Monday: Hili dialogue

It’s Monday, September 3, 2018, and a holiday in the US (Labor Day). As per the day’s monicker, I will be laboring. There are ducks to feed and trips to prepare for.

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the holiday with a montage of labor implements. When you click on the icon, you go to, well, do it and see:


It’s also National Welsh Rarebit Day, celebrating the food that repeatedly gave Winsor McCay’s characters weird dreams:

On September 3, 1189, Richard 1 of England, also known as Richard the Lionheart, was crowned at Westminster.  On this day in 1658, the Lord Protector of England, Oliver Cromwell, died of an infection and was succeeded by his son Richard. Oliver himself was subject to “posthumous execution”: his body was dug up and hanged.  On September 3, 1838, Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery; he was to become one of America’s most famous abolitionists.

On this day in 1933,  Yevgeniy Abalakov became the first man to summit the highest mountain in the Soviet Union, Communism Peak (also called Stalin Peak but now called Ismoil Somoni Peak), situated in Tajikistan and 7495 m high. And in 1935, Malcolm Campbell became the first man to drive faster than 300 mph, attaining an average speed over two runs of 301 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. (The current record is an unbelievable 763.035 mph, set by Britain’s Andy Green in 1997—faster than the speed of sound.) Here’s a Movietone video of Campbell’s record:

And Green’s record, set in what’s basically a jet on wheels:

On this day in 1941, Karl Fritzsch, deputy camp commandant of the Auschwitz Lager, first experimented with the chemical Zyklon B producing cyanide, to gas Soviet prisoners of war. Zyklon B was, of course, later used in large-scale gassing of Jews and other “undesirables”.

Notables born on September 3 include the architect Louis Sullivan (1856), Loren Eiseley (1907), Alan Ladd (1913), Whitey Bulger (1929, still in jail), Al Jardine (1942), Malcolm Gladwell (1963) and Charlie Sheen (1965). Here’s a picture of my father (right) and Alan Ladd (left), taken in Greece in front of the Parthenon during the filming of the 1957 movie Boy on A Dolphin starring Ladd, Sophia Loren, and Clifton Webb (it was Loren’s first movie in which she spoke English). This was probably taken in 1956; my dad helped with arranging transportation for the cast and crew via the Army motor pool. (I also have photos of him with Loren.)

Those who died on September 3 include Oliver Cromwell (1658, see above), Ivan Turgenev (1883), Beryl Markham (1986), Pauline Kael (2001), and Sun Myung Moon (2012).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, under an apple tree, remembers the apocryphal story of Newton discovering gravity (Hili doesn’t want to be beaned by an apple).

A: Why  did you freeze?
Hili: I remembered Newton’s dismal adventure.
In Polish:
Ja: Czemu znieruchomiałaś?
Hili: Przypomniała mi się ponura przygoda Newtona.
A tweet I found. Seriously, who could be fooled by this?

From reader Blue:

From reader Barry, who calls this “a flying cat.” Warning: felinity red in tooth and claw. You probably saw the first tweet, involving a cat and a seal, yesterday.

From Grania, the Duck O’ the Day. She wags her tail even more vigorously than does James Pond. Her quacks are also weird.

Some physics for the day. They could also have used an ice skater doing her final spin and speeding up as she draws in her arms.

Swimming kitty!

. . . and a lazy panda.

We’ve probably all seen Sprinkler Raccoon, but one wag thought to put it to harp music:

I didn’t know that pigeons could be so aggressive, especially when they’re sitting on kittens.



  1. Frank Bath
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    What I learned from the two heroic land speed videos was how much the educated English voice has changed in sixty years. For the better.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    I guess a parachute would not be useful at that altitude?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 3, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Thrust SSC & the future Bloodhound SSC [1,000mph in 2020] use identical systems – they deploy a small drogue chute into the 650mph airflow which pulls out the 2 metre diameter brake chute. Result: 9 tonnes of drag.

      A pilot bail out is obviously impossible. A parachute that drags the pilot out using the airflow is unlikely to be useful if the vehicle was jittering or tumbling.

      A rocket-powered ejection is possible, but at sea level air pressure the pilot will need a ‘clamshell’ or a special Russian survival suit [like medieval armour] to survive the 10 tonnes of air that will hit him when he leaves his comfy cockpit.

      The team nixed all the above – not having the option might be safer because less vehicle weight, one less pilot decision & it might be safer to stay in the cockpit cocoon [same as F1 drivers – who nearly always survive, but sometimes need new legs]. Also the decision time is a lot shorter than at altitude & the pilot may choose ejection when he shouldn’t have. Also there’s a hazard for everyone having cockpit detonation cord & rockets knocking about day-to-day.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 3, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        Were it me I’d want an explosively detachable armoured cockpit to take me away from the nasty corrosive propellants being used. It would fill with rigid foam to brace my body. It would have to work on an air bag g-sensing principle – lots of potential for embarrassing false positives though… 🙂

        • rickflick
          Posted September 3, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

          False positives would make great viral YouTube videos…which you could monetize!

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted September 3, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

            That would be the territory of the munchkin hamster Hammond dolt on Top Gear [the shortest one of the three dolts in the UK version].

            • rickflick
              Posted September 3, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

              We all need a stunt man double in our lives. Especially after age 60.

              • Torbjörn Larsson
                Posted September 3, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

                I think everyone gets a bit stunted with age. Maybe not if you do an ISS tour though.

              • rickflick
                Posted September 3, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

                Or, hang from a bar wearing weighted boots – the latter being a lot cheaper.

              • Torbjörn Larsson
                Posted September 3, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

                I think the verdict was that hanging, upside down with implements or with weight implements, does not work. Except for the salesmen, their money pockets gets less stunted.

                But I may be mistaken.

              • rickflick
                Posted September 3, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

                Then, I’m all for the ISS.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted September 3, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        Yes, I believe they have zero altitude ejection systems in later jets. I think this was so in the F-4 with the Martin-Baker seat. But at high speeds, super sonic, ejection is not a good idea. Drag chutes were used for landings on F-100s due to the higher landing speed of this jet. I know because I had to install a new chute after each landing.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted September 3, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

          Supersonic ejection is not a problem at low air pressure – for example, in 1966 a two man crew ejected at Mach 3.25 – one survived & one drowned, but we’re talking 80,000 ft altitude. Around seven crew [that we know of] have survived supersonic ejection.

          Phantom ‘zero-zero’ ejection was ‘problematic’ – if either crew had their canopy open nothing happened. Bad design.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted September 3, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

            I suppose anything is possible but ejecting at supersonic would not be my desire. Regarding not working if a canopy is open is most likely a safety built in. I see nothing wrong with that. Why you would want to be ejecting with a canopy open, I don’t know. There were people killed working on planes due to accidental ejections. In the F-100 there were two safety pins always installed and removed by the pilot. These pins were always to be in when working in the cockpit area.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted September 3, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

            “Regarding not working if a canopy is open is most likely a safety built in. I see nothing wrong with that”

            Entirely guesswork on your part & entirely wrong. Blocking ejection with the canopy open wasn’t a safety feature – it was bad design that was changed in later Phantom ejection systems. The other more serious problem was a jammed closed canopy also prevented ejection.

            “Why you would want to be ejecting with a canopy open, I don’t know.”

            Well I’ll tell yah – refuelling fires, especially on the carrier flight deck are often best escaped with a ‘zero-zero’ ejection. The canopy may well be open & one had better have a system for jettisoning an open canopy with zero slipstream. And fortunately one does.

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted September 3, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

              I’m not sure where you get all your expertise on this subject but you should try and not get so excited. You can quote me on that one too. When you talk about ejecting a pilot from a refueling fire, how many of those have you seen. I was not in the navy so I have never heard of it. I was in the Air Force for nearly four years and I was a crewchief on F-100 fighter jets. Never heard of refueling an airplane with anyone in the cockpit. That’s another one of those safety things we paid attention too.

              But be my quest and tell me again how I am just guessing.

              • Posted September 3, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

                Your mention of refuelling while crew is in the vehicle reminded me of an issue recently in the news. SpaceX wants to implement a “load and go” procedure to fuel its manned rockets within 30 minutes of launch and, therefore, while crew is onboard. While this has risk, there is also risk associated with fueling before crew entry due to the fuel getting too warm by launch time. I believe NASA has given SpaceX approval to look into this but has not given final approval.

              • rickflick
                Posted September 3, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

                Didn’t SpaceX have an explosion during fueling not that long ago? Load and Go doesn’t seem all that promising. An alternative might be to add a thick layer of insulation to keep the beast cool longer. Just before launch the insulation could be stripped off.

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

                Sounds like a good idea.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted September 3, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

                Carrier flight decks are more intense – especially in wartime conditions. Aircrew on USS Forrestal [Vietnam war, 1967] died in their planes on the flight deck because no ‘zero-zero’ ejection option was available – fuel burning all around. Fuel from McCain’s punctured Skyhawk waiting to take off started the fuel fire. The Skyhawk tank puncture was caused by an accidental rocket launch from an F-4 across the way.

                And yes, carrier planes being refuelled/rearmed are rarely crewed, but the next planes down the line or across the deck from the fuelling/arming might be crewed.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted September 3, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          rickflick – forgive the terminology that follows! I’m not sure about the shape & size of the SpaceX kerosene tanks, but the LOX tanks on the same rocket are HUGE blob shaped things that are an internal sub-structure of the rocket. Outside that is the structural ‘tube’. It would be impossible to fit a temporary insulation to the exterior of the ‘blobs’ & useless to fix it to the outside of the ‘tube’.

          SpaceX uses supercooled LOX [deep cryo LOX] which is denser than normal LOX & thus more energy in a given tank & it enables tricks such as reusable tanks & rockets [landings of stage 1 & stage 2 maybe rather than throwing away]. But it’s very tricky stuff – if part of a tank warms more it expands that part of the fuel [LOX] & the tank & you have to dump the entire load of LOX before it damages the spacecraft structure. There’s other problems with the interactions of LOX & pumps & other components.

          It’s a very dodgy biz IMO & I wonder if Musk will give it up. He’s a gambler & he’s been lucky up to now. Perhaps a highly effective escape pod would balance the risk?

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted September 3, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

            /give up on deep cryo LOX not SpaceX to be clear

          • rickflick
            Posted September 3, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

            My thought was to affix something like a foam layer outside the tube. It could be designed to fall away when takeoff was imminent. Sounds simple, but there are probably reasons they don’t do it that way.

            • Torbjörn Larsson
              Posted September 3, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

              Propellant “load and go” and the stage 2 He COPV are separate but interacting issues. I think the following applies:

              – Load and go was approved, and deemed safer by NASA. Reasons that have been circulated but not tied to NASA has been:
              — Airplanes do this with passengers inside, sometimes while flying …
              — Less time with crew on top
              — No ground crew during loading
              — Larger propellant margin
              – Drawback with load and go with new scheme is that they may have to top fill He COPV after propellant load.

              – The new He COPV is likely ready through testing on stage 2. (The long pole is claimed to be the long term crack test on the redesigned turbines in the vacuum Merlin variant for stage 2.)
              – It has a new construction where solid frozen LOX cannot be caught and ignited by carbon filament breaking. Backup would be a metal COPV, but it seems they do not need it.

              I am not sure how a new load and go and the new COPV design interact, if the latter would permit the He top off.

              • rickflick
                Posted September 3, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

                This safety issue reminds me of Feynman’s criticism of the Shuttle. It may be too complicated and overly optimistic expectations could lead to a serious !boom! Let’s hope they test the hell out of it and that it works well every time.

              • darrelle
                Posted September 4, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink


                I don’t think the two issues are similar in the way you fear. Both of these problems are typical examples of the kinds of issues that are common with complex engineering projects and expected to occur regularly.

                But a significant difference between SpaceX’s helium tank wrap issue and the STS’s SRB o-ring issue is that SpaceX is diligently working to resolve the issue by changing the design, the normal expected response to such a problem, while the issue with the SRB o-rings was known for years and instead of working to resolve the problem by coming up with something new that works better it was decided to simply manage the problem. This isn’t entirely unusual, but it is more dangerous. After some time with no serious issues complacency set in and managers decided to ignore the engineering folks who did remember the problems with the o-rings and were telling them not to launch on that cold morning.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 3, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Don’t they use them to slow down at the end of the run? I was wondering if the thing went out of control could it fly up and become airborne? At that point the chute might be effective to avoid a severe crash.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted September 3, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        That is possible but any chute deployed at that speed might be worse than not. It would have to be very strong and probably small.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 3, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        A drag chute is used under normal conditions to slow down at the end of a run.

        If necessary it can be deployed at speeds up to 650mph IF the vehicle isn’t under thrust at the time. If the nose has lifted a drogue chute isn’t going to be useful in the time available – the vehicle is going to flip anyway & break apart with split propellent tanks, & bits from three types of engines [on the Bloodhound] to make your life miserable. The drogue will put minus 2.5g on the pilot & vehicle which might make the breakup worse.

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

    “Malcom Campbell”

    [hm – oh, not that guy]

    “Malcolm Gladwell”

    [ O_o ]
    [ where’s my coffee ]

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted September 3, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      The automatically generated emoticon is not the true emoticon for

      Capital O
      Lower case o

      Because the mouth is expressing something in addition.

      … how can users enter true ASCII emoticons?

  4. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    It’s amazing that Thrust SSC set its record 20 years ago. Doesn’t time fly?

    Speaking of flying, the really difficult thing with any car at that speed is to ensure it doesn’t. It might seem easy, since jet fighters can easily do double that speed – just take a jet fighter and cut the wings off it. But – at that speed, even a tiny vertical component will either launch it or try to dig a trench in the dirt – which, even if it doesn’t break something, will absorb prohibitive amounts of power. It’s not something that aircraft aerodynamicists have ever tackled before, since jet aircraft never land at such speeds.


    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 3, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Those aerodynamic factors are at work all the time with the formula one race car. Down forces are applied that would allow the cars to drive upside down at around 100 mph.

      • Mark R.
        Posted September 3, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        So that’s how Speed Racer did it! 🙂

    • Posted September 3, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Thrust SSC was the second successful land speed attempt run by Richard Noble. He first broke the record – driving himself – in Thrust 2. The reason I mention this is that they later calculated using computer technology not available at the time of designing the car that, if he had gone just four mph faster than the top speed achieved (650.88 mph), Thrust 2 would have taken off.

  5. David Coxill
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Re the Cat and the Bird ,either it wanted to play tag ,or it had a death wish .

    Anyone know what kind of bird it was?

    • Posted September 3, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Anyone know what kind of bird it was?

      A dead one.

      • David Coxill
        Posted September 3, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        Only after it had played tag with the pussy cat .

    • Posted September 3, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      The unlucky bird looks like Mimus polyglottus to me.

    • darrelle
      Posted September 3, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Looked like a mocking jay to me. Pretty sure of it given the bars on the wings.

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted September 3, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        It *was* mocking, up to the point the table turned…

        • darrelle
          Posted September 3, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink


          Exactly! I should have mentioned, its behavior was a significant indicator as well. They aren’t called “mocking” jays for nothing. They are notorious for bravely (or stupidly) harassing other animals that they probably really should not.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Who could be fooled by googly eyes?

    Probably not Snuffy Smith.

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Damn, that seal went down like George Foreman in Zaire. Same couple of chopping right hands did the trick there, too.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted September 3, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Sort of, the original longer video shows that it rolls away to flee quicker into the water.

  8. Michael Fisher
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Googly fishy eyes: I suppose the Kuwaiti market trader did the googly eyes thing only to the display fish or he’s an idiot. I wondered if the photos are a newspaper jokey ‘reconstruction’ rather than the presumably more artful fake by the trader.

    He’s only doing what market traders have done since year dot with pigs in pokes & polished apples at the front while selling spoiled fruit from the back of the pile. All those scams we’ve endured with fake virgin olive oil, re-bottled wine etc.

    It is my impression that retail scammery is at its peak today despite all the controls – it’s just very subtle. Take “Lurpak butter” – the packaging print has “butter” in small script & their softer “Lurpak spreadable” [36% rapeseed oil] follows the same design scheme & sells at the same price within 3%. Now they have a new market from the health fanatics so they’ve halved the butter, added the cheapest olive oil in addition to rapeseed. AND for the truly health conscious they’ve added “Lurpak lightest spreadable” to the range – to reduce the calories they add extra water. WATER is the first ingredient on the list [in the UK ingredients are listed in descending order of weight]. Bastards.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted September 3, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Sounds like they are emulating the margarine brands and their market strategies others have had for decades. Like US calling its water downed beer “light” instead of “oldest pub trick in the world”.

      UK is tricked despite brexit.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 3, 2018 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        Yes. Not just Britain though – food & ‘beauty treatment’ marketing deception is a global fine art.

  9. bbenzon
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Animated Rarebit Fiend (very creepy critter):

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 3, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      What a wonderful 1921 animation. The scenes with people in them are strange for an animation – the animator has ‘cheated’ by tracing frames from movie camera recordings of real people who’ve acted out the scenes. Or at least that’s how it looks to me.

  10. Posted September 3, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I mostly lost interest in land speed records once the vehicles were not propelled by their wheels. Taking a jet plane, ripping off its wings, and adding wheels is just not as interesting. Breaking the sound barrier close to the ground did catch my attention briefly though.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 3, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Good point. Would sticking wheels on a ‘ground effect’ vehicle [where the wheels are doing very little work] count as a land speed record or a low flying speed record.

      • Posted September 3, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        If I remember correctly, they have rules dictating the wheels make contact with the ground some fraction of the run’s length or time and specify a minimum fraction of vehicle weight that must be borne by the wheels. Not sure where I read this though.

  11. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    If I were to name my favorite actress that I’ve seen relatively few movies of (less than 10, say), it would certainly by Sophia Loren.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 3, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      That works for me, in or out of a movie.

  12. Mark R.
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen Rarebit on a menu. I’ve never been to the UK, but I should think they would be popular over here. Maybe it’s an East coast thing.

    The addition of the harp music was ingenious!

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 3, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Rarebit is a treat & really easy to make at home – you should give it a go. I promise you’ll not regret it: Cheddar, butter, Worcestershire sauce, mustard [powdered is best], Guinness, seasoning & bread. Trouble is it’s longer to make than to eat so best to make big batch of the mixture to last a couple of days.

      • darrelle
        Posted September 3, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        Rarebit was a thing at our house growing up. Not sure why since we had no other specifically English traditions. It was something we always looked forward to. We did it slightly different. While the sauce was authentic we always had it as toast with a hamburger on top, topped with a slice of tomato, all smothered in Rarebit. Delicious!

        Just about a year ago I discovered a delicious twist on Rarebit. I wanted to make a batch but didn’t have exactly what I needed so I used a Bourbon barrel aged strong beer that I had sitting in the frig and about half Manchego cheese because I didn’t have enough cheddar. It was fantastic. The beer gave it a slightly sweet Bourbon flavor that worked really well.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted September 3, 2018 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

          I had no idea beer is been brewed in old bourbon barrels – sorta beer + chaser all in one. Must see if I can get hold of that beer if it’s bottled/canned. What name is it?

          I’m agog at adding a burger to rarebit! But Mr. Google tells me it’s common now with the tomato slice, bacon strips & chives. I’ve decided I like the idea & I must try it! Except the finished US version is far too thick. I abhor thick food such as deep filled this & that pizza.

          Worst rarebit idea: using Stilton – what are they thinking?

          • rickflick
            Posted September 3, 2018 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

            A winery in France told me they use barrels made of French oak for only two vintages. Then they sell the barrels for reuse by American bourbon distilleries. When you drink bourbon you’re tasting a bit of Bordeaux.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted September 4, 2018 at 12:03 am | Permalink

              thnx. HERE’S AN ARTICLE on going in the other direction: making wine in bourbon barrels. Must try some of these crossovers to see if it’s worth the bother or faddish.

              • rickflick
                Posted September 4, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

                Mostly faddish, I’d say. The taste difference is going to be pretty subtle and most drinkers aren’t that subtle. The winery mentioned above is trying to control oakiness which is a reasonable thing to want to do. At $900 (US) a pop, selling them later on helps keep costs under $40/bottle.

          • darrelle
            Posted September 4, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

            Aging in previously used Bourbon barrels has become a thing in the craft brew world lately. And other types of barrels as well. I’ve had some really good ones and some not so good.

            This is the one I used to make that interesting Rarebit. I’d rate it as pretty good for drinking, I’d buy it again, but not a contender for best. I’ve had better. I’d have to say that it is great for cooking though. The hint of bourbon and a bit of sweetness really comes through nicely when you cook it down.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted September 4, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

              Unfortunately is insecure according to Edge & Waterfox so I will not visit the site. I’ve found a few bourbon beers & stouts over here in the UK, brewed in the UK, but prices are unreasonable. Not much different from this US import:

              Goose Island Bourbon County Stout 2017
              ABV 14.1%, Bottle Size 568ml, £20.00 [one bottle] !!!!!

              My beer nut mate reckons he can get a UK version for five squid. Still expensive, but not out of reach. Will give it a go. Cheers!

          • Posted September 4, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

            Down with thick food! I like it — not the thick food but the disliking.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted September 4, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

              Yes, down with that sort of thing!

  13. Posted September 3, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    I love the tail-wagging Duckie.

  14. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Most countries celebrate Labour Day on the first of May: International Labour Day. It mainly celebrates the achievement of th 8 hour working day: 8 h work, 8 h sleep and 8 h free time.
    I do not think US workers have much to celebrate on Labour Day with all these worker safety regulations being lifted or softend.

    • Posted September 4, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      I read somewhere that Canada and the US adopted the August day to avoid looking “commie”.

  15. Posted September 4, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I read somewhere years ago that the hard part with land speed records was not the speed but the keeping-the-thing-on-the-ground part. Is that no longer the case? (After all, one could put wheels on a Saturn V and claim that momentarily it was at 11.2 km/s or whatever.)

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