Friday: Hili dialogue

by Grania

Welcome to the end of the week.

It’s Amy Winehouse’s birthday today (1983-2011), and as Jerry is particularly fond of her music we are going to have three songs to listen to.

Other points of interest in history today: in 1956 the IBM 305 RAMAC was introduced, the first commercial computer to use disk storage; in 2000  Microsoft launched Windows ME (not their best or worst OS); in 1994 The Major League Baseball season was canceled because of a strike. During the Financial crisis of 2007, Northern Rock bank experienced the first bank run in the United Kingdom in 150 years. Important science news in 2015 was the first observation of gravitational waves,  although it was only announced by the LIGO and Virgo collaborations on 11 February 2016.

In Poland our furry friends seem to be in full on Waiting for Godot mode.

Hili: Do you see anything interesting?
Cyrus: Unfortunately not.
In Polish:
Hili: Widzisz coś ciekawego?
Cyrus: Niestety nie.

Stuff from the internet. Trigger warning: there are some dogs in this lot and I make no apologies because they are adorable.

Cat ballet

Baby roo

In the name of science

I concur.

I’ve known a few humans like this too in my time.

A thread you’ll have to click through to read the whole thing, but it’s very interesting.


People are weird, Vol MCMCCDVIII

Hat-tip H. Stiles.

p.s. PCC(E) adds this, which he found on Facebook





  1. Hempenstein
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    From watching MSNBC a couple days ago, you wouldn’t see former RNC chair Michael Steele sending out invitations to any dinner with Dolt45.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      I gotta admit, back when he was RNC chair, I thought Michael Steele was kinda clownish — especially when he misattributed the opening line of A Tale of Two Cities to Tolstoy 🙂 — but in this, the Age of Trump, he comes off as a paragon of wisdom and commonsense.

      • Claudia Baker
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Saw a Trump Tweet this morning that almost made me spit out my coffee:

        “The problem with banker Jamie Dimon running for President is that he doesn’t have the aptitude or “smarts” & is a poor public speaker”

        Fucksake, does he really not have any idea that every time he insults someone he is projecting? How can he not know this? It’s mind-boggling.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

          Yeah, the Donald is an echt instance of “he who accuses others, accuses himself.”

          • Claudia Baker
            Posted September 14, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

            Yes indeedy.

            (Nice word, “echt”)

            • Nicolaas Stempels
              Posted September 14, 2018 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

              “Echt”, from German/Dutch ‘echt’, meaning ‘authentic, real’. Probably to the US via Yiddish.

        • Posted September 14, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink


        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

          Projection is so strong with Mr Trump that it works the other way round. When he’s accusing someone of something, I immediately think by myself: “What has he been up to now?” Usually easily answered.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    “For 100k they should let you eat Eric.”

    For that kinda money, they should serve something less greasy.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      The previous thread on Unhappy Meals comes to mind. Maybe with sufficient encouragement someone could upchuck on the Orange One. It might be worth $100K to see that…

      OK so I’m evil 😎


    • Harrison
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Speaking of Eric, has anything been made around here of his recent anti-Semitic jab at Bob Woodward (who is not even Jewish)?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        Chrissake, Woodward is the quintessence of WASPitude. I think Eric is so dumb, with his anti-Semitic “three more shekels” crack, he had Woodward confused with with Carl Bernstein — you know, iceberg/goldberg-what’s-the-diference style.

  3. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    That Tw*tter thread about not hearing (or maybe noticing) the sound of your own footsteps is intriguing. There’s considerable active brainpower involved in hearing things (as there is in seeing things). For example the way you can single out one voice in a noisy restaurant, partly by anticipating from context what the person is going to say next, but if you are momentarily distracted and lose the ‘thread’ of their conversation their voice just sounds like random meaningless sounds unless and until you pick it up again.

    Incidentally, the external sound of your own footsteps (i.e. air vibrations) is paralleled by the impact of the ground on your feet being transmitted up through your body, though that would be sensed as a lower-frequency thud. (A quick experiment shows that I can distinctly ‘hear’ myself tapping lightly on my knee with my knuckles, even though any air noise is completely masked by the TV babble in the background). And of course the impact is sensed by your nerves. Maybe the brain uses those as cues to help it ‘tune out’ the air noise as in Schneider’s experiment?


    • Rod Wilson
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Bat make extremely loud screams. We just cant hear them because they’re in the ultrasonic. I’ve always wondered why they dont destroy their own ears with that level of sound. IIRC, they ‘disconnect’ their ears when they make the sound and ‘reconnect’ in time to hear the echo** Maybe we do the equivalent: when we expect to make a sound our brain is able to ignore it.

      ** I vaguely remember hearing this years ago so I may be wrong

      • darrelle
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        That’s interesting. There are two constraints to consider. 1) Sound intensity high enough to cause physical damage to the auditory system and, 2) sound intensity high enough to cause problems with perceiving, picking out, other sounds. “Disconnecting” the ears in some way sounds like it might be something completely different from what is described in this mouse study. Something that prevents physical damage rather than merely a filtering effect in order to perceive other sounds better. Like a hardware fix as opposed to a software fix.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        Human teens can disconnect their ears – makes sense that batties can too!

    • darrelle
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      You have to read pretty far down that twitter thread for more details, but your surmise is pretty accurate. What seems to be going on per their findings is that the motor cortex and the auditory cortex communicate. The auditory cortex learns the sound, for example of running, and learns to associate it to specific patterns from the motor cortex (for example the pattern that occurs when running). Then the auditory cortex is able to cancel the sound of the mouse’s running analogous to the way an electronic filter can filter sounds, and this filter seems to be triggered when a specific pattern occurs in the motor cortex. In other words, the filter is only on line when the mouse is running.

  4. Serendipitydawg
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Windows ME (not their best or worst OS)

    Not quite their worst, but is a close run thing. In the modern era, Windoze 10 is rapidly approachinhg a take over of the Vista mantle.

    • enl
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      For those that think the competition is between ME and Vista, I have one response: WinCE

      • Serendipitydawg
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        I don’t count CE – having seen its source code as a developer, it doesn’t even count as programming, let alone an operating system 🙂

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Some of my favourite things aren’t in Win 10 & I’ve spent many hours finding substitutes & learning how to wrangle the new apps [if I can find them in the confusing menus]. Then the six month large update arrives & removes some of the ‘apps’ [as they’re called these days] I took yonks learning! Other than that it’s great – very stable in a Trumpian authoritarian way.

      But maybe ‘authoritarian’ is good – Win 10 S protects users from themselves & most importantly from other users. Lots of that is needed for the casual user.

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

      I currently vote for Windows 10 being the worst ever, and I had Vista in its early days (it got better as the patches rolled out).

      Windows 10 seems to be intent on treating end users with maximum contempt.


      • Serendipitydawg
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        I am trying to work out what to have when this laptop dies (8.1, bleccccch, still better than 10). The house desktops are updated to 7 from XP and I determinedly resist MS’s sneaking an update to 10 into the ‘important updates’ stream (Never10.exe is yyour friend here) – I failed on spous’s laptop the other day and spend 4 hours stopping it downloading 10 and installing the damn thing.

        When did the operatibng system become a Microsoft monitoring tool? and no-one is going to deliver ads to my desktop without a by you leave.

        Ooh, that does sound bitter. Before I retired 3 years ago I spend the previous 5 years developing systems on Windoze and the biggest job was making it but out and stop eating resources. Yep, bitter old man 🙂

        • Serendipitydawg
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

          And I can’t type to save my life… oh well, you get the gist.

  5. Claudia Baker
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Ordered “Lioness”, the Amy Winehouse album put out after her death, a few days ago. Just so I could crank up “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” really loud and sing along with her in the car.

  6. darrelle
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    The “Just Bite Someone” cat immediately brought to mind a psychotic female feline I once lived with years ago. Her name was Sapphire. She was a tiny, very beautiful black short haired cat with blue eyes. Very precise, delicate features, she was like a fine porcelain figure study of a cat. She was also, very much so, NTBFW (Not To Be F*%^ed With).

    This tiny little perfect princess would languidly walk up to you, rub against your leg and give you every indication that not only was she very friendly but she wanted your attention. So naturally you would reach down to touch her. Wrong move. Faster than you could blink she would have teeth and claws sunk into you. Hard. Not drawing blood. Well, usually. But not playing. As long as you didn’t touch her she was very affectionate. She always surprised guests. My then future wife, who because of her vast experience with cats was known as Cat Girl, was shocked when she first met Sapphire, who was totally immune to her cat whispering abilities.

    She liked me enough that she would often come curl up on my lap as I read in the evening. I could even sometimes get in a gentle pet or two on occasion, but mostly I’d just let her be and she would be content to curl up and fall asleep.

    • Posted September 14, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      I have a friend who used to say she’s cat like in something like that way – she’s cute and cuddly but if you rub her the wrong way she’ll rip your eyes out.

      • darrelle
        Posted September 15, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        🙂 Do you still have both your eyes?

  7. Posted September 14, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    $100K? There’s a “charity dinner” I don’t want to support!

  8. Blue
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Arrested and put on trial
    Ms Margaret Sanger … … birthed 14 September y1879.

    F O R her “crime” of
    … … distributing s c i e n t i f i c information !
    Think … … SAME as: within Gilead
    … … of the Handmaid’s Tale.


    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Blue. A great woman and indefatigable champion for women’s rights.

  9. Posted September 15, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    $100k for dinner with Donald Trump? That seems quite a lot, I’d be prepared to do it for $10k.

%d bloggers like this: