Friday: Hili dialogue

It’s Friday already, and the temperature has plummeted in Chicago to below freezing. Right now it’s 22° F (-6° C), with the daily highs predicted to be below freezing for a week. It’s January 12, 2018: National Marzipan Day, a holiday created by Big Almond. But wait!: the very same site says it’s National Chicken Curry Day.  Having just returned from India, I’ll take the latter, even in the debased British yellow-sauced “curry” meant to fuel drunkards. And in India it’s National Youth Day, honoring the birthday of Swami Vivekananda, seen as an inspiration to India’s youth.

Not much happens in history in January compared to other months: that is my theory, which is mine. Perhaps it’s because the history recorded in Wikipedia is largely from the Northern Hemisphere, and in winter it’s too cold for much to happen. At any rate, on this day in 1915, the U.S. Congress rejected a proposal requiring states to give women the right to vote. That right was attained only 5 years later with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.  But it’s another banner day for women: on this day in 1932, Hattie Caraway became the first woman elected to the United States Senate (from Arkansas). In 1969, in a football game I remember well (and watched), the New York Jets beat the Baltimore Colts by a score of 16-7 in Superbowl III. That was a huge upset. It remains the only Superbowl game to be won by a single touchdown (the Jets scored one TD and three field goals), and you’ll remember, if you’re of that age, that Broadway Joe Namath was the Jets’ quarterback.  Here’s a 2.5-minute clip of the highlights:

On this day in 2004, RMS Queen Mary 2, the world’s largest ocean liner, made its first voyage. As I said, I’ve lectured on two transatlantic crossings, and here’s more evidence—reading Darwin in the top-deck Jacuzzi! As I recall, this was near the spot where the Titanic went down (they announced it on the ship’s intercom).

Finally, on a more somber note, on this day in 2010 the Big Earthquake in Haiti struck (remember?: that “shithole country”), killing over 100,000 and severely hitting the capital of Port-au-Prince.

Notables born on this day include John Winthrop (1588), Edmund Burke (1729), Swami Vivekananda (1863), Jack London (1876), and two Nazis on the same day, Hermann Göring and Alfred Rosenberg (both 1893, and both died within a day of each other during the Nuremberg Trials: Rosenberg was hanged on October 16, 1946, while Göring committed suicide in custody the day before). Also born on this day were P. W.Botha (1916), Tim Horton (1930, donut king and hockey player), Howard Stern (1954) and Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon (1964).

Those whose metabolism ceased on this day include Hiram Walker (1899), Agatha Christie (1976), and Cyrus Vance (2002).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, there was a power outage the other day, cutting off Malgorzata and Andrezej’s computers: a real tragedy. Fortunately, power was restored after a few hours, but Hili had something to say.

Hili: Life without electricity was interesting.
A: Not for everybody.
In Polish:
Hili: Ciekawe było życie bez prądu.
Ja: Nie dla wszystkich.

And in frigid Winnipeg, Gus is sleeping off the winter on his Katzenbaum:

Grania sent seven tweets, including baby parrots:

Here are the results of an online poll about “furries“: those people who like to dress up as animals and sometimes think they have the persona or psyche of animals. More catgirls!

And a tw**t from Helen Pluckrose, whose writings have often been featured on this site:

I think Smokey is Eric Idle’s cat, and I know John Cleese also has a very large cat. Maybe it’s because the Pythons are atheists, and cats are the Official Pet of Atheism.™

and this:

And another post including the sexy kangaroo blocking access to the bathroom (see yesterday), as well as a hot koala:

An adorable baby elephant takes the short way down a hill:


  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Please do not remind me of the game. Johnny Unitas was past his prime and I can’t think of any other excuses.

    Did not stay online late enough to answer the comment made on mine concerning the Trump issue but did so today.

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      I’m really sorry to have annoyed you so much, Randall. I didn’t mean it to sound critical, I was just curious as to what you’d thought Jerry’s opinion of Trump really was.

  2. Michael Fisher
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    You’ve described the low end of the scale Jerry. In case anyone thinks that’s British curry today – we have moved on from this:

    Having just returned from India, I’ll take the latter, even in the debased British yellow-sauced “curry” meant to fuel drunkards

    we are a touch more sophisticated about food & drink these days – Watney’s Party Seven beer cans, Blue Nun & cheese balls are thankfully dead & gone.

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      You still have deep-fried Mars bars: fried in the oil used to cook fish in chippies.

      Yes, I know the UK is improving gastronomically. But I have to say that the Real Ale movement, a harbinger of good taste, seems to be dying.

      Further, I’ve been to what has been characterized as the best Indian restaurants in London, and I’ve never been impressed; cheaper ones in Chicago are better. But I do love the dosa joints in Wembley.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        Deep fried Mars Bars: that’s using the low end to smear all chippies & anyway it’s a Scottish anomaly in a small number of outlets

        CAMRA [the real all movement] is far from dying! It has 180k members – they are refocussing priorities to save British pubs now that the ale is secure! To quote a CAMRA spokesperson: “At that time [the ’70s] the number of breweries had fallen to 175 but now there are 1,500 – maybe more. The world has changed and we have almost 180,000 members now – we’ve been very successful”. The pub closure rate is a worry. SOURCE

        Your comment about yellow-sauced curry & drunkards is incorrect today – that ain’t Britain. The vast majority of curry sales & ‘Chinese’ takeaway meals are [alas] weekend ‘takeaways’ for home consumption by the entire family. Boring stay-at-home Britain watching Strictly Come Dancing or X-Factor on their Sky boxes!

        As to the quality of ethnic foods – I know London has a fine selection of Lebanese & Persian restaurants. My town [Birmingham] is packed with low key, simple [no table cloths etc] Indian, Bangladeshi & Kashmiri restaurants – some of them are simply gorgeous in the taste department. I can’t comment on the sprinkling of high-end Michelin starred ethnic restaurants up here in the Midlands – I find the presentation too effete & fussy for what should be [IMO] relatively simple fare.

      • Posted January 13, 2018 at 4:54 am | Permalink

        The deep-fried Mars Bar was always intended as a joke, created by Scots to mock their own image south of the Border.

        Besides, it adds extra flavour to the oil, which enhances the fish 😉

  3. Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Also the anniversary of the 1st wireless broadcast, which was from the Met opera in 1910 –

  4. Liz
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I was at an Irish restaurant in a hotel near me that has conventions on occasion. I saw all of these people dressed up like mascots walking around. I asked the waitress what was going on and she said, “A furry convention.” I asked, “What’s a furry?” She told me she would let me figure that out for myself. I don’t really understand the furry thing. I thought it was primarily based on sexual attraction to being dressed up in an animal mascot uniform. For the poll, I would say probably no. I found myself reading the Wikipedia page on the furries and being somewhat judgemental. It seems so odd. A minute later after having put the furry thing out of my mind and scrolling down, I found myself comparing a kangaroo and a koala to see which one I thought was sexier. So, there you go.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      LOL! You tell a good story – I like the punchline

      • Liz
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Ha! Thank you. You have to laugh at yourself sometimes.

      • Diane G.
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        + 1 😀

  5. David Duncan
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    The Marzipan Day and Chicken Curry Day links point to the same URL.

  6. Liz
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    There are a few foods that make me naturally “high” if that’s the best word. Raw radishes, raw carrots, slightly overripe strawberries, raw string beans, and marzipan. I know it doesn’t really make sense because I think there is sugar in it, but the effect is the same. It’s perfect in very small doses. Lox and salmon sashimi are similar but it’s not the same feeling with those. It’s more of a survival satisfaction than a natural high. I eat raw salmon from the grocery store like a grizzly bear if I’m too hungry to prepare it.

  7. nicky
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    aahhh, -6°C, what a balm that would be now. It’s high summer here and I’m in the inland semi-desert, about 40°C (that is well over 100°F) luckily the air is quite dry, so sweating is effective. Sun has set now, so it came down to 32°C (90°F).

  8. revelator60
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Eric Idle is definitely an atheist (he’s described himself as a “Buddhist Atheist”), and I think it’s a good bet that Terry Jones was one (now he suffers from a form of dementia). And Terry Gilliam and the late Graham Chapman are probably members of the club.

    John Cleese (who recently tweeted a picture of one of his gigantic Maine Coons: is an outlier though. Though not conventionally religious, he apparently believes in some form of the afterlife and is not a materialist.

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    In an interview with the AV club, John Cleese had this to say about religion:

    “I think that the real religion is about the understanding that if we can only still our egos for a few seconds, we might have a chance of experiencing something that is divine in nature. But in order to do that, we have to slice away at our egos and try to get them down to a manageable size, and then still work some practiced light meditation. So real religion is about reducing our egos, whereas all the churches are interested in is egotistical activities, like getting as many members and raising as much money and becoming as important and high-profile and influential as possible. All of which are egotistical attitudes. So how can you have an egotistical organization trying to teach a non-egotistical ideal? It makes no sense, unless you regard religion as crowd control. What I think most organized religion—simply crowd control.”

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