Sunday: Hili dialogue

Gooday, mate, it’s Sunday, July 9, 2017 (but in three hours it’ll be Monday down under). It’s National Sugar Cookie Day in the U.S., which I suppose would be National Sugar Biscuit day in Britain—if they have such a thing. And in Canada it’s Nunavut Day, commemorating the Nunavit Land Claims Agreement signed on this day in 1993, an agreement that started Nunavut on the path to becoming a distinct territory. Now its drivers get to have polar-bear-shaped license plates, as do all residents of the Northwest Territories. This is the coolest license plate ever:

On this day in 1540, Henry VIII (he comes up a lot here) annulled his marriage to Anne of Cleves, his fourth wife. She wasn’t executed, but died anyway at age 41. On July 9, 1816, Argentina (the world’s only nation to be named after a chemical element) declared its independence from Spain. Argentina is on my bucket list. On this day in 1850, Wikipedia reports, “U.S. President Zachary Taylor dies after eating raw fruit and iced milk, [and was] succeeded by Vice President Millard Fillmore.” Let that be a lesson to avoid iced milk, whatever that be. On this day in 1868, the The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing citizenship to anyone born in the U.S., most importantly (at that time) slaves. It also contains the “due process” clause and other stuff.  And on this day in 1986, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Homosexual Law Reform Act, finally making homosexuality legal in my adopted country.

Notables born on July 9 include Elias Howe (1819), Franz Boas (1858), Edward Heath (1916), Guru Dutt (1925), Ed Ames (1927, he’s 90 today), Oliver Sacks (1933), David Hockney (1937), O. J. Simpson (1947), Lindsey Graham (1955), Tom Hanks (1956), and Courtney Love (1964).

Here’s a classic moment with Ed Ames on the Tonight Show, with Ames teaching Johnny Carson to throw a tomahawk. Where the tomahawk lands on the silhouette of a man is the kicker. Note Carson’s uber-witty comment that it was a “frontier bris” (circumcision), adding, “I didn’t even know you were Jewish.”

Those who died on July 9 include Edmund Burke (1797), Paul Broca (1880), Earl Warrn (1974), and my Chicago colleague, paleontologist David Raup (2015). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is seeing ghosts. Look at that face!

A: What are you seeing there?
Hili: The ghost of Hamlet’s father flew in to Dobrzyn.
A: For how long?
Hili: I don’t know, he’s not saying anything
In Polish:.
Ja: Co tam widzisz?
Hili: Duch ojca Hamleta przyleciał do Dobrzynia.
Ja: Na długo?
Hili: Nie wiem, nic nie mówi.
Lagniappe: A cat tw**t found by Heather Hastie:


  1. Stephen Knoll
    Posted July 9, 2017 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    ain’t having none of it:

    considering a move to the land of the midnight sun so as to qualify for the plates 🙂

  2. rickflick
    Posted July 9, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Ed Ames sang in a Broadway style that was never my cup of tea, especially when the Beatles and Stones were on the radio, but his rich voice is a memory that stays with me. “Try to Remember”.

  3. Historian
    Posted July 9, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    According to Wikipedia, Ed Ames is actually Jewish! Who would have thought?

  4. nicky
    Posted July 9, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    David Raup dead? For 2 years already?
    I thought him kind of young and ageless at the same time. I’m somehow shocked, I didn’t know.
    Always liked his half TIC (never knew how much TIC) notion that all/i> ‘more than background’ extinctions might be due to asteroids.

    • nicky
      Posted July 9, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Don’t know how to fix the italics fail.

    • Posted July 9, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Yes, he died a couple of years ago and there was a memorial service and many were saddened. I didn’t agree with some of his theories, but he seemed to be a nice guy, and not arrogant like, say, Steve Gould.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 9, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    And on this day in 1986, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Homosexual Law Reform Act, finally making homosexuality legal in my adopted country.

    That’s the same year the US Supreme Court decided Bowers v. Hardwick, upholding a Georgia statute that made private homosexual conduct a crime. It wasn’t until 2003 that SCOTUS reversed that decision, in Lawrence v. Texas.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 9, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      And in the late 60s Pierre Trudeau (Justin’s dad) said “The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation”. No wonder the US sees Canada as weird and maybe as Canukistan. 🙂

      • claudia baker
        Posted July 9, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Diana, there is joke going around about this. It’s a wee bit sexist, but my sisters and I think it’s funny anyway:

        Pierre said the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation, but Justin is welcome any time, anywhere.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted July 9, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          Ha ha! And that seems to be the case since all the countries notice him. Well, at least people are paying some attention to Canada now….even Americans. I met a couple in Vegas and she said to me “Is Justin Trudeau single?”.

          • claudia baker
            Posted July 9, 2017 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

            Yup, he’s a popular boy!

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted July 9, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      And it was only 16 years later same sex civil unions became legal. (Now, of course, we have marriage equality too.)

      This year on the anniversary, the government finally wiped all the criminal records of men who had convictions for consensual same-sex pre 1986, and the government apologized for it ever happening. (It was never illegal for women.)

  6. Paul Matthews
    Posted July 9, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink


    Just a note that it’s Nunavut with a “u” in the final syllable rather than Nunavit (check out the spelling on the license plate). Keep up the great posts!

    A Canadian reader
    Paul Matthews

  7. Les Faby
    Posted July 9, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Lawrence v. Texas(2003) was a landmark. Justice Scalia’s dissent said that this decision made it inevitable that gay marriage would be legalized (so he was against this). I was thinking at the time, his dissent was going to be used to support equal rights to marriage and he would rue the day he said this. (I may be a wee bit psychic.)

  8. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 9, 2017 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    It’s late in the day to add but thought it worth recording – The Iraq Army are celebrating in Mosul today as they have now kicked ISIS out. Hope this is the beginning of the end for these bastards.

  9. Posted July 10, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Happy belated Nunavut Day. I caught the end of a performance to celebrate – I had scheduled two events too near it and didn’t make it on time.

%d bloggers like this: