Friday: Hili dialogue

This evening I’ll be flying over the Atlantic, which I seem to do a lot these days. But no complaints here! It’s Friday, November 2, 2018, and National Deviled Egg Day. (Why do they invoke Satan in this dish?) It’s also All Souls’ Day and the Rastafarian Holiday celebrating the coronation of Haile Selasse, seen as the messiah in that religion. Finally, it’s a UN jawbreaker of a holiday: International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.

It’s the last day of the Day of the Dead in Mexico, which should really be called Three Days of the Dead. Google has a Doodle (click on screenshot):

On November 2, North and South Dakota were admitted at the 39th and 40th U.S. states. North Dakota is, in fact, the only U.S. state I’ve never visited. WHY???  On this day in 1917, according to Wikipedia, “The Balfour Declaration proclaims British support for the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” with the clear understanding ‘that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities'”. On this day in 1920, the radio station KDKA in Pittsburgh became the first commercial station in the U.S. It’s still broadcasting nearly a century later.

On November 2, 1947, Howard Hughes flew the “Spruce Goose”, the largest fixed wing airplane ever built. The Hughes H-4 Hercules had a wingspan of  flew for just 26 seconds at a height of 70 feet, and never flew again.  Its wingspan was bigger than a football field: 320 ft 11 in (97.54 m)! Still in good condition, it’s displayed at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.  I must see it one day.  Here’s its maiden (and only) flight (you can see more, including how it was moved to Oregon, in this video).

On November 2, 1959, in the famous Quiz Show Scandal, “Twenty-One” contestant Charles Van Doren told a Congressional committee that the show had given him the questions and answers in advance.  He resigned from his professorship at Columbia University and became a writer and editor, living in relative obscurity. On this day in 1960, in the case of R v. Penguin Books Ltd in the UK, the publisher was found not guilty of obscenity for publishing Lady Chatterly’s Lover. On this day in 1983, Ronald Reagan signed the bill creating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Finally, it was on this blessed day two years ago that the Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians to win the World Series, ending a 108-year Series dry streak—the longest such streak in major league baseball history. Holy cow!!!

Notables born on November 2 include Daniel Boone (1734), Marie Antoinette (1755), James K. Polk (1795), Warren G. Harding (1865) and k.d. lang (1961).

Those who died on this day include Jenny Lind (1887), George Bernard Shaw (1950), Peter Debye (1966; Nobel Laureate), Eliot Porter (1990), and Acker Bilk (2014). Here’s a lovely photograph by Porter, a trained scientist who also worked at Harvard:

Blue-Throated Hummingbird, Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona (May 1959)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, cosy in her nest on the veranda, has missed an opportunity.

Cyrus: Did you see the bird on the verandah?
Hili: Yes, but it saw me as well and it escaped.
In Polish:
Cyrus: Czy widziałaś tego ptaszka na werandzie?
HilI: Tak, ale on mnie też widział i uciekł.
Tweet O’ the Day, from a never-Trump Republican (h/t: Grania):

Sent by reader Barry: a tiger gets its tooth pulled. That dude is either brave or he’s pals with the tiger.

From Heather Hastie: The kakapos are getting frisky on their island:

And Paul Bronks (via Heather) comes up with another thrilling cat tweet:

Tweets from Grania:  Snoopy’s dream has finally come true!

Well, I’ll be. . . .

Read the thread to show why Chivers is right and the alarmist report is somewhat misleading:

A tweet emitted by Matthew on the day the clocks were set back. His cats are confused.

More from Matthew. Did you know kangaroos can swim, and in a very unusual way?

Is this cat really bathing, or just stupid and trying to get a drink?

Well, I know this is nature red in fang and chelicera, but I’m not happy about it.

From Neil Shubin; this building, Culver Hall, is next to mine, and yes, the Virginia creeper is especially colorful this year:


  1. chrism
    Posted November 2, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    “Devilled” (double consonant in British English) refers to the heat of the seasoning, which is generally related to the paprika, cayenne pepper and mustard used. For good measure, the seasoned eggs, kidneys or whatever you use end up with a red coating.

    • Posted November 2, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      I always thought that it was because you beat the hell out of them 🙂

  2. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted November 2, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    That kangaroo swimming – I wonder, is the waving of its tail adding to the propulsion, or merely trailing in zigzag fashion as a consequence of its leg movement?


    • darrelle
      Posted November 2, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      Good question. Given the size and strength of the tail it seems like it would be very effective for swimming. The lateral undulating motion, similar to alligators & crocodiles, does suggest the kangaroo was using its tail for swimming.

  3. W.T. Effingham
    Posted November 2, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I also haven’t been to North Dakota. It appears to be an anomaly. With a majority of counties among the lowest numbers of residents and high percentage of tRUMP fans, they are simultaneously the most sparse and dense population.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted November 2, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      I only know of it because Bill Maher uses it as an example of how idiotic the electoral college situation is. As in “why are there two Dakotas??”

  4. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted November 2, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Interesting picture of Paul Hollywood from Great British Bake-Off standing between the two bikini girls. I know his love life’s been quite spicy but I didn’t read about this in any of the tabloids.

  5. rickflick
    Posted November 2, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I had never heard of Eliot Porter. Very interesting fellow:

  6. Posted November 2, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Kangeroos – won’t water get in the pouch?!
    I know it faces back in wombats…

  7. pablo
    Posted November 2, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    What’s with the horror movie soundtrack in the Snoopy video? Everyone else is hearing it, right? It’s not just me?

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted November 2, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      It sounds like a slow motion audio from a late-fifties, early-sixties B-movie trying to make a ridiculously cheap costumed character sound scary. The high pitched whine of the prop and engine made me think of a catchy tune: “Hang on Snoopy! Snoopy hang on!”

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted November 2, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      It’s the guy on the PA at the air show where this Snoopy flew back in 2015. ALL US air shows have non-stop chat from the MC – why do they do that? It’s the PVMAC Big Jolt all electric RC event When the original video [see inside link] was converted to an animated GIF the audio was put down 6 seconds out of synch [notice the rotor sounds don’t kick in until Snoopy is well in the air] & at the wrong speed.

  8. Posted November 2, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I got to tour the Spruce Goose when it was on display in Long Beach, California, adjacent to where it flew its one and only time. It is really amazing! Bigger than a 747 (but nowhere near as heavy) and made mostly of wood!

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted November 2, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    It was after 1960 that “Lady ChatterlEy’s Lover” (not “Chatterly”) was able to be published in an unexpurgated edition. Although that is the version I would unhesitatingly recommend, I am nonetheless oddly proud of owning a rare pre-1960 expurgated copy (purchased at a church rummage sale in Berkeley circa 2009 no less!!!)

    In the final two paragraphs “phuquing” (my own idiosyncratic spelling taken from J. Michael Straczynski) has been replaced by “love-making” and I understand that other material has been removed.

    LCL has actually been filmed 5 times, the 1st, 2nd, and 4th by French film companies, and the 3rd and 5th time by the BBC. The 2nd version was a fairly silly piece of soft-core pornography, invalidating Lawrence’s belief he had written an antidote to pornography. The 3rd and 4th films draw extensively from the much longer version rejected by Lawrence’s publisher (now published as “John Thomas and Lady Jane”), and the 5th version (2015) evidently attempts to put more of a human face on Lord Chatterley who really has the deck stacked against him in the original version.

    A good BBC film version of the trial of the novel is “The Chatterley Affair” focused on an entirely fictional romance that develops between two of the jurors. It is based on a novel by the same name, but the film reverses the genders of the protagonists.

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