Friday: Hili dialogue

OMG, is it Friday again? Indeed it is: Friday, August 11, 2017, and National Panini Day. But. . . .CARBS! Curiously, though, it’s simultaneously National Raspberry Bombe Day, and I don’t even know what that is—except that it has carbs and is therefore poison. And it’s Mountain Day in Japan, celebrating all Hills of Size. One of my dreams,  which I’m sure will never be fulfilled, is to go to the mountainous part of Japan in winter and stay in an onsen hotel, soaking in hot springs while surrounded by snow, and then donning a robe and having a wonderful meal with sake.

The Google Doodle today (click on screenshot to go to it) is an animated and extremely interactive animation that celebrates the introduction of “the break” invented on this date in 1973 by an innovative New York DJ named Kool Herc. You can play your own hip hop by choosing records and mixing them in various ways. I’m not a big hip hop fan, but try it out if you are.

On this day in 1858, the Eiger,  a mountain in the Swiss Alps, was climbed for the first time by Charles Barrington, Christian Almer and Peter Bohren. They climbed not the North Face–the treacherous “white spider” of mountaineering fame (first climbed in 1938), but the west flank. On this day in 1929, Babe Ruth became the first baseball player to hit 500 home runs in his career, poling a four-bagger in Cleveland. You may not know that the actress Hedy Lamarr, who became famous for her nude and erotic scene in the movie “Ecstasy” (1933) was also an accomplished amateur inventor, but on this day in 1942, she and a composer friend, George Anthell, got a patent for what Wikipedia describes as “a Frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication system that later became the basis for modern technologies in wireless telephones and Wi-Fi.” It’s a signal that cannot be jammed.  On August 11, 1965, a black man was arrested in Los Angeles for suspicion of drunk driving. An argument with the police turned into a fight, and that became six days of widespread rioting and looting as the black community was in an uproar over accusations of police brutality. These are the famous “Watts riots” that I remember well.

And on this day in 1984, Ronald Reagan, preparing to make his weekly radio address on NPR, made the famous “We begin bombing in five minutes” sound check. While it wasn’t broadcast, it was immediately reported by the media. What he really said was this:

“My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”

The joke was apparently a parody of the opening line of a speech he gave that day allowing religious groups to meet in public schools: “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you that today I signed legislation that will allow student religious groups to begin enjoying a right they’ve too long been denied — the freedom to meet in public high schools during nonschool hours, just as other student groups are allowed to do.” But the report caused a huge fracas, and the Soviet Army in the eastern part of the country was even put on alert for half an hour. People were appalled that Reagan would joke about bombing the Russians. 

Notables born on this day include “the Great Agnostic” Robert G. Ingersoll (1833), Jerry Falwell (exactly 100 years later, which was ironic), Steve Wozniak (1950), and Hulk Hogan (1953).

Those who died on this day include painter Hans Memling (1494), and Shakespeare’s only son with Anne Hathaway, Hamnet Shakespeare (1596; he died at eleven). I didn’t even know that Shakespeare had kids, but Hamnet in fact also had a fraternal twin sister, Judith, who died at 77 after having three children, all of whom died without issue. Shakespeare, then, had no direct descendants. But his sister, Joan Hart, produced descendants who are still alive, so perhaps there are still some Shakespearian genes floating around (he and his sister shared half a genome, and his sister’s kids would have a quarter of Shakespeare’s genome, which would be diluted as the descendants reproduced).

Others who died on this day were Andrew Carnegie (1919), Edith Warton (1937), Jackson Pollock (1956), Galen Rowell (2002) and Robin Williams (2014). Galen Rowell was both a mountaineer and a photographer, and I greatly admired his writing and work. His book about a failed K2 expedition, In the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods, is a classic, full of great writing and fantastic photography. Rowell, only 62, was killed in a light plane crash while returning to his home in Bishop, California. Here are two of his photos; the first—showing a rainbow over the Potala, the Dalai Lama’s former palace in Lhasa, Tibet—is surely his most famous photo, but there were many great ones. These were taken in the days of Kodachrome and non-digital cameras:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is quoting Owl from Winnie the Pooh:
Hili: Undoubtedly.
A: What?
Hili: Absolutely.
A: You have been reading Winnie the Pooh again.
In Polish:
Hili: Niewątpliwie.
Ja: Co?
Hili: Absolutnie.
Ja: Znowu czytałaś “Kubusia Puchatka”.


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink


    … so what’s the deal with rool 19 – are we allowed to go off on diet/eating/food discussion/comment?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 11, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      @ThyroidPlanet “19. If I post about food, and I often do, realize that those meals are exceptions and I don’t always eat like that! There is no need to give me (or the readers) a lesson on healthy eating.”

      IMO & only mine: If you are a humourless, shaming, food nazi bore then probably better not to head down that road. If you have knowledge of a good eatery or food combo, then you’re on solid ground!

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted August 11, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        In that case, I’ll risk being patronizing and say that cutting carbs is a great start…. mmmffff ffmmmmph…

  2. Stephen Barnard
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    typo: The last paragraph is about those who died.

  3. Randy schenck
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Just a couple of things on Babe Ruth. Some may not know the first quarter of his career he was a pitcher. 1915 – his first season with Boston when he was just a kid, his record was 18-8, fourth best in the league. Struck out 112, ERA 2.44. Next year, 23-12. His record 9 shutouts was a record that stood for half a century. Third year (1917 he went 24-13. So in the first three years Ruth was 43-21. The great Walter Johnson first three years – 32-48. Christy Mathewson went 34-37.
    But Ruth swung a 54 oz. bat and hitting would be his future. First year with the Yankees he hit 54 HR, more than any other team in major league baseball at the time.

  4. Art
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    “…a quarter of Shakespeare’s genome, which would be diluted as the descendants reproduced).”

    “To be, or whatever….”

  5. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    “If you gave Falwell an enema he could be buried in a matchbox” Mr. C. Hitchens, Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes show, recorded 16th May 2007.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted August 11, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Only Hichens would have the bravery to go on Hannity, on Fox and talk about Falwell. And with Falwell fitting into a matchbox, there would be room for Hannity as well.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 11, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        @Randy Schenck. Fortes Fortuna Juvat, if I was shifting a book I’d do it – no problem!

        “The author’s book tour for *God Is Not Great* takes a few miraculous turns, including the P.R. boost from Jerry Falwell’s demise, a chance encounter with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and surprising support for an attack on religion” by Christopher Hitchens:

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted August 11, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

          Yes, but still a lot of guts. I have my copy for always.

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted August 11, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        For reasons it is hard to put my finger on, I have far greater contempt of Inanity Hannity.

    • darrelle
      Posted August 11, 2017 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      One of my favorite moments of news watching.

  6. Posted August 11, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Shakespeare’s Hamlet was first published in 1603. The name has no real Danish connections and was certainly inspired by the memory of the author’s dead son.

    • Posted August 11, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      But it’s possible that Hamnet Shakespeare’s name was originally inspired by the old Norse Amlothi or the Irish Amhladh or the Thomas Kyd play based on the Scandinavian legend.

      There’s also a theory asserting that the famous sonnet 18 (Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?) was actually written for the recently dead Hamnet.

  7. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Babe Ruth: Here it is in Klingon for people having trouble with the American: “qaStaHvIS jaj wa’ wa’SanID ‘ej cha’maH Hut, Babe ruth moj wa’DIch waw’ QujmeH moQ DawI’pu’ 500 juH runs neH career qIp polling loS bagger, pa’ cleve puH”

    • Posted August 11, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Ha! I copied and pasted the entire quote into Google, intending to ask for a translation. Instead, Google corrected it (“Did you mean: qaStaHvIS jaj wa’ wa’SanID ‘ej cha’maH Hut, Babe ruth moj wa’DIch waw’ Qua meH moQ DawI’pu’ 500 juH runs neH career qIp polling loS bagger, pa’ cleve p?”), and then simply gave a long list of links to Babe Ruth’s career.

      Is Google run by Klingons?

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 11, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        @Colin McLachlan That’s astonishing or worrying or both. I ran the American gobbledegook through Tradduka:

        but I split the place names up so Klingon wouldn’t use the American version & wrote out the numbers, like so: “On this day in one thousand and twenty nine, Babe Ruth became the first base ball player to hit 500 home runs in his career, polling a four bagger in Cleve land” & the Google bot scraped my revised version from here or Tradduka in less than 30 minutes & presented it to you!

        • Posted August 11, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          I’m not convinced. On the other hand, I, for one, welcome our new…

  8. rickflick
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Hedy Lamarr.

    • Posted August 11, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      I think you have the wrong photo

      • rickflick
        Posted August 11, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink


        • greenpoisonfrog
          Posted August 11, 2017 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

          “That’s Hedley!!”

          People who are not Blazing Saddles fans will miss the joke. The character depicted is Hedley Lamar and spends considerable time correcting people who call him Heddy.

          • rickflick
            Posted August 11, 2017 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

            Ah! I love that film. I forgot the detail. Thanks for the reminder.

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    The Eiger mountain figures prominently in a long-forgotten Clint Eastwood film “The Eiger Sanction”.

    Wikipedia reports
    “While the team was preparing to be helicoptered off the north face, Hoover remembered they had not taken any footage from the climbers’ point of view of the boulders crashing down on them. With his handheld camera, Hoover and twenty-six-year-old British climber David Knowles rappelled down to the ledge and took the needed footage. As they were gathering their gear, a huge rock broke free and smashed into the climbers, killing Knowles and leaving Hoover with a fractured pelvis and severely bruised muscles.[22] Following an impromptu wake for Knowles, Eastwood considered canceling the production, but the climbers persuaded him to continue on, assuring him that they all knew the risks of their trade and did not want Knowles’ death to be meaningless.[23][22][Note 2]

    Watching as the crew sets up a shot
    On location in Zurich, Switzerland, September 1974
    Eastwood insisted on doing all his own climbing and stunts—a decision met with disapproval by the director of the International School of Mountaineering, Dougal Haston, who experienced the dangers of the Eiger first hand having been with American climber John Harlin when he fell to his death.[20] Cameraman Frank Stanley also thought climbing the perilous mountain to shoot a film was unnecessary.[20] While filming on the Eiger, Stanley fell and sustained injuries that forced him to use a wheelchair for some time.[24] Stanley blamed Eastwood for the accident because of lack of preparation, describing him as a director and actor as a “very impatient man who doesn’t really plan his pictures or do any homework”.[25] One of the most dangerous stunts that Eastwood ever attempted involved him hanging from a rope four thousand feet above the valley floor in the penultimate scene. The scene required him to cut himself free so he could be pulled to safety by his rescuers. As he cuts the rope supporting his weight, he drops precariously before being saved by a rigged cable.[26] Eastwood would later say, “I didn’t want to use a stunt man, because I wanted to use a telephoto lens and zoom in slowly all the way to my face—so you could see it was really me.”[“

  10. jahigginbotham
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    And Mount Whitney in the second Rowell photo.

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