Saturday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Today is October 15, 2016, the last day of Coynefest, which will repair after lunch to a big cabin in the Indiana woods for PARTY TIME! Here’s a photo from yesterday’s festivities, which reminds me a bit of the Crucifixion panel in the Isenheim Altarpiece.  Front left: Bruce Grant, my undergraduate mentor at William & Mary, and also the mentor of Mohamed Noor (my second student, behind him), and mentor as well of Allen Orr, my first student (rear, right). Front right: John Willis, a Ph.D. student at Chicago, now a professor at Duke, and whose father, as Dean of Students at William and & Mary, was also a mentor of mine.  Mohamed is just finishing up as chair of Evolutionary Biology at Duke, and Allen is a the Shirley Kearn Cox Professor at the University of Rochester. More on CoyneFest when the dust has settled on Monday.



(Christ analogy not intended)

Today is also Global Handwashing Day, and remember to scrub your mitts for twice as long as it takes to sing the first verse of “Happy Birthday to You.” On this day in 1793, Marie Antoinette was convicted in a French kangaroo court, and executed the next day. On this day in 1951, the first episode of I Love Lucy (the source of the names of Stephen Barnard’s eagles) aired on CBS television. And, in 1969, The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam was held in Washington D.C., along with similar demonstrations throughout the U.S.. Over 250,000 people showed up in Washington, and I was one of them.

Notables born on this day include P. G. Wodehouse (1881), Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (1917), and Sarah, Duchess of York (1959). Those who died on this day include Mata Hari (1917; executed by the Germans), Hermann Göring (1946, suicide while imprisoned), Cole Porter (1964), and Vincent Canby (2000). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej carries Hili to the couch, but she reminds him that she’s The Decider of her own comfort:

A: I will carry you from my armchair to a more comfortable place.
Hili: The level of comfort is judged by the body itself, not by a bystander.
In Polish:
Ja: Przeniosę cię z mojego fotela na jakieś wygodniejsze miejsce.
Hili: Poziom komfortu ocenia własne ciało, a nie osoby postronne.
 In nearby Wloclawek, tabby Leon is taking shelter from the storm:

Leon: Here I am, why are you surprised? It’s blowing.
A friend sent me this sarcastic comment on Bob Dylan’s winning the Nobel Prize for Literature:


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Not intended? Indeed, JC.

    Here’s a hand washing tip from the Red Cross : rubbing the hands/fingers/thumbs together can help germ control. You have to generate some heat, and go for a while. Makes sense – denature proteins. Very helpful when access to hygiene is limited, like a cabin in Indiana.

  2. Christopher
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Commonly used nowadays to get small children to wash their hands properly is this little ditty…

    Tops and Bottoms: Handwashing Song
    Tune: Where is Thumbkin?

    Tops and bottoms, tops and bottoms,
    In between, in between.
    Scrub them all together,
    Scrub them all together,
    Now they’re clean,
    Squeaky clean!

    Quite a bit different, say, than the advice given by George Carlin in his comedy special “You’re All Diseased”:

    “When I was a little boy in New York City in the 1940s, we swam in the Hudson River, and it was filled with raw sewage. OK? We swam in raw sewage — you know, to cool off. And at that time, the big fear was polio. Thousands of kids died from polio every year. But you know something? In my neighborhood, no one ever got polio. No one. Ever. You know why? ‘Cause we swam in raw sewage!”

    Take your pick.

  3. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    ‘Remember to scrub your mitts for twice as long as it takes to sing the first verse of “Happy Birthday to You.” ‘

    That will either be zero time or forever, depending how you count it, because I kinda detest that song.

    Also, I was going to point out, it’s copyright, but it seems some spoilsport just recently settled that –

    How about I just scrub them for half a minute instead?


  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Woods in Indiana? Who knew? Good to see Leon is still out there in good form.

  5. GBJames
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    In the Dunes somewhere?

  6. Posted October 15, 2016 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Hili looks like such a nice cat.

  7. Posted October 15, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Looks like a scene from Seraphic Park. And yes, Keith Richards should receive accolades for his personal breakthrough in body chemistry.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted October 15, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Keith Richards invented “Pickled People”? Who’d-a-thunk it?

  8. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Trump could win the Nobel peace prize for uniting both of our major political parties…

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 15, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      It will be interesting to see what the GOP does with regard to their internal selection processes after he loses. (Or even if he wins). First Sarah Palin, now Trump. Will they try to find some way to prevent such a blatantly unsuitable candidate from getting so far?


      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted October 16, 2016 at 4:15 am | Permalink

        I hope not.

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    One of the great underappreciated achievements of P. G. Wodebouse is the lyrics to the song “Bill” from Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammersreins musical “Showboat”. It had been discarded from an earlier show by Kern and Wodehouse.

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Whoever did that poster of Keith owes me for the keyboard I just did the coffee spit-take allover.

  11. W.Benson
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Last picture made me roll over backwards.

  12. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Notables born on this day include P. G. Wodehouse (1881),

    Ah, that may explain why there were a couple of questions on Wodehouse in last night’s “Mastermind”.
    Then again, given the production lead time, maybe it was just coincidence.

  13. Claudia Baker
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Andrzej’s gentle cradling of Hili, and Hili’s obvious and absolute trust in his arms is a wonderful sight to behold.

  14. Posted October 15, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Minor correction – Mata Hari was executed by the French, not the Germans. She was convicted of spying for the Germans.

  15. nicky
    Posted October 16, 2016 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Since you mention hand washing, we are indebted for that to the unsung hero Ignatz Semmelweiss.
    He discovered that the high incidence of perpueral fever (with a very high maternal death rate) in his Vienna hospital was caused by ‘something’ in the anatomy labs, when a friend of him died from perpueral fever after dissection with a wound on his hand.
    He analysed data and saw that the start of the anatomy labs coincided with the vertiginously high rates of maternal death from perpueral fever.
    He started a chlorine handwash in his maternal wards, and the death rate dropped steeply.
    Of course he was attacked, since he was not very diplomatic, he ended up by calling the drs and profs who refused to wash their hands murderers (which can indeed be argued).
    He was lured into a lunatic asylum,’going to see a case’, and a strugle ensued when he realized he was the target to be interned. He died 2 weeks later from his injuries incurred during that struggle. A very sad story indeed.
    Only 15 years later he was vindicated by Louis Pasteur.
    Ignatz Semmelweiss, remember that name. He saved thousands (if not millions) of women’s lives. Our great-grandmothers and mothers. Without him you might not even exist.

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