Monday: Hili dialogue

It’s Monday again: October 22, 2018, and it’s National Nut Day, coincidentally celebrating the life and work of Deepak Chopra, born on this day in 1946. I’ve created a tweet to mark this conjunction.

In Australia it’s Wombat Day, so spare a thought for these adorable marsupials. See more information about the holiday here, and here’s a video:

LAGNIAPPE! Did you know that wombats have cubic poop? Here’s a site and a video (below) that explains, complete with a biological model:

On this day in 1746, the College of New Jersey was chartered, later named Princeton University. And on October 22, 1797, the Frenchman André-Jacques Garnerin made the first recorded parachute jump from a height of one thousand meters above Paris. His parachute was different from today’s models, and he went up in a balloon, from which his apparatus was detached. Still, a brave achievement—and he survived. Here’s a picture:

Lots more happened on October 22. In 1844 we had “The Great Anticipation”, described by Wikipedia this way: “Millerites, followers of William Miller, anticipate the end of the world in conjunction with the Second Advent of Christ. The following day became known as the Great Disappointment.” And so it’s been going for nearly two centuries. On this day in 1879, Thomas Edison got his incandescent lightbulb to burn for 13.5 hours using a filament of carbonized thread.  On this day in 1957, the U.S. had its first casualties in Vietnam, the first American of 50,000 killed for no good reason.

On this day in 1962, John F. Kennedy announced that U.S. spy planes had discovered Soviet nuclear weapons sites in Cuba, and JFK ordered a naval quarantine of Cuba. Khrushchev backed down, but this is the closest we’ve come to nuclear war in my lifetime. On October 22, 1964, Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature but turned it down. Exactly two years later, the Supremes became the first all-female pop group to hit #1 with an album: The Supremes A’ Go-Go. Finally, five years ago on October 22, The Australia Capital Territory became the first area in that country to legalize same-sex marriage.

Notables born on October 22 include Franz Liszt (1811), Sarah Bernhardt (1844), Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas (1870), George Wells Beadle (1903, American geneticist, Nobel Laureate, and President of the University of Chicago), Curly Howard (also 1903, real name Jerome Lester Horwitz), photographer Robert Capa (1913), Timothy Leary (1920), Annette Funicello (1942, died 2013), Deepakity Chopra (1946), and Jeff Goldblum (1952). Here’s one of Capa’s famous photographs of GIs going ashore during D-Day, one of 106 pictures he took while under fire. (A bungled developer melted the emulsion of all but eleven pictures; see here for more information.)

Those who expired on this day include Paul Cézanne (1906), Pretty Boy Floyd (1934), Pablo Casals (1973), Albert Szent Györgyi (1986, Nobel Laureate), Kingsley Amis (1995), and Soupy Sales (2009).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is waxing a bit enigmatic, but Malgorzata explains: “Hili wants people to see that she is thinking. Such an intellectual occupation. Almost like a French philosopher.”

Hili: I’m thinking.
A: What about?
Hili: It’s not important what about, the important thing is that it’s visible.  
In Polish:
Hili: Myślę.
Ja; O czym?
Hili: Nie ważne o czym, ważne żeby to było widać.

More lagniappe: This photo is from Facebook and I have no idea whether it’s real. But it’s funny:

Here’s a grammar mug from Facebook. I don’t know where you can find them, but they’d make lovely gifts for your benighted friends:

Reader Nilou sent three tweets. The first shows the sincerity of Saudi Arabia:

The dangers of paddleboarding during porpoising:

And the diverse ways sea otters groom themselves:

From Grania, a whole tweet of cool science demonstrations (watch them all!):

The duck here is certainly Billzebub!

From Matthew, a sardonic political tweet:

And the rescue of a Curtiss P40 “flying tiger” from under the sea. The Twitter Translate function gives this:

“Zhejiang Xiangshan Gaotang Xiaoxian Bend Large Oil Depot docked to the US Flying Tigers fighters during the Anti-Japanese War. Complete, non-destructive, model P40.”

Heather Hastie found a new cat page, The BestCatTweet. Here are a few samples:

If only this cat vomited pea soup!

From another site, unlikely pals:

And two gorgeous Abyssinian kittens. Look at that fur!




  1. Serendipitydawg
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Is that picture of DC an homage to The Son of Man?

  2. Posted October 22, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    “affect” and “effect” are both both noun and verb.

    • Lurker111
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Exactly. But I don’t think you can put the full explanation on a mere single coffee cup. 🙂

      Plus, “affect” as a noun tends to be used only in specialized conversation and articles.

  3. Blue
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    … … the grammar mug is available for purchase from
    etsy and amazon, o’course, and some e – joints elsewhere:


  4. Merilee
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    LOVE the grammar mug❗️❗️❗️

  5. Hempenstein
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Brilliant Tw**t! And great porpoise vid.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      I think that porpoise just saw the guy’s board at the last minute and was taking emergency action.


  6. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    While the Stooge characters of Moe and Larry were largely creations of Ted Healey (who left the Stooges early due to severe alcoholism), the character of Curly was largely the creation of the actor playing him (also known as Curly). (Moe essentially stepped into the character Ted Healey had originally written for himself.)


    The dead giveaway of something wrong with Chopra is his phony use of technical terms in quantum physics, and wilder assertions such as the moon not existing when no one is looking at it.
    I’m an aficionado of the King Arthur stories, and DCs early Merlin novel is about the worst book in that genre I have looked at. It is heavily didactic.

    The earliest purveyors of a connection between quantum physics and Eastern philosophy kinda sorta knew their physics though they fudged details. That would be the authors of “The Tao of Physics” and “The Dancing Wu Li Masters”.

    Original quantum physicist Niels Bohr was actually somewhat impressed with Tao of Physics, though Leon M. Lederman was severely critical of its over-speculative nature.
    Either way, Chopra is simply writing sheer gibberish with “congealing quantum soup”.

    While Fritjof Capra may be in fact “wrong”, Chopra is a prime candidate for Wolfgang Pauli’s (in)famous phrase “not only not right, it’s not even wrong”

  7. Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    So, add something to the “can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd” advice.

  8. Mark
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    “And the rescue of a Curtiss P40 “flying tiger” from under the sea.”

    The Curtis P-40 was known as “Warhawk.” Foreign countries who flew them named them “Tomahawk” and “Kittyhawk.”

    “Flying Tigers” was the nickname name of the American Volunteer Group who flew them.

  9. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I had no idea that today (Yesterday, actually) was Wombat Day. I have observed cubic wombat scat in the wild and was fascinated by the discussion of the wombat’s digestive track.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      “Did you know that wombats have cubic poop?”

      They’re an Australian species. Why wouldn’t they have cubic poop?



      • Barbara Radcliffe
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        So are kangaroos, and their faeces are nicely rounded — somewhere between spherical and ellipsoid.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:44 am | Permalink

          Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that cubic poop was an essential feature of Ozzie species. Just that some form of weirdness was.

          “God created the Earth in six days, with all its creatures, each in its proper place. And on the seventh He created Australia, to give him somewhere to put all the weird experiments that wouldn’t fit anywhere else.”


  10. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    “In Otter News –
    There are two different types of bathing.”

    I think they correspond to the two types of washing machines. Rear one’s a top loader, closer one’s a front loader.

    (Ever sit in a laundry watching your clothes go round and round?)


  11. Posted October 22, 2018 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Late to the party, but


    A WWII-era American Special Duties Unit (Flying Tigers) fighter jet has been salvaged from the harbor of an oil depot in Xiaoyan Bay of Gaotang Village, in Xiangshan, Zhejiang province. Complete and undamaged, Model P40.


    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Actually dock might be a better translation, instead of harbor.


    • Steve Gerrard
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      I want to know about the phrase “during the Anti-Japanese War.” Is that for real? I’ve never heard that before.

      • Posted October 23, 2018 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        It’s actually the Sino-Japanese War, which started a few years before WWII. The literal translation would be “War of Resistance”.


  12. Posted November 2, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    The science demonstrations are awesome!

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