Friday: Hili dialogue (and Leon and Mietek chorus)

January 10, 2020 • 6:30 am

It’s Friday, January 10, 2020, and National Bittersweet Chocolate Day. I don’t know about you, but I find that the older I get, the darker I like my chocolate. I must now have at least 85% cocoa in my bar, and I’ve even had the 95% Lindt bar, which was great (but expensive). Pretty soon I’ll be gnawing on pods.

It’s also Save the Eagles Day, Peculiar People Day, Houseplant Appreciation Day (also Labplant Appreciation Day), and, in the Falkland Islands, Margaret Thatcher Day, commemorating the Iron Lady who gets credit for the British Victory in the Falklands War.

It’s a warm 48° F (9° C) in Chicago this morning, and the temperature will dip a few degrees but we won’t reach the freezing point. It’s been a very temperate month and a half. There is snow and rain predicted over the next couple of days.

Stuff that happened on January 10 was thin, and includes:

  • 1776 – American Revolution : Thomas Paine publishes his pamphlet Common Sense.
  • 1870 – John D. Rockefeller incorporates Standard Oil.
  • 1901 – The first great Texas oil gusher is discovered at Spindletop in Beaumont, Texas.
  • 1920 – The Treaty of Versailles takes effect, officially ending World War I.
  • 1985 – Sandinista Daniel Ortega becomes president of Nicaragua and vows to continue the transformation to socialism and alliance with the Soviet Union and Cuba; American policy continues to support the Contras in their revolt against the Nicaraguan government.

Notables born on this day include, curiously, four rock musicians as well as two geneticists:

  • 1887 – Robinson Jeffers, American poet and philosopher (d. 1962)
  • 1904 – Ray Bolger, American actor and dancer (d. 1987)
  • 1924 – Max Roach, American drummer and composer (d. 2007)
  • 1936 – Walter Bodmer, German-English geneticist and academic
  • 1940 – Godfrey Hewitt, English geneticist and academic (d. 2013)
  • 1943 – Jim Croce, American singer-songwriter (d. 1973)

The great Croce, who died at 30 in a plane crash in Louisiana. His sidekick who accompanies him here, Maury Muehleisen, also died in that crash. This is my favorite Croce song, released in 1972:


Others born on this day include

Below is a different John Fahey, an American musician I loved, but I put up the song before I read the bio above. So be it. The Fahey below is perhaps my all-time favorite “folk” guitarist, though you can hardly call what he produces “folk music.” It was sui generis, with roots in blues, folk, country, and even religious hymns.  He was always broke, mostly drunk, and I carried on a brief correspondence with him in high school. He told me in a letter that his guitar was a Bacon and Day Señorita guitar that he bought in a pawn shop with a bowed neck (the guitar’s neck, not his). I believe he’s playing that guitar here. Fahey died at 61 after a sextuple coronary bypass; he was homeless at the time and sometimes lived in his car. In this clip he’s quite young, probably fresh out of UCLA (he studied philosophy and music).

Those who took the Dirt Nap on this day include one well known rock musician:

  • 1778 – Carl Linnaeus, Swedish botanist and physician (b. 1707)
  • 1917 – Buffalo Bill, American soldier and hunter (b. 1846)
  • 1951 – Sinclair Lewis, American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1885)
  • 1961 – Dashiell Hammett, American detective novelist and screenwriter (b. 1894)
  • 1971 – Coco Chanel, French fashion designer, founded Chanel (b. 1883)
  • 2016 – David Bowie, English singer-songwriter, producer, and actor (b. 1947)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili acts oddly religious for an atheistic Jewish cat, but Malgorzata explains, “A messiah doesn’t need to be divine. For Hili if you come with a piece of raw beef you are a messiah: her deepest desire is fulfilled.”

A: Hili, what are you doing up there?
Hili: I’m waiting for a messiah.
(Photo: Paulina R.)
In Polish:
Ja: Hili, co ty tam robisz?
Hili: Czekam na mesjasza.
(Zdjęcie: Paulina R.)

And in nearby Wloclawek, Leon and his brother Mietek are peckish:

The boys: Dinner?

In Polish: Kolacja?

Some hilarity from Jesus of the Day:

From Facebook. I like it:

A vegan hunter from !!!OMG Blog!!!: Does he have an aubergine license?


From Titania, who shows that Dr. Who is the next candidate for demonization. There’s a long thread below that tweet in which Titania continues her faux castigation.  See the Guardian article on why the show is problematic here.

I guess this proves that d*gs can plan ways to have fun. Note that it’s a border collie.

Two tweets from Heather Hastie. First, a “legless lizard.” Read more about this group here.

I always wonder whether these tests and the student answers are genuine. Who knows?

Tweets from Matthew. The first one is fascinating but grim. There’s no way to save that fish as it’s already been injected with venom:

More pugnacious kitties:

A big rock moves on Mars. Is it due to water? Probably not, but your guess is as good as mine:

A capybara acting like a cat! (Remember, these are the world’s largest rodents.)


28 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue (and Leon and Mietek chorus)

  1. The problem with Dr Who is nothing to do with political correctness or otherwise, it is because the writing on the last two series has been vastly weaker than ever before.

    I can enjoy even the worst of the original series (Horns of Nimon, anyone?) but still haven’t got round to watching the last few episodes of the 2018 series simply because it had become so boring.

        1. Well, put it this way. I watched it as a child and it was fantastic, possibly the scariest thing ever as far as I was concerned. I watched some of the early series of the revival but found a definite childish edge to it. I don’t mean that as a criticism. It’s aimed at children, it’s not for me.

          1. Doctor Who: The Cybermen & the Ice Warriors [1966] freaked me out the most at age 11 I also was gripped by the first Doctor playing the so-called “Trilogic Game” [a Towers of Hanoi puzzle variation] for his life, which is a mostly lost 1965 episode [clip below]. I spent a lot of TIME at my local library aged 10/11 tracking down that puzzle, reasoning it was a known puzzle game – by the time I found it, I’d cracked how it worked & the related variations of the nim removal games. I wonder if the modern Doctor Whos have an [possibly accidental one off] educational element – I’ve watched a few, but the modern jokey formula doesn’t hit the spot for me.


  2. The cold winter returns later today. The darker the chocolate the better. Keep up the good work Hili and the boys.

  3. Most youtubers I’ve seen (including me haha) only seem to muster an approximation of Jim Croce’s guitar parts. 😀 Dude could play.

  4. 1985 – Sandinista Daniel Ortega becomes president of Nicaragua.

    I just heard a talk by a researcher looking at variation in parrot populations in Nicaragua over several decades. Declines in many species were seen before the Sandinistas took control, but when they did, all exports for the pet trade were banned which seemed to reverse the decline. I asked the researcher what the motive of the Sandinistas was. He replied that they were against selling off national resources, which made them great conservationists. Once the Sandinistas lost control, the exports resumed and declines in parrots seemed to pick up. Another cause of declines, he pointed out, were habitat loss due to expanding agriculture. A lot of that was for sugar cane and fast food beef. The government is very corrupt, which makes regulation ineffective. Sad.

    1. This seems to be a datum in favour of the Chomskyian idea that what was involved in the US opposition was not really “communism”, allying with the USSR, or supposed bad behaviour – but instead nationalism.

  5. There is a Jim Croce song that keeps coming up on my Pandora. I just went to find it and I don’t see it. I looked up all of his songs I didn’t know to listen. Those weren’t it. He is singing about how he was going along in his life singing his song and then finds someone who was already singing the same song. Then they go along and sing their song together. Something like that. It’s good.

  6. Of course, the Treaty of Versailles only ended the war with Germany. The treaties of Saint Germaine, Trianon, Sevres, and Neuilly ended the war with Austria, Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria, respectively. The United States separate treaties with the Central Powers.

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