Monday: Hili dialogue

It’s Monday again—February 4, 2019, and the worst of winter’s cold seems to be behind us. (Today’s high temperature in Chicago is predicted to be 49°F, or 9°C, and almost all the snow has melted.)

It’s National Homemade Soup Day (no chance of that in my crib), and also Rosa Parks Day, celebrating the civil rights heroine born on February 4, 1913. She died in 2005, but the bus on which she refused to give up her seat is preserved in a museum. Here it is, with the caption from Wikipedia:

The No. 2857 bus on which Parks was riding before her arrest (a GM “old-look” transit bus, serial number 1132), is now a museum exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum.

The news:

In Superbowl 53—or rather LIII in their pretentious jargon—the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3, winning their sixth Superbowl in 18 years. I watched a quarter before I got bored.

In other sports, a black cat invaded the pitch during a soccer match between Everton and the Wolves. That cat runs faster than Messi! Film below; I hope the cat was all right! The last part of the video gives a radio announcer recounting the cat’s antics.

On this day in 1703, in the city of Edo (now named Tokyo), 46 of the Forty-seven Ronin committed seppuku to retain their honor after avenging the death of their master. On Februay 4, 1789, George Washington was elected by the U.S. Electoral College as the first President of the United States. The vote was unanimous, and there was no popular vote.

On this day in 1859, the Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in Egypt. Only one of four early texts originally containing the entire Greek Bible, it dates from the 4th century AD. Obtained by a German via duplicity, the manuscript also contained several books of the Bible that aren’t now in the “definitive” edition.

On February 4, 1948, Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka) gained its independence, though it remained within the British Commonwealth (ergo Queen Elizabeth is the Queen of Sri Lanka, as she’s the Queen of New Zealand). On this day in 1974, the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped Patty Hearst in Berkeley, California. Here’s a picture I took of the house where she lived in  Berkeley before being kidnapped: 2603 Benvenue Avenue, #4 (she lived there with her boyfriend):

Finally, 15 years ago today, Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook. Was that a good thing? Who knows?

Notables born on this day include Emperor Norton (1818), Fernand Léger (1881), Charles Lindbergh (1902), Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906), Rosa Parks (1913; see above), and Dan Quayle (1947; where is he now?) Here is Léger’s painting “Woman with a cat” from 1921:

Those who fell asleep on this day include Hendrik Lorentz (1928; Nobel Laureate), Neal Cassady (1968), Karen Carpenter (1983), Liberace (1987), and Betty Friedan (2006).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is using aphorisms to get food.

Hili: We have to accept reality.
A: And that means?
Hili: It’s time to eat something.
In Polish:
Hili: Musimy zaakceptować rzeczywistość.
Ja: To znaczy?
Hili: Pora coś zjeść

At last! Scientists have found the answer to a longstanding question about flight formation in waterfowl:

A tweet from reader Nilou. Damn if these goats aren’t deformed monsters. Why did they create this breed? (Read more about the Damascus goat here and here)

A tweet from Heather Hastie:

Tweets from Matthew. Here’s a New Yorker cartoon that tells the TRUTH!

An incompetent kitty:

Doesn’t this remind you of the incompetent restoration of a certain fresco?

As far as I can see, the “snow roller” in the photo below is a real phenomenon and not a hoax, even though the damn thing has gearlike ridges. The BBC article has more pictures of snow rollers, as does Wikipedia.

Tweets from Grania. Is this affection?

I’m a cat-lover, but some canids are also appealing. This is one of them:

True Facts about flatworms. Be sure to watch the video!

An alt-righter extolling the superiority of Islam over Christianity? This is a “dog bites man” story!




  1. Posted February 4, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    also birthday of John Bachman the wildlife artist & mate of Audubon –

    He experimented with ‘buzzards’ to see if they did rely on vision… Darwin was influenced by this work

    • JezGrove
      Posted February 4, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      He combined science and religion, I see. (But he’d have done even more science if hadn’t been so busy bothering :*, of course…)

      • JezGrove
        Posted February 4, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        Doh! “bothering g*d” (Damn auto correct!)

  2. The Sprawl
    Posted February 4, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I’ve been half-waiting for someone like Cernovich to do what he’s done. It’s the logical extension of alt-right beliefs after all:

    – you have a movement that is virulently reactionary, but without the commitment to conservative Christianity that defines the regular American right.

    – they share pretty much all the same actual beliefs on how society should be run as conservative Muslims.

    Why wouldn’t members of the alt-right start to drift towards the one religion that speaks of the kind of world that these pathetic virgins really want?
    A world where men can cloak their women, can have multiple wives, can have their female relatives killed for ‘dishonoring’ them? A world where marital rape doesn’t exist? This is like Jordan Peterson’s forced monogamy thesis warped into something real and tangible.

    Add on all the wonderful rules about hanging queers and apostates, the rigidity of it all, the sheer endless, mind-numbing pettiness…I’m surprised the alt-right haven’t started defecting to Islam sooner.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted February 4, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      No idea why my username changed to The Sprawl.

      • Merilee
        Posted February 4, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        Are you perhaps in the process of starting a rock band or a wrestling career, Saul?

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted February 4, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

          Is that a wrestler’s name? Seriously?

          No, actually the name is an alias I sometimes use, a reference to a Sonic Youth song that I’ve always loved. I just don’t know why it popped up, autofilled in the name section.

    • Posted February 4, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      I have read of a PEGIDA politician who actually converted to Islam.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted February 4, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    George Washington’s administration included John Adams VP, Alexander Hamilton, Sec. of Treasure, Thomas Jefferson, Sec. of State, Henry Knox, Sec. of War & Edmond Randolph, Attorney General. Looking at what we have today does this not prove evolution in reverse.

  4. darrelle
    Posted February 4, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I had no idea today was homemade soup day, but as luck would have it I brought some homemade soup with me to work today. Left-overs from dinner the other night.

    2 Roasted chickens, meat picked off and “pulled.” Place all chicken remains into a large pot along with some carrots, celery, onion, garlic, fresh cilantro and thyme. Cover with water, good store bought broth or a combination thereof. Simmer, uncovered, for most of a day, occasionally topping off with water. Strain into a storage container and then refrigerate.

    The next day the soup itself is put together. Take the stock out of the frig. The fat has solidified into a disk on top, easy to remove. The stock is the consistency of loose gelatin. This lets you know that you did a good job. You’ve extracted the gelatin from the bones which gives a wonderful texture, or “mouthfeel” as those fancy top chefs like to say. Saute some carrots, onions, sweet corn fresh cut off the cob. Slowly reheat the stock. When it comes to a simmer add the vegetables and some egg noodles. Simmer for several minutes. Add in the pulled meat and fresh chopped cilantro. Test and reseason as necessary. You can eat it now, but even better put it back in the fridge over-night and eat the next day. Heat the soup, slice some fresh avocado and lime. Ladle into bowels, add some sliced avocado and squeeze some lime juice over top. Don’t let it get cold! Eat it!

    • Merilee
      Posted February 4, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Sounds deelish, Darrell, except for the ladling into “bowels”😂

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted February 4, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        Ha! But it does get there eventually.

        • Merilee
          Posted February 4, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink


      • darrelle
        Posted February 4, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        Ackkkk! That’s a heck of a typo!

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 4, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Sans the cilantro/coriander which I can’t abide that avocado & lime addition at the end is interesting – never used that as an ingredient in hot meals. I will try that.


      • darrelle
        Posted February 4, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        On the cilantro, a very polarizing ingredient for sure. This particular “style,” the cilantro, avocado and lime, are in honor of the chicken soup our family fell in love with from a couple of Mexican restaurants we like.

        But by all means, substitute anything that sounds good to you. The basics are just the chicken and the broth. The rest is wide open. Though I do highly recommend a fresh herb of some sort.

        • darrelle
          Posted February 4, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          Shit! I’ve outed myself as a cultural appropriator!

          Just think how sad eating would be without cultural appropriation.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted February 4, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          I found a jalapeño, ginger, avocado & lime version RECIPE HERE

          I would replace the cilantro with a very small amount of dill, parsley & chopped French onion – all to be sprinkled on the soup at the very end.

          • darrelle
            Posted February 4, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

            Those both sound good. Thanks for the link.

      • Merilee
        Posted February 4, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        Michael, you must have that weird anti-cilantro gene, which I think our host has as well. I love the stuff.

        Darrell, appropriate away! I made a superb black bean dish recently with a German ham hock, Polish smoked some kind of pork, and three different leftover sauces I had in baggies in the freezer (one was Filipino pork with orange, another from some kind of Indian oxtail stew, and can’t remember the third- possibly something with chipotles) No way I’ll ever be able to reproduce this dish. Did sauté onions and garlic to begin.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted February 4, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

          Indeed I must – cilantro/coriander is exactly like soap for me. That black bean concoction sounds great.

          I have a chilli con carne bubbling in my slow cooker these last four hours – I always use beef/pork mixed 12 to 1 ratio [mince beef & smoky bacon this time] – the addition of some pork raises a chicken, beef, lamb stew somehow.

          TOP TIP: I have found that ‘sealing’/browning the meat in a frying pan is a bad idea as it toughens it & of course ‘sealing’ is a myth – just add to the stew raw. If you MUST brown then flash fry a whole steak very quickly & mince/dice afterwards


          brown the onions for 20 minutes until transparent & add Worcestershire [or soy] sauce to the stew onions fried for ages plus loads of the sauce are enough of a ma[i]llard/umami thing 🙂

        • darrelle
          Posted February 5, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

          Hahaha! Sometimes those what’s-left-in-the fridge-and-pantry meals end up being surprisingly good. That’s sort of a tradition by now at our house. I call it slop. When I make a good one my wife tells me I need to write it down, but I never get around to it. They are all one time only unique recipes.

  5. mikeb
    Posted February 4, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Damascus goat proves there is no god.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted February 4, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      The goblin shark proved it for me.

  6. Dave
    Posted February 4, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    “On February 4, 1948, Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka) gained its independence, though it remained within the British Commonwealth (ergo Queen Elizabeth is the Queen of Sri Lanka, as she’s the Queen of New Zealand)”

    Sri Lanka is a republic with an elected president (currently Maithripala Sirisena) as head of state. Only a minority of Commonwealth countries, such as New Zealand, retain the queen as head of state, and of course they’re free to become republics any time they choose.

    On a more serious matter, I’m an Everton fan, and that feline pitch invasion was the only bright spot in an otherwise horrible afternoon!

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 4, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      What happened to the kitty do you know?

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted February 4, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        Apparently Mourinho saw it elegantly dancing around the pitch and bringing joy to supporters’ hearts…so he bought it from its owner and had it put down.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted February 4, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      I can’t resist adopting the old Arsenal joke:

      “Tell me, do you like watching football?”

      “No, not really, I’m an Everton fan”.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted February 4, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink


        Dave – one saving grace of that Everton vs Wolves debacle – not as long winded & militaristic as the superb owl.

  7. Ken Pidcock
    Posted February 4, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I can’t wait to get a chance to use that geese joke.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 4, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    … Rosa Parks Day, celebrating the civil rights heroine born on February 4, 1913.

    Seems a fitting occasion to have the Neville Brothers recount the story of Sister Rosa and the Montgomery bus boycott:

  9. Ross
    Posted February 4, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    THE Wolves!? Sacrilege! We use just ‘Wolves’ aka “Wolverhampton Wanderers”

    Just another US-ian vs English, English usage I suppose but it didn’t half stand out to me,

    Ross (just another long-suffering Wolves fan)

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted February 4, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Back in secondary school we used to mercilessly take the piss out of a classmate, and it all came from a similar mistake – he must’ve once said something like ‘the Wolves’ instead of just ‘Wolves’. Probably just in passing, when he was first getting into football, and it was probably the only time he ever made any kind of mistake that gave away his lack of footballing knowledge.

      Predictably, we took that one, tiny, long-forgotten mistake and span it out into four years of mockery – questions like ‘do you think Liverpool Albion look good this season?’, or ‘did you see? Manchester Rovers scored four kickgoals yesterday’, that kind of thing.

      What utter bastards we were.

      • Ross
        Posted February 4, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink


        Fair play – English schools really make you suffer for small mistakes!

        Still much less painful than being a Wolves fan in a school where the ( slightly more local) Villa fans(damn their European Cup success) and glory hunter Liverpool fans dominated.

        If it wasn’t for Rugby, I’d have had no comebacks

        If you can’t beat them, beat them up (within the rules, of course)


  10. Posted February 4, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I think the kitten is using the mother (?)’s ear as a substitute tit.
    As for the canid, I was ready to bet that it was a domestic d*g.

  11. JohnnieCanuck
    Posted February 4, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I’ve seen snow rollers with my own eyes. To form, they need something like a cornice which when melting will drop lumps of snow onto the slope below. The angle of the slope is important as is the temperature. The ones I recall were much narrower than the one in the picture, so much so that when they ran out of slope and stopped, they fell over on their sides. I don’t remember noticing the tread-like effect.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 4, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure about the cornice. I think a steep icy smooth slope is necessary

      Then say 2″ of snowfall blankets the ice slope – it must be a fluffy light blanket

      Then the ‘snow blanket’ at the top edge is caught by a steady wind blowing down slope

      The top edge rolls over & begins a Swiss roll powered by the wind

      If the Swiss roll moves intermittently as the wind rises & falls it will pick up extra blown snow while in the stationary phase & form a ‘tooth’ on the gear wheel

  12. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted February 4, 2019 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    even though the damn thing has gearlike ridges

    It is common that when you roll snow in certain conditions, such as snow layers on sunshine ice I think, ridges will appear. The roll will at somewhat even intervals penetrate the thin ice into the next layer in a bumpy rolling mode.

    The rather even roll depth of the image support that the conditions were suitable for this.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted February 4, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      … and I am ninjae’d for the usual reason, forgot to update.

      Seems we remember differently, but agree on temperature conditions being important.

  13. Susan Davies
    Posted February 4, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    If a country is part of the British Commonwealth (BC) it doesn’t necessarily mean that the Queen is its head of state. India, South Africa, Singapore, Cyprus and Malta are all Republics that are part of the BC. The Queen is not their head of state. She is, apart from being Queen, head of the BC but only because she was elected by the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM), the position is not hereditary and has no political or executive power.

  14. Posted February 4, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Goat looks like it was Ripley’s pet used for DNA experiments in Alien: Resurrection

  15. BJ
    Posted February 4, 2019 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Screw the video of the cat, that commentator was brilliant! Absolutely unflappable. A perfect call.

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