Wednesday: Hili dialogue

Reminder: Starting tomorrow I’ll be in Pittsburgh for the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s annual convention, so posting will be light until Monday. If you’re going, see you there!

It’s October 5, 2016, and also National Apple Betty Day (if you don’t know this arcane dessert, go here). The reason for the name “betty” is lost in the mists of time, but Wikipedia notes that it was a favorite of Ronald and Nancy Reagan when they lived in the White House. It’s also International Day of No Prostitution, but somehow I don’t think that will be obeyed by anyone whose intentions were to engage a prostitute.

On this day in history, in 1793, Christianity was disestablished in France, those opposing it, of course, would be proponents of antidisestablishmentarianism (a real word).  On October 5, 1944, women in France finally won the right to vote and, in 1962, The Beatles’ first single, “Love Me Do” (B side: “P.S. I Love You”) was released in the UK; nine years later, the first episode of Monty Python aired  on BBC One. And on this day in 2001, Barry Bonds hit home runs #71 and #72, setting the record that stands today.

Notables born on this day include Peyton Rous (1879), Larry Fine of the Three Stooges and Ray Croc (both 1902), Mountaineer Willi Unsoeld (1926; his daughter, Nanda Devi Unsoeld, named after a Himalayan peak, died trying to climb that very peak), Václav Havel (1936), Neil deGrasse Tyson (1958) and Maya Lin (1959). Those who died on this day include Lars Onsager (1976; I once shared a bathroom with him at Rockefeller University), Rodney Dangerfield (2004), and Bert Jansch and Steve Jobs (both 2011). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has a new toy, a “crunchy ball,” but, unlike Gus, she either hasn’t figured it out or is too lazy to use it herself. As Malgorzata reports:

Our clever Hili is not so clever when it comes to this toy. We bought it for her a few days ago and she didn’t yet get what to do with it. When Andrzej rolls it and the snacks fall out, she is very interested and eats the snacks. But when it stops she doesn’t push it. She sits, looks at it, looks at Andrzej, and waits.
A: Do you like your new toy?
Hili: Yes, very much but you have to roll it for me so that snacks will fall out.
In Polish:
Ja: Podoba ci się ta nowa zabawka?
Hili: Tak, bardzo, tylko musisz ją obracać, żeby chrupki z niej wypadały.

And out in the frigid wastes of Winnipeg, Gus is enjoying some afternoon sunlight:



  1. Christopher
    Posted October 5, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I think the “record” set by Bonds requires an asterisk next to the 71 & 72. Same for anything McGwire and Sosa may or may not have legally or illegally accomplished. And let us forever recall the great sign held up by a fan during McGwire’s drug run, er, I mean, home run record setting:

    “Babe Ruth did it on hotdogs and beer!”

  2. Dominic
    Posted October 5, 2016 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    And another Scot shared a Nobel prize today!

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted October 6, 2016 at 4:34 am | Permalink


  3. Mike Cracraft
    Posted October 5, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I’m wondering if the “Betty” was names after Betty Crocker.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 5, 2016 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      The recipe is almost exactly my Apple Crumble recipe, which I got from my mother, which she got from her mother, which she got from her mother, who is older than Betty Crocker. Maybe Betty Crocker made it famous in the US?

  4. thompjs
    Posted October 5, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink


    When I was young I was told that was the longest English word.

  5. chris moffatt
    Posted October 5, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Hili must be wondering where she has failed in her training of Andrzej.

    • Taz
      Posted October 5, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Exactly! I understand how waiters bring me food in restaurants but I’m not going into the kitchen and getting it myself.

  6. JohnnieCanuck
    Posted October 5, 2016 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Hey! Winnipeg has great weather. Right about now, that is, when the first frosts have killed the mosquitoes and the highs are closer to 20 than to 40. 40 above or 40 below, that is. Which leaves spring, when the melting snow turns the aeolian clay into gumbo. So, great weather once a year, for maybe a month. I’ve only been back once in 50 years. Fortunately, it was in the fall.

    When a Winnipeg kid walks through a potato field in the spring, the loess sticks to the bottom of his gumboots and starts to squish out and curl up around the edges. Fascinating physics at work. At this point someone is going to try to kick out and send a sticky lump flying at his companion’s back. A true friend will go and get your boot back for you as you stand there, balancing on one foot. Attempting to hop in that stuff is highly unlikely to end well. Hubris, meet nemesis.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted October 5, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Ahhhh Winterpeg.

    • chris moffatt
      Posted October 6, 2016 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      I spent two weeks in Winnipeg once, in January. It warmed up to -27F the morning I left, having been -30F or lower, and clammy feeling, the whole time. And man, does that wind ever whip around Portage and Main? Until I experienced it I’d always thought it was urban legend. I was quite glad to get back to Labrador

  7. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 5, 2016 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    International Day of No Prostitution.

    (They couldn’t find a catchier title for it, like Tie-a-knot-in-it Day?)

    It would be interesting to see if it makes the slightest dent in, errm, attendance figures. If I was in the market, I think I’d be prompted to take trip down Red Light district, just to help the figures along a little.


    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 5, 2016 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      Of rather more import for everyone (except possibly Madame Fifi), is the disestablishment of religion in France. 1793! That’s a hell of long time ago! Of course I (and I think everyone here) is an anti-antidisestablishmentarianist.

      And of course, the other most significant event in modern times, the launch of the immortal Monty Python. Who were also, being iconoclasts, no friends of organised religion. Just by way of celebration, here’s a link to the best scenes from their magnum opus ‘Life of Brian’ –


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