It’s the Jewish sabbath, August 8, 2020: National Frozen Custard Day (it’s kosher). It’s also National Milk Chocolate with Almonds Day, National Ice Cream Sundae Day, National Freezer Pop Day, “Happiness Happens Day“, (not this year!), and, most important, International Cat Day, designed to ” to raise awareness for cats and learn about ways to help and protect them.” Can you imagine how much poorer the world would be without cats? If you wanted a pet, you’d have to get a gerbil, a ferret, a tank of fish, or g*d forbid, a d*g.
Celebrating the day, here’s a cat tweet about The Boss of Downing Street: Larry, the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office (his rival, Palmerston, has just retired to the country):
— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) August 8, 2020
News of the Day: First, here’s the results of yesterday’s election poll as of 5:30 this morning. Despite a paucity of votes, readers overwhelmingly picked Biden. Fingers crossed!
Jerry Falwell, Jr., the president of straight-laced and Christian Liberty University, not only posted a salacious picture of himself and a woman (not his wife) on Instagram (note unzipped pants and drinkie), but then went on the radio to explain it (below). He’s just taken an indefinite leave of absence.
Talks have broken down between Democrats and Republicans in Congress trying to hammer out an economic stimulus package for the pandemic. I didn’t expect this to happen.
Loyola University in Chicago is going to fully online classes and closing its residence halls for the coming semester. On top of the Chicago Public Schools going to complete virtual instruction, it doesn’t look good for the University of Chicago, which is proceeding with a “hybrid” model of teaching and students living in dorms (there will be severe adjustments: one person per room, takeaway meals, and so on. But an ER doctor at the University Hospital told me today they’re not set up if an infection spread among the students.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 160,977, an increase of about 1400 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 719,164, an increase of about 6000 deaths from yesterday.
Stuff that happened on August 8 includes:
- 1709 – Bartolomeu de Gusmão demonstrates the lifting power of hot air in an audience before the king of Portugal in Lisbon, Portugal.
- 1786 – Mont Blanc on the French-Italian border is climbed for the first time by Jacques Balmat and Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard.
Here’s Mont Blanc (4808 m high):
- 1863 – American Civil War: Following his defeat in the Battle of Gettysburg, General Robert E. Lee sends a letter of resignation to Confederate President Jefferson Davis (which is refused upon receipt).
- 1876 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for his mimeograph.
- 1908 – Wilbur Wright makes his first flight at a racecourse at Le Mans, France. It is the Wright Brothers’ first public flight.
Here’s a one-minute video of that public flight:
- 1942 – Quit India Movement is launched in India against the British rule in response to Mohandas Gandhi’s call for swaraj or complete independence.
- 1963 – Great Train Robbery: In England, a gang of 15 train robbers steal £2.6 million in bank notes.
- 1969 – At a zebra crossing in London, photographer Iain Macmillan takes the iconic photo that becomes the cover image of the Beatles‘ album Abbey Road.
According to Wikipedia, there were six versions of the photo, with the fifth being used (photo below):
First Photo: John leads the group from left to right followed by Ringo, Paul, and George. They kept this order throughout all the photos. There is a Mercedes pulling out of the studio behind them. John is looking away from the camera and Paul and George are in mid step. Paul is wearing sandals.
Second Photo: They walk back in the same order. Good spacing but only John has a full step.
Third Photo: Left to right again, full steps this time but they are all too far left. There is now a traffic backup. There are a taxi, two vans, and a double-decker bus waiting to come forward. Paul is now barefoot.
Fourth Photo: Walking right to left, Paul, Ringo, and George all in mid-step. The traffic has gone through but the bus has stopped to watch.
Fifth Photo: This photo was used for the cover of the album and is the only photo where we see Paul smoking and the only one with their legs in perfect formation. The three men on the left above Paul’s head are Alan Flanagan, Steve Millwood, and Derek Seagrove. They were interior decorators returning from a lunch break. On the right side between John and Ringo’s head is Paul Cole, an American tourist.
Sixth Photo: Ringo is slightly too far behind John. The bus has turned around to leave.
- 1974 – President Richard Nixon, in a nationwide television address, announces his resignation from the office of the President of the United States effective noon the next day.
Here is the moment that made us so happy 46 years ago today:
- 1988 – The first night baseball game in the history of Chicago’s Wrigley Field (game was rained out in the fourth inning).
- 1990 – Iraq occupies Kuwait and the state is annexed to Iraq. This would lead to the Gulf War shortly afterward.
Notables born on this day include:
Not well known, Henson was an African-American, born to sharecroppers, who accompanied Peary on many of his polar journeys, and in fact said that he was the first of the two to reach the North Pole (researchers are now dubious that anybody reached the Pole on that day). Here’s Henson:
- 1879 – Emiliano Zapata, Mexican general and politician (d. 1919)
Here’s a photo of Zapata from Wikipedia, labeled “Zapata in his characteristic large sombrero and his staff in all manner of hats.” He’s sitting in front (middle), and talk about xenophobic stereotypes!
Those who went belly-up on August 8 include:
- 1975 – Cannonball Adderley, American saxophonist (b. 1928)
- 1985 – Louise Brooks, American actress (b. 1906)
Brooks was the archetypal flapper, known for her dark bobbed hair. Her most famous film, critically celebrated, was the salacious “Pandora’s Box” (1929). The whole movie is on YouTube, and I’ve put it below:
- 2004 – Fay Wray, Canadian-American actress (b. 1907)
- 2013 – Karen Black, American actress (b. 1939)
- 2017 – Glen Campbell, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (b. 1936)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is sleeping, but pretending not to:
A: Are you asleep?Hili: No, I’m sorting my thoughts.
Ja: Śpisz?Hili:, Nie, sortuję myśli.
And a picture of kitten Kulka romping in the yard.
Caption: Kulka put out to pasture.
From Bad Cat Clothing:
A tweet from Barry. What the deuce is this all about?
A tweet from reader Roger and some welcome pushback against Poland’s conservative and Catholic-loving government:
Major love and respect to the Polish MP’s who co-ordinated their outfits to create a rainbow flag at the swearing in for their homophobic president Andrzej Duda 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/eTjoUB248c
— Tom Knight (@TJ_Knight) August 6, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. First, a science update in a minute and a half:
The #food web just got a little more complex!
Some links in the underwater food chain have been invisible to scientists—until recently@natgeo uses footage from remote-operated vehicles to explore a complex network in the #ocean depthspic.twitter.com/sjMbBpvjbg
— ipbes (@IPBES) August 7, 2020
This price is nearly twice what Pfizer will charge, and even that’s considered too high. Remember, taxpayers paid for the development of this vaccine through government funding:
Moderna to charge $32 to $37 a dose for its COVID vaccine. The CEO who has been selling stock routinely, describes this as a gift, “well under its value.”
Considering we taxpayers paid for it, I think it’s approximately $32-$37 too high. https://t.co/i5tMgA5XCx
— Andy Slavitt @ 🏡🇺🇸 (@ASlavitt) August 7, 2020
If Germans weren’t obsessed with being naked outside, this embarrassing chase wouldn’t have happened. For more details, go here (h/t: j.j.)
A boar stole a man's bag at Teufelssee and here are the photos of the exciting chase. He was naked cause, well, Germans. pic.twitter.com/sHqKQ2CJYV
— Gonçalo Trindade (@gonch145) August 6, 2020
Some day I must see one of these, but it’s hard to get permission. They’re the world’s only flightless parrot, and have been moved to an island to keep predators away:
#kakapo do everything slowly and thoughtfully – even walking. As demonstrated by juvenile Tomua last night, when deciding whether to nibble my finger. #conservation #parrots pic.twitter.com/t39bd6QVOe
— Dr Andrew Digby (@takapodigs) August 7, 2020
Well, this is depressing:
Less than 32% of Antarctica is made up of areas that are free from human interference, and these areas are declining as human activity increases, according to a Nature paper. https://t.co/ocFNPaTmXt pic.twitter.com/0a3o60hWT3
— Nature (@nature) July 15, 2020
An earwig taking of in slow motion. What a fantastic way to store the wings! Automatic translation:
“”The back wing of the Earwig” The flexibility to fold it compactly and the toughness that can withstand the load during flight should conflict with each other, but the flying-type earwig has achieved excellent compatibility. A recent study revealed that there is a protein called resilin inside the fold, which plays an important role.”
— FUMIHIKO HIRAI🐝昆虫スローの人 (@uta_31) July 19, 2018