Thursday: Hili dialogue

Well, it’s Professor Ceiling Cat, Emeritus, back again doing the HIli Dialogues. Thanks once again to Grania for taking over this onerous task in my absence.

It’s Thursday, November 15, 2018, and National Raisin Bran Day, a cereal that I actually like, though I rarely eat cereal. And it’s good for you! It’s also The International Day of the Imprisoned Writer.

On this day in 1533, conquistador Francisco Pizarro arrived in the Incan capital of Cuzco, completing his conquest of Peru. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial; it was officially dedicated 3½ years later. And on this day in 1942, the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal ended with the Japanese scuttling their ships or absconding, leading to an Allied victory. Exactly one year later, SS leader Heinrich Himmler order that the Gypsies (Roma people) were to be treated as were the Jews and sent to concentration camps.

On November 15, 1949, two of the conspirators who plotted Gandhi’s assassination, Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte, were executed.  It was Godse who pulled the trigger on January 30, 1948, sending three bullets into Gandhi’s chest.  Exactly a decade later, four members of the Clutter family in Holcomb Kansas were murdered by Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, leading to Truman Capote’s famous mostly-true book, In Cold Blood.  Finally, it was on this day in 1969 that Nascent Professor Ceiling Cat and between 249,999 and 499,999 other demonstrators (estimated attendance 250,000-500,000) marched in Washington to end the Vietnam War. It didn’t work then, but the anti-war movement got a huge shot in the arm.

Notables born on this day include William Pitt (1708, a PM of the UK), August Krogh (1874, Nobel Laureate), Felix Frankfurther (1882), Marianne Moore and Georgia O’Keeffe (both 1887), Erwin Rommel (1891, forced to commit suicide in 1944), Curtis LeMay (1906), Claus von Stauffenberg (1907, shot by the Nazis for [like Rommel] conspiring against Hitler), and Petula Clark (1932). O’Keeffe was a cat lover, and here’s a photo of her, taken by John Candelario, with her beloved Siamese kitty:

Those who expired on this day include Énuke Durkheim (1917), Nathuram Godse (1949, see above), Lionel Barrymore (1954), Tyrone Power (1958), Alger Hiss (1996), Stokely Carmichael (1998), and Lil Peep (last year).

Wickedly handsome and a favorite of the ladies, Power was married three times, but also had a torrid affair with Lana Turner. These two never married, but Turner reported that she became pregnant with his child and had an abortion. Here’s a brief documentary about the affair of two great stars:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili shows off her biological knowledge (while hunting). Hili, of course, is the apex predator.

A: What do you see or hear?
Hili: I’m hearing the sound of a link of the food chain.
In Polish:
Ja: Coś tam widzisz, czy słyszysz?
Hili: Słyszę dźwięk ogniwa łańcucha pokarmowego.

Tweets from Heather Hastie, the first being a cat who chose the wrong vehicle:

Some footage of the fires that are ravaging both northern and southern California:

Heather says she wants this kitty, but she’s already got the perfect cat: a neglected cat of her neighbor who spends about 90% of its time at Heather’s place.

This “rainbow waterfall,” which creates a stupendous display when the sun hits it just right, is famous at Yosemite National Park:

Matthew is once again hung up on an optical illusion.

Finally settled . . .

Dissenters quashed (and I hate the phrase “I call bullshit on. . . “):

Cat geishas and samurai!

From Grania—listen to the cranes cry:

From Grania, the famous dinner-party Cauliflower Lion:

From reader Nilou we have one scary-looking Persian cat. Be sure to put the sound on.


  1. Paulo Augusto Franke
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Please stop telling people that cereals are good for them. Cereals are NOT a proper food for humans.
    It is dangerous that reknowned and respected biologist PCCE understands so little about nutrition.
    And dares to advise readers to eat toxic and unhealthy cereals.
    Stop it.

    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Oops, the termites have chewed into the site again. Feel free to respond to Mr. Franke, and I will inform him of the responses.

    • darrelle
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Is this satire?

      • Posted November 15, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        Nope. Or, if so, it’s not good satire because it’s not funny. It’s also insulting.

        • darrelle
          Posted November 15, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          I think you are right, on all counts. Probably best to just laugh at this person. That’s about all the attention their comment is worth. It’s either that or cry.

    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Cue “cereal killer” jokes.

    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      I eat cookies for first breakfast, and something with grease in it for second breakfast.

      • Christopher
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        That’s not a proper breakfast. Now pie and ice cream on the other hand…

        • Posted November 15, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

          You health nut, you.

          • Christopher
            Posted November 15, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

            If it’s a fruit pie I’m pretty sure it counts towards your 5-a-day.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

          … makes it difficult to wash the first hand?

    • rickflick
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      I’m no fool. I buy non-raisin bran flakes and add my own, more moist and juicy, raisins.

  2. Posted November 15, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Also died this day, Kepler, 1630

  3. Mark
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Good lord, that cat guy is so obnoxious!

    • Robert
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      I think he used to live next door to me. He ate nothing but cereal.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        No, I think the cat guy didn’t eat any cereal. I think the cat guy went keto and went crazy because of it because his cravings for carbs are so extreme that he lost it. I tried to go keto and became ravenous for carbs, and angry, too. Then when I gave in to my cravings, I was absolutely gluttonous for carbs and overdid it. Perhaps the “middle way” of consumption would have been better.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      What I want to know is why he so scared of the cat? He sounds like an adult, and he’s calling for his mother to rescue him!!!

      Unless he’s in a wheelchair or something and can’t get down the step, as well as being obnoxious he’s also pretty pathetic. Imagine his reaction to something really scary, like a (insect that I find so scary I can’t even write it’s name, but I’m at least capable of dealing with via insect spray. No, not a spider or weta).

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:27 am | Permalink

        “insect that I find so scary I can’t even write it’s name”

        Now that is inviting speculation 😉

        Insect, so presumably six legs. So, not my phobia (a centipede).

        But then Heather said ‘not a spider’, so she may be using the loose colloquial definition of ‘insect’ meaning ‘creepy-crawly’.

        I dunno. Maybe I should stop tormenting Heather 🙂

        Coming back to the noisy guy, though – what a wimpy obnoxious jerk. But it seems the voiceover was done satirically. The cat really does look like that, its name is Wilfredwarrior, it has an instagram account whatever that is, it’s a chinchilla persian and (IMO) a sad example of what overbreeding does.


        • Heather Hastie
          Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          I should have said creepy-crawlie like I do on my website, but it is a six-legged thing, and you are tormenting me by making me even think of them!

          I thought it looked real, so it’s interesting to see that. I hate what over-breeding does to animals too. I think that’s the reason I’m not a fan of small dogs like chihuahuas or thinks like pugs, corgis etc.

          And I suspect an attempt at humour too, but if that’s the case it fails to work for me.

  4. Mark Jones
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    The cat’s eyes illusion really is difficult to swallow. But I did a colour picker in some graphics software and it’s true; the left eyes for the first two cats really are dark grey.

    Damn my eyes! Or brain, whichever is responsible.

    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Only on a physicalist understanding of colour, which is debatable, to say the least.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      What about the illusion that you remember it’s a cat and it’s not because of the following tweet about a cat? 😀

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:28 am | Permalink

        Yes that puzzled me, too. Mark Jones’ comment, I mean.


      • Mark Jones
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 3:48 am | Permalink

        LOL, true! TBF, the girl’s eyes are pretty cat-like.

  5. phil brown
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    In the eye illusion, the left and middle pairs of eyes look to be different colours, to me, even when they’re joined up by Janon. The eyes appear to be the same colour on the picture on the right, but they seemed, to me, to be pretty much the same colour in the original image. I wonder if colour-blindness is playing a part in those of us who aren’t seeing this properly? I’m red-green colour blind.

    • Michael G. Sternberg
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      The iris illusion is legit, but Matthew Cobb is right on – JPEG compression artefacts very much diminish its credibility here.

      In an image editor, I isolated all the irises and removed everything else. The compression artefacts show as local hue variations on the scale of a few pixels but overall the irises within each pair are reasonably close to each other, and are certainly without the pronounced hues perceived in the full image for the faces’ right eyes (“camera” left). That said, both irises in the third pair have a pronounced yellow-green tinge.

      • phil brown
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        I wasn’t saying it wasn’t legit, just that Jannon’s proof that it is doesn’t work for me.

        • Mark Jones
          Posted November 15, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

          In the eye illusion, the left and middle pairs of eyes look to be different colours, to me, even when they’re joined up by Janon.

          The eyes will still look to be different colours even when joined up by Janon.

          Janon’s ‘proof’ is that he has drawn a line (of one colour) between the two eyes and even though it’s one colour it appears as different colours (for the same reason the eyes appear as different colours).

      • Jeff Lewis
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        I did the same thing in Photoshop, and found the same thing. They should have used a PNG.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

          JPG is for photographs. PNG (or GIF, or BMP or myriads of others) for “line art”. It’s not a difficult rule to remember. Except, it seems, for website designers.

          • Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

            Yes, and PNG and GIF involve lossless compression whereas JPG’s is lossy.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    … National Raisin Bran Day, a cereal that I actually like …

    I dunno, whenever someone mentions bran cereal, I can’t help but think of Alexander Portnoy’s poor, constipated father, who’d “stuff himself with bran and still only be able to manage a rabbit pellet on the toilet.” 🙂

  7. DrBrydon
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    “Blink, motherf***er!”

  8. Posted November 15, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    The smoke here this morning, 75 miles from the Camp Fire, is again oppressive and a health risk. A dull orange sun and palls of smoke drifting through the trees and valley give the feel of some alien planet.

    For the second year in a row, I have friends who’ve lost their homes to fires. The moisture content in the air and in the vegetation is extremely low and with continued winds, the risk to all of us in these parts remains high. My car remains packed with my escape bag, vital documents, etc.

    During the last high wind period, PG&E shut off power to many areas, in anticipation of downed lines. The day before the Camp Fire, which completely destroyed the lovely town of Paradise and surrounding towns (home to several of my friends), PG&E announced it would not shut off power, despite a high wind warning. All indications are the fire was sparked by a downed power line.

    Our fire season used to run July-August. Now it begins early May. Last year, two devastating fires occurred just miles from me in October. This year, we are half way through November and desperately hoping for rain.

    Even among those who do not deny climate change, little is being done to address this severe and growing problem.

    • Claudia Baker
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      “Even among those who do not deny climate change, little is being done to address this severe and growing problem.”

      You are so right about that. It’s astounding that politicians and oil companies are still trying to put in more pipe lines. Moving away from fossil fuel, using more plant based materials instead of oil for manufacturing, putting money into renewable resources like wind and solar etc. is where all our focus should be right now. Instead, we are destroying our planet and the future for our children. Big oil, big money. It sickens me.

  9. Posted November 15, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Your comments about cereal reminded me that CNN’s Anderson Cooper revealed on his show yesterday that he only eats cereal. I suspect he was joking.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      He’s probably serious. He has never seen food as an ‘experience’ & he’s said he’d do without eating if possible & use the saved time for sleep. He tends to eat just one food & switches to something else every few weeks/months, he had a chat with Bourdain about it five years ago. Here’s him on some show or other:

      • Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I remember seeing that bit with Bourdain. There are lots of people that have this kind of relationship with food. I find it hard to imagine but there it is.

        I assume that Cooper does eat foods other than cereal though. Also, he probably does enjoy eating cereal. I do as well. I sometimes eat cereal with milk as dessert following dinner.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Sounds like a candidate for that “Soylent” “food substitute” sludge.
        Now, I’m hardly a gastrognome, but that level of monotony would … do bad things inside my head.
        It’s hardly a big time-sink though. I can always do something interesting while cooking/ eating. It tends to result in a fair amount of burned sludge on the pans, but if you’re quick off the mark as the sound of the cooking changes, it’s normally still edible.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          He reportedly had a Soylent ‘food’ phase

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

        I agree with Anderson. I don’t care (much) about food. I eat it to stay alive, or when I get hungry, but as far as I’m concerned the actual eating is a waste of time that I could be spending doing something more interesting, like reading, or watching TV, or working on my car, or walking, or a thousand other things.

        And I’d rather have a burger than a steak. And there are many, many foods that nauseate me – any identifiable organs, for example (so liver, kidney, hearts, tongues, and sheeps eyeballs are right out).

        So mostly my diet is things like pies, frozen vegetables, (stuff that microwaves well), and things on toast. I don’t bother with cereal (which is usually a silly price), toast is much cheaper and just as good. Also, not liking food much means I never have to diet. 😎

        Admittedly there are some foods I do like, like ice cream for example (who doesn’t like ice cream?). I could live on that, if I could live on it…


  10. Posted November 15, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of Tyrone Power, he was actually one of four actors of that name. The first was his great grandfather, who admired the US and acted here. He wrote an entertaining book of his travels through the country, published in 1836. It’s free on Google Books at,

    Unfortunately, he was lost with the steamer “President” when she sank without a trace in 1841. He was related to Tyrone Guthrie, who helped found several theatres, including the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis.

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