Good morning on Tuesday, June 9, 2020: National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day. And here I have to kvetch and cavil, for I consider putting rhubarb into pie to be a capital offense. It is a vegetable! Not only that, but adding rhubarb to a good strawberry pie just degrades the things. I know many love it, and will oppose me, but take a number and get in line. . .
Donald Duck’s first appearance on screen was in the animated short film “The Wise Hen”, on June 9, 1934. Although Donald’s birthday is said to be on March 13th in the 1949 short film “Donald’s Happy Birthday”, Disney later decided that Donald’s official birthday is June 9th, the day he first appeared in film. Thus, June 9th is Donald Duck Day.
And here’s “The Wise Hen”. Donald appears at 1:59, much like the later Donald:
News of the day:
I’m rather anxious today as I fear Dorothy has re-nested in the same spot, and, by my calculations, if she did the ducklings will drop in the next few days. Unless they get along with Honey and her brood, which is unlikely, I’ll have to go back into the pond and remove them, making them orphans but saving their lives. It’s a hard decision but I see no alternative.
I’m sure you’re all up on the demonstrations, defund-the-police movements, and so on. But here’s a NYT article (click on screenshot below) showing how the current Supreme Court has slowly taken down the wall between church and state—most recently by approving government “pandemic payments” for the salaries of clergymen, something that never would have occurred in the past. As the Times notes,
What is remarkable is not that the federal government is spending tax dollars for religious uses in a way not seen before, or even that it is doing so on a vast scale. It’s how little pushback this program has elicited. With respect to public funding of religion, the separation of church and state has all but disappeared, without a bang or even a whimper.
But I don’t know how we push back against Supreme Court decisions!
Today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 110,964 , an increase of about 500 from yesterday (the increase in deaths in our country appears to be slowing). The world toll now stands at 405,439, a one-day increase of about 3,200 from the day before.
Stuff that happened on June 9 include:
- AD 68 – Nero commits suicide, after quoting Homer’s Iliad, thus ending the Julio-Claudian dynasty and starting the civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors.
- 1856 – Five hundred Mormons leave Iowa City, Iowa for the Mormon Trail.
- 1928 – Charles Kingsford Smith completes the first trans-Pacific flight in a Fokker Trimotor monoplane, the Southern Cross.
The flight took nine days in three hops: Oakland to Hawaii, Hawaii to Fiji, and Fiji to Australia. Here’s the plane:
- 1954 – Joseph Welch, special counsel for the United States Army, lashes out at Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Army–McCarthy hearings, giving McCarthy the famous rebuke, “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
This was the straw that broke McCarthy’s back, and here’s the decisive moment (it’s a six-minute video, and I’d watch the whole thing to get the story):
- 1957 – First ascent of Broad Peak by Fritz Wintersteller, Marcus Schmuck, Kurt Diemberger, and Hermann Buhl. Just a few weeks after its ascent, Buhl, one of the greatest mountaineers of all time, died on another peak.
At 8,047 meters high, Broad Peak is the 12th highest mountain in the world, but was summited five years after Everest. Here it is:
- 1959 – The USS George Washington is launched. It is the first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine.
- 1973 – In horse racing, Secretariat wins the U.S. Triple Crown.
- 1978 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opens its priesthood to “all worthy men”, ending a 148-year-old policy of excluding black men.
God sent them a revelation, which was quite convenient given the growing civil rights movement. It’s curious why God waited so long. . . .
Notables born on this day include:
- 1868 – Jane Avril, French model and dancer (d. 1943)
Avril was a famous can-can dancer at the Moulin Rouge in Paris as well as a famous subject of Toulouse-Lautrec. Here she is in a Lautrec drawing and in real life.
And the most famous depiction of Avril by the painter (1893):
- 1891 – Cole Porter, American composer and songwriter (d. 1964)
- 1915 – Les Paul, American guitarist and songwriter (d. 2009)
- 1960 – Steve Paikin, Canadian journalist and author
- 1963 – Johnny Depp, American actor
- 1981 – Natalie Portman, Israeli-American actress
Notables who perished from this Earth on June 9 were few, and include:
- AD 68 – Nero, Roman emperor (b. 37)
- 1870 – Charles Dickens, English novelist and critic (b. 1812)
- 1994 – Jan Tinbergen, Dutch economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1903)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili makes a Deepity:
Hili: The world after the pandemic will not be the same.A: And what kind of world it will be?Hili: It will be a post-pandemic world.
Hili: Świat po pandemii już nie będzie taki sam.
Ja: A jaki będzie?
Hili: Będzie światem po pandemii.
Reader/ornithologist/photographer Bruce Lyon has a new foster kitten, but he wants to keep it. He sent a few notes:
The kitten is a female and she is tiny (she weighs 1 lb 6 oz; not sure how old). We have not named her yet because we are fostering her (which means we will find another home for her if our cat Scout freaks out too much about having a new kitten in the house). We ‘staff’ have all fallen in love with the little pixie so we sure hope that senior cat Scout gives us the green light to keep her. So far the signs are promising.
Kittens make everything better! The daily shitshow known as the news somehow now seems a little less depressing.
Look at that spotted tummy!
The picture below was sent by Paul Hughes, who was with us on my first trip to Antarctica last fall. His notes:
I’m a member of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and have just received the latest copy of their quarterly magazine. The front cover usually highlights their latest exhibition, but in lockdown it says simply, “Keep Smiling”. Of course, the illustration to go with it just had to be a cat. This one is from the 1967 Cheshire cat psychedelic poster by Joseph McHugh, which also had a logo at the top saying, “We’re all mad”.
From Jesus of the Day:
A bit of Canadian chauvinism posted by Diana MacPherson:
Tweet from Simon, showing Sarah Cooper, now famous for her lip-synching of Trump, describing about how he inspected the White House bunker (he lied about that, too):
How to bunker pic.twitter.com/cu7StjllD0
— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) June 6, 2020
Tweets from Matthew; I’ve put a news story of this Marine below the first tweet:
Now that's some determination. pic.twitter.com/0GtCjlDrhm
— Professor John R. Hutchinson (@JohnRHutchinson) June 8, 2020
The story from CBS News:
I’d like to see this poem:
It is the centenary of the great Australian poet Gwen Harwood. Frustrated by not being published, she submitted a sonnet to The Bulletin under a pseudonym, which was. Later it was noticed that the initial letters of each line spelled FUCKALLEDITORS. pic.twitter.com/VJz9izhJU4
— Richard Coles (@RevRichardColes) June 8, 2020
Now this is a man who loves his cats (see the story):
“She definitely knows that I built it for her" ❤️️😍 https://t.co/CYXBCbr7eB
— The Dodo (@dodo) June 8, 2020
Real ice (from water) on Mars!
— Latest in space (@latestinspace) June 7, 2020
This is a funny story, surely not true but still a chuckle. I didn’t get it the first time I watched it:
— Raymond (@raubrey) June 7, 2020
A lovely photo of a wasp taking off from a flower:
When you take as many invertebrate photographs as I do, you occasional get an unplanned winner. This queen wasp (Vespula germanica?) took off from the dandelion flower yesterday, just as I pressed the shutter! #YouMakeYourOwnLuck pic.twitter.com/f2cl8QGOQK
— Ed Phillips (@Ed_P_Wildlife) May 3, 2020