Tuesday: Hili dialogue

It’s Tuesday, December 11, 2018, and only two weeks left until Coynezaa. It’s National Noodle Ring Day (wtf?), as well as “National Have a Bagel’s Day“, which is grammatically incorrect in two ways. What’s a noodle ring, though? Here’s a photo, but I still don’t know what it is, though it looks like something out of a horror movie.

What is inside this slimy thing?

It was on this day in 1792 that, during the French Revolution, King Louis XVI began his short trial for treason before the National Convention. He was convicted, of course, and beheaded on January 21 of the next year. On December 11, 1934, according to Wikipedia, “Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, takes his last drink and enters treatment for the last time.”  On December 11, 1941, four days after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and three days after the U.S. declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S.—which, in turn, declared war on them.

On this day in 1962 the murderer Arthur Lucas became the last person to be executed in Canada. He was an American and shot an American police informant from Detroit, but the crime took place in Toronto.  Lucas was hanged alongside a confederate, Robert Turpin.

On this day in 1972, Apollo 17 became the sixth and last Apollo mission to land on the Moon. Nobody’s walked on the Moon since. Here’s an amazing video of the Apollo 17 taking off from the Moon. Imagine how nervous the astronauts were about whether it would work properly!

On December 11, 1978, the famous Lufthansa heist took place at JFK Airport in New York; nearly $6.7 million of cash and jewelry were stolen from a vault at the airport. Jimmy Burke, who planned the crime, never served time for it (though he died in prison, convicted of murdering an associate), but he arranged for eight of his confederates, who he thought might inform on him, to be murdered. This robbery inspired the big heist in the movie Goodfellas. 

On this day in 1990, Albanian workers and students began demonstrating throughout the country, eventually leading to the fall of communism in that enigmatic Marxist country. Has anyone been there? I’d like to go. Finally, it was on December 11, 2008 that Bernie Madoff was arrested and charged with massive securities fraud. He’s still in jail: his projected release date is November 14, 2139, when he’d be 201 years old!

Notables born on this day include Hector Berlioz (1803), Robert Koch (1843; Nobel Laureate), Amon Göth (1908; you may remember him, played by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List), McCoy Tyner (1938), Brenda Lee (1944), and Hailee Steinfeld (1996). Göth, head of the  Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp in occupied Poland, was hanged on September 13, 1946; the hanging was botched, with the rope too long, so that Göth landed on the ground twice before they finally shortened the rope and did him in. You can see a video of the botched execution here.

On a lighter note, here’s my favorite song from the powerfully-voiced Brenda Lee, who’s still with us at age 73.

And a tweet about the great jazz pianist McCoy Tyner:

Those who expired on this day include Sam Cooke (1964), Bettie Page (2008), and Ravi Shankar (2012).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is blackmailing Andrzej for cream (she loves it but only gets a tiny bit). Look how cute she is! I miss her, as I didn’t get to Dobrzyn this year.

A: May I read a book on this sofa?
Hili: Yes, when I get a bowl of cream.
In Polish:
Ja: Czy mógłbym poczytać książkę na tej sofie?
Hili: Tak, jak dostanę miseczkę śmietanki.

This is a sweet tweet:

Reader Barry claims that this is not a “heroh” (i.e., misspelled “heron”), and it’s certainly not an umbrellabird, but Barry doesn’t know what it is. Any help here?

From reader Michael. Based on my own experience, most of the elderly polled here are either lying or too worn out to care. . .

Tweets from Matthew. First, a disturbed kitty:

Par for the course (actually, it’s under par, even on Trump’s course:

I may have put up this mushrooms-growing tweet before, but it’s worth watching again as it’s mesmerizing:

Tweets from Grania. This one’s a corker:

This report is true but I will pay no attention. Six fries is ONE BITE!

Seriously? Anyway, in the tweet below, it isn’t really the Forward that raises this idea, but one guy. My emphasis below:

And while the attacks are targeting Jews, it may be because black people identify Judaism as “a form of almost hyper-whiteness,” according to Mark Winston Griffith, executive director of the Black Movement Center, a not-for-profit group that promotes communal organizing in the black community in Crown Heights.

In that regard, Griffith said, the attacks may be an extension of animosity toward white people in general, who drive gentrification in Brooklyn. He added that the attacks are not on the radar of people involved in social justice initiatives in Crown Heights.

And we’ll finish off with a kitty, or rather three of them. What a great idea!



  1. GBJames
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Noodle rings seem like some kind of food from the 1950s when all those weird jello and hot dog things appeared.

    • Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Now it is new things we can put on top of “smothered” french fries: brisket, macaroni and cheese, kimchi, cut-up hot dogs, etc. Also, substitutes for hamburger buns: lettuce, fried ramen noodles, etc.

      • GBJames
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        I blame that all on the Canadians for inventing poutine.

        • Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

          Poutine is one of those foods which has me wondering, “I don’t really get it but perhaps I haven’t tried a good one yet.”

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

            Like lobster?

            • Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

              Actually, I don’t eat shellfish. I’m not allergic but don’t like the texture. I’ll eat the crab (real or artificial) in California Rolls at the sushi bar or dumplings that contain shrimp but not otherwise.

              • GBJames
                Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

                I’ll have your share, thanks.

              • Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

                You are welcome to it!

              • ThyroidPlanet
                Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

                Yummy food idea :

                mushroom stumps
                Old Bay
                Fry pan

                = fake scallops

          • Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

            It was never originally supposed to be a *good* food, exactly. It was just served as a side dish with 50 cent hot dogs and the weirdness that is a Pogo. Also Joe Louises and Mae Wests.

            All these “expensive poutines” are sort of missing the point, at least in that sense.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    … Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S.—which, in turn, declared war on them.

    Making things a hell of a lot easier for FDR, since it wasn’t at all clear that there would’ve been popular support for declaring war on Germany and Italy simply because they were in the Tripartite Pact with Japan, not after all the clamoring by the original “America First” isolationists.

    • David Coxill
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Seeing as German U boats had already sunk at least one US warship ,i think it would have been only a matter of time until FDR told the Germans to stop it or it would mean war .

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

        U.S. Was kind of already in before they were in. The Japanese considered our cutting off their oil supplies as an act of war. Attempt to lower the idea of sneak attack.

    • JezGrove
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      But 1939 would still have been a good time to take on the fascists. Of course, the International Brigades made an earlier start (and look what happened when they got help from the Russians).

  3. Mike
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    That Chicken would have to go!

    • Robert
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      The cement worker. The world needs more people like him.

    • rickflick
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      I usually enjoy seeing animal prints in concrete. Let nature take her course. It’s a reminder of ancient runways. Dinosaurs frolicking.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        I’ve always loved ichnopalæontology (ichnos– a trace, and –palæontology meaning itself) as the fossils of living beings, not dead ones. (Typically, we don’t know that the trace-forming organism is dead, though if it’s in Proterozoic rocks, that’s a pretty safe bet. On those occasions that a trace or trail of traces is found with a body fossil at the end, that’s a mortichnion.)

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    … he [Jimmy Burke] arranged for eight of his confederates, who he thought might inform on him, to be murdered.

    Leading to a great montage sequence set to the strains of “Layla.”

    • David Coxill
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      According to the film he wacked them because he wanted all the money for himself ,don’t know which is true .
      At the beginning of the montage ,what is that piece of paper stuck to the car window ,it’s not a parking ticket is it?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        It’s the new-car sticker. “Johnny Roast Beef” bought a brand new caddy with his cut from the Lufthansa heist, after Jimmy had warned the crew not to make any flashy purchase that could draw the attention of law enforcement.

        Similarly, Carbone ended up in the freezer truck because he bought his wife a new mink coat with his share.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

          Though I suspect it was Scorsese, not Jimmy Burke, who was the actual ironist in this instance. 🙂

        • David Coxill
          Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

          Hi ,that’s for clearing that up.One of the joys of Scorsese is the character Joe Pesci plays getting his just desserts ,or Zeppole,

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

            He’s a funny guy.

  5. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    A diet is not a person.

    Thus, one can adopt a vegan diet yet not identity as that diet.

    And that’s only in one moment. Are we who we were in the past?

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Brenda Lee only 73. Favorite song would be Break It To Me Gently and then maybe All Alone Am I. Guessing you have to be old to have these in your collection.

    Have never heard of a noodle ring – A national day?

    • Pray Hard
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Define “old”.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        I did not think it needed definition. If you are covered by Medicare you might fit. Certainly any 25 year old would think so.

    • JezGrove
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      I’m Sorry (!) to admit that I first heard of Brenda Lee through the lyrics of Golden Earring’s “Radar Love”. But I gather she’s still “Coming on Strong” – who knows, maybe she’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” right now!

  7. Tom
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    That “umbrella heron” appears to be a Black Heron,Egretta ardesiaca, native to Africa.


    Another video on its umbrella trick:

    • darrelle
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      With the bright yellow feet I would have guessed this bird was some sort of egret. Its legs and feet look nearly identical to a snowy egret and the rest of its features except for color are very similar too. But then herons and egrets are so similar I’m not sure why they are separate groups.

    • rickflick
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      He looks a bit vulnerable to attack with his head down. The risk must be outweighed by the extra noms.

    • Barry Lyons
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Thank you!

    • Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Another video I saw recently claimed that the umbrella’s allowed the bird to see the fish more easily rather than to attract the fish. Which is it? Perhaps both.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        That was my first assumption – that it was shading the water so it could see more clearly sans reflections. It would certainly work that way whether fish are attracted or not.

        Maybe it works both ways.


    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Black Egret, commonly known as Black Heron or Umbrella Heron.
      There is a small bird reserve in North West province, Barberspan, where you are nearly guaranteed to see them (I went there 3 times and saw them every time), including their fishing behaviour. That umbrella fishing is called ‘canopy feeding’ for unfathomable reasons.
      Luckily, they are not considered rare or threatened.

    • Posted December 11, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I agree.

  8. Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    The fishing bird is a black heron – Egretta ardesiaca

  9. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Trump is constantly signing in the wrong place, or forgetting to sign altogether, or walking into the wrong room, introducing people he’s just introduced thirty seconds earlier, ignoring the limo that’s parked outside his plane, confusing female journalists for one another because they’re both blonde(ish)…

    In isolation these incidents are amusingly boneheaded, in aggregate they’re genuinely alarming.

    I think he’s gone, neurologically speaking. Was there ever a test done on him before he was sworn in, or did everyone just take the word of Doctor Cheech and his personal letter of recommendation?

    • Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Nah. I think Trump just doesn’t give a shit. He also hates any situation in which he has peers. I bet he signs in the right place more often when he’s the center of attention. He might also be thinking, “Why do I have to do this? Don’t I have people to do this?”

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        I used to think that. It’s much more fun to think that. And it feels a bit unseemly to speculate about his mental state. But I think he’s on his way out neurologically speaking. Jesus, have you seen his signature? The number of times he walks into the wrong room? Greets the wrong person?
        And the number of people who reference his early-dementia-like symptoms in Wolff and Woodward’s books is striking. People don’t like bringing subjects like that up, not if they can help it, but it’s a consistent theme among people who are around him on a daily basis.

        That’s tied up with one thing that adds to his dangerousness, that people don’t tend to mention, which is his age.
        As a man of 72 who doesn’t seem to care about anyone besides himself, I don’t think he has any interest, any stake, in the state of the world ten or fifteen years from now. I think he’s a total nihilist in a way that a president Donald Trump of thirty years ago wouldn’t have been.

        A narcissist, a nihilistic one, with no compassion, and who might have a neurological disorder but who most certainly wouldn’t be able to accept it if he did: turns out Trump’s probably worse than everybody thinks.

        • Posted December 11, 2018 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          Maybe but whenever I’ve seen him talk, it seems consistent with his strange, horrible worldview. I really do think he makes mistakes to signal his disregard for the situation and others involved. This kind of manipulation is fairly common in the business world where I’ve experienced it first hand. Much of it is their way to establish some sort of supremacy in a negotiation. For example, they show up late to a meeting to emphasize that the meeting can’t go on without them. They deliberately speak in low or hard-to-understand manner so you are forced to ask them to clarify which puts you in a position of supplication. Ironically, these are things done by people who aren’t important. Whenever I’ve met the truly powerful and accomplished, they’ve been very friendly, gracious, and open. That Trump would resort to this kind of BS seems 100% likely.

    • Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      You mean a reading test?

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        I mean some kind of psychological test, but preferably a brain scan.

        It seems odd that a president’s health is considered so out of bounds. All the checks and balances in the world can’t correct for a president with a neurological disorder.

        • Posted December 11, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

          It’s not so odd when you consider that a person’s medical situation is considered private. If Dems had the right to call for a brain scan, they would be doing it once a week.

          Still, there ought to be some kind of mechanism. Perhaps it could fall to the CDC. Obviously it would have to be someone other than the President’s personal physician.

          • JezGrove
            Posted December 11, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

            In the UK, we’ve known since the 1980s that “The President’s Brain is Missing”: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0FaH7ATXkWg. Of course, back then we were astonished that you guys had elected Reagan. When you (kinda, hanging chads aside) went for Dubya we thought things couldn’t get worse. Yet we are where we are: last week Dubya was doing full-on presidential, and the incumbent was sulking because the attention wasn’t on him. God knows, we have our own leadership problems – but really???!

            • Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

              Yes, it is bad here in the US but the UK seems to be doing its best to catch up. And, of course, if the UK really Brexits (I predict it won’t), you will be stuck with it for longer than we will Trump.

        • Posted December 12, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          Like early Alzheimers.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think there is such a procedure. Maybe there should be. But I think it must be done on candidates before one of them is elected. I guess it will be a crisis if a president is elected and then pronounced unfit.

  10. nay
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    “Lucas was hanged ….” Thank you for using “hanged” (twice in this post, I see). “Hung” may be new usage, but it still irritates me when I see/hear it. Yes, I be old.

    • GBJames
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Lucas, well-hung, was hanged.

      • GBJames
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        Damn… joke ruined by premature return.

        Lucas, well-hung, was poorly-hanged.

        • nay
          Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          Gee, thanks. (Please don’t do this again – remember, I be OLD.)(/s/ Yr Granny)

          • GBJames
            Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

            I be old, too!

            • JezGrove
              Posted December 11, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

              “Pictures are hung, men are hanged”, as I learnt on my old grandpappy’s knee…

  11. Caldwell
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Sorry, Trump Most Probably Signed The US-Mexico-Canada Trade Deal In The Correct Place

    “Yes, Trump signing a document in the right place is a news story in 2018.”

    • Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Oh boo! I was looking forward to ridiculing Trump for that. Now I’m going to have to keep your link for all the other people that try to post this.

  12. Pray Hard
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Who is attacking the Jews? Therein lies the answer. I mean, are the attackers invisible?
    Why? It’s easy, fashionable and requires no thought or courage. Off the SJW radar? Are you kidding? The SJW crowd are some of the most vehemently antisemitic people on the planet. And, oh, the Internet is rife with Jew hatred. Just go to G+ and spend a few hours.

  13. Pray Hard
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I’m the same “old” as Professor Ceiling Cat. Thanks for the Brenda Lee memory.
    I put the moon landing conspiracy nuts and the anti-evolution nuts in the same nut box.

  14. Vaal
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    That footage of Apollo 17 blasting home from the moon is astounding. I watch it and utterly marvel at how far we had come as a species at that point.

    And then I read the youtube comments underneath.

    And go back to weeping for our species….

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      25% thumbs down – high even for a space-related video. I’d love to know the locale, age & educational attainment demographics of these people. And how many are paid/automated trolls.

      • Vaal
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        When I see so many conspiracy minded people mocking the moon landings it makes me simultaneously sad and mad. One of the crowning acheivements of our species, an absolutely unbelievable feat of science and engineering, where we first got off this planet. It should be a symbol of soaring pride and awe.

        And conspiritards simply reject it. Not just reject it, they mock it. And not just mock it, they turn around and spin the heroism, incredible ingenuity and effort of those involved as being sinister figures involved in a secret plot, worthy of scorn.

        It’s just so depressing. Even worse, I feel for the kids of conspiritards who are live in a time when such incredible feats are accomplished, but who are educated to reject it, and see them instead as forces for darkness.

        It’s the same for 911 truthers etc. It’s not just that they don’t believe the real story.
        It’s that they basically implicate huge numbers of honest people as murderers. This moral dimension of conspiracy theories – how the utter sloppiness, laziness and self-aggrandizing reasoning is engaged in with so little care for the moral consequences. If you want to claim some group are murderers, you’d better be damned sure and careful in your reasoning, but the conspiracy-minded are just brazen and careless in this regard.

        • Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          I agree. Perhaps it’s the real reason we need to send humans to Mars. We need to remind those who didn’t live through the moon landings what they were all about.

          • Posted December 13, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

            The same conspiracy theorists still won’t believe it. If they don’t believe we made it to the moon, how likely is it they’ll believe we made it to Mars?

            • Posted December 13, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

              You may be right. I was thinking that the Moon landing is somewhat abstract for them as it occurred before they were born. If they lived through a Mars landing, as I lived through the Moon landing, and saw all the detailed imagery, reporting, and interviews that would inevitably accompany it, they would believe.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      I wouldn’t weep for the species. Just for the part of it that is stupid enough to make comments like that.
      I was having a chat with a friend today on the subject of “polemic”, and I had to describe the film “Idiocracy” to him. Which got us both depressed.

  15. Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Not only is it amazing to see the Apollo lander blasting off, considering the technology back then it is a miracle that a remote camera can capture it, track it, and send the video back to earth.

    • Barney
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      It just occurred to me that they didn’t get to properly test the take-off of the ascent stage before Armstrong and Aldrin did it in Apollo 11 – because they didn’t have the right gravity. The first time that set-up of rocket engine did its true job, in combination with the machinery holding it to the descent stage/platform for take-off, was a quarter of a million miles away from where it was last checked, having gone through a juddering, multiple G launch and a dusty landing, with 2 astronauts sitting a few feet above it, and their lives depending on it working without a hitch. Well done those engineers.

      As far as tracking it goes for Apollo 17, this was their thrid (and last) try at doing it well: https://curious-droid.com/276/tv-cameras-apollo-left-moon/

      • rickflick
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        Curious Droid, Paul Shillito, does very nice analysis pieces on his YouTube channel. If you have a question about space, spacecraft, etc. he’s probably covered it.

  16. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    What’s a noodle ring, though?

    Peytoia on a plate. (In the 1890s or so sense. ICZN rules being complex.)

  17. Posted December 14, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Mushrooms are great!

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