Tuesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s Tuesday, October 17, 2017, and promises to be a coolish but sunny day in Chicago. I am heading for Cambridge, Massachusetts tomorrow for a week, so posting will probably be light in the interim. I do my best.

It’s National Pasta Day, and there’s also a special Google Doodle today, celebrating the Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez. It’s below, and click on the screenshot to go to a special Selena video. I I’ve never heard any of her songs, but I’m aware of her tremendous popularity (she was one of the best-selling Latin artists of all time), and of the fact that she was murdered—Corpus Christi, Texas on March 31, 1995, by an unscrupulous business manager. Selena was only 23 when she died. You can read more about her story, her music, and the Doodle + video, which took two years to produce, here. The occasion for the Doodle was the release of her first studio album on October 17, 1989.

On October 17, 1604,  Johannes Kepler observed a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus  He wasn’t the first to see it, but observed and interpreted it, suggesting that, since new stars might appear, the Heavens were perhaps not fixed. On this day in 1814, the  Great London Beer Flood occurred when vats of beer erupted at the Meux and Company Brewery, sending a tsunami of beer down Tottenham Court Road and killing eight people. What a way to go! On this day in 1888, Thomas Edison filed a patent for the “Optical Phonograph”: the first form of movies. And in 1907, Marconi’s company began the first commercial transatlantic wireless service, sending messages between Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada and Clifden, Ireland. In 1931, Al Capone, already infected with syphillis, was convicted of income tax evasion; he was released in 1939 but, demented and very sick from his disease, died eight years later. Two years later, Albert Einstein moved to the U.S., where we have the best physicists. There’s no country in the world that has physicists as good as we do! Einstein made American great again! And on this day in 1979, the old grifter Mother Theresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for allowing thousands of Indians to suffer while being converted to Catholicism.

Notables born on October 17 include Nathaniel West (1903), Cozy Cole (1909), Arthur Miller (1915), Rita Hayworth (1918), Montgomery Clift (1920), Gary Puckett (1942), Wyclef Jean (1969), Eminem (1972; he’s 45 today!) and Ariel Levy (1974). What happens to a rapper who’s aged? Does he dry up like a raisin in the sun?

Here’s Wyclef Jean and Shakira in a terrific live performance of “Hips Don’t Lie“:

Notables who died on this day —imagine what a beating it is to write this list every day and see the decedents move closer and closer to my age!— René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur (1757), Frédéric Chopin (1849), Julia Ward Howe (1910), S. J. Perelman (1979), Tennessee Ernie Ford (1991), and Levi Stubbs (2008). Here’s Tennesee Ernie singing his most famous song (if you’re of a certain age, you’ll recognize who introduces him). Note that “Sixteen Tons” was written and first performed by Merle Travis.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has taken over Andrzej’s chair, as she often does.

Hili: Don’t even think about it!
A: About what?
Hili: Throwing me off this chair.
In Polish:
Hili: Nawet o tym nie myśl!
Ja: O czym?
Hili: Żeby mnie wyrzucić z tego fotela.
Nearby, Leon is at the site of his future home, which still can’t be built as his staff can’t find a contractor willing to pour the foundation. It’s all very sad. Now Leon is scared of being shot:

Leon: Leon: Is hunting prohibited everywhere in the vicinity?

And a few tw**ts:

From Ziya Tong via Matthew Cobb:

And two tw**ts cribbed from Heather Hastie. 

Here’s someone laboriously making a model of Freddy Mercury:

And a baby wolf!


  1. Paul S
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I feel you, I have the same problem with my feeder.
    K’Ehleyr, Warrior Kitteh

    • BJ
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      That sculptor is ridiculously talented. There are certain things — usually artistic — that, when I see them, I simply cannot conceive of how they can be done. I see what the artist is doing, but my mind can’t really comprehend how it’s happening because I don’t understand how the artist knows what to do. The hand movements, the steadiness, but most of all, how the artist holds an image in their head and knows how to make that image happens with a series of thousands of steps is beyond my ability to discern. That might have to do with my learning disability, which has given me spatial reasoning in the 25th percentile (so, I’m basically retarded when it comes to spatial reasoning 😛 )

  2. darrelle
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    That Freddy Mercury model maker has serious skills. That was amazing to watch.

    Regarding the snake eating mantis, it seems odd to me that the snake is not moving at all. Was the snake dead before the mantis got a hold of it? If not how the heck did the mantis kill the snake?

    • David Coxill
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Will the Mantis eat all the Snake do you think?.

      • darrelle
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        I wouldn’t want to bet either way. But it seems like a lot of mass to process for the mantis. But I recall a video segment from a documentary in which a mantis ate a very large insect (compared to itself) pretty much completely. Everything but the wings, if I remember correctly. It wasn’t clear how long it took.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    The lovely and talented Ms. Dinah Shore.

    Jeff Beck and ZZ Top had a slightly different take on “16 Tons” in their homage to TE Ford:

    • BJ
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Watching Jeff Beck during the Crossroads Festival in 2007 is how I found out about Tal Wilkenfeld.

      I’ve seen her play with Zappa Plays Zappa. She’s ridiculous.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Dang. Best bass prodigy I’ve heard since 17-year-old Stanley Clarke.

      • ploubere
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:33 pm | Permalink


      • Posted October 18, 2017 at 4:00 am | Permalink

        Amazing. Even the speakers behind Jeff look impressed (3.27).

    • darrelle
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      On the subject of cool tribute duos with Jeff Beck, have you heard Beck and Seal covering Hendrix’s Manic Depression?

      Manic Depression – Jeff Beck & Seal

      I came across it on a multi-artist tribute-to-Jimi Hendrix album that was otherwise unremarkable. But I really like this cover.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        That’s not just a tribute; it sounds like the authentic original. Thanks.

    • ploubere
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:33 pm | Permalink


  4. Randy schenck
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I don’t think we throw cats out of the chair. It’s the other way around.

  5. DrBrydon
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Dinah Shore was a seriously good singer herself. I only really discovered her early stuff a few years ago. It’s well worth a listen.

  6. BJ
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Damn, praying mantis, you scary!

    My parents always told me I shouldn’t be afraid of insects and spiders because “it’s not like they’ll eat you,” but I knew better. If praying mantises have hidden their snake eating for this long, there’s no telling what they and their creepy crawly comrades have been up to.

  7. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    A (w)rapper who’s aged becomes emptied, yellow and wrinkly in the sun. Also trampled on.

  8. XCellKen
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I had tickets to see Selena perform at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 1995. Didn’t go. Long story (it involved a woman). 70k others did get to see her perform.

    Six weeks later, she was murdered. Missed a chance to see her last concert.

  9. Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Cheers to the (intellectual) courage of Kepler!

  10. Randy schenck
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    This difficulty with getting a contractor for Leon and staff to put their house on is disturbing. I know nothing about how it works in Poland but hope something can be done about this.

  11. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    It’s National Pasta Day,

    [rude words] Shoes back on and back out into the rain to the shops!

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