Monday: Hili dialogue

May 4, 2020 • 6:45 am

Its Monday, May 4, 2020.  I think it’s very likely that we’ll have ducklings hatch today, though they may not jump until tomorrow. I am quite anxious about the whole affair, and also worry that, since the pond is now overrun with adults and their children now seeking some fresh air during the pandemic, the ducklings will be repeatedly disturbed (people are often flouting the signs we’ve put up). Thoughts and prayers for the ducklings! (Just kidding—but not about the anxiety.)

It’s National Hoagie Day. If you’re not an American, you may not know that a “hoagie” is a large overstuffed sandwich on an elongated loaf of bread, also called a “submarine sandwich or “sub” Here’s one:


I’ve always maintained that if someone sold really good subs in the UK (I’m not talking about Subway), they would make a pile of money. The Brits are starving for sandwiches that consist of more than two slices of white bread with a 2 mm thick layer of filling, often supplemented with “sweetcorn”, for crying out loud! (Is there such a thing as “sourcorn”?)

It’s also National Candied Orange Peel Day (a treat I dearly love), National Orange Juice Day, Bird Day, International Firefighters Day, International Respect for Chickens Day, and World Naked Gardening Day, which has a rather long Wikipedia page.

Finally, it’s Star Wars Day, with a rather lame explanation: “The date was chosen for the pun on the catchphrase “May the Force be with you” as “May the Fourth be with you”.

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the beginning of Teacher Appreciation Week (click on doodle). Sadly, many students are isolated from their teachers right now. I suppose they could wave on the video screen. No apples will be given.

News of the Day: It’s so bad that I can barely sit through the evening news—the only television that I regularly watch. Deaths from coronavirus have now reached 68,286, with about 247,000 throughout the world. Trump and his advisors now admit that the death toll from the pandemic could reach 100,000 in the U.S. I predict it will be higher. I also predict again that we will have no baseball season in the U.S. and that American colleges and universities will not have “live” teaching in the fall. In today’s New York Times, Elizabeth Breunig suggests that in light of the allegations of sexual abuse against Biden, Democrats should formulate a Plan B, one with another candidate. By and large, the commenters don’t agree with Breunig.

Stuff that happened on May 4 includes:

  • 1626 – Dutch explorer Peter Minuit arrives in New Netherland (present day Manhattan Island) aboard the See Meeuw.
  • 1886 – Haymarket affair: A bomb is thrown at policemen trying to break up a labor rally in Chicago, United States, killing eight and wounding 60. The police fire into the crowd.
  • 1904 – The United States begins construction of the Panama Canal.
  • 1932 – In Atlanta, mobster Al Capone begins serving an eleven-year prison sentence for tax evasion.

Capone served only eight years and was released because he had signs of neurosyphillis. He died in 1947 in his Miami mansion, having been reduced to having the mentality of a 12 year old.  Here’s his federal criminal record, showing that most of the charges were dismissed:


  • 1953 – Ernest Hemingway wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.
  • 1959 – The 1st Annual Grammy Awards are held.
  • 1961 – American civil rights movement: The “Freedom Riders” begin a bus trip through the South.
  • 1970 – Vietnam War: Kent State shootings: The Ohio National Guard, sent to Kent State University after disturbances in the city of Kent the weekend before, opens fire killing four unarmed students and wounding nine others. The students were protesting the Cambodian Campaign of the United States and South Vietnam.

It’s the 50th anniversary of those shootings. Here’s the Pulitzer-Prize-winning photo of Mary Ann Vecchio wailing over the body of murdered Kent State University student Jeffrey Miller. A cropped version of this photo won photographer John Filo the Pulitzer Prize for photography.

Here’s Miller:

  • 1979 – Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
  • 1994 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat sign a peace accord, granting self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
  • 1998 – A federal judge in Sacramento, California, gives “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski four life sentences plus 30 years after Kaczynski accepts a plea agreement sparing him from the death penalty.

Here’s Kaczynski’s mug shot:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1825 – Thomas Henry Huxley, English biologist, anatomist, and academic (d. 1895)
  • 1852 – Alice Liddell, English model (d. 1934)

Liddell was reputed to be the model for “Alice” in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Carroll first narrated the story to her). Here’s a photograph (taken by Carroll) of her at age 7:

And here she is 13 years later, photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron. 

And in 1932 at aged 80. Liddell died in 1934 at 82.


Liddell died

  • 1929 – Audrey Hepburn, Belgian-British actress and humanitarian (d. 1993)
  • 1941 – George Will, American journalist and author
  • 1959 – Randy Travis, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor

Notables who kicked it on May 4 were few, and include:

  • 1799 – Tipu, ruler of Mysore (b. 1750)
  • 1975 – Moe Howard, American actor, singer, and screenwriter (b. 1897)
  • 2013 – Christian de Duve, English-Belgian cytologist and biochemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1917)

Here’s Moe (real name Moses Harry Horowitz) in 1973, age 76, in a skit on the Mike Douglas show. Moe, of course, was a perpetual member of The Three Stooges. I didn’t realize he was such a short guy!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili misses her faithful d*g companion, who used to go for walks with her and share his dog bed. This is very sad:

Hili: Do you know what I miss most now?
A: I know: Cyrus, I miss him too.
In Polish:
Hili: Wiesz czego mi teraz brakuje?
Ja: Wiem: Cyrusa. Nie też go bardzo brakuje.

From Muffy. I haven’t had much of an urge to drink more than normal during the pandemic, but, judging by the bottles left in our recycling room, others have:

Cat meme!

From EAB: A tad salacious but true:

Two tweets from Titania:

You can read the article about Oxford students’ new “hate speech” motion. No issues with that one, right?

From reader SImon, who, for the first pair, wanted to send just the second tweet (I haven’t learned how to separate them):

Author and comedian Sarah Cooper does the best Trump lip-synching ever. This is the second one I’ve posted. If you can’t see it on this site, the original is here.

Tweets from Matthew. First, a ninja cat:

Matthew says that he remembers Fenton from nine years ago when this was a “Big Thing.” All I know is that he IS NOT A GOOD BOY!

I’m not sure how they did this, but it’s freaky:

And look at this bizarre creature on World Bird Day. ZeFrank would have a thing or two to say about it:

38 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. Audrey Hepburn may have been born in Brussels, but she was half-Dutch and half-British, not Belgian. Her mother was Dutch, her father British.

  2. “Is there such a thing as “sourcorn”?” Indeed there is a huge difference between sweet corn and field corn, which is sort of sour corn that comprises about 99% of the corn grown in the U.S. It is used for livestock feed, ethanol for booze and fuel, and “food products like cornmeal, corn chips and corn syrup.” Search “There’s A Huge Difference Between The Corn We Eat vs. What Cows Eat”

    1. Yes, and you would never harvest sweet corn with a combine. Hope I’m not confusing our urban crowd here.

    2. And to throw in another variable. In English (vs American) corn is a generic term for grain – the corn laws, for example, were about wheat. The use of the word exclusively for maize is a transatlantic cultural appropriation 🙂

      It is true that the bread in British sandwiches is not socially distanced in any meaningful way. “Guess the filling” is a game that can be played both before and during eating. But as long as there is Branston who cares!

      1. Yes, the British call it ‘maize’, if I’m not mistaken, and in South Africa it is ‘mielies’.

    3. Whatever happened to Golden Bantam corn? It’s called sweet corn but isn’t really that sweet; it tastes like CORN and not as if it had been macerated in high fructose corn syrup the way corn sold in markets these days tastes. I used to love corn (Golden Bantam) but no more, when the only corn I can get tastes like candy corn. Guess now they feed Golden Bantam to cows or let it go extinct. A damned shame. At least they ought to give us a choice.

      1. As best I can tell, you may still be able to buy the seed on line if you have a place to grow it. Possibly the reason you can no longer find it in stores or farmer’s markets is the age. I see this was one of the first yellow corn sweet corns, 1902. Lots of changes and new types since so it is just not grown much any more.

        Sweet corn, like some other garden items has good years and bad, depending on the weather. Also, sweet corn has a narrow window when it must be picked. Too early or too late and it is not so good. The raccoons will always tell you when it’s ready. Also the deer.

  3. … often supplemented with “sweetcorn”, for crying out loud! (Is there such a thing as “sourcorn”?)

    I’m unfamiliar with the use of “sweetcorn” as a single, un-hyphenated word in Limey Land (and I readily admit to having become a simple, backward coastal elite who’s lost touch with the American heartland). 🙂

    But as I recall from my days as a lad in Ohio, “sweet corn” is the human foodstuff that’s harvested in the latter part of the summer (at which time it becomes resultantly ubiquitous at roadside stands and farmers’ markets). In contradistinction, “grain corn” (or what US farmer’s simply call “corn”) is the crop that’s harvested in the autumn and used, inter alia, for animal feed and the production of the ethanol that’s used as a gasoline additive (and for which the people of Iowa, led by their senior US senator, Chuck Grassley, habitually hondle the federal government in pursuit of additional subsidies).

    1. If you watched the piece on 60 minutes last night concerning the subsidies to the farmers it would make you sick, as does the mention of Grassley. All the subsidies go to the rich, many are not even farmers. Hate to say it Ken but all you need is a good lawyer.

  4. I’d say that the pond was often overrun by students, faculty, staff and visitors in the spring last year and previous years to a larger extent than it is now and the ducklings did just fine.

  5. While the Kent State killings are remembered, the Jackson State killings are not. Jackson State is an HBCU (historically black college or university) in Jackson, Mississippi. Which probably explains the lack of attention. It occurred on May 15, just 11 days after Kent State. At Jackson, it was the police not the National Guard. There was a lot more shooting in Jackson. Two were killed and 12 were wounded.

    I assume that we will be hearing Neil Young singing Ohio on the radio today. Take a listen to the Isley Brothers version – coupled with Machine Gum (Jimi Hendrix).

    1. One difference between the two is that I believe the Jackson State killings were the culmination of racial tensions, not in response to a protest of the Vietnam war.

    1. A favorite. Was just singing along to that this weekend while working on a carpentry project.

      I did not sniff any glue.

      1. Glad to hear you’re taking appropriate precautions on the wood-joinery front, Darrelle. 🙂

  6. One of the small joys of Trump’s time in office is appreciating the various spins on him that different comics have done.
    I’m not a fan of Baldwin’s Trump, and while Colbert and Seth Meyers do good Trumps, my favourite is Peter Serafinowicz’s meta-Trumps.

    Sassy Trump, the very camp Trump, is the one that gets all the headlines, but the funniest for my money are ‘Sophisticated Trump’ and ‘Cockney Trump’…

    I wish he’d do some more. He’s got a magical set of pipes on him.

    1. That’s damn good stuff.

      But were some untoward fate to befall the Donald (heaven forfend!), these folks would all be out of a gig faster’n you can say “Vaughan Meader.”. 🙂

      Christ, I need to get out more; this pandemic self-isolation is starting to do me in.

  7. The “Niagara Falls” bit Moe Howard did on Mike Douglas’s show was a staple of the old vaudeville circuit during the first half of 20th century. The reaction Moe has to any mention of the natural wonder on our Canadian border is the same I have anytime anyone says “Bush v. Gore.” 🙂

    The malefactor in the bit is played by that old King of the Road himself, Roger Miller. And, if I’m not mistaken, the bride-to-be who shows up looking for directions to the church at the end of the skit is Ms. Julie Newmar — the original Catwoman on the old Batman tv series, the actress who gave the autographed photograph to Wong Foo, thanking him for everything.

  8. Not many people know that the hoagie was named after Paul Hoagie the famous actor from Crocodile Dundee.

  9. On the subject of Hoagies/subs and sandwiches in general, something has been bothering me for a long time now:

    When and how was it decided to start making submarine and other sandwiches UPSIDE DOWN?

    For most of my life I and everyone else knew how to make a sandwich: The meat goes on the bottom, then cheese if you want it, THEN the lettuce/tomato veggies on top.

    This was the sandwich design as God meant it and as practiced by most everyone I knew.

    And it was how submarine sandwiches were made as long as I could remember (for instance in our Canadian chain of Mr. Sub).

    Then, I dunno, 15 years ago? I started noticing that the subs were now made throwing the veggies on the bottom, and slapping the meat on top? What? It matters how you make a sandwich. In a meat-based sandwich the meat is the star of the show. It’s needs to take pride-of-place, nearest the tongue for tasting. Now when I eat a sub the cold veggies coat my tongue first and the meat is up around the roof of my mouth where I have no taste buds. I gotta flip it all around when chewing to make things right.

    When did this abominable flipping of all that is good about sandwich design happen and why?

    Who’s with me on this?

  10. “It’s also…World Naked Gardening Day, which has a rather long Wikipedia page.”

    The Wikipedia entry notes in its opening sentence:

    “World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD) is an annual international event generally celebrated on the first Saturday of May by gardeners and non-gardeners alike.”

    so this year it was on the 2nd of May.

  11. 1953 – Ernest Hemingway wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.

    I don’t recall what the Old Man, Santiago, had on his hook while he was trolling the Gulf Stream, but in the snobbier corners of the literati, The Old Man and the Sea is disparaged as Papa’s “Nobel-bait.”

    I mean, I like the novella quite a bit myself, but a masterwork of literature, it ain’t.

      1. Yeah, I recall that part; what I don’t remember off the top was the bait Santiago was using to catch the Marlin.

        Probably something like mullet.

        1. Aha, I had to google. Both sardines and tuna…shallow and deep bait. Don’t think Papa indicated which of the baits his Marlin took. Wasn’t arsed to research. I suspect it didn’t come up anyway.

          You ever read Dan Simmons’ novel The Crook Factory? It’s a fictional account of Hemingway’s attempt to be a spy and war hero during WW2. Fun book. And not at all entirely fictional. I think Simmons captured who I ‘think’ Hemingway was like in the flesh. Good drinking buddy, that one.

          1. I know of the incidents involving Hemingway during WW2, but hadn’t heard of Simmons’s novel before.

            Papa knew a lot about fishing (of both the deep-sea variety, and that done on the fresh-water streams of Michigan and Idaho). He spent a lot of time plying the same waters fished by Santiago, whilst aboard his boat Pilar, when he lived in Cuba.

  12. Jack Donaghy: Did your father ever kill anyone during the war?

    Liz Lemon: Yeah, but he doesn’t like to talk about Kent State.

  13. That Titania McGrath tweet about the book burning video is so historically uninformed that it beggars belief. I think constantly complaining about being a victim is the organising principle of the conservative movement. Just look at Trump and his supporters. Also what political affiliation did the people doing the book-burnings in Germany have? I suspect many of the people gleefully cackling and commenting at this tweet would be absolutely fine with all the book-burnings going on 80 years or so ago. This “comedian” playing the Titania character is not funny, not clever, not informed and is downright cringeworthy.

    1. You’re entitled to your opinion, but the censorship called for by many of the woke is equivalent to that bookburning. So no, that’s not all that historically uninformed. And no, I find that tweet humorous but would NOT approve of the book-burnings. And of course constantly complaining about being a victim is the hallmark of the regressive left–much more so than of conservatives (except for Christians).

      So I disagree with you, as do many (look at how many followers are here).

Leave a Reply