Sunday: Hili dialogue

It’s Ceiling Cat’s Day, which means a day of napping and eating: September 2, 2018. It’s also National “Grits for Breakfast” Day, but why the scare quotes? Grits are an awesome and integral part of the American Southern breakfast, which ideally includes homemade biscuits with homemade peach preserves, country ham with red-eye gravy, fried eggs, grits (to mix with the smooshed eggs), and lots of strong coffee. It’s also National Blueberry Popsicle Day, another tribute to a quiescently frozen confection.

Recommended reading for today: Heather Hastie’s new post, “The NRA bait and switch,” a good indictment of American gun culture. I’ll reproduce one of her illustrations to show how ridiculously lame the NRA’s (and gun advocates’) defense of gun ownership is:

On this day in 44 BC, Pharaoh Cleopatra VII of Egypt (yes, that Cleopatra), named her son (Ptolemy XV Casarion) as co-ruler.  On September 2, 1666, the Great Fire of London began. Starting at a bakery on Pudding Lane, it destroyed, besides the original St. Paul’s Cathedral, the homes of about 70,000 of the city’s 80,000 residents.  On this day in 1752, Great Britain and some of its overseas colonies adopted the Gregorian Calendar, established by Pope Gregory in 1582, advancing the date from October 4 to October 15.  On September 2, 1901, President Teddy Roosevelt, speaking at the Minnesota State Fair, for crying out loud, said his famous phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

On this day in 1939, on the second day of World War II, Nazi German annexed the Free City of Danzig, an autonomous city-state (it’s now Gdánsk, Poland).  On September 2, 1946, the Interim Government of India was formed, with Jawaharlal Nehru having the power of a Prime Minister. On September 2, 1963, the first network news broadcast lasting a half hour took place on CBS. Previously all evening news was just 15 minutes long, but since that’s the only show I watch regularly, I’d prefer it to be an hour long, as it is on PBS. On this day in 1998, Swissair Flight 111 crashed near Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia, killing all 229 people aboard (I’ve been to the memorial site). Finally, five years ago today, the replacement span for the eastern portion of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened at 10:15 p.m. It cost $6.4 billion and was a replacement for the original span damaged in the 1989 earthquake.

Not many notables were born on this day, which means that not many people had sex in December (I guess it was too cold). Those born include Billy Preston (1946), Christa McAuliffe (1948), Keanu Reeves (1964), and Salma Hayek (1966).  Those who expired on September 2 include Henri Rousseau (1910), Alvin C. York (1964), J. R. R. Tolkien (1973), geneticist Barbara McClintock (1992, Nobel Laureate), Christiaan Barnard (2001), and Bob Denver (2005).

Here’s a lovely Rousseau called “The Tiger Cat“:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili faces a dilemma (the snacks were sent from Japan by Hiroko):

A: Do you prefer Japanese treat or cream?
Hili: Both.
In Polish:
Ja: Co wolisz, japoński przysmak, czy śmietankę?
Hili: Jedno i drugie.

Tweets sent by Matthew. This first one reflect the words of a man who might very well be President of the U.S.—and sooner than we think.

Here’s a graph; go to the original tweet to see Brits and Eastern Europeans.  This reflects the national psyche, I suppose:

Matthew calls this a “sad tweet”, and I agree with him when he says, “He shouldn’t be in a zoo, but then I don’t give him much hope outside.”

Tweets from Grania. The first one is quite amazing.

This could start a whole genre: renamed paintings.

Baby bears in a pool—what could be cuter?

Reader Nilou sent the first tweet, but now have a look at the responses:


And this reminds me of the most bizarre name I’ve ever heard given the guy’s profession.  It’s the doctor below, who works in Northern Virginia. He’s real, and he was the gynecologist of a friend of mine. See here.

Why didn’t he at least go by “Harold”? And imagine the jibing he got!


  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    My cousin Vinny says they don’t know from grits in New York:

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      I learn that the expression “You don’t know grits from granola” is a euphemism for “You don’t know shit from Shinola.”

  2. Linda Calhoun
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Many years ago, the President of the American Medical Association was a doctor named Louis Lasagna.

    Not salacious, but I couldn’t imagine anyone taking him seriously about anything.


    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      According to WIKI he had a GSOH. Also he wrote a modernized version of the Hippocratic Oath called the “Lasagna Oath” which has been adopted by many medical colleges.

    • keith
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Imagine working for the IT department at University of Exeter, where Dr. Richard Titball works.

      • David Coxill
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        There a British Writer called David Nobbs ,he created Reginald Perrin .

        And people with names that match their jobs .
        What about Claude Bottom ,the Lion tamer .

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      I had an acquaintance and fling with a Ms. Slaughter. Her father: orthopedic surgeon. How would a surgeon w/ that name get patients? Because most people don’t choose their doctors. I’ve always been assigned mine. Dentists are an exception. Either way, love these name not congruent with professions thang.

      Re. “thang”: Jerry had a couple posts of late spotlighting readers’ word hate. I don’t think anyone complained about ‘thang’. I think thang is a word our host would put on the naughty list. I don’t like it myself. Me has a thang for hating some words. Has people understood the thing thang? (Trying to put all the peeves of late into one sentence.) I don’t labor at opening another beer this beautiful and sunny labor-day weekend Sunday.

      Cheers All!!!

  3. Blue
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    in re rocks and kiddos … … thus from
    the Song o’th’ Psalms:

    that is, there: Psalms 137:9

    “ Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. ”

    ( If there is one thing that all women can be proud of,
    it is that .no. woman in the history of the world
    wrote even one line of the Bible. )


    • rickflick
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Good point. I imagine if women had been allowed to read and write (and drive a chariot), they might have contributed – maybe even vastly improved the bible by removing all the instances where God upholds violence or is otherwise and ass hole. Of course there wouldn’t be a whole lot left. That would be a good thing.

      • Posted October 14, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        As a woman, I wouldn’t bet on it.

        • rickflick
          Posted October 14, 2018 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          I think the data are against you, but, you could be right.

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I’m very impressed by “quiescently frozen confection” – gonna have to work that into a convo asap

    • rickflick
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Quiescently threw me. I Google it’s to avoid overrunning.

  5. davidintoronto
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    The issue with “profanity filters” long predates Ms Weiner’s difficulties. See the Wikipedia article:


    (I see that the article has been updated to include the “Weiner problem.”)

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Also Cockfosters, Arsenal, Penistone, Cockpole Green, Coxhoe …

      … and many others.

      The English countryside is a most… problematic place.


      • rickflick
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Not to mention Brian Cox and Philomena Cunk.

        • Barbara Radcliff
          Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          I know of a scientist named Richard Head. No one ever addressed him as ‘Dick’!

          • rickflick
            Posted September 3, 2018 at 12:22 am | Permalink


  6. David Duncan
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Profanity filters:

    I once tried to book a flight on Virgin Airlines through my work computer.

    Yep, it triggered the filter. Idiots.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      We had one of those stupid things where I worked.

      “[Name of document] has been blocked. Reason: Pornography. Your attempt to access this site has been recorded.”

      Bloody charming. Also intimidating.

      The thing is, it evidently used a ‘whitelist’, and anything NOT on the whitelist was classified as ‘pornography’. I found this by trying a made-up name and successfully got “ has been blocked. Reason: Pornography”

      I printed this one out (and half a dozen similar) and filed them in case I was ever accused of browsing for porn by the IT nazis.

      At one point someone in IT evidently forgot to link the whitelist properly and everything, including our company’s own website, was labelled as ‘pornography’…


      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Hopefully the policies set about what sites made the whitelist were set by HR and not IT. I find this a struggle in organizations and it’s important for IT to emphasize that they provide the technology to implement policies but they do not decide anything else. Back in those early days I remember some IT shops thought they were the gate keepers or in other cases, HR shirked their responsibilities by incorrectly seeing the policy as an IT job. Both cases were disasterous. I had friends that hated having to populate whitelists or boot stuck stuff out of them. They hated being seen as censors by their own coworkers as well especially since they were IT people there to help implement and support technology solutions not police internet browsing. Other times there would be a dictator in IT who embraced the role they weren’t supposed to have. I remember at one place where I lasted only a year before moving to a better place, the network manager decided that no one was allowed to use the internet outside of “work related” sites except on lunch hour and he blocked everyone from doing so with the weak esxcuse that it was because of spam and viruses. Thank goodness roles are clearer now and for the most part this is not so much an issue anymore these days, at least from my experience.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          At my company I think they just bought the whole thing whitelist and all from some ‘murican company. It was called WebMarshal IIRC.

          Re IT dictators – originally our IT guys were friendly and helpful to us engineers. “I don’t want to know what you’ve got on it but don’t expect us to fix it if you break it” – IT guy. That was fine, I was very careful not to embarrass them or myself by crashing it.

          Then we got an IT head who previously worked at the local casino. His job had presumably consisted of ensuring the staff could not conspire with the punters to rip off the company. And we engineers were accustomed to using our computers in a myriad of individual specialised ways. As you can imagine, things did not go well…


          • Posted September 4, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

            One often buys a service that comes with pre-categorization and the ability to do changes (sometimes).

  7. keith
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    “Not many notables were born on this day, which means that not many people had sex in December (I guess it was too cold).”

    Alternate hypothesis: being conceived in cold weather is associated with not being notable.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Ah. That explains a lot.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    In other Mike Pence news, five of six people playing Russian roulette do not get shot in the head.

    • GBJames
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink


  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    … not many people had sex in December (I guess it was too cold).

    I dunno, I’m a tropics kinda guy myself, but I recall from my days in the north land that there’s a certain jouissance to staying under the quilts and comforters and bumpin’ uglies on a cold winter morn.

  10. Curt Nelson
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I like the thing about kids with rocks.

    The recent video of the guy getting shot to death after chasing down an Uber… justified because the Uber driver was standing his ground.

    The angry guy who was shot was emboldened because he had a gun. The Uber driver was justified in killing him because the angry guy mentioned his gun, and like with the police, that justified a full blown, lethal response.

    Guns caused the incident. The angry guy wouldn’t have been such an A-hole without his, and the Uber wouldn’t have “needed” to kill him.

    • mordacious1
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Except angry guy had a long record of violent assaults without a gun. That Uber driver was about to be “f’d up”, as stated by the assaulter. The driver’s weapon saved him from physical harm and maybe death.
      And I don’t think the violent guy had a gun, he just said he did and pointed his cell phone.

  11. Diana MacPherson
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Poor Caesarion, whacked by Augustus (then Octavian). Such is the hassle of power and inheritance.

  12. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Swissair Flight 111 – I hadn’t heard of that one. But it was a DC-10, what a surprise.

    (Well, nominally it was a MD-11, but you can paint a lemon red and call it an apple…)


    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      That was a really sad thing. I’ve been to Peggy’s Cove where there is a memorial for the event. When it happened fishermen went to rescue people. It they were only pulling up body parts. They got excited to find someone they thought was alive but it was an intact dead body. It was hard on that small, local population and many suffered from PTSD after. Here is a story about the after math.

  13. Jenny Haniver
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Sunday is PCC(E)’s “day of napping and eating.” It’s also a day for giving thanks and singing hymns of praise. Last night, by happenstance, I came across this hymn of praise for a pork chop, just the thing for a hungry atheist to sing: “I Heard the Voice of a Pork Chop”, based on the hymn “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say.” It originated with the blues and ragtime singer Jim Jackson in the 1920s. Here’s a contemporary rendition with some nice ukelele work, and an interesting essay on the song

  14. DrBrydon
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Related to the profanity filter is the rule that names have to be at least three characters long. Rather hard on people named Li or Wu.

    When I was a boy, my grandmother had the memoirs of a veterinarian, who thought it was very funny to get the personalized license plate “VD” (Veterinary Doctor), when he got his degree. It wasn’t, but it took him a while to learn that.

  15. BJ
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I was at a synagogue in Florida when I was young, looking at the wall of bricks with the names of donors on them. My friend and I couldn’t stop laughing when we found the one for Harry Sachs.

  16. Posted September 2, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Loved “White blood cells attacking a parasitic worm” but the film stopped short of a satisfying ending.

  17. Posted September 2, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I’ve known some people with unfortunate names. The most memorable are Gay Cox and Bud Weiser.

  18. harrync
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Why doesn’t Dr. Beaver use Harold? Maybe because that is not his name. On my birth certificate, it clearly states that my first name is Harry.

  19. Bob Bottemiller
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Harry Beaver *had* to become a gynecologist — it’s called “nominative determinism” in the back (humor) page of the New Scientist magazine. That is, the forces of destiny demand certain professions based on birth name.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 3, 2018 at 12:24 am | Permalink

      I know of a Dr. Foot who is a podiatrist.

  20. Caldwell
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Pence’s stats are correct, at least according to the NIH:

    “As many as one-third of heavy smokers age 35 will die before age 85 of diseases caused by their smoking.”

    But obviously smoking does kill people since 0% of non-smokers die from diseases caused by smoking.

    • Posted September 4, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      “Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!”

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