Monday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

by Grania

Good morning, and welcome to a new week.

On April 16, 2012, the Pulitzer Prize winners were announced, and it was the first time since 1977 that no book won the Fiction Prize. It’s a subtle way of telling everyone who produced a book that year that they sucked. The New Yorker published a piece by one of the jurors which entirely fails to shed any light on what really happened in spite of being subtitled “What really happened this year“.

The earliest recorded history for today appears to be the Battle of Megiddo, although there is apparently some disagreement whether “the 21st day of the first month of the third season, of Year 23 of the reign of Thutmose III” translates to 1457 BC, 1482 BC or 1479 BC. Whichever it was, Thutmose III of Egypt fought the King of Kadesh leading a coalition of Canaanite states which culminated in an Egyptian victory at the city-fortress Megiddo after a seven-month siege.

Over in Poland, our friend Hili is having a religious moment.

A: Hili, you caught a mouse again.
Hili: I knew that god would provide.

In Polish:

Ja: Hili, znów złapałaś mysz?
Hili: Wiedziałam, że bóg mnie zaopatrzy.

From the other Polish felid of note:

Leon: Did you see that? Hare!

In Polish: Widziałaś? Zając!

On Twitter today:

I remember heading out into the countryside at night to see Halley’s Comet in 1986. What I saw was not as spectacular as this, but of course no photograph or sighting that year was as good as the 1910 visit. I’m unlikely to be around for 2061 so I guess that was as good as it was going to get.

Keeping on the astronomical theme, here’s a piece of the moon and Mars at the same palm.

Finally, an historical newspaper front page, for yesterday was the anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln.


  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted April 16, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Pretty sure it was April 14, 1865, the date Lincoln was shot. He did not die until the following morning.

    Nice catch Hili. Do not think g*d had anything to do with it.

    • Posted April 16, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      The paper is for the 15th! 🙂 or rather 😦

  2. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted April 16, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Well, I read that article “What really happened this year” in the New Yorker, on the Pulitzer non-Prize. And I quite agree, though it goes on at great and abstruse (/arcane /esoteric) length, it totally fails to shed any light at all on the subject.

    It is, in short, a typical New Yorker article.

    It also, I should be ashamed to say but defiantly aren’t, reinforced my prejudice that I’d rather read an entertaining well-written story than Great Literature, any day.


    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 16, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      #7 below was meant in response to your comment.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 16, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      As to your preference for an entertaining story over haute literature, you might find camaraderie in the famous (some would say “infamous”) essay by B.R. Myers, “A Reader’s Manifesto.

  3. Hempenstein
    Posted April 16, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Re. Thutmose, whose name I presume is known only from hieroglyphics, how do we know that this is a reasonable transliteration? What’s the basis of any of that?

    • Posted April 16, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Rosetta stone?

      • Posted April 16, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        From Wikipedia article on Rosetta Stone, how “Thutmose” was transliterated :

        On the basis of this and the foreign names on the Rosetta Stone, he [William Banks] quickly constructed an alphabet of phonetic hieroglyphic characters, which appears in his famous 1822 “Lettre à M. Dacier” sent to Bon-Joseph Dacier, secretary of the Paris Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and immediately published by the Académie.[K] In the postscript Champollion notes that similar phonetic characters seemed to occur in both Greek and Egyptian names, a hypothesis confirmed in 1823, when he identified the names of pharaohs Ramesses and Thutmose written in cartouches at Abu Simbel.

        • Hempenstein
          Posted April 16, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink


    • glen1davidson
      Posted April 16, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Coptic was still spoken in Egypt at the time of Champollion, notably in the Coptic church. It was still the Egyptian language, if having changed somewhat over time, and Champollion followed the assumptions of earlier scholars that Coptic was a version of the earlier Egyptian language.

      So with the discovery of the Rosetta Stone trilingual, they soon learned how to translate the Demotic script of Egyptian, then they (Champollion gets the main credit, but wasn’t the only one responsible) worked on hieroglyphics. Hieroglyphics are in some cases phonetic, but mostly syllabic. The point, though, is that they knew how to pronounce, and thus to transliterate, some of the words already because of the Coptic language, and they could figure out how the syllables symbolized by the hieroglyphs sounded.

      IOW, working from Coptic and figuring out how to read the hieroglyphs, you can get what sounds the hieroglyphs symbolize. No doubt that doesn’t work for every hieroglyph, but should work well enough for most of them.

      Glen Davidson

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 16, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I agree with you and Grania that The New Yorker article offers scant insight into why the 18 voting members of the Pulitzer board decided not to award a prize for fiction in 2012. But I think Mr. Cunningham’s piece is an excellent explication of how the three-member jury he was on went about selecting the three finalists (though he seems a bit too taken with aureate landscape descriptions from the various contenders). There’s also a Part 2 to the piece, in which Cunningham holds forth further on his individual standard for judging a novel Pulitzer-worthy.

    (Also, ii, “I … aren’t”? 🙂 )

  5. glen1davidson
    Posted April 16, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Black meteorite is from Mars. Basalt, I’m guessing, based on the fact that Mars is mostly basaltic.

    Glen Davidson

  6. Posted April 16, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Leon’s pose reminded me of a cheetah standing on a rock and surveying the savanna.

  7. Posted April 16, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    “Megiddo” – isn’t that where the battle of “Armageddon” gets its name in Revelation?

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted April 16, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it is. There have been quite a few Battles of Megiddo through histoty because of its location, and it’s where the Final Battle will be held.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 19, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Over the millennium I believe there was due to be an international conference in modern Meggido of some sort on themes of “Armageddon of various sorts”, including some of scientific ways of the world ending ; SF and other literatures ways of treating the question ; and of course, the political threats of extinction.
      Needless to say, the conference was abandoned at fairly short notice due to regional political unrest.

  8. Andrea Kenner
    Posted April 16, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    I have always loved this musical tribute to Halley’s Comet.

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