Monday: Hili dialogue

August 5, 2019 • 6:30 am

It’s the first Monday of the month: August 5, 2019, and National Oyster Day. Sadly, this is not a day to celebrate oysters, but to eat them alive:

It’s also Work Like a Dog Day (“Work Like a Cat Day” for those of you who aren’t inspired), but yes, I’m working all day. (Why am I doing this? I’m retired!)  Finally, it’s International Traffic Light Day, because “On August 5, 1914, what is considered to be the first electric traffic light was installed in Cleveland, Ohio, at the corner of East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue. It had four pairs of red and green lights, one for each side of the intersection, and a warning buzzer that indicated when the light was about to change. It had to be operated manually by someone in a nearby booth.”

Stuff that happened on August 5 include:

  • 1305 – William Wallace, who led the Scottish resistance against England, is captured by the English near Glasgow and transported to London where he is put on trial and executed.

“Executed” is an understatement. First they dragged him a long distance behind a horse, then hung him, but not until he was dead. They then dropped him from the noose, laid him out, cut off his genitals, and then cut out his intestines and showed them to him (you’d think he’d be dead by this point). Then they chopped off his head.  People were very cruel in those days!

Here’s the famous death scene of Wallace from the movie “Braveheart”; fortunately, they don’t show what’s going on below the neck:

  • 1735 – Freedom of the press: New York Weekly Journal writer John Peter Zenger is acquitted of seditious libel against the royal governor of New York, on the basis that what he had published was true.

Zenger was in prison eight months awaiting a trial that lasted ten minutes. The jury acquitted him, and Zenger, then and now, became a symbol of a free press. The principle was that a statement, however damaging, is not libel if it’s true.

  • 1861 – American Civil War: In order to help pay for the war effort, the United States government levies the first income tax as part of the Revenue Act of 1861 (3% of all incomes over US$800; rescinded in 1872).
  • 1884 – The cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty is laid on Bedloe’s Island (now Liberty Island) in New York Harbor.
  • 1914 – In Cleveland, Ohio, the first electric traffic light is installed. [See above].
  • 1944 – World War II: At least 1,104 Japanese POWs in Australia attempt to escape from a camp at Cowra, New South Wales; 545 temporarily succeed but are later either killed, commit suicide, or are recaptured.
  • 1957 – American Bandstand, a show dedicated to the teenage “baby-boomers” by playing the songs and showing popular dances of the time, debuts on the ABC television network.
  • 1962 – Apartheid: Nelson Mandela is jailed. He would not be released until 1990.
  • 1962 – American actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead at her home from a drug overdose.
  • 1981 – President Ronald Reagan fires 11,359 striking air-traffic controllers who ignored his order for them to return to work.
  • 2010 – The Copiapó mining accident occurs, trapping 33 Chilean miners approximately 2,300 ft (700 m) below the ground for 69 days.

Here’s Marilyn Monroe (real name: Norma Jean Mortenson) at age 15. There were of course conspiracy theories about her death, the most persistent being that she was killed by the Kennedys (she apparently had affairs with both JFK and RFK) to hide their dalliance.

Notable born on this day include:

  • 1850 – Guy de Maupassant, French short story writer, novelist, and poet (d. 1893)
  • 1906 – John Huston, American actor, director, and screenwriter (d. 1987)
  • 1906 – Wassily Leontief, German-American economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1999)
  • 1930 – Neil Armstrong, American pilot, engineer, and astronaut (d. 2012)
  • 1968 – Marine Le Pen, French lawyer and politician

Those who passed away on August 5 include:

  • 1955 – Carmen Miranda, Portuguese-Brazilian actress and singer (b. 1909)
  • 1959 – Edgar Guest, English-American journalist and poet (b. 1881)
  • 1984 – Richard Burton, Welsh-Swiss actor and producer (b. 1925)
  • 2000 – Alec Guinness, English actor (b. 1914)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej and HIli are playing a game: (Andrzej is holding a “cat sausage” much beloved by Hili):

Hili: Is the thing you have in your hand for me?
A: I give you three guesses.
In Polish:


Hili: Czy to co trzymasz w ręce jest dla mnie?
Ja: Zgadnij trzy razy.

A gif from Gfycat. What a nice man, but where did he get tiny traffic cones?

From Fat Cat Art, we have a real deity receiving its due in a vet hospital:

A tweet that Grania sent me on January 8 of this year. The good news is that I found an old email that she sent with lots of tweets, so we’ll be able to remember her contributions for even longer.

A tweet sent by Gethyn. Three primates wash a d*g and then themselves:

A hypno Bengal from reader BJ:

. . . and one from reader j. j. Live and learn (and look at that tongue!):

After the death of Frank the Kitten, we need a cat story with a happy ending. This is one, sent by Heather Hastie:

Three tweets from Matthew Cobb. Matthew, like me, has had enough gun murder in the U.S. The piece of art he shows us makes that point eloquently; it must have taken a lot of work to intall:

It took exactly one unnecessary lawn-dart death to get them banned. How many gun deaths will it take to get some gun regulation in place? Or is it because lawn darts are needed for a “well regulated militia” LOL

The clouds rolling in—literally:



44 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. Tiny traffic cones like those protecting the cat are used to create soccer fields (and other playing fields) for kids (or adults) in parks.

  2. There is a commemorative plaque in London at the spot where William Wallace was hung drawn and quartered. That particular form of execution was quite “popular” for traitors to the English crown for several hundred years.

    Sometimes, depending on the nature of the treason and the popularity of the victim, the executioner would allow the hanging part to go on long enough that the victim would be unconscious for the rest of the process. In fact, when Henry Garnet, a Catholic priest caught up in the Gunpowder Plot almost by accident, was executed, people from the crowd pulled down on his legs during the hanging stage to make sure he was dead before the cutting started.

      1. Or, as John Hartford says on his best and most famous album, “Goodle Days.” If you’re a fan a bluegrass, check out that album, called Aereo-Plain. And you do not at all need to be a fan of bluegrass to enjoy the album. It’s more of a folk/”new grass” album (though it was recorded in the 70’s) and, in my opinion, one of the best ever made. The entire album is available for a listen on Youtube.

        Don’t worry, that first song is merely a parody of gospel bluegrass from “God’s country.”

        1. That is, indeed, a great album. I’ve been fond of it since it came out in 1971. It has survived the decades well.

          1. I’m so glad you know it! I don’t believe I’ve ever met someone who was aware of its existence. It’s brilliant from front to back and wonderful for road trips and times where you just want to bring a little happiness and hope into your life.

            John Hartford was an absolute prodigy. He doesn’t show off his instrumental skills much on this album, but boy howdy was he something.

            Are you a bluegrass fan generally?

            1. I’m a fan of all kinds of music, from bluegrass to opera. This album arrived at the time when “my generation” of rock&roll musicians were finding themselves drawn to traditional music beyond the blues. Another great album from the time was The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will The Circle Be Unbroken.

              Good stuff. John Hartford died way too young.

              1. Ah yes, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is great. I’m also a huge fan of many other bluegrass bands and artists. Ever listen to the short-lived Old & in the Way? What a lineup!

              2. I’m not familiar with them although, of course, I am with the constituent musicians. I’ll need to go give them a listen.

        2. Speaking of which, I saw a new Brit film yesterday, BJ, Wild Rose — a sort of Glaswegian A Star is Born, with great performances, a ton of spirit, and a great country music soundtrack.

          1. Ah, I remember seeing a trailer for that last month. It seemed a bit saccharine for my tastes, but maybe I would enjoy it. As always, I greatly appreciate your recommendations. Thanks, Ken!

            Have you managed to get around to The Silent Partner?

            1. Not yet, but I just put it on my list. Maybe tonight (though they’re showing North by Northwest at the weekly classics series down at the local arthouse tonight).

              And I didn’t find Wild Rose saccharine, more bittersweet (much more so than had it been made in Hollywood).

              1. “And I didn’t find Wild Rose saccharine, more bittersweet (much more so than had it been made in Hollywood).”

                Well, I did try to watch the new A Star is Born recently, but it was so bad that I only made it through less than 40 minutes.

    1. Was he dun to death at Tyburn ?It is at Marble Arch ,the Tyburn stone ? is in a shop at the bottom of the Edgeware Rd ,and there is something set in the pavement ,i once saw an old lady kneeling down beside it having a bit of a prayer .

      1. No, Smithfields. Having just checked it, it seems the plaque is on the wall of Barts Hospital. Probably at the time Wallace was executed, Tyburn was out in the countryside.

  3. “(Why am I doing this? I’m retired!)” IMHO, I believe it could be some instinctive force within, similar to JFK’s “We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard…” declaration. It might also be a preference to most stereotypes of (non)working (non)activity (non)lifestyles.👴

  4. I would just like to note for any Braveheart fans out there that the movie is historically inaccurate to a degree that doesn’t just border on absurd, but sprints past that border into mockery of history. I’ve never been a big fan of the film from the simple perspective of a movie lover, but I loathe it from the perspective of someone who considers at least a modicum of accuracy (or, at the very least, not outright constant lies) to be rather important when it comes to pop culture that people will view as historical.

    I’m about to post a great review of the film’s historicity (or lack thereof) from one of the best channels on Youtube. If you love movies and/or history, and especially if you love both, you absolutely must check out this guy’s videos. I’ve posted them before to the delight of commenters who watched them. He was even invited for a several-month stint to document behind-the-scenes work regarding historical accuracy on the show Vikings, purely on the basis of the excellence of his channel.

    1. What with that and his Jesus one, anyone else think Mel Gibson has a exhibitionist-masochist-egomania fetish?


    2. An excellent review, by the way, and it saves me the tedium of ever having to watch ‘Bravefart’.

      As a complete contrast and a lesson in how to make a movie that’s dramatic *and* realistic, see the same reviewer’s piece on ‘Saving Private Ryan’.


  5. 1957 – American Bandstand, a show dedicated to the teenage “baby-boomers” by playing the songs and showing popular dances of the time, debuts on the ABC television network.

    Technically speaking, the oldest of the Boomers would’ve been but 11 in ’57, given that the baby boom began in ’46, about nine months or so after V-E and V-J days, when GIs returned from the War and started gettin’ jiggy with the gals back home.

    1. The show lasted until 1989 and, to PCC[e]’s point, did in fact become a success because of the Boomer viewership.

      1. No doubt about it, GBJ; I was one of ’em watching it. Hell, I can remember when it was still broadcast outta Philly, and Dick Clark really was as young as he looked. 🙂

  6. Coincidentally I just finished reading The Renegade by Jack Whyte a story of William Wallace’s life. A fine read.

  7. In 1987, the federal government banned metal-tipped lawn darts –

    In the early 80s a co-worker’s 4 year old daughter was hit by a lawn dart. It penetrated her scull, but she survived. It’s sad that the danger of the darts was not anticipate before they were ever put on the market. On the other hand, maybe it was foreseen but the danger ignored.

  8. “O Oysters,’ said the Carpenter,
    You’ve had a pleasant run!
    Shall we be trotting home again?’
    But answer came there none —
    And this was scarcely odd, because
    They’d eaten every one.”

    Though frankly, I’d like to see the wretched things extinct. Because if you try to walk along the foreshore, in far too many places bloody jagged oyster shells all over the rocks and in the mud make progress slow and hazardous.


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