It’s Sunday, March 22, 2020, and a lousy food holiday: World Water Day. It’s also National Bavarian Crêpes Day, described as “a delicious, very thin pancake-like dessert, typically made from wheat flour or buckwheat flour, then filled, rolled and then often topped with a glaze, fruit, chocolate or whipped cream.” I’ve never had them.
Finally, it’s National Buzzard Day (remember: a buzzard is not a vulture), and, as I said, World Water Day, a UN holiday celebrating the importance of freshwater and the need to buy as much of it as you can in plastic bottles (only kidding about the last bit).
Yesterday at 5 p.m. the City of Chicago, and the rest of Illinois, went on “lockdown”, with no gatherings permitted, most stores closed except for pharmacies, banks, and grocery stores, as well as restaurants. Fortunately, my favorite wine store is still open, but for curbside pickup only. You have to order online, show up at the store, calling when you arrive, and then popping your trunk so that they can put the wine cases in while keeping the “social distance”.. It’s onerous, but worth it for vino. And, of course, I can feed my ducks!
Here are Honey and Dorothy, who are inseparable (Dorothy may be her offspring from last year, but who knows?). By now you should be able to recognize which one is Honey. Can you?
Stuff that happened on March 22 includes:
- 1622 – Jamestown massacre: Algonquians kill 347 English settlers around Jamestown, Virginia, a third of the colony’s population, during the Second Anglo-Powhatan War.
- 1638 – Anne Hutchinson is expelled from Massachusetts Bay Colony for religious dissent.
- 1765 – The British Parliament passes the Stamp Act that introduces a tax to be levied directly on its American colonies.
- 1872 – Illinois becomes the first state to require gender equality in employment.
- 1916 – The last Emperor of China, Yuan Shikai, abdicates the throne and the Republic of China is restored.
This is confusing because Wikipedia also says that Pu Yi (protagonist of the movie “The Last Emperor”) was the real last Emperor of China, becoming emperor at age two and reigning briefly in 1917. This is another example of where Wikipedia needs correction. We all await that when Greg publishes his definitive post, “What’s the matter with Wikipedia?”
- 1943 – World War II: the entire village of Khatyn (in what is the present-day Republic of Belarus) is burnt alive by Schutzmannschaft Battalion 118.
- 1945 – The Arab League is founded when a charter is adopted in Cairo, Egypt.
- 1960 – Arthur Leonard Schawlow and Charles Hard Townes receive the first patent for a laser.
Here’s part of that patent. Shawlow won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1981, along with two others (not Townes) for using lasers to determine the energy levels of atoms:
- 1972 – The United States Congress sends the Equal Rights Amendment to the states for ratification.
The deadline for ratification was in 1979, with 4 states needed for ratification. But three states rescinded their assent, and the deadline was extended to 1982. That deadline expired without any more states signing on, but since then three more states (Virginia, Nevada, and Illinois) have voted to ratify the ERA. Because of the revocations and debates about their legality, the ERA remains in limbo, which is a damn travesty, if you ask me.
- 1972 – In Eisenstadt v. Baird, the United States Supreme Court decides that unmarried persons have the right to possess contraceptives.
- 1978 – Karl Wallenda of The Flying Wallendas dies after falling off a tight-rope suspended between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Here’s an ABC news report of Wallenda’s fall (note: don’t watch if you don’t want to see him fall off the rope). He was 73 when he died, and said that the only time he ever felt alive was on the high wire.
- 1995 – Cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov returns to earth after setting a record of 438 days in space.
- 1997 – Tara Lipinski, aged 14 years and nine months, becomes the youngest women’s World Figure Skating Champion.
I remember watching this, and now Lipinski (a skating commentator for television) is 37. Here’s her prize-winning performancein 1997:
- 2016 – Three suicide bombers kill 32 people and injure 316 in the 2016 Brussels bombings at the airport and at the Maelbeek/Maalbeek metro station.
- 2017 – A terrorist attack in London near the Houses of Parliament leaves four people dead and at least 20 injured.
- 2019 – Robert S. Mueller III delivers his report on the Russian government’s influence on the election of Donald Trump in the 2016 United States presidential election.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1599 – Anthony van Dyck, Flemish-English painter and etcher (d. 1641)
Here’s a van Dyck portrat of James Stuart, the Duke of Richmond and Lennox with his cat. This was painted some time between 1633 and 1635:
- 1785 – Adam Sedgwick, English scientist (d. 1873)
- 1887 – Chico Marx, American actor (d. 1961)
- 1930 – Derek Bok, American lawyer and academic
- 1930 – Stephen Sondheim, American composer and songwriter
- 1948 – Andrew Lloyd Webber, English composer and director
- 1976 – Reese Witherspoon, American actress and producer
Those who became kaput on March 22 include:
- 1758 – Jonathan Edwards, English minister, theologian, and philosopher (b. 1703)
- 1978 – Karl Wallenda, German-American acrobat and tightrope walker, founded The Flying Wallendas (b. 1905) [see above]
- 1994 – Walter Lantz, American animator, director, and producer (b. 1899)
- 2001 – William Hanna, American animator, director, producer, and voice actor, co-founded Hanna-Barbera (b. 1910)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, spring has begun and, unfortunately, Hili is watching the birds:
Hili: The birds have started to build their nests.A: How do you know?Hili: They are flying around with grass in their beaks.
Hili: Ptaki zaczęły budować gniazda.
Ja: Skąd wiesz?
Hili: Fruwają z trawą w dziobach.
Here’s the latest photo of Szaron, who is getting ever tamer. (And yesterday a feral black cat showed up, ate some food, and fled.)
From the Celts Facebook page, a thrifty Scot (h/t: Moto). The goods are conveniently located, too:
From Stash Krod:
Titania has a new poem about the pandemic, and it disses science. She can’t help it, being woke:
For #InternationalPoetryDay, I have composed this new masterpiece.
We shall defeat the coronavirus through the power of verse.
Mark my words. ✊ pic.twitter.com/vlLgQNpvLJ
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) March 21, 2020
Two tweets from Heather Hastie via Ann German. This first video has had wide circulation, so I didn’t post it earlier. But I suppose I should put it somewhere, as it’s good. So here it is for the record:
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) March 15, 2020
This, too, is brilliant. Does anybody recognize what they’re playing?
— Kristen Brancaccio (@kristensreality) March 15, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. This first one is a strong contender for TWEET OF THE YEAR:
I can finally take my hamster out to a proper dinner! 😋
mametsumaru IG pic.twitter.com/2kRSgS7nIA
— Ghostmouse (@Ghostmouse8) March 21, 2020
Steve Martin plays the banjo to ease the pain of self-isolation:
Banjo balm. pic.twitter.com/eQ6jUkHSHm
— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) March 21, 2020
Religion not only poisons everything, but also infects everything:
Senegal banned public gathering including at mosques.
Hundreds of worshippers took to the streets in protest ignoring the ban after an imam was arrested. Meanwhile the number of Covid-19 infections jumped to 47. pic.twitter.com/xHqcf1mc2F
— Nicolas Haque (@nicolashaque) March 20, 2020
Now this must be worth a lot: a watch set into an emerald!
'Watch set into a single Colombian emerald crystal, circa 1600; the watch is part of the Cheapside Hoard, a cache of jewels and jewelry buried since the Great Fire of London in 1666 and rediscovered in 1912'https://t.co/PYTAnt3Agn pic.twitter.com/0egYXm056o
— Sardonicus (@RealSardonicus) March 13, 2020
Perhaps we’ve heard these so often that we’ve become inured to their beauty. Sound on, please.
— Cate Crocker (@CateCrocker) March 21, 2020
An unexpected spandrel of the pandemic:
Just in case quarantined Paris wasn’t disorientating enough: my neighbourhood was being used as a film set when the lockdown hit. Now the whole block has been left frozen in 1941 pic.twitter.com/TOPHuX5agT
— Tim Mc Inerney (@TimMacAndErny) March 20, 2020