Its Monday, May 4, 2020. I think it’s very likely that we’ll have ducklings hatch today, though they may not jump until tomorrow. I am quite anxious about the whole affair, and also worry that, since the pond is now overrun with adults and their children now seeking some fresh air during the pandemic, the ducklings will be repeatedly disturbed (people are often flouting the signs we’ve put up). Thoughts and prayers for the ducklings! (Just kidding—but not about the anxiety.)
It’s National Hoagie Day. If you’re not an American, you may not know that a “hoagie” is a large overstuffed sandwich on an elongated loaf of bread, also called a “submarine sandwich or “sub” Here’s one:
I’ve always maintained that if someone sold really good subs in the UK (I’m not talking about Subway), they would make a pile of money. The Brits are starving for sandwiches that consist of more than two slices of white bread with a 2 mm thick layer of filling, often supplemented with “sweetcorn”, for crying out loud! (Is there such a thing as “sourcorn”?)
It’s also National Candied Orange Peel Day (a treat I dearly love), National Orange Juice Day, Bird Day, International Firefighters Day, International Respect for Chickens Day, and World Naked Gardening Day, which has a rather long Wikipedia page.
Finally, it’s Star Wars Day, with a rather lame explanation: “The date was chosen for the pun on the catchphrase “May the Force be with you” as “May the Fourth be with you”.
Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the beginning of Teacher Appreciation Week (click on doodle). Sadly, many students are isolated from their teachers right now. I suppose they could wave on the video screen. No apples will be given.
News of the Day: It’s so bad that I can barely sit through the evening news—the only television that I regularly watch. Deaths from coronavirus have now reached 68,286, with about 247,000 throughout the world. Trump and his advisors now admit that the death toll from the pandemic could reach 100,000 in the U.S. I predict it will be higher. I also predict again that we will have no baseball season in the U.S. and that American colleges and universities will not have “live” teaching in the fall. In today’s New York Times, Elizabeth Breunig suggests that in light of the allegations of sexual abuse against Biden, Democrats should formulate a Plan B, one with another candidate. By and large, the commenters don’t agree with Breunig.
Stuff that happened on May 4 includes:
- 1626 – Dutch explorer Peter Minuit arrives in New Netherland (present day Manhattan Island) aboard the See Meeuw.
- 1886 – Haymarket affair: A bomb is thrown at policemen trying to break up a labor rally in Chicago, United States, killing eight and wounding 60. The police fire into the crowd.
- 1904 – The United States begins construction of the Panama Canal.
- 1932 – In Atlanta, mobster Al Capone begins serving an eleven-year prison sentence for tax evasion.
Capone served only eight years and was released because he had signs of neurosyphillis. He died in 1947 in his Miami mansion, having been reduced to having the mentality of a 12 year old. Here’s his federal criminal record, showing that most of the charges were dismissed:
- 1953 – Ernest Hemingway wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.
- 1959 – The 1st Annual Grammy Awards are held.
- 1961 – American civil rights movement: The “Freedom Riders” begin a bus trip through the South.
- 1970 – Vietnam War: Kent State shootings: The Ohio National Guard, sent to Kent State University after disturbances in the city of Kent the weekend before, opens fire killing four unarmed students and wounding nine others. The students were protesting the Cambodian Campaign of the United States and South Vietnam.
It’s the 50th anniversary of those shootings. Here’s the Pulitzer-Prize-winning photo of
- 1979 – Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
- 1994 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat sign a peace accord, granting self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
- 1998 – A federal judge in Sacramento, California, gives “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski four life sentences plus 30 years after Kaczynski accepts a plea agreement sparing him from the death penalty.
Here’s Kaczynski’s mug shot:
Notables born on this day include:
- 1825 – Thomas Henry Huxley, English biologist, anatomist, and academic (d. 1895)
- 1852 – Alice Liddell, English model (d. 1934)
Liddell was reputed to be the model for “Alice” in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Carroll first narrated the story to her). Here’s a photograph (taken by Carroll) of her at age 7:
And here she is 13 years later, photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron.
- 1929 – Audrey Hepburn, Belgian-British actress and humanitarian (d. 1993)
- 1941 – George Will, American journalist and author
- 1959 – Randy Travis, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor
Notables who kicked it on May 4 were few, and include:
- 1799 – Tipu, ruler of Mysore (b. 1750)
- 1975 – Moe Howard, American actor, singer, and screenwriter (b. 1897)
- 2013 – Christian de Duve, English-Belgian cytologist and biochemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1917)
Here’s Moe (real name Moses Harry Horowitz) in 1973, age 76, in a skit on the Mike Douglas show. Moe, of course, was a perpetual member of The Three Stooges. I didn’t realize he was such a short guy!
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili misses her faithful d*g companion, who used to go for walks with her and share his dog bed. This is very sad:
Hili: Do you know what I miss most now?A: I know: Cyrus, I miss him too.
Hili: Wiesz czego mi teraz brakuje?
Ja: Wiem: Cyrusa. Nie też go bardzo brakuje.
From Muffy. I haven’t had much of an urge to drink more than normal during the pandemic, but, judging by the bottles left in our recycling room, others have:
From EAB: A tad salacious but true:
Two tweets from Titania:
This is SO empowering. ✊
A friend just sent me this footage of early social justice activists decolonising the curriculum at a German university in 1933.
These brave pioneers are an inspiration to us all. pic.twitter.com/9dH3uWs8nb
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) May 3, 2020
You can read the article about Oxford students’ new “hate speech” motion. No issues with that one, right?
This is AMAZING. 👏👏👏
Oxford University Student Union has passed an ‘Academic Hate Speech Motion’ to stop lecturers from teaching problematic or offensive material.
The last thing we need is a future generation who can think for themselves.https://t.co/dkca07qewA
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) May 3, 2020
From reader SImon, who, for the first pair, wanted to send just the second tweet (I haven’t learned how to separate them):
— Tyler, Guidx Respecter (@Tyler_The_Wise) May 3, 2020
How to strong death totals pic.twitter.com/YkMoH3ncpV
— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) May 1, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. First, a ninja cat:
“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” – Sun Tzu. pic.twitter.com/ZdoGZszZeX
— Dick King-Smith HQ (@DickKingSmith) January 30, 2020
Matthew says that he remembers Fenton from nine years ago when this was a “Big Thing.” All I know is that he IS NOT A GOOD BOY!
Never forget Fenton for being a wanker of a dog 🤪 pic.twitter.com/bPys5KnBd3
— -.- (@kobweeyin) August 10, 2019
I’m not sure how they did this, but it’s freaky:
Cool bistability here – front of face and side of face at the same time pic.twitter.com/jt86zyZU14
— Gavin Buckingham (@DrGBuckingham) May 3, 2020
And look at this bizarre creature on World Bird Day. ZeFrank would have a thing or two to say about it:
Horned Guan (Oreophasis derbianus)🐦🦜🕊️🎵❤️ pic.twitter.com/BrAYJO3eku
— World birds (@worldbirds32) May 1, 2020