Thursday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on a chilly Thursday in Chicago: it’s November 9, 2017, and it’s both National Greek Yogurt Day and National Chocolate Cupcake Day. It’s also Schicksalstag (Day of Fate) in Germany, celebrating five events that happened on November 9, including Kristallnacht and the end of a divided Berlin.

We may have some snow today in Chicago, and tomorrow we’ll have a “hard freeze”, with a high temperature at the freezing point (0°C). Winter is here, and I hope my duck will be all right. Will Honey return next spring to raise another brood?

I’ll be out of the office this morning doing shopping for my upcoming Mexico and India trips, so posting will be light today. As always, I do my best.

On this day in 1620, the Pilgrims aboard the ship Mayflower first spotted land: at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. They were stymied trying to sail south to Virginia, and so settled in what is now Massachusetts. During that first winter, half of the 130 settlers died of cold and disease. On November 9, 1906, Theodore Roosevelt became the first sitting U.S. President to make an official trip outside the country: he went to Panama to inspect the progress of the Canal.  On November 9, 1967—my first semester at college—the first issue of Rolling Stone magazine was published.  Here it is:

In 1985, Garry Kasparov of the Soviet Union beat his countryman Anatoly Karpov to become, at just 22, the youngest World Chess Champion.  On November 9, 1989, the beginning of the end of a divided Germany: checkpoints at the Berlin Wall were opened and it wasn’t long before the Wall started coming down. Finally, it was on this day in 1998 that capital punishment in the UK, which had already been abolished for murder, was also abolished for other crimes.

Notables born on this day include Ivan Turgenev (1818), Hedy Lamarr (1914; not just an actor but an inventor, devising a radio guidance system for torpedoes), Spiro Agnew (1918), Imre Lakatos (1922), Anne Sexton (1928), Carl Sagan (1934), Mary Travers (1936), and Jill Dando (1961).  Those who fell asleep on this day include Dylan Thomas (1953), Charles de Gaulle (1970), and Art Carney (2003).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili was out last night, but Andrzej and Malgorzata have made her a warm nest on the front porch that she can use until she’s taken inside the next morning:

A: Didn’t you get cold?
Hili: I can stand it in a nest like this.
 In Polish:
Ja: Nie zmarzłaś?
Hili: W takim gniazdku da się wytrzymać.

Gus is curled up on his Katzenbaum in Winnipeg’s cold, so we have a photo called “Cat Sushi”:

From reader Charleen we have two cat tweets. First, two cats see a moving ceiling fan for the first time:

And a remarkable example of kin selection, or is it kit selection?

Finally, a cartoon from reader Barry showing amity between science and religion!:


  1. Posted November 9, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    If you want a bigger kitty here is a Caucasian (Armenian) leopard!

  2. Posted November 9, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    We Germans have a “Schicksalstag”? Didn’t know until I read your article. Of cause you know about the several historical events like “Kristallnacht”, “Mauerfall” on this date, but not the special term for it. (And there is no article on the german wiki about this topic, only on the english site of wiki)

    Great video of the cat action, which demonstrates “kit-selection”.

  3. Posted November 9, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Like the Round Peg Square Hole Jesus tomb!

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 9, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    The “fell asleep” euphemism is near-accurate for Dylan Thomas, I suppose. Legend has it, death claimed its dominion over Dylan when he returned to the Chelsea Hotel, after drinking 18 shots of whiskey at the White Horse Tavern (which he promptly announced was “a record!”), and failed to go gentle down a staircase near his room. He died a few days later, never having recovered from the coma caused by his fall.

    Or at least that’s the story the barman and maitre d’hotel at the Chelsea sold me when I made a pilgrimage there in my own callow youth.

  5. Posted November 9, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Kristallnacht showed how quickly an advanced nation that produced Beethoven and Goethe could sink into depravity and barbarism. May we never forget.

    • Posted November 9, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      One could replace “Kristallnacht” with “Paul Hindemith” and your statement would still stand.

  6. Posted November 9, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    It’s presumed that the Pilgrims intentionally went off course to avoid potential religious restrictions that awaited them in Virginia.

  7. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted November 9, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    I remember Rolling Stone as being one of the first magazines to do an indepth coverage of the film “2001: A Space Odyssey”, my favorite film at the time.

    (It remains one of my favorite films, though over time I have developed a good ability to “grok” folks who just don’t like it.)

  8. Posted November 9, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I was sure you had spelled Schicksalstag wrong, but no, you got it right. My bad for ever doubting you.

  9. grasshopper
    Posted November 9, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Doctor Hook had a song about Rollin’ Stone

    Well, we’re big rock singers
    We got golden fingers
    And we’re loved everywhere we go
    We sing about beauty and we sing about truth
    At ten-thousand dollars a show
    We take all kinds of pills that give us all kind of thrills
    But the thrill we’ve never known
    Is the thrill that’ll gitcha when you get your picture
    On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone

  10. Posted November 9, 2017 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of the so-called resurrection of Jesus, what is the leading theory for it?

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