Thursday: Hili dialogue

It’s Thursday, August 8, 2019, and it’s National Frozen Custard Day. It’s also Happiness Happens Day, also known as Admit You’re Happy Day (for us Jews, though, it would be”Admit You’re Complacent Day”). And it’s the best day ever: INTERNATIONAL CAT DAY! (The Twitter site is #internationalcatday). If you send me a picture of your cat by noon Chicago time, I’ll post it (please give its name and a few words about it).

In honor of the day, here’s my BFF Pi in a big box:

Stuff that happened on August 8 includes:

  • 1576 – The cornerstone for Tycho Brahe’s Uraniborg observatory is laid on the island of Hven.
  • 1786 – Mont Blanc on the French-Italian border is climbed for the first time by Jacques Balmat and Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Following his defeat in the Battle of Gettysburg, General Robert E. Lee sends a letter of resignation to Confederate President Jefferson Davis (which is refused upon receipt).
  • 1908 – Wilbur Wright makes his first flight at a racecourse at Le Mans, France. It is the Wright Brothers’ first public flight.
  • 1942 – Quit India Movement is launched in India against the British rule in response to Mohandas Gandhi’s call for swaraj or complete independence.
  • 1963 – Great Train Robbery: In England, a gang of 15 train robbers steal £2.6 million in bank notes.
  • 1969 – At a zebra crossing in London, photographer Iain Macmillan takes the iconic photo that becomes the cover image of the Beatles‘ album Abbey Road.

Here’s that picture and a spoof; it’s bizarre that just about the time that picture was being taken, the event below was happening in the U.S.


  • 1969 – The Manson Family commits the Tate murders.
  • 1974 – President Richard Nixon, in a nationwide television address, announces his resignation from the office of the President of the United States effective noon the next day.

Here’s his announcement, which I saw live and remember it well. What a tumultuous time that was! But I wouldn’t mind it happening right now.

Notables born on this day include:

Henson was an African-American who began as Robert Peary’s valet but soon became the de facto leader of the famous march to the North Pole, and perhaps the first man to reach the Pole. There is, however, some doubt about whether Peary and Henson really did reach the Pole. Here’s Henson in his Arctic apparel:

More people born on August 8:

  • 1896 – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, American author and academic (d. 1953)

Do read Rawling’s superb book, The Yearling, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1939.

  • 1907 – Benny Carter, American saxophonist, trumpet player, and composer (d. 2003)
  • 1919 – Dino De Laurentiis, Italian actor and producer (d. 2010)
  • 1932 – Mel Tillis, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2017)
  • 1944 – John C. Holmes, American film actor (d. 1988)
  • 1981 – Roger Federer, Swiss tennis player

Those who began pushing up daisies on August 8 include:

  • 1940 – Johnny Dodds, American clarinet player and saxophonist (b. 1892)
  • 1975 – Cannonball Adderley, American saxophonist (b. 1928)
  • 1985 – Louise Brooks, American actress (b. 1906)
  • 2004 – Fay Wray, Canadian-American actress (b. 1907)
  • 2013 – Karen Black, American actress (b. 1939)
  • 2017 – Glen Campbell, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (b. 1936)

In honor of Campbell’s death, I’ll once again put up one of my favorite live performances of what I consider Campbell’s best song. Note the great guitar work at the end:


Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is going a-wandering:

Hili: I’m going out into the world.
A: Where to?
Hili: I’ll see when I get there.
In Polish:
Hili: Idę w świat.
Ja: Dokąd?
Hili: Zobaczę jak tam dojdę.

From reader Michael, an xkcd cartoon with two of my favorite topics: physics and squirrels.


And a really bad pun from Richard:

A tweet sent by Grania on January 21 of this year. It’s a video of a beautiful deep-sea beautiful jellyfish. Translation:

The beauty of the Halitrephes maasi jellyfish, while reflecting a light source, captured on video on Socorro Island in BC, Mexico, by Dr. Robert Ballard of the Ocean Exploration Trust, during an expedition in November 2017.

From reader Gregory: nice firefighters set up ladders to help raccoons escape a fire!

Two tweets from Heather Hastie. Mr. Lumpy and friend, the world’s most spoiled badgers, take away their eggs to enjoy later:

A very skillful bird:

And four tweets from Matthew Cobb. First, a peregrine got a pigeon in New York’s Upper East Side. The onlookers appear flummoxed:

Beautiful light-morph badgers:

This is what America has come to: what this guy is doing is legal!

. . . and I’m delighted to hear that the cat man of Aleppo is alive and still saving moggies. Happy International Cat Day!




  1. Posted August 8, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    WRT the man with the designed-to-kill-humans-rifle in Starbucks, if I walked into a coffee shop and there was a man like that toting such an assault weapon, I would turn around and go and find somewhere else. I’m surprised businesses don’t ban guns. It must be bad for trade.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted August 8, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I’d do the same (turn around).
      South Africa is not really naive re gun violence (to put it mildly), but this would be a complete nono, and probably illegal too.

  2. E.A. Blair
    Posted August 8, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Remind us where to send the kitty pics, please.

  3. Posted August 8, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    I wonder what percentage of the US is secretly or not-so-secreting longing for an exciting to chance to use their weapons. I wonder what percentage it takes before a spark can set off a civil war. Trump is clearly striking matches and tossing them about.

    • rickflick
      Posted August 8, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Trump is clearly striking matches and tossing them about.

      It’s almost unimaginable. The US president is a psychopath. But, these are the times we live in. I guess there were many times throughout history when people could only scratch their heads in dismay and watch events unfold like a bad dream.

    • gscott
      Posted August 8, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      I’d guess that every one of these ammosexuals has imagined a dramatic and heroic film script starring *THEM*.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted August 8, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        They dream of being the future subject of a Clint Eastwood movie.

      • BJ
        Posted August 8, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Just to be clear, are you saying that anyone who owns several guns and enjoys them as a hobby is an “ammosexual”? Or just a specific kind of person?

        Genuine question.

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted August 8, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          No, but someone toting this big gun in public immediately falls under the suspicion he’s trying to make up for his undersized penis. (note, I do not say it is, just that the suspicion is immediately raised).
          The same goes for out-sized, especially red, ties, BTW. 🙂

        • Posted August 8, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think this is the case. There are several channels about guns I like on YouTube, Forgotten Weapons is my favourite. The guy who runs that channel owns a lot of guns. His videos are generally about historically interesting firearms.

          However, I’m prepared to bet that almost everybody who feels the need to wear an AR style semi automatic rifle slung across his shoulder in Starbucks is an ammosexual.

        • gscott
          Posted August 8, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

          In this case, I was just referring to the kind of person who doesn’t feel comfortable going into Starbuck’s unarmed; i.e., the guy in the picture and his ilk. I’ve got friends who are hunters, target shooters, biathletes, etc. and none of them fit my definition of ‘ammosexual’.

          (And +1 to the 2 comments above)

          • E.A. Blair
            Posted August 8, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            To me, an ammosexual is someone who feels a need to carry assault weapons into places like a Starbucks then calls anyone who objects to the open presence of such a weapon a “snowflake”.

        • BJ
          Posted August 8, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the answers, everyone. I agree completely. (except for Stempels idea that this is penis size compensation. I think that’s a harmful stereotype that’s applied to a ton of things, like cars, houses, etc.).

      • Bob
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        We a mass killer to start shooting in this man’s area, he would be one of the first targets that the police would take under fire. This happened to a young black man in a shopping mall, in Birmingham I think. Shots were fired in the mall and he pulled his pistol for which he and a concealed carry permit and a responding police officer shot him. So much for good guys having guns to prevent such things.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 8, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      “I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

      – Donald Trump

      • EdwardM
        Posted August 8, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        One of the most frightening things to ever come out of a president’s mouth. Why isn’t this -threatening American people with police, military and paramilitary forces- an impeachable offense?

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted August 8, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

          It’s terrifying isn’t it? And it got about ten minutes’ worth of coverage.

    • David Coxill
      Posted August 8, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Don’t think them red neck ,gun crazy ,religious wackaloon will prove much of a problem to the US armed forces .
      Talking of red neck ,gun crazy ,religious wackaloons ,anyone seen a film called Red State ?

  4. Paul Monne
    Posted August 8, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    What? No film clip of John C. Holmes best work. I’d include a link, but NSFW.

  5. BJ
    Posted August 8, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Man, I love me some Glen Campbell, even though I’m not a huge fan of most country music. This is the kind of country I love.

    In my opinion, the best country guitarist of all time and one of the best to play the instrument ever is Chet Atkins. For those of you who like him, Mark Knopfler, or both, check out their phenomenal album, Neck And Neck.

    • RGT
      Posted August 8, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      I respectfully disagree, the best with a guitar, banjo and fiddle would be Roy Clark.

      • BJ
        Posted August 8, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Well, here’s one for both of us 🙂

      • BJ
        Posted August 8, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, I should’ve posted this one instead, as it has better sound.

        • darrelle
          Posted August 8, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          Hee Haw was a regular show in our house growing up. I really don’t like country music, with a few exceptions. Waylon Jennings being probably the largest and I’ve fond remembrances of Roy Clark too.

          • Blue
            Posted August 8, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

            THE Awesomest INDEPENDENCE / FREEDOM / NO –
            gods’ patriotic ode, Mr darrelle, not ?
            ” … … in a war that didn’t seem right.”

            And two more most favored ever ones !
            just cuz Mr Jennings IS THE Awesomest Ever +
            My Person, now dead – William, loved it
            up upon his darling Harley:
   along with this other of ours:

            O my ! How I m i s s them both … …


            • darrelle
              Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

              And here I thought I knew Waylon’s music pretty well and I’ve never heard America.

              Two of my favorites are Lonesome, On’ry and Mean and Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way.

              • Blue
                Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

                +1 ! O yes ! Those two
                .are., indeed, smashing, Mr darrelle.

                Soooo, so very many from outta him !
                … … thankfully !

                And, too I hafta state: I adore this one
                from out of Ms Jessi ! She could play and
                sing as well ! What fun the two of them
                must ‘ve had together !


              • darrelle
                Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

                Oh my, yes. That song brings a tear to me eye every time I hear it.

  6. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted August 8, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Pigeons and doves are a pest in most big cities around the world. Attracting falcons should be a priority, since they can keep these populations down.
    Well I guess in the US there is enough ‘circulating fire power’ to do it in an alternative way, 🙂

  7. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted August 8, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Note that on that photograph Matthew Henson has white shoulder pads, fading into the background. His neck is of normal length (if you were wondering as I did at first glance).

  8. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted August 8, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Mr Nixon, what a great speech! Putting the interests of America before his personal wants. Something I haven’t seen for a couple of years.
    What great things did he do?
    – Got the US a out of SE Asia (Vietnam)
    – Opened up to China
    – Installed the EPA
    – Abdicated in the interest of the US.
    No mean feats,
    What great feats has the present incumbent achieved?
    – …
    – …
    – …
    – …

  9. Ruthann L. Richards
    Posted August 8, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for updating us on the Cat Man of Aleppo. I’m glad he is still around and helping kitties who so badly need it.

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