Wednesday: Hili dialogue

March 8, 2017 • 6:30 am

It’s Wednesday, March 8—a week before I head to New Zealand. It’s National Peanut Cluster Day, a patty of peanuts and chocolate that resembles elephant droppings, and International Women’s Day, commemorating the ongoing struggle for women’s rights. Women’s Day is celebrated today with an interactive Google Doodle (click on screenshot below to go to it). As you scroll through it clicking on the screenshots (or using the right arrow), you’ll see many women, 13 of whom are specific notable women. How many can you name? (I got only two!) Try it, and after you finish, check your answers here.

My contribution to this panoply of awesome women will be this video showing Or Lazmi interacting with four lions.

On this day in 1817, the New York Stock Exchange opened for business, and, as appropriate for Women’s Day, it’s the day in 1910 when the French aviator Raymonde de Laroche became the first woman to receive a pilot’s license. In 1917 the February Revolution began in Russia, and in 1978 the first radio episode of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was broadcast on BBC Radio 4. It is not a day marked by many great events.

Notables born on this day include Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841), Otto Hahn (1878), Cyd Charisse (1922), John McPhee (1931; one of my favorite essayists), Richard Fariña (1937), and Carol Bayer Sager (1947). Those who died on this day include Hector Berlioz (1869), Millard Fillmore (1879), William Howard Taft (1930), the Japanese Akita dog Hachikō, (1935; the only animal I’ve seen listed in Wikipedia’s obituary section), Sherwood Anderson (1941), Billy Eckstine (1993), Joe DiMaggio (1999), and the “fifth Beatle” George Martin (2016). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, guest Sarah has just left, but has also left a reservoir of Hili photos for future dialogues.

Hili: I’m a territorial animal, ever ready to defend my territory.
Sarah: I’m just taking a picture, silly.
Photo: Sarah Lawson
In Polish:
Hili: Jestem zwierzęciem terytorialnym, zawsze gotowym do obrony swojego terytorium.
Sarah: Ja tylko robię zdjęcie, głuptasie.
Foto: Sarah Lawson
h/t: Jon


37 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. The Time magazine article (explaining the Google doodle) says that Sally Ride was the first woman in space. Actually, it was Valentina Tereshkova.

    1. I came to the comments to say just this. Sally Ride was just the first _American_ woman in space, but only third when in comes the world. Maybe they thought Russians do not matter, but I hope just plain ignorance.

  2. Never mind peanut clusters looking like poo, you can buy real crap on amazon. Thanks to the website Worst Things for Sale, I found a link to a seller, Plum Dragon Herbs, that sells Wu Ling Zhi, or “fat of five spirits”, which apparently is, and I shit you not, a 1lb bag of squirrel droppings. Not just ANY squirrel droppings of course, they are “medicinal grade Chinese herb” squirrel droppings and quite the bargain at only $45.00! Perhaps you could cover them in chocolate for a healthier version of the peanut cluster…

    1. If you wanted to buy bullshit – you’ve missed your chance. A couple of years ago the makers of Cards Against Humanity released their Xmas Special Edition which was a literal box of (steam sterilised) bullshit.
      Much hilarity and finger-pointing then ensued at the moans and complaints of people who had brought X boxes for delivery to Auntie Prudence for Xmas, and then realised that where the advert said “you will receive a literal box of bullshit”, they meant that you will receive a literal box of bullshit.
      Me? I expect that unopened boxes of CAH bullshit will soon top boxed, unopened Palaeontologist Barbie dolls with the lunatic fringe of the “collecting” community.

    2. You can also buy coprolites (fossilised dung)online or in specialist shops. I was given one by my (late, alas) brother-in-law for Christmas about 10 years ago. The leaflet in the box says it came from Madagascar and originated from “an unknown species”.

      1. I once came into possession of a few pieces of 10,000+ year-old megatherium dung and sent some of it to Salvador Dali because, to me, the very thought of turds from a giant sloth the size of an elephant was eminently surreal, as was the notion that the caves where the dung was found served as public toilets for the creatures. Also surreal are the dung fires that burn for years in the caves when the desiccated shit is ignited.

      2. Well I’m sure the Chinese ground those up and called them medicinal too.

        I would dearly love to find a coprolite myself. My geology professor, who was also a jeweler, had some he was cutting, polishing, and fashioning watch faces out of. Add your own jokes…

  3. There’s a statue of a girl staring down the bull on wall st. It’s “huge”, Google it. Some firm set it up for today.

  4. How many “fifth Beatle[s]” were there anyway? In addition to Sir George, I can think of at least two others — Murray the K and Billy Preston.

      1. There’s a PBS show on Martin – aired 6 months or so ago. Saw only the ads. In an ideal world I’d have watched the whole thing in one sitting.

      2. Here’s something about it:

        There’s a YouTube link on there. :

        Here’s a nice quote from Martin:

        ““Music is the only common thread and universal language that binds us together regardless of race, nationality, age or income. And, recorded music is how we experience it and what makes it accessible. Through the production of Soundbreaking, I was afforded the opportunity to tell the story of the creative process of so many of the artists I have worked with throughout my life” – Sir George Martin.”

        1. “Music is the only common thread and universal language that binds us together regardless of race, nationality, age or income.”

          Obviously written by someone who values music. I still shake my head in total failure of understanding of that canard about a “universal language”. How can it be a universal language when some people literally don’t have the physical capability of detecting the language.

          1. Amusia is the term, I believe. Oliver Sacks wrote about it in his book Musicophilia, and I do recommend it. Although as a BBC podcast noted, although which one I can’t remember, Science Hour perhaps, that many who claim to be tone deaf are not; they simply can’t sing worth a damn. Anyway, those who are actually afflicted with the neurological disorder amusia perceived music as horrible, disturbing noise, though that could also describe hip hop, rap, and most modern country music as well, if you ask me.

            1. Yeah, Dad got me that book several birthdays ago. It was pleasant to realise that one isn’t alone.

      3. Oh, I’m a big believer in the credit due George Martin for the Beatles’ sound.

        My question was really about the label “fifth Beatle”; it got thrown around rather loosely back then. (I mean, Murray the K?)

  5. The Radio 4 version was, IMO, the best format for hitchhikers guide. It was very well suited for radio, and with he right biochemical assistance had real internal logic in that format 🙂

    1. Well, it was developed for radio. All derivatives, no matter how well done, were derivatives.

  6. All of Google’s heroines seem to be from the 20th century. Among less well-known feminist trailblazers I would add that “wonderful woman” Harriet Martineau (1802-1874), English social theorist and arguably one of the founders of sociology.

    1. IF the current admin. gets this health care demolished as written, we will need a whole new group of women to start all over.

      The real Trump mission is – Make America Sick Again.

    2. Ada Lovelace lived in the 19th century, and I have to admit that many of the other names were completely unfamiliar to me, so there may be more than one.

  7. Since one challenge women often encounter is finding mentors, showing little girls recognising/applauding the accomplishments of the women is a brilliant way of noting the importance of this valuable connection. The women selected are all interesting, and it was inspirational researching their achievements.

    1. O yes, quite, Ms MacPherson.

      As well, Ms Hypatia of the 04th Century CE and of

      And, too, my personal, very favored inspiration
      for both my atheism and feminism and collective
      thinkings and activities thereof:
      Ms Matilda Joslyn (Gage) of and her published work initially of y1893: Woman, Church and State, (published again in 1980 by Watertowne MA: Persephone Press) and, for you, kindly reproduced in full at


      1. Well, thank you, Prime Minister, for this doubling, say, of .that. noted within:

        “The money, which will be invested over a three-year period, will support projects that provide sex education, strengthen reproductive health services, and support family planning and contraceptives. It will also fund programs to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence, including forced marriage and female genital mutilation, and supporting the right of women to get safe and legal abortions.

        The figure represents a doubling of current funding, Trudeau said in Ottawa this morning.

        Canada is also supporting initiatives that will accelerate the use of contraceptives by 2020.”

        This should be a given. One, now, should not even ‘need to be’ grateful.

        But, well, AllYa’All know how it is, not ?

        1. Yes and Trudeau is a Catholic. He has gotten heat from the Catholic church who wanted to meddle in politics and he told them to go away.

          His father, the PM I grew up under, famously said that the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation when he got rid of sodomy laws that persecuted gays, etc.

  8. Have a great trip to NZ. You’ll be gob smacked by the scenery. Visit an albatross nesting colony.I think we went to one close to Rotorua(sp?). Don’t let the keas eat your wind shield wipers.

    1. On some of the great walks I have done in the South Island there are hooks on the outside of the buildings to hang your possibly wet boots.
      If you leave them on the ground outside, the keas would pull out the shoelaces and rip the boots apart.
      They are a beautiful looking bird though.
      I have seen them attacking people’s backpacks and the owner would let them do it for a while just so they could look at them.
      One trip to NZ I was having bangers and mash in a pub in Queenstown and an ad came on the tv for a car insurance company and it showed keas destroying everything they could get to on a car – ripping off the wipers, pulling out rubber from the windows, attacking mirrors. It was a great ad.

      1. And yours, Mr Frum, is a great accounting thereof !

        A funny, funny read I quite enjoyed having !


  9. While resting near the top of Routeburn Falls many years ago, I recall a kea approaching my out-stretched feet and attacking my bootlaces (with my feet there-in).
    I didn’t protest, but watched with fascination that lovely bird!

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