Wednesday: Hili dialogue

I am writing this from bed upon arising. I see that temperature is -18°F (-28°C), and I can hear the wind howling outside. It’s going to be a cold walk to work!

I am ready to go out. I’m wearing a thin down jacket under a heavier down jacket with a hood, two hats (a balaclava over a wool hat), and two pairs of gloves (not donned for this photo): light fleece gloves under thicker insulated gloves.

. . . I am now at work. The cold wasn’t too bad, though the temperature was -21°F (-29°C) and, with the wind, was -45°F (-43°C). It wasn’t painful, but at the end of my 12-minute walk my fingers were beginning to freeze (despite two pair of gloves!) and my legs, bare underneath jeans (no lectures, please!), were a bit chilly (my fur helped insulate me). Tomorrow it will be a bit warmer, but it’s gong to snow again! I feel sad for all the animals struggling to survive in this cold: squirrels, birds, feral cats, and so on; but I’m happy that Honey (I hope) is in a warmer clime.

On to the daily report:

It’s Wednesday, January 30, 2019, and it’s National Croissant Day, which is clearly blatant cultural appropriation since croissants aren’t American. It’s also Fred Korematsu Day, the first American holiday named after an Asian American.  Korematsu, a civil rights activist, was born in 1919 and died on this day in 2005.

On this day in 1649, King Charles I of England was beheaded after being captured in the English Civil War. Exactly 12 years later, the body of Oliver Cromwell, who helped depose Charles, was dug up (he had died of malaria in 1659) and posthumously executed, with the head of the corpse cut off and displayed.

On January 30, 1703, the Forty-seven rōnin, led by Ōishi Kuranosuke, avenged the death of their leader Asano Naganori  by killing the court official who had forced Naganori to commit seppuku. The 47 then themselves committed seppuku. On this day in 1820, Antarctica was “discovered” when Edward Bransfield saw part of the continent, the Trinity Peninsula. On January 30, 1933, Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany. Here’s some footage of the incident, and if I’m not wrong I spot Hermann Göring there too:

It’s a sad anniversary for me, as it was on this day in 1948 that Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi (one of my heroes), on his way to prayers, at Birla House in New Delhi. Godse was tried and hanged.  21 years later, in 1969, the Beatles gave their last public performance, playing on the roof of Apple Records in London. The police broke up the concert.

Finally, it was on January 30, 1982 that, according to Wikipedia, “Richard Skrenta [wrote] the first PC virus code, which is 400 lines long and disguised as an Apple boot program called “Elk Cloner“.

Notables born on this day include Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882), Roy Eldridge (1911), Barbara Tuchman (1912), Gene Hackman (1930), Richard Brautigan (1935), Vanessa Redgrave and Boris Spassky (both 1937), Dick Cheney (1941), Marty Balin (1942), and Phil Collins (1951).

Those who died on January 30 include Charles I of England (1649; see above), Betsy Ross (1836), Mahatma Gandhi and Orville Wright (both 1948), Lightnin’ Hopkins (1982), John Bardeen (1991; Nobel Laureate), and Coretta Scott King and Wendy Wasserstein (both 2006).

Here’s Lightnin’ Hopkins playing “Baby, Please Don’t Go”:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s hunting in the snow.

Hili: I think there is a white mouse over there.
A: I’m afraid you are hallucinating.
In Polish:
Hili: Tam chyba jest biała mysz,
Ja: Obawiam się, że masz złudzenia.

Reader Michael sent a tweet showing Miriam Margolyes’s view of Brexit, which is also mine.

I didn’t know who Margolyes was, but Michael identified her like this: “Jewish Anglo/Aussie actress & voice artist. Polish roots going back. Well loved here in the UK as a robust speaker of what’s on her mind Appeared in many of the Blackadder comedy series seasons – as Queen Victoria for example”.

I wonder if Brexit will actually occur; I favor another referendum, which Brits deserve because they now realize they made a mistake.

A tweet from reader Barry. I’ve posted this before, but I’m doing it again because of his caption: “That’s Pelosi on the left.”

From reader Nilou: a baby otter enters the water for the first time. It’s like a human child’s first steps.

From Heather Hastie via Ann German. Art in a cappucinno? For sure! I don’t think I’d be able to drink one of these and destroy the animals:

Tweets from Matthew. Be sure to click on the tweet and look at the individual pictures.

Why are polyploid plants much more common at extreme latitudes? Read the paper (if you don’t have time, just read the abstract).

Does this really show a struggle, or something less violent? Read the thread to see an alternative explanation.

Tweets from Grania. If you don’t know what a coprolite is, look it up and learn.

I’m not sure who Mr. Lumpy is, or what badgers have to do with this, but I trust readers will explain:

Good Lord these moths are lovely!  I thought they were Io moths but these ones have “tails”. Anybody got an ID?



  1. Roger
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Croissants are my favorite thing to bake. I’m of the light on the butter 27 layer not finicky about the type of flour school of croissant though haha.

    • dan bertini
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      I’m sure PCC(e)could tell you where the best croissants are to be had in Paris. I learned that the ones made with butter are straight, while the crescent shaped ones are not.

      • Roger
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Don’t get the Pillsbury ones! Unless you like biscuits. Because that’s what they are. Nothing wrong with biscuits though.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        ??? Aren’t all croissants -by definition- crescent shaped? But I agree about the butter, you need to use real butter, no dispute there.

        • dabertini
          Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          Apparently not in paris.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Parisian all-butter croissants [Cs] are commonly straight or banana shaped, but a baker can make them in any shape she chooses including crescent shaped. Inferior Parisian oil or margarine ones must, BY LAW, be turned in like a definite crescent moon.

        Therefore a wise quality Parisian buttery baker avoids the crescent shape. 🙂

        I’m in the UK & I have buttery Cs in my freezer [ready made raw dough] & they are straight, but used to be crescent-shaped in the days when Brit bakers assumed the Cs should be crescented [word?].

        Some supermarket [Tesco?] realised their customers preferred straight Cs because easier to split & spread with butter/jam. Doing this is of course a culinary crime – break off a bit of C & apply jam if you absolutely must, but no butter spread. The French dip bits of torn off C in their coffee I am told [I’ve not seen it] – Not for me!

        • Merilee
          Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

          THe buttery ones are even better with a bit of dark chocolate, either baked in or added by muncher.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

            Muncher… que?

            • Merilee
              Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

              S(he) who munches on the croissant🤓

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

                I half- assumed it was some Canadian contrivance for grinding chocolate bars up. Hi Muncher 🙂

                I have Cs with a strong, deep roasted coffee – will see if dark choc is overkill next time I fancy Cs from the oven.

              • Merilee
                Posted January 30, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

                Dark chocolate is NEVER overkill.
                Speaking of chocolate, I am currently drinking the weirdest “hot chocolate”, made from a bottled drink called Ripple (not the horrible cheap plonk). It is actually made from peas, but you’d never know it. High iron and fairly high calcium and absolutely delicious cold or nuked. I would never have tried it had a friend not offered me some. I seem to have become somewhat less tolerant of lactose recently and this surprisingly tastes just like cocoa.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted January 30, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

                The pea milk stuff – too expensive over here [import]. I’ve seen people walking around with the distinctive bottle, but not from any shop I know. I’ll have to waylay strange women with the Ripple bottle & ask [brain: “don’t say pee milk Michael”]

              • Merilee
                Posted January 30, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

                Yeah, it does sound gross and it ain’t cheap, but it’s “indescribably delicious” (that’s from some 50s ad…)

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

                Haha. My brain told me, “No one is going to enjoy a pee reference, Diana, so don’t make the joke.”

            • Roger
              Posted January 30, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

              “Pain au chocolat” is a thing!

              • Merilee
                Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink


          • darrelle
            Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

            That’s the ticket!

            • Merilee
              Posted January 30, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

              You’ve got great taste, Darrell!

              • darrelle
                Posted January 30, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

                Look who’s talking!

              • Merilee
                Posted January 30, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

                Takes one to know one🤓

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Barbara Tuchman, The Guns of August (1962)

    Did you catch the weather in Hawaii? Same as always.

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Meanwhile, Alaska is experiencing warmer than usual temps all over the state except the “north coast”.

  3. David Coxill
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Ah Miriam Margolyes ,huge fan of the works of Charles Dickens .Played a Chinese prostitute in the 1977 epic “Stand up Virgin Soldiers ”
    She is right about david -call me dave -cameron ,he should be joined by bojo ,nigel -mines a pint when the cameras are rolling -farage ,and all the other britxers .

    I see you are dressed up as a ninja again ?

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Let’s all hear it for the world’s first Balaclavi evolution website writer, PCC(EEEEEEEK-ITS COLD)! For modesty, of course.

    My latest strategies for cold :

    Aquaphor on the face.
    Aquaphor on the inside edges of the nostrils.
    Thermal underwear- two piece.
    Smartwool socks with plain socks underneath

    Might have to look into a balaclava.

    Let’s see what Akismet does with all those trade names.

    I apologize if my comment is too much – it’s a goofy day so far.

    • Rita
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Ski goggles would be good too. Last time I was out for a while in extreme cold, my eyeballs felt like they were freezing!

      • I noticed that tooThyroidPlanet
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        I noticed that too

        Wondering if contact lenses…. never mind. Might have to shift the eyewear plan…. Google Goggles…

        I told you it’s a goofy day…

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        PCC(E) – Apologies – my error – went too fast – I accidentally wrote a comment in the user name box so I was “I noticed that tooThyroidPlanet”

        I noticed that too

        Wondering if contact lenses…. never mind. Might have to shift the eyewear plan…. Google Goggles…

        I told you it’s a goofy day…

        • Peter
          Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

          Ski goggles in a cheery yellow, gold or amber tint will work well. Of course the yellow tint will obscure the yellow snow.

  5. JezGrove
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    The trouble with Brexit is that the UK is absolutely divided, including about whether there should be a second referendum. Meanwhile, Theresa May has voted against her own policy and now plans to renegotiate an agreement which she said herself a few days ago couldn’t be renegotiated, and which the EU still insists cannot be. Totally farcical. John Crace, in The Grauniad, accurately described May’s (new) plan as “Schrodinger’s Brexit”.

    • David Coxill
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      The maynotbot ,could not organise a Nun shoot in a Nunnery .

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Yes, when Jerry says “they now realize they made a mistake” my immediate reaction is that – since the polls show the opinions have not moved much – that it is like believing other populism issues such as Trump has moved its supporting voters. (Some now, maybe, but how long that change will be in effect nobody knows.) Moreover, the UK politicians does not seem to have changed behavior either, still not sure what “Brexit” means I gather.

      But sure, anything can happen in a referendum, so go for it. The other line of action would be to let Scotland and North Ireland, if referendums support it, secede – border et cetera problems solved, core UK isolated from Europe and all that.

  6. Hunt
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Typo: 1982 as the first personal computer virus.

  7. freiner
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I just finished Barbara Tuchman’s The Proud Tower and was struck by the similarity between the Kaiser (ill-tempered, self-important and self-indulgent, proudly ignorant of history, dismissive and abusive of advisors, lacking any serious inner life) and you-know-who. I’ve since seen that I’m hardly the first to have noticed this, but it was through Tuchman’s writing that I came to learn of it.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      That does remind me of someone. Who could it be?

      • Wayne Robinson
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        I can’t guess. Could it be someone with the initials DT?

        Anyway, I’ve just finished a biography of Adolph Hitler by the German historian Volker Ullrich. In the final chapter, the author argues that Hitler was a direct continuation of Kaiser Wilhelm II, just more ruthless. The Kaiser was an anti-Jewish ideologue too.

  8. Barney
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    The story behind Coprolite Street: . Where there’s muck, there’s brass.

  9. Michael Fisher
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    To go with the whooping crane snow angel here’s a spot of Japanese crane dancing [the logo in the middle of the screen goes after a while]:

    • Merilee
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink


    • Robert
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Thanks for this.

    • Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      We were given a drawing of something like this when I was in teacher’s college. Basically there were two different sets of tracks, one of which was bird-like, that intersected. There was then a patch where ‘something’ had happened, with just the non-birdlike set of tracks leading away from it. We then had to come up with some hypotheses of what had happened. These included:
      – one attacked and ate the other
      – one flew away
      – one jumped upon the other and was carried away

      So in this case it could be showing:
      – a bird walking then taking off
      – a bird flew down to catch something
      – something tried to catch a bird and it flew away

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        @Michael. One of your hypotheses is right. The snow angel pic was taken at the PWRC whooping crane breeding program [where the breeders dress up amusingly as cranes to not confuse the birdies]. It’s from 2016 when there was a blizzard & the researchers were desperately rushing about feeding all the animals. The cranes stood motionless on one leg in the falling snow & took off when it all calmed down. Here’s a pic from their site:

  10. Mike
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Miriam Margolyes is wonderful both as an actress and someone who speaks her mind, sometimes in far fruitier language than in the Video. If you can, you should catch some of her Travelogues, especially the one across America.

    • Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      “You know. Duck sounds a little bit like f-”

    • Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      She seems to appear in many series, including the wonderful series, The Durrells in Corfu. Loved her in The Age of Innocence.

      • Merilee
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Also in the wonderful series, “Rake”. Who does she play in “Durrell’s”?

        • Posted February 1, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

          She appeared in The Durrells Series 3 as the family matriarch, Aunt Hermione. I can’t remember if she appeared in any of the earlier episodes. Spoiler alert follows:
          “Based on autobiographical novels by Gerald Durrell, the naturalist, explorer, writer and conservationist, The Durrells tells the story of his family settling on Corfu island in 1933 after moving from Bournemouth following his father’s untimely death. They lived there until 1939, and his rather eccentric mother Louisa allowed the 8 to 14 year-old Gerald to keep wildlife as pets. He also made friends among the local humans. Corfu did not even have electricity when the family arrived but it was cheap (Louisa has financial problems) and an earthly paradise for the young Durrells. Starring the acclaimed Keeley Hawes and written by Simon Nye, this delightful television series became an instant hit when first shown in 2016. The opening episode was watched by around 8 million people and was the best rating new drama of the year. A second series followed in 2017 and for the latest Series Three, first shown in 2018, the beautiful island of Corfu continues to work its magic on the Durrell family. Even a visit from Aunt Hermione isn’t the usual dreaded experience as the formerly formidable matriarch has embraced the laid-back Greek attitude and found romance. Leslie’s also enjoying a much-improved love life with three very different girls. But there’s no safety in numbers when his mother and siblings decide to interfere. Margo has (temporarily) given up on love and found a new vocation, while Gerry’s obsession with animals continues to grow. As for Louisa, a trip to the UK with Larry to sort out family affairs reminds her of the restrictions of her old life. After a brush with bohemian London artists (including author Henry Miller), she realises her heart lies in her island paradise. Keeley Hawes is excellent as matriarch Louisa and the engaging cast also includes Milo Parker (Gerry), Josh O’Connor (Larry), Daisy Waterstone (Margo), Callum Woodhouse (Leslie), with Alexis Georgoulis as close friend and taxi driver Spiros Halikiopoulous (now single, suggesting that love may be in the warm Greek air) and James Cosmo as drunken Captain Creech. Lee Durrell, Gerald Durrell’s widow and director of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, acted as consultant and the series is partly filmed on Corfu. Extras include a Series Two recap, favourite locations, and recreating the house at Ealing Studios.”

          • Merilee
            Posted February 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

            Thanks, Paprika. Love this series! We have either series 3 or 4 on the dvr, ready to be immersed in. I will have to look for that actress. I really love the maid and wish the subtitles included all the curses and imprecations she mutters (which a Greek fri3nd says are quite spicy).

            • Posted February 1, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

              Me too! We’ve had lots of belly laughs watching this program! I love all the characters. I’d love to get the inside word from your friend about the salty asides. 🙂

              • Merilee
                Posted February 1, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

                And little Gerald is so adorable with all his critters. Love the animated titles, too.

  11. Adrian
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    The moths are Comet Moths aka Madagascan (Where else?) Moon Moths.

    As a Moth-er, one day, one day …

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      There are ways to purchase eggs or cocoons and raise them.

  12. Merilee
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I don’t get the faces-on-backs paintings?? The feet are all facing the wrong way?? Or is my brain just frozen…

    • Barney
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      The people are bending forwards with their head between their knees, so their shoulders are the lower part of the ‘faces’. And their feet face towards us.

      • Merilee
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        So the wigs are on their bums? Pretty bizarre. Thanks, Barney🤓

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      The model stands facing the camera
      Knees bent slightly

      Bends forwards at the waist until head is between the knees – camera sees back of head

      Arms hang down & bent at the elbow so hands can hold a book perhaps between lens & back of head to hide head [or arrange apparel to hide head]

      Draw upside down face on exposed back around shoulder blades area

      Put hat or hair where small of back is

      Ignore seat, sofa or whatever behind model – model not really sitting, but standing

      • Merilee
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        I suppose the obvious next question is WHY??? Like Hilary, because it was there😝

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      The artist is “AnaHell” from Spain. Her groovy, disturbing website:

      A bizarre video she made for a band calling themselves Perverts In White Shirts:

      • Merilee
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        Not my cuppa.

      • Wayne Y Hoskisson
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        That got everybody in the family dancing.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      I had that same odd ‘how did they get their arms down there?’ moment.

      • Merilee
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        GLad I’m not the only one, Mark.

  13. Diana MacPherson
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    My fingers never stay warm in gloves. When it’s really cold, I wear nicely insulated with some sort of warm fluffy stuff, wool mittens. I have thin gloves for driving. I also find a good warmer than a hat and I wear a long coat that goes down past my knees as my legs get cold.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Good = hood

    • Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      I wear a small hat and a hood. Euopean driving hat. They fit under the hood.

  14. Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    -34°F (-37°C) here at my house this morning (Minneapolis-St. Paul area). -62°F windchill.

    OK, this is cold.

    The bizarre thing? They are predicting 35°F (2°C) for Saturday and 44°F (6°C) and rain for Sunday! And then back down to around 15°F for Monday. What a roller-coaster!

    This is the very first really cold weather we’ve had this winter. It’s been a brown winter up to now, with highs barely below or even above freezing almost the whole winter.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      I never care as long as I don’t get a migraine.

    • Christopher
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Where I’m at in Missouri it’s 0 right now with a wind chill of -14, and Sunday we’re expecting a high of 62. Just crazy.

    • Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Ouch. Twenty degrees , damp and windy last night. That seems bad enough to me. Don’t understand how you survive weather that cold.

      • Merilee
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        0 degrees F in Toronto area, plus (minus) windchill. About to head to the gym…

      • Christopher
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        Lucky for me I work at a school, which was closed for the weather, so I survive by staying in my pj’s and in bed. What I can’t imagine is how the red squirrels, birds, and cattle I see from my bedroom window survive. I mean, yeah, fur and feather insulation, lots of food to fuel them, but still…! We hoomans are soo soft! (but so’s the cat, who took about five steps onto the porch, turned around and came back in.)

  15. Posted January 30, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Fun fact about Miriam Margolyes (who I used to see on the train quite often–she lived the next station up from me in London).
    She’s the Cadbury Caramel bunny (the voice–not the rest of the bunny)

  16. dan bertini
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Dear Paul and Ringo it is high time you rerelease LET IT BE. Despite its flaws, it is a great film.

  17. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Very interesting that polyploid plants increase with northern or southern latitude. I did not know that.

  18. James
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Tangential to the polyploid discussion: Plants are really an under-rated kingdom. Most of our geologic times were built on animals or microscopic organisms, so you don’t really get a feel for what plant life was doing in the past by looking at the geologic time scales. Which is odd, because you’d think plants would be in the driver’s seat; however, we are animals, and tend to favor our own clade.

    Darwin devoted a fairly large portion of his most famous work to discussing plants, and many of our greatest advancements in understanding evolution (including the existence of alleles and mutations) arose from studying plants.

    • Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      And from a practical side, understanding them is vital to our survival: food. I wish I had known my maternal grandfather (died when I was about 2) who was a plant pathologist.

  19. Roger
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    I love it when politicians act all “pretend busy” for the camera. (Not!)

  20. rustybrown
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Where do you get the idea that Brits think Brexit is a mistake? The polls I’ve seen are still pretty much even with perhaps a very slight shift toward remain.

    Do you see any problems with ignoring public referendums and repeating them until the establishment gets their desired results? That seems like a very undemocratic process. After all, the establishment has a variety of ways of changing public opinion, including privations, until the public is ready to vote ‘the right way’.

    • Posted January 31, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      The Brexit referendum did have the same flaw as the Quebec separation referendums – dishonesty on the part of one (official) side as to what the outcomes would be and how the matter would be undertaken. These, IMO, disqualify the ability to take the “change the status quo” side (both of which were the guilty parties involved) as winning legitimately (in the Quebec case, fortunately they lost anyway).

  21. Jenny Haniver
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Here’s Lightnin’ Hopkins performing a self-referential song apropos for commemorating the day of his death: “Death Bells”

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Thank you! Remarkable semi-acoustic guitar too – Lightnin’ could sound like a 3-piece band.

      Son House “Death Letter Blues” is my favourite ‘misery’ blues 🙂

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted January 30, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        When you say “semi-acoustic,” at the time this version was recorded, Lightnin’ played a hollow-body Gibson, with one of those little rectangular amplifiers that you fasten over the sound hole, which I learn are called sound hole amplifiers – D’oh.

        Here’s a 1948 version of “Death Bells” I don’t know what kind of guitar he played back then (probably a Gibson — he was not a Martin fancier) but he wasn’t using an amplifier.

        By the way, I think you nailed the Le Corbusier influence on Roger Stone. I find that when he’s interviewed in his digs, the interviewer usually mentions that he has some Le Corbusier furniture, and the Le Corbusier style of his glasses is noted, as well. Stone doesn’t choose anything randomly (including his sartorial style and the decor of his living and working spaces). I think that in addition to the glasses, he dresses like Le Corbusier, but for the bow ties and the pipe, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that he has some sort of affinity for the architect. Given Le Corbusier’s politics, it fits.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted January 30, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, he’s a weak bitch with an authoritarian bent about him.

          His suits are like mood pieces
          ** The restrained, small pattern, tightly cut grey 3-piece ones with intellectual Corb spectacles [I’ve seen him reading comfortably without]
          ** The mobster double breasted ones with wide lapels, loud stripe, flappy trousers with braces [suspenders] for intimidating emotional support dogs

          He has a Stone On Style website which gives him the opportunity, it seems to me, to fire shots at people he despises while praising the sartorials of the young men he obviously desperately fancies.

          Lightnin’: I like the more recent “Death Bells” – has him in deeper, rougher voice I think

  22. Posted January 30, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    It’s interesting how things suddenly go viral. The latte art images were first posted back in 2013 and the guy has his own gallery of impressive images.

  23. Posted January 30, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Those look like Madagascan moon moths – Argema mittrei.

  24. Posted January 30, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I do a lot of snow clearing in inclement Ontario weather. My tricks to keep frostbite at bay are layers, using windproof clothing over fleecy or knitted stuff; and the layers of clothing shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. That includes wearing heavy duty fibre-filled gloves over thin knitted gloves, and I keep an extra pair of knitted gloves in my pocket in case things get wet. I also wear a comfy light fall jacket underneath a quilted outer jacket. A must have is an aviator hat that is furry around the forehead and has ear flaps. I bought boots one size too large for me, so I can also wear extra thick fleecy thermal socks. I always wear a scarf I can wrap around my neck and secure over my chin.

    I heard that parts of Chicago had -56C windchill, and a survival suit would be ideal there!

  25. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted January 30, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    “On January 30, 1703, the Forty-seven rōnin, led by Ōishi Kuranosuke, avenged the death of their leader Asano Naganori by killing the court official who had forced Naganori to commit seppuku. The 47 then themselves committed seppuku.”

    Reading the details on the Wikipedia page it gets even weirder. But too complicated to summarise here.

    I just find it hard to even comprehend the mindset of those people.


  26. Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Hili’s photo reminds me of the prehistoric footsteps preserved in Polish quarries.

  27. Posted January 30, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    “…my legs, bare underneath jeans (no lectures, please!), were a bit chilly…”

    I hope it does not count as a lecture, but whenever someone around me relies on jeans to keep him warm, I point out that cotton (unlike wool) has never evolved to keep warm!

  28. Posted February 1, 2019 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    I feel sad for all those animals as well. I’m trying to decide just how insane it would be to buy a hot air blaster for my back yard to help the critters. If the polar vortex becomes a recurring event, I will almost certainly get one. I suppose heated cat houses would be a possibility as well.

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