Tuesday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on Tuesday (the cruelest day), November 7, 2017: National Bittersweet Chocolate With Almonds Day (clearly a collusion between Big Choco and Big Almond). But Google has a food day of its own: a celebration of pad thai, the dish that Americans nearly always order in Thai restaurants because it’s “safe” (and, I admit, can be very good). Click on the screenshot to go to the  Pad Thai doodle, and, when you’re there, click the dots to see the little creatures create a steaming plate of it:

Google’s explanation is here, though it may be a case of cultural appropriation by a non-Thai artist.

On this day in 1874, the famous political cartoonist Thomas Nast published a cartoon in Harper’s Weekly that is seen as the beginning of both the elephant as the symbol of the U.S. Republican party and the donkey (dressed in a lion suit) as the symbol of Democrats. Here’s that cartoon; note that the elephant is labeled “The Republican Vote”:


See here for more info.

On November 7, 1885, Canada’s transcontinental railway was completed with a “last spike” ceremony in Craigellachie, BC. And in honor of that, here’s Gordon Lightfoot singing his famous “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” (I like the up-tempo beginning and the end best). It was recorded live at the BBC in 1972 (I swear, some of the best unplugged concerts on YouTube are these early live BBC shows); you can see the entire hourlong concert here.

On this day in 1908, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were reportedly killed in San Vicente Canton, Bolivia. And were four important elections on November 7: Woodrow Wilson (reelection) in 1916, Franklin D. Roosevelt (1944; fourth term!), Richard Nixon (reelection) in 1972, and G. W. Bush’s controversial election in 2000. Remember that? We didn’t know who would be President for a long time. The goddam conservative Supreme Court decided that Bush would win.

Notables born on this day include James Cook (1728), Andrew Dickson White (1832), Marie Curie (1867; her 150th birthday), Lise Meitner (1878), Leon Trotsky (1879), Konrad Lorenz (1903), Albert Camus (1913), Billy Graham (1918; still alive at 99!), Joan Sutherland (1926), and the great Joni Mitchell (1943). Those who fell asleep on this day include Alfred Russel Wallace (1913), Eleanor Roosevelt (1962), Steve McQueen (1980), Lawrence Durrell (1990; read The Alexandria Quartet), and Leonard Cohen and Janet Reno (both died last year).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is visited by an old friend of Andrzej and Malgorzata, Radek, now a psychologist. When Radek was in junior high school and a pupil of Andrzej’s, he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor that had metastasized to his spine (his mother was already suffering from terminal cancer and his dad died earlier of a heart attack). Andrzej and Malgorzata took him to Warsaw to be treated by their friend, a pediatric oncologist specializing in brain tumors and, mirabile dictu, Radek was cured! He went to Poznan University where he now works there as a psychologist. What a great story!

Radek: I often think about you.
Hili: As a psychologist or as a friend?
In Polish:
Radek: Często o tobie myślę.
Hili: Jako psycholog, czy jako przyjaciel?

Out in Winnipeg, Gus is staying inside because of the snow, and washing his paws that got wet when he ventured outside for about five seconds:

Here’s a cartoon from Soup to Nutz (artist: Rick Stromoski) contributed by reader Diane G:



  1. Posted November 7, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Three cheers for Radek!

    Of some interest…

    • Posted November 7, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      The Beeb says this:

      Fossils of the oldest-known ancestors of most living mammals, including human beings, have been unearthed in southern England.
      Teeth belonging to the extinct shrew-like creatures, which scampered at the feet of dinosaurs, were discovered in cliffs on the Dorset coast.

      Scientists who identified the specimens say they are the earliest undisputed fossils of mammals belonging to the line that led to humans.

      They date back 145 million years.
      ”Here we have discovered from the Jurassic coast a couple of shrew-like things that are to date unequivocally our earliest ancestors,” said Dr Steve Sweetman of Portsmouth University, who examined the ancient teeth.

      But how can they know they were ON the mammalian line of descent, rather than a branch that went extinct? This seems like very dubious science reporting.

  2. Frank Bath
    Posted November 7, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    I think the Nast cartoon may be wrongly dated.

  3. Posted November 7, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    “…Joan Sutherland (1926), and the great Joni Mitchell…” Well, I would have said the great Joan Sutherland. A chacun son gout. 😉

    • Steven in Tokyo
      Posted November 7, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink


    • Taskin
      Posted November 7, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      They are both great musicians in their respective fields. It’s a win-win situation 🙂

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 7, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    … the dish that Americans nearly always order in Thai restaurants because it’s “safe” …

    Each to his own, of course, but I forswear the “safe,” always scanning any new menu for the most unusual dish, or at least something I’ve never tried before. It’s led to some unusual dining experiences; on occasion, I’ve popped into my mouth things my dining companions refuse to touch with their hands.

    • Posted November 7, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      That’s a weird coincidence: I refuse to pop into my mouth anything that my fellow diners have touched with their hands.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 7, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Ya had to go and mention the 2000 election, dincha? For many of us, that’s still like saying “Niagara Falls” in the old vaudeville skit.

    Slowly I turned, step by step …

  6. Jake Sevins
    Posted November 7, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Regarding the last comic strip: I do wish my taxes went to feeding the poor. A very small portion of each dollar helps poor people… far more goes to our military.

  7. Posted November 7, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    So this begs the question, is there a Big Pad Thai? Whoever’s behind Pad Thai Day, they should encourage people to try other Thai dishes. It is indeed one of the world’s great cuisines. My city, Long Beach, California, has over 50 Thai restaurants and many are really good. Hmmm … it’s getting close to lunch time!

  8. Posted November 7, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    As an outsider, I thought the election of Ronald Reagan was pretty bad. How could Americas have made a worse choice, I thought.

    Then twenty years later, I thought the election of George W Bush was a disaster. How could the Americans have made a worse choice, I thought.

    Then, sixteen years later I thought the election of Donald Trump was utterly catastrophic. However, the collective stupidity of an electorate no longer surprises me, not after Brexit.

    The presidential election in 2028 is going to be an absolute humdinger.

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 2:09 am | Permalink

      As an insider, it was pretty much the same.

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted November 7, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    A great analysis of the Supreme Court Bush decision is Vincent Bugliosi’s book “The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose our President”


    The Republican cartoon dates from the era when they really could call themselves the “party of Lincoln” and the Grand Old Party.
    Their entitlement to the first moniker died when they adopted the ‘Southern strategy’ of wooing away all the old Dixiecrats from the South. They still try to use it, but they don’t deserve it anymore.


    Over the 5 years I have been following this website, I have realized that the major difference between my musical tastes and those of Professeur Chat au Plafond is my own fondness for Leonard Cohen.

  10. Vaal
    Posted November 7, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    What a great Lightfood video! Gord was in top form. In fact that video led me down the rabbit hole on youtube for a “Gordon Lightfoot” morning.

    Now to get something actually done today.

%d bloggers like this: