Friday: Hili dialogue

It’s Friday, November 10, 2017, and it looks to be the coldest day since last winter, perhaps with some snow. (In fact, a few flakes were falling as I walked to work.) The temperature outside now is 21° F (-6° C), and the high today will be only 33° F (1° C) It’s therefore an appropriate day for National Vanilla Cupcake Day (oy!). But I won’t eat one: no flavor.

On this day in 1871, the journalist Henry Morton Stanley, after a long search, at last found the lost explorer and missionary, Dr David Livingstone. They encountered each other at Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika, with Stanley greeting Livingston with the famous words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”However, Wikipedia says this may be a fabrication:

Henry Morton Stanley had been sent to find him by the New York Herald newspaper in 1869. He found Livingstone in the town of Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika on 10 November 1871, greeting him with the now famous words “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” Livingstone responded, “Yes”, and then “I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you.” These famous words may have been a fabrication, as Stanley later tore out the pages of this encounter in his diary.  Even Livingstone’s account of this encounter does not mention these words. However, the phrase appears in a New York Herald editorial dated 10 August 1872, and the Encyclopædia Britannica and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography both quote it without questioning its veracity. The words are famous because of their perceived humor, Livingstone being the only other white person for hundreds of miles. Stanley’s book suggests that it was really because of embarrassment, because he did not dare to embrace him.

Livingston died in 1873 of malaria and dysentery. On November 10, 1918, a cable was sent to the Western Union office in Nova Scotia, and then forwarded to Ottawa and Washington D.C., informing officials that fighting in Europe would stop on November 11 at 11 a.m. (11/11/11). Tomorrow, then, is Armistice Day. On this day in 1963, National Educational Television, later to become PBS, first broadcast Sesame Street.  On November 11, 1975, the freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior with the loss of all 29 crew. That incident was, of course, memorialized in Gordon Lightfoot’s song. I love Lightfoot, but am not a big fan of this song. However, for the record, here it is (his voice, as usual, is mellow and superb):

On November 10, 1983, Bill Gates introduced Windows 1.0; exactly six years later, the Germans began to tear down the Berlin Wall.

Notables born on this day include William Hogarth (1697), Friedrich Schiller (1759), Mikhail Kalashnikov (1919; invented the AK-47), Richard Burton (1925), Ann Reinking (1949, almost my age), and Neil Gaiman (1960).

Hogarth did paint some cats, most notably in his famous portrait of The Graham Children (1742).

Look closely behind the boy, and you’ll see this cat hungrily eyeing a bird:

And here’s Richard Burton’s grave that I photographed a few years ago in Switzerland. I visited with someone who was a great admirer of his:

Notables who fell asleep on this day include Arthur Rimbaud (1891), Ken Kesey (2001), Norman Mailer (2007), and Miriam Makeba (2008).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej, no fan of postmodernism, explains the “discipline” to Hili. The words “philosophy of aristocrats” are the translation of a Polish phrase that Malgorzata explains like this: “Aristocracy as a social class thought about themselves as a ‘creme de la creme’. Self-appointed ‘aristocrats of spirit’ think about themselves as most sophisticated of all “intellectuals”—at least these people, full of pretensions to be the most sublime intellectual being are called so in Polish. It’s not a complimentary name.

Hili: What is postmodernism?
A: It’s a philosophy of aristocrats of spirit after being translated three times by Google translator.
 In Polish:
Hili: Co to jest ten postmodernizm?
Ja: Filozofia arystokratów ducha po trzykrotnym przepuszczeniu przez tłumacza Google.

 

Matthew sent a “spot the grasshopper” tweet. This one is too easy to be a “spot the” post, but the camouflage is still remarkable:

Here’s a planthopper nymph, tweet courtesy of reader Blue (this is not David Attenborough’s own account):

and a “good cat mommy” sent by reader Charleen:

Finally, this etching was sent in by reader Roger:

I found this 1646 Etching by artist Wenceslaus Hollar (1607 – 1677), who was born in Prague and died in London. On the plate is engraved “Dobrá kočzka která nemlsá/ Dass ist eine gǔtte Khatz, die nicht nascht.” This is said to mean “A good cat is not greedy.” Reproduction from the British Museum.

44 Comments

  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Hey PCC(E)

    I just finished the Spallanzani chapter of “The Microbe Hunters” – such a great story! I wish I had learned how good this book was earlier!

  2. Laurance
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Am I the only one? I’m looking at the picture of the good cat who doesn’t try to steal my snack, and I’m thinking, Is this a cat or another kind of animal? There’s something about the muzzle that isn’t quite right… Or am I just full of it?

    • Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      It is my observation that many early painters and artists simply couldn’t paint cats well. Actually, compared to some art I’ve seen from the 1500s to the 1800s, this is a pretty good likeness!

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      I agree, Laurance–it’s just…weird. Eyes too close together, face off-center of head, and yeah, weird muzzle…

      Agree with Jerry that it seems like many early representations of felines are poorly rendered…

  3. Jacques Hausser
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Livingston or Livingstone ? With a “e”, I presume…

  4. mfdempsey1946
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Richard Burton was born on November 10 — but in 1925. He died on August 5, 1984.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Most when ask how WWI started will fall back on the Franz Ferdinand & wife assassination but that hardly does the job. There are many books written, some becoming very bogged down attempting to provide all the details leading to this war. I would always recommend The Guns of August for a better read on the subject. One thing for sure, the ending of this conflict in November of 1918 eventually lead to the next and even larger WWII.

    • Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Yes, The Guns of August is wonderful (well, any book by Barbara Tuchman) and a Pulitzer Prize winner.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      If you don’t want a long book, the Oxford University Press Very Short Introductions book is good on this – The Origins of the First World War – I think it’s called.

    • Posted November 10, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, after all:

      “Serbian nationalist assassinates Austrio-Hungarian royalty. So Germany and France go at it again.”

      There should be a “say what?” to that! 😉

  6. Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I really like The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. This may be due to my growing up at that time in relatively close proximity to Lake Superior.

    Classic folk song.

    I thought, at first, the grave was that of the other Richard Burton; and I was going to comment that he couldn’t write. Or at least I cannot tolerate his style of writing.

    • Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      And I should say that the pedal steel work and lead guitar on Edmund Fitz are wonderful.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Before I had ever seen an ocean I saw Lake Superior and thought, it just as well could be an ocean.

    • Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      I find the song mesmorizing. Even after hearing it so many times, it still evokes strong images and feelings for me.

      • Merilee
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        I now have an ear worm of it, even though I didn’t listen to the link:-( I heard it on the radio waaaay too many times when I first moved to Canada in the late 70s. Lake Superior itself, north and south shores, is spectacular! ( Gichigumi…)

    • prinzler
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      The melody is absolutely great.

      But what about a flipping’ B section?! How many times can you repeat a great melody before you feel the urge for something to contrast it with?! Sheesh!

      [/rant]

  7. BJ
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    “And here’s Richard Burton’s grave that I photographed a few years ago in Switzerland. I visited with someone who was a great admirer of his:”

    Was your friend the one who left the bra for his heavenly soul to enjoy?

  8. Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    I happen to have a copy of Windows 1.0. There were no programs available to run under it, so it was pretty much worthless. I consider it a Bill Gates placeholder. Something to sell until something better could be crafted. Much like about 50% of his other products.

  9. Robert Bate
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    European Goldfinch in the Hogarth cage.

    • Frank Bath
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      I thought so too.

  10. Merilee
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Agree with Jerry on The Edmund Fitzgerald ( and am also not fond of his RR trilogy) but do love most other Lightfoot songs.

  11. Art
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    And Happy 242nd Birthday, USMC!

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      They do like to eat cake…

  12. Blue
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Dead or alive men may like, for their souls’
    entertainments or for whatevah, cutesy –
    looking bras. “ … … the bra was an example
    of how women’s clothing shaped and even
    deformed women’s bodies to male
    expectations.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bra

    But what they, dead or alive, fail or refuse
    to get: bras (as well as corsets, shapewear
    and most other undergarments) are a torture
    machine invented only of late for
    i) proscription onto only one gender cuz of
    (only her) nipple – phobias by too and
    very many societies and for ii) $ in to
    its manufacturers.

    If one is a human who is female or is male,
    my recommendation: never buy, own nor don
    one.

    Blue

    • Merilee
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      +1

      • Dale Franzwa
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

        A number of years ago, I saw a documentary (on Public TV, I think) about the invention and subsequent history of the bra. The early Olympic Games in ancient Greece featured naked runners, male and female running in separate races (the audiences were segregated to match the sexes of the athletes). The lady runners apparently had a problem with their boobs flopping around. Someone supposedly solved the problem by tying two kerchiefs together, inventing the bra. At least, that’s the story the female narrator told. (She wasn’t sure about its truth though.)

        • Blue
          Posted November 11, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

          In re the requirement for clarity, Mr Franzwa, two things: i) IF by “boobs” is actually meant the term for the anatomical portions of humans who are either female or male ones, THEN the common (and non – medical) plural of that portion is “breasts” (as in the same clear manner as is the term “vagina” instead of the words that my ex – husband only termed mine as … … “pussy” (his most favored usage) or “cunt” or “twat” and as in the same manner that there will not be heard nor seen from me for the mammalian anatomy commonly termed “penis” the words “prick” or “dick” or “dong” or “tool” or any other; and ii) it is clear that: the wikipedia link I referenced earlier was not studied cuz there it states in re the Greeks’ use of “bands” tied together. Bands of any fabric, it is clear, are not at all of the torture machine of late and shown in the pictorial graphic upon the headstone above. The torture machines of today are not at all of “bands of linen or wool” tied together.

          One more time in re clarity, verstehen sie: my recommendation is, today, to not buy, own, wear nor give to any others this (apparently and allegedly) entertaining means to torture her.

          Blue

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted November 11, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

            “IF by “boobs” is actually meant the term for the anatomical portions of humans who are either female or male ones,”

            Umm, no? They certainly don’t refer to the most defining part of male anatomy, anyway.

            cr

            • Blue
              Posted November 11, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

              Umm, yes. Humans, male ones that is, happen to usually .be. … … with nonlactating, rudimentary mammary tissue along with, as well, existent nipples.

              What your word is, “defining,” is yours alone. Yours, cr / infiniteimprobabilit, a human always not defining self … … in order to, say, ever comment with, umm, providing to any others of us an actual identity.

              Blue

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted November 11, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

                Umm. Well males have boobs of a sort but references to ‘male anatomy’ doesn’t usually refer to their boobs. 😉

                I think I may have been baffled by your circumlocutory mode of expression.

                And the other point, though I think it’s fairly obvious from my assorted comments, I’m a straight male.

                cr

              • Blue
                Posted November 11, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

                It is a free speech – country so UNnamed can say whatever he as cr / infiniteimprobabilit wants to say or to write down.

                It is a free speech – country; and UNnamed apparently, however, cannot honor me or any others and state within this thread (or, likely, within any other) the specific anatomy portion in reference to human beings as breasts. So I, too, am free … …

                Free to not respect UNnamed. Either.

                Blue

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted November 11, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

                I don’t have a clue what you’re going on about.

                I’m off.

                cr

        • Diane G.
          Posted November 12, 2017 at 2:01 am | Permalink

          In some piece by Dave Eggers, he wrote about running a nude race with some other male friends…a publicity stunt maybe?…Anyway, what had sounded like a great idea turned out to be much more uncomfortable than expected due to the bouncing around of the dangly bits (that OK, Blue?).

          (Also for the record–not all feminists dislike bras. In fact, I’d dare say most women don’t, though I’ve certainly run into women who’ve experienced Blue’s tribulations with them…)

  13. DrBrydon
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    “On November 10, 1983, Bill Gates introduced Windows 1.0; exactly six years later, the Germans began to tear down the Berlin Wall.” The juxtaposition of these two events suggests a causal connection. Did the appearance of Windows in the West lead to its triumph over Communism, or were the Communists early adopters who suffered from the inevitable teething pains?

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Communists were too busy rebooting…

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 11, 2017 at 4:49 am | Permalink

        Old tagline:
        … Screw the Prime Directive, just give the Borg Windows

        cr

        • Diane G.
          Posted November 13, 2017 at 3:27 am | Permalink

          😀

  14. Posted November 10, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    IIRC, Windows 1 was not *shipped* until 1985, though.

    In any case, snow here in Ottawa …

  15. ploubere
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Windows 1.0 was released on November 20, 1985, more than a year after the first Mac.

  16. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted November 11, 2017 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    “Dr Livingstone, I presume?”

    Not sure why it’s doubted, it seems as likely as anything else. What would we expect him to say?

    cr


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