Monday: Hili dialogue

This is the way Grania (and I) feel this morning (she found the tweet):

Yes, it’s Monday again, at least in America: March 5, 2018: National Cheez Doodle Day, celebrating a popular comestible made of cheese-flavored styrofoam. In Cornwall it’s St. Piran’s Day (the patron saint of tin miners), celebrated with parades, music, and poetry.

On March 5, 1616, Copernicus’s book On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres was added to the Vatican’s Index of Forbidden Books—73 years after it was first published. On this day in 1770, the Boston Massacre (tame by today’s standards), killed five Americans including the black/Indian man Crispus Attucks: the first American killed in the Revolutionary War. On March 5, 1836, Samuel Colt patented the first mass-produced revolver, a .34 caliber gun.  36 years later, George Westinghouse patented the air brake, saving many lives of brakemen.  On this day in 1933, Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed a “bank holiday”, closing all the banks and freezing financial transactions. Although the Great Depression persisted, this helped mitigate it. On that very same day, Hitler’s Nazi Party got 43.9% of the votes in Germany in the last free election in a unified Germany until 1990. Although the Nazis didn’t get a majority, they had enough strength, with the help of other socialist parties, to pass an “Enabling Act,” making  Hitler the dictator. On this day in 1946, Churchill first used the phrase “Iron Curtain”, in a speech in Missouri, referring to the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.  On this day in 1953, Stalin died of a cerebral hemorrhage in his dacha outside Moscow. And exactly ten years later, three country music stars, including Patsy Cline, died in a plane crash in Tennessee.

Notables born on March 5 include cartographer Gerardus Mercator (1512), Rosa Luxemberg (1871), Louis Kahn (1901), Rex Harrison (1908), Daniel Kahneman (1934), Penn Jillette (1955), Andy Gibb (1958, died in 1988), Eva Mendes (1974), and Joshua Coyne (1993; I don’t know who he is, but I like the name). Those who expired on this day include Crispus Attucks (1770; see above), Edgar Lee Masters (1950), Joseph Stalin (1953; see above), Patsy Cline (1963; see above), Yip Harburg (1981), John Belushi (1982), and Hugo Chavéz and creationist “Galloping” Duane Gish ( both 2013).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is angling for real noms:

Hili: Isn’t eating bread harmful to you?
A: No, why?
Hili: It would be harmful to me.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy jedzenie chleba ci nie szkodzi?
Ja: Nie, dlaczego?
Hili: Mnie by szkodziło.


From Matthew who claims he checked this optical illusion with a ruler:

Dueling nuns! (The story, here, seems a bit doubtful.)

A cat makes a big mistake (“One small step for cat. . . “):

. . . but a fox appropriates a snow den.

Somebody tell me why this snipe is bobbing as it walks:

Dung-eating flies!

More dung-eating flies:

Matthew comments, “This is one sexy bird!” And so it is: look at those colors and patterns! (The jack snipe is Lymnocryptes minimus.)

I never tire of looking at murmurations of starlings, and this one is terrific. Look how fast they descend!

Chuck Yeager reminisces about how he bailed out on this day (remember, he’s 95 years old):

This is Ollie, Matthew’s cat who once clawed my nose open. Matthew claims that you can hear Ollie making weird noises here, but I don’t hear jack:

When Harry met Ollie:




  1. Serendipitydawg
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Who have thunk that Penn Jillette is only a few days older than me… I think he has an aging portrait secreted in his attic.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    On this day in 1933, Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed a “bank holiday”, closing all the banks and freezing financial transactions.

    FDR’s first full day in office.

    IIRC, he didn’t spend it bitch-tweeting about the crowd size at his inauguration.

  3. George
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Joshua Coyne, an American musician and composer:

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 5, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      One of Jerry’s distant Irish relations, obvs.

      • claudia baker
        Posted March 5, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink


  4. Serendipitydawg
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I found Ollie’s quiet breathing tame compared with the sound of a chainsaw starting that constitutes George’s super-relaxed sleep noises; I have occasionally been forced to turn up the volume on the TV when he is occupying the spot next to me on the sofa.

    • Posted March 5, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      You see, Jerry – there IS sound on the video! – MC

      • Serendipitydawg
        Posted March 5, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        It is somewhat quiet! George does sleep quietly, mostly, but when he snores…

  5. Posted March 5, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Social Democrats, of course, voted against the Enabling Act of 1933. There were no “other socialist parties” supporting Hitler:

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted March 5, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Yes. Hitler put the word “Socialist” into the party name because it polled well. They were not a socialist party – they were always fascists. Besides the Social Democrats, there were other socialists, but they called themselves communists, along with the more extreme communists. Communists were among the first rounded up by Hitler once he was in power.

      Having Socialist in the name of the Nazi party is something US conservatives have got their jollies off over ever since. I’ve never heard of Europeans making the claim that the Nazis were socialists. They probably have a better general awareness of the political history of the time?

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    And after the Boston Massacre who was the attorney for the British, not exactly a popular job, 2nd Pres. of the U.S. John Adams.

  7. Jake Sevins
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    In the Boston Massacre: angry mob is hitting British soldiers with clubs, throwing rocks and snowballs, and calling them names. The soldiers fire into the crowd, killing 5 people. Two soldiers are convicted of manslaughter.

    Fast forward 247 years: Daniel Shaver is crawling on floor in a hotel hallway, begging for his life, and is shot dead by a police officer who has “You’re F**ked” inscribed on his weapon. The officer is acquitted.


  8. busterggi
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Snipe has some serious good music in his/her head.

    Meanwhile I have the jingle for Old London Cheez Doodles in my head, damn 50+ year old jingles!

  9. Christopher
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    To hell with Mondays, that’s how I feel every day I am forced to go to work or deal with people.

  10. Heather Hastie
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    It’s Tuesday in NZ. I can confirm things get better once Monday is over.

    • Posted March 5, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Here in Finland it’s 6:30 pm on Monday. I’ve just watched one of the last episodes of Brokenwood Mysteries. I hope they’ll make more.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted March 5, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Afaik, they’re going to. Glad you like it!

  11. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Back in the day, many families put young daughters into convents for fairly secular reasons, so I don’t find the story of duelling nuns that hard to believe.

    More on the case here:

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 12:52 am | Permalink

      If the nuns had been supplied with something useful like, say, AR-15’s, and properly trained to use them, then the duel wouldn’t have turned out so… inconclusively, would it?


  12. Posted March 5, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    All those who claim that there was no religion involved in the Galileo stuff should be asked why, if that’s the case, did the church go about banning books from scientific authors?

  13. Diane G.
    Posted March 6, 2018 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Regarding one of our similar birds, the American Woodcock, no one hypothesis has been settled on as explanation for the rocking/bobbing walk, but one of the often cited theories is that the vibrations bring worms closer to the surface. (Others point out that they bob on hard surfaces, too–roads & such; worm-theory supporters suggest that that’s just because the bobbing, once adopted due to increased fitness, simply carries over to substrates that are inappropriate for it.)

    Bernd Heinrich apparently has another opinion, one I can’t access:

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