Monday: Hili dialogue

November 6, 2023 • 2:27 am

PCC(E) is en route to gai Paris, so minimal service today. Feel free to rabbit away about whatever you want below.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is being a cat. What else could she be?

Hili: First the kitchen and later the sofa.
A: Maybe the other way round?
Hili: No, I’ve already decided.
In Polish:
Hili: Najpierw kuchnia, a potem sofa.
Ja: A może odwrotnie?
Hili: Nie, już podjęłam decyzję.

11 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    447 – A powerful earthquake destroys large portions of the Walls of Constantinople, including 57 towers.

    1860 – Abraham Lincoln is elected the 16th president of the United States with only 40% of the popular vote, defeating John C. Breckinridge, John Bell, and Stephen A. Douglas in a four-way race. [40% doesn’t sound too shabby in a four-way split.]

    1943 – World War II: The 1st Ukrainian Front liberates Kyiv from German occupation.

    1947 – Meet the Press, the longest running television program in history, makes its debut on NBC Television.

    1971 – The United States Atomic Energy Commission tests the largest U.S. underground hydrogen bomb, code-named Cannikin, on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians.

    1986 – Sumburgh disaster: A British International Helicopters Boeing 234LR Chinook crashes 21⁄2 miles east of Sumburgh Airport killing 45 people. It is the deadliest civilian helicopter crash on record.

    2012 – Tammy Baldwin becomes the first openly gay politician to be elected to the United States Senate.

    2016 – Syrian civil war: The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launch an offensive to capture the city of Raqqa from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

    1494 – Suleiman the Magnificent, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (d. 1566).

    1814 – Adolphe Sax, Belgian-French instrument designer, invented the saxophone (d. 1894).

    1851 – Charles Dow, American journalist and economist (d. 1902).

    1854 – John Philip Sousa, American composer and bandleader (d. 1932).

    1861 – James Naismith, Canadian-American physician and educator, invented basketball (d. 1939). [That claim isn’t quite so straightforward, IIRC.]

    1880 – Yoshisuke Aikawa, Japanese businessman and politician, founded Nissan Motor Company (d. 1967).

    1884 – May Brahe, Australian composer (d. 1956).

    1900 – Ida Lou Anderson, American orator and professor, pioneer in the field of radio broadcasting (d. 1941).

    1926 – Frank Carson, Northern Irish comedian and actor (d. 2012).

    1930 – Derrick Bell, American scholar, author and critical race theorist (d. 2011).

    1931 – Mike Nichols, German-born American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2014).

    1933 – Else Ackermann, German physician and pharmacologist (d. 2019).

    1938 – P. J. Proby, American singer and songwriter.

    1941 – Guy Clark, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (d. 2016).

    1941 – Doug Sahm, American singer-songwriter and musician (d. 1999).

    1946 – Sally Field, American actress.

    1946 – George Young, Scottish guitarist, songwriter, and producer (d. 2017). [Angus and Malcolm’s older brother.]

    1948 – Glenn Frey, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (d. 2016).

    1952 – Michael Cunningham, American novelist and screenwriter.

    1968 – Jerry Yang, Taiwanese-American engineer and businessman, co-founded Yahoo!

    1970 – Ethan Hawke, American actor, author, and director.

    1972 – Thandiwe Newton, English actress.

    I think I’m going, sir. I hear angels’ voices!
    1312 – Christina von Stommeln, Roman Catholic mystic and stigmatic (b. 1242). [At the age of fifteen, she manifested stigmata on her hands, feet, and head. This, combined with other mystic experiences, convinced others in the community that she was insane and she was treated with contempt, leading her to return to her home village in 1267. They should have left it at that, but for some reason, Pope Pius X beatified her on 8 November 1908.]

    1893 – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer (b. 1840).

    1965 – Clarence Williams, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and producer (b. 1898).

    2007 – Hilda Braid, English actress and singer (b. 1929). [Dad used to car share with her when they were in the RSC together.]

    2007 – Hank Thompson, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1925).

    2012 – Clive Dunn, English actor (b. 1920).

    2014 – Maggie Boyle, English singer and flute player (b. 1956).

    2015 – Yitzhak Navon, Israeli author, playwright, and politician, 5th President of Israel (b. 1921).

    2017 – Richard F. Gordon Jr., American naval officer, aviator, test pilot, and NASA astronaut (b. 1929).

  2. Yesterday I listed the anniversary of the birth in 1887 of Paul Wittgenstein, Austrian-American pianist and educator (d. 1961).

    Wittgenstein lost his right hand through amputation in WWI after being shot in the elbow, and commissioned new piano pieces for the left hand alone from the leading composers of the day. Pieces were written for him by Benjamin Britten, Paul Hindemith, Alexandre Tansman, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Sergei Prokofiev, Karl Weigl, Franz Schmidt, Sergei Bortkiewicz, Richard Strauss, and Maurice Ravel. After Wittgenstein made changes to the score of Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand for its première, Ravel became incensed and the two never reconciled.

    Anyway, I forgot to mention that there is a new left-hand-only pianist on the block. Nicholas McCarthy was born with no right hand, and into a non-musical family. That didn’t stop him forming the ambition of becoming a concert pianist, however! You can hear a brief interview (and a short excerpt of him playing) here at about 27:35 minutes in:

    1. There is a biography of Paul Wittgenstein written by Alexander Waugh. Two snippets I remember from it: – Two (and possibly three) of his brothers (not including Ludwig) committed suicide. – His children described him as a rather shadowy figure in their memories, but his inordinate fondness for the celebration of Christmas left a strong impression!

    2. Wonderful, Jez, thanks! I knew a pianist who lost his left hand in the Vietnam conflict. He was of Polish descent and amazed everyone with his one-handed performances of Chopin’s music.
      Forgive me if you’ve already mentioned this, but I think our fellow readers would appreciate this. Paul is the brother of Ludwig, he of the Tractatus, and both members of a large family that produced a good number of geniuses.

      1. The Wittgensteins were ridiculously wealthy. According to Wikipedia:

        However, their wealth diminished due to post-1918 hyperinflation and subsequently during the Great Depression, although even as late as 1938 they owned 13 mansions in Vienna alone.


        The family palace housed seven grand pianos and each of the siblings pursued music “with an enthusiasm that, at times, bordered on the pathological”. [Ludwig himself had perfect pitch.]


        Karl [Ludwig and Paul’s father] was a leading patron of the arts, commissioning works by Auguste Rodin and financing the city’s exhibition hall and art gallery, the Secession Building. Gustav Klimt painted Wittgenstein’s sister for her wedding portrait, and Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler gave regular concerts in the family’s numerous music rooms.


        The family’s financial portfolio consisted of properties and other assets in Germany and occupied lands with a total value of about US$6 billion, which may have been the largest private fortune in Europe. Essentially all family assets were surrendered to the Nazis in return for protection afforded the two sisters under exceptional interpretations of racial laws, allowing them to continue to live in their family palace in Vienna.

        1. Fascinating! This raises a question: Is the privilege that comes from wealth always an unalloyed evil, as some would maintain today?

  3. Per Matthew(?)’s invitation to “rabbit away”, I wanted to call your attention to an excellent podcast discussion listed on The Free Press this morning regarding antisemitism rise and nature on campus/us. Interview with Berkely law school dean Erwin Chereminsky, historian simon montefiore, and TFP intern/stanford junior julia steinberg. Podcast is 51 minutes and accompanied by transcript that you might read more quickly…if time is really important to you. An excellent representation of three unique viewpoints I think. Url is

      1. Thanks, Merilee, but my limited mind was concentrating on remembering the spelling of Dean Chereminsky’s name…will try to remember that last “e” in the future.

        1. Thank you for the link. The dean is actually Chemerinsky, and not Chereminsky; but it’s the content of the conversation that matters.

          1. Well. There you go. Seems i could not get either one correct. But got the link right and as you say it’s the content of the conversation that matters!

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