Tuesday: Hili dialogue

It’s Tuesday, the Cruelest Day, and October 9, 2018: National Dessert Day as well as World Post Day, commemorating the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) which began in Switzerland in 1874. Before that, international delivery between two countries required a separate treaty and arrangements between those countries. The UPU, peace be upon them, has obviated all that.

On this day in 768, Caloman I and Charlemagne were crowned as kings of the Franks. And on October 9, 1582, according to Wikipedia, “Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar, this day does not exist in this year in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.” The day does not exist!  On this day in 1701, the antecedent of Yale University, called “The Collegiate School of Connecticut” was chartered in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.  On this day in 1874, the General Postal Union (the same as the UPU) was created by the Treaty of Bern.  On October 9, 1919, the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series, but, in the “Black Sox Scandal”, it was because members of the Chicago White Sox took money to lose the Series on purpose. While none of the players were convicted in court, eight of them, including “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, were permanently barred from baseball.

On October 9, 1969, the U.S. National Guard was called out to control demonstrations and crowds protesting the trial of the “Chicago Eight” that began September 24.  If you were alive then, how many of the eight can you name? (I got six). On this day in 1981, capital punishment was abolished in France.  On this day in 1986, the original production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical The Phantom of the Opera opened in London. It became London’s second longest-running musical, and can you name the first? On October 9, 2006—a day that will live in infamy—North Korea conducted its first nuclear test.  Finally, on this day six years ago, the Pakistani Taliban tried and failed to assassinate the activist schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai (Nobel Laureate)

Notables born on October 9 include Camille Saint-Saëns (1835), Alfred Dreyfus (1859), Max von Laue (1879, Nobel Laureate), Aimee Semple McPherson (1890), Horst Wessel (1907), Jill Ker Conway (1934, died this year), John Lennon (1940), Jackson Browne (1948), David Cameron (1966), and we can’t leave out Bella Hadid (1996), whose video on Nike shoes (below) always cracks me up. Rich girl as gangsta! Sex for shoes!

“If homeboy is coming through with these, it’s quiet for him. But if he comes through in like, these, you got some Air Maxes out here, you got some Jordans, homeboy’s gonna, like … get it.”

(See the memes here.)

Those who died on October 9 include only one person of note: Oskar Schindler (1974).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is hungry (surprise!):

Hili: As the shadow moves my hunger is growing inside me.
A: Has it grown much?
Hili: Half a meter.
In Polish:
Hili: W miarę jak się przesuwa cień we mnie narasta głód.
Ja: I bardzo już narósł?
Hili: O pół metra.
Courtesy of reader Nilou, here are the parts of a duck. Note especially the crown, “nail,” and speculum. There will be a quiz. (James, by the way, was still here yesterday, waiting in vain for Honey. . . .)
Grania sent this, commemorating a birthday that was yesterday (watch the video; he’s singing through the guitar!):

A tweet from reader Blue, showing amazing feline paternal care:

Tweets from Heather Hastie. About the first one she says, “We used to do this when we were kids.”

Her take on this: “It’s a dog, but it’s a GOOD one!”

From Ann German, fancy bricklaying:

Tweets from Grania. The HappyCow machine resembles the “self-hugging machine” that Temple Grandin built for herself.

These poor dudes!

The Russian regime is odious, but this still surprises me:

Tweets from Matthew. This first video of reunited swans (who mate for life) is ineffably sweet:

The big one probably weighs at least four times as much as the small one:

“I understand.”

No comment.



  1. George
    Posted October 9, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I remembered seven of the Chicago Seven – although not all the first names. Abby Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Rennie Davis, Tom Hayden (Mr. Jane Fonda), David Dellinger and (John) Froines. Could not remember Lee Weiner. The Eighth (for a while) was Bobby Seale.

    And who can forget the judge, Julius Hoffman. In his honor, this from John Prine.

    • George
      Posted October 9, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Meant I remembered six of the seven, seven of the eight.

      And the reason for “Illegal Smile”, the lyric –
      I dreamed the police heard
      Everything I thought… what then?
      Well I went to court
      And the judge’s name was Hoffman.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 9, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    If you were alive then, how many of the eight can you name? (I got six).

    Yeah, I always forget Froines and Weiner, too. Hoffman, Rubin, Hayden, and Bobby Seale are pretty easy; Davis and Dllinger are known to the cognoscenti. But those last two — like remembering Bashful and Happy among Snow White’s companions. 🙂

    • George
      Posted October 9, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      I always remember Froines – if not his first name. The name has a memorable sound to it. I remember the name Rennie but sometimes cannot remember his last name. Rubin, Hoffman, Dellinger and Hayden are easy. That leaves poor Lee Weiner.

  3. Posted October 9, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    The big one probably weighs at least four times as much as the small one:

    (5/3)^3 = 4.6 approximately, assuming everything inside scales up proportionately

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 9, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Maybe easier to forget is who won the nomination for the democrats in 68. Hubert Humphrey…also known as Happy.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 9, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      “The Happy Warrior” — the Hubert who ran in ’68 was a jabbering shell of the mayor of Minneapolis who, at the 1948 Democratic convention in Philadelphia, gave the stem-winding speech in favor the civil-rights plank of the Party platform that drove Strom Thurmond and the Dixiecrats from the convention hall.

      I remember the 1968 Hubert, as I’m sure you do — the one whose balls LBJ bragged about keeping in his watch pocket. I didn’t know about 1948 Hubert until I asked my parents how in the world they could vote for that warmonger, and then read a little history myself.

  5. Linda Calhoun
    Posted October 9, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    The Happy Cow Machine is an insecticide dispenser. It rubs fly repellent on them.


    • Randall Schenck
      Posted October 9, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Maybe I should get some of that…

  6. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 9, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    That fancy bricklaying is impressive – and unexpected. At first it just looks like dominoes – the real good (and surprising) bit starts at 0:35.

    The spacing between those blocks had to be extremely precise for it to work.


    • Neil Wolfe
      Posted October 9, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      I don’t see how it could work and am suspicious it is a fake. The shadow of the bricks does not change during the return trip of the “wave” and is still serrated after the top of the wall is smooth. Or maybe I’ve been watching too many Captain Disillusion videos.

      • rickflick
        Posted October 9, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        Also, the sound isn’t right. When the reverse happens the sound track keeps the same rhythm clacking like the full drop. The backward motion seems to make no noise at all.

        • Mark R.
          Posted October 9, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          And what about the mortar? You can’t just put a cap on a brick wall and think it’s going to last. I guess it’s just a trick (if real) and doesn’t really do anything to speed up the job.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted October 9, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

            It’s real, I’m convinced of that. Faking that video would be extremely laborious.

            It’s a ‘trick’ only in the sense of a stunt, IMO – the brickies are just showing off how good they are – and they are good. I don’t think speeding up the job came into it.


        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted October 9, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          The sound track is NOT the sound of the blocks falling, it is some sort of construction equipment in the background. It’s a much slower beat than the blocks falling in either direction, and it keeps on going after all the blocks have fallen. Also wind noise of course.

          I think the sound of the blocks falling is drowned out by the background noise.


          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted October 9, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

            And I was wrong about the sound. Here’s the *original* of that video:

            (EVERYTHING on Twatter is stolen from Youtube, usually without acknowledgement.)

            – and the sounds match the bricks exactly (plus background wind noises, radio and talking).
            The soundtrack on that Tw*tter clip seems to be the original but slowed down to half speed for some unknown reason.


            • rickflick
              Posted October 9, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

              That’s the sound I was expecting. Fun trick!

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 9, 2018 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        The shadow on the ground is uneven because the ground itself is uneven (and the blocks have a irregular fake ‘natural stone’ facing edge, though that’s a minor component).

        HOW IT WORKS: That puzzled me briefly too. BUT – when each block initially falls over, it is resting on the edge of the next sloping block (if you stop the video as the ‘wave’ passes in front of the camera you can see the overlap). And the next sloping block is resting on the next, and so on. When it reaches the end, the last block falls flat (no further block to impede it) – I infer this. So this means its back edge, (that the penultimate block would rest on if the last block were sloping), moves just that tiny bit further to the right, allowing the penultimate block to fall flat, and that then allows the block before it to fall flat, and so on. Because the blocks have less far to fall in this phase, the motion is quicker and the ‘wave’ coming back travels faster.

        Faking the video would require far more work.


        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted October 9, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          And here:

          is an exhaustive explanation of it.


          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted October 9, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            And for the record – it does (as I originally said) require extreme accuracy of spacing. However this is readily achieved by just laying the blocks flat edge to edge before standing them up. (Now why didn’t I think of that?)


  7. kieran
    Posted October 9, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I’m trying to look for information on the use of sound waves to disrupt thrips reproduction cycle? Any useful papers on arthropod reproduction and the use of sound to disrupt in plant populations.

    Secondly also on sound, Use of sound to disrupt fungal growth and development in plants

    Any information greatly appreciated.

  8. Posted October 9, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Carloman I, with an “r”?

  9. W.Benson
    Posted October 9, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I disagree concerning WEIT’s take on the “Manspreading” video. RT, in the same way Voice of America is independent from the White House and Congress, is free of direct Kremlin interference. The site “euvsdisinfo”, where the “Manspreading” video is criticized, is fanatically Russophobic, or as Google euphemistically puts it, “This website is part of a campaign to better forecast, address and respond to pro-Kremlin disinformation.” Until proven otherwise, either through some trustworthy investigation or a pattern of anti-feminist behavior by RT or its subsidiary, the video must be considered just another undignified staged “home video” designed to get a laugh from some class of viewer. You can see similar stuff any day on “respected” Anglo cable channels.
    Please correct me if I am wrong.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 9, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      That was the first thing that crossed my mind too. Like we believe every tweet…


  10. Hempenstein
    Posted October 9, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Fascinating bit on the Pete Drake video, on where that sound originates. How it’s generated is another thing. More research needed.
    Other pedal steel greats worth remembering are two Buddy’s: Emmons and Charleton.

    • Mike Cracraft
      Posted October 9, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      It looks like to me that it’s an early type of vocoder (vocal encoder) which was used by Peter Frampton in the 80’s.

      • Hempenstein
        Posted October 9, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        Seems that the technical (or generic?) term is Talk box with antecedents dating back to 1939 – there’s a pic of Frampton’s on this page.

  11. Blue
    Posted October 9, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    “Cats Are Actually Nice, Scientists Find
    Sorry, haters.”

    Is not terribly s c i e n t i f i c actually.

    Still. After the last two weeks’ muck within the USA,
    and, Worldwide incl the indecency, cruelty
    and monstrosity detailed within WEIT’s latest
    post in re the Middle East, I needed
    something comfortingly c a l m:


    • rickflick
      Posted October 9, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      I don’t think you can generalize, but I’ve found all cats I’ve lived with for any length of time to be pretty sweet. I would say dogs are much more variable. Dogs include barkers(guarders), nippers(jealous), attackers(overly protective), car chasers(bored). Male cats, if not neutered, can try your patience by peeing on the bed. Cats also tend to scratch the furniture. The animal Nobel Prize for peace goes to cats.

      • Blue
        Posted October 9, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        That, Mr rickflick, in re “The animal Nobel Prize for peace goes to cats,” is darling !

        And t r u e … … dat !


  12. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 9, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I wasn’t too hard to guess that the longest running musical in the West End was “Les Mis”. “Phantom” is one of the few Andrew Lloyd Weber works I like.
    (When he’s good, he’s fairly good, but when he’s bad, he’s really really bad.)

    The two longest running plays in London’s West End are “The Mousetrap” and “The Woman in Black” both of which I recommend highly.

    If we’re looking for notables who passed away on October 9th, I submit for everyone’s approval: film director Herbert Ross, playwright Clare Booth Luce, and on the problematic side philosopher Jacques Derrida. Admittedly, none of these rise to the stature of JAC/PCC’s choice of Oskar Schindler.

  13. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted October 9, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    The Russian regime is odious

    I just read (the unconfirmed rumor) that Putin personally rewarded the doctor [oy!] among the GRU 4 that used weaponized chemicals on UK citizens.

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