasty Korea. They form a set of ritual books, Sangjeong Gogeum Yemun, compiled by Choe Yun-ui.

    As for Europe… There were two Gutenberg presses, one for the famed Bible & the other used for other stuff. AFAIK it’s possible that there’s Gutenberg books preceding the Bible – there’s certainly pamphlets. I think if I was embarking on the risky & expensive business of book printing for the first time I’d start with a much slimmer book – of poems or a ‘bodice ripper’** or some such.

    ** I don’t think the novel had been invented though – so poems, an almanac or collected prayers might be the first book

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 24, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      ** A precursor of Rule 34?

      I’d love to think so…



    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 24, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      **It was a decade or so after the advent of Gutenberg’s press that Thomas Malory wrote Le Morte d’Arthur, a short story collection some consider the first Anglophone novel.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 24, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        Ta. There’s a Wiki of candidates [Defoe turns up twice] & I’m going for William Baldwin, Beware the Cat, [written 1553, published 1570] because we don’t get enough cats on WEIT

        • Diane G
          Posted August 25, 2018 at 2:23 am | Permalink


  2. E.A. Blair
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    I knew someone who had an Abyssinian who loved to play a version of hide & seek. The cat would hide, then attack the ankles of the next person who walked past her hiding place. My friend called this game “A’by seein’ ya”.

    There is a longhaired variant of the Aby called the Somali. It’s not a longhair like a Persian or Maine Coon, but the coat is longer than a shorthair’s.

    • darrelle
      Posted August 24, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      My wife and I had an Abyssinian. He was a sweetheart. Very sociable, and a hardcore party animal. The most acrobatic cat I’ve ever seen. We named him Ender after the character in the novel Ender’s Game because while he was responsible for wreaking much epic havoc he was also completely innocent. Or so he would have you believe.

      • E.A. Blair
        Posted August 24, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

        Abys are also water-loving cats. In the aforementioned friend’s home, the #1 rule in the bathroom was to always put the lid down on the toilet so the cat didn’t jump in.

        One of the things I love about Abys and Somalis is that they look like miniature pumas.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted August 24, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Gosh, those Somali cats are beautiful. I’d not known about them until now.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Federal courts are hidebound institutions. Still no cameras in the courtroom (excepting for some isolated pilot programs around the nation), and, as the clip above demonstrates, some courthouses won’t even allow the public to bring mobile phones inside.

  4. Roger
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Churches must have loved it when everyone could have their own personal copy of the Bible. /s

    • Roger
      Posted August 24, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      My first sarcasm tag. Usually the sarcasm is obvious but not this time due to the stupidity of religion. Religion poisons sarcasm lol.

    • Posted August 24, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Protestants wanted that. I regard that as an example of a “shoot yourself in the foot” move, but …

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    “Every fascist group I’ve ever known loved being censored”

    That seems to be the case with certain alt-right figures as well, like Milo Y who schedules speaking engagements anticipating they will be cancelled, so he can take to the internet and proclaim himself a free-speech martyr.

    • ChrisS
      Posted August 24, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      As Chomsky pointed out: “If you’re in favor of freedom of speech, then you’re in favor of it precisely for views you despise…”

      If free speech means anything in this semantically-confused world, it means allowing even the crackpots and idiots the right to it, even when they give it a bad name.

  6. Posted August 24, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Yes, a good peach pie is heaven. Even better is the Italian version with ricotta cheese!

  7. Posted August 24, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    “Signed copy” doesn’t say by *whom*. 😉

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 24, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Moses or GTFO. 🙂

  8. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Few people know that not just one but two feature films were made about John Lennon’s assassin. I’ve seen both of them.

    The lesser known one from Scotland “The Killing of John Lennon” is by far the better of the two, with some real insight.

    The bad one is the American one “Chapter 27” with an massively bloated Jared Leto as Lennon’s assassin. (Leto lost a lot of weight for “Dallas Buyer’s Club” and “Requiem for a Dream” just as he gained a lot for “Chapter 27”).

    However, on the latter I sympathize with the film director’s motive. The would-be assassins of George Wallace and Ronald Reagan were obsessed (respectively) with the films “A Clockwork Orange” and “Taxi Driver”, both quite violent and disturbing, but Lennon’s killer was obsessed with…Salinger’s novel “Catcher in the Rye”, which is a lot more baffling. This was what caught the attention of the director of “Chapter 27”.

    Although I am only a lukewarm fan of J.D. Salinger, it was this literary connection which motivated me to read extensively about Lennon’s assassin far more than any other similar figure. (He is sadly absent from Steven Sondheim’s “Assassins”.)

    But I dislike the movie because it buys much to heavily into the killer’s delusional world view without deconstructing it.

    In particular, the decision to structure the movie like Salinger’s novel (even to the point of reproducing the conversation in “Catcher” about where do the ducks go in winter only now with Lennon’s killer replacing Holden Caulfield) is a huge, huge mistake.

    Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyer’s Club” as an AIDS patient, and in “Chapter 27” as Mark David Chapman.

  9. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    exactly 12 years ago the International Astronomical Union pulled a fast one,

    Except they didn’t, of course. Defining a planet had been an open debate for years, they had found a supportable astronomical planet concept akin to the biological species concept, and they put it to a vote instead of just committee.

    Turns out the concept works fine for exoplanets too.

    redefining the word “planet” and declaring Pluto a “dwarf planet.” I decry that as ableism.

    Oy! That was a political comfort blanket for those who inevitably would be dismayed. It serves to label remaining hydrostatically balance rounded objects, smaller if they are icy and larger if they are rocky.

    Another comfort is that any appreciable size Kuiper Belt Object debris is an astrophysical planet if I understand correctly. Lots of those planets out there.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 24, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      It also wrecked a neat pub-quiz question, ‘which is the furthest planet from the Sun?’, which from 1979 till 1999 was Neptune, not Pluto. So I guess that one’s no longer valid anyway, even without the IAU’s declaration. Pluto won’t come ‘inside’ again till 2227, if pub-quizzes are still a thing then…


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