Saturday: Hili dialogue

It’s a rainy Saturday (October 14, 2017) in Chicago, and the Cubs play in Los Angeles tonight in the first game of the National League Championship. Should they win this series, it’s on to the World Series! It’s National Dessert Day, too, so eat your vegetables or—no pie for you! It’s also World Standards Day, celebrating those who develop technological standards.

Here are the results of yesterday’s candy corn poll; it’s pretty much even. I was surprised that so many people like candy corn, but to each their own. However, there aren’t that many votes given the readership.

On this day in 1066, in the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror’s forces defeated the English army, killing the English King Harold II. It was all over for the Saxons. On October 14, 1908, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, beating the Detroit Tigers 2-0.  They would not win the Series again for 108 years (last year); but they could win this year!  On this day in 1926, A. A. Milne’s book Winnie-the-Pooh was published. I loved it and read all the Pooh books; do kids still read them? My favorite animal was Tigger, who was all bouncy, but my spirit animal is the dolorous Eeyore, and I have a plush Eeyore (with a pink ribbon tied around his tail) at my house.

Tigger and Pooh dine on honey:

And Eeyore with his sad shack (and Christopher Robin, Pooh, and Piglet):

On this day in 1944, General Erwin Rommel, accused of plotting to kill Hitler, was forced to kill himself by taking cyanide; the “reward” was that his treason wasn’t mentioned in the press and he got a fancy funeral.  On October 14, 1947, Chuck Yeager flew his Bell X-1 rocket plane, the Glamorous Glennis, faster than the speed of sound at Mach 1.06 (700 miles per hour or 1,100 km/hour): the first pilot to do so in level flight.

On this day in 1962, the Cuban Missile crisis began when a U-2 spy plane photographed Soviet missiles being installed in Cuba. I remember that time well, for my father told our family that he may have to go on “active duty.” That was the closest we came to war in my lifetime, though another opportunity seems to be arising. On October 14, 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize for “combating racial inequality through nonviolence.” Note the “nonviolence” part; he didn’t punch anyone. On this day in 1969, the UK introduced the fifty-pence coin, replacing the ten-shilling note and foreshadowing when British currency became decimalized in 1971.  Who remembers that? Finally, on this day in 1991, Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I used to be a great admirer of hers until the Rohingya crisis began and she hasn’t done anything to stop it.

Notables born on this day include William Penn (1644), Éamon de Valera (1882), Katherine Mansfield (1888), Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890), E. E. Cummings (1894), Cliff Richard (1940), Craig Venter (1946, no Nobel Prize yet) and Usher (1978).  Those who died on this day include King Harold II (1066; see above), Erwin Rommel (1944; see above), Bing Crosby (1977) and Leonard Bernstein (1990). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili seems to be bucking for Maru’s title, but she’s entering baskets rather than boxes. As for what her words mean, well, who knows?

A: What are you doing there?
Hili: I’m striving for perfection.
In Polish:
​Ja: Co tam robisz?
Hili: Dążę do doskonałości.

A cougar sighting on the news! A tw**t from reader Kenneth:

And a tw**t found by Matthew Cobb. It’s hilarious:

Finally a family of Wols from reader Barry:


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    The Pooh Song Book has, in particular, THE Cottleston Pie song that Rowlf performed on The Muppet Show.

    Sing Ho for the Life of a Bear!

  2. colnago80
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    In addition to those “rewards”, he was told that if he declined to commit suicide and demanded a trial, there would be reprisals against his wife and children. Considering the alternative, suicide was the only honorable way out for him.

  3. George
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    “Maru seems to be bucking for Maru’s title…” – I think you meant that “Hili seems to ….” since Maru already has her own title.

  4. Randy schenck
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    I believe they have made a movie about Christopher Robin. Should be out soon.

    I remember very well when the “new” money came out in Britain. After spending nearly two years learning the old money it all went away. A real let down for me at the time.

  5. Posted October 14, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Remember the 10 shilling note? Certainly, and sadly, like it was yesterday. And the awful long divisions in £pounds, shillings and pence. For non-Brits and young Brits, that’s 12 pence to the shilling and 20 shillings to the £. Now try something like dividing £198/12/8d by 8, as we had to learn at primary school, not forgetting the halfpennies and farthings.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 14, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      Just making change was mind bending to a Yank.

      • David Harper
        Posted October 14, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        Unlike, say, inches/feet/yards/miles, or ounces/pounds/hundredweights/tons, which are all perfectly logical 🙂

        • Randy schenck
          Posted October 14, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

          Very true, but generally you were not going to lose money. I recall many years ago they made an effort to change all of this to metric and then gave up. Another example of not wanting to join the rest of the world.

          • David Harper
            Posted October 14, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

            Britain sits on the fence in these matters. Legally, commerce must be conducted in S.I. units, as Britain is (for the moment) a member of the European Union. However, road signs are still miles, and you can still order a pint of beer at a pub.

            • Randy schenck
              Posted October 14, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

              Yes, liter of beer just does not sound right. One thing I miss that we could use more of here is the roundabout. Much better way of moving traffic.

              • dabertini
                Posted October 14, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

                Yes!! I love roundabouts (the singular, capitalized version is none too shabby a song either), just not the one at the arc de triomphe.

              • David Harper
                Posted October 14, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

                My wife’s home town in north Idaho has a roundabout. It does seem to baffle some of the natives, but then, I find four-way stops pretty confusing myself 🙂

            • Stephen Mynett
              Posted October 14, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

              David Harper,re sitting on the fence. My best friend had a family builder’s merchants and it always amused us that it was standard in that trade when buying some wood you would ask for something like 2 metres of 4×2 (inches).

    • Grania Devine
      Posted October 14, 2017 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      And twenty ONE shillings in a guinea.

  6. Frank Bath
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    I well remember the demise of the ‘ten bob note’ and it’s replacement by the seven sided circular 50p coin. (Never quite understood that.) Fortunately I could still go down to my local and buy the usual three pints of bitter with it. The change to decimalisation caused a lot of confusion but things soon settled down.
    Since then the pound note has also been replaced by a coin – a twin metal twelve sided circular coin. 😦

    • Frank Bath
      Posted October 14, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      PS. What is candy corn?

      • Randy schenck
        Posted October 14, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        It’s not corn but might be candy.

      • Posted October 14, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        See here:

        And it’s made in Chicago!

        • Carey Haug
          Posted October 14, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

          I wonder if the sweetness comes from sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Maybe it is literally made from corn.

          • Rita
            Posted October 14, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

            It is made with corn syrup, NOT high fructose corn syrup. There is a difference.

  7. Posted October 14, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Your Winnie-the-Pooh likes mirror mine exactly. I wonder how universal these likes are for people like us (of a certain age that is).

    I just became a grandparent and one of the “birth day” gifts I presented my granddaughter was a complete set of the Pooh books (and an infant-sized baseball mitt and bat). Gotta start ’em early.

    • Diane G.
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 3:23 am | Permalink


  8. Terry Sheldon
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Eeyore was always my daughter’s favorite Pooh character; she has quite a collection of plush Eeyores as well as t-shirts, etc.

    While I wasn’t around for the decimalization in 1971, I spent considerable time in England in 1979 and remember trying to figure out how much a shilling was worth when I’d get one of the old coins in change. Eventually did figure out that it was the same as a 5p coin.

    • David Harper
      Posted October 14, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      The original five pence coin was deliberately made the same size as the one-shilling coin that it replaced, so that the old shillings could continue in circulation. The ten pence coin was likewise the same size as the two-shilling coin, which also continued in circulation for some years. It was common to get the old one- and two-shilling coins in change. All of the other pre-decimal coins were withdrawn in 1971, though.

      The five-pence coin was reduced in size in 1990 and is now similar in diameter to an American dime. The ten-pence coin was reduced in size a couple of years later and is now the same diameter as a quarter, although somewhat thicker.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted October 14, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        We went to decimal currency in NZ in 1968. I remember it even though I was only 4. The 5 cent piece was the same size as a sixpence, the 10 cent piece the same size as a shilling (12d) and the 20 cent piece the same size as a florin (2 shillings/24d). For some reason I don’t know d = pennies. I’m pretty sure we were still using the old coins well into the ’80s.

        • Randy schenck
          Posted October 14, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          Interesting. So NZ did it 3 years before Britain. So actually, considering your age, it was easier for you than it was for me and I am American.

  9. davidintoronto
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Wow. Baby owl ate the whole thing. No sharing.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 14, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Very cool video!

  10. Andy Lowry
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    The Normans… Battle of Hastings… Oh, I just can’t talk about it; it’s too soon.

  11. Randy schenck
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I have a currency question – since the new money change back in 71, we no longer have shillings. Therefore does the term guinea no longer have standing? During my time in Britain the exchange was about $2.40 to $2.60 per pound. I think today it is around $1.30.

    • David Harper
      Posted October 14, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      The guinea survives in the world of horse-racing. Thoroughbred horses are always sold in guineas, and prize money is also sometimes quoted in guineas. There are even races called the One Thousand Guineas and the Two Thousand Guineas which take place every year at Newmarket, the town in Suffolk which is the home of British horse-racing.

      For the baffled reader: a guinea was one pound and one shilling in old money, which is a pound and five pence today.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted October 14, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        Heck, I should have known that. Went to New Market a few times myself.

        • Nobody Special
          Posted October 14, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I am a pedant. How did you guess?

  12. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I can remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. I was 11 at the time and at the peak of the Crisis I went to bed not knowing if I would wake up or not.

    My (now adult) children can’t truly appreciate my depths of feeling about that. Any more than I can truly understand my own parents experience of growing to adulthood during WWII.

  13. David Harper
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I’m just old enough to remember the pre-decimal coins in Britain. In my third year at junior school (age 7), we had classes to learn how to use the new money.

    Of all the old coins, my fondest memory is of the half-crown, whose value was two and a half shillings, which would be 12.5 pence in decimal currency. Whenever my grandparents visited, they would press a half-crown into my hand when they left. It was a hefty coin if you were a little kid, and in those days, it bought a lot of candy.

    Even now, the coins in Britain change every few years. Most recently, we have a new one-pound coin, which is a bi-metal coin like the two-pound. It was introduced earlier this year because the old pound coin is too easy to counterfeit. It’s estimated that there are almost fifty million fake pound coins in circulation. The transition period is almost over: from Monday October 16, the old pound coins will no longer be legal tender.

  14. DrBrydon
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    That tromboner was amusing.

  15. Al
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Sorry to be a pedant. Given that the speed of sound is about 1200 km/h, Chuck Yeager’s first supersonic flight must have been faster than 1100 km/h. Mach 1.06 is 1300 km/h.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 14, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Not the expert on this but the speed of sound changes with temperature and I think altitude. He probably needed to go more like 767 mph to pass mach one. Anyway, 700 mph would be 1126.5 KM/per hour.

      • Al
        Posted October 14, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Oops, my mistake. You’re correct that at 43,000ft the speed of sound is about 660 mph (1050 km/h) so he only needed to go about 700 mph to break the sound barrier.

  16. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Part of the genius of Winnie-the-Pooh is that it is really much harder to write something on a 7-year-old level that is engaging to adults, then targeting a slightly older age like 11 to 13. Examples of the latter abound from Tom Sawyer to Anne of Green Gables, but Pooh is remarkably accessible to extremely young children while still thoroughly engaging to adults.

    I often like Disney, but their Pooh is fairly lame.

    Interestingly, Pooh’s illustrator, Ernest Shepard, was an accomplished military officer (and owner of a substantial gun collection) while A.A. Milne was a pacifist until the rise of Hitler.

  17. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    That was the closest we came to war in my lifetime

    Presumably you mean the closest to nuclear war. We’ve had plenty of the regular kind.

    • Diane G.
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 3:26 am | Permalink

      Yeah, I was gonna say… 😉

  18. JohnnieCanuck
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Winnie the Pooh was named after a Canadian black bear which was adopted as a military mascot, ending up in London Zoo and becoming really quite popular with the public.

    The CBC has some information about her and how her namesake became famous in print.

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