Monday: Hili dialogue

A new week is upon us, and the libations and comestibles of Thanksgiving have been digested and their remains ejected. It’s Monday, November 27, 2017, and we’re at National Bavarian Cream Pie Day, a day I remember from last year (though I’ve never had any). In the UK it’s Lancashire Day; Brits can weigh in on what that means. Luckily, we’re in a warmish spell in Chicago, with a high of 63° F (12° C) today. Very light fleece weather (I’m quite tolerant of cold.) And I’m here with a blank page in my head: it’s one of those days when I have no idea what I’ll write about.

On November 27, 1835,  James Pratt and John Smith were hanged in London as the last people to be executed for sodomy in England. (Someone testified that they’d seen them having sex.) Exactly sixty years later, Alfred Nobel signed his will, dedicating the fortune he made from inventing dynamite to fund prizes for those who contributed to the benefit of mankind. The will created five awards: physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace. On this day in 1896, Richard Strauss’s  Also Sprach Zarathustra  was first performed—in Frankfurt, Germany. On November 12, 1924, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place. Some of you will remember this day in 1978, when Dan White assassinated both San Francisco mayor George Moscone and the openly gay city supervisor Harvey Milk. White was convicted only of manslaughter, and, returning to San Francisco after serving just 5 years of a 7-year sentence, he committed suicide in 1984.

Notables born on this day include Chaim Weizman (1874), Lars Onsager (1903, the man who had me removed from my dorm room at Rockefeller University as he found women’s lingerie—my girlfriend’s—in our shared bathroom), James Agee (1909), Buffalo Bob Smith (1917), Gail Sheehy (1937), Bruce Lee (1940), Jimi Hendrix (1942; he’d be 75 today), Bill Nye (1955), and Caroline Kennedy (1957). Those who fell asleep on this day include Ada Lovelace (1852), Baby Face Nelson (1934; killed in a shootout at 25, when he’d already killed 3 FBI agents on duty—still a record), and Eugene O’Neill (1953).

Re Buffalo Bob: how many of you remember this?

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is temporizing.

Hili: Haven’t you finished reading this article yet?
A: Why do you ask?
Hili: There are so many other important things to do.
In Polish:
Hili: Jeszcze nie skończyłeś czytać tego artykułu?
Ja: Czemu pytasz?
Hili: Jest wiele innych ważnych spraw.

Here are few tweets stolen from Heather Hastie:

One of my dreams is to do something like this:

I believe the bird below is a potoo, and look at its camouflage, which includes remaining absolutely still:


  1. Posted November 27, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    “their remains ejected” – surely one evacuates the bowels?! Or excreted… ha!

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 27, 2017 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    You are determined to weed out all the oldies. Howdy Doody, Buffalo Bob and the Peanut Gallery. Next stop Captain Kangaroo.

    • Art
      Posted November 27, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Born and grew up in Buffalo, and I am a Peanut Gallery alumnus, having been forced by my mother to dress up and attend a Howdy Doody show in the ’50s. I was smitten by Princess Summer-Fall-Winter-Spring, but have always disliked Rice Krispies.

    • Historian
      Posted November 27, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      I was in the Peanut Gallery in NYC. Clarabell once visited my school. I believe the Howdy Doody show was on at 5:30 P.M. I rarely missed it. Everybody knew Buffalo Bob Smith.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted November 27, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        Wow, you and Art were child stars. I suspect the next stop – Mickey Mouse Club.

        • Art
          Posted November 27, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

          I wish! I was quite in love with Darlene….

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted November 27, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            Oh yes…she was a babe. I think PCCE had the hots for Annette.

  3. Posted November 27, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Sorry to hear that about Onsager. I guess he never was much of an administrator, or lecturer.

    Biologists should note that Onsager’s work was quite relevant to the very definition of life:

  4. John Dentinger
    Posted November 27, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Just a wild guess that liking Chief Thunderthud and Princess Summerfallwinterspring would be enough to have one banned from today’s polite society. Cowabunga!

  5. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted November 27, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    That potoo – are we sure he isn’t stuffed and nailed to his perch? Looks like an ex-potoo to me. 😉


  6. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted November 27, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Lancashire Day is a recently-created day* in which Lancashire celebrates sending its first representatives to Parliament in 1295.

    (* I suspect tourism. What were they doing for the first 700 years?)

    They toast ‘The Queen, Duke of Lancaster’. I can’t figure if that’s sexist language or not. ‘Duke’ could be said to imply that ‘Duchesses’ don’t count, or it could be gender-blind.

    (Not that I care).


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