Wednesday: Hili dialogue

It’s Wednesday, August 22 (i.e., Hump Day), and, unless Honey and her swain show up when I go to the pond shortly, it’s the First Duckless Day of Summer. It’s also National Pecan Torte Day (meh) and National Eat a Peach Day, which I’d like to think refers to one of my favorite albums (though it doesn’t):

A fricking masterpiece

On this day in 1639, the city of Madras (now called Chennia) was founded by the British East India company on land bought from local rulers.  On May 22, 1780, Captain Cook’s ship HMS Resolution returned to England, but sans Cook, who had been killed in Hawaii. Here’s the route of his three big voyages; the last is in blue, with the dashed part the route back after Cook’s death:

(From Wikipedia): The routes of Captain James Cook’s voyages. The first voyage is shown in red, second voyage in green, and third voyage in blue. The route of Cook’s crew following his death is shown as a dashed blue line.

On this day in 1902, Teddy Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to publicly appear in an automobile. Exactly twenty years later, Irish Free State military commander Michael Collins was shot dead in an ambush. He was 31.

On August 22, 1941, the terrible Siege of Leningrad by the Nazis began. It lasted 872 days and produced about four million casualities, mostly Russian. It’s hard to underestimate the horrors that took place, including cannibalism of both living and dead citizens. Wikipedia notes this:

The two-and-a-half year siege caused the greatest destruction and the largest loss of life ever known in a modern city. On Hitler’s direct orders the Wehrmacht looted and then destroyed most of the imperial palaces, such as the Catherine Palace, Peterhof Palace, Ropsha, Strelna, Gatchina, and other historic landmarks located outside the city’s defensive perimeter, with many art collections transported to Germany. A number of factories, schools, hospitals and other civil infrastructure were destroyed by air raids and long range artillery bombardment.

The 872 days of the siege caused extreme famine in the Leningrad region through disruption of utilities, water, energy and food supplies. This resulted in the deaths of up to 1,500,000 soldiers and civilians and the evacuation of 1,400,000 more (mainly women and children), many of whom died during evacuation due to starvation and bombardment.

On this day in 1989, Nolan Ryan struck out Rickey Henderson, becoming the first major league baseball pitcher to hurl 5,000 strikeouts. He still holds the record as the only pitcher with more than that number, but his lifetime total is 5,714. On this day in 2004, versions of Munch’s “The Scream” and “Madonna” were stolen from a museum in Oslo, Norway; both were later recovered, but were somewhat damaged. Finally, on this day eleven years ago, the Texas Rangers defeated the Baltimore Orioles by a score of 30-3, the most runs scored by any team in the modern history of major league baseball. Here are the highlights of that lopsided game:

Notables born on August 22 include Claude Debussy (1862), cartoonist George Herriman (1880), Dorothy Parker (1893), Leni Riefenstahl (1902), Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908), Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. (1934), and Tori Amos (1963). Here’s one of Cartier-Bresson’s photographs; along with Diane Arbus, he’s my favorite “street photographer”:

Cartier-Bresson: “”Boys playing in Sevilla, 1933”.

Notables who died on this day include Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1806), Huey P. Newton (1989) and Colleen Dewhurst (1991).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili seemed to be feeling insecure (but was looking very cute). When I asked Malgorzata if Hili was feeling insecure, she responded, “No, I don’t think so. She obviously wants us humans to repeat it often so we don’t start to think above our station in life.”

Hili: How important are cats in the life of humans?
A: Extremely important.
In Polish:
Hili: Jak ważne są koty w życiu człowieka?
Ja: Są niezwykle ważne.

A tweet from Matthew. After looking at the thread, I still have no idea what he ate.

From reader Gethyn: This man’s story of sexual and physical abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church in Ireland can be found here. His testimony is emotional and powerful; do listen to it and see what the Catholic Church did.

Tweets from Grania. She calls this one the “worst idea ever” and indeed it is. Read the link to see why:

What religion would like you to do (n.b. to the Jesuit priest who harangued me in Kent, Connecticut):

Tom Jones and Aretha: who woulda thunk it? It’s GOOD!

This reminds me of poor bullied Phoebe the Duck, who found peace at last:

I bet you didn’t know this:

A great tweet sent by reader Jiten:

From Grania again: All I can say is “OMG”. The video is here.



  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    … National Eat a Peach Day, which I’d like to think refers to one of my favorite albums (though it doesn’t) …

    So “Prufrock”?

  2. Posted August 22, 2018 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    “to protest a right-wing rally” – to protest AGAINST a right-wing rally.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      “The short form works for me” – the short form works!?

  3. Jeannie Hess
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    About Micheal O’Brien, the man who was abused by Catholic clergy in an industrial school/care home. His story is horrifying.

    Wikipedia says “While O’Brien is still a Catholic, he rarely goes to church.”

    This is what I just cannot understand. I do not know how anyone can still be Catholic knowing all the abuse and all the covering up and all the enabling by the Catholic hierarchy, putting priests in new places where more victims were made.

    I am so revolted by these stories. How can people stay in that church?

    • kieran
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      “The Church” vs the parish, people see their local community as different from the church as a whole. So they go to funerals, weddings and etc. and not see the hypocrisy of staying in a institution that hides,lies and looks for indemnity for crimes and reneges on the deals it’s made.

  4. freiner
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the Tom Jones and Aretha. It is a delight!

    • Graham Head
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      I wish she had sung more of It’s Not Unusual. She sounded so good.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      And one of the most attractive outfits I’ve seen Aretha in.

      • freiner
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Ditto — she looks fantastic. I also sent the video to my wife and she wants me to get the sweater-belt thing TJ is wearing. Hmm. I doubt I’ll be able to find my old one. Or fit into it.

    • CJColucci
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      The people who picked Tom Jones’s early material for him did him no favors. He could really wail, and deserved better songs.

  5. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I see Cook faithfully went through Cook Strait (between North and South Island of New Zealand) on every one of his three voyages. In fact on Voyage 2 he went through it twice. What was he after, Frequent Sailor points?

    Cook Strait can also be, notoriously, the roughest bit of sea around the NZ coast.


    • Posted August 22, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Could it be that we know it is dangerous *because* he sailed it? 🙂

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Today’s also the 20th anniversary of the release of the Coen brothers’ classic The Big Lebowski, at least according to my local arthouse, which will be having a special anniversary screening tonight, complete with a pre-screening cocktail hour where they’ll be serving — what else? — “Caucasians.”

    I’m a big fan of cult movies, and cult books, and cult records (indeed, I tend to distrust anything that achieves more that cult popularity, at least in the US, since there’s no underestimating the tastes of the American public), though I’m not much of a “cultist” myself, so I’ll be attending sans cosplay outfit.

    Still, it’s a shame about the Chinaman peeing on The Dude’s rug; that rug really tied the room together.

    • darrelle
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      A big fan of cult movies? Then I take it you are a big fan of the awesomeness that is The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Well, maybe not quite that far down the cult rabbit-hole, darrelle, more like Repo Man (to name another cult hit from 1984).

        • darrelle
          Posted August 22, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

          But, it’s a masterpiece!

          I forced my kids to watch it when they were about 8. They loved it too. It shall not die!

        • CJColucci
          Posted August 22, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

          I’ll never forget Repo Man, because when generic products in black and white label cans came out, I always used to joke that one day we’d see the ultimate generic product, a can labelled: “FOOD.” Then, in one scene from the movie, people were eating “FOOD” out of black and white label cans.

          • Posted August 22, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

            No, the ultimate generic is “stuff”.

            You eat it, use it as soap, scrub the floors with it, seal windows …

        • Mark R.
          Posted August 22, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          I’m in the middle of Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate. There are a couple chapters where he writes about humans denying human nature by blaming society and other externalities for their bad behavior. I kept recalling that line by Duke after being shot trying to rob a liquor store: “Society made me who I am?” Then Otto set him straight before Duke died. “But it still hurts.” Gotta rewatch that movie.

      • mikeyc
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        Laugha whilea you can, monkey boy.

        • darrelle
          Posted August 22, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

          One of Lithgow’s best performances!

    • Merilee
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Just watched the first episode of a new TV series purportedly influenced by The Dude. It’s called Lodge 49 and I think it might turn out to be interesting. Stars Goldie Hawn’s son with Kurt Russell.

      • Mark R.
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Damn, I forgot to tape that series. I was interested in it too. Glad to hear someone liked it. Hopefully the first episode is on ‘On Demand’.

        • Merilee
          Posted August 22, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          We watched the first episode On Demand. Have taped the next two. Not sure where the series is heading, but the pilot was pretty good.

  7. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    ‘Cuddle a co-worker’? Ugh!

    That would be acutely, hideously embarrassing, even with the very occasional co-worker I would normally have liked to cuddle – but by mutual consent, in suitably romantic circumstances – NOT by organisational diktat.

    (In fact the ones I felt attracted to would be even more embarrassing than the ones I didn’t care for. I’d sooner be videotaped visiting a hooker.)

    That’s without even contemplating the potential for it to go hideously wrong or the yuckiness of their proffered group gropes.

    And these people claim to be some sort of experts in ‘team building’? Corporate stupidity knows no bounds.


    • darrelle
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      It’s analogous to alternative medicine, fitness woo, supplements woo, etc.

    • Posted August 22, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      My wonder was over how this can possibly go along with sexual harassment policies.

    • Taz
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Oh, come on – they do it in the support dog industry all the time!

  8. Merilee
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink


  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Lucky for the woman yacking on the phone in the back of the car she wasn’t wearing leopard print.

  10. ChrisS
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Joyeux anniversaire, Claude Debussy.

    As an indulgent ailurophile, Debussy’s lucky cats probably got to hear the preludes and etudes before the public did.

    • BJ
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      I can’t stop thinking about Debussy…

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        “Debussy” was the character Huntz Hall played in the old Bowery Boys/Dead-End Kids one-reelers.

        That was before your time — hell, it was two generations before my time — but I remember them from afternoon tv in the days before “after-school specials.”

  11. busterggi
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    “Today I ate some 609 million year old fossilised embryos. They were gritty.”

    My best guess is he got confused after eating soeme Grape Nuts.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      It must be the Ediacaran Weng’an Biota:

      “The embryo-like microfossils from the Ediacaran Weng’an Biota (ca. 609 million years old) are among the oldest plausible claims of animals in the fossil record.”

      If they are fossils, I have learned here that (macroscale) fossils should feel gritty (?) or at least sticky to the tongue due to the frequent pores.

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        More likely it is a joke. Or an embryo to one.

  12. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Aretha’s lookin’ very Nina Simone at the piano in that clip with Tom Jones.

    TJ did a way cool duet with Van the Man (backed by Jeff Beck on guitar!) of Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home to Me” here:

    • Merilee
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Way coool is right😻

  13. BJ
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Science needs to do extensive study of Tom Jones in the next forty or so years before he starts to deteriorate. Tom Jones’ biology (and whatever experimental baby blood treatments he has been using) surely holds the key to near-immortality.

    • David Coxill
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Laverbread and Leeks is wot does it.

  14. David Coxill
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Re the siege of Leningrad ,there is a theory that the Amber Room wot them nazis borrowed ,was on board the MV Wilhelm Gustloff which was sunk by a Soviet Sub in January 1945 ,with a great many civilian lives lost .
    “900 Days “by “Harrison E Salisbury ” is about the siege .

  15. jpetts
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink


  16. Posted October 12, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Those Antifa thugs are a G*d’s gift to Trump (speaking metaphorically, of course).

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