Wednesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

April 1, 2020 • 6:45 am

It’s Wednesday, April 1, 2020—April Fools’ Day—and I’m guessing that people are too dispirited to post April Fool’s jokes, for fooling people doesn’t seem so funny now. I predict we’ll see a paucity of such humor today.

First, the food months. April is National Florida Tomato Month, National BLT Sandwich Month, National Soft Pretzel Month, National Soyfoods Month, National Grilled Cheese Month, and National Garlic Month. April 1 is National Soylent Green Day as well as National Sourdough Bread Day.  Curiously, Soylent Green is not a real food, but a cracker from the 1973 dystopian movie of the same name (there is a Soylent food company but it doesn’t make “Green”). Soylent Green was made of PEOPLE, and today’s link suggests an April Fool’s joke.

It’s also Boomer Bonus Day, in which we Boomers (aka “seniors”) are supposed to get special prices on goods. Too bad everything’s closed. It’s also International Fun at Work Day (have fun at home!), National One Cent Day (celebrating the useless penny), and Edible Book Day. That’s right: today’s the day that people make books that can be eaten. Here’s one:

Finally, it’s National Atheist’s Day, with the poor placement of the apostrophe suggesting that it’s celebrating only a single atheist. People really should proofread their stuff.

Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot) goes to a bunch of information about its subject: Dame Jean Macnamara (1899-1968), described by Wikipedia as “an Australian medical doctor and scientist, best known for her contributions to children’s health and welfare.” Her research showed that there was more than one strain of polio, a fact that apparently helped in the development of Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine.

News of the Day: It’s too depressing to recount. Just read the front page of any good newspaper. More than 1,000 have died in New York City alone, with the state’s death toll increasing by over 30% per day. And healthcare workers everywhere are being struck down. Here are some more depressing data posted by a physician/scientist:

As for April Fool’s Day, here’s the Chicago Tribune‘s April Fool’s issue from 114 years ago (h/t Matthew)

Stuff that happened on April 1 includes:

Here’s one reference for that #2 above. Oy, is that evidence weak, and, of course, it comes straight from Scripture. Reading my new book on the shroud of Turin, I find that there were many relics of the Last Supper circulating around Europe in the Middle Ages, including plates from that meal and some Last Supper bread. (Other relics include the True Cross, nails that supposedly affixed Jesus thereto, and, weirdly, some of Mary’s breast milk.)

More news:

  • 1789 – In New York City, the United States House of Representatives achieves its first quorum and elects Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as its first Speaker.
  • 1854 – Charles Dickens’ novel Hard Times begins serialisation in his magazine Household Words.
  • 1867 – Singapore becomes a British crown colony.
  • 1918 – The Royal Air Force is created by the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.
  • 1924 – Adolf Hitler is sentenced to five years imprisonment for his participation in the “Beer Hall Putsch” but spends only nine months in jail.
  • 1960 – The TIROS-1 satellite transmits the first television picture from space.

Here’s a NASA documentary showing some of the weather satellite’s pictures:

Here’s a takeoff of a Harrier; I’m not sure if they’re still being used:

  • 1970 – President Richard Nixon signs the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, requiring the Surgeon General’s warnings on tobacco products and banning cigarette advertising on television and radio in the United States, effective 1 January 1971.
  • 1976 – Apple Inc. is formed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in Cupertino, California, USA.
  • 1979 – Iran becomes an Islamic republic by a 99% vote, officially overthrowing the Shah.
  • 1999 – Nunavut is established as a Canadian territory carved out of the eastern part of the Northwest Territories.
  • 2001 – Same-sex marriage becomes legal in the Netherlands, the first contemporary country to allow it.
  • 2004 – Google announces Gmail to the public.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1578 – William Harvey, English physician and academic (d. 1657)
  • 1815 – Otto von Bismarck, German lawyer and politician, 1st Chancellor of the German Empire (d. 1898)
  • 1873 – Sergei Rachmaninoff, Russian pianist, composer, and conductor (d. 1943)
  • 1885 – Wallace Beery, American actor (d. 1949)
  • 1885 – Clementine Churchill, English wife of Winston Churchill (d. 1977)
  • 1932 – Debbie Reynolds, Scottish-Irish American actress, singer, and dancer (d. 2016)
  • 1939 – Ali MacGraw, American model and actress
  • 1947 – Francine Prose, American novelist, short story writer, and critic
  • 1950 – Samuel Alito, American lawyer and jurist
  • 1955 – Terry Nichols, American criminal
  • 1961 – Susan Boyle, Scottish singer
  • 1973 – Rachel Maddow, American journalist and author

Remember when Susan Boyle stunned the audience and judges of “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2009?  Everybody laughed at her at the beginning, but the snickers turned to shock and then to tears. Here’s her song: talk about feel-good moments! Since then she’s sold over 25 million records. I just watched it again, and I must have something in my eye.

Those who succumbed on this day include:

  • 1914 – Rube Waddell, American baseball player (b. 1876)
  • 1917 – Scott Joplin, American pianist and composer (b. 1868)
  • 1976 – Max Ernst, German painter and sculptor (b. 1891)
  • 1984 – Marvin Gaye, American singer-songwriter (b. 1939)
  • 2017 – Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Soviet and Russian poet and writer (b. 1932)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Editor Hili is impeding progress:

Malgorzata: Can you please vacate my chair?
Hili: Not now, maybe later.
In Polish:
Małgorzata: Czy możesz zwolnić mój fotel?
Hili: Nie teraz, może później.

In nearby Wloclawek, where Leon’s staff Elzbieta (a teacher) is teaching remotely, Leon is also learning that way. Here he learns about snails:

Leon: Distant education. We are managing.
In Polish: Edukacja zdalna. Radzimy sobie.
Malgorzata notes this about Poland: “Remote teaching already is a huge problem. Some families have more children than they have computers or laptops. Some poor families are living in very small flats, and children do not have their own rooms. All non-essential lessons (like music, which Leon’s other staff member teaches) are just being skipped.”

From Margaret Morgan on Facebook:

Posted by Angus Calder on Facebook:

From Barry, evidence that prayer is not only futile, but harmful:

From Titania. She forgot the additional good news, for the woke, that more men than women are afflicted:

Two tweets from reader Barry (be sure to play the video to see the nunchucks).

And a bunch of future patients:

Tweets from Matthew. About the first one he says, “Thread in which GG kicks the ass of the New York Times and rightly so. The UK press has same problem: political journos out of their depth.” The thread is here. 

Crikey, these otters are bellicose!

A sizable brood! I hope Honey has as many this year:

As Matthew points out in his retweet, this shark has been around the block:


40 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

  1. Thanks Prof
    So uplifting to see that video of Susan Boyle in these dark days that we are all plunged in.

    I am finding it hard to type with my eyes leaking!

  2. How was your steak and Rioja Reserva?

    Envious of your meal and impressed you are up so early after enjoying it. 🙂

    1. It is worth noting that the Virgin Mary was dispensing fresh breast milk as late as 1146, when she dispensed some the St. Bernard of Clairvaux to help him compose an exceedingly eloquent sermon.

      Thus, it was a renewable resource for the Holy Relics industry.

  3. 33 – According to one historian’s account, Jesus Christ‘s Last Supper is held.

    Way I heard it from someone who heard it from someone who heard it from someone who was supposedly there, it was a Seder dinner celebrating Pesach.

    Why JC & his apostles were all sitting on the same side of the table, IDK.

    1. It is my favorite all time airplane. In the mid-1980s, I was detailed to the Arch in St. Louis as the park needed extra rangers for the big July 4th event held every year. It included an air show. Lots of planes were involved, but towards the end, a Harrier would zoom past the arch, over the river, and then circle back. On the second past it came in just as before, and then stopped opposite the arch. It was fun to watch all the peoples’ jaws dropping when they realized what just happened. The pilot would then turn the plane to face the arch, hold position for a bit, and then dip the nose in a bow before turning back and flying off. If you stood right under the arch it was the most awesome sight ever.

    2. Yes. The US Marine Corps is still flying them and plans to do so until 2025 (or maybe 2030, there are differing accounts). The replacement will be the F35 which is faster and stealthier, but still has some problems.

  4. National Soyfoods Month? Sheesh.

    I cannot tell you how many people come into our restaurant and proclaim me a genius for our baked goods. But, I’m not a genius, and most of the recipes I do are really simple. The”secret”? I use REAL food to make stuff. They have never had baked goods made with real food before. We even had one customer who asked what brand of boxed mix we use for our blueberry muffins.

    National Soyfoods Month celebrates pretend milk, pretend butter, pretend cheese, pretend meat, pretend eggs, and whatever else they can conjure up out of soybeans. How about we rename it National Pretend Food Month? Or alternatively National Sanctimonious Vegans’ Month?

    Stick with soy sauce. The rest of it is horrible.

    Also, the soy industry in this country does not conduct itself honorably, for the most part.


    1. Tofu can be good too depending on how it’s cooked. As a rule it is when food pretends to be something else that the problems begin as I think you have made clear. I am very happy to have a meat free meal but when I do I would far sooner eat beans presented to me as beans than some highly processed stuff that is pretending not very successfully to be meat.

  5. Remember when Susan Boyle stunned the audience and judges of “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2009? Everybody laughed at her at the beginning, but the snickers turned to shock and then to tears.

    You’ve got to admire the lass her British doughtiness.

    1. I remember the smarmy dismissive look on Simon Cowell’s face as she was introduced. What a wanker.

        1. Yeah, he’s a dick. The line at the end about knowing the minute she walked out was pretty funny though.

  6. Which otters are the Sharks, which the Jets?

    Where are Bernstein and Sondheim when you need ’em?

  7. Frightening that the latest predictions for deaths in the USA will surpass American deaths from WW1 and challenge or surpass WW2!

    1. Just a couple of days ago Anthony Fauci was suggesting 100,000-200,000 deaths. He’s not infallible, but about as good as you can get.

      Brian McNoldy? Never heard of him. So I looked up his twitter profile:

      “Senior Research Associate at Univ. of Miami’s Rosenstiel School. Hurricane & climatology stuff, mostly. Opinions are my own.”

      Whom do you tend to trust more, at this stage?

    2. The big difference between war deaths and corona virus deaths is the corona deaths will be mostly elderly, while the war killed a lot of young soldiers and a lot of the whole civilian demographic.
      I haven’t seen any statistics on who the virus is killing, but there was much talk about people over 60 or 70. Can anyone confirm that?

      1. Yes rick.

        Though if the predictions bear out it would seem we’ll have a similar situation – a similar touchstone – where, like those after WW2 – many or most people will know someone who died during the pandemic.

        1. For (further) context, US deaths, approx:

          World War I: 116,516
          SpF US 1918: 650,000
          SpF W/W: 50-100 million

          World War II: 405,000
          Flu US 1957/1968: 100,000 each
          Flu W/W 1957/68: 1 million each

          My guess for Covid-19 deaths (made before Fauci’s estimate and entirely without his considerable expertise):

          US 200,000 W/W 2 million

          Why make such a guess? Well, because it’s precise and when the number is availble I may learn something. Saying ‘It’s going to be bad’ is almost certainly true, but leaves open ‘But just how bad?’

  8. Bears wielding nun-chucks, otters waging gang war, great white sharks getting friendly with people…these are truly end times.

  9. The otter gangs’ turf wars have become a rich source of entertainment in Singapore: “Otter Turf War Between Bishan And Marina Gangs Is Better Than TV..” This gives information about the origin and nature of the ongoing battle.The Bishan otters are trying to displace the Marina otters. This piece has more fascinating videos of their battles. Singaporeans have stepped in to help the Marina otters keep their turf but the Bishan otters are persistent.

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