Friday: Hili dialogue

It’s the last day of the month: November 30, 2018, and I can eat again! Right now I’m nomming two pieces of toast with butter and the world’s best jam: Wilkin & Sons Tiptree “Little Scarlet” Strawberry Preserves. After that I’ll tuck into a huge latte.  It’s National Mousse Day, which is National Mouse day for cats. It’s also Regina Mundi Day, celebrating a South African church that was important in the anti-apartheid movement.

Another scanty day in history. On November 30, 1803, the Spanish officially gave the Louisiana Territory to the French who, just 20 days later, sold the same land to the U.S. as the “Louisiana Territory”. The French price to America was a pittance: 828,000 square miles for just sixty-eight million francs ($15 million at the time)—just $18 per square mile.

On this day in 1872, the world’s first international soccer game took place between Scotland and England. It was played at Hamilton Crescent in Glasgow and ended in a 0-0 draw.  On November 30, 1936, the famous Crystal Palace in London was destroyed by a fire that started in the women’s cloakroom.  On this day in 1947, according to Wikipedia, “Civil War in Mandatory Palestine begins, leading up to the creation of the state of Israel.”  Who knows how things would have turned out if the territory had been Optional Palestine?

Here’s a strange tale of a human struck by an extraterrestrial object. Again from Wikipedia, on November 30, 1954, “In Sylacauga, Alabama, United States, the Hodges meteorite crashes through a roof and hits a woman taking an afternoon nap; this is the only documented case in the Western Hemisphere of a human being hit by a rock from space. The 34-year-old woman was badly bruised on one side of her body, but was able to walk.”

Here’s the meteorite, the hole and the victim, Ann Hodges (all from National Geographic‘s story):

Mrs. Hodges, mayor, police chief examine hole caused by a meteorite that struck mrs. Hodges in Sylacauga. University of Alabama Museum of Natural History

From story: Moody Jacobs shows a giant bruise on the side and hip of his patient, Ann Hodges, in 1954, after she was struck by a meteorite. PHOTOGRAPH BY JAY LEVITON, TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES

Finally, on this day in 1982, Michael Jackson released the album Thriller, which remains the best-selling album in history. My favorite song on that album is “Human Nature.” Here’s Jackson performing it “live” (not sure if there’s any lip-synching) at Wembley in 1988:

Notables born on this day include Andrea Palladio (1508), Philip Sidney (1554), Jonathan Swift (1667), Mark Twain (1835), Winston Churchill (1874), Gordon Parks (1912), Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (1918), Dick Clark (1929), Abbie Hoffman (1936), and David Mamet (1947). Mamet is the only one still alive.

Those who died on November 30 include Oscar Wilde (1900), Zeppo Marx (1979; real name Herbert Manfred Marx), Tiny Tim (1996), and Jim Nabors (last year).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili wants a portrait of herself:

Hili: Print it out, please.
A: What?
Hili: What do you mean “what”? Me, when I’m washing myself while sitting on the printer.
In Polish:
Hili: Proszę to wydrukować.
Ja: Co?
Hili: Jak to co? Mnie jak myję się na drukarce.

Reader Nilou reports that the Central Park Mandarin duck is taking breaks in, of all places, New Jersey! He’s slumming!

Three tweets found by reader Tom from this collection. The first one is way creepy:

Rat + slice of bread = Kangaroo rat:

Remember the roadrunner?

Tweets from Grania. This one she calls “Grim but amazing footage”:

Cat vs. ostriches (cat loses):

Look at that shock wave! Mt. Tavurvur is in Papua New Guinea.

Tweets from Matthew. The first one is amazing:

I believe this adorable creature is a sugar glider:

Why do these obese cavies do this?

Even if a cat did write this, it’s right!




  1. David Coxill
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Bl**dy hell ,them Ostriches grow up so fast .lol.

  2. Bat
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    First had wilkin and sons preserves on business trip to u.k. In the 80s and have continued to enjoy this treat whenever i come across them here in the u.s. to this day. Thanks for the memory prod.

  3. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    “Your dog may not be a genius”

    …do people actually believe that?

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted November 30, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      …I mean, I’ve never met anyone who thought their dog was a genius. Mostly they concede that their dog is pretty thick. Sometimes they throw a towel over it to demonstrate the fact, and we watch as said dog struggles for upwards of a minute to extricate itself.

      • Christopher
        Posted November 30, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        And how does taking a blanket off demonstrate intelligence? When in all of their evolutionary history have canids needed to perform such a thing? I’ve never bought that this “test” proves anything about intelligence. It reminds me of studies that “proved” how stupid tortoises are because they were so slow at finding their way through a maze with a food reward at the end, until a much more intelligent scientist noticed the temperature at which the tortoises were being forced to perform the task. When warmed up, if I recall correctly, they out-performed or equaled rats in the same situations.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted November 30, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

          I don’t think my friend getting slightly pissed, throwing a cloth over their dog and filming it with their iPhone actually constitutes a rigorous scientific experiment, so I wouldn’t claim it as ‘proof’ of anything.

          • Christopher
            Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

            Next time your friend gets drunk, throw a blanket over them and see how long it takes them…

  4. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I don’t like walking on cracks in the pavement – so I think those cavies are just a touch OCD.

    • Gabrielle
      Posted November 30, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      The guinea pigs (cavies) are jumping over the area between the rugs because the hardwood floors are slippery. When I had pet rabbits, they walked on carpeting as much as possible, because their fur-covered paws could not get a good grip on bare floors. Rabbits have broken their backs running on bare floors, bacause they couldn’t stop themselves before running into something or they lost their balance when hopping.
      The guinea pigs are being smart, not dumb or OCD.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted November 30, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        That makes sense. Also, the size of the gap between the carpets isn’t that big, so they can hop it quite easily, but the step down from the the carpet to the floor – and then up from the floor to the carpet – is relatively large, given how short their tiny little legs are.

        To us it’s nothing, but to them they have to climb half the height of their legs. It’s probably more efficient in terms of energy just to hop the gap rather than step down then step back up again.

  5. ratabago
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I think the jumping animal is a galago, aka bush baby.

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Less than 50 years after the Louisiana purchase we received another gift, stealing Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada from Mexico for approx. $18 million. Who says war is not profitable.

    • rickflick
      Posted November 30, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Giving the land back to Mexico would solve the boarder “crisis”.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted November 30, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        But more likely it would just move the location of Trump’s wall.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Do you mean giving back “Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada”? I recall the repatriation movement that Reies Tijerina started back in the 1960s, at least for New Mexico, and the shootout at Tierra Amarilla, I think it’d make a great movie.

    • mikeyc
      Posted November 30, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Just for curiosity sake I found an inflation calculator suggesting that 18e6 dollars in 1860* would be the equivalent of a little over half a billion dollars today, about the cost of an average football stadium. A steal indeed.

      *I know the purchase was in 1849, after the war, but the calculator I found only went back to 1860.

    • Graham Martin-Royle
      Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      I’ve often wondered, did the Spanish or the French ever ask the people inhabiting those lands if they accepted the sale? Did they ever receive any part of the purchase price for what was, after all, their land?

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    “Holy Smokin’ Toledo!”

    Hey, hey, watch your language! This is a family website.

    Thought for a second there I was listening to a Thirties newsreel. Or Danny Thomas on “Make Room for Daddy.”

  8. George
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    What is it with all these doctors complaining about guns? Why don’t they mind their own business?

    In a completely unrelated matter, Dr. Tamara O’Neal, murdered Nov 19 at Mercy Hospital in Chicago, will be buried this morning in LaPorte, IN. Funerals were already held for CPO Samuel Jimenez and pharmacist Dayna Less who were also murdered in the same incident. All three murdered by a guy with a legal weapon for which he had a concealed carry permit.

    • Christopher
      Posted November 30, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Perhaps once we return to the murder rates of the frontier towns back in the 1800’s we will change our minds on allowing, hell, encouraging people to walk around armed at all times. Or maybe not. Maybe we will go the route of lawless regions like much of Libya or Afghanistan, where instead of police and sheriffs, warlords with armed militias will keep the “peace”.

  9. rickflick
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    The mandarin duck and the wood duck are a pair of species we see in North America. They seem to me to be absurdly ornate. It’s as if they are trying to outdo other ducks…and each other. To get a look at them is always a thrill. Is there a case to be made for Prum’s runaway selection? They’d be pretty darn attractive with just half the ornaments.

  10. Hempenstein
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    It is also Frank N Meyer’s birthday. A USDA Plant Explorer (just look at his pic!!), Meyer traveled in China collecting botanical specimens that included samples that proved that the Chestnut Blight fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica, was endemic there, thus proving its origin, and also brought the lemon that bears his name back from there.

  11. Richard Jones
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Tiptree jam is the best. Their marmalade is the finest aa well. I have a little every morning on my toast.

  12. Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I wanted to see the glider but the image didn’t show up and clicking the link took me to a Twitter “account suspended” page.

    • ratabago
      Posted December 1, 2018 at 12:57 am | Permalink

      I’ve found a YouTube video of it, though I don’t like the author’s comment:
      Bush baby launches

  13. Liz
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    “Reader Nilou reports that the Central Park Mandarin duck is taking breaks in, of all places, New Jersey! He’s slumming!”

    “In Defense of New Jersey, the Best “Bad” State in the Country”

  14. JezGrove
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Michael Jackson’s Thriller was recently overtaken by The Eagles’ Greatest Hits as the best-selling album.

    • JezGrove
      Posted November 30, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      My bad – the Eagles album is actually called “Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975)”. It took the No. 1 slot in August 2018, and is apparently rated 38x platinum.

  15. prinzler
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    If Jackson was lip-synching that, he did an excellent job. I’d bet 60-40 he wasn’t lip-synching.

    Just listened to a little of the tune off the album and his voice is noticeably brighter on the album. This pushes me to 90-10 he wasn’t lip-synching.

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