Sunday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on a quiet Sunday, July 16, 2017. and it’s a good food day: National Corn Fritters Day. I like mine big, crunchy, spherical and lightly drizzled with syrup, comme ça:(Do they have these in the UK? If so, they’d be called “sweetcorn fritters”.)

On July 16, 1935, the world’s first parking meter, known as “Park-O-Meter #1”, was installed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; it cost 5 cents per hour. And, on this day in 1941, Joe DiMaggio hit safely for his 56th consecutive game, still a record for major league baseball.  On this day in 1945, the first nuclear bomb was detonated by the Manhattan Project in New Mexico. Only a month after the success of this “Trinity test,” the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A photo of that test is below. When Robert Oppenheimer witnessed it, he uttered a line from Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita, that became famous, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”. (The guy knew his literature!) There’s a longer story behind this quote, which you can read here.

The bomb was placed atop a 100-foot tower to mimic the effects it would have when exploded in the air after being dropped from a bomber.

On this day in 1969,  Apollo 11, the first space mission to put astronauts on the Moon, was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. How many of you watched the first Moon walk live? (I did.). And exactly 30 years later, JFK’s son, John Jr.. along with his wife and sister-in-law, were killed in a plane crash off Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. John Jr. was at the controls of a small Cessna.

Notables born on this day include Mary Baker Eddy (1821), Roald Amundsen (1872), Ginger Rogers (1911), and Tony Kushner (1956). Here’s Ginger doing a tap routine with her perennial partner, Fred Astaire. What a great pair! Click on the arrow to start it:

Those who died on this day include Mary Todd Lincoln (1882), Heinrich Böll (1985), Julian Schwinger, who won the Nobel Prize along with Feynman and Tonegawa (died 1994), Kitty Wells (2012) and Johnny Winter (2014). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, the beasts and their staff are being visited by the former lodger, Gosia, with her two children Hania and Tomek. Hili is a bit scared of the children (though Cyrus loves them), and is practicing an emergency drill:

Hili: If you think there is some danger pick me up.
A: But there is nothing here.
Hili: I know. I’m reminding you just in case.
In Polish:
Hili: Gdybyś uważał, że jest jakieś niebezpieczeństwo, to weź mnie na ręce.
Ja: Ale tu nic nie ma.
Hili: Wiem, przypominam na wszelki wypadek.
Here’s Hania frolicking with Cyrus:
And Hania wearing a teeshirt that Andrzej and Malgorzata had made for her. It says, in Polish, “Never mind a star… I will be an astronaut and I will fly to stars!”
Here’s Andrzej and Malgorzata holding Hania and Tomek. They do love kids!


  1. Melissa Johnson
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Delightful pictures from Andrzej and Malgorzata…and shirt I would buy if I could!

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Was in Britain on an all expenses paid trip at the time and saw the moon landing around 1 am. in the morning or some strange time. Was not around for that explosion in New Mexico.

  3. Linda Calhoun
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    My father was stationed at Alamogordo Army Air Base (now Holloman AFB) during WWII, where he trained pilots in instrument flying.

    My parents recalled the morning of the bomb, where they could hear and feel the explosion, and see the light in the distance from the test range. The force was enough to crack several windows in Alamogordo.


  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    If you want to see more astonishing pics of the nuke tests, Google “rope tricks”

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted July 16, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink


      “rope tricks nuclear”

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 16, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      They are astonishing, it’s true.

      There’s a bravura sequence in the latest series of Twin Peaks – footage of a test launch, in black and white, where the camera slowly glides closer and closer to the mushroom cloud and eventually pushes into the heart of the explosion itself. It’s one of the most awful and beautiful things I’ve ever seen on a TV.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted July 16, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

        This is from episode 8. Either one of the most brilliant scenes in TV history or its most pretentious and tedious. I’m for the former, but I get the people who aren’t.

        And yes, I have just used Jerry’s post as a pretty shameless way of proselytising about the new series of Twin Peaks.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted July 16, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink


          I still won’t be watching Twin Peaks though, so you’re safe on that score. 🙂

          • Saul Till
            Posted July 16, 2017 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, I get that. It’s not everyone’s cup of coffee. But if you let it wash over you, and give up on understanding everything, it’s a trip. There’s nothing like it, anywhere.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 16, 2017 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          Lynch is willing to run the risk of that kind of aesthetic brinkmanship. That’s what’s long made him such an interesting director.

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted July 17, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

            His more experimental films just bored and irritated me for a long time. But this new series of Twin Peaks is a good way into that rabbit hole.

  5. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    The footage of that mushroom cloud must have done such damage to the subconscious of so many kids growing up around then. I remember watching a relatively mild English cartoon called When The Wind Blows when I was five or six and it terrified me to my bones, so I can’t imagine how deeply the image of that mushroom cloud must have penetrated a kid growing up at the height of the cold war.

    I was still a toddler when the wall came down and the threat of mutual destruction dissipated so the idea of having that in the back of your mind while growing up is difficult for me to imagine.

    I look at footage of the explosion and have to check myself from just goggling at how beautiful it is; the sense of what it actually means to drop one of these things is starting to fade away, and younger generations won’t even have had that cursory injection of fear that I got from watching When The Wind Blows. Which is not good I don’t think.

  6. Andy Lowry
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I saw the moon landing and walk, which means I’m also old enough to have done the hide-under-your-desk drill in elementary school. Nuclear attack? No problem, kids!

    I wonder whatever happened to the contents of all the Civil Defense shelters. I entered one in the mid-seventies and it had canned food, canned water, dosimeters, and I don’t remember what else.

    • John Conoboy
      Posted July 16, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Some are still out there. Grand Canyon Caverns, a cave along old Route 66 near Peach Springs, Arizona has a large cache of food and water still in the original packages. The cave was a ready made bomb shelter.

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Despite hitting safely in 56 straight games in 1941 (a feat unlikely to be matched), Joe D didn’t win the major league batting title that year. It went to Ted Williams of the Red Sox, who hit .406, the last major-leaguer to bat for an average above .400.

    • Posted July 16, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Didn’t Williams’s manager say he should stay out of the lineup as he had an average of something like ,3995, which technically is .400; but then Williams refused, took his at-bats, and got some hits. Or was that someone else?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 16, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Going into the last day of the ’41 season Williams had an average of .39955, which rounded up to .400 (and would’ve made him the first player in a decade to hit that mark). The Sox had a doubleheader scheduled against the Philadelphia A’s that day, and the Sox manager, Joe Cronin, told Ted (who’d been in a slump for the past week) that he could sit it out to protect his average, since the games would have no impact on the pennant race.

        Ted said he’d suit up and play. He went 6-for-8 at the plate, and improved his average to .406.

        What do you think of Ted Williams now?

  8. Frank Bath
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I well remember Apollo 11. The launch was so exciting, we had our hearts in our mouths from the moment the rocket left the ground until it disappeared into the yonder. I was a BBC sound man and it had to go right for us, doubly so. And it did. A triumph. Magnificent.

  9. E.A. Blair
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I was 12 the year of the moon landing (in fact, 20 July is the 6-month day after my birthday). It was a Sunday, and the live broadcast was quite late at night, ending when the hatch on the LEM (now known as the LM) closed sometime after midnight. I struggled to stay awake, and there were a lot of groggy kids in school the next day, since there was no question of not letting us stay (or try to stay) up to watch it. Some schools even gave that Monday off, but not mine.

  10. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    On this day in 1945, the first nuclear bomb was detonated by the Manhattan Project in New Mexico. Only a month after the success of this “Trinity test,” the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    So it was the first reusable nuclear bomb?

  11. David Harper
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Apropos the Trinity test, Richard Feynman liked to boast that he was the only person to witness the explosion without welding glasses. According to his account, he figured that the only danger to his eyesight was the ultraviolet light, and that the windshield of his truck would filter that out, so he looked directly at the bomb through the truck windshield at the instant of detonation. Aside from a purple afterimage, he saw the fireball cool from white to yellow to orange.

  12. Posted July 16, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Little Tomek is apparently shy. But Hania poses like a queen.

  13. Heather Hastie
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Yes, we have corn fritters in NZ, which are called corn fritters, and we make them with sweetcorn. I’ve never known spherical ones. We cook them in a frying pan – we don’t deep fry them. And I don’t know what syrup you’re talking about either. We eat them with tomato sauce (ketchup) or tomato relish. In fact, I think I’ll have them for dinner tonight now you’ve reminded me of them, though it’s the 17th here.

    The moon landing wasn’t available live in NZ. We could walk on the moon, but a plane had to fly film of the event here so we could watch it the next morning. I was only five, but I remember it clearly, even down to my mother feeding my youngest sibling as we watched.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted July 16, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      That last bit about waiting for the film to be flown in reminds me of something similar. In Guam, even back in the eighties they would fly the video in from the West coast or Hawaii for Television. So everything was a week later. So if I went there for a few days, the television shows and news would be a rerun of what was on in Hawaii last week.

      So what is the phrase in Guam – Where America’s day begins. That is because it is just across the International Date Line. More likely it is where America’s day ends.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted July 16, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        It’s only fairly recently that we’ve had overseas entertainment shows on the same day here in NZ. The season still often starts weeks or months later for a lot of shows.

        We just have to be content with the fact we’re always ahead of you on the clock! 🙂

        • Randy schenck
          Posted July 16, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

          Gee. Would have thought with satellites and all the modern technologies they would be beaming that stuff in almost as it happens. Shows how little I know.

  14. Mary L
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I don’t miss the days of bomb drills and “Fallout Shelter” signs on buildings.

    The moon landing was enthralling.

  15. Posted July 17, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    … or “maize fritters”.

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