It’s the last day of July: Wednesday, the 31st, to be exact. It’s National Cotton Candy Day, a comestible to avoid (I believe the Brits call it “candy floss”). It’s also National Avocado Day as well as Shredded Wheat Day (I doubt that Weetabix is included).
Stuff that happened on July 31 include:
- 1201 – Attempted usurpation by John Komnenos the Fat for the throne of Alexios III Angelos.
- 1492 – The Jews are expelled from Spain when the Alhambra Decree takes effect.
- 1658 – Aurangzeb is proclaimed Mughal emperor of India.
- 1790 – The first U.S. patent is issued, to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.
- 1917 – World War I: The Battle of Passchendaele begins near Ypres in West Flanders, Belgium.
- 1941 – The Holocaust: Under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann Göring, orders SS General Reinhard Heydrich to “submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired Final Solution of the Jewish question.”
- 1970 – Black Tot Day: The last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy.
And here’s a short video giving details of The Very Last Tot, which had been a feature of the British Navy since 1655.
- 2006 – Fidel Castro hands over power to his brother, Raúl.
- 2012 – Michael Phelps breaks the record set in 1964 by Larisa Latynina for the most medals won at the Olympics.
Phelps still holds the record with 28 medals, including 23 gold, 3 silver, and 2 bronze. I bet you can’t name the second-place person with most medals or, for that matter, any of the top ten (go here for the answer). Here’s Phelps winning his last medal, a gold, in the men’s swimming 4 X 100 m medley relay. Sadly, Wikipedia notes that “In January 2018, Phelps revealed that he has struggled both with ADHD and depression, having contemplated suicide after the 2012 Olympics.” This shows that even acclaim and achievement doesn’t alleviate depression.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1875 – Jacques Villon, French painter (d. 1963)
Here’s Villon’s “Monsieur Duchamp”:
Others born on this day include:
- 1892 – Herbert W. Armstrong, American evangelist and publisher, founded Worldwide Church of God (d. 1986)
- 1912 – Irv Kupcinet, American football player and journalist (d. 2003)
- 1919 – Primo Levi, Italian chemist and author (d. 1987) [It’s his 100th birthday]/
- 1932 – John Searle, American philosopher and academic
- 1965 – J. K. Rowling, English author and film producer; created Harry Potter
Those who expired on July 31 include:
- 1556 – Ignatius of Loyola, Spanish priest and theologian, founded the Society of Jesus (b. 1491)
- 1875 – Andrew Johnson, American general and politician, 17th President of the United States (b. 1808)
- 1964 – Jim Reeves, American singer-songwriter (b. 1923)
- 1966 – Bud Powell, American pianist (b. 1924)
- 2012 – Gore Vidal, American novelist, screenwriter, and critic (b. 1925)
- 2017 – Jeanne Moreau, French actress (b. 1928)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili once again evinces her solipsism:
Hili: Am I, sitting here, giving you an aesthetic experience?A: Yes, a tremendous one.
Hili: Czy siedząc tu dostarczam ci wrażeń estetycznych?
From the great Facebook page, “I am not a grammar cop. I am an English-language enthusiast“. I’ve seen these misspelled so many times, especially the artist’s palette:
Grania sent this “high five kitty” on November 29 of last year:
Two tweets from Nilou. The first shows an extremely important historical relic:
Mother-of-pearl locket ring with diamonds, rubies, sheet gold & pearl, worn by Elizabeth I, given to successor James I as proof of death ~ hidden inside is enamel miniature of herself and, reputedly, of her mother Anne Boleyn or step-mother Catherine Parr (Chequers Ring, c 1575) pic.twitter.com/1HMMnnMs3b
— Journal of Art in Society (@artinsociety) June 18, 2019
And the second shows a lovely tardigrade, also one of Grania’s favorite animals:
Heather Hastie sent this tweet, noting that “This is a reference to the Game of Thrones, which Grania loved.”
And another cat tweet from Heather:
The original tweet below was sent by Matthew; I replied to Anderson telling to keep his botfly. All good biologists would!
Leave them in; it's cool to rear them out. I did one out of my head (see here; last story: https://t.co/ktS8ii4FBc)
— Jerry Coyne (@Evolutionistrue) July 30, 2019
Two more tweets from Matthew. These were the good old days when there were no helicopter parents. Look at these toys!
This is what kids got to build and play with in 1971.
— Pulp Librarian (@PulpLibrarian) July 30, 2019
Another Turkish ice cream performer. He almost gets the guy in the balls!
Me getting owned by the ice cream man pic.twitter.com/nz8bPhbQk9
— Paul Duane (@MrPaulDuane) July 30, 2019