Wednesday: Hili dialogue

Good morning; we’ve reached midweek because it’s Wednesday, January 10, 2018: National Bittersweet Chocolate Day, a form of chocolate I’m increasingly appreciating (take that, those of you who say my sweet tooth is somehow immoral!) It’s also Majority Rules Day in the Bahamas (read the link).

This is again one of those days depauperate of historical events. On this day in 49BC, Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, beginning the civil war that led him to become dictator. “Let the die be cast” is what he’s supposed to have said on that day. On January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine published his famous pamphlet Common Sense.  In 1870, John D. Rockefeller incorporated Standard Oil, and in 1920 the Treaty of Versailles took effect on this day, officially ending the First World War.  On January 10, 1946, the first General Assembly of the UN met in London, including 51 nations. Finally, on this day in 1985, the Sandinista Daniel Ortega became president of Nicaragua, and remains so despite the U.S.’s earlier attempts to overthrow him.

Notables born on this day, which include several rockers, include Barbara Hepworth (1903), Max Roach (1924), Sal Mineo (1939), evolutionary geneticist Godfrey Hewitt (1940), Jim Croce (1943), Donald Fagen (1948), Linda Lovelace (1949, died 2002), Pat Benatar (1953), and Jared Kushner (1981). Those who died on this day include botanist and systematist Carl Linnaeus (1728), Buffalo Bill (the first one; 1917). Sinclair Lewis (1951), Dashiell Hammett (1961), Coco Chanel (1971), and, of course, David Bowie, who died on this day two years ago.

Sal Mineo was, of course, an actor in “Rebel Without A Cause,” also starring James Dean and Natalie Wood. Here’s the scene where he dies at the planetarium:

And Croce singing my favorite of his songs, “Operator” (I’m a sucker for songs about lost love). Croce died in a plane crash in 1973; he was only 30. It was a great loss to music:

Today’s Hili has a backstory, which involves Malgorzata’s recent bout with a virus. The explanation:

This was when I was ill in bed. I haven’t seen Hili for ages and asked Andrzej where she was. He didn’t know and went looking for her. He found her upstairs and told her that I asked about her. As she knew that the upstairs needed cleaning, she wanted to please me, so she announced that she was cleaning up there.

A: Malgorzata is asking what are you doing.
Hili: Tell her that I’m cleaning.
In Polish:
Ja: Małgorzata pyta co ty tu robisz?
Hili: Powiedz jej, że sprzątam.

A tweet from reader Matthew:

And one from reader Charleen:

A lion hug from Grania:

Grania sent the late Kurt Cobain with a kitten:

And I forgot who sent this one (apologies):


  1. David Duncan
    Posted January 10, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    “On January 10, 2018, Thomas Paine published his famous pamphlet Common Sense.”


  2. David Duncan
    Posted January 10, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    “Croce died in a plane crash in 1983;”


  3. Posted January 10, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    One of my favorite Jim Croce songs.

    What a great musician and song writer. Too soon gone!

    Two great guitar players as well: Croce and Maury Muehleisen (who died the same plane crash with Croce).

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted January 10, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    “Depauperate” – great word!

    It’s an adjective – which caught me out

    Also the “de” part is confusing for me – why not just write “pauperate”? “Pauperate” isn’t in modern dictionaries, but it’s there in a 1920s book [acc. to Google books] in relation to biodiversity.

  5. David Harper
    Posted January 10, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Surely PCC(E) contradicts himself by declaring January 10 depauperate of historical events, then listing several events of major significance, starting with Caesar crossing the Rubicon, an event of such historical importance that “crossing the Rubicon” is even used as a shorthand for any event that is both momentous and irrevocable.

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 10, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Interesting that majority rules day. Maybe one day we will have that here and the oligarchy will be replaced.

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 10, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Sal Mineo was, of course, an actor in “Rebel Without A Cause,” also starring James Dean and Natalie Wood.

    Yeah, but the real stars of the show were Jim Backus’s frilly apron & JD’s milk bottle:

    As Godard declaimed, the cinema is Nicholas Ray.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted January 10, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Nicholas Ray is one of the great under-appreciated American directors. He was a top favorite among Europeans like Godard and Francois Truffaut. One of his best was on TCM the other night, “In a Lonely Place” with Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame.

      (However, Ray was not comfortable with big-budget spectacle epics. He was fired from “55 Days to Peking” before it was finished. His Jesus movie “King of Kings” has some innovative writing, but is undercut by terrible casting.)

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 10, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        There’s homage paid Ray in Bertolucci’s soixante-huitards flick, The Dreamers.

  8. George
    Posted January 10, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Jerry neglected to mention the statue of Linnaeus not far from his office on the Midway in front of Harper Library.

    The statue was moved from Lincoln Park on the north side to Hyde Park on the south side in 1976. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and I were at the rededication ceremony. My friends and I may have been under the influence of something and spent much of the time talking to the police horse – and occasionally to the cop riding him. I don’t know if he found us amusing or not irritating enough to do something about. Maybe if was because we cheered loudly for Mayor Daley (the old man – not the son). So the cop figured we were not Hyde Park liberals of the commie pinko fag bed-wetter(semi-official CPD terminology of the time) persuasion.

    Two memorable parts of the ceremony. Patrick O’Malley, head of the Chicago Park District, basically said that it was great that the pigeons of Hyde Park had something new to crap on. And Da Mare talked about the great friendship between the people of the city of Sweden and the city of Chicaguh. Not a typo – that is what he said.

    • George
      Posted January 10, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Some more pics of the Linne statue in Hyde Park.

      I also have some pictures that were taken after the pedestal was in place but before the statue was erected. They feature members of the UofC Rugby Club on the pedestal where the statue would go wearing just shoes and socks. Those will not be posted. Not sure how we got on the pedestal which is pretty tall. I think being young and stupid helped.

  9. Posted January 10, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    A lot of famous musicians have died in plane crashes.

    • Posted January 10, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Clearly, one should try to avoid flying on the same plane as any famous musician.

  10. Posted January 10, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    It’s an oversimplification to state that after becoming president Ortega “remains so”.

    His first term only lasted from 1985 to 1990. When he got re-elected in 2006, he ran on a fiercely anti-abortion conservative platform.

  11. Mike
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I believe the Latin phrase used by Ceasar was “Allia iacta est”,but I have it from a leading Classical Scholar and Authority on Ancient Rome, that in fact, “the die is cast” was the phrase ,but he said it in Greek. go

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