It’s also International Sushi Day, Go Fishing Day, and International Panic Day, appropriate for 2020, and, in Britain, Waterloo Day, celebrated by certain moieties of the British Army in honor of Napoleon’s defeat in 1815.
Views on this website are way down, and I’m concerned. Did I do something wrong?
And here is a gratuitous but lovely photo of my favorite mallard hen. I call it “Proud Honey”:
News of the Day:
Garrett Rolfe, the Atlanta cop who shot Rayshard Brooks twice in the back after Brooks pointed a taser at him, has now been charged with 11 offenses, including felony murder. Even if firing a taser at a cop justifies use of deadly force if the cop fears that, if he’s tased, his weapon could be taken and used against him, that doesn’t seem to be what happened from the video, as Brooks just pointed it, turned, and ran.
John Bolton’s new book on his interactions with Donald Trump, In the Room Where it Happened, reveals even more immoral and perhaps impeachable actions. Here’s one from the New York Times report:
Mr. Bolton also adds a striking new accusation by describing how Mr. Trump overtly linked tariff talks with China to his own political fortunes by asking President Xi Jinping to buy American agricultural products to help him win farm states in this year’s election. Mr. Trump, he writes, was “pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win.”
Mr. Bolton said that Mr. Trump “stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome.”
In a formal book review, the NYT panned Bolton’s book. The final paragraph:
When it comes to Bolton’s comments on impeachment, the clotted prose, the garbled argument and the sanctimonious defensiveness would seem to indicate some sort of ambivalence on his part — a feeling that he doesn’t seem to have very often. Or maybe it merely reflects an uncomfortable realization that he’s stuck between two incompatible impulses: the desire to appear as courageous as those civil servants who bravely risked their careers to testify before the House; and the desire to appease his fellow Republicans, on whom his own fastidiously managed career most certainly depends. It’s a strange experience reading a book that begins with repeated salvos about “the intellectually lazy” by an author who refuses to think through anything very hard himself.
Stuff that happened on June 18 includes:
- 1178 – Five Canterbury monks see what is possibly the Giordano Bruno crater being formed. It is believed that the current oscillations of the Moon‘s distance from the Earth (on the order of meters) are a result of this collision.
Here’s the monks’ report (given in Wikipedia) and then a photo of the crater:
Five monks from Canterbury reported to the abbey’s chronicler, Gervase, that shortly after sunset on 18 June 1178, (25 June on the proleptic Gregorian calendar) they saw “the upper horn [of the moon] split in two”. Furthermore, Gervase writes:
From the midpoint of the division a flaming torch sprang up, spewing out, over a considerable distance, fire, hot coals and sparks. Meanwhile the body of the Moon which was below writhed, as it were in anxiety, and to put it in the words of those who reported it to me and saw it with their own eyes, the Moon throbbed like a wounded snake. Afterwards it resumed its proper state. This phenomenon was repeated a dozen times or more, the flame assuming various twisting shapes at random and then returning to normal. Then, after these transformations, the Moon from horn to horn, that is along its whole length, took on a blackish appearance.
Modern theories predict that a (conjectural) asteroid or comet impact on the Moon would create a plume of ejecta rising up from the surface, which is consistent with the monks’ description
Here’s the Giordano Bruno crater, which shows signs of being young.
- 1812 – The United States declaration of war upon the United Kingdom is signed by President James Madison, beginning the War of 1812.
- 1858 – Charles Darwin receives a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that includes nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin’s own, prompting Darwin to publish his theory.
Darwin, of course, had written several versions of his theory well before he heard from Wallace, including one in 1842 that he kept to himself (it was to be published by his wife if he died). That, as well as his 1859 book, gives him intellectual precedence, but Wallace was no slouch, and made major innovations in biogeography. Wallace’s letter was lost, perhaps because it was sent to Lyell or Hooker, who helped broker a “solution” in which Wallace’s letter and a sketch of Darwin’s theory were presented and published back to back here:
Darwin, C. R. & Wallace, A. R. 1858. On the tendency of species to form varieties; and on the perpetuation of varieties and species by natural means of selection. Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology, 3(9): 45-62.
Here’s a photo of the great women’s rights activist:
- 1928 – Aviator Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean (she is a passenger; Wilmer Stultz is the pilot and Lou Gordon the mechanic).
- 1940 – The “Finest Hour” speech is delivered by Winston Churchill.
Here’s an extract from Churchill’s speech with the famous words, which appear at 4:54.
- 1945 – William Joyce (“Lord Haw-Haw“) is charged with treason for his pro-German propaganda broadcasting during World War II.
Joyce was hanged in 1946. Here’s Lord Haw Haw, with a scar he got from a razor in a brawl with Communists. The scar split open when he was hanged.
- 1948 – Columbia Records introduces the long-playing record album in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
- 1983 – Space Shuttle program: STS-7, Astronaut Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1886 – George Mallory, English lieutenant and mountaineer (d. 1924)
Mallory’s body was discovered on Everest in 1999, but there is no clue about whether he and his partner Irvine reached the summit. You can see a photo of his body here.
- 1913 – Robert Mondavi, American winemaker and philanthropist (d. 2008)
- 1942 – Roger Ebert, American journalist, critic, and screenwriter (d. 2013)
- 1952 – Carol Kane, American actress
- 1952 – Isabella Rossellini, Italian actress, director, producer, and screenwriter
- 1962 – Lisa Randall, American physicist and academic
Those who snuffed it on June 18 include:
- 1464 – Rogier van der Weyden, Flemish painter (b. 1400)
- 1936 – Maxim Gorky, Russian novelist, short story writer, and playwright (b. 1868)
Two great writers: Chekhov (l) and Gorky:
- 1959 – Ethel Barrymore, American actress (b. 1879)
- 1982 – John Cheever, American novelist and short story writer (b. 1912)
- 1989 – I. F. Stone, American journalist and author (b. 1907)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s trying a new way of publishing Listy z Naszego Sadu, which means “Letters from our Orchard”:
A: What are you doing here?Hili: I’m telepathically sending letters from our orchard.
Ja: Co tu robisz?
Hili: Wysyłam telepatyczne listy z naszego sadu.
A meme from reader Divy, who swears that her cats like having her around:
From reader Pliny the in Between’s Far Corner Cafe, a comment on the Big Oklahoma Virusfest:
Bruce Thiel says, “This song was popular in the 1960s and we could slow dance to it. Can you name the song just by looking at the picture? Well, can you?
A tweet from Simon, who said he had to look twice to make sure this wasn’t pink snow:
Diego the Galápagos tortoise goes home from San Diego, where he was used to restore the tortoise population. Reader Barry says, “Look at those backpacks!” (One has a turtle in it!) Read about Diego here; he fathered over 900 offspring and helped save his species (if these tortoises are indeed separate species). Be sure to watch the video on the Twitter site.
VIDEO: Giant tortoise Diego, a hero to his species, returns home.
Diego, whose tireless efforts are credited with almost single-handedly saving his once-threatened species, is transported by boat and released on his native island after decades of breeding in captivity pic.twitter.com/4BeKtMMPQ3
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) June 17, 2020
Tweets from Matthew, who says about the first study:
A) subjects have watched chimps on films/tvB) we share elements of our communication system.OrC) It’s a crap psychology study with a small sample size
Do you have a chimp-athetic ear? A new study in @RSocPublishing finds that human listeners, when played chimpanzee calls, were not only able to judge whether the sounds are positive or negative, but could even tell if the chimps were playing or not. #ProcB https://t.co/2WIW2dGqSV pic.twitter.com/CIcYF9lr3u
— The Royal Society (@royalsociety) June 17, 2020
I love this letter from Neil Armstrong—polite but oh so snarky:
Amazing. Neil Armstrong responding to a teacher who was skeptical about the moon landing. pic.twitter.com/nSnuxViSrt
— Letters of Note (@LettersOfNote) June 17, 2020
Cool bison stampede at Yellowstone!
Meanwhile in the Yellowstone National Park pic.twitter.com/FapWu0Fo86
— Ken Rutkowski (@kenradio) June 16, 2020
How peaceful these videos are, this one with the call of the swan.
Good Wednesday morning. Sunrise with swans pic.twitter.com/l2GGD3EaMr
— Nikon Photographer (@Astrid_Tontson) June 17, 2020
From Matthew himself, who lives near a most excellent walk:
Lovely evening walk by the Mersey. pic.twitter.com/xBqs5imOTK
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) April 25, 2020
And this is amazing!
Space Shuttle thermal tiles were such poor heat conductors that you could grab them by their edges seconds after being in a 2200°C oven pic.twitter.com/PSjj8JALMl
— Pretlow Planetarium (@ODUplanetarium) April 24, 2020