Sunday: Hili dialogue

by Grania

Good morning! There are 50 days remaining until the end of the year.

1863 – Paul Signac, French painter and educator (d. 1935) who helped to develop the pointillist style

1901 – Sam Spiegel, American film producer (d. 1985) who won Best Picture three times.

1926 – Maria Teresa de Filippis, Italian race car driver and first woman Formula One driver (d. 2016)

1974 – Leonardo DiCaprio, American actor and producer

1964 – Margarete Bagshaw, American painter and potter (d. 2015)


In history today:

1215 – The Fourth Council of the Lateran meets, defining the doctrine of transubstantiation, the process by which bread and wine are, by that doctrine, said to transform into the body and blood of Christ. Apparently it took over a thousand years for this to become clear to Christians.

1620 – The Mayflower Compact is signed in what is now Provincetown Harbor near Cape Cod.

1869 – The Victorian Aboriginal Protection Act is enacted in Australia, giving the government control of indigenous people’s wages, their terms of employment, where they could live, and of their children, effectively leading to the Stolen Generations.

1966 – NASA launches Gemini 12.

1992 – The General Synod of the Church of England votes to allow women to become priests.

Hili is thinking about the future today. She is probably right about this one.

Hili: Will future generations appreciate our efforts?
A: I doubt it. They may be ungrateful.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy przyszłe pokolenia docenią nasze wysiłki?
Ja: Wątpię, mogą być niewdzięczne.


But, on to less lofty notions.


There’s a mixed bag from Twitter today.

Cute Twitter

Felid Twitter



Natural world Twitter


Dunno about the cutest thing ever, but it’s certainly interesting.

Current events Twitter






Cheesy jokes and puns Twitter


Hat-tip: Blue, Matthew, Heather




  1. Doug
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    And in other news, World War I ended 100 years ago today.

    • Posted November 11, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Today is Remembrance Sunday/Armistice Day/Veterans Day, the day we remember with good reason because we stopped shooting at each other. On the other hand, the British naval blockade of Germany continued for some time and German civilians probably died because of it.

      Technically the war didn’t end until until January 1920 when the Treaty of Versailles came into effect.

      • Posted November 11, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        There is no probably about it. They were intentionally starved

        • Posted November 15, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

          From Wikipedia:

          “The total blockade was lifted on 17 January 1919 when the Allies allowed the importation of food under their supervision. The Allies requested that the German government send German merchant ships to Allied ports to transport food supplies. However the Germans considered the armistice a temporary cessation of the war and refused, believing that should fighting break out again the ships would be confiscated.[19] The German government notified an American representative in Berlin that the shortage of food would not become critical until late spring. Food deliveries were delayed until March 1919 when the German government agreed to the restrictions imposed by the Allies. From March food imported from America in American ships arrived in Germany.[20] The restrictions on food imports were finally lifted on 12 July 1919 after Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles”

          If this is true, it seems that German government starved its own citizens because of an insane hope to continue the war.

      • David Coxill
        Posted November 11, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        And there were still fighting going on in places until 1923.

    • rickflick
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Come to think of it, 100 years is now not a heck of a lot more that a human lifetime. It shouldn’t be to hard to keep the lessons of that tragedy in mind.

      • Posted November 11, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        If we add the 50 million deaths from the H1N1 pandemic it spawned and spread, World War I was as deadly as World War II. Definitely something to remember.

        • rickflick
          Posted November 11, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

          50 million deaths…that’s one of those really big numbers that’s hard to grock. The population of California is 40 million. When will they ever learn?

        • XCellKen
          Posted November 11, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

          How did WWI spread the flu ?

          • Mark R.
            Posted November 11, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

            A quick google brought up this. Makes sense.


          • Posted November 11, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

            In the same ways that all wars spread disease and pestilence.

          • Marlene Zuk
            Posted November 11, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

            At least according to Paul Ewald, the close conditions of WWI actually selected for a highly virulent strain — it wasn’t just that a lot of people transmitted the flu to each other, but that there was no disadvantage to the virus to rapidly killing its host, since another host was readily available. In most cases, being so virulent isn’t as beneficial. I don’t know how widely accepted this idea is among the experts on evolution of virulence, but it’s an interesting suggestion.

            • XCellKen
              Posted November 11, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink


  2. Linda Calhoun
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Mentions of transubstantiation always bring to mind the quote from the late humorist Don Marquis, “People reject it because they think it’s unbelievable. I rejected it because I believed it and found it repulsive.”


  3. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Thank you for holding up things here, Grania! How do we send you stuff to maybe post?

    • Grania Spingies
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      You can tweet me @Ygern on Twitter or email me on grania.0 at gmail etc.

  4. Richard Jones
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    It is difficult to understand why the end of WW I was left out of the list of events in history. This is the 100th anniversary.

    • Historian
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Perhaps in the U.S., more than Europe, the understanding of what WWI was about has largely faded. This may be due to the fact that the country entered the war late and its casualties were “light” compared to the European carnage. This war needs to be remembered and studied because the world we know today grew out of it. The pity is that the decisions of the Kaiser set the train in motion. He could have made different decisions that would have altered the course of history. On the other hand, maybe he didn’t have free will, so it was all inevitable.

      World War I is viewed as particularly tragic because it set the stage for World War II through the onerous Treaty of Versailles. But, some historians argue that more importantly the collapse of the German Army in late 1918 when still fighting on French soil gave rise to the “stab-in-the-back” argument of the Nazis and others that the army was not really defeated, but betrayed by politicians. This argument was used effectively by Hitler and helped his rise to power. Thus, ironically, say these historians, that if the war lasted into 1919 and was ended on German territory with an obvious German military defeat, the Nazi rise might have been thwarted. This, of course, is speculative alternate history.

      British historian David Reynolds makes this point and discusses the effects of the war in this interesting article:

      • David Coxill
        Posted November 11, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        The war was over in August 1918 when the Kaiser was told to make peace by his Generals .

      • Richard Jones
        Posted November 11, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        In many ways it was an accidental war which the combatants on each side thought would be short, “over by Christmas”. None of the generals had realised how devastating modern weapons were,particularly machine guns and artillery.

        Remembrance Day is a big thing in Canada, which lost 60,000 dead, from a 1914 population of 7.2 million.

        • Posted November 12, 2018 at 4:26 am | Permalink

          I think you have to remember it nearly was over by Christmas 1914. If the Germans had won the Battle of the Marne or had not committed the tactical errors that led to it, France would have been pretty much out of the war at that point.

          The history of the Twentieth Century would have been very different if the war had ended there and then with a German victory.

          • Richard Jones
            Posted November 12, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

            If wishes were horses
            Beggars would ride.
            If turnips were watches
            I’d wear one by my side!

            Alternate history is fun but the reality is what we live with.

      • XCellKen
        Posted November 11, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        I thought WWI started when an Anarchist assassinated the Archduke Ferninand ?

        On an aside, I have a Facebook friend who is an Anarcho-Communist. I love to tease her (troll her?), and mention how Anarchists have never accomplished anything positive, but have managed to assassinate a US President, set the labor movement back by decades (Haymarket Riots), and started WWI. Quite a lis of accomplishments lol

        • David Coxill
          Posted November 11, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          I thought he was a Serb Nationalist .
          And as Baldrick once questioned ,
          “I thought it all started because Archie Duke shot an Ostrich because he was hungry ?”

          • XCellKen
            Posted November 11, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

            Now I’ve got to check. But my friend never corrected me when I made that assertion

        • Posted November 14, 2018 at 4:12 am | Permalink

          I don’t know if Gavrillo Princip’s group considered themselves anarchists….

          [checks Wikipedia]

          … apparently they were, or some were.

          Which US president was assassinated by anarchists?

        • Posted November 14, 2018 at 4:12 am | Permalink

          I don’t know if Gavrillo Princip’s group considered themselves anarchists….

          [checks Wikipedia]

          … apparently they were, or some were.

          Which US president was assassinated by anarchists?

      • Posted November 15, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        I think these historians have a point. In WWII, Germany was properly defeated and did not try again.

    • Grania Spingies
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      I’ll have the writer taken out back and shot.

      • Blue
        Posted November 11, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        heh.heh., Ms Grania.

        WithIN Another War, I have been there:
        the Back 40 and,
        there, I have as well soooo been s h o t !
        to Parental Death.

        I so appreciate you & your efforts for w e i t !


  5. George
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    A migration update from the Chicago area. Many readers were worried when Honey had not left Botany Pond in September. I insisted that it was too early. Migrating birds are content to remain where they are as long as there is food and water. In the past few weeks there has been some migration activity but nothing huge.

    All that change starting on Friday. We had an inch or two of snow throughout the Chicago area on Friday. That is the earliest measurable snowfall around here since 1989 when we got four inches (10cm) in a weird storm on Oct 19. And then it turned cold – a low of 18F (-8C). Lots of activity in the sky yesterday. Around 11am, I saw two groups of geese that both numbered over 100. Not in neat skeins. There were smaller vees that kept joining the large groups or were in pursuit of the large groups. Many birds in the sky.

    I have not seen that today. The snow is gone, the temperature is above freezing and the birds that have not left yet seem to be content. I drove past a forest preserve this morning and there were still many birds there. I imagine that overall migration activity will pick up. We will see it through early December.

    • Posted November 11, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      I have been wondering about the geese here in Michigan. I see migrating groups flying through, but also there are large populations that are around all winter. So I am wondering if the locals are staying put, holding to familiar places, while the migrators are from farther north and they are heading even farther south.

      • George
        Posted November 11, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        There are local geese that will stay year round. The migrators include both birds from farther north that are passing through as well as local geese that migrate. I know why some geese stay year round. We humans have made it possible for them to do so. The most important factor is the rainwater drainage systems that have been created and all the detention and retention ponds. Why some birds (as well as which) opt to migrate while others stick around, no one knows. Yet. Maybe they are developing into separate sub-species.

  6. Christopher
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    One great grandfather nearly died due to the influenza epidemic, fell ill during training at his military base in Kansas. Another great grandfather dearly died during live artillery training when a tree was hit and fell on top of him, crushing his pelvis and legs. Thus no one in my family saw combat in WWI but nearly died because it it anyway. Anyone else care to share their family stories?

    • XCellKen
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      My grandmother moved from Germany to Ohio in 1910. She told me that the boys in the neighborhood used to throw rocks at her younger brother, and call him “Kaiser Wilhelm”. Not sure if this qualifies as a WWI story lol

    • Mark R.
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      My great grandfather was gassed in France weeks after an artillery shell peppered his backside with shrapnel. The shrapnel was never removed, his lungs were forever ruined and he lost an eye. I never met him, and he died relatively young from his war injuries. My dad has fond memories of him. Grappy (as he was called) would take out his glass eye to gross-out the grand kids, and taught them all chess. Dad said he would always let them win.

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

    The tweet with the cuddled-up photo of Merkel et Macron brings to mind one of the brilliant skits Tracey Ullman has done on the two:

    • Claudia Baker
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      This gave me a much-needed chuckle this morning.

      • Mark R.
        Posted November 11, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        “Oh, scheiße”… 🙂

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 11, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          “I know the difference between realpolitik and what a lady thinks about in the bath.”

          That one kills. 🙂

  8. historian
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    The NYT has published a set of fantastic photos of how Armistice Day was celebrated at the end of WWI. One photo is captioned “American troops in London’s great Victory Parade passing through the Admiralty Arch.” Aug. 17, 1919. Of course, there were similar celebrations at the end of WWII. In those days, the U.S. was greeted as liberators by Europe. Things are not quite the same today.

  9. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I liked the super-suiting comic!

    This is why we think there’s a black hole in middle of our galaxy: the orbits of the stars around the center of the Milky Way

    Actually there is fresh evidence that is really convincing – if the observation can be repeated, it was a difficult one – of seeing a gas cloud circling it at the orbit radius which is set by models as the innermost possible for a black hole that mass. The heated gas radiated in IR with a polarization that rotates in sync with the orbit, which I think is analogous to black hole jet radiation polarization behavior (same magnetic field response).

  10. Posted November 13, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Superman would know – he *is* a journalist, after all.

    “There’s a hole in the center of the galaxy, … o/`”

  11. Posted November 15, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    As a European, I think that there is one lady too many in the photo where nobody is missing.
    (And an increasing number of voters share my opinion.)

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