Friday: Hili dialogue

Well, we’ve reached the tail end of August: the 31st day of the month, year of our Ceiling Cat 2018, and it’s National Trail Mix Day. Before they had that stuff commercially available, I used to mix raisins, peanut M&Ms, and sunflower seeds to fuel me during field work. Read more about trail mix, or “gorp” at Wikipedia.

It’s a three-day weekend for most Americans, as September 3 (Monday) is Labor Day. But I always take that to mean that it’s a day of labor, so I’ll labor. Besides, there’s a duck to be fed. I learned yesterday to my sorrow that wild mallards live on average just 3 to 5 years, though a banded one was found to have lived 27 years. Maybe Honey will live that long. . .

On this day in 1864, Union General William T. Sherman began his assault on Atlanta, Georgia during his infamous “March on the Sea.” 24 years later, on August 31, 1888, Mary Ann Nichols, the first of Jack the Ripper’s confirmed victims (there were 5, and perhaps 11 in total), was found dead and mutilated. On this day in 1897, Thomas Edison patented the first movie projector, the “Kinetoscope”. Here’s an interior view:

On this day in 1920, the first radio news program was broadcast by station 8MK in Detroit (it’s now WWJ, and an all-news station that’s still on the air).

As you’ll remember, September 1, 1939, was the first day of World War II when Germany invaded Poland. On the day before, August 31, the Nazis created a fake Polish attack on the Gleiwitz radio station in Germany, giving the Nazis the excuse they needed to invade.  Wikipedia gives some information:

To make the attack seem more convincing, the Germans murdered Franciszek Honiok, a 43-year-old unmarried German Silesian Catholic farmer, known for sympathising with the Poles. He had been arrested the previous day by the Gestapo and dressed to look like a saboteur, then killed by lethal injection, given gunshot wounds. Honiok was left dead at the scene so that he appeared to have been killed while attacking the station. His corpse was then presented to the police and press as proof of the attack. Several prisoners from the Dachau concentration camp were drugged, shot dead on the site and their faces disfigured to make identification impossible. The Germans referred to them by the code phrase “Konserve” (canned goods). Some sources incorrectly refer to the incident as Operation Canned Goods. In an oral testimony at the trials, Erwin von Lahousen stated that his division of the Abwehr was one of two that were given the task of providing Polish Army uniforms, equipment and identification cards; he was later told by Wilhelm Canaris that people from concentration camps had been disguised in these uniforms and ordered to attack the radio stations.

On this day in 1957, the Federation of Malaya, now known as Malaysia, became independent from the UK. Five years later, Trinidad and Tobago became independent. On this day in 1997, Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed, along with their driver Henri Paul, died in a Paris car crash while fleeing paparazzi.  Finally, on this day in 2006, a copy of Munch’s painting “The Scream” that had been stolen from a museum two years earlier was recovered by Norwegian police.

Notables born on August 31 include Maria Montessori (1870), Alma Mahler (1879), Arthur Godfrey (1903), Daniel Schorr (1916), Alan Jay Lerner (1918), Buddy Hackett (1924), Edlridge Cleaver (1935), and Itzhak Perlman (1945). Those who died on this day include Matthias Grünewald (1528, created the greatest painting of all time), Georges Braque (1963), John Ford (1973), Sally Rand (1979), Dodi Fayed and Princess Diana (both 1997; see above), Lionel Hampton (2002) and David Frost (2013).

Rand was famous for her “fan dance,” in which she’d use ostrich-feather fans to reveal parts of her seemingly nude body. In reality, she wore a bodysuit. Here’s her famous fan dance:

Meanwhile, Hiroko Kubota sent to Dobrzyn some Japanese cat snacks and postcards showing her embroidery. You can see Hili getting one of the snacks below, and Leon will get some soon. Hili, of course, takes these special treats as her due.

A:  A parcel from Hiroko has arrived from Japan.
Hili: The love for me knows no borders.
In Polish:
Ja: Przyszła paczka od Hiroko z Japonii.
Hili: Miłość do mnie nie zna granic.

From reader Paul, an affronted owl:

Sent by reader Su, who points out what a whiny schmuck Milo Yiannopoulos has become:

From reader Barry, an affronted d*g:

Tweets from Grania. The first one shows two more owls, which don’t seem to be having a very good time:

Biology-dissing! But look at the size of that bear!!!

Tweets from Matthew. The first directs you to an article by Nick Cohen about “radical tourism.” I didn’t know that European leftists went to Venezuela to enjoy the political climate, but Nick Cohen rips that kind of tourism apart:

For their part, political tourists are stuck in a sexless marriage to a Britain that offers them no excitement. The proletariat has refused their entreaties to revolt. Their radical fantasies are never fulfilled. So they, too, scour the world. For years, the top radical tourist destination, the political equivalent of the Pattaya Beach brothel, has been Chavista Venezuela. Hollywood stars, the leaders of the British Labour party and Spanish “popular resistance”, and every half-baked pseudo-left intellectual from Noam Chomsky to John Pilger has engaged in a left orientalism as they wallowed in “the other’s” exotic delights.

As if we needed reminding, we’re the most gun-happy country of all First World Nations:

Matthew told me that I need to get this book:

I have no idea what this is about, but I’m putting it up to make myself look smart:

Matthew says the details of the dancer are in this YouTube video. Actually, she’s 74 years old.

Fun fact that will make you a hit at cocktail parties: Rossetti was infatuated with wombats:



  1. Damien
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    “On this day in 1897, Thomas Edison patented the first movie projector, the “Kinetoscope”.”

    Well, I have to say that the Lumière brothers, Louis and Auguste, projected a movie, or movies, in front of an audience in Paris, as early as early as March 22 1995.

    Their machine, which had been patented on February 13th 1995, was at the same time the camera and the projector.

    It seems to me that I was told, a long long time ago, that a German guy patented one even before them, but maybe it was just a camera.

    • Posted August 31, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Well, I have to say that the Lumière brothers, Louis and Auguste, projected a movie, or movies, in front of an audience in Paris, as early as early as March 22 1995.

      That’s nothing. I saw Bedknobs and Broomsticks more than twenty years before that in the early 1970’s.

      • Damien
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        Oops. 🙂

        I meant 1895 of course.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Movie projectors: There was a Brit & then a Brit-based Frenchman & then there was the Lumière brothers. Edison’s device doesn’t project, so it should not be called a “movie projector” in the OP.

      • Damien
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Edison’s device does not project ? What does it do then ?

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted September 1, 2018 at 3:31 am | Permalink

          There’s a link in the OP to the Wiki. The Wiki has got pictures. Only one person can watch the show – it’s a peep show device where you put your eyes to the goggles at the top of the box & watch the movie. The light isn’t projected onto a screen for a room of people to watch. I suppose early electric light sources were very hot so it was hard to make enough light without melting the film.

          • Damien
            Posted September 1, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

            I do not find the link.

            I suspect the peep show device is not the 1897 machine. The machine would have been born outdated.

            Moreover, according to my yesterday’s readings, in 1894 the Lumière brothers knew about Edisons’s kinetoscope as a peep show machine, they were inspired by it but thought it was possible to do much better than that and wanted to be the ones who did it.

      • David Coxill
        Posted September 1, 2018 at 5:11 am | Permalink

        I read a book called “The Missing Reel ” ,i think it was about the Frenchman you mentioned .
        He went missing after boarding a train in France .
        I bet that no good Edison had him bumped off .

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted September 1, 2018 at 5:28 am | Permalink

          Augustin Le Prince, disappeared in France. Dun Dun Duuuuuuuuhn!

          • Merilee
            Posted September 1, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

            You missed a couple of Duhhhnnnnnnns

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted September 1, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

              I mean like this:

              Do you mean like this?:

              • Merilee
                Posted September 1, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

                I meant like this:

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted September 1, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

              Ah, the light bulb goes on. We had the TV series over here [1967 version I think] – a very po-faced show, which I related to as being like my po-faced school, home & church [catlick]. In my heart, I’m more your opening scenes of The Rockford Files – the ansaphone bits were the best bits.

              • Merilee
                Posted September 1, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

                I used to watch the 50s version with my dad, so that I didn’t get too askeeered. That and a Twilight Zone.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted September 1, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

                The plane gremlins episode did my head in. A behind the sofa moment matched only by Quatermass and the Pit (1967).

        • Merilee
          Posted September 1, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

          I’m always so disappointed to hear what a jerk Edison was as we share a Feb 11 birthday. Good thing I don’t believe in astrology.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 1, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        Edison disagreed with the concept of the movie projector on business grounds. He was making hundreds of short film loops for his peepshow parlours. For a boxing match of 12 rounds he’d have a projector per round & customers would put a coin into 12 machines to watch all the rounds. According to Wiki he’d make sure the fights went the distance!

        In 1897 Edison patented the “Kinetographic camera” – literally a movie camera as opposed to a movie projector. The patent is HERE – read the text description.

    • David Coxill
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      This english bloke wot dun it.

  2. darrelle
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I must say (can’t help it, determinism) that I can’t think of any piece of music that I despise more than Mickey by Toni Basil. I can’t not think of that when I see her. But that doesn’t stop me from admiring her dancing abilities at her age. You go Toni.

    • Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      I liked that song. I believe she was a professional dancer before she became a minor pop star.

      • darrelle
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        Yes, the pop star bit was sort of a one-of thing. She was a choreographer and worked on many music videos in those days, if I recall correctly.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      I’ll take El Abuelo Rapero

      • darrelle
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink


        I’m not sure what to make of that. But thanks for broadening my horizons.

      • Merilee
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink


    • David Coxill
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      What about “I’ve never been to me ” ?

      • darrelle
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        That is a pretty sappy, and bad, song. But it doesn’t exhibit the same response from me as Mickey.

        • David Coxill
          Posted September 1, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

          Wot about “Johnny Reggae ” from the 1970s .

        • darrelle
          Posted September 3, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          Err, rather elicit, not exhibit!!

      • Merilee
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink


  3. busterggi
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Its’ good that there was at least one good Rand at one time.

    And the short-faced bear – looks just like a pug!

  4. GBJames
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    The pedant in me is forced to point out that Sherman’s march to the sea didn’t begin until after the fall of Atlanta. Until Atlanta fell his next destination (Savannah), and the plan to abandon his supply lines and live off the land during the march wasn’t in place.

  5. mikeyc
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Re the number of “mass” shootings in the US – these numbers get bandied around a lot, but does anyone know where they come from?

    Here’s an object example in the dangers of just accepting a number that conforms to our assumptions;

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Have you tried the reference If their statistics turns out to be just “numbers” picked out of a hat, maybe you should tell them.

      • mikeyc
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        I have not, but then I didn’t say that anyone got numbers “out of a hat”, did I?

        If you read the link to the NPR story you’ll find that it was the government of the U.S. who reported those bogus school shooting numbers. So yeah, given that our government itself reports incorrect numbers on gun violence, I’d like to see if anyone has validated whatever source used.

        That was the point of my comment. We can’t effectively address ANY problem if our knowledge about is wrong.

  6. DrBrydon
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I’ll have to read the Cohen article. Paul Hollander has written extensively on the the topic of political tourism, especially in his book Political Pilgrims

    Technically, of course, Sherman’s March to the Sea was conceived and begun until after Atlanta. My grandfather was at Atlanta with Sherman as a private in Company H, 19 U.S. Infantry. He missed marching through Georgia, though.

    So we made a thoroughfare for freedom and her train,
    Sixty miles in latitude, three hundred to the main;
    Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain
    While we were marching through Georgia.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Sorry, my “great-great” grandfather.

  7. Merilee
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I wonder why so many pulleys on Edison’s projector?

    • mikeyc
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      I dunno, but I do know Edison played only a small role in the development of the Kinetoscope, though he claimed it as his invention. It was mostly the result of one of his employees, William Dickson. Edison was a real bastard, claiming many inventions as his own that were actually the product of one of his employees. One famous example is Frank Sprague, the father of the American subway system – he developed controls for electric motors for Edison who then claimed them as his own. In a sense we are lucky Edison was such an ass – Sprague and Edison parted ways and Sprague was able to develop his motors and designed them to be used in subways.

      • Damien
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        The more I learn about Edison… Never mind.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      They are not pulleys Merilee. The kinetoscope is a peep-show device for one viewer who plants his eyes to the goggles built into the top of the cabinet. It used a long continuous loop of film that repeated endlessly – one of the first .gifs if you will! To get the loop into a box of reasonable size, it’s threaded up & down onto a series of rollers – like how one folds a long sheet of pasted wallpaper.

      P.S. The kinetoscope isn’t even a projector so the OP is a right old muddle

      • Merilee
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Michael. So they’re just rollers to accommodate that much film…

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          Yes. And if you figure out a way to put a loooong tape loop on a compact reel to reel [only two rollers] you’d never have to work again. 🙂

          • Merilee
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

            I guess “loop” being the operative word here…

  8. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    That late bear reminds me. The discovery of 1-2 % cave bear sequence in the brown bear genome [ ], and similar amounts in the polar bears, reminds of the Neanderthal and Denisovan introgression. Except that they found similar amounts of brown bear sequence in the cave bears, suggesting that the cave bear population remained distinct for a while.

    So now I wonder if and what they will see in the short nose?

    I have no idea what this is about, but I’m putting it up to make myself look smart

    I am guessing, but I think it illustrates how the beast of the set of integers is ripped apart by the random prime numbers.

  9. Posted October 13, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    I am curious whether encounters with the short-nosed bear have left a trace in the collective memory of native Americans. Ten thousand years is a long time, I know.

    “In some tribes, such as the Cherokee, bears are sometimes portrayed as violent enemies of humans, although they are still an important clan animal… Some tribes also tell stories about monsters resembling man-eating bears the size of elephants, which prey on innocent people and must be slain by heroes.”

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