Welcome to the end of the “work week”: Friday, July 17, 2020: National Peach Ice-Cream Day (why the hyphen?). It’s also World Emoji Day, World Day for International Justice, and IInternational Firgun Day.
News of the day: Good news! Despite the cancellation of the Minnesota State Fair, the tradition of sculpting the state’s dairy princess out of a 90-pound block of chilled butter will continue! Here’s a picture from the 2018 fair:
Crikey! Russian hackers are targeting firms in Canada, the U.S. and the UK to steal information about coronavirus vaccine research. This doesn’t endanger public health, but does impact the financial incentives for companies making vaccines. This is on top of the recent Twitter hacking of Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, Jeff Bezos, and Kim Kardashian West.
Is Joe Biden moving to the Left while still selling himself as a moderate? Read this take.
Bad news: The U.S. broke the record for new coronavirus cases yesterday, with more than 75,600 reported. That is a huge number! Also, India has hit a million cases, third only to the U.S. and Brazil in total infections and new infections per day. We are in deep doo-doo.
The governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, in a spectacular feat of foot-in-mouth, sued Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance because she required masks in the city, an order that, says Kemp, violates his own order that masks are encouraged but cannot be required by cities and counties. Good optics, Kemp! Why do you insist on endangering people?
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 138,268, an increase of about 1000 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 589,568, a big increase of about 5500 deaths from yesterday.
Stuff that happened on July 17 includes:
- 180 – Twelve inhabitants of Scillium (near Kasserine, modern-day Tunisia) in North Africa are executed for being Christians. This is the earliest record of Christianity in that part of the world.
- 1717 – King George I of Great Britain sails down the River Thames with a barge of 50 musicians, where George Frideric Handel‘s Water Music is premiered.
Here’s the second-ever recreation of that event:
- 1762 – Catherine II becomes tsar of Russia upon the murder of Peter III of Russia.
- 1867 – Harvard School of Dental Medicine is established in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the first dental school in the U.S. that is affiliated with a university.
- 1918 – Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his immediate family and retainers are executed by Bolshevik Chekists at the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
- 1918 – The RMS Carpathia, the ship that rescued the 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic, is sunk off Ireland by the German SM U-55; five lives are lost.
- 1938 – Douglas Corrigan takes off from Brooklyn to fly the “wrong way” to Ireland and becomes known as “Wrong Way” Corrigan.
Corrigan claimed he was heading back to California after a flight to New York, but screwed up and crossed the Atlantic instead. He clearly lied, but never publicly admitted it. Here’s the reverse headline in the New York Post celebrating Corrigan’s “achievement”:
- 1955 – Disneyland is dedicated and opened by Walt Disney in Anaheim, California.
- 1979 – Nicaraguan dictator General Anastasio Somoza Debayle resigns and flees to Miami, Florida, United States.
- 1984 – The national drinking age in the United States was changed from 18 to 21.
- 2018 – Scott S. Sheppard announces that his team has discovered a dozen irregular moons of Jupiter.
How many moons of Jupiter do we know of now? Answer by the black dog at the bottom.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1763 – John Jacob Astor, German-American businessman and philanthropist (d. 1848)
- 1871 – Lyonel Feininger, German-American painter and illustrator (d. 1956)
Here’s a fein painting by Feininger, whom I consider one of the best artists of modern times. This painting of a church, “Gelmeroda“, was done in 1936:
- 1894 – Georges Lemaître, Belgian priest, astronomer, and cosmologist (d. 1966)
- 1898 – Berenice Abbott, American photographer (d. 1991)
- 1899 – James Cagney, American actor and dancer (d. 1986)
Remember this famous number from the movie “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” in which Cagney plays George M. Cohan:
I don’t know this dude, but he bears my last name—he might even be a distant relative.
- 1942 – Gale Garnett, New Zealand–born Canadian singer1947 – Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
- 1947 – Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
- 1954 – Angela Merkel, German chemist and politician, 8th Chancellor of Germany
Those who crossed the River Styx on July 17 include:
- 1793 – Charlotte Corday, French murderer (b. 1768)
- 1887 – Dorothea Dix, American nurse and activist (b. 1802)
- 1912 – Henri Poincaré, French mathematician, physicist, and engineer (b. 1854)
- 1918 – Victims of the Shooting of the Romanov family
- Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia (b. 1901)
- Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia (b. 1899)
- Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia (b. 1895)
- Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna of Russia (b. 1897)
- Alexandra Fyodorovna of Russia (b. 1872)
- Aleksei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia (b. 1904)
- Nikolai II of Russia (b. 1868)
- Anna Demidova (b. 1878)
- Ivan Kharitonov (b. 1872)
- Alexei Trupp (b. 1858)
- Yevgeny Botkin (b. 1865)
I couldn’t not put up a video of Billie Holiday. Here she is, at the end of her career (she died in 1959), singing “Fine and Mellow”. If you’re a jazz aficionado, you’ll recognize the instrumentalists.
- 2009 – Walter Cronkite, American journalist and actor (b. 1916)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has settled herself in the basement for a while, probably to avoid Szaron:
A: The basement is dark and damp.Hili: But uninvited guests don’t come here.
Ja: W piwnicy jest ciemno i wilgotno.Hili: Ale na ogół nie przychodzą tu nieproszeni goście.
I got this ad for pet food in the mail yesterday. Unfortunately, America’s favorite vet doesn’t know how to spell his own profession—or somebody doesn’t. Protip: If you’re not absolutely sure how to spell a word, look it up. (Or maybe this is a job I don’t know about, like looking after veterans’ pets. . . )
From Ken, a J. C. Penny teapot that’s caused a furor because it looks like Hitler (see 2013 story from NPR).
From Gregory, the GOP agenda:
A pretty good tweet from Titania:
Cancel culture is a myth invented by fascists.
If you see anyone disagreeing with this statement, please send me their name, twitter handle, address and employment details.
I’ll do the rest.
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) July 5, 2020
Sarah Cooper does Trump once again on “How to Immigrate”:
How to immigration policy pic.twitter.com/qxjmIXPZkL
— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) July 15, 2020
An amusing tweet from cesar about selling footage to CNN versus Fox News:
Selling Protest Footage to FOX AND CNN pic.twitter.com/0iNRmUI1mC
— Ryan Long (@ryanlongcomedy) June 15, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. This is heartbreaking: look at the expression on the face of that jealous kitty!
— BOMBOCLAAT Inc. ● (@Alpha_Taurus_) July 10, 2020
Note as well that cats have six ends, and five of them are pointed.
What's the difference between a cat and a comma?
One has claws at the end of its paws, while the other is a pause at the end of a clause.
— Dr. Claire Lee (@Claire_Lee) July 16, 2020
Translation: “This is a male and female mating body individual of Miyaku stag beetle collected by a friend last year This is also a wonderful half & half.” What we have here is a gynandromorph beetle, with the left half being male (big fighting jaws) and the right half female. These can be produced in various ways, but loss of a sex chromosome during development (here it would be during the two-cell stage) is one way. I’m not sure, though, how sex is determined in this species. Anyway, it’s a cool individual.
— kara (@jasjas1229) July 16, 2020
Here’s a capybara running on the floor of the sea you guys do NOT want to miss this. pic.twitter.com/x4Di5KXS5O
— CAPYBARA MAN (@CAPYBARA_MAN) July 15, 2020
Squish the duckling, who had to be helped out of his shell when he couldn’t hatch properly, is now doing well.
— caenhillcc (@caenhillcc) July 13, 2020
Black D*g says, “There are 79 known moons of Jupiter.”