Good morning on Sunday, April 26, 2020: about one week day until Hatch Day. It’s also National Pretzel Day, Audubon Day, celebrating the birth of the famed illustrator in 1785, Hug a Friend Day (sorry, not this year), Hug an Australian Day (ditto), National Help a Horse Day, and World Intellectual Property Day.
Here’s Audubon’s print of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos). The beaks are too long relative to the head size.
News of the Day: Still bad. Officially reported coronavirus deaths in the U.S are now 54,161; those throughout the world are roughly 203,000.
Many lockdown orders expire this week. The New York Times has an interactive map (click on screenshot) in which you can see how each state’s regulations are changing. Three states (in light green) have partly reopened, those in light tan will partly reopen April 30, and the rest (dark orange-yellow) remain locked down). Note that it’s mostly the South and the West (save the sensible states on the Left Coat) that are reopening. Go to the map and click on each state to see what’s happening:
Frank Bruni, noting correctly that Trump is self-destructing in public view, muses that his loss in November is entirely possible. I hope he’s right (and I win $50 if he’s dumped).
Stuff that happened on April 26 includes:
- 1564 – Playwright William Shakespeare is baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England (date of actual birth is unknown).
- 1777 – Sybil Ludington, aged 16, rode 40 miles (64 km) to alert American colonial forces to the approach of the British regular forces
- 1803 – Thousands of meteor fragments fall from the skies of L’Aigle, France; the event convinces European scientists that meteors exist.
- 1865 – Union cavalry troopers corner and shoot dead John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, in Virginia.
Here’s Booth (left), who came from a famous family of actors. To his left are his two brothers:
- 1933 – The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, is established.
- 1937 – Spanish Civil War: Guernica, Spain, is bombed by German Luftwaffe.
- 1964 – Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge to form Tanzania.
- 1981 – Dr. Michael R. Harrison of the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center performs the world’s first human open fetal surgery.
- 1986 – A nuclear reactor accident occurs at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union (now Ukraine), creating the world’s worst nuclear disaster.
Here is Reactor Number 4, the one whose core blew up and caused the disaster, now entombed in a steel “confinement building”:
- 1989 – The deadliest known tornado strikes Central Bangladesh, killing upwards of 1,300, injuring 12,000, and leaving as many as 80,000 homeless.
- 2018 – American comedian Bill Cosby is found guilty of sexual assault.
Cosby remains in state prison in Pennsylvania.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1785 – John James Audubon, French-American ornithologist and painter (d. 1851)
- 1798 – Eugène Delacroix, French painter and lithographer (d. 1863)
- 1889 – Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian-English philosopher and academic (d. 1951)
- 1917 – I. M. Pei, Chinese-American architect, designed the National Gallery of Art and Bank of China Tower (d. 2019)
- 1918 – Fanny Blankers-Koen, Dutch sprinter and long jumper (d. 2004)
- 1933 – Carol Burnett, American actress, singer, and producer
- 1938 – Duane Eddy, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor
- 1961 – Joan Chen, Chinese-American actress, director, producer, and screenwriter
- 1970 – Melania Trump, Slovene-American model; First Lady of the United States; wife of United States President Donald Trump
Those who drew their last breaths on April 26 include:
- 1951 – Arnold Sommerfeld, German physicist and academic (b. 1868)
- 1970 – Gypsy Rose Lee, American actress, striptease dancer, and writer (b. 1911)
- 1984 – Count Basie, American pianist, composer, and bandleader (b. 1904)
- 1989 – Lucille Ball, American model, actress, comedian, and producer (b. 1911)
- 2013 – George Jones, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1931)
Here’s one of the more famous scenes from “I Love Lucy”, in which Lucy and Ethel are working in a candy factory:
Here’s George Jones singing “He Stopped Loving Her Today“: the song that, on Ken Burns’s “Country Music” series, was judged by other singers to be the most representative piece of all country music. Wikipedia notes, “It has been named in several surveys as the greatest country song of all time.” I suppose “representative” means “expressing the nature of the genre,” but I’d prefer “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is being philosophical:
Hili: Life is constantly throwing up new challenges.A: And?Hili: And nothing, I ignore them.
Hili: Życie ciągle rzuca nowe wyzwania.
Ja: I co?
Hili: Nic, ignoruję je.
And a bonus picture of Szaron. Do you think his tail is unsightly because it’s too thin?
From xkcd via Bob, a funny take on the virus genome:
A fake but funny paper from Merilee:
From Bruce: I think that if this is a real sign (and I doubt it), the station isn’t in any danger of dispensing free gas:
This photo was posted on FB by Seth Andrews:
A few notables strike out at Trump’s “I was only being sarcastic” excuse:
I just want to make it clear that when I said that President Trump was mad ( in the English sense of demented, unbalanced, delusional and completely crackers ) I was of course being sarcastic
I'm sorry if I failed to make this clear
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) April 24, 2020
From a history professor at Princeton:
My favorite part of the president's sarcasm was when he asked the health professional to weigh in on his idea, took her response at face value, and then insisted that "medical doctors" were going to look into his idea in detail, as one does when they're just being sarcastic. https://t.co/9miGjXxW6T
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) April 24, 2020
And from a California congressman:
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) April 24, 2020
A tweet from Simon; it looks as if this is what I’ll be reduced to:
When you really miss traveling… pic.twitter.com/FvGE6DTcIS
— 💫✨K✨💫 (@gymlifeanimal) April 24, 2020
John Cleese again on stupidity, this time from Heather Hastie:
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) April 21, 2020
Heather also found this one on earthquakes:
Amazing #DataViz showing every recorded #earthquake in sequence as they occurred from 1901 to 2000 by @NOAA_SOS #Science #Education #AI #geology #ThrowbackThursday #BigData @FrRonconi pic.twitter.com/eUtNNPzRyj
— Evan Kirstel #RemoteWork (@EvanKirstel) September 5, 2019
Two tweets from Matthew. He doesn’t think this is a real class, even a real virtual class, but it’s still good:
Gotta love these high-school students messing with their teacher in cyberspace.
“Hey Max, can I borrow a pencil?” pic.twitter.com/yMzKMBlSOd
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) April 25, 2020
A commercial pasta machine. I had no idea, but then again I never thought about how they’d make all those shapes. Look how they make the shells!
Dear Lord, pasta machines are satisfying pic.twitter.com/P0wEumjxf0
— Rup Walker (@rupinjapan) June 2, 2018