Monday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s FALL now in the Northern Hemisphere, as it’s September 23, 2019 and the equinox began this morning at 3:50 Eastern time. Google celebrates with a Doodle that links to the season:

But south of the Equator it’s now Spring, and here’s the Doodle they see:

It’s National Pancake Day. and also Celebrate Bisexuality Day, National Great American Pot Pie Day (when I was a kid we used to have these as “t.v. dinners”, on a tray in front of the television), and Restless Legs Awareness Day.

Stuff that happened on this day includes:

  • 1642 – First commencement exercises occur at Harvard College.
  • 1806 – Lewis and Clark return to St. Louis after exploring the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
  • 1845 – The Knickerbockers Baseball Club, the first baseball team to play under the modern rules, is founded in New York.
  • 1846 – Astronomers Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier, John Couch Adams and Johann Gottfried Galle collaborate on the discovery of Neptune.
  • 1909 – The novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra (The Phantom of the Opera), by Gaston Leroux, is published as a serialization in Le Gaulois.
  • 1932 – The unification of Saudi Arabia is completed.
  • 1980 – Bob Marley plays what would be the last concert of his life in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Marley died the next year of melanoma that had spread throughout his body. There is no video of his last concert, but you can hear snippets of the songs from that concert streamed here. Wikipedia reports this about his death:

While Marley was flying home from Germany to Jamaica, his vital functions worsened. After landing in Miami, Florida, he was taken to the hospital for immediate medical attention. Marley died on 11 May 1981 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami (now University of Miami Hospital), aged 36. The spread of melanoma to his lungs and brain caused his death. His final words to his son Ziggy were “Money can’t buy life.”

  • 1986 – Houston Astros’ Jim Deshaies sets a record, striking out the first eight batters he faces against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

However, it’s not an unshared record, for Wikipedia notes that “This feat was equaled by Jacob deGrom on September 14, 2014 and Germán Márquez on September 26, 2018.”  Finally, we have this:

  • 2002 – The first public version of the web browser Mozilla Firefox (“Phoenix 0.1”) is released.

Here’s what it looked like:

Notables born on September 23 include:

  • 1889 – Walter Lippmann, American journalist and publisher, co-founded The New Republic (d. 1974)
  • 1899 – Louise Nevelson, American sculptor (d. 1988)
  • 1920 – Mickey Rooney, American actor, singer, director, and producer (d. 2014)
  • 1930 – Ray Charles, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actor (d. 2004)
  • 1949 – Bruce Springsteen, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • 1970 – Ani DiFranco, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • 1971 – Sean Spicer, 30th White House Press Secretary

Those who croaked on this day include:

  • 1889 – Wilkie Collins, English novelist, short story writer, and playwright (b. 1824)
  • 1939 – Sigmund Freud, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist (b. 1856)
  • 1987 – Bob Fosse, American actor, dancer, choreographer, and director (b. 1927)
  • 2014 – Irven DeVore, American anthropologist and biologist (b. 1934)

Here’s Freud’s famous couch, far more luxurious than I imagined, as it’s seen in London’s Freud Museum:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili contemplates the origin of her species:

Hili: How did cats domesticate humans?
A: Probably by reducing their inborn aggression with quiet purring.
In Polish:
Hili: Jak kot udomowił człowieka?
Ja: Prawdopodobnie łagodząc jego wrodzoną agresję cichym mruczeniem.

And nearby in Wloclawek, Leon is basking.

Leon: On the sunny side of the force.

In Polish: Po słonecznej stronie mocy.

I forgot the name of the reader who sent this, but thank you. 1971 was an okay vintage for claret (Bordeaux), but not spectacular.

Doc Bill posted this with a “NOOOOO!” I agree:

But wait: it gets worse!

Two tweets from Nilou. I investigated this first one, but apparently Captain Morgan’s (a spiced rum) had taken down the ID logon. But see the second tweet:

And, as she says “All roads lead to Gibraltar”:

From reader Barry. I wonder whether she simply went beyond the Bible passages, or whether Bible passages themselves can get you a Twitter ban:

Two tweets from Heather Hastie. First, the Big Cat Who Couldn’t:

Heather says that this is pretty much true for her, too:

Three tweets from Matthew.  This first one, as they say, “Wins the Internet”:

This is close to an optical illusion, a genre that Matthew loves:

Opals are my favorite stones, but they’re too soft to wear:

 

 

39 Comments

  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 23, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    The staircase at Cichen Itza is engineered to show a sunlight serpent at an equinox- I think it’s either equinox:

    https://c.tadst.com/gfx/750×500/march-equinox-spring.jpg?1

    Main article source:

    https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/facts-about-september-equinox.html

    … I found a nifty way to describe the equinox: the plane that contains Earth’s equator passes through the center of the sun.

    • David Harper
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      “I found a nifty way to describe the equinox: the plane that contains Earth’s equator passes through the center of the sun.”

      This is the actual astronomical definition of the equinox, although for historical reasons, astronomers take a geocentric view and define it as the instant when the geocentric apparent declination [the celestial equivalent of terrestrial latitude] of the centre of the Sun is zero.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        “… for historical reasons …”

        OF COURSE

        … I kid I kid – that definition will take me a while to understand…

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        That first chapter of a celestial mechanics textbook is always a doozy, isn’t it? Real head-hurting territory.

  2. David Harper
    Posted September 23, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Happy Equinox Day!

    The name might lead you to think that there will be exactly 12 hours of daylight today, but that’s not true. Here in Cambridge, for example, sunrise was at 06:46 BST and sunset will be at 18:56, giving 12 hours and 10 minutes of daylight. Not until the 26th, three days after the equinox, will there be less than 12 hours of daylight.

    In Chicag, sunrise is at 06:39 CDT today and sunset is at 18:47, so PCC(E) gets eight minutes more daylight than the name “equinox” would imply.

    The explanation is quite simple. The instant of the equinox (07:40 GMT today) is when the centre of the Sun’s disk is instantaneously over the Earth’s equator. But in calculating the times of sunrise and sunset, we use the moment when the upper limb of the Sun crosses the horizon, not the centre of the disk. Also, refraction raises the Sun (and every other celestial object) by more than half a degree at sunrise or sunset. These two effects combine to make sunrise a little earlier and sunset a little later than if the Sun were a point source seen from an airless Earth, extending the day beyond the 12 hours that you would expect at the equinox.

    • Posted September 23, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Thus showing us that even geocentric astronomy is a remarkably complex affair!

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        (Mutter mutter)
        If only we didn’t have an atmosphere.

    • Steve Gerrard
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      That’s some Nice extra detail.

      The difference in additional time between Cambridge and Chicago is presumably the difference in longitude.

      I looked up the angular diameter of the sun, which is about half a degree. So the extra radius would add a quarter degree to the half degree coming from refraction, or .75 degree at each end, total of 1.5 degrees.

      At the equator 180 degrees in 12 hours is 4 minutes per degree, so it would be 6 extra minutes at the equator, and more as you move north or south.

      I’ll stop now…

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        There are other complicating factors. You have to be really careful about your contexts and your definition. For example, in Britain the hours that you’re expected to light the driving lights on your car are the hours from civil sunset to civil sunrise – which is when the sun is 3 degrees below the horizon in each case. What the corresponding legal definition is for Chicago, I don’t know. Travel out to sea though and you need to worry about nautical twilight, which persists until the sun is 15 degrees below the horizon – because nautical horizons tend to be more abrupt and obvious against the dim refracted light of the sun.

        • David Harper
          Posted September 24, 2019 at 4:08 am | Permalink

          “in Britain the hours that you’re expected to light the driving lights on your car are the hours from civil sunset to civil sunrise – which is when the sun is 3 degrees below the horizon in each case.”

          You’ll have to forgive the pedantry, but this is no longer true. The use of headlights is mandated from 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise, a period known by the legal and splendidly ominous name “Hours of Darkness”. In any case, I suspect that you’re thinking of civil twilight, which is defined by the Sun being 6 degrees below the horizon. I used to get paid to know this stuff, and also to prepare formal legal statements for use in court cases.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted September 24, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

            And there are several different definitions of sunset, as well as the various twilights, for different circumstances.
            Or, you can take the Swedish option and wire the driving lights through the ignition – no driving lights, no ignition, no driving. Which is how I’ve always driven, Volvo or no.

  3. Posted September 23, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Hili outdoes herself in wisdom today. Marvellous!

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      And Leon inspires us all.

  4. Dominic
    Posted September 23, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    International Day of Sign Languages https://www.un.org/en/events/signlanguagesday/

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      A “finger fumble” is the sign language equivalent of a tongue twister.
      I wondered why Her Victorianess Herself (for it was Her) dragged that one out in today’s “Only Connect“.

  5. Dominic
    Posted September 23, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    PS How can you have an ‘edition’ of a food??? Absurd – a publication has an edition, something edited, but a food – limited run, limited offer, limited supply, available for a short time only…

    • harrync
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Actually, I was most upset that someone called Special K “fresh food”.

  6. HBB
    Posted September 23, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Just being a wise-acre here: did the Knickerbockers Baseball Club’s opponent play by the old rules back in that first game in 1845 :)?

  7. Posted September 23, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I’m a big fan of Spam but not the various flavors, and most definitely NOT Pumpkin Spice. The one I buy is the Low Sodium Spam, not because of health issues but because I find regular Spam too salty. The Low Sodium variety is plenty salty.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      When I was first married, Spam, for whatever reason, was a frequent main course. I haven’t had it again since. You remind me, there might be a place for it on the menu on our next anniversary.

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

        My first taste of Spam was probably in England on one of my family’s many visits back to the land of our birth. Spam was on the menu in most greasy spoon cafes as part of a combination, such as “Spam, eggs, chips, and peas.” Yum!

        • rickflick
          Posted September 23, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          Sounds like you must have had a lived experience of a Monty Python sketch. 😎

          • Posted September 23, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

            Yes, I suppose I did. Have also been known to walk funny on occasion.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted September 23, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

          No longer. Spam is a rare item in UK cafe breakfasts today possibly because there’s a lot fewer manual labourers in need of a breakfast explosion at 11 am – the laborers are more machine watchers today.

          Two of my local supermarkets carry only the basic, unfancy single line in two sizes. One supermarket has splashed out & also stocks your “Lite” lower fat & salt version AND a version with “real bacon” [their words].

          A beloved import during WWII that indeed saved our bacon! A nice omelette ingredient chopped with cheese, but too much of it at school dinners turned me off for life.

          FACTOID:

          Back in 2006 Eric Idle of the SPAMalot™ musical also launched the associated SPAM product “SPAM® with Stinky French Garlic” can! Such a can may be worth a few bob today.

          • Posted September 23, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

            Yes, Spam is no longer ubiquitous in the UK.

            Actually, Spam Lite is different than Spam Less Sodium (that’s its official name — I just looked it up).

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted September 23, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

              I’m assuming that Spam Less Sodium is also Spam More Potassium.
              (Substituting some of the processing sodium chloride with potassium chloride would be the simplest way to lower sodium in a product without mucking with all the other properties engineered into the foodstuff too much. I’ve only every bothered to read the information in “Low-Salt” table salt though.

  8. Jenny Haniver
    Posted September 23, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Can I say that pumpkin spice Spam takes the cake?

    Here are two of the things that PCC(E) loves to hate combined into one: pumpkin spice candy corn https://www.popsugar.com/food/photo-gallery/38165340/image/38415577/Brach-Pumpkin-Spice-Candy-Corn.

    Checking various sites for pumpkin spice products I found pumpkin spice vodka, beer, almonds, roasted garbanzos, kettle corn, potato chips, tortilla chips, bagels, body lotion, soap, deodorant,and even a Will Shortz Pumpkin Spice Soduku book!

  9. Jenny Haniver
    Posted September 23, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Pachelbel’s Rubber Chicken Canon in D is brilliant.

    • bric
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      There are more rubber chickens and assorted musical fun at their website –

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        The video you posted is a speech by a candidate for some college office touting his qualifications. No rubber chickens and assorted musical fun.

    • Posted September 23, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Not to be confused with chicken *cannons*.

      (Cf. the Air Farce)

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        Mythbusterologically, “first defrost your chicken”.

  10. Roger
    Posted September 23, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I mean, it doesn’t make things taste like pumpkins so why call it pumpkin spice.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      I always assumed that it referred to the package of spices traditionally used to cover up the taste of pumpkin.

      • Posted September 23, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        My guess is that pumpkin spice flavored things are meant to taste like pumpkin pie and, therefore, also contain pumpkin flavoring.

  11. nay
    Posted September 23, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Re: Bible hate speech Twitter ban. (S)he protested and explained 3 times! Are Twitter administrators called “Twits”?

    • nay
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Oops, is this hate speech? Please don’t ban me, Professor!

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      She’s assuming that her appeals were looked at. Having a right to appeal does not mean that that appeal will be considered at all. This isn’t human rights law, it’s contract law.

  12. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted September 23, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Opals are my favorite stones, but they’re too soft to wear:

    I’ve brought enough opal for a friend, and she wears it often enough. It’s not best for rings, I’ll agree, but rings are not the only findings.

    Stunning opal reveal

    I know how I’d set that up.


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