It’s Tuesday, April 7, 2020, and we’re into another “work” week. I wonder how many people can work from home efficiently? From what I see on social media, not many—but that’s understandable. Another month of lockdown and everyone will be nuts, using their pets as props in tweets and videos.
It’s National Coffee Cake Day and National Beer Day, marking the day in 1933 that legislation allowing the sale of beer took effect in the U.S. The repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment, mandating Prohibition, took place the following December. As for the law that allowed beer sales, the Cullen–Harrison Act, Wikipedia says this:
Upon signing the legislation, Roosevelt made his famous remark, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.” The law went into effect on April 7 of that year in states that had enacted their own law allowing such sales. The beer could contain up to 3.2% alcohol by weight (or 4.05% by volume) compared to the 0.5% limit of the Volstead Act, because 3.2% was considered too low to produce intoxication.
Here’s a group of happy people having their first legal beer on April 7, 1933 (notice that they’re all having beers; hard liquor came later).
It’s also International Beaver Day, celebrating the rodent, World Health Day, World Health Organization Day (different holidays), Metric System Day, National No Housework Day, and, for believers, Holy Tuesday.
Today’s Google Doodle is another in a two-week series thanking the “coronavirus helpers”. Clicking on it goes to links about the helpers. Today’s says this: “To all doctors, nurses, and medical workers, thank you.”
News of the Day: Dreadful: it’s almost more than I can do to watch the evening news each night. The death toll in the U.S. has passed 10,000, while Trump continues to advocate the use of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus, a drug not tested for that disease. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 55 and infected with coronovirus, has been moved to intensive care in London. And if you really want to get depressed, read this story about what’s happening to Italy’s social fabric.
In about an hour, at 6:45 a.m., I’m going to the grocery store. We’re told not to go for two weeks, but I am out of food and don’t want to starve. Wish me luck!
For some reason I find this video immensely cheering (h/t: Simon):
Just a guy and his pet duck at home during the quarantine… https://t.co/lZZzXuNTtL
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) April 6, 2020
Stuff that happened on April 7 includes:
Note that Metz is now in France. That Hun could conquer! Here’s his empire, including “subject tribes”:
Cebu is in the Philippines, where Magellan was killed on 20 days later.
- 1724 – Premiere performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St John Passion, BWV 245, at St. Nicholas Church, Leipzig.
- 1827 – John Walker, an English chemist, sells the first friction match that he had invented the previous year.
- 1829 – Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, commences translation of the Book of Mormon, with Oliver Cowdery as his scribe.
- 1927 – The first long-distance public television broadcast (from Washington, D.C., to New York City, displaying the image of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover).
- 1933 – Prohibition in the United States is repealed for beer of no more than 3.2% alcohol by weight, eight months before the ratification of the XXI amendment. (Now celebrated as National Beer Day in the United States.)
- 1943 – The Holocaust in Ukraine: In Terebovlia, Germans order 1,100 Jews to undress and march through the city to the nearby village of Plebanivka, where they are shot and buried in ditches.
The Wikipedia article says that there were 3,000 murders in that town between April and July, with only 50 or 60 Jews surviving.
- 1948 – The World Health Organization is established by the United Nations.
- 1949 – The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific opened on Broadway; it would run for 1,925 performances and win ten Tony Awards.
- 1955 – Winston Churchill resigns as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom amid indications of failing health.
- 1969 – The Internet’s symbolic birth date: Publication of RFC 1.
- 1994 – Rwandan genocide: Massacres of Tutsis begin in Kigali, Rwanda.
- 1995 – First Chechen War: Russian paramilitary troops begin a massacre of civilians in Samashki, Chechnya.
Here are some musical highlights of the 1958 movie of “South Pacific”. They don’t make ’em like this any more!
When I took Old English and Beowulf in college, I wrote a parody of one of the songs above, which started like this:
There is nothing like a Dane—
Nothing in the world;
Not a kinsman or a thane
That is anything like a Dane.
And have you heard this song-themed knock-knock joke?
Sam and Janet.
Sam and Janet who?
Sam and Janet Evening (line sung to tune of “Some Enchanted Evening”)
I’ll be here all year, folks!
Notables born on this day include:
- 1770 – William Wordsworth, English poet (d. 1850)
- 1897 – Walter Winchell, American journalist and radio host (d. 1972)
- 1915 – Billie Holiday, American singer-songwriter and actress (d. 1959)
- 1920 – Ravi Shankar, Indian-American sitar player and composer (d. 2012)
- 1931 – Daniel Ellsberg, American activist and author
- 1939 – Francis Ford Coppola, American director, producer, and screenwriter
- 1945 – Joël Robuchon, French chef and author (d. 2018)
- 1960 – Hugh Dominic “Dom” Stiles, librarian and polymath (see post later today)
- 1964 – Russell Crowe, New Zealand-Australian actor
Those who became corpses on April 7 include:
- 1614 – El Greco, Greek-Spanish painter and sculptor (b. 1541)
- 1891 – P. T. Barnum, American businessman and politician, co-founded The Barnum & Bailey Circus (b. 1810)
- 1947 – Henry Ford, American engineer and businessman, founded the Ford Motor Company (b. 1863)
- 1972 – Joe Gallo, American gangster (b. 1929)
- 2012 – Mike Wallace, American television news journalist (b. 1918)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Szaron is trying to eat Hili’s leftovers:
Hili: Don’t even think about it.Szaron: I just wanted to clean it.
Hili: Nawet o tym nie myśl.
Szaron: Ja tylko chciałem pozmywać.
From Bad Cat Clothing, which calls this a “fun quarantine project”. Actually, I think it’s a bit mean.
From Jesus of the Day:
A sad and quarantined cat from the B. Kliban Appreciation Society:
From Luana. You’ll never see Slate publish anything like this now, with an extracted quote below. Such is the tenor of the Woke Era: some truths are too horrible to reveal
“Indeed, we know as well as anything we know in psychology that IQ predicts many different measures of success… like income, employment, health, and even longevity.”
— A New Radical Centrism (@a_centrism) April 6, 2020
From reader Barry. This odious contraption is obviously a product of quarantine:
The Church of the Forgiving Eagle Unethical Science Division is close to perfecting the anti-cat Zeppelin.
— Pastor Alex (@PastorAlexLove) April 3, 2020
From reader Simon: a tweet with a funny caption (he says, “Well, it made me smile!”
Bear saves fish from drowning. Nature really is amazing pic.twitter.com/norzcHR3kS
— greg 🪐 (@norfsidegreg) April 4, 2020
A tweet from Heather Hastie via Ann German:
He was only supposed to kill one guy in the middle of Fifth Avenue. Not 200 thousand across America.
— Randi Mayem Singer (@rmayemsinger) April 2, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. Siphonophores are colonial animals in the phylum Cnidaria and the order Hydrozoa; one of them is the Portuguese Man o’ War. This one is fricking HUGE! As Matthew describes it, “Its a long long long tube that is spiraling around. Siphonophores are colony organisms so they do your head in if you think about them too much.”
Most frequent question so far: "How big is it?" we don't have exact size, but the #ROV pilot used #SuBastian and its lasers to estimate the size: this siphonophore’s outer ring measured in at 15m (49ft) diameter, so just that ring *alone* seems to be approximately 47m (154ft)!
— Schmidt Ocean (@SchmidtOcean) April 6, 2020
Yes, this cat surfs! Sound up.
A surfing CAT!!! pic.twitter.com/7ttmicBqmH
— The Dodo (@dodo) April 6, 2020