Good morning on Ceiling Cat’s Day: Sunday, May 31, 2020. We are almost into June now! It’s National Macaroon Day (macarons, the French version, are a horrible yuppie fad about a mediocre cookie), National Meditation Day, National Smile Day, World Parrot Day, and Speak in Complete Sentences Day (we all must be Hitchenses).
News of the Day: On top of the pandemic, protests, sometimes violent, are spreading throughout the U.S. after the apparent murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Here’s the New York Times‘s map of where all protests (many nonviolent) are happening:
I’ll have a bit more to say about this later today, but what the cops did deserves murder and other charges (one has been charged) as well as investigations of racism among certain police departments. On the other hand, there can be no justification for violent responses by the public accompanied by looting, shooting, and burning.
Stuff that happened on May 31 includes:
- 1669 – Citing poor eyesight as a reason, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary.
- 1859 – The clock tower at the Houses of Parliament, which houses Big Ben, starts keeping time.
- 1889 – Johnstown Flood: Over 2,200 people die after a dam fails and sends a 60-foot (18-meter) wall of water over the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
Here’s some of the damage in Johnstown from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
- 1911 – The RMS Titanic is launched in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Here’s a poignant video of Captain Edward Smith inspecting the ship before its first voyage, which of course was its last:
- 1921 – The Tulsa race riot kills at least 39, but other estimates of black fatalities vary from 55 to about 300.
- 1942 – World War II: Imperial Japanese Navy midget submarines begin a series of attacks on Sydney, Australia.
- 1970 – The 7.9 Mw Ancash earthquake shakes Peru with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe) and a landslide buries the town of Yungay, Peru. Between 66,794–70,000 were killed and 50,000 were injured.
- 2005 – Vanity Fair reveals that Mark Felt was “Deep Throat”.
- 2008 – Usain Bolt breaks the world record in the 100m sprint, with a wind-legal (+1.7 m/s) 9.72 seconds.
The new record, also set by Bolt, is 9.58 seconds. Here’s a video of that record. The man is amazing.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1819 – Walt Whitman, American poet, essayist, and journalist (d. 1892)
- 1866 – John Ringling, American entrepreneur; one of the founders of the Ringling Brothers Circus (d. 1936)
- 1930 – Clint Eastwood, American actor, director, musician, and producer
Clint is 90 today!
- 1943 – Joe Namath, American football player, sportscaster, and actor
- 1965 – Brooke Shields, American model, actress, and producer
Those who made their final exit on May 31 include:
- 1910 – Elizabeth Blackwell, English-American physician and educator (b. 1821)
If you don’t remember Elizabeth Blackwell, she was the first woman to get a medical degree in the U.S. Here she is with a quote:
- 1976 – Jacques Monod, French biologist and geneticist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1910)
- 1983 – Jack Dempsey, American boxer and lieutenant (b. 1895)
- 1985 – Gaston Rébuffat, French mountaineer and author (b. 1921)
- 2006 – Raymond Davis, Jr., American physicist and chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1914)
- 2013 – Jean Stapleton, American actress (b. 1923)
Stapleton’s role as Edith Bunker in All in the Family is one of the greatest roles ever, and in what I think is the best television sitcom ever. Here she is (as Stapleton, not Edith) discussing the show’s treatment of racism and bigotry:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Editor Hili is showing another catlike behavior:
Hili: Will this vase fall when I jump over the table?A: It’s possible.Hili: I have to try.
Hili: Czy ten wazon może się przewrócić jak przeskoczę na stolik?
Hili: Muszę spróbować.
A meme from Bruce Thiel:
From Jesus of the Day:
From Antonio D’Ignoti’s Facebook page: Doctors do da Vinci:
A tweet from Gethyn. Those bears do look animated!
A tweet from Simon, another duckling rescue (it’s that time of year):
Good news we can all use https://t.co/Dde03Y9uHf
— Chicago (@chicago) May 30, 2020
A tweet from Heather Hastie via Ann German. Look at this albino whale! Call me Ishmael.
Rare footage of Migaloo,the famous albino 🐋 Humpback Whale pic.twitter.com/Mn5IoOLyXk
— Domenico (@AvatarDomy) May 29, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. First, Mennonites protesting racial injustice!
When you made the Mennonites mad, you've really fucked it up. https://t.co/geOj7wFAlU
— Kaz Weida (@kazweida) May 30, 2020
I may have posted this one before, but if I have, you can bloody well see it again:
When all the news gets too much, please refer back to these sleeping kittens. pic.twitter.com/DwdK6IogLK
— Michael Moran (@TheMichaelMoran) May 29, 2020
As Matthew noted with this one, “Make Darwin sick.” That refers to this quote from Darwin in 1860: “The sight of a feather in a peacock’s tail makes me sick.” He didn’t understand extreme sexual dimorphism like that in the peacock, but later, in 1871, proposed his theory of sexual selection.
— caenhillcc (@caenhillcc) May 30, 2020
— Melissa Crytzer Fry (@CrytzerFry) May 30, 2020
A superb bumblebee mimic, but it’s a fly (it has only two wings: “Dipteran”)
— Simon Knott (@SJBKnott) May 17, 2020