It’s Thursday, August 29, 2019, and September is rushing towards us. I remember how I dreaded “back to school” time, and I still get a residual queasy feeling in my stomach when I see ads on television for school supplies.
It’s National Chop Suey Day, celebrating a dish invented in America for Chinese immigrants, so it’s not clear if eating it is cultural appropriation. (It’s a dreadful dish anyway.) It’s also National Swiss Winegrowers Day (which nation is the “national” for? ) and International Day Against Nuclear Tests. In India it’s Telegu Language Day, celebrating the (1863) birthday of Gidugu Venkata Ramamurthy, a writer and champion of Telugu, spoken in a large area of eastern India.
Duck report: Daphne, who’s regrowing her molted feathers, is still here along with 5 of her 9 offspring, the others having departed. Anna also appears to be here with one grown-up duckling, and yesterday Honey showed up again with her swain Ritz Quacker. I’ve ordered 50 pounds of adult duck food just in case they stay on. (It will keep till next year.) Although I didn’t realize I’d been taking care of Honey since May, it gives me immense pleasure to know that she’s returned to our pond at least twice. Here she is two days ago with the large and protective Ritz:
Stuff that happened on August 29 includes:
- 1756 – Frederick the Great attacks Saxony, beginning the Seven Years’ War in Europe.
- 1831 – Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction.
- 1885 – Gottlieb Daimler patents the world’s first internal combustion motorcycle, the Reitwagen.
Here’s a replica of the first Reitwagen (riding carriage). It appears to have, besides its regular metal wheels with no tires, training wheels:
- 1911 – Ishi, considered the last Native American to make contact with European Americans, emerges from the wilderness of northeastern California.
- 1930 – The last 36 remaining inhabitants of St Kilda are voluntarily evacuated to other parts of Scotland.
The island, now part of the National Trust (and a World Heritage Site), is preserved for its unique form of stone house, the cleitean, which are being restored. Here’s the island in its “glory days,” which were never very glorious given the isolation and privation:
- 1949 – Soviet atomic bomb project: The Soviet Union tests its first atomic bomb, known as First Lightning or Joe 1, at Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan.
- 1966 – The Beatles perform their last concert before paying fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
- 1966 – Leading Egyptian thinker Sayyid Qutb is executed for plotting the assassination of President Gamal Abdel Nasser.
- 1997 – Netflix is launched as an internet DVD rental service.
- 2005 – Hurricane Katrina devastates much of the U.S. Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle, killing up to 1,836 people and causing $125 billion in damage.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1632 – John Locke, English physician and philosopher (d. 1704)
- 1915 – Ingrid Bergman, Swedish actress (d. 1982)
- 1920 – Charlie Parker, American saxophonist and composer (d. 1955)
- 1923 – Richard Attenborough, English actor, director, and producer (d. 2014)
- 1924 – Dinah Washington, American singer and pianist (d. 1963)
- 1936 – John McCain, American captain and politician (d. 2018)
- 1940 – James Brady, American politician and activist, 15th White House Press Secretary (d. 2014)
- 1947 – Temple Grandin, American ethologist, academic, and author
- 1958 – Michael Jackson, American singer-songwriter, producer, dancer, and actor (d. 2009)
- 1967 – Neil Gorsuch, American judge
Few films exist of live Charlie Parker performances. Here’s one that also includes Coleman Hawkins on sax and Buddy Rich on drums. If you don’t know Parker or Hawkins, Parker plays second:
Those who started pushing up daisies on August 29 include:
- 1966 – Sayyid Qutb, Egyptian theorist, author, and poet (b. 1906)
- 1981 – Lowell Thomas, American journalist and author (b. 1892)
- 1982 – Ingrid Bergman, Swedish actress (b. 1915)
She died on her birthday.
- 1987 – Lee Marvin, American actor (b. 1924)
- 2016 – Gene Wilder, American stage and screen comic actor, screenwriter, film director, and author (b. 1933)
Wilder died of Alzheimer’s, which he had kept from the public, at age 83. The end was sad; as Wikipedia notes, his nephew wrote:
“The decision to wait until this time [after his death] to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so than the countless young children that would smile or call out to him ‘there’s Willy Wonka,’ would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment, or confusion. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.”
According to his family, Wilder died while listening to one of his favorite songs, a rendition of “Over the Rainbow” sung by Ella Fitzgerald.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is once again importuning the staff for noms.
A: What are you doing?Hili: I’m checking facts.A: What facts?Hili: When the last time was that I had something to eat.
Ja: Co robisz?
Hili: Sprawdzam fakty.
Ja: Jakie fakty?
Hili: Kiedy ja ostatnio coś jadłam.
A “meme” found by Diana MacPherson:
A cartoon, all too true, contributed by Mark:
A tweet Grania sent to me on March 22 of this year: one protozoan eating another.
No idea who filmed this, but Didinium eating Paramecium is just the coolest! How is that even possible?! This is why I like having these little creatures in the lab. #protozoa #science #studysystem pic.twitter.com/iou0mFQFoH
— Chris Clements (@ExpEcoCons) March 18, 2019
From Nilou: an adorable little girl playing with an adorable little puffin:
A tweet from Heather Hastie via Ann German. If you were a bat, wouldn’t you want a belly tickle?
Tweets from Matthew Cobb. The first is a stunning example of camouflage in a moth. I wish I had taken this for a “spot the” post.
Check out the amazing camouflage on this moth
I found this moth whilst hiking in the cloud forest at @SeptimoParaisoM in Mindo, Ecuador.
Anyone know the species of the moth? pic.twitter.com/vxDtBSC4vk
— Oliver C Wright (@OW_Photography) August 28, 2019
Give me the little girl, and I’ll give you the open-carry woman. This gift almost qualifies as child abuse, and it’s certainly brainwashing:
Matthew is rightly pissed off big time about Boris Johnson’s coup about Brexit. Here Matthew’s friend Paul Mason, journalist, filmmaker, and author, sounds off on why what the PM did is odious and an affront to democracy. Sound up, please.
— Paul Mason (@paulmasonnews) August 28, 2019
This one-minute video of a boat running away from a volcanic pyroclastic flow is well worth watching:
— ⚒Fumihiko Ikegami🚢 (@fikgm) August 28, 2019