Good morning on Saturday, July 18, 2020: National Caviar Day (didn’t we just have that?) It’s also National Sour Candy Day, National Strawberry Rhubarb Wine Day, and Nelson Mandela International Day, an official UN holiday celebrating the great man’s birthday.
News of the Day: Good news! Captain Tom Moore is now Captain Sir Tom Moore, as he was just knighted by the Queen. I’m not a fan of the monarchy, but I love this because Moore will surely be chuffed to be called “Sir Tom.” And he deserves it for diligently walking with his walker for charity, earning (as of today) over £32 million for the National Health Service. Here he is in that socially-distanced knighting ceremony (“she who would knight during a pandemic must have a very long sword”):
Bad news: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is being treated for a recurrence of cancer: metastatic pancreatic cancer that spread to her liver. She’s a tough lady, but this is a very hard fight.
More bad news: the White House has blocked officials from the Centers for Disease Control from testifying next week at a Congressional hearing on reopening schools. The Trump administration doesn’t want science to get in the way of its mission to reopen schools.
Here’s a map from the New York Times showing the proportion, across America, of five people you meet in random encounters who will be wearing masks. Chicago is in the “high” zone, but the Midwest (sparsely populated) and the Southeast aren’t doing that well.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 139,186, an increase of about 900 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 595,989, an increase of about 6400 deaths from yesterday.
Here’s what I found in my mail this morning. Cowardly Christians don’t even give a return address! Whoever sent this wasted their time and a stamp:
And Dorothy’s growing ducklings have started sprouting tail feathers along with wing and back feathers. Look at the three brushes on this one! (Photo by Jean Greenberg).
Stuff that happened on July 18 include:
- 1290 – King Edward I of England issues the Edict of Expulsion, banishing all Jews (numbering about 16,000) from England; this was Tisha B’Av on the Hebrew calendar, a day that commemorates many Jewish calamities.
- 1862 – First ascent of Dent Blanche, one of the highest summits in the Alps.
- 1870 – The First Vatican Council decrees the dogma of papal infallibility.
- 1925 – Adolf Hitler publishes Mein Kampf.
Not surprisingly, the book doesn’t command high prices, even when signed. Here’s a first edition signed by Hitler, and it went for only $43,750 in 2015:
Here’s that plane: the world’s first operational jet fighter. It didn’t begin service until mid-1944, too late for the Germans:
- 1944 – World War II: Hideki Tōjō resigns as Prime Minister of Japan because of numerous setbacks in the war effort.
Tojo was hanged for war crimes in November of 1948.
- 1976 – Nadia Comăneci becomes the first person in Olympic Games history to score a perfect 10 in gymnastics at the 1976 Summer Olympics.
Here’s her perfect performance on the uneven bars:
- 1992 – A picture of Les Horribles Cernettes was taken, which became the first ever photo posted to the World Wide Web.
And here it is ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, and comrades, the first picture posted to the Web (not a kitten!):
Notables born on this day include:
- 1887 – Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian military officer and politician, Minister President of Norway (d. 1945)
- 1913 – Red Skelton, American actor and comedian (d. 1997)
- 1918 – Nelson Mandela, South African lawyer and politician, 1st President of South Africa, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2013)
- 1921 – John Glenn, American colonel, astronaut, and politician (d. 2016)
- 1937 – Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist and author (d. 2005)
- 1941 – Martha Reeves, American singer and politician
- 1950 – Richard Branson, English businessman, founded Virgin Group
Those who kicked the bucket on July 18 include:
- 1610 – Caravaggio, Italian painter (b. 1571)
- 1792 – John Paul Jones, Scottish-American admiral and diplomat (b. 1747)
- 1954 – Machine Gun Kelly, American gangster (b. 1895)
- 1988 – Nico, German singer-songwriter, keyboard player, and actress (b. 1938)
Here’s my favorite painting by one of my favorite painters, “The Calling of St. Matthew“. (“Who, me?”)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, up in the apple tree, has a pressing question:
Hili: Why are birds afraid of cats?A: You may have a bad reputation in that community.
Hili: Dlaczego ptaki boją się kotów?Ja: Możecie mieć złą opinię w tym środowisku.
And a meme from Stephen Muth:
A Mike Lukovich cartoon from reader Charles:
Part of Titania’s continuing series on things that have been deemed racist:
THINGS THAT ARE RACIST
• Country music
• Scrabble pic.twitter.com/5W49oVRuTR
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) July 9, 2020
Two tweets from Simon. First, look at this poor thirsty squirrel begging for water.
Squirrel asking for water! The most amazing cutest thing I have ever seen…💕 pic.twitter.com/N49pQAEZra
— Roop Darak BHARTIYA (@iRupND) July 16, 2020
And they still charge a ton, except more.
Is this peak irony? pic.twitter.com/9dJT4nLXd7
— Dr. Meaghan L. Pimsler (@PleaseBugMe) July 16, 2020
From reader Woody, who says that this cow-fart, country-music promotion from Burger King “is getting a lot of attention.” Does lemongrass really work this way?
cow farts & burps are no laughing matter. they release methane, contributing to climate change. that’s why we’re working to change our cows’ diet by adding lemongrass to reduce their emissions by approximately 33%. learn about our ongoing study: https://t.co/kPCXpjfbGL #CowsMenu pic.twitter.com/DnmF8gVVL0
— Burger King (@BurgerKing) July 14, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. Who doesn’t love puffins?
Morning all, Puffins flicking their heads on camera as they meet on the Isle of May, part of their social behaviour. pic.twitter.com/mWeNIwwCcy
— David Steel (@SteelySeabirder) July 16, 2020
Now this is a bit weird, because the protection doesn’t work until all the chicks (or whatever turkey babies are called) can fly. Still, some protection is better than none.
Wild turkey hen takes her young brood into a high roost to protect them from nightly danger.🐦🦜🕊️🦃🐤❤️🐤🎵Thrush Nightingale (Luscinia luscinia)🎵 pic.twitter.com/5tjLCUptJT
— World birds (@worldbirds32) July 16, 2020
🔵 Whoever did this won the Internet 😉#FF @Dahl_Consult @archonsec @robmay70 @GeekOnTheLoose @MarineGOfficial @fogle_shane @digitalcloudgal @Fabriziobustama @Victoryabro @FrRonconi @AkwyZ @sallyeaves @supplychnqueen @TomRaftery @JD_Publishing @BevEve pic.twitter.com/EQwkJEXdaS
— Dr. ir Johannes Drooghaag (JD) 🛡 (@DrJDrooghaag) July 17, 2020