I am back on a rainy Thursday: June 13, 2019, National Peanut Butter Cookie Day, a day perhaps promulgated by the Girl Scouts. All things told, though, I’d rather have a chocolate chip cookie, or—better yet—a McVitie’s Dark Chocolate Digestive Biscuit: the best “cookie” in the world. Today is also the Episcopal celebration of G.K. Chesterton.
News: all eighteen ducklings are still alive and well, and there are two stalwart Duck Farmers to feed them in my absence after I leave on Sunday. Anna will make her final appearance at Botany Pond on Saturday (Graduation Day at the U of C) so we can give them their last supper. Anna will be gone, but her name (and the genes of her namesake) will live on in the Anna Mallard’s ducklings.
Not much happened on this day in history. On June 13, 1793, the French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat was assassinated in his bathtub by Charlotte Corday, a political opponent. This event is depicted in this famous painting by Jacques-Louis David, “The Death of Marat“:
Corday was executed four days after the deed; here’s a painting by Arturo Michelena (1889) showing Corday being conducted to her beheading. The red blouse, denoting a traitor to the Revolution, was put on her before she was executed. She was only 24 years old..
On June 13, 1985, the Live Aid benefit concert took place in various cities, most famously London, and the broadcast was seen by nearly 1.5 billion viewers. Here’s perhaps the most famous set played during those concerts, and one of the best live performances ever:
Finally, in a day that will live in infamy, it was exactly two years ago that David Cameron resigned as UK Prime Minister giving way to PM Theresa May.
Notables born on this day include: Nathan Bedford Forrest (1821), John Jacob Astor IV (1864), Paul Prudhomme and Patrick Stewart (both 1940), Harrison Ford and Roger McGuinn (both 1944), and Cheech Marin (1946).
Those who passed away on July 13 include John C. Frémont (1890), Young Man Afraid of His Horses (a Native American, 1893; his name has been mistranslated from what it really meant: “They fear even his horses”, referring to his prowess in battle), August Kekulé (1896; benzene), Alla Nazimova (1945), Alfred Stieglitz (1946), Arnold Schoenberg (1951), Frida Kahlo (1954), Red Buttons (2006), and Nadine Gordimer (2014).
I’m a big fan of Kahlo and have visited her house in Mexico City (very highly recommended). Here’s one of her paintings, “Self Portrait with thorn necklace and hummingbird” (1940):
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is suffering now that Cyrus is gone, and her behavior has changed greatly. As Malgorzata wrote me,
Hili is still avoiding the living room and generally, downstairs, she goes to the kitchen through the hall – never through the living room. Andrzej went today to the vet to buy some treats for her and when he told the vet about Hili he got something which should reduce stress – Zylkene. I have no idea whether it works or it’s some quackery product. We will see if we manage to get it inside Hili.
Hili: Can we go in the other direction?A: Yes, but the memory comes from all directions.
Hili: Czy możemy pójść w inną stronę?
Ja: Możemy, ale pamięć przychodzi ze wszystkich stron.
From Facebook: Church announcements from Episcopal churches (h/t: Stephen Muth):
And a groaner from Laurie:
Tweets from me and Anna after the new hen got her name:
.@procAnna Our newest mallard hen had eight ducklings about a week ago. She has been named "Anna Mallard" in honor of Anna Mueller, who faithfully tended the ducks for two years. Here are photos of Mother Anna and her babies (in one photo she's sitting on all of them). pic.twitter.com/AhWkJk9HeQ
— Jerry Coyne (@Evolutionistrue) June 11, 2019
And Anna’s responses. Note that duck photos are considered, on my website, to be “sensitive material”. Wise up, Twitter!
— Anna Mueller (@procAnna) June 11, 2019
I can’t wait to meet Anna’s ducklings! I met her twice already on campus (pics are of her perched near my office window), and even fed her some of my corn intended for Katie Peck et al…I know it’s her bc I had my trusty office binocs for beak analysis both times 😬 pic.twitter.com/eumtz6f9LC
— Anna Mueller (@procAnna) June 11, 2019
There’s a new version of Titania McGrath on the internet!
Two tweets from Heather Hastie. Those must be some pungent feet! Note the cat’s flehmen behavior.
One of the great memes of our time: capybaras chilling (or rather, warming) in a hot spring. Now with extra oranges!
i don’t know who needs to see this but here’s a capybara relaxing in a hot spring with a bunch of oranges 🍊
— Ian Laking (@IHLaking) June 6, 2019
Tweets from Matthew: corvid play!
A meteorite hits the Moon:
KABOOM! Before and after images of a meteorite forming a brand new impact crater on Mars. Sometime between 18 Feb 2017 and 20 March 2019. pic.twitter.com/TWXtUoP5NA
— Peter Grindrod (@Peter_Grindrod) June 12, 2019
Matthew does love his illusions:
"Yellow cats and white cats"
They are the same white. pic.twitter.com/zmkr8tw2BP
— Akiyoshi Kitaoka (@AkiyoshiKitaoka) June 12, 2019
And two tweets from Grania. In the first, Nick Cohen doesn’t pull any punches about Boris Johnson in the linked article. As Grania said, “Cohen is in fine form today.”
Me stating the obvious. Fat lot of good it will do, but there you are https://t.co/seMFBQ1wAU
— Nick Cohen (@NickCohen4) June 11, 2019
And Cheeto, the official cat of the University of California at Davis’s physics department, is putting on the pounds:
UC Davis physics department I think I love you pic.twitter.com/RQsezXe6Xx
— Pádraig Belton (@PadraigBelton) June 11, 2019