It’s December 12, 2016—two weeks till Boxing Day. And it’s both National Cocoa Day (appropriate given the amount of snow and the cold temperatures here) and also National Ambrosia Day, a fruit salad made with a variety of things that don’t meld well (Wikipedia gives the most common ingredients as fresh or sweetened pineapple, mandarin oranges or fresh orange sections, miniature marshmallows, and coconut. I’m not too fond of it, but I’d eat it if it were the only dessert on tap. It’s also Kanji Day in Japan, an unusual holiday in which the Japanese vote on a written character that best represents the events of the year. I’m not sure how it works, for this year’s character is already on Wikipedia as having been chosen. Perhaps the character is first chosen by the Japanese Kanji Proficiency Society, and then there’s simply a yes or no vote. Japanese-knowledgable readers, please weigh in.
Here’s this year’s kanji:
And the explanation:
High number of gold medals won at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the shift to minus interest (“interest rate” is “kinri” in Japanese), Trump’s U.S. presidential election victory, and Piko Taro, singer of ‘PPAP’, who’s known for wearing a gold-colored animal print outfit.
On this day in 1911, Delhi replaced Calcutta as the capital city of India. A good thing, too, as Delhi is much nicer (I’ve been to both places). In 1935, Himmler started the Lebensborn project, a scheme to increase the production of more Aryan types. Exactly 6 years later, Hitler announced his plan to exterminate the Jews, though I’m dubious of that Wikipedia entry since I know of no formal document or announcement of that, beyond Hitler’s intimations in Mein Kampf. On December 12, 1963, Kenya became independent of the UK, and, in 2000, the infamous Bush v. Gore decision came down from the Supreme Court, effectively declaring GW the President.
Notables born on this day include John Jay (1745), Gustave Flaubert (1821), Edvard Munch (1863), Edward G. Robinson (1893), Frank Sinatra (1915), Ted Kennedy (1925), Buford Pusser (1937; I just wanted to write his name), Dickey Betts (1943, and, amazingly, still alive), and Jennifer Connelly (1970 ♥). Those who died on this day include Robert Browning (1889), Tallulah Bankhead (1968), and Joseph Heller (1999).
Here’s a very early Sinatra song: “Night and Day,” one of my favorites. The writer was Cole Porter.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is still pondering the meaning of meaning (something philosophers do all the time, and get paid for it!). Her staff has just purchased a new camera, too, so we can expect some nice new pictures in the next week:
Hili: There are moments when I wonder.A: Frankly speaking, me too.
Hili: Są momenty kiedy się zastanawiam.
Ja: Szczerze mówiąc, ja też.
It’s cold and snowy out in Winnipeg, and Gus spends his time watching the world on his Katzenbaum, as well as nomming his new box. He’s started doing that again, and has shredded nearly one whole side: