Tuesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Professor Ceiling Cat is home in bed with a bad cold today, so posting will almost certainly be limited to just this Hili Dialogue (I had to drag myself out of bed to do this). As always, I do my best.

It’s Tuesday, the cruelest day, and March 12, 2019. It’s National Milky Way Day (my favorite American candy bar); how much did they pay to get their own day? And at sunrise begins the Aztec New Year, celebrated in parts of Mexico.

Finally, Google has a Doodle celebrating the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web. As CNN notes, it was invented at CERN in Geneva by Tim Berners-Lee:

The computer scientist submitted his first proposal for an “information management system” on 12 March 1989 — plans that his boss called “vague but exciting.”
Say what you will about it, it’s still been a fantastic advance in disseminating information about and pictures of cats. The Doodle:

On this day in 1894, the first bottles of Coca Cola were sold by a confectionary magnate, Joseph A. Biedenham, in Vicksburg, Mississippi. On March 12, 1912, the Girl Guides, later known as the Girl Scouts of the USA, were founded. Exactly one year later, the future capital of Australia was christened Canberra, though the nation’s capital remained in Melbourne until they finished building Canberra in 1927.

Meanwhile in New Zealand, Elizabeth II remains Queen of the country.

On this day in 1930, Mahatma Gandhi began his 200-mile Salt March to the sea to protest the British monopoly of and tax on salt manufacture. Gandhi and a huge retinue who had joined the march reached a seaside village on April 5, and, as Wikipedia reports,

The following morning, after a prayer, Gandhi raised a lump of salty mud and declared, “With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire.” He then boiled it in seawater, producing illegal salt. He implored his thousands of followers to likewise begin making salt along the seashore, “wherever it is convenient” and to instruct villagers in making illegal, but necessary, salt.

Here’s a 4-minute documentary on the March:

On March 12, 1933, during the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt held his first radio “fireside chat” to Americans.  Five years later, the Anschluß took place as German troops poured into and occupied Austria, effecting a union of the two countries.

On this date in 1961, the first winter ascent of the Eiger’s North Face was completed after six days; the climbers were Toni KinshoferAnderl MannhardtWalter Almberger, and Toni Hiebeler. Here’s a video of what it’s like to climb the deadly North Face, and not in winter.

On this day in 1994, the Church of England ordained its first woman priests, and on March 12, 2009 the cheating financier Bernie Madoff pleaded guilty to securities fraud, mail fraud, and other crimes that had resulted in bilking investors of $18 billion. Now 80, he remains in jail in North Carolina, ineligible for release until 2139 when he will be dead.

Notables born on this day include George Berkeley (1685), Charles Boycott (1832), W. H. R. Rivers (1864), Vaslav Nijinsky (1890), Julia Lennon (1914), Jack Kerouac (1922), Wally Schirra (1923), Edward Albee (1928), Liza Minelli (1946), Mitt Romney (1947), James Taylor (1948), and Jake Tapper (1969).

Those who took The Big Nap on March 12 include Cesare Borgia (1507), George Westinghouse (1914), Sun Yat-sen (1925), Charlie Parker (1955), and Yehudi Menuhin (1999).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is getting ready for spring chores:

Hili: We have to get ready to work the fields.
A: It’s high time.
In Polish:
Hili: Musimy się przygotwać do prac polowych.
Ja: Najwyższy czas.

And in nearby Wloclawek, Leon admires himself:

Leon: My left side is definitely better.

Leon: Lewy profil mam zdecydowanie lepszy.

Here’s the world turned sideways. The Americas turn into a DUCK! Coincidence? I don’t think so. (h/t: Amy)

And another groaner from Facebook; if you don’t understand it I don’t have the spoons to explain:

Besides the Green New Deal, we need the Fur New Deal:

Reader Amber (and others) have told me that there’s a good new show called “After Life”, featuring the inimitable Diane Morgan (whose performance gets good reviews). But it’s on Netflix, and I am a cheapskate who watches films only in movie theaters and doesn’t pay for television. That said, if you’ve seen it, weigh in below:

From reader Nilou, who is horrified that the Central Park Mandarin duck (nicknamed “Mandarin Patinkin” by NYers) is losing his looks. But he’ll come back even prettier after his molt!

From Heather Hastie, who had a spiritual moment watching this:

Tweets from Matthew There’s no doubt that something is seriously wrong with this guy. Who eats Kit Kats like this? In the Twitter comments many others share their feeling of “The horror! The horror!”

I notice that this tweet has now been removed, probably for fear of insulting the electrician, but the picture featured a half-eaten Kit Kat that resembled this one:

In the comments to that one, by the way, the readers urged Ms. Byrd to dump her boyfriend. Well, in all of these the idea may have been stolen, as Matthew found another:

Way too many movies and not enough copulation!:

I vote “twice a month”, but I’m not all that sure!

Matthew loves these illusions:

Tweets from Grania. This gorgeous kitten is making “the silent meow,” the most heartrending gesture a cat can make. There is in fact a book with that title.

Well, there goes “a fact the whole world knows” down the drain:

Like a glass-bottomed boat, but it’s a canoe!

Who would have thought that a baby axolotl could be so endearing?


  1. Posted March 12, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Poor PCC[E]!

    Virtual hugs!

    Here’s a mimicry article for you…
    Widespread Occurrence of Black-Orange-Black Color Pattern in Hymenoptera

  2. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Re that RAF questionnnaire, if to ‘Fucking’ (7 replies) you add ‘Amusement (Unspecified)’ (4) and ‘Girl friend’ (3) you end up with 14 – clearly the biggest category.

    Not that ‘church’ only scores 2, which is an excellent result.


    • Frank Bath
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      And there was a war raging too.

  3. dani
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    I got my science feed this morning with this article:


    And here is the article itself:


    What do you think about this?

  4. Posted March 12, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Not to take anything away from that Polish pair, climbing the Eiger Nordwand: But they had a known route in front of them and the benefit of quite a bit of fixed protection (previous bolts and pitons) and fixed ropes, for example on the Hinterstosser Traverse.

    Imagine being the first ones to cross that ground! The Traverse of the Gods was incredible. Imagine being the first guy who gets up there and say to himself — yeah, I’m going to cross that! Yikes!

    • Posted March 12, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      And I used to do a lot of mountaineering (but nothing like that).

      • rickflick
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        But why risk your life (a non-climber(ever)) wants to know…now that drones have arrived, you can get the same view at no risk to life and limb? 😟

        • Posted March 12, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          Well, that’s hard to answer. I no longer climb. I was climbing at age 35, leading a 5th class pitch (“sharp end of the rope”) at the very summit of a peak. It was a perfect, sunny, weekday; we had the place to ourselves. I was strong, confident, felt great. The actual thought that went through my head at that moment, spread-eagled on a cliff high in the sky, were, “I’ve done this before.”

          I was stunned; and I knew, at that moment, that I was done with technical climbing. (I mean, if that’s as excited I got about it, I knew I could no longer justify the risks. I’ve had a few close calls. I’ve seen several people take whippers and nearly die and incur severe injuries.)

          To ask about getting the view from a drone misses the point. Why bother with a drone? Just watch TV!

          If you’ve never done risky sports it may be impossible to get the idea across. As I noted, I was done with really risky stuff by my mid-30s. I think it’s a young man’s thing, mainly (risky sports are overwhelmingly pursued by men). I think evolution has shaped young men to crave risk taking (individual mileage will vary).

          I did WW kayaking, open water sea kayaking, hike-in/climb-in mountain skiing (3-pins), and, mainly, mountaineering (including technical rock and ice climbing).

          My wife totally doesn’t get it. And she never really did, which is why we were 41 and 43 before we got married! As she says: I needed to get it out of my system. And I think she is right.

          So, if you are not (and never were) into risky sports you probably won’t understand.

          But here goes.

          It mastering the physical and psychological challenge that makes it worth it. To me anyway. (Seriously, I can’t imagine having lived my life always taking the safe route. I suppose that’s easy to say now after having done it my youth and stopped; but I can’t.)

          When you’ve overcome fatigue, fear, technical difficulties (including technically planning ahead), cold, wind, navigational difficulties, hungry, objective hazards (rock fall, etc.), and you stand on that summit, even if there is no view, the feeling of accomplishment and its rock-solid tangibility (no one can tell you you didn’t do it), is very deep and (to use a cliche) empowering. You prove something very deep to yourself.

          And it’s not a once-in-life coming of age. You can do it every weekend! (These are single-men’s games, IMO.)

          And there are, of course, the wonderful views (which would *not* feel the same in your gut when watching a drone monitor — that I can assure you). And the opportunities for photos. And the communing with raw nature, escaping the maddening crowds. And the fitness you rapidly develop (when young).

          • Posted March 12, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

            And (please ignore my typos in the above post), I should not neglect to mention the brotherhood of the rope. It’s the climbers’ esprit de corps.

            As one old climbing partner told me, climbing was the only thing that came close to his combat experiences and the esprit de corps with his platoon mates in Vietnam.

            This was a man I would, and frequently did, trust my life to.

            • rickflick
              Posted March 12, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

              That’s an amazing response to my somewhat facetious question. I think every person has their personal threshold of risk. For some of us, climbing a ladder, for others, a mountain. I am probably middle of the road. I’ve learned scuba, and have advanced pilot ratings, which were quite challenging. You’re right about the feeling of confronting a challenge with the right knowledge and equipment. Planing and preparation are half the fun. It makes the seemingly impossible, possible.

              • Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

                Cheers, right on!

                I think about SCUBA a fair bit in my present job (I’m not a SCUBA diver). We test our products to pressures that a person would encounter in “recreational” SCUBA (40m of sea water).

                However, I have many close friends who are or were serious SCUBA guys. And they told me about all the ways you can die (or get into really serious trouble) while diving. So I think: Yes, our product is going to work when you need it; but you’re going to die because of your health crisis because you have lost situational awareness while deep under water!

                I never took pilot training; but many friends, once again, were private pilots. One survived a hull-loss crash into wooded mountains in the Pacific Northwest. (Incredibly lucky, though he did all the right things behind the stick.)

                Apropos to the 737 Max events recently, my best friend is getting his pilot’s license (now). One of his instructors has a day job training commercial airline pilots. As my friend puts it: This instructor will no longer fly in, for instance, east Asia, because of the scant flight time that is required before the pilots get behind the wheel of revenue flights (!!!). (Seriously, a couple of hundred hours in multi-engine.)

                My guess: Insufficient training in a new and unfamiliar cockpit is the major cause of these two events.

                There are apparently some controls issues; but having a few issues at the start of a brand new type is normal. The FAA haven’t grounded the 6737 Max because the data don;t suggest that this is needed. (I used to work for the FAA, in aircraft certification. It’s very data driven, by law.)

                This reminds me of how every time there’s a tire burst event in the US, you then hear about every logpage (it seems; I’m exaggerating) that gets filed in the US for the next month*. (I try to tell people that the airplane is design to withstand tire burst. I’ve done those analyses myself on some types. — Which may not be reassuring to readers! 🙂 )

                (A 737 takes off on average every 5 seconds. That’s about 6.3 X 10^6 flights per year. Just 737s. The numbers get big fast. And, it is literally, 10,000 times (10^4) safer to fly in the US than to drive.)

                (* I used to work for a major airline (“operator”) as an engineer as well — I’m an old fart. One of my favorite log pages (someone in the ground mx. crews kept a list of absurd logpages): “Issue: Something loose in the cockpit” “Resolution: Something tightened in the cockpit.”)

              • rickflick
                Posted March 13, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

                “a couple of hundred hours in multi-engine”

                In the US/FAA, the requirements were upgraded in 2013. The new rule requires first officers — also known as co-pilots — to hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate, requiring 1,500 hours total time as a pilot. Previously, first officers were required to have only a commercial pilot certificate, which requires 250 hours of flight time.

              • Posted March 13, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

                Turns out the King of the USA (er, I mean der Drumpfenführer, er, I mean the President) has decreed that all 737 Maxs will be grounded in the US (he probably thinks he can tell the rest of the world what to do).

                Despite the fact that the FAA (you know, the actual experts who understand these “too complicated” machines) continue to state that the data don’t support a grounding.

                CNN quotes an inside source at the FAA stating that they know what happened with Lion Air. So they know. They would know if a flight worthiness AD was in order. And if it were, they would have issued it.

                People should know that most Airworthiness Directives (almost all) have a compliance time that does not mean grounding airplanes (unless the airline mismanages its maintenance schedule).

              • Posted March 13, 2019 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

                It is hard to know the details of what happens inside the FAA or the White House when they discussed this issue. However, today I have consumed two editorials on the subject this morning, one in the LA Times and another on CBS radio in my car. Both were by “industry advisers”, both backed the FAA’s choice not to ground the planes, and both sounded like pure BS.

                The LA Times editorial said that there was nothing that suggested the two incidents had the same cause. That’s ridiculous as both were immediately after normal takeoffs in good weather, followed by control issues reported by the pilots. He also claimed they were different because the Lion Air plane had previous complaints lodged against it and the Ethiopian one did not which suggests only that the pilots in the previous incidents were able to recover control and not crash.

                The CBS adviser supported the FAA’s decision by suggesting without evidence that the countries that had grounded the planes had no basis for doing so and hinted that they were incapable because they weren’t American. At the same time, he lamented that Trump had overridden the FAA without basis.

                I have yet to hear any evidence that indicates these crashes aren’t related. Has anyone else?

              • Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink


                Here’s my take. They MAY have the same cause; but that is not known yet.

                The FAA has to make decisions based on data — by law. Just allegations and public furor are insufficient.

                I heard the acting administrator interviewed on NPR an hour or two ago and he said, they had refined flight path data from the satellite data collection company that now showed some similarities between the flight paths [that’s mighty vague] and that caused them to ground the type.

                In my opinion, he sounded a bit shaky on that reason for the grounding. (Of course I don’t know and we likely never will know for sure; and the acting Admin. is doing his good soldier duty) but I think this was likely pressure from the Whitehouse. I worked at the FAA. When the pressure was on from above, you felt it, even at the grunt level.

                To be clear, there are MANY control systems on a commercial jetliner. Saying that both were related to controls in no way means they have common cause. If they isolate the issue to the SAME control system and/or the SAME SW, etc., then you’re getting somewhere.


                The flip side of “ground everything now” is: We (the FAA) have solid data on how many people will drive their cars when flights cost $X more, or when a flight is not available. Driving is 10,000 more dangerous (in the US; likely worldwide) than flying commercial flights. So, they can calculate, on average, how many people will die in car wrecks, based on the actions they take to regulate air operations. We were required by law to do this, explicitly, for every action we took that was legally binding on the operators or manufacturers.

                Approximately 30,000 people die in car wrecks in the US every year. How many have died in a commercial airplane crash in the US in the last 10 years? ZERO*. Compared to ~300,000 in cars.

                I’d say the FAA have an admirable record for safety. This record has been accomplished by data-driven decisions, not by reacting to every event that occurs.

                There have been 30,000 air crash fatalities WORLD-WIDE since 1985 (34 years). Worldwide includes a lot of sketchy airspaces and sketchy operators.

                There have been 81,000 commercial airline crash fatalities, WORLDWIDE, since 1942 (77 years).


                I have no connection to Boeing (anymore). I have worked in aviation safety in all three legs of the stool: Manufacturer, operator, and regulator.

                (I am also annoyed by the media, even NPR, going off on two accidents “within FIVE MONTHS!” with no context whatsoever. There were about 3 million 737 flights in those 5 months. There were many thousands, likely 10s of thousands of 737 Max flights in those 5 months.)

                (* The last fatality crash in the US was Feb 2009. And that was a regional jet crash. Airplanes get less safe as they get smaller. Just a fact of operations.)

              • Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink


                Of course I didn’t say there was evidence that the two crashes had a common cause, just that the evidence doesn’t show that they do not. In other words, based on what we know now, we need to worry that they have a common cause. That’s enough to justify the grounding.

                Data. Several industry commentators doubted the claim of new satellite data, saying that flight path data is immediately publicly available. We all know that is true. I suppose it is possible that the satellite tracking service has more data, or more accurate data, than they publicly release. However, even if they do have more data, it is doubtful it would really make a difference. The public flight path data should be enough to determine the gross characteristics of the flight. A bit more accuracy won’t make much difference. In short, this was just offered as cover for the change in decision.

                As you suggest, we probably won’t ever know what back-and-forth occured between Boeing, FAA, and Trump. Not unless Congress investigates, which I suspect will happen. After all, if Trump put his fat fingers on the scale, he’s playing with people’s lives.

              • Posted March 14, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

                I respectfully disagree.

                Unless you know the cause of the flight path irregularities, you simply don’t know. To claim otherwise is unhelpful.

                No one seems to want to account the for lives that are going to be lost in car crashes due to this action. People just like to ignore that. It is rather gruesome to analyze such things; but the FAA does not have a choice on that.

                Trump has executive power over the FAA and he can (I think) order whatever he wants.

                I heard a few “experts” interviewed on this issue and also Sen. Blumenthal. They were all full of BS in my opinion (and, I’ve had the inside view in the manufacturer, regulator, and operator.) Blumenthal went on about how the FAA had to use data; but they had to ground the fleet now, data be damned (he didn’t use the latter phrase but it was there).

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Sorry about that sick business. Go back to bed and remove the pain.

    The mention of the Great Depression reminds me that none of us has any direct experience with this time in history. Even if you are really old, but maybe you knew people who told you about that time. I heard about it some from my grandparents and they have been dead for many years. I have also heard some about it from my wife’s mother who turns 100 this year. She can still recall those times as if they were last week. That seems to be the way many who lived through it remember years later.

    • Posted March 12, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      My Dad was aged 5 through 20 during the Great Depression, and at 20 he went off to the USAAF to navigate B-24s over Germany (full tour of 35 missions in the fall of 1944).

      He was marked for life by those experiences (well, no shit!).

      • Posted March 12, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        Here he is in training, San Antonio TX, June 1944. Front row, second from left.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

          My wife’s mother was married to a guy who died in the war and her second husband was a gunner on B-17s. She worked for Boeing here in Wichita during the war and after. Greatest generation.

  6. Adam L
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I finished After Life yesterday and thought it was brilliant!

    It left me sat on my own indoors in tears waiting for my partner to come home so I could hug her

    Compelling, poignant and really funny!

    • Simon Hayward
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      I got through the first couple of episodes so far. Seems very well done, touching, emotional and funny.

  7. BJ
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Get well soon!

  8. CAS
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Jerry thanks for all your hard work keeping your blog going. Hope you feel better soon!

  9. DrBrydon
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Feel better, Jerry!

  10. Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I hope you are feeling better soon!

  11. E.A. Blair
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    The Silent Miaow was also written by a cat (Paul Gallico claims only the editorship).

  12. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Heads up on a scandal concerning college entrance cheating. Just saw it on TV.


    • Randall Schenck
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      This is really a big deal folks. A press conference is just now happening on CNN concerning this scandal. This is the biggest corruption and fraud event to happen at the college level. dozens and dozens of people are being charged. Millions of dollars over several years involved with this. IRS, FBI, Justice department, you name it.

    • jhs
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink


  13. Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Depicted is the auction pinochle hand with the highest possible meld: Two runs (150+150) and Double Pinochle (300) = 600 meld. NB: a game is 1000 points total won through tricks and meld.

    Somebody can figure out the odds of receiving this unique hand from a deck of 48.

  14. Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    THE NORTH FACE is a pretty good movie about, of all things, a failed attempt to climb the Eiger by a German and an Austrian team who end up working together when a storm hits — and the propaganda value seen in that by the nazis leading up to the Anchluss.

    • Posted March 13, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Is that movie a documentary or a feature film?

      • Posted March 13, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Fiction, “based on a true story”.

        • Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink


          • Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

            And worth seeing if only for the adorable Johanna Wokalek!

  15. Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    So, is bimonthly binary?

  16. Roger
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    According to twitter it’s pancake day again except it’s national pancake day instead of just pancake day.

    • Roger
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      P.S. Get well soon!

  17. Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    No, and I don’t like champagne either. But I do like getting caught in the rain.

    Those climbers had no oxygen tanks. Looks like fun. Thanks for the video.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Wouldn’t need oxygen. The Eiger is only 13,000 feet high. You can catch a train up it (the Jungfraubahn). Mostly in tunnel, there’s even a station part way up (inside) the North Face with a gallery window looking out. Climbers have on occasion taken refuge this way.

      The Eiger is famous/notorious for three reasons: The steepness and height (in a single swoop) of its North Face; the variability of its weather; and the fact that the whole face can be seen from the hotels in Grindelwald or Kleine Schiedegg.

      Often the most difficult mountains are not the highest. Check out Cerro Torre.


  18. Posted March 12, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    The mention of the Eiger reminded me of a movie, “The Eiger Sanction”, which was a pretty good Clint Eastwood movie though not much about mountain climbing.

  19. Posted March 12, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I think Tim Berners-Lee is fairly disgusted with how his creation has evolved, at least in terms of the amount of distrust and misinformation transmitted over it. Since he invented the World Wide Web, he has pushed several efforts to somehow restrain the chaos. It’s a laudable goal but very, very difficult to achieve.

    He and others have pushed various ways of tagging web content with metadata. For example, a restaurant’s website might be marked as such so it becomes #1 in the search results, assuming it’s what the searcher requested.

    Tim BL has pushed for this kind of thing but it really hasn’t worked out. I suspect it is not in Google’s interest as they make too much money on ads, much more than the restaurant is likely to pay to get Google to respect its metadata. Also, any metadata scheme will be instantly taken advantage by the unscrupulous. This could be foiled by some sort of registry system but no one wants to absorb the inevitable cost of policing such a scheme. It’s just how it is. So sad.

    Anyway, Tim BL is still hard at work fighting disinformation on the Web:


    • Posted March 12, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      I think he should be proud. No great invention can have entirely positive impact. The Chinese, as far as I know, do not suffer much at the thought of how many awful books have been printed.

  20. jhs
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    “ What does bimonthly mean?
    … 50% …. 50%
    thanks guys for your help. “

    Hahahaha. What does biweekly mean? Every two weeks?!

    My legs were slowly turning to jelly, so I stopped watching the climbing video.

  21. Posted March 12, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Bimonthly – I vote every two months.

    • Posted March 12, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      I looked it up and it means twice a month or once ever two months.
      English language is very odd.

    • Posted March 12, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      So do I, though I am not sure that foreign votes count.

    • Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      Me too.

      The English prefixes bi-, derived from Latin, and its Greek variant di- both mean “two.” The Latin prefix is far more prevalent in common words, such as bilingual, biceps, and biped; the more technical Greek di- appears in such words as diphthong and dilemma.


      Bimonthly = two monthly.

      Not the same as twice per month

      • Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        Further comment: however I won’t dispute that persistent ignorant or incorrect usage of the term can, and perhaps already has, forced acceptance of the alternative.

        • jahigginbotham
          Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

          Indeed it has and longer than i thought – just looked it up [link deleted so post will go through]
          This confusion is not new. In 1844, a correspondent wrote to the Southern Literary Messenger complaining about the ambiguity of “bimonthly” in magazine publishing: “When a newspaper is published ‘bi-weekly’, we receive two copies a week…but the ‘New York Journal of Medicine’ comes to us once in two months instead of twice a month. If ‘bi-weekly’ means twice a week… why should ‘bi-monthly’ mean once in two months, and not twice a month?”

  22. Posted March 12, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Bimonthly can mean both. However in math class, when we cover things involving interest payments, to keep things simple we define things as:

    biweekly – every 2 weeks
    semi-monthly – twice a month
    monthly – once a month
    bimonthly – every 2 months

    • Posted March 12, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink


    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted March 13, 2019 at 5:39 am | Permalink

      And bi-annual means twice a year whilst biennial means every two years.

  23. Posted March 12, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Axolotls are great. I am sad when I think that they are critically endangered in the wild. At least, there are enough specimens in captivity.

    Best wishes to our host!

  24. Mark R.
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I hope you feel better soon.

    Soup is the best for a cold…maybe you can get some delivered. 🙂
    My favorite sickness soups are:
    Hot and Sour
    Chicken noodle

    • Posted March 12, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      I use the liquid Robitussin products. Seems to help.

      • Mark R.
        Posted March 12, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        I like Advil as well.

  25. Paul Beard
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Maybe the question should have been; every two months or fortnightly?

    • jahigginbotham
      Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, i was thinking about that just this forenoon.

  26. jahigginbotham
    Posted March 12, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    I looked up the bi- words 40 years ago [every two being the original meaning]. [Dictionaries are descriptive, not prescriptive.]
    Biweekly was twice a week, first definition.
    Bimonthly was either.
    Biannual was every two years.

    The lesson was obviously not to use any of these words as half the audience would not get the intended meaning.

  27. Shirley Beaver
    Posted March 13, 2019 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    “przygotwac” or “przygotowac”? My Polish is meagre, but the first one looks wrong.

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