Saturday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on Saturday, October 28, 2017; it’s the 301st day of the year, and a chilly one in Chicago (37° F, 3° C), well below normal for this time of year. It’s National Chocolate Day, and here’s a quiz. The country whose residents consume the most chocolate annually have a per capita consumption of 19.8 pounds (9 kg). It’s not the U.S., whose residents consume less than half of that. Can you guess which country has the biggest chocolate gluttons? (Answer here.) It’s also International Animation Day, and here’s this year’s poster:

On October 28, 1420, Beijing was named the capital of the Ming Dynasty. And on this day in 1492, Chr*st*ph*r C*l*mb*s landed in Cuba. On this day in 1726, Swift’s novel Gulliver’s Travels was published, and exactly 160 years later, President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. It was a sad day in American history, too, for on October 28, 1919, the U.S. Congress, overriding President Woodrow Wilson’s veto, passed the Volstead Act, decreeing that Prohibition (of alcohol) would begin the following January. That lasted from 1920 to 1933, and was one of the dumbest laws ever passed in the U.S.. Three years after that, Mussolini’s fascists marched into Rome and took over the Italian government. On October 28, 1956, as reported by Wikipedia, “Elvis Presley receives a polio vaccination on national TV. This single event is credited with raising immunization levels in the United States from 0.6% to over 80% in just six months.” So don’t say that Elvis didn’t ever do any good! On this day in 1962, the Cuban missile crisis ended as Khrushchev ordered Soviet missiles removed from the island. Finally, on this day in 1965, Pope Paul VI, in the “Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions” absolved the Jews of responsibility for killing Jesus, an indictment that the Church had maintained for 760 years. Thanks, Popie!

Notables born on this day include Erasmus (1466), Edith Head (1897), Evelyn Waugh (1903), Jonas Salk (1914; see Elvis above), Jane Alexander (1939), Caitlyn Jenner (1949), Peter Hitchens (1951), Bill Gates (1955), rugby player Peter Coyne (1954, no relation), Julia Roberts (1967; she’s 50 today), and Joaquín Phoenix (1974).  Those who died on October 28 include Mughal emperor Jahangir (1627), John Locke (1704), Abigail Adams (1818), Ted Hughes (1998) and Porter Wagoner (2007).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is hiding in the apple tree (there was apple pie there yesterday):

Hili: Do you see me?
A: Barely.
Hili: Maybe others will not notice me either.
In Polish:
Hili: Widzisz mnie?
Ja: Z trudem.
Hili: To może inni też mnie nie zauważą.
Some tweets from Heather Hastie, including this lovely baby young leopard:


  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 28, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    I think the Swiss would be the guess of most. On another matter, now that Mueller is on the move, upon who will the first indictment fall? Kind of reminds me of that song, who will the next fool be.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 28, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Paul Manafort is my guess.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted October 28, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        Maybe…maybe Flinn

    • nicky
      Posted October 28, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      I guessed Belgium, not even in the top 10 (and yes, I thought of Switzerland too, but did not pick the right one).
      As far as production of quality chocolate goes, they’re right up there with the Swiss, if not beating them.

  2. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted October 28, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Interesting that Switzerland eats the most chocolate per person. I just assumed the most obese countries, like us and America, would eat the most.

    I would say however, that when it comes to eating the subsection of chocolates that is made up of the most appalling, bland, chalky variants, America should come top. They’ve started selling Hershey bars everywhere in the UK now and if you actually want something tasty to eat you’re better off eating the wrapper than what’s in it. Even the best American chocolate – which is, as far as I can tell, Reese’s – has a weird, synthetic texture which is slightly off-putting.

    Sorry for the insults to your national chocolates.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted October 28, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Always good to get a culinary review from Britain. At least we have a town named after the stuff…sweet.

    • Andy Lowry
      Posted October 28, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      If you’re stuck with Hershey’s, at least try to find the Special Dark. Milk chocolate is never good.

      Ghirardelli isn’t bad for American chocolate.

    • Simon Hayward
      Posted October 28, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      I’m surprised that they can describe Hershey’s as chocolate in Europe, I would have thought the high wax content might have reclassified it as a polish. Then again they sell Bud as “beer” so I guess anything goes.
      To add insult to injury Hershey’s sued to stop the small stores from importing real Cadbury’s, as opposed to the dross they manufacture locally under that name (claiming it was confusing). So where you could once search around and find a supply of overpriced, and sometimes date expired, flakes you now have to import your own. I had over sixty quids worth of mine and my wife’s wish list in my bag coming back last weekend.

      At least you can buy Branson here pretty much everywhere now – that stuff used to be a liability with airport baggage handlers 🙂

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted October 28, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        A lot of Brits live in daily fear of the new American owners of Cadbury ‘improving’ the flavour of the iconic Dairy Milk bar. Apparently some of these people keep a load of old Dairy Milks in order to carry out regular comparison taste-tests.

        I don’t know what they do once they go off, but they’d probably still taste better in that state than a Hershey’s.

    • Christopher
      Posted October 28, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      If you really want to try some off putting chocolate, anything from Russia or former soviet countries is quite disappointing. It all tastes old and chalky; a confectionary equivalent to soviet architecture. Perhaps it’s better in its home country, but I doubt it.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted October 28, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        “If you really want to try some off putting chocolate…”

        You know what? I don’t think I do.

        My mum’s from Czech Republic – she says before she left(at 18 y.o.) they didn’t eat chocolates, even for a treat; they just had plain yoghurt with a touch of strawberry jam, and were very happy with it. But then she’s a bit like the Monty-Python-Yorkshiremen when it comes to talking about how deprived her childhood was.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 28, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      I think that’s why the US doesn’t eat more chocolate too – the quality of their mass-produced stuff that most people eat is so poor.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted October 28, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        We are too busy eating everything else. If I had to count all the eating places within a mile of where I live, don’t think I could.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted October 28, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, you guys eat out much more than the rest of us.

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted October 28, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      “the best American chocolate – which is, as far as I can tell, Reese’s”

      Wherever did you get that idea? The US is home to any number of high-quality chocolatiers. In Seattle alone we have three: Theo’s, Fran’s, and Dilettante.

    • nicky
      Posted October 28, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      I do not think chocolate makes one fat, at least not ‘real’ chocolate (that slightly bitter, heavenly dark stuff).
      Obesity appears more and more to be related to the gut microbiota. It seems that high quantities of starches and all kinds of preservatives and other additives in ‘processed food’ do play a role there (as well as the blatant over-use of antibiotics -deuh, as my 15 year old would say).

  3. David Harper
    Posted October 28, 2017 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    On an almost entirely unrelated note, PCC(E) and other admirers of Diane Morgan, the comedian whose alter ego is Philomena Cunk, may like to read the profile of her in today’s Guardian magazine:

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 28, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    So don’t say that Elvis didn’t ever do any good!

    I have profoundly ambivalent feelings about Elvis. But if he’d’ve remained in Memphis making music with Sam Phillips at Sun Records — if he’d’ve steered clear of “Colonel” Tom Parker, had never headed to Hollywood to make meretricious movies — he’d’ve had a whole different career and remained a whole lot cooler.

    And if you want to thank a “Popie,” thank John XXIII. He’s the one who called for the Vatican II conference (which led to his successor eventually “pardoning” the Jews). He was an accidental pope who did all he could, in the five short years he had, both to reform the Church from within and to make the world a better, more peaceful place.

    He’s also someone who, as a papal nuncio, did everything in his power to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. He was a humble man, but one who could stand tall when called upon to answer the question that haunted so many other European Christian clerics of that time: “What did you do during The War, padre?”

  5. Posted October 28, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    As long as I can remember (and as a great lover of chocolate it has always been a topic of interest to me), it was always the Germans who were the leaders in global chocolate consumption in statistics.
    I can not say how valid the data used by Forbes, but the recent statistics I found in the Swiss “Handelszeitung” also put Germany ahead of Switzerland at the top.


  6. GBJames
    Posted October 28, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I was going to comment my skepticism that Elvis could be credited for that large increase in vaccinations but then I looked it up. It seems to be true!

  7. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 28, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Pope Paul VI is not one of my favorite people or Catholics, but technically he did not absolve (i.e. forgive) Jews for killing Jesus but in fact said this did not happen, implying they should never have been accused as such in the first place!!

    And now, to absolve myself of having had to defend this fellow, I post Donovan’s rather hostile song about PP6 entitled “Poke at the Pope”. (The ad introducing the song if you don’t watch it embedded was a funny one with Al Franken and Sarah Silverman, though I can’t guarentee it will always appear.)

%d bloggers like this: