It’s Friday, July 20, 2018, and National Lollipop Day (some Americans call them “suckers”). It’s also International Chess Day, celebrating the day that the International Chess Federation (the pusillanimous FIDE) was founded 94 years ago.
Things happening on this day: In 1807, according to Wikipedia, “Nicéphore Niépce is awarded a patent by Napoleon for the Pyréolophore, the world’s first internal combustion engine, after it successfully powered a boat upstream on the river Saône in France.” In 1848, after only two days, the Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention ended in New York. You’d think they would have required a lot more than two days to discuss the inequities and what to do about them! On this day in 1903, the Ford Motor Company shipped its first automobile from Detroit. The proud owner was Ernest Pfennig, a Chicago dentist, who, on July 23, received a Model A that looked like this:
On July 20, 1944, German Army Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg and his co-conspirators tried, unsuccessfully, to assassinate Adolf Hitler by putting a bomb in the Führer’s field headquarters. More than 7000 people were arrested after this attempt, and nearly 5,000 executed, including von Stauffenberg and Erwin Rommel, who was forced to commit suicide even though he might not have even been part of the plot. On this day in 1960, Ceylon elected Sirimavo Bandaranaike its Prime Minister, making her the world’s first elected female head of government.
And who can forget this day in 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon. Here’s the famous film from that Apollo 11 landing when the first human foot stepped on another celestial body (I was watching on television, a callow youth of 19):
On July 20, 1973, Bruce Lee died at age 32 from brain edema. Exactly three years later, the American Viking 1 probe successfully landed on Mars. It was active for 2307 days: over six years. On this day in 2005, same-sex marriage was legalized in Canada. Finally, exactly one year ago today, O. J. Simpson got parole, released from prison after serving only 9 years of a 33 year sentence.
Notables born on July 20 include Petrarch (1304), painter and photographer László Moholy-Nagy, (1895), Edmund Hillary (1919), Cormac McCarthy (1933), Natalie Wood (1938), Carlos Santana (1947) and Sandra Oh (1971). Those who passed on on this day include Bernhard Riemann (1866), Pancho Villa (1923), Bruce Lee (1973; see above), Lucian Freud (2011), and Theodore Bikel (2015). Here’s a nice self portrait by Lucian Freud, one of the few modern painters (i.e., working after 1950) I like:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is scornful of humanity. Malgorzata explains: “Do you approve human conduct in almost every field? Hili doesn’t and she thinks they should know better. Andrzej is of the same opinion.”
Hili: Humans should know better.A: I think so too.
Hili: Ludzie powinni wiedzieć lepiej.
Ja: Też tak myślę.
Tweets from Heather Hastie, with this one a bizarrely shaped treehopper that has clearly evolved to mimic an ant. The ant “sculpture” emanates from its head and thorax:
Insect of the day: A titchy South American treehopper (Cyphonia clavata) whose elaborate pronotum is a fake ant. The imitated 'ant' head faces towards the back of the treehopper. More here: https://t.co/GV7emP5ozB pic.twitter.com/1Dch6qwT9p
— Ross Piper (@DrRossPiper) July 18, 2018
Here’s a lovely woman who rescues bats; be sure to put the sound on:
This woman's rescued hundreds of bats and helped them recover in her home ️🦇❤️ pic.twitter.com/mJ99W8LU5o
— The Dodo (@dodo) July 18, 2018
A gaggle of goats jump over a chasm. The adults seem to do it effortlessly:
Look at this thing! How can it even be alive?
Bengal cat family. Some day one like these will be mine. . .
A rabbit who consumes mass quantities:
And a budding romance between a woman and a white tiger:
From Matthew, we have several tweets, including this one giving yet another paper with no evidence of “epigenetic inheritance” of stress-induced changes in DNA:
The marvels of sexual selection:
— BBC One (@BBCOne) July 18, 2018
God, in danger of being expelled as Chief Deity, tenders an apology:
I’m deeply sorry for the racist, sexist and homophobic things I wrote when I was younger.
— God (@TheTweetOfGod) July 18, 2018
More evidence of Matthew’s love of nightjars. Look at that chick!
As part of our study we have been monitoring a number of nests, some with nest cams. This has enabled us to get a totally different insight into this magical birds life cycle, whilst capturing some great images in the process @_BTO @DorsetWildlife @DorsetBirds @harbourbirds pic.twitter.com/VCskU33KXl
— Dorset Nightjars (@DNightjars) July 17, 2018
Can you guess the two novels alluded to in the following tweet?
What aliens might think if they looked at the “universal contact plaque” upside down (this was partly designed by Carl Sagan):
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) July 19, 2018
Damselfly with really spiffy boots!
Damselfly w/ boots pic.twitter.com/zedSooQva0
— Brett Morgan (@vagr_ant) July 19, 2018
And a weird geological formation that I’d love to see in person:
Igneous intrusions !!!
⚒ Hosta Beach rock formations – North Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Amazing Geologist pic.twitter.com/togBoISwve
— Geology Tweets (@GeologyTime) July 19, 2018
Finally, an Off the Mark cartoon by Mark Parisi, sent by reader Diane G. It’s a clever and foolproof method for keeping d*gs off the Internet: