Sunday: Hili dialogue

It is Sunday, May 14, 2017: Ceiling Cat’s Day of Rest. It’s also National Buttermilk Biscuit Day: a comestible largely unknown outside the U.S., but a perfect breakfast treat. And in Japan it’s the first day of the Imperial Festival of Izumo-taisha Shrine.

On this day in 1607, the colony of Jamestown was founded in Virginia. Exactly 36 years later, Louis XIV became king of France at the age of four. On May 14, 1787, the Constitutional Convention opened in Philadelphia, with George Washington presiding, and 12 years later Edward Jenner administered the first smallpox vaccination. On this day in 1804, Lewis and Clark began their famous expedition to the West. For you Kiwis, be aware that on this day in 1870, the first game of rugby in New Zealand was played between Nelson College and the Nelson Rugby Football Club. In 1925, Virginia Woolf published her famous novel Mrs, Dalloway. But it’s a sad day for Social Justice Warriors, because on May 14, 1948, Israel was declared as an independent state, It was immediately attacked by Arab states, and so began the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Finally, on this day in 1998, the final episode of Seinfeld aired, I have to admit I never watched it much, but I did like Soup Nazi and the episode in which Kramer is kept up by the neon lights of a chicken joint across the street.

Notables born on this day include Ed Ricketts (1898), Charlotte Auerbach (1899), Bobby Darin (1936), George Lucas (1944), David Byrne (1952), and Cate Blanchett (1969).

Speaking of Bobby Darin, here’s a classic song that I really love; the tune was originally a French song called “La Mer”.

Here’s Kevin Spacey’s version; the vocal and physical resemblance to Darin is remarkable (Spacey played Darin in the movie named after this song ). I love it when Spacey does a twirl with Katie Couric; and the orchestration is great:

Those who died on this day include Emma Goldman (1940), Sidney Bechet (1959), Rita Hayworth (1987), and Frank Sinatra (1998). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, today’s Hili Dialogue is enigmatic, and when I asked Malgorzata what it meant, she said, “It’s absurd; it doesn’t mean anything.” Interpret it as you will!

Hili: Do you have a hammer?
A: No, why do you ask?
Hili: Just out of curiosity.
In Polish:
Hili: Masz młotek?
Ja: Nie, dlaczego pytasz?
Hili: Tak tylko, z ciekawości.
And in Winnipeg, Gus is dozing in the yard. Is there anything sweeter than the peace of a sleeping cat?



  1. Andy Lowry
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Gus may indeed be slumbering, but that’s the pose my cat takes when he’s waiting to ambush a bird in the yard. “Don’t mind me, little birdies, I’m a harmless rock. Plus, I’m asleep anyway.”

    • Taskin
      Posted May 14, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      You are very perceptive, this is indeed one of Gus’s bird watching locations. 🙂

  2. Posted May 14, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Bobby Darin, the man who taught Sinatra how to swing.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted May 14, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      That’s a pretty good trick when Frank was 31 when Bobby was 10.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted May 14, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        Yeah, I love Bobby Darin. But Sinatra had his great mid-Fifties recordings for Capitol under his belt before Bobby even arrived on the scene.

        I don’t think anyone needed to teach Frank how to swing, but if anyone added to it, it was Nelson Riddle with his bouncy, syncopated arrangements and orchestra conducting.

  3. George
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Whenever someone mentions Rita Hayworth, I immediately think of “Put The Blame On Mame” from “Gilda”

    • Larry
      Posted May 14, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Gilda – a classic film noir.

      Although Rita Hayworth did the dancing, the vocals of Anita Kert Ellis were dubbed in. Born in Montreal, Ms. Ellis is still with us, though with health problems.

  4. Posted May 14, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Why is it that a cat can look out of an open window and see rain and still demand to be let outside, but having arrived at the door will refuse to go?

  5. Marilyn
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    My favorite Bobby Darin song is Mack the Knife. As a teenager I played that 45 until it wore out!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 14, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      I listened to that vinyl disk so hard the stylus would play both sides at the same time.

      To this day, I can’t stay in a funk while listening to ol’ Mackie — Bobby’s version, for sure, but Louie’s and Ella’s, as well (or even the version that Kurt Weill’s widow, Lotte Lenya, recorded).

  6. Randy schenck
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    In 1787 Philadelphia was the largest city in the colonies with nearly 40,000 people. The entire population of the colonies was not much more than Chicago today. It took weeks for some of the delegates to get to Philly and they had to pay for their own lodgings.

  7. W.Benson
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I didn’t recognize the name of Charlotte Auerbach so went to her Wiki biography and found she had, in 1976, been awarded the Darwin Medal for work on mutagenesis. If Auerbach had received the award, surely the American H. J. (Hermann Joseph) Muller had also. But no!, and no Theodosius Dobzhansky on the Medal list either! And where were George C. Williams, Stephen J. Gould and Edward O. Wilson? Just a list of Englishmen, Brits living in the colonies, a few big-name Americans, some Continentals who immigrated to the UK, a couple of Germans who walked with Darwin (August Weismann and Ernst Haeckel), and several early anti-Darwinians like William Bateson, Reginald C. Punnett, Hugo de Vries (1906, a Dutchman) and Yves Delage (1916, a French neo-Lamarkian) active when the Royal Society had hopes Darwinism was on the way out(?). The 1958 winner Gavin de Beer, had written an evolution book, Embryos and Ancestors, that seemed to studiously avoid mentioning either Darwin or natural selection. Sewall Wright only made the list in 1980, almost 50 years after his major contributions, due in large part to his exceptional longevity. There are also one or two Italians and a Dane on the list, who were no doubt worthy scientists, but not much known today. I may be mistaken, but the only Darwin Medal recipient who was not of western European origin was Motoo Kimura, in 1992. What a disappointment. The Royal Society, in awarding its Darwin Medals, could have done better.
    Scuse me if this is off topic and off the wall.

  8. Gemma Jillian
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Happy Mother’s Day, All.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted May 14, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Thank you!

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I think Kevin Spacey did a really good job as Bobby Darin, too — although he was probably a little long in the tooth to play the early scenes of young Bobby (who died at age 37).

    • Randy schenck
      Posted May 14, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Sometimes I think the Bobby Darin story is a modern day tragedy but he had great talent. I think he played almost any instrument.

    • Larry
      Posted May 14, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Spacey put in a very fine performance.

  10. DTaylor
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Maybe Hilli’s into folk music, as by Peter, Paul and Mary’s “If I had a hammer”:

    If I had a hammer
    I’d hammer in the morning
    I’d hammer in the evening
    All over this land
    I’d hammer out danger
    I’d hammer out a warning
    I’d hammer out love between
    My brothers and my sisters
    All over this land . . .

    Perhaps Hilli is pondering a really timely question. Has anybody out there got a hammer?

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted May 14, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Hey, that song was also recorded by Bobby Darin honored above.

  11. Posted June 29, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    . Just a list of Englishmen, Brits living in the colonies, a few big-name Americans, some Continentals who immigrated to the UK, a couple of Germans who walked with Darwin (August Weismann and Ernst Haeckel), and several early anti-Darwinians like William Bateson, Reginald C.

  12. gumersindo
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    . I think he played almost any instrument.

%d bloggers like this: