Friday: Hili dialogue

We’ve reached the end of another work week, as it’s Friday, November 3, 2017. It’s National Sandwich Day, and I believe Subway has some 2-for-1 deals today (if you’re going to comment “I don’t like Subway sandwiches,” don’t bother!) What’s weird is this information about sandwiches posted on the Foodimentary page:

Here are five things to know about Sandwich:

Americans eat about 300 sandwiches everyday.

There are four other “facts.” But why the capitalized Sandwich without an article? It sounds like a pet’s name. And “everyday” as one word? But weirder than that: “only 300 sandwiches are consumed by all Americans every day”? That’s not very many! Alternatively, it could mean that each American eats 300 sandwiches per day. But that’s not true, either. What gives?

On this day in 1908, William Howard Taft was elected the 27th President of the United States; at 340 pounds, he was our heaviest President, but the rumor (heard by many Americans) that he once got stuck in a bathtub appears to be false, though his girth once caused a hotel tub to overflow, flooding the dining room beneath.  On November 3, 1936, Franklin Roosevelt was elected to his second term as President; he would be elected twice more and then die during his fourth term.  On this date in 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik 2, containing Laika, the first animal to orbit the Earth. The poor dog, picked up as a stray in Moscow, died from overheating during the first four orbits, though the Soviets didn’t disclose that. I always thought it was incredibly cruel to put an animal into space knowing it would die, so here’s to Laika: a photo and a Romanian postage stamp in her honor. She was a cute dog:

On November 3, 1964, Lyndon Johnson was elected to his only full term in the White House, aided by the residents of Washington D.C. voting for a President for the first time. Finally, on this day last year, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series in a squeaker in game 7, defeating the Cleveland Indians and winning their first Series in 108 years. It may be another 108 until they win again, but I never saw such celebrating in this town (unless you include Obama’s election night).

Notables born on this day include photographer Walker Evans (1903), James Reston (1909), Charles Bronson (1921), Michael “Tank Boy” Dukakis and Amartya Sen (both 1933), and Anna Wintour (1949). Those who died on November 3 include Annie Oakley (1926), Wilhelm Reich (1957), and William J. Coyne (2013; no relation but a lawyer and politician in Pennsylvania).

Evans took some magnificent and heartbreaking photos during a stint working for the government’s Farm Security Administration; his job was documenting rural America. It was during the Depression, so we have photos like this:

Bud Fields and His Family, Hale County, Alabama. Photo by Walker Evans

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Cyrus shows his low self esteem:

Hili: A penny for your thoughts.
Cyrus: I wouldn’t give that much.
In Polish:
Hili: Grosik za twoją myśl.
Cyrus: Ja bym tyle nie dał.
From Heather Hastie, who has an excellent collection of tweets in her latest post. The first shows how different things were in Afghanistan not that long ago. All these women would be veiled now, and I’m not sure there would be a mixed-sex class:

And a few nice cat tweets:

Somebody send me one of these!

From Matthew:

From the ever-edifying Ziya Tong:

I follow only one creature on Twitter—Paddles. She’s New Zealand’s First Cat, staffed by the new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. And she’s polydactylous! (Paddles, not Jacinda)

Look at those toes!

38 Comments

  1. Posted November 3, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    I suppose it is 300 million sandwiches? That would still be a lot! How is a sandwich defined as ‘one’?

    Why will you never be hungry on a beach?
    Because of all the sand which is there…

    • Steve
      Posted November 3, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Any fast food joint in the country probably sells 300 sandwiches in day( typo?)
      Speaking of Subway, I haven’t eaten anything from a fast food joint in 40 years-except for Subway. 😄Only one I can handle.😛

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    But what is an American?

    ^^^^ happens all the time in other discussions of a certain nature … but nobody is threatened when in a discussion about sandwiches – perfect opportunity to straighten things out in my view.

    • Posted November 3, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      North… South…

    • Posted November 3, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      And what is a sandwich? Do cultural appropriations like tacos count?

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted November 3, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Right

        Id like to add : my comment was rushed – but this one, less so :

        what I was trying to point out are those moments when we (at least me) get our blood boiling in arguments about something that hinges on the word “Americans”, only to realize the term “American” is … well, something… look for it next time in an argument where “Americans” makes an appearance….

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted November 3, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      That’s why I always use USian, which I pronounce to myself as you-ess-ee-an. To me American is the whole continent, and north American includes Canada. I find it a bit arrogant that many Americans think of themselves as the only Americans.

      • Posted November 3, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        Convention more than arrogance, I think. Why do we call it Latin America when no country there speaks Latin, or even Italian?

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted November 3, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        What’s why?

        My comment has everything to do with the composition of the United States citizenry, no matter what word you use.

        When we hear arguments about this policy or that policy benefitting all United States citizens, my red flag goes up.

      • E.A. Blair
        Posted November 4, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Some years ago, I got sent to Canada for business purposes (and I hated coming back!), and I never referred to my country of origin as “America” – I called it “the states”. Apparently, I was able to assimilate, because a lot of the people I worked with didn’t take me for a USian.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted November 4, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

          That’s the phrase I most often use in speech too – the States.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted November 4, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

          When I met some Americans from Iowa when in Vegas for work, I said “when I go to The States” and they said, “Is that what you call us, ‘The States'”. I said yes and asked them if that was weird and they said it wasn’t. Americans say that too but we always refer to going to the United States as “going to The States” and since many Canadians live close to the US border, we go a lot.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted November 11, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        I still find this comment perplexing. Call it the caffeine, call it Armistice Day, but I raise this again – as I did not hear an answer to my question “what’s why?”.

        First, the weasel word “many”. Wikipedia flags “many” as a weasel word – a word to use to say whatever the author feels like saying while conveniently ignoring the complement to the “many”. “Many people think cucumbers taste better pickled.” So what?

        The other has to do with the suggestion that “many” citizens of the United States – and really to the point, me – because, inter alia, I have used the term “American” – should scold themselves and other citizens of the United States for calling themselves “Americans” instead of superior terms like USian (spoken sound : “You Essy Enn”).

        I wouldn’t raise a storm in a teacup over this – especially stemming from a trivial comment of mine – had I not in fact done the experiment of trying to be precise in specifying my nationality in a foreign country, and I can say in experience it was easier for everyone for me to just say “American”, especially if I’m trying to speak another language at the same time. And that was after saying “citizen of the United States Of America”.

        So, yes, I agree, the term – spoken or written – of “American” can sound arrogant – especially if a dunce like Donald Trump says it to some people in China.

        Was I “a bit arrogant”? I’ll ask the next time I do the experiment.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted November 11, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

          Everyone understands the word American to refer to citizens of the USA because that’s what they call themselves and their political, financial, and military dominance means they also dominate the discourse.

          I just personally find it inaccurate and imprecise. I have no delusions that my stance is going to change anyone else. Fellow Americans sending their Thoughts and Prayers is what people know.

          Many isn’t meant to be a weasel word. It’s about not stereotyping people and pointing out I recognize that you don’t all have a superiority complex and an unquestioning belief in American, i.e. USian, exceptionalism. Because those who are like that don’t mean the whole American continent, they just mean the United States part.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted November 11, 2017 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

            Alright, I appreciate your reply.

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted November 11, 2017 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

              Thanks. I don’t want to fall out over this. 🙂

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Walker Evans collaborated with novelist James Agee on the iconic Depression-era book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Nearly all the people who lived through the depression are dead now. My grandfather use to tell me about it when I was a kid. My wife’s mother who was born in 1919 is still alive today and also considered the depression a defining time. She was born in Oklahoma, first among nine children. Sounds like right out of Grapes of Wrath.

  5. Blue
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Some stuffs of it on eBay this morning, too:
    “Either you like cats or you’re wrong !’

    https://goo.gl/BKvtcF

    Blue

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Didn’t some of the wags in the US press corp dub Laika “Muttnik”?

  7. Historian
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    The picture of the poverty stricken family in Alabama inspired me to research how much things have changed since then. Wikipedia has an article that lists median household income by state for 2015. Alabama is 47th,followed by West Virginia, Arkansas, and Mississippi – all red states. Indeed, of all the states in places 41 through 50, only one is generally a blue state (New Mexico). All but one of the remaining nine (West Virginia) are in the South. What does this tell us?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_income

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 3, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Yes, I believe Mississippi has consistently been ranked as the poorest of states. They are all much better now than they were years ago, partly because there has been so much movement of people to the south and they have been very favorable to industry, no unions and all that. But the south was economically set back due to slavery and the agricultural society and there was the civil war. Thomas Jefferson’s economy was not forward thinking.

      • Posted November 3, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        Shame he didn’t read his approximate contemporary, Adam Smith (or did he?) …

  8. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Yes, I believe Mississippi has consistently been ranked as the poorest of states. They are all much better now than they were years ago, partly because there has been so much movement of people to the south and they have been very favorable to industry, no unions and all that. But the south was economically set back due to slavery and the agricultural society and there was the civil war. Thomas Jefferson’s economy was not forward thinking.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 3, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      sorry, you can delete that one…

  9. Posted November 3, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Or may 300 sandwiches a year?

  10. Diana MacPherson
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Those space programs with animals were always rather cruel. I try to remember the good ones like Belka and Strelka. I have a Belka and Strelka stamp.

  11. David Harper
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Things to know about Sandwich:

    #1 It is a small town in Kent. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086, so it has existed for at least 900 years.

    • Posted November 3, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      And in 1858 it was eaten by three hundred Americans.

      • David Harper
        Posted November 3, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Probably in revenge for the British burning the White House 44 years earlier. Will the madness never end?

      • David Coxill
        Posted November 3, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Did everyone have a Tern.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 3, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      And as ‘everyone’ knows, it was the (fourth) Earl of Sandwich who invented the sandwich. Just as Lord Cardigan popularized the cardigan. And the Duke of Wellington the eponymous boot.

      (Or more likely their cooks, tailors and cobblers).

      But note this – “In the United Kingdom and Australia [and New Zealand – cr], the term sandwich is more narrowly defined than in the US: it refers only to an item which uses sliced bread from a loaf. An item with similar fillings, but using an entire bread roll cut horizontally in half, is always referred to as a roll.”

      In other words, whatever Subway calls ’em, they’re not sandwiches.

      cr

  12. Posted November 3, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    300 *kinds* of sandwiches?

  13. David Coxill
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Re the cat burglar cat ,he is not going to eat that stuff he pinched is he ?

  14. Mike McCants
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    A web search shows that the missing word after 300 is “million”.

    Because it was about 50% of those who were surveyed.

    But this includes “anything between two slices of bread” – even hamburgers.

    • E.A. Blair
      Posted November 4, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Is a hamburger not a form of sandwich?

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 4, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        Possibly in the US, definitely not in the UK/Aussie/NZ. (See Wiki quote in my reply to comment #11)

        cr


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