Monday: Hili dialogue

It’s a messy day in Chicago, with high winds that howled all night—keeping me awake—accompanied by sleet and snow. Fortunately, the 6-9 inches of snow predicted for last night didn’t materialize; instead we have cold sleet and the roads covered with an icy slime. Flights have been canceled at our airports, and schools are closed.

As the year winds inexorably to its close, we have Monday again: November 26, 2018. It’s National Cake Day, but I will have pie (or will tomorrow, as today’s a fasting day). I’m thus observing another holiday today: Anti Obesity Day.

On November 26, 1778, Captain James Cook became the first European to visit the island of Maui in the Hawaiian Islands.  And although Thanksgiving is over, it was on this day in 1789 that America first observed a national Thanksgiving Day, as proclaimed by George Washington at Congress’s request. On this day in 1863, too, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed November 26 as National Thanksgiving Day to to be celebrated annually on the last Thursday in November. This was changed in 1941 when President Franklin Roosevelt moved it to the fourth Thursday in November to boost retail sales because it would generally make Thanksgiving earlier. (This change was called “Franksgiving“.) As Wikipedia observed in a statement we’ll now find hilarious, “At the time, it was considered bad form for retailers to display Christmas decorations or have ‘Christmas’ sales before the celebration of Thanksgiving.” LOL! Now Christmas stuff goes up around Halloween!

On November 26, 1922, Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon became the first people to enter the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun since the young ruler was buried.  Here’s the famous story of the tomb’s opening:

Carter returned to the Valley of Kings, and investigated a line of huts that he had abandoned a few seasons earlier. The crew cleared the huts and rock debris beneath. On 4 November 1922, their young water boy accidentally stumbled on a stone that turned out to be the top of a flight of steps cut into the bedrock. Carter had the steps partially dug out until the top of a mud-plastered doorway was found. The doorway was stamped with indistinct cartouches (oval seals with hieroglyphic writing). Carter ordered the staircase to be refilled, and sent a telegram to Carnarvon, who arrived two-and-a-half weeks later on 23 November.

On 26 November 1922, Carter made a “tiny breach in the top left hand corner” of the doorway, with Carnarvon, his daughter Lady Evelyn Herbert, and others in attendance, using a chisel that his grandmother had given him for his 17th birthday. He was able to peer in by the light of a candle and see that many of the gold and ebony treasures were still in place. He did not yet know whether it was “a tomb or merely a cache”, but he did see a promising sealed doorway between two sentinel statues. Carnarvon asked, “Can you see anything?” Carter replied with the famous words: “Yes, wonderful things!” Carter had, in fact, discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb (subsequently designated KV62).

Here’s a four-minute video about the discovery, showing Carter, Carnarvon, and the excavation:

On November 26, 1942, the movie Casablanca opened in New York City. And today is Constitution Day in India, for it was on November 26, 1949 that the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the constitution presented to it by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. Ambedkar, one of 14 children in a family of dalits (‘untouchables”) worked his way up to become a scholar of great distinction and an accomplished politician.

On November 26, 1970, the highest rainfall ever recorded fell in Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe: 1.5 inches (38.1 mm) in one minute! I don’t know from punk rock, but Wikipedia says that on this day in 1976, “Anarchy in the U.K., the debut single of the Sex Pistols, [was] released, heralding the arrival of punk rock.” If they say so. I’m not posting the song.

On November 26, 2000, Florida’s secretary of state Katherine Harris certified G. W. Bush as the winner of Florida’s electoral votes, and so the case went to a politicized Supreme Court that effectively declared Bush the next President.  Exactly three years later, the Corcorde made its final flight over Bristol, England. Here’s the last landing (if you want to see what it was like to be a passenger on the plane, see this video). Did any readers ever fly on this plane? New York to London in 3½ hours!

And a sad day for birds. As Wikipedia notes, it was on November 26, 2004, that “the last Poʻouli (Black-faced honeycreeper) dies of avian malaria in the Maui Bird Conservation Center in Olinda, Hawaii, before it could breed, making the species in all probability extinct.” Here it is (or was):

Notables born on this day include John Harvard (1607; died at 31, and made the bequest that led to Schmarvard’s founding), William Cowper (1731), Bat Masterson (1853), Norbert Wiener (1894), Richard Bruno Hauptmann (1899), Charles M. Schulz (1922; creator of Peanuts) and Robert Goulet (1933).

Those who died on November 26 include Isabella I, Queen of Castile and León (1504), Sojourner Truth (1883), and Tommy Dorsey (1956).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is warm by the fire but still has a gripe:

Hili: I have a question.
A: What question?
Hili: Why is there no blanket in this basket?
In Polish:
Hili: Mam pytanie.
Ja: Jakie?
Hili: Dlaczego w tym koszu nie ma koca?

A tweet showing fat-shaming a cat, for crying out loud!:

Tweets from Grania. First, a wonky Christmas decoration

. . . and a snarky comment on the above:

A happy cat using one of those selfie cat brushes:

This appears to be bogus, though it’s all over the internet. I can’t find verification from any reliable source, so I suspect this is a hoax:

I’m not sure this is play. What do you think?

Some British humor:

Tweets from Matthew. The first one is a stunning case of mimicry: a moth looking and behaving like a jumping spider (a salticid)!  Holy COW! (Be sure to watch the video.)

I didn’t know that Paul Klee ever drew a cat, but here’s one. It looks like Business Cat!

A creepy but cool “skull root”:

How rarely do we stop and think about the wonders of the public library? This ad brings them home:



  1. notsecurelyanchored
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Would you explain your fasting regime to us? I searched for it but didn’t find it and it would be most useful in these perilous times between the turkey and the holiday cookies and eggnog.

    • Mike
      Posted November 26, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      Same here.

    • Posted November 27, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      I work a 5:2 fasting regime, which I believe is similar to Jerry’s. For two days each week (usually Monday & Thursday), I limit my calorie intake to a maximum of 600. The rest of the week I eat normally, but not to excess. Like Jerry, I tend to over-indulge while on holiday, and generally can put on 7-10 lbs in a fortnight. It takes me about two months on the Fast diet to lose this extra weight.

      • notsecurelyanchored
        Posted November 27, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. I will try that. What do you do for your 600 calories? I would probably get it from the milk in my coffee!

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Here in the air capital (Wichita) we were on the southern edge of the storm and received only 2 inches of snow at most. Winds of 50 to 60 mph were normal. On the whole I would rather be in Maui.

    • George
      Posted November 26, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      I think it is still snowing in the city. Here in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, the snow has stopped. We have 8 to 10 inches on the ground. Last I heard, the official count (at O’Hare Airport) was 7.4 inches. Probably more by now. Snow totals were higher north of the city Bull Valley (not sure where that is) got 13.1 inches.

      Sounds like PCC(e) missed the worst of it. Northwest Indiana, which is south of UofC), is getting hammered. The beauty of lake effect.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    As for the Sex Pistols and the release of “Anarchy in the UK,” I think that may have heralded the arrival of Brit punk rock, but there was already a punk scene going on in the East Village based around the CBGB club and acts like Richard Hell and Patti Smith.

    • Posted November 26, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      I think British Punk rock is somewhat different to the American variety. I think it has a harder, more confrontational edge. Certainly American punk predates British punk but it doesn’t matter because it all stems from The Velvet Underground.

      Anyway, Anarchy in the UK was beaten to the punch as the first British punk single by New Rose from The Damned, coincidentally, a band I went to see last Saturday night.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 26, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        Mebbe so, jeremy, though I’d say the Ramones had a pretty hard edge, too.

      • XCellKen
        Posted November 26, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Velvet Underground? I think you meant Iggy Pop and the Stooges ?

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 27, 2018 at 4:42 am | Permalink

        As a direct reaction to PCC’s refusal to post it, I just listened to Anarchy in the UK for the first ever time (on Youboob – link here: )

        First line is “I am an antichrist” which is pretty promising.

        Overall, not my cup of tea, but way more tolerable than rap or hip-hop. IMNSHO.

        It was, of course, on their first album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. Issued by Richard Branson’s Virgin Records, and the subject of a police obscenity prosecution of a shopkeeper for displaying the cover in his window (he may have been put up to it by Virgin, who paid his legal costs). The defence “produced an expert witness, Professor James Kinsley, Head of the School of English at the University of Nottingham, who argued that the word “bollocks” was not obscene, and was actually a legitimate Old English term formerly used to refer to a priest.” Further, two newspapers who had referred to the album name on their front pages had not been charged. The magistrate reluctantly threw out all charges.


        • Posted November 27, 2018 at 4:50 am | Permalink

          It also includes the single “God Save The Queen” which was banned by the BBC and consequently leapt to number one in the singles charts, much to the embarrassment of the BBC who couldn’t play it on Top of the Pops or their Top 40 countdown on Radio One.

        • Posted November 27, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

          I love the Sex Pistols, especially that album. It must be played loud though. Perhaps it has instructions to do so on the album cover like the Who’s “Live at Leeds”, another of my all-time favs. Have to wait until the wife’s away to play those.

    • Posted November 26, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      As with pretty much all musical genres, their genesis is fuzzy.

    • Mark R.
      Posted November 26, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      I found this interesting tid-bit after a googley.

      Peru’s own Los Saicos, and not Sex Pistols, The Ramones, New York Dolls, The Stooges, The Dictators, or even Death, was the first punk band in the history of punk bands. This is according to a new documentary produced by Noisey, which chronicles the short-lived musical collaboration between Erwin Flores, Rolando Carpio, César “Papi” Castrillón, and Pancho Guevara, and the aggressive, up-tempo rock and roll which rained down on Peru nearly a decade before the word “punk” was even in Johnny Rotten’s vernacular.

      I’ve never heard of Los Saicos, but I’ll check ’em out as I like the genre. “Death” is a great punk rock band out of Detroit. They started in 1971, formed by three brothers.

  4. pablo
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    When-as a society-stop fat shaming cats? Hasn’t that vet ever heard of the Healthy at Every Size Movement?

  5. Posted November 26, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Public libraries are a threatened institution here in the UK. Local authorities have had their budgets cut back to the bone and so they have tended to cut every service that they do not have a statutory obligation to provide. They are not obliged to provide libraries so many have closed especially smaller ones outside city centres.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 26, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      That is a bad thing, especially for a country that is far more liberal than here in the U.S. Wichita, Kansas just finished building a new central library here, downtown. I am certain that much of the cost was raised by private contributions.

    • David Coxill
      Posted November 26, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Bas***d tories ,they really are lower than vermin .

  6. Posted November 26, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I have seen variations on the ‘Benefits of Brexit’ blague based around “The Wit and Wisdom of [insert name of politician you most revile]’

    • George
      Posted November 26, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      I am astounded by Jacob Rees-Mogg. You listen to him and realize that Monty Python’s Upper Class Twit of the Year was a gross understatement.

      • David Coxill
        Posted November 26, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Another fav jrm lookalike is Soft Walter from the Dennis the menace cartoon .The British one ,not the cute American version ,the British Dennis would not have been out of place in the hitler youth .

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Speaking of Fallopian-shaped Xmas decorations, I’ve always had unanswered questions about just how the Archangel Gabriel went about implanting the Blessed Virgin with the Lord’s seed — I mean, there weren’t any turkey basters in the Iron Age Levant, amirite?

    • Claudia Baker
      Posted November 26, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      It’s certainly a puzzle. I mean, does god even have sperm?

      • Posted November 26, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        In Paul (or Hebrews, I forget), if I understand correctly, Jesus is said to be literally made of preserved sperm from David or the like. (Richard Carrier has an article, IIRC, on this, because the Greek is just wacky, apparently.)

    • Ruthann L. Richards
      Posted November 26, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      One of the theories in the Middle Ages (as shown in a painting) was that he came down in the form of a dove which then breathed the “seed” into her ear.

      • David Coxill
        Posted November 26, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Makes a change from a Swan .

    • rickflick
      Posted November 26, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      There’s always the bedbug approach. But I don’t really want to go there.

    • Posted November 26, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      It’s spelled out quite clearly in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 1, Verses 35-36:

      35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

      36 And Mary said, “Would that even work?”

      Here’s a convenient illustration, courtesy of Jack Chick.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 26, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        “The Holy Spirit will come on you …”

        So it was like an osmosis-type thing?

        Guess that’s one of Scripture’s “money shots” — along with the story of Onan. 🙂

      • David Coxill
        Posted November 26, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        Having followed the link ,i think every female within a 50 foot radius would have been in the pudding club .

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 27, 2018 at 4:27 am | Permalink

        ROTFL at that Chick illustration!

        Makes you wonder what on earth the illustrator was thinking of.

        Well, not what we were thinking of, evidently. A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste. 😉


  8. mikeyc
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I like the “For an unlimited time only” gag on the Library advertisement. Funny.

  9. Posted November 26, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    The fallopian decorations are clearly part of a Mother’s Day celebration.

  10. Posted November 26, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Paul Klee, one of my favorite artists, drew lots of cats! One of his most famous works is “Cat and Bird”:

    • rickflick
      Posted November 26, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Yes! Paul Klee is one of my favorites too. His cats are the best.

  11. jpetts
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I was once BUMPED onto Concorde! In 1987 there were two BA 747 flights each evening, and one day when I was flying home one of them had a mechanical problem. BA started the escalating offers for people willing to be bumped. I was standing by the podium at the gate when they offered a flight on Concorde the next day, and managed to snag it. The plane I flew on was G-BOAG (all BA Concordes had a G-BOAx registration at one time, as a tribute to the original BOAC airline name). This was in the late ’80s, and back then one could visit the flight deck. You can actually see the curvature of the earth from 20Km or so up in the atmosphere.

    When I disembarked I thought I would never get on another Concorde, but G-BOAG is now in the Museum of Flight in Seattle, where I live. I have been on her several more times, but never experienced the joy of being aloft in her.

    • Posted November 26, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Lucky you! I only got to go into the one at the Intrepid in NYC.

      • Steven Hill
        Posted November 26, 2018 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

        I flew Concorde from JFK to LHR around 1982. (Please forgive the vagueness of the date: I was doing about 200 days/year of travel at that time and I never bothered to note the details.) I was in NYC and had a First Class ticket back to London and BA were offering Concorde Class upgrades for $75. That included a helicopter transfer from NYC to JFK. Unfortunately, there was high cloud that day the curvature of the earth was not visible. But I have traveled at Mach 2!

        • Steven Hill
          Posted November 26, 2018 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps I should also mention that I first saw Concorde at the airport in Casablanca, Morocco, when it was doing test flights (presumably from Bristol). That would have been in 1974 or so.

          • Posted November 27, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

            I saw them a few times at JFK airport. I was always amazed at how small they were relative to other planes.

    • Posted November 27, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      I was booked to fly from Edinburgh to London one morning. For some unremembered reason, a Concorde had ended up out of postion in Edinburgh that morning, and was needed at Heathrow for a flight later that morning, so I and other bemused passengers were transferred to the Comcorde flight. Sadly, it was not permitted to fly supersonic over the UK, but we did all get a free glass of champagne. My outstanding memory is of how small it seemed inside, but it had lovely leather seats.

  12. Posted November 26, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    That “man in a bear costume” headline is funny as hell even if it is fake news.

  13. Posted November 26, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Fat shaming a cat? That’s as likely to succeed as transmuting lead into gold.

    • Posted November 26, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      One can at least do the latter with a nuclear reactor!

  14. Posted November 26, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Concorde: it was one of those 80s things …

  15. Posted November 26, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    The one and only time Concorde came to NZ, it flew over our deck at very low altitude as it was doing a fly-by over the city.

  16. rickflick
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    BTW, InSight just landed on Mars.

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