Good morning on Thursday, July 23, 2020: National Vanilla Ice Cream Day. It’s also National Refreshment Day, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Day (yay, Reese’s Cups), and National Refreshment Day. For Rastafarians, it’s the Birthday of Haile Selassie (1892), who is worshiped as a god incarnate by many Rastas. (Selassie’s birth name was Ras Tafari Makonnen). Here he is in full dress uniform:
News of the Day: Well, Trump has announced that he’s sending 200 federal agents to Chicago after the shooting of 14 people at a funeral home the other day. Our tough-ass mayor, Lori Lightfoot, while dubious, says that this is at least better than what happened in Portland, where the agents worked independently. In Chicago they’re supposed to work hand in hand with the city police. Stay tuned.
I’ve finished watching the second season of Ricky Gervais’s After Life, and while it’s very good, it’s become a bit repetitive. And why doesn’t he just have some dates with Emma from the nursing home? (I am also enamored of Mandeep Dhillon as Sandy.)
And the Sierra Club has become the latest penitente in the race to flagellate itself, apologizing profusely because its founder, John Muir, said some pretty nasty racist stuff. But that was ages ago, and yet the club is still apologizing for “perpetuating white supremacy” and causing ““significant and immeasurable harm” to minorities. I think that’s a wee bit exaggerated.
Back to coronavirus. Surprisingly, this Washington Post article notes that we still don’t have a single confirmed case of somebody getting Covid-19 twice, much less how long any immunity lasts (the questions are of course connected). And we don’t even know how long the antibodies against the virus remain in the body.
Here’s some advice about how to get people to wear masks. In the end it’s not very helpful: be “humble and transparent.”
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 143,167, an increase of about 1100 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 623,314, an increase of about 7000 deaths from yesterday.
Stuff that happened on July 23 includes:
- 1829 – In the United States, William Austin Burt patents the typographer, a precursor to the typewriter.
Here’s a typographer. It was a cumbersome device, but hey, it was a start:
- 1840 – The Province of Canada is created by the Act of Union.
- 1885 – President Ulysses S. Grant dies of throat cancer.
- 1903 – The Ford Motor Company sells its first car.
That car was an early Model A.
Read about this. The victim, paralyzed from the waist down, was killed by his son, who put a bomb in his wheelchair. The son was put in an insane asylum for 35 years.
- 1962 – Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Here is a lovely a tribute, much in Robinson’s own words, played when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame:
- 1983 – Gimli Glider: Air Canada Flight 143 runs out of fuel and makes a deadstick landing at Gimli, Manitoba.
The plane ran out of fuel at 41,000 feet but glided to a safe landing at a Canadian Air Force Base.
- 1995 – Comet Hale–Bopp is discovered; it becomes visible to the naked eye on Earth nearly a year later.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1888 – Raymond Chandler, American crime novelist and screenwriter (d. 1959)
- 1892 – Haile Selassie, Ethiopian emperor (d. 1975) [See above.]
- 1940 – Don Imus, American radio host (d. 2019)
- 1957 – Theo van Gogh, Dutch actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2004)
- 1971 – Alison Krauss, American singer-songwriter and fiddler
Here’s Krauss performing “Amazing Grace” on Memorial Day, 2019, at the U.S. Capital Grounds.
- 1989 – Daniel Radcliffe, English actor
Those who rested in peace on July 23 include:
- 1875 – Isaac Singer, American businessman, founded the Singer Corporation (b. 1811)
- 1885 – Ulysses S. Grant, American general and politician, 18th President of the United States (b. 1822)
- 1948 – D. W. Griffith, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1875)
- 1973 – Eddie Rickenbacker, American pilot and race car driver, founded Rickenbacker Motors (b. 1890)
- 2001 – Eudora Welty, American novelist and short story writer (b. 1909)
- 2002 – Chaim Potok, American novelist and rabbi (b. 1929)
- 2010 – Daniel Schorr, American journalist and author (b. 1916)
- 2011 – Amy Winehouse, English singer-songwriter (b. 1983)
Ah, Amy! Here she is performing “Back to Black” in a live concert. Her pair of dancers/backup singers are terrific:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is told to be humble, but that attitude just isn’t in her:
Hili: I’m terrified by the vastness of what I don’t know.A: We have to approach it with humility.Hili: It’s a dismal attitude.
Hili: Przeraża mnie ogrom tego, czego nie wiem.Ja: Musimy podejść do tego z pokorą.Hili: To zbyt ponure podejście.
More cats: a Dave Coverly cartoon sent by reader Jon:
From Bruce. If you don’t get this, you’re too young!
I tweeted! More on this paper later today (I hope):
This new Nature paper suggests that humans lived in what is now Mexico between 20,000 and 30,000 years ago, overturning conventional wisdom that our species crossed over from Siberia about 15,000 years ago.
That would be big news in human evolution!https://t.co/3laR7iWKaL
— Jerry Coyne (@Evolutionistrue) July 22, 2020
A tweet from Simon. Ah, there were the days when I could diagram the whole thing:
Trying to re-remember all the chemical reactions in the Krebs cycle https://t.co/9FaBgymqQ5
— Oded Rechavi 🦉 (@OdedRechavi) July 22, 2020
From Greg Mayer, who saw this retweeted by Andrew Sullivan. It shows the horseshoe effect, and will greatly anger the Woke:
When Wokes and Racists Actually Agree on Everything. pic.twitter.com/Z9SlfscUjQ
— Ryan Long (@ryanlongcomedy) July 20, 2020
From sherfolder. I hope I’m like this guy when I’m his age (maybe I am already!):
תומכי בידוד מבוגרים מתמודדים עם הקורונה pic.twitter.com/oZXRc0fZ2g
— Oded Rechavi 🦉 (@OdedRechavi) July 20, 2020
The Activist Moms of Portland, sent by Ken:
A crowd of about 400 has now occupied both SW 3rd and SW Main.
The moms are chanting, “Feds stay clear! Moms are here!” at the federal courthouse.
All three fences are still up. pic.twitter.com/jhJ09NUxGW
— Lindsey Smith (she/her) (@LindseyPSmith7) July 19, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. Is she really this ditzy, or is it an act? More important, why are the forks so far away?
How far away are Diane Keaton’s forks pic.twitter.com/7HFRtrBK1Y
— caitie delaney (@caitiedelaney) July 17, 2020
A lovely cloud-frosted island in the Faroes:
Surprisingly this little island has a peak elevation of 414 metres (1358 ft)! The cloud? Air contains water in gas form: when air rises in altitude it experiences a drop in pressure so it freely expands & cools. Water condenses so much in cold air that the droplets become visible https://t.co/SFOKdd9ky8
— James O'Donoghue (@physicsJ) July 18, 2020
I’m glad I didn’t write about this paper (at least I don’t remember that I did!):
This is pretty big: the highly controversial paper on the supposed miniature bird from Myanmar amber, Oculudentavis, has been retracted from Nature. Not sure if I can think of another example of a palaeontology paper being retracted: https://t.co/LPVhbuCPra
— Richard Butler (@ButlerLabBham) July 22, 2020
Darren Nash, who writes Tetrapod Zoology and accepted the original paper, now aligns with the stances of the critics: this wasn’t a theropod dinosaur, but likely a non-dinosaurian reptile. Moreover, he doesn’t think that Nature should have retracted the paper (see the thread in Twitter for the latter).
As has now been widely reported, the March 2020 Nature paper on the alleged hummingbird-sized Cretaceous bird #Occuludentavis has been retracted by Nature. I covered this story at #TetZoo (https://t.co/OeklHEiFfV) and so feel compelled to comment. A brief thread… pic.twitter.com/otu2hNk5V7
— Darren Naish (@TetZoo) July 23, 2020