Saturday: Hili dialogue

March 7, 2020 • 6:30 am

It’s Saturday, nominally my day off, and it’s March 7, 2020. It’s National Cereal Day, and also National Crown Roast of Pork Day (I’ll take the latter, even though it isn’t kosher). Other than that, not much is shaking today vis-à-vis Honorary Days.

The weather in Chicago is predicted to warm up this week, with highs tomorrow reaching 55° F (13° C): prime duck weather. I only hope that other mallards stay away from the pond, as I don’t want more than three hens nesting here this year. (That’s how many were there yesterday, along with three drakes.)

Stuff that happened on March 7 include:

  • 1850 – Senator Daniel Webster gives his “Seventh of March” speech endorsing the Compromise of 1850 in order to prevent a possible civil war.
  • 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell is granted a patent for an invention he calls the “telephone“.

Here is that patent from Today in History. Pretty primitive, no?

  • 1936 – Prelude to World War II: In violation of the Locarno Pact and the Treaty of Versailles, Germany reoccupies the Rhineland.
  • 1945 – World War II: American troops seize the Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine river at Remagen.

Here’s the famous “Bridge at Remagen,” subject of a 1969 film and as described by Wikipedia:

Midway through Operation Lumberjack, on 7 March 1945, the troops of the 1st U.S. Army approached Remagen and were surprised to find that the bridge was still standing. Its capture, two weeks before Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s meticulously planned Operation Plunder, enabled the U.S. Army to establish a bridgehead on the eastern side of the Rhine. After the U.S. forces captured the bridge, German forces tried to destroy it multiple times.

It finally collapsed on 17 March 1945, ten days after it was captured, killing 33 U.S. Army Engineers and wounding 63. While it stood, the bridge and newly established pontoon bridges enabled the U.S. Army to establish a bridgehead of six divisions, about 25,000 troops, with accompanying tanks, artillery pieces, and trucks, across the Rhine. Capturing the bridge shortened the war, and V-E Day came on May 8. After the war, the bridge was not rebuilt; the towers on the west bank were converted into a museum and the towers on the east bank are a performing arts space.

A side view of the Remagen Bridge in March 1945 before it collapsed into the Rhine. Claude Musgrove took this picture of the famous Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany. The smoke under and behind the bridge is from German artillery rounds trying to destroy the miraculously surviving link that let Allied forces cross the river. Photographer: Claude Musgrove, U.S Army photographer, 164th Engineer Combat Battalion

And here’s a six-minute film of Bloody Sunday; I really recommend you watch it to see what was endured by African-Americans to get the rights they deserved:

It’s now pretty much established that the crew of the Challenger did not die in the “explostion,” nor on the way down; they probably died when their cabin hit the ocean.

  • 1989 – Iran and the United Kingdom break diplomatic relations after a fight over Salman Rushdie and his controversial novel, The Satanic Verses.
  • 2007 – The British House of Commons votes to make the upper chamber, the House of Lords, 100% elected.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1671 – Rob Roy MacGregor, Scottish outlaw (d. 1734)
  • 1792 – John Herschel, English mathematician and astronomer (d. 1871)
  • 1849 – Luther Burbank, American botanist and author (d. 1926)
  • 1872 – Piet Mondrian, Dutch-American painter (d. 1944)
  • 1930 – Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon, English photographer and politician (d. 2017)
  • 1970 – Rachel Weisz, English-American actress and producer

Here’s an iconic photo from Antony Armstrong-Jones: his wife, Princess Margaret, soaking in the tub wearing a tiara (1962).  They were divorced 14 years later. Princess Margaret, who died in 2002, was the only sibling of Queen Elizabeth.

Those who were either incinerated or began deliquescing on March 7 include:

  • 1274 – Saint Thomas Aquinas, Italian priest and philosopher (b. 1225)
  • 1954 – Otto Diels, German chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1876)
  • 1957 – Wyndham Lewis, English painter and critic (b. 1882)
  • 1967 – Alice B. Toklas, American writer (b. 1877)
  • 1988 – Divine, American drag queen and film actor (b. 1945)
  • 1991 – Cool Papa Bell, American baseball player (b. 1903)

Here’s a trailer for a film about Divine (real name Harris Glenn Milstead), who was a gay drag queen, and didn’t consider himself transsexual. Remember the John Waters film “Pink Flamingos” and its famous final scene?

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is being an efficient editor:

A: What have you done?
Hili: These notes are no longer relevant.
In Polish:
Ja: Coś ty zrobiła?
Hili: Te zapiski straciły aktualność.

Szaron is just back from the vet, where he got his post-op checkup and two more shots (one of antibiotics for his eye), as well as more eye drops. He’s much better and now is sans testicles. And he has his immunizations. Andrzej took a picture and furnished a caption:

Szaron: Post-op control behind us. Back to normal.

In Polish: Kontrola pooperacyjna za nami. Wracam do normalności.

He looks good, doesn’t he? He’s estimated to be only a year old.

From imgur. Life is complicated these days.

From Wild and Wonderful, a rare albino koala.

Also from WIld and Wonderful, captioned “Branch manager and assistant branch manager.”

A tweet from the Queen:

Google is definitely slanting its image search results in ideological directions. I’ve ascertained this before, but haven’t tried this one out. Try it for yourself. They’ve said that they value ideology more than truth in these algorithms.

A tweet sent from Luana in which Steve Stewart-Williams makes a good point:

A tweet found by Dom. What is wrong with this picture?

A tweet from Gethyn. DO NOT FEED MUFFINS TO THAT CAT! (I don’t know of any cats who would eat muffins!)

Tweets from Matthew. He saw the first copy of his new book “in the wild”: at Blackwell’s in Manchester. A big congrats to Dr. Cobb, who’s already planning his next book.


If I’ve put this up recently, forgive me. I do like it an awful lot!

Yes, that’s right: TEN HOURS OF COW NOISES! I asked Matthew why, and he responded, “Because people like cows.”



20 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. 2007 – The British House of Commons votes to make the upper chamber, the House of Lords, 100% elected

    Well, 100% non hereditary (I have never voted for any of them). Apart from them being selected for ‘elevation’ there are members of the church of England clergy who get to sit and vote on laws.

  2. “I don’t want more than three hens nesting here this year.”

    And how, exactly, are you going to manage that?


  3. Our new cat (Buddy, American Ragdoll) likes bread, and so would probably like a muffin.

    The Bridge at Remagen is also a good movie, with George Segal, Robert Vaughn, and Hans Christian Blech. Before the bridge collapsed the US Army has constructed a pontoon bridge alongside it.

  4. So pleased Szaron survived his events. I’m sure it will enhance his civility.
    Really enjoyed the bird pictures. Are the anhingas so mundane? I’ve never seen one live , just pictures but I’ve often thought they would be quite interesting.
    My Cosmo thinks like Hili. He destroys papers, picks on others when bored.

  5. So good to see Szaron looking back to normal. Many small creatures heal quickly. I wonder if humans could add in a few cat genes to our DNA to help with recovery. You’d have to be careful not to pick up other cat genes that might affect certain aspects of personality.

  6. One can find 10 hours of almost any sound imaginable on Youtube. Lots of 10 hour cat and kitten noises from purring to hissing. 10 hours of farting and so forth ad nauseam. There are even 10 hours of MRI noises — they put some to sleep; others may be driven to suicide.

    Long before Youtube there was a prototype: every year on Christmas Eve and extending overnight, a TV station would broadcast a video of flaming Yule Log in a fireplace accompanied by crackling sounds. People loved it. Not I.

  7. Many of my cats have liked muffins, especially zucchini ones. Some eat all kinds of other foods–cooked veggies, beans (like garbanzos, kidney, etc.), potatoes, corn on the cob. One loved fresh raw tomatoes and another went crazy over cantaloupe. They do not typically get those things–just tiny pieces occasionally.
    The many bird pictures lately have been lovely.
    I’m glad Szaron is doing so well. Now all we need is a photo of Leon and Mietek.

  8. 1991 – Cool Papa Bell, American baseball player (b. 1903)

    The great Negro Leagues player. Legend had it, he was so fast afoot, he could hit a single up the middle and get hit by the ball sliding into second base stretching it into a double.

  9. Wrt the Norse goddess Freyja, 1) she has too much clothes on and 2) cats are not beasts of burden! They properly belong in the chariot, most likely holding the reins.

  10. It’s Saturday night and I’m alone. I would love to meet everyone. I love everyone on here. There is so much intellect and stilumi that I rarely find elsewhere. If anyone wants to meet, i would LOVE that. Maybe Colby College in Maine in May of 2021.

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