As one of my grad-school friends used to say, “Grease the new day!” It’s Wednesday, May 27, 2020: National Italian Beef Day and National Grape Popsicle Day. If you like the second better than the first (the Italian Beef sandwich is a Chicago speciality), you’re nuts. It’s also Nothing to Fear Day (what about the virus?),Sunscreen Protection Day, the beginning of National Reconciliation Week in Australia, and Cellophane Tape Day, where there are instructions for observance:
The day should be celebrated by using cellophane tape. Besides using it on paper, there are many other ways you could use it:
Indeed! I for one am celebrating (ignore the pandemic hair):
News of the day: Today’s reported Covid-19 death toll has finally reached “100K” in the U.S. and stands at 350,000 in the world.
The New York Times has an interactive map of where the coronavirus “hot spots” are, and of course one is around Chicago. Click on the screenshot to go to the map:
Twitter has started fact-checking Donald Trump’s tweets—well, two of them about mail-in balloting. Here’s a screenshot and the NYT explanation of how Twitter has added a note to them (the blue addendum doesn’t embed with the original tweet, but you see it on the Twitter site):
Twitter added information to refute the inaccuracies in President Trump’s tweets for the first time on Tuesday, after years of pressure over its inaction on his false and threatening posts.
. . . . The links — which were in blue lettering at the bottom of the posts and punctuated by an exclamation mark — urged people to “get the facts” about voting by mail. Clicking on the links led to a CNN story that said Mr. Trump’s claims were unsubstantiated and to a list of bullet points that Twitter had compiled rebutting the inaccuracies.
Stuff that happened on May 27 include:
- 1703 – Tsar Peter the Great founds the city of Saint Petersburg.
- 1927 – The Ford Motor Company ceases manufacture of the Ford Model T and begins to retool plants to make the Ford Model A.
- 1933 – The Walt Disney Company releases the cartoon Three Little Pigs, with its hit song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?“
Here it is, and the song starts at 2:17. Wikipedia adds, “Additionally, [the song] was the inspiration for the title of Edward Albee’s 1963 play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
- 1937 – In California, the Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic, creating a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County, California.
- 1941 – World War II: The German battleship Bismarck is sunk in the North Atlantic killing almost 2,100 men.
Only 114 German sailor survived that brutal battle; here’s HMS Dorsetshire picking up some of them. (If you’re an oldster, you’ll remember Johnny Horton’s song, “Sink the Bismarck“.)
- 1967 – Australians vote in favor of a constitutional referendum granting the Australian government the power to make laws to benefit Indigenous Australians and to count them in the national census.
- 2016 – Barack Obama is the first president of United States to visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and meet Hibakusha.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1794 – Cornelius Vanderbilt, American businessman and philanthropist (d. 1877)
- 1819 – Julia Ward Howe, American poet and songwriter (d. 1910)
- 1837 – Wild Bill Hickok, American police officer (d. 1876)
Hickok, a legend of the Wild West, was shot at age 39 while playing poker. He was reportedly holding what is now known as “the dead man’s hand”: a pair of aces and a pair of eights.
- 1871 – Georges Rouault, French painter and illustrator (d. 1958)
- 1894 – Dashiell Hammett, American detective novelist and screenwriter (d. 1961)
- 1907 – Rachel Carson, American biologist, environmentalist, and author (d. 1964)
- 1911 – Hubert Humphrey, American journalist and politician, 38th Vice President of the United States (d. 1978)
- 1923 – Henry Kissinger, German-American political scientist and politician, 56th United States Secretary of State, Nobel Prize laureate
Those who popped their clogs on May 27 include:
- 1910 – Robert Koch, German physician and microbiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1843)
- 1949 – Robert Ripley, American cartoonist, publisher, and businessman, founded Ripley’s Believe It or Not! (b. 1890)
- 1964 – Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian lawyer and politician, 1st Prime Minister of India (b. 1889)
- 1987 – John Howard Northrop, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1891)
- 2017 – Gregg Allman, American musician, singer and songwriter (b. 1947)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Szaron continue their wary path toward friendship:
Szaron: Why are you lying here?Hili: So you will have something to ask about.
Szaron: Czemu tu leżysz?
Hili: Żebyś miał o co pytać.
From Literary Jokes and Puns:
A meme from Bruce Thiel. If this is what it takes to get a haircut, count me in!
From Jesus of the Day:
I tweeted about Sam the Duckling to Dr. Antonovich, who also did a duckling rescue, and got a swell reply from her:
Me: "I'm going to get so much writing done today!"
Random Baby Duckling: "Nope."
A thread. 1/7 pic.twitter.com/zYMbURy2RJ
— Jacqueline Antonovich (@jackiantonovich) May 25, 2020
They hid my picture of Sam the Duckling (you can see it by clicking on the tweet). That’s sensitive content???
Sam is a mighty fine duckling.
— Jacqueline Antonovich (@jackiantonovich) May 25, 2020
A tweet from reader Barry; the moth is the rosy maple moth (Dryocampa rubicunda), found in North America and, yes, its preferred host is the maple tree.
This moth exists in nature and it’s ON MY DECK pic.twitter.com/frBXkvav3d
— Rebecca Lavoie (@reblavoie) May 21, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. First a lesser whistling duck with babies. (They’re from SE Asia.)
Lesser Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna javanica)🐦🦜🕊️🎵🦆🐤❤️🐤 pic.twitter.com/8rEILk7krL
— World birds (@worldbirds32) May 15, 2020
Now this is the most ridiculous lockdown project ever, but I find it hilarious. And be sure to turn the sound up!
So my Dad made good use of his time in lockdown and built a huge laughing Kookaburra. pic.twitter.com/UGVC4dZsCL
— Rafaan (@RafaanDNgametua) May 26, 2020
Of course we need to know this. What could be—dare I say—cooler?
But a correction this morning: the pelicans are yawning, not cooling off. Still, they’re weird-ass birds!
Matthew calls this a “fabulous thread of flower/fly ecology.” It is, too, involving a strange mutualism between flower and fly, with the fly spending almost its entire life in one flower and the larvae consuming the seeds (and each other!):
A THREAD ABOUT GLOBEFLOWERS. 1/6
I'm babysitting these globeflowers, Trollius europaeus for a year, grown from locally collected seed, before planting them out in our montane plant sanctuary at @WildHaweswater. #wildflowers pic.twitter.com/giksu1IiJg
— Lee Schofield (@leeinthelakes) May 26, 2020
Translation: “I’m suffering from cat harassment.” But there is no such thing!
— チェスター & トット (@chelsea_cat0218) May 22, 2020
And of this one Matthew comments, “Who knew?” Indeed. Why are adults black and cygnets light gray?
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)🐦🦜🕊️🎵🐤❤️🐤 pic.twitter.com/IXUrZmuQSe
— World birds (@worldbirds32) May 26, 2020
Crikey, I wouldn’t want to have to break up this fight.
— Stephanie Drumheller (@UglyFossils) May 25, 2020