Sunday: Hili dialogue

It’s Sunday, March 15, 2020, and of course that means it’s the Ides of March. It’s National Peanut Lovers’ Day (at least they got the apostrophe in the right place), as well as National Pears Hélène Day, and what I see as a sort of nasty, in-your-face day, International Eat an Animal for Peta Day, which the site describes as follows:

Eat an Animal for PETA Day was thought up in 2003 by Meryl Yourish, a writer and teacher who lives in Virginia. She went to visit a blogger by the name of Wind Rider, who lived by a steakhouse where you are given raw meat to cook yourself. Meryl, Wind Rider, and their friend Bruce Hill almost went to eat there, but Meryl didn’t like the idea of having to cook her own meat, so they didn’t. Meryl later decided that going to the restaurant would be a good idea after all. She said that since the restaurant was close to the headquarters of PETA, she wanted to bring along signs against PETA as well as a camera. She thought there should be an Eat an Animal for PETA Day, and she encouraged others to also make signs against PETA and take pictures of the signs as well.

I find that offensive. PETA has some good arguments, and to respond this way is rude.

It’s also International Day Against Police Brutality, World Consumer Rights Day, and World Speech Day and World Contact Day, in which, it was thought, if everybody tried to telepathically contact space aliens at the same time, we could make contact! (I guess it didn’t work, or at least not that we know.) The day was celebrated by a Klaatu song later made a hit by the Carpenters. This was not the Carpenters’ finest musical moment:


Stuff that happened on March 15 includes the assassination of Julius Caesar (the first item below):

  • 44 BC – Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger and his fellow conspirators, Gaius Cassius LonginusDecimus Junius Brutus, and several other Roman senators, march to the Capitol following the assassination of Julius Caesar, but there is no response to their appeals to the population, who have left the streets in fear. Caesar’s body remains in its place
  • 1493 – Christopher Columbus returns to Spain after his first trip to the Americas.
  • 1819 – French physicist Augustin Fresnel is adjudged the winner of the Grand Prix of the Académie des Sciences for his “Memoir on the Diffraction of Light”, which verifies the Fresnel integrals, accounts for the limited extent to which light spreads into shadows, and thereby demolishes Newton’s initial objection to the wave theory of light.
  • 1877 – First ever official cricket test match is played: Australia vs England at the MCG Stadium, in Melbourne, Australia.
  • 1916 – United States President Woodrow Wilson sends 4,800 United States troops over the U.S.–Mexico border to pursue Pancho Villa.

Here’s Pancho Villa, hero of the Mexican revolution, who was assassinated in 1923 at age 45. His real name was José Doroteo Arango Arámbula.

  • 1917 – Tsar Nicholas II of Russia abdicates the Russian throne ending the 304-year Romanov dynasty.
  • 1939 – Germany occupies Czechoslovakia
  • 1965 – President Lyndon B. Johnson, responding to the Selma crisis, tells U.S. Congress “We shall overcome” while advocating the Voting Rights Act.
  • 1990 – Mikhail Gorbachev is elected as the first President of the Soviet Union.
  • 2019 – Approximately 1.4 million young people in 123 countries go on strike to protest climate change.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1767 – Andrew Jackson, American general, judge, and politician, 7th President of the United States (d. 1845)
  • 1779 – William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, English politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1848)
  • 1897 – Jackson Scholz, American runner (d. 1986)
  • 1912 – Lightnin’ Hopkins, American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1982)
  • 1933 – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, American lawyer and judge
  • 1940 – Phil Lesh, American bassist
  • 1943 – Sly Stone, American singer-songwriter, musician, and producer
  • 1975 – Eva Longoria, American actress and producer

Those who became corpses on March 15 include:

  • 44 BC – Julius Caesar, Roman general and statesman (b. 100 BC)

Here’s a video re-enacthment of Caesar’s assassination (Trigger warning: blood). I don’t know what movie it’s from.

  • 1898 – Henry Bessemer, English engineer and businessman (b. 1813)
  • 1959 – Lester Young, American saxophonist and clarinet player (b. 1909)
  • 1962 – Arthur Compton, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1892)
  • 1975 – Aristotle Onassis, Greek-Argentinian businessman (b. 1906)
  • 1983 – Rebecca West, English author and critic (b. 1892)
  • 1998 – Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician and author (b. 1903)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, the Editor is slacking off:

A: We have a serious problem.
Hili: Yes, we are still sleepy.
In Polish:
Ja: Mamy poważny problem.
Hili: Tak, jeszcze nam się chce spać.

And yesterday, Szaron jumped on Andrzej’s lap and ate out of his hand!

Sent by Merilee:

A cartoon from food buddy Simon:

A cartoon from reader Bruce:

From reader Barry:

And the rests of the tweets are from Dr. Cobb. First, a fluffy kitty:

God does not provide:

An albino pheasant:

Absolute proof that the TSA liquid limit is security theater:

Bleck ket bring good luck because I am not dead today! Make sure the sound is on.

The “President” passed the buck big time!

Dorothy Bishop, a leading cognitive psychologist, quotes Darwin:


  1. Posted March 15, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I don’t know what movie it’s from.

    It’s from the HBO series Rome.

    • BJ
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      And an excellent series it is, though the second season unfortunately severely compresses events and tweaks the history to fit it, as the showrunners did not know that HBO was going to cancel it at first and had planned to tell the story over several more seasons. I also take exception to much in the battle scenes, but the show is still great, particularly the production values and watching Gaius Octavius become Augustus.

      I still mourn the death of that show and HBO’s unwillingness to let them at least play out the march up to the Pax Romana over at least one more season to this day. The show was considered too expensive back then, but I doubt that would be the case now.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Just found out my local arthouse has cancelled the rest of its March schedule, and closed indefinitely, due to the coronavirus pandemic. (This despite there having been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 here in the southernmost county of the contiguous 48 — although there’s really no telling due to the dearth of testing kits available. The county’s medical facilities are able to test people with flu-like symptoms only if they’ve come from out-of-county and been exposed to someone who’s been diagnosed with the virus.)

        Anyway, the closing doesn’t come as a complete surprise, since the theater’s a non-profit and nothing if not civic-minded, holding benefits for all manner of worthy causes. At least it isn’t closing until this evening, after I’ve had a chance to see today’s simulcast (or I guess it must be a replay of an original simulcast) of La Bohème from the Royal Opera House (since I understand that’s closed, too).

        Good thing one of my kids gave me a belated Xmas gift of a Firestick, and I recently re-opened a Netflix account. I mean, if you have to — really, really have to — you can get by without toilet paper or even food for a while. But a fella’s gotta have his cinema fix. 🙂

        • BJ
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

          My parents are both over 70 years old, and I had to sit down and have a frank discussion with them this weekend to convince them not to go out or entertain guests for the foreseeable future unless absolutely necessary. I told them that if they ever needed anything — prescriptions, groceries, etc. — they could just ask me and I’d pick it up for them. They’re very active people who go out and do some sort of activity most days and spend most weekends going out to dinner with friends or having friends or their grandchildren visit.

          As I’m sure you know, the CDC has recommended that people 60 years and older take these kinds of precautions. Take them seriously, Ken! You’ll feel pretty stupid the day before you die if it was because you decided you wanted to go out and have a good steak with your buddies. Nobody wants to die feeling stupid about how they ended up there 😛

          Anyway, all of this is to say that, should you want any suggestions for things to watch, just give me a genre and time period and I’ll make a list. One problem with Netflix is that it has a terrible interface, and another is that it has about 1,000 original shows, most of which suck. Netflix is a pain in the ass to navigate, but I guess navigating it is itself part of the fun. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of things to watch, but…you know, just stay safe, my man.

          Oh, and Rome is on Amazon Prime. You can also watch Rome with the HBO add-on for Hulu, but you don’t actually need to pay for it, as you can can a free trial of any add-on channel for seven days (just add any add-on channel and then immediately cancel it and you’ll have it for seven days, completely free).

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted March 15, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            I’m a spry 66, Beej, with no pre-existing conditions, and an immune system so rugged I almost never catch so much as a common cold. So I think I’ll be okay. Still, I’m taking precautions such as washing my hands like a sawbones prepping for surgery and steering clear of crowded places. (Hell, most of the movies I was drawn to see at the arthouse were sparsely attended enough that there wasn’t much trouble maintaining “social distancing” even in the theater 🙂 ).

            These online platforms are a bit tricky to navigate, but I’ve already located a couple of series that were addictive enough to binge watch (“Sneaky Pete” and “Ozark”).

            I appreciate your offer, and if I have any trouble finding films worth watching, I’ll be sure to take you up on it, sonny. 🙂

            • grasshopper
              Posted March 15, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

              Just wondering out loud here, but I haven’t had a cold for fifteen years, not since I underwent a regime of radiotherapy on my head, throat and neck (tonsil cancer). Where I used to have mucus membranes I now have mostly scar tissue, and I wonder if that is the main reason for my apparent immunity.

            • BJ
              Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

              Ah, so you have Hulu, as you’ve watched Sneaky Pete (I enjoyed the first season a lot more than the second, but I think that’s because the idea of the show just started to wear thin for me). If you have Amazon Prime, watch A Very English Scandal. It’s excellent, only three episodes, and stars Hugh Grant. Really great stuff.

              Oh, and I just saw Parasite, which was as good as everybody has been saying, though I’ve been into Korean cinema for many years and have long been well-acquainted with Bong Joon-Ho. If you ever want to dive into Korean cinema, let me know. Oh, hell, if you have Amazon Prime, go and watch both I Saw the Devil and Oldboy (I’m assuming you’ve seen the latter, and I’ll be very disappointed with you if you haven’t. And no, I don’t mean Spike Lee’s abomination of a remake). You can watch both with those free trial “channel add-ons” like those I mentioned on Hulu. And The Man from Nowhere is a pretty good action flick that’s also on Prime. For a much deeper dive into Korean (and Japanese, and Hong Kong, if you want) cinema, ask and ye shall receive.

          • grasshopper
            Posted March 15, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

            My mother has cancelled her 90th birthday celebrations, more concerned about risk to the grandchildren, rather than concerns about herself. When I said “Next year then, Mum.” she gave a glum response. I hope she isn’t hiding bad news.

        • rickflick
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          I have just watched a fine film – actually “made for Netflixs” by the Coen brothers. I’m sure you know them well. Some of their best films are on Netflix. They were contracted by the company to make “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”, with 6 short stories. If you have not seen it, no need to leave your living room – except to make more popcorn.

          • merilee
            Posted March 15, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for the reminder, Rick. Love the Coen Bros. And have had this movie on my Netflix list for ages,

            • rickflick
              Posted March 15, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

              One suggestion – don’t watch it all at once. I did and I was a little exhausted and didn’t appreciate the last two chapters as much as if I’d spaced it out a bit.

              • merilee
                Posted March 15, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink


  2. Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Calling Occupants is pure kitsch, but, still, that girl’s voice melts me to the core. Miss you, Karen.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Lord knows PETA engages in excesses of its own, but “International Eat an Animal for PETA Day,” fer chrissakes?

    I’ll bet this Yourish woman grills hers wearing a full length chinchilla coat, even when it’s 92° in the shade outside.

    Hasn’t she anything better to do?

    • rickflick
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Hasn’t she anything better to do?…was what occurred to me too. There seems to be a type of person who remains alert to the possibility of performing some act or making some statement that is calculated to upset, distract, or provoke others. It’s as if they find such things essential to establishing their identity, somehow. As adults, they share this trait in common with children at the age of about 2.

  4. GBJames
    Posted March 15, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Babies born in nine months will be called Coronials, yes. But in a just over a decade they will be referred to as….


  5. merilee
    Posted March 15, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    You GO, Yamiche! What a moronic response from His Orangeness🤢

  6. Mack
    Posted March 15, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Hmmm. Apparently Meryl Yourish of Eat an Animal for PETA fame, writes fantasy novels about magical wizards, who are cats. Look that up.

  7. David Harper
    Posted March 15, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    The most memorable dramatic depiction of the assassination of Julius Caesar was, of course, by Kenneth Williams:

    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in for me!

      • David Harper
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        An excellent line which inexplicably didn’t make it into the Shakespeare version.

    • grasshopper
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Followed by the memorable investigation of Caesar’s assassination.

      “I told him, ‘Julie, don’t go!”

  8. John Conoboy
    Posted March 15, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    The location of the assasination of Caesar is at the Largo di Torre Argentina archaeological site in Rome. Also now well known as a cat sanctuary.

  9. revelator60
    Posted March 15, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m fond of the Carpenters’ version of “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft,” but my all time favorite version is by the Langley Schools Music Project, a 60-voice chorus of rural (and untrained) school children from western Canada who made their amateur recordings inside a school gymn between 1976 and 1977.

  10. Deodand
    Posted March 15, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    With Pancho Villa, you left off that he was also the subject of one of the first Hollywood Biopics. He cut a deal with the maker of ‘Birth of a Nation’ and for a while a film crew followed Villa and his men around Mexico.

    Then they went back to the US and made some romanticised nonsense. Villa was reputedly amused by the result.

    A few years ago HBO turned the story into a film called “And Staring Pancho Villa as Himself”

    Here is the trailer:

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