Thursday: Hili dialogue

by Grania

Welcome to another glorious Towel Day! You can keep up with the other hoopy froods here or by following the hashtag #TowelDay on Twitter.

496 years ago on the history front, the Diet of Worms was still dragging on (Jerry was still in New Zealand when we last visited that era), and today in 1521 the Edict of Worms (yep, still cracking up about the name) was issued declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.

1842 Christian Doppler presented a lecture on his work (On the coloured light of the binary stars and some other stars of the heavens), now known as the Doppler Effect, to the Royal Bohemian Society in Prague.

In 1925 John T. Scopes was indicted for teaching evolution in the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial. In 2012 SpaceX Dragon rendezvoused with the ISS, becoming the first commercial spacecraft to do so.

Oh, and in 1977 Star Wars was released in cinemas, which is as good an excuse as any for linking to this tweet.

On the same day in 1977 in China, William Shakespeare was un-banned, bringing the long and brutal Cultural Revolution to a close. This is a good opportunity for me to push the Kenneth Branagh film version of his play Much Ado About Nothing. It has an outstanding cast: Emma Thompson, Robert Sean Leonard, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Keanu Reeves, and Kate Beckinsale. It’s hilarious, visually gorgeous and is guaranteed to put a grin on your face for the rest of the day. Branagh’s particular talent with Shakespeare is that he genuinely understands every single word on the page, and coaxes performances out of his actors that transform the centuries-old words on a page into witty, fast-paced banter.


Hili is also in an ambitious literary mode today. We wish her all the best of luck with her new endeavour. She’s gonna need it!
Hili: Hurry, we don’t have a moment to lose.
A: What happened?
Hili: I haven’t read “Ulysses” yet.
Hili: Szybko, nie mam chwili do stracenia.
Ja: Co się stało?
Hili: Nie czytałam jeszcze “Ulisesa”!

Lagniappe found by several folks, including Matthew: interspecies love between a felid and a wild deer.


  1. DrBrydon
    Posted May 25, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Edict of Worms isn’t as funny as the conference which promulgated it — The Diet of Worms.

    • Linda Calhoun
      Posted May 25, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Too bad canning hadn’t been invented yet, or it could have been the Can of Worms.


  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 25, 2017 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    To understand where Star Wars is coming from, skip to 1:00 on this Flash Gordon episode:

    … nothing to do with where Star Trek is coming from.

  3. Posted May 25, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    “Much Ado About Nothing” – hmmmm… not a fan. I saw Branagh as Henry V in the RSC when they used to play at the Barbican. Before his film version.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 25, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      “… not a fan” — of the play or Mr. Branagh? Personally, I find both to have much charm. And Emma Thompson makes anything she’s in worth seeing (with the possible exception of Junior opposite Ahnold).

  4. GBJames
    Posted May 25, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    I agree about Kenneth Branagh and Shakespeare. He’s really good at it.

  5. darrelle
    Posted May 25, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I think the cat is just trying to figure out if the deer would be good to eat.

  6. Posted May 25, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    A more appropriate text for the Luke and Leia tweet would be one word: Hope.

  7. Posted May 25, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I remember seeing this trailer on TV (removedummystuff and to be perfectly honest I was not impressed with what I saw. But I went because I’d been a sci-fi nerd all my life and being 17 I thought I would give it a chance. As with most people, I was blown away and I’ve never stopped enjoying the franchise.

  8. barn owl
    Posted May 25, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Hili has excellent taste – Ulysses is well worth the time and effort, IMHO. She might find Stuart Gilbert’s Guide helpful (I did), though I think “true” literary intellects disparage it.

    Although I loved Ulysses, I just could not even with Finnegan’s Wake.

    • barn owl
      Posted May 25, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Ulysses has some of the best descriptions of medical students (wrt whom there are generalities that transcend time and place). At one point they’re referred to as “votaries of levity” (in the Oxen of the Sun chapter, IIRC).

      • jwthomas
        Posted May 25, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        To read “Finnegan’s Wake” you’d best forget about meaning and look at it as a long, obscure poem. If you read it aloud to yourself you may get a feel for it. You can practice up for it by reading around in Pound’s “Cantos.”

        • barn owl
          Posted May 25, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          I’ll give that a try – thanks! I hated to give up on Finnegan’s Wake, but found it inscrutable when I approached it as I had Ulysses.

  9. rickflick
    Posted May 25, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed the the Much Ado clips. I had to order it from the library for another viewing.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted May 25, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Same here.

  10. Posted May 25, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Wow, an actual reference to Doppler! That’s amazing – people (myself included) always forget about that guy!

  11. wanstronian
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I can vouch for Branagh’s Much Ado – it was brilliant. Keanu was a touch wooden but hey ho. The final uncut scene was amazing – still don’t know how they did it.

  12. wanstronian
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Actually, having just watched it again I have a fair idea. Still fantastic though.

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