Monday: Hili dialogue

Good morning—it’s Monday, February 13, 2017. Remember that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, so there’s just one shopping day left for cards, flowers, chocolates, and the like. It’s a double food holiday according to Foodimentary: both National Tortellini Day, and National “Italian Food” Day (I have no idea why they put scare quotes around “Italian Food,” unless it’s to imply that it isn’t real food). It’s also World Radio Day, which according to Wikipedia is “about celebrating radio, why we love it and why we need it today more than ever.” But do we really need it, in the age of the Internet?

On this day in 1542, Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, was beheaded for adultery; she had been Queen for 16 months. And in 1633, Galileo arrived in Rome for his infamous trial by the Inquisition. (As the accommodationists always tell us, it had absolutely nothing to do with religion.) On February 13, 1935, Bruno Hauptmann was found guilty of kidnapping the Lindbergh baby, and was executed the next year. Finally, in 1960, civil rights activists conducted their first lunch counter sit-in in Nashville, Tennessee. Their courage and nonviolence stands in marked contrast to today’s student protesters.

Notables born on this day include Thomas Malthus (1766), William Shockley (1910), Tennessee Ernie Ford (1919), and Chuck Yeager (1923, still with us). Those who died on this day include Benvenuto Cellini (1571), Richard Wagner (1883), Georges Rouault (1958), Waylon Jennings (2002), and Antonin Scalia (one year ago today). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is cracking jokes:

Hili: Are these from our cherry trees?
A: Yes, it’s wood from our orchard.
Hili: I think I sat on this bough once.
In Polish:
Hili: To z naszych wiśni?
Ja: Tak, to drewno z naszego sadu.
Hili: Chyba siedziałam kiedyś na tej gałęzi.
As lagniappe, we have some baby Malayian tiger cubs born at the Cincinnati Zoo on February 3, and since mom wasn’t maternal, they’re being hand raised. I can’t resist showing several photos of them;  just once in my life I’d like to hold one. These photos were sent by reader jsp, but I don’t know who the photographer is.
10 days old! Is there anything cuter than a tiger cub?


  1. thompjs
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Those paws are huge for 10 days!

  2. Lauren
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    What huge paws that kitty will grow into!

  3. DrBrydon
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Is that Hili’s version of “Alas, poor Yorick”? “…he hath
    borne me on his back a thousand times….”

  4. James Walker
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    “And in 1633, Galileo arrived in Rome for his infamous trial by the Inquisition. (As the accommodationists always tell us, it had absolutely nothing to do with religion.)”

    Of course not – that was just 17th century peer review 😉

    • Posted February 13, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      I rather remember how in my country in communist times, manuscripts submitted to Western scientific journals had to be approved by the institution’s Party secretary before being sent away.

  5. chris moffatt
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    I’m inclined to agree that the trial of Galileo was not about religion. It was all about showing Galileo who was boss and “pour encourager les autres” should there be any.

    • Frank Bath
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Surely Galileo’s trip came about because his astronomy undermined the church’s biblical understanding of the heavens, and thus it’s authority. His science had to be shut up. Same old same old.

      • Frank Bath
        Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        Trial not trip.

    • darrelle
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      I don’t see how the RCC showing Galileo who was boss is not about religion. The RCC maintains its position as boss because of religion. Galileo challenged the RCCs authority on religious matters. They shut him up. Lucky for him he was better connected than Bruno.

      How is that not about religion? Because it’s not all about religion but also about the maintenance of power and authority? If that were to be accepted as accurate then Reza Aslan has been right all along. Religion isn’t responsible for anything bad. Fortunately for me, because the idea of Aslan being right all along makes me ill, that simply isn’t accurate. Church authorities accused him of attempting to reinterpret the bible, and perhaps even Protestantism, a highly non-trivial offence in that time and place.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted February 13, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        To be fair, Galileo’s dialogue made the pope look like a complete prat, and stupid into the bargain, so I suspect it was personal for the pope himself.

        The book also though, of course, undermined Church authority and therefore couldn’t be ignored. And as darrelle aluded, Galileo would have been executed for his “crime” if he was less well connected.

    • Posted February 13, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Since the recorded documents *say* it is, I don’t know how one can claim otherwise. (Hidden agenda?)

      What *is* unclear to me is whether or not Galileo was also in trouble not just due to Copernicianism and his desire to interpret the Bible in his own way, but because of a few other matters, like denying the Eucharist. (There are some that think this was the real conflict.)

      Galileo also wrote, and destroyed at his friends’ urging, a naturalistic interpretation of the miracles in the New Testament. (!) *That’ll* get you in trouble 😉

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Accomodationism comes is several flavors, but I do not see how any reasonable person can claim the church-Galileo conflict was not about religion, even if politics played a part. Folks cited Psalm 104 “the Lord set the earth on its foundations. it can never be moved.”

      Interestingly, the original Inquisition indictment against GG was made fully public for the first time in 2014!!
      You can find it here:

      You can acknowledge this and be a kinda-sorta accomodationist like Cambridge’s John Hedley Brooke, or Stanford’s Edward White, but the notion that GG’s conflict with the church was purely and solely political is foolish.

      [It continues to grate me that although many Catholic schools do a better job of teaching public schools in the Midwest and South, many of them are named after Robert Bellarmine, GG’s chief prosecutor.]

  6. rickflick
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    As a recreational flyer myself, Chuck Yeager is something quite special for me. “Yeager”, his autobiography was a fun read. He told of his exploits in WWII flying over the English Channel against German fighter aircraft. He was remarkably successful partly because he had extraordinary vision. He could spot enemy aircraft long before they could see him. He must have had retinas with extra rods and cones. Once he spotted the enemy squadron, he simply maneuvered his group above them where he could enjoy easy victory.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Yes, Yeager was one of those natural flyers who just took to it like a duck to water. My dad was kind of like that, as was his father. Not the same for me.

      He was also a good example of good and lucky. To have done all the things he did as a test pilot and still live to old age – it is more than the right stuff.

    • darrelle
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Haven’t read it in years, but I also really enjoyed Yeager. His story is a perfect example of why “The Greatest Generation” is considered to be so.

  7. davidintoronto
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    In the movie “Manhunter,” Francis Dollarhyde arranged for his blind girlfriend to visit a zoo and pet a tiger. Now, if a zoo can make such accommodations for a wacko serial killer, I don’t see why they couldn’t do likewise for an emeritus biology professor. 😉

  8. Randy schenck
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Do we need radio in today’s world of internet. I would say yes. Probably when TV was invented they said the same about the radio but still, there it is. And for millions around the world it is still their way to the news and the outside world. And guess what…it is still free.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Yes, radio really is much safer than TV or internet for in-car entertainment.

  9. Hempenstein
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    1) Great Hili dialog.
    2) There seems to have been a spate of royal beheading anniversaries of late. Was this the official season for that?
    3) There was a thesis that Lindbergh orchestrated the kidnapping because the child had a birth defect of some sort. Not sure how much traction that got.

  10. veroxitatis
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Chuck Yeager was, and is, a singular example of American derring do. I loved his autobiography and still have a copy on my bookshelves.
    However, my reason for responding to the mention of Yeager has to do with his brother, Roy and sister, Doris Ann. In 1927 when Chuck was 4, Roy was 6 and Doris Ann was 2, Chuck and Roy were playing with their father’s gun. Roy found some shells and loaded the gun, accidentally fired and killed baby Doris Ann.
    Almost 100 years later such “accidents” are still all too common in the States. As a fairly recent case in Alabama showed around half of the States do not even have preventative measures are regards safekeeping of weaponry to protect children. The USA is almost unique amongst Western democracies in accidental gun deaths by and to children being something of a commonplace. This is a disgrace.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      A disgrace is correct. I know of a family who had the same type of thing, one family member killing another in a gun accident. Still happening all the time.

  11. Robert Seidel
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Ah, Cellini – anyone here read his autobiography?

  12. bluemaas
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    O my … … I do so miss.miss.miss
    m’Darling Mr Waylon Jennings !
    and that two – time Grammy Award winning
    bass – baritone of his. What a sound ! and
    and a bagazillion others of his !


  13. David Duncan
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    How come the cherry tree/s were chopped down? Disease? Old age? Surplus to requirements?

    Catherine Howard executed for adultery? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      I am guessing here…

      They might not have been chopped down – although it is possible that some trees have reached their end of life. My neighbour has cherry trees which she manages for the cherries they produce – I believe from observation [I haven’t asked her] it is the new growth that produces the most fruit. To put the energy of the tree into new growth one prunes back the really thick branches.

      I’m happy to be corrected by Polish cherry tree experts 🙂

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      When a queen commits adultery it’s treason because she could have a child by someone other than the king and thereby destroy the king’s line of succession. It’s the treason that earns the death penalty, not the adultery.

      Of course, the charge is also a more convenient way to dispose of a wife than divorce. Catherine Howard was the first cousin of the only(!) other beheaded wife, Ann Boleyn.

      Despite his reputation, it’s also likely Henry VIII wasn’t an adulterer. He certainly wasn’t when married to Catherine Howard.

    • Malgorzata
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Some of the wood is just from pruning. Cherry trees must be pruned substantially every year. Some trees were dead: either of disease or old age (these commercial quality cherry trees are not especially long living) and some succumbed to the frost.

%d bloggers like this: