The end of another damn week: Friday, September 4, 2020. It’s a three-day weekend in America, as Monday is a holiday—Labor Day. It’s also National Macadamia Nut Day, my favorite nut (along with cashews and pistachios). It’s also Eat an Extra Dessert Day (I’m working on a big seedless watermelon), National Food Bank Day, National Wildlife Day, and Newspaper Carrier Day.
News of the Day: More unbelievable shenanigans by the man Americans elected to lead the country. Trump urged voters who voted by mail to also show up to the polling places to “test the system”. If your mail-in ballot wasn’t recorded, you’d possibly be voting twice, and even trying to do that is illegal, and a felony in some places. (Polling places have ways to give you a provisional ballot if you say you’ve already mailed one in but it wasn’t recorded.) In other words, Trump was urging people to try to commit a crime.
An essay by data analyst David Byler in the Washington Post, “Nobody can predict this election. Here’s why“, gives seven reason why we shouldn’t even be trying to prognosticate at this point. (I do object to the “Here’s why” trope, which is becoming annoying.”
Iran is taking a harder theocratic line during the pandemic, cracking down on women who wear their hijabs improperly or don’t wear them at all. Now they’ve arrested a well-known musician, Mehdi Rajabhian, for the unspeakable crime of collaborating with female artists (some in other countries). He’s served two prison terms before for producing music without government permission. As the Post’s story notes,
He is not afraid of going to prison again, he said in a text message. The repression he has faced, he said, has been “a prison in itself.”
That is a brave man.
Movie theaters are starting to reopen in some places, including Chicago, and just in time for the first summer blockbuster, “Tenet”. (Some places still lock them down, including New York.) Allowed occupancy ranges from 25% to 50%, and employees and patrons must wear masks. But a video about reopening shows people eating popcorn in the theater, and pulling down their masks to do so. WTF? I ain’t going, that’s for sure!
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 186,718, an increase of about 1100 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 868,337, an increase of about 6,000 deaths from yesterday.
Stuff that happened on September 4 include:
- 1781 – Los Angeles is founded as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels) by 44 Spanish settlers.
- 1862 – American Civil War Maryland Campaign: General Robert E. Lee takes the Army of Northern Virginia, and the war, into the North.
We will speak no more of Lee. . .
- 1888 – George Eastman registers the trademark Kodak and receives a patent for his camera that uses roll film.
Here’s that patent:
I didn’t know about those riots, but I see 13 people were injured and Robeson (black, of course) was lynched in effigy. The riots were also against both blacks and Jews, back in the time when those groups used to stand together.
Robeson is one of my favorite singers. Here’s a lovely documentary in which he sings a cappella to some Scottish miners:
- 1951 – The first live transcontinental television broadcast takes place in San Francisco, from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference.
- 1957 – American Civil Rights Movement: Little Rock Crisis: The governor of Arkansas calls out the National Guard to prevent African American students from enrolling in Central High School.
Here are the Little Rock Nine—nine black students who defied the governor and enrolled in Central High. Look at those angry whites!
- 1972 – Mark Spitz becomes the first competitor to win seven medals at a single Olympic Games.
- 1972 – The Price Is Right premieres on CBS. As of 2018, it is the longest running game show on American television.
- 1998 – Google is founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1846 – Daniel Burnham, American architect, designed the World’s Columbian Exposition (d. 1912)
- 1906 – Max Delbrück, German-American biophysicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1981)
- 1908 – Richard Wright, American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet (d. 1960)
- 1913 – Stanford Moore, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1982)
- 1920 – Craig Claiborne, American journalist, author, and critic (d. 2000)
- 1981 – Beyoncé, American singer-songwriter, producer, dancer, and actress
Those who cashed in their chips on September 4 include:
- 1986 – Hank Greenberg, American baseball player and manager (b. 1911)
- 1993 – Hervé Villechaize, French-American actor (b. 1943)
I didn’t realize that Villechaize committed suicide. But remember this? “Da plane!” “Smiles, everyone—smiles!”
- 2006 – Steve Irwin, Australian zoologist and television host (b. 1962)
- 2014 – Joan Rivers, American comedian, television host, and author (b. 1933)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili won’t get up unless there’s something interesting to do:
A: Did you sleep well?Hili: I don’t know yet, it depends on what you are proposing.
Ja: Wyspałaś się?Hili: Jeszcze nie wiem, zależy co mi proponujesz.
Here’s Kitten Kulka exploring:
From reader Charles, a self explanatory meme:
An excellent cartoon from the FB page The Giggle Box Project:
I’m not sure more than 25% of the readers will get this one. If you do, put the answer in the comments:
This d*g just can’t wait to sniff the luggage! Note how it starts off carrying the leash in its mouth. There’s sound, too, though it doesn’t add much.
Find a job you enjoy doing and you will never have to work a day in your life.
📹: Imgur user OctopussSevenTwo pic.twitter.com/Y4tB36S9nU
— Paul Bronks (@SlenderSherbet) September 3, 2020
From Luana: Social justice as a religion à la McWhorter (you must have the sound up for this):
2020 be wildin' pic.twitter.com/ugjo47xikK
— mostly bearable tweets (@bendellwerry) September 3, 2020
From Barry. If Jesus’s face in toast proves Christianity, this proves Lovecraft’s deity:
Proof of Cthulhu.
Checkmate silly religions. pic.twitter.com/YwTdOJGPZB
— The bad ass kicking new atheist (@atheist_bad) September 3, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. This first one, a cartoon from The New Yorker, is more sad than funny:
A cartoon by David Sipress. pic.twitter.com/SATaDqitUR
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) September 3, 2020
I wish I had a cat that meerkatted:
In honor of Rue’s fifth birthday. Meerkatting. pic.twitter.com/F8GMCRvTmm
— erin (@actuallyerin) September 3, 2020
A gynandromorph is an animal that’s part male, part female, and often in insects the split is right down the middle. This can happen in various ways. Aedes doesn’t have the XX/XY sex determination system of Drosophila or mammals, so it can’t become a gynandromorph by an XX female losing one sex chromosome at the first cell division, becoming an X- (“XO”) male on that side. In Aedes, sex determination is due to a single gene, with the dominant allele (M) conferring male traits and the recessive (m) females ones. So if a male embryo, Mm, lost the chromosome with the M allele in one cell of the two-cell stage, it would be male on the Mm side and female on the Om side. This is probably what happened to this creature. (h/t Matthew for the reference).
At any rate, this poor mosquito is split down the middle, and since male and female wings are different sizes, it can’t fly.
Here’s an interesting question: since only female mosquitoes bite, does this one bite?
The poor mosquito is lopsided and unable to fly, possibly because one wing is larger than the other. pic.twitter.com/3pUqEKTIVp
— Perran Ross (@MosWhisperer) September 3, 2020
Yes, this wasp is adorable—and tiny. Read more about the Encyrtidae here.
Check out this adorable little wasp. https://t.co/R1WzkRroLG
— Dr Sam Heads (@swheads) September 3, 2020