Wednesday: Hili dialogue

June 5, 2019 • 6:45 am

It’s Wednesday, June 5, 2019, and National Ketchup Day. Remember, Ceiling Cat’s Fourth Commandment: “Thou shalt not upon pain of death put ketchup on a hot dog.”

It’s also World Day Against Speciesism as well as World Environment Day.

News of the Day: Larry, the Official Mouser to the Cabinet Office, walked down the red carpet meant for Trump. He also stopped Trump’s limousine (see tweet below).

On this day in 1851, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s powerful anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, began running as a serial in an abolitionist newspaper.  On June 5, 1883, the first regularly scheduled train of the Orient Express left Paris for Istanbul. Sadly, the train stopped running in 2009, although you can still buy a Paris to Istanbul trip on the original carriages from a private company. Here’s a poster for the original route; isn’t it romantic?

On June 5, 1915, Denmark amended its constitution to given women the right to vote. Exactly one year later, Louis Brandeis was sworn in as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the first American Jew to hold that position.  Although he faced opposition because of his religion (as far as I can see, he was a secular Jew like me), he was a fantastic justice, especially on issues of freedom of speech and the right to privacy.

Remember that tomorrow is the anniversary of D-Day, but the day before, June 5, 1944, British bombers dropped 5,000 tons of bombs on the Normandy coast to “soften up” the gun battery defenses.

On this day in 1956, Elvis Presley introduced his new single, “Hound Dog,” on the Milton Berle show, and it was there (not Ed Sullivan) that he “scandalized the audience with his suggestive hip movements.” Of course you’ll want to see that, so here it is:

On this day in 1967, the Six-Day war began as Israel launched strikes against Egypt in response to Egypt’s massing forces on the Israeli border. Israel won by June 10, losing 1,000 troops in response to the loss of 20,000 of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.

On this day in 1975, the UK held its first national referendum on membership of the EEC. This was the first ever national referendum in the UK, and the vote to be a member was 67% “yes.” How things have changed! On this day in 1981, according to Wikipedia, “the ‘Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report’ of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report[ed] that five people in Los Angeles, California, [had] a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems, in what [turned] out to be the first recognized cases of AIDS.”

On June 5, 1984, in “Operation Blue Star,” Indira Gandhi, India’s Prime Minister, ordered the Indian Army to invade the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest site for Sikhs.  The cause: the Temple was sheltering militants. After a five-day siege, it was all over, with the militants routed and hundreds of deaths, as well as the Golden Temple being severely damaged. In one of the consequences, Gandhi was murdered by two of her Sikh bodyguards on October 31 of that same year. I can’t believe that they didn’t foresee that and remove the bodyguards.  Finally, on this day in 1995, the  Bose–Einstein condensate was first created, a low-temperature state of gas predicted by Satyendra Bose and Albert Einstein in 1924-1925.

Notables born on this day include Pat Garrett (1850), Pancho Villa (1878), John Maynard Keynes (1883), Federico Garcia Lorca (1898), Christy Brown (1932), Bill Moyers (1934), Margaret Drabble (1939), Spalding Gray (1941), and Laurie Anderson (1947).

Christy Brown, who died in 1981, was an Irish writer and painter afflicted with cerebral palsy, but was able to paint and type with the toes of his left foot. His autobiography, My Left Foot, was made into an Oscar-winning movie of the same name, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Brown. He also wrote poems and an acclaimed novel, Down All the Days, as well as several other books. Here’s an interview with Brown in 1962.

Those who fell asleep on June 5 include Stephen Crane (1900), O. Henry (1910), Ronald Reagan (2004), Ray Bradbury (2012), and Kate Spade (2018).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili makes a funny:

Hili: Nature is like an open book.
A: And that means?
Hili: One can walk on  it.
In Polish:
Hili: Natura jest jak otwarta książka.
Ja: To znaczy?
Hili: Można po niej chodzić.

From Facebook:

And this:

Larry, the Official Mouser of the Cabinet Office, managed to stop Trump’s limousine when thousands of demonstrators couldn’t. See here for more information (h/t: Ginger K.)

Larry also got into a fracas with Palmerston, the Resident Chief Mouser of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) at Whitehall in London. Larry and Palmerston hate each other and scrap frequently.

Three cat tweets from Heather Hastie. This is adorable!

This isn’t so adorable but it’s funny. Heather says that “cats hate music”, and I wonder if that’s true. Sound up!

What the deuce happened here?

Tweets from Matthew, who loves illusions. Be sure to watch this one to the end:

If you can get this, you’re a fricking genius. The answer resides in the thread, as do more teasers.

Matthew and I were both stunned by this behavioral camouflage. Be sure to watch the original video:

Tweets from Grania. The first shows Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal, visiting a cat sanctuary with the wrong clothing:

Found by Matthew. Grania says, “This priest seems obsessed with other people’s sex lives. His whole feed is a dumpster fire of anti gay and anti trans proclamations.”  Have a look if you can stand it.

Trump’s state visit to England is not going well . . .


18 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. How could you forget John Couch Adams, discoverer of Neptune? Born exactly 200 years ago today.

  2. “Thou shalt not upon pain of death put ketchup on a hot dog.” I suggest that it would be equally bad to put yellow mustard on a burger.

  3. Most of the pre-invasion bombing of Normandy from the air and ships was not effective but did manage to kill lots of civilians. Most of the air bombing after the landing was hazardous to the allies.

  4. Cat’s don’t like human music but they do like cat music, according to one study.

    I wonder if the woman’s singing reminded the cat of the noises cats make before a fight, where they do the long, drawn out, up-and-down, mrrr-ooo-rrrw-s, so it was play fighting?

  5. By the lopsided preference for Obama over Trump in the UK, you can see that his support in the US is not the objective assessment of thoughtful individuals. His support comes in spite of his many obvious deficits. These are angry and frightened, one might even say desperate, people.

  6. It would have been appropriate if Larry had urinated on Trump’s limo as a welcoming gesture.

  7. Cats washing each other to cats whacking each other is not at all uncommon. When there is mutual enthusiastic head/neck washing it is a sublimated fight, and if one doesn’t back down it turns into a real scrap.

  8. From Larry the Cat’s Wikipedia page:

    “Despite his comments on the Donald Trump Access Hollywood tape, the US President did not dare to grab the pussy.”



  9. That ‘A’ is not really an illusion in the usual sense. There’s nothing paradoxical or counter-intuitive about it. Just all the shading and perspective clues are beautifully aligned to give the illusion of three dimensions.


  10. That 1889 ‘Orient Express’ poster is a curiosity. It is headed ‘South Eastern Railway _ London Chatam [sic] Dover Railway’. Now the SER and the LC&DR were notorious for their bitter rivalry, which only ceased when they had almost bankrupted each other and exhaustedly called a truce in the form of the “South Eastern and Chatham Railway Companies Joint Management Committee” – but that was ten years later. In 1889 they were still going at it like tomcats.

    So what were they doing sharing a poster? That looks just bizarre.

    The timetable at bottom left gives the clue. The Chatham’s train left Victoria station at 8.20 for Dover, boat to Calais and the Nord to Paris; the South Eastern’s left Charing Cross at 9-40 for Folkestone, boat to Boulogne and the Nord to Paris Gare du Nord. From which both sets of passengers had to negotiate the quarter mile to the Gare de l’Est before they could relax in the luxury of through coaches and no changing for the Orient.

    Curiously, other than the two warring English companies, and the Nord and the Est, none of the other railways involved rates a mention.

    I do recall reading that a couple of decades later, between the wars, King Zog of Albania would insist on driving the locomotive of the Orient Express when it passed through his country. Doubtless watched like a deferential hawk by the real engine driver.


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