It’s May! It’s May! The lusty month of May!
Yes, it’s Friday, May 1, which means about 2 or so days until the ducklings hatch and jump. I am very anxious! However, the very last arrangement is in place:
This morning, Brandon from Facilities came out at 5:30 or so and placed vegetation on the duck islands because they are muddy and full of standing water. With the vegetation, the ducklings now have a dry place to huddle and sleep. Here’s a screenshot from the DuckCam, taken at about 6 a.m., showing Brandon in the pond in his waders and me “helping” from the shore. Kudos to these great people, including Brandon and Tracy, once again.
It’s a new month, and a big food month:
National Beef MonthNational Barbecue Month
National Loaded Potato Month
National Egg Month
National Hamburger Month
National Salad Month
National Salsa Month
National Strawberry Month
It’s also National Chocolate Parfait Day, Save the Rhino Day, International Space Day, International Tuba Day (?), and No Pants Day. The last one requires you to go about your day not wearing pants. Fortuitously, many more people will be observing those guidelines this year.
I have been up since 2:30, so I’m a wreck. This is pandemic-induced insomnia. If you have it, you can find some tips here.
Today’s Google Doodle continues the attempt of that company to amuse us by giving us animated games to play in lockdown. When you click on the screenshot, you go to a game called “Garden Gnomes,” which I haven’t essayed:
News of the Day: Did you expect good news? States are opening up, but we don’t know the results yet, and I suspect they are premature. California opened its beaches, but those in Orange County became so crowded that they had to close them again. As summer approaches, people will get increasingly frustrated that they have to stay at home. The death toll for coronavirus now stands at 63,746 in the U.S. and about 233,000 worldwide.
Stuff that happened on May 1 includes:
- 1328 – Wars of Scottish Independence end: By the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton, England recognises Scotland as an independent state.
- 1753 – Publication of Species Plantarum by Linnaeus, and the formal start date of plant taxonomy adopted by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
- 1840 – The Penny Black, the first official adhesive postage stamp, is issued in the United Kingdom.
Here’s the Penny Black. Examples run between $100 and $3,000:
- 1851 – Queen Victoria opens The Great Exhibition at The Crystal Palace in London.
- 1886 – Rallies are held throughout the United States demanding the eight-hour work day, culminating in the Haymarket affair in Chicago, in commemoration of which May 1 is celebrated as International Workers’ Day in many countries.
- 1915 – The RMS Lusitania departs from New York City on her 202nd, and final, crossing of the North Atlantic. Six days later, the ship is torpedoed off the coast of Ireland with the loss of 1,198 lives.
Here’s an amazing video of the last departure from New York. About 800 people survived the torpedoing, so about half of the people you see on this ship died less than a week later.
- 1930 – “Pluto” is officially proposed by the for the name of the newly-discovered dwarf planet Pluto by Vesto Slipher in the Lowell Observtory Observation Circular. The name quickly catches on.
- 1945 – World War II: A German newsreader officially announces that Adolf Hitler has “fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancellery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany”. The Soviet flag is raised over the Reich Chancellery, by order of Stalin.
- 1945 – World War II: Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda commit suicide in the Reich Garden outside the Führerbunker. Their children are also killed by having cyanide pills inserted into their mouths by their mother, Magda.
- 1956 – The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk is made available to the public.
- 1960 – Cold War: U-2 incident: Francis Gary Powers, in a Lockheed U-2 spyplane, is shot down over the Sverdlovsk Oblast, Soviet Union, sparking a diplomatic crisis.
- 1967 – Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu are married in Las Vegas.
Here’s Elvis and Priscilla on their wedding day:
- 1999 – The body of British climber George Mallory is found on Mount Everest, 75 years after his disappearance in 1924.
You can see a video of the discovery and photos of Mallory’s body here. (His companion Irvine’s body hasn’t been located.) And it’s still not clear whether either or both of them ever made the summit.
- 2011 – Pope John Paul II is beatified by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1852 – Calamity Jane, American frontierswoman and professional scout (d. 1903)
Here’s a photo of the frontierwoman who, unlike Annie Oakley, favored men’s clothes. The caption from Wikipedia: “Cabinet photograph captioned in the negative, Calamity Jane, Gen. Crook’s Scout. An early view of Calamity Jane wearing buckskins, with an ivory-gripped Colt Single Action Army revolver tucked in her hand-tooled holster, holding a Sharps rifle.
- 1857 – Theo van Gogh, Dutch art dealer (d. 1891)
- 1923 – Joseph Heller, American novelist, short story writer, and playwright (d. 1999)
- 1924 – Terry Southern, American novelist, essayist, and screenwriter (d. 1995)
- 1939 – Judy Collins, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
- 1945 – Rita Coolidge, American singer-songwriter
Those who began pushing up daisies on May 1 include:
- 1873 – David Livingstone, Scottish-English missionary and explorer (b. 1813)
- 1904 – Antonín Dvořák, Czech composer and academic (b. 1841)
- 1945 – Joseph Goebbels, German lawyer and politician, Chancellor of Germany (b. 1897)
- 1965 – Spike Jones, American singer and bandleader (b. 1911)
- 1998 – Eldridge Cleaver, American author and activist (b. 1935)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is admiring the advent of May and the full blooming of the cherry trees. It will be a good year for cherries, and you know what that means!
A: What are you looking at?Hili: I wonder which of the trees is most beautiful.
Ja: Czemu się tak przyglądasz?
Hili: Zastanawiam się, które drzewo jest najpiękniejsze.
Nearby, Leon and Mitek are hunting together, like a mini-pride of mini-lions:
Leon: Look to the left and I will look to the right. Not a mouse can sneak through.
A gif that is just WRONG! (I blame the d*g.)
From the Purrfect Feline Page:
From Divy, who found this at her local cat cafe:
It’s World Robber Fly Day! These beasts are vicious and voracious predators, but here’s a pretty one:
— Matt Doogue (@MattDoogue) April 30, 2020
Some tweets from Titania. First, what is this new hate-crime law in Scotland? I’ve heard nothing of it! Titania, of course, loves it.
The best thing about this new Scottish hate crime law is that police have ALREADY amassed a database of hundreds of people who have posted offensive jokes on social media.
Think of the potential. A world where no-one is offended and everyone agrees with me.
Thank you, Scotland. pic.twitter.com/QmrWdHGa4i
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) April 30, 2020
What’s more, the Queen has a new book coming out in October:
GREAT NEWS! ✊🎉
I have written a book for children.
It is called “My First Little Book of Intersectional Activism”.
The next generation must be taught to think exactly like me.
Amazon UK 🇬🇧 https://t.co/FfYDEJvt5Y
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) April 30, 2020
A tweet from reader Simon. If you’re not a Murican, “Five Guys” is a hamburger chain frequented by Obama when he was President.
Five Guys reopening with social distancing measures in place. Temporary name change to One Guy
— Rob Bailey (@Robert_Bailey_) April 23, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. He and I have been discussing the trolley problem, but not in this context:
— CindyLouTurkeyLeftovers (@cindynorth1) April 30, 2020
This happened yesterday? What have we come to??
Multiple armed gunmen storm Michigan’s State House, State police are protecting @GovWhitmer and blocking the gunmen from gaining access to the house floor.
This is America in the age of Trump. pic.twitter.com/tLWR2bvjtR
— Rev. Rob Gill (@vote4robgill) April 30, 2020
And fantastic robber fly fossils: