Saturday: Hili dialogue

We’ve reached the weekend: it’s Saturday, January 27, 2018, and it’s National Chocolate Cake Day. I wish I had some of those. It’s also Data Privacy Day, so change your passwords.

On this day in 814, Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, died in Aachen, supposedly of pleurisy. His son, Louis the Pious, succeeded him.  On January 27, 1302, Dante was exiled from Florence for financial misdeeds and corruption.  In 1521, the Diet of Worms began, lasting until May 25.  I have to say that fasting is a better way to lose weight, even over just four months!  On January 27, Henry VIII died at age 55. He was not in good shape; as Wikipedia reports:”Late in life, Henry became obese, with a waist measurement of 54 inches (140 cm), and had to be moved about with the help of mechanical inventions. He was covered with painful, pus-filled boils and possibly suffered from gout. His obesity and other medical problems can be traced from the jousting accident in 1536, in which he suffered a leg wound. The accident re-opened and aggravated a previous injury he had sustained years earlier, to the extent that his doctors found it difficult to treat. The wound festered for the remainder of his life and became ulcerated, thus preventing him from maintaining the level of physical activity he had previously enjoyed.” Upon his death, his son Edward VI became king.

On this day in 1754, Horace Walpole, in a letter to a friend, coined the word “serendipity.”  And for Jane Austin fans, today celebrates the first publication of Pride and Prejudice in the UK (1813).  On January 27, 1896, this happened (again I quote from Wikipedia): “Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent, becomes the first person to be convicted of speeding. He was fined one shilling, plus costs, for speeding at 8 mph (13 km/h), thereby exceeding the contemporary speed limit of 2 mph (3.2 km/h).”  And on this day in 1935, Iceland became the first Western country to make therapeutic abortion legal. (Russia preceded them by doing it in 1919). On this day in 1958, when I was already nine, the Lego company patented the design of Lego bricks; those original bricks are still compatible with ones produced today.  On this day in 1965, an act of the Canadian Parliament put in place the design of the Canadian flag. You know what it looks like; if not, go here.  On January 27, 1967, a fire at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida asphyxiated three astronauts in the command module of the Apollo 1 spacecraft: Gus Grisson, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee. Grissom was, of course, one of the original Mercury Seven.  Finally, on this day two years ago, the World Health Organization announced an outbreak of the Zika virus.

Notables born on January 27 include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756), Lewis Carroll (1832), Donna Reed (1921), Mikhail Baryshnikov (1948), Mimi Rogers (1956), and Rosamund Pike (1979; see her in the new Western “Hostiles“, which got generally good reviews).  Those who gave up the ghost on this day include Francis Drake (1596), Giuseppe Verdi (1901), Thomas Crapper (1910), Nellie Bly (1922), the crew of Apollo 1 (1967; see above), Mahalia Jackson (1972), Jack Paar (2004), John Updike (2009), J. D. Salinger (2010), and Pete Seeger (2014).

Here’s Mahalia Jackson singing at a service in Chicago when Martin Luther King, Jr. was preaching. Now that would have been something to see!

And a compilation of Baryshnikov’s dancing. I swear, this guy seemed to defy the law of gravity with those leaps:

Crapper did not invent the toilet, but was involved in the sanitary fixture business. And he didn’t give his name to the toilet. Wikipedia reports—read and learn:

It has often been claimed in popular culture that the slang term for human bodily waste, crap, originated with Thomas Crapper because of his association with lavatories. A common version of this story is that American servicemen stationed in England during World War I saw his name on cisterns and used it as army slang, i.e. “I’m going to the crapper”.

The word crap is actually of Middle English origin and predates its application to bodily waste. Its most likely etymological origin is a combination of two older words, the Dutch krappen: to pluck off, cut off, or separate; and the Old French crappe: siftings, waste or rejected matter (from the medieval Latin crappa, chaff). In English, it was used to refer to chaff, and also to weeds or other rubbish. Its first application to bodily waste, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, appeared in 1846 under a reference to a crapping ken, or a privy, where ken means a house.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, frustrated by the snow, continues to search for the Door Into Summer:

A: What are you looking at?
Hili: I’m checking whether the neighbors have the same weather.

 In Poliah:

Ja: Czemu się tak przyglądasz?
Hili: Patrzę, czy u sąsiadów jest taka sama pogoda.

From Matthew: a cat crashes his bike in a dream:

Also from Dr. Cobb; a California mountain lion has kittens. Wish them luck (and turn on the sound)!:

Grania found this gem:

From Heather Hastie:


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    “ I have to say that fasting is a better way to lose weight, even over just four months! ”


    Will you tell us more?

    My potato diet is getting me back down. i can feel it – guess where – my gut.

    There’s a fun article I read about that gold toilet – it is a true, fully functional toilet, and Guggenheimers line up to use it (IIRC)….

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted January 27, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      … I looked, can’t find, the article I read. It wasn’t the usual stuff like CNN, Vice, The Hill, etc.

    • David Coxill
      Posted January 27, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      I bet the Artist is flushed with success .
      Be quiet ,you were all thinking it .

  2. David Duncan
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    “Price and Prejudice”

    Pride and Prejudice?

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Henry became obese, with a waist measurement of 54 inches (140 cm), and had to be moved about with the help of mechanical inventions. He was covered with painful, pus-filled boils and possibly suffered from gout.

    And yet, he was catnip for the ladies. Herman’s Hermits did a very well-received biography.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 27, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      He was a catch when he was young. Intelligent plus tall, fit, athletic, handsome.

      When he was older things changed.

      Wife 3 died pretty quickly, and I personally doubt she was keen on him. Marriage 4 was never consummated. Henry said he found the German princess concerned too physically unappealing, and she thought similarly of him. Wives 5 & 6 really, really didn’t want to marry him. None had much, if any, choice.

      • David Coxill
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Didn’t he called no 4 “The Flanders Mare?”

        He was so fat because he ate vast amounts of meat and didn’t eat his veggies .

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted January 27, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          Yes he did. I think his nose was put out of joint because he and his mates, at his instigation, played a joke on her when she first arrived in England. They dressed up and turned up in her rooms like teenage boys. Henry expected Anne of Cleves would recognize him as being noble, kingly, and think he was wonderful. Instead she was disgusted by the antics and wanted to know how these idiots had got into her rooms.

          Despite the effects of age, he still saw himself as a hot young buck who could dazzle any woman. Reality was a bit of a shock, but like many men in his situation (such as Trump – he still thinks he’s irresistible too) he blamed the woman for his own lack.

          • David Coxill
            Posted January 28, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

            Nice story .

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    I love the tribute Mahalia Jackson did for Louie Armstrong at the 1970 Newport Jazz Festival with “A Closer Walk With Thee.” Pops even joined her onstage:

  5. Richard Jones
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Austen, not Austin.

  6. Posted January 27, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Re “exceeding the contemporary speed limit of 2 mph (3.2 km/h)” A normal human walking gait is about 4 mph, so autos were expected to travel at half the speed of walking? Now there’s a technological advance! Maybe this is early evidence of the guvmint trying to raise funds at our expense.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 27, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      It was so the horses didn’t get scared and bolt, buck etc. It was a safety measure.

  7. GBJames
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    “I have to say that fasting is a better way to lose weight, even over just four months!”

    You here all week? 😉

  8. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I have to say that fasting is a better way to lose weight,

    It is not a way to loose weight – long term the weight comes back, with some more for good measure – or has the science on diets changed?

  9. Taskin
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Love the Hili dialogue today. Hili is such a cat. 🙂
    The Baryshnikov video was fun to watch. His jumps and turns are truly phenomenal.

  10. Posted January 27, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Just FYI, in Long Beach, California where I reside, there are three “oil islands” in the harbor named for the Apollo 1 astronauts. These “oil islands” are artificial islands that contain oil wells and other equipment, all hidden from view by colorful panels.

  11. Posted January 27, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Here in the Los Angeles area, we are quite proud of our mountain lions. It always amazes me that they can find enough to eat. Of course, some of them don’t. Many have attempted to cross the freeways — some make it, some don’t. They occasionally ambush humans, 15 times since 1986 in all of CA with three fatalities.

  12. Jenny Haniver
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Fascinating etymology of crap/crapper. I hope that the seat on that exceedingly Freudian, gold toilet is heated (slightly; otherwise, it’d be a cold gold crap. Freudian because F associated shit with gold and anal-retentive behavior.

  13. Curt Nelson
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Baryshnikov actually moves very much the way I wish I could.

  14. Hempenstein
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Serendipity: one of my favorite words, but that I never knew the etymology of till now. Thx!

    The W’pedia page has an excellent photo-biological example, to boot.

  15. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Although it is an urban legend that “crap” comes from Sir Thomas Crapper, it IS true that the first flushing toilet was invented by Sir John Harrington, and that the reference to flushing toilets as “Johns” derives from this!!!


  16. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    This is important:

    Crapper “ won a patent as the original inventor for using a “floating ball cock” as a part of a water closet arrangement.‘

    … among other patents.

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