Thursday: Hili dialogue

Good morning: it’s Thursday, January 25, 2018. It’s National Irish Coffee Day, and that’s one “sissy drink” that I like. The best version I’ve ever had was in some bar in San Francisco on a cold, foggy day, and it was the best Irish coffee I’ve ever had. (The place was apparently famous for the drink.) It’s also Dydd Santes Dwynwen, the Welsh Valentine’s Day (read the story).

I am feeling low in spirits and energy, and have no idea what I’ll write about today. We shall see; like Maru, I do my best.

On this day in 1533, Henry VIII secretly married his second wife, Anne Boleyn.  She was queen for three years and then, failing to produce a son, she was summarily beheaded (the cooked-up charges were adultery, incest, and treason). On January 25, 1755, Moscow University was founded on the religious holiday of Tatiana Day. On this day in 1858, Mendelssohn’s “The Wedding March” was first played—at the wedding of Victoria (daughter of Queen Victoria) and Friedrich of Prussia. We’ve all heard this composition, and you can listen to it here. In 1909, Richard Strauss’s opera Elektra opened at the Dresden State Opera, and exactly six years later, Alexander Graham Bell made the first transcontinental telephone call, speaking from New York to the famous Thomas Watson in San Francisco. On this day in 1924, the first Winter Olympics opened—in Chamonix, France. On January 15, 1961, John F. Kennedy held the first televised (and live) Presidential news conference.  Exactly a decade later, Charles Manson and three of his female “family” were convicted of the Tate-LaBianca murders (1969). On this day in 1996, the last person hanged in the U.S., convicted murderer Billy Bailey, took the five-foot drop. He chose hanging over lethal injection. Finally, on this day in 2011, the Egyptian revolution began with country-wide riots, strikes, and rallies.

Notables born on this day include chemist Robert Boyle (1627), Robert Burns (1759), W. Somerset Maugham (1874), Virginia Woolf (1882), Corazon Aquino (1933), biologist Paul Nurse (1949), and Alicia Keys (1981).

To honor the 136th birthday of Virginia Woolf, there’s a Google Doodle today:

Some of her letters (and one from her inamorata), found by Grania on Twitter:

Those who died on January 25 include Lucas Cranach the Younger (1586), Al Capone (1947), Ava Gardner (1990), Fanny Blankers-Koen (2004), and Mary Tyler Moore (2017).

Capone is without doubt the most famous gangster in American history. Here’s a very short video biography:

And here’s his grave, at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois, near Chicago. He died from complications of neurosyphillis.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, the snow lies thick on the ground. Hili does not like it, but at least knows why it’s there:
Hili: I’m starting to understand.
A: Understand what?
Hili: That all this is a result of revolving around the Sun.
In Polish:
Hili: Zaczynam rozumieć.
Ja: Co?
Hili: To wszystko są skutki tego kręcenia się wokół słońca.

Note that if you’re in London on February 7 (Darwin was really born on February 12), Matthew Cobb and Aiofe McLysaght (of Trinity College Dublin) will be doing a joint presentation at London’s Natural History Museum (you may recognize that the poster below is a satire of this one):

Another tweet found by Dr. Cobb:

From Grania, tweeted by Tom Nichols. (You may have heard of the supposed “secret society” of the FBI. Here the Simpsons mock it.)

Another tw**t from Seth Andrews, found by Grania. The Woo ticket!

From reader Gethyn:

As a special treat, here’s a video produced by Gethyn, showing Theo, the black cat staffed by Gethyn and Laurie. Be sure to enable the subtitle (there’s only one) by clicking on “CC” at the bottom. It’s meant to convey the proof that Theo has EYES, something I didn’t believe because they never showed in his photographs.

Theo occasionally licks up the remains of Gethyn’s espresso (as well as licking plastic); both behaviors are shown in this video. I don’t recognize the music, but I am ignorant.

36 Comments

  1. Matthew North
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    That otter looks like me eating Reese’s Pieces.

    And kinda sounds like me too.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Otterly adorable.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    It’s National Irish Coffee Day, and that’s one “sissy drink” that I like.

    Them’s fightin’ words among the Jameson drinkers I know.

  3. Grania Spingies
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    I’m no expert, but I think that the Theo video music sounds like one of Bach’s Brandenburg concertos.

    • Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Yep, No. 1 in Fmaj

      • gscott
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        I thought it sounded like Handel or one of those other English baroque guys like Avison or Boyce.

        • nicky
          Posted January 27, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          Georg Friedrich Händel was originally German, from Halle, not English. Before he came to England for the German prince George of Hannover (the later King George I), he spent years in Italy. A true European, he adopted the British nationality in 1727 (aged 42).
          I think he wrote some absolutely marvelous music that inspired many. Eg. his “and with his stripes we are healed” from the Messiah was nicked by Mozart in his “Kyrie Eleison” in the latter’s “Requiem”.

      • Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Good heavens no! The Brandenburgs are brilliant — the music on the video sounds like a video game caricature of baroque music!

      • nicky
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        Yes, it actually is, but a somewhat strange version, did not even recognise it at first. A good version, I’m hasting to add.

    • Grania Spingies
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      Or Vivaldi. One of them Baroque era blokes, anyway.

      • Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        🙂

      • John Frum
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Baroque era blokes.
        Love it!

    • Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      It’s actually contemporary: it’s called “Coffee House Baroque.” For our coffee-nomming Theo!

  4. Posted January 25, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    You’ve a gardener?! didn’t think you had a garden!

  5. Alpha Neil
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Finally a post that touches on my area of expertise! “Homer the Great” is an excellent episode from The Simpsons 6th season. Part of Homers initiation into the Stonecutters secret society involves “the paddling of the swollen ass with paddle”.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      It’s wonderful, Marge. I’ve never felt so accepted in all my life. These people looked deep within my soul, and assigned me a number based on the order in which I joined.

  6. Posted January 25, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Deepak/Oprah for VP/POTUS! Woooo!

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    … first played—at the wedding of Victoria (daughter of Queen Victoria) and Friedrich of Prussia.

    That calls for one of my favorite up-and-at-’em morning tunes by the Kinks:

    • Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      One of my all-time favs also!

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Actually, it isn’t true that it was first played at the wedding of Victoria and Friedrich. Its debut was (as you might expect) in a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1843.

      • Posted January 25, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        I went by the Wikipedia entry, and you’ve linked to last year’s post (which says the same thing, derived from the same source). I had no expectation of when it was first played.

        • Gregory Kusnick
          Posted January 25, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

          Just trying to set the record straight. Sorry if it came across as nitpickery.

        • nicky
          Posted January 27, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

          Apparently it was never performed during the lifetime of Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt (died 1734), for whom it was composed/assembled. Apparently the Brandenburg concerto’s were only rediscovered much later (according to Wikipedia, that is)

  8. BobTerrace
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Alexander Graham Bell made the first intercontinental telephone call, speaking from New York to the famous Thomas Watson in San Francisco

    That was the first transcontinental phone call. The first intercontinental phone call was in 1927, 12 years later.

  9. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    “… famous f0r the drink”

    Edited, I see – hope the club – errr – finger is ok

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I think you meant the first televised presser with JFK was on today’s date, since on 1/15/61 he was still president-elect.

  11. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Theo drinks that espresso from the inside out.

    Very good that Simpson skit. Some of those republicans, Gowdy, Nunes are the most vile individuals to ever hit Washington. The people who sent them there must be very proud.

    • Mark R.
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      At least Gowdy is gone from the House Ethics committee and Nunes will probably lose his CA seat to Janz in 2018. 11/18 can’t come soon enough.

  12. DrBrydon
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    “Who holds back the electric car? Who makes Steve Guttenberg a star?”

    The Stonecutters aren’t as powerful as they once were.

  13. Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Your Irish Coffee was probably at The Buena Vista, but what might have been the best you’ve ever tasted could have been from a dozen different spots. Irish coffee is a drink for dank drippy climates and don’t sell well in San Diego or Miami Beach.

    • Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Perhaps you’re right about the required dank climate. In Los Angeles we have Tom Bergin’s which is our go-to Irish Coffee place. It is good there for sure. Unfortunately, it is not doing well and has trimmed their hours in order to stay in business. Their problems are due to having a mediocre restaurant which no one cares about and nearby LA Metro construction which is limiting access.

  14. rickflick
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    As I remember the story, Capone left NY for Chicago, not to join a gang but to save his own life. He worked over some NY rival with his fists and left him all but dead. He had to flee to avoid retribution. At least that’s the story I thought I knew.

  15. mikeyc
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    If Virginia Woolf came back as a zombie it’s ok with me. I’m not a afraid of her.

  16. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    One of my father’s oldest and dearest friends are on totally opposite ends of the spectrum on Joyce’s “Ulysses”, my father being pretty much in the V. Woolf camp. He will enjoy seeing the review.

    =-=-=

    What exactly is the hypnotic spell that Chopra exerts over somewhat wise people? Are the red flags (word salad, misuse of quantum physics, etc.) that hard to see?

  17. Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Fortunately, Oprah/Chopra (weird how that works with different parts of names) is illegal, no? Chopra is not eligible to be president, right? (not a native citizen.)

    I was told once that the Electoral College would be tasked to refuse it, though, and then Congress. Is that right?


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