Monday: Hili dialogue

Good morning; it’s a cool Monday in Chicago (at this moment, 62° C, 17° C), and a work day in the U.S., though Grania reports a “bank holiday” in Ireland. It’s August 7, 2017: National IPA (India Pale Ale) Day, the egregiously overhopped brew favored by hipsters and those with asbestos palates that can be stimulated only by an overdose of hops. I eschew such one-note brews and still prefer the British-style ales, with the apotheosis, increasingly hard to find, being Timothy Taylor’s Landlord.

On this day in 1930, the last confirmed lynching of blacks in the Northern United States occurred in Marion, Indiana, though lynchings continued in the South. The victims, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, were arrested for robbery, murder, and rape the night before, and a crowd broke into the jail, absconded with them, and hanged them (you can see the gruesome image here). Exactly eight years later, the construction of the infamous Mauthausen concentration camp began in Austria. On August 7, 1947, Thor Heyerdahl’s raft, the Kon-Tiki, completed a 7,000 km, 101-day voyage across the Pacific in an attempt to prove that early Polynesians could have visited South America (he went in the wrong direction!). The voyage ended when the balsa raft smashed to pieces on a reef in the Tuamoto Islands. Many of us, including me, have read his famous book on this voyage. Finally, on August 7, 1987, Lynne Cox became first person to swim from the United States to the Soviet Union, crossing between two islands in the Bering Strait in 2 hours and five minutes in water that was 6-7°C! She was also the first woman to swim the Cook Strait in New Zealand.

Notables born on this day include Emile Nolde (1867), Mata Hari (1876), Louis Leakey (1903), James Randi (1928, still with us), Don Larsen (1929, also still alive), Garrison Keillor (1942), David Duchovny (1960) and Charlize Theron (1975),

Don Larsen, a baseball player, was the only man ever to pitch a no-hitter and a “perfect game” (a game in which nobody reaches first base: they all strike out or hit a ball that is caught) in World Series history. He was playing for the Yankees and pitched the game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in game 5 of the series on October 8, 1956. Larson is still alive and lives nearby, in Michigan City, Indiana. Here are some highlights from that famous game.

And it’s also Theo the Coffee-Drinking Cat’s birthday in London. As reader and catstaff Laurie announced on her website, A Classicist Writes, the black moggie is exactly 13 today. Yes, he drinks espresso, and prefers it black. Here’s his birthday video featuring his special talent (he attributes his longevity to coffee):

Those who died on this day include Rabindranath Tagore (1941), Peter Jennings (2005; was that really 12 years ago?), and Judith Crist (2012).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, where I’ll be in a month, the animals’ dialogue is enigmatic, and I’ve asked for an explanation. Malgorzata’s reply:

What am I to answer? Hili and Cyrus are looking for something and they don’t know what they are looking for. Hili is worried that you would not understand the dialogue. Cyrus answers like I do: if we don’t know ourselves what we are looking for, how are we to explain it to Jerry?

Hili: It’s here.
Cyrus: No, it’s a bit further down.
Hili: Jerry will ask what is it.
Cyrus: But we don’t know ourselves.
In Polish:
Hili: To tu.
Cyrus: Nie, kawałek dalej.
Hili: Jerry znów będzie pytał co.
Cyrus: Przecież my też nie wiemy.
And reader Howie sent an evolution cartoon emphasizing perhaps what is—besides syntactic language and our knowledge that we’re going to die—the only unique characteristic of H. sapiens:

 

24 Comments

  1. Posted August 7, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Since you seem to have a sensible taste in beer, you might want to try Old Chub Scottish Ale. While it is made in Colorado, it has many of the fine features of British ales. (Your opinion of IPA is spot on, btw.) It is available at Binney’s.

    On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 6:45 AM, Why Evolution Is True wrote:

    > whyevolutionistrue posted: “Good morning; it’s a cool Monday in Chicago > (at this moment, 62° C, 17° C), and a work day in the U.S., though Grania > reports a “bank holiday” in Ireland. It’s August 7, 2017: National IPA > (India Pale Ale) Day, the egregiously overhopped brew favored by h” >

    • nicky
      Posted August 7, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      If you like beer, I’d advise you to visit Belgium, they have more than 300 kinds of beer (in a country of only about 33000 square km). In Limburg there are several farms that produce their own beer which is only sold in one or two local pubs (different pubs for different beers).
      My favoured commercially available Belgian beer is the ‘Orval’, one of the four Trappist beers left. Trappist refers to beers still brewed at the Trappist abbeys, if outsourced to a brewing company it is called ‘Abdij bier’ (Abbey beer).
      Second (all this to my personal taste) comes the Geuze, a middle-fermenting, sour brew, dependent on bacteria found only in the south-western part of Brabant (basically south-west of Brussels). It is made from the much less sour ‘Lambic’, worth trying in itself. Beware of a lot of commercial ‘Geuzes’ that are just horrible sugary lemonade-like ‘beers’, inexplicably called ‘Geuze’.
      Nr three (of the commercially available ones) is Moortgat’s ‘Duvel’ (triple blonde) made in Breendonk in Antwerp province. Breendonk was also the site of a Nazi-camp.

  2. Serendipitydawg
    Posted August 7, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I rarely frequent pubs these days, however, when do I visit my local, I have a pint of Landlord in PCCe’s honour 🙂

  3. Randy schenck
    Posted August 7, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Great evolution cartoon. The Yankees – best team for many years and that game was the best. Before the game was taken over by money.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 7, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Tell the Brooklyn fans who were left high-and-dry when Walter O’Malley moved their Dodgers to the meaner, greener pastures of Los Angles two seasons later about the corrupting influence of big bucks on baseball.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted August 7, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        Yes, just a hint of what was to come. I am old enough to have watched the Yanks play on Saturday afternoons on the TV when Mickey & Roger and Yogi and many others, Whitey Ford and so on. Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese calling the games.

  4. Posted August 7, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Personally, I think the more hops the better. I do agree though that Landlord is a nice pint. You can buy it in bottles at my local supermarket but it’s not the same as buying it on draught in a pub where the landlord knows how to keep beer.

    As a side note, in a beer tasting presentation I went to hosted by CAMRA, the presenter claimed that, before the Norman Conquest, English ale did not have hops in it and used to come in at about 12% alcohol because that is what was needed to kill the germs. Everybody used to drink it because the water was too dangerous.

    William the Conqueror brought in hops so we could reduce the strength and not go about our daily lives totally pissed.

    • Posted August 7, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Killjoy!

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted August 7, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      The medieval English drank several different strengths of beer, depending on their station in life, which you probably already know. People working in the fields drank weaker beer than the monks, for example. It was watered down for workers, so while it may have started at 12% pre-Conquest, I suspect that was enough to kill the germs in the water it was mixed with. There were definitely different strengths pre- as well as post-Conquest.

      It’s a fun idea that everyone in England was permanently drunk before William I came along, but even then England was an extremely well managed country, so constant drunkenness is unlikely.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 7, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        @Heather – I’m commenting sans evidence. Not sure I’m right. 🙂

        I don’t think ale/beer was watered down as such to make a weaker beer, if that’s what you mean. I’m told the weak beers were usually brewed by a 2nd, or even 3rd fermentation of the mash that was left from the strong 1st fermentation. No waste.

        For example ‘small beer’ [around 0.75% ] was a 2nd or 3rd fermentation of the mash, for hard working sailors. It became a derogatory term because it spoiled quickly & could make one pretty ill.

        I do know that brewing was/is heavily regulated & licensed in Britain with, for example, separate rules re ingredients for ale & beer. I can’t imagine brewers were permitted to add water post-production.

        So what about at the retail level? I think watering of alcohol is nearly up there with counterfeiting in terms of legal consequences – in Scotland it was a hanging offence at the brewing & selling level to adulterate beer.

        Perhaps watering down occurred within schools & other institutions

        Nice article here where I learned of brew witches 🙂
        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/2000-years-of-binge-drinking-516009.html

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted August 7, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          You’re right – it was second or third mash etc. Not sure what I was thinking about, but in my defence it was about 3.30 am here and I was half asleep.

          Thanks for article!

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 7, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      before the Norman Conquest, English ale did not have hops in it and used to come in at about 12% alcohol because that is what was needed to kill the germs.

      What made beer safe to drink, compared to water from the river/ cess pit, was the boiling of the water with the grain to make the wort or mash (precise terms and techniques vary over regions and centuries) ; the alcohol levels are what kept it safe to drink after weeks or moths of storage in a barrel which itself was probably not a den of hygiene before during and after filling.
      Heather mentions the different levels of strength in different brews. These have left marks on our language(s). One which you’ll recognise is the habit of steeping a batch of grain once – to produce a wort with one level of fermentable sugars in it. That would go into one set of vats to brew up. But you don’t throw the grain away – you put another batch of water into the copper (cauldron) to heat up, and when that’s ready, steep the grain again, to produce a weaker but still sugary wort. I think that’s the origin of describing something as being “of the first water”, or “of the second water”.
      You don’t leave it at that. Your grain can produce a third, or possibly even a fourth wort with enough sugars to feed the yeast. But eventually there’s no more you can wring out of it, and you feed it to the goat/ pig/ children. The last wort which produces something that will brew makes a beer which may be as low as 1.5-2% alcohol. Enough to keep it safe in the keg, but you have to swill it like it’s going out of fashion to be able to get drunk on it. It is, literally, “small beer”.
      A tradition in the West Country is that “proper” cider needs to be made with blood and iron. So when you’ve pulped your apples into juice and are getting the brew going, you nail a dead rat to the paddle before you start stirring.
      I’ve tried using West Country cider (not the stuff sold to tourists with an MSDS data sheet) to strip paint. Despite the smell, it’s not very good on dried gloss paint. Works OK for cleaning the brushes of emulsion though.
      There’s a reason they serve the stuff in half-pint glasses.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted August 7, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        or moths of storage

        Oh C10H8!

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 7, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          I assume “C10H8” is code for “shit” – how does that work?

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted August 7, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

            No. You’re not even getting one of the rings on the right finger. Or left finger, doesn’t matter, it has a centre of symmetry.

          • jimroberts
            Posted August 7, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

            OK, straightforward answer: “C10H8” is code for naphthalene, which was the main constituent of mothballs (to discourage moths), but now banned in the EU and some other countries as somewhat dangerous to humans.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted August 7, 2017 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

              Thank you Jim. How lazy of me – I should have figured that out

  5. Posted August 7, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I remember watching that game on our bw tv in Montreal. I was cheering for the other team, but I’m glad that I saw it. I doubt we watched that many games in our family, and whatever the number, this seems to be the only one that I remember from that era.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Craw
    Posted August 7, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    ” (India Pale Ale) Day, the egregiously overhopped brew favored by hipsters and those with asbestos palates that can be stimulated only by an overdose of hops. I eschew such one-note brews and still prefer the British-style ales, with the apotheosis, increasingly hard to find, being Timothy Taylor’s Landlord.”

    Somebody had to say it!
    One excellent British brew which is sometimes available is Spitfire (marketed as the bottle of Britain). And home-grown in Chicago Goose Island Honkers is a good British best biter style.

    I have never seen Landlord but my local shop will special order stuff.

  7. mordacious1
    Posted August 7, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I do believe that IPA is a British-style ale.
    The problem with IPA is that it was once a good beer if you wanted something different. Now, thanks to the Hipsters, it’s difficult to get anything else.
    I just picked up a case of Ballast Point Kolsch to help me get through the muggy days we’ve been having lately.

  8. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 7, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    You realize that “asbestos palate” is applicable to espresso-drinkers as well, I hope? (Disclaimer: I prefer espresso over coffee, for the same reason I prefer DIPA over IPA.)

    I am not hip to hipsters, but I thought IPA, DIPA and even TIPA has had its 15 minutes of fame, it is now mundane. (Well, perhaps not yet triple IPAs.) So is session beers. The latest fad with some penetration seems to be sour beers.

    • rickflick
      Posted August 7, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      I had my first sour beer recently and it was truly awful. I think I only had 2 tastes and threw the rest down the sink.

  9. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted August 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    swim from the United States to the Soviet Union, crossing between two islands in the Bering Strait in 2 hours and five minutes in water that was 6-7°C!

    I bet that’s a trip that doesn’t get done too often. Decidedly sub-tropical.


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