Thursday: Hili dialogue

by Grania

Good morning and welcome to the final leg of the week.

The perils of assuming that people speak fluent pictogram.

Or as Terry Pratchett once put it:

Teppic peered closely at the dense hieroglyphics.

” Thin eagle, eye, wiggly line, man with a stick,
bird sitting down, wiggly line’,” he read. Dios winced.

“I believe we must apply ourselves more to the
study of modern languages,” he said, recovering a bit.

Deliberately misunderstanding signs can be a fun if otherwise fruitless activity.

In History today: a little lesson on the relative merits of religion and science.

320 – Pappus of Alexandria, Greek philosopher, observed an eclipse of the Sun and wrote a commentary on The Great Astronomer (Almagest).

614 – King Chlothar II promulgates the Edict of Paris (Edictum Chlotacharii), that defended the rights of the Frankish nobles while it excluded Jews from all civil employment in the Frankish Kingdom.

629 – Dagobert I was crowned King of the Franks.


(Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

1009 – The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a Christian church in Jerusalem, was completely destroyed by the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who hacked the Church’s foundations down to bedrock.

Hili is being a realist today, or perhaps a defeatist.

Andrzej: Let’s not delude ourselves.
Hili: Why? It would be against nature not to.

In Polish:

Ja: Nie oszukujmy się.
Hili: Dlaczego? To byłoby wbrew naturze.

(Further notes from Malgorzata on Hili if you are finding today’s ruminations cryptic: Humans have a propensity to delude themselves and Hili knows that. She thinks it’s futile to fight against it as it is in their nature)

Today’s interesting stuff on Twitter:

Note from Heather:

Kakapo feeding season has begun. Kakapo don’t usually breed every year – it depends on how much food is available. Also, the weight of the birds affects the sex of the chicks. Each kakapo has a collar so they can only get a certain amount of food from the feeding stations in any 24 hour period.


More impressive than the drunks outside my apartment on a Saturday night, but probably much the same message.

Today’s Weird Twitter

Matthew’s to blame for this one too


It’s either a stylized horror movie or British family snaps.

Don’t miss the angry argument that ensues in the comments about how fast chloroform works.


Current events Twitter:

Adorable and Cute Twitter:


Hat-tip: Matthew and Heather




  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 18, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Dagobert I, King of the Franks? Far as I’m concerned, that crown goes to Hebrew National 100% kosher, all-beefs.

    • Posted October 18, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Somehow I think that Dagobert I might have enjoyed sausages.

  2. Neil Wolfe
    Posted October 18, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Trump’s statements on Khashoggi remind me of one of my favorite Krusty the Clown quotes:
    “I contend that those tourists were decapitated BEFORE they entered the Krustyland House of Knives”

    • AC Harper
      Posted October 18, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      If I stare at the optical illusion with one eye closed and the other closed down to just a small slit of crossing eyelashes the lines do look purely vertical and horizontal.

      A case of where less information actually is more accurate.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 18, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Yeah, that works; praise be the low-information viewer!

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted October 18, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          That works because the misleading cues are in the tiny diagonal squares (aside from them it’s symmetrical). So at very low acuity you don’t perceive the detail in those squares and the illusion disappears.


    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted October 18, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Trump will always embody the demagogue to me. But his real time rationalization of Khashoggi as shown on cable adds a lack of depth to his character.

  3. darrelle
    Posted October 18, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    That white-cheeked gibbon reminds me of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust.

    Those snow monster trees are awesome. I want to go see them.

    The stork story is the kind of thing that gives me some hope for humanity.

    You can keep the Franks, I much prefer bockwurst.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted October 18, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      The cat is all like

      “My name is Pussy. Pussy Gallant.”

  4. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted October 18, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    He. I too remember fondly the achievement of nine squared.

    In other news, the Darwin Award winner did not seem to need another abuse to his head.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted October 18, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      On second thoughts, he was more likely a candidate.

  5. rickflick
    Posted October 18, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed them all!

  6. phil brown
    Posted October 18, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I don’t think those ‘British’ photos are actually British. Especially because of the toys in the third photo. That little wagon thing, not v. British looking, v. American looking. The specs in the first photo seem more American than British. Also architecture doesn’t look very British. Beach nudity also not much associated with Brits. That guy may be a continental type.

  7. Desnes Diev
    Posted October 18, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    The baby chinchilla is really cute.

  8. Posted October 18, 2018 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    “We are a day or two away from Trump claiming Khashoggi dismembered himself.”


  9. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 18, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Interesting and very powerful illusion. All lines (aside from the little diagonal squares) are truly horizontal and vertical.

    The vertical lines do still look vertical though, probably something to do with the fact that our two eyes are disposed horizontally.

    If you rotate the screen through 90 degrees, the formerly-vertical lines acquire the slope and the formerly-horizontal (but looked sloping) lines become parallel. As one would expect.


    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 18, 2018 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      I’m wrong! 😦 If you rotate the screen through 90 degrees, it’s then the vertical bands (that were originally horizontal) that are still skewed.

      I think because the same-colouration (blue-grey) causes you to see them as continuous bands, and the edges of those bands are delineated by the big squares – most noticeably the black ones.

      And the apparent alignment of the edge of each big black square is twisted by the little diagonal square tacked on to each end of it – pulled ‘up’ at one end and ‘down’ at the other.


      • Posted October 18, 2018 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

        If you rotate 90 degrees and view obliquely they are parallel.

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