We’re rushing toward September: it’s Saturday, August 29, 2020. Actually, today (not yesterday, as I mistakenly reported) is National Chop Suey Day, but we’d best leave that execrable concoction behind. The real holidays today include Lemon Juice Day, More Herbs, Less Salt Day, and International Day Against Nuclear Tests.
News of the Day: The major news include a huge march on Washington for racial justice yesterday (the anniversary of Dr. King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech).
It was revealed that Jacob Blake, the man shot in the back in Kenosha (and paralyzed from the waist down), was shackled to his bed in the hospital. The cops aver that it was because of his previous sexual-assault charge (one of the reasons the police went after him before the shooting), but does that matter for a man who can’t walk? A cop outside the room is sufficient.
I tweeted this sports news. It’s the end of a long and great era, though Barca still has to release Messi from his contract.
— Jerry Coyne (@Evolutionistrue) August 28, 2020
An article in the NYT about it:
According to the BBC, and confirmed by a statement on Rowling’s own website, J. K. Rowling has returned the Ripple of Hope award given her last year by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights organization. Why? Because Kerry Kennedy, President of the organization, said that Rowling’s statements about trans women create “a narrative that diminishes the identity of trans and nonbinary people.” Rowling’s response in her own statement is strong and uncompromising.
As I predicted and feared, but hoped would not happen, India is now the site of a furious outbreak of coronavirus: From the Washington Post:
It took more than five months for India to reach the bleak milestone of 1 million cases of the novel coronavirus.
The next million came in just 21 days. The third million was faster still: 16 days.
The increase in cases is unlikely to ebb anytime soon, experts say, as a galloping outbreak spreads to new parts of the country and political leaders continue to reopen the economy. This week, India recorded the highest one-day jump in new cases — more than 77,000 — anywhere in the world since the pandemic began.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 181,741, an increase of about 1000 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 836,456, an increase of about 5,500 deaths from yesterday.
Stuff that happened on August 29 includes:
- 1756 – Frederick the Great attacks Saxony, beginning the Seven Years’ War in Europe.
- 1786 – Shays’ Rebellion, an armed uprising of Massachusetts farmers, begins in response to high debt and tax burdens.
- 1831 – Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction.
- 1885 – Gottlieb Daimler patents the world’s first internal combustion motorcycle, the Reitwagen.
- 1911 – Ishi, considered the last Native American to make contact with European Americans, emerges from the wilderness of northeastern California.
Ishi lived at the University of California at San Francisco for the rest of his life, which was five years. He was often ill as he had no immunity to diseases of non-native-Americans. Here’s a short documentary on his life:
- 1930 – The last 36 remaining inhabitants of St Kilda are voluntarily evacuated to other parts of Scotland.
- 1949 – Soviet atomic bomb project: The Soviet Union tests its first atomic bomb, known as First Lightning or Joe 1, at Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan.
- 1966 – The Beatles perform their last concert before paying fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
- 1966 – Leading Egyptian thinker Sayyid Qutb is executed for plotting the assassination of President Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Qutb, a leader of the Muslim brotherhood, is an important figure in the Pulitzer-Prize-winning book The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright, which traces the origin of Al Qaeda and the attack on the World Trade Center. (I highly recommend the book.) Wright starts his story on the rise of radical Islam with the life of Qutb, shown below on trial in 1966 for plotting the murder of Nasser. Qutb had spent two years in the U.S., and was disgusted by our “salacious” culture, which helped radicalize him.
- 1997 – Netflix is launched as an internet DVD rental service.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1780 – Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, French painter and illustrator (d. 1867)
- 1915 – Ingrid Bergman, Swedish actress (d. 1982)
- 1920 – Charlie Parker, American saxophonist and composer (d. 1955)
Here’s a rare video of Parker, showing Bird and Diz in 1951 playing “Hot House”:
- 1923 – Richard Attenborough, English actor, director, and producer (d. 2014)
- 1924 – Dinah Washington, American singer and pianist (d. 1963)
- 1947 – Temple Grandin, American ethologist, academic, and author
- 1959 – Chris Hadfield, Canadian colonel, pilot, and astronaut
- 1967 – Neil Gorsuch, American judge
Those who passed on on August 29 include:
- 1877 – Brigham Young, American religious leader, 2nd President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (b. 1801)
- 1966 – Sayyid Qutb, Egyptian theorist, author, and poet (b. 1906)
- 1975 – Éamon de Valera, Irish soldier and politician, 3rd President of Ireland (b. 1882)
- 1981 – Lowell Thomas, American journalist and author (b. 1892)
- 1982 – Ingrid Bergman, Swedish actress (b. 1915)
She died on her birthday (see above)
- 1987 – Lee Marvin, American actor (b. 1924)
- 2016 – Gene Wilder, American stage and screen comic actor, screenwriter, film director, and author (b. 1933
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, wokeness has made its way to Poland—and to the animals!
A: What are you gazing at?Hili: The sparrows are quarreling about which one is more woke.
Ja: Czemu się tak przyglądasz?Hili: Wróble się kłócą, który z nich jest bardziej przebudzony.
And Kulka decided to return to Andrzej’s desk and nap. She’s still very small, but growing fast.
From Leiter Reports, Brian Leiter’s website: “Julia Child little known guide to preparing Chat au vin” (h/t: Greg)
From Bad Cat Clothing. I’d totally be that student!
I made a (re)tweet:
— Jerry Coyne (@Evolutionistrue) August 28, 2020
A speech tweeted by Andrew Sullivan, from whom we’ll hear later today. It’s a powerful paean to peaceful (rather than violent) demonstrations.
So good. So right. So true. https://t.co/IsHJ8igqSN
— Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) August 27, 2020
From Simon: one of our profs, but not the Michael Kremer in the U of C news:
I hate to lose followers…
To all the nice economists who have followed me in the last week, I am NOT the Nobel prize winning economist who is joining UChicago. I am a philosopher who has taught at UChicago for 18 years.
The economist is not on Twitter, afaik.
— Michael Kremer (@m_j_kremer) August 27, 2020
From Woody. I hope not all law enforcement in Kenosha is this bigoted and authoritarian!
This is the sheriff of Kenosha county, in 2018, calling for crazy ass racist shit: pic.twitter.com/qsw4CdDHPa
— Tim Dickinson (@7im) August 26, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. Look at these leopards leap to their freedom!
Four Persian leopards were released into the wild in Russia's Caucasus to reintroduce the endangered species in their historical habitat pic.twitter.com/iCzPNHqfrV
— Reuters (@Reuters) August 28, 2020
Stoat outwits juvenile fox:
The feisty stoat jumps over the lazy fox
— fontguy (@mickduggan) August 28, 2020
This is not bullshit at all—it’s the way things are supposed to be.
"this is such bullshit"
📸: LOL24 user Kinemic pic.twitter.com/OiVljb3Ry9
— Paul Bronks (@SlenderSherbet) August 28, 2020
And this shows why the tweet above isn’t bullshit:
“Happiness belongs to the self-sufficient.” – Aristotle. pic.twitter.com/FJeh35shCG
— Dick King-Smith HQ (@DickKingSmith) August 28, 2020