It’s Monday, July 15, 2019, and back to work for salarypeople. It’s both National Gummy Worms Day, celebrating a disgusting confection, but also National Tapioca Pudding Day. And in Kiribati it’s Elderly Men Day. I wonder how they fête us geezers there?
Things that happened on July 15 include this stuff:
- 1099 – First Crusade: Christian soldiers take the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem after the final assault of a difficult siege.
- 1799 – The Rosetta Stone is found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign.
The Rosetta Stone entry in Wikipedia is well worth reading, as the stone, with the same text in hieroglyphics, ancient demotic Egyptian, and ancient Greek, helped us decipher hieroglyphic. It now rests behind glass in the British Museum. It used to be in the open, surrounded by a fence, but too many damn tourists thought they need to touch it and, fearing wear on the stone, it was given more secure protection. Here it is (the inscription, by the way, is about the divine status of Ptolemy V):
- 1834 – The Spanish Inquisition is officially disbanded after nearly 356 years.
- 1838 – Ralph Waldo Emerson delivers the Divinity School Address at Harvard Divinity School, discounting Biblical miracles and declaring Jesus a great man, but not God. The Protestant community reacts with outrage.
- 1910 – In his book Clinical Psychiatry, Emil Kraepelin gives a name to Alzheimer’s disease, naming it after his colleague Alois Alzheimer.
- 2002 – “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh pleads guilty to supplying aid to the enemy and to possession of explosives during the commission of a felony.
Lindh was released on May 23 of this year, though he’ll still be on probation for three years. And he will be unable to profit from anything he writes about his experience.
It’s also a pretty dark day in the era of social discourse:
- 2006 – Twitter is launched, becoming one of the largest social media platforms in the world.
I have mixed feelings about Twitter. I like to see animal pictures or announcments of scientific breakthroughs, but too often people engage in always-unproductive battles of words, and many news sources, especially the hated HuffPost, rely on Twitter to give a “feeling for what Americans think”, even though the demographic of the users isn’t representative of America. In fact, those sources just take selected tweets that agree with their ideology and use them as an index of general sentiment: “Twitter says. . .” That I can’t abide.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1573 – Inigo Jones, English architect, designed the Queen’s House (d. 1652)
- 1606 – Rembrandt, Dutch painter and etcher (d. 1669)
- 1858 – Emmeline Pankhurst, English political activist and suffragist (d. 1928)
Pankhurst is (or should be) a feminist hero, a real activist for women’s suffrage who was imprisoned multiple times and force-fed in jail. Here she is in 1914 being arrested by police outside Buckingham Palace while trying to present a petition to George V (May 1914). Look at the expression on those men’s faces!
More births on this day:
- 1919 – Iris Murdoch, Anglo-Irish British novelist and philosopher (d. 1999)
- 1921 – Robert Bruce Merrifield, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2006)
- 1928 – Carl Woese, American microbiologist and biophysicist (d. 2012)
- 1930 – Jacques Derrida, Algerian-French philosopher and academic (d. 2004)
- 1943 – Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Northern Irish astrophysicist, astronomer, and academic
- 1946 – Linda Ronstadt, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress
- 1950 – Arianna Huffington, Greek-American journalist and publisher (The Huffington Post)
Here’s Rembrandt’s famous etching Virgin and Child with a Cat (1654), with Joseph peeping through the window. There’s a cat to the left, and a snake slithering out from beneath the Virgin’s dress.
Those who died on July 15 include:
- 1883 – General Tom Thumb, American circus performer (b. 1838)
- 1904 – Anton Chekhov, Russian playwright and short story writer (b. 1860)
- 1929 – Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Austrian author, poet, and playwright (b. 1874)
- 1940 – Robert Wadlow, American giant, 8′ 11″ 271 cm (b.1918)
- 1948 – John J. Pershing, American general (b. 1860)
- 1997 – Gianni Versace, Italian fashion designer, founded Versace (b. 1946)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili finds diversity within the lawn:
Hili: Impressive biodiversity.
A: I know, when I was younger it was a manicured lawn.
Hili: Imponująca bioróżnorodność
Ja: Wiem, jak byłem młodszy to był zadbany trawnik.
Reposted on Facebook, and so true!
If Antonin Scalia were really an originalist, he’d have interpreted the Constitution thusly:
Here’s a tweet Grania sent me on September 20 of last year, and which I never posted. It’s similar to the wonderful tweet I put up the other day showing a red-winged blackbird singing a “frost song”:
When its cold enough to see your own tweets. pic.twitter.com/2xXkvUrquT
— Susan Booth (@sueweldonbooth) October 13, 2018
Two tweets from Heather Hastie. Do you think the cat is really playing with the kitten here?
Classic “displacement behavior” in mammals:
Tweets from Matthew. Nightjar in the mug!
So, I'm washing up in our house in the Italian Alps when I find THIS nestling among the dishes. It's a European Night Jar and it's trying to get a good day's kip. Now, how do I safely release it without our cats noticing? Do I wait for nightfall? Any tips? @adriawildlife pic.twitter.com/1S9eLAIf1E
— Valerie Waterhouse (@val_in_italy) July 12, 2019
I love this one. Any idea what country it’s from? (“Polisi” might be a clue.)
This police officer stopping traffic to allow a cat to cross the road is exactly what we all need to see today. 🧡 pic.twitter.com/TvhBfM68sY
— John Oberg (@JohnOberg) July 12, 2019
Ingratiated to the rectum!
— Neuroskeptic (@Neuro_Skeptic) July 14, 2019
A guy with a bad case of the crabs:
— FOX 32 News (@fox32news) July 12, 2019
Yes, this is probably male on one side and female on the other:
— MilesLuca (@LivraghiLuca) July 14, 2019