Tuesday: Hili dialogue

It’s September 13, and I’m glad to report that it’s International Chocolate Day (decreed, of course, by the U.S. National Confectioners Association to coincide with the birthday of Milton Hershey, and you know who he is).  On this day in 1848, Vermont railroad worker Phineas Gage (1823-1860) survived a  3′ 7″ crowbar weighing  13 pounds being driven through his skull during an explosion. It destroyed much of his temporal lobe, with marked effects on his personality after he recovered, leading to an obvious connection between brain structure and personality, though this was before the days when good neurological studies could be done.  Here’s a photo of his skull after death, the bar that went through it (look at the size of that thing!), a reconstruction of the damage and a photo of Gage, who died at 37 after a bout of seizures:
Notables born on this day include Walter Reed (1851), John J. Pershing (1860), and Judith “Miss Manners” Martin (1938). Those who died on this day include Amon Göth, who ran the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp and was played by Ralph Fiennes in the movie “Schindler’s List” (executed 1946; you can see his hanging here on YouTube, which took several attempts before it worked), Tupac Shakur (shot to death in 1996), and Ann Richards (2006), a decent governor of Texas later defeated by George W. Bush. Since then it’s been downhill all the way in Texas.  Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is being her usual demanding self, in this case demanding shade from Malgorzata. In other words, Malgorzata is throwing shade on the Princess!
Hili: It’s good that you are giving me shade, the sun is scorching.
M: But can we go now?
Hili: Wait a moment, I have to look at something.
In Polish:
Hili: Dobrze, że dostarczasz mi cienia, bo to słońce strasznie praży.
Małgorzata: A czy możemy pójść dalej?
Hili: Zaczekaj, muszę coś zobaczyć.
And, as lagniappe, reader Blue from Iowa sent me the sign she’s put by her front door to keep the goddies away. They’re only $15.99 from this site and, she says, “seem sturdy”.


  1. GBJames
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Nice sign!

    I’ve sported a Darwin fish on my various cars over the past thirty years or so. Only once was one vandalized. And once an angry Xtian gave me the finger as she drove away from the grocery store in her minivan. Because god is love, I suppose.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      “angry Xtian”

      Are you sure? Maybe she was just pointing you the way to heaven.

      • GBJames
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Not with that finger!

  2. busterggi
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Poor Phineas, he never was the same after the accident.

  3. James Walker
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Is it just me or does the link for Phineas Gage take you to International Chocolate Day?

  4. Dave
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I don’t think Goeth had any connection with Auschwitz. Rudolf Hoess was commandant there for most of its time in operation. As I recall, Goeth ran the Plaszow concentration camp, near Cracow.

  5. Addie Pray
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Goeth ran Plaszow, not Auschwitz.

  6. Dominic
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Daniel Defoe’s birthday as well!

  7. Pete Taylor
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    May I add to notable deaths on this date: Frederick Noad, not a household name but classical guitarists may remember him. He was himself a classical guitar player/tutor and author of several books, including “Solo Guitar Playing”.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Noad for more detail.

    Noad died in 2001, two days after 9/11, which is why I recall it.
    (I have the above book, but unfortunately have to accept that my enthusiasm exceeds my talents in the instrument.)

  8. E.A. Blair
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I have a “No Preaching” plaque (which you can see at this link), but the Jehovah’s Witlesses just ignore it. Maybe something bigger, like Blue’s sign, would make more of a point.

    Back in my college days, there was a mail-order place in Washington that used to sell t-shirts with slogans like “Reunite Pangaea!” and other nerdy stuff. Two of my favorites had an illustration of Einstein as a traffic cop with the caption, “186,000 miles per second isn’t just a good Idea. It’s the law.” and a little man submerged in an Erlenmeyer flask with “Remember: If you’re not part of the solution, you must be part of the precipitate.” Somewhere, I think I still have a thirty-five year old sales brochure from that place.

    • GBJames
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Maybe a sign saying “Caution: Atheist inside. Will argue.” would work?

      • Lurker111
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        That might work. The sign in the picture is clever, but too clever by half for the people to whom it is addressed. They won’t “get” it.

      • E.A. Blair
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        Arguing won’t with with the door-to-door preachers. My father, who remained a devout Catholic to his dying day, used to debate the preachers and all it did was waste his time – sometimes as long as an hour. I had a simpler method. When I answered the door on a bunch of preachers, I just said, “This is a Catholic household. Your heresies are not welcome here.”

      • Posted September 13, 2016 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        Absolutely not. Converting an atheist is a big coup for them, so they will keep trying.

    • somer
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      I remember once getting the JWs on my doorstep and to shut them up I said I was Buddhist and not interested (Im not but I didn’t have time to argue). They retorted “Buddhism is just a philosophy, we are a religion”. Then I said politely I wasn’t interested and asked them to please go. Another time I was at the home of a non Christian religious family back in the 70s – and the JWs turned up to evangelize. The host explained he had another faith but they persisted so he politely invited them in to discuss religion and didn’t leave until an hour later.

      • Hempenstein
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        You cannot afford to give them ANY time, and you have to be ruthless. My foreboding front porch may be what mostly keeps them away these days, but once a pair showed up and started with “Hi, how are you today?” Reflexively I said I was fine till they showed up and shut the door. Afterward I thought maybe I’d been a bit extreme, but on further reflection, nope.

        • somer
          Posted September 13, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

          Fending off a nuisance call!

          Admittedly they did go away promptly when I said I really was definitely not interested – but self preservation obviously calls for straight shutting the door in some neighbourhoods.

        • Posted September 13, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

          I find a large pit-bull and a NRA sign can be effective.

  9. Posted September 13, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Though it is agreed that Gage’s character changed for the worse after the accident, it is disputed that it remained that way. My guess is that since it was only his left hemisphere that took the whacking, his right hemisphere eventually learned how to replace at least some of the destroyed functions.

    An interesting case regardless as Gage was an amazing example of human survival against all odds (he only received the most basic, non-surgical medical intervention):

  10. W.Benson
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Re Hershey, the following appeared in a 2004 article in the Washington Post:

    “Milk chocolate contains so much milk and sugar that its percentage of true cacao may be as low as 10 percent, the minimum required by the FDA for calling it “chocolate” on the label. Hershey’s milk chocolate contains about 11 percent cacao. In contrast, a serious dark chocolate bar will contain anywhere from 65 percent to 85 percent cacao.”

    Let’s hear it for dark chocolate!

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Hear, hear!

    • darrelle
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      I don’t get milk chocolate. I’ve come to believe that it is for people who don’t really like chocolate.

      I’ve become more intolerant with age. I’m at the point where typical dark chocolates are now too sweet for my liking. Going by the enormous amount of testing I’ve done on this, it has to be no less than 68% for me to fully enjoy it. On the high end 85% is about the limit.

      • Kevin
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        62% – 74% is the sweet spot. Sometimes 54% can fee like solid sugar…very strange.

  11. Billy Bl.
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Turning away lost souls is cruel. It’s our duty to at least try to convert them. I once invited a JW in when I lived out in the sticks and admittedly was a bit eager for human contact. We talked for about an hour, him with his book, and me with my library. I think I made more progress with him than he did with me, because he came back a couple of weeks later for another lesson.

  12. jeremy pereira
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    OK, I was wondering where the US National Confectioners Association gets the authority to designate a particular day as International Chocolate Day, especially as Milton Hershey is virtually unknown outside of the USA. I’ve also heard reports that the chocolate in Hershey bars is inferior to the chocolate in European equivalents (although I’ve never eaten a Hershey bar, so this is just hearsay).

    Still, at least it is a different day to World Chocolate Day, giving us two days in the year on which to stuff our faces with “chocklit”, not that I need an excuse really.

    • GBJames
      Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      I don’t think any special authority is required for naming days. In fact, I hereby declare this to be:

      International Name-a-Day Day.

      Have at it!

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