Tuesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Well, it’s Tuesday, August 15, 2017. and we’re halfway through August, wending our way toward Back To School Time. It’s also National Lemon Meringue Pie Day, a dessert that, made properly, is a thing of beauty. (It’s also Julia Child’s birthday; see below.) In many places it’s the Feast of the Assumption, a Catholic holiday that’s also celebrated in Poland, where Andrzej, Malgorzata, Hili and Cyrus will resolutely ignore it. (The holiday celebrates the Catholic “fact”, simply declared as dogma by the Pope in 1950, that Mary was bodily assumed into Heaven. It’s not in the Bible at all; it was simply made up. Note that many people confuse the Assumption with the Immaculate Conception, which is simply Mary’s being born without sin. Also, the Immaculate Conception does not refer to Mary’s being a virgin when she became pregnant with Fetus Jesus. I suspect more atheists know these things than do Catholics.)

It’s Independence Day in India, celebrating its founding as a nation on this day in 1947, so it’s India’s 70th birthday. Happy birthday to a country I love, and Jai Hind! Below are the stirring words of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, spoken in his famous “Tryst with Destiny” address delivered to the Indian Parliament just before midnight on August 15. (You can read the entire short speech at the link.)

Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment, we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.

Here’s part of the speech, regarded as one of the great orations of the twentieth century:

I’ll be giving talks in India this fall and winter for a while, and am quite excited.

On this day in 1057 (at least as recounted by some), Macbeth, king of the Scots and the model for Shakespeare’s historically inaccurate Macbeth, was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan by the army of Máel Coluim mac Donnchada. On August 15, 1534, Ignatius of Loyola and six companions took religious vows that eventually led to the establishment of the Jesuits six years later. On this date in 1939, the movie The Wizard of Oz premiered at Grauman’s Chinese theater in Los Angeles. Exactly nine years later, the Republic of Korea (South Korea) was created as a nation separate from the North, with the demarcation line being the 38th parallel north. Two years later, North Korea invaded the South, beginning the Korean war. On August 15, 1965, the Beatles gave a concert to 60,000 people in Shea Stadium in New York City, said to be the first instance of “stadium rock”. (I hate those big, loud venues and will never go to a concert in a stadium.) Finally, on this date in 2013, according to Wikipedia, “The Smithsonian announces the discovery of the olinguito, the first new carnivorous species found in the Americas in 35 years.”  While it’s in the order Carnivora, it doesn’t eat meat but subsists largely on fruit supplemented with insects. It is also a procyonid (in the raccoon family) that lives in the cloud forests of the Andes and looks like this:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili was sunning herself on the windowsill, not asking to be carried in, when Andrzej (you can see his reflection) snapped this photo:

Hili: I should now look like the Sphinx.
A: In what sense?
Hili: I’m in an enigmatic reverie which nobody is able to decipher.
In Polish:
Hili: Powinnam teraz wyglądać jak Sfinks.
Ja: W jakim sensie?
Hili: Tajemniczego zamyślenia, którego nikt nie odgadnie.
Leon is continuing his hiking vacation in the mountains of southern Poland, but he doesn’t go hiking every day; he makes his reluctance known by hiding under the bed at walkies time.  Tomorrow we’ll see that Leon has found a beautiful girlfriend!

Leon: I think I will have a rest today.

And we have a cat photo from reader Peter:

My friend posted this picture of herself and her cat, and my wife commented on how it looks like they have just had an argument 🙂 I thought your readers might enjoy this photo as well (she said I could share the pic).

Finally, speaking of camouflage, Matthew Cobb found this tw**t. Look at those cryptic eyeballs!


  1. Posted August 15, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Napoleon’s birthday… a bad man…

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 15, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Reading and watching Nehru’s “Tryst with Destiny” speech, with its rhythms and its central “redeem our pledge” metaphor, suggests it as one of the sources for Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech with its metaphor of “to cash a check.”

  3. GBJames
    Posted August 15, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I am reminded of Firesign Theatre and The Powerhouse Church of the Presumptuous Assumption of the Blinding Light.

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 15, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Are we going to see a Leon with a smug expression from tomorrow?

  5. Posted August 15, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Nice to see the discovery of the Olinguito featured! I just got news yesterday that an Olinguito has been filmed in our new Dracula Reserve in northwest Ecuador!!

    • darrelle
      Posted August 15, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      What a beautiful creature!

  6. rickflick
    Posted August 15, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Lemon meringue is my all time favorite pie. I’ve had it home made for many birthdays since I was a child. My wife makes it by reducing the amount of sugar the recipe normally calls for by 1/2. She adds lemon zest to the filling for extra zing. The meringue should be browned carefully. It is to die for.

    Sitting, fork in hand, in front of lemon meringue pie…I’d say – we’ve got everything we need. Satisfaction guaranteed.


  7. Phil Rounds
    Posted August 15, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    “On August 15, 1965, the Beatles gave a concert to 60,000 people in Shea Stadium in New York City”

    I was there…along with 2 musician buddies of mine. We went to see and hear the greatest band in the world. We were too far away to see much and most of the music was drowned out by the insane screaming, but it is an event i will never forget. Somewhere in my basement there are pictures of 4 tiny figures on a little square stage playing Twist and Shout.

  8. Hempenstein
    Posted August 15, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    In places in Georgia (maybe the whole state) they went back to school around Aug 1(!). I think the rationale is that it’s too hot to do anything else, and it makes for longer breaks during the year.

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 15, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    The fellow who declared the Assumption official, Pope Pius XII, seems to have been reluctant to publicly speak out against persecution of Jews, though many defendants allege he pulled a lot of strings to help them behind the scenes.
    A scathingly negative view of him is taken in Rolf Hochhuth’s play “The Deputy” and he has been called “Hitler’s Pope”.
    Rabbi David Dalin has defended him in “The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis”.

    Apocryphal accounts of the Assumption of Mary have circulated since the 6th century, and some local celebrations of it date back that far.

    However, methinks the Assumption is not a safe assumption.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted August 15, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Come to think of it, there’s a kind of Assumption of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz released this day in 1939.

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