Good morning on a pandemic Hump Day: Wednesday, July 15, 2020: National Tapioca Pudding Day. It’s also Orange Chicken Day (cultural appropriation), I Love Horses Day, and National Respect Canada Day (Canada don’t get no respect, sheesh!) It’s also Saint Swithun’s Day, and, as the legend goes, “According to tradition, if it rains on Saint Swithun’s bridge (Winchester) on his feast day (15 July) it will continue for forty days.”
And, if you’re an American, your income taxes are due today, thanks to the three-month pandemic extension.
News of the Day: Liberal Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been hospitalized—again—this time for an infection. If you’re like me, you’re feeling like a bad person for hoping that she hangs on until at least November (assuming that the lame-duck Senate won’t confirm a Trump appointee), because although you don’t want her to die, you especially don’t want her to die in the next six months.
With Trump against him, Jeff Sessions was soundly defeated in the Republican primary race for the Senate seat from Alabama.
As the Washington Redskins football team gets a new name, and rightly so, the offended aren’t appeased. Now the “Texas Rangers” name has to go too, because they are claimed to have oppressed minorities in the past. See the op-ed at the increasingly unreadable Washington Post.
The Trump administration has ditched its plans to force foreign college students to go home if their universities (like Harvard) plan only online classes this fall.
With 132 deaths yesterday, Florida broke its record for the most deaths in a single day. The state will likely close down again. And so should Disney World.
In an op-ed in today’s NYT, a professor of public health at Tulane calls for a comprehensive (re)shutdown of America lest we face a very deadly resurgence of the virus this fall and winter.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 136,356, an increase of about 1000 deaths over yesterday’s report (thanks, Florida!). The world death toll now stands at 578,912, an increase of about 6,200 from yesterday.
Stuff that happened on July 15 include:
- 1799 – The Rosetta Stone is found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon‘s Egyptian Campaign.
With the same inscription in ancient Greek, hieroglyphics, and Demotic script, the stone was essential in helping decipher hieroglyphics (photo below; it resides in the British Museum):
No, it’s still here as this Monty Python skit shows (part 2 is here):
- 1838 – Ralph Waldo Emerson delivers the Divinity School Address at Harvard Divinity School, discounting Biblical miracles and declaring Jesus a great man, but not God. The Protestant community reacts with outrage.
- 1910 – In his book Clinical Psychiatry, Emil Kraepelin gives a name to Alzheimer’s disease, naming it after his colleague Alois Alzheimer.
- 1975 – Space Race: Apollo–Soyuz Test Project features the dual launch of an Apollo spacecraft and a Soyuz spacecraft on the first joint Soviet-United States human-crewed flight. It was both the last launch of an Apollo spacecraft, and the Saturn family of rockets.
- 2002 – “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh pleads guilty to supplying aid to the enemy and to possession of explosives during the commission of a felony.
Here’s Lindh, with the Wikipedia caption: “Lindh photographed after being transported to Camp Rhino.” After a bit more than 16 years in prison, he was released in May, 2019:
And the anniversary of mass futile arguing, shaming, and name-calling:
Notables born on this day include:
- 1573 – Inigo Jones, English architect, designed the Queen’s House (d. 1652)
- 1606 – Rembrandt, Dutch painter and etcher (d. 1669)
- 1919 – Iris Murdoch, Anglo-Irish British novelist and philosopher (d. 1999)
- 1922 – Leon M. Lederman, American physicist and mathematician, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2018)
- 1928 – Carl Woese, American microbiologist and biophysicist (d. 2012)
- 1930 – Jacques Derrida, Algerian-French philosopher and academic, obscurantist and corroder of modern discourse (d. 2004)
- 1943 – Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Northern Irish astrophysicist, astronomer, and academic
- 1946 – Linda Ronstadt, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress
Here’s the only Rembrandt I could find with a cat, “Virgin and Child with Cat” (1564). Can you spot the kitty? (In my view, Rembrandt was the greatest painter of all time.)
Those who expired on July 15 include:
Checkhov, a very great writer, died at only 44 of tuberculosis. Here he is with the venerable Tolstoy in Yalta (1900). What talent in this picture!:
- 1929 – Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Austrian author, poet, and playwright (b. 1874)
- 1948 – John J. Pershing, American general (b. 1860)
- 1997 – Gianni Versace, Italian fashion designer, founded Versace (b. 1946)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej advises Hili to not be optimistic (remember, the far-right President won re-election the other day):
Hili: Jak się przedstawia przyszłość?Ja: Do świtu raczej mrocznie.
In Wloclawek, Leon is helping his staff drive.
Leon: Shall I put it in fourth gear?
A true meme from Merilee:
From reader Charles:
Once again, Titania is way ahead of her time!
Whenever I have a new idea, it usually takes about a year to become reality. 💅🏻 pic.twitter.com/1mslzHwlOH
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) July 14, 2020
From Barry: Pandemic information and Monty Python pandemic lagniappe:
“All right, but apart from the pandemic response team, the pandemic playbook, the CDC expert in China, and the transition training scenario literally involving a mock pandemic… what did Obama ever do to stop this?”pic.twitter.com/JklqtBZwlR
— Adam Rifkin 🐼 (@ifindkarma) June 19, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. This one is grim:
OUR LOCAL PAPER: The Houston Chronicle
obituary section was 43 pages today.
Let that sink in.
— Rogelio Garcia Lawyer (@LawyerRogelio) July 13, 2020
Matthew says that this is the UK’s biggest gay newspaper. Matthew also noted: “Indeed. It is not the Onion. The argument is that trans men can get it (obviously) and – get this – that because operated transwomen have reconstructed vaginas they should get smear tests… ”
UK's biggest cervical cancer charity shuts down disgustingly transphobic lie that 'only females get cervical cancer' https://t.co/BcZfB4ihSt
— PinkNews (@PinkNews) July 14, 2020
It’s important that you know this, and it does seem credible.
HOLD ON the word "caterpillar" literally comes from "cat" what https://t.co/NgsBhIUnm3
— franz, crab cult 🙏🦀🙏 (@franzanth) July 14, 2020
Translation: “Which of you ate the salami?” It isn’t hard to guess.
Salamı hanginiz yedi ? 🐕 😊pic.twitter.com/rX1vfQZk8s
— science world (@siradisi_bilim) June 7, 2020
This antlion “adult: looks like a jewel, says Dr. Cobb. Antlions are in the order Neuroptera along with lacewings, and are famous for their predatory larvae, not these flying adults.
— Andrew Warren (@AndyBugGuy) June 4, 2017