Wednesday: Hili dialogue

It’s Wednesday, November 15 and we’re already almost halfway thorough the month. Tomorrow I’m off to Mexico, so here’s a farewell song from JT, performed in 1979 with Lee Sklar (aka Mr. Natural) on bass:

It’s National Raisin Bran Day (a cereal I don’t mind), and The King’s Feast: a holiday in Belgium. As we approach the end of the year, it seems as if famous events, as well as births and deaths, grow sparser. I have no explanation except that people don’t want to do stuff when it’s cold, but births that occurred in November would have reflected activity in February.

On this day in 1533, Francisco Pizarro arrived in Cuzco, then the capital of the Inca Empire. In a battle the next day, Pizarro defeated the Incan army. On this day in 1864, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman began his famous and destructive March to the Sea, ending in Savannah on December 21. I heard this morning that NPR will do a piece on the March today.  On November 15, 1943, Heinrich Himmler decided to start putting Gypsies (Romanis) into the concentration camps, treating them like the Jews.  While everyone know the figure “6 million killed,” that reflects only the Jews exterminated in the Holocaust. If you include everyone else, it nearly doubles. Here are some estimates of those killed taken from Wikipedia:

On this day in 1949, two of the plotters in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte were executed by hanging. Exactly ten years later, Richard Hickock and Perry Smith murdered four members of the Clutter Family in Holcomb, Kansas, giving rise to Truman Capote’s deservedly famous book In Cold Blood(This is a PCC[E] Book Recommendation.) Finally, on this day in 1988, the Palestinian National Council proclaimed the existence of an independent State of Palestine.

Notables born on this day include William Pitt (1708), William Herschel (1738), Marianne Moore and Georgia O’Keeffe (both 1887), Ed Asner (1929), Petula Clark (1932), Sophisticated Theologian™ and Sophist Alvin Plantinga (1932), and Daniel Barenboim (1942). Here’s a picture of O’Keeffe with her moggie (for some reason, artists tend to favor Siamese cats):

Those who fell asleep on this day include Johannes Kepler (1630), Émile Durkheim (1917), Lionel Barryore (1954), Tyrone Power (1958), Margaret Mead (1978) and Stokley Carmichael (1998).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili at last utters something we can understand:

Hili: The expedition to the river is cancelled pending further notice.
A: Why?
Hili: I’ve forgotten to eat my breakfast.
 In Polish:
Hili: Odraczam wyprawę nad rzekę.
Ja: Dlaczego?
Hili: Zapomniałam zjeść śniadanie.
Here are a few tweets stolen from Heather Hastie:
For all progressives it’s a day to celebrate in Australia, for a national referendum on same-sex marriage gave a resounding 61.6% of people in favor, with only 38.5 opposed.  Here are the results broken down by electorate; perhaps a reader can explain that light blue patch in the northeast:

This reminds me of my parents:

And two cat tweets, beginning with an Eyebrowed Cat:

Is this interspecies appropriation?


  1. busterggi
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Used to get my late mom’s late cat a lion cut every summer. She always seemed to like it.

    Eyebrows is the J. Jonah Jameson of cats.

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

    It is almost hard to believe it was 1959,so long ago, when the murder in Kansas took place. By today’s standards in America it hardly would be known outside of the state. It was also sometime before I learned about the Harper Lee connection with Capote.

  3. Posted November 15, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    That Blue patch is the “Deep North” of rural Queensland. (As I was told by Australians when I was in Oz.)

    • Peter
      Posted November 15, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      However the highest no vote was in the Western Suburbs of Sydney. The demographic there is dominated by migrants who tend to be more religious (especially muslim immigrants) than those born in Australia.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted November 15, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        Oh, The Alabama of Australia. We understand.

        • David Duncan
          Posted November 15, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

          Queensland is quite progressive, in some ways. It currently has a female Labor premier. Labor does very badly at some state and federal elections, and very well at others.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted November 15, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            Alabama is quite progressive in something but I can’t think of it right now.

            • busterggi
              Posted November 15, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

              Banjo playing?

              • Randall Schenck
                Posted November 15, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

                Good save…

  4. David Duncan
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    The blue patch depicts 2-3 sparsely populated electorates in Queensland, home of the conservative National Party. But many other conservative rural areas voted for SSM.

    The strongest opposition to SSM came from Labor (i.e. “progressive”) areas: Nine of the 10 most anti SSM seats are safe to fairly safe Labor electorates, often heavily populated with recent migrants to Australia.

    • Peter
      Posted November 15, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Hey great minds think alike! I was typing the same thing (albeit less articulatory) almost as you responded.

      As an Australian, I am just glad the whole debate is over and done with.

      Struck me as odd how UN Human Rights Commission report just criticised Australia on gay rights yet most of the Muslim world still puts gays in prison.

      • David Duncan
        Posted November 15, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        Nothing will *really* change. Some gays and lesbians will find happiness, and some will eventually be put through the divorce mill, just like the straights.

        • Posted November 16, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          This was one of the things I wondered about with the US SSM SCOTUS ruling: How many G/L people didn’t want to get married but now will feel pressure to do so?

          I am strongly in favor of legal SSM.

          I have been to several “gay weddings” since things changed in 2012. Honestly, they have been the most moving, funnest weddings I’ve been to, aside from my own.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I recently reread In Cold Blood. It contains some of the most meticulous writing in the English language. Capote’s ear for rural dialects is spot-on; his skill at incorporating them into indirect discourse, a wonder to behold.

    • busterggi
      Posted November 15, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      And its the only ‘literature’ to refer to Doc Savage (no relation to Micharl Savage).

  6. Carl Powers
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Ummmm, Am I the first to point out 61.6% and 38.5% is 100.1%? So a few people got the vote twice!! Nice 🙂

    • David Duncan
      Posted November 15, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      The ghosts of Lyndon Johnson and Mayor Daley were in charge of the plebicite. 🙂

    • ploubere
      Posted November 15, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Likely due to rounding.

  7. Terry Sheldon
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Not to be picky but the lovely Eyebrow Cat would more accurately be classified as a “Patched Tabby and White” rather than a calico. She definitely shows tabby markings. This message brought to you by the proud staff of a patched tabby named Nefertiti.

  8. Vaal
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Watching the James Taylor video reminds me of how hilariously puzzling long hair on male was in the late 60’s and 70’s.

    It was like “Ok, now we can grow this stuff out…but what do we do with it?”

    There often seems no rhyme or reason to the path hair is taking.

    Even the hair itself looks confused. “Alright men, we are now in uncharted territory. Let’s spread out and see where it takes us. Bangs, you come with me; we’ll head south east. Sides, try to spread out in different directions, back do whatever you need, just be creative. Facial hair, no restrictions on you guys!”

  9. Posted November 15, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Look – the cave lion may have been a lynx –

    Also, Colour change of twig-mimicking peppered moth larvae is a continuous reaction norm that increases camouflage against avian predators

  10. DrBrydon
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    So we made a thoroughfare for freedom and her train,
    Sixty miles in latitude, three hundred to the main;
    Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain,
    While we were marching through Georgia.

  11. nicky
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    And your list of people murdered does not even include some smaller groups, such as political opponents, free masons, random victims of reprisals for resistance acts, the Holland ‘hunger winter’ deaths, victims of nearly random acts of savagery (such as eg. Ouradour sur Glane), etc. etc.

  12. Wayne Robinson
    Posted November 15, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    It actually wasn’t a referendum. It was a voluntary postal survey that’s not binding on Parliament. It cost $122 million dollars, and the politicians still have to come up with a bill to change the law, which specifically banned same sex marriage – not that SSM was specifically allowed – back in 2004 (which was pushed through Parliament by the conservatives without a postal survey).

    The actual vote was very good though, at around 80% (there were some fears that the 20 year olds wouldn’t know how to return their votes in the mail).

  13. Posted November 16, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    It’s kind of hard to get across to Europeans or even Americans how few people live in that light blue section of Queensland.

    You can get an idea by looking at it the other end: how many people in Australia live in large cities. We have a national population of 24 million, and Melbourne and Sydney alone account for around one third of this. There is only one US city larger than either of these, and (this is what surprised me) only two additional US cities larger than the next biggest capital, Brisbane.

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