Sunday: Hili dialogue

It’s Sunday, July 23, 2017, and National Vanilla Ice Cream Day. It’s Revolution Day in Egypt, commemorating the 1953 coup that eventually deposed King Farouk. And it’s kind of a boring, vanilla-like day, for not much happened on this date in history (I’m sure readers will correct me).

On July 23, 1903, the Ford Motor Company sold its first car. The lucky buyer of that Model A was a Chicago dentist, Ernest Pfennig.  On this day in 1942, the Holocaust took another step on as the Treblinka concentration camp opened in Poland. Between 700,000 and 900,000 Jews and 2000 Romanis were killed there—more than in any other camp save Auschwitz. And on this day in 1962, the satellite Telstar (remember the eponymous rock song of the same year?) relayed the first public television program to cross the Atlantic; it featured Walter Cronkite.

Notables born on this day include Raymond Chandler (1888), Haile Selassie (1892), Vera Rubin (1928), Justice Anthony Kennedy (1936) and Alison Krauss (1971). Here’s Krauss with her band, Union Station, playing a traditional American folk song that will be familiar to many of you:

Those who died on this day include Ulysses S. Grant (1885), Donald Barthelme (1989), Eudora Welty (2001), Daniel Schorr (2010), Amy Winehouse (2011) and Sally Ride (2012). Reader Simon and I are great fans of Amy, and here’s one of my favorites (be sure to watch “Back to Black” from the same set).

Hili didn’t have much truck with the two children who visited this week, and Andrzej got only one picture of them interacting. Here’s Hania, sporting a tabby-cat tee shirt, communing with The Princess:
Hania: Between us girls I will tell you something.
Hili: What?
Hania: I like you very much.
Hili: I like you too.
In Polish:
Hania: Między nami dziewczynami, coś ci powiem.
Hili: Co?
Hania: Bardzo cię lubię.
Hili: Ja ciebie też.


  1. Frank Bath
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    The Krause version of Man of Constant Sorrow sounds very much like The Soggy Bottom Boys from the film, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? My favourite version by far is the very young and immensely talented Bob Dylan, a touching lament of love lost – hear it on YouTube.

  2. Fernando Peregrin
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Notables born on this day also include:

    Vladimir Prelog ForMemRS (23 July 1906 – 7 January 1998) was a Croatian-Swiss organic chemist who received the 1975 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his research into the stereochemistry of organic molecules and reactions. Prelog was born and grew up in Sarajevo. He lived and worked in Prague, Zagreb and Zürich during his lifetime.

    Theodoor “Theo” van Gogh), 23 July 1957 – 2 November 2004) was a Dutch film director, film producer, television director, television producer, television presenter, screenwriter, actor, critic and author.
    Van Gogh worked with the Somali-born writer and politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali (one of my true female heroes) to produce the short film Submission (2004), which criticized the treatment of women in Islam and resulted in an outrage from the Dutch Muslim community.

    Monica Samille Lewinsky (born July 23, 1973) is an American activist, television personality, fashion designer, and former White House intern with whom President Bill Clinton admitted to having had what he called an “inappropriate relationship” while she worked at the White House, in 1995 and 1996. The affair and its repercussions, which included Clinton’s impeachment, became known as the Lewinsky scandal.

    Judit Polgár (born 23 July 1976) is a Hungarian chess grandmaster. She is generally considered the strongest female chess player of all time

    Those who died on this day also include:

    Domenico Scarlatti
    Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti (Naples, 26 October 1685 – Madrid, 23 July 1757) was an Italian composer who spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families. He is classified primarily as a Baroque composer chronologically, although his music was influential in the development of the Classical style and he was one of the few Baroque composers to transition into the classical period. Like his renowned father Alessandro Scarlatti, he composed in a variety of musical forms, although today he is known mainly for his 555 keyboard sonatas.

    Domenico Scarlatti, Fandango.


    Edward Montgomery “Monty” Clift ; October 17, 1920 – July 23, 1966).
    I remember him as the self-destructive soldier Prewitt in Fred Zinnemann’s From Here to Eternity (1953)
    Taps-From Here to Eternity

    Sir William Ramsay KCB, FRS, FRSE; 2 October 1852 – 23 July 1916) was a British chemist who discovered the noble gases and received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1904 “in recognition of his services in the discovery of the inert gaseous elements in air” (along with his collaborator, Lord Rayleigh, who received the Nobel Prize in Physics that same year for their discovery of argon). After the two men identified argon, Ramsay investigated other atmospheric gases. His work in isolating argon, helium, neon, krypton and xenon led to the development of a new section of the periodic table

    Sir Henry Hallett Dale OM GBE PRS (9 June 1875 – 23 July 1968) was an English pharmacologist and physiologist. For his study of acetylcholine as agent in the chemical transmission of nerve impulses (neurotransmission) he shared the 1936 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Otto Loewi

    Ernst Otto Fischer (10 November 1918 – 23 July 2007) was a German chemist who won the Nobel Prize for pioneering work in the area of organometallic chemistry.

    Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) was an American physicist and astronaut. Born in Los Angeles, she joined NASA in 1978 and became the first American woman in space in 1983
    The Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident, also known as the Rogers Commission after its chairman, was formed to investigate the disaster. The commission members were Chairman William P. Rogers, Vice Chairman Neil Armstrong, David Acheson, Eugene Covert, Richard Feynman, Robert Hotz, Donald Kutyna, Sally Ride, Robert Rummel, Joseph Sutter, Arthur Walker, Albert Wheelon, and Chuck Yeager. The commission worked for several months and published a report of its findings.
    R. P. Feynman was critical of flaws in NASA’s “safety culture”, so much so that he threatened to remove his name from the report unless it included his personal observations on the reliability of the shuttle, which appeared as Appendix F In the appendix, he argued that the estimates of reliability offered by NASA management were wildly unrealistic, differing as much as a thousandfold from the estimates of working engineers. “For a successful technology,” he concluded, “reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” (Pure Feynman sentence!)

    (Mostly, with the help of wikipedia and a litle research on intternet)

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

      Fine, but there’s no need to do this every day.

      • Fernando Peregrin
        Posted July 23, 2017 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        Forgive me, Jerry, if you mind that I inform your readers about relavant ephemeris every day. Since I do it for my page in facebook and I do not have any trouble repeating it here, just that. If it is true that since your readers are mainly Americans, I take the trouble to add my search for commemorations that I think are of interest to Americans who read your blog.

        I do not want to draw attention to your forgetfulness or omissions. In fact, I read every day your information about outstanding people born or dead on the day that corresponds and I use them to put on my facbook page, giving the appropriate credits.

        I respect and admire both you and your blog to try to give relevant information, mainly on Nobel Prizes in natural sciences, activists who defend secularism, atheists of exception, Muslims critical of Islam, musicians of the great repertoire of music of the high Western culture … in short. things with “fundament and substance” (as my Basque countrymen in Spain say respect their cookong).

        I thought that comments that have to do with your post, either to correct some slip (what happens very rarely) or to complete your information with comments that I believe worthy of your blog and the quality and curiosity of your readers were welcome. Also, given the digital format, I do not remove any space from other commentators, and is easy to omit reading my commentes if any reader think so.

        I do not claim any role in your blog, – who am I for that? – but to contribute to the extent of my possibilities to enrich your blog, already very rich in information that always interest me and I thank you for it.

        I will leave then to comment on your blog, not on my Facebook page because I have fun to do it, about births and deaths of international notables, since I understand that you think it is wrong or abusive or out of place, my contributions in this respect, and that they seem not to be opportune nor interesting for you and your readers

        I beg you to forgive the length of my answer, but I have to admit that I have felt underappreciated and somewhat annoyed by your replay to my commentary. But…no matter, it’s not so terribly important at all!

  3. Hempenstein
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    The lucky buyer of that Model A was a Chicago dentist
    (Not to be confused with the Model A’s of 1928-31)

    And with 27, Alison Krauss has more Grammys than any other female singer, as I recently learned.

  4. claudia baker
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I regret very much that I did not get to see Amy live in concert. I figured there was lots of time…alas, my heart broke a little on that July day.

    She does a most beautiful rendition of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” on the LP put out after her death. But, then, there is not one song of hers that, to me, is not sublime.

  5. jwthomas
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    It’s also Robert Anton Wilson day and week in Santa Cruz, California. If you don’t know who this popular cult author was or haven’t read his books see Wikipedia

  6. Mike
    Posted July 24, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    I love that Song ,after I watched the Coen Brothers Movie Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

  7. marvol19
    Posted July 24, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Please don’t think me pedantic, but as i read (also a few posts back) the term “concentration camp ” it struck me as a bit odd.

    I would think of “concentration ” as those camps used for imprisonment and transport. As opposed to “extermination camps” used mainly for killing.

    I know “concentration” is common parlance for all types and i used it myself a large part of my life. I only found out the difference after reading about the concentration camp in my home country, the Netherlands: Westerbork, and realised (to my surprise at the time) that it was not, in fact, an extermination camp.

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