Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s Sunday, April 7, 2019, and we’ve at least reached National Beer Day (there is NO chance that Google will have a Doodle for this). The reason for the holiday? As Wikipedia explains, it on this day in 1933 that

. . .  the Cullen–Harrison Act was enacted after having been signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 22, 1933. This led to the Eighteenth Amendment being repealed on December 5, 1933, with ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. April 6, the day prior to National Beer Day, is known as New Beer’s Eve.

Upon signing the legislation, Roosevelt made his famous remark, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.”

If I had been Roosevelt, I would have had a cool brewski by my side to drink immediately after I signed the bill, becoming the first person in the U.S. since January 17, 1920, to get a legal drink (that’s when Prohibition started).

It’s also World Health Day, sponsored by the World Health Organization, established on April 7, 1948. So don’t drink so many beers that you get sick!

Lots happened in history today. It was on April 7, 1141, that Empress Matilda became the first female ruler of England, keeping her position for 7 years; her title was ‘Lady of the English’. On this day in 1521, Ferdinand Magellan arrived in Cebu in what is now the Philippines. He was killed there twenty days later. On April 7, 1724, the first performance of Bach’s St. John Passion (BWV 245) took place in Leipzig. And on this day in 1805, Beethoven premiered his Third Symphony in Vienna.

On April 7, 1829, Joseph Smith began translating the “Book of Mormon” using Oliver Cowdery as his scribe. A whole religion was founded, as most of them are, on a lie.  On this day in 1927, the first long-distance and public t.v. broadcast took place: it was from Washington D.C. to New York City, and the image displayed was the bulldogish visage of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover. Not this picture, though, I’m just showing you Hoover:

As noted above, it was on this day in 1933 that prohibition was repealed, but only for beer of no more than 3.2% alcohol as well as wine. Full sale of booze began in December. It’s NATIONAL BEER DAY! On this day in 1948, the World Health Organization was founded (see above), and one year later Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s great musical South Pacific opened on Broadway. It won ten Tony Awards and ran for 1,925 performances.  I’ll post below one of its songs, the still relevant “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” from the 1958 movie version. The song was banned in Georgia for having the “Communist agenda” of approving interracial marriages!

Have a listen:

On April 7, 1955, Winston Churchill, plagued by ill health, resigned as the UK’s Prime Minister. He lived another ten years.  In 1968, race-car driver Jim Clark was killed in a Formula Two race in Germany.  On that same day in 1969, or so says Wikipedia, it’s “The Internet‘s symbolic birth date: Publication of RFC 1.” (Look at the links for an explanation.) On April 7, 1994, the Rwandan genocide began after the death of the country’s president in a plane attack. Tutsis were executed in Kigali, Rwanda, and ultimately 500,000 to a million of them were killed, about 70% of the population. Finally, it was on this day in 2003 that U.S. troops took Baghdad, and two days later Saddam Hussein’s regime fell.

Notables born on this day include William Wordsworth (1770), Walter Winchell (1897), Billie Holiday (1915), Ravi Shankar (1920), Daniel Ellsberg (1931), Jerry Brown (1938), Francis Ford Coppola and David Frost (both 1939), Joël Robuchon (1945), Jackie Chan (1954), and Russell Crowe (1964).

Here’s a tweet with a rare video of Holiday singing (sound up, please). She’s already worn down from drugs, alcohol, and a hard life, and she died two years later at the age of 44. But what a talent! (h/t: Grania)

Those who met their just reward on April 7 include this; and I’m just passing it on from Wikipedia:

  • AD 30 – Jesus Christ of Nazareth, (possible date of the crucifixion)(b. circa 4 BC)

Less dubious dates of death: El Greco (1614), Dick Turpin (1739), P. T. Barnum (1891), Henry Ford (1947), and Mike Wallace (2012).

El Greco didn’t paint any cats, as far as I know, but here’s a painting by El Greco’s son, Jorge Manuel Theotokopoulos, called “The family of El Greco,” in which the great painter, absent, is replaced by a cat. It was painted around 1605.

Versopolis/Review explains:

The only surviving painting by El Greco’s son is also displayed in the museum. This is an intimate family portrait, featuring the women in the house –  Jerónima, her mother and their servants, and a little girl, maybe El Greco’s daughter or granddaughter, most of them busy sewing, embroidering, weaving, knitting. These women are interconnected, constituting a world of their own, the foundation of the home economy, prosperity and peaceful everyday life. The head of the family is absent, he is probably at work in some church, providing for the future of the family. On his empty chair, a cat is perched: only the cat and the little girl are gazing at the onlooker.

The absent father is thus represented by his chair and replaced there by the cat, an ironic twist on the head of the family; clearly, he is not to be taken too seriously, he is a cuddly favorite, certainly not some male authority commanding the family by terror. Jorge Manuel never became a great painter, but he gave the cat a weird gaze similar to his father’s human figures – however sneering and ironic. Whatever the public image of the family – and it would seem that they did not appear very much in the public – the intimacy of their home was where a joke on the father and master was tolerated. At least, we know that El Greco’s family was full of cat lovers, and that superstitions about cats did not play a role among them. Being cat lovers, they appreciated their intimate world and protected their warmth from attacks from outside. The work by the female part of the household was appreciated in parallel to the father’s work outside. Among the possible meanings of this painting, we cannot detect hierarchy, although some Christian inscription is clearly there – modesty, dedication to work and the good use of time. The question remains whether it was necessary for the lady of the house to work, or whether it was a symbolic representation of what women are supposed to do. Whatever the interpretation of this modest painting, it is an exciting testimony of the warmth, intimacy and sense of humor among people who loved each other and were eager to preserve the encapsulated world they created.

El Greco rests among his paintings, in the church of Saint Dominic in Toledo. His coffin was identified, but has not yet been opened. There is a monument to El Greco in the city, as well. But the real memory of what he loved remains at his home, under the sneering gaze of a cat, reflecting the eyes of the figures from his paintings.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili accepts no gods and no masters:

Hili: Do you really believe that humans are gods?
Cyrus: No, when it comes to some humans I’m agnostic.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy ty naprawdę wierzysz, że człowiek jest bogiem?
Cyrus: Nie, jeśli idzie o niektórych ludzi, to jestem agnostykiem.

And on the site of his soon-to-be new home—YES, rumor has it that the wooden house will be erected this summer!—Leon longs for prey:

Leon: Somehow no mice are visible.

Leon: Myszy jakoś nie widać.

 A tweet from reader Nilou. These aren’t really emotional support falcons: I think some Arabian airlines allow falconers to fly with their prized birds:

A talkative Pekin Duck (domesticated mallard) sent by Diana MacPherson. Sound up. And this must be a female, as only female mallards quack.

From reader Barry: Two bear cubs playing in the wrong place.

Heather Hastie loves hedgehogs, and sent a video of one savoring a morsel of apple:

Tweets from Grania: A Scottish Fold tries to get a drink:

I have a hard time believing that these videos are real:

Matthew Cobb even retweeted this one:

And three tweets from Matthew. The first shows a ninja cat getting pwned, demonstrating the amazing athleticism of Felis catus:

Can you spot the iguana?

No wonder this cat is chubby!

 

 

42 Comments

  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted April 7, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Jim Clark was considered by many to be the best driver ever in Formula 1. Unfortunately he was driving before safety was much of an issue in the sport and many of the best died in racing.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted April 7, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      I certainly thought he was the best.

      Not just in F1, I once saw some footage of him driving his Lotus Cortina at Brands Hatch(?), he was using the entire width of the road from the outside edge on approach to the corner, touching the inside edge at the apex, and drifting right to the outside edge on the exit, all with the tail hung out in the best rally-driver style (because that’s what Cortinas did) in one perfect smooth sweep. Just a joy to watch.

      cr

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted April 7, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        I got to see my first Formula One race in person at Silverstone in 1971 if I remember correctly. Jackie Stewart won the race and Stewart had a lot to do with improving safety in the sport.

    • Posted April 7, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      As with JFK, I can remember vividly where I was and what I was doing the day I heard the news. I was a big fan, and was devastated.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 7, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    If I had been Roosevelt, I would have had a cool brewski by my side to drink immediately after I signed the bill …

    At least beer was legal by the time Franklin and Eleanor had the King and Queen of Blighty up to the family spread in Hyde Park for a picnic and famously served them hot dogs,inasmuch as nothing goes better with a Nathan’s Famous than a cold brew. (The queen consort reportedly ate hers with knife and fork.)

    • BJ
      Posted April 7, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Bet she’d eat a Snickers bar that way too.

  3. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted April 7, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    “The Internet‘s symbolic birth date: Publication of RFC 1.”

    I do love the understatement implicit in the fact that the Internet’s standards are called ‘Request for Comments’.

    cr

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 7, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      I find there’s a subtle humour in a lot of RFC-ing. I particualarly like the symbolism of RFC 1918.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 7, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    … in 1927, the first long-distance and public t.v. broadcast took place: it was from Washington D.C. to New York City, and the image displayed was the bulldogish visage of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover.

    A mere year and a half later, Hoover was nominated to be his Party’s presidential candidate when an incumbent one-term Republican president decided not to seek reelection.

    Could a similar fate await Wilbur Ross? 🙂

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted April 7, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Please, you are making me sick right after breakfast. Hoover was another great loser from Iowa.

      • Hempenstein
        Posted April 13, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        You’ve clearly never read anything about Herbert Hoover.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 7, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    AD 30 – Jesus Christ of Nazareth, (possible date of the crucifixion)(b. circa 4 BC)

    How’s that date work out for the Good Friday solar eclipse in Judea and the earthquake that opened the graves of the saints and rent the temple veil in two?

    • XCellKen
      Posted April 7, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Luke says your birthdate is off by ten years

    • Posted April 7, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      What makes you think Jesus was crucified on a Friday? In John’s gospel, Jesus is crucified the day before the first day of Passover and the first day of Passover counted like a Sabbath, so he could have been crucified on a Thursday (followed by first day of Passover, followed by regular Sabbath, followed by first day of the week when his body is discovered missing).

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 7, 2019 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        I’m the last person wedded to the idea that any of these events ever took place, Jeremy, let alone that they took place on a particular Friday.

        My only point is that the historical data for the date given (or any other date ever given for the crucifixion of Jesus) don’t square with the description of an earthquake in Matthew 27:51, or the description of a solar eclipse in Matthew 27:45, especially given that Passover traditionally occurs during the first full moon after the vernal equinox, and given that a solar eclipse requires a new moon.

        • Posted April 7, 2019 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

          Matthew doesn’t describe a solar eclipse. The darkness lasts for three hours. He made it all up.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted April 8, 2019 at 1:47 am | Permalink

          Couldn’t possibly have taken place on a Friday, given that Frigga / Freya, after whom Friday is named, wasn’t current until about 700 years after the alleged Christ-person.

          😉

          cr

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 7, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    D*gs dig pisghetti, too. We have that on the authority of Lady and the Tramp:

  7. rickflick
    Posted April 7, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I was walking through a small but awesome old church in Toledo when, rounding a turn between stone walls toward the back of the church, an El Greco mural appeared on a back wall. Not huge. Beautiful. I was surprised it was in such a subtle location, but realized this must be a main exit from the services held here. Thousands of people would have been confronted by it as the last image of there visit.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted April 7, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Iglesia de Santo Tomé I suppose. Do you have to pay to get in? I am guessing the painting is in the side chapel because, back in the day, you’re forced to walk through most of the church – more opportunities for some priest to tap you up for “roof repairs” or some such nonsense.

      Amazed that painting is still there all this time, it being on canvas. Insurance must be a horror.

      • rickflick
        Posted April 7, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I think that’s it. The painting is The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.

      • rickflick
        Posted April 7, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for reminding me. Back in the day you were there? Are there places you haven’t been?

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted April 7, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          ‘back in the day’ – I was thinking of shortly after it was finished & well before my time. The priest who commissioned it, & paid out a relative pittance to El Greco, got his wish – a raised profile for his church & himself PLUS loadsa visitors whom I’m sure he pestered for the coin.

          Toledo? I covered that in my Laurie Lee-style 1973 walk: Vigo, Valladolid, Segovia, Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Cádiz & Gibraltar though I never visited the church – food, wine & people far more interesting to me back then.

          I’ve only been to Idaho via my taste buds – a few packets of THIS EXACT BRAND always in my kitchen cupboard [bloody lovely – the entire range]. It seems like a jolly interesting place: Coffee, Atomic City, Magic, Squirrel, Craters of the Moon & those huge green circles everywhere that’s farmable. Forests & more bloody forests sounds ideal – I bet you enjoy healthily low levels of loons in blue/green/red hair wearing unnecessary spectacles. A very real place I suspect – not like Portland to your West.

          • rickflick
            Posted April 7, 2019 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

            “The priest who commissioned it, & paid out a relative pittance to El Greco, got his wish”. Why does that not surprise me. The Church seems to have an unending line of stooges willing to sacrifice any principle to expand the purse of the Church. I’ve just been reading, “God’s Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican”, which itemizes the voracious, often cruel, efforts of the Church to ensure it’s survival and flourishing. There are always brilliant operatives among the godly working to ensure growth and domination. It’s a bit like the ideal of Capitalism. Go figure.
            “As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning”, should be a good read. Did you follow that route?
            A walk across Idaho would be rather tedious, I’d think. Maybe a fast convertible would be better. Be sure and stop at Caldwell and visit.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted April 7, 2019 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      @rickflic I read almost two whole chapters of another of Posner’s books & threw it in the bin [not right to pass on to a a charity shop] – I wouldn’t trust that plagiarist & probable crook. Loads of factual errors & what looked to me like made up interview quotes. THE MONEYCHANGERS How the Vatican Bank Enabled Roberto Calvi to Steal $250 Million for the Heads of the P2 Masonic Lodge is far better if you can track down a second hand copy. Your library probably doesn’t have it, but they can maybe get it for you via that great American invention the ILL [interlibrary loan] system. A concept we stole in communist UK where it’s all free!

      QUOTE: “As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning”, should be a good read. Yes it is, though it has been discovered that Lee was ‘imaginative’ in places. Are there any honest writers? I’ve wondered about some of the greats – I bet Orwell didn’t spend his time as deeply down & out as he suggests.

      Laurie Lee’s “Cider With Rosie” was a thoroughly enjoyable required English Lit. book at school so I read his “…Walked Out…” book later off my own bat & decided to walk the route in my school holiday – hitch hiking the impossible bits that are rivers of cars those 40 summers later. I detoured a lot to keep it as rural as possible, I discovered it was too hot for walking in summer [which I should have picked up from the book!] & Lee’s world was mostly gone. I almost made it all the way, but the Spanish shipped me home after an incident in Jerez de la Frontera. “I didn’t start it mate” doesn’t work anywhere & thus I missed the Med by a handful of miles. Annoying. 🙂

      It fascinates me that places like Idaho are relatively young & yet there’s already so much history lost – origins of names & the like.

      I certainly will if I’m ever over there again. Thank you.

      • rickflick
        Posted April 7, 2019 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        “the Spanish shipped me home after an incident in Jerez de la Frontera. “I didn’t start it mate” doesn’t work anywhere…”, sounds like you have at least a few novels in you…8-)

  8. Posted April 7, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Did the sounding rockets have chemicals loaded to produce ionized radiation?

    They’ve done Ba releases at high altitude, to trace belt lines, but I do not recall sounding rockets making radiation, rather they detect it.

  9. Michael Fisher
    Posted April 7, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I would have had a cool brewski by my side to drink […] becoming the first person in the U.S. since January 17, 1920, to get a legal drink

    religious wine wasn’t banned & there was no federal law against the private ownership & consumption of booze [though some states banned possession]. So I suppose in some parts of the US – if you had a stocked wine cellar by 1920 you could be legally drunk for the next 13 years so long as you didn’t sell/distribute the stuff.

    • rickflick
      Posted April 7, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      you could be legally drunk for the next 13 years – doesn’t sound so bad.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 7, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Also, there was a get-out clause which Winston Churchill took care to avail himself of.

      becoming the first person in the U.S. since January 17, 1920, to get a legal drink (that’s when Prohibition started).

      If you had a compliant doctor, then you could get a prescription for alcohol for [invent psychosomatic/ psychobabbly] reasons, and have a reason for buying (or maybe, importing) your own booze.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted April 8, 2019 at 1:37 am | Permalink

        I would be disappointed in Winston if he hadn’t. 🙂

        cr

  10. Michael Fisher
    Posted April 7, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    @Kevin The two tweets about the sounding rockets do not claim the rockets are producing radiation – where did you get that from? The two rockets that were launched within minutes of each other released visible tracers: trimethyl aluminum (TMA) & a barium/strontium mixture, which ionizes when exposed to sunlight.

    Lots of interesting nerdly extra info HERE

  11. XCellKen
    Posted April 7, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    But you could legally drink a beer during Prohibition.

    All you had to do was find a doctor who would say that you had a medical condition which could be treated by the consumption of beer.

    Then the doctor would write you a prescription for beer

  12. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted April 7, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    National beer day? Beers for Brett!

  13. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted April 7, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    During the Rwandan genocide about 70% of all Tutsi were murdered, not 70% of the population. Many opposing and moderate Hutus were also murdered, as was about a third of the Batwa, the local pygmies.
    I think this genocide must rank among the most infamous in history. The names ‘Interahamwe’, ‘Impuzamugambi’ and ‘Radio Mille Collines’ still sends shivers down the spine. Writing about this, I have difficulty to keep it dry.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 7, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      There are refugees from it scattered up and down east Africa to this day.

  14. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 7, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    …. “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” from the 1958 movie version. The song was banned in Georgia for having the “Communist agenda” of approving interracial marriages!

    That would be the same State of Georgia that, a few years later, got all pissy with Ray Charles (who at the time had a hit record with the Hoagie Carmichael tune “Georgia on my Mind”) for refusing to play at a segregated venue in Augusta, GA.

    Hell, seven years after that, Georgia and the whole South damn near seceded from the Union again when British songbird Petula Clark (of “Downtown” fame) deigned to touch Harry Belefonte on the freakin’ arm while the two were singing a duet on American national tv.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted April 8, 2019 at 2:15 am | Permalink

      And Petula Clark still doesn’t really see what all the fuss was about. Which I love.

      And both Clark and Belafonte and their producer are still alive and kickin’, which is nice.

      cr

  15. Garry VanGelderen
    Posted April 7, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    You forgot to mention today is also ‘International Beaver Day’.

    • Christopher
      Posted April 7, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      I was going to make a bad joke about how it shouldn’t be “international” beaver day since there are no beavers in Brazil but then I found that there was a disastrous release of them into Tiera del Fuego (blame Canada) and it didn’t seem funny anymore, even with my warped sense of humor. So perhaps we should only celebrate the beaver in its natural habitat, which is not anywhere south of the equator, if ya know what I mean…sorry.

      • rickflick
        Posted April 7, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        It appears they have not yet reached the mainland but have produced great destruction on Islands. “…they quickly spread throughout the island, and to other islands in the region, reaching a number of 100,000 individuals within just 50 years.”

        “Beavers are classed as a “prohibited new organism” under New Zealand’s Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996, preventing them from legally being imported into the country.” Good luck with that.

        When will we ever learn? Here in Idaho, I’ve learned, numerous introduced species of plants have created a rather weirdly unnatural habitat. They drive many native species extinct and they are conducive of wildfires. Humans are responsible for an enormous upheaval in Earth’s biomes. We seem to always need to “improve” things.


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