Saturday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

The weekend has arrived: it’s Saturday, August 25, 2018, and National Banana Split Day. (This is a peculiarly American comestible, and I’ve had many, though not in the past few years.) Honey the Duck was here yesterday, eating more than I’ve ever seen her eat, and in a short while I’ll see if she stayed overnight. It’s the Day of Songun in the DPRK (don’t ask).

CNN reports yet another Trump contract to pay off a man for keeping secret an affair The Donald had with a woman: a housekeeper with whom he’s supposed to have had an illegitimate child. The man with knowledge of the affair was released from his contract with American Media, Incorporated (owner of The National Enquirer, and has made the contract and the affair public. I’m not sure about the legality of the finances here (the affair was in 2015), but I feel sorry for Trump’s wife, having to bear revelation after revelation of his priapic activities. There will be a divorce for sure when Trump is out of the White House, and I hope that will be soon.

Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot) takes you to a YouTube animation of some works by Leonard Bernstein, born 100 years ago today (died 1990):

On August 25, 1609, Galileo demonstrated his first telescope to the city fathers of Venice.  And, in a story supposed to have inspired the movie the “Revenant”, it was on this day in 1823 that fur trapper Hugh Glass was mauled by a grizzly bear in South Dakota. With a broken leg and festering wounds, Glass supposedly crawled and floated 200 miles to the nearest American Army fort.

On this day in 1894, Japanese bacteriologist Kitasato Shibasaburō discovered the bacterium that was the infectious agent of the bubonic plague, publishing his findings in The Lancet. Shibasaburō didn’t get the Nobel Prize for this, but should have.

On this day in 1939, shortly before the Germans invaded Poland on September 1, the UK and Poland formed an alliance in which the UK was to defend Poland if it was invaded by a foreign power. It was, and the UK did.  On this day in 1944, Paris was liberated by the Allies (see Matthew Cobb’s lovely book about this, Eleven Day in August). On August 25, 1967, while I was living nearby in Arlington, Virginia, George Lincoln Rockwell, founder and head of the American Nazi Party, was assassinated at a laundromat in my town. I had visited his headquarters once on a dare, and wouldn’t care to repeat that experience.  Finally, on August 25, 2012, the Voyager 1 spacecraft became the first man-made object to enter interstellar space. 

Notables born on this day include Allan Pinkerton (1819), Bret Harte (1836), Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845), Walt “Pogo” Kelly (1913), Leonard Bernstein (1918; see above), George Wallace (1919), Sean Connery (1930; 88 today), Gene Simmons (1949; born Chaim Witz), Elvis Costello (1954), Tim Burton (1958) and Blake Lively (1987).  Those who died on August 25 include Pliny the Elder (79 AD, during the eruption of Vesuvius), David Hume (1776), William Herschel (1822), Michael Faraday (1867), Friedrich Nietzsche (1900), Henri Becquerel (1908, Nobel Laureate), Alfred Kinsey (1956), George Lincoln Rockwell (1967; see above), Truman Capote (1984), Ted Kennedy (2009; was it really nine years ago?), and Neil Armstrong (2012).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is showing off:

A: What are you doing?
Hili: I’m waiting for Godot.
In Polish:
Ja: Co robisz?
Hili: Czekam na Godota.

Nearby, at the site of his new home (still not built!), Leon is kvetching:

Leon: Roe deer are scaring my mice.

Reader Merilee sent this MSNBC screenshot, and I suspect it’s real, but whoever wrote it knew exactly what they were doing. . . (If you don’t know the American argot, “Pecker” can mean “penis”.)

Tweets from Matthew: lunacy from Infowars.

More lunacy (my own example was at zoo, where I heard a woman ask her husband, “Are penguins fish?”):

A well preserved foal from millennia ago. Poor thing!

I’m glad this moron got jail time for harassing a bison and having it filmed. Maybe that will deter others from bothering wildlife!

This cloud pattern is new to me!

Matthew asks a question; his editor answers. Can that really be true of philosophers?

Pick your insult; I’ll give a few answers:

I know a few horse-eyed Jacks I’d like to insult. . .

Tweets from Grania. I wouldn’t have thought an albino hedgehog could make it in the wild, even if the wild is a domestic garden:

Read the thread by a Korea expert on the family reunions taking place in North Korea (never in the South, of course); it’s a very interesting take:

And from reader Su, TRANSFORMER DUCKS! Mallards are of course awesome:


  1. freiner
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Since both Walt Kelly and philosophy get mentioned today, here is the former on the latter: “Philosophy is the parlor explanation of pandemonium in the kitchen.” (Quoted with inexpert memory from Ten Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Years with Pogo.)

    • Diane G
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Just ordered that book, thanks.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    One of the things with juvenile delinquents they try to determine is – do they know the difference between right and wrong. With Donald Trump this is not a question, he does not. Just got the latest read, House of Trump, House of Putin. I suspect they are the same thing.

  3. Roger
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I prefer the term “ducksubstantiation”.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I saw (referring to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York):


    There’s also “Prosecutors finger Pecker in Trump probe.”

    • Historian
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      The Huffington Post has this headline:


  5. Blue
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I have no sorriness in re Ms Melanija Knavs.

    Wives of such men know what they are within … …
    as they determinedly get themselves in to such mawwiages.


    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      And you know this how?

      I take it then you have no sympathy for any woman who finds she’s married to a thug of any kind…


      • Blue
        Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        in re “I take it then you have no sympathy
        for any woman who finds she’s married to a
        thug of any kind,” I am not at all surprised
        that this “mistake” is thrown back on me.

        I never implied, let alone, stated that muck of purposeful misinterpretation at all, did
        I, infiniteimprobabliit ? Likely that is
        written down here only to try to hurt me.
        It does not.


    • Diane G
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Yes, if anything, I’d suspect she’s glad to have him satisfy his urges with other women. And I highly doubt she’d divorce him over it, given all the perks she gets from this relationship.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I once heard a someone at the next table over at a seafood restaurant ask the waiter: “Are shrimp critters?”

    That’d be my contender.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Hmmm… car, stuck with one wheel on wet grass and spinning – old gent (pointing): “That’s the driving wheel”

      (I’m sure I’ve heard hundreds but that’s the only one comes to mind right now)

    • BJ
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      My parents took me out to have some sushi when I was seven or eight years old. We sat at the sushi bar and my father ordered sauteed shrimp heads, which I saw upon their arrival. My remark: “I didn’t know shrimp had heads.”

      I had only ever seen them prepared for consumption.

    • Richard
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Some-one said to me: “I remember that when I went to the cinema to see 2001: A Space Odyssey, they showed a short film about apes first. That wasn’t anything to do with it, was it?”

  7. Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Sadly that MSNBC screenshot is false:

  8. Merilee
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Oh, too bad. And I also had to look up “chyron”. Funny word. You would also think that Pecker might have changed his name, but then Anthony Wiener never did…

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      They should form a law firm.

  9. Merilee
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink


  10. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    That juxtaposition of describing banana splits (yum, I used to work in an ice cream shop in my youth and made many), and Honey eating a lot, made me think Honey was eating banana splits! 🍨🦆

  11. BJ
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    “On this day in 1894, Japanese bacteriologist Kitasato Shibasaburō discovered the bacterium that was the infectious agent of the bubonic plague, publishing his findings in The Lancet. Shibasaburō didn’t get the Nobel Prize for this, but should have.”

    Just out of curiosity: for how long after you make a discovery can you win a Nobel Prize for it? Since the Nobel Prize was established in 1901, I’m not sure if this is a statement implying that he should have won it once it was established (in which case my initial question applies), a mistake, or a joke.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Peter Higgs hypothesized the existence of the particle that now bears his name in 1964, and got his Nobel in 2013. That’s 49 years. There are probably more extreme examples.

    • Posted August 25, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Theorizing will not get you a Nobel in physics. You have to await empirical discovery, which took a while for the Higgs.

  12. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Re North Korea, I thought I saw an article about exetions earlier today and tried to google it. That was one of largest web tar pits I have ever seen…

    Can that really be true of philosophers?

    Seems like it.

    Not surprising though, since religion can claim anything (and do). I assume I should label it “philosophy/theology/belief systems” to satisfy philosophers on precision, but there is scant evidence of any difference.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      “exetions” = executions /yep, still forgot to finish my coffee first

  13. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    That albino hedgehog twitter thread: Jericho still looking for his wild garden heaven – free from badgers! Must be within a reasonable driving distance of Selby, North Yorkshire.

  14. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Slippery Dick
    Sarcastic Fringehead
    [yes, the last one is real]

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Goblin shark
      Humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa (don’t know, but figure it’s an insult).

      Does Moby Dick count?

  15. Doug
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Trump was a well-known womanizer when Melania married him. If you marry a womanizer, don’t expect Ward Cleaver. Yes, he’s a weasel, but she knew that.

    • Doug
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      This was meant to be my 2 cents to the discussion between Blue and infiniteimprobabilit above [#5].

    • Posted August 25, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      But he promised that was all behind him!

  16. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    “Please give me an example of something someone said to you that was so astonishingly stupid that you can never forget it.”

    In a movie:
    “You think that just because you’re scientists, you can break the laws of physics and get away with it” (Courtesy of the film “Event Horizon”)

    In real life:
    “What’s the difference between a book and a magazine?”

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Haha. Those are good ones. I once had a friend who told me that she wouldn’t get a burn today (it was very sunny) because the wind would blow the sun away (it was also a breezy day).

    • mudskipper
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Overheard recently:

      Q. What’s a lunar eclipse?
      A. It is when the sun passes in front of the moon.

  17. Mark R.
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    While living in L.A., my girlfriend’s friend was visiting from out of town. We were driving through the valley when she said, “I didn’t know this was Circuit City…”

    Yes, she saw the retail sign (of the now defunct retail chain) and thought it was referring to a specific ‘city’ in L.A. To be fair, it was more naivete than stupidity. Still makes me laugh though!

    • Posted August 25, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      The real Circuit City is in Silicon Valley, right? LOL

      • Mark R.
        Posted August 25, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Good one!

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      This one’s on me.

      While visiting friends in the San Fernando Valley, CA, I was walking through a small city park and signs stenciled on trash barrels that read: “NO HO.” When I returned to my guest’s home, I made some remark about “The Valley” taking an aggressive stance against prostitution, even going so far as to being politically correct enough to use the street term “ho” in publicly dedlaring that the park was a “No Ho” zone.

      My hosts looked puzzled at first, then began to laugh. “NO HO” meant North Hollywood, and the cans belonged to the city.

      • Mark R.
        Posted August 25, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        Now that’s funny!

  18. Kiwi Dave
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    What you say is correct in terms of intentions, but given that Poland was occupied by Germany or the Soviet Union (or its proxies) for the next 50 years, whereas many Polish pilots fought in Fighter Command in the Battle of Britain, other Poles brought Ultra to Britain, and many also fought alongside the British army or flew in Bomber Command, I would say that Poland defended Britain very much more than the other way round.

  19. Dale Franzwa
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Re: Leonard Bernstein. Listening to the classical music channel on Sirius Satellite Radio yesterday, the announcer told a story about a musician in an empty theater rehearsing his part for an upcoming performance on his stringed instrument (I forget which one: violin, cello, whatever). He says he was “sawing away” when he became vaguely aware that someone in the empty theater was dancing to the music. The musician kept “sawing away” while the dancer moved ever closer. Finally, he stops “sawing” and recognizes the dancer as Leonard Bernstein!

    Bernstein immediately tells the musician to keep playing: “It reminds me of an Egyptian whorehouse.”

    Which raises the question: What was Leonard Bernstein doing in an Egyptian whorehouse? On second thought. . .don’t ask.

  20. Posted August 28, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    As for the philosophers: antirealism is unfortunately popular. I think, and this is a guess, that a lot of is religiously motivated.

    (Dummett, who is one source of one strain, does not fall in this category, however.)

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