Good morning at the end of another work-from-home week: it’s Friday, June 26, 2020, National Chocolate Pudding Day, which always reminds me of Bill Cosby, who used to advertise the Jello brand of this pudding on television. I wonder if he gets it in stir? (Cosby, 82, is roughly two years into a 3-10-year sentence for aggravated sexual assault, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court just granted him the right to appeal his conviction on two major issues.)
It’s also Take Your D*g To Work Day (odds are that Fido’s already there), National Food Truck Day (I doubt whether these are still operating), and Tropical Cocktails Day. Finally, it’s Ratcatcher’s Day in Hamelin, Germany, International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, and World Refrigeration Day.
News of the Day:
In England, the new leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, has fired shadow education secretary Rebecca-Long Bailey for sharing a tweet that contained a ludicrous conspiracy theory: that Israel’s secret services taught the Minneapolis Police Department the neck hold that killed George Floyd. Under Starmer, Labour is slowly purging its anti-Semitic elements.
Coronavirus is surging again in the U.S., to the extent that the state of Texas, hard hit, has paused its plans to reopen.
And in a truly boneheaded move, the Trump administration has just asked the Supreme Court to invalidate Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which surely is providing insurance for many who are afflicted during the pandemic. The “optics” are horrible here, but whoever said that Trump was empathic?
Finally, as if you weren’t sufficiently depressed, have a look at this NYT column by David Brooks:
Kvetch of the Day: It’s still an anxious time at Botany Pond, although things seem to be calming down a bit. Although Honey goes after Dorothy at the early (5:30 am) feeding, later on in the day there seems to be no antagonism. I’m going to push back the first feeding till later today as an experiment. But sometimes I wish Dorothy hadn’t had a second batch of ducklings. That said, I’ll do my best to nurture them and help this hapless hen. We are evaluating whether to leave Dorothy in the pond or capture and rehab her offspring at a rehab center. Given that I think she deserves to have her own family (yes, I know that’s anthropomorphic), and that I don’t want to traumatize mother and offspring (capture would involve separating mom from kids), our inclination now is a cautious watch-and-wait strategy. But the uncertainty is psychologically debilitating, at least for me.
Also, Honey’s offspring have started flying within in the pond, though only for short hops. They often exercise their wings by beating them vigorously.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej tells Hili that things are only going to get worse.
Hili: When was the Golden Age?A: I’m afraid it is now.
Hili: Kiedy był złoty wiek?
Ja: Obawiam się, że jest teraz.
And this video is REAL! As reader Gregory, who sent the link, notes, “There are a few bright moments from time to time these days. Here’s Mexico’s Vicente Fox announcing his bid for US President 2020. Enjoy.” I did. This is fricking HILARIOUS! It is Vincente Fox, even giving Trump the finger.
A tweet. Trump may be a horrible President, but he’s an edgy comedian:
The President is hilarious. pic.twitter.com/7UA6TlybS7
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) June 25, 2020
A tweet Matthew sent me that I translated and retweeted.
Translation: "Well fitting suits and overcoats. It's best to buy at Alexander." https://t.co/nkouOssd9z
— Jerry Coyne (@Evolutionistrue) June 26, 2020
More tweets from Matthew. Read the thread for details; apparently this kind of data collection is legal. They simply collected cellphone data from people who were at the sites of anti-racism protests. 1984 is here—just 36 years late!
Welp, here we go: A data broker harvested location data from the cellphones of unwitting protesters to produce demographic profiles of protesters in multiple cities. That data can now be sold to the government & used for law enforcement or other purposes.
— Caroline Orr Bueno (@RVAwonk) June 26, 2020
This sounds good, and it’s not a Deepity because there are bourbon biscuits, though I had to look them up. Here’s a description.
— #WOMENSART (@womensart1) June 26, 2020
Various video clips of the common loon (Gavia immer). Look at that first smooth landing!
“Why does it have that name?”
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) June 25, 2020