Saturday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s the last day of March: March 31st, 2018, and a Caturday. It’s also National Clam Day as well as Oysters on the Half Shell Day, and I’ll be enjoying these in Florida in a short while. It’s also World Backup Day, which refers to computers, of course. Make sure you’re backed up (I have a double backup), because some day your computer will crash for sure. Passover began yesterday evening, and ends today: enjoy your matzo and bitter herbs! And remember, Easter is tomorrow, which is also April Fool’s Day.

On this day in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was officially opened. On March 31, 1913, there was a famous concert of modernist music in Vienna, featuring the compositions of Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg, Alexander von Zemlinsky, and Anton von Webern. The music produced was incited disruption in and then violence by the audience, and the famous “Skandalkonzert” was cut short. Many of you won’t like what happened on this day in 1918, for it was then that Daylight Saving Time went into effect in the U.S. for the first time. On March 31, 1959, when I was 9, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, crossed from Tibet into India and was granted political asylum. And there he lives still with his Tibetan followers.  On this day in 1968, Lyndon Johnson gave a television speech about limiting the war in Vietnam. At the end, he announced he wasn’t going to run for President again, stunning most Americans. Here’s that announcement:

Finally, on this day in 1995, the Tejano singer Selena was murdered in Corpus Christi, Texas by the head of her fan club. The murderer, Yolanda Saldívar, will be eligible for parole in 2025.

Notables born on this day include René Descartes (1526), Andrew Marvell (1621), the great Johann Sebastian Bach (1685), Edward FitzGerland and Nikolai Gogol (both 1809), Ocatvio Paz (1914), Cesar Chavez (1927), Gordie Howe (1928), Barney Frank (1940), Al Gore and Rhea Perlman (both 1948; they’re 70 today), and my friend Jeff Tayler (1961). Those who expired on this day include John Donne (1631), Charlotte Brontë (1855),  J. P. Morgan (1913), Knute Rockne (1931), photographer Paul Strand (1976), Jesse Owens (1980), Selena (1995; see above), Bella Abzug (1998), and Frank Perdue (2005).

Here’s a wonderful Paul Strand photo, “Young boy” (1951):

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, the animal are conspiring and sleeping—on MY couch!

Cyrus: I’m thinking.
Hili: I’m knocking off for the day, I’ll go back to it tomorrow.
In Polish:
Cyrus: Myślę.
Hili: Ja już nie, wrócę do tego jutro.

And In Wloclawek, Leon is doing his best bunny impression, perking up his ears.

Leon: What? Haven’t you ever seen an Easter hare?

In Polish: “=No co,zajączka wielkanocnego nigdy nie widziałaś?”


From reader Barry, a video showing the way things should be:

From Matthew Cobb: a very precious book found in a hotel:

More on Jesus for tomorrow’s Easter celebration:

Matthew predicts pushback from the readers on this one: including color analysis of the hearts. Do your thing!

But Matthew persists. Here’s another illusion from the estimable Dr. Cobb:

The carving is amazing here:

These photographs will restore your faith in humanity. To see more of these fantastic pictures of Misao and the odd-eyed cat Fukumaru, go here. (I’ll be featuring some on today’s Caturday post.)

Remember the song “Her tears flowed like wine”, sung by Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep? (If not, watch it here.) That song included the line “She’s a real sad tomato.” Well, here’s a real sad avocado:

A prescient man:


From Grania: a smoking hare!

Okay biology mavens—what is this?

It’s Easter tomorrow, so start with this tweet and then peruse this thread to hear how Australia has coopted the Easter Bunny, changing it to the Easter Bilby (thanks to Matthew):

Finally, this video, going the rounds, was sent by reader Su. I think the cat screwed up by using the cosine rather than the cotangent. . .


  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Around the same time Johnson was giving that speech I would have been registering for the draft. How much different it might have been if he had, instead of simply getting out and walking away, he had gotten us out of Vietnam.

  2. Mike
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Those pictures of the old lady and the Cat are beautiful, any idea on the Sculptor of that amazing Statue.? Michaelangelo?

    • Mark R.
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Francesco Queirolo (1704–1762)

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      More than 200 years later than Michelangelo – it’s Francesco Queirolo [1704 to 1762]. The work is called Release from Deception or Disillusion or Il Disinganno ] & the conventional reading is its a fisherman being released from a net by an angel. A correct reading depends on understanding the patron of the work was a Mason [as in Freemason].

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      As outlined HERE

  3. Robert Saunders
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    The object on the post looks like a mature giant puffball to me. But this seems an odd time of year for it.

    • Posted March 31, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      That’s what it looks like to me. But that seems unlikely.

    • SRM
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      It’s a dead puffball that has survived the winter largely intact.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Nice tune by Ms. Bacall. As a singer, she wasn’t bad, but she had the greatest smokey contralto speaking voice ever. Hell, I understand she could even teach a fella to whistle.

  5. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    PITA would have been a good name! But the docking function is AWOL. FWIW, the scifi of David Gerrold that I know is eerie ‘biology’. (ROTFL with all these acronyms, am I lazy today?)

  6. Laurance
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    The fact that April Fool’s Day and Easter are on the same day this year, well, it’s just asking for snarky jokes. Yes, I know I’m supposed to respect religion and all that…but I’m just itching for mischief…

  7. Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    David Gerrold wrote the famous ST episode “The Trouble with Tribbles”. Here’s the moment all fans remember. Note the biology lesson delivered by Dr. McCoy.

  8. glen1davidson
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    And remember, Easter is tomorrow, which is also April Fool’s Day.

    If only they had listened when Jesus said “April fools!”

    One elaborate April 1 hoax that turned into a religion.

    Glen Davidson

  9. Posted March 31, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    David Gerrold’s predictions would have been impressive if they had been written a few decades earlier and not 1999. People were already working on all those things by that time.

  10. Posted March 31, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I suggest that the object placed on the fence post is a termite mound.

    After some slicing and dicing with the hearts in my desktop pita, I can confirm that the red colors in the hearts are the same. But there also is a bit of dithering that ‘pushes’ the illusion that the reds are a different color. The heart with thin blue lines going through it has some red and blue pixels blending together, and the heart with the thin green lines has some red and green pixels blending together.

  11. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    In Adelaide, our inestimable, 100-year old chocolate company, Haighs makes only chocolate Bilbies —- none of those nasty introduced rabbits that have ravaged the countryside. Haighs’ dark chocolate is very good, and I’ve got several such bilblies in my luggage as I’m en route to Japan, and they make good Aussie presents.

  12. XCellKen
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Guess who had tickets to Selena’s last ever concert in Houston, Texas in 1995, but chose not to go? But how was I to know she would be dead several weeks later ?

%d bloggers like this: