Tuesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologues)

It’s December 27, the third day of Koynezaa, which ends on JC’s birthday, December 30. And it’s National Fruitcake Day, which I suppose means the day that the fruitcake you got for Christmas will be given to someone else. (Calvin Trillin had a theory that there was only a single fruitcake in the U.S., one passed on to many people in succession.) It’s also Constitution Day in North Korea, whatever that means.

On this day in 1831, Darwin boarded the HMS Beagle to begin his five year voyage around the world; the Beagle’s mission was to survey the coast of South America. I thus declare it Beagle Day.  Who could predict the momentous things that would result from Darwin’s walking onto that gangplank! Here’s the route of his voyage, just to refresh you:


Wikipedia also reports this for December 27, 1927: “Show Boat, considered to be the first true American musical play, opens at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Broadway.” On this day in 1978, Spain finally became a democracy within a few years after the death of Franco, who had ruled the country for 36 years. Finally, on this day in 2007,  Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan, was assassinated in Rawalpindi.

Notables born on this day include Johannes Kepler (1571), Marlene Dietrich (1901), Cokie Roberts (1943), and Karla Bonoff (1952). Those who died on this day, besides Bhutto, include the geneticist Calvin Bridges (1938, one of my scientific heroes), Lester Pearson (1972), and Alan Bates (2003). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is speaking cryptically, but we have an explanation from Malgorzata—just a guess, as Andrzej refuses to explain the dialogues he concocts:

If I’m guessing correctly (and this is just a guess) Cyrus and Hili are complaining about humans. Neither of them has a too high opinion about them. Cyrus is trying to say something generally negative about Homo sapiens and Hili is adding that the problem is not only general but in every particular as well. Or it can be the opposite: Cyrus wants to praise humans in general and Hili is more concerned with their particular qualities, like the ability to open cans. Take your pick.
Cyrus: I have a feeling that humans generally…
Hili: I’m afraid particularly as well.
In Polish:
Cyrus: Mam wrażenie, że ludzie na ogół…
Hili: Obawiam się, że na szczegół też.

We also have two Leon monologues today. In the first, Leon is “hiking”:

Leon: Leon: Move faster—you have to burn those calories.


Leon: Christmas is very tiring:



And Barry, who sent this video, calls it “the cutest video in the history of the world”, but adds, “too bad it’s so short.”


  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    That is some video. Takes a certain kind of cat to do that. Are you saying that Franco is dead?

  2. rickflick
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    I imagined Cyrus was going to add, “…don’t like us on the sofa”.

    Are the chicks suckling, I wonder?

  3. Gary Allan
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Meowvellous! and cheeper by the dozen.

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I am of the opinion that d*gs praise humans, even when they should know better, and that cats do the opposite. In this way there is balance in our universe.

    The cat buried in chicks may indeed be the cutest of all videos. I wonder how it was achieved.

    • rickflick
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      My guess: the cat must have been introduced to the chicks while in a state of nursing her own kittens. She’s simply “adopted” the chicks based on the hormonally based urge to nurture and feed.

  5. E.A. Blair
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Also on this date in 1968, Apollo 8, the first manned spacecraft to leave earth orbit, returned from orbiting the moon at 9:51 CST.

  6. Jenny Haniver
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    My mind is playing tricks on me late at night — or is it? Last night I “read” this headline: “President Obama Sends Koynezaa Greetings from Hawaii.” Dunno what Ron Karenga would think of that.

  7. Monika
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Leon has his humans well trained. 😉

  8. Anthony
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    As a Canadian I’m ashamed that I didn’t know much about Lester Pearson, but seeing him listed here inspired me to look him up.

    Thinking in terms of recent US politics (yes, apples and oranges but still…), imagine his achievement given a minority government: (often unstable and short lived Multi-party parliamentary coalition when no single party won a majority)

    From Wikipedia: “During Pearson’s time as Prime Minister, his Liberal minority governments introduced universal health care, student loans, the Canada Pension Plan, the Order of Canada, and the Maple Leaf flag. His Liberal government also unified Canada’s armed forces. Pearson convened the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, and he kept Canada out of the Vietnam War. In 1967, his government passed Bill C-168, which abolished de facto capital punishment in Canada by restricting it to a few capital offenses for which it was never used, and which themselves were abolished in 1976.”

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm. I’ve read A.E. Van Vogt’s
    sci-fi “Voyage of the Space Beagle”, but never Darwin’s book without Space in the title.

    But to commemorate

  10. Posted December 27, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Hey, some of us like fruitcake! Not that ghastly stuff with the candied fruit, but pound cake filled with bits of real dried fruit. The batter should be flavored with brown sugar and allspice, and at least four different fruits should be used. (My preference is for apricots, mangoes, cherries, and blueberries.) And no drenching in alcohol! A good fruitcake doesn’t age well and should be eating within three days of baking.

  11. Dale Franzwa
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    I was fortunate to have seen a live theater production of Show Boat on PBS, starring Eddie Bracken as Cap’n Andy of the Mississippi showboat Cotton Blossom. One of the best American musicals ever (in my humble opinion). Who hasn’t heard or heard of these show stoppers?

    Make Believe…
    You Are Love
    Ole’ Man River
    Why Do I Love You?
    Can’t Help Lovin Dat Man

    A true musical classic.

  12. W.Benson
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Actually the last South American port visited by the Beagle was an unplanned stop in Recife, called Pernambuco in the “Voyage”, and not Bahia (Salvador), as shown on most maps. It is in the description of Recife that Darwin rails against slavery and says he is glad, because of what he observed of the institution of slavery, to never have to visit Brazil again.

  13. starskeptic
    Posted December 29, 2016 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Franco is still dead, btw…

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