Good (?) morning on Thursday, April 23, 2020: both National Cherry Cheesecake Day (the only acceptable cheesecake besides the best: plain) and National Picnic Day. It’s also German Beer Day, in honor of the Reinheitsgebot of 1516 (see below), Lover’s Day (but which lover is being honored?), World Book Day, UN English Language Day, Spanish Language Day, Love Your Thighs Day (?), and World Laboratory Day.
News of the Day: Need you ask? Deaths from coronavirus now stand at 47,974 in the U.S. and 183,424 throughout the world. Dr. RIck Bright, head of the federal HHS team in charge of producing a coronavirus vaccine, now says that he was fired for questioning the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, a drug touted by Trump that has proven not only useless but dangerous in treating the viral infection. Trump is also doubting whether coronavirus will return in the fall, but Fauci says he’s wrong. In my view, it’s time to stop the daily televising of lying, preening, and self-promotion that Trump calls a “press briefing.” It’s a horrible and painful spectacle, and it’s not news. The small amount of information imparted in these shoddy spectacles can be reported in fifteen seconds on the regular news.
Oh, and Germany has canceled Oktoberfest because of the coronavirus, which shows you that our lockdown is going to last a lot longer than we think.
Stuff that happened on April 23 include:
- 1516 – The Munich Reinheitsgebot (regarding the ingredients of beer) takes effect in all of Bavaria.
The law, still in effect (with a few exceptions for speciality beers) specifies that the only ingredients in beer shall be malted grains, hops, water and yeast. Here’s a German stamp from 1983 commemorating this fine law:
- 1914 – First baseball game at Wrigley Field, then known as Weeghman Park, in Chicago.
- 1927 – Cardiff City defeat Arsenal in the FA Cup Final, the only time it has been won by a team not based in England.
- 1945 – World War II: Adolf Hitler’s designated successor, Hermann Göring, sends him a telegram asking permission to take leadership of the Third Reich. Martin Bormann and Joseph Goebbels advise Hitler that the telegram is treasonous.
- 1985 – Coca-Cola changes its formula and releases New Coke. The response is overwhelmingly negative, and the original formula is back on the market in less than three months.
A big failure:
- 2005 – The first ever YouTube video, titled “Me at the zoo“, was published by user “jawed”.
And here’s that famous 18-second video:
Notables born on this day include:
- 1813 – Stephen A. Douglas, American educator and politician, 7th Illinois Secretary of State (d. 1861)
- 1858 – Max Planck, German physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1947)
- 1897 – Lester B. Pearson, Canadian historian and politician, 14th Prime Minister of Canada, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1972)
- 1901 – E. B. Ford, English biologist and geneticist (d. 1988)
- 1921 – Warren Spahn, American baseball player and coach (d. 2003)
- 1928 – Shirley Temple, American actress, singer, dancer, and diplomat (d. 2014)
- 1936 – Roy Orbison, American singer-songwriter (d. 1988)
- 1954 – Michael Moore, American director, producer, and activist
Moore has a new movie out that I’ll highlight later today.
- 1968 – Timothy McVeigh, American terrorist, Oklahoma City bombing co-perpetrator (d. 2001)
- 1990 – Dev Patel, English actor
Those who went to the Great Beyond on April 23 include several artists:
- 1016 – Æthelred the Unready, English son of Edgar the Peaceful (b. 968) [His name actually means “the well advised man who is poorly advised’.]
- 1605 – Boris Godunov, Russian ruler (b. 1551)
- 1616 – William Shakespeare, English playwright and poet (b. 1564)
- 1850 – William Wordsworth, English poet and author (b. 1770)
- 1915 – Rupert Brooke, English poet (b. 1887)
- 1985 – Sam Ervin, American lawyer and politician (b. 1896)
- 1992 – Satyajit Ray, Indian director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1921)
- 1998 – James Earl Ray, American assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr. (b. 1928)
- 2007 – Boris Yeltsin, Russian politician, 1st President of Russia (b. 1931)
Ray’s three-movie series, “The Apu Trilogy” is one of the greatest films of world cinema. Here’s a video describing how the film was restored after many of the negatives were destroyed in a fire in London (they also used copies of the print to make the digital version; see more here).
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s getting ready for Spring hunting:
A: Are you sharpening your claws here?Hili: Yes, I’m saving our furniture.
Ja: Tu ostrzysz pazurki?
Hili: Tak, oszczędzam nasze meble.
And a bonus picture of the handsome Szaron. I’m told that his only physical flaw is that his tail is too skinny. I’m not so sure.
From Bad Cat Clothing (talk about needy!):
The new flag of the Confederacy:
From Diane G: a cartoon from Drew Shaneman:
. . . posted by Stash Krod. Those with nose rings deserve it!
A koala rescue from The Dodo:
Hungry koala asks people for help 🐨❤️ pic.twitter.com/NjU57JaW9W
— The Dodo (@dodo) April 22, 2020
From Titania. I don’t think one can make a good case for “Jazz hands for carers”! How would they hear the approbation?
This pandemic has totally messed up our priorities.
Have we all suddenly forgotten that applause is triggering??
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) April 21, 2020
From Simon: J-L Cauvin, the best imitator of Trump, celebrates Earth Day—and, of course, Trump. A very good satire.
— J-L Cauvin (@JLCauvin) April 22, 2020
From reader Barry, who likes the bit where the cat walks the human.
Cat life moments. pic.twitter.com/LhN8r9D4z6
— ELEONORA (@bellalilli16) April 20, 2020
A tweet from Heather Hastie showing a Biden ad (not many of these on television these days: Biden’s campaign war chest is much smaller than Trump’s):
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) April 18, 2020
Two tweets from Matthew. Cats will be cats.
I am awakened by a cat chewing on my toes.
5 min later, the cats are out cold sleeping on top of me, and I am… wide awake.
— Bryan William Jones (@BWJones) April 22, 2020
One of the lockdown protestors finally makes their philosophy explicit. Jebus.
"Sacrifice the Weak" – imagine not just thinking of this but actually writing it out AND taking it out on the street in Nashville, Tennessee. pic.twitter.com/dLPutBoJzG
— C.S. Blennerhassett (@CSBlenner) April 22, 2020