Sunday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on Sunday, February 18, 2018. It’s It’s National “Drink Wine” Day (why the scare quotes?), which I commemorated yesterday but was wrong. That day is today, so drink some wine.

I have little to say about this day because I prepared a dialogue yesterday and the events all turned out to be on NOVEMBER 18. For some reason I can’t fathom, I’m always confusing November and February (perhaps I have a mirror image of the year). So here are a few events as I recoup:

On this day in 1885, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) published  the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in the U.S. Now schools are busy banning it. As Wikipedia notes, on February 18, 1911, “The first official flight with airmail takes place from Allahabad, United Provinces, British India (now India), when Henri Pequet, a 23-year-old pilot, delivers 6,500 letters to Naini, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away.” Why they would use a plane to fly 6500 letters only 10 km, unless it was an experiment, is a mystery to me. On this day in 1930, Pluto was discovered by astronomer Clyde Tombaugh while studying photos taken the previous month. It’s now classified not as a planet, but as a “dwarf planet.”  I reject that classification. There are nine planets in our solar system: the first is Mercury and the last is Pluto. (Do not attempt to argue with me.)  On this day in 1954, the first Church of Scientology opened in Los Angeles. To see what that “faith” does to people, watch the following video featuring Tom Cruise and David Miscavage. It includes Cruises’ famous Scientology meltdown and clips of him receiving an award from Miscavage at the Scientology convention in 2004.

On this day in 1970, the Chicago Seven were found not guilty of inciting riots during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. (The more of them you can name, the older you are! I came up with five.)  On this day in 2010, WikiLeaks published the first of a gazillion classified documents disclosed by the soldier now called Chelsea Manning. Finally, on February 18, 2013, the Great Diamond Theft occurred at the Brussels Airport, with thieves taking $50 million worth of diamonds. 31 people were arrested for this in May of that year, and some (but not all) of the diamonds were recovered.

Notables born on this day include Wallace Stegner (1909), Helen Gurley Brown (1922), Yoko Ono (1933; she’s 85 today), Cybill Shepherd (1950), John Travolta (1954), Vanna White (1957), and Molly Ringwald (1968). Those who breathed their last on February 18 include Fra Angelico (1455), Michelangelo (1564), J. Robert Oppenheimer (1967), Harry Caray (1998, who now consorts with real Holy Cows), and Dale Earnhardt (2001).  As far as I can see, Michelangelo never drew a cat, but many have been created under his inspiration, like these:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili smells something odd:

Hili: Facinating!
A: What?
Hili: Exactly—what?
In Polish:
Hili: Fascynujące!
Ja: Co?
Hili: No właśnie, co?

Here’s a tweet found by Matthew, which pretty much holds for all pet cats:

And there was a big catfight on Downing Street yesterday between Larry, the Official Mouser to the Cabinet Office, and Palmerston, the Foreign Office cat. Larry (left) clearly lost; he’s always been a wuss, and can’t even mouse properly!

Sheep ball!

This is sweet and very sad:

Grania found an interesting-looking tuxedo cat fascinated with her tail:


  1. Posted February 18, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    And tomorrow will be “Drink Some More Wine Day”.

    • Posted February 18, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      I drank all my wine yesterday. Guess I will have to go to the wine section again today.
      Oh, well… 🍷

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 18, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I came up with five, too, but to reach that number, I had to include Bobby Seale, who was part of the original “Chicago Eight,” but whose trial was severed from the others.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted February 18, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Why would they fly the mail just 10 Kilometers? Yes, it probably was an experiment as getting in a flying machine and going anywhere would be an experiment in Feb. 1911. Actually, the idea that they were thinking this might be the way to go with mail, in 1911 was quite a vision.

    • glen1davidson
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      It wasn’t really a mystery whether mail could be moved by plane, though.

      Probably just a promotion of the idea. They had special cancellation stamp made for it.

      Glen Davidson

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted February 18, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        Just think about. Everything done with an airplane in 1911 was a promotion…This was a 15 minute flight strapped to Humber-Sommer biplane with a very unreliable 50 hp engine. Only the brave attempted this.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink


      “…Humber-Sommer biplane with a very unreliable 50 hp engine.”

      The Gnome 50hp [AKA Gnome Omega, or Gnome 7 Omega] was a solid & reliable rotary engine used in almost sixty different aircraft. Sopwith’s chief test pilot, Harry Hawker had one installed in his one-off design aircraft – the Sopwith Bee [AKA Tadpole] in 1916.

      The Bristol Boxkite two-seat trainer aircraft of 1911, used by at least seven nations for training pilots, was powered by the same version of Gnome 50 as in the Humber-Sommer. This lightweight engine was ubiquitous across the industry – around 1,800 Gnome 50hp’s were built in France & thousands more under licence in Russia, Germany, Sweden, Britain & the USA. The Gnome was used in the first aircraft to break 100km/h [might have been the Gnome 14 – two rows of 7 cylinders] as the first ever seaplane.

      And Glen is right about the promotional aspect – the cancellation stamp speaks to that. Locals [mainly Brits & Brit Empire I suppose] had plenty of notice & made a special effort to inefficiently send mail abroad, interrupted via that hop of a flight, to friends/relatives around the world. SOURCE

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted February 18, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink


        “The Gnome was used in the first aircraft to break 100km/h [might have been the Gnome 14 – two rows of 7 cylinders] as and in the first ever seaplane.”

  4. glen1davidson
    Posted February 18, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    This is your pseudoscience on Tom Cruise.

    Glen Davidson

  5. Serendipitydawg
    Posted February 18, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Drinking wine (Bordeaux) as instructed (it is lunch time in the UK, so not decadent at all).

    the first is Mercury and the last is Pluto. (Do not attempt to argue with me.)

    No argument from me: there may be plenty of other objects that would also qualify if Pluto was still included in the planet list but that is definitely not the point: keep the anomoly, just because.


    • Serendipitydawg
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      I blame the vino for the lack of an &/i> there!

      • Serendipitydawg
        Posted February 18, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        And the &amp> in place of <!

        More wine, I think.


        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted February 18, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          “Hic est Enim Calix Sanguines mei.”

  6. Hempenstein
    Posted February 18, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Great sheep video. But my relationship with Tw*tter is the same as the sheep to the ball, so here’s the YouTube, and with better resolution to boot. Just in case anyone wants to fwd it, like I do.

  7. Serendipitydawg
    Posted February 18, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    The cat schedule doesn’t match George:





    Second breakfast

    Pop outside for a comfort break if warm sleep in the sun, if chilly come back in (if staff member unavailable use cat flap to enter, otherwise use cat flap as doorbell by hitting until door opens)

    Have a serious wash, get right in there with as much noise as possible.

    Enter professional sleep mode.

    Go and shout at second staff member who isn’t an early riser until they rise.

    Take warm spot and sleep.

    Pick at lunch.

    Plot global domination (while sleeping.)

    Wake and reject what’s left of lunch and demand a fresh option.

    Toss mental coin and either eat lunch or save it for later. Decide to eat previous lunch (it was there to see if Bert fancied an untouched lunch).

    Decide world domination has actually been achieved and sleep for a bit, preferably on staff’s lap (either).

    Jiffle so as to achive maximum pins and needles in staff’s legs.

    Sigh contedley and snore. LOUDLY.

    Eat second lunch… well, Bert didn’t emerge for it.

    Go out.

    Come in.

    Sorry, did I say in, open that door and let me out.

    Nope, definitely in… and you left your chair unattended, so it is mine.

    Reluctantly share chair, occupying the space of a medium elephant until staff member 1 goes to bed (which means treats).

    Eat treats. Ignore supper.

    Make staff member 2 make space on sofa… it is a three seater sofa, one puny human can’t possibly take up more than half a space.

    Sleep for a while then remember supper.

    Let self out through cat flap, ensure the planet is still revolving around oneself then let self back in through cat flap.

    If staff member 2 is still awake make them shuffle across so you can get really comfy (if staff member 2 falls onto floor then mission accomplished).

    Amuse oneself by washing and sleeping until staff member 1 gets breakfast.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      “Jiffle”? Are you Norfolk? [don’t look up the Urban Dictionary definition!]

      • Serendipitydawg
        Posted February 18, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Lincolnshire, so not too far away from Norfolk.

        Jiffle sort of means to wriggle around these parts, I dread to think what meaning the Urban Dictionary assigns!

    • Glenda Palmer
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Nicely done. Easy to see George is a cat of many interests and activities. Think I will have to develop a daily schedule for my 10 year old female Kofi now.

  8. BJ
    Posted February 18, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    “As far as I can see, Michelangelo never drew a cat…”

    What are you talking about? He drew god many times.

  9. glen1davidson
    Posted February 18, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Well, they named a Disney dog and an element after the planet Pluto. The last three planets gave us the names of the elements uranium, neptunium, and plutonium.

    So yeah, they’re just bluffing.

    Glen Davidson

  10. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted February 18, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I reject that classification.

    Astronomers reject that rejection.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      And, I should add to that fact, for good reason:
      -It is a clear dynamical distinction between planets in long term stable orbits and debris.
      – It unifies planets and mature (long term survived) exoplanets.

      But what do astronomers know about planets ;-).

  11. claudia baker
    Posted February 18, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    It appears that Tom Cruise has not just drunk the Kool-Aid, but is mainlining it.

  12. Posted February 18, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    The second Michelangelo-inspired painting would be more sublime were it a raven going after the kitty’s tail with its beak.

  13. RossR
    Posted February 18, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    How thoughtful of Scientology to find a shorter guy to give Tom his award.

    • Posted February 19, 2018 at 5:51 am | Permalink

      That was my thought. Studied the video carefully to see if there was a hidden platform for Tom.

  14. Posted February 18, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Let’s add Eris, Makemake, Haumea, Ceres, and maybe even Charon to the planet list. After all, it’d only be fair to them if Pluto were a planet.

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