It’s Thursday, January 9, 2020, and National Apricot Day, celebrating a fruit that I like in nectar, jam, or with Sachertorte, but don’t enjoy it so much as a fresh fruit.
It’s also Play God Day, which of course includes all cats, International Choreographers Day, National Word Nerd Day (put your nerdy word below), National Static Electricity Day, and in India, National Nonresident Indian Day (Prvasi Bhartiya Divas}, celebrating those Indians who have done good stuff outside their country. (I know of no other nation that has such a holiday.)
Heather Hastie hasn’t posted a good while on her Heather’s Homilies site, but I see that she has a new post up, “Where I’ve been, Soleimani, and Solace,” which is critical of the targeted killing of Soleimani and of Trump’s withdrawal from our nuclear deal with Iran. Go have a look.
Stuff that happened on January 9 includes:
- 1349 – The Jewish population of Basel, believed by the residents to be the cause of the ongoing Black Death, is rounded up and incinerated.
- 1431 – Judges’ investigations for the trial of Joan of Arc begin in Rouen.
- 1806 – Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson receives a state funeral and is interred in St Paul’s Cathedral.
- 1816 – Sir Humphry Davy tests his safety lamp for miners at Hebburn Colliery.
- 1839 – The French Academy of Sciences announces the Daguerreotype photography process.
- 1861 – American Civil War: “Star of the West” incident occurs near Charleston, South Carolina.
Although the cannon fusillade unleashed by Southern forces on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, is regarded as the first volley of the Civil War, the firing by Citadel Academy on the “Star of the West”, three months earlier, actually takes precedence. South Carolina had seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860.
- 1909 – Ernest Shackleton, leading the Nimrod Expedition to the South Pole, plants the British flag 97 nautical miles (180 km; 112 mi) from the South Pole, the farthest anyone had ever reached at that time.
Here’s Shackleton with two of his team at their southernmost point. He pioneered the route that Scott’s party took when it successfully reached the pole in January, 1912 (all of that party died on the return). Shackleton had the good sense to turn back, as he and his party would have perished otherwise.
- 1916 – World War I: The Battle of Gallipoli concludes with an Ottoman Empire victory when the last Allied forces are evacuated from the peninsula.
- 1957 – British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden resigns from office following his failure to retake the Suez Canal from Egyptian sovereignty.
- 2005 – Mahmoud Abbas wins the election to succeed Yasser Arafat as President of the Palestinian National Authority, replacing interim president Rawhi Fattouh.
- 2007 – Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduces the original iPhone at a Macworld keynote in San Francisco.
The phone wasn’t put on sale until June 29. You can still buy first-generation iPhones; here’s one for $11,000 (plus $4.53 shipping!). I wonder if they still work. . ..
- 2015 – The perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris two days earlier are both killed after a hostage situation; a second hostage situation, related to the Charlie Hebdo shooting, occurs at a Jewish market in Vincennes.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1854 – Lady Randolph Churchill, American-born wife of Lord Randolph Churchill, mother of Sir Winston Churchill (d. 1921)
- 1908 – Simone de Beauvoir, French philosopher and author (d. 1986)
- 1913 – Richard Nixon, American commander, lawyer, and politician, 37th President of the United States (d. 1994)
- 1935 – Bob Denver, American actor (d. 2005)
- 1941 – Joan Baez, American singer-songwriter, guitarist and activist
- 1950 – Alec Jeffreys, English geneticist and academic
- 1959 – Rigoberta Menchú, Guatemalan activist and politician, Nobel Prize laureate
Notables who kicked the bucket on January 9 were few, and include these two:
- 1848 – Caroline Herschel, German-English astronomer (b. 1750) [JAC: Brian Cox’s calico cat is named after Herschel.]
- 1923 – Katherine Mansfield, New Zealand novelist, short story writer, and essayist (b. 1888)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s dialogue is a bit enigmatic, but relates to the new lodgers who are spoiling her and giving her fusses. As Malgorzata explains:
Hili goes now upstairs and gets additional treats and petting. She is making the couple upstairs love and spoil her. These are “survival skills”. Hili suffered from the lack of servants (just the two of us here, downstairs), so when the opportunity arrived in the form of two young people who love cats, she started to learn skills to get more care than we were delivering.
And so this dialogue:
Hili: I’m learning survival skills.Paulina: But there is nothing threatening you.Hili: Sometimes I feel a shortage of servants
Hili: Uczę się sztuki przetrwania.
Paulina: Przecież nic ci nie grozi.
Hili: Czasami odczuwam niedosyt służby.
Cats do have their uses. Here’s a novel one from Homer Blind WonderCat:
From Cole & Marmalade:
From Jesus of the Day:
Titania is causing trouble again. And no, the genital guidance is not a joke.
Please follow this new guidance from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and refer to your vaginas as “front holes”.
Only trans women have vaginas.
This really isn’t difficult, you know… pic.twitter.com/6dX5oRX6ud
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) January 8, 2020
From reader Barry. Cats, as we all know, have not an atom of altruism:
Get out of here 😼
I'm not sharing 🙀
— ༺❆ᗙ Martin 🏳️🌈 ᗛ❆༻ #ByeDon ¸.•*´¯*⊱• ⁛҉ (@KlatuBaradaNiko) January 5, 2020
Two tweets from Heather Hastie. This first one came via Ann German:
This is pretty funny; I guess the cat would take a long time to figure it out:
Tweets from Matthew Cobb. Ctenophores are among the world’s coolest animals. Look at that thing!
This even made Curmudgeon Matthew say “Awwww!”. I’d feel the same way as this guy: you can lose your house, but what’s most important is that you don’t lose your cat. Sound up!
This guy lost everything in a fire but all he cared about was finding his cat 💗😻 pic.twitter.com/lU8IzewlB9
— The Dodo (@dodo) January 8, 2020
Here’s a leucistic mutant robin (the British kind), banded at a year old in 2016, so it’s at least five years old!
I guess the arriving passenger changed in the restroom!
Maybe the greatest airport reunion ever pic.twitter.com/0PIfiwNrzm
— Giles Paley-Phillips (@eliistender10) January 8, 2020