Tuesday: Hili dialogue

December 1, 2020 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Tuesday, December 1, the beginning of the last month of this wretched year. Tuesday is, of course, the cruelest day, and I hope you know where that phrase comes from. It’s three food months in one:

National Pear Month
National Egg Nog Month
National Fruit Cake Month

Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot) goes to a search for “December around the world, though they neglected Coynezaa (celebrated Dec 25-Dec. 30):

It’s National Fried Pie Day, a staple much beloved in the American South, especially in the peach version. And let’s not forget the non-fried pies, as it’s National Pie Day, as well as Eat a Red Apple Day (Boo to American red apples, which are mushy and without flavor: give me a tart Granny Smith). It’s Giving Tuesday, when we’re supposed to donate to charity instead of buying more online stuff (you can do both at our charity auction), World AIDS Day, and Rosa Parks Day, celebrating the day in 1955 when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man, starting the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

News of the Day:

Beavers have been extinct in England since the 16th century due to trapping, but they’re making a comeback as they get reintroduced. Today the BBC reported that beavers released in Exmoor (in west Somerset) have build the first dam seen in that region in the last 400 years! It’s a modest dam, to be sure, but a dam nonetheless, and here’s a photo:

Source: National Trust/PA wire

Hard to believe, but Garry Trudeau’s strip “Doonesbury” is 50 years old this year. (It was the first comic strip to win the Pulitzer Prize.) Over at the Washington Post, you can see ten strips that Trudeau says “have proved defining and enduringly meaningful to him.” You’ll want to see them as well as his comments.

Here’s a Doonesbury oldie that I well remember. It’s from 2012, when Texas passed a law requiring that any woman seeking an abortion get a sonogram (click to enlarge):

Richard Frishmann has some heartbreaking photos (and text) at the New York Times showing remnants of segregation still around in the South. They include once-segregated drive-ins and restaurants, hotels that catered to only blacks, and “colored” entrances to theaters. When I first arrived in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1967 to attend college, I was puzzled at the presence of two men’s rooms, two ladies rooms, and two water fountains in the small Greyhound bus station. Only later did I realize what they meant.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 268,023, an increase of about 1,300 from yesterday’s figure.  The world death toll is 1,475,636, a big increase of about 8,900 over yesterday’s report. 

Stuff that happened on December 1 includes:

  • 1640 – End of the Iberian Union: Portugal acclaims as King João IV of Portugal, ending 59 years of personal union of the crowns of Portugal and Spain and the end of the rule of the Philippine Dynasty.

You think this election was a mess? Read about the one in 1824:

  • 1824 – United States presidential election: Since no candidate received a majority of the total electoral college votes in the election, the United States House of Representatives is given the task of deciding the winner in accordance with the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  • 1862 – In his State of the Union Address President Abraham Lincoln reaffirms the necessity of ending slavery as ordered ten weeks earlier in the Emancipation Proclamation.

You can see Lincoln’s full speech here.

  • 1913 – Ford Motor Company introduces the first moving assembly line.

Here’s a photo of that first line, photographed in 1913. The caption notes “Ford assembly line, 1913. The magneto assembly line was the first.

  • 1919 – Lady Astor becomes the first female Member of Parliament to take her seat in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. (She had been elected to that position on November 28.)

Here’s Lady Astor in 1919 canvassing the electorate:

  • 1941 – World War II: Emperor Hirohito of Japan gives the final approval to initiate war against the United States.

Six days later, the Japanese airstrike on Pearl Harbor took place, and the next day we were at war.

  • 1955 – American Civil Rights Movement: In Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white man and is arrested for violating the city’s racial segregation laws, an incident which leads to that city’s bus boycott.

Here’s Rosa Parks with her mugshot after the bus arrest:

  • 1969 – Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II.

Oy, do I remember that! I was number 3, which guaranteed (at the time) that I’d be drafted into the Army. Circumstances, though, dictated otherwise, but that’s another tale.

  • 1990 – Channel Tunnel sections started from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 metres beneath the seabed.

Here’s the tunnel joining with diggers Robert ‘Graham’ Fagg and Philippe Cozette. Fagg, the Brit, later voted for Brexit (see here).

  • 2019 – First known case of COVID-19 appears.

Within just one year from this case, we now have several effective vaccines that work in different ways—a testimony to the power of science.

Notables born on this day include:

Moore, also called “The Sweet Singer of Michigan”, is the American counterpart of William McGonagall, both famous for writing godawful poems. You can see a selection of her works here (I recommend “Little Libbie,” which contains these deathless verses:

. . . One morning in April, a short time ago,
Libbie was active and gay;
Her Saviour called her, she had to go,
E’re the close of that pleasant day.

While eating dinner, this dear little child
Was choked on a piece of beef.
Doctors came, tried their skill awhile,
But none could give relief.

She was ten years of age, I am told,
And in school stood very high.
Her little form now the earth enfolds,
In her embrace it must ever lie.

  • 1933 – Lou Rawls, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actor (d. 2006)
  • 1935 – Woody Allen, American actor, director, and screenwriter
  • 1940 – Richard Pryor, American comedian, actor, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2005)
  • 1945 – Bette Midler, American singer-songwriter, actress and producer
  • 1949 – Pablo Escobar, Colombian drug lord and narcoterrorist (d. 1993)
  • 1970 – Sarah Silverman, American comedian, actress, and singer.

Sarah is fifty today, and my offer of marriage still stands though she spurns connubial bliss. Yes, I know she wets her bed.

Those who dropped dead on this day include:

  • 1866 – George Everest, Welsh geographer and surveyor (b. 1790)
  • 1947 – Aleister Crowley, English magician, poet, and mountaineer (b. 1875)
  • 1947 – G. H. Hardy, English mathematician and theorist (b. 1877)
  • 1964 – J. B. S. Haldane, English-Indian geneticist and biologist (b. 1892)

Here’s a cartoon of Haldane (an evolutionary geneticist) from 1949; he was a communist but renounced it when the Soviet Union, under the charlatan Lysenko, repudiated “western” genetics:

  • 1987 – James Baldwin, American novelist, poet, and critic (b. 1924)
  • 1989 – Alvin Ailey, American dancer and choreographer (b. 1931)
  • 1997 – Stéphane Grappelli, French violinist (b. 1908)

Here’s Grapelli with his famous accompanist, Django Reinhardt, in a rare video. The song gets hot about 1:30, when they show the Quintette of the Hot Club of France. Note that Reinhardt plays with just two fingers on the frets, as he injured his hand in a fire when he was young.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, there was a kerfuffle on Sunday when Hili couldn’t abide the presence of both Szaron and Kulka in the same room, and pandemonium ensued.

Hili: Everybody is hissing at each other.
A: Not at all—Kulka and Szaron want to be your friends.
Hili: And that’s why I’m hissing at them.
In Polish:
Hili: Wszyscy na siebie syczą.
Ja: Wcale nie, Kulka i Szaron chcą się z tobą zaprzyjaźnić.
Hili: Właśnie dlatego na nie syczę.

Here are Kulka and Szaron on the kitchen windowsill, where Kulka gets some noms:

I posted this classic meme on my Facebook page 12 years ago (Facebook reminded me):

From Gregory James: God’s Grifters:

From Jesus of the Day:

Titania suggests a replacement neologism:

From reader Paul. This vigorous kid apparently has COVID-19, which has killed his sense of taste and smell. I gather it returns, but I’m still puzzled about why the hot sauce didn’t make his taste buds tingle:

From reader Enrico, about Biden’s d*g-induced foot fracture. BUT: a.) Biden’s dogs are German Shepherds, and b.) THE BIDENS HAVEN’T GOTTEN A CAT YET!

From reader Ken, who agrees that the kids are alright:

Tweets from Matthew. For crying out loud, everyone knows you shouldn’t feed donuts to a horse!

Matthew critically analyzes a piece of “Trump fan art”:

Matthew called attention to the Bilby’s ears, but he hardly had to. I love these adorable marsupials.  At Easter in Oz, they eat chocolate bilbies instead of chocolate rabbits, and part of the proceeds has gone to help bring back the bilby. (Rabbits, which have wrecked much of Australia, should not be celebrated there at Easter!)

A chocolate bilby:

And this has to be the Tweet of the Month, even though the month just started:


28 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. I think I may have posted this Neville Brothers’ tune last year on Rosa Parks Day. Even so, I think it’s worth doing again:

  2. My, people must be sleeping in today. The magneto – not many mechanics know how to work on today. I remember lots of people would bring their mags to my grandfather to repair. The old cars and tractors had mags and lots of airplanes also have magnetos. With airplanes you always had two.

  3. (Boo to American red apples, which are mushy and without flavor: give me a tart Granny Smith

    Agree with you if you mean Red Delicious apples, but I beg to differ when all the other reddish varietals are considered. Personally, I’ve been getting into Galas and Fujis lately. Cripps Pink and Empire are also good. All IMO, of course.

    1. I like Fujis, though quality differs a lot throughout the year. Probably sourced from different places around the world depending on season.

      Honey Crisp are good too if you like Fujis. Usually a bit more flavorful and more consistently good, at least at my local market.

      Red delicious and McIntosh apples are pointless in my opinion.

      1. I do like Honeycrisp, but I think they’re way overpriced. You’re basically paying an extra $1-2/pound for a more dappled Cripps Pink.

  4. Blocking report:

    39 total items blocked
    32 items except fingerprinting blocked
    7 total fingerprinting methods active

  5. The site you reference regarding Lincoln is incorrect in calling his message of December 1, 1862 a State of the Union. It’s actually titled “Annual Message to Congress.” It served the same purpose as a State of the Union, but it was delivered in writing; there was no speech. I believe this very long message has not received from historians the attention that it deserves. A proper analysis of it cannot be done properly in the space allocated for a comment, but I will mention two important features of it. The first is that Lincoln states clearly that he is a supporter of voluntary colonization (the removal of free blacks outside the country). The second is that he offers a plan of gradual (up to the year 1900) compensated emancipation, which he hopes that slave states would adopt. He thinks that this complicated plan could be reconciled with the provisions of the Emancipation Proclamation that were to go into effect on January 1, 1863. Of course, Lincoln’s support of voluntary colonization and compensated emancipation went nowhere.

    1. I believe Jefferson started the idea of just mailing it in or putting it in writing and not a speech – The state of the union business. He was not a good speaker and did not like making speeches. It did not go back to a speech until Wilson. By the way, Jefferson was also in favor of the colonization business but did not know how they would afford it. I believe Harriot Beacher Stow was also a colonizer. Imagine that….

      1. I read a book on US slavery a number years ago (unfortunately, I cannot recall the title) which asserted that a majority of northern abolitionists favored either colonization (aka “repatriation” – an absurd notion, since by the 1860 almost all of the slaves in the US had been born here, importation having been banned in 1807) or giving former slaves a state of their own with forced removal after emancipation – the ultimate in segregation. In other words, they were willing to liberate them, but didn’t want to live with them.

    2. Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 of the US constitution provides that the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Nothing in the Constitution requires that this information be provided in an annual oral address to the two houses of congress sitting jointly.

      Until the 1940s, this was known simply as the “Annual Message” rather than as the “State of the Union Address.”

  6. More evidence that the Trump train is a joke: The original T-P campaign logo was used, which was mocked because it had the T penetrating the P.

  7. The Texas sonogram law is draconian and a cruel deprivation of human rights. Fortunately, technology provides an end run around the rogue state. Self-managed abortion.

    “Mifepristone, also known as Mifeprex or RU-486, was developed in the early 1980s and is the backbone of the most effective medication abortion regimens available.”


    1. “Mifepristone, also known as Mifeprex or RU-486 …”

      I expect there’ll be an active black-market trade in it, once the rightwingers on SCOTUS drop the hammer on Roe v. Wade and the worst of the red states follow suit by making everything but a quick and dutiful hump in the missionary position by married couples for procreative purposes only a crime of the felonious sort.

  8. y1969, of this day I reacted: I was just returned from Mr Yasgur’s dairying acres of
    Woodstock the previous August when word reached me within New York City in re
    my long and long love … … from his and my first meeting of each other inside our
    Iowa town’s elementary school’s first grade, Darling Larry. Larry’s = of #1 = had
    just come up upon the draft’s lottery draw: Larry’s birthday ? 14 September,
    thus #1. He was headed to Viet Nam. Directly.

    Fast forward to y1983, and that USA president’s / Mr Reagan’s threat to reinstate
    that draft then yet again. I am inside a PhD program of veterinary microbiology
    study and research with three already born kiddos: all children under seven years
    of age … … who are male ones. Immediately I sought to build f o r them, before a
    draft board, say, a ” credible ” h i s t o r y: i ) I took the training from the CCCO
    [ Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors ] to become, myself, a counselor
    and ii) along with all three babes, we four stat became members of the local
    Friends Meeting / Quakers. It worked.


  9. Oy, do I remember that! I was number 3, which guaranteed (at the time) that I’d be drafted into the Army. Circumstances, though, dictated otherwise, but that’s another tale.

    I was in one of the last draft lotteries. My number was in the high 200’s, so no real chance of being drafted. But, as things turned out, the draft had ended by the time I turned 18 anyway. But I do remember those days and the anxiety that my peers went through.

    1. The year before I turned eighteen, it was announced that the active draft was no longer in force, but the lottery drawings continued for a few years after induction was discontinued. The year I turned eighteen, my birthday was #2.

    1. Thank you for posting that! I still have a hard time forgiving Trudeau for engaging in the posthumous character assassination of his murdered colleagues.

  10. This vigorous kid apparently has COVID-19, which has killed his sense of taste and smell.

    Lucky for the kid he probably won’t be able to taste the Kaopectate he’ll need to swallow after that meal.

  11. George Conway was merely mocking the trump campaign claims of election fraud, with the Corgi’s claiming “they have affidavits.”

  12. Whaaaaat? That little hussy Sarah Silverman is entertaining marriage proposals from BOTH of us? She never told ME! Typical. They’ll break our hearts, professor, break our hearts.

    bereft in NYC,

    David Anderson

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