Tuesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s the penultimate day of November: the 29th, and it’s the year 2016, which means it’s National Chocolates Day. In honor of that, I’ve put some powdered cocoa into my latte to make it into a sort-of mocha. It’s also William Tubman‘s birthday, celebrated in Liberia, where he was that nation’s longest-serving President.

On this day in history, there was a particularly horrible event; as Wikipedia notes, “The crew of the British slave ship Zong murders 133 Africans by dumping them into the sea to claim insurance.” The courts ruled that killing slaves was legal and the insurers indeed had to pay. If you have the stomach, read the entry about how women and children were shoved through the ship’s portholes to their deaths. One quails at how callous human nature was in those days, and marvels at how things have changed. In 1899, the FC Barcelona Association football club was founded, and, on this day in 1963, Lyndon Johnson convened the Warren Commission to investigate the murder of John F. Kennedy.

Notables born on this day include Louisa May Alcott (1832; see below), as well as her father Amos Bronson Alcott (1799). Also born on November 29 was the popular theologian C. S. Lewis (1898), whose book Mere Christianity I’ve recently read (thanks, Grania!), amazed that so many people found its arguments convincing. But of course they wanted to be convinced of a faith they already had, except for atheists like Francis Collins, who said they were converted by that mushy book. Finally, today’s the birthday of Kim Delaney (1961; ♥). Those who died on this day include Natalie Wood (drowned 1981; ♥). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, although an atheist cat, finds invoking religion convenient at times:

Hili: The basket fell over. Let me in otherwise I will be blamed.
A: And who knocked the basket down?
Hili: The Holy Ghost.

 In Polish:
Hili: Kosz się przewrócił. Wpuść mnie do domu, bo będzie na mnie.
Ja: A kto go przewrócił?
Hili: Duch Święty.
And, in nearby Wloclawek, Leon exercises his hunting instincts:

Leon: I hunted down something furry. [Malgorzata says it’s a hat.]

And out in Winnipeg, where snow has blanketed the ground, reader Taskin sends a photo of a disappointed Gus, which has this caption:

All dressed up and nowhere to go:


Finally Google has a Doodle honoring Louisa May Alcott and her book Little Women, though it’s not animated:

Today’s Doodle portrays Beth, Jo, Amy, and Meg March, as well as Jo’s best friend Laurie, their neighbor. The March family of Little Women was based on Alcott’s own, and the coltish Jo was Louisa’s vision of herself: strewing manuscript pages in her wake, charging ahead with the courage of her convictions, and cherishing her family above all.



  1. Paul S.
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    In remembrance of Natalie Wood I’ll watch one of my favorite movies, The Great Race. That it didn’t make AFI’s top 100 comedies while Moonstruck and Bull Durham did is criminal.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted November 30, 2016 at 3:55 am | Permalink

      Great film, with the best pie fight ever. I love the way Tony Curtis stays immaculate almost to the end.

  2. rickflick
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    National Chocolates Day calls for a celebration! I’ll be having a large chunk of Choceur Milk Hazelnut Crisp this afternoon. I am resisting the temptation of having Winston Churchill’s favorite treat – Fudge with Portuguese fortified wine.

    I am also having French toast for breakfast right now, WRT yesterdays named day (real maple syrup [not Mrs. Betterworth’s]).

    For some reason, I’m hoping Heather Hasty will be having it too.

    Zong murders:
    “One quails at how callous human nature was in those days, and marvels at how things have changed.”

    I’m now reading Steven Pinker’s Better Angels where he analyzes the various factors that went into our evolution away from violence and callousness. One of his conclusions is that probably our shift toward widespread literacy was a very important reason. This is because early novels conditioned people toward greater empathy since the reader is encouraged to see the world through the eyes of fictional characters – and to put human suffering into a less egocentric perspective. Luisa May Alcott did her part in this important work.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      No breakfast for me today, but I’ll try French Toast sometime soon. And, it’s the 30th here, so chocolate day is over.

      • rickflick
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        I think they allow a grace day. At least for chocolate. 😉

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted November 29, 2016 at 3:33 pm | Permalink


      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted November 30, 2016 at 3:56 am | Permalink

        Happy St. Andrew’s Day 🙂

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted November 30, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

          I thought that was a month away yet? I went to St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church as a kid!

  3. Leigh
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Never really liked Alcott’s books. Why would any girl reading them admire Jo, who made it clear she thought girls were worthless? I wonder how many other girls felt a deep sense of betrayal when Jo married and became a mother to boys only.

  4. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    The most glaring problem in “Mere Christianity” is the Lord, Liar, or Lunatic trilemma of which the obvious 4th alternative is….Legend.

    I also am less convinced there really is a common core to all forms of Christianity than Lewis is.

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