Good morning: it’s Sunday, May 6, 2018, and I leave for Paris today. The obliging and amiable Grania will take over Hilis for the eleven days I’m gone, so thanks to her in advance. And of course posting will be lighter than usual. But, like Maru, I do my best. I will try to send photos of each meal.
Appropriately, it’s National Crepe Suzette Day (who was Suzette?)—one of the few French foods I don’t crave (the other is tripe). It’s also International No Diet Day, a celebration of body acceptance. In its honor, I will not be fasting while in Paris (that would be bloody stupid, wouldn’t it?).
On this day in 1536, King Henry VIII ordered that Bibles translated into English be placed in every church, a request fulfilled when the Great Bible was made available. On May 6, 1757, the English poet Christopher Smart, deemed insane, was placed into the St. Luke’s hospital for Lunatics in London, where he stayed six years. While confined, he wrote the best cat poem of all time, a fragment of his larger Jubilate Agno called “For I will consider my cat Jeoffrey.” You can (and should) read it here. There is no poem that embodies the catness of cats more than this one.
On May 6, 1877, the great leader Chief Crazy Horse of the Oglala Lakota surrendered to U.S. troops in Nebraska. He was bayoneted to death by one of his guards that same year. On this date in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was opened to the public for the first time. And in 1915, Babe Ruth, a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, poled his first home run. He was perhaps the greatest hitting pitcher of all time. On this day in 1937, the German zeppelin Hindenburg, filled with hydrogen, caught fire and immediately burned to a crisp while trying to dock at Lakehurst, New Jersey; 36 people died. Here’s the famous film footage with the tearful reporters’ cry, “Oh, the humanity!”
On this day in 1940, John Steinbeck received the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Grapes of Wrath. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962. On this day in 1954, Roger Bannister became the first person to run a mile in under four minutes. Here’s the film of that achievement with Bannister’s narration. (The current record was set in 1999 by the Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj with a time of of 3:43.13; the woman’s record, held by Svetlana Masterkova, is 4:12.56. ) There’s obviously a limit, but what is it, and how would we know?
Finally, on this day in 1994, Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Miterrand together officially opened the Channel Tunnel.
Notables born on this day include Maximilien Robespierre (1758), Sigmund Freud and Robert Peary (both 1856), Motilal Nehru (1861), Rudolph Valentino (1895), Orson Welles (1915), and George Clooney (1961). Those who died on May 6 included Henry David Thoreau (1862), Marlene Dietrich (1992), and Farley Mowat (2014).
Hili: How quickly everything is changing.
A: That’s because it’s so warm.
Hili: I like it.
Hili: Jak szybko to wszystko się zmienia.
Ja: Bo jest bardzo ciepło.
Hili: Lubię to.
From Matthew: An architectural optical illusion (the walking people make it look as if it’s moving):
Another illustion from Matthew. How did they do this?
Jumping bean cats!
This video of a squirrel trying to climb up a greased pole to a bird feeder has gone viral. And it is is just CRUEL.
my mom put oil on her bird feeder to keep squirrels from stealing the bird food and pic.twitter.com/TkrmOR4KlH
— christina rotondo (@christinaroto) May 4, 2018
Be sure to watch the video:
— National Geographic (@InsideNatGeo) May 4, 2018
The early developmental stages of clams:
Baby clams! Fertilisation leads to the development of a veliger larva that swims and feeds in the plankton for several weeks, this transforms into a bivalved form known as a pediveliger. 🎥 Marco Antonio Angel Dapa https://t.co/bPK7JPpzUx pic.twitter.com/v8pdpqGpVM
— Sofía Martínez-Villalpando (@sofiabiologista) May 5, 2018
From Grania. I have no idea how the artist did this (I imagine some kind of laser sculpture), so if you know weigh in below: