It’s the first Monday of the month: August 5, 2019, and National Oyster Day. Sadly, this is not a day to celebrate oysters, but to eat them alive:
It’s also Work Like a Dog Day (“Work Like a Cat Day” for those of you who aren’t inspired), but yes, I’m working all day. (Why am I doing this? I’m retired!) Finally, it’s International Traffic Light Day, because “On August 5, 1914, what is considered to be the first electric traffic light was installed in Cleveland, Ohio, at the corner of East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue. It had four pairs of red and green lights, one for each side of the intersection, and a warning buzzer that indicated when the light was about to change. It had to be operated manually by someone in a nearby booth.”
Stuff that happened on August 5 include:
- 1305 – William Wallace, who led the Scottish resistance against England, is captured by the English near Glasgow and transported to London where he is put on trial and executed.
“Executed” is an understatement. First they dragged him a long distance behind a horse, then hung him, but not until he was dead. They then dropped him from the noose, laid him out, cut off his genitals, and then cut out his intestines and showed them to him (you’d think he’d be dead by this point). Then they chopped off his head. People were very cruel in those days!
Here’s the famous death scene of Wallace from the movie “Braveheart”; fortunately, they don’t show what’s going on below the neck:
- 1735 – Freedom of the press: New York Weekly Journal writer John Peter Zenger is acquitted of seditious libel against the royal governor of New York, on the basis that what he had published was true.
Zenger was in prison eight months awaiting a trial that lasted ten minutes. The jury acquitted him, and Zenger, then and now, became a symbol of a free press. The principle was that a statement, however damaging, is not libel if it’s true.
- 1861 – American Civil War: In order to help pay for the war effort, the United States government levies the first income tax as part of the Revenue Act of 1861 (3% of all incomes over US$800; rescinded in 1872).
- 1884 – The cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty is laid on Bedloe’s Island (now Liberty Island) in New York Harbor.
- 1914 – In Cleveland, Ohio, the first electric traffic light is installed. [See above].
- 1944 – World War II: At least 1,104 Japanese POWs in Australia attempt to escape from a camp at Cowra, New South Wales; 545 temporarily succeed but are later either killed, commit suicide, or are recaptured.
- 1957 – American Bandstand, a show dedicated to the teenage “baby-boomers” by playing the songs and showing popular dances of the time, debuts on the ABC television network.
- 1962 – Apartheid: Nelson Mandela is jailed. He would not be released until 1990.
- 1962 – American actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead at her home from a drug overdose.
- 1981 – President Ronald Reagan fires 11,359 striking air-traffic controllers who ignored his order for them to return to work.
- 2010 – The Copiapó mining accident occurs, trapping 33 Chilean miners approximately 2,300 ft (700 m) below the ground for 69 days.
Here’s Marilyn Monroe (real name: Norma Jean Mortenson) at age 15. There were of course conspiracy theories about her death, the most persistent being that she was killed by the Kennedys (she apparently had affairs with both JFK and RFK) to hide their dalliance.
Notable born on this day include:
- 1850 – Guy de Maupassant, French short story writer, novelist, and poet (d. 1893)
- 1906 – John Huston, American actor, director, and screenwriter (d. 1987)
- 1906 – Wassily Leontief, German-American economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1999)
- 1930 – Neil Armstrong, American pilot, engineer, and astronaut (d. 2012)
- 1968 – Marine Le Pen, French lawyer and politician
Those who passed away on August 5 include:
- 1955 – Carmen Miranda, Portuguese-Brazilian actress and singer (b. 1909)
- 1959 – Edgar Guest, English-American journalist and poet (b. 1881)
- 1984 – Richard Burton, Welsh-Swiss actor and producer (b. 1925)
- 2000 – Alec Guinness, English actor (b. 1914)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej and HIli are playing a game: (Andrzej is holding a “cat sausage” much beloved by Hili):
Hili: Is the thing you have in your hand for me?A: I give you three guesses.
Hili: Czy to co trzymasz w ręce jest dla mnie?
Ja: Zgadnij trzy razy.
A gif from Gfycat. What a nice man, but where did he get tiny traffic cones?
From Fat Cat Art, we have a real deity receiving its due in a vet hospital:
A tweet that Grania sent me on January 8 of this year. The good news is that I found an old email that she sent with lots of tweets, so we’ll be able to remember her contributions for even longer.
The bark is worse than the bite … but the bite hurts too pic.twitter.com/52nvzq0AU1
— Philosophy Matters (@PhilosophyMttrs) January 7, 2019
A tweet sent by Gethyn. Three primates wash a d*g and then themselves:
There hasn’t been a more important video to cross my TL in quite some time pic.twitter.com/o467GgxUcz
— Season's Fleetings (@Luge_Knight) August 2, 2019
A hypno Bengal from reader BJ:
. . . and one from reader j. j. Live and learn (and look at that tongue!):
— Nature Is Weird (@NaturelsWeird) March 2, 2019
After the death of Frank the Kitten, we need a cat story with a happy ending. This is one, sent by Heather Hastie:
— The Dodo (@dodo) July 30, 2019
Three tweets from Matthew Cobb. Matthew, like me, has had enough gun murder in the U.S. The piece of art he shows us makes that point eloquently; it must have taken a lot of work to intall:
— Vincent Carmiggelt (@graphincent) August 4, 2019
It took exactly one unnecessary lawn-dart death to get them banned. How many gun deaths will it take to get some gun regulation in place? Or is it because lawn darts are needed for a “well regulated militia” LOL
In 1987, the federal government banned metal-tipped lawn darts because a single child died from one
— David Freedlander (@freedlander) August 3, 2019
The clouds rolling in—literally:
Cloud-mountain dynamics are so cool to watch. This on Pikes Peak in Colorado.
Also, looks like a scene from The Mist.pic.twitter.com/mbN6JEc8W6
— Dakota Smith (@weatherdak) August 3, 2019