Good morning on a Hump Day: Wednesday, August 26, 2020. The weather for the next two days is predicted to be the hottest of the year: highs of 92° F (33.3° C). Then we’ll have dramatic cooling. I worry about my ducks.
By the way, we’re totally out of “photos of readers.” If people don’t send them in, the feature will disappear.
It’s a lousy food holiday, too: National Cherry Popsicle Day. And it’s also National Toilet Paper Day (we’ll all celebrate by using this once hard-to-find item). If you find bogroll humdrum, you might want to get one of these standalone t.p. holders. I have one, whom I’ve named Rollo, and he’s a source of great merriment to visitors. Note the speculum, yellow bill with “key” at the tip, and the leg band. (h/t: David).
I have to mention, against my will, that it’s National D*g Day (in fact, the period now is called “the d*g days”). Dom sent a d*g photo to celebrate the day. The creature below is a Skye Terr
ior, which Wikipedia describes as “one of the most endangered dog breeds in the United Kingdom.”
This #InternationalDogDay meet Wolverley Chummie, winner of 31 championship certificates and a perfect example of his breed. He's on display at @NHM_Tring 🐶
— Natural History Museum (@NHM_London) August 26, 2020
And reader Paul sent this evolution-themed poster from the UK Humanists:
Finally, it’s Women’s Equality Day in the U.S., celebrating the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment that guaranteed women the right to vote. That was in 1920—a hundred years ago today.
News of the Day: I GOT A HAIRCUT! Here’s what it looks like now:
And for comparison, yesterday. I think I lost a few pounds of hair:
Some good news: an Israeli drone was used to deliver food to the single-parent chick of an endangered bird, the Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), whose mother was electrocuted. There was also virtual-reality control of the drone to ensure precision delivery of the carrion, and the chick has now fledged and is on its way. (The species is endangered in Israel). Here’s the chick eating the dropped food:
This just in: after another questionable police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, riots (and looting) have been taking place over the past few days, and now there’s a report of gunfire and shootings, with two people killed and one injured.
After waffling a bit, Jerry Falwell Jr. has finally resigned as President of Liberty University, as well as chancellor and member of the board of directors. He did not go gentle, or in a seemly way:
Appropriating Martin Luther King Jr.’s final words from iconic his I Have A Dream speech, Falwell told NPR’s Sarah McCammon that he is stepping down from his role at the university in Lynchburg, Va., saying he is “free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty, I am free at last!”
“That’s the way, I feel,” the 58-year-old added.
I can’t be arsed to watch the Republican National Convention, but for some reason people are excited to hear Melania Trump’s speech tonight. I actually feel sorry for her, as I don’t think she bargained for what she got when she married the world’s most prominent narcissist. One thing is for sure, she’ll be attacked no matter what she says. I predict that after Donald is defeated in November and leaves the White House in January, she’ll leave him.
More outbeaks of coronavirus on college campuses: the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa has experienced 531 students testing positive in just the last week. USC and Iowa State have also reported outbreaks.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 178,410, a big increase of about 1200 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 818,827, another large increase of about 6,700 deaths from yesterday.
Stuff that happened on August 26 includes:
- 1542 – Francisco de Orellana crosses South America from Guayaquil on the Pacific coast to the mouth of the Amazon River on the Atlantic coast.
- 1768 – Captain James Cook sets sail from England on board HMS Endeavour.
This was Cook’s first voyage; it lasted three years and, during it, he encountered both Australia and New Zealand.
- 1789 – The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen is approved by the National Constituent Assembly of France.
- 1883 – The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa begins its final, paroxysmal, stage.
There are no photographs of that eruption, which, along with the tsunamis created, killed at least 36,000 people, but here’s the volcano erupting in 2018 in a much milder way:
- 1920 – The 19th amendment to United States Constitution takes effect, giving women the right to vote.
- 1942 – The Holocaust in Ukraine: At Chortkiv, the Ukrainian police and German Schutzpolizei deport two thousand Jews to Bełżec extermination camp. Five hundred of the sick and children are murdered on the spot. This continued until the next day.
The two photos below are disturbing, but both are famous and I decided to show them. It shows the mobile killing squads of Germans (“Einsatzgruppen”) executing Polish Jews, one holding a baby.
And here’s a tweet about that sent by Matthew, an expert on the liberation of Paris. The story of Georges Dukson is told in Matthew’s excellent book, Eleven Days in August.
76 years ago today, de Gaulle, the Free French and Resistance leaders marched down the Champs Elysées in a chaotic celebration of the liberation of Paris. On the right below is Georges Dukson, a black Resistance fighter. You can read his story here: https://t.co/USxqhYdZaa pic.twitter.com/pKhDbMtobm
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) August 26, 2020
- 1977 – The Charter of the French Language is adopted by the National Assembly of Quebec
- 2009 – Kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard is discovered alive in California after being missing for over 18 years.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1743 – Antoine Lavoisier, French chemist and biologist (d. 1794)
- 1880 – Guillaume Apollinaire, Italian-French author, poet, playwright, and critic (d. 1918)
- 1882 – James Franck, German physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1964)
- 1901 – Jimmy Rushing, American singer and bandleader (d. 1972)
Rushing sang with the Basie band for 13 years, and was known as “Mr. Five by Five” because of his girth. Here’s a sample:
- 1904 – Christopher Isherwood, English-American author and academic (d. 1986)
- 1910 – Mother Teresa, Macedonian-Indian nun, missionary, Catholic saint, and Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1997)
- 1949 – Leon Redbone, Canadian-American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (d. 2019)
Those who joined the Choir Invisible on August 26 include:
- 1666 – Frans Hals, Dutch painter and educator (b. 1580)
- 1723 – Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Dutch microscopist and biologist (b. 1632)
- 1910 – William James, American psychologist and philosopher (b. 1842)
- 1974 – Charles Lindbergh, American pilot and explorer (b. 1902)
- 2004 – Laura Branigan, American singer-songwriter and actress (b. 1952)
- 2018 – Neil Simon, American playwright and author (b. 1927)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili helps with the shopping. I bet the list has “cream” on it!
A: I’m going shopping.Hili: Wait, I will make you a list.
Ja: Idę na zakupy.Hili: Zaczekaj, zrobię ci listę.
Jon offers a cartoon; he notes that “Stephan Pastis may have inadvertently (or intentionally) offered a motto for HuffPost.”
A cat poem from reader Blue:
From Jesus of the Day, a psychedelic Ceiling Cat. Don’t look at it too long. . . .
Two tweets from Barry. First, multiple breaching!
Most majestic video ever?
Oh my goodness.
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) August 25, 2020
Look at the athleticism of that cat!
Are you ready for some football!!?
"We rescue ALL animals, though dogs need us the most. But we rescue cats, bunnies, rats, snakes, small exotics, eleflumps, bears, big cats, wildlife, sea life…"-@ElayneBoosler#tailsofjoy 🐶https://t.co/TxkYe1EHBb
From IG @dailyfunnyanimals pic.twitter.com/Qy1SmkSqVb
— Elayne Boosler's Rescue Dog, Ralph (@BooslerS) August 23, 2020
From reader Ken: more bizarre mishigass from Jerry Falwell, Jr. (he’s just officially resigned from the presidency and board of directors of Liberty University):
— Travis Akers (@travisakers) August 23, 2020
Tweets from Matthew.
Absolutely no one:
Russia: Hey wanna see new footage of this sick gigantic hydrogen bomb we set off in 1961 https://t.co/rulWv3fnfN
— Michael Roston (@michaelroston) August 25, 2020
As the New York Times link says about this bomb:
[It was] 3,333 times as destructive as the weapon used on Hiroshima, Japan, and also far more powerful than the 15 megaton weapon set off by the United States in 1954 in its largest hydrogen bomb blast.
And here’s the 30-minute documentary for your viewing pleasure. There are English subtitles.
This is a heartwarming story, but given that this woman spent much of the war in a Russian camp in Siberia, it’s questionable whether she can be called a “Holocaust survivor”, a term I’d use for Jews who lived under Nazi occupation, often in ghettos or concentration camps.
In September 1939, Miriam Schreiber should have been starting first grade. But she spent that year — and the five years that followed — trying to survive. Decades later, though, the 88-year-old #Holocaust survivor finally got a high school diploma. https://t.co/V8wYmKoPG9
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) August 25, 2020
In case you've never seen what millipedelings look like upon hatching from their eggs… now you know https://t.co/4QKADXnZrM
— Gil Wizen (@wizentrop) August 25, 2020
I see Paul took off his sandals. . .
The photo before THE PHOTO pic.twitter.com/23aqJ0xUHr
— Paul Hirons (@Son_Of_Ray) August 23, 2020