Thursday: Hili dialogue

Good morning: it’s Thursday, February 22, 2018, National Sticky Buns Day. That means you have to sit in molasses! It’s also the Christian Feast Day of Eric Liddell, whom you might remember from the movie “Chariots of Fire.” Liddell, who became a missionary after college, died on this day in 1945 in a Japanese prison camp in China, malnourished and afflicted with a brain tumor. By all accounts, he was a metaphorical saint, even if he was religious. Remember that he wouldn’t run the 100 m race in the 1924 Olympics because it was on the Lord’s Day (Sunday)? But he won gold in the 400 m race on another day. Here’s that win:

On February 21, 1632, Galileo’s heliocentric book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, was published. He got in trouble with the Church for that, but of course it had absolutely nothing to do with religion—just ask Ronald Numbers. On this day in 1856, the Republican Party had its first national convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. How it’s changed since then! On February 21, 1889, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill that admitted four states to the Union: North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington.  In 1924, “Silent” Cal Coolidge became the first U.S. President to broadcast a radio address from the White House.  On this day in 1980, in the Lake Placid Winter Olympics, the underdog U.S. ice hockey team defeated the Soviet Union 4-3, a feat called the “Miracle on Ice.” I remember watching it live. The rivalry was keen; as they say: “Sports is war without weapons.”

Here are the game’s highlights:

On this day in 1997, British scientists announced the cloning of the sheep Dolly. Finally, exactly seven years ago today, New Zealand’s second deadliest earthquake struck Christchurch, killing 185 people.

Notables born on this day include George Washington (1732), Arthur Schopenhauer (1788), Robert Baden-Powell and Heinrich Hertz (both 1857), Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892), Edward Gorey (1925), Ted Kennedy (1932), Steve Irwin (1962, killed by a stingray in 2006), and Drew Barrymore (1975). Those who died on February 22 include Stefan Zweig (1942), the “White Rose” trio of Christoph Probst, Hans Scholl, and Sophie Scholl (1943, beheaded by the Nazis), Felix Frankfurter (1965), Andy Warhol (1987) and Chuck Jones (2002).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Cyrus are inadvertently making trouble. Malgorzata explains:

Well, it was an “animal blockade”: one (Cyrus) is barring Andrzej’s access to the desk chair, and the other (Hili) is occupying the chair. Cyrus can be bribed (by a pat) so he will go away, but Hili just couldn’t believe her ears – she has no intention to vacate the chair. I hope you can see one Andrzej’s leg in the picture – he is trying to gain access to his computer.

A: May I sit down at my computer?
Cyrus: Pat me and then I’ll go on the sofa.
Hili: What did you say?
In Polish:
Ja: Czy mogę usiąść przy moim komputerze?
Cyrus: Pogłaszcz mnie, a potem pójdę na sofę.
Hili: Co mówiłeś?
Yesterday was Gusiversary: four years to the day when the young cat (estimated at 10 months old) was brought home from the vet after his frostbitten ears had been trimmed. His staff and he celebrated the day with porkchops and wine (as did I). Here’s Gus at the celebration, eyes fixed on the chop.

And a video of him playing with his food before eating it (apparently he always does this):

A tweet from Grania, showing once again that medieval artists couldn’t draw cats:

A lovely cat aphorism:

Periscope up!

This cat likes water instead of snow:

I’m always puzzled about how cats can find balls under cups:

Okay, I hope you understand the next two tweets:

From Matthew, a greedy moggie:

A spiritual moggie:

Also from Matthew, showing that raccoons’ status as Honorary Cats™ goes only so far (watch the video):

Finally, Matthew has crabs:



  1. rickflick
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    The 1980 US gold in hockey was probably the most exciting sports event I’ve ever seen.

    • George
      Posted February 22, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      But neither you nor Jerry watched it live. The game was played at 5pm Eastern Time. ABC showed it on tape delay at 8pm.

      Many people call it the Gold Medal game. Iw was not. The hockr tournament was not an elimination tournament. The medals were awarded based on the overall standings. If the USA lost to Finland two days later, the USSR would have won the gold and (depending on the score), the US might have not gotten any medal at all.

      • rickflick
        Posted February 22, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        I may have to change my opinion. 😎

  2. Dominic
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    “Matthew has crabs”?????!!!

    He’s on strike…

    • Posted February 22, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Not from Twitter, apparently! But it’s odious that they’re trying to cut University pensions so severely. I’d be striking too!

  3. David Harper
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Apropos National Sticky Buns Day, I should point out that the finest Chelsea buns in the known universe are made by Fitzbillies, the legendary Cambridge bakery/cafe. If you ever find yourself in Cambridge (the original one), be sure to call in at Fitzbillies and treat yourself to a Chelsea bun.

    • Posted February 22, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      I have visited Fitzbillies on a very short visit to Cambridge, but I can’t remember if I had a sticky bun.

  4. glen1davidson
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    On February 21, 1632, Galileo’s heliocentric book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, was published. He got in trouble with the Church for that, but of course it had absolutely nothing to do with religion—just ask Ronald Numbers.

    The good thing is that he wrote his Two New Sciences under house arrest, which was probably rather more important to physics than any book on heliocentrism was.

    Not to make a virtue of necessity, or of persecution in this case. But Kepler was the one who made a coherent model of heliocentrism, and Newton would work out the physics of heliocentrism–building in part off of Galileo’s work on gravity, velocity, kinematics, etc.

    To be sure, he published Two New Sciences in Holland to avoid censorship.

    Glen Davidson

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I guess we all know who won the gold in hockey last night. Sorry about that Canada. Gus looks marvelous.

    • Dale Franzwa
      Posted February 23, 2018 at 12:03 am | Permalink

      Yep. A second miracle on ice last night. Congrats to the US Women’s Hockey Team for beating Canada in a lengthy overtime to take the gold. I watched it on TV. What a game!

  6. Lurker111
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    That kitty who can find the marble under the cups–take him (her?) with you the next time you confront a 3-card monte player. 🙂

    • busterggi
      Posted February 22, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Cats see into the multiverse, plastic cups are no problem.

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    That first republican convention in Pittsburg was just a warm up for the most important one in Chicago, Illinois in 1860. After the favorites did not make it on the first ballots it was Lincoln who surprisingly came to the top. Had the convention been in an eastern state it is likely that Lincoln would not have been the nomination winner. Anyway, this is the convention that Chicago should remember, the one that saved the country.

    • Historian
      Posted February 22, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      The first Republican convention in 1856 was in Philadelphia.

      • Historian
        Posted February 22, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Further research reveals that there was some sort of Republican convention on February 22, 1856 in Pittsburgh. But, the first convention to nominate a presidential candidate was in Philadelphia from June 17th to 19th, 1856.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted February 22, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

          Yes, to tell you the truth, I did not even look. The post said Pittsburgh so I just went with that. But that second one in Chicago was the big one.

  8. Posted February 22, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    To me the cat seems to be following the hidden ball as it is being moved around.

    Why do the crabs congregate to molt? My guess is safety in numbers since they would overwhelm the local predators.

    • Posted February 22, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      You can hear the ball clanking around inside the cup. This plays directly into one of cats’ strengths.

  9. samitchell79
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    National Sticky Bun Day was yesterday.

    • rickflick
      Posted February 22, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      No wonder mine was stale. 😎

  10. David Duncan
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    “I’m always puzzled about how cats can find balls under cups”

    Perhaps they can hear the ball rattling as the cups are moved.

  11. BJ
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I watched the entire Miracle On Ice game (again) about three weeks ago, in preparation for the Winter Olympics. When you watch it, you’re reminded that Jim Craig was the real hero of that game. It was not as if the US magically outplayed the Soviets. The Soviets absolutely crushed the Americans, but Jim Craig kept them in it. The game’s result was a combination of nigh-unbelievable goaltending on one side, and surprisingly poor goaltending on the other.

    I honestly feel bad for the Soviets when I watch that game.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted February 22, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Sorry for the Russians. We actually use to play only amateurs back in those days. Last night the America women won. And they almost did not play this year because they were fighting for equal money with the men.

  12. Posted February 22, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    In defense of Gus, I don’t think he’s playing with his food. I have noticed that many cats automatically take found bits of food elsewhere to eat it. Presumably this is to remove it from the place other creatures may know about. To eat in peace, in other words. Interestingly, they don’t usually do this with food placed in their bowls.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 22, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Kitties brought up in litters do quite often remove food from the bowl to eat elsewhere. Or we can play bowl tennis! Video:

  13. peter
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Can the cat hear the ball or marble rolling under the cups? Then reinforcement (nice tidbit if right choice) easly makes the cat understand the task.

    • Don Mackay
      Posted February 23, 2018 at 2:55 am | Permalink

      It seems to me the cat is visually tracking the movements of the hat covering the food item; watch its head. No doubt the ears are playing a part also.

  14. Roger
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Have we ruled out possible translucency of the cups? I’m not 100% sure if I’m convinced they aren’t translucent haha.

    • Roger
      Posted February 22, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Plus I’m not 100% sure if some selective editing has been applied. For all we know the cat had 1,000,000 tries!

      • Roger
        Posted February 22, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        Has, hasn’t. Same difference I guess lol.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 22, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      They aren’t translucent cups & don’t need to be. David @ comment 10 & Peter @ comment 13 have it to rights: Sound!

      The domestic kitty comes from wildcat Near East wild relatives – with ears tuned to the rustle of little rodent feet in the dark. A ball rattling under a plastic cup is a walk in the park.

      • Roger
        Posted February 23, 2018 at 12:29 am | Permalink

        Okay but I’m not convinced there aren’t other factors involved like cut edits and translucence. By the way while I was watching some youtube videos one commenter somehow managed to make a flatulence joke out of it. Thank you youtube commenters lol. /s

  15. Posted February 22, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    The “Hadrian” comment by Emo is referring to the Rocky movies. Sly Stallone’s character, Rocky, marries a woman named Adrian. He commonly says, “Hey Adrian”. Since these are ancient boxing gloves, and “Hadrian” looks like a shortening of “hey Adrian”. Pretty creative and funny joke, though it almost writes itself… haha.

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