Sunday: Hili dialogue

January 3, 2021 • 6:30 am

It’s Sunday, January 3, 2021 (notice how I got the year right), and National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day (these can be dreadful, but also good if made with non-maraschino cherries and decent chocolate). It’s also J. R. R. Tolkien Day, who was born on January 3, 1892, and Memento Mori (or “Remember You Die Day”), when you’re supposed to ponder your mortality. For me that is every day.

News of the Day:

Not only are eleven Republican Senators trying to overturn the election of the Biden/Harris ticket, but they’re being explicitly endorsed by Vice-President Mike Pence, who says he welcomes any congressional move that is legal. But every state in the Union has certified its election results, and Trump & Co. have lost in every court to which they appealed. That even 11 Republicans can persist in this woeful nonsense is a testimony to the power that Trump holds on their benighted minds.

Here’s the list of meatheads, along with their joint statement, which you can read here. They’re asking for a ten-day “emergency audit” of the votes from UNSPECIFIED “disputed stated.” Oy.

After this amusing (but true) article appeared in New York Magazine (click on screenshot), I am determined to find bucatini, but, as the piece recounts, it’s not to be found. The FDA banned it because it didn’t have enough¬†iron!

As if 2020 wasn’t dysfunctional enough, there seems to be a plague of aggressive, bloodthirsty squirrels in New York City. (They are almost certainly NOT rabid.) Here’s a news report:

One bit of good news that is due to the pandemic itself: influenza cases in the U.S., and I suspect elsewhere in the northern hemisphere, have dropped markedly. Some reports put the number of cases of seasonal influenza at only 2% of normal in the U.S. (surely an underestimate), and attribute it to not only social distancing, masking, handwashing, and so on, but also to a lack of travel that moves the flu between hemispheres. Other respiratory diseases have also declined for the same reason.

Finally,¬†today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. 350,329, an increase of about 2,400 deaths from yesterday’s figure. The world death toll is 1,844,792, an increase of about 8,300 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on January 3 includes:

  • 1521¬†‚ÄstPope Leo X¬†excommunicates¬†Martin Luther¬†in the¬†papal bull¬†Decet Romanum Pontificem.
  • 1777¬†‚ÄstAmerican General¬†George Washington¬†defeats British General¬†Lord Cornwallis¬†at the¬†Battle of Princeton.
  • 1870¬†‚Äď Construction work begins on the¬†Brooklyn Bridge¬†in New York, United States.

It took 13 years before it was opened, but many see it as the world’s most beautiful bridge:

The watch was the Hamilton Ventura, much favored by Elvis Presley. Here are two models:

  • 1959¬†‚ÄstAlaska¬†is admitted as the 49th¬†U.S. state.
  • 1962¬†‚ÄstPope John XXIII¬†excommunicates¬†Fidel Castro.

According to Wikipedia, “Fidel Castro¬†is reported to have been excommunicated by¬†John XXIII¬†in 1962 for affiliating with the¬†Communist Party of Cuba, preaching¬†communism¬†and supporting a communist government; the basis of the excommunication is supposed to have been the 1949¬†Decree against Communism¬†of¬†Pope Pius XII.”

  • 1977¬†‚ÄstApple Computer is incorporated.
  • 1990¬†‚ÄstUnited States invasion of Panama:¬†Manuel Noriega, former leader of¬†Panama, surrenders to American forces.
  • 2009¬†‚Äď The first block of the blockchain of the decentralized¬†payment system¬†Bitcoin, called the¬†Genesis block, was established by the creator of the system,¬†Satoshi Nakamoto.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1840¬†‚ÄstFather Damien, Flemish priest and missionary (d. 1889)

Damien served the lepers in the colony on Moloka’i, Hawaii. He too contracted leprosy and died from it. Here’s a photo of the stricken priest taken shortly before his death:

  • 1883¬†‚ÄstClement Attlee, English soldier, lawyer, and politician,¬†Prime Minister of the United Kingdom¬†(d. 1967)
  • 1892¬†‚ÄstJ.R.R. Tolkien, English writer, poet, and philologist (d. 1973)

Here’s Tolkien in 1916 as a British soldier. He served in the trenches in WWI:

  • 1897¬†‚ÄstMarion Davies, American actress and comedian (d. 1961)

Davies, an actress, became more famous for being the mistress of William Randolph Hearst and his partner at San Simeon. Here’s what Wikipedia quotes her as saying to Charlie Chaplin’s wife:

“God, I’d give everything I have to marry that silly old man. Not for the money and security‚ÄĒhe’s given me more than I’ll ever need. Not because he’s such cozy company, either. Most times, when he starts jawing, he bores me stiff. And certainly not because he’s so wonderful behind the barn. Why, I could find a million better lays any Wednesday. No, you know what he gives me, sugar? He gives me the feeling I’m worth something to him. A whole lot of what we have, or don’t have, I don’t like. He’s got a wife who’ll never give him a divorce. She knows about me, but it’s still understood that when she decides to go to the ranch for a week or a weekend, I’ve got to vamoose. And he snores, and he can be petty, and has sons about as old as me. But he’s kind and he’s good to me, and I’d never walk out on him.”

Hearst and Davies liked to have costume parties at San Simeon

Wong was the first Chinese woman to become an American movie star. Here’s a short documentary about her:

  • 1939 ‚ÄstBobby Hull, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1945¬†‚ÄstStephen Stills, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer

I’ve said many times that I would have loved to swap places with Stephen Stills. He was not only wickedly handsome, but a musical genius‚ÄĒa great singer, writer, and guitarist. And of course he had a relationship with the subject of “Judy Blue Eyes”.¬† Here he is singing one of his best songs, “4 +20“, just one man and his acoustic guitar. (He forgets a line in the first verse.)¬† The song is on CSN&Y’s D√©j√† Vu¬†album.

  • 1950¬†‚ÄstVictoria Principal, American actress and businesswoman
  • 1956¬†‚ÄstMel Gibson, American-Australian actor, director, producer, and screenwriter
  • 2003¬†‚ÄstGreta Thunberg, Swedish environmental activist

Those who flatlined on January 3 include:

  • 1795¬†‚ÄstJosiah Wedgwood, English potter, founded the¬†Wedgwood Company (b. 1730)
  • 1903¬†‚ÄstAlois Hitler, Austrian civil servant (b. 1837)

Do you think he looks like his son?

(From Wikipedia): Alois Hitler always wore his uniform, and insisted on being addressed as Herr Oberoffizial Hitler, c.‚ÄČ1897‚Äď1899
  • 1945¬†‚ÄstEdgar Cayce, American psychic and author (b. 1877)
  • 1967 ‚ÄstJack Ruby, American businessman and murderer (b. 1911)
  • 2014¬†‚ÄstPhil Everly, American singer and guitarist (b. 1939)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili touts her superior intellect:

Hili: I think about everything.
A: And?
Hili: And it’s not easy.
In Polish:
Hili: MyŇõlńô o tym wszystkim.
Ja: I co?
Hili: Nie jest Ňāatwo.

Kulka’s hiding in the laundry basket:

From Jesus of the Day, an adorable pudu fawn (Pudu sp.). It’s one of two species of South American deer (the Northern and Southern), and, with a shoulder height of a bit over a foot as adults, they’re the world’s smallest deer.

Image credit: Maulee

A Northern pudu, the smaller of the two species:

From Nicole. I wonder if this is true.

From the Queen, and it’ll take a few moments to work out:

From Dom:

True Facts About Alligators, from Barry:

Tweets from Matthew. First, the chillest rodent going:

I read this book for a lecture I gave in Antarctica, and yes, it’s right up there with the great adventure books. I’d also add “Annapurna” by Maurice Herzog, and “Seven Years in Tibet” by Heinrich Harrer.

Lovely video of some Honorary Cats¬ģ enjoying the snow:

I think this works on some iPhones (not mine), but doesn’t work on my computer. Ergo, I haven’t seen it. But try it!

21 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. The funny thing about Titania’s comment about homosexuality being transphobic is that that attitude is primarily coming from MTF trans-activists, and feminists. It’s lesbianism that’s considers transphobic. Writer/podcaster and lesbian, Katie Herzog writes that lesbians (particularly younger ones)are disappearing, as they are now identifying as non-binary in order to escape the stigma. Even Judith Butler came out as non-binary.

  2. I think the Republicans who are abasing themselves aren’t doing it because they think it’ll work. They’re doing it because Trump/Trumpism will wield great influence in the GOP for some time to come, and therefore ambitious Republicans can point to their undying loyalty to the cause when it’s time for them to run for elections of any kind. Ted Cruz still manages to disgust me- such a pathetic man, humiliated by Trump yet licking his crusty feet. If ever there was a perfect example of a cuck, as the alt right kids say, it’s that excuse for a person.

    1. I think you are exactly right. I also think they know the claims of widespread volter fraud are bollocks, but they are unprincipled hacks that, in a better world, noone would trust to put in any position of political power. I’ll leave it at that.

      1. Here here, Niklas! I was actually RELIEVED when Trump won the primary because Cruz didn’t. I still think he’d have been worse than Trump and I dread ever finding out.

        In that era I volunteered and worked for Hillary’s campaign because while I didn’t think Trump would win I wanted to do my personal best to make sure he didn’t. Which DID NOT WORK OUT WELL.

        Of all slimy beasts, Cruz is surely the worst.

        D.A., NYC

  3. I highly recommend David McCullough’s tome on the Brooklyn Bridge “The Great Bridge”. A fascinating read!

  4. I’ve never heard of bucatini. Now I will need to see if it’s available in Ontario and try it.

    1. I have not looked lately at the store, but we bought bucatini in 2020 at Smith’s (Kroger) and at the Cost Plus World Market here in Albuquerque. I am pretty sure we still have some. Learned about bucatini when we visited Rome a few years ago and had bucatini all’amatriciana, which is made with guanciale (pork cheek) and is nicely spiced. We brought back some spice mixes for the dish that we found at an open air market in Rome and still have some, though it is getting low. We substitute thick bacon for the guanciale.

  5. The Brooklyn Bridge is certainly iconic, but I wouldn’t call it beautiful. If we’re judging bridges on an aesthetic basis, the Golden Gate Bridge deserves to be called beautiful. Abraham Darby’s Iron Bridge in Shropshire is also very elegant in an artistic way, as well as having the historical distinction of being the first bridge in the world made entirely of wrought iron.

    1. What is ‚Äúbeautiful‚ÄĚ about the Brooklyn bridge to me is its pedestrian walkway. I would always make an effort to walk it whenever I visited NYC. For some reason, it thrilled me.

  6. If Mike Pence, at this stage of the game, welcomes any congressional move that is legal, that suggests the GOP might be willing to do the same for any legislation, or any governmental agency they have anything to do with. This could lead to a complete breakdown of democratic government, and move inevitably toward totalitarianism as, “the only way to get anything done”.

  7. The authorities recommended all of the nontherapeutic interventions (masks, social distancing, handwashing, etc., etc.) that were known to work against the flu. And, it turns out, they did work against the flu. It follows that, for the most part, Americans have been following the authorities’ recommendations.

    It also follows that COVID-19 must be transmitted differently than the flu. We already know that the flu is transmitted on surfaces, but COVID-19 largely is not. It seems COVID-19 must be transmitted in some way the flu is not.

    Unless it’s, say, 200 times more infections than the flu, which I think we’ve established it isn’t?

  8. The Shoprite in Flemington NJ has both Colavita Bucatini and Ronzoni Perciatelli (similar tubed pasta). Should I send you some?

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