Monday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on a snowy Monday (January 15, 2018); I’ll have some snow pictures shortly. It’s holiday in the U.S. since it’s Martin Luther King Day (always the third Monday in January, and, as you’ll see below, it’s also King’s actual birthday). Here’s today’s Google Doodle about King.

Here are the final minutes of King’s famous “I have a dream” speech (full speech here), delivered at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, a march shown in the Doodle. I’ve never heard a more stirring piece of rhetoric in my life, although some of Churchill’s wartime speeches come close. This was televised live to the nation, and I watched it.

This was King’s moment, and he took it big time. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed the next year. I ask you to spare five minutes to listen to this, and remember that when it was given, there was still rampant and legal segregation in America:

It’s also National Pastrami Sandwich Day, which is weird because we just had National Pastrami Day. I sense the machinations of Big Pastrami.  And in Indonesia it’s Ocean Duty Day.

On this day in 1759, the British Museum opened. On January 15, 1870, Thomas Nast published in Harper’s Weekly a cartoon that first symbolized the Democratic party with a donkey. Here it is:

On this day in 1889, the Coca-Cola Company (then called the Pemberton Medicine Company) was incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia. Exactly three years later, James Naismith published the rules of “basketball.” On this day in 1919, two events happened: Rosa Luxemberg and Karl Liebknecht German socialists, were murdered by the Freikorps (German mercenaries); and the Great Molasses Flood occurred in Boston, an explosion that loosed a huge tsunami of the sweet stuff, killing 21 people and injured 150. On January 15, 1943, during WWII, the Pentagon was dedicated in Arlington, Virginia. On this day in 1967, the first Super Bowl was played in Los Angeles, with the Green Bay Packers beating the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10. And on this day in 2001, only 17 years ago, Wikipedia went online.

Notables born on this day include Molière (1622), Josef Breuer (1842), Osip Mandelstam (1891), Aristotle Onassis (1906), Edward Teller (1908), Gene Krupa (1909), Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918), mountaineer Maurice Herzog (1919), and Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929, assassinated 1968).

Those who expired on this day include Mathew Brady (1896), Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg (1919; see above), Jack Teagarden (1964), Ray Bolger (1987), and Harry Nilsson (1994).

Teagarden is one of only two jazz trombonists I can name (the other is Juan Tizol of Ellington’s Band). He could also sing, and here he is with Louis Armstrong peforming the classic “Basin Street Blues” (Barney Bigard on clarinet):

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is about to finish the last of the Japanese “cat’s snacks” sent her by Hiroko:

Hili: If I eat the last Japanese treat now, will I be sad later?
A: Probably.
Hili: Oh well, I will suffer later.
In Poliah:
Hili: Czy jak teraz zjem ten ostatni japoński przysmak, to potem będzie mi przykro?
Ja: Prawdopodobnie. 
Hili: Trudno, będę cierpieć.

A tweet from Matthew. Spot the longhorn beetle. (Translations of the Japanese welcome.)

And three more from Dr. Cobb:

Be sure to watch the video. I’ve seen something like this in Scotland:

A hedgehog comes alive when it smells food (h/t: Barry):

And a last-minute contribution by Grania:


  1. George
    Posted January 15, 2018 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Lin Manuel Miranda has the best tribute to MLK this year.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 15, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Now that’s pretty freakin’ cool.

    • Posted January 15, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      That was very nice!

    • ploubere
      Posted January 15, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink


    • George
      Posted January 15, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Couple of points –
      Miranda first posted that video two years ago and reposts it on twitter every MLK day. The teacher he is talking about is Barbara Ames. Her daughter shot a video of her when she first saw the video that Miranda recorded. Very touching.

      Hamilton is something you should try to see. It will be around for a while. A second touring company has been added. There are resident productions in New York, Chicago and Broadway. It is stunning. It would be great theater even if Miranda were a jerk. But he is not. He is a great guy who remembers his grade school music teacher. Watch interviews with him. He is a treasure. Which makes Hamilton even more enjoyable. Not to mention In the Heights.

  2. Posted January 15, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    You may or may not want to know that Naismith was raised around here, near Ottawa in Ontario. This old blog post of mine shows the house in which he was born and later (after a gap) raised by his uncle.

    • Claudia Baker
      Posted January 15, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      This is only about 7 km from my house.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 15, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Little know fact regarding the pentagon – the military person on this project was Colonel Leslie Groves, the same guy who was in charge of the Manhattan Project. The building, over 6.5 million sq. ft. was built in less than a year and a half.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 15, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I think Mr. Nilsson Schmilsson must’ve been born in ’41. He died sometime in the Nineties.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 15, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller played slide trombone, so there are at least two more you can name.

  6. darrelle
    Posted January 15, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    That last is so true. About a month ago our silvestris sovereign, Coco Chanel, developed a new sleeping habit.

    I usually read in bed for a while before going to sleep. I lie half propped against the head board and use my phone for a reading light, then when I’m ready to sleep, I just wiggle down a bit to lie flat.

    But lately, within a minute or two of me assuming my reading position Coco comes and plops down between my legs right up against my crotch and goes to sleep. I try to sleep half propped like that, but I can’t quite manage it. Eventually I have to move. Coco’s disapproval when I do so is palpable. She gets up and stands beside me giving me “that look.” Sometimes she comes back after a few minutes and assumes her previous sleeping position. Sometimes she is so displeased she abandons me for my wife’s crotch instead.

    • John Frum
      Posted January 15, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      My male Siamese KoKo (he hates it if you spell it Coco), does The between the legs thing.
      He is currently snuggled next to my legs now though.

  7. Posted January 15, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    MLK was born January 15, 1929 not 1919.

  8. Blue
    Posted January 15, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Except, when there could have been so, so
    much help done ( Worldwide) from his
    influence and quite particularly from his
    pulpits & podia, there was the exact opposite
    .determinedly. done. Upon ~53% of human
    beings, especially those millions of color,
    in re say, to instances of infanticide or of
    clidoridectomy or of just ‘routinely’
    purposeful stoppage of opportunities.

    From CNN’s Myth #4 of two years’ time ago: “Sexual harassment and even sexual assaults were not uncommon, she says.”


  9. kieran
    Posted January 15, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Looking for some advice: I’m travelling from Las Vegas to San Francisco via death valley, Sequoia National park, Yosemite from the Californian side and then to the west coast and San Francisco. Got most of my Accommodation booked looking for sites to see along the way and places to eat.

    I’ll be doing a two week kayaking trip down the grand canyon first and it’s for the month of February. Any and all suggestions welcome

    • Posted January 15, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Some of these are probably a slight miss for your route, but here goes.
      1. One the eastern flanks of Yosemite is Mono Lake.
      2. That same area has various volcanic formations. I remember we found a mining operation, closed on Sunday with gates wide open. The area was strewn with boulders of super-light pumice and obsidion boulders. I have a picture of me holding a pumice boulder over my head that is the size of a suitcase.
      3.Hearst castle. The coast in the area is incredibly beautiful. Pick up a beach stone.
      4. If you can swing farther south from the grand canyon, there is Flagstaff. I remember a Tai restaurant there near the university campus with Tom Ka Gai soup that I still think about.
      5. South of Flagstaff is an amazing drive that drops 1000s’ of feet and the scenery quickly changes from ponderosa forest to Sonoran desert. The best drive is not the main interstate, but a secondary highway. Sedona is there and the area is beautiful.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 15, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Depending how much time you have in San Fran, certainly fisherman’s wharf, Sourdough bread and Boudin. Many people don’t know about Fort Point, the fort built right under the San Francisco gate bridge. If you had the time, across the bridge north, into Marin County is the Muir Woods – some of the big trees. I use to like going to Jack London Square when I lived in Alameda. That is on the Oakland side next to the bay. Places to eat there as well.

    • Posted January 15, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the Muir woods is a good day trip over the bridge. Parking was a bit of a nightmare in the summer, though.
      In the Golden Gate park area is a beutiful and ancient greenhouse. i can’t remember the name, but both the architecture and the plants were great.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted January 15, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Ah, the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden State Park. Great place to go.

        • kieran
          Posted January 15, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          Thanks, I’ve been advised to ditch the car when I get to San Francisco due to parking costs. Going to rent a bike to cycle the golden gate bridge weather permitting.

  10. Posted January 15, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Here’s Max Roach’s take on MLK:

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 15, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      That is bloody wonderful! Thank you

  11. Posted January 15, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    National Pastrami Day should be bracketed by two National Bread Days, right?

  12. Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    This is the best Red Army photo ever.

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