Sunday: Hili dialogue

It’s Sunday, October 22, 2017, and I’m already halfway through my trip to Cambridge. ‘Tis sad to think that I’ll soon leave the DPRC for Chicago. But it’s been a good time.  Last night after dinner, for instance, we went to Christina’s, certainly the best ice cream place in the Boston area (maybe the best in America), with a panoply of delicious flavors; check out their entire list at the link. It’s hard for your neurons to process the flavor list and spit out a decision (what some of us call “choice”), though one of my two scoops was already in my consciousness: burnt sugar—the best ice cream flavor in the world. Below are what was on offer; note “corn” at the bottom, which I wanted to try, but not at the expense of the other flavors:

Which flavors would you choose?

Here’s my cup: burnt sugar (the dark brown one) and “khulfi”, a nod to the ice cream endemic to India, made with pistachios, rosewater, and ample lashings of green cardamon. It was terrific:

In baseball news, the Houston Astros beat the dreaded New York Yankees 4-0 last night, securing a berth in the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The series, which goes to the team who wins four games (seven max), begins on Tuesday.

It’s National Brandied Fruit Day, but who cares when I can get Christina’s ice cream? But in Australia it’s a lovely holiday: Wombat Day! Granted, it’s an unofficial holiday, but we’ll celebrate it with a video compilation of baby wombats:

On this day in 4004 BC, according to Archbishop Ussher’s 17th-century chronology, the world was created, and about six o’clock in the evening. You can see how he got this Biblically-based chronology at the link, but why 6 p.m. The answer:

Ussher referred to his dating of creation on the first page of Annales in Latin and on the first page of its English translation Annals of the World (1658). In the following extract from the English translation, the phrase “in the year of the Julian Calendar” refers to the Julian Period, of which year 1 is 4713 BC, and therefore year 710 is 4004 BC.

In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth, Gen. 1, v. 1. Which beginning of time, according to our Chronologie, fell upon the entrance of the night preceding the twenty third day of Octob[er] in the year of the Julian Calendar, 710.

Ussher provides a slightly different time in his “Epistle to the Reader” in his Latin and English works: “I deduce that the time from the creation until midnight, January 1, 1 AD was 4003 years, seventy days and six hours.” Six hours before midnight would be 6 pm.

Note added later: although Wikipedia gives October 22 as Ussher’s “day of creation”, it also gives October 23 in other places, as do other sources (see second and third comment after thispost). So it seems likely that it was indeed the latter date. As Rosanne Rosannadanna said, “Never mind.”

This is the reason many fundamentalist Christians think the world is about 6000 years old. On this day in 1797, André-Jacques Garnerin made the first recorded parachute jump, jumping from a balloon about 1000 feet above the Parc Monceau in Paris, and using a silk parachute connected to a small basket in which he stood. He survived. On October 22, 1878, the first rugby match played under artificial lights took place between Broughton and Swinton in Salford, England, near Manchester. In 1883, the Metropolitan Opera House opened in New York City (the opera was Gounod’s Faust). On this day in 1962, President Kennedy announced to the U.S. that because U.S. spy planes had detected Russian missiles in Cuba, the U.S. was instituting a naval blockade around the island. Exactly two years later, Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, but declined it. Finally, on October 22, 2013, the Australian Capital Territory (the small bit of Australia that contains the national capital of Canberra) became the first part of Australia to legalize same-sex marriage.

Notables born on this day Franz Liszt (1811), Sarah Bernhardt (1844), John Reed (1887), Curly Howard (1903; one of the Three Stooges), Robert Capa (1913), Annette Funicello (1942; my first heartthrob), Catherine Deneuve (1943), Deepak Chopra (1946), and Jeff Goldblum (1952). Those who died on October 22 include Paul Cézanne (1906), Pretty Boy Floyd (1934), Pablo Casals (1973), and Soupy Sales (2009).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili wants “a little something”, and you know what she means

Hili: We have come to the end.
A: End of what?
Hili: The end of the morning excursion into wild nature. Now it’s time for a little something.
In Polish:
Hili: Dotarliśmy do kresu.
Ja: Czego?
Hili: Porannej wyprawy w dziką naturę, pora na małe conieco.
I put up a rare tw**t myself about Archbishop Ussher, and Matthew responded:

I responded that it probably was since the Archbishop was Irish, but Matthew responded that God was surely in the Middle East.

Another tw**t from Matthew Cobb:

And several tweets stolen from Heather Hastie. The first one shows Melissa Etheridge’s awesome mugshot after she was arrested for possession of weed (there’s a video, too).

The status of my favorite bird, the world’s only flightless parrot:

And a cat who hasn’t learned where to sleep:


  1. Linda Calhoun
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    My favorite book when I was a kid was Mr. Popper’s Penguins.

    Still love them. And, I still give that book to every little kid in my world.


  2. davidintoronto
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    According to the Wikipedia link, the Universe was invented on October 23 (not the 22nd). So don’t pop the champagne just yet.

    • Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      See the first entry here for October 22:

      BUT the entry under “Ussher chronology” gives October 23.

      This source also says October 23, too, so you’re almost certainly right.

      I’ll add a note above.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        Holy world batman. We must get the birth date right. And how far off is it from 4.6 billion to 6000? Actually that would be 13.5 billion to 6000?

    • darrelle
      Posted October 23, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      And according to Mother Shipton the universe ended in 1981. Shit, I missed it.

  3. Fred M
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I think that in Christian culture, a day was supposed to start at 6 p.m. of (what we now would call) the day before. E.g. Christmas is 25th of December and we celebrate Christmas eve. In Holland “Sinterklaas” (Santa Claus) is celebrated the evening of December 5th, but the official name day is December 6th. Hence the confusion.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      I think that in Christian culture, a day was supposed to start at 6 p.m. of (what we now would call) the day before. E.g.

      I thought that was a Jewish thing, but I really couldn’t care less. Daylight is becoming less and less important for most things, so it’s all becoming increasingly arbitrary.
      I remember having to work out that no matter which of the 9 (?) time zones Russia spans, all train times are cited on Moscow time. It’s one solution.

  4. Frank
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    It was Radner’s character of Emily Litella, not Rosannadanna, who said “Never mind”, after it was explained to her that she misheard a topic in the news. Both characters were comic gold. “What’s wrong with violins on television!”

    • barn owl
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      “what’s all this fuss about the presidential erection?”

      • Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        And don’t forget the problem of Russian Jewelry. . .

        • Mary L
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          Or the country’s natural racehorses!

    • Blue
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Often I cannot seem ‘to get’ others’ examples of sarcasm, spoken or written; but with these three examples of “comic gold” and seeing them in print, I got them right off. In speaking with others of us, I believe it to be because this discombobulation is often how deaf people perceive in their brains the soft – sounding consonants we (sort of) hear within the three words: violence, election and Jewery.

      When I was in graduate school, my major professor seemed to enjoy tripping me up and, especially, in front of others with such sentences as “Ask Blue if she has the dime?” to which I would dutifully reply, “O sure, o’course, I do. It’s 4:30 in the afternoon !”

      “Hahahahaha,” then, from him. After which, I knew that I had heard him … … wrongly.


  5. E.A. Blair
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    According to some devotees of Ussher, each “day” of creation actually lasted 1,000 years, and they maintained that the world would end 6,000 years after that creation. That would put the demise of the world in 22 (or 23) October 6,000 years later. Allowing for the lack of a year 0 (that pesky y0k problem again), that means that the world ended in 1997. I guess I slept late that day and missed it.

    • harrync
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      I had a video tape recorder with a timer that went …-3, -2, -1, -0, +0, +1, +2, +3… I thought about it a minute and decided that was absolutely right. Not only should there have been a year zero, there should have been a year minus zero. I used to hold that this century started 2001, but have come around to 2000 as the start year. Because the calendar makers erroneously left out year zero, the first century only had 99 years.

      • Posted October 23, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        In the IEEE format for *floating* point numbers, there is a -0.0 and a +0.0. (Helps with rounding.)

  6. DrBrydon
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I’ve always remembered it as Oct. 23, because it’s a younger relative’s birthday.

    As soon as the penguins came out Fučík’s “March of the Gladiators” went off in my head in at a rather brisk tempo. Then I remembered, that’s the music in Mary Poppins when the penguin waiters come in helter-skelter during the Jolly Holiday sequence.

  7. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Curly Howard (actually Jerome Howard nee Horowitz) was the only one of the Three Stooges who had considerable creative input into creating his character.

    Ted Healey early dropped out of Ted Healey and his Stooges, and Moe (Moses Howard nee Horowitz) took over the role of the mean leader TH originally created for himself. Shemp dropped out while they were still mainly a stage act, and Curly stepped in, but that character is largely his own creation.

  8. Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I lived in Cambridge for about 15 years and remember Christina’s very well. Compared to the other ice cream places (and bear in mind that Cambridge is Ice Cream Central for North America – a convergence of the high-end dairy products from Vermont and New Hampshire meeting the equally high-end tastes of many students at Harvard, MIT and other colleges), Christina’s was where we went for ‘exotic’ flavours (Khulfee and Burnt Sugar were two excellent ones I’m glad to see are still around). Toscanini’s was a close second, along with Emack and Bolio’s, Herrell’s and for a while, the White Mountain Creamery.

    I’ll never forget the time Christina’s delved into some really weird flavours, like Clam Chowder and Guinness. Perhaps some things are best not turned into an ice cream flavour.

  9. Bill Turner
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    I should note that immediately after the ACT legalised marriage equality, the Federal Government overruled them and threw out the legislation. They can do that because the ACT is a territory, not a state.

    Australia is now going through a painful and unnecessary postal ballot to try and get this legalised nationally.

  10. Steve Gerrard
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Wasn’t it a bit embarrassing to have to give the creation of heaven and earth, and the beginning of time, the year 710? What could year 1 then possibly mean?

  11. Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Ice cream, kakapos, and penguins. Perfect.

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