Friday: Hili dialogue

OMG: it’s Friday the 13th (October, 2017), supposedly an unlucky day. But the odds are there will be at least one such day per year given that there are 12 thirteenths per year and only seven days of the week. And yesterday, at least, was lucky for the Chicago Cubs, who won the Central Division of the National League with a squeaker 9-8 victory over the Washington Nationals—in a game lasting over 4.5 hours. Our Cubbies now face the National League champions series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and if they win that one they’re on to the World Series again. It looks as if baseball might extend into November this year, an outcome I predicted long ago, when I said that one day the American baseball, football, and basketball seasons would all overlap. On the down side, Trump started dismantling Obamacare by executive order and is about to use Congress to scrap the nuclear deal with Iran. 

It’s National M&M’s Day, and how many of you haven’t eaten one? Here are some fun facts about the ubiquitous candy introduced in 1940 (the first five are from Foodimentary):

  1. From 1976 to 1985, there were no red M&Ms (see below)
  2. Blue M&Ms were introduced in 1995.
  3. M&Ms were taken along on the first space shuttle voyage in 1982.
  4. There are 340 million M&M’s produced daily. [JAC: Wikipedia now says 400 million]
  5. The “M&M” was modeled after a candy Forrest Mars, Sr. encountered while in Spain during the 1930s. During the Spanish civil war there, he observed soldiers eating chocolate pellets with a hard shell of tempered chocolate. This prevented the candies from melting, which was essential when included in soldiers rations as they were.
  6. (From Wikipedia) “The following is a summary of the changes to the colors of the flagship (milk chocolate) flavor of M&M’s, the only filling manufactured continuously since the beginning of the brand. From 1941 until 1969, each package contained M&M’s in five different colors; when red M&M’s were reintroduced in 1987, they were added as a sixth color instead of replacing any of the existing colors.”

Bring back the violet ones!! We’ll have an M&M based quiz in an hour or so.

It’s also the International Day for Disaster Reduction, which means to me a day on which we should impeach Trump. On this day in 1792, the cornerstone of the White House (the “Executive Mansion”) was laid. And, October 13, 1881, Hebrew revivalist Eliezer Ben-Yehuda had the first conversation in modern Hebrew with his friends. I had no idea that Hebrew was a dead language for a long time, which shows you what a bad (secular) Jew I am. On this day in 1884, the zero meridian for longitude was decreed by the International Meridian Conference to pass through the Greenwich Observatory. On this day in 1903, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates to win the first “modern” World Series.  The Sox won again in 1918, but then had a long drought, not winning again until 2004. The only longer “Series Drought” was by our Cubbies, who won last year after not winning since 1908. On this day in 1917, the so-called “Miracle of the Sun” occurred in Fátima Portugal, where some solar anomaly was witnessed by 70,000 people. It was most likely either mass hallucination or an atmospheric anomaly; see here for other explanations). Here’s a Portuguese newspaper reporting the event, officially recognized by the Vatican as a “miracle.”

Finally, on October 12, 1983, the first cellular network began; it was set up in Chicago by Ameritech (now AT&T). And so we will always be connected. I know almost nobody who doesn’t have a cellphone.

Notables born on this day include Rudolf Virchow (1821), Wilfred Pickles (1904; I like the name), the cartoonist Herblock (1909), Lenny Bruce and Margaret Thatcher (both 1925), Paul Simon (1941), Marie Osmond (1959), and Sacha Baron Cohen (1971). Those who died on this day include Milton S. Hershey (1945; chocolate magnate) Ed Sullivan (1974) and Lê Đức Thọ (1990).  Here’s a 1978 clip of Barbara Walters interviewing Donnie and Marie Osmond, asking them why blacks can’t be priests in their Mormon faith. (Church officials had a “revelation” in 1978 in which God said it was okay after all.) Watch Donnie equivocate!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, the Editor in Chief is issuing orders:

Hili: Efficient management requires delegation.
A: So what am I supposed to do?
Hili: Think for yourself and start thinking from the kitchen.
In Polish:
Hili: Sprawne zarządzanie wymaga delegowania.
Ja: Czyli co mam zrobić?
Hili: Sam pomyśl, zacznij myślenie od kuchni.

And from Winnipeg we have a photo of Gus that his staff calls “a nice picture”. Indeed. Look at that adorable face, stuffy ears (the result of frostbite) and snow white fur!

Finally, a tw**t from Matthew, who loves optical illusions:


  1. Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Hili got lost.

  2. Peter
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    No Hili!

  3. Randy schenck
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I’m sure Hili will return. Friday the 13 is suppose to be bad luck? I got married on a Friday the 13th over 41 years ago. Notice that some people such as Trump cannot actually accomplish anything so they destroy things instead. They tend to be the same who complain all the time yet accomplish nothing.

  4. GBJames
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Turns out Friday the 13th is very unlucky for Hili!

  5. Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    HILI HAS BEEN INSERTED! I forgot–for the first time ever! Oy!

  6. mordacious1
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Isn’t today national “No Bra Day”?
    Asking for a friend…

  7. Paul Matthews
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    A question for candy connoisseurs: what is the difference, if any, between M&Ms and Smarties? Nowadays here in Canada I often see commercials for M&Ms and none that I recall for Smarties, but when I was a kid in the sixties and seventies it was the opposite. In fact I don’t think I was aware of M&Ms’ existence till I was an adult. I still recall a Smarties commercial from a long time back: “When you eat your Smarties, do you eat the red ones last?” It had a catchy song.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      The biggest difference I think of is I never heard of smarties until you posted this.

      • David Coxill
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        Never heard of Smarties ,you poor ,poor sod.
        They come in a cardboard tube ,with a plastic cap ,after you have scoffed all the smarties you put it on the floor ,stamp down hard in the middle and the plastic cap shoots out the front.

        • Randy schenck
          Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

          I don’t understand how I could have missed such excitement. On the other hand, I could have missed those snappy replies by the Mormons on the video. Intellectually dead would be the description.

          • Diane G.
            Posted October 14, 2017 at 4:26 am | Permalink

            But Barbara Walters showed a little gumption, didn’t she?

        • Posted October 14, 2017 at 3:43 am | Permalink

          Oh boy, that brings back memories! Are Smarties just the Canadian/UK version of M&Ms? Never mind, I see this is discussed lower down.

    • Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      They used to have proper deep colours – presumably full of things now banned!

      • claudia baker
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        The difference between M&Ms and Smarties? M&Ms have a thinner outer coating. I had never heard of M&Ms until I was an adult either. And I well remember that commercial. When my parents brought home the weekly groceries on Saturdays, there was sometimes a bag of Smarties, which were shared out evenly among all the kids. My mother would actually count them, so there wouldn’t be any arguing!

        • Paul Matthews
          Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

          The other difference is that Smarties are better of course. Or could I be saying that because I was exposed to them first? I don’t know about this tube container that others are mentioning. I’ve always seen them in a thin cardboard box. As I recall, my son got lots of Smarties from his Halloween foray last year, but M&Ms too. If he goes trick or treating this year (he may be getting old for it), I’ll count how many of each he gets. That will be a conclusive, scientific study of which candy has the upper hand in Ontario at the moment.

          When you have your Smarties, do you eat the red ones last?
          Do you suck them very slowly or chew them very fast?
          Sadly I don’t remember the rest. I’m going to buy some Smarties today. Out of pure nostalgia.

          • Grania Devine
            Posted October 13, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

            Something about:
            … candy coated chocolate, but tell me when I ask
            When you eat your smarties do you eat the red ones last

            • John Frum
              Posted October 13, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

              We had the same jingle in Australia.
              M&Ms were a much later addition here IIRC.
              Years ago I would often buy a large cup of smarties on the way to work, eat them one by one and then feel very ill for a few hours.

    • John Conoboy
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      There is a rumor that green M&Ms are an aphrodisiac. Can Smarties match that?

      • Posted October 13, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        Someone more charismatic (or with better web presence) than I has to start a equally inane rumour, then! 😉

    • Dionigi
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Smarties taste better

  8. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    “ it’s Friday the 13th (October, 2017), supposedly an unlucky day.”

    I smell the next blockbuster article on white privilege.

    • David Coxill
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Didn’t it all start because there were 13 at the supposed last supper?.
      Lucky day for me ,took 2 of my cats to the vet today ,3 weeks ago they said there would be another charge today ,but didn’t have to pay any more .

      Told the vet, in cat heaven there is a big cat giving shots to vets .

  9. busterggi
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Look at the great photos of the crowd watching the ‘miracle’. You’d think the cameramen might have taken photos of the ‘miracle’ that was so amazing but somehow they didn’t think of that.

    • nicky
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Now that is really curious indeed!

      • Dale Franzwa
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

        Well, the observatories around the world that always have their telescopes trained on the sun didn’t manage to notice the sun dancing around the sky on that day. I wonder why? Anybody have any great insights about how that awesome miracle(?) was missed by all those astronomers?

  10. HBB
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I would like to wish everyone in the US (and everyone else, of course) Happy National Fossil Day! According to Wikipedia, the Day was initiated in 2010 by the US National Park Service to commemorate the world’s fossil heritage. M&Ms, fewer disasters, and fossils: it’s going to be a great day.

  11. darrelle
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    So (peeve anyone?), one day, when the twins were about 1 year old, I was in the kitchen doing something when it suddenly dawned on me that I had lost aural track of the twins. I hadn’t heard them for several minutes and didn’t know where they were.

    At just about the exact time that was dawning on me and I was about to start looking for them I heard the tinkle of numerous small objects falling onto tile coming from the direction of the master bedroom. Thinking to myself, “Crap, what have they gotten into now?,” I started out of the kitchen towards the master bedroom door.

    Coming out of the bedroom door towards me were the twins. Their eyes were literally glowing with ecstatic, nay, manic delight. Their little fists were firmly clamped around handfuls of . . . something. Their mouths were busy chomping away. Their teeth, lips, chins, cheeks, hands and more, were liberally smeared with dark brown stuff. OMFG. This messiness was very unusual for them. They were not the stereotypical messy kids. Usually.

    Trailing behind them across the carpet, into the bedroom, into the tiled master bathroom, to the scene of the initial crime at my wife’s closet door, was a clear path copiously covered with chocolate M&M candies. My wife and I had gone to see a movie a day or two prior and she had indulged her candy craving with a large bag of M&Ms. She had left the still 2/3 full bag in her purse, in her closet. Nothing is safe from kids!

    It was the first time they had ever had any kind of candy. It was as if they had found ambrosia.

    • claudia baker
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Haha – that’s a great story. Since I love M&Ms, I agree that they are ambrosia.

      • darrelle
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        🙂 Wish I’d had a camera. I’d of won America’s Favorite Video without doubt.

        • Diane G.
          Posted October 14, 2017 at 4:30 am | Permalink

          If there were an America’s Favorite Description you’d be a shoo-in. 🙂

    • busterggi
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      H. G. Wells had it wrong, chocolate is the food of the gods.

      • Posted October 13, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        The native Mexicans seem to have thought something like that.

  12. darrelle
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Anybody remember the horror-comedy-spoof Saturday The 14th? The Tomatometer has it at only 10%! I guess my tastes suck, I liked it.

    • busterggi
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      I’ve never seen that one! Have you ever seen Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday The 13th?

      • darrelle
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Hmmm . . . I don’t think I have. I guess I’ll have to watch it just to be sure.

        Can you recommend a wine to go along with this cheese?

        • busterggi
          Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          Have you tried “Are we there yet?”

          • Diane G.
            Posted October 14, 2017 at 4:31 am | Permalink

            Belated lol as it slowly dawns on me…

  13. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    and how many of you haven’t eaten one?

    Not one, ever. I couldn’t even tell you which decade they came into the UK market. I know they’re in the market now because the “husband comes home early – oh that’s what the biting was all about” advert is quite recognisable when FFing through the advert breaks at 32x.
    To clarify for Randy and David upthread, you stamp on the middle of the Smartie tube, to pop the lid off and into the teacher’s eye.
    I wonder if it would work with a Pringle tube. The fried potato disc sweet, not the woolly jumpers.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Is that more dangerous that spit balls? Not that I would ever do it to the teacher.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Not really – the lids are about 2cm in diameter, and only weigh a gram or so. At worst, it could carry debris into the eye, given a remarkably good shot.
        Besides, teacher off school for a week – you can forget the homework! The logic of youth.

  14. claudia baker
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    I don’t have a cell phone. Am I the only one in the world?

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      There are at least two of us.

    • busterggi
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Almost – I finally got one only because I HAD to have one for work. Never had a month yet that I’ve used all my minutes.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        I finally got one but was thinking about getting rid of it.

    • Posted October 13, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      I have one assigned to me by my employer only, and it never leaves the office. (Don’t ask.)

    • Diane G.
      Posted October 14, 2017 at 4:33 am | Permalink

      Have one but seldom use it.

  15. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Every non-leap year has precisely one or three Friday the 13ths. These do not strictly alternate i.e. there is not an equal number of three-F13 years as there are one-F13 years. (That would make the average out out of 6.)

    I worked this out myself on a computer years ago.

  16. Dionigi
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Anybody notice on the optical illusion if you stop the movement the thing seems to grow larger?

    • somer
      Posted October 14, 2017 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      That’s interesting. My theory is the effect is caused by the centre being rotated about 60 degrees clockwise then anticlockwise – I don’t know if anyone can confirm that’s how its done

  17. KevinP
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Nitpicking here but the Ameritech cellular network in 1983 was the first one **in the USA**. It was preceded by networks in Japan in 1979 and in Scandinavia in 1981.

  18. Carlos del Solar
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Actually, the White Sox won the World Series in 2005.

  19. Bob Barber
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Can there be a year without a Friday the 13th? The answer is no.

    “In the 2010s there were three Friday the 13ths in 2012 and 2015, and two in 2013. There will also be two 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.[27] In the 2020s, there will be three F13’s in 2026, and two in 2020, 2023, 2024, 2029, and 2030.[27] The rest of years have at least one F13 if there are fewer than two or three in the 2010s and 2020s.[27] Assuming nothing is changed with the calendar there is never more than three F13s in year.[28] There is a 28-year cycle that repeats when there is a F13 in February, March and November, and the current start of that pattern was in 2009.[28] Although there is at least one F13 per calendar year, it can be as long as 14 months between two F13s.”

  20. Zetopan
    Posted October 16, 2017 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    “Watch Donnie equivocate!” And if that isn’t enough, listen to Marie assist Donnie demonstrating what willful brain death looks like for women as well.

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