Monday: Hili dialogue

March 23, 2020 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Monday, March 23, 2020: National Chips and Dip Day and National Melba Toast Day, as well as World Meterological Day.   Most important, it’s Cuddly Kitten Day! (It’s also National Puppy Day, but we’ll leave that aside.)

Here’s a beautiful Bengal kitten, something that’s on my bucket list but I doubt I’ll ever have. Look at those lovely markings!


News of the day: Things keep getting worse. Healthcare systems are collapsing in Europe, the virus has reached India, which has poor healthcare and a crowded populace, and in the U.S., the Senate cannot agree on a stimulus/bailout package because of bipartisan disagreement. As the New York Times reports,

Senate Democrats on Sunday blocked action on an emerging deal to prop up an economy devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, paralyzing the progress of a nearly $2 trillion government rescue package that they said failed to adequately protect workers or impose strict enough restrictions on bailed-out businesses.

However, some people have more information than others (h/t: Ken).

Below: I interpret these new signs in my neighborhood (there are several) to people who, feeling a loss of control during these parlous times, try to exert some themselves. (FYI, I do despise people who don’t pick up their dog’s poo). This just seems a tad, well, stern. For example, there’s no “please.” At least they used the apostrophe correctly. (And yes, we had a light snow yesterday.)

And I’m not sure how the police, otherwise engaged as they are, would respond to a call of “unrecovered poo.”

Finally, the jailed Harvey Weinstein tested positive for the coronavirus.

Stuff that happened on March 23 includes:

  • 1775 – American Revolutionary War: Patrick Henry delivers his speech – “Give me liberty, or give me death!” – at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia.
  • 1806 – After traveling through the Louisiana Purchase and reaching the Pacific Ocean, explorers Lewis and Clark and their “Corps of Discovery” begin their arduous journey home.
  • 1848 – The ship John Wickliffe arrives at Port Chalmers carrying the first Scottish settlers for Dunedin, New Zealand. Otago province is founded.
  • 1919 – In Milan, Italy, Benito Mussolini founds his Fascist political movement.
  • 1933 – The Reichstag passes the Enabling Act of 1933, making Adolf Hitler dictator of Germany.
  • 1956 – Pakistan becomes the first Islamic republic in the world. This date is now celebrated as Republic Day in Pakistan.
  • 1977 – The first of The Nixon Interviews (12 will be recorded over four weeks) is videotaped with British journalist David Frost interviewing former United States President Richard Nixon about the Watergate scandal and the Nixon tapes.
  • 1983 – Strategic Defense Initiative: President Ronald Reagan makes his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles.

Here is a highlight tape of the Nixon/Frost interviews in 1977. It’s well worth watching, including the part when one criminal praises another (Kissinger):

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1699 – John Bartram, American botanist and explorer (d. 1777)

Linnaeus, no mean botanist himself, called Bartram “the greatest botanist in the world.”

  • 1749 – Pierre-Simon Laplace, French mathematician and astronomer (d. 1827)
  • 1858 – Ludwig Quidde, German activist and politician, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1941)
  • 1882 – Emmy Noether, Jewish German-American mathematician, physicist and academic (d. 1935)

Noether was a great mathematician, but was forced from her position at the University of Göttingen in 1933 because she was Jewish and Jews couldn’t hold university positions. She moved to the U.S., but died in 1935 after an operation for an ovarian cyst. Here’s a photo:

  • 1900 – Erich Fromm, German psychologist and sociologist (d. 1980)
  • 1904 – Joan Crawford, American film actress (d. 1977)
  • 1912 – Wernher von Braun, German-American physicist and engineer (d. 1977)

Those who packed it on on March 23 include:

  • 1842 – Stendhal, French novelist (b. 1783)
  • 1953 – Raoul Dufy, French painter and illustrator (b. 1877)
  • 1964 – Peter Lorre, American actor (b. 1904)
  • 2011 – Elizabeth Taylor, American-British actress, socialite and humanitarian (b. 1932)

Here is “Le Chat” by Dufy:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is laconic, but Malgorzata explains Hili’s thinking:

Humans think that cats have no prejudices —they are, after all,  just animals. Cats know that they are much more than “just animals” (hence, pride) and that  they have prejudices like the best of humans.
The dialogue:
Hili: Pride and prejudice.
A: What prejudice?
Hili: That we cats do not have any prejudices.
In Polish:
Hili: Duma i przesądy.
Ja: Jakie przesądy?
Hili: Że my, koty, nie mamy żadnych przesądów.

Posted on Facebook by reader Su:

Also from Su (if you don’t know who these folks are, you’re too young):

A new Tube map from the public FB page of Marcus Bicknell in London (h/t: Stash Krod):

Gal Gadot posted a well-meaning tweet in which she got all her celebrity pals to join in a rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” And then the internet went after them. . .

The response (one of many):

A tweet from Simon. (Here in the U.S. we use The National Enquirer):

A tweet from Heather Hastie via Ann German, showing a prescient Bill Gates:


Tweets from Matthew. People find entertainment everywhere these days. Truly though: is one person strolling in the street, not interacting with anyone, palpably dangerous to others? I don’t think so.


And a self-entertaining cat!

The Catholic Church is an endless source of amusement (and lunacy):

Matthew says the announcer here is a genuine sports announcer:

30 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

    1. After being an unsuccessful store keeper in Hanover he, predictably took up law and local politics. After his speech up on Church Hill he declined to fight and rode out the war as politician and governor. I guess it was other peoples’ deaths he referred to at St John’s church.

      1. Yes, plus he refused to be a representative and go to the constitutional convention – he smelled a rat. Then he fought against ratification in Virginia. Fortunately his side lost.

    1. How someone out of Nebraska has an accent as he does is beyond me. He certainly did not get it from the pigs on the farm.

    1. Early warnings like this one, as articulate as it is, did not get the ball rolling. It does suggest that humans are prone to, in fact, dropping the ball. Preparedness isn’t our strong suit, and Crisis management is our go-to approach. I think I’ll go plant radishes. 🙄

  1. That’s sure some self-serving, at times maudlin, bullshit coming from Nixon in the clip with Frost. He has much the same self-pity as Trump, but his relative reserve in expressing it makes him seem almost statesmanlike in comparison, which really says a lot about the godawful temperament of Donald Trump.

  2. Regarding uncleaned-up dog crap… The police, at least here in MKE, don’t get involved. The problem falls to our Department of Neighborhood Services (building inspection, etc.) who issue citations at properties where people habitually don’t clean up after their pets. Of course this doesn’t help when a wandering miscreant leaves dog shit in front of someone else’s house.

    A few times I’ve discovered people leaving their shit (I consider it their’s) and confronted them over it. That seems to prevent repeat occurrences. Shaming for such behavior is appropriate, IMO.

  3. What a beautiful Bengal! Our Ayesha is settling in nicely, and has already become friends with our very patient Springer, Scott. We’ll send you detailed update soon, Jerry.

  4. The image of the Daily Mail on empty toilet paper aisles is amusing but I hate to be a party pooper by observing that some people need to be instructed not to use anything but toilet paper when using the toilet since toilet paper is specially formulated to disintegrate. Newspapers aren’t, Kleenex (used generically) isn’t, nor are paper napkins or any other readily available paper product that I know of. Some, of course, know but don’t care. But in the absence of toilet paper, what does one do? Don’t say install a bidet.

        1. A woman who sells the things told BBC Radio 4 last week that sales have quadrupled (though presumably very low levels) and that she washes them with her other laundry in the washing machine. Unbelievable!

  5. The Mayors who are going out and accosting people are more at risk of spreading viruses than people who go out and keep to themselves are. The way they keep repeating the fact that they are the mayor shows that this shit is as much about ego/control as about anything else.

    1. Control, yes. I don’t think you can conclude “ego”. Using their authority to get miscreants to comply is not necessarily ego-expression. Some people only respond to authority.

      1. “Miscreants” is perhaps a bit of a strong word. I’m with PCC(E) here in thinking that people walking alone and not interacting with anyone are almost certainly presenting no danger.

        1. If the order is to stay off the streets unless you have specifically approved reasons, then “miscreant” would seem to apply, IMO.

          1. I don’t necessarily consider those who give “orders” always to have any moral authority, as the current POTUS demonstrates, and not even all well-meaning “orders” by the most judicious of so-called authorities are rational or appropriate. “Miscreant”, as I usually see it used, implies a certain deliberate depravity, or at least a frivolous lack of concern for morality…and the people in this video aren’t even necessarily law-breakers, since “orders” are not the same thing as duly passed laws. Even the latter are not always moral, as history has made clear. If, as I suspect, these people walking alone on the streets posed no actual threat to anyone, then while they may be considered rebels of a sort, and the enforcement of a well-intentioned order upon them might be perfectly reasonable, to cast them as true malefactors–as the word “miscreant” implies, at least to me–seems to me a creep toward a spirit of authoritarianism, which I consider a greater danger than even contagious diseases, having encountered both at personal and professional levels.

            1. In times of pandemic, orders of the government health authorities take on the power of law, at least here where I live.

              “a certain deliberate depravity, or at least a frivolous lack of concern for morality”

              Miscreant is the appropriate word. You want to excuse them for some reason for their frivolous lack of concern for the welfare of others in their community. I have no idea why.

  6. Of course, the song, ‘Imagine’, was written by a man who owned three apartments in the tony Dakota building, one to live in, one to host guests, and one as a closet for all his possessions.

  7. One of my favorite anecdotes from science dates from when David Hilbert tried to get Emmy Noether employed at Göttingen University. In defending his desire before the facullty, who did not want a woman among them, he said: “I do not see that the sex of the candidate is an argument against her admission as privatdozent. After all, we are a university, not a bath house [Badhaus, in German].”

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