Wednesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Good morning on May 3, 2017. Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus) has returned, with many thanks to Grania for taking over when I was busy. I am not feeling well, so posting may be light today. It’s a Big Food Day today: National Raspberry Popover Day, National Raspberry Tart Day, and National Chocolate Custard Day. Somehow I sense the hand of Big Raspberry behind these “holidays”! On a more serious note, it is, by declaration of the United Nations, World Press Freedom Day, noted by Wikipedia  as having been created to

. . .  raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and marking the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of free press principles put together by African newspaper journalists in 1991.

Would that the UN wouldn’t keep supporting—or at least censure—organizations and countries that allow no such freedom!

On this day in 1715, there was a total solar eclipse  seen across northern Europe and northern Asia, one predicted by astronomer Edmond Halley to within 4 minutes accuracy. It is called “Halley’s Eclipse“, and shows how far astronomy had progressed by the early 18th century. In 1802 Washington, D.C. officially became a city, and in 1921 Ireland was officially divided into Northern and Southern Ireland. I’ll add two bits from Wikipedia on other things that happened on this day:

1963: The police force in Birmingham, Alabama switches tactics and responds with violent force to stop the “Birmingham campaign” protesters. Images of the violent suppression are transmitted worldwide, bringing new-found attention to the Civil Rights Movement.

Such is the power of nonviolent protest in the service of justice.


1978: The first unsolicited bulk commercial email (which would later become known as “spam”) is sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States.

Notable people born on May 3 include Golda Meir (1898), Bing Crosby (1903), May Sarton (1912), Pete Seeger (1919), Frankie Valli (1934).

Here’s der Bingele and Sintra with a famously relaxed duet version of the song, “Well did you evah?” from High Society (1956); the song was written by Cole Porter:

Those who died on this day include Christine Joregensen (1989, the first trans person to become publicly well known for having sex-reassignment surgery to remove the penis, and for her acting and singing), Jerzy Kosiński, (1991), and Wally Schirra (2007). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Cyrus have a difficult decision, and the dialogue has a rare title:

Hili: Are we moving to the sofa?
Cyrus: Maybe a bit later.
In Polish:
Hili: Przenosimy się na sofę?
Cyrus: Może troszkę później.
And in Włocławek. Leon enjoys the view:

Leon: My observation deck.

Finally, be sure to read this nice strip from The Oatmeal on confirmation bias, and beliefs versus facts.


  1. Simon Hayward
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Given the cockney rhyming slang meaning of raspberry tart (which comes to us as “blowing a raspberry”) I’m left wondering if it’s safe to leave the house, or even to remain inside 🙂

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Like a lot of people of my generation, I grew up thinking of Bing Crosby as, like, the squarest thing ever. It wasn’t until I got into the jazz of Bix Beiderbecke and found my way to the early sessions they did together that I discovered how influential a vocalist, and something of a musical hep cat, Crosby was considered in those days.

    (PS – You’re missing the middle syllable in Francis Albert’s last name.)

    • DrBrydon
      Posted May 3, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Yes, the early Bing with the Rhythm Boys is a revelation if you are used to the later, more sedate Bing (especially of his TV specials). The same is true of early Louis Armstrong (Hot Fives and Sevens), compared to the “Wonderful World” Louis of later years.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted May 3, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        I’ve heard rumors regarding a lost recording of an after-hours session that Bix and Pops played together at the Sunset Café in Chicago in the late 1920s, back when segregation laws forbade black and white musicians from appearing together on stage during shows.

  3. Michael Fisher
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Love the unusually shaped & scrolled cloth wings on der Bingle’s gold armchair – Claus von Bulow’s furniture perhaps?

  4. Joseph McClain
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Also the birthday of James Brown. (1933). His indictment of Gerald Ford is again relevant.

  5. DrBrydon
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    If I am not mistaken, Big Raspberry is headquartered in the Bronx. Let’s all give a cheer.

  6. Derek Freyberg
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    And here’s the Guardian’s “First Dog on the Moon” (an Australian series of occasional cartoons, mostly on Australian politics, but also on human rights issues) on Press Freedom Day, and the country in which it is being hosted:

  7. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I’m fine with The Oatmeal’s allegedly challenging facts about Washington’s dentures, evidence for historical Jesus, and the political slant of the Roe court. But I find myself resisting the just-so stories about cave men and the hyperbolic claims about the veto power of my amygdala. Sounds like pop-sci oversimplification to me.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted May 3, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      It’s well established that we have our sense of identity and selfhood bound up with at least some of our beliefs.

      • Gregory Kusnick
        Posted May 3, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        OK, but the cartoon gives the impression that one fMRI study is all that’s needed to draw sweeping conclusions about brain function and cognitive bias. How is that not an example of the very bias it’s warning against?

    • Mark R.
      Posted May 3, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      He didn’t really talk about the lack of evidence for a historical Jesus. He just stated Jesus wasn’t born on 12/25. I would have given him more credit had he said there was no evidence for the birthday and no evidence outside the bible for a historical Jesus. I’m probably splitting hairs, but I saw that as sort of a softball. I think many Christians know 12/25 isn’t the actual birth date, and it not being so isn’t that big of a problem for many of the deluded (after all, it’s not in the bible). They see it as a symbolical celebration of the birth; though most probably don’t realize it’s based on pagan beliefs.

  8. rickflick
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I can identify with the SYBARITES. Once I’m down it’s hell getting me back up.

  9. Nobody Special
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    A repeat Leon picture, if I’m not mistaken.

    • Mark R.
      Posted May 3, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, but it was a nice one with his squinting right eye. 😉

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