Friday: Hili dialogue

It’s September 23, 2016, a Friday, and National White Chocolate Day, a useless comestible that perhaps finds its best instantiation in white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. On this day in 1642 occurred the first commencement at Harvard University, now ranked the best university in the world (suck it up, Oggsford–you’re #10!).  On this day in 1980, Bob Marley played his last concert, in Pittsburgh. He died of melanoma the next year at the age of 36.

Notables born on this day include Walter Lippmann (1889), Mickey Rooney (1920), and Bruce Springsteen (1949, just a tad older than I am). Those who died on this day include Wilkie Collins (1889), Sigmund Freud (1939, jaw cancer from too many cigars), Pablo Neruda (1973), and limnologist Ruth Patrick (2013). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has a bit of an enigmatic dialogue, lying as she is on the kitchen floor. I asked Malgorzata for an explanation and got this:

People are praying for peace, people are fasting to please God so he would give the world peace. Hili decided to add her own effort; but the impact of Hili’s fasting on the world’s peace is absolutely equal to the effort of millions praying people, including the Pope and all possible clerics. So, why not? One of our readers already asked Hili how many minutes she intends to fast for.
A: What are you doing here?
Hili: I’m fasting for peace.
In Polish:
Ja: Co tu robisz?
Hili: Poszczę dla pokoju.
As lagniappe, we have the lovely Blue Jay of Happiness (Cyanocitta cristata), sent from Montreal by Anne-Marie Cournoyer. Look at the lovely pattern!


  1. Jonathan Smith
    Posted September 23, 2016 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    You mean Friday right?

    • Dominic
      Posted September 23, 2016 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      He has a lot of professor stuff & cat stuff to remember, so who cares what day! 😉

    • Posted September 23, 2016 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Dom’s right, but I have fixed it. I have cat shit to do!

  2. Posted September 23, 2016 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Your opening sentence confused me – but I have only had one cup of coffee!!!

  3. BobTerrace
    Posted September 23, 2016 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    US News college rankings ranks Princeton as top university and Harvard as second. ( U of Chicago and Yale tied for third). Princeton has ranked first for a couple of years in that yearly ranking which is generally accepted as the preeminent ranking list.

    • Dominic
      Posted September 23, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink


      Oxford IS top!

      • David Duncan
        Posted September 23, 2016 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        The nice thing about Oxford is that it’s not in Boston. 🙂

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

          1. Harvard is not in Boston but Cambridge.
          2. That shows that you don’t know Boston OR Cambridge! 😦

          • David Duncan
            Posted September 23, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

            That’s like saying Cicero or O’Hare isn’t in Chicago. Cambridge is in the Boston metro area.

            I’d like to visit Boston/Cambridge but wouldn’t care to live there.

            • ploubere
              Posted September 23, 2016 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

              Boston’s a pretty cool city, what have you got against it?

              • David Duncan
                Posted September 23, 2016 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

                The political climate.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 23, 2016 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      I’ll settle for the money it cost today to spend 4 years at any of them.

  4. dabertini
    Posted September 23, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Isn’t Harvard the home of the dubious Mehmet oz?

    • Dominic
      Posted September 23, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      I thought he came from Oz…

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 23, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        Can we arrange to land a Kansas farmhouse on him?

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted September 23, 2016 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Also Jill Stein – both the college and medical school

    • rickflick
      Posted September 23, 2016 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Dubious? I thought he looked well matched sitting with the Donald talking health issues. If you combined the integrity of both, it would fit on the tip of a fruit fly’s antenna.

  5. Christopher
    Posted September 23, 2016 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Ruth Patrick had quite the scientific life story. In an age when we are constantly told by hashtag heroes and twitter-twerps that all of science is sexist, in her background we see a woman whose mother insisted she attend a woman’s college but her dad insisted on special summer courses to ensure she got the proper science education (according to wikipedia) and later, even after two marriages, she used her maiden name (again thanks to dad’s insistence) on her scientific papers. I don’t know if he was some sort of proto-feminist or just really proud of his daughter but it appears to be a good story about a father doing all he can to help his daughter be the very impressive person she was to become, and I assume not because he was a man and she was his little girl, but because he was a good parent. Of course wikipedia and my interpretation might be wrong, but what is clear is that she was a scientific badass.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 23, 2016 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      I’ll go with your assessment.

  6. eric
    Posted September 23, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    If the lagniappe is referring to the They Might Be Giants lyrics, it’s “…bluebird of friendliness,” not jays and happiness.

    And personally, I’ve always thought jays were bird bullies. Nice to look at but very territorial and aggressive. Bluebird of friendliness is much more ecologically accurate than blue jay of happiness. 🙂

  7. darrelle
    Posted September 23, 2016 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    “. . . September 23, 2016, a Friday, and National White Chocolate Day, a useless comestible that perhaps finds its best instantiation in white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

    This is perhaps the most accurate thing you have ever said Jerry. Except for the cookie part. Macadamia nut cookies are approximately 98.625 times better with bittersweet chocolate chunks than with white chocolate chunks, according to the extensive meta-study I’ve conducted over the past several decades.

    Interestingly, there is also a strong correlation between increased preference for white chocolate macadamia cookies over dark chocolate macadamia cookies and higher levels of religiosity. My data suggests that a campaign mocking those who claim to like to eat white chocolate could be effective at helping to reduce religiosity.

    • Jeff Lewis
      Posted September 23, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      A pox on both your houses. White chocolate is obviously the superior variety. It doesn’t rely on the overbearing flavors from all those cocoa solids added to the mix, but instead allows the subtle flavors and aromas of the other ingredients to really shine. And the absence of all those grainy solids makes the texture of white chocolate silky smooth.

      And I’ve never understood the point of bittersweet chocolate chips, or for that matter, any dessert that’s not ‘too sweet’. There’s no such thing as ‘too sweet’ when it comes to dessert. That’s the whole point. Bittersweet chocolate chip cookies are a cruel joke – hey, here’s a cookie for you. Just kidding. I mixed in these bitter chunks of awful through the whole thing. But at least chocolate chip cookies are better than oatmeal raisin cookies, the ultimate bait and switch when it comes to thinking you’re getting dessert.

      (Since I didn’t use a winking emoji – I’m being partly sarcastic. I prefer white chocolate and sweet desserts myself, but wouldn’t presume to dictate anyone else’s tastes. And I would never in real life turn down fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.)

      • darrelle
        Posted September 23, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink


        We do agree on one thing. Oatmeal raisin cookies stink. The only thing worse I can think of are those truly awful no-bake oatmeal cookie things. WTF is the point? If it ain’t baked it ain’t a cookie!

      • eric
        Posted September 23, 2016 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Sarcasm noted. I guess it depends on your taste buds. Mine don’t go ape over sweetness, so I like the chocolates where you can taste the actual chocolate.

        I will fully agree with you that grabbing a chocolate chip cookie and taking a big delicious bite, only to find it was oatmeal raisin, is evidence there is no God. Such a crime against nature would never happen in a just world.

  8. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 23, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Oxford was reportedly #1 from the last few days you know, in the news. Can’t recall much more.

  9. Woof
    Posted September 23, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget Oxford’s comma!

    As for the Blue Jay: Lovely plumage!

  10. Jonathan Wallace
    Posted September 23, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Harvard does not charge fees to undergrads from low income families which is a fantastic deal for those who qualify! For those that are obliged to pay fees Oxford seems to be substantially cheaper with UK and (for now) EU students paying just $11,700 per annum fees compared to $48,000 for Harvard (excluding accomodation and food). For non EU overseas students at Oxford the difference is not so great but still in Oxford’s favour with charges of between $30,000 and $40,000 approximately, depending on the programme of study.
    I have no idea what all of this means in terms of value for money but any student attending one or other of these universities can consider him/herself fortunate!

  11. ploubere
    Posted September 23, 2016 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I loved bluejays for their plumage when I was a young child, until I observed their shrill and aggressive personalities. I guess I learned a lesson about the deceptiveness of physical beauty.

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