Thursday: Hili dialogue

Good morning! It’s Thursday, October 11, 2018, and tonight I’ll be winging my way to Croatia, arriving tomorrow afternoon. I’ll be missing much of National Sausage Pizza Day, but I hear that the food in Croatia will more than make up for it (they have good wine, too). It’s also International Day of the Girl ChildNational Coming Out Day, and International Newspaper Carrier Day. If you’re a gay female newspaper carrier, you’ve got it made!

As I said yesterday, posting will be light for the next week, but Grania has again kindly agreed to do the Hili posts, and perhaps some other ones as well. I will post from Croatia as I can. If you are in Zagreb this week, I am giving three lectures, whose time and venues you can see here.

On October 11, 1531, Huldrych Zwingli, head of the Swiss Reformation, was killed in battle fighting the Roman Catholics of Switzerland. On this day in 1852, the University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest university, was inaugurated.  And in 1899, the Second Boer War began in South Africa between the British Empire on one side and two Boer states: the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. It lasted 2.5 years until the Empire won.  On this day in 1910, former President Teddy Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to fly in an airplane. He was up for 4 minutes with Arch Hoxsey in a Wright Brothers plane in St. Louis. Here’s a silent video clip of the flight; at first Roosevelt refused to get into the plane, but relented, and then Hoxsey put the plane into three steep dives. “Bully!”

This puzzles me: on this day in 1976, according to Wikipedia, “George Washington‘s appointment, posthumously, to the grade of General of the Armies by congressional joint resolution Public Law 94-479 [was] approved by President Gerald R. Ford. Finally, it was on this day in 2001 that the Polaroid Corporation filed for bankruptcy. 

Notables born on October 11 include Henry J. Heinz (1844, yes, the ketchup man), Eleanor Roosevelt (1884), Elmore Leonard (1925), Bobby Charlton (1937), Daryl Hall (1946), Jane Krakowski (1968), and Michelle Wie (1989).

Those who died on this day include Casimir Pulaski (1779), Meriwether Lewis (1809, died under mysterious circumstances), Anton Bruckner (1896), Chico Marx (1961), Jean Cocteau (1963), Dorothea Lange (1965), Chesty Puller (1971), and Redd Foxx (1991).  Here’s one of Lange’s photos taken during the Great Depression:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is tending the garden:
Hili: These are not the only new molehills in the garden.
A: You are right, our moles are very hard-working.
In Polish:
Hili: To nie są jedyne nowe kretowiska w ogrodzie.
Ja: Masz rację, nasze krety są bardzo pracowite.

A cat cartoon from reader Susan:

A tweet from Maajid Nawaz sent by reader Jiten:

Tweets from Grania; her first one is a tweet emitted by Matthew. He’ll have to explain about the human skull in the comments:

A cat helping d*gs escape? That’s not right!

The inimitable Monty Python:

I guess this is a house cat, but the ear tufts make me wonder. At any rate, this felid is having a hell of a good time:

The Donald can find one by looking in the mirror:

Tweets from Matthew. I now have this article, which is behind a paywall, and will write about its accommodationism presently. The TLS is getting really soft on religion!

How can this guy not have known?

This raises the possibility of cow soccer:

Some physics for you; I’ve provided the video link below:

Here’s the YouTube video for the tweet above:

The fragility of butterflies makes their fossils exceedingly rare. Here’s a beautiful old one:


  1. Michael Fisher
    Posted October 11, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Marks & Spencer:

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted October 11, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      12 minutes of Squishy Face Massage on purring kitty. Very relaxing to listen to if you have decent stereo audio!

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 11, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    The best explanation I can apply to the George Washington, General of the Army rank is that while he seemed to carry the title, he only wore three stars. The military is really picky when it comes to rank – notice they require everyone to carry their rank around with them on the clothing. If two or more people of the same rank are in the same command it only takes a short time to determine who achieved the rank first and that tells them who outranks the other.

    Anyway since Pershing had the title and four stars and after Pershing they had many 4 star generals they must have thought Washington deserved a boost. What I am sure of is he did not get any back pay to match. By the way, Washington is the only Army Commander who did the job for no pay that I am aware of. He did keep track of expenses and was reimbursed for that.

    • W.Benson
      Posted October 11, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette was made major general in the US Army in 1777 when 19 years old, the youngest in US history. It is reported that he, a liberal French nobleman, also did not receive pay for his military service. It was Lafayette with his Virginia militias(along with the French Caribbean fleet) that bottled Cornwallis in Yorktown (Washington arrive later with reinforcements) and gave the Americans their definitive victory over the Brits on October 19, 1781.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted October 11, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        Yes, good point. Another non-American who did much for the revolution was Friedrich Von Steuben, who trained much of the Army for Washington. He might have received some land or something after the war but not much. When you get down to it, most of the soldiers who fought in the revolution did not receive the pay they were promised. Like most veterans they got screwed. American started this tradition early on.

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted October 11, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          I see Casimir Pulaski’s name mentioned in this post. He was made a general in the Continental Army. I wonder if he received pay?

  3. Tom Webber
    Posted October 11, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    The cat with ear tufts: How about a caracal (Caracal caracal)?

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted October 11, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      You’re right by half. That is “Ariel Carcat” and she’s a female Caracal, Serengeti cat mix

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted October 11, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Should be Ariel Caracat.

  4. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 11, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    That is one of my absolute favourite Monty Python sketches.

    My second would be the ‘Jehovah’ scene or possibly Biggus Dickus. But it’s hard to choose, there are just so many in that movie.

    I rather think Life of Brian would be impossible to make these days, but the objections wouldn’t come from the Church, they’d be coming from the pomos, PC’s and SJW’s. Just about every sketch in that entire movie could be found offensive by somebody.


    • stuartcoyle
      Posted October 11, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      I remember fundies demonstrating outside the premiere of The Life of Brian when I went to see it telling people how evil the movie was.

      I asked one of them if they had actually seen the movie to judge for themselves and they replied: “of course not!”.

  5. Posted October 11, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    That beastie is a caracal (the corner says “caracat”)

  6. rickflick
    Posted October 11, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    The FAA would have yanked Archibald Hoxsey’s license for that bit of stunt flying. And, with a president! I wonder if DT could be persuaded…never mind.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted October 11, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Pretty funny. Hard to yank the guy’s license when most surely he never had one. Most likely Teddy had no idea how dangerous it was just getting in. After his time in the war with Spain I don’t think he was afraid of anything.

  7. Claudia Baker
    Posted October 11, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    The fact that Marks&Spencer is selling these disgusting garments makes me mad! They may have the right to focus on profits, but they don’t have the right to endanger little girls. Do they also endorse FGM? How about child marriage? Same thing. Support for the hijab for children is support for the whole package of sick-fuck islam. Shame on them.

    • Posted October 12, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      I am pretty sure that M&S does not endorse either FGM or child marriage. I do not agree with girls or women of any age being forced to wear a hijab against their will but it is surely nonsense to suggest it is the ‘same thing’ as these other practices which are on an altogether higher plane of abuse.

      • Claudia Baker
        Posted October 13, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Selling hijab for little girls is tacit agreement with other tenants of islam especially the subjugation of women. Therefore M&S is complicit in this evil.

  8. Posted October 11, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    They refer to “Colonel Roosevelt” rather than “President Roosevelt” (or even ex-), I guess customs have changed.

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 11, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Re: TLS article

    Richard Dawkins has plenty of other reasons for being anti-religion in addition to the evident falsity of the literal Genesis account.
    I earnestly hope the TLS isn’t speaking as if that is the main reason for RD’s atheism.

  10. John Conoboy
    Posted October 11, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    A new book called Poison Squad by Deborah Blum, chronicles the efforts in the early 1900s to deal with all the awful things that companies were putting into food. This led to the creation of the FDA. In an interview I heard part of Blum mentioned Heinz as being someone who was concerned that his products did not have nasty things in them.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted October 11, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      @John Conoboy with reference to Henry J. Heinz:

      “…book called Poison Squad by Deborah Blum, […] In an interview I heard part of Blum mentioned Heinz as being someone who was concerned that his products did not have nasty things in them.”

      I think you mean Heinz was concerned his products should not have nasty things in them. 🙂

      The marketing genius Henry J. Heinz used advocating for pure food as his product’s USP.

      • John Conoboy
        Posted October 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I plead guilty to twisted syntax. Heinz was one of the good guys. Today, most catsup/ketchup, including Heinz, are tomato flavored high fructose corn syrup, but Heinz and others do make varieties that don’t have corn syrup.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted October 11, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          Are you American John? USA-ians often make definitive global statements about food, laws, tastes etc that turn out to apply only to their continent. 🙂

          No UK brand [my country] of tomato ketchup that I could find uses HFCS – definitely none of the Heinz ketchup varieties use it. In the USA the Heinz “Organic” & “Simply Heinz” don’t use HFCS either, but as you say the standard Heinz ketchup does. I expect most of the cheapo USA non-Heinz ketchups probably do ~ I haven’t checked.

          I’ve become desensitized to ‘healthy’ brands of foods because of the price scalping once “organic”, “natural” etc appear on the label. A lot of the “organic” jams, preserves, sauces & condiments are an absolute pain in the arse because they’re deficient in certain properties such as texture or shelf life – that lovely, healthy, but overly runny ketchup becoming a green/blue jungle within the month, because not enough preservative vinegar, because they reduced the sugar content, because…

          I betcha in 2040 they’ll be calling HFCS a wonder food & it will be added to baby milk

  11. Ben
    Posted October 11, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Just a FYI — the National Sausage Pizza day link takes us to the ‘fattest bear’ page.

    Great stuff, thanks for these wonderful pages 🙂

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