Thursday: Hili dialogue, farm rush hour, some cat tweets and a question

by Matthew Cobb

Hili is feeling chatty:

Hili: We have to talk.
A: What about?
Hili: About anything.
In Polish:
Hili: Musimy porozmawiać.
Ja: O czym?
Hili: O czymkolwiek.
Duck report by JAC: Yesterday was cold, and it’s gonna get colder at Botany Pond. Only four ducks—three drakes and a hen—came for lunch yesterday. We’re hoping that they’re finally getting the hint and heading south for the winter.
Down on the farm, the fowl are all out first in the rush hour:

Mansfield College, Oxford:

Corvid living dangerously:

Poncho cat (sound ON):

An amazing dig:

And some ingenious Chilean demonstrators:

Finally, a couple of tweets are doing the rounds, pointing out that we are coming to the end of the second decade of the 21st century. The questions posed by these tweets are:

A) What have you done over the last decade?

B) What are your plans for the next decade?

Chip in below! My answer to B) is “stay alive and well”. That will do me.

JAC response:

A) wrote two books (WEIT and FvF, as well as a children’s book being vetted), retired, traveled a lot, and finished up my lab work after graduating my last student (one paper still in press)

B) Same as Matthew. Plus more travel.

54 Comments

  1. Posted November 14, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    A/ existed
    B/ dying

  2. jstackpo
    Posted November 14, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    I haven’t been reading all the comments, so this may be a repeat question — if so, my apologies…

    But just HOW do the folks “down on the farm” get all those critters herded INTO the barn in the evenings?

    • Linda Calhoun
      Posted November 14, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Most probably, they feed them inside the barn.

      Bribery works much better than force.

      L

      • rickflick
        Posted November 14, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        “Bribery works” – D.C. bumper sticker – Oval office desk plaque.

        • darrelle
          Posted November 14, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

          Too true. The democrats have been playing this all wrong from the get go. They should have been bribing Trump thus leading him by the nose and gaining leverage. Some appointed fluffers would be a good tactic too.

          “Who got the short straw today? Okay Joe, your turn. Fluff that bastard like our lives depend on it.”

  3. Jim batterson
    Posted November 14, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    A) having retired from NASA in 08 which now provides time to read what i want pretty much whenever i want to read it: Read WEIT, FvF, and many other books including those by matthew, dawkins, nick lane…thanks gentlemen; kibbutzed with state of virginia to bring k12 stem education curriculum into 21st century with mixedsuccesses and failures; watched grndchildrens’ sporting and academic events.
    B) ditto except for stem ed…i just no longer have the energy to fight the professional educationalists and status quo interest groups.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 14, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    What during the decade and next.

    Sold everything and moved. Hope to not do it again in the next.

  5. Richard Jones
    Posted November 14, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Not a great deal. We had a grandson born in the dying days of the 20th century who is now a fine young man and a great help and joy to us. He’s the only one of our grandchildren who grew up in town, the others are spread over Canada.

    Three of them presented us with beautiful great grandchildren and keep us supplied with pictures and videos. We have visited them all with the help of our resident daughter and grandson.

    When I was young I never thought that I would see the 21st century which seemed impossibly distant. Now it seems that I’ll make it to 2020.

    The internet has now made it so easy to read and explore the world. Jerry’s reports from Antarctica are a case in point. What a great trip to be enjoyed at second hand. Thanks and keep the columns coming.

  6. rickflick
    Posted November 14, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    A. Moved from NY to Idaho (still in culture shock).

    B. Lots of retirement things like woodworking, photography, travel.

  7. Posted November 14, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    A) Lost my job, spent three years in prison in Florida* (pled guilty to what I maintain is BS — though I am biased, of course — because I didn’t have the money to fight and didn’t want to face the threat of even worse…it’s a long story), wrote several books, started and continue two blogs, recorded a few songs, lost my family, lost my medical license, continued to struggle with dysthymia, depression, and failed back surgery syndrome, tried marijuana for the first time and threw up repeatedly, had my father and my mother die, got a few guitars, turned fifty last month…so, basically, a boring decade.

    B) Oblivion would be wonderful. Or at least it would be oblivion.

    *”Come on vacation, leave on probation,” as they say here.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 14, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Lets hope the next is much better for you than the last.

    • rickflick
      Posted November 14, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve a bit of a rough decade. I too hope for better things for you. Good luck.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted November 14, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Indeed, best wishes for the coming decade.

      And also, having never set foot in the State of Florida, you give me one more reason not to want to. (The small amount of non-fiction that I read are Carl Hiaasen’s novels, and being based on actual stories they help support my bias.)

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted November 14, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        You might enjoy Maximum Bob by Elmore Leonard – amusing, fictional story about lewd, lecherous, law-bending Florida jurist Judge Robert “Maximum Bob” Gibbs.

    • Posted November 14, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Wishing you brighter days

  8. DrBrydon
    Posted November 14, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    That business with the drone and the lasers is genius. Time to go buy some laser pointers.

    • rickflick
      Posted November 14, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      I didn’t know commercially available lasers could bring down a drone. Any idea how that works?

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted November 14, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        Must interrupt the radio transmissions?

      • Charles Sawicki
        Posted November 14, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        You are correct about laser pointers normally available in USA (typically limited to 0.005 W). Much higher power is illegal here (without permit), since they are blinding weapons dangerous to airplanes. You can get small battery powered hand-held lasers up to 2 Watts or more, which could do the job. Probably these are available in other countries.

      • DrBrydon
        Posted November 14, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Reading the twitter thread, it becomes clear that this drown was brought down in a controlled manner by its operator, who was in the crowd.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted November 14, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

          Is there an echo in here? LOL
          Me:

          “The drone belongs to a protester & he’s in the crowd below the drone bringing it back to Earth in a controlled manner”

      • Nobody Special
        Posted November 14, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        rickflick on November 14, 2019 at 9:11 am
        I didn’t know commercially available lasers could bring down a drone. Any idea how that works?

        Simple, really. You get a laser pointer and throw it really hard at the drone’s blades.

        • rickflick
          Posted November 14, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          That might work. 😎

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted November 14, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      I didn’t believe that video clip & I read the Tweet thread. It is ‘fake news’ – normal handheld civvy lasers can’t damage a drone [other than blinding sensors temporarily]. The drone belongs to a protester & he’s in the crowd below the drone bringing it back to Earth in a controlled manner.

      In the thread there’s also a video of a police land rover [or similar make] rolling slowly backwards with handheld lasers pointing at it & flames around the bonnet [hood] area. Obviously a Molotov & not laser. Not sure if Chile, HK or somewhere else.

      I suppose the reason there’s so many toy lasers in the crowd is to deter chopper pilots & I suppose it makes it harder to take photos/video of individuals.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted November 14, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      ATHENA anti-drone 30k Watts I think – needs a powerful generator. Overkill for the job:

      A poetic type might train a condor vulture [probably not trainable].

  9. DrBrydon
    Posted November 14, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Seems like quite a bit. Moved (hopefully for the last time). Bought my first house ever. Admitted that what I had was more like a comb-over than not. Got laid off from two jobs. Found what turns out do be my dream job. Got a daughter through college. Bought a new car (yep, only one; the old one was thirteen years old). Plans for the future: Keep on keeping on, pay off the house.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 14, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Well, nothing wrong with a mortgage. Until Trump screwed it all up with the tax thing a few years back, the mortgage allowed us to pay the bankers instead of dishing out more to the government and owning nothing. However, doubling the standard deduction finished that off for all but the rich, which is all he cares about. The incentive to own a house is not what it use to be but it still beats rent. I have done both over many years and lots of moves and my experience, even without the great tax break it use to be, is better.

      • DrBrydon
        Posted November 14, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        It does, indeed, beat rent. And landlords. When I was up in Chicago, it just wasn’t feasible. We got lucky down in Florida, and now my mortgage payment is less that I’ve paid for rent since I was single.

  10. merilee
    Posted November 14, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    🐾🐾

  11. Francisco Garcia Mac
    Posted November 14, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    “”…the end of the second decade of the 21st century…””

    Hmmm! Just like the 1999 parties… One year early! The end of the second decade of the 21st century will be on December 31st, 2020.

  12. Hempenstein
    Posted November 14, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Well, since you asked,
    A) Retired 2012, last scientific publication of about 80 (J Exp Biol) dated 2014, bought Victorian mansion 2014, patent submitted in re. rapid ID of infectious bacterial species 2016, graduated from mason’s laborer to apprenticeship 2019, stop presses, co-authorship on just-accepted paper in J Biomed Optics, so the CV continues, patent about to be granted, and shortly to be part wrap-up of the 50th Anniversary of the Virginia is for Lovers ad campaign.

    B) Continue laying bricks, stoke the patent whenever possible, and get my ’51 Packard back on the road.

  13. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted November 14, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    What is going on with the teeth of that Roman horse? Looks like a Werehorse!


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