Good morning on Saturday, March 28, 2020: National Black Forest Cake Day. It’s also Eat an Eskimo Pie Day (I haven’t had one for decades, and shouldn’t the name now be Inuit Pie?), Piano Day, National Hot Tub Day, and, most important, Respect Your Cat Day.
News of the day: Everything continues to get worse. The bailout bill passed Congress yesterday, and the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. also passed—100,000 (I believe it’s now over half a million for the world). The New York Times reports that if the pandemic continues to spread in the New York City area, it will be worse on a per capita basis than the toll in Wuhan, China and Lombardy, Italy. I am frightened for the first time, and it doesn’t help to read stories like this. Chicago’s mayor has closed our lakefront and all our parks to prevent people congregating, and hinted that the lockdown could continue longer than specified (duhhh!). Professor Ceiling Cat Emeritus threw his back out stretching on Thursday, the pain is pretty bad, and the doctor says it may be weeks or even months before it returns to normal.
On top of it all, we’re predicted to have severe storms in Chicago today, including the possibility of hail. I hope my ducks don’t get bopped on the head with hailstones! Click to read the weather report:
I can see lightning and hear thunder as I write this. It’s gonna be gnarly out there. As my father used to say (but in Yiddish): “Troubles as numerous as poppy seeds.” (I think the phrase is “Tsouris mit Mohn,” but I can’t remember, and call on Yiddish-speaking readers for help.)
Stuff that happened on March 28 includes:
- AD 37 – Roman emperor Caligula accepts the titles of the Principate, bestowed on him by the Senate.
- 1842 – First concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Otto Nicolai.
- 1871 – The Paris Commune is formally established in Paris.
- 1939 – Spanish Civil War: Generalissimo Francisco Franco conquers Madrid after a three-year siege.
- 1959 – The State Council of the People’s Republic of China dissolves the government of Tibet.
- 1979 – A coolant leak at the Three Mile Island’s Unit 2 nuclear reactor outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania leads to the core overheating and a partial meltdown.:
Notables born on this day were few, and include.
Here’s a picture of an early bottle (it was call “malt”) taken from Spoon University:
And Pabst himself, looking pretty much as you’d expect:
Others born on this day include:
- 1868 – Maxim Gorky, Russian novelist, short story writer, and playwright (d. 1936)
- 1909 – Nelson Algren, American novelist and short story writer (d. 1981)
- 1936 – Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian novelist, playwright, and essayist Nobel Prize laureate
- 1955 – Reba McEntire, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress
- 1986 – Lady Gaga, American singer-songwriter, dancer, producer, and actress
. . . and a Holocaust survivor born on this day. Jerzy Bielecki (who has a Wikipedia entry) and his girlfriend Cyla Cybulska were separated after their escape from Auschwitz (one of only a handful of escapes), and didn’t meet again until 1983, when, living in New York, he learned she was alive and went back to Poland to see her. She died there in 2005, he in 2011. Read their story at the link in the previous sentence or the NYT obituary in the tweet below.
28 March 1921 | Jerzy Bielecki was born. He was a prisoner of #Auschwitz no. 243 (first transport of Poles). On 21 July 1944 he escape from the camp in an SS uniform taking with him a Polish Jewish female prisoner Cyla Cybulska. They were in love. https://t.co/HRaMjrvF68 pic.twitter.com/dTO4jvlgnD
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) March 28, 2020
Those who stopped living on March 28 include:
- 1881 – Modest Mussorgsky, Russian pianist and composer (b. 1839)
- 1941 – Virginia Woolf, English novelist, essayist, short story writer, and critic (b. 1882)
Woolf, of course, was subject to depression and ultimately killed herself at age 59 by filling her pockets with stones and walking into a nearby river. She was a very great writer. Below is her heartbreaking suicide note (addressed to her husband) and a photo:
Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight it any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that—everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been. V
- 1943 – Sergei Rachmaninoff, Russian pianist, composer, and conductor (b. 1873)
- 1953 – Jim Thorpe, American football player and coach (b. 1887)
- 1969 – Dwight D. Eisenhower, American general and politician, 34th President of the United States (b. 1890)
- 1977 – Eric Shipton, Sri Lankan-English mountaineer and explorer (b. 1907)
- 1985 – Marc Chagall, Russian-French painter and poet (b. 1887)
- 1987 – Maria von Trapp, Austrian-American singer (b. 1905)
- 2000 – Anthony Powell, English soldier and author (b. 1905)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Szaron wants inside. Actually, this is misleading now as Margozata relates:
“This is a picture taken before Szaron started to live inside but Andrzej thought it was a good picture and it would be a pity to waste it. So the dialogue is misleading. Just now Szaron is with us downstairs and Hili is outside! But they are not on the opposite sides of the window pane. Szaron is now absolutely tame. He is sleeping upstairs with the lodgers, there’s no more peeing outside the litter box, and he comes to us during the day. Perfect.”
The old picture and its dialogue
Hili: You are here again?Szaron: Yes, I wonder when I will be inside and you outside.
Hili: Znowu tu jesteś?
Szaron: Tak, zastanawiam się, kiedy ja będę w środku, a ty na zewnątrz.
From Heather Hastie:
From Jesus of the Day.
A wonderful Facebook video (h/t: Mark). If only the deer would fetch the Frisbee too!
The Queen has a new article out:
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) March 27, 2020
Reader Barry’s note on this tweet is “This has been a Public Service Announcement from the family Chamaeleonidae.” I have to say that the reptile’s technique is estimable.
i thought twitter deserved to see this video of a chameleon washing its hands pic.twitter.com/FyDVllbToY
— keat (@keatxngrant) March 23, 2020
Two tweets from Heather Hastie. First, the irredeemably stupid Ann Coulter:
Math. How do it work? pic.twitter.com/odtiZO6Rvo
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 25, 2020
Heather likes Little Humbug’s backwards walk. I guess she doesn’t like potato skins. . .
Had the pleasure of Little Humbug enjoying her posh nuts, a few nose kisses on my hand but she didn’t want the jacket potato skin! 🐾🐾❤️ pic.twitter.com/9aMuXzBjdk
— Mr Lumpy & Friends (@LumpyandFriends) March 25, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. I told him that this first one was really cute, and he suggested that perhaps the slipper was stuck on its leg:
Sometimes my cat walks around with my slipper like he’s wearing it pic.twitter.com/8PZKssZyfq
— Pete Zaparti 🍕 (@katykweenofcats) March 26, 2020
These two tweets were posted just a few hours apart. pic.twitter.com/iSSYK6snOT
— Mike Masnick (@mmasnick) March 27, 2020
This is a “tidal” phenomenon as the red dwarf pulls its larger companion out of shape:
The Universe is full of endless wonders and surprises. And one of them turned out to be hiding almost under our nose at a distance of 1,600 light years. HD 74423 is the very first teardrop-shaped star and the first star with such unique pulsation pattern. https://t.co/AqDDb4dt7a pic.twitter.com/nN6AqqqigK
— Ratio (@RatioBG) March 27, 2020
Make sure you click on the picture to see the entire front page:
That graph is brilliant use of print media. pic.twitter.com/C7GRqDcwU0
— Barry Malone (@malonebarry) March 27, 2020