Wednesday: Hili dialogue

It’s Hump Day—Wednesday, November 30, 2016, and the last day of the month. It’s National Mousse Day, and they’re not talking about hair products. In South Africa it’s also Regina Mundi Day, commemorating a Soweto church that was a focus of anti-apartheid activity.

On this day in 1872, the very first international football match took place in Glasgow between Scotland and England.  The matched ended in a 0-0 tie; I guess there was no overtime or no penalty kicks back then. On this day in 1947, the 1947-48 Civil War began in “Mandatory Palestine” when, after the UN passed a resolution for partition, creating the state of Israel, Arabs began attacking Jewish civilians. Finally, on this day in 1982, Michael Jackson released his terrific album “Thriller,” which remains the best-selling album in rock history.

Notables born on this day include Mark Twain (1835, real name Samuel Clemens), Winston Churchill (1874), Dick Clark (1929), Terrence Malick (1943, don’t miss his terrific movie “Days of Heaven,” one of the most beautifully photographed movies I’ve seen), and Billy Idol (1955). Those who died on this day include Oscar Wilde (1900, Paris), Tiny Tim (1996; remember him and his live-on-television marriage to Miss Vicki?), and Evel Knievel (2007). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, who can slip through the gate, is waiting for the staff to open it for her friend Cyrus..

Hili: How long do we have to wait for them at the gate?
A: I’m wondering the same thing.
In Polish:
Hili: Jak długo mamy na nich czekać pod tą bramą?
Cyrus: Też się nad tym zastanawiam.
As lagniappe, here’s the latest from Maru: “Maru and Mixing Bowl, part 3”. Look at that adorable bowl o’ cat, along with his little toes. Notice, too, all the cat toys and furniture in the background:

And today’s Google Doodle pays homage to Jagadish Chandra Bose, the Indian scientific polymath born on this day in 1858 (died 1937).



Bose. He also wrote science fiction


  1. peter
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    “for his friend Cyrus”

  2. Stephen Barnard
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Mark Twain: born 1835

    • Posted November 30, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Whoops, sorry! Fixed it.

      • Posted November 30, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Your report of Mark Twain’s birth was greatly exaggerated, Jerry.

        • Stephen Barnard
          Posted November 30, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink


        • HaggisForBrains
          Posted December 1, 2016 at 3:29 am | Permalink


  3. Stephen Barnard
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    By the way, Mark Twain was born on the day of the appearance of Halley’s Comet in 1835, and died on the day of its next appearance in 1910. He himself predicted this in 1909, when he said: “I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it.”

  4. Mike
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    I’m coming around to the idea of determinism,and Maru’s tail proves it.

  5. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    International football friendlies don’t tend to end in extra time and penalty shoot-outs. It’s only knock-out matches that do, and I don’t think it was any different back then. So it’s not surprising that the first international ended without a penalty shoot out or extra time. Even less surprising that it ended 0-0 considering it was England vs Scotland, hardly the two teams you go to for free-flowing attacking play.

    The governing bodies have experimented with various ways of ‘livening up’ extra time, as there is a general tendency on the part of teams to play cautious and dull football once the game has reached that stage(lots of teams, particularly the underdogs, stop trying to score in extra-time and just ‘play for penalties’, in the belief that there’s roughly a 50/50 chance for them to win in that situation). The turn of the century saw France win the European Championship with a ‘golden goal’ in extra time. The golden goal rule had just been introduced, and didn’t last long AFAICR, but the idea was that teams would really go for it if they knew that the first goal in extra time would immediately win the match outright. I don’t remember it making a great deal of difference – teams ended up being even more cautious if anything.

    I have a soft spot for an alternative to penalties that I think the American league in the 70s(the one which attracted Pele, George Best, etc.) tried: it was the footballing equivalent of a penalty in hockey, where the player has to dribble from the halfway line and score past the goalie. Rather than simply muller the ball as hard as they can from 12 yards out, they have to use dribbling skill and there are lots of ways they could score. It would be so much more entertaining, and you might at least be able to argue that the more skillful team won at the end of it, which you can’t say with penalties.

    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted November 30, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      “Even less surprising that it ended 0-0 considering it was England vs Scotland, hardly the two teams you go to for free-flowing attacking play”.

      Not sure that the tactics or style of play employed in 1872 bore much relationship to that employed by any modern day team! The next match they played ended 4-2 to England and the next ten games after that ended 2-1 (scotland), 2-2,3-0 (scotland), 3-1 Scotland), 7-2 (scotland), 5-4 (england), 5-4 (Scotland), 6-1 (scotland), 5-1 (scotland) and 3-2 (scotland). I believe the two sides have played each other a total of 113 times with 72 of those games ending with a result (i.e. not a draw) and 67 of them involving more than two goals being scored.

      There have been some memorable matches along the way – Paul Gascoigne’s goal for England in their 2-0 victory of Scotland in the 1996 European Championships, for example, will be long remembered.

  6. Dominic
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Did someone say something? I was busy, Dancing With Myself…

    UK’s Google Doodle is Scottish for St. Andrew’s Day… a less enlightened fellow!

    • jeremy pereira
      Posted November 30, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Yes, the rest of the World gets a great scientists, we have to put up with a pedlar of religious myths who never even went near Scotland – at least, not when he was alive.

  7. Jenny Haniver
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I think that Maru is indeed the funniest cat. Can anyone enlighten me about the particular kind of slow, deliberate tail lashing that Maru’s engaging in? I know cats do that in various situations (something similar when they’re watching prey or preparing to fight another cat), but he does that sort of lashing a lot when on camera (frequently when staring or glaring straight into the camera, he seems quite camera-conscious) and for me it’s almost impossible not to engage in anthropomorphic fancy and imagine that he knows he’s being photographed for highly dubious reasons (because his habits are very funny and make people laugh) and it’s a kind of ‘I know what you’re up to and that you think I look ridiculous and am engaging in droll self-mockery trying vainly to stuff my chubby body into very tiny spaces, much too small for me, and go to sleep, but this is what I do and what I like to do,and so f*you.’ And is it a particular trait of Scottish Folds to want to cram their bodies into impossibly tiny spaces?

  8. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Good to know there is something by Terrence Malick you really like even if ”Tree of Life” isn’t one of them. 🙂

    A fave of mine is “The New World”.

  9. barn owl
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    In an attempt to replicate some of the delicious meals I had while traveling in Japan last year, I recently bought a clay pot for making donabe-type dishes (in the Japan-town part of San Francisco). I then learned that if you Google “neko nabe,” you end up with loads of adorable photos of cats curled up in Japanese clay cooking pots.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted November 30, 2016 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      I just Googled “neko nabe” and the photos are adorable.

      • barn owl
        Posted December 1, 2016 at 5:59 am | Permalink

        Given the inexorable forces of the internetz, a Maru nabe seems inevitable.

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