Wednesday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on Hump Day, November 8. 2017; it’s National Cappuccino Day, and I’ve sort of adhered to it by having my usual morning latte (prepared myself; I ain’t paying $5 for one at Morebucks or the equivalent). It’s also the International Day of Radiology, celebrating medical imaging, for (see below) it’s the day that Röntgen discovered X-rays.

I am very sad today because Paddles, the polydactylous First Cat of New Zealand, died yesterday after being hit by a car. My condolences to PM Jacinda Ardern and her partner on this loss; Paddles was a rescue cat, and only one year old:

Jacinda Ardern and Paddles on election day (note the cat’s toes)

On November 8, 1519, Hernán Cortés entered Tenochtitlán, on the site of Mexico City, and was met with amity by the Aztec ruler Moctezuma. But it wasn’t long before Moctezuma was a captive and, a while later, dead. Cortés was not a nice man.  On this date in 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen discovered X-rays as a byproduct of experiments with electricity, and 6 years later won the first Nobel Prize in Physics.  On November 8, 1923, Hitler and his Nazi minions tried to overthrow the German government in the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, It failed, and Hitler went to prison, where he wrote Mein Kampf. On this day in 1965, the Queen gave assent to the “Murder Act of 1965,” abolishing the death penalty in the UK.  Seven years later, HBO launched its first broadcast:  the 1971 movie Sometimes a Great Notion with Paul Newman and Henry Fonda.

Finally, a day that will live in infamy, for it was exactly a year ago today that Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton to become the 45th (and looniest) President of the United States. Ceiling Cat help all of us!

Notables born on this day include Bram Stoker (1847), Hermann Rorschach (1884; invented The Blot), Margaret Mitchell (1900), Hermann Zapf (1918, the German typographer and calligrapher whom you know from Zapf Dingbats), Minnie Riperton (1947, died 1979), Bonnie Raitt (1949; about the same age as I), and Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro (1954).

Those who fell asleep on this day include Duns Scotus (1308), and Norman Rockwell (1978). Norman Rockwell didn’t often draw cats, but here are a mom and her kittens in a funny illustration called “Facts of Life”. (In case you don’t get it, the boy is being told about sex by his dad, which hardly seems necessary given its demonstration all around him.) This was on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post in 1952.

Today’s Hili dialogue was cryptic (sometimes Andrzej works in mysterious ways), and so I asked Malgorzata for an explanation:

Cyrus is sniffing because something interesting was there. Hili, practical as always, says that even if it was interesting (from the consumer point of view) it’s not longer there and it’s already just an abstract impression on the olfactory system. Nothing tangible; nothing you can sink your teeth into.

Cyrus: Interesting.
Hili: But already an abstraction.
In Polish:
Cyrus: Interesujące.
Hili: Ale już abstrakcyjne.

A tw**t sent by Matthew: rhinos and cats!

Reader Charleen sent a translucent Jewel Caterpillar, the only larva like this I know. Its appearance is mysterious, as it doesn’t seem to be distasteful to predators.

Other species in the genus are also translucent: here’s one (I’m not sure that the species ID above is correct):


  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Very sad to hear about Paddles. However, congratulations to the democrats for the great win in Virginia and New Jersey. The first Transgender candidate to win in the Virginia legislature and also beating badly the idiot who started the bathroom nonsense there.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    … the 1971 movie Sometimes a Great Notion

    From Ken Kesey’s second novel, of the same title. It lacks the wrenching anti-authoritarian narrative of Cuckoo’s Nest, and the classic three-act structure. But is even more coruscating as writing qua writing.

    • barn owl
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Sometimes a Great Notion was recommended reading, as I prepared to move to Eugene OR for grad school. I can’t say that it helped me fit in or adapt better to the Pacific NW, but it was a good read. Kesey’s writing has a defiant edge to it, in the face of despair and tragic events.

      Many years later, back in Texas, I encountered a very different product of Kesey’s creativity: a bicycle, hastily painted in weird colors. A friend’s mother had once interviewed Kesey and the Merry Pranksters for the books section of the newspaper, and they had painted her bicycle as a … prank?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 8, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        “Defiant edge,” I’ll say — seeing as how Hank uses old Henry’s severed arm to give the finger to the townspeople. 🙂

  3. Christopher
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Apollo 12 and Gemini 11 astronaut Dick Gordon has also died, as announced yesterday evening on NPR. He was 88.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Yes, one of the great astronauts going back to the Gemini program. Something about reaching that 88 or 89 year age, seems to be it for many of us.

  4. DrBrydon
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I’ve got to admit to a sneaking admiration for Cortez. Objectively, there was no way he and his 500 followers should have been able to conquer Mexico, but they did, and it was his doing. Part of the reason lies in the fact that Aztec Mexico was an empire with numerous, unhappy subject peoples, and Cortez was able to exploit that. The man had chutzpah.

    As for that caterpillar, of course, it’s tasty. It looks like it’s made out of corn syrup!

  5. George
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Funny Polish version of Hili’s dialogue.

    • Posted November 8, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      If I had known Polish was this easy, I would have learned it years ago.

      • George
        Posted November 8, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        Should be:
        Cyrus: Ciekawy.
        Hili: Ale już abstrakcyjne.

      • Blue
        Posted November 8, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        ! funny, funny, ! You Two: darwinwins & George !


    • Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Oops. I’ll fix that.

  6. David Coxill
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Always sad to hear of cats getting killed by cars .

    • busterggi
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink


  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Is there anybody doesn’t love Bonnie Raitt? How is that even possible? She is soo cool. I’ve been diggin’ on her long before she crossed over with “Nick of Time.”

    I saw Minnie Riperton once in a little theater, couple years before she died. Gal had a five-octave vocal range, if you can imagine. She hit some high notes that night I swear only the neighborhood dogs could hear.

  8. Blue
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    O my ! = an excellent film with within it
    soooo, so many angles of life … … and, of
    course, of the Darling Mr Paul Newman: “the
    1971 movie Sometimes a Great Notion,”
    sometimes difficult to find in dvd format

    “Sometimes I lives in the country
    Sometimes I lives in town
    Sometimes I take a great notion
    To jump into the river an’ drown … … ”

    I suggest that, if wanted, folks ask their local public library to obtain for you
    the dvd through its interlibrary loan.


  9. Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    There is good news, though. Dems in Virginia swept the state wide offices and may even take control of the House of Delegates.

    Self appointed “Virginia’s Chief Homophobe” Bob Marshall lost to Danica Roem, a transwoman.

    Life is good.

  10. Mary L
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Scent-marking the rhinos…

    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      This is mine and this one too. Mine.

      • claudia baker
        Posted November 8, 2017 at 8:11 pm | Permalink


  11. nurnord
    Posted November 9, 2017 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    Ah ! There’s the Black Lab I thought yesterday’s pic may have been (most likely a Rottie, though). I had to investigate what you meant by ‘Black Dog day’…was not aware of it.

    • nurnord
      Posted November 9, 2017 at 1:41 am | Permalink

      Not yesterday, Tuesday (UK, anyway).

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