Good morning from Hawaii on June 23: the first Sunday of summer. (It’s 4:30 am as I write this.) Enjoy today, as it’s Ceiling Cat’s day, which means a day of napping, eating, and playing. And we’re back at National Pecan Sandy Day, honoring a dry and unexceptional cookie. It’s also St. John’s Eve, which starts at sunset tonight.
Today would have been Grania’s 50th birthday; I got a message to that effect on Facebook, except that it said that I should “wish her the best”:
Social media hasn’t caught up with her death, and it was sad to see that. I wonder what happens to people’s social media after they die. Does it remain forever unless someone has it taken down?
She will be cremated tomorrow, her ashes returned to South Africa with her sisters, and there will be a memorial service—non-religious, of course—later this week. They are going to read some of the comments by readers on her memorial thread (here), so if you wish anything to be considered for reading, and haven’t yet posted a comment, please do so.
For those who wanted to know what killed her at such a young age, it is still a mystery, as the autopsy revealed no obvious causes. They are waiting on a “toxicology screen,” which will take some time, and I’m not sure what that will turn up as she didn’t take drugs and drank only in moderation. I miss her like crazy
Here’s what happened on this day in history:
- 1611 – The mutinous crew of Henry Hudson’s fourth voyage sets Henry, his son and seven loyal crew members adrift in an open boat in what is now Hudson Bay; they are never heard from again.
- 1868 – Typewriter: Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for an invention he called the “Type-Writer.”
- 1917 – In a game against the Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox pitcher Ernie Shore retires 26 batters in a row after replacing Babe Ruth, who had been ejected for punching the umpire.
- 1926 – The College Board administers the first SAT exam. [JAC: we may see the last one within a decade or two.]
- 1951 – The ocean liner, SS United States, is christened and launched. [JAC: In 1957 I returned with my family from Greece, where my father was stationed, on this ship.]
- 1961 – Cold War: The Antarctic Treaty, which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on the continent, comes into force 18 months after the opening date for signature was set for December 1, 1959.
- 1972 – Watergate scandal: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman are taped talking about using the Central Intelligence Agency to obstruct the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the Watergate break-ins.
- 2013 – Nik Wallenda becomes the first man to successfully walk across the Grand Canyon on a tight rope.
Here are some highlights of Wallenda’s walk; he was on the rope for nearly 23 minutes!
Finally, it was on this day two years ago in 2016 that the UK voted in the “Brexit” referendum to leave the European Union. The vote was 52% “leave” to 48% “stay”.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1894 – Alfred Kinsey, American entomologist and sexologist (d. 1956)
- 1894 – Edward VIII, King of the United Kingdom (d. 1972)
- 1912 – Alan Turing, English mathematician and computer scientist (d. 1954)
- 1927 – Bob Fosse, American actor, dancer, choreographer, and director (d. 1987)
- 1929 – June Carter Cash, American singer-songwriter, musician, and actress (d. 2003)
- 1943 – James Levine, American pianist and conductor
- 1948 – Clarence Thomas, American lawyer and judge, currently serving as a Supreme Court Justice
- 1957 – Frances McDormand, American actress, winner of the Triple Crown of Acting
- 1969 – Grania Spingies, friend and contributor to this website
- 1975 – KT Tunstall, Scottish singer-songwriter and musician
Not many notables died on June 23; those who “fell asleep” include:
- AD 79 – Vespasian, Roman emperor (b. AD 9)
- 1995 – Jonas Salk, American biologist and physician (b. 1914)
- 2009 – Ed McMahon, American game show host and announcer (b. 1923)
- 2011 – Peter Falk, American actor (b. 1927)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili stayed out all night, and Andrzej found her sleeping on the wicker shelf on the veranda.
Hili: Why are you taking pictures standing on a ladder?A: I’m taking the opportunity while changing the bulb.
Hili: Czemu robisz zdjęcie z drabiny?
Ja: Przy okazji wymiany żarówki.
From Facebook, with the caption: “This is why my internet’s so darn slow. Everybody’s online.”
A tweet from reader Barry. I’m not sure why this snail is supposed to be Trump advisor Stephen Miller; you tell me. (Is it the slime?)
Three tweets from Heather Hastie. I may have posted this one before, but this time I have a title: “WHO’S a bad boy?”
This kakapo has good taste in fashion, biting what is perhaps the ugliest shoe ever made:
Tiwhiri-2-A-19 is one of the hand-reared #kākāpō chicks due to be released tomorrow on Whenua Hou. He's bold, curious, and not at all keen on crocs and gumboots…. #kakapo2019 #conservation #parrots Pic: Jinty MacTavish pic.twitter.com/IEgP7chAcA
— Dr Andrew Digby (@takapodigs) June 14, 2019
One tail entertains three kittens:
Three of the Lost Tweets from Grania (I have about a week’s worth remaining). Here’s an eye-licking gecko:
A biology lesson in horseshoe crab locomotion:
How big do these get? Up to 3 meters (10 feet) in diameter.
And three tweets from Dr. Cobb. I agree with Matthew on this one, as must all rational people. If you’re not immunocompromised, or have some medical condition that precludes you from getting vaccinated, it’s immoral—and should be illegal—to not get vaccinated. And no religious exemptions!
This young man, future filled with promise, died entirely unnecessarily, from a disease that vaccination can eradicate.
Anti-vaxxers are spreading misinformation that is – quite literally – deadly.
What a tragic waste of life 😔https://t.co/VOrDOPuom1
— Rachel Clarke (@doctor_oxford) June 22, 2019
Matthew says this looks like a Batesian mimic of a sweat bee. And it may well bee one given its appearance and behavior:
Yesterday I found another rove beetles around @SeptimoParaisoM . This time it was on it's own. As soon as I approached it went into this defence position and moved what looked like a sting to the front. The it would dive for leaf cover not !he easiest insect to photo! pic.twitter.com/7aEDhal1JF
— Oliver C Wright (@OW_Photography) June 21, 2019
For comparison, here’s a sweat bee from WebMD (you might look at the link):
What a graceful kitty!
Smooth perambulation despite part-undulation. pic.twitter.com/3fzGZ2sl4t
— Dick King-Smith HQ (@DickKingSmith) June 21, 2019