Sunday: Hili dialogue

It is Sunday, June 12 (“Loving Day” in the U.S.), and all is quiet; the students have graduated, and have either left for their homes or will do so today. And the campus will undergo that annual instant and magical transformation from busy to quiet and empty. On the other hand, for three days, starting tomorrow, they’ll be filming a movie on the street outside my office, and I have no idea what it’s about. (They always keep these things quiet.) The last time this happened it involved Keanu Reeves, who had a scene sitting on a motorcycle right outside my building. All the grad students—especially the women—crowded around the windows to get a peek at him, and were told by the movie people to step back so they couldn’t be seen. So it goes.

On this day in 1942, Anne Frank received a new diary on her thirteenth birthday; the rest is history. And on June 12, 1987, Ronald Reagan made his plea in Berlin for Mr. Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” The rest is history. Finally, it was on this day in 1994 that Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered in Los Angeles, the killer almost certainly being O. J. Simpson, now in prison for other crimes. Those born on this day include Egon Schiele (1890), one of my favorite painters, who died of influenza at only 28; author Djuna Barnes (1892); and, as noted above, Anne Frank (1929). Notables who died on June 12 include Edmund Wilson (1972), Karl von Frisch (1982), and Gregory Peck (2003). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Cyrus and Hili are having their constitutional along the Vistula. I would have thought that the “best time,” however, involved noms.

Hili: What time is it?
Cyrus: The best one.
P1040420 (2)
In Polish:
Hili: Która godzina?
Cyrus: Najlepsza.
Lagnaippe: my favorite Get Fuzzy strip of all time, which I finally found:


  1. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    These are sad times.

    I just heard a Swedish graduated student of 19 years was killed when he fell from the celebration cortege last Friday. These corteges tend to get wet, inside and out, but that hasn’t happened before I think. The police is looking into it of course, as well as there is a crisis handling group set up for the afflicted community.

    Also, I didn’t know that O.J Simpson had crashed and burned after his earlier problems.

    But when I looked him up he was acquitted from murder!? Since OJS is, and is to be, considered innocent, I don’t know if I could engage in by necessity less informed and – I have to assume, excuse me – cruel added speculations about the likelihood of him being a killer.

    But we all have to act according to how local physics plays out.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted June 12, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      It hits me that I used my opinion. Maybe that is a bad assumption, that it is cruel to judge outside of the criminal system. Other opinions on that?

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted June 12, 2016 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        In this particular case – opinion is all you have. Justice was nowhere to be seen.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted June 12, 2016 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

          I thought that several highly-paid land-sharks were pimping Lady Justice out for all services in an alley behind the LA courthouse?

          • frednotfaith2
            Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

            Too often juries have found defendants guilty of murder, etc., who were decades later found to be completely innocent (as opposed to determined to be “not guilty”) of the crimes, usually after having spent decades in prison for acts they didn’t do. Likely, there have also been many found guilty who were executed for crimes they didn’t commit and many who were found “not guilty” of crimes they actually did commit. There is no judicial system in the world that is perfect and will always find the genuinely guilty guilty or the truly innocent “not guilty”. At least most judicial systems in the advanced nations of the world are much better now than they were even 60 years ago, when white murderers of blacks were generally found “not guilty” despite overwhelming evidence that they had committed pre-meditated murders, and a great many black defendants who were innocent of any actual crime were nevertheless found guilty of whatever charges they were up against, and were even strung up by mobs before the trials even took place.

            At least on the somewhat brighter side, the notorious Nazi Judge Roland Freisler, who handed down death sentences in nearly every case of “treason” against the Nazis that came before him was killed by an allied airstrike that hit the building wherein he was presiding over a case. Justice was served, albeit not soon enough, by the death of that despicable excuse for a human being.

      • Gregory Kusnick
        Posted June 12, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        The question of whether OJ did the crime is a question of fact, not of moral judgment. Anyone who’s studied the evidence is entitled to have an opinion on it. And since there was evidence the jury didn’t see, there’s no reason to think we are “by necessity less informed” than they were.

        • frednotfaith2
          Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

          Anyone who’s studied the crimes in the decades since could actually be far better informed than the jurors were at the time.

    • Kevin
      Posted June 12, 2016 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Aliens. Or sea turtles. I am pretty sure it was one or both who killed them.

    • Posted June 16, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      O.J. was found guilty (or whatever the legal term is) of wrongful death in a civil trial.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Nice photo of the river and the wild life.

    Very hot here in the Midwest and hope this is the last day of it. Another big shooting down in Florida, so what else is new.

    Formula one race in Canada today – will be on NBC about 1:00 pm.

  3. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Re. catnip – I bought a little pot of the stuff the other day and tried it on our cats(shaking it onto rolled up socks to serve as a kind of homemade toy, and packing a load of it it into a smaller sock and tying it up so it’s like a catnip-filled pillow{I’ve got a lot of leftover odd socks.}.) and they were completely uninterested. I tried it on them repeatedly and neither of them even reacted.

    I have to say I was expecting a LOT more. Is catnip’s effect vastly overstated, am I doing something wrong, are my cats anosmic…? Do some cats just not react to it?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted June 12, 2016 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      I know almost nothing about catnip, but I do know some cats are unaffected.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted June 13, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Oh. Well that’s disappointing.

        Thanks anyway.

  4. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I always get annoyed with people shooting movies because they are too bossy. I was going to get coffee last summer on my campus and they prevented us from getting out of the building….excuse me, what if there was an emergency? You didn’t even ask or put up a sign or anything.

    I think they are just used to bossing around everyone on set and don’t realize that outside their world, they need to be more charming and persuasive and POLITE!

    Maybe I just have such a contempt for authority for authority’s sake or celebrity for celebrity’s sake that I immediately become unaccomadating when confronted with it.

  5. barn owl
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    That’s a particularly lovely photo of Hili and Cyrus for the Dialogue today. I hope everyone enjoyed the walk!

  6. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    All the grad students—especially the women—crowded around the windows to get a peek at him, and were told by the movie people to step back so they couldn’t be seen. So it goes.

    I predict a movie scene next year with a professor feeding the squirrels on his windowsill in the background – despite the incoming aliens or whatever else will be added by CGI in 8 months time.
    “Neither rain nor hail nor schedule of filming, shall still these seeds from their appointed fate.” Or something like that.

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