Thursday: Hili dialogue

June 13, 2019 • 7:00 am

I am back on a rainy Thursday: June 13, 2019, National Peanut Butter Cookie Day, a day perhaps promulgated by the Girl Scouts. All things told, though, I’d rather have a chocolate chip cookie, or—better yet—a McVitie’s Dark Chocolate Digestive Biscuit: the best “cookie” in the world. Today is also the Episcopal celebration of G.K. Chesterton.

News: all eighteen ducklings are still alive and well, and there are two stalwart Duck Farmers to feed them in my absence after I leave on Sunday. Anna will make her final appearance at Botany Pond on Saturday (Graduation Day at the U of C) so we can give them their last supper. Anna will be gone, but her name (and the genes of her namesake) will live on in the Anna Mallard’s ducklings.

Not much happened on this day in history. On June 13, 1793, the French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat was assassinated in his bathtub by Charlotte Corday, a political opponent. This event is depicted in this famous painting by Jacques-Louis David, “The Death of Marat“:

Corday was executed four days after the deed; here’s a painting by Arturo Michelena (1889) showing Corday being conducted to her beheading. The red blouse, denoting a traitor to the Revolution, was put on her before she was executed. She was only 24 years old.. 

On June 13, 1985, the Live Aid benefit concert took place in various cities, most famously London, and the broadcast was seen by nearly 1.5 billion viewers. Here’s perhaps the most famous set played during those concerts, and one of the best live performances ever:

Finally, in a day that will live in infamy, it was exactly two years ago that David Cameron resigned as UK Prime Minister giving way to PM Theresa May.

Notables born on this day include: Nathan Bedford Forrest (1821), John Jacob Astor IV (1864), Paul Prudhomme and Patrick Stewart (both 1940), Harrison Ford and Roger McGuinn (both 1944), and Cheech Marin (1946).

Those who passed away on July 13 include John C. Frémont (1890), Young Man Afraid of His Horses (a Native American, 1893; his name has been mistranslated from what it really meant: “They fear even his horses”, referring to his prowess in battle), August Kekulé (1896; benzene), Alla Nazimova (1945), Alfred Stieglitz (1946), Arnold Schoenberg (1951), Frida Kahlo (1954), Red Buttons (2006), and  Nadine Gordimer (2014).

I’m a big fan of Kahlo and have visited her house in Mexico City (very highly recommended). Here’s one of her paintings, “Self Portrait with thorn necklace and hummingbird” (1940):

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is suffering now that Cyrus is gone, and her behavior has changed greatly. As Malgorzata wrote me,

Hili is still avoiding the living room and generally, downstairs, she goes to the kitchen through the hall – never through the living room. Andrzej went today to the vet to buy some treats for her and when he told the vet about Hili he got something which should reduce stress – Zylkene. I have no idea whether it works or it’s some quackery product. We will see if we manage to get it inside Hili.
The dialogue is very sad. . .
Hili: Can we go in the other direction?
A: Yes, but the memory comes from all directions.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy możemy pójść w inną stronę?
Ja: Możemy, ale pamięć przychodzi ze wszystkich stron.

From Facebook: Church announcements from Episcopal churches (h/t: Stephen Muth):

And a groaner from Laurie:

Tweets from me and Anna after the new hen got her name:

And Anna’s responses. Note that duck photos are considered, on my website, to be “sensitive material”.  Wise up, Twitter!

There’s a new version of Titania McGrath on the internet!

Two tweets from Heather Hastie. Those must be some pungent feet! Note the cat’s flehmen behavior.

One of the great memes of our time: capybaras chilling (or rather, warming) in a hot spring. Now with extra oranges!

Tweets from Matthew: corvid play!

A meteorite hits the Moon:

Matthew does love his illusions:

And two tweets from Grania. In the first, Nick Cohen doesn’t pull any punches about Boris Johnson in the linked article. As Grania said, “Cohen is in fine form today.”

And Cheeto, the official cat of the University of California at Davis’s physics department, is putting on the pounds:



45 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. Remember well while watching the Watergate hearings when Butterfield spilled the beans. It was kind of a speechless event.

    Very sorry to hear about Hili. When one of our cats lost his mother it took some time for that to go away. Still hasn’t for me.

    1. Yeah, Randall.

      O my, Mr Koraszewski, yours of ” … … but
      the memory comes from all directions, ” could
      not … … for me be more wrenching. With
      Cyrus and, too recently, in re a prince named
      Will..I..Am.., I and our dilute calico –
      Maine Coon, Ms Gemma Gillian, have been
      gut – shot.


  2. “Finally, in a day that will live in infamy, it was exactly two years ago that David Cameron resigned as UK Prime Minister giving way to PM Theresa May.”

    No. That was after the EU referendum in 2016, so three years ago. He announced his intention to resign on the day after the referendum, 24 June, and his resignation took effect on 13 July, when he was succeeded by Theresa May.

    1. It is a day of infamy though. Boris Johnson just won the first round of the Tory leadership contest.

      Dawkins on a bike…..

        1. He seems to have substantial support within the parliamentary party, seeing as he won more votes than his two nearest rivals combined.

          And the choice between the two final candidates will be made by the membership of the grassroots Tory party across the country, a group of around 120,000 people whose views are generally considered to be towards the right wing of the party and strongly pro-Brexit.

          But I’m guessing you’re referring to what may happen if he becomes Prime Minister and it looks like he’s leading the UK towards a no-deal Brexit.

          1. Yes, that is what i was referring to ,maybe saying he is hated is a bit strong .
            And 120,000 old farts have an hand in it .

      1. Personally, I’d have made the Tory leadership contest a Hunger Games-style competition. At least that would have provided some entertainment.

    1. HiRISE has spotted several new craters between scans of the surface. Even when it has to veer past the Mars-Moon hyperspace roundabout.

  3. Freddie was accompanied by both Larry N. Gytus & Nod Yules that day & yet he gave the best falsetto performance of his career.

    Here’s the worldwide set list [times are BST]:

    12.02 Status Quo
    12.19 Style Council
    12.44 Boomtown Rats
    13.00 Adam Ant
    13.06 INXS (video from Melbourne)
    13.16 Ultravox
    13.34 Loudness (video from Japan)
    13.47 Spandau Ballet
    13.51 Bernard Watson
    14.02 Joan Baez
    14.07 Elvis Costello
    14.10 The Hooters
    14.15 Opus (video from Austria)
    14.22 Nik Kershaw
    14.32 The Four Tops
    14.38 B.B. King (video from The Hague)
    14.45 Billy Ocean
    14.52 Black Sabbath
    14.55 Sade
    15.12 Run DMC
    15.18 Sting
    15.27 Rick Springfield
    15.35 Phil Collins
    15.45 REO Speedwagon
    15.50 Howard Jones
    15.58 Autograph (video from Moscow)
    16.03 Bryan Ferry
    16.15 Crosby, Still and Nash
    16.24 Udo Lindenberg (video from Cologne)
    16.26 Judas Priest
    16.38 Paul Young / Alison Moyet
    17.00 Linkup between Wembley in the UK and JFK in the US
    17.02 Bryan Adams
    17.20 U2
    17.40 The Beach Boys
    18.00 Dire Straits and Sting
    18.26 George Thorogood and the Destroyers / Bo Diddley / Albert Collins
    18.44 Queen
    19.03 David Bowie / Mick Jagger ( video)
    19.07 Simple Minds
    19.22 David Bowie
    19.41 The Pretenders
    20.00 The Who
    20.20 Santana / Pat Metheny
    20.50 Elton John
    20.57 Ashford and Simpson / Teddy Pendergrass
    21.05 Elton John / Kiki Dee / Wham!
    21.30 Madonna
    21.48 Freddie Mercury / Brian May
    21.51 Paul McCartney
    21.54 McCartney / Bowie / Pete Townshend / Alison Moyet / Bob Geldof
    21.56 UK finale from Wembley
    22.14 Tom Petty
    22.30 Kenny Loggins
    22.49 The Cars
    23.07 Neil Young
    23.43 The Power Station
    00.21 The Thompson Twins
    00.39 Eric Clapton
    01.04 Phil Collins
    01.13 Robert Plant / Jimmy Page / John Paul Jones
    01.47 Duran Duran
    02.15 Patti LaBelle
    02.50 Hall and Oates / Eddie Kendricks / David Ruffin
    03.15 Mick Jagger
    03.28 Mick Jagger / Tina Turner
    03.39 Bob Dylan / Keith Richards / Ron Wood
    03.55 US finale

    1. A couple of my favourites are missing.

      “There will be special baptism services this afternoon in the North and South chapels. Babies will be baptised at both ends.”

      “The Young Mothers Group will meet on Thursday mornings in the Church Hall. Anyone wishing to become a Young Mother should see the Vicar.”

  4. The capybara with the fruity headgear: I think they’re yuzus Citrus junos not oranges.

    They resemble a grapefruit/mandarin cross in taste, but not eaten normally – used for fragrance & the grated skin to add zest to foods – so Wiki says.

    1. Could be but when I enlarge the photo, I can’t see the uneven rind; yuzus are rough-skinned but it’s impossible to determine in the photo; but might be any number of other citrus.

      Here’s a great resource for citrus identification and all sorts of other info: I can get happily lost there.

      1. Nice pages. Lacks a ‘search’ function though. Still searching Calamansi and Makrood, 2 of my favoureds.

  5. Been away for a while, sad to hear about Cyrus. I hope Hili gets to feeling better soon.

    Cats definitely feel the loss of their companions. We just picked our cat up after boarding her for 12 days while we were away. She hasn’t let up for a moment telling us all about it and probably won’t for several days.

  6. From Cohen’s piece on B. Johnson:

    Johnson believes in the advance of Johnson. That’s all there is. There’s nothing else.

    The same could be said about a pol with similarly pee-colored hair on this side of the pond.

    1. The difference, of course, is that while Johnson may not care a whit for policy, he lusts for political power. Here, it was simply a publicity stunt run awry.

  7. Poor Hili. She is obviously suffering mental anguish. Without anthropomorphizing it, anyone who has suffered bereavement can recognize the signs. You might suppose that a cat could shrug off an emotional attachment, but she and Cyrus had a real bond. I wonder if she knows he is dead (or if she knows what “dead” is)and whether it would be different if he had been given away to another owner. (She did see Cyrus’s lifeless body.)

  8. “a McVitie’s Dark Chocolate Digestive Biscuit: the best “cookie” in the world. ”

    I am shocked ,shocked i tell you ,by you calling it a cookie .

  9. Back when people thought they had to answer Senate questions. How naive they were. Nowadays they don’t even bother.

  10. I noted in another post that I think Hili can understand that Cyrus isn’t just absent, but something else happened, something mortal, and he’s not coming back. There’s a cat that can detect when people in a rest home he visits are near death Dogs can be trained to detect cancer andother pathological conditions. Their senses are attuned to cues that we humans simply cannot detect (take dog whistles as one example). There are chemicals released and other subtle signals that we’re oblivious to. I’m of the opinion that Hili knows. And they were so close physically as well as psychically, one could just tell that from the photos of the two of them.

    I know it’s said that animals can’t have foreknowledge of their own death, but again, I think otherwise. I’ve seen the look in my pets’ eyes when they were close to death or dying and it spoke volumes.

    I don’t think I’m anthropomorphizing; I’m of the opinion that those who think otherwise are the ones anthropomorphizing; but we may well never know, and I guess it’s a matter of opinion. Perhaps someone into metempsychosis would “know” from a past life as a slug or something. Perhaps even slugs have a sense of their mortality, especially when the big salt shaker in the sky starts pouring down on them and they slowly bubble away.

    1. Wrt to the therapy cat, I also read an explanation that made a lot of sense. Many of those dying would have a rise in body temperature and since cats are heat-seeeking critters, the therapy cat naturally sought out the body emanating a lot of heat.

  11. That’s a nice pic of Marat Sade.
    It reminds me of Leon Trotsky’s last words – “Hey, Ramon, that’s a nice pick.”

    1. the French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat was assassinated in his bathtub by Charlotte Corday, a political opponent

      “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” … obviously didn’t work too well from Marat’s point of view.

      In the pre-execution painting, the jailer with the big keyring isn’t going to let anything get in the way of him getting his pipe lit before going out.
      The man with the blouse is carrying a pair of scissors, for an eminently practicable purpose. Clearly not his first execution either.

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