It’s a quiet Sunday in Chicago: February 25, 2018, and National Chocolate-Covered Peanut Day. I’ll eschew these (as a friend of mine used to say when I rejected food with that phrase, “I’ll chew it, too!). It’s also Meher Baba’s birthday, who was born on this day in 1894. He died in 1969, and for the last 45 years of his life he didn’t speak a single word (he communicated with an alphabet board). I have this picture on a small card taped to the wall next to my desk. It’s always cheered me up in Black Dog times:
Here’s another showing his alphabet board (and Tallulah Bankhead!):
On February 25, 1836, Samuel Colt was given a patent in the US for his famous Colt revolver. And, in 1870, Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Mississippi, was sworn into the United States Senate; he was the first black person ever to sit in the U.S. Congress. His election was to fill a seat that was vacated, and he was in Congress for just one year. Here he is:
On this day in 1932, Adolf Hitler, who was of course Austrian, became a naturalized German citizen, which allowed him to run for office in Deutschland. On February 25, 1956, Khrushchev, in a speech called “On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences,” began the dismantling of Stalin. Exactly thirty years later, Ferdinand Marcos fled the Philippines after a presidency of two decades, and Corazon Aquino became the nation’s first woman president. Finally, on this day in 1994, Baruch Goldstein, a right-wing Jewish extremist, slaughtered 29 Palestinian worshipers and wounded 125 others at the Cave of the Patriarchs in the city of Hebron. He was beaten to death by those who survived.
Notables born on February 25 include Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841), Enrico Caruso (1873), Meher Baba (1894; see above), Anthony Burgess (1917), Téa Leoni and Nancy O’Dell (both 1966), and Chelsea Handler (1975). Those who bought the farm on this day include Bugs Moran (1957), Mark Rothko (1970), Theodor Svedberg (1971, Nobel Laureate), Tennessee Williams (1983), and Glenn T. Seaborg (1999, another Nobel Laureate).
To honor Renoir’s birthday, here are two of his paintings:
“Young Girl with Cat” (1879):
“Julie Manet with Cat” (1887):
To see more of his cat paintings, and those of many other artists, please see the site The Great Cat, which covers cats in art, history and literature. It’s an excellent site, full of information about our feline friends.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili speaks, but her words require some exegesis from Malgorzata:
Hili is commenting both on current policy of Polish government (the dignity of Polish nation is more important than historical truth) and on an essay by Professor Richard Landes about a culture of honour and shame she was recently reading. She obviously can see the prevalence of such attitudes everywhere—they are ubiquitous.
I am told that Hili reads English, Polish, and Swedish, though her Russian is a bit spotty.
Hili: Truth is less important than dignity.A: What made you say this?Hili: Generally speaking.
Hili: Prawda jest mniej ważna niż godność.
Ja: W związku z czym to mówisz?
Hili: Tak ogólnie.
In nearby Wloclawek, the Dark Tabby is recumbent:
Leon: Because life is mainly about resting. (In Polish: “Bo w życiu chodzi głównie o to,żeby odpocząć.”)
A few tweets from Grania. Here are the two moons of Mars in one video clip:
— Cassini (@CassiniSaturn) February 23, 2018
Dueling reviews of Pinker’s new book (I’m 125 pages in with 325 to to go; I like it but reviews have been mixed, as they always are for his books):
Two diametrically opposed (but intellectually stimulating) reviews of Stephen Pinker’s ‘Enlightenment Now’ which, taken together, characterise my alternating optimism and pessimism about our current predicament in the U.K. and US. https://t.co/oZDipCWB8I https://t.co/IVgiCZGnBQ
— Brian Cox (@ProfBrianCox) February 23, 2018
A Justin Trudeau meme (or rather, mime). I’m starting to think of this dude as being kind of a clown.
— David Jacobs (@DrJacobsRad) February 21, 2018
A cute goat (perhaps a Jewish one, if you listen to what the guy is saying):
Some tweets from Dr. Cobb:
Some prescient words (“get off my lawn!”) by Carl Sagan:
Sent to me from a friend who sent me this on Carl Sagan predicting the future in 1995 ….read RT IF YOU ARE not A ROBOT pic.twitter.com/6fVJfOXMNm
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) February 23, 2018
I think this cat is pretty okay:
I believe we’ve featured these cat backpacks before, though I haven’t yet seen one in person:
There was a lady on the tube with a REAL LIVE CAT in a SPACE AGE BACKPACK you guys. I have rarely been so impressed pic.twitter.com/U7F7xduixu
— Alex von Tunzelmann (@alexvtunzelmann) February 23, 2018
And a d*g does what it should do: