It’s Sunday, August 7, and I’m off to Poznan at noon to lecture at the University. Posting will be light until after my return on Tuesday (if I can successfully negotiate the Polish trains). Grania will be handling the Hili dialogues and anything else that seems appropriate.
On this day in 1890, Anna Månsdotter became the last woman in Sweden to be executed—for the murder of her daughter in law; it’s a strange and incestuous tale. And on this day in 1947, Thor Heyerdahl’s raft the Kon-Tiki finished its voyage by running aground on a Pacific Island; it was an attempt to prove that Polynesians could have rafted from the Pacific islands to South America. We now know that humans actually came to the Americas across the Bering Strait about 15,000 years ago. I read Heyerdahl’s account of the trip, Kon-Tiki, over and over again as a child, along with the adventures of Richard Halliburton. (Who’s old enough to remember those books?)
Notables born on this day include Mata Hari (1876), James Randi (1928; he’s 88 today), Garrison Keillor (1942), and Charlize Theron (1975♥). Those who died on this day include Oliver Hardy (1957, of Laurel and Hardy fame), Peter Jennings (2005; was it really 11 years ago?), and Judith Crist (2012). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, who has apparently been reading Darwin’s Origin, wants to illustrate it for me:
Jerry: What else are you going to show me?Hili: A tangled bank.
Jerry: Co mi jeszcze chcesz pokazać?
Hili: Zarośnięty brzeg.
In Winnipeg, Gus was told that he can’t drive his boat without a license, so his “polar bear” plate was affixed to his boat-box. Now, I’m told, he’s asking for a car. He also insisted on having a Canadian flag, which he’s started to nom.
I visited Leon and his staff on the grounds of their future home, and Leon gave me a typical cat greeting:
Leon: Welcome, Jerry. What do you have for me?