Friday: Hili dialogue


It’s Friday already? Indeed it is: on this 14th day of July, 2014 2017, we’re another week closer to crossing the Rainbow Bridge. That means that in France, it’s Bastille Day (I was in Paris on this day in 1989, the 200th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, and boy was that a party!) In the US it is, appropriately, Grand Marnier Day, the best French cordial besides Chartreuse, and the ideal libation to accompany a robust Cuban cigar.

Yesterday in Oregon, a truck full of live “slime eels” (hagfish), overturned, spilling 4 tons of the creatures on Highway 101, covering the road and vehicles with slime and dead eels. Why so many eels? They were being shipped to Korea, where they’re eaten and the slime actually prized for cooking. Here, have a look (trigger warning: don’t watch if you haven’t had breakfast):

On this day in 1865, Edward Whymper’s party made the first ascent of the Matterhorn with a party of six others, four of whom died on the descent when one slipped. Here’s a depiction of the disaster by Gustav Doré:

On this day in 1881, the outlaw Billy the Kid (real name William McCarty) was killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett outside Fort Sumner, New Mexico. On July 14, 1933, the Nazi eugenics program began with the proclamation of the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring, which mandated the sterilization of any citizen showing signs of genetic disorders. It was on this day in 1960 that Jane Goodall arrived at the Gombe Stream Reserve to embark on her pathbreaking studies of wild chimpanzees.  Exactly 16 year later, capital punishment was abolished in Canada. And it was exactly a year ago that the terrorist van attack in Nice France killed 86 people and injured more than 400 others. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago, does it?

Notables born on this day include artist Gustav Klimt (1862), Woody Guthrie (1912), Gerald Ford (1913), and Ingmar Bergman (1918). Here’s Klimt, a cat lover (all good artists are, for cats are living sculptures), as well as one of his most famous paintings:

Not many notables died on this day; two include the Czech illustrator Alphonse Mucha, whose posters now fetch very high prices, and Adlai Stevenson II. Here’s a genuine Mucha poster:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, the beasts are worried about their noms. But they needn’t, for Andrzej and Malgorzata would never let them go hungry.

Hili: They are talking about shopping.
Cyrus: So what?
Hili: You wonder why? We have to check whether they remember about our needs.
In Polish:
Hili: Rozmawiają o zakupach.
Cyrus: No to co?
Hili: Jak to co? Trzeba uważać, czy pamiętają o naszych potrzebach.

Out in Winnipeg, where Jimmy Carter collapsed from dehydration yesterday while building a house for Habitat for Humanity (he’s 92–can you imagine?—but he’s ok now), Gus is taking a break. His staff reports:

Gus’s favourite scratching post. Can you tell how well used it is?

And reader Cameron sent a photo of his cat:

I thought you might enjoy this. I think this is a young fox squirrel in our backyard. It was awfully brave and curious about Peanut. Peanut did eventually chase it back up the tree.


  1. Monika
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    My hoovercraft is full of eels? Na, my car is!

    The Peanut vs. squirrel photo is just great LOL!

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    The eels are also highly prized to make wallets and other items. You see it in the shops all over Itaewon, Seoul, S. Korea.

  3. David Duncan
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Do the beasts go shopping or are they left at home?

    • Malgorzata
      Posted July 14, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      They are left at home (or in the orchard). Neither likes the shops.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted July 14, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        I would guess that. Nothing in the shops moves and it is all packaged.

  4. rickflick
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I’m planning a trip to France this year, and out of curiosity, I checked into the Nice truck attack. The 2016 attack was carried out by a Tunisian man with French residency.
    The investigation suggested that Lahouaiej-Bouhlel became radicalised shortly before the attack. …Lahouaiej-Bouhlel had a “clear, recent interest in the radical jihadist movement”. His father said Lahouaiej-Bouhlel underwent psychiatric treatment before he moved to France.

    Not that I’m worried.

  5. Fernando Peregrin
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Jerry, good morning

    Yesterday you forgot to quote the conductor Carlos Kleiber among the notables died on July 13th

    Remembering it, is a fact of justice to our dear and despicable despised – by multiculturalists and postmodern relativists – Western culture (in particular, the high western musical culture), not a recrimination neither to you nor to your collaborators in your blog.

    Wikipedia (reasonably correct, although incomplete)


    On Carlos Kleiber (1930-2004)
    New York Review of Books


    For those who can read in Spanish, I allow myself this self-referral (Richard P Feynman and Carlos Kleiber, an attempt to pay homage to parallel lives. A propos of a review of Leonard Mlodinov’s book on Feynman)

  6. DrBrydon
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Huh. So is there perhaps a market for selling electric eels to Venezuela for the electricity, or monk fish to the Philippines for their devoutness?

  7. Posted July 14, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    After being born in France and living there for 33 years, it’s only after I moved to the US that I first heard the expression “Bastille day”. In France, July 14th is called “Fête nationale” which means “National holiday”. Of course, everyone in France knows that the date commemorates the takeover of the Bastille prison in Paris, which marked the start of the French Revolution. But nobody would ever think of calling that day “Bastille day”. It’s after living in the US for some time that I realized that the expression “national holiday” does not have the same meaning here that it does elsewhere, when I heard people referring to Thanksgiving as a “national holiday” while I had always thought that the US national holiday was July 4th. The confusion was because for a European, for the same reason that a country is defined by a single flag and a single national anthem, it is also defined by a single National holiday. It does not mean that there are not other days which are holidays (there are many) but they are not called “National holiday”, for the same reason that other songs are not called “national anthem” (unless it’s the national anthem of another country) or other flags are not called “national flag” (unless they are the national flag of another country).
    In case you were wondering why French people don’t understand why you call July 14th “Bastille day” instead of “French national holiday” 😉

  8. claudia baker
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Love the Peanut and the Squirrel picture!

  9. darrelle
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    That Mucha poster is beautiful. Would love to have a nice copy.

    Klimt is a favorite. The photo of him here is very interesting.

    • marvol19
      Posted July 15, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Not sure that that is a Mucha or why Jerry is sure it is “genuine”.

      To me the style of the face wasn’t Mucha’s but mostly, it’s signed as Steinler (Mucha always signed Mucha). I looked it up and Steinler is a different Art Nouveau artist.

      Mucha’s Marlene Dietrich posters are something special, as are his “themed sets” such as the Heures du Jour.

  10. Sixtus
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I was hoping for some comment on, or at least a mention of, today (July 14) also being National Nude Day as well as National Tape Measure Day. Appropriate pairing, methinks.

  11. gouparchery
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    the picture funny

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