Saturday: Hili dialogue

It’s Caturday again: October 27, 2018 (the 300th day of the year) and National Potato Day. A world without spuds would be a much poorer world! It’s also World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, whatever that is.

On October 27, 1904, the first underground New York City Subway line opened; it was the IRT Ninth Avenue line and the fare was 5¢.  On this day in 1936, Mrs. Wallis Simpson got her divorce decree, which enabled her to marry King Edward VIII of England, in turn causing him to abdicate the throne on December 11. (He was head of the Church of England, which didn’t allow people to marry a divorced person if their spouse was still alive.) Here’s Edward’s abdication speech to his people:

On October 27, 1954, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. became the first black general in the United States Air Force. Exactly 13 years later (remember this?), Catholic Priest Philip Berrigan and three others poured blood on Selective Service records to protest the Vietnam War. They were all sentenced to six years in prison. You can read about Berrigan’s antiwar demonstrations here, and a photo of the blood-pouring is below:

On this day in 1997, we experienced the stock market “mini-crash”, with the Dow Jones average dropping 554.26 points to 7161.15.  Finally, exactly a year ago, Catalonia declared its independence from Spain. It didn’t work; Spain removed the entire government and imprisoned 7 Catalan ministers, while the President of Catalonia fled.

Notables born on this day include Isaac Singer (1811; the sewing machine guy, not the writer), Theodore Roosevelt (1858), Dylan Thomas (1914), Sylvia Plath (1932), and John Cleese (1939).  Those who died on October 27 include Squizzy Taylor (1927, shot by a fellow gangster) and Lou Reed (2013).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is asked to get back to work, but pretends not to understand.

A: Hili, end of siesta.
Hili: What? Is it already time for dinner?
In Polish:
Ja: Hili, koniec sjesty.
Hili: Co? Już pora na obiad?

Reader Nilou spotted an autobiography by a person with my name, and it’s not a happy one. Voilà: Devil’s Child, with a sad plot. Note: THIS ISN’T ME!

What’s amusing is the Amazon listing of which books were purchased by those who bought Devil’s Child:

A tweet from Reader Barry, showing The Way Things Should Be:

From Matthew; be sure to watch this video!:

I’m not sure that kids would really love these, and Matthew wouldn’t even consider buying one:

Yes, a cat ate a fish new to science (details here), but the cod icefish was rediscovered sixty years later:

Matthew adds to this tweet about an Iranian skeleton, “She had good teeth, too!”

This story is about the persistent (and false) rumor that Neil Armstrong converted to Islam soon after returning from the Moon:

Well, this theory (read the thread) seems a bit wonky to me. But who knows?

More from the thread:

Tweets from Grania who says of the first, “This guy is unwell.” That’s stating it mildly!

This thread is pretty funny; it’s about people who, like the first one, did something completely clueless:

Another. (I’ve tried to brush my teeth with shaving cream several times.)

Readers are invited to add their own clueless act in the comments.



  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    How do we know the “autobiographer” – and their support staff – didn’t just look around for names that – for whatever reasons – sounded good, and it just so happened that The Real JAC got picked?

  2. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Don’t tempt me…

    Well, okay, I was about to pour water onto the instant coffee and sugar in my saucer when I realised I had omitted the cup.

    And numerous times I have raced about the house searching for my glasses which were either sitting up on my forehead or already in place over my eyes (but I think that’s quite a common mistake).


    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Oh, and further confirmation that I am not safe to be let out on my own – on Thursday I was making my way south down Mokoroa Stream (last visited a decade ago) in its steep narrow valley in thick bush and I came to the spot where Goldies Track crossed it east-west. As I dimly remember, the track crossed the stream and climbed steeply up the east bank. But there was a new sign that showed both destinations, east and west, going up the freshly-maintained track up the right (west) bank, which made no sense at all. I inspected the east bank and found traces of what might have been the abandoned remains of the old track – which I was reluctant to follow far, I had no wish to get lost, and tracks can disappear remarkably quickly in the bush. And I badly needed to find the east track to get back to civilisation.

      So, I thought, I’ll try the west track just far enough to confirm the sign is wrong – it could only be correct if someone’s built a huge long suspension bridge somewhere up ahead to cross back to the east bank, which would be ridiculous. So the track climbed steeply, then doubled back on itself and led – to an impressively long new suspension bridge across the valley directly above where I had been searching for the old track. I had just never thought to look up and my Aussie hat had effectively blinkered me. What a doofus.


    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Woke up one morning, feeling hung over. Went to kitchen, put dark Dutch powder and water into coffee machine, set it going, went to micturate.
      – Followed sound of snores to find a Bob on sofa. turn sofa over informing Bob of the “morning” status of our region of space time.
      – Return to kitchen, adorn 3 mugs with sweeteners, sugars and instant coffee to individual tastes.
      – Go through to Runt’s bedroom and wake him up by practicing on his trumpet. Apparently the pressy buttony things are meant to be on the uphill side, whatever.
      – Return to kitchen as gurgling coffee machine stops gurgling. Pour coffee onto instant coffee in mugs, add spoons and cow juice and take through to other sufferers of morning. The coffee is drunk, with expressions of distrust for “Old Peculiar” (so named, as it makes you feel old and peculiar).
      This recipe is now, in a small and rather eccentric circle, known as “breakfast cofffee”. It is not recommended, but a second round is rarely made. By accident.

  3. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    That teddy bear turkey – that is the stuff of nightmares. I should think it would give the poor little sods the horrors. “Your kids will love them” indeed – I hope no parent is sufficiently brainless as to inflict that on their offspring.


    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Putting in googly eyes would not help. I would do that, actually.

      • Diane G
        Posted October 27, 2018 at 10:18 pm | Permalink


    • Christopher
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Leatherfaces’s teddy.

      • David Coxill
        Posted October 27, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        I wondered what it reminded me of ,i was going to suggest it was out of the Dr Lector’s cookbook .

  4. rickflick
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    A cool new word for me: Chuntering –

    British informal

    1 Talk or grumble monotonously.
    ‘she chuntered on about her problems’

    So, the cat came to greet him, chuntering all the way.

    • gscott
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Confusingly close to ‘chundering’

  5. Frank Bath
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I had mislaid my cell phone at home and unable to get to the land line for clutter to call myself I had to use the cell phone in my pocket.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      I lost my address book back in April or so. I guessed it migrated out of the side pocket of the rucksack onto the floor of the bus, before it departed for points 3 hours away and I walked to the flat.
      Much wailing, gnashing of teeth, phoning of bus depots at either end of the route, then buying of a new address book, starting to populate it from online address books.
      That was April. Found the missing address book under my coveralls this morning. Doh!

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    It’s also World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, whatever that is.

    There should be a slide-show explaining.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      “Look up, pun overhead!”

  7. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    “This guy is unwell.”

    Isn’t it the whole nation though? It happens that a person is a conspirationist or does not accept claim from his authorities. It even happens that a cruel and twisted person attacks the victims – there were several media stations being victims for terrorist – mass scare – bombs. But it is still rare that the leader of the nation does all of that, to the inspiration of all these unwell persons.

    I am reminded of a saying I first met in English: “Shit runs downhill.”

    • Giancarlo
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      That explains why the orange abomination drained the swamp and replaced it with a sewer.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Not knowing who Dinesh d’Souza is, I just thought it was flat out sarcasm.

  8. Joseph O’Sullivan
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Quibble: the ninth avenue IRT wasn’t the first subway in NYC. It was the first elevated commuter train in NYC and built 36 years before the first underground train. The first underground subway in NYC was constructed in 1904. The ninth ave IRT was replaced by the eight avenue line, the A, C, and E trains.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      The 8th Avenue line’s A train became world famous for being the main route uptown to Harlem, of course, thanks to The Duke and Billy Strayhorn.

  9. Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Yes, I distinctly heard Armstrong say “That’s one small step for Iman, one giant leap for mankind” when he stepped on the moon.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Armstrong was a fan of Mrs. Bowie?

  10. FB
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    A few weeks ago I was about to pee in the garbage can of a public bathroom.

  11. Jenny Haniver
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Why is it that the mandible of that Iranian skeleton seems so long, and the chin bone so sharp and pronounced? I’m not an anatomist but that jaw looks very strange. Can anyone tell me what’s up with it?

    Here’s an article giving more information on the find, but it doesn’t answer my question.

    • mikeyc
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Good observation. I’m no anatomist, but perhaps she had acromegaly.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted October 27, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Google Images yields a few x-ray images of mandibular changes in acromegaly, not as many as I’d like, but from what I can discern, the chin bone elongates and forms a concave ridge that looks quite a bit like the chin on this woman, so I bet you’re right.

  12. W.Benson
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Just recalling, Dinesh D’Souza is a right-wing conspiracy theorist and felon who was convicted for campaign finance fraud to benefit NY Republican senate candidate Wendy Long and later pardoned by arch-hypocrite Donald Trump.

  13. Christopher
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I spent two weeks hiking the Ozark Highland Trail in Arkansas by myself, never had an issue. When I finished, I got in the car and immedy drove for 20 minutes in the wrong direction.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      That’s a good one!


      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 27, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Oh, I once drove from Cortina d’Ampezzo past Venice and through Turin and Susa to Briancon in one afternoon, on the Autostrada. I just followed the ‘Torino’ and ‘Bardonecchia’ signs but it didn’t quite match what I was expecting and I couldn’t tell when I passed Milan, and when I stopped at a gas station the staff couldn’t point out where I was on the maps I had (but I spoke no Italian).

        Many months later, comparing my hurried snaps of autoroute signs with Streetview, I found I had been on a completely different autostrada 40 miles to the south.


        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted October 27, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          One morning, doing fieldwork out in the middle of the mountains, I saw the first person for 3 days – a couple of miles away on the other side of the valley. “Strange place to be- no footpaths over there,” thought I, and pottered on, preparing my stuff for the day.
          14 hours later, I was sitting outside the barn (well, it kept the rain off, if not the midges out), tucking into my tea when a footsore person appeared from the direction of my field work. Very strange direction to be coming from at that time of day.
          He was lost. Impressively lost. So while I put him outside a plate of scoff and a brew, we worked out where he’d been. In one 15 hour long walking session, he’d managed to get almost 40 km off his (perfectly sensibly planned) route. Which, since he had only started 15km from the edge of his map was a reasonable defence for having not been able to work out where he was.
          And all because he walked down the NW side of the col of his first decision point instead of the SW side. And he didn’t entirely trust his compass over his interpretation of the landscape.
          I put him on the road with instructions “keep the loch on your right, don’t get your feet wet. when you get to the boathouse, follow the only dirt track to the road, then turn right to get back to your car.” The local plod had noticed the car overnight where he’d parked it and was keeping a wary eye on it.

  14. mikeyc
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I once spent the better part of a morning looking for my reading glasses. They were on my head.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      I can’t find my reading glasses right now. Might they be on your head, too?

  15. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    In addition to Neil Armstrong, everyone wants to claim Shakespeare.

    Various people have claimed him as a Catholic (John Noonan), and atheist (Walter Kaufmann), a conservative (Andrew Schlafly), and even Rosicrucian (W. F. C. Wigston). None of them are particularly convincing.

    One exception to this is that heavily Anglican author Roland Mushat Frye argues that Shakespeare is probably not a conventional Christian in his book “Shakespeare and Christian Doctrine”. The only “would-be-nice-if-he-was-in-my-camp-but-probably-not” book in Will I know of.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Noted Elizabethan Lit scholar Andrew Schlafly not convincing? There’s a shocker. 🙂

    • Richard
      Posted October 28, 2018 at 3:06 am | Permalink

      “You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon.” – Chancellor Gorkon

  16. Diane G
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    One night my daughter & I had just located my car in the middle of a dark parking lot. I pulled out my keys and pressed a fob button to open the door remotely. Nothing happened.

    Me: “What the…???!”

    Daughter: (referring to key fob) “The battery’s probably dead.”

    Me: “Oh, great! Now how am I supposed to get into my car??!!”

    Daughter: “Well…I guess you could use your key.”

  17. Posted October 29, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I remember in Vancouver taking a bus a shortish ways to meet some friends and colleagues for lunch. I remember looking up the streets before the stop on the routeplanner before hand and looked it over several times on route. Suddenly I am way out of the relevant area and in danger of going outside of my paid fare zone. To this day I wonder what happened to my brain that day.

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