Grease the new day! It’s Monday, July 20, 2020: National Lollipop Day. And yes, I know you’re asking, “What was the largest lollipop ever made?” Well, it turns out to have been a chocolate-flavored pop made by the estimable See’s Candies of California:
On July 18, 2012, Burlingame, California based confectionary company See’s Candies broke the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Lollipop with their nearly 6-feet tall (without the stick), 7,003 pound chocolate pop. See’s brought the giant sucker to Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco on Friday July 20 to celebrate National Lollipop Day and to receive their Guinness certificate.
A few photos for your delectation. But what on earth became of this behemoth confection?
It’s also National Fortune Cookie Day (cultural appropriation), International Chess Day (the day that FIDE was founded in 1924), Space Exploration Day, and Nap Day (I often take an afternoon nap since I’m not sleeping well during the pandemic).
Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot) celebrates the life of Dylan Eryurt, a Turkish astronomer who was one of many people who, working for the U.S., helped land Apollo 11 on the Moon on this day in 1969.
News of the Day: Well, in an interview with Fox News, “President” Trump refused to say whether he’ll accept the results of this November’s election. A quote:
Trump replied that he doesn’t like to lose, then added: “It depends. I think mail-in voting is going to rig the election. I really do.” Trump’s comment echoed unfounded claims he has made in recent weeks that mail-in voting is susceptible to widespread fraud.
“Are you suggesting that you might not accept the results of the election?” Wallace asked.
Trump responded, “No. I have to see.”
Jebus. But it gets worse. Here are some other extracts, including the ludicrous claim that because one day coronavirus will disappear (??), Trump will have been proved “right.” There’s nothing he says in this excerpt that isn’t either stupid or a lie. No wonder his approval rating is 39%, and Biden’s over 50%. What’s amazing is that Fox news threw Trump such hardball questions.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 140,373, an increase of about 420 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 605,720, an increase of about 4000 deaths from yesterday.
Stuff that happened on July 20 includes:
- 1738 – Canadian explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye reaches the western shore of Lake Michigan.
- 1848 – The first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, a two-day event, concludes.
- 1903 – The Ford Motor Company ships its first automobile.
That first car was a Model A, and here’s what it looks like:
- 1938 – The United States Department of Justice files suit in New York City against the motion picture industry charging violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act in regards to the studio system. The case would eventually result in a break-up of the industry in 1948.
- 1941 – Soviet leader Joseph Stalin consolidates the Commissariats of Home Affairs and National Security to form the NKVD and names Lavrentiy Beria its chief.
Beria was a nasty piece of work, a torturer, a killer and a rapist, and he met his end, after being convicted of treason and other crimes, by being shot through the forehead on Khrushchev’s orders.
- 1944 – World War II: Adolf Hitler survives an assassination attempt led by German Army Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg.
It’s amazing that Hitler survived; here’s the wreckage of the room after the failed assassination attempt. (Wikipedia caption: “Martin Bormann, Hermann Göring, and Bruno Loerzer surveying the damaged conference room.”
- 1960 – The Polaris missile is successfully launched from a submarine, the USS George Washington, for the first time.
- 1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 11‘s crew successfully makes the first manned landing on the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility. Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first humans to walk on the Moon six and a half hours later.
If you’re about 57 or so, you’ll remember this televised moment. I remember it well; I was watching with friends in Arlington, Virginia on summer break from college:
- 1989 – Burma’s ruling junta puts opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.
- 1997 – The fully restored USS Constitution (a.k.a. Old Ironsides) celebrates its 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.
- 2005 – The Civil Marriage Act legalizes same-sex marriage in Canada.
- 2012 – James Holmes opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 and injuring 70 others.
- 2015 – The United States and Cuba resume full diplomatic relations after five decades.
- 2017 – O. J. Simpson is granted parole to be released from prison after serving nine years of a 33-year sentence after being convicted of armed robbery in Las Vegas.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1822 – Gregor Mendel, Austro-German monk, geneticist and botanist (d. 1884)
- 1895 – László Moholy-Nagy, Hungarian painter, photographer, and sculptor (d. 1946)
- 1919 – Edmund Hillary, New Zealand mountaineer and explorer (d. 2008)
Here’s the ice axe Hillary used when he and Tenzing summited Everest; I photographed it in 2017 in the Auckland Museum:
- 1933 – Cormac McCarthy, American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter
- 1947 – Carlos Santana, Mexican-American singer-songwriter and guitarist
If this doesn’t wake you up, nothing will; it’s Santana’s performance of “Soul Sacrifice” from Woodstock. He was reportedly high on mescaline at the time, and I’m always amazed that someone who’s tripping can still play guitar like this.
- 1962 – Julie Bindel, English journalist, author, and academic
- 1971 – Sandra Oh, Canadian actress
Those who sailed into the sunset on July 20 include:
- 1866 – Bernhard Riemann, German mathematician and academic (b. 1826)
- 1923 – Pancho Villa, Mexican general and politician, Governor of Chihuahua (b. 1878)
- 1937 – Guglielmo Marconi, Italian physicist and engineer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1874)
- 1973 – Bruce Lee, American actor and martial artist (b. 1940)
- 2007 – Tammy Faye Messner, American Christian evangelist and talk show host (b. 1942)
- 2011 – Lucian Freud, German-English painter and illustrator (b. 1922)
Freud is one of my favorite modern painters. Here’s his portrait of Queen Elizabeth II:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is hunting up in the trees, but using modern academic language:
Hili: It was there and it’s not there.A: What?Hili: A starling, and I don’t even know whether it was a male or a female.A: Write: “gender unknown”.
Hili: Był i nie ma.Ja: Kto?Hili: Szpak, ale nawet nie wiem, czy to był samiec, czy samica.Ja: Wpisz: gender nieznany.
And there’s a new female kitten, tentatively named Kulka, living with Malgorzata and Andrzej’s lodgers. She looks like a miniature Hili and is said to have bonded with Szaron already. She may not stay there permanently, but things look as if she might. (Hili doesn’t like her, but Szaron loves her.) Meet Kulka: (She was feral and had an eye infection, but she went to the vet and it’s clearing up.)
Here’s Kulka having a bit of cream on the kitchen windowsill:
A cartoon by Walt Handelsman sent by reader Charles:
From reader Paul via reddit: A duck standing on a flexible girl:
From Bad Cat Clothing:
From Simon. This is obviously a “tame” bear, but even so. . . .
When the safety inspector makes a surprise visit pic.twitter.com/dFasA6EZSK
— Oded Rechavi 🦉 (@OdedRechavi) July 19, 2020
A tweet from cesar. I swear, Hannah Nikole-Jones, head of the NYT’s 1619 Project, is looking more and more unhinged as time goes on:
Tweets from Matthew. I still haven’t seen the damn comet yet!
Timelapse of the comet setting. You'll see the ISS pass through. Video probably horribly compressed in uploading to Twitter. pic.twitter.com/Cl27g27yaV
— Christopher Becke (@BeckePhysics) July 19, 2020
Cope’s arboreal alligator lizard is a species found in two isolated locations in Guatemala. They make their homes in the trunks of decaying, large trees covered with growth such as moss, ferns or bromeliads, all perfect for insulation and moisture control. pic.twitter.com/ATICPR71R0
— Joel Sartore (@joelsartore) July 17, 2020
Speaking of bears. . .
"JUST GIVE ME THE FUCKING PORRIDGE BACK, NO ONE HAS TO DIE TODAY"
📹: Imgur user LollipopFromHell pic.twitter.com/MaGqP3AM3Z
— Paul Bronks (@SlenderSherbet) July 19, 2020
Using cats like phones seems to be a “thing” on the Internet now, though I have no idea why.
Tiktok is like going to a thrift store you never know what crazy unknown thing you’ll stumble on pic.twitter.com/uHCpkWyKOR
— Rob N Roll (@thegallowboob) July 18, 2020
The beautiful eye of a rescued Gannet:
The gorgeous stormy eye of a Gannet. This one had come ashore tangled in plastic – cut free and rested, warmed up and dried out, and successfully released this evening pic.twitter.com/bHkouJ9Xg3
— Alex Penn (@AlexPenn_1) July 18, 2020