It’s Saturday, nominally my day off, and it’s March 7, 2020. It’s National Cereal Day, and also National Crown Roast of Pork Day (I’ll take the latter, even though it isn’t kosher). Other than that, not much is shaking today vis-à-vis Honorary Days.
The weather in Chicago is predicted to warm up this week, with highs tomorrow reaching 55° F (13° C): prime duck weather. I only hope that other mallards stay away from the pond, as I don’t want more than three hens nesting here this year. (That’s how many were there yesterday, along with three drakes.)
Stuff that happened on March 7 include:
- 1850 – Senator Daniel Webster gives his “Seventh of March” speech endorsing the Compromise of 1850 in order to prevent a possible civil war.
- 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell is granted a patent for an invention he calls the “telephone“.
Here is that patent from Today in History. Pretty primitive, no?
- 1936 – Prelude to World War II: In violation of the Locarno Pact and the Treaty of Versailles, Germany reoccupies the Rhineland.
- 1945 – World War II: American troops seize the Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine river at Remagen.
Here’s the famous “Bridge at Remagen,” subject of a 1969 film and as described by Wikipedia:
Midway through Operation Lumberjack, on 7 March 1945, the troops of the 1st U.S. Army approached Remagen and were surprised to find that the bridge was still standing. Its capture, two weeks before Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s meticulously planned Operation Plunder, enabled the U.S. Army to establish a bridgehead on the eastern side of the Rhine. After the U.S. forces captured the bridge, German forces tried to destroy it multiple times.
It finally collapsed on 17 March 1945, ten days after it was captured, killing 33 U.S. Army Engineers and wounding 63. While it stood, the bridge and newly established pontoon bridges enabled the U.S. Army to establish a bridgehead of six divisions, about 25,000 troops, with accompanying tanks, artillery pieces, and trucks, across the Rhine. Capturing the bridge shortened the war, and V-E Day came on May 8. After the war, the bridge was not rebuilt; the towers on the west bank were converted into a museum and the towers on the east bank are a performing arts space.
- 1965 – Bloody Sunday: A group of 600 civil rights marchers is brutally attacked by state and local police in Selma, Alabama.
And here’s a six-minute film of Bloody Sunday; I really recommend you watch it to see what was endured by African-Americans to get the rights they deserved:
- 1986 – Challenger Disaster: Divers from the USS Preserver locate the crew cabin of Challenger on the ocean floor.
It’s now pretty much established that the crew of the Challenger did not die in the “explostion,” nor on the way down; they probably died when their cabin hit the ocean.
- 1989 – Iran and the United Kingdom break diplomatic relations after a fight over Salman Rushdie and his controversial novel, The Satanic Verses.
- 2007 – The British House of Commons votes to make the upper chamber, the House of Lords, 100% elected.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1671 – Rob Roy MacGregor, Scottish outlaw (d. 1734)
- 1792 – John Herschel, English mathematician and astronomer (d. 1871)
- 1849 – Luther Burbank, American botanist and author (d. 1926)
- 1872 – Piet Mondrian, Dutch-American painter (d. 1944)
- 1930 – Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon, English photographer and politician (d. 2017)
- 1970 – Rachel Weisz, English-American actress and producer
Here’s an iconic photo from Antony Armstrong-Jones: his wife, Princess Margaret, soaking in the tub wearing a tiara (1962). They were divorced 14 years later. Princess Margaret, who died in 2002, was the only sibling of Queen Elizabeth.
Those who were either incinerated or began deliquescing on March 7 include:
- 1274 – Saint Thomas Aquinas, Italian priest and philosopher (b. 1225)
- 1954 – Otto Diels, German chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1876)
- 1957 – Wyndham Lewis, English painter and critic (b. 1882)
- 1967 – Alice B. Toklas, American writer (b. 1877)
- 1988 – Divine, American drag queen and film actor (b. 1945)
- 1991 – Cool Papa Bell, American baseball player (b. 1903)
Here’s a trailer for a film about Divine (real name Harris Glenn Milstead), who was a gay drag queen, and didn’t consider himself transsexual. Remember the John Waters film “Pink Flamingos” and its famous final scene?
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is being an efficient editor:
A: What have you done?Hili: These notes are no longer relevant.
Ja: Coś ty zrobiła?
Hili: Te zapiski straciły aktualność.
Szaron is just back from the vet, where he got his post-op checkup and two more shots (one of antibiotics for his eye), as well as more eye drops. He’s much better and now is sans testicles. And he has his immunizations. Andrzej took a picture and furnished a caption:
Szaron: Post-op control behind us. Back to normal.
In Polish: Kontrola pooperacyjna za nami. Wracam do normalności.
From imgur. Life is complicated these days.
From Wild and Wonderful, a rare albino koala.
Also from WIld and Wonderful, captioned “Branch manager and assistant branch manager.”
A tweet from the Queen:
Criticism of Meghan Markle is racist because she is mixed race.
Criticism of Diane Abbott is racist because she is black.
Criticism of Priti Patel isn’t racist because she is a Tory and is therefore white-adjacent.
This really isn’t difficult. https://t.co/mFctUKCUIr
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) March 4, 2020
Google is definitely slanting its image search results in ideological directions. I’ve ascertained this before, but haven’t tried this one out. Try it for yourself. They’ve said that they value ideology more than truth in these algorithms.
Google admits that it shapes its search results to achieve social objectives — which is why a search for “great American scientists” last year produced mostly black faces — but this result is Orwellian: Do a search for “straight couples” and see what you get.
— A New Radical Centrism (@a_centrism) March 6, 2020
A tweet sent from Luana in which Steve Stewart-Williams makes a good point:
It's a little strange that we spend so much time worrying about misuses of evolutionary theory but no time at all worrying about misuses of Blank Slate ideology. Both have been used to rationalize evil political movements. https://t.co/BYdwg8mMSP pic.twitter.com/Rr6Sl4UWs3
— Steve Stewart-Williams (@SteveStuWill) September 30, 2019
A tweet found by Dom. What is wrong with this picture?
My favourite mythical transportation would have to belong to the Norse goddess Freyja, who rides in a chariot drawn by cats.#FolkloreThursday #mythology #cats
Image: Freyja riding with her cats from 'The Manual of Mythology', 1874. pic.twitter.com/VhdDBXYktH
— curious ordinary (@curiousordinary) February 27, 2020
A tweet from Gethyn. DO NOT FEED MUFFINS TO THAT CAT! (I don’t know of any cats who would eat muffins!)
The local beloved cat cafe now comes with a muffin disclaimer! pic.twitter.com/3JOjwckNDa
— Michael's Cat (@michaelscat2) February 22, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. He saw the first copy of his new book “in the wild”: at Blackwell’s in Manchester. A big congrats to Dr. Cobb, who’s already planning his next book.
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) March 6, 2020
If I’ve put this up recently, forgive me. I do like it an awful lot!
This is crazy 😳😳 pic.twitter.com/f2jyoAZwYz
— ℓυşţ мαη (@almalah1411) February 22, 2020
Yes, that’s right: TEN HOURS OF COW NOISES! I asked Matthew why, and he responded, “Because people like cows.”
— The Museum of English Rural Life (@TheMERL) March 6, 2020