Tuesday: Hili dialogue

I am leaving tomorrow afternoon for the California coast (wildlife, R&R, and fun!), and for about nine days Grania will be handling the Hili dialogues. (Thanks to her once again!) Posting from me will be very light, but I should have some nice photos when I return.

It’s back to work time for the rest of you: Tuesday, September 4, 2018. It’s National Macadamia Nut Day, the world’s best nut (cashews are a close second).  Two macadamia facts: three species are cultivated for the nuts, and the nuts are toxic to dogs. It’s also Newspaper Carrier Day, and yes, they do exist, but the profession is on its way out.

On this day in 1781, 44 Spanish settlers founded the precursor of Los Angeles, El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles.  On September 4, 1886, after three decades of fighting, the Apache leader Geronimo  and his remaining warriors surrendered to the U.S. Army in Arizona. He died as a prisoner of war in 1909. Here’s a photo of the great warrior:

Exactly two years later, George Eastman registered the trademark “Kodak” and got a patent for his Kodak camera that used roll film instead of plates. On September 4, 1957, there were two events. In Little Rock, Arkansas, governor Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent black students from enrolling in Central High School. Here’s the old segregationist explaining the situation. Look at the first picture he displays, showing the poor white people with bayonets at their backs! He, Lester Maddox, and George Wallace were the great Satanist Triuimvirate when I was young.

On the same day, the Ford Motor Company introduced its disastrous car, the Edsel, whose grill was described as looking like “a Mercury sucking a lemon”. Voilà:

On September 4, 1972, swimmer Mark Spitz became the first athlete to win seven medals at a single Olympic Game. (The record is Michael Phelps, who won eight.) On that same day, the television show The Price is Right debuted on CBS. It is still broadcast, and holds the record for the longest running game show on American t.v. (46 years). Finally, on this day twenty years ago, Google was founded by two Stanford University students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Notables born on this day include Max Delbrück (1906, Nobel Laureate), Richard Wright (1908), Stanford Moore (1913; Nobel Laureate whom I once met at Rockefeller University), Craig Claiborne (1920), Thomas Eagleton (1929), Ione Skye (1981), and Beyoncé (1981).

Those who died on this day include Albert Schweitzer (1965), Hank Greenberg (1986), Hervé Villechaize (1993), Steve Irwin (2006), and Joan Rivers (2014). The great doctor Schweitzer had a weakness for cats (see here):


Villechaize played a James Bond villain, but was best known for his role as Tattoo on the television show “Fantasy Island,” where he’d ring the bell at the beginning as the guest-bearing plane approached and cry, “Ze plane! Ze plane!”. In fact, the phrase “Ze plane! Ze plane!” has its own Wikipedia article. Here’s the famous beginning, which doesn’t show Ricardo Montalban telling the staff, “Smiles, everyone. Smiles!”:

Here is a bit about “Ze plane”, which is called by that name in the Wikipedia article. It had a sad fate:

It was rented from a local charter company by a contract production company, and almost all of the footage of the plane used throughout the series and films was shot in one day and recycled over the entire run. During the filming of the actual episodes, the guests climbed out of a paper-mache and plywood mock-up of the back of the plane.

Prior to being owned by the charter company, the plane belonged to author Richard Bach, which he mentions briefly in his book The Bridge Across Forever (although he does not mention the television series by name, he makes it clear from the context that he is indeed talking about Fantasy Island). The aircraft was later rented or sold to parties who later used it to smuggle drugs into the United States, and it crashed in a swamp on at least one occasion. It was confiscated by the DEA and sold by the U.S. Marshals Service at auction. It again fell into the hands of other drug smugglers and was eventually confiscated and sold again. It was involved in a gear collapse accident in the 1990s and repainted deep red, so it is not as recognizable as Ze Plane of the television series when it was painted white

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, an interloper d*g arrived in the orchard:

A tweet sent by reader Barry, showing a moggie who’s had a hard day:

This one was sent by Heather Hastie. Click on the screenshot of this tweet to read the funny Guardian article it refers to: “If Trump shot Michael Cohen in broad daylight, here’s what Republicans would say”:

And another from Heather. I would love to take a big cat for a swim. I wonder why it’s so peaceful.

Tweets from Grania. This is what you get if you wrap sausages in undercooked bacon—a “sausage party”!

I’m not sure why Mom is feeding Junior dry cocoa unless it’s to teach him that the stuff isn’t palatable in that form. It apparently worked:

Amy Alkon reports on another reprehensible act of the TSA:

If I were a penguin, this would be me:

Another one from Paul Bronks showing a clip from the animal show “Pet Shenanigans”. Be sure to watch the video.

Tweets from Matthew. First, butterflies on dung, probably going after the salt (watch the video):

An ant whose armor says “Do not touch me!”

Here is a big fungus garden that is tended by leafcutter ants:


  1. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 4, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    “A Mercury sucking a lemon”

    Oh, so *that’s* what it looked like. I’d heard a more… unedifying comparison.

    My mind is deplorable.


  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 4, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    The 1958 Edsel was not a big seller. I believe they sold models under Mercury and Ford. My folks bought a brand new 1958 Chevy station wagon at the time. This was necessary because of an auto crash we had in late l957 in the previous family car, a Studebaker.

    • John Conoboy
      Posted September 4, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Today a 1958 Edsel, depending on model and condition, can go for anywhere between $8,000 and almost $200,000.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted September 4, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Edsel was under what was called the MEL Division – Mercury Edsel Lincoln. But I think there were some dealers who exclusively sold Edsels.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 4, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    “He [Orval Faubus], Lester Maddox, and George Wallace were the great Satanist Triuimvirate when I was young.”

    Yeah, took me some doing to overcome a mild bias against folks with southern accents since these bastards were the salient representatives on the national news of that manner of speaking during my youth.

    • W.Benson
      Posted September 4, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      While all this was going on, many liberal Southern college students in Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas were also marching, having sit-ins, and getting their heads knocked by cops. But mentioning these people might confuse the issue [says I, mildly peeved].

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 4, 2018 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, getting to know a few of those people was part of the “some doing” it took to get over that bias.

        Unfortunately, at the time, such folks didn’t get the same airplay as southern governors wielding ax-handles to keep black students from matriculating and calling for “segregation forever.”

  4. Harrison
    Posted September 4, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    As a child I thought powdered chocolate milk mix and cocoa powder were the same thing until one fateful day.

  5. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 4, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Ze Plane was a French-license-built Grumman Widgeon.

    About 5 decades ago I flew in a Widgeon of Tourist Air Travel from Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands (New Zealand). My second flight, I think (the first was a De Havilland Dragon Rapide biplane airliner). As I recall it was a fairly bumpy flight, at about a thousand feet under the cloud cover. Being an amphibian it could conveniently land on the water and taxi up onto the beach to discharge its passengers.

    Aviation was more basic in those days. I remember a later flight in a Aerostar where we descended through the only hole in the cloud cover, which was most luckily over the railway line, which we then followed for the next 15 miles to Kaikohe airfield on top of a hill which the Kaikohe branch line conveniently looped around. Just like aviators in pre-World-War 1 days.


    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 4, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Yes, some guys would navigate via the concrete needle – follow the highway.

      • rickflick
        Posted September 4, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        Some of us still do from time to time. Following a straight GPS route can take you through solid rock.

  6. Michael Fisher
    Posted September 4, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    ‘Ze Plane, Ze, Plane!” SCAN Type 30 Widgeon is probably still airworthy – it was up for auction only two years ago in its horrible all red scheme.

    A ‘Fantasy Island’ type plane [Grumman G-44 Widgeon version] is probably still in working order at Auckland, NZ the photo below is old. There used to be a bunch of them flying in/out of Mechanics Bay. NZ does more than any other country for its size in preserving classic aircraft. The place to go to see Spitfires, Mosquitoes etc.

    There’s only a handful of these in flying order around the world. There’s a few non-working SCANs in French museums.

    Beautiful, sturdy plane – last forever

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 4, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Yes it was from Mechanics Bay, Auckland that I flew on a Widgeon to Paihia. I see the one in the photo is/was operating out of Paihia – I think it’s more recent as it’s fitted with flat-six (?) engines.

      Most of the flights out of Mechanics Bay were to the islands in the Hauraki Gulf, as I recall. Anywhere with a sheltered beach to land off.

      But I’m not sure if seaplanes still operate out of Auckland. Great Barrier Island now has an airstrip and I suspect helicopters have taken over for the shorter routes.


      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 4, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Seaplanes don’t today. Do you remember the bright yellow & white Sea Bee Air Widgeons?

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 4, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        Flat-six, what I’ve found out: Six Widgeons saw long service in NZ, operated by Amphibian Airways, New Zealand Tourist Air Travel, Mount Cook Airlines and Sea Bee Air. Then from 1962 five NZTAT Widgeons were rebuilt by TEAL [Tasman Empire Airways at Auckland] with
        McKinnon Super Widgeon conversion kits & re-Engined with the 260hp Continental IO
        -470-D flat-six engines [rather similar to the more familiar Lycoming flat-six]. This was done because the original Widgeons were underpowered.

  7. Frank Bath
    Posted September 4, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    In the UK ‘Pigs-in-blankets’ are sausages wrapped in bacon. I don’t know what they look like cooked.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 4, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      They look ‘suggestive’

  8. Hempenstein
    Posted September 4, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Stanford Moore and William Stein were at one time inseperably known for developing an ion-exchange based method for amino-acid analysis (altho that’s not what their Nobel was directly for), to the extent that I once heard of someone who rushed up to one of them and said, “Oh, Dr Moorenstein, I am so happy to meet you!”

  9. pierluigi Ballabeni
    Posted September 4, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Nothing to do with today but the geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli Sforza died last Friday, 96 years old.

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 4, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    You go, penguin; they told the Wright Brothers they’d never get off the ground, either.

  11. Michael Fisher
    Posted September 4, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Around 50 TSA agents a year are fired for theft.
    I can’t read the Fox8 report from here in the UK, but I gather from other sources that the woman with a leg prosthesis uses the airport several times a year. There was no need for her to be humiliated – she should have known the TSA may want to take an explosives trace sampling swab. She should also have known that clothes can’t be removed [apparently] only lifted & one has the right always to a private screening area. Always. I hope she gets a lawyer if it is true the TSA required her to remove her pants! This is very, very unusual & probably outside the TSA guidelines. I suspect the story is misreported somewhat. Incidentally it is my understanding the TSA can’t request the prosthesis be removed [not applicable in this case]

    For anyone using prosthetics [even just hearing aids], crutches, wheelchair etc there’s good advice that you SHOULD read HERE from the amputee coalition.

  12. Posted September 4, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Seeing the Grumman Widgeon reminded me of my one and only seaplane flight. It was in a similar plane, a Grumman Goose, from Avalon Harbor on Catalina Island to LA/Long Beach harbor after working a summer at a hotel in Avalon at the age of 17. The flight was kind of noisy but takeoff and landing on water was surprisingly smooth.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 4, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      1957 Film-to-video: Catalina Airlines Grumman Goose ~ Long Beach to Avalon Flight

    • rickflick
      Posted September 4, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      And I am reminded of another Grumman bird that failed catastrophically.

      “on December 19, 2005. All 20 passengers and crew on board the 1947 Grumman G-73T Turbine Mallard died in the crash, which was attributed to metal fatigue”.


      • Posted September 4, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        I think my Goose was made out of plywood so perhaps it was more at risk from termites. The seaplane service to Catalina ended a few years later. If I remember correctly, it was partly due to cost of maintaining the planes. I suspect it had more to do with faster boats competing with them.

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

      The Goose looks very much like the Consolidated PBY Catalina, one of my favorite planes. It’s sort of a dream of mine to buy one, restore it and fit it out like a custom van to be used for vacationing. Damn things had an endurance of something like 12 or 13 hours. Very slow of course.

      • Posted September 4, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        The Catalina is much, much bigger than the Goose. According to Wikipedia, the Catalina’s empty weight is four times that of the Goose. They have about the same max speed but the Catalina has four times the range.

  13. Posted September 4, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Where does the “GERONIMO!!” line from (e.g.) Warner Bros. cartoons come from?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 4, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      There was a 1939 movie “Geronimo!”
      82nd or 101st Airborne Paras saw the film & adopted it as their jump cry [lots of different stories about where in the paras it started]
      Then stories from the African/Italian/European theatres of WWII about crazy airborne guys drifted back home via the newspapers
      “Geronimo!” became a popular thing to shout when little boys jumped off stuff
      Warner Bros. picked up on the popular sentiment.

      That’s my guess anyway from various sources combined
      Some of the paras also adopted the Mohawk hairstyle before warzone jumps – I’m thinking they didm’t know the diff between Mohawk & Apache
      The 501st PIR [101st Airborne] have Geronimo on their patch – permission from the family.

      The well known Dick Winters & his “Easy Company” was in 506 PIR.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 4, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        The Mohawk thing was unrelated: FILTHY THIRTEEN

      • Hempenstein
        Posted September 4, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Thx for that, Michael. I had a pet flying squirrel (well, we sorta adopted each other), who I named Geronimo.

      • Posted September 5, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Ah. I remember people when I was a kid did when jumping off diving boards at the pool during free swim, seemingly because of the WB bit, but …

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted September 5, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

          As far as I can tell Warner Bros. usage of “Geronimo!” dates from 1948 onwards – I’m claiming they jumped on the expression from its WWII usage. Kids in Britain shouted “Geronimo!” too & the association was as a war cry when attacking or when jumping – I think kids were shouting that from or before the mid-50s

          I’m remembering it from 1962 onwards when little boys were drenched in wartime derrind-do via the comics: War Picture Library, Air Ace Library, Hotspur, Hornet, Valiant, Victor, Commando & The Eagle. We picked up all the cod German from there & the exploits & re-imagined language of WWII [“Achtung Spitfire!” & all that nonsense]. The US Airborne featured quite heavily in the comics because D-Day, Arnhem, Bastogne & The Bulge.

          Other than that I only ever saw US cartoons & other US culture on the Saturday morning matinee cinema shows – plenty of Cowboy & Indian, Cops & Robbers. Great stuff. That’s where we found Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Felix the Cat, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tom & Jerry, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy & the biggest thing of all – the Flash Gordon cliffhangers!

          I still think “Geronimo!” the movie of 1939 likely fuelled the other influences inc. cartoons.

  14. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted September 4, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    The 1940s saw not one but two stage musicals in which the female lead was from Little Rock, Arkansas. They were “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “South Pacific”. (Both were made films in the ’50s)
    The latter features a young woman, Nellie, who is sweet and caring, but events about half way through the story reveal her to be also deeply racist. The audience learns this after developing a lot of sympathy for her, and her overcoming her racism is pivotal to the plot.


    Technically, Villechaize played a James Bond villain’s henchman not a villain proper.
    The principal villain in that film was played by Christopher Lee. Lee was both distantly related to Bond creator Ian Fleming, and personally acquainted with J.R.R. Tolkien, and also played a villain in films based on his work.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted September 4, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Lee played the Istari (wizard) Saruman, good gone bad. He was apparently arguing with the director Jackson about his character’s assassination based on his Special Force’s training during WWII.

  15. Hempenstein
    Posted September 4, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    My first automotive heartthrob – a ’58 Edsel convertible! But the one you show is the longer-wheelbase Citation model. I like the shorter-WB Pacer model (without the Mylar inset in the side-sweep).

  16. Dianna Scott
    Posted September 4, 2018 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Siberian Playmate

  17. Posted October 15, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Just when you think the TSA has hit the bottom, they dig a little further…

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