Saturday: Hili dialogue

Good morning! It’s May 27, the start of the Memorial Day weekend in America (Monday’s a holiday), and Chicago has largely emptied out. And it’s a special food holiday here: National Italian Beef Day, a sandwich made famous in this town. It consists of thinly sliced roast beef slopped onto a sliced Italian roll, and best served “dipped” (with the beef-fillled roll dunked in the beef jus), and then topped with hot Italian giardiniera, an Italian pickled vegetable relish. The relish can be hot or mild, but the true Chicagoan asks for their sandwich “hot and wet” meaning dunked in jus and topped with spicy rather than wussy relish. It looks like this:

Are you hungry yet?

In Australia, it’s the beginning of National Reconciliation Week, celebrating the unity of ancient versus recent immigrants.

On this day in 1703, Peter the Great founded the city of St. Petersburg, a lovely town and the only place I’ve ever visited in Russia. The Hermitage and Dostoyevsky’s House are worth the trip alone. On May 27, 1927, the last Model T rolled off the assembly line of the Ford Motor Company, immediately replaced with the Model A. You could have the model T in any color you wanted, said Ford, so long as it was black, but the Model A came in colors:

Ford Model T

Ford Model A

On this day in 1933, the song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” was introduced to the public with the release of the The Walt Disney cartoon Silly Symphony: Three Little Pigs. Here it is; the song begins at 2:18:

On May 27, 1937 , the Golden Gate Bridge opened; first to pedestrians and soon to cars.  Exactly 5 years later, Nazi officer Reinhard Heydrich, one of the architects of the Holocaust and of Kristallnacht, was fatally wounded in Prague in an assassination plot by the Czech government-in-exile. He died of infection after 8 days. In reprisal, the infuriated Nazis arrested and imprisoned 13,000 people (the assassins committed suicide rather than be caught) and, in an act of reprisal that will live in infamy, leveled the town of Lidice, killed every male over the age of 16 in the villages of both Lidice and Ležáky, and shot every woman in Ležáky, sending the women of Lidice to concentration camps.

Notables born on this day include Julia Ward Howe (1819), Wild Bill Hickok (1837), Hubert Humphrey and Vincent Price (both 1911), John Cheever and Sam Snead (both 1912), Henry Kissinger (1923, the old warlord is 94 today!), and Cilla Black (1943). Those who died on this day include John Calvin (1564), Nobel LaureateRobert Koch, who identified the microbes causing cholera, tuberculosis and anthrax and is regarded as the Father of Microbiology, and one of my heroes: Jawaharlal Nehru (1964). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is pretending to care about Andrzej:

Cyrus: I want to be here as well.
Hili: Don’t disturb him because then I wouldn’t have a place to lie down.
In Polish:
Cyrus: Ja też chcę tu być.
Hili: Nie przeszkadzaj mu czytać, bo ja nie mam się gdzie położyć.
Reader Jiten spotted this tweet on the feed of Sean Carroll, our Official Website Physicist™. You can tweet him at @seanmcarroll, telling him to KEEP THE KITTENS!

Finally, the latest picture of Gus from Winnipeg, with a note from his staff.

Here’s a picture of Gus sitting in the middle of a bunch of pussy toes [Antennaria]. The flowers have fluffy little tufts bunched together and it’s like looking at the bottom of a cat’s paw.



  1. George
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Don’t just tweet Sean Carroll about the kittens – also harangue his better half:

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted May 27, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Re Lidice, a good example of the policy of killing the terrorist’s families and associates. Very shrewd. Makes a person look good in the history books. Too bad a certain president probably has never heard of Lidice.

      • Ken Phelps
        Posted May 27, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        Excuse misthreaded comment. Using phone on ferry. Too old for this.

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Has no idea how the cats appeared there. Well if he doesn’t know???

  3. George
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    The Italian Beef is by far the best fast food you can get. It may be the best thing to eat period. It is taken very seriously in Chicago. Just google “best italian beef chicago.”
    Many stories like this:
    Hunting the best Italian beef in Chicago

    or this:
    The 31 Essential Italian Beef Joints in Chicago(land)

    In addition to tasting so good, it has a great origin story. Like barbecue, it was an attempt to make terrible cuts of meat edible. Like barbecue, it succeeded. Italian immigrants who work at the Union Stock Yards would bring home scraps of lousy, grisly beef and turn it into something delicious.

    If you are ever in Chicago, try it. Not sure how they are outside of town. You do need a good Italian bread like Gonella or Turano. Not some spongy white bread shaped like an Italian loaf.

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    “National Italian Beef Day”

    barely related : I was going to email PCC(E) about this, but I’ll put it here instead – really want to get it out of my system:

    For whatever reason, I finally tried one of these meat-free burgers, and turns out, it was the one that Bill Gates invested in – Beyond Burger. You have to try it. Go ahead, give me grief, laugh at the bamboo cellulose, and notice that it still isn’t low calorie or low $$. but I was really amazed that it tasted as good as it did.

    Beyond Burger:

    Bill Gates on Beyond Burger etc.

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted May 27, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Friendly reminder: Rool 16 shows how to insert functional, clickable links without risk of embedding.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted May 27, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        Yes. One could use that and make it work.

  5. Michele
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    There’s nothing Italian in that “Italian” sandwich… We don’t eat like that.

    • George
      Posted May 27, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      It is something that Italian immigrants working in the Union Stock Yards in Chicago developed. A successful effort to take bad cuts of meat and turn them into something delicious.

      Many great Italian restaurants in Chicago so we know how Italians eat. The poor have to make do with what is available to them.

  6. darrelle
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I prefer Three Little Pigs by the self deprecating band Green Jelly over the Disney original.

  7. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Due to Disney owning the copyright on the melody of “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”, all performances of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” must have the characters sing that line to the melody of “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” rather than the original Disney melody.

  8. serendipitydawg
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    The any colour as long as black was a mug trap on QI but Clarkson shot it down as a myth. Wiki states:
    “By 1918, half of all the cars in the US were Model Ts. However, it was a monolithic bloc; Ford wrote in his autobiography that in 1909 he told his management team that in the future “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black”.

    However, in the first years of production from 1908 to 1913, the Model T was not available in black but rather only gray, green, blue, and red. Green was available for the touring cars, town cars, coupes, and Landaulets. Gray was only available for the town cars, and red only for the touring cars. By 1912, all cars were being painted midnight blue with black fenders. It was only in 1914 that the “any color so long as it is black” policy was finally implemented.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted May 27, 2017 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      My expertise in vintage autos is keener elsewhere, but IIRC, by 1926 colors had returned to the Model T as well.

  9. Heather Hastie
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I love the picture of father on the wall of the third little pig’s house – a string of sausages! 🙂

  10. Vaal
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I would normally be drooling over the beef sandwich but…

    ….was it just me or was scrolling past all the insect pictures to land on that sandwich image rather unappetizing? Something about the conjunction of those images near one another on the same page…

  11. Posted May 29, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Hm! A new kind of pickle!

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