Thursday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s Thursday, April 22, 2019, and tomorrow at 10 a.m. I get gutted like a pig (well, bored into like a clam). It’s National Pecan Torte Day, brought to you by the desperate folks at Big Pecan, and also National Eat a Peach Day (not named after the Allman Brothers album), as well as National Bao Day, and National Burger Day in the UK, where eating a burger constitutes cultural appropriation from Americans. Finally, it’s Take Your Cat to the Vet Day.

I just received a swell book on cowboy boots from Amazon; it was sent by a reader who gave his first name, but if it’s you, please identify yourself so I can thank you properly (I need a name for that!).

Stuff that happened on August 22 includes:

Richard III’s skeleton, in case you forgot, was discovered under a parking lot in Leicester. Here it is, showing his spinal scoliosis:

And his skull, which was bashed in; these are the wounds that killed him:

For a nice 9-minute video of how they identified him, go here.

  • 1780 – James Cook’s ship HMS Resolution returns to England (Cook having been killed on Hawaii during the voyage).
  • 1849 – The first air raid in history. Austria launches pilotless balloons against the city of Venice.
  • 1902 – Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first President of the United States to make a public appearance in an automobile.
  • 1922 – Michael CollinsCommander-in-chief of the Irish Free State Army, is shot dead in an ambush during the Irish Civil War.

Here’s Collins’s body in Cork Hospital right after he was killed by a shot to the head. (Good touch, making him hold a cross.)

Here’s a short documentary about Collins’s death told by those who were there (you can see a longer documentary here).

And the death of Collins (played by Liam Neeson) in the 1996 movie “Michael Collins”:

  • 1989 – Nolan Ryan strikes out Rickey Henderson to become the first Major League Baseball pitcher to record 5,000 strikeouts.

Here’s that strikeout:

  • 2003 – Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is suspended after refusing to comply with a federal court order to remove a rock inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Courtbuilding.
  • 2004 – Versions of The Scream and Madonna, two paintings by Edvard Munch, are stolen at gunpoint from a museum in Oslo, Norway.
  • 2007 – The Texas Rangers defeat the Baltimore Orioles 30–3, the most runs scored by a team in modern Major League Baseball history.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1862 – Claude Debussy, French pianist and composer (d. 1918)
  • 1880 – George Herriman, American cartoonist (d. 1944)

Herriman, creator of Krazy Kat (the best comic ever) is a big favorite of Matthew and me. Here’s a tweet in honor of his birthday, sent by Dr. Cobb:

  • 1893 – Dorothy Parker, American poet, short story writer, critic, and satirist (d. 1967)
  • 1902 – Leni Riefenstahl, German actress, film director and propagandist (d. 2003)
  • 1915 – David Dellinger, American activist (d. 2004)
  • 1920 – Ray Bradbury, American science fiction writer and screenwriter (d. 2012)
  • 1935 – Annie Proulx, American novelist, short story writer, and journalist
  • 1939 – Carl Yastrzemski, American baseball player

Those who took the Dirt Nap on this day include:

  • 1485 – Richard III of England (b. 1452)
  • 1922 – Michael Collins, Irish rebel, counter-intelligence and military tactician, and politician; 2nd Irish Minister of Finance (b. 1890)
  • 1967 – Gregory Goodwin Pincus, American biologist and academic, co-created the birth-control pill (b. 1903)
  • 1989 – Huey P. Newton, American activist, co-founded the Black Panther Party (b. 1942)
  • 1991 – Colleen Dewhurst, Canadian-American actress (b. 1924)
  • 2007 – Grace Paley, American short story writer and poet (b. 1922)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is scouting outside the kitchen window:

And nearby, at the site of his future home, Leon tries to stay dry:

Leon: Hush! I’m hiding here from the rain.

In Polish: Ciiii, tu się skryłem przed deszczem.

Here’s a famished frog. That cricket is down the gullet in about a quarter of a second.

From Moto:

Grania sent me this tweet on December 5 of last year. She always loved friendships between different species of animals:

A tweet from reader Barry. Be sure to turn the sound up.

Hillary’s “throwing shade” on The Donald. It’s pretty funny, too:

Also from Barry, the instantiation of Isaiah’s prophesy:

Tweets from Matthew Cobb. In this first one, he links us to a nice 9-minute piece he did for the BBC (don’t forget Matthew’s book, Eleven Days in August: The Liberation of Paris in 1944.

A robber fly (these things are wicked!):

Just when you think Trump can’t get any crazier. . .

Smiling Victorians! But I don’t recall a picture of Queen Victoria herself ever smiling:


  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 22, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    … and also National Eat a Peach Day (not named after the Allman Brothers album) …

    So named after the line in Eliot’s “Prufrock”?

  2. GBJames
    Posted August 22, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    I read Matthew’s Eleven Days in August. Very good read.

    • Claudia Baker
      Posted August 22, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Reading it right now. Read his book on the Resistance a couple of months ago. Great reads, both.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 22, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    The possible damage done with our friends overseas by this degraded president of ours is beyond comprehension. Denmark is a founding member of NATO (1949) and a big trading partner. I participated in a NATO exercise in Denmark in 1971. We have had an important air base in Greenland (Thule) since 1951. This idiot must go.

  4. BJ
    Posted August 22, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Those pictures — of Victorians, no less! Scandalous! — of people goofing off back in the 1800’s are fantastic. I had no idea there were picture like that. I especially like the series of eight pictures from the first tweet where they’re all making silly faces and wearing funny hats.

    One looks like they’re making a face that say, “there’s an incredibly strong smell of cum. I was wondering if it might be the tree…” Damn it. I love that skit.

  5. BJ
    Posted August 22, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Any time Trump says he’s “very seriously” thinking about something, it’s a near guarantee that he’s very seriously not thinking about anything, told nobody before he blurted this very serious thought now, and was probably dropping a deuce if he tweeted it. Nearly all of his “very serious” thoughts are spontaneous BS that’s disavowed the next day or never spoken of again. All I can do is point and laugh at this stage. Tragedy + Time = Comedy, but sometimes you have to laugh while it’s happening or you might just kill yourself.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 22, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Trump says he’s “very seriously” looking at trying to change the Constitution by executive order.

    More evidence, as though any were needed, that Our President couldn’t pass a middle-school Civics exam.

    Perhaps “president” shouldn’t be an entry-level government position, especially for the mentally disordered.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 22, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      But wouldn’t we all just *love* to see the idiot try to do just that?

      And have it explained to him by everybody from the school janitor on up why it doesn’t work that way?


      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 22, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Pretty sure Trump could’ve never qualified for a government job that required him to pass the NY City civil service exam first.

    • Posted August 22, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      It’s all calculated to rile up his base. I do think it is a little crazy that someone here on vacation can give birth to a US citizen. Still, the change he’s after is not going to happen via Executive Order. If he tried it, it would have to go to the Supreme Court where he thinks he might win. Even if he doesn’t win, Trump would view the battle as a good thing because it allows him to play the martyr to his base.

      • rickflick
        Posted August 22, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Yes, you can’t take tweets and shouts at face value. It’s always him playing a role for his base. It’s all he knows how to do. It fits with his declared goal in life, which is to be famous and rich. Years ago he was asked, if he ran for president would he run as a Dem or a GOP. He said GOP because they’re so stupid, they’d be easy to handle. There’s never been anything else about Trump to speculate on. He has no principles that would motivate any action.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted August 23, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        It’s all calculated to rile up his base.

        I think he’s trying to establish precedent for his overturning of the 23rd Amendment (number? the one about restricting the number of times you can be president). He may not personally benefit from it, but he’s lining up for Ivanka or Don Junior to become hereditary presidents.

  7. Mark Jones
    Posted August 22, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    So Trump’s father wouldn’t be an American citizen? Not sure what that makes Trump himself. I see a regression problem here.

  8. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 22, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    “1898 Photo Her Majesty’s gracious smile. An instantaneous photograph from life / Charles Knight, court photographer”


    • Posted August 22, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      OMG, you found one!

    • DrBrydon
      Posted August 22, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink


    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 22, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      The Queen: “We are not amused.”

  9. DrBrydon
    Posted August 22, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Richard III might have been the last English monarch to die in battle, but George II was the last one to lead troops in battle (Dettingen 1743).

    The way that frog waves his front legs around reminds me of Kermit the frog.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 22, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Didn’t his grandson, George III, do battle against madness much of the time?

      • DrBrydon
        Posted August 22, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Yes, but that wasn’t at the head of an army.

        • GBJames
          Posted August 22, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

          As King he’s head of the Army! So the battles were in the head of the head of the army!

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 24, 2019 at 3:00 am | Permalink

        George III (‘mad King George’) wasn’t actually a bad king in most ways, though obviously he was reviled by his opponents in the American Colonies. He was aware (in his lucid periods) that he had mental issues. I’d put him streets ahead of tRump, who doesn’t ever seem to be aware how ridiculous and destructive he’s being or maybe just doesn’t care.


  10. Posted August 22, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    So what kind of bug is that that caught what looks to be a wasp?

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 22, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Methinks: a hornet, Yellow-Jacket.

    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted August 22, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      The prey is a wasp the predator is a fly (diptera). You can see the haltere sticking out from under the wing (the small knob on a slender stalk). This is a feature of all diptera – two winged flies – but not found in other insects (the halteres are in fact modified wings and correspond to the second pair of wings possessed by other insect orders).

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 24, 2019 at 3:02 am | Permalink

        Can those things bite or sting? I’d hate to be bitten by one. Look at the SIZE of it!


  11. Mark R.
    Posted August 22, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    The gobbling turkeys were pretty funny on their own, but the caption made it priceless.

  12. harrync
    Posted August 22, 2019 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    So 21 people looked to Google and found some accurate information. One of them was actually rational enough to switch their vote to Hillary based on that info. Scandalous.

%d bloggers like this: