Saturday: Hili dialogue

October 10, 2020 • 6:30 am

Greet the weekend! It’s Saturday, October 10, 2020: National Angel Food Cake Day. One of my favorite cakes, Angel Food is rarely seen these days. When I was a tyke, on my birthday my mom used to make me either a strawberry angel-food cake with strawberry icing, or one with coffee icing. I haven’t had those treats in decades.

Here’s one, but it’s better frosted:

It’s also World Porridge Day, National Cake Decorating Day, National Chess Day, National Metric Day, International African Penguin Awareness DayWorld Day Against the Death Penalty, and World Mental Health Day.

The African Penguin, celebrated today, is in fact a species of penguin rather than just penguins living in Africa: Spheniscus demersus.  It’s now endangered, but you can see some at Boulders Beach near Cape Town. Here are some photos:

News of the day: I forgot to write yesterday that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded, as you undoubtedly know already, to the UN’s World Food Programme for its ongoing “efforts to combat hunger” and its “contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas.”

As Roger Cohen pointed out in the New York Times, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had initially agreed to participate in a virtual memorial on October 20 to Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister who, 25 years ago on November 4, was killed by an assassin who deplored Rabin’s desire to compromise with the Palestinians and Rabin’s peace initiative with Yasser Arafat.  It wouldn’t do, after all, to have anybody on “The Squad” celebrate anything to do with Israel. Remember, one hallmark of the “progressive” Democrats is their unstinting celebration of all things Palestinian and the demonization of all things Israeli and Jewish.

Reader Charles calls attention to an NBC news article revealing that doctors at Walter Reed were asked to sign nondisclosure agreements before they could be involved in Trump’s treatment in 2019, when he made that mysterious visit to the facility long before he got coronavirus. Charles thinks that this may indicate that Trump has a serious undisclosed medical condition (by law, doctors can’t real anything about the President’s health without permission, so nondisclosure agreements aren’t even needed).

Speaking of Trump, the second debate, originally scheduled for next Thursday, is definitely off now, with the “President” refusing to participate in a virtual debate.  The October 22 debate schedule to be non-virtual in Nashville, is apparently still on.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 213,593, an increase of about 900 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll remains at “1.0 million +”, with 5,648 deaths reported yesterday.

Stuff that happened on October 10 includes:

  • 1845 – In Annapolis, Maryland, the Naval School (later the United States Naval Academy) opens with 50 students.
  • 1871 – Chicago burns after a barn accident. The fire lasts from October 8–10.
  • 1913 – U.S. President Wilson triggers the explosion of the Gamboa Dike, completing major construction on the Panama Canal.
  • 1933 – A United Airlines Boeing 247 is destroyed by sabotage, the first such proven case in the history of commercial aviation.
  • 1938 – Abiding by the Munich Agreement, Czechoslovakia completes its withdrawal from the Sudetenland.
  • 1973 – U.S. Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns after being charged with evasion of federal income tax.

Here’s Agnew explaining his resignation.  Talk about dreadful Vice Presidents! Nattering nabob, indeed.

  • 2018 – Hurricane Michael makes landfall in the Florida Panhandle as a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane. It kills 57 people in the United States, 45 in Florida, and causes an estimated $25.1 billion in damage.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1731 – Henry Cavendish, French-English chemist, physicist, and philosopher (d. 1810)
  • 1813 – Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer and philanthropist (d. 1901)
  • 1825 – Paul Kruger, South African soldier and politician, 5th President of the South African Republic (d. 1904)
  • 1861 – Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian explorer, scientist, and humanitarian, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1930)

Nansen may be the only explorer to ever win the Nobel Prize. He was a polymath, and wickedly handsome to boot. Here he is in polar gear, looking like a fierce Viking:

Yours truly in a replica parka, in a photo taken to advertise my presence on the MS Roald Amundsen as a lecturer in Antarctica. Photo by Andrea Klaussner, the ship’s photographer. (I believe I put this up when I was aboard the ship).

  • 1900 – Helen Hayes, American actress (d. 1993)
  • 1917 – Thelonious Monk, American pianist and composer (d. 1982)
  • 1946 – John Prine, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2020)
  • 1959 – Julia Sweeney, American actress, comedian, producer, and screenwriter
  • 1963 – Daniel Pearl, American-Israeli journalist (d. 2002)
  • 1969 – Brett Favre, American football player

Those who departed this life on October 10 include:

  • 1963 – Édith Piaf, French singer-songwriter and actress (b. 1915)

Here’s my favorite Piaf song, “Les Amants d’un jour” (“Lovers for a day”). It’s ineffably beautiful, but the subject is sad: two lovers who commit suicide in a hotel.  This song is obscure, but shouldn’t be. Her others, like “La Vie en Rose” and “Non, Je ne Regrette Rien” are far more popular, but I like this one better.

  • 1985 – Yul Brynner, Russian actor (b. 1920)
  • 1985 – Orson Welles, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1915)
  • 2005 – Wayne C. Booth, American educator and critic (b. 1921)
  • 2013 – Scott Carpenter, American commander, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1925)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili isn’t excited about the latest crop:

Hili: Nuts again?
A: Yes, but this year there are very few of them.
In Polish:
Hili: Znowu orzechy?
Ja: Tak, ale w tym roku jest ich bardzo mało.
And we have a new picture of kitten Kulka, who is now a teenager. She has a new toy, too, bought by her doting staff member Paulina. Andrzej’s caption: “Paulina decided to buy Kulka a throne (which Kulka will grow out of a month).”
In Polish: Paulina postanowiła sprawić Kulce tron (z którego Kulka wyrośnie za miesiąc)

I stole this billboard from Andrew Sullivan’s weekly column, and he stole it from The Curious Brain. Very clever ad!

From Amy. Recognize the quote?

Trump is stimulating the economy, though in a roundabout way. Help small business by buying one of these Donald Trump toilet brushes. And yes, they’re real; I found a place that sells them for five bucks. (h/t Charles)

Titania pointed this out, and OMG has the UN has become überwoke!

From Simon, a smart rodent! And the answer is correct.

From Jeremy. Yes, this is a real duckling, and probably from the Crested breed of domesticated mallard.  It looks like Trump!

From Barry, a funny question to Joel Osteen’s prayer line. Will Jesus wear a mask if he returns?

Tweets from Matthew. First, another fly meme. . .

Ricky Gervais has a new rescue tabby cat, and he got it from our Official Website Charity®, Feline Friends London!  He named her Pickle.

If you want to support this fine organization, which is all volunteer and no kill, go here.

And Pickle has already made herself at home!

Great shots of a Cooper’s Hawk attacking pigeons. (Enlarge pix for best view.) Good thing they didn’t go after our ducks.



32 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. Angel food was mine, too.
    Tried some a few years ago and have to admit my tastes have improved.
    Monk, Prine, and Piaf make for a fine playlist for today. I’m pulling out some CDs and vinyl in commemoration. (It’s also the month I’m awash in Charles Ives.)

  2. Re. interruptions:

    One scenario of many, so skipping all the if’s, we have made it to Jan 20, and the Dolt is actually in attendance. Will Biden manage to deliver his inaugural address without interruption?

      1. He might fear immediate arrest as soon as Biden had the ‘crown’. I’d hope so.

        But dropping dead sooner, rather than later, seems much safer for the human species.

  3. My second cat’s two favorite foods were shrimp and angel food cake. We had to put the cake in the pantry whenever we had any because she’d always find a way to open whatever box it was in.

  4. Angel food cake is still plentiful. You can buy it ready made at supermarkets, or make it from a box.
    I can no longer judge whether such things taste good, since my experience is in part supplanted by childhood memories of these things. I still like candy corn for some godawful reason.

  5. My mother always called it “sponge cake”, both because of it’s texture and because she thought that angels were creepy. I agreed then (about the angels) and still do. They are one of the most annoying features of biblical mythology.

    1. Egad! I used “it’s” when I should have used “its”! I will be flogging myself all evening after I finish working Early Voting Assistance!

      1. I thought it was the kind of food eaten by creatures who were made out of many interlocking wheels or covered in hundreds of eyes.

  6. Even if that learned chinchilla(?) is wrong (I think and hope not), it still is excessively cute.

    Laughed my head off with the Jesus and mask dialogue, with Bach’s toccata and fugue in D in the background, who could ask for more?

  7. “Remember, one hallmark of the “progressive” Democrats is their unstinting celebration of all things Palestinian and the demonization of all things Israeli and Jewish.”

    all categorical statements are false; every single one.

  8. Kulka appears to have had a tummy trim. Can I assume her recent absence – there was a photo of just Hili and Szaron and no Kulka- was for spaying purposes. She looks good in her new throne.

      1. Its been quite a while since I’ve had anyone to be spayed but I know they do it around 4 months here. They castrate even younger. There are mixed feelings about the youth of the recipients but I’m sure trying to prevent unwanted litters.

  9. If Pence’s uteral scalp (or is that a non-feeling hairpiece??) carries the fly eggs through larval stage, will they be called MAGAts?
    (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

  10. Olympus (I used to use one) informs me that today is World Migratory Bird Day. Google informs me that there’s also a WMB Day in the Spring (makes sense to me). Maybe we’ll see some migratory ducks on WEIT tomorrow?

  11. I just saw on Reddit that today is the anniversary for when John McCain grabbed a microphone from one of his supporters at a rally and proceeded to tell her off for calling Obama an “Arab.” And he did the same thing previously at that rally with a supporter who said he was scared of Obama becoming President, to which McCain responded that Obama is “a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared [of] as President of the United States.”

    How far we have fallen in just a few short years…

  12. a throne (which Kulka will grow out of a month)

    And is that a reason to not use it? I anticipate a sequence of increasingly unstably poised Kulka pictures for the foreseeable future.

  13. When I saw the B&W photo of you, I at first thought it was Leonard Nimoy. He was wearing a similar parka in the last Star Trek, maybe that’s why…

  14. The scientist (though Nobel was Peace Prize IIRC) and explorer sides of Nansen came together seriously when he deduced from various pieces of evidence that a ship frozen in, north of an eastern part of Siberia, would be carried by a current over the North Pole and released over somewhere between Greenland and Svalbard.

    So he designed a ship (later also used by Amundsen in his first to the South Pole) which wouldn’t be crushed and sunk. They were frozen in not far east enough, so he and Johannsen set off with sled and dogs. They got twice as close as anyone previous (~1895). However their ship got almost that close and did just drift around and out to Svalbard.

    The two had quite an ordeal from late spring one year to late summer the next, living winter in a kind of cave up there, before being rescued by a British expedition in the far south of Franz Josef Land (Russian name??) They were luckily attacked by a walrus, or might have missed that rescue. They had eaten somewhere between 10 and 15 polar bears to survive.

    We are all lovers of polar bears, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Leave a Reply