Tuesday: Hili dialogue

It’s Tuesday, September 18, 2018, and summer is drawing to a close (there are four days left after today). It’s National Cheeseburger Day (“no Coke—Pepsi!”) as well as World Water Monitoring Day. As for your host, PCC(E) is a happy man because his mallards have returned, and they’re together, clearly suggesting a romantic bond. I get to tend them for a short while until they migrate.

I have a dentist appointment this morning so posting may be light today.

On September 18, 1793, the cornerstone of the United States Capitol building was laid by George Washington. On this day in 1851, the first issue of the New-York Daily Times appeared; it was the precursor of the New York Times. Nineteen years later,  Henry D. Washburn, a retired U.S. Representative, observed and named the Old Faithful Geyser in what is now Yellowstone National Park. Here’s a short clip of one of its regular spoutings:

On this day in 1919, the Netherlands gave women the right to vote. Exactly two decades later, the Nazi propaganda show Germany Calling began transmitting in English from Berlin. Here’s its most famous announcer, William Joyce, announcing the invasion of Norway by Germany. Joyce broadcast under the name Lord Haw-Haw:

After the war, Joyce, a hybrid English/Irishman born in America, was captured, tried for high treason, and executed. Here he is as a prisoner before his hanging. He was a devout Nazi and Jew-hater until the end.

On September 18, 1948, Margaret Chase Smith of Maine became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate who was not completing the term of another Senator. On this day in 1977, the Voyager I spacecraft took the first photo from space of the Earth and Moon together. Here’s that photo:

Finally, it was four years ago today that Scotland voted against becoming independent from the UK; the vote was 55% against, 44% for.  We will not see this referendum again in our lifetimes.

Notables born on September 18 include Samuel Johnson (1709), Bun Cook (1904), Greta Garbo (1905), Harvey Haddix (1925; he pitched a perfect game for 12 innings against Milwaukee in 1959, but then lost it in the 13th), Frankie Avalon (1940), Ben Carson (1951), Steven Pinker (1954), James Gandolfini (1961), and Ronaldo (1976). Ronaldo was a great dribbler for Brazil, and here are some of his moves:

Notables who died on September 18 include Leonhard Euler (1783), Dag Hammarskjöld (1961; killed in a plane crash), Jimi Hendrix (1970) and Katherine Ann Porter (1980).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has been out on the tiles:

A: You were out for 24 hours. Where were you wandering?
Hili: Here and there.
In Polish:
Ja: Nie było cię w domu przez 24 godziny, gdzie ty łaziłaś?
Hili: Tu i tam.
Here’s a tweet I found on the great hashtag site #murmuration:

Tweets from Grania:

A thread about the typhoon that just hit Hong Kong:

Yes, a lonely narwhal has joined a pod of young beluga whales in the St. Lawrence River. They’ve apparently accepted the tusked one as a companion; you can read more about it here, and there’s a short drone video. (h/t: Michael for the site):

A cat who willingly brushes his teeth. That’s as unusual as a cat who likes to be vacuumed! But it doesn’t look here as if much actual brushing is going on.

Click on the tweet to see the full medication label:

A clever visualization of the wake of an airplane:

Ziya Tong posted this bouquet of insects:

Tweets from Matthew. The first one, also from Tong, shows the ferocity of fires in British Columbia:

Look at this communal bath of hummingbirds!

Matthew lent a big hand to David Attenborough in the writing of the new edition of Life on Earth, and Dr. Cobb is justifiably proud:

This has happened to me not just with paragraphs, but entire papers!

All paper titles should be this succinct:



  1. Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Meteorological summer ended with August!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      “White shoes” summer ends with Labor Day. 🙂

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    As bad as the hurricane back east was, it is a good thing it was not Manghkut.

  3. GBJames
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    I didn’t know about William Joyce. Interesting bit of history.

    I’m a bit annoyed that YouTube considers this old audio to require trigger warnings.

    • busterggi
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Especially his lasr recorded broadcast in which he is drunk out of his mind unable to handle the death of Hitler and the fall of the Reich. I could almost feel sorry for him.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Margaret Chase Smith served as the conscience of the Republican Party, and of the nation as a whole, when she was the first US senator to take a stand against Joseph McCarthy during the second Red Scare. She was emblematic of a brand of principled, moderate New England Republicanism that’s all but extinct today. Maybe she’ll inspire her successor, Maine Republican senator Susan Collins, to take a stand against the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh and Trumpism.

    • GBJames
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      I’m afraid the time for Susan Collins to take a principled stand against Trumpism has passed. She showed her cards supporting the tax bill in exchange for phantom promises. The fact that there is question about her position on Kavanaugh at this point says it all, IMO.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        While back, a friend of mine called Collins “Aunt Clara” from Bewitched. I haven’t been able to think of her the same way since. 🙂

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

          It is good to know the better people of Maine are adding a lot of pressure on this Senator. Without that, she would just be another guy.

  5. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    I saw a restaurant named Cheeburger Cheeburger in JFK

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      I think that’s a franchise now. Don’t know whether The Billy Goat gets a piece of the action.

  6. Michael Fisher
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    The firefighter who recorded the ‘fire whirl’ is Mary Schidlowsky of Vanderhoof, British Columbia, Canada. She writes on her INSTAGRAM:-

    “Fire tornado destroyed our line. It threw burning logs across our guard for 45 minutes and pulled our hose 100 plus ft in the air before melting it. That’s definitely a first. #firenado #startthepump #wildfire

    Note: It got over 200ft tall but the smoke was too think to see it clearly on video. Sorry for the profanity.

    They were somewhat crazy being so close to this devil – it can throw burning material such as to cause secondary fires & cut their planned retreat route, but maybe that route was already burned up.

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    The execution of Lord Haw-Haw seems disproportionate compared to the treatment of “Tokyo Rose” (or at least of one of the women, an American, known by that generic name), who was convicted of treason, but later paroled and eventually pardoned.

    The MRA buffoons should get right on this.

    • Richard Bond
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      It’s complicated, but there is a plausible case to be made that Joyce was still an Irish citizen, so could not have been guilty of treason. Liam Mullally who also broadcast anti-British propaganda from Berlin was never prosecuted, as he was an Irish citizen. Wikipedia has a list of about forty others and their fates; none was executed:

  8. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Those insects are all mantises of one sort or another?

    And none of them is trying to eat any of the others.

    A lovely handful.


  9. Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Joyce did not broadcast under the name Lord Haw-Haw, it was a nick name invented by the British press.

  10. Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I can haz cheezburger?

    How quickly memes die.

  11. rickflick
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Those hummingbirds have me thinking I need a little fountain in my garden. I’d love to film them bathing.

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, that actually made me tired. Yawwwnnn…in a good way.

      • rickflick
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        I could fall asleep holding the shutter release. I’d dream of Degas’ bathers.

  12. Alan Jardine
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    >> We will not see this referendum again in our lifetimes.<<

    You are a bit presumptive, Jerry.
    There will certainly be another such referendum round about March 2019 – when the consequences of the runaway train that is called "Brexit" finally rushes over the White Cliffs of Dover.


    • eric
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I was going to say that with Brexit, we may see another referendum quite soon. Though if I were the Scots I’d wait until everything gets worked out with Ireland, see what that looks like, and pick the better option.

      • Alan Jardine
        Posted September 19, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

        I think that’s what we’re doing, eric.

  13. tomh
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    A charm of hummingbirds.

    • Christopher
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Based on experiences in my back yard, it would be less a “charm” of hummingbirds than a WWI dogfight. That they could tolerate each other is surprising to me when the ruby-throated hummingbirds I have spend their days dive bombing and chasing away every interloper.

      • rickflick
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I thought the same thing from my experience with western species. They seem to spend more time and energy guarding their turf than actual foraging. There must be times when they agree to share. Probably if resources seem inexhaustible.

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