Sunday: Hili dialogue

It’s Sunday, June 11, 2017, and it’s National German Chocolate Cake Day. If you don’t know what that is, have a gander:


It’s like a cross between a chocolate cake and a coconut pecan pie, and I love it. Why is it called “German” chocolate cake? That has nothing to do with Deutschland; see the answer here. It’s also Kamehameha Day, named after Kamehameha the Great, (ca. 1736-1819), the Hawaiian king who unified the archipelago.

On this day in 1509, Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon.  After she failed to produce a male heir, and her husband fell for the younger Anne Boleyn, the marriage was annulled. Catherine died at 51. On June 10, 1919, the horse Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes, becoming America’s first Triple Crown winner. And in 1955, two cars collided at the Le Mans 24-hour race, killing 83 and injuring at least 100. It was the deadliest accident in the history of motorsports, and you can see a film here (warning: a bit gruesome). On June 10, 1963, the Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức immolated himself with gasoline in Saigon to protest religious oppression; you can see a famous (and also gruesome) photo of the even here.  On this day in 1963, John F. Kennedy proposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964; he died before it was passed, but LBJ, in a masterful display of political power and acumen, got it passed after the assassination. (This is all documented in Robert Caro’s masterful biography of LBJ; the best bio I’ve ever read). On June 10, 1987, Diane Abbott, Paul Boateng and Bernie Grant were elected as the first black members of Parliament in Great Britain. And on this day in 2001, Timothy McVeigh was executed by lethal injection for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing six years earlier; he and Terry Nichols killed 168 people.

Notables born on this day include Ben Jonson (1572), John Constable (1776), Richard Strauss (1864). William Styron (1925), Jackie Stewart (1939), and Hugh Laurie (1959). Those who died on this day include David Brinkley (2003) and Ornette Coleman (2015). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Cyrus face a mystery (yes, she’s in the picture):

Hili: Something was here.
Cyrus: Indeed.
Hili: But what?
In Polish:
Hili: Tu coś było.
Cyrus: Rzeczywiście.
Hili: Ale co?

Lagniappe: A photo from yesterday’s graduation, showing an enrobed doctoral graduate with his proud friends:

And a tweet found by Matthew Cobb. Be sure to unmute it. I swear this is a Jewish croc saying “Oy!”


  1. BobTerrace
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    You have “Those who died on this day include David Brinkley (1920)…”.

    David Brinkley – (July 10, 1920 – June 11, 2003)

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Was fortunate enough to see Jackie Stewart win a couple of F1 races back in the day, 70,71. One at Silverstone and another in Madrid. By the way, today is the Canadian Grand Prix.

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    I think one day, Rick Wakeman will need to be featured in the Hili Dialogue one day, with all the wires of Henry VIII showing up.

    I don’t know what it is, but every time I hear Henry VIII facts, Wakeman’s Henry VIII wives-themed album pops into mind. I mean obviously it’s HVIII but it’s not like the music is great or anything….

    … Sorry to hijack the Dialogue with random neural connections! Oh no can I say that? AHHHHH!

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted June 11, 2017 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      tiny screen, too much coffee, auto-incorrect… : wives not wires, only one “one days”

  4. Gemma Jillian
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    catching up after outta town awhile. love hili dialogues. last Friday’s though? “””Is it Friday already? Yes it is: Friday, June 8, 2017.””” maybe PCC(E)’s bum finger got in the typo – mix?

  5. Posted June 11, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I don’t speak croc, but the call is the sort of thing that babies do when calling to mama. It is not good to be around when mama hears the call.

    • Posted June 11, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      I agree. I didn’t know that crocodiles have an apparatus to produce such sounds. I must check some books now.

  6. Barry Lyons
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I LOVE German chocolate cake. It’s the best!

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Agreed about Caro’s biography of LBJ. There’s nothing else quite like it in American political biography (and, perhaps, in all of American letters). And we’re unlikely ever to see anything like it again — now going on five door-stop volumes — given the sea change in the publishing industry since the advent of the internet.

  8. Jenny Haniver
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    One should not forget that the self-immolation of Tich Quang Duc occasioned this ghoulishly flippant response from Madame Gnu (I mean Madame Nhu) about Buddhist barbecue

  9. Heather Hastie
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    When Catherine of Aragon (probably breast cancer) died, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn had a second, secret wedding ceremony. Lots of people said the first wasn’t valid because the annulment wasn’t valid in the eyes of God or the pope. Both were originally Catholic, and Henry VIII was extremely devout despite his reputation.

    God’s opinion depended on which contradictory Bible verses you decided took precedence, which largely depended on whether you were Catholic (against annulment) or Protestant (for annulment).

    As for the pope, Vatican City was under the military control of Catherine’s brother, the king of Spain. Approving the annulment would have been a life-threatening move by the pope.

    Until her death, Catherine of Aragon continued to sew linen shirts for Henry, as any good wife should, and sent them to him.

  10. rickflick
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Yesterday our dog Maggie was put to sleep with lethal injection. The vet had x-rayed and found cancer in the chest cavity. She used a sedative and then the lethal one and the process took about 4 minutes. When Maggie went peacefully into deep sleep, I remarked, “This is how I want to go”. The doctor said she often hears this from pet owners. I’m glad to know others feel the same way and would doubtless support doctor assisted end of life. Anyway, I reflected on the above mentioned McVeigh execution and wondered why there had been so much difficulty with the process during executions. Not that I condone the taking of human life. It has been called inhumane and supposedly causes the convict to suffer. If it can be done effectively for pets, I asked myself, why is it so hard with humans?

    • Marlene Zuk
      Posted June 11, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      So sorry about Maggie. I hope she had a long and love-filled life.

      • rickflick
        Posted June 11, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Marlene. Yes, she did.

  11. Charles Minus
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    The picture of the cake was so good I could taste it. And way less calories.

  12. harrync
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Four years ago I drove many hundred miles to see my niece get her PH.D. from the U of Maine. [I guess technically she is my wife’s niece, but she is such a great person I think of her as my niece too. Or to put it in crass terms, if I kick the bucket today, she gets most of my money.] There were less than 20 getting their hoods; suspect there were a lot more Ph.D.’s awarded at Chicago than that. I was really impressed by the U of Maine – met her profs and saw most of the campus. [I have a B.A. from Stanford, so it takes a bit for a university to impress me.] The weather sucked, but my niece did her undergrad at State U Potsdam, NY, so she must love the cold. And good luck to all this year’s grads – they are going to need it.

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