Monday: Hili dialogue

It’s Monday, May 6, 2019, another day of cultural appropriation since it’s National Crepe Suzette Day. It’s also International No Diet Day, celebrating fat acceptance, but it’s also my No Food Day, one of the two days per week that I have no food (or rather, one cup of coffee and a few cups of air-popped popcorn).

Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot) marks the beginning of Teacher Appreciation Week (I’ll add that it includes retired teachers. . . )

On May 6, 1536, Henry VIII of England ordered that English-language Bibles be placed in every church. A few years later he authorized the use of the Great Bible, the first one translated into English, to be used for this purpose.  On this day in 1682, Louis XIV of France moved his residence and his court to the Palace of Versailles.

On May 6, 1757, it was a banner day for the history of both cats and poetry. For on that day the English poet Christopher Smart was admitted into St Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics in London. He was there for six years, but during his residence wrote the long and rather disjointed poem Jubilate Agno, which contains the best piece of poetry ever written about cats, the segment called “For I will consider my cat Geoffrey“. Here’s one fragment that I especially like, but read the whole thing at the link:

For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.
For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
On this day in 1889, the Eiffel Tower, part of the Universal Exposition in Paris, was opened to the public. And in 1915, Babe Ruth, a great pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, hit his first home run in the major leagues. He was to give up pitching, join the New York Yankees, and become one of the greatest hitters of all time.  On May 6, 1937, the zeppelin Hindenburg, filled with hydrogen, caught fire at Lakehurst, New Jersey, being consumed in about a minute. 36 people were killed and the disaster was filmed. Here’s the famous film and the narration by Herbert Morrison, whose words were not heard over the radio. “Oh the humanity!”:

On May 6, 1940, John Steinbeck was awarded the Pulitzer Price for his Depression-era novel The Grapes of Wrath. Exactly 14 years later, Roger Bannister became the first person to run a mile under four minutes. Here’s his achievement shown in a video narrated by Bannister himself. (The current record is 3:43:13, held by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morroco (for women it’s 4:12:56, held by Svetlana Masterkova of Russia.) There must be a limit somewhere, as nobody can run a mile in 5 seconds. Somewhere between 5 seconds and 3:43, then, is the barrier. 

Finally, on May 6, 1998, Kerry Wood of the Chicago Cubs gave what many consider the best pitching performance in history: in a game against the Houston Astros, he struck out 20 players, tying the record of Roger Clemens. Wood didn’t walk a single opponent.

Notables born on this day include Maximilien Robespierre (1758), Sigmund Freud and Robert Peary (both 1856), Rudolph Valentino (1895), Orson Welles (1915), Robert H. Dicke (1916), Willie Mays (1931), Bob Seger (1945), Martha Nussbaum (1947), Tony Blair (1953), and George Clooney (1961).

Those who died on May 6 include Alexander von Humboldt (1859), Henry David Thoreau (1862), Bret Harte (1902), Marlene Dietrich (1992), and Farley Mowat (2014).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili roams restlessly by the Vistula:

A: Where are you going?
Hili: I have an impression that there is more freedom further up.
In Polish:
Ja: Gdzie idziesz?
Hili: Mam wrażenie, że tam dalej jest więcej wolności.

Here’s a nice tweet I found. Translation: “Suddenly there was one more raccoon in the enclosure.” (I think it’s really cool that the German for raccoon, Washbär, translates as “washing bear”. More on this incredibly great story here, which gives a good reason why the UK should stay in the EU.

Tweets from Matthew. If this sign is real, it really is the greatest thing ever!

No more grilling this summer!

Well, I didn’t laugh out loud (I rarely do), but I smiled:

The life of a mayfly (less than a day) is short and brutal:

Tweets from Grania. In the first one, I can’t tell that they’re speaking different languages:

“I am become Death: destroyer of Teddy Bears.”

The usefulness of tube feet:

I love these metamorphosis videos:

Picnic on the water? No problem!


  1. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted May 6, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    For he is of the tribe of Tiger.


  2. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted May 6, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    “I am become Death: destroyer of Teddy Bears.”
    Destroyer of teddy bears

    There’s a recurring story in there which I’ve heard from several sources.
    The police/ fire brigade/ ambulance are called to a house whose elderly single occupant hasn’t been seen for a while, and there is a bad smell seeping through the closed doors and windows. The occupant is dead of natural causes. The cat or dog is well fed.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted May 6, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      That video clip creeps me out. I know it’s just a kitteh burrowing into a teddy bear, but it is just too reminiscent of other delightful creatures that G*d put on this world to entertain us. Like hagfish for example.

      (This is how I know G*d is a sadistic psychopath)


      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted May 8, 2019 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        ” There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidæ with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice.” (Source)

  3. Michael Fisher
    Posted May 6, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    EU irony or something re The Raccoon Tweet: Since the Chicago Tribune link isn’t accessible from the EU, because that newspaper [along with many other US newspapers] has blocked EU access rather than comply with the EU GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION… ~ HERE’S THE SAME STORY via the Daily Mail where a wild raccoon moves into a German zoo – and keepers can’t kick him out because it is against EU law [but there’s a downside for poor Mr. Racoon]

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted May 6, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      Mr. Racoon Raccoon

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted May 6, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    “Row-tisserie”: Not really, it’s a fixed BBQ with a water wheel to turn the spit. Seems to be a popular idea.

  5. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 6, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Happy National Teacher Appreciation Day to you PCC(E)!

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted May 6, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Oh here you are. Week.


  6. Posted May 6, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I did laugh at 45 seconds. I am a bad man.

    • Frank Bath
      Posted May 6, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Me too. How can we not love children?

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted May 6, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      I did laugh too, excessively cute. How can one not love the little fellah?

  7. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 6, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Happy National Teacher Appreciation Week to you, PCC(E)!

    Getting more valuable every day!

    (My previous comment didn’t make it this this one)

  8. Posted May 6, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Nice story about Fred the Washbear. He somehow managed to reverse-escape his way *into* the zoo, where he has been living comfortably since 2014.

    Brexiteers and white nationalists would no doubt get a lot of mileage out of the fact that due to EU regulations, now that he’s made it in, he’s not allowed to be deported back to the wild. The EU has banned the entry of 26 species, including raccoons and gray squirrels. (Here in Germany I’ve still never seen gray squirrel, but plenty of red ones.)

    For Fred asylum came a cost though. He was castrated, by order of faceless bureaucrats in Brussels.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted May 6, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      The Red squirrel is ‘endogenius’, native, to Western Europe, the Grey one is and invasive alien from North America.

    • Posted May 6, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Raccoons also are not legitimate members of European fauna.

      • Posted May 6, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        Yes — I am glad that they are being controlled. Some idiot introduced them, and they have spread somewhat and are competing with the native water voles etc for habitat.

        Same gray squirrels. I hope they keep away. The red ones are everywhere in the parks in every city. Very sweet…

  9. rickflick
    Posted May 6, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    The coyote tweet was a reminder that dogs have been a major problem for wildlife around the world. Mostly feral or free ranging dogs. They are not as hard on birds as cats are, but tough on many mammal species. Keep your dog under control.

  10. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted May 6, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I appear to remember that Mr Bannister had more or less given up on running records, and went mountaineering in the high mountains instead. He supposed it would be ruinous to his ‘running muscles’, but lo! He ran better than ever!
    Lasse Viren used the same, but ‘cisfused’ himself with his own ‘mountain blood’, high in Hb and red blood cells.
    Nowadays the cyclists of the Tour (and other races) sleep in low oxygen tents in their hotel rooms. Contrary to Erythropoietin injections it is perfectly legal.

  11. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted May 6, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Spellchecker 😈👿👹!

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted May 6, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      That was for the endogenius squirrel. From bad to worse

  12. Posted May 6, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    To my eye, there is some evidence of Photoshopping in the coyote sign.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted May 6, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      I can’t see any. If there is, it has been extremely well done. The typeface (font) and weight matches exactly the top half of the sign.

      Unless of course the entire sign has been photoshopped.


  13. Posted May 6, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Great videos today!

  14. Кузман
    Posted May 6, 2019 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Interestingly, “raccoon” in Japanese is also “wash-bear” (araiguma), though the transliteration raku-n is also used.

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