Tuesday: Hili dialogue

Tuesday is the cruelest day, breeding dried posts out of a dead mind. This is my 16,544th post on this site, and that’s a lot of words. I’m going to run out some day. At one post a day, that would be 45 years’ worth. Further, it’s one of those days when I arrive at work with an empty brain, having no idea what I’ll write about.

Today is Tuesday, October 10, 2017, and it’s National Tic Tac Day. That’s not even a food! But, according to Wikipedia, it’s also World Porridge Day according to Wikipedia, and in about half an hour I’m going to have a bowl of oatmeal (with raisins and cinnamon) to celebrate.

Once again, the news from history is slow, supporting my theory (which is mine) that not much happens when the weather turns colder (it’ll be about 18° C or 64° F in Chicago today, with rain arriving tomorrow). On October 10, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire came to an end, having burned for three days, killing about 300 people and leaving over 100,000 homeless after burning about 3.3 miles2 (9 km2) of Chicago, including most of the downtown. Yes, it started in a barn owned by the O’Leary family, but we’re not at all sure that the cause was a cow kicking over a lantern. Here’s a panorama of the downtown after the blaze:

On this day in 1938, several countries signed the Munich Agreement, ceding German-speaking parts of Czechoslovakia (the Sudetenland) to Hitler. It was an act of unbelievable appeasement by the Allies, and propelled largely by the invertebrate prime minister Neville Chamberlain, who famously proclaimed that the agreement brought “peace for our time.” On October 10, 1973, Spiro Agnew (who reminds me a bit of Trump) resigned as Vice President of the U.S. after being charged with tax evasion. He never served time in jail, but was fined $10,000 and put on three years of unsupervised probation.

As with yesterday, not many notables were born on this day. One was Fridtjob Nansen (1861), an Arctic explorer and later an exponent of peace through the League of Nations (he won the Nobel Peace Prize). His exploits are celebrated with today’s  Google Doodle, visible in most of the Northern Hemisphere:

Others born on this day include Thelonius Monk (1917, today’s his 100th birthday), Harold Pinter (1930), Julia Sweeney (1959) and Daniel Pearl (1963). Those who died on this day include Jack Daniel (1911; yes that Jack Daniel), Edith Piaf (1963), Yul Brynner and Orson Welles (both 1985), my Chicago humanities colleague Wayne C. Booth (2005), and Joan Sutherland (2010). How do you feel about Sutherland singing a little Puccini?

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili extols the evolution of felids, but I think she’s talking about herself. . .

Hili: I’m still enraptured.
A: What with?
Hili: With how wonderfully successful evolution has been with cats.
In Polish:
Hili: Ciągle mnie to zachwyca.
Ja: Co takiego?
Hili: Jak tej ewolucji wspaniale udało się z tymi kotami.
Matthew sent a physics tw**t:

From reader Barry: two cats having a chinwag:

And a strip from “Rhymes with Orange” by Hilary Price,  courtesy of readers Jon and Diane G.


  1. Posted October 10, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    #Adalovelace DAY!!!

    The Google Doodle we have in the UK is for the woman who got the exclusive on the German invasion of Poland in 1939, Clare Hollingworth…

    also, World Mental Health Day…

    • Posted October 10, 2017 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      PS Maybe, if you run out of words, Greg could finish some his many drafts you’ve mentioned before! 😉

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 10, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      We got her too in NZ, though it was yesterday because we’re already well into Wednesday.

  2. Frank Bath
    Posted October 10, 2017 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Run out of words? Though there be few notes the music keeps coming.

    • Wotan Nichols
      Posted October 10, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      “There is still a lot of good music to be written in the key of C.”
      –Arnold Schoenberg,

  3. Randy schenck
    Posted October 10, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    The fires out west are really doing damage with Santa Rosa burning. It is colder today in Wichita than Chicago, but that will not last. Sutherland is very good but would prefer some Edith Piaf.

  4. Posted October 10, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    There’s a school of thought that suggests Chamberlain didn’t have any choice but to appease Hitler in 1938 because Britain was woefully unprepared for war at that time.

    • Posted October 10, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”

      – Churchill to Chamberlain after he returned from signing the Munich pact with Hitler

    • chris moffatt
      Posted October 10, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      According to the memoirs of Field Marshal Keitel, who was present at the meetings at Bad Godesberg, Munich and the Berghof, Chamberlain was adamantly opposed to the agreement with Hitler. He had to relent only after Daladier, the french politician, refused to entertain the idea of going to war over the Sudetenland. Without the french Britain didn’t have the military power to go it alone. As it was it did buy them time to build up the RAF strength which enabled them to survive the battle of Britain (just).

  5. GBJames
    Posted October 10, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Speaking of the Great Chicago Fire, I believe it is the reason Schlitz become the beer that made Milwaukee famous because so much was shipped south after Chicago’s breweries had been destroyed.

  6. Posted October 10, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    With regard to your cartoon, I suspect the Trump administration officials will soon begin carrying laser pointers so when they get stuck in interviews they can just project a dot on our screens and distract us that way.

    • busterggi
      Posted October 10, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      The laser dots will contain more info than the official’s statements.

  7. Posted October 10, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    On the 10 th of october 1780 the hitherto worst hurricane of the Atlantic, the Great Hurricane of 1780, begins its journey across the Caribbean islands, which will last until October 16, and has killed 22,000 people. Furthermore, thousands of sailors lose their lives in distress.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 10, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Did not know about that. Only just over one year before the surrender at Yorktown. All of my experiences with hurricanes, typhoons actually, as they are called in the pacific was on Okinawa, where they come every year with the season.

  8. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted October 10, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Name typo:

    “Fridtjob Nansen (1861)”

    Fridt*jof* (FRID-choff), from Old Norse saga [ https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Fridtjof ].

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted October 10, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Oh, itmust be Frid*tjof* (from Friðþjófr). I did not know that.

  9. Posted October 10, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    It is my understanding that we don’t even know it started in O’Leary’s barn, just in its vicinity. Katie O’Leary was an Irish-Catholic immigrant, who were not too popular at the time, and she made a suitable scapegoat.

    • Diane G.
      Posted October 11, 2017 at 3:19 am | Permalink

      But the idea of a scapecow just adds another fun detail to the story…

  10. claudia baker
    Posted October 10, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    “…Spiro Agnew…charged with tax evasion.” Oh, the good old days, when politicians’ tax returns were made public.

  11. Dale Franzwa
    Posted October 10, 2017 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, thanks for Joan Sutherland. For interested opera lovers, The Metropolitan Opera season in movie theaters has just gotten underway. Next Saturday’s production is The Magic Flute. Go to the Met website, click on Opera in HD and follow the appropriate links to find “a theater near you.”

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