Monday: Hili dialogue

Well, it’s Christmas Eve—December 24, 2018—with one day left before the Six Days of Coynezaa. It’s National Eggnog Day, a beverage I disdain. And, according to Wikipedia, there are all these Christmas-related celebrations today; I give links:

Today’s animated Google Doodle features Santa dropping presents down a chimney:

Grania sent the UK Doodle, which has a squirrel and an acorn (where’s the Christmas pudding?):

On this day in 1777, Christmas Island, or Kirimati, was discovered by James Cook.  On December 24, 1818, the carol “Silent Night” was first performed in the church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria. As Wikipedia notes, it was “composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. It was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011. The song has been recorded by a large number of singers from every music genre. The version sung by Bing Crosby is the third best-selling single of all-time.”

An intangible cultural heritage!

On this day in 1826, the cadets at the United States Military Academy rioted because their holiday eggnog was withheld because it was boozy. This led to the two-day Eggnog Riots.  On this day in 1871, Verdi’s opera Aida opened—in Cairo, Egypt.  And in 1906, the first real radio broadcast took place: “Reginald Fessenden transmited the first radio broadcast; consisting of a poetry reading, a violin solo, and a speech.” Note that there are doubts about this claim.

Finally, on this day in 1968—50 years ago exactly—the crew of Apollo 8 became the first humans to orbit the Moon (they didn’t land; that was the next year). The three crewmen made ten lunar orbits and broadcast live TV pictures, as well as observing an “Earthrise,” which we’ll see later this morning.

Notables born on this day include Kit Carson (1809), Matthew Arnold (1822), Emanuel Lasker (1868), Baby Dodds (1898), Howard Hughes (1905), Ava Gardner (1922), Jeff Sessions (1946), Carol Vorderman (1960), Kate Spade (1962; died this year), and Ricky Martin (1971).

Those who died on Christmas Eve include Vasco da Gama (1524), Peter Lawford (1984), John Boswell (1994; a well known Yale historian who lived across the hall from me my second year in college), Harold Pinter (2008), and Jack Klugman (2012).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili gets into the Christmas spirit, assuming the guise of a present, which of course she always is:

A: What are you doing there?
Hili: As you don’t have a Christmas tree I decided to hide something for you under the rug.
In Polish:
Ja: Co tam robisz?
Hili: Jak nie macie choinki to postanowiłam schować wam coś pod dywan.

A woke cartoon sent by Heather Hastie:

Some tweets from Matthew. This first one shows an amazing ability that, if I didn’t like to use the word “spiritual”, would describe the effect it has on me. Animals are amazing!

Go to the link in Alex Wild’s tweet to see a gallery of ant mimics. But can you guess what this one is?

I saw this on the news two nights ago. I am amazed the driver was only banged up a bit, with no serious injuries.

Matthew says that this HUGE stuffed rabbit is no longer there. Look at its size!

This is a real groaner (if you don’t know who Heath Robinson was, he was Britain’s equivalent of Rube Goldberg):

And the obligatory tree-destroying Christmas Cat:

Grania’s tweets. She sent me this one (and you really must see the whole thread) saying (in caps): “EVERYONE IN YOUR GOVERNMENT IS DRUNK.” Well, Senator Rand Paul is either drunk or trying and failing to be a comedian. Here are a couple of crazy tweets; it took me a minute to figure what the first one was about:

He must be drunk. . .

Yep, drunk:


I hope you get this one:

From Heather Hastie, who commented, “A good dog! (He gets all three letters, not just d*g.)”  Okay, I’ll bite (the dog didn’t):


  1. Serendipitydawg
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    “…one day left before the Six Days of Coynezaa.”

    Eleven hours to go here in the UK, and I shall be drinking Bushmills and toasting your health.

    Can’t wait.

    • Serendipitydawg
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Which reminds me: time to get the sprouts on 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

  2. ratabago
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    19 minutes to go here.

    I think from the eyes, and legs, and what looks like palps the ant mimic is a spider. It’s missing one leg.

    • Serendipitydawg
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      I wish it was 19 (more like 15 now) here! I guess Heather will already be toasting the start of Coynezaa 😀

  3. Blue
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    LOVE.LOVE. it, Boss:
    ” … … picked up the gold and the myrrh ” +

    I broke in to the heartiest of guffaws ! Perfect !

    Even as a wee kiddo, I always thought the three wise men
    the stupidest ! Who ‘ld give these as bambino gifts ? !

    Mama needs diapers ! For Jebua’ sake. Literally !


    • Blue
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      And NO drumming either, Little Drummer Boy ! QUIET !

      Men ! Men, and NO woman, ” d e s i g n e d ” the biblette !


    • Serendipitydawg
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      I sent that cartoon to a friend last Yule I think, though it may even have been the one before. His eldest got the joke but the youngest didn’t… turns out that in his young mind the gifts actually did include The Modern Prometheus. I don’t know if his dad had the heart to correct him…

      This year’s greeting was slightly less festive, and definitely not child friendly, in the form of this link taken from Friday’s Hili.

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    There’s plenty of late-year celebrations and I tend to anchor them with Saturnalia and in particular cold snowy winter weather.

    But what about people from lands in the Southern Hemisphere? That ruins my neat tidy view of it all.

  5. Lurker111
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    “Police said that the driver did not have serious injuries and passed a breathalyzer test.”

    “Now that I’ve passed the breathalyzer, officer, I think I need a drink …”

    • rickflick
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink


  6. DrBrydon
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    That IS a very good boy. It brings to mind, though, the old Sam Kinison’s bit on the famines in Africa. Refering to the cameraman filming a starving child for an aid plea: “Why don’t you feed him!? You’re standing right there!?” It’s great that the dog helped the cat, but why didn’t the person filming it?

  7. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Going through Alex Wild’s gallery of ant mimics is a great way to spend some time. My favorite is the crab spider that uses its rear end to mimic the face of an ant.

  8. David Coxill
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    “This is a real groaner (if you don’t know who Heath Robinson was, he was Britain’s equivalent of Rube Goldberg):”

    I think you mean Rube Goldberg was the American equivalent of Heath Robinson.

  9. revelator60
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Today is also the birthday of the great film director Michael Curtiz (1886-1962). He’s not a household name and auteurist snobs never welcomed him into their pantheon, but look at some of the classics he made:

    Captain Blood (1935)
    The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
    Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
    Casablanca (1942)
    Mildred Pierce (1945)
    The Breaking Point (1950)
    White Christmas (1954)
    King Creole (1958)

  10. Posted December 24, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    A comment on the radio last:
    Silent Night was written for guitar,
    where’s Jimi when you need him.

    Hendrix if wondering who Jimi is.

  11. Posted December 24, 2018 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Happy Coynezaa from Hong Kong!


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