First, can you spot the cat in this cartoon? Read no further until you see it!
Well, it’s Monday, April 6, 2020: time to go back to work, except nobody is going to work. It’s International Carbonara Day and New Beer’s Eve, the day before Prohibition was repealed in 1933. Further food holidays include Fresh Tomato Day and National Caramel Popcorn Day, a treat best obtained from Garrett Popcorn Shops in Chicago, National Twinkie Day, and Sweet Potato Day. On the non-food side, it’s Plan Your Epitaph Day (given the circumstances, we’d best plan that soon), National Tartan Day, and National Siamese Cat Day. George Beadle, Nobel-Prize winning geneticist and later President of the University of Chicago, had eight Siamese cats (h/t: Matthew):
Here’s one of the best epitaphs around: that of Mel Blanc, who voiced characters for many cartoons, like that of Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and Bugs Bunny. What a wag!
News of the day: Awful. Deaths continue to mount (as of this writing, 69,527 worldwide and 9,643 in the U.S.). Boris Johnson has been hospitalized with coronavirus (no celebrating here, please, we don’t rejoice when anyone gets ill or dies), and Trump continues to promote the unproven—and possibly dangerous-to-patients—antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine. Here are the results of yesterday’s poll, with those readers voting (once again, a sample smaller than I’d like) coming down on the side of Trump’s defeat in November:
And a tiger in a New York Zoo tested positive for Covid-19; it had respiratory illness, but is expected to recover. It apparently caught the virus from an infected keeper. (h/t: Paul)
Today’s Google Doodle is a shout out to the coronavirus helpers during this pandemic (note the flattened curve); clicking on it goes to a list of thank-you sites:
Finally, Robin Ince and several experts did a Q&A on Covid-19 that Matthew watched and thought was useful. I haven’t seen it, but the YouTube video is linked below.
here is the COVID-19 Q&A we did live last night with @dandavis101 @bealelab @n3113n and @EpicFeil_ Doctors and professors who know what they are talking about. We will aim to do a follow up in the next few weeks https://t.co/ttFLkJ3txL#shamblesstayathomefest
— Robin Ince (@robinince) April 6, 2020
Stuff that happened on April 6 includes:
- 1320 – The Scots reaffirm their independence by signing the Declaration of Arbroath.
- 1327 – The poet Petrarch first sees his idealized love, Laura, in the church of Saint Clare in Avignon.
- 1808 – John Jacob Astor incorporates the American Fur Company, that would eventually make him America’s first millionaire.
- 1830 – Church of Christ, the original church of the Latter Day Saint movement, is organized by Joseph Smith and others at either Fayette or Manchester, New York.
- 1860 – The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, later renamed Community of Christ, is organized by Joseph Smith III and others at Amboy, Illinois.
- 1893 – Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is dedicated by Wilford Woodruff.
- 1895 – Oscar Wilde is arrested in the Cadogan Hotel, London, after losing a libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry.
- 1896 – In Athens, the opening of the first modern Olympic Games is celebrated, 1,500 years after the original games are banned by Roman emperor Theodosius I.
- 1930 – At the end of the Salt March, Gandhi raises a lump of mud and salt and declares, “With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire.”
And a tweet (h/t Matthew) recounting events on this day in 1944. Klaus Barbie, who worked for U.S. intelligence for a while, fled to Peru and Bolivia, was extradited to France in 1983, indicted in 1984, convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1987, and died in prison of cancer four years later:
6 April 1944 | The Gestapo under the direction of SS-Hauptsturmführer Klaus Barbie raided the Jewish orphanage in French town of #Izieu. 44 children and their 7 educators were taken to #Drancy & later deported to #Auschwitz. Only one person survived. pic.twitter.com/Xa1Tq10V1j
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) April 6, 2020
More stuff that happened on this day.
- 1968 – Pierre Elliott Trudeau wins the Liberal Leadership Election, and becomes Prime Minister of Canada soon after.
- 1973 – The American League of Major League Baseball begins using the designated hitter.
- 1974 – The Swedish pop band ABBA wins the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Waterloo”, launching their international career.
- 1992 – The Bosnian War begins.
- 1994 – The Rwandan genocide begins when the aircraft carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira is shot down.
- 1998 – Nuclear weapons testing: Pakistan tests medium-range missiles capable of reaching India.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1892 – Lowell Thomas, American journalist and author (d. 1981)
- 1927 – Gerry Mulligan, American saxophonist, clarinet player, and composer (d. 1996)
- 1931 – Ram Dass, American author and educator (d. 2019)
- 1937 – Merle Haggard, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2016)
- 1952 – Marilu Henner, Greek-Polish American actress and author
Marilu Henner, whom you might remember from the t.v. show “Taxi”, is one of only ten people in the world who has a perfect memory. She is able to remember everything that happened to her in her life, and is perfect on remember dates and days of the week. I don’t know how all that stuff is stored in her neurons, but watch her remarkable facilities in the first part of this segment from the Aussie version of “60 Minutes”.
- 1969 – Spencer Wells, American geneticist and anthropologist
Those who turned toes up on April 6 include:
- 1199 – Richard I, king of England (b. 1157)
- 1520 – Raphael, Italian painter and architect (b. 1483)
- 1528 – Albrecht Dürer, German painter, engraver, and mathematician (b. 1471)
- 1935 – Edwin Arlington Robinson, American poet and playwright (b. 1869)
- 1971 – Igor Stravinsky, Russian-American pianist, composer, and conductor (b. 1882)
- 1998 – Tammy Wynette, American singer-songwriter (b. 1942)
- 2005 – Rainier III, Prince of Monaco (b. 1923)
- 2014 – Mickey Rooney, American soldier, actor, and dancer (b. 1920)
- 2015 – Ray Charles, American singer-songwriter and conductor (b. 1918)
- 2016 – Merle Haggard, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1937)
- 2017 – Don Rickles, American actor and comedian (b. 1926)
I could not find any cats drawn or painted by Dürer, but here’s a nice tabby from the Dutch engraver Cornelius Visscher (1629-1658):
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is taking it easy:
A: What are you watching?Hili: I’m observing how time goes by.
Ja: Czemu się tak przyglądasz?
Hili: Patrzę jak czas przemija.
Posted by Ali Rizvi: a virtual Last Supper.
From reader Bruce:
Posted by Mary. That’s our draconian but effective mayor, Lori Lightfoot:
From the Queen: nevertheless, victimhood persists!
During this crisis, there are many who will try to take our victimhood away from us.
They will claim that the intersectional struggle now seems trivial.
So praise be to these brave academics, activists, journalists & politicians for reminding everyone how relevant we still are. pic.twitter.com/4dSbWak30T
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) April 5, 2020
A tweet sent by reader Andrée. I have no explanation for this weird phenomenon, but perhaps it has something to do with the duck regularly being fed, and the fish cottoning on to that:
I don’t know why they are following the duck…. but caption this? pic.twitter.com/mXwT4yq0IP
— Science girl (@gunsnrosesgirl3) April 5, 2020
A tweet sent by reader Barry. This is clearly fake, but it’s damn funny. But what about circumcision? Long scissors?
Religious distancing baptism ceremony.
Wonder how they will do distance "circumcisions?" Lmao pic.twitter.com/WqBzocjOSj
— Atheist Forum (@ForumAtheist) April 1, 2020
Two tweets from Heather Hastie via Ann German. First, a cat on the catwalk. (This is one chill moggy!)
Quarantine week 2: Cat fashion show. pic.twitter.com/0qhNhef07a
— Abo Woofers (@AboWoofers) March 31, 2020
More waffling on the pandemic from the Trump administration:
Gov't website before Jared: “The stockpile ensures that the right medicines and supplies get to those who need them most.”
Govt website now: The stockpile’s “role is to supplement state and local supplies. Many states have products stockpiled as well.” https://t.co/zHE0M7VxGv
— Eric Umansky (@ericuman) April 3, 2020
Three tweets found by Matthew. First, a great photo of a jumping spider nomming a fly:
Maratus volans with prey
10shot handheld focus stack pic.twitter.com/SulJllI0bB
— Michael Doe (@Maratus_spider) April 4, 2020
People are quite inventive and humane in how they find new ways to interact while “distanced,” but I call this a loss of good wine:
Met the girl downstairs tonight banging pots out the window for healthcare workers. Told her to hold out her wine glass. Bystanders saw. pic.twitter.com/mWh65D0qza
— Phillip Kirkland (@philsince87) April 4, 2020
Look how these ducklings use their claws to climb high obstacles. I only hope that Honey and Dorothy’s ducklings can do this. One route to the pond from Honey’s nest involves climbing stairs, and I hope I don’t have to help the ducklings climb them.
To climb the unclimbable stairs. pic.twitter.com/5hzMPvYksG
— Dick King-Smith HQ (@DickKingSmith) April 5, 2020