Thursday: Hili dialogue

Good morning: it’s Thursday, November 16, 2017, and by the time you read this, I’ll be on the way to O’Hare. I will arrrive early, so I can sit in the United Rich People’s Lounge and eat and drink and get free wireless . It’s National Almond Day, of no importance whatsoever, but clearly created by Big Almond. It’s also a UNESCO holiday: the International Day for Tolerance.

As I said, the website may be quiet until Tuesday or so, so bear with me. I will have photos but may not be able to post them until I return.

There’s a Google Doodle today (below) which celebrates the 1930 birthday of Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian writer I don’t know much about, but who won the Booker Prize and accrued other honors. He died in 2013, and his most famous work is the novel Things Fall Apart (1958). Has anyone read it?

On this day in 1532, Francisco Pizarro and his army captured the Inca emperor Atahulpa at the Battle of Cajamarca. After being held prisoner, and offering gold and jewels in a vain attempt to save his life, Atahulpa was strangled in July of 1533, ending the Inca empire. On November 16, 1849, Fyodor Dostoyevsky was sentenced to death for anti-government agitation (he was part of a circle that read books critical of the Tsar). His sentence was commuted to four years of hard labor in a Siberian camp, and then six years of military service.  On this day in 1855, David Livingstone, after having met Stanley, became the first European to see Victoria Falls.

On November 16, 1938, the Swiss chemist Albert Hoffmann first synthesized LSD; I once heard him lecture on this discovery in Richard Schultes’s Economic Botany class at Harvard.  On this day in 1940, the Nazis closed off the Warsaw Ghetto and soon began deportation of the Jews to camps. It’s estimated that 400,000 of the residents died from extermination or starvation in the ghetto, which was destroyed after the 1943 Uprising. Here’s a picture of the wall separating the Jews (right) from the rest of Warsaw (left):

On this day in 1988, voters in Pakistan, in the first free election for over a decade, chose Benazir Bhutto to be Prime Minister of Pakistan. She served as PM for two years, and then again from 1993 to 1996. After exile, she returned to Pakistan to run for election again, and was assassinated in 2007. Finally, on November 16, 1990—and some of you will remember this—the pop duo Milli Vanilli was stripped of its Grammy award for not singing on their albums (the session musicians did the vocals and the pair lip-synched in concert). I wonder what happened to them.

Notables born on November 16 include W. C. Handy (1873), Oswald Mosley (1896), and Maggie Gyllenhaal (1977). Those who fell asleep on this day include Clark Cable (1960), Sam Rayburn (1961), Alan Watts (1973), and Chicago economist Milton Friedman (2006).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is preparing for mousing:

A: Why are you sharpening your claws?
Hili: I’m going out to hunt tonight.
In Polish:
Ja: Czemu ostrzysz pazurki?
Hili: Wybieram się na nocne łowy.

Out in Winnipeg, Gus gets to lick the can when his staff has tuna fish for lunch. So, here is Tuna Time from yesterday. Gus has requested that you watch the video on YouTube because he thinks that if there are many views the likelihood will rise that he gets more tuna.

Here’s a tw**t from Matthew. What an adorable kitten! He wrote me, “This will cheer you up”—and it did.

And here is the final tweet of Paddles, the polydactylous First Cat of New Zealand, staffed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner. Only a year old, Paddles was hit by a car and killed last week. This tweet appeared a few days ago (Ardern is a nonbeliever). Paddles, a rescue cat, was the only living thing I followed on Twitter, and now she’s gone. I hope the PM gets a new First Cat, for nothing improves the image of the Labour Party than an adorable cat who tweets—preferably one with extra toes.


  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Happy Landings. Good Hunting to Hili and you should now be able to reuse that tuna can from Gus.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted November 16, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Good Hil Hunting

      • Blue
        Posted November 16, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        That, ThyroidPlanet, is darling !
        I see wha’cha did there !


  2. Posted November 16, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Things Fall Apart has been on my reading list for quite a while — I don’t read that many novels.

    I’m curious what others think.

    • Leigh
      Posted November 16, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      I liked this book. I think it is well worth reading.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    On November 16, 1849, Fyodor Dostoyevsky was sentenced to death for anti-government agitation (he was part of a circle that read books critical of the Tsar).

    Dostoevsky — the patron saint of gamblers among the literati — and his co-conspirators were actually hauled before a firing squad in St. Petersburg a for a mock execution, “stayed” at the last second by a commutation from the Tsar.

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    “ It’s National Almond Day, of no importance whatsoever”

    But remember – and I’m being honest here :

    almond milk total sugars = zero.
    Almond milk total saturated fat = zero.

    And 1g carbs per 240 mL is … my jug says “dietary fiber”.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 16, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      You wouldn’t be working for those tree growers in California? Shake, shake, shake. That’s how they get them out of the tree.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted November 16, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        Are you calling me an almond shill?

        Seriously though – numbers.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted November 16, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          Good one. And also seriously – California is the number one state in Agriculture. It could be just about number one and number two.

  5. Doug
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    “I wonder what happened to [Milli Vanilli].” After being exposed, they tried performing as “Rob & Fab.” Rob died of a drug overdose; Fab is still performing. And the beat goes on.

  6. Posted November 16, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Correction needs to be made to date. It’s November not February.

    Loved the mighty hunter video.

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Slightly off topic here but I know that some wanted a bit more on the topic of the time, Sexual Harassment and Assault. If you simply google Senator Gillibrand and sexual harassment/assault you will see 5 or 6 articles covering what she is doing in congress to overhaul their worthless system and also her bill to fix the mess in the military.

  8. pablo
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I’ve read all of Achebe. Things Fall Apart is good, as is its sequel No Longer At Ease. My personal favorite is Arrow of God.

  9. MKray
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I have read `Things fall apart’, and it is memorable and thought provoking. It is widely read in schools. The Yeats reference is the clue to its meaning.

  10. Posted November 16, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I’ve heard of _Things Fall Apart_, but there is no protection for book titles in most places, so maybe I’m thinking of something else.

  11. Posted November 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Kittens pronking are the best!

  12. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m wondering how many of Milton Friedman’s students fell asleep in class on November 16.

    Also, “Atahulpa” should be “Atahualpa”.

  13. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I apologize for this

    Did anyone see the latest Trump ban-reversal? Trophies from Africa now unbanned? Why would anyone do that FFS?!?

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