Good morning on a steamy Sunday, July 5, 2020. For the next 14 days, the high temperatures in Chicago are predicted to exceed 85°F (29.4°C), and creep into the nineties. These are truly the D*g Days. The ducks won’t like it either.
It’s National Apple Turnover Day as well as National Graham Cracker Day (only edible when slathered with chocolate frosting or in S’Mores), National Workaholics Day (count me in), Bikini Day (marking the day the bikini debuted in 1946), and Mechanical Pencil Day. (I’ve never understood why people use these rather than regular pencils. Yes, I know they waste less wood and don’t need sharpening, but I still prefer my classic pencil.)
Re the bikini: there’s a Wikipedia article on it that says this:
Although two-piece bathing suits were being used by women as early as the 1930s, the bikini is commonly dated to 1946, when partly due to material rationing after World War II, French engineer Louis Réard introduced the modern bikini. It [sic] modeled by Micheline Bernardini, on July 5, 1946, the name for his design borrowing from the Bikini Atoll, where post-war testing on the atomic bomb were taking place.
Here’s Ms. Bernardini modeling the very first bikini; the caption is from Wikipedia. I wonder if Réard’s profession as an engineer helped him with the design.
News of the Day: As the NYT reports, Hong Kong is “navigating a new reality” as stricter security measures, with stricter punishments for dissent, have been put in place by the mainland Chinese. Over at the Washington Post, an article describes Trump’s recent spate of race-baiting, including his Fourth of July speech at Mount Rushmore, and how it’s unnerving Republicans with its message of division and implicit hatred.
And of course the coronavirus is still raging, with an especially nasty surge in Texas. The only bright spot is that the death rate is lower than at the beginning of the pandemic.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 129,680, an increase of about 670 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 529,875, an increase of about 3850 from yesterday.
Reader Bruce Thiel was chastised by a disguised Pecksniff for his family’s Fourth of July display. The story and three photos:
Since 1980, my wife has been putting her flags out in the driveway and front yard for July 4th, Memorial Day etc. This afternoon some young anonymous woke neighbor, disguised in mask and sunglasses, put these signs in our yard. Granted, with the flags, it did look a little like a Trump rally staging area, but geez. . .
JAC: Looks like the 1619 Project is successfully propagandizing the young, as it was designed to do when used as a school curriculum:
Stuff that happened on July 5 includes:
- 1687 – Isaac Newton publishes Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.
- 1841 – Thomas Cook organises the first package excursion, from Leicester to Loughborough.
- 1937 – Spam, the luncheon meat, is introduced into the market by the Hormel Foods Corporation.
Yes, besides computer messages, you’ll know of Spam from this Monty Python sketch:
The sketch was even used in advertising by Spam itself. Note, though, that they use a knight, not a Viking.
- 1946 – Micheline Bernardini models the first modern bikini at a swimming pool in Paris. [See above.]
- 1948 – National Health Service Acts create the national public health system in the United Kingdom.
- 1954 – Elvis Presley records his first single, “That’s All Right,” at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee.
Here’s that song:
- 1975 – Arthur Ashe becomes the first black man to win the Wimbledon singles title.
- 1996 – Dolly the sheep becomes the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.
- 2009 – The largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever discovered in England, consisting of more than 1,500 items, is found near the village of Hammerwich, near Lichfield, Staffordshire.
Here’s some of the Staffordshire Hoard with the Wikipedia caption, “A selection of highlight pieces from the Staffordshire Hoard (top) and a gold sword hilt fitting with cloisonné garnet inlay (below), uncleaned by conservators, still showing traces of soil.” These are beautiful pieces!
Notables born on this day include:
- 1805 – Robert FitzRoy, English captain, meteorologist, and politician, 2nd Governor of New Zealand (d. 1865)
Fitzroy was, of course, the captain on the second Beagle voyage (1831-1836), the one that carried Charles Darwin as the captain’s companion (not, as often assumed, as the ship’s naturalist). Fitzroy slit his throat with a razor in 1865.
- 1810 – P. T. Barnum, American businessman, co-founded Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (d. 1891)
- 1889 – Jean Cocteau, French novelist, poet, and playwright (d. 1963)
- 1891 – John Howard Northrop, American chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1987)
Northrop was used as the basis of one of the characters (Gottlieb, I think), in Sinclair Lewis’s novel Arrowsmith.
- 1904 – Ernst Mayr, German-American biologist and ornithologist (d. 2005)
- 1946 – Gerard ‘t Hooft, Dutch physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
- 1950 – Huey Lewis, American singer-songwriter and actor
- 1985 – Megan Rapinoe, American soccer player
Notables who popped off on July 5 were few, and include:
- 1826 – Stamford Raffles, English politician, founded Singapore (b. 1782)
- 1969 – Walter Gropius, German architect, designed the John F. Kennedy Federal Building and Werkbund Exhibition (b. 1883)
- 2002 – Ted Williams, American baseball player and manager (b. 1918)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has her priorities straight: one cannot ponder the Big Questions on an empty stomach.
A: Are you asleep?Hili: No, I’m digesting and thinking about the future of the world.
Ja: Śpisz?Hili: Nie, trawię i myślę o przyszłości świata.
A cute meme from reader Barry. Apparently the young like to eat nuts.
From Jesus of the Day:
Also from Jesus of the Day:
Reader E. A. Blair adds, “Maybe someone shot the serif, but not the deep-U-t”:
From reader Simon, a video I think I’ve shown before. I think this kind butcher is from Turkey:
— Carol Roth (@caroljsroth) July 4, 2020
From reader Barry. I would have thought it was rhodonite (I have a pendant that looks a bit like that), but several answers say “no”. Could it be a piece of glass?
Do you know what the hell this is? pic.twitter.com/ADGvsNcUA3
— Last Humanist🤍 (@Scepticdust) July 4, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. Below are two forms of the Japanese rhinoceros beetle, in which males are usually substantially larger than females and have a Y-shaped horn, like the one on the left. But different developmental conditions can produce hornless mini-males, and one is shown here. I don’t know much about these, or whether they get mates:
A great example of a major male and a minor (~mini!~) male of the same species, Allomyrina dichotoma https://t.co/sL1SW0ffl4
— Gil Wizen (@wizentrop) July 4, 2020
A good pun:
— Dr Erica McAlister (@flygirlNHM) July 4, 2020
This group looks quite prescient about the coronavirus, but I think others also issued similar warnings about “ticking time bombs.”
"We were out there on the ground after SARS working on coronaviruses with Chinese colleagues in collaboration,” said Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance. "But we were the only group of western scientists."https://t.co/G5CtrAABWd
— Undark Magazine (@undarkmag) July 4, 2020
Translation: “A Javan rhino (Rhinocerus sondaicus) captured by a video trap with a duration of 2 minutes and 15 seconds in a waterfall in the Cigenteur Block of Ujung Kulon National Park.”
That rhino is having a fine wallow!
Clearly the sweet spot here is 2-3 mph:
From reader Ken. I see no explanation for this woman’s tweet save racism, but why on earth would she go public with it, especially as an election commisioner?
Wow. Meet Gail “Karen” Harrison Welch. County election commissioner for Jones county, MS who doesn’t want black people to vote.
Racist election commissioners are on the ballot in MS.
You can also file an ethics complaint with the MS state gov’t here:
— Trinity (@TrinityResists) July 3, 2020