I’m trying to get up to speed here, what with a banged-up knee from falling in the pond (it’s almost healed), a messed-up ear, no food, and no sleep. Let’s see what we can do on this Sunday, May 10, 2020: National Liver and Onions Day. My father loved that malodorous dish, and I couldn’t even stand to look at it, much less the smell it. He ate it with (metaphorical) relish. Well, de gustibus non est disputandum. It’s also National Shrimp Day and Clean Up Your Room Day (or you get no shrimp!). If you do get shrimp, remember that it’s also National Lipid Day.
But don’t forget that it’s Mother’s Day! (But which mother? The name implies that we’re honoring only one mom.) But if you have a mom, show her some naches.
Today’s Google Doodle honors Mother’s Day, and when you click on it you go to a site where you can “craft” your own appreciation card to send to your Mom. (As a Duck Mom, I want one!).
News of the Day: Bad but not horrible. Anthony Fauci, as well as the heads of the CDC and FDA, went into a two-week, self-imposed quarantine after they came into contact with someone testing positive for the coronavirus, perhaps Trump’s valet in the White House. Also, according to the New York Times:
. . . Cook County, Ill., which includes Chicago and its closest suburbs, added more cases of the virus than any other county in the United States on some recent days. On Friday, Cook County added more new cases than the five boroughs of New York City combined.
Our governor has now decreed that restaurants won’t open in Illinois until late June at the earliest. Oy! I will survive, of course, but I can kvetch. I’ve done a few takeouts.
And finally, and the saddest of all, deaths from coronavirus in the U.S. now stand at 79,696, and in the world, about 279,000.
Stuff that happened on May 10 includes:
- 1497 – Amerigo Vespucci allegedly leaves Cádiz for his first voyage to the New World.
- 1503 – Christopher Columbus visits the Cayman Islands and names them Las Tortugas after the numerous turtles there.
- 1534 – Jacques Cartier visits Newfoundland.
- 1773 – The Parliament of Great Britain passes the Tea Act, designed to save the British East India Company by reducing taxes on its tea and granting it the right to sell tea directly to North America. The legislation leads to the Boston Tea Party.
- 1869 – The First Transcontinental Railroad, linking the eastern and western United States, is completed at Promontory Summit, Utah with the golden spike.
Here’s the ceremony, with the Wikipedia caption “The ceremony for the driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10, 1869; completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad. At center left, Samuel S. Montague, Central Pacific Railroad, shakes hands with Grenville M. Dodge, Union Pacific Railroad (center right).”
And here’s the spike: 17.6 karats, driven in by Leland Stanford and on display at the Cantor Arts Museum at Stanford University. One would think it would bend! There’s a whole Wikipedia page on this spike, and here’s some interesting info:
To drive the final spike, Stanford lifted a silver spike maul and drove the spike into the tie, completing the line. Stanford and Hewes missed the spike, but the single word “done” was nevertheless flashed by telegraph around the country. In the United States, the event has come to be considered one of the first nationwide media events. The locomotives were moved forward until their “cowcatchers” met, and photographs were taken. Immediately afterwards, the golden spike and the laurel tie were removed, lest they be stolen, and replaced with a regular iron spike and normal tie. At exactly 12:47 pm, the last iron spike was driven, finally completing the line.
- 1872 – Victoria Woodhull becomes the first woman nominated for President of the United States.
Here’s Woodhull, nominated for President by the Equal Rights Party; her VP candidate was Frederick Douglass. Now that’s a ticket that would sell today! She was a stockbroker, a spiritualist, and a magnetic healer, as well as an advocate of free love.
- 1908 – Mother’s Day is observed for the first time in the United States, in Grafton, West Virginia.
- 1916 – Sailing in the lifeboat James Caird, Ernest Shackleton arrives at South Georgia after a journey of 800 nautical miles from Elephant Island.
Now THAT was a journey! Shackleton, a very brave man, died at only 47 of a heart attack on south Georgia Island, where he’s buried. Here’s the launching of that flimsy ship on April 24:
- 1924 – J. Edgar Hoover is appointed first Director of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and remains so until his death in 1972.
That’s 48 years the old s.o.b. held that job!
- 1940 – World War II: Winston Churchill is appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain. On the same day, Germany invades France, Belgium and Luxembourg. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom occupies Iceland.
- 1954 – Bill Haley & His Comets release “Rock Around the Clock”, the first rock and roll record to reach number one on the Billboard charts.
- 1960 – The nuclear submarine USS Triton completes Operation Sandblast, the first underwater circumnavigation of the earth.
- 1962 – Marvel Comics publishes the first issue of The Incredible Hulk.
- 1970 – Bobby Orr scores “The Goal” to win the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals, for the Boston Bruins‘ fourth NHL championship in their history.
Here’s the goal, which is a bit hard to see in this video:
- 1981 – François Mitterrand wins the presidential election and becomes the first Socialist President of France in the French Fifth Republic.
- 1994 – Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president.
- 1996 – A blizzard strikes Mount Everest, killing eight climbers by the next day
Notables born on this day include:
- 1838 – John Wilkes Booth, American actor, assassin of Abraham Lincoln (d. 1865)
- 1899 – Fred Astaire, American actor, singer, and dancer (d. 1987)
- 1946 – Donovan, Scottish singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor
- 1957 – Sid Vicious, English singer and bass player (d. 1979)
- 1960 – Bono, Irish singer-songwriter, musician, humanitarian, venture capitalist, businessman, philanthropist and activist
Those who kicked it on May 10 include:
- 1863 – Stonewall Jackson, American general (b. 1824)
- 1977 – Joan Crawford, American actress (year of birth disputed)
- 1990 – Walker Percy, American novelist and essayist (b. 1916)
- 1994 – John Wayne Gacy, American serial killer (b. 1942)
- 2012 – Carroll Shelby, American race car driver and designer (b. 1923)
Be sure to see the movie Ford v. Ferrari, which gets a 92% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a good pandemic movie, absorbing and yet not pabulum for the mind. Here’s the trailer. The movie stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale:
And here’s a scene where Shelby takes Henry Ford for a spin in the new racecar:
Finally, Little Richard died yesterday at 87.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is pondering. When I asked Malgorzata which options he was pondering, she replied, “I have no idea what options were Hili enteraining and why she didn’t like any of them. Who knows? Maybe she was thinking about the coming elections both in Poland and in US? But I suspect that it was rather an option of dry or wet cat food while she would prefer beef.”
Hili: I’m considering different options.A: And?Hili: I don’t like any of them.
Hili: Rozważam różne opcje.
Ja: I co?
Hili: Żadna mi nie odpowiada.
A baby after my own heart, from Jesus of the Day:
Also from Jesus of the Day. I love the Cheshire Cat!
Reader Simon has a 19 year old cat named Pachaca. His caption of her photo: “When the day gets too much we can all take a lesson from a cat – sound asleep, face down 😂.”
From Titania: Is this game for real? Read the differences:
The "Ms Monopoly" board game gives female players higher salaries and rewards.
This reassures young girls that they can be just as successful as men, so long as they are provided with extra advantages that they haven't earned.
This kind of feminism is SO empowering. ✊👏 pic.twitter.com/EnBa0PAlOl
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) May 9, 2020
From Simon: Sarah Cooper doing a great lip-synch to Trump again. Listen to this! Trump says Covid testing is useless because you can test negative and then afterwords test positive. Sarah lip synchs it.
How to testing pic.twitter.com/y9iwLK0N12
— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) May 9, 2020
And Cooper on Trump on “how to grief”
How to grief pic.twitter.com/kvyR7f5cID
— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) May 7, 2020
Two tweets from Heather Haste. What a sweet kitty!
Kitten tries to eat fish from an iPad pic.twitter.com/mOmacgdTeB
— #BlackLivesMatter (@universalxpics) May 7, 2020
Via Ann German: Another lip-synch effort and also a great coronavirus parody of “One Day More” from Les Mis:
— Ann German (@wankerjustice) May 6, 2020
Two tweets from Matthew. The first is a menage à trois espèces, to which Matthew says “awww!”
We can all get along. pic.twitter.com/wviNTBSys9
— jamie (@gnuman1979) May 9, 2020
And the expression of a urinating cat (if you have a cat, you’ll know it):
— #WOMENSART (@womensart1) May 9, 2020