Thursday: Hili Dialogue

It’s Thursday, October 4, 2018, and the Chicago weather is beginning its inexorable slide into cold. Here are the highs and lows in both Celsius (top) and Fahrenheit (bottom) for the week:

It’s National Taco Day (didn’t we just have National Soft Taco Day?), and World Animal Day, which is also the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.

Here’s Thursday on the Cheezburger site’s new calendar: “A typical week through the eyes of a [Pallas] cat“. The manul gets ever happier as the weekend approaches; today it’s a bit grumpy but hopeful:

Honey and James were not at Botany Pond all day yesterday, and I didn’t descry them in the dark this morning. I’m hoping that they’ll return at least once more before the Great Migration.

And, before the “events of this day” section, here’s the results of yesterday’s poll on whether people should be mandated to make “jazz hands” instead of applause. The results are clear cut:

On this day in 1853, the Crimean War began as the Ottoman Empire declared war on the Russian Empire. On October 4, 1927,  Gutzon Borglum began sculpting Mount Rushmore (he was the child of Danish immigrants who were also Mormon polygamists). The monument was completed in 1941. Can you name the four Presidents on the carved mountain? Answer is in the picture below the fold.

On October 4, 1936, the famous “Battle of Cable Street” took place in London’s East End as the British Union of Fascists, headed by the odious Oswald Mosley, battled with Communists, Jews, and other opponents. It would behoove you to watch this fascinating nine-minute documentary about a bizarre chapter in British history.

On this day in 1957, the Russian satellite Sputnik 1 became the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth. It burned up while entering the Earth’s atmosphere the next year. Do you remember the effect this satellite had on America and on American science education? On this day in 2004, SpaceShipOne won the Ansari X Prize (a cool $10 million) for private spaceflight. Finally, on October 4, 2006, WikiLeaks was launched.

Notables born on this day include Richard Cromwell (1626), Rutherford B. Hayes (1822), Frederic Remington (1895), and Buster Keaton (1895). Keaton is a special favorite of Matthew Cobb, who sent me this tweet:

Others born on October 4 include Charlton Heston (1923), Anne Rice (1941), and Susan Sarandon (1946).

Those who died on this day include Francis of Assisi (1226), Teresa of Ávila (1582), Rembrandt (1669), Al Smith (1944), Max Planck (1947, Nobel Laureate), Janis Joplin (1970), Anne Sexton (1974), Glenn Gould (1982), and Graham Chapman (1989).  Here’s one of my favorite Rembrandts:

Yes, I know it’s not real . . .


Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is being a realist, though some would call her a cynic:

Andrzej: Autumn is beautiful.
Hili: I told you that last year winter came after autumn, but you are still an optimist.
In Polish:
Andrzej: Jesień jest piękna.
Hili: Mówiłam ci, że w zeszłym roku po jesieni przyszła zima, a ty ciągle jesteś optymistą.

Tweets from Matthew, the first (a video) showing a remarkable pipefish. Note that in this species, as in many pipefish and seahorses, the female is the ornamented sex. That’s because males do most of the egg incubation and resource investment in offspring, and so males choose females. (There are always more females with eggs to give to males than there are males to accept them). What lesson do we draw from this Dr. Richard Prum?

Yes, you can’t get more Swedish than this:

Baby moose (meese?) are adorable:

The beautiful markings of trout:

And another optical illusion, a genre beloved by Matthew:

Tweets from Grania, beginning with Claire Lehmann’s tweet showing how truculent postmodernists criticize the Boghossian, Pluckrose, and Lindsay “Grievance Study” I mentioned yesterday. Both tweets that Claire highlighted are by the same person: Cas Mudde. Take a look at the one on the right, which shows how far the termites have dined. The tweet has apparently been deleted from Cas Mudde’s website, but I’ve put it below Claire’s:

Cas Mudde is a political “scientist” (surprise!) who works at the University of Georgia. I’m sure he believes this, but removed it from his website for reasons unknown:

And a tweet showing some really clever graffiti:

Cats in medieval manscripts always attract me, and this one has mice:

It’s Japan, Jake!

I wish that this video had sound:

Scott Greenfield is a criminal defense attorney:

Below the fold: Mount Rushmore:

Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Lincoln!


  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln & Teddy Roosevelt.

    • George
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      I am sure that Trump will be added.

      • George
        Posted October 4, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        That is not at all funny – even in jest. Sorry.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted October 4, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          Yes, it is very likely that Trump will be under a rock but not on it.

    • Kiwi Dave
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      So much toxic masculinity! And if confederate statues must go, why does the US still honour two slave owners? I feel triggered.

  2. Posted October 4, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    I always enjoy seeing the Polish versions of the Hili dialogues. One is always amazed at the resourcefulness of the Polish people in response to the absconding by evil invaders with so many of their vowels.

    • George
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      I never really understand that lack of vowels thing. I speak Polish. There are more than enough vowels. Not only a, e, i, o u and ALWAYS y, but variants of a, e and o.

  3. Serendipitydawg
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    The one good thing that Sputnik did for us all was to light a fire under the USA that led to the moon mission; and, although political, the race for the moon led to financial investments in technology that advanced the pace of change like nothing else could. Compare the changes between the late 50’s when Sputnik was launched with (US) technology at the end of the 60’s when the Eagle landed (the USSR was still using Nixies and valves into the 90’s, so I don’t think they benefited so much).

    One particular advance that I think made the biggest difference was the use of integrated circuits in the flight computers. The cost prior to NASA really meant that developments and take up were minimal, after NASA the pace of change, including advances in silicon gave us all a few years advance over what might otherwise have happened.

    No doubt the Googles of the current age will fuel the next big advance, quantum computing springs to mind here.

  4. Mike
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    One interesting fact about The Battle of Cable St, one of the women present fighting Moselys Fascists, was one Naomi Corbyn, Mother of Jeremy,so I think it highly unlikely she would inculcate her son with Anti-Semitism: rather the opposite.

    • Serendipitydawg
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      I don’t think anyone is actually accusing JC of anti-Semitism, just the party he leads.

      • Serendipitydawg
        Posted October 4, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        I can see that there will be snorts of derision after that reply… I still think a lot of the criticism is his stance on Israel and his lack of urgency in addressing the anti-Semitism of some of the party. This an their failure to adopt the international definition of anti-Semitism in favour of their own (that jibes with his pro-Palestine views) is what is doing the damage.

        • Paul Manson
          Posted October 5, 2018 at 3:16 am | Permalink

          I think you’re probably right. It’s not that Corbyn is anti-Semitic (though I’m willing to be corrected and I do think there is a problem in the Labour Party) it’s that he is so pro-Palestine that he will never, ever say anything critical. This means he ties himself in linguistic knots and turns any response against Israel, when he should just say, “You’re right, the Palestinians were wrong to do [whatever]. They have a right to protest but in this instance they were wrong.” It would be good to hear any politician being so clear about anything.

    • TJR
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      See also the classic song “The Ghosts of Cable Street” by The Men They Couldn’t Hang.

  5. mordacious1
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Is there room for Trump, just to the left there?

    • enl
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      No need for room. That Lincoln guy. The one on the right. Bad president. Fake. Not successful. The lying press propped him up.

      Hipsters have beards. The best president doesn’t have a beard. Adjust the hair and lose the beard. Massive support for this change.

    • Serendipitydawg
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Who needs room? that guy on the left, well known tree vandal ( 🙂 ), he could be recarved to celebrate a real, presidential president. The bestest ever, without equal in the history of the world. Ever.

      The rest would easily turn into some admiring lackeys.

  6. Blue
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    in re the notable born of this day, Ms Sarandon:

    Folks .do know., not, that she and her colleague’s characters LIVED … … after
    the conclusion of Thelma and Louise ‘s final scene ? AND, thus, altogether did escape ?

    That is, the .final. .final. scene was never shown.

    But. It is known.


  7. Serendipitydawg
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    I was fascinated to see in 75 surprising facts about Mount Rushmore:

    42. In 1937, a bill was introduced to Congress to add the image of women’s rights leader Susan B. Anthony to the mountain.

    43. Congress then passed a bill requiring only the heads that had already been started be completed.

    Of course, this is the internet, so they may be surprising and not true…

  8. rickflick
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink


  9. Curt Nelson
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I especially liked Buster Keaton on the train, his casual demeanor – instead of something goofy. But of course he wasn’t goofy about anything.

  10. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    The statement that in seahorses and pipefish males vie for females — even though males incure a pretty high cost — is important to remember. I often forget about that!

  11. Posted October 4, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    On the fish-dots: do they play a role in the life style of the fish? how?

  12. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    There’s a marvelous movie about some rocket scientists who were motivated to go into rocket science by observing Sputnik as teenagers. The movie is called “October Sky” which is based on a book called “Rocket Boys”. The studio didn’t want the latter title because they did not want audiences to expect science-fiction. “October Sky” is an anagram for “Rocket Boys”.


    St. Francis (feast day today and death actually yesterday) came up in a discussion group I was in last night. One person said that the Virgin Mary was popular in Catholicism because of so few positive roles for women. I observed that Francis was popular in Catholicism because there is so little appreciation of nature broadly in Catholic piety.

  13. Larry Smith
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Remington appears to have been born on this date in 1861.

  14. Diane G
    Posted October 5, 2018 at 1:09 am | Permalink


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