Wednesday: Hili dialogue

It’s now Wednesday, October 16, and both National Liqueur Day and World Food Day, celebrating the wonders of FOOD. It’s also World Anaesthesia Day (see below) National Boss Day, National Dictionary Day, and related to that, National Learn a Word Day. Here’s a word I’ve often heard but only recently bothered to look up (one should always look such things up immediately and write down the definition). It was, I believe, one of the many words I learned from Christopher Hitchens:

Ratiocination.

1: the process of exact thinking REASONING
2a reasoned train of thought

Put your new word in the comments, along with a definition for our edification. Now’s your chance to teach other readers something.

Finally, and most important, it’s GLOBAL CAT DAY (previously known as National Feral Cat Day), and the first reader to send me a photo of their rescue cat (it must have been feral) will have it posted below. AND WE HAVE A WINNER: reader Debra Coplan, who sent a photo and a description:

I trapped these two cats in my yard two months ago. They were starving, so it was easy in my cat trap. The Siamese or whatever she is, is the mom and the tabby is the son. They are very feral and over the age where they can become nice pets. I had them fixed and all health issues including teeth taken care of. They are under 5 pounds and we have owls and hawks here. I have doors and windows open for them in the morning if they want to go out, but they don’t seem to want to go out. They are very scared of us but have found places in the house they are comfortable. I make sure to cook fresh salmon and scallops for them besides having their dry food available.

The mom is Geraldine, and the son is Skruggs. (Skruggs is named after Benjamin Franklin’s pet squirrel, and Geraldine is a form of the name Jerry!)

What a nice rescue! Fresh salmon and scallops must be like manna to a feral cat. Here they are:

 

There are, of course, no Google Doodles for cats today, though there was one for Halloween three years ago. It was an animated game, which you can no longer play, but here’s a video:

Lots of stuff happened on October 16, which includes:

Although Morton was not the surgeon, he administered ether to a patient undergoing removal of a neck tumor. The operation was in the “Ether Dome” at Massachusetts General Hospital, and here’s a painting of it:

Ether Day, or The First Operation Under Ether (Robert C. Hinckley, 1882–1893), on display at Harvard’s Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

  • 1846 – William T. G. Morton administers ether anesthesia during a surgical operation.
  • 1847 – The novel Jane Eyre is published in London.
  • 1859 – John Brown leads a raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia.
  • 1916 – Margaret Sanger opens the first family planning clinic in the United States.
  • 1919 – Adolf Hitler delivers his first public address at a meeting of the German Workers’ Party.[
  • 1923 – The Walt Disney Company is founded.
  • 1940 – Holocaust in Poland: The Warsaw Ghetto is established.
  • 1943 – Holocaust in Italy: Raid of the Ghetto of Rome
  • 1946 – Nuremberg trials: Defendants in the Main Trial are executed
  • 1950 – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis is published.

I believe Lewis’s Mere Christianity (1952), remains the most popular work of modern theology, and you should really read it if you want to see how risible his arguments for Christianity are. He was a clear writer, which does account for his popularity, but the book will put your kishkes in knots. The children’s book above was, of course, an allegory about Christianity.

  • 1962 – Cuban missile crisis begins: Kennedy is informed of photos taken on October 14 by a U-2 showing nuclear missiles(the crisis will last for 13 days starting from this point)
  • 1964 – China detonates its first nuclear weapon.
  • 1973 – Henry Kissinger and Lê Đức Thọ are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize..
  • 1975 – Three-year-old Rahima Banu, from Bangladesh, is the last known case of naturally occurring smallpox.

Banu made a full recovery; but here’s the last victim of smallpox “in the wild” (someone got it from a lab strain):

More on this day:

  • 1984 – Desmond Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. [JAC: Unlike the Kissinger/ Lê Đức Thọ award, this was one that was deserved.]
  • 1998 – Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet is arrested in London on a murder extradition warrant.

Pinochet was held for a year and a half under house arrest in London and then returned to Chile, where he died in 2006 without having been tried and convicted.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1758 – Noah Webster, American lexicographer (d. 1843)
  • 1854 – Oscar Wilde, Irish playwright, novelist, and poet (d. 1900)
  • 1888 – Eugene O’Neill, American playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1953)
  • 1890 – Paul Strand, American photographer and director (d. 1975)
  • 1898 – William O. Douglas, American lawyer and jurist (d. 1980)
  • 1908 – Enver Hoxha, Albanian general and politician, Prime Minister of Albania (d. 1985)
  • 1927 – Günter Grass, German novelist, poet, playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2015)
  • 1946 – Suzanne Somers, American actress and producer

Strand is another one of my favorite “street” photographers. Here’s one of his most famous images, “Blind” (1916):

 

Those who died on October 16 include:

  • 1555 – Nicholas Ridley, English bishop and martyr (b. 1500) [Matt Ridley’s ancestor]
  • 1793 – Marie Antoinette, Austrian-born queen consort of Louis XVI of France (b. 1755)
  • 1946 – Nuremberg trial executions of the Main Trial:
    • Hans Frank, German lawyer, politician and war criminal (b. 1900)
    • Wilhelm Frick, German lawyer and politician, German Minister of the Interior (b. 1877)
    • Alfred Jodl, German general (b. 1890)
    • Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Austrian SS officer (b. 1903)
    • Wilhelm Keitel, German field marshal (b. 1882)
    • Alfred Rosenberg, Estonian architect and politician (b. 1893)
    • Fritz Sauckel, German sailor and politician (b. 1894)
    • Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Austrian lawyer and politician, 16th Federal Chancellor of Austria (b. 1892)
    • Julius Streicher, German journalist and politician (b. 1887)
    • Joachim von Ribbentrop, German lieutenant and politician, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany (b. 1893)
  • 1973 – Gene Krupa, American drummer, composer, and actor (b. 1909)
  • 1997 – James A. Michener, American author and philanthropist (b. 1907)
  • 2007 – Deborah Kerr, Scottish actress (b. 1921)

Here’s part of Deborah Kerr’s unforgettable performance as Karen Holmes, the unsatisfied wife of an Army captain in the movie From Here to Eternity. She was English and had to lose her British accent (as well as change her hair color to blond) for the role. In this scene, she says goodbye to her lover, played by Burt Lancaster:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili refers to humans as meowing creatures. Malgorzata explains:

“To meow” in Polish may mean to complain but it’s seldom used for people. Today we posted Andrzej’s article “complaining” about the election. Hili is the advocate of doing whatever you can instead of complaining. So she says to him that he should stop moaning and start working to change things.

Hili: Stop meowing and start working.
A: People do not meow.
Hili: You would be surprised by what I hear.
In Polish:
Hili: Przestań miauczeć i zabierz się do roboty.
Ja: Ludzie nie miauczą.
Hili: Zdziwiłbyś się, co ja słyszę.

From Amazing Things, “Incredible chainsaw art by Gabi Rizea Sculptura lemn“:

From Andrée Reno Sanborn:

From reader Lynne:

 

A tweet from a Never-Trump Republican about what our President is doing in the midst of personal and national turmoil:

From reader Barry: a very sleepy duckling:

Two tweets from Heather Hastie. Be sure to watch this first one all the way to the end. Shades of Wile E. Coyote!

A very needy alpaca (at least that’s what I think it is):

 

Tweets from Matthew. I wrote about this first one in an earlier Caturday post.

This is the most amazing squid I’ve ever seen, bar none!

Zelda is the cat who posts, and look at those pupils!

This video raises many questions like 1. Would you be scared (I would!), 2. Did the guide know the elephants wouldn’t really charge? and 3. Did the guide have a gun?

 

59 Comments

  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Sub

  2. Stephen Barnard
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    bradytelic:

    adjective Biology.

    of or relating to evolution at a rate slower than the standard for a given group of plants or animals.

    I ran across this word in Nick Bostrum’s “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, and Strategies. He used it to describe slow-thinking humans compared to super fast artificial intelligences.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      *Bostrom*

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      I really want to read that. Any good?

      • Stephen Barnard
        Posted October 16, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        I’m not far enough in to make a recommendation. All I can say now is that it’s clear, readable, and systematic.

  3. Roger
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    copacetic: everything is alright

    American slang-ish. Had it’s heyday in the 60s and 70s. My theory is because it was used in the film The Green Berets (1968) but I don’t see anything online that confirms that theory haha. I like it because it sounds like a hippie word but it really isn’t.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      That was such a bad film I did not think anything about it was copacetic.

    • Roger
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Here’s how I envision copacetic:

      “Hey copacetic, dude.”

      “Why, you damn hippie!”

      “No you fool, they said it in The Green Berets movie.”

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      I used to hear the word ‘infra-dig'(?) a lot. I still don’t really know what it means. Is it another word for ‘passe’…or the opposite?

      It turned up in some poem or song or something; ‘so hip, so fresh, so infra-dig’, something like that. Cannot remember the source.

      It’s one of those words that was fashionable for a time and then completely vanished from the vernacular, so every now and then you read some old book and come across it, trapped in amber.

      • Roger
        Posted October 16, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        Looks like it’s an abbreviated use of infrā dignitātem (latin, beneath dignity). So infra dig. but with the period dropped somewhere along the line.

        http://mleddy.blogspot.com/2015/10/abbreviated-latin-expression-of-day.html

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted October 16, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          Thanks. It seems to have been really common slang at one point in the middle of last century, and then vanished from usage.

          It must mean ‘passe’ then.

          • Steve Pollard
            Posted October 16, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

            When I were a lad, it meant ‘beneath one’, eg ‘as a professional ballerina, she regards street dance as deeply infra dig’

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted October 16, 2019 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

              Ah. That makes sense.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      I didn’t know that the word “copacetic” was so popular in the 60s and 70s but it definitely isn’t a “hippie word”. I’d heard it used by black entertainers in the 40s and 50s. Checking on the usage, I find in “Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance” that Bill “Bojangles” Robinson (1878-1949)”is known for his comment ‘I’m copacetic, everything is better than fine.'” Etymology unknown.

  4. Jim batterson
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Risible: laughable, ridiculous, absurd. I find that jerry provides me at least about one new (to me) word a week or at least provides a word i need to look up to renew my acquaintance with it. Much appreciated.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    “ludic” (adj.) — playful, especially in a spontaneous or aimless way.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Videogame journos use the phrase ‘ludo-narrative dissonance’ when they want to refer to the jarring difference between a player’s actions in-game and the actual personality of the character they’re playing as.

      Eg.: ‘The Last Of Us’ has a family man protagonist who’s horrified by killing, but when the player controls him you go around blowing away hundreds of humans without batting an eyelid.

      So that’s what game critics call ludo-narrative dissonance.

      Pretentious? Eux?

    • merilee
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Not to forget Hermann Hesse’s Magister Ludi [The Glass Bead GameJ, which I haven’t thought of for decades, and had to dredge out of my memory.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        THATS IT!

        I knew there was something about that word!

  6. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    pla·gal
    /ˈplāɡəl/
    adjectiveMUSIC
    adjective: plagal
    (of a church mode) containing notes between the dominant and the note an octave higher, having the final in the middle.

    Origin:

    Greek :
    Plagos

    Medieval Greek :
    Plagios Hekhos (plagal mode)

    Latin :
    Plagius

    (Etc.)

    Contrast to “plague”:
    Greek : plaga (strike)
    Latin : plaga (not a typo) strike or wound

    … speaking of that, and – not to cause a panic, but – what happens to the smallpox virus buried in the ground?

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Context:

      Plagal cadence

      It’s an old cadence, or chord progression. Real short. It comes up when the church musicians get to the “amen” part.

  7. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    ‘Apotropaic’ – ‘believed to have the power to ward off evil’.

    You can use it to describe totemic items that superstitious people use, like garlic at the foot of the bed, or the crucifix that apparently makes vampires change their mind about drinking your blood, or you can use it in a less specific, more metaphorical sense.

    It’s a lovely, sinuous word and it should be used more often.

    Also, ‘fucksticks’. As in ‘oh fucksticks, I’ve dropped my communion wafer.’

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      I love the word apotropaic.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted October 17, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Hmmm, would that be a cousin of “apoptosis”?

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    1984 – Desmond Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. [JAC: Unlike the Kissinger/ Lê Đức Thọ award, this was one that was deserved.]

    Unlike the war criminal Kissinger, Lê Đức Thọ at least had the decency to decline to accept his share of the award, on the obvious basis that no “peace” had been established by the Paris Peace Accords — not for his country, anyway, just a pretext for Nixon to pull the US out of Southeast Asia, while the war raged on, ahead of the North Vietnamese Army’s rolling through South Vietnam to join their comrades the Viet Cong.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Kissinger’s peace prize is right up there with Ed Meese’s metal of freedom he received recently. Barr should not be far behind.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 16, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Ed Meese (the former AG who functioned as Ronald Reagan’s hatchet-man at the DoJ) barely escaped indictment himself in the Wedtech scandal.

        Medal of Freedom, my ass.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      IIRC the Nobel peace prize is awarded, or at least partially, not just for achievements, but as an encouragement. If so, in that light peace prizes for Kissinger and Lê Đức Thọ, or Rabin, Perez and Arafat, become much less ridiculous.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 16, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        That may well apply to the latter quartet, but Henry Kissinger is a stone-cold war criminal, many times over. This is well documented, and is why Kissinger will not travel to nations where he might be subject to arrest or service of process for his crimes. Hell, the Hitch wrote a whole book about it.

        Plus, peace came to Vietnam only after total North Vietnamese victory, the loss of 58,220 American lives (the maiming of many others) and the untold, unnecessary suffering of millions of Southeast Asians notwithstanding.

  9. Jeff J
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    I read somewhere once that a charging elephant is bluffing if it’s ears are spread wide, to appear extra big. When they tuck their ears back, they mean business.

    This is the word definition I most recently googled:
    noun: vergence
    1.
    Physiology
    the simultaneous movement of the pupils of the eyes toward or away from one another during focusing.
    2.
    Geology
    the direction in which a fold is inclined or overturned.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      “I read somewhere once that a charging elephant is bluffing if it’s ears are spread wide, to appear extra big.”

      Dumbo was the most shameless bluffer in elephant history.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Well, that maybe true -I’m not disputing-, but I’m not willing to stand my ground calling the bluff. Moreover, ears can be folded back in a fraction of a second. 🙂

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted October 17, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      I read somewhere once that a charging elephant is

      … something to be taken dead seriously.

      This video raises many questions like 1. Would you be scared (I would!),

      No rational person wouldn’t be.

      2. Did the guide know the elephants wouldn’t really charge?

      Probably not. Did you hear the engine being started? The guide had a fair idea how long it would take the elephants to get enough purchase to turn the vehicle over, and was both keeping the grockles from panicking (who is to predict if they’re going to try outrunning the elephants on foot?) while trying to implement the OUTBE manoeuver. (*)

      and 3. Did the guide have a gun?

      A gun capable of a one-shot kill on a full-grown elephant. That’s going to be one bowdlerising big shell and cartridge. And barrel. Just the thing to pack when you’re trying to encourage the grockles to write nice things about you on Tunasafiri.com

      (*)
      Overwhelming Urge To Be Elsewhere
      Tuna – 1st person plural ; kusafiri has come into English nearly intact.

  10. Harrison
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    The parents of Harry Dunn, the boy who was killed in a traffic collision with a car driven by the wife of a diplomat who used her husband’s position to flee the country under immunity, met with Trump today. The Reality TV President then tried to pull a Jerry Springer and told them the woman who killed their son was in the other room and asked would they like to meet and talk with her. They said no.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted October 17, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      I would like to have been a fly on the wall as the “adults in the room” explained carefully, slowly and repeatedly to Trump that there was nothing he could do to take vengance on the criminals who had treated him with such disrespect. Surely that’s an offence, under Trumpian law?
      Anyway, we’ll get the tape recordings and witness statements after the next round of Trump stabbing his staff in the back.

  11. Jenny Haniver
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    The cat with the mouse with messlun reminds me of the brief time I spent as an animal attendant at a small menagerie that included several ocelots, a bobcat, a serval, some small Latin American wild cats ((the kind that look like domestic cats only somewhat larger). When we prepared their food, we were instructed to strew greens over the piles of raw meat. The owner wanted the food plated to look like it was prepared in a restaurant! Ridiculous. Did those ravening animals give a damn? They’d bite claw us to death to get their food and didn’t give a hoot about how it was presented.

    Thank goodness we didn’t have to do that with the other animals.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      mesclum.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted October 16, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        This is my second correction of the word I misspelled.

        mesclun.

        Heck, this morning I can’t even spell words that I already know.

  12. Blue
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Upon what is Mr Noah Webster’s 261st birthing day,
    thus … … in re one’s lexicon:

    i) verb: to traduce
    ii) noun: kakistocracy

    i) to tell lies about someone so as to damage their reputation;
    to defame
    ii) a state or a country run by the worst,
    the least qualified, or the most unscrupulous
    citizens.

    http://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/MjAxMi1mNjIwNzNmMDRjNjIwODg0

    Blue

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Kakistocracy is a good word.

      I like ‘ochlocracy’ too, which is ‘mob rule’.

      Looking at the state of Brexit and Trump’s America I dearly hope it will remain as unused and unpopular a word as it currently is.

      • merilee
        Posted October 16, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        From the same root as kaka?

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Blue, that “kakistocracy” is particularly apt in the present situation.
      You have my vote there.

    • Blue
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      And with MY Washington Nationals, soooo .not.
      of a kakistocracy or … …, ah, maybe they are,
      in re that ” the least qualified ” – part … …,
      here is an adjective for them .now. IN to the
      y2019 World Series !

      http://www.twitter.com/fagapra/status/633251264202194944

      rootin’ FOR The Undergod … … always !
      Blue : )

    • Posted October 16, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Kakistocracy. Good word. Matches the zeitgeist of today well

    • Liz
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Some of my favorite Latin derivatives are from ducere – to lead (duco, ducere, duxi, ductus):

      deduce, adduce, reduce, seduce, induce

      I didn’t know this word. Love it.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted October 17, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      There’s a whole family of “-cracies” that aren’t so … flattering. Cleptocracy is a popular one, popular around the world.

      And of course, idiocracy.

  13. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    And reader Lynne’s contribution is great! It should be all over the billboards in the US prior to November 2020.

  14. Frank Bath
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    My, but Burt Lancaster was a beautiful man.

  15. rickflick
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    The elephant scene was tense. These creatures are unpredictable. They might have been attacked. Nuts.

  16. Posted October 16, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    recrudescence – the recurrence of an undesirable condition.

    Learned it from Hitchens as well.

  17. Steve Pollard
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    So many words, already!

    One I like, which isn’t seen too often, is petrichor: the earthy smell that arises when rain falls on dry soil. The thing itself is magical: the word possibly a bit less so!

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Yes!

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      That’s a good word.

  18. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    How about a website new theme : Words I love?

    It’d offer much-needed balance to the atrocious turds on show in in Words I hate

  19. Michael Fisher
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Behemoth
    A male lepidopteran

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Or a flying creationist.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted October 17, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      A possibly-trans female lepidopteran?

  20. merilee
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    🐾🐾

  21. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted October 17, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    but here’s the last victim of smallpox “in the wild” (someone got it from a lab strain):

    Didn’t the lab manager whose lab was the source of the leak commit suicide afterwards?


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