Sunday: Hili dialogue

It’s Sunday, December 11, 2016, meaning that it’s National “Have a Bagel” Day, which sounds pretty good to me, though there’s small chance of having my favorite: an onion bagel with a schmear and a good piece of lox. If Adam Gopnik is reading this, I’d urge him (being in the right city) to celebrate appropriately. It’s also International Mountain Day and, in Argentina, National Tango Day, honoring  Julio de Caro (a conductor and composer of tango) in 1899.

On this day in 1936, Edward VIII’s abdication became effective; Wikipedia characterizes that as a “crisis”. And, on December 11, 1962, Arthur Lucas became one of the last two people executed in Canada (both on the same day). The method was hanging. Now the U.S. stands with Japan as the only First World democracies that still kill prisoners. On December 11, 1964, Che Guevara spoke to the United Nations (in Spanish). Here’s his speech with English subtitles. Within five years he was dead: captured and shot in Bolivia.

Notables born on this day include Robert Koch (1843), Max Born (1882), Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918, the speaker at my graduation from Harvard), Tom Hayden (1939), John Kerry (1943), and Hailee Steinfeld (1996). Those who died on this day include Sam Cooke (1964) and Bettie Page (2008). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is discovering one of the rules of dealing with the Internet:

Hili: May just anybody write in the Internet whatever they think?
A: Basically, yes.
Hili: But you don’t have to read it?
In Polish:
Hili: Czy w Internecie każdy może napisać co myśli?
Ja: W zasadzie tak.
Hili: Ale nie musicie tego czytać?
Lagniappe: a lovely old New Yorker cartoon sent by reader Susan H.:



  1. Mike
    Posted December 11, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    That Cartoon is brilliant.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      On so many levels. Myth within myth.

  2. Benjamin
    Posted December 11, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Maybe I am worng but there seems to be a typo. In what year did Solzhenitsyn speak at Harvard? I’m reading The Gulag Achipelago these days.

    • Posted December 11, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      He spoke in 1978 when I was awarded my Ph.D. The transcript of his address (which I was present to hear) can be found here.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 11, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Hili is so correct…you don’t have to read it. It’s just like television in that regard.

  4. rickflick
    Posted December 11, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Hili is especially perspicacious this morning. I’m sure she’s a voracious reader, but she hints at not reading, and sometimes that’s the right thing to do.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure she’s a voracious reader,

      Sounds like a lot of what she reads is written on the inside of mice.
      Beats some “newspapers”.

  5. HaggisForBrains
    Posted December 11, 2016 at 8:40 am | Permalink


  6. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted December 11, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Sam Cooke is one of several former Gospel singers who angered his original fan base when he later recorded secular music. Today he is solely remembered for the latter.

  7. jeremy pereira
    Posted December 12, 2016 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    For some reason, I feel the need to stand up for Ronald Turpin who was the other person to be executed in Canada on December 11, 1962 and who is not immortalised on the Wikipedia page, presumably because he went first.

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