Sunday: Hili dialogue

by Grania

Happy New Year to the people of Hen Galan in Wales who still observe it based on the Julian calendar.

Today in history, in 1888 the National Geographic Society was founded in Washington, D.C In 1898 Émile Zola‘s J’accuse…! exposed the Dreyfus affair (essentially a miscarriage of justice in a military trial).  In 1910 the first public radio broadcast took place; a live performance of the operas Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci were broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. In 1942 during World War II: First use of an aircraft ejection seat by a German test pilot in a Heinkel He 280 jet fighter. In 2018 a false emergency alert warning of an impending missile strike in Hawaii caused widespread panic in the state.

Birthdays today:

  • 1902 – Karl Menger, Austrian-American mathematician from the Vienna Circle (d. 1985)
  • 1904 – Nathan Milstein, Ukrainian-American violinist and composer (d. 1992)
  • 1923 – Daniil Shafran, Russian cellist (d. 1997)
  • 1923 – Willem Slijkhuis, Dutch runner (d. 2003)
  • 1937 – Guy Dodson, New Zealand-English biochemist and academic (d. 2012)
  • 1954 – Trevor Rabin, South African-American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
  • 1978 – Nate Silver, American journalist and statistician, developed PECOTA

Trevor Rabin’s most well-known album is 90125 that he wrote for the band Yes in 1983. While Yes purists despise this song, it remains their most successful number ever. This video is from the era of the infancy of music video and is hilariously awkward looking. Those were the days.


In Poland there is a power struggle going on:

A: Hili, get out, I have to put wood for the fireplace there.
Hili: I will never give up power once gained.

In Polish:

Ja: Hili, wyjdź, muszę tam włożyć drewno do kominka.
Hili: Raz zdobytej władzy nie oddam nigdy.

From around Twitter:

I feel I should point out that these cows are not being bred for their wool.

Fascinating caterpillar behavior.

Another reason why the platypus is different

Things to do if you are bored

A warning that we are now in End Times

It seems the far-right also doesn’t have a sense of humor. You should click through to appreciate the full discussion.

No animals were harmed, etc

And finally, the obligatory cute cat and cute dog


Hat-tip: Matthew


  1. Chris Lang
    Posted January 13, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Karl Menger is known for his “sponge”, a geometrical object of fractional dimension.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 13, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Just for that, I’m going to start referring to certain people as “Kochs” and sealing pipes with Sierpinksis.

  2. Dariusz Jamrozowicz
    Posted January 13, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the video, I’ve never seen it, the only one I knew (and I dare say it is a bit better) until today is this:

  3. Jon Mummaw
    Posted January 13, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    It’s alsoNational Rubber Ducky Day.


  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 13, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I’ve never considered myself a Yes “purist,” although I much prefer their early Seventies’ stuff. “Owner of a Lonely Heart” always sounded to me like a second-rate Police song.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted January 13, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      I think they don’t come more purist* than yours truly, only baroque music before 14:00 h, and even then. (*Musical purist, that is).
      However, I quite liked the song, pretty good, a bit in ‘Yes’ style indeed, and, as mentioned, a hilariously awkward video.
      Enjoyed it.

      • Posted January 13, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        I may be even purer than you, since for me music reached its pinnacle in the early 17th century — yet just yesterday I stumbled on this video of a reconstituted Yes performing Roundabout in 2017, with the estimable Geddy Lee on bass — highly recommended!

        • Posted January 13, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          Obligatory apology for accidentally embedding the video…

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted January 13, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

          I heard Yes perform “Roundabout,” during their 1971 US tour behind the album Fragile, in a junior-college gymnasium.

          It smelled like teen spirit 🙂 — as Jon Anderson more-or-less observed from the stage. I recall him saying something to the effect that we’d know the world would had proper respect for rock music once there were concert halls erected specifically for its playing.

        • Posted January 13, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

          Thanks for a good Roundabout!

  5. maryplumbago
    Posted January 13, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Love Yes!
    They don’t do music like they use to. I miss those days! Pink Floyd is another favorite of mine.

  6. rickflick
    Posted January 13, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Cows are curious. Whether you’re playing an instrument or attracting their attention in some other way. I’ve seen them line up like this a few times. They seem genuinely interested in what people do. Not as cute as puppies and kittens, but still…

    • John Conoboy
      Posted January 13, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Apparently these cows like polkas. In this case one of the first tunes many Irish musicians learned called Britches Full of Stitches.

  7. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 13, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I really like Yes. But in general the lyrics leave me completely baffled. What is up with that?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 13, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      There’s no soul to the lyrics & sexless. Sort of a reverse of Chuck Berry & generally as embarrassing to listen to as Stairway To Heaven

      It’s stream of consciousness lyrics – the lead vocal as another instrument with the actual words not being too important. When one looks at any verse written out it’s not great stuff. The mystical, new age gibberish doesn’t connect like say Eleanor Rigby or the weird, lovely A Day In The Life or even almost anything by Black Sabbath who could write a simple lyric with a point – easy as pie.

      Sample Yes bollocks copy/pasted from the internet:

      The Revealing Science of God can
      Be seen as an ever-opening flower in which
      Simple truths emerge examining the complexities
      And magic of the past and how we should not forget
      The song that has been left to us to hear. The
      Knowledge of God is a search, constant and clear.

      Dawn of light lying between a silence and sold sources,
      Chased amid fusions of wonder, in moments hardly seen forgotten
      Colored in pastures of chance dancing leaves cast spells of challenge,
      Amused but real in thought, we fled from the sea whole.
      Dawn of thought transferred through
      Moments of days under searching earth
      Revealing corridors of time provoking memories,
      Disjointed but with purpose,
      Craving penetrations offer links with the self instructor’s sharp
      And tender love as we took to the air, a picture of distance.
      Dawn of our power we amuse redescending as fast as misused
      Expression, as only to teach love as to reveal passion chasing
      Late into corners, and we danced from the ocean.
      Dawn of love sent within us colours of awakening among the many
      Won’t to follow, only tunes of a different age, as the links span
      Our endless caresses for the freedom of life everlasting.

      Talk to the sunlight caller
      Soft summer mover distance mine

      Called out a tune but I never saw the face
      Heard but not replaced
      I ventured to talk, but I never lost my place

      Cast out a spell rendered for the light of day
      Lost in lights array
      I ventured to see, as the sound began to play

      What happened to this song we once knew so well
      Signed promise for moments caught within the spell
      I must have waited all my life for this
      Moment moment

      The future poised with the splendor just begun
      The light we were as on

  8. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted January 13, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    In Poland there is a power struggle going on:

    “Build a wall! A beyouteeful bigly wooden wall! And Mexico is gonna pay for it!”
    “What do you mean – some Athenian dude want’s his wooden wall back? Tell him to get on his horse and use it!”
    [sound effect : Final Trump]

  9. E.A. Blair
    Posted January 13, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    “In 1910 the first public radio broadcast took place; a live performance of the operas Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci were broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.”

    In 1950, Chuck Jones* directed a cartoon titled The Ducksters, which was a spoof of game shows with Porky Pig as the unlucky contestand and Daffy Duck as the sadistic host. On this show, called Truth Or AAAAAAHH!” the penalties for giving a wrong answer (being sawn in half, having a safe dropped on you) were almost as bad as the prizes (when Porky won the Rock of Gibraltar, it, of course, fell on him).

    As one of the questions, Daffy asks Porky to name a passage from a “famous opera”, then plays a single note. Porky’s guess is Cavalleria Rusticana. Daffy appeals to the audience, who shouts, in unison, Rigoletto!. In the end, though, Porky gives Daffy his comeuppance.

    Anyway, this cartoon is the first time I’d ever heard of Cavalleria Rusticana, probably around age five or six.

    • E.A. Blair
      Posted January 13, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      *Known to some as the world’s greatest animator.

  10. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted January 13, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who lives under the illusion that hares aren’t bloodthirsty haven’t been on the wrong side of a rabbit’s incisors.

    A group of #caterpillars mimicking a #slug!

    Possibly, but that explanation competes with the reduced individual energetic loss by those layered takes-turn aggregates.

  11. revelator60
    Posted January 13, 2019 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    The cute puppy looks like a Newfoundland. I hear they are very sweet-natured and excellent swimmers (they even have webbed toes).

  12. karaktur
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I still miss Chris Squire

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