Friday: Hili dialogue

April 3, 2020 • 6:45 am

Well, for many of us this isn’t the end of the work week because so many people aren’t working. And it’s useless to say “TGIF”. Nevertheless, it is Friday, April 3, 2020: National Chocolate Mousse Day. It’s also National Walk to Work Day (a no-brainer for me), World Party Day, National Don’t Go to Work Unless It’s Fun Day (how many people are actually going to work?), and, finally, Fish Fingers and Custard Day. What the hell is that?, I wondered. The answer:

Fish Fingers and Custard Day commemorates the introduction of the Eleventh Doctor on the television series Doctor Who, as well as the memorable fish fingers and custard scene from the episode in which he arrives. The episode, which was released on April 3, 2010, is the first from Series 5 of the show, and is titled “The Eleventh Hour.” BBC declared the first Fish Fingers and Custard Day to take place on the second anniversary of the release of the episode. The following year, Birdseye even put the Doctor, who was played by Matt Smith, on their boxes. The day is marked by people eating fish fingers and custard and sharing photos and videos of them doing so.

Okay, so I looked up that “memorable scene,” and here it is.  (I’ve never been able to enjoy Dr. Who, but I know I’m an outlier here.)

News of the Day: Dreadful, as usual. To start your day right, have a look at the interactive coronavirus map that I’ve linked to below.  Over a million people have now been infected, over 1500 people have died in New York City alone, the hard-hit state of New York is going to run out of ventilators in six days, and you better start preparing to wear face masks in public (I assume this is not when you’re out on a solitary walk).  I will have more information on the virus and what you should do later this morning.

Today’s Google Doodle, depicting a group of stay-at-home activities, goes to a list of familiar things we’re supposed to do during the pandemic (e.g., social distance, wash hands, etc.). Click on the screenshot to see:

There’s also an interactive and depressing) world map of the rate of covid infections in different countries. Europe, the U.S., and Iran are in bad shape; Africa and Southeast Asia are as yet not hit so hard, but it’s only a matter of time .

Stuff that happened on this day includes:

  • 1043 – Edward the Confessor is crowned King of England.
  • 1860 – The first successful United States Pony Express run from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, begins.
  • 1882 – American Old West: Robert Ford kills Jesse James.
  • 1888 – The first of eleven unsolved brutal murders of women committed in or near the impoverished Whitechapel district in the East End of London, occurs.

Those were, of course, the murders attributed to Jack the Ripper.

  • 1895 – The trial in the libel case brought by Oscar Wilde begins, eventually resulting in his imprisonment on charges of homosexuality.

Wilde could have fled to France and avoided jail, but stayed in England, and then spent two years in prison, then immediately leaving for France where he spent his last three years, dying a painful death at 46.  I photographed his tomb at Père Lachaise Cemetery in November of 2018 (below). It has a glass barrier around it to prevent people defacing Jacob Epstein’s Art Deco monument, but now people leave lipstick prints on the glass:

  • 1922 – Joseph Stalin becomes the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
  • 1936 – Bruno Richard Hauptmann is executed for the kidnapping and death of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., the baby son of pilot Charles Lindbergh.

It’s still not that clear that Hauptmann actually did the kidnapping, or was otherwise involved.

  • 1955 – The American Civil Liberties Union announces it will defend Allen Ginsberg’s book Howl against obscenity charges.
  • 1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. He was assassinated the next day.

I can never resist putting up videos of one of the greatest orators of our time. Here’s the peroration of the “mountaintop” speech; watch all the way to the end when Dan Rather announces King’s assassination.  (You can listen to a longer version, which includes an engrossing bit about a previous attempt to assassinate him, here.)

  • 1973 – Martin Cooper of Motorola makes the first handheld mobile phone call to Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs.
  • 1981 – The Osborne 1, the first successful portable computer, is unveiled at the West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco.
  • 1996 – Suspected “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski is captured at his Montana cabin in the United States.
  • 2010 – Apple Inc. released the first generation iPad, a tablet computer.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1823 – William M. Tweed, American politician (d. 1878)
  • 1898 – Henry Luce, American publisher, co-founded Time Magazine (d. 1967)
  • 1904 – Sally Rand, American dancer (d. 1979)

Some of you may remember the name of Rand, famous for her “fan dance” in which she revealed parts of her body, which appeared to be nude. In reality, she wore a bodystocking, even though she was arrested for this several times. Here’s a fan dance from 1942.

  • 1922 – Doris Day, American singer and actress (d. 2019)
  • 1926 – Gus Grissom, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut (d. 1967)
  • 1934 – Jane Goodall, English primatologist and anthropologist
  • 1942 – Wayne Newton, American singer
  • 1944 – Tony Orlando, American singer
  • 1945 – Doon Arbus, American author and journalist [JAC: Diane Arbus’s daughter]
  • 1949 – A. C. Grayling, English philosopher and academic
  • 1961 – Eddie Murphy, American actor and comedian
  • 1982 – Cobie Smulders, Canadian actress [JAC: I don’t know from Cobie Smulders but I love the name].

Those who went belly-up on April 3 include:

  • 1882 – Jesse James, American criminal and outlaw (b. 1847)
  • 1897 – Johannes Brahms, German pianist and composer (b. 1833)
  • 1950 – Kurt Weill, German-American composer and pianist (b. 1900)
  • 1990 – Sarah Vaughan, American singer (b. 1924)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is rolling around in the dirt

A: Hili, you will get all dirty.
Hili: Then you will have a chance to brush me.
In Polish:
Ja: Hili, będziesz cała brudna.
Hili: To będziesz mógł mnie wyszczotkować.

And Szaron, the new cat in Dobrzyn, is starting to take after Hili.

Szaron: I’m bursting with hunger!

In Polish: Mnie też głód rozpiera.

A meme from Anna (note that you couldn’t do make this meme with cats):

Anna also sent a photo of her growing kitten Pip (short for “Pippa”), who we’ve encountered before. She was a stray adopted from our website charity Feline Friends London. Pip should be reading rather than napping, but look at that gorgeous fur!

And one from Nicole:

From the misnamed site Life is Better with a Dog:

My retweet of a tweet sent by Simon:

And a cool response. I did not know this!

From Barry. This looks painful!  I wonder what it looks like when a duck does it. (Sound on.)

A tweet from Heather Hastie via Ann German:

Tweets from Matthew. Wild deer have invaded East London!

Crikey, people get paid for the craziest stuff!  Look at this tweet (one of 23) showing “graphs” or figures from a Pepsi rebrand:

A really nice fossil gall from 300 million years ago:

What a fantastic response!

32 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. Juane Brown’s blancolirio YouTube channel discusses some covid-19 facts :

    It’s an argument from death rates, but this suggests it is much worse than flu, though we figured that. I’m going to check the site he showed, I think it’s IMRE?

    1. My children are making ‘non sewing’ disposable masks from serviettes and hair ties.
      They are pretty creative: I showed them to fold 3 serviettes in an accordion fashion, but one made a ‘Chickenbill’ mask with more air in front.
      They understand it will not protect them, but it will protect their buddies. And that surfaces may remain cleaner.

  2. “Maybe I can get some food from that campfire, what’s the worst that could happen?” is brilliant.
    It is a deep lesson too, we don’t always expect the consequences our actions may have.

  3. News of the day in America, mostly all bad. If you lost your job, probably your insurance too. Don’t get sick, just sit at hope and stay away from everyone. Don’t worry, be happy, your leader is backing you up.

  4. Re abortion clinics and churches: once you say it is a ‘needed’ medical procedure, you have to define the ‘need’ and assess whether persons qualify by having such a ‘need’. If you think for a bit, you’ll probably agree that it’s better not to go down that road, and leave it as a choice. I’ve worked under the UK 1967 Act, where an applicant had to satisfy two doctors of her ‘need’, and under three generations of Canadian law – the last generation being no law at all. I’m satisfied that lacking any law has not led to any abuses. Who has a frivolous abortion, after all?
    And as for the far more serious matter of Dr Who (I remember watching the first episode as a five year old) – it’s all been downhill since the glory days of Jon Pertwee as the third doctor, Katy Manning as Jo Grant and Roger Delgado as The Master.

    1. Although this clip did have one good line:

      “Why can’t you give some decent food? You’re Scottish, fry something!”

  5. I’ve only seen brief moments of Dr. Who from the olden days of PBS. The newfangled one seems inferior to the cheesy old one. I’m of the opinion that the infusion of fancy cinematography and expensive sets ruins once cool stuff.

    1. I should have said intrusion instead of infusion. Get off of my lawn with the fancy eye candy. Every kid with an After Effects is doing it these days and it’s way beyond getting a little worn.

    2. I Loved the intro – with probably cutting edge synthesizers and the thing I thought was like going down a dragon’s throat

      1. Back then they wouldn’t have done a million shots of someone turning the dial on a stove like it was out of some sort of “video editors formulae playbook”. Welcome to the 21st century where our motto is fast cuts and faster FPS.

    3. Tom Baker was my favorite Doctor. But I’ve continued to enjoy them, though-be-it less in the last several years. The show has gone hyper-woke.

  6. A recreation of Sally Rand’s fan dance was depicted in Philip Kaufman’s film adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff, set at the big Texas barbecue LBJ threw for the Mercury 7 astronauts:

    1. Birthday boy Virgil “Gus” Grissom is played by Fred Ward starting at 37 seconds into the clip.

      1. Yeah, I thought the entire movie was wonderful — very well cast, and directed and edited with a verve that mimicked Wolfe’s manic prose style.

    2. Following this clip, there’s an interview with the director and the real Chuck Yeager. Here there is an explanation that the looks and glances were, well, mutual recognition of the beauty of flight. When I first saw the film, I didn’t really get it.

  7. A. C. Grayling is a year younger than i?…this is a shock as i have been reading his recently published book on history of philosophy and in my mind had associated him with fowler and fowler of modern english usage and bertrand russell who wrote history of western philosophy which i read in the early 1960s in high school. Funny how the mind often makes such associations. I am using his book to put some context to the science and math (and scientists and mathematicians) of today’s STEM (in the u.s. science, technology, engineering, math) subjects. I had developed a chart to give k-12 teachers and policy makers a visual representation of their relationship to one another and wanted to broaden it to show some broader historical context. Grayling’s book is excellent in this regard.

  8. There are certain episodes of Dr. Who that really stand out for me, as they are scary a.f.
    Silence in the Library, and Blink.

    These serve to reinforce my faith that the Brits are the best at SciFi, horror, and comedy (though the latter does not apply in these cases).

  9. Pere Lachaise is a must-visit for anyone going to Paris (when will that be possible again?) It’s not just Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison, but a complete cross-section of (mostly) French figures in culture, politics and science over the past 200 years.

    Bizet, Chopin, Piaf, Grappelli; and Fourier, Gay-Lussac, Laplace and Messier. Really one could devote an entire holiday in Paris to Pere Lachaise alone!

  10. I believe there’s little doubt that Hauptmann participated in the Lindbergh kidnapping; the only question is whether he acted alone.

    From Wikipedia: “Evidence against Hauptmann included: $14,600 of the ransom money found in his garage; testimony alleging handwriting and spelling similarities to that found on the ransom notes; testimony that lumber used in constructing the ladder probably originated in Hauptmann’s house; Condon’s [who delivered the ransom] address and telephone number found written on the inside of one of Hauptmann’s closets; and what appeared to be a hand-drawn sketch of a ladder found in one of Hauptmann’s notebooks. . . .

    ” . . . He had been absent from work on the day of the ransom payment and had quit his job two days later.”

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