Welcome to Friday, April 10, 2020; it’s National Cinnamon Roll Day, and boy, could I use one! It’s also American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Day (it was founded on April 10, 1866), National Farm Animals Day, Global Work from Home Day (make that a month or two), Siblings Day, Golfer’s Day (who’s the one golfer being celebrated?) and, of course, Good Friday, when Jesus was supposedly crucified some time between A.D. 30 and 36. April 10 is normally the 100th day of the year, but it’s the 101st in 2020 because it’s a leap year.
Today’s Google Doodle continues the two-week series praising coronovirus helpers. Today’s Doodle appears to celebrate those who grow our food (click on screenshot):
News of the Day: Do I need to say it’s still dreadful? As of this writing, the worldwide death toll from the pandemic is 96,791, and in the U.S. it’s 16,676. Last night the news named Illinois as one of the growing pandemic “hot spots”. The media and the Outrage Brigade continues to leverage the pandemic to bolster identity politics: every group is claiming the exacerbation or uncovering of oppression by the pandemic. See today’s New York Times for some choice examples. (And yes, I do think Trump’s repeatedly calling coronavirus “the Chinese virus” is a deliberate example of bias and xenophobia.) But can’t people put their agenda aside just for a couple of months?
Today I will walk four miles through dicey parts of Chicago today to pick up my car at the garage (brakes got fixed), as, on medical advice, I dare not risk taking an Uber. Well, it’s exercise.
Matthew says he wrote “a cranky letter” to the Guardian; here it is. I love that old curmudgeon!
Stuff that happened on April 10 includes:
- 1837 – Halley’s Comet makes its closest approach to Earth at a distance equal to 0.0342 AU (5.1 million kilometres/3.2 million miles).
- 1710 – The Statute of Anne, the first law regulating copyright, comes into force in Great Britain.
- 1815 – The Mount Tambora volcano begins a three-month-long eruption, lasting until July 15. The eruption ultimately kills 71,000 people and affects Earth’s climate for the next two years.
- 1858 – After the original Big Ben, a 14.5 tonnes (32,000 lb) bell for the Palace of Westminster, had cracked during testing, it is recast into the current 13.76 tonnes (30,300 lb) bell by Whitechapel Bell Foundry.
- 1865 – American Civil War: A day after his surrender to Union forces, Confederate General Robert E. Lee addresses his troops for the last time.
- 1912 – RMS Titanic sets sail from Southampton, England on her maiden and only voyage.
Here’s a photo of its departure on April 10, 1912. Little did those aboard, or those watching the ship, know that its voyage would end at the bottom of the North Atlantic:
- 1919 – Mexican Revolution leader Emiliano Zapata is ambushed and shot dead by government forces in Morelos.
Zapata, a hero of the Mexican Revolution, is shown in the photo below. Yes, many did wear sombreros; Zapata is the one seated in the middle with the big hat. But look at the diversity of headgear! Wikipedia caption: “Zapata in his characteristic large sombrero and his staff in all manner of hats”
And here’s his corpse after he was killed 101 years ago today (also from Wikipedia):
- 1925 – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is first published in New York City, by Charles Scribner’s Sons.
- 1963 – One hundred twenty-nine American sailors die when the submarine USS Thresher sinks at sea.
- 1970 – Paul McCartney announces that he is leaving The Beatles for personal and professional reasons.
It’s a sad day for that, but I suppose the Beatles had reached their end.
- 1998 – The Good Friday Agreement is signed in Northern Ireland.
- 2019 – Scientists from the Event Horizon Telescope project announce the first ever image of a black hole, located in the centre of the M87 galaxy.
Here’s the famous picture: remember it? Caption: “Visible are the crescent-shaped emission ring and central shadow, which are gravitationally magnified views of the black hole’s photon ring and the photon capture zone of its event horizon. The crescent shape arises from the black hole’s rotation and relativistic beaming; the shadow is about 2.6 times the diameter of the event horizon.”
Notables born on this day include:
- 1829 – William Booth, English minister, founded The Salvation Army (d. 1912)
- 1847 – Joseph Pulitzer, Hungarian-American journalist, publisher, and politician, founded Pulitzer, Inc. (d. 1911)
- 1917 – Robert Burns Woodward, American chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1979)
- 1932 – Omar Sharif, Egyptian actor and screenwriter (d. 2015)
Two facts about Sharif: he was a world class contract bridge player who sometimes contributed to a bridge column in the Chicago Tribune. Also, he smoked 100 cigarettes a day! He did quit, but died of a heart attack 5 years ago. Oh, and do you remember that, besides playing Ali in Lawrence of Arabia, he was also the protagonist of Doctor Zhivago? Here he reunites with his great love Lara, played by Julie Christie. I really should watch this movie again:
- 1941 – Paul Theroux, American novelist, short story writer, and travel writer
- 1952 – Steven Seagal, American actor, producer, and martial artist
Those who joined the Choir Invisible on April 10 include:
- 1909 – Algernon Charles Swinburne, English poet, playwright, novelist, and critic (b. 1837)
- 1919 – Emiliano Zapata, Mexican general (b. 1879)
- 1931 – Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-American poet, painter, and philosopher (b. 1883)
- 1955 – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French priest, theologian, and philosopher (b. 1881)
- 1966 – Evelyn Waugh, English soldier, novelist, journalist and critic (b. 1903)
- 1975 – Walker Evans, American photographer (b. 1903)
Evans photographed people impoverished by the Depression and their circumstances, working for the government’s Farm Security Administration and Fortune Magazine. The photo below, one of his most famous, is from the book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, with the writing by James Agee. It’s a poor but proud family of sharecroppers in the South (caption underneath):
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has a first world problem:
Hili: To choose priorities is the most important thing.A: And what is your priority?Hili: First, I will take a nap.
Hili: Najważniejszy jest wybór priorytetów.
Ja: A jaki jest twój priorytet?
Hili: Najpierw się prześpię.
And Leon and Mitek are both in the car heading for a walk. Mietek is still awed by the world:
Mietek: The world is kind of strange.
Two bogroll-related memes from Merilee:
Better than roses!
From reader John:
The latest from Titania. And yes, her characterization of the article is pretty accurate:
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) April 9, 2020
Two tweets from Heather Hastie. The first is what cat staff do during quarantine. But look at that amazing standing jump!
This one is pure Trump:
[Donald Trump, Titanic captain]
1. There is no iceberg
2. We won’t hit the iceberg
3. We barely touched the iceberg
4. Nobody could’ve seen the iceberg
5. These deaths mean my plan worked
6. I’m the best captain ever
— Jake Maccoby (@jdmaccoby) April 3, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. He says this dystopian photo of London is genuine:
Dystopian London pic.twitter.com/uGjhcrNx9P
— Christian Henderson (@CjvHenderson) April 9, 2020
Anxiety-provoking rescue of mallard and offspring, but it apparently all turns out o.k. Sound up on this one.
Massive duck family rescue!! pic.twitter.com/ihV5B4EMdD
— The Dodo (@dodo) April 9, 2020
Now this overabundance of offspring, the vast bulk of which will die right after birth, is a bit of a mystery. Do you have a solution?
This time of year, #TasmanianDevils give birth to around 40 tiny babies, which then crawl towards the pouch. Female devils only have four teats, so only the first four babies to attach to a teat will survive.#fieldwork #Tasmania #MammalWatching #WildOz pic.twitter.com/X69hQuEOjM
— Jack Ashby (@JackDAshby) April 9, 2020
A lovely “V” of migrating geese. Sound up, please:
— arthur stafford (@arthurliverpool) April 9, 2020
And SPOT THE CAT! I looked for a while and couldn’t find the damn cat, but many people claim that it’s easy.