Tuesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Good morning on The Cruelest Day: Tuesday (October 18, 2016). It is, however, National Chocolate Cupcake Day, undoubtedly invented by the U.S. Association of Chocolate Cupcake Manufacturers. Further, Wikipedia doesn’t know any statistics, for it says this about October 18: “This date is slightly more likely to fall on a Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday (58 in 400 years each) than on Friday or Saturday (57), and slightly less likely to occur on a Monday or Wednesday (56).”

On this day in 1386, Heidelberg University opened for business, with a big sideline in dueling and drinking. On October 18, 1944, the state funeral of Erwin Rommel took place in Ulm, Germany. Hitler had ordered his best general, who had plotted against him, to either face trial or commit suicide with a cyanide capsule. Rommel chose the latter. And on this day in 1954, Texas Instruments announced the release of the first transistor radio. I well remember being glued to mine in bed as a small boy. But those days are long gone!

Notables born on this day include A. J. Liebling (1904), one of the great food writers of our time (read his splendid book Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris, published in 1952), jazz singer Anita O’Day (1919), Pierre Trudeau (1919), Chuck Berry (1926; he’s ninety today!), George C. Scott (1927), Lee Harvey Oswald (1939), and Martina Navratilova (1956). Those who died on this day include Thomas Edison (1931), Walt Kelly (1973), and Sylvia Kristel (2012♥). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is having delusions of grandeur—as usual.

A: Hili, what are you doing here?
Hili: I’m impersonating a statue of a famous cat.

In Polish:
Ja: Hili, co tam robisz?
Hili: Udaję pomnik bardzo znanego kota.


In nearby Wloclawek, Leon is playing Sherlock Holmes in “His Last Bow.” Malgorazata’s explanation: “The slogan of our current government is: ‘Good change'”.
Leon: Hide! A change is apporoaching!
Lagniappe: a cartoon about Sophisticated Theology™ from reader Pliny the In Between:


  1. Posted October 18, 2016 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Great cartoon!

  2. Christopher
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I am still disappointed in my failure to see Chuck Berry live at some point in my life. I did get to see a great concert with his piano player, the late, great, and sadly overlooked Johnnie Johnson. He was fantastic, shook hands with him after his show, but stupidly failed to get his autograph. He seemed genuinely thrilled that me and my friend, two guys just barely turned 21, had shown up to see him. It’s a shame that so many of the Berry/Johnson recordings are so poorly mixed as to nearly lose his piano.

  3. DrBrydon
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    My father, originally a writer who was in and out of the newspaper business his whole life, was a huge fan of A.J. Liebling, especially his sports writing (much of it on boxing, a sport my father hated). I know him as a war correspondent and political commentator for his book about Earl Long, The Earl of Louisiana.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Hili is a rock and Leon the investigator.

    More local breaking news about 20 miles or so north of Omaha, Ne. at Tekama, Ne. Anhydrous Ammonia leak from an 8 inch pipeline. One person driving on Hwy 75 was killed. For anyone not familiar with NH3 this product is used primarily as fertilizer. Stored in liquid form but turns into a gas that can and will kill as reported here.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 18, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      This is the sort of thing that happens regularly when those who laud the idea of no regulations take charge. I don’t deny there are some stupid and unnecessary ones, but most are about preventing unnecessary deaths like this one.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted October 18, 2016 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        I guess they were lucky only one dead. A local farmer just driving down the road and soon was dead. Having used this product some myself, it is really bad when you get a whiff of the stuff. It will make you move to another location very quickly. Death would be pretty fast if you could not get away from it.

  5. Gilbert Klapper
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    On this date in 1851, Melville’s Moby Dick was first published. It only sold about 3000 copies while Melville was alive, according to the Writer’s Almanac.

    • busterggi
      Posted October 18, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Considering its’ link with the Lone Ranger you’d think it’d be more popular.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    If Pliny thinks there are sufficient lines in that maze, it is simply because Pliny has not drunk deeply enough from the Pierian spring of Duns Scotus, Anselm of Canterbury, and the Thomist scholastics. 🙂

    Great ‘toon, PtiB.

    • Pliny the in Between
      Posted October 18, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Pliny put that number of levels in the maze cause drawing mazes is a royal pain in the patootie.


      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 18, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        What is not immediately obvious is that there is only one route through the maze (but it ends up, of course at Big J).


      • JohnnieCanuck
        Posted October 19, 2016 at 12:56 am | Permalink

        Quite enjoyed your headless horseman cartoon. You are on the leading edge with this one. There are going to be so many scary orange pumpkins carved this year. I’m going to want to see a competition for the best likeness.

  7. Michael Fisher
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    PCC[e] quote: Further, Wikipedia doesn’t know any statistics, for it says this about October 18: “This date is slightly more likely to fall on a Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday (58 in 400 years each) than on Friday or Saturday (57), and slightly less likely to occur on a Monday or Wednesday (56).”

    I don’t understand where Wiki is wrong in their conclusion about statistics. There are exactly 20,871 weeks in 400 Gregorian calender years, but 20,871 isn’t divisible by 7

    Thus the cycle of dates/days of the week repeats seamlessly every 400 years. For example if 18th Oct 2016 falls on a Tuesday [and it does] then we can be certain that 18th Oct 2416 will also fall on a Tuesday

    This means that some days of the week for a given date are more common than others & this discrepancy holds true even into deep time because there are as yet no codified leap day adjustments except on the four year, 100 year & 400 year cycles


    if (year is not divisible by 4) then (it is a common year)
    else if (year is not divisible by 100) then (it is a leap year)
    else if (year is not divisible by 400) then (it is a common year)
    else (it is a leap year)

    In 400 years the 13th of the month occurs this often on each day of the week:
    684 times it’s a Thursday
    684 times it’s a Saturday
    685 times it’s a Monday
    685 times it’s a Tuesday
    687 times it’s a Sunday
    687 times it’s a Wednesday
    688 times it’s a Friday

    Thus a randomly chosen 13th of the month will fall more often than average on a Friday

  8. Posted October 18, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Sorry, I know about “the cruelest month”, but not the cruelest day. Anyone want to enlighten me?

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 18, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      My question too.


  9. Posted October 18, 2016 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Somehow I think of those churches that have put up those “maze walks” for whatever reason.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 18, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      In medieval times, penitents would do those on their knees because it was more painful to show their devotion.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 18, 2016 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        Depends if it was a grassed surface or if some officious little sadist had put down gravel.

        (Don’t get me wrong, I love gravel. Loose. For driving on. ‘s fun. But not for walking on).


  10. Kevin
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Pliny’s illustration is spot on.

    ‘God of the gaps’ should just mean we dot not know the answer and possibly we may never know. What Sophisticated Christian Theologians are always motivated by is there behind their, “You scientists do not have all answers!” is really the uninspired, delusional hope that “It must be God. Excuse us, it must be our God. Excuse us, again, it is the Son of God, whose name is Jesus Christ. The answer to all.”

  11. Christopher
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    News Flash: according to the BBC, Chuck Berry is releasing a new album!

  12. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    A maze-ing spot on cartoon!

  13. Larry Smith
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks again for turning me on to A. J. Liebling. I read “Between Meals” after reading about it in WEIT. There is much wonderful writing in that book about food and life.

    As an example, I still remember his observation about how his lack of money as a “student” in Paris taught him how to appreciate food. The rich person can eat whatever he/she wants, and thus has no need to develop a discerning palate. However, the person with limited money must out of necessity learn how to maximize their funds. As such, they quickly learn which wine is the best value, and why, and how to appreciate the more humble staples of one’s cuisine.

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