It’s Wednesday, September 4, 2019, and National Macademia Nut Day. Three facts about the nuts: they are native to Australia; there are four species in the genus (Macadamia, of course), only three of which can be cultivated since the fourth has poisonous nuts; and all of the nuts are toxic to dogs.
It’s also Eat an Extra Dessert Day, though what if you don’t usually eat desserts? Are you just allowed one? It’s also Newspaper Carrier Day in the U.S. (like most boys of my generation, I did this job for a while).
Good News of the Day: Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam has withdrawn the extradition bill that sparked all the protests in her bailiwick. And in Britain, the odious and dictatorial Boris Johnson lost a vote in Parliament, preventing him from unilaterally removing his country out of the EU. This may lead to another election, and (I am ignorant here) perhaps to a new Prime Minister. In that case Johnson would have had one of the shortest ministerial tenures in British history.
Stuff that happened on September 4 includes:
- 476 – Romulus Augustulus, last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, is deposed when Odoacer proclaims himself “King of Italy”, thus ending the Western Roman Empire.
- 1781 – Los Angeles is founded as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels) by 44 Spanish settlers.
- 1839 – Battle of Kowloon: British vessels open fire on Chinese war junks enforcing a food sales embargo on the British community in China in the first armed conflict of the First Opium War.
Remember that these wars started after the Chinese objected to the illegal importation of opium into China by British and American companies followed by armed action by the Chinese against these companies.
- 1886 – American Indian Wars: After almost 30 years of fighting, Apache leader Geronimo, with his remaining warriors, surrenders to General Nelson Miles in Arizona.
Geronimo lived the remaining 23 years of his life as both a prisoner and an attraction (people bought buttons off his coat), and died in 1909 after being thrown from his horse. As Wikipedia reports, “His last words were reported to be said to his nephew, ‘I should have never surrendered. I should have fought until I was the last man alive’.” Here’s the brave warrior in 1887
- 1939 – World War II: William J. Murphy commands the first Royal Air Force attack on Germany.
- 1941 – World War II: A German submarine makes the first attack of the war against a United States warship, the USS Greer.
- 1949 – The Peekskill riots erupt after a Paul Robeson concert in Peekskill, New York.
- 1957 – American Civil Rights Movement: Little Rock Crisis: Orval Faubus, governor of Arkansas, calls out the National Guard to prevent African American students from enrolling in Central High School.
- 1957 – The Ford Motor Company introduces the Edsel.
- 1970 – Salvador Allende is elected President of Chile.
- 1972 – Mark Spitz becomes the first competitor to win seven medals at a single Olympic Games.
Remarkably, each of his medals also represented a world record time. Here’s a short video of his accomplishments:
One person won eight gold medals in a single Olympic Games. Can you name that person? (Go here.)
- 1972 – The Price Is Right premieres on CBS. As of 2018, it is the longest running game show on American television.
- 1985 – The discovery of Buckminsterfullerene, the first fullerene molecule of carbon.
Buckminsterfullerene, or “buckeyballs” is a soccer-ball shaped carbon molecule with the formula C60, discovered in 1985 by Harold Kroto, Robert Curl, and Richard Smalley, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this in 1996. The molecule looks like this:
- 1998 – Google is founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University.
- 2002 – The Oakland Athletics win their 20th consecutive game, an American League record.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1846 – Daniel Burnham, American architect, designed the World’s Columbian Exposition (d. 1912)
- 1906 – Max Delbrück, German-American biophysicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1981)
- 1908 – Richard Wright, American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet (d. 1960)
- 1913 – Stanford Moore, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1982)
- 1920 – Craig Claiborne, American journalist, author, and critic (d. 2000)
- 1981 – Beyoncé, American singer-songwriter, producer, dancer, and actress
Those who became lifeless on September 4 include:
- 1907 – Edvard Grieg, Norwegian pianist and composer (b. 1843)
- 1965 – Albert Schweitzer, French-Gabonese physician, theologian, and missionary, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1875)
- 1986 – Hank Greenberg, American baseball player and manager (b. 1911)
- 1993 – Hervé Villechaize, French-American actor (b. 1943)
- 2006 – Steve Irwin, Australian zoologist and television host (b. 1962)
- 2014 – Joan Rivers, American comedian, television host, and author (b. 1933)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili tries once again to be philosophical.
A: Hili, there is a dead mouse in the middle of the lawn.Hili: And they said that the truth is in the middle.
Ja: Hili, pośrodku trawnika znowu leży martwa mysz!
Hili: A mówili, że pośrodku leży prawda.
From I Am Not a Grammar Cop, I am an English-Language Enthusiast. Clean-up in aisle 5!
From Amazing Things: “Adorable chalk micro graffiti by David Zinn”:
A tweet Grania sent me on April 5. See how long it takes before you realize what this is:
From Michael. Can you believe that Boris Johnson is moving a DOG into 10 Downing Street? Figures! And Larry, the resident cat and Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, doesn’t like it:
— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) September 2, 2019
A tweet from Nilou. Wouldn’t it be cool to tell the robot chef, “Alex, whip me up a Caesar salad without anchovies, a ribeye steak, rare, with a side of mashed potatoes and asparagus, and baked Alaska for dessert.”?
— Steve Stewart-Williams (@SteveStuWill) September 2, 2019
A tweet from Heather Hastie. Are these the Sharks or the Jets?
Four tweets from Matthew, who’s still sending them though he’s on hols. Look at this poor baby barn owl!
Baby Barn Own hearing thunder for the first time
Captured via Nest Camera by Robert E. Fuller pic.twitter.com/CJ3N0uOam2
— Lezbuck 🏳️🌈🦌 (@LezBuck) September 1, 2019
Cats will be cats. . .
No, cat, I'm not opening the door for you. Use the bloody catflap 🙄🙄🙄 pic.twitter.com/eGk4PAWAup
— Kate Bevan is tired (@katebevan) September 3, 2019
LOOK AT THIS BEHEMOTH! And it’s only half the size of a blue whale. Did you know (and this is true) that the blue whale’s tongue weighs as much as an adult female elephant?
Epic footage of a humpback whale breaching. Despite being this massive,it’s only half the size of a blue whale. pic.twitter.com/Z2DHD9fFLt
— Domenico (@AvatarDomy) September 3, 2019
And an enlightening thread headed by Nick Christakis:
As recently as 5,000 years ago, the Sahara was not a desert, but green. Dramatic changes can arise from even gradual planetary shifts. First the change comes slowly, then fast, in just a few hundred years.
This is some high quality twitter content in this thread: https://t.co/TMy3pxXApj
— Nicholas A. Christakis (@NAChristakis) September 2, 2019