Friday: Hili dialogue

We’ve reached Friday again, as it’s December 8, 2017 and National Brownie Day (I had mine earlier this week). One week from today I’ll be flying to India, which I think is a straight 19-hour flight. No business class for me this time; I’ll be sitting in steerage. I hope at least the food is good.

On this day in 1660, as Wikipedia reports, “A woman (either Margaret Hughes or Anne Marshall) appears on an English public stage for the first time, in the role of Desdemona in a production of Shakespeare’s play Othello.” On December 8, 1854, in the document Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX infallibly proclaimed the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which, as you should know, claims that the Virgin Mary was born without Original Sin (a lot of people think it means Jesus was born without original sin). And very few people realize this isn’t in the Bible: it’s just made-up shit turned into Dogma because the Pope is inflammable.  On this day in 1922, Northern Ireland separated from the Irish Free State and remained with the UK.  On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman in front of Lennon’s hotel in New York City, the Dakota. Chapman remains in prison in New York State and has another parole hearing coming up next year. Finally, on this day 6 years ago, SpaceX became the first company to launch, orbit, and recover a space vehicle after the second launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9.

Notables born on this day include Mary, Queen of Scots (1542), Eli Whitney (1765), Jean Sibelius (1865), Diego Rivera (1886), Lucian Freud (1922, one of the few near-contemporary artists I like), Sammy Davis, Jr. (1925), Jim Morrison (1943), Greg Allman (1947; died this year), Bill Bryson (1951), Ann Coulter (1961) and Skinhead O’Connor (1966; yes, I know it’s Sinéad). Those who ceased to be on December 8 include Thomas De Quincey (1859), Golda Meir (1978), John Lennon (see above), Marty Robbins (1982), and John Glenn (one year ago today). It’s also the 287th birthday of Jan Ingenhousz (1730-1799), the scientist who discovered photosynthesis. Google is celebrating that with a Doodle today:

Here’s Lucian Freud’s painting of his first wife, Kitty Godley—with a kitty!

And photo of Rivera and his wife; you better know who she is!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili defends her predation:

A: You’ve killed a bird again.
Hili: That’s natural.
A: Not everything natural is as beautiful as some people think.
In Polish:
Ja: Znów zabiłaś ptaka.
Hili: To naturalne.
Ja: Nie wszystko co naturalne jest tak piękne, jak się niektórym wydaje

Here, you can haz cat tweets from Grania:

And a Tom Nichols tweet with a reply:

Heather Hastie found this tweet from our Official Website Physicist™: those are his and Jennifer’s kittens:

And a guinea pig feast from Matthew. Somebody’s got to eat those odious Brussels sprouts!



  1. busterggi
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Love squeaking pigs!

  2. Posted December 8, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I LOVE sprouts! I put them on pizza!!!

    • Posted December 8, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Not the protected heritage twirled pizza…

    • busterggi
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Then enjoy my portion, please.


    • Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      I think you need professional help.

      • Serendipitydawg
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm sprouts.

        Interesting contraction in “those oh so delicious Brussels sprouts!”

    • Blue
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      I love sprouts, too, Mr Dominic and prepare
      ’em a bagazillion different ways come
      each Thanksgiving. Well, one way one year.
      Other ways subsequent years.

      Must be a gene for its tastiness to some folk. As there are the genes for some’s
      penchants for black licorice* and for
      chocolate – covered cherries*, not ? !


      ps *i) I have those two genes, too; and
      ii) I have already been told as many as
      a bagazillion different times on this website
      that others believe I need professional help,
      haven’t I ? ! Well, thick – skinned,
      my response is … … Deal With It.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        Not from me! Despite the sprouts, you’re esteemed in this Blue avatared corner.

      • rickflick
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        I rank sprouts right up there with Kale. Pig food at best. I think there must be a taste gene for these dreadful things that I do not possess.

        • GBJames
          Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

          Your chromosome #7 has been invaded by a faulty gene.

          • rickflick
            Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

            That explains a lot. Thanks for the link.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted December 8, 2017 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

            Why ‘faulty’? It seems to me the ability to taste – and avoid – phenylthiocarbamide (aka phenylthiourea) is probably a Good Thing.

            It’s got a benzene ring, an amide, and a sulphur dangling off there – what a hellbrew.

            Oh, and to quote the usual wikisuspects:
            “Also known as phenylthiourea, the chemical structure of PTC resembles toxic alkaloids found in some poisonous plants. Although PTC is not found in nature, the ability to taste it correlates strongly with the ability to taste other bitter substances that do occur naturally, many of which are toxins.”

            ‘Faulty’ gene? I think not 😎


            • rickflick
              Posted December 8, 2017 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

              Now that’s more like it. I’m one of the special and protected of God’s creatures.

            • Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:41 am | Permalink

              I’d suggest editing that gene back in but someone might say I’m “erasing the Brussels sprouts lovers identity” 😉

              • GBJames
                Posted December 9, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

                Brussel sprout-hating nazi!

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

          Guess I’ve got the sprouts and kale gene because I love ’em, too. I hear guinea pigs are tasty, too; but I’d never eat one. I love those little piggies — once had a wonderful pet guinea pig, Chico. What a sweetie he was.

    • kieran
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      I love sprouts as well! Chopped, pan fried with bacon. Also love spinach and broccoli

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        Try a grating some Parmesan on those pan fried little boys.

      • Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        Me too! My favorite combinations are:

        1. Just like yours, only I add Sri Racha sauce and loads of garlic and onions and red wine vinegar

        2. Add dry sherry, shallots, garlic, and roasted pistachios (and salt and pepper)

        Both are wonderful!

        I also eat lots of plain, dry roasted sprouts. Out local Company, Green Giant, produces them frown and they are quick, easy, tasty veggies.

        Sprouts have helped me lose 60 pounds in the last 9 months! 🙂

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted December 8, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

          Well done on the weight loss.

          Gotta say though,if all I had to eat was sprouts, I’d lose weight too. B£oody revolting things!

      • Blue
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        in re “chopped, pan fried with bacon,”
        O yes ! Yes ! then, too, glazed with
        carmelized cider vinegar & brown sugar
        w that bacon !

        Pounds o’that bacon. Literally.
        As of Mr Kukec’s magnifique duck fat !


        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted December 8, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          Your additions to Ken Kukec’s recipe sounds so damned good that I’m going out to get some duck fat and freshly picked sprouts from the farmers market tomorrow and chow down.

    • Monika
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Hey! Fellow sprouts lover!

      I never had them on a pizza. Still I love them boiled with a cheese sauce or bacon, or roasted with rosemary and thyme. Yummy tiny cabbages!

      I’m adding them to the weekend shopping list.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t we have this discussion this time last year?

      Anyway: parboiled, finished with pancetta or smoked bacon and chestnuts in butter, works for me. I’m cooking them to accompany belly pork tonight, as it happens.

  3. GBJames
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Kitty’s kitty looks none too happy being hung up by the neck.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      The marriage to Kitty lasted four years – he was an ‘intense’ chap. Not comfortable to be around.

      A most unflattering portrait of her, he’s squeezed her forehead down making her eyes appear too high in the skull. Perhaps to give her face a sloping, feline quality [I’ve read] or perhaps he was just a right b**tard [my own theory]

      • busterggi
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Its hard to make a person look good when she’s strangling a cat.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted December 8, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

          That was my immediate thought too.

          What did the poor cat do, ffs?


  4. George
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    You cannot think about Marty Robbins without also thinking about Feleena.

  5. Mike
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Who was it that decidedBrussels Sprouts would enhance a Meal,? I have never met anyone who enjoys them, but still they serve them up.Go figure.

    • GBJames
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Never met anyone? I love them. So does the rest of my family.

      You just happen to be the victim of the TAS2R38 gene. Many of us don’t suffer from that unhappy fate.

      • Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        It’s a good fate, because if you had the gene you might eat Brussels sprouts, and they’re dreadful. 🙂

        • GBJames
          Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

          You’re making my head spin!

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

          Nonsense. Sprouts must be fresh, steam cooked, add butter, a little veg salt and lemon. The perfect vegetable

          • Dave
            Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

            I regard Brussels sprouts as the food of the gods. I love them boiled, roasted, curried, you name it. I only wish they were available all year round, for some reason they only appear fresh in UK shops during the winter.

            My dinner tonight will be Kung Po chicken with lots of sprouts – delicious!!

            • Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

              I too put sprouts in many dishes, especially Asian stir-fry and chili.

              I am trying to shift my diet as heavily as I can towards vegetables. And I love sprouts. And I even liked them when I was a kid!

            • Monika
              Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

              Winter is when they are in season. Luckily here in Germany I can get them deep freezed all year round.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted December 8, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          Ha ha, well said. I too am glad about my deformed genes!

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted December 8, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

            I heartily concur. Brussels sprouts are the most loathsome, disgusting-tasting vegetable in existence. Closely matched by broad beans, actually.

            They’re probably what Satan has for breakfast, if one credits the sulphurous, mephitic allusions.


            • Heather Hastie
              Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

              Oh yes, Broad beans are at least as disgusting!

      • Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        We do too! 🙂

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      I was visiting my bestie, who teaches at a culinary school, last year. While I was there, a local French restaurant donated a vat of duck fat to the school, and he brought home a couple tubs. We took turns cooking and figuring out how to work it into nearly everything.

      He sautéed brussels sprouts in it a few times. They’ve never been my favorite, but sautéed in duck fat, they were magnifique! (But then, anything, even cardboard, sautéed in duck fat would be magnifique.)

      • Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        “But then, anything, even cardboard, sautéed in duck fat would be magnifique.”

        Indeed! Especially if you add bacon and garlic! 🙂

    • busterggi
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Brussel sprouts make everything else taste better.

  6. Walt Jones
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    The only two non-controversial (among Catholic theologians) infallible declarations both involve Mary: the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. Both are unfalsifiable, go figure.

    I’ve heard Catholics say (wrongly) that the Immaculate Conception is Jesus, not for the lack of sin, but for the lack of sex.

    • Liz
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Oh, nice. I just posted re this topic. That’s what I thought. I thought it was for Jesus and for the lack of sex between Mary and a man.

    • busterggi
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Its not the lack of sin, its the lack of knowing what their own religion says.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      “this isn’t in the Bible: it’s just made-up shit turned into Dogma”

      Which differentiates it from the Bible how, exactly? [g]


      • busterggi
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        Its non-canonical dog shit as opposed to canonical dog shit.

        Any theologan can tell the difference.

    • Posted December 9, 2017 at 12:46 am | Permalink

      If Mary was a real person, the Immaculate Conception doctrine is correct. She wasn’t born without original sin. Because there is no such thing as original sin.

  7. Liz
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I thought the Feast of the Immaculate Conception was about the conception of Jesus with no sperm or whatever. Up until the age of 18 I had attended every December 8th so I’m not sure why I didn’t know. I guess I wasn’t paying attention because I knew it didn’t matter anyway. I called my dad to see if he knew and he basically said exactly that. It refers to Mary’s birth without original sin and does not refer to Jesus.

    I think whoever wrote that Jesus was born of a virgin mother was either sick and twisted or misinformed. I don’t understand why, in writing about Jesus, the writers went to great lengths to take sexuality out of the equation. There must be a reason for that.

    • darrelle
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Gods & demigods being the issue of a virgin birth is actually a common theme that Christianity borrowed from many earlier mythologies. The Egyptian god Horus, the Phrygian god Attis, the Greek god Dionysos (and most of the Greek demigods you’ve ever heard of), the Persian god Mithra, the Syrian god Adonis and even Alexander The Great, and many more I’m sure, were all claimed to have been born of virgins.

      • Steve Pollard
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Yes, indeed. I suspect that the authors of the Gospels (whoever they may have been) may have known this when they mistranslated the word for “young woman” in Isaiah (“almah”) into the Greek word meaning “virgin” (“parthenos”). But it would have been much easier to go with an existing myth that the proles already knew and believed!

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Imo it’s about control. Making people feel guilty about such a fundamental thing as sex gives the religious class enormous control over their sheep.

      (Perhaps hearing the Confession of sexual sins is a misguided attempt to make up for chastity in priests too. Of course, it’s actually porn, and has the same affect.)

      • Liz
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Yes. I think so, too. Why anyone would even think to do that, I have no idea. Probably true on the confessions. I thought of the scene from A League of Their Own with Madonna:

  8. Alpha Neil
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Working backward from December 25th, March 20th should be a major holiday, especially among women since it would commemorate the time Mary had sex with god. It was almost certainly a threeway since the holy ghost surely got in on the action. Poor Joseph, the immaculate cuckold.

    • Posted December 8, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      The immaculate cuckold! 🙂 Makes my day!

    • Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      I’m not infallible (or inflammable) but I think you’ll find that March 25th is the Feast of the Annunciation, which is when $DEITY sends the Archangel Gabriel to tell Mary that he has a little surprise for her.

      • Alpha Neil
        Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Is annunciation latin for “hot jewish teen gangbang?”

    • Liz
      Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Reminds me of this scene: David Lindhagen cuckolded me – Crazy, Stupid, Love

  9. Hal SCHER
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Good food in steerage?

    I thought you didn’t believe in God


    Dr. Hal Scher 45 Sheppard Ave. East, Suite 900 Toronto, ON M2N 5W9 Tel: 416 315 1903 Fax: 905 660 1601


  10. Posted December 8, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    What I find even funnier than the doctrine of the IC is the doctrine of infallibility (even if it is restricted). Talk about arrogant.

    As for Pius IX, he’s got a major street (and Metro station and a few other things) named for him in Montreal that us anglos used to call “pie icks”. (

  11. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    The day of Lennon’s shooting is more or less tied in my life with the day of JFK’s shooting as the day most vividly etched in my memory.

    It was the first killing of an entertainment celebrity in American history, and is a main reason actors don’t hobnob with the public after plays any more. It was followed shortly by the killing of a little-known actress Rebecca Schaeffer, and was the first of three killings which claimed Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” as a motivation.

    Lennon’s death was the subject of a rather poor American film “Chapter 27” (so titled because of Catcher/Rye having 26 chapters), and a somewhat better Scottish movie “The Killing of John Lennon” which got far less distribution.

    Oddly, the inferior film was motivated by the same thing that got me interested in understanding Lennon’s killer: puzzlement at the J.D. Salinger connection.

    OK, John Hinckley was fascinated by “Taxi Driver”, and George Wallace’s would-be assassin was fascinated by “Clockwork Orange”, both very violent movies- it makes sense that a a crazed killer would be fascinated by them, but “Catcher in the Rye” as a murder-motivator is a head-scratcher!!

    Director Schaefer IMO made the pivotal mistake of focusing only on the 4 days before Lennon’s death and modeling the action on that of “Catcher” even to the point of having Lennon’s killer have the same conversation with a taxi-driver about where the geese go in winter that Holden Caulfield has in “Catcher”. Bad idea!!! The Scottish film which starts 3 months before Lennon’s death is far better!!


    Greek Orthodox have an interesting problem with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception- they simply do not believe in the Western Christian understanding of original sin, so there isn’t any way that Mary could be uniquely free of it, although Mary has a dominant place in Orthodox devotionals.

  12. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Well spotted whomever added the Google Doodle – I didn’t see it in the email.

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