It’s back to work for Americans, since it’s September 3, 2019 and the three-day weekend has expired.
It’s National Welsh Rarebit Day, which I’m not sure is even Welsh. It’s basically cheese on toast, and the consumption of it inspired many weird dreams in Windsor Mackay’s avant-garde cartoon “Dream of the Rarebit Fiend“. Here’s one strip, with the rarebit mentioned in the last panel (click to enlarge). As in all the strips, the world turns weird and it all turns out to be a dream caused by the consumption of rarebit:
Stuff that happened on this day includes:
- 1189 – Richard I of England (a.k.a. Richard “the Lionheart”) is crowned at Westminster.
- 1658 – The death of Oliver Cromwell; Richard Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of England.
- 1802 – William Wordsworth composes the sonnet Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802.
- 1838 – Future abolitionist Frederick Douglass escapes from slavery.
Douglas was a great orator, and even his photographs had an abolitionist purpose. As Wikipedia notes:
Douglass considered photography very important in ending slavery and racism, and believed that the camera would not lie, even in the hands of a racist white, as photographs were an excellent counter to the many racist caricatures, particularly in blackface minstrelsy. He was the most photographed American of the 19th Century, self-consciously using photography to advance his political views. He never smiled, specifically so as not to play into the racist caricature of a happy slave. He tended to look directly into the camera to confront the viewer, with a stern look.
Here’s one example: a photo of Douglass taken in 1856, when he was about 38:
You can see more stern pictures here, though in this one I swear there’s a trace of a smile, or at least a twinkle in his eye:
- 1875 – The first official game of polo is played in Argentina after being introduced by British ranchers.
- 1933 – Yevgeniy Abalakov is the first man to reach the highest point in the Soviet Union, Communism Peak (now called Ismoil Somoni Peak and situated in Tajikistan) (7495 m).
Here’s the peak (left), formerly the highest in the Soviet Union when the country was still united:
- 1935 – Sir Malcolm Campbell reaches a speed of 304.331 miles per hour on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, becoming the first person to drive an automobile over 300 mph.
And here’s that record run.
- 1939 – World War II: The United Kingdom and France begin a naval blockade of Germany that lasts until the end of the war. This also marks the beginning of the Battle of the Atlantic.
- 1941 – The Holocaust: Karl Fritzsch, deputy camp commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp, experiments with the use of Zyklon B in the gassing of Soviet POWs.
- 1944 – Holocaust: Diarist Anne Frank and her family are placed on the last transport train from the Westerbork transit camp to the Auschwitz concentration camp, arriving three days later.
- 1976 – Viking program: The American Viking 2 spacecraft lands at Utopia Planitia on Mars.
Notables born on September 3 include:
- 1856 – Louis Sullivan, American architect and educator, designed the Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building (d. 1924)
- 1869 – Fritz Pregl, Slovenian chemist and physician, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1930)
- 1907 – Loren Eiseley, American anthropologist, philosopher, and author (d. 1977)
- 1926 – Alison Lurie, American author and academic
- 1942 – Al Jardine, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
- 1963 – Malcolm Gladwell, Canadian journalist, essayist, and critic
Those who joined the choir invisible on September 3 include:
- 1658 – Oliver Cromwell, English general and politician (b. 1599)
- 1883 – Ivan Turgenev, Russian author and playwright (b. 1818)
- 1962 – E. E. Cummings, American poet and playwright (b. 1894)
- 1981 – Alec Waugh, English soldier and author (b. 1898)
- 1986 – Beryl Markham, English-Kenyan pilot, horse trainer, and author (b. 1902)
- 1991 – Frank Capra, Italian-American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1897)
- 2001 – Pauline Kael, American film critic and author (b. 1919)
- 2005 – William Rehnquist, American lawyer and jurist, 16th Chief Justice of the United States (b. 1924)
- 2012 – Sun Myung Moon, Korean religious leader and businessman, founded the Unification Church (b. 1920)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is beefing at Andrzej:
Hili: I knew it would end like that.A: Like what?Hili: You would stick your nose into a book and stop petting me.
Hili: Wiedziałam, że to się tak skończy.
Hili: Wsadzisz nos w książkę i przestaniesz mnie głaskać.
From Amazing Things:
From reader Smith T. Powell:
Grania sent me this tweet on April 25 of this year:
A tweet of a government plane, monitoring Hurricane Dorian, flying inside its eye. What I wonder is this: how do they get in there?
— Jordan Sun (@jordan_sun20) September 2, 2019
From Nilou: what every housecat aspires to be. I’ve probably posted this before, but I’m still astounded that a jaguar would—or could—capture an alligator.
This jaguar demonstrated the meaning of the term power, dragging this 8 ft long, armour plated, 74 toothed, chunk of contracting muscle out of the water. Jaguars are estimated to have the 5th strongest bite in the entire animal kingdom https://t.co/tufOPijVkG pic.twitter.com/7MCCC5gHJ5
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) September 1, 2019
Heather Hastie, who sent this, said “he looks like he time-traveled from one of the Egyptian dynasties.” But I think Egyptian cats looked more like Abyssinians than Maine Coons.
Four tweets from Matthew Cobb. First, “Lord of the Benighted”:
An island ruled by British schoolboys who turn on each other, run short of food, kill the vulnerable and have to be rescued
— Simon Cox (@SimonFRCox) September 1, 2019
Young chimps discover a tortoise:
This week the nurse group made a terrifying discovery: a tortoise! Missy was very intrigued, but wary. Ali was very frightened, and Noël, Dave, and Sierra couldn't even approach it… Finally, keeper Benoit decided to move the group along to leave the poor tortoise in peace! pic.twitter.com/khlKGoEAUK
— Chimpanzee Conservation Center (@ProjectPrimate) September 1, 2019
Mattew says this about the tweet below: “Cold War Steve is the unofficial artist of Brexit. His montages are savage, full of UK injokes.”
— Cold War Steve (@Coldwar_Steve) September 1, 2019
These are some big kittens. Good luck, bobcats!
Bobcat mama with kittens on our front stoop. (Shot through the kitchen window.) pic.twitter.com/3132HALo77
— Robert P. Rowley (@RobertPRowley2) August 31, 2019