It’s the Christian sabbath: Sunday, August 9, 2020, and National Rice Pudding Day. I have a serious weakness for good rice pudding, the best specimen of which is at L’Ami Jean in Paris. It used to be served in a large bowl that held about a gallon, and it was à volonté, or eat as much as you want, accompanied by side bowls of praline, candied fruit, jam, and other toppings. No more. Now you get a lame individual portion with a few nuts on top. It is this niggardly service, among other things, that has made me vow never to return to what was once my favorite restaurant in Paris.
Here’s their rice pudding ten years ago, when I first had this ethereal version of that dish:
It’s also Book Lovers Day (that’s all of us, I think), National Hand Holding Day (not this year), Gay Uncles Day (the site says Gay Uncles are also called “guncles”), and a UN holiday: International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
Finally, it’s the 75th anniversary of the explosion of the “Fat Man” atomic bomb over Nagasaki. See below.
News of the day: In possible violation of the Constitution, which reserves this kind of spending for the Congress, Trump has signed an executive order providing emergency relief after the latest pandemic-relief bill expired. The House and Senate couldn’t agree on a compromise bill.
The U.S has now passed 5 million coronavirus cases—putting us way ahead in the world count, including among nations more populous. Brazil is number 2, but with about three million, and India is third with two million. The NYT adds that we’re eighth in per capita cases, between Oman and Peru.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 161,964, an increase of about 1000 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 725,302, an increase of about 6200 deaths from yesterday.
Stuff that happened on August 9 includes:
Curiously, the name “Edison” isn’t mention in the Wikipedia article on telegraphy.
- 1907 – The first Boy Scout encampment concludes at Brownsea Island in southern England.
- 1936 – Summer Olympic Games: Games of the XI Olympiad: Jesse Owens wins his fourth gold medal at the games.
- 1945 – World War II: Nagasaki is devastated when an atomic bomb, Fat Man, is dropped by the United States B-29 Bockscar. Thirty-five thousand people are killed outright, including 23,200–28,200 Japanese war workers, 2,000 Korean forced workers, and 150 Japanese soldiers.
Here’s a video of “Fat Man” exploding over Nagasaki:
- 1965 – Singapore is expelled from Malaysia and becomes the only country to date to gain independence unwillingly.
- 1969 – Followers of Charles Manson murder pregnant actress Sharon Tate (wife of Roman Polanski), coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Polish actor Wojciech Frykowski, men’s hairstylist Jay Sebring and recent high-school graduate Steven Parent.
- 1974 – As a direct result of the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon becomes the first President of the United States to resign from office. His Vice President, Gerald Ford, becomes president.
Although I put up a video of Nixon announcing his resignation yesterday, it was effective only as of August 9. Here’s the official letter, sent to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Note the Kissinger annotated it when he received it:
- 2014 – Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American male in Ferguson, Missouri, was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer after reportedly assaulting the officer and attempting to steal his weapon, sparking protests and unrest in the city.
- 2019 – 220 million trees are planted in one day in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Notables born on this day include:
I used to watch Angley on television as he was so bizarre, and his wig was terrible. And he’s still alive! (He was brought down because, after a lifetime of preaching that homosexuality was a sin, he admitted to sexual relations with males.) Have a short gander at this:
- 1922 – Philip Larkin, English poet and novelist (d. 1985)
- 1938 – Rod Laver, Australian tennis player and coach
- 1963 – Whitney Houston, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress (d. 2012)
- 1968 – Gillian Anderson, American-British actress, activist and writer
- 1985 – Anna Kendrick, American actress and singer
I’m surely not the only man enamored of Ms. Kendrick. Here’s her famous scene singing “When I’m Gone” from the movie Pitch Perfect:
Those whose lives were extinguished on August 9 include:
- 1516 – Hieronymus Bosch, Early Netherlandish painter (b. circa 1450)
Comment not needed:
Nobody could paint meat like Soutine. Here’s his “Carcass of Beef” (1925):
- 1962 – Hermann Hesse, German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1877)
- 1969 – Sharon Tate, American model and actress (b. 1943)
- 1969 – C. F. Powell, English physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1903)
- 1995 – Jerry Garcia, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1942)
- 2003 – Gregory Hines, American actor, dancer, and choreographer (b. 1946)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is lolling in the sun:
Hili: It’s summer, I have to sunbathe.A: Don’t lie in the sun too long, you could get a headache.
Hili: Jest lato muszę się poopalać.Ja: Ale nie leż za długo na słońcu, bo cię głowa rozboli.
It’s a not very good pun. “Poduszkowiec” means really a hovercraft. But “poduszka” means “pillow”. These two cats are lying on a pillow and Szaron is using Kulka as a pillow, so they are two “poduszkowce”.
Here’s an illusion from Facebook. Nothing is moving here: it’s a picture. And try scrolling the page up and down.
From Jesus of the Day:
From reader Ken, who captions this, “Antifa umbrella repeatedly attacks Dear Leader.”
WATCH: President Trump arrives in Fort Lauderdale, FL. pic.twitter.com/zPiqNsTVUt
— The Hill (@thehill) July 10, 2020
From Barry, who says, “Guys, take it outside! Oh wait. . . you’re already outside.”
— Josh Wolf (@joshwolfcomedy) August 7, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. The first is for World Cat Day (yesterday); Matthew explains, “Ladybird books are small, illustrated UK kids’ books. Strong nostalgic element.” I like the cats’ names:
— Helen Day (@LBFlyawayhome) August 8, 2020
A very good question!
who is this sign for pic.twitter.com/EgFjgR79tY
— Sam Davidson, of the Advent Police 🕯️🚫 🎄 (@sdwaco) August 6, 2020
This is what Twitter is best at. Forget the squabbling!
A hamster dressed up as a panda eating carrot sticks from its purse. pic.twitter.com/VXoLpKiUgK
— Travis Akers (@travisakers) August 8, 2020
Laura Helmuth is editor-in-chief of Scientific American, and has some good news about evolution education in America:
Fan. Freaking. Tastic. Compared to 2007, science teachers are more likely to cover evolution, they spend more time teaching it, and they are much more likely to reject creationism. Via @kennethrmiller & congrats to @NCSE https://t.co/iYiA3q9H2e
— Laura Helmuth (@laurahelmuth) August 7, 2020
Do NOT cross a possum:
Old deer proverb of the day: "Snuffle not too closely to opossums in the dead of night, for though they be but little, they are fierce." pic.twitter.com/FWjwaldrG9
— Dick King-Smith HQ (@DickKingSmith) March 10, 2017
The link to the paper, and a nice animation, are in the second tweet, and there’s an article about this paper in The New York Times.
"Fingers zipped up or baby mittens?" These were the two strategies followed by tetrapods to return to the marine environment. Check out our new paper and the amazing reconstruction by @JPaleoart
— yatachélys 🐢🇦🇷🙋🏻♀️🙋🏻♂️🇬🇷 (@yatachelys) August 5, 2020
Check out our short animation summarizing the main results and conclusions. pic.twitter.com/vTinQ5JGD4
— yatachélys 🐢🇦🇷🙋🏻♀️🙋🏻♂️🇬🇷 (@yatachelys) August 5, 2020