Thursday: Hili dialogue

It’s Thursday, January 3, 2018, and it’s National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day, as well as the tenth day of the Christian Twelve Days of Christmas. (In the secular version, it’s the day of Ten Lords a-Leaping.)

On this day in 1870, the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge began; it was opened on May 24, 1883, and was the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge. A lovely thing it is, too.

On this day in 1925, Mussolini assumed dictatorial powers over Italy. On January 3, 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, himself crippled by polio, established the March of Dimes Foundation to collect dimes to cure the disease. I still remember the donation receptacles sitting next to the cash register in stores. The money helped fun Jonas Salk’s vaccine. Thanks to science, they’re no longer needed, though polio has not yet been eradicated worldwide.  Here’s one:

On January 3, 1945, Admiral Chester Nimitz became Fleet Admiral of the U.S. Navy; as commander of the Pacific fleet, he oversaw the assaults of Iwo Jim and Okinawa in World War II. Two days ago I toured the battleship Missouri, where Douglas MacArthur, Nimitz, and others received the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945. I have many pictures of the ship, and will try to post them soon.

On this day in 1959, Alaska was admitted as the 49th U.S. State. Hawaii followed, and unless Puerto Rico becomes a state, that’s it for the U.S. Most Puerto Ricans want to do away with their status as a territory of the U.S., and, of these, 61% voted for U.S. Statehood in a 2012 referendum. On January 3, 1977, Apple Computer was incorporated.

Finally, on this day in 2000, the last daily edition of the Peanuts comic strip was printed. It had run for fifty years, and I’ve put the last day strip below (the last Sunday strip was on February 13 of that year). The author, Charles Schulz, took only a single vacation during that entire half century, to celebrate his 75th birthday. Afflicted with cancer and other health problems, Schulz died soon after retirement: on February 12, 2000. Here’s a story from Wikipedia:

Schulz was asked if, in his final Peanuts strip, Charlie Brown would finally get to kick the football after so many decades (one of the many recurring themes in Peanuts was Charlie Brown’s attempts to kick a football while Lucy was holding it, only to have Lucy pull it back at the last moment, causing him to fall on his back). His response, “Oh, no. Definitely not. I couldn’t have Charlie Brown kick that football; that would be a terrible disservice to him after nearly half a century.” But in a December 1999 interview, holding back tears, Schulz recounted the moment when he signed his final strip, saying, “All of a sudden I thought, ‘You know, that poor, poor kid, he never even got to kick the football. What a dirty trick—he never had a chance to kick the football.'”

And the last strip (I was a huge fan when I was a small child):

Notables born on this day include Cicero (106 BC), Father Damien (1840; a famous name in Hawaii, now a Catholic saint), Clement Attlee (1883), J. R. R. Tolkien (1892), George Martin (1926, the “Fifth Beatle”), Bobby Hull (1939), Stephen Stills (1945), Victoria Principal (1950), Mel Gibson (1956), and Danica McKellar (1975).

Those who died on January 3 include Alois Hitler (1903; Adolf’s dad), Edgar Cayce (1945), Jack Ruby (1967), Joy Adamson (1980), and Phil Everly (2014).

In Poland today, a little cat is preoccupied with Grand Notions.

Hili: How many kinds of tigers are there?
A: A few.
Hili: Now I’m a Siberian tiger.

In Polish:

Hili: Ile jest rodzajów tygrysów?
Ja: Kilka.
Hili: Teraz jestem syberyjskim tygrysem.

Petting guide for cats and d*gs:

Here’s a cartoon sent by reader Diane G, showing a frustrated cat playing a video game on an iPad (reader Diana MacPherson should pay special attention to the orientation of the toilet roll):

Two New Year’s tweets from the inimitable Titania McGrath:

A tweet from reader Barry:

Some tweets from Matthew:

I did a double take on this one, clearly acknowledgments in a book:

Morgan Freeman, an apparent curmudgeon, reviews the past year. I think this is real, but I’m not sure!

I’ve seen this moth, and a lovely thing it is, too:

I still don’t quite understand the first tweet, but perhaps an explanation is below it:

One of the few remaining Holocaust survivors does a poetry slam. From the article:

Austrian-born Ginsberg may have grown up on Viennese waltzes, but her current passion is for heavy metal. The reason the almost 97-year-old is taken with the musical genre popularized by bands such as Black Sabbath, Def Leppard and Metallica is simple: “I can’t sing. I can’t carry a tune. So heavy metal works because I just have to say the words,” she said.

Tweets from Grania. I’ve posted before about the black-footed cat (Felis nigripes), but I don’t remember putting up this tweet:

A New Age cat:

Grania also found one from Titania. How true!



  1. Posted January 3, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    That George Martin – as well as the Beatles he did that Throne Games thingy! 😉

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 3, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    January 3rd is the anchor day for 2019

  3. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 3, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    The ridges on the bottom of salt and pepper shakers have a more useful purpose, according to internet memes out there.

    • Serendipitydawg
      Posted January 3, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      You beat me to it!

      I still prefer to shake them 😀

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 3, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      It is nonsense [both beer bottles & glass shakers]. I’ve just checked every glass bottle & jar in my home & they all have those marks [picture below].
      The glassware I’ve checked: Jam jar, marmalade jars [round base & square base], square red cabbage jar, mango chutney jar, curry paste jars [various shapes of base], ketchup bottle, whiskey & whisky bottles all sizes & shapes of base], brandy/cognac bottles, all red & whit wines.

      The reasonable answers I’ve found on the ‘net are:
      [1] To give the items grip on conveyor belts as they’re filled
      [2] To stop them floating around on a wet table
      [3] To stop them doing the opposite: sticking through suction to a wet table
      [4] My preferred theory, which I’ve yet to check, is it’s part of the process of blowing thick glass mechanically. I notice that my wine, beer & spirits glasses are all smooth based – this suggests [1] & [4] are most likely reasons – perhaps thin glass would look wrong with the ridges or not necessary on thin glass for some reason.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted January 3, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

        Here’s a pic of the ridges. There’s a lot of variation in the ridges – they can be straight, they can be dots, but they’re always on the periphery:

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 3, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        I’ve always (and this is for a long time) assigned them to category 4 – a mechanical aid to removing them from the moulding equipment.
        Quick check around the house – 5 yes-es in both glass and plastic (the plastic ones tend to be a half-dozen to dozen stiffening ribs in the structure of the bottle), a plastic (thin wall) bottle with a single “dimple” in a smooth base, and multiple beer and wine glasses without dimples.
        Nope, I still think they’re for getting the bottle out of an injection mould or air-blowing machine. Dull, prosaic.
        For “cosmetic” uses (wine glasses etc) they’ve probably got other techniques like assembling multiple parts instead of blowing a single part in one operation.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted January 3, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        I’ve just watched some videos of automated production of glass bottles/jars & beverage glasses [both tumblers & stemmed wine glasses].

        In the case of beverage glasses the items are carried from process to process by their tops not their bases. The tops are closed off solid which are cut off by laser at the last moment, then the bases & drinking edges are polished mechanically – obviously ridges on the base would interfere with polishing the bases. After polishing the glasses are put on a conveyor base down & inspected visually for flaws. The conveyor is very slow & it’s the first use of conveyor unlike for jars & bottles which have a few very fast conveyor steps in the manufacture process.

        I vote for conveyor grip
        Vacuum process grip works without ridges on the wine glass bowls which are gripped from the top [stems not yet attached incidentally]. Of course there might be ridges on the tops which are cut away by laser…

        • darrelle
          Posted January 3, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

          I wonder if it has something to do with making them more robust. Perhaps the ridges somehow affect shock propagation in such a way as to make the bottom of the bottles / jars more resistant to breakage than otherwise.

          I have a “slim” phone case that has similar ridges along the edges that were advertised as a feature to dissipate impact shocks more effectively. I was skeptical but wanted a slim case. There could be something to it because I’ve stress tested it many times over the past 3 years and the phone has survived them all unscathed.

        • Torbjörn Larsson
          Posted January 3, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          As a habitual googler I found this:

          “The bases of mid to late 20th century, machine-made bottles very commonly have a textured effect covering all or a portion of the base – see the image to the left. There were several practical reasons for this feature: the bottles would have a reduced base surface contact decreasing drag on the conveyor belts moving them within the glass factory and by purchasers/users; to hide product related sediment; to hide the suction scar (primarily on Owens Automatic Bottle Machine products); and for at least one specific machine operational reason (Phil Perry, engineer with the Owens-Illinois Glass Co., pers. comm. 2010). The noted conveyor belt utility would only involve the stippling on the resting surface of the bottle base – like that on the 1941 beer bottle base below where the stippling pattern is just on the outside base edge where contact would occur. Various stippling patterns were also added to bottle bases for largely esthetic reasons, such as the 1959 green soda bottle base to the left. None of the stippling – given the indented nature of the base center and lack of stippling on the resting surface – would have come in contact with the conveyor belt.

          Base of an Owen-Illinois produced beer bottle.Stippling is shown on both the bottle bases in the images and was typically produced by hand punching the base plate of the bottle mold. Knurling was machine impressed on the base plate. Practically speaking for the purposes of this website, the difference between the two is unimportant and the precise “look” of these base designs varies quite a bit over time, with different bottle types and between bottle makers. Click knurled base to see such as defined by a Owens-Illinois engineer (Phil Perry, pers. comm. 2010) on a bottle that is date coded most likely for 1959. (The above and linked photos courtesy of Carol Serr.) Other types of base perimeter stippling resembles small crescents – (((((((( – which is very common on modern beer bottles. Another design commonly seen on the base perimeter of late 20th century and modern wine bottles is like this:
          ( )( )( )( )( )( ).

          It is not precisely certain when this feature first originated although it likely first appeared in 1940 on bottles produced by the Owens-Illinois Glass Company when they began using their proprietary “Duraglas” bottle making process (Toulouse 1971). Both of the pictured bottle bases note such with the script Duraglas on the base. This likely terminus post quem is supported by date codes noted by the author and others on bottles made by that company (Lockhart 2004d; empirical observations). So if one has a machine-made bottle with a stippled base one can be quite certain that it dates from 1940 or later.”

          [ ]

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted January 3, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            Jeez you learn *everything* on WEIT sooner or later…



            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted January 3, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

              For a way cool beer bottle trick see this one –



              • rickflick
                Posted January 3, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

                It hurts my hand just watching. Good thing he’s wearing a substantial glove. It seems they dumped the beer and replaced with water. Maybe beer, being gassed up already, would ruin the effect.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

            Thanks Torbjörn – very informative

            • Torbjörn Larsson
              Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

              My pleasure. I reacted to that video too.

    • Wayne Y Hoskisson
      Posted January 3, 2019 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      A week or two ago I read about the ridges on the bottom of pepper shakers and the supposed efficacy of rubbing the bottom with the bottom of the salt shaker to get a strong and targeted flow of pepper. After checking all my sets of shakers, one pair of glass shakers had a patterned bottom something like a starburst. I cut a hard boiled egg in half. I sprinkled one half in the usual way. On the other half I rubbed the bottom of the pepper shaker with the salt shaker. The flow was quicker, easier, and more precise. This doesn’t rise to the level of proof. But I wasn’t curious enough to research this.

      As for guzzling beer fast there was a technique we used when I was younger. This dates from the time when you used a church key to open a can of beer. We would punch a hole in the top of the can and put the hole in your mouth. Then we quickly punched a hole in the bottom of the can and basically inhaled the beer. Fast and effective. No rubbing required. My children had never heard of a can opener being referred to as a church key.

      I think the video mixes these two ideas in an Onion way.

  4. barael
    Posted January 3, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Sadly it’s not really Morgan Freeman and the beer bottle tweet is a response to a supposedly mind blowing fact/tweet about the ridges in the bottom of salt/pepper shakers.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 3, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    … and unless Puerto Rico becomes a state, that’s it for the U.S.

    The District of Columbia should be granted statehood as well. Both PR and DC are getting royally screwed by being denied representation in the US senate (and, in the case of PR, by being denied any voting representation in the House and any electoral votes in US presidential elections).

    Didn’t we have a dust-up back in 1776 about taxation without representation?

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 3, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Yeah sure – bring’em all in. They should all get the same screwing as the rest of us. Some good news however, as today the demos take control of the house. We should all learn how to say subpoena.

      Hili is the winter cat.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 3, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        Four more blue US senators, and at least three more blue electoral-college votes, sounds pretty good, though, doesn’t it?

        Democrats should make this a top priority.

        • Diane G
          Posted January 4, 2019 at 5:03 am | Permalink

          I’ve always thought so, but it’s never happened under any previous Demo regime. Why?

          • rickflick
            Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

            The Orange Jabba the Hutt was in favor of statehood during the campaign, but now says no. It seems never to have been of much interest to the congress either. I can’t imagine why at least Democrats aren’t chomping at the bit.

          • rickflick
            Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

            The reason congress may not be all that eager for statehood is that Puerto Ricans are ambivalent themselves. In past referenda there was much sentiment expressed for remaining a territory. Probably for their sense of independence. Also, their is no explicit mechanism for making a state out of a territory, according to some. That sounds like a minor issue. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

            • Diane G
              Posted January 6, 2019 at 2:23 am | Permalink

              Thanks, Rick. This discussion finally got me to google the issue–lots of ins & outs that I was not aware of:


              I thought I’d read before of significant support by the Puerto Ricans for statehood, but that doesn’t appear to be always the case.

              • rickflick
                Posted January 6, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

                The anti-statehood faction have boycotted referenda which means results are very skewed in favor of statehood. If everyone votes you’d probably see about 50/50.

              • Diane G
                Posted January 7, 2019 at 1:56 am | Permalink

                Interesting tactic…

    • DrBrydon
      Posted January 3, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      If people in DC want to live in a state, there are two within walking distance. I get tired of the argument that they are being denied representation, when we have people traveling half-way around the world to live in the US, and Washingtonians can’t be bothered to rent a U-Haul. The existance of the Federal District has always made sense to me.

      • mikeyc
        Posted January 3, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        I don’t understand this argument. It’s just too damn bad for the DCers; they should move if they don’t like it, or to put it another way; “love it or leave it”. Is that your argument?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 3, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        By that token, it would be OK to rescind Rhode Island’s statehood, since it’s just a short jaunt to Connecticut or Mass?

        Maybe all the DC resident should up and leave the District, let all the lobbyists and politicians mow their own lawns, cook their own meals, make their own beds.

      • BJ
        Posted January 3, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        Even if this was otherwise a good argument (which it isnt), you realize most people in DC or any other metropolitan area have the resources nor life circumstances to make such a move feasible, right?

        • BJ
          Posted January 3, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          * “have neither the resources nor…”

    • BJ
      Posted January 3, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      It will never happen unless there are also two new districts (if we make DC a district of Maryland if Virginia, and PR a district of, I dunno, Florida?) or two new states (if they’re given statehiod) that would be reliably Republican. Republicans will never give Dems two extra dsitricts/states to add to their roster.

      • mikeyc
        Posted January 3, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        I think you’re right. Washingtonians and Puerto Ricans are just too damn brown for the GOP. Plus the PRs speak the language the Wall is supposed to keep out. No way they’d be let into the union with the current political climate.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 3, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        The only thing the US Constitution has to say about new states is that they “may be admitted by the Congress into this Union,” ostensibly through a mere majority vote.

        If and when the Dems gain control of both houses of congress again, they oughta ram statehood for DC and PR down the Republicans’ throats. It’s the right thing to do for the people living there (just ask the hurricane victims in PR). And if that hurts Republican feelings — well, after all the ruthless gerrymandering, unconscionable minority voter suppression, and parliamentary shenanigans by Mitch McConnell et al., I’ll try to fight back my tears of sympathy.

        • rickflick
          Posted January 3, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          That’s an excellent proposal but I’m pretty sure the big red jelly bean would veto it.

          • mikeyc
            Posted January 3, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think the rat bastard would have that power – the article doesn’t indicate that the president has any role in this. That’s how I read it anyway.

            • rickflick
              Posted January 3, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

              That’d be great!

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted January 3, 2019 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

              That’s the way I read it, too, Mikey (although the president has been offered the opportunity to sign off on the admission of new states in the past).

              In any event, the Dems won’t have a majority in the senate until at least Jan 2021, by which time, let all reasonable people hope, Trump will be gone from the White House.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 3, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Those who died on January 3 include Alois Hitler (1903; Adolf’s dad)

    Birth name Alois Schicklgruber. Would that he had not been later legitimated under the surname of his stepfather (the name being bastardized in the process from “Hiedler” to “Hitler”) and then passed the latter name on to his own son!

    I doubt “Heil Schicklgruber!” would’ve caught on in the same way.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 3, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      I doubt “Heil Schicklgruber!” would’ve caught on in the same way.

      They’d probably have just adopted “Heil Führer!”, which would neatly avoid unpleasant tongue-stumbles when the Old Boss died and the new Boss took over. Quod vide “The King is dead. Long live the King!”

    • Posted January 3, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      It is not so simple to defang these monsters. Stalin’s original family name also wasn’t very easy, and he became Stalin. So I doubt that being Schicklgruber would stop Adolf. Serving the full term of his sentence under maximum security followed by deportation might have helped, however.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 3, 2019 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        True, although Winston Churchill, in his radio addresses across the Channel, took delight in mocking the Führer as “corporal Schicklgruber.”

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 3, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Did not get a chance to see the battleship when I was there. Had not arrived yet. Looking forward to the photos.

    There is a good tour of an old aircraft carrier out in California if you ever get around Alameda. I believe this one is the USS Hornet.

  8. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted January 3, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    On this day in 1959, Alaska was admitted as the 49th U.S. State.

    Then what was Alaska’s status in the almost-century between Seward’s Purchase and this? Or was the population/ economic contribution too low? Or …

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 3, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Alaska became a territory after purchase. Article IV, Sec. 3 Clause 1 of the constitution kind of provides direction on statehood. Generally the territory or region must create a state constitution and then submit it’s request to congress. I think Alaska took a vote which passed prior to this.

      • mikeyc
        Posted January 3, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        JP Morgan and Simon Guggenheim had a hand in preventing Alaska from becoming a state. Alaskans had petitioned the federal government for statehood in the late 19th century but Morgan and Guggenheim owned copper mines there and they didn’t want local politicians messing with their “Syndicate” (they really called it that). They got the US congress to pass something called the “2nd Organic Act” in about 1912 that gave Alaskans some control over the territory but left most of the governance to the federal government, which Morgan, Guggenheim and other robber barons owned.

        So pretty much the same way government is run today – for and at the behest of the wealthy. Same as it ever was.

  9. Posted January 3, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Definitely not Morgan Freeman.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 3, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Adobe has “Project VoCo” that can edit human speech like Photoshop tweaks digital images – it needs 20 minutes of real speech from a subject to synthesize that chosen voice print. There’s another one I know of called Lyrebird [a double pun] that only needs one minute of target speech.

      I assume these programs can’t put in the target stresses, pauses & breathing patterns, but they will work well for half a dozen words or so. Here’s a fake Obama advertising Lyrebird:

      • Matthew
        Posted January 3, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        It’s common in the entertainment industry to use sound-alike voice actors during the editing when it would be expensive or difficult to get the actual intended narrator. In a serious piece, the temp narrator is replaced once all the creative changes have been finalized.

        I do remember one case where a famous person refused to do the final reading after listening to the temp narrator. The person said “That guy sounds just like me! Just use him!”. So they finished with the temp.

  10. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted January 3, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    A New Age cat:
    Reconnecting to its Egyptian ancestors:

    I wouldn’t go to the gallows over this, but that pseudo-pyramid looks like it’s either alabaster, or carved in that ferruginous “Tibetan” “sea salt” which is so popular with the New Age paddlers in the sea of knowledge.
    “Ferruginous” – stained with a couple of percent of iron-III salts, most likely as non-stoichiometric hydroxy-oxides.
    “Tibetan” – well, I’ve never seen any evidence for provenance on them, and never met a staff member in a New Age Paddling shop who knows a thing about their stock. They’re probably from the same planet as Tibet, I’ll grant.
    “sea salt” – oddly, they’ve always been kept in cabinets, precluding the obvious test. I remain to be convinced. Bloody expensive lumps of sodium chloride, if they are.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 3, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      It’s a HPS [Himalayan Pink Salt] lamp as the New Agers call them. Ionising the air though Na & Cl ionic bonds in rock salt – obvious nonsense. Some pet sites say these HPS thingies are bad for pets – salt overdose if they lick them.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 5, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Overdose of sodium and chlorine ions on licking … I have no problems with that.
        When checking”WTF is that?” In exams, we were taught to lick our finger-tips, becuse the specimens had been licked profusely in the past, and at that time, the mechanism(s) of infection with AIDS were not known.
        Now they are, but that is a different time.

  11. Michael Fisher
    Posted January 3, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Does anyone else here get their comments ‘liked’ by a WordPress account called SoundEagle? It seems to be a bot trying to get people to click through to the SoundEagle site. I’ve had this happen intermittently for a year or so.

    • darrelle
      Posted January 3, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Yes, same here. Don’t know anything about the entity SoundEagle though. Never looked into it. I just assumed it was someone who regularly reads but rarely or never posts. I’m that way on some sites.

    • BJ
      Posted January 3, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      I didn’t even know you could “like” a post, though perhaps I’m not seeing the buttons because I use ScriptSafe and only allow scripts to run if they’re needed to read the page. I also don’t subscribe (don’t take this personally, Jerry, as I don’t give my email out for anything unless it’s required for access).

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted January 3, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        If you’re logged into your wp account there’s a bell in the black bar at the top right. Click that & look under the comments tab. Click a comment there & it springs out with options to reply, like [yellow star] etc.

        Or click “reader” top right & go to “conversations” where there’s a like option under each comment

        • BJ
          Posted January 3, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

          Ah, I don’t even have a WordPress account, so that explains it.

          • Diane G
            Posted January 4, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

            Ditto. Why have an account when it’s not needed for access to the WP bl*gs?

    • rickflick
      Posted January 3, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Yes, same here. Often lots of likes. Someone or something is seeking viewers. I ignore them.

    • Posted January 3, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      That happened to me recently, and I looked at one of his posts and it was about something very close to my research interest, not at all botlike. Furthermore I got a personal comment on my EcoMinga blog from this person, and it was very relevant to the subject and could not have been automated. I am certain this is a real person with very good intentions.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted January 3, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Fair enough. I noticed that I’ll get six likes in a row from SoundEagle but what I’ve written hasn’t always been worthy of a like. Mudane stuff.

        • rickflick
          Posted January 3, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          I began to think I was becoming more and more brilliant with every comment until I realized SoundEagle had inflated my ego. I’ve gone back to mundane.

          • Diane G
            Posted January 4, 2019 at 5:20 am | Permalink

            I think SoundEagle has good taste re both of you. 🙂

  12. BJ
    Posted January 3, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Hilarious chart for petting cats and dogs, but not always accurate. My first cat loved nothing more than having the “armpits” of his front legs scratched. If he was sitting and you put your hand under him, he’d roll onto his side and stretch as far as possible to let you scratch him there and his tummy as well. He was the best and sweetest cat I’ve ever known, and an absolute killer once you let him outside. He was known as the “Chipmunk Butcher” among the local chipmunk community. All the neighbors’ dogs and cats were afraid of him. But he loved every human he ever met, and any one of them could pick him up, give him pets, or even pull his tail and generally annoy him without ever hearing so much as a growl or hiss, to say nothing of receiving a bite. The only time he ever bit someone was when he’d occasionally gnaw on my hair because I was in bed and he wanted me to pet him. Putting his mouth on my head and lightly scratching my scalp with his teeth was sometimes his way of asking me to pet him if I was lying down 😛

    Sorry, I’ll always take an opportunity to talk about my first cat! Anyway, I’ve never encountered another cat who enjoyed armpit scratches even a little bit.

    • Serendipitydawg
      Posted January 3, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      The cat chart doesn’t fit either of ours but I took it as part of d*gs just love you trope 🙂

      • BJ
        Posted January 3, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Yes a dog’s love (or perhaps “loyalty” is a better term) is often nearly unconditional, as they’ve been bred over so many years to be completely subservient to their masters and crave their approval. That’s one of the reasons I love cats: cats usually make you earn their approval 😛 Not that I have anything against dogs.

        • Serendipitydawg
          Posted January 3, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink


          The Umm, No and Are you crazy? sections would elicit purrs from George and find you lacking a limb with Bert, however, both agree on Awesome, though there is a sub-section of that coinciding with the ears that should be labelled Don’t ‘ing stop doing that.

          • BJ
            Posted January 3, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

            Haha yes the ears! Yours is the perfect label.

  13. DrBrydon
    Posted January 3, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Looking at that last tweet from Titania McGrath, I went over to Cavy’s twitter to see if he was agreeing or not. Still not sure, but he does say this in an unrelated tweet about the disorder in the Women’s March: “I apologize in advance as I have trouble keeping up with this stuff. Can white people still be women?”

  14. KD33
    Posted January 3, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    A gift from Tim Minchin for the New Year:

    Acid satire on tribalism.

    And if you don’t know his work, there’s a world of fun YT waiting for you!

    Be sure to try Storm and Prejudice.

    • BJ
      Posted January 3, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      That was excellent! Not just good lyrics, but a well-written song, and I love the music video.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 3, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      I’m deeply ashamed to admit that I laughed and cheered at that video.


  15. Blue
    Posted January 3, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    in re ” Those who died on January 3 include:
    “Mr Josiah Wedgwood, the granddaddy of … …
    First Cousins Ms Emma Wedgwood and
    Mr Charles Darwin, wife and husband, and
    parents to ten kiddos. Dead = y1795.


  16. Posted January 3, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    The Cat Petting Chart needs to be per-kitty. Both our cats enjoy having their bellies rubbed, for example.

  17. Harrison
    Posted January 3, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Today is also the birthday of Italian director Sergio Leone.

  18. Andrea Kenner
    Posted January 3, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I would love to see Washington DC achieve statehood.

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