Friday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Good morning on Friday, February 23, 2018: National Chili Day and National Banana Bread Day. It’s also the Christian Feast day of Serenus the Gardener (Do Christians really feast on feast days? If so, I want in!) And, according to reader Chris, it’s National Drink Wine with Your Cat Week (see the link for cat-safe wine). Sadly, I have no kitty to drink with. It is sad.

The good news is that the world’s oldest wild bird, Wisdom, has hatched another chick! She is a 67 year old Laysan Albatross, and her age is undisputed.  Since females of the species raise at most one chick per year, Wisdom is the proud mother of between 30 and 36 chicks. All else pales before this awesome bird!

On this day in history, the Byzantine emperor Justinian I ordered the building of the Hagia Sophia, which at that time was an Orthodox Christian church, later repurposed as a mosque. The Great Secularist Kemal Atatürk converted it into a museum, but for the last few years, as Turkey grows more religious, Muslims have been holding prayers there.  On February 23, 1886, Charles Martin Hall produced, with the collaboration of his sister Julia Brainerd Hall, the first sample of man-made aluminum.  On this day in 1903, Cuba leased Guantánamo Bay to the U.S.—”in perpetuity”. Big mistake! It’s time to close our prison there, and perhaps the base as well.  On this day in 1927, Werner Heisenberg wrote to Wolfgang Pauli describing, for the first time, his new “uncertainty principle.” Exactly 14 years later, Glenn Seaborg first produced and isolated plutonium.

It was on this day in 1945, during the Battle of Iwo Jima in the Pacific, that a group of U.S. Marines and a Navy corpsman raised the American flag on top of Mount Suribachi. It is, in America, the most famous photograph of the war, and has been memorialized with a famous statue in Arlington, Virginia, right outside Washington, D.C. The photograph, which was actually of a second flag-raising, was taken by Joe Rosenthal.

Here’s the photo:

Here’s Mount Suribachi:

And a commemorative stamp from back in the 3¢ postage days:

A banner day in medicine: on February 23, 1954, Dr. Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine was first given to a large group of children—in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Salk lived and worked. Finally, on this day in 1974, the Symbionese Liberation Army demanded $4 million dollars for the release of the kidnap victim Patty Hearst. They later demanded $400 million, and some money was paid, but she wasn’t released.

Notables born on this day include Samuel Pepys (1633), W. E. B. Du Bois (1868), William L. Shirer (1904), Peter Fonda (1940), Rebecca Goldstein (1950), and S. E. Cupp (1979). Those who went to the Big Fjords on this day include painter Joshua Reynolds (1792), John Keats (1821), John Quincy Adams (1848), Carl Friedrich Gauss (1855), Nazi “martyr” Horst Wessel (1930; you can discover a lot of unsavory stuff on the Internet by trying to hear the Host Wessel Lied on YouTube), Nellie Melba (1931), and Stan Laurel (1965).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has gone out, and you know what that means. But isn’t the vicious predator cute?

A: What are you looking at?
Hili: Dinner.
In Polish:
Ja: Na co patrzysz?
Hili: Na obiad.

Leon has taken his staff hiking, and Elzbieta has four pictures:

Leon: Let’s go. I planned an interesting hike.


Leon takes a break:

For your reading pleasure this Friday, I recommend having a look at Heather Hastie’s post “Are guns in schools a good idea?” (it comes with bonus tweets not seen here). I bet you can guess her answer.

From Matthew, a tweet about a real cat lover:

Don Marquis’s archie & mehitabel poems and stories are fantastic. Matthew and I love them, but I doubt that more than 1% of the readers even know of these wonderful tales and drawings. A tweet by writer Tom Holland, who also admires them:

Archie was a cockroach, Mehitabel an alley cat. Archie typed the poems and stories, but had to use all small letters as he was too light to press down the shift key. Do yourself a big favor and read some of this work, wonderfully illustrated by Don Herriman (creator of Krazy Kat):

Another tw**t from Matthew:

From Grania; a woman finding solace in bats (watch the video):

A cat on the catwalk:

. . . a cat takes liberties:

. . . and a bad pun:



  1. chris
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    i haven’t read any archie and mehitabel in years but thanks to your reminder i’ve pulled out my “the best of don marquis”

    • Dale Franzwa
      Posted February 23, 2018 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

      Back when I was still a kid (late 1930s – early 1940s), Archy and Mehitabel had their own radio show which I loved to listen to. Archy would narrate Mahitabel’s latest adventure, usually a tortured love story with no happy ending (at least that’s how I remember them). Nice pre-bedtime ritual.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    As we look back from the future, Iwo Jima was one of those battles that should not have been fought and would have much better been bypassed.

    • David Coxill
      Posted February 23, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Well you could say that about the 2 prong attack on Japan used in the Pacific .
      The Marines taking one Island after another ,and Gen McArthur slogging up through the south Pacific and the Philippines .
      Should have landed in China ,well according to this armchair general.

  3. David Duncan
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    “On February 23, 1886, Charles Martin Hall produced, with the collaboration of his sister Julia Brainerd Hall, the first sample of man-made aluminum.”

    Aluminium was made earlier than this, but the Halls found a cheap way to do it, reducing the cost by 200 times.

    • Richard Bond
      Posted February 23, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      In Napoleon’s time, aluminium was used for coins, because it was (then) rare.

  4. busterggi
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Applause for Sarah, I haven’t rescued a bat in over a decade – white-nose disease has exreminated them from my area. I miss watching them fly from street lamp to street lamp as they used to do.

  5. rickflick
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    That is a great Simpsons clip. One thing about the Simpsons – the writers and animators seem to be having so much fun!

  6. Posted February 23, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    At the Hearst “Castle” in California there is a set of dishes made of aluminum from the pre-Hall process days that were worth their weight in gold when they were made (Al was that hard to make). The Hall process turned them into an historical curiosity.

  7. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Brilliant Simpsons couch gag. It reminded me of the jaw-dropping ‘Cuphead’, an insanely difficult shooter for the Xbox One and PC from last year.

    It’s pretty basic to play, but it’s wrapped up in one of the most astonishing stylistic packages in gaming history. It is incredible to look at in motion:

    Even if you have no interest at all in games have a gander. It’s a work of art.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted February 23, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Apologies for the embedding.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted February 23, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      I don’t know anything about video games, but that clip is so wild that I must investigate.

  8. mordacious1
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    S. E. Cupp is a notable person? Who knew?

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted February 23, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      She’s notable only for being completely horrendous in every way.

  9. Mobius
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    FYI, that flag was the second American flag raised by the Marines on Mt. Suribachi. The first was smaller, and there were no photographers present to document it.

    @2 Randall Schenck – While looked at in hindsight bypassing Iwo Jima may have been a better idea, the decision to invade the island was made with a good reason. An emergency landing field was needed for damaged B29’s returning to Guam after raiding Japan. Yes, a lot of Marines lost their lives in taking the island, but the lives of a lot of airmen were saved by having that airfield available.

    • Diane G.
      Posted February 24, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Jerry did mention that it was the second flag.

      Interesting info about the rationale for the invasion.

  10. Posted February 23, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    For cat lovers:

  11. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted February 23, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I suspect more Americans have seen Haga Sophia in the James Bond film “From Russia With Love” than anywhere else. Yes, they filmed in the real place.


    Re: (Do Christians really feast on feast days? If so, I want in!)

    Alas, “feast” is a synonym for festival,and Oxford Living Dictionary gives “A day dedicated to a particular saint” as the 2nd definition, giving the origin as “from Old French feste (noun), fester (verb), from Latin festa, neuter plural of festus ‘joyous’.”
    So, not necessarily any feasting on a feast day.

    However, I would argue that if the movement to canonize G.K. Chesterton succeeds, then, by gum, folks should feast on his feast day. The dude was even more corpulent that Thomas Aquinas (who is depicted in some iconography as slenderer than he actually was). Unless, of course, the Vatican also makes him a patron saint of the overweight, in which case it will have to be a day of fasting instead.
    Alas, among its multitude of failings, the Vatican will never make St. Catherine of Sienna the patron saint of anorexics, since it is somehow supposed to be a sign of sanctity in her.
    If I were pope, I would say that was mistaken, declare her the patron saint of anorexics, order it to be a day of eating steak and red wine, invite Jerry on the day to the Vatican, and let him debate any theologian of his choice on free will.

    (Since I am not Roman Catholic and have been on the staff of Camp Quest for several years, this is somewhat unlikely to occur.)

    Yes, if this guy is canonized, we should really feast on his feast day.

  12. David Coxill
    Posted February 24, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    About the cat drinking from the tank ,doesn’t seem a healthy thing for it to do .

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