Welcome to Tuesday, the cruelest day: April 21, 2020. It’s National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day, for crying out loud. Will even one of the 70,000+ subscribers eat one today?
It’s also National Tea Day, Tuna Rights Day, Big Word Day (mine is ratiocination), and Keep off the Grass Day. If you’re a Rastafarian, today is Grounation Day, celebrating the visit of Haile Sellasie’s visit to Jamaica in 1966 (see below). When someone met him, the conversation went like this: “I’m Haile Sellasie.” “I’m highly delighted.”
Finally, it’s Queen Elizabeth’s birthday; she turns 94 today.
News of the Day: What do you think? It’s all bad, and summarized in this cartoon Matthew found in The New Yorker:
Late last night, Trump temporarily suspended all immigration into the U.S., citing the need to protect American workers. Details aren’t clear yet, but apparently no new green cards or work visas will be issued. Stay tuned.
Oil prices have dropped below zero, which means that oil producers, lacking capacity, are willing to pay people to take oil off their hands. I was going to joke that you could fill up at the gas station and they’d pay you to do so, but of course it doesn’t work that way.
Early reports that DPRK leader Kim Jong Un was “gravely ill” after heart surgery, reports that appeared on CNN and other places, have been retracted. It’s like Roseanne Roseannadanna: “Never mind!” Well, given the secrecy of that country, and the facts that the Dear Leader is also a Leader of Size and that his father and grandfather both died of heart attacks, I’m not ready to completely reject the reports.
Stuff that happened on April 21 include:
- 1506 – The three-day Lisbon Massacre comes to an end with the slaughter of over 1,900 suspected Jews by Portuguese Catholics.
- 1509 – Henry VIII ascends the throne of England on the death of his father, Henry VII.
Henry was 17 when he ascended the throne, and ruled for thirty-eight more years, dying a horrible death at 55. Here how he supposedly looked when he took the throne, before he grew extraordinarily obsese:
- 1836 – Texas Revolution: The Battle of San Jacinto: Republic of Texas forces under Sam Houston defeat troops under Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.
- 1918 – World War I: German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as “The Red Baron”, is shot down and killed over Vaux-sur-Somme in France.
Richthofen made 80 “kills”, finally dying of an in-air bullet wound at only 25 (he managed to land the plane before he croaked). Here’s he famous Fokker Dr1 triplane (in which he made 19 kills):
- 1934 – The “Surgeon’s Photograph”, the most famous photo allegedly showing the Loch Ness Monster, is published in the Daily Mail (in 1999, it is revealed to be a hoax).
Here’s that famous photo; the model was just a toy submarine with the head and neck made of putty.
- 1960 – Brasília, Brazil’s capital, is officially inaugurated. At 09:30, the Three Powers of the Republic are simultaneously transferred from the old capital, Rio de Janeiro.
- 1966 – Rastafari movement: Haile Selassie of Ethiopia visits Jamaica, an event now celebrated as Grounation Day.
- 1977 – Annie opens on Broadway.
- 1982 – Baseball: Rollie Fingers of the Milwaukee Brewers becomes the first pitcher to record 300 saves.
Fingers (whom I once saw pitch) wound up with 341 in his lifetime, but he’s only #14 now, with the leader being the Yankee’s Mariano Rivera, with a whopping 652 saves. He had a splendiferous handlebar moustaches. Here’s a very short documentary:
- 1989 – Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: In Beijing, around 100,000 students gather in Tiananmen Square to commemorate Chinese reform leader Hu Yaobang.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1838 – John Muir, Scottish-American environmentalist and author (d. 1914)
- 1926 – Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and her other realms
- 1947 – Iggy Pop, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actor
- 1949 – Patti LuPone, American actress and singer
- 1958 – Andie MacDowell, American model, actress, and producer
Those who “fell asleep” on April 21 include:
If you don’t know the love story of Abelard and Héloïse, read about it.
- 1699 – Jean Racine, French playwright and poet (b. 1639)
- 1910 – Mark Twain, American novelist, humorist, and critic (b. 1835)
- 1918 – Manfred von Richthofen, German captain and pilot (b. 1892)
- 1948 – Aldo Leopold, American ecologist and author (b. 1887)
Here’s the Red Baron:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili knows that her staff doesn’t like weeds but can no longer control them.
A: What are you looking at?Hili: A weed is growing again.
Ja: Czemu się tak przyglądasz?
Hili: Znowu jakiś chwast rośnie.
Caption: Mr. Szaron discovered the ash container under the fir place (he will have to be shaken out).
From Merilee: a cartoon from the New Yorker. How many office plants will die during the pandemic?
From the Purrfect Feline Page:
A tweet sent by Simon (be sure to see the linked page with tons of Apollo 11 graffiti):
I drew a calendar on the interior of Columbia during Apollo 11. I found it helpful to be able to keep track of days.
Do you have any tips on how you are spending your time indoors?
— Michael Collins (@AstroMCollins) April 20, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. He says that this one speaks to him on many levels. Turn the sound up and listen:
I have rarely been so touched by a work of art. https://t.co/XODbO8g2PC
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) April 20, 2020
A scientific analysis of the “get off my lawn” phenomenon:
The "Kids These Days" Effect: Every generation thinks the new generation is deficient – a tendency tracing back to at least 624 BCE. This fascinating study looks at why this might be the case. https://t.co/kKhHzFsqdC pic.twitter.com/LpOMia0muU
— Steve Stewart-Williams (@SteveStuWill) April 19, 2020
Tigger is bigger!
Look at the size of it! This gives the answer to the old Lion vs Tiger debate. https://t.co/nQpmaLaBLA
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) April 15, 2020
The parrotfish doesn’t look that camouflaged to me, but what do I know?
Another day another showdown at the low tide corral, this time it’s the French grunts getting spicy while a gray angelfish glides overhead and a yellowtail parrotfish comes down and camouflages for a nap #frenchgrunt #faceoff #coralcitycamera pic.twitter.com/V1c6hMKnhP
— Coral City Camera (@CoralCityCamera) April 15, 2020
Lego responds to a photo from the top of the Stonehenge pillars:
ah, where it all began❤️
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) April 14, 2020
And two stories worth reading:
Two doctors facing #COVID19, two very gripping stories:@SilCastelletti as soldierhttps://t.co/7TiAqCtjYE @NEJM@CharlesSchleien as patient "Death has never felt so close and so far away in the same breath." https://t.co/G2ILUXr26D @nytopinion pic.twitter.com/QktXcQQ9cv
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) April 10, 2020