Happy weekend: it’s Saturday, September 28, 2019, and only three more days to go until October. It’s National Strawberry Cream Pie Day (strawberry pies are the best pies!), as well as International Rabbit Day, Fish Amnesty Day (a PETA holiday designed to respect living fish and urge people not kill them for fun), World Rabies Day (Louis Pasteur died on this day in 1895), and, as appropriate for a Saturday, National Drink Beer Day.
Stuff that happened on September 28 includes the following:
- 1066 – William the Conqueror lands in England, beginning the Norman conquest.
- 1787 – The Congress of the Confederation votes to send the newly-written United States Constitution to the state legislatures for approval.
- 1871 – The Brazilian Parliament passes a law that frees all children thereafter born to slaves, and all government-owned slaves.
- 1928 – Alexander Fleming notices a bacteria-killing mold growing in his laboratory, discovering what later became known as penicillin.
Here’s a picture taken by Fleming himself of the inhibition of bacterial growth around the mold; I’m not sure whether this is the plate. Along with Florey and Chain, Fleming won the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 1945 for discovering the world’s first antibiotic, and he was knighted in 1944. Well deserved!
- 1941 – Ted Williams achieves a .406 batting average for the season, and becomes the last major league baseball player to bat .400 or better.
As is well known, Williams was facing a double-header on the season’s last day, and his batting average was 0.3995, which technically could have been rounded to .400 if he’d simply sat out those last two games. But, as Williams said, ““If I’m going to be a .400 hitter, I want more than my toenails on the line.” He decided to play, and went 6 for 8 in the last two games, which gave him his .406 average. No player has batted that well in the last 8 decades. In fact, one analyst concluded that if Williams was batting today, his average would actually have been .413, for in 1941 a “sacrifice fly” was counted as a time at bat, while now it is not. Williams hit eight sacrifice flies in 1941, and if you subtract 8 from Williams’s total times at bat, his average that year goes up to .413.
- 1970 – Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser dies of a heart attack in Cairo.
- 2008 – Falcon 1 becomes the first privately developed liquid-fuel ground-launched vehicle to put a payload into orbit.
Notables born on this day include:
Well, if you look at the Wikipedia entry for ballcock, Crapper isn’t mentioned, but two other inventors were. I suspect Crapper invented an improved ballcock for a toilet. He did found a plumbing company, and here’s one of their toilets:
- 1841 – Georges Clemenceau, French journalist, physician, and politician, 85th Prime Minister of France (d. 1929)
- 1901 – Ed Sullivan, American television host (d. 1974)
- 1915 – Ethel Rosenberg, American spy (d. 1953)
- 1934 – Brigitte Bardot, French actress
- 1964 – Janeane Garofalo, American comedian, actress, and screenwriter
- 1967 – Mira Sorvino, American actress
Those who took the dirt nap on September 28 include:
- 1891 – Herman Melville, American author and poet (b. 1819)
- 1895 – Louis Pasteur, French chemist and microbiologist (b. 1822)
- 1953 – Edwin Hubble, American astronomer and scholar (b. 1889)
- 1964 – Harpo Marx, American comedian, actor, and singer (b. 1888)
- 1970 – John Dos Passos, American novelist, poet, essayist, and playwright (b. 1896)
- 1970 – Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egyptian colonel and politician, 2nd President of Egypt (b. 1918)
- 1989 – Ferdinand Marcos, Filipino lawyer and politician, 10th President of the Philippines (b. 1917)
- 1991 – Miles Davis, American trumpet player, composer, and bandleader (b. 1926)
- 2000 – Pierre Trudeau, Canadian journalist, lawyer, and politician, 15th Prime Minister of Canada (b. 1919)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is given fusses by a musician:
Hili: Stroking is like music for cats.Mateusz: And I am actually a musician.
Hili: Głaskanie jest dla kotów jak muzyka.
Mateusz: A ja właśnie jestem muzykiem.
Via Stash Krod, a preview of next week’s New Yorker cover, called “Whack Job”—clearly a double entendre:
From Amazing Things. Having once lived in a house with five women and no other men, I get this.
Mechanized cat massaging from reader gravelinspector. If cats had thumbs, this would make the staff superfluous (presumably they could use can openers, too):
Coincidentally, a complementary post from Barry, another “best thing I’ve seen today,” but with a different cat:
Two tweets from Heather Hastie. Unlike crows, this first one looks as if the goatlets are practicing their ability to climb rather than having fun (cf. ravens sledding on a roof):
Baby goats on a slide is the start to your weekend that you didn't know you needed.
— Paul Bronks (@SlenderSherbet) September 21, 2019
Four tweets from Matthew Cobb. In the first one, follow the thread. Then look at the tweets I’ve embedded below, which suggests that this enticing story isn’t entirely true.
This is GLORIOUS 👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽 https://t.co/KVVxF6TR0N
— Dr Adam Rutherford (@AdamRutherford) September 27, 2019
Interesting the things that go viral. This story is a) old hat; and b) debunked almost 20 yrs ago. https://t.co/W516nI1mLO
— Thomas Morris (@thomasngmorris) September 28, 2019
And Snopes pointed out the obvious holes in this story in 2001. 2001, for goodness' sake! I was almost good looking back then! Come on, internet, we can generate worthier viral content than this, surely? https://t.co/jom0IVrGCr
— Thomas Morris (@thomasngmorris) September 28, 2019
Follow this thread for useful information that is true:
Right now, in the center of the Sun, there's a nuclear reaction converting hydrogen to helium, producing neutrinos, photons, & positrons. A neutrino from this reaction will pass through you just over eight minutes from now. The photons won't arrive for at least 100,000 years.
— Katie Mack (@AstroKatie) September 27, 2019
A humorous meme in which someone is depicted as trying to feed Boris Johnson his speech at the UN (and yes, Johnson really did say that stuff!).
the room next door – Boris Johnson at the UN pic.twitter.com/GKHyFUQwNh
— Michael Spicer (@MrMichaelSpicer) September 27, 2019
And a Fun Farsi Fact:
Fun fact: in Farsi, we have separate words for farts that make a sound and those that don’t.
Gooz = 🐒💨🔊
Choss = 🐒💨🔇😵
Thus concludes your friendly Friday #FartFact in Farsi.
— Maryam مریم Zaringhalam, PhD (@webmz_) September 27, 2019