Monday: Hili dialogue (and Kulka monologue)

March 15, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Monday, March 15, 2021: the Ides of March and National Peanut Lover’s Day. Again with the singular possessive: who is the single peanut lover being feted?

It’s also National National Pears Hélène Day (pears poached with red wine and named after Offenbach’s operetta La belle Hélène), World Consumer Rights Day, Fill Our Staplers Day (always a good idea), National Brutus Day (it is, after all, the Ides of March), and Everything You Think is Wrong Day.

News of the Day:

When I drove to the grocery store at 7 a.m. yesterday, the street in front of the UC Hospital’s emergency room was blocked off by cop cars at both ends. There were many other cop cars with lights flashing, and a group of people milled around outside the ER door. I had never seen anything like this before. It turns out that there were multiple shootings yesterday on the South Side, where the University of Chicago and its hospital are located. One of the incidents, which I suspect caused the fracas I saw, involved an early-morning mass shooting at a party that wounded 15 and killed 2. So far this weekend—and I’m writing this at about 6 pm on Sunday—31 people have been shot in Chicago, and 7 of them died. The carnage is unbelievable.

According to CBS News, 34% of Republicans will not be taking the coronavirus vaccine. Assuming that Republicans are about half the electorate, that puts us at about 83% of the population vaccinated—barely on the border of herd immunity. Compare that to only 10% refuseniks among Democrats. What can you conclude from this comparison? To quote Dr. Seuss yours truly:

Republicans won’t take the shot;
“They’ll microchip me!” is their thought.
But Democrats are far, far wiser:
They line up for their jabs from Pfizer.

Is Meghan Markle planning a political career in the U.S., including a run for the Presidency? So says The Daily Fail:

One senior Labour figure – a veteran of Tony Blair‘s Downing Street administration with strong links to Washington – claimed to The Mail on Sunday that Ms Markle, 39, was networking among senior Democrats with a view to building a campaign and fundraising teams for a tilt at the US Presidency.

Last night, a source close to the Duchess of Sussex declined to comment, but the couple have made little secret of their political beliefs.

No way! But then again, Arnold Schwarzenegger became the governor of California. . .

Last night Billy Strings, a product of Michigan, won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album with his release of “Home.” (See my posts about him here and here.)

Shoot Me Now Department. A NYT essay combines decent pictures with absolutely dreadful and overheated prose/poetry, in a nostalgic piece on dancing in clubs and its absence during the pandemic. The writing is absolutely DIRE, with the text, by Wisher, so self-consciously saccharine as to be indigestible. But read it (click on screenshot). The headline is of course clickbait, and I bit:

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 534,476, an increase of just {well, “just” may not be a good word) 572 deaths over yesterday’s figure—a very low number.  The reported world death toll stands at 2,666,125 an increase of about about 5,700 deaths over yesterday’s total. 

Stuff that happened on March 15 includes:

Caesar was stabbed 23 times, but a post-mortem examination (the first in history) determined that only one of them would have been fatal, and that Caesar died from blood loss. A depiction sans blood:

Here’s the English cricket team for that match, and a hirsute bunch they are (only one lacks facial hair):

  • 1916 – United States President Woodrow Wilson sends 4,800 United States troops over the U.S.–Mexico border to pursue Pancho Villa.
  • 1917 – Tsar Nicholas II of Russia abdicates the Russian throne, ending the 304-year Romanov dynasty.

The Tsar, of course, was executed, along with his family and his retainers, in 1918. Here he is with the Wikipedia caption: “Emperor Nicholas II of Russia with his physically similar cousin, King George V of the United Kingdom (right), wearing German military uniforms in Berlin before the war; 1913.”

Here’s a short silent film (talkies were introduced that year) of the race, with Cambridge clobbering Oxford by three lengths:

  • 1939 – Germany occupies Czechoslovakia.
  • 1965 – President Lyndon B. Johnson, responding to the Selma crisis, tells U.S. Congress “We shall overcome” while advocating the Voting Rights Act.
  • 1990 – Mikhail Gorbachev is elected as the first President of the Soviet Union.
  • 2019 – Beginning of the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests.

Notables born on this day include several musicians:

  • 1767 – Andrew Jackson, American general, judge, and politician, 7th President of the United States (d. 1845)
  • 1912 – Lightnin’ Hopkins, American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1982)

Here’s Lightnin’ playing “Baby, Please Don’t Go”:

I found this photo of RBG, who, at only 15, was giving a sermon as chief rabbi at the Jewish Summer camp Camp Che-Na-Wa in Minerva, NY (collection US Supreme Court):

Here’s Jimmy confessing his sins to his congregation in 1988 (the audio cuts out at times, but he starts bawling four minutes in).  He was more or less defrocked after two affairs with prostitutes (you can see one of those hookers discussing Swaggart here).

  • 1940 – Phil Lesh, American bassist
  • 1941 – Mike Love, American singer-songwriter and musician
  • 1943 – Sly Stone, American singer-songwriter, musician, and producer
  • 1947 – Ry Cooder, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer

Those who succumbed on March 15 include:

  • 44 BC – Julius Caesar, Roman general and statesman (b. 100 BC)

  • 1898 – Henry Bessemer, English engineer and businessman (b. 1813)
  • 1937 – H. P. Lovecraft, American short story writer, editor, and novelist (b. 1890)
  • 1959 – Lester Young, American saxophonist and clarinet player (b. 1909)

Here’s classic Prez, dextrous but with a light tone, and endlessly inventive, playing “Mean to Me” the year before he died:

  • 1975 – Aristotle Onassis, Greek-Argentinian businessman (b. 1906)
  • 1983 – Rebecca West, English author and critic (b. 1892)
  • 1998 – Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician and author (b. 1903)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is showing off her vocabulary:

Hili: I have to figure out new strategies.
A: And what are your aims?
Hili: Reconnaissance of the situation and quick action depending on what I see.
In Polish:
Hili: Muszę rozważyć nowe strategie.
Ja: A jakie masz cele?
Hili: Rozpoznanie sytuacji i szybkie działanie w reakcji na to co zobaczę.

Here’s little Kulka, scuttling about as usual. This is our first Kulka monologue.

Kulka: So what if I’m hiding under the bed?

In Polish: No to co, że się schowałam pod łóżkiem?

Philosopher Maarten Boudry sent a photo of his adorable teenage tuxedo kitten Winston Purrchill, adding “Greeting from a pawless Winston (doesn’t he look like a trophy head?)”

From Bruce, who says this is a dog who has dragged the sprinkler through the doggy door:

From Jesus of the Day:

From Facebook: Dogs and the time change:

Titania’s started posting a “Titania Educates” series in which she reproduces some of her Twitter exchanges. Some of these are hilarious:

This came from several readers, thanks to all:

From Simon. Tyson is being a real nerd here:

From Barry. This is incredibly sweet.

A nice audio of Mars from Perseverance. Matthew notes, “Sadly, the lasers don’t go pew pew pew.”

More wind on Mars. Is there a wind noise with no ears or microphones to hear it? Answer: NO! Noise depends on a receiver.

Finally, Matthew says, “They couldn’t draw cats 120 years ago either.” Indeed!

43 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue (and Kulka monologue)

  1. Is Meghan Markle planning a political career in the U.S., including a run for the Presidency?

    I’d make the “winter book” odds on that happening about double those against Marianne Williamson making a successful run.

    1. Whomever the Blair confidant who made that comment was… the person is was either dreadfully ignorant of our Constitution or just trolling. Maybe both?

    1. Thirty-one people shot and 7 dead. More guns, yes we must have more. I guess they don’t know shooting a gun in Chicago is against the law. Do they even arrest people any longer?

      The earthquakes in Wichita continue. One yesterday afternoon raddled the place pretty good for a couple of seconds. It was a 4.0, one of the larger ones. Have had more than a dozen right here this year and they are all located within a couple of miles of where I live.

        1. I certainly thought so at first but they say no. We are apparently right on some fault lines here that run from Oklahoma and right through Kansas. And all of these are happening right here in town in east Wichita. When they give the location they will say Rock Rd and Central or 13th and Webb. Both of those are less than two miles from me.

          1. I am taking up too much space here but have to report we just had another one, 8:53 AM. I guess this is the Humboldt Fault. Some are saying 3.9 on the one yesterday, others say 4. I was downstairs yesterday when that one hit and it really raddled things. The cat ran under the table. My wife said the upstairs cat went under the bet.

              1. Thankfully not many volcanoes around here. We tend to go for Tornadoes and hail.

        1. HA! I had a feeling the other day when I saw (on reddit’s map porn) a recent seismic summary of Iceland – that there’s going to be another big volcanic kerfuffle brewing up there again soon. I’m so rarely right!

          in Japan I remember earthquakes were a fact of everyday life.

      1. “Rome meow, Rome meow” – oops, wrong play…!

        Sadly, I don’t know any lines spoken by “Calpurrnia”.

  2. 1965 – President Lyndon B. Johnson, responding to the Selma crisis, tells U.S. Congress “We shall overcome” while advocating the Voting Rights Act.

    In a couple of his earlier volumes, Mr. Caro has alluded to this being a highpoint — perhaps the highpoint — of LBJ’s presidency. We shall finally find out for sure in volume five, if and when it’s published.

  3. “…But then again, Arnold Schwarzenegger became the governor of California…”

    RONALD REAGAN became gov of CA, and then President. Sheesh. Bad taste all around.

    I have a journalist friend who described Reagan as “an actor playing the role of President”.

    Can we please get over this obsession with celebrity?

    L .

    1. And don’t even mention Jesse Ventura or indeed the recently deposed occupant of a Pennsylvania Ave address (who didn’t even try to play the role of president)

      Although we shouldn’t think that unprepared politicians come only from the world of entertainment there are many alternate sources of incompetence!

    2. We must find some better actors for the roll. Reagan and Schwarzenegger were not even second rate actors and Mr. Reality TV could not act or speak more than 5 letter words. There will be no close calls between Trump and any other president, nothing comes close. I should not have to say this to anyone but you know, some people think Lincoln was a bad guy.

    3. It’s human nature, at least to some degree, to be obsessed with celebrity, unfortunately. What we need to try to do is make celebrities of worthier people. Like PCC(E) for instance (though I’m sure he’s too smart to want to run for high political office). At the very least, it would be nice if we could engineer less attention being paid to the dregs.

    4. Then there was the movie “In Like Flint” (1967 with James Coburn, Lee J. Cobb) in which an actor substitutes for the president. I loved that movie though I haven’t seen it in decades.

  4. This isn’t the first time Markle’s running for president has come up. I remember someone tweeting appreciation for George III’s long game.

  5. I wonder, when people use the singular possessive in a day name, as in “Peanut Lover’s Day,” if they might possibly be thinking of some Platonic ideal Peanut Lover being celebrated, of which all lesser peanut lovers are mere shadows or reflections? Or am I overthinking it, and the truth is “they” are just careless with apostrophes?

  6. I agree with the small hairy dog, it is bullshit. If it feels like five o’clock dinner time and you’re hungry, it’s your own fault because dinner was put out an hour ago (unless you are from the Southern hemisphere or this picture is from October).

  7. Saddest thing for me about the Chicago shooting was immediately getting a Facebook
    notification that someone I know “marked herself safe during The Park Manor Shooting.”

  8. That last tweet with the snow leopard – I’ll bet the illustrator had never seen one & was working from skins & specimens maybe stuffed.

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