Wednesday: Hili dialogue

Good day, mates: it’s April 11, 2018, otherwise known as National Cheese Fondue Day (I’d rather have raclette, but both are Cultural Appropriations.) It’s also International Louie Louie Day, celebrating the 1963 hit by the Kingsmen that was actually written by Richard Berry, born on April 11, 1935.  I’ll never forget where I first heard that song. I was in junior high school in Germany, an Army brat, and a friend and I had hiked to another Army base for fun. There, in the cafeteria, I first heard “Louie Louie”. It wasn’t until years later that I found out the words weren’t obscene.

According to Wikipedia:

In addition to new versions appearing regularly on YouTube and elsewhere, other major examples of the song’s legacy include the unsuccessful attempt in 1985 to make it the state song of Washington, the celebration of International Louie Louie Day every year on April 11, the annual Louie Louie Parade in Philadelphia from 1985 to 1989, the LouieFest in Tacoma from 2003 to 2012, and the ongoing annual Louie Louie Parade and Festival in Peoria.

It was a thin day in history. On this day in 1689, William (III) and Mary (II) were crowned as co-rulers of Great Britain, and of course they established my eponymous alma mater four years later. On April 11, 1727, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion was premiered at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. In 1909, the city of Tel Aviv was founded, and in 1945, it was on April 11 that American forces liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald. Here’s a short video of the liberation, with some grim scenes of the dead:

On April 11, 1951, the Stone of Scone (above which Scottish kings were crowned) was recovered in a Scottish Abbey after it had been stolen the year before from Westminster Abbey. Queen Elizabeth (II) was crowned over it, but it was, after recovery returned to Scotland, where it belongs, in 1996. Finally, on this day in 1976, the Apple I computer was created.  63 of them remain, but only 6 in working condition. And they’re worth a pile!  The one below, according to Mashable, was auctioned for $355,500 just last year:

Notables born on this day were few; they include Leo Rosten (1908), Viola Liuzzo (1925), Ethel Kennedy (1928), zoologist John Krebs (1945), and the “silent twins” June and Jennifer Gibbons. Their story is extremely bizarre, as they would speak only to each other (in speeded up English) until at last one of them died at 30. I’ve put an hour-long documentary, which is fascinating, below:

Notables who died on April 11 include John O’Hara (1970), Dolores del Río (1983), Enver Hoxha (1985), Primo Levi (1987), Kurt Vonnegut (2007), and Jonathan Winters (2013). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is frenetically editing Listy:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn,

A: Do you have a moment?
Hili: No, I’m very busy now.
In Polish:
Ja: Masz wolną chwilę?
Hili: Nie, jestem teraz bardzo zajęta.

A tweet from Matthew showing the world’s most awesome swimming trunks. (I found that can get a similar pair here; and, Ceiling Cat help me, I did!)

Illusory pavement: it appears bumpy but actually is flat!

You call that an appendage? Now here’s an appendage!:

From Matthew, who notes, “This tweet from the Museum of English Rural Life went viral.”

I despise rhubarb, but it does make noise when it grows (video and audio below):

Yes, you’ll want to hear it growing, so here you go:

From Grania, the new New Yorker, sporting its very first musical cover (and I bet the notes are from real songs):

More evidence for my theory, which is mine, that ancient painters simply couldn’t paint cats, and just drew human faces on distorted cat bodies:

From reader Barry: This is indeed a very creepy cat!



  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Percy Julian, chemist, born today.

    Interesting story, see the NOVA show about him.

  2. bbenzon
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    About the musical notation on the NYer cover. If you click through from the link on the tweet you’ll find this: “To achieve that goal, he enlisted the help of Fergus McIntosh, a fact checker at the magazine and a veteran chorister. Together, the duo struck upon a repertoire that includes Vivaldi’s “Spring”; Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring”; Beethoven’s “Spring Sonata”; the folk song “One Morning in Spring”; and birdsong from the American robin, which tends to appear in springtime after local migration. Once the notation was fine-tuned, the scores were played by various friends of the magazine, including Julia Rothchild on the violin, Peter Kolkay on the bassoon, and McIntosh himself, on vocals.”

    • Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Nifty – this is the sort of place where I wish I was more musical. I can read the notes, and see propositionally what the pattern roughly is. But I cannot for the life of me *hear it*, as musicians seem to.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    “Louie, Louie” — the lyrics of which J. Edgar Hoover spent time trying to decipher, when he wasn’t busy looking under the bed for Commies and forging disgusting anonymous letters to civil-rights leaders.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Notables who died on April 11 include … Kurt Vonnegut

    And so it goes.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Your story about hearing Louie Louie for the first time in the cafeteria makes me think back. At many military installations the DOD kids hung out at the cafeteria because there were not many places for them to go and it was a small taste of home. The Exchange has come a long way since those days but the cafeteria was still a good place to go.

  6. Posted April 11, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Do not eat the leaves!

    I never used to like Rhubarb, but I don’t mind it now.

  7. Posted April 11, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    #NationalPetDay in UK…

  8. Christopher
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    I love raclette! Much better than fondue. And I, too, have appropriated it, but from another appropriator. I learned about it from Belgians, and of course I use a raclette party grill, not the real thing, and I’ve branched out from the usual sausage (I use tofurkey vegetarian sausage) and potatoes to use lots of different veg, and use a multitude of cheeses, so I’m a right bastard! A fat, happy, appropriation bastard!

  9. Acolyte of Sagan
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    It’s not just the moggies. Medieval artists had trouble painting lots of different animals. I think that a lot of the problem was that they couldn’t do perspective at all well, so everything looked flat. On top of this, the artists tended to anthropomorphise the poor beasties.
    Mind you, their human portraiture wasn’t exactly renowned for its photographic qualities either.

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