Good morning! It’s Labor Day, Monday, September 7, 2020 (a holiday in the U.S., and it’s National Beer Lover’s Day, again with an apostrophe implying that only one beer lover is being feted. It’s also National Salami Day (goes well with beer), National Acorn Squash Day (doesn’t go well with anything), and Grandma Moses Day, celebrating the “primitive painter” born on September 7, 1860, and who lived for 101 years. Imagine being born during the Civil War and living into the era of television! Finally, if you’re in Australia, it’s National Threatened Species Day, and you have plenty to worry about.
As it’s Labor Day, I may labor a bit less, so posting may be light. You should all be outside anyway, enjoying the fresh air and social distancing.
Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot) celebrates Labor Day and workers of the world:
News of the Day: Israel is having a resurgence of coronavirus, due in large part to the refusal of ultra-Orthodox Jews to stop congregating for study and celebrations. Religions poisons—in this case, infects—everything.
In the NYT, Frank Bruni (whose autobiography, Born Round, I’ve just read—don’t waste your time) discusses how colleges may change—forever—in light of the pandemic. For one thing, standardized tests will go away (this is already happening), and parents will become more leery of “elite” colleges with high tuitions. What all this means, which is a theory that is mine, is that the meritocratic hierarchy of colleges—indeed, the meritocracy of college admissions itself—may soon be largely gone.
In Omaha, Nebraska, as the NYT story below recounts, the 11-Worth Cafe has closed, for it had a dish on the menu called the “Robert E. Lee” (sausage biscuits and gravy). Protestors considered it racist and said they were hurt (this was compounded by some dubious social-media posts by the cafe’s owner). Protestors and the owner negotiated, and the owner agreed to ditch the name and give some dosh to the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation. But other protestors said the amount of money wasn’t sufficient, and so they shut down the cafe.
The NYT continues in the HuffPo tradition of dumbing down its article titles with subtitles like the one below. “Here’s what to watch for”. “Here’s what you need to know.” How patronizing can you get!
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 188,815, an increase of about 400 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 882,639, an increase of about 4,000 deaths from yesterday.
Stuff that happened on September 7 includes:
- 1695 – Henry Every perpetrates one of the most profitable pirate raids in history with the capture of the Grand Mughal ship Ganj-i-Sawai. In response, Emperor Aurangzeb threatens to end all English trading in India.
- 1776 – According to American colonial reports, Ezra Lee makes the world’s first submarine attack in the Turtle, attempting to attach a time bomb to the hull of HMS Eagle in New York Harbor (no British records of this attack exist).
The Turtle failed in this and its one other attempt to blow up a ship. Here’s a full-size replica (with a cutaway) of the world’s first combat submarine, on display at the Royal Submarine Museum.
- 1822 – Dom Pedro I declares Brazil independent from Portugal on the shores of the Ipiranga Brook in São Paulo.
- 1906 – Alberto Santos-Dumont flies his 14-bis aircraft at Bagatelle, France for the first time successfully.
Here’s that early aircraft (photographed n 1908), whose 1906 flight was the first manned powered flight publicly witnessed by a crowd (the Wright brothers’ flight, without a crowd, took place in 1903):
And on that note:
- 1909 – Eugène Lefebvre crashes a new French-built Wright biplane during a test flight at Juvisy, south of Paris, becoming the first aviator in the world to lose his life in a powered heavier-than-air craft.
This photo of Lefebvre in his plane was taken just a few days before the crash, which took place from a height of 6 meters (20 feet):
- 1911 – French poet Guillaume Apollinaire is arrested and put in jail on suspicion of stealing the Mona Lisa from the Louvre museum.
- 1921 – In Atlantic City, New Jersey, the first Miss America Pageant, a two-day event, is held.
- 1936 – The last thylacine, a carnivorous marsupial named Benjamin, dies alone in its cage at the Hobart Zoo in Tasmania.
Such a sad report! Here’s a photo of Benjamin, with the caption, “The last known thylacine photographed at Beaumaris Zoo in 1933. A scrotal sac is not visible in this or any other of the photos or film taken, leading to the supposition that ‘Benjamin’ was a female. However, photographic analysis in 2011 suggested that “Benjamin” was male.”
There are sporadic reports of thylacine sightings; indeed, it has the status of the yeti or Bigfoot, except that it was a real animal. No reports have been found credible.
- 1977 – The Torrijos–Carter Treaties between Panama and the United States on the status of the Panama Canal are signed. The United States agrees to transfer control of the canal to Panama at the end of the 20th century.
- 1996 – Rapper and hip hop artist Tupac Shakur is fatally shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. He succumbs to his injuries six days later.
- 2017 – Equifax announce a cyber-crime identity theft event potentially impacting approximately 1451⁄2 million U.S. consumers.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1533 – Elizabeth I of England (d. 1603)
- 1707 – Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, French mathematician, cosmologist, and author (d. 1788)
- 1860 – Grandma Moses, American painter (d. 1961)
I could find a Grandma Moses painting with a cat in it, so here’s the famous painter with a kitten:
- 1885 – Elinor Wylie, American author and poet (d. 1928)
- 1887 – Edith Sitwell, English poet and critic (d. 1964)
- 1924 – Daniel Inouye, American captain and politician, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 2012)
- 1930 – Sonny Rollins, American saxophonist and composer
- 1936 – Buddy Holly, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1959)
- 1951 – Chrissie Hynde, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
Here’s Hynde performing my favorite Pretenders song. I came to appreciate the group only after they’d long waned in popularity.
Those who carked it on September 7 include:
- 1601 – John Shakespeare, father of William Shakespeare (b. 1529)
- 1881 – Sidney Lanier, American poet and academic (b. 1842)
- 1933 – Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon, English ornithologist and politician, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (b. 1862)
- 1949 – José Clemente Orozco, Mexican painter and illustrator (b. 1883)
- 1962 – Karen Blixen, Danish memoirist and short story writer (b. 1885)
Blixen, writing under the pseudonym of Isak DInisen, is one of my favorite writers, and that’s for her fantastic book Out of Africa, first written in English (not her native language; she was Danish). Here’s a photo of her with her great love, Denys Finch Hatton (Wikipedia says it’s her brother Thomas, so I’m not positive about the guy):
- 1969 – Everett Dirksen, American lieutenant and politician (b. 1896)
- 1978 – Keith Moon, English drummer (The Who) (b. 1946)
- 1981 – Christy Brown, Irish author, poet, and painter (b. 1932)
- 2003 – Warren Zevon, American singer-songwriter (b. 1947)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili continues her Lament for the Fall:
Hili: You can’t doubt it.A: Doubt what?Hili: The leaves are falling and it will be cold and wet again.
Hili: Trudno o wątpliwości.Ja: W jakiej sprawie?Hili: Liście spadają i znów będzie zimno i deszcze.
Two pictures of Szaron and kitten Kulka enjoying the front yard:
From Jesus of the Day:
From Bad Cat Clothing:
Here’s a groaner from Annie:
A tweet Simon. No babies were harmed in the enactment of this sport:
I've invented baby curling pic.twitter.com/tTSCm8l1U1
— Alex Fitzpatrick (@AlexJamesFitz) September 4, 2020
From Barry. Yes, it sounds insane but, according to CNN, seems to be true.
The President of the United States is a racist madman https://t.co/ViYhwvNECw
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 6, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. I don’t know how they pulled this first one off. It appears to be in a real stream, not the lab, but how they got the camera in the right position with an osprey around. . . . well, we can only speculate:
Remarkable #underwater footage of an #Osprey grabbing a trout. @GoPro @Rothiemurchus @BBCEarth @Discovery @NatGeo @NatGeoPhotos @BBCSpringwatch @BBCScotland @STVNews @BBCBreakfast @VisitCairngrms @AnimalPlanet pic.twitter.com/yp9KT4mHkj
— Andy Howard (@highland_andy) September 6, 2020
Isn’t this lovely embroidery? I wish she’d do a Drosophila.
I am really enjoying working on #flies – such diversity.
This a #housefly on a scrap of #vintage quilted #fabric from @sue_stitches – just a few days before we hang the show but I feel like I’m only just getting to know my subject & my narrative for the Motheaten Hierarchies#fly pic.twitter.com/hcoU9bp0HR
— Lydia Needle (@blackdoglydia) September 6, 2020
From the estimable Alice Dreger via Matthew. This is not really the total image of UC students now, as they’re getting more woke and less publicly nerdy:
— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) September 6, 2020
Thank Ceiling Cat for doorcams, without which we couldn’t see stuff like this (or people stealing Amazon packages):
It's 2020, at the door. https://t.co/xL5vmeIks3
— Adam Roberts (@arrroberts) September 6, 2020
Capybaras are among the world’s chillest animals, and certainly the chillest rodent (also the world’s largest):
Relaxing video of capybaras devestating a pumpkin https://t.co/3Mlvge4NcB
— Dr Dave Hone (@Dave_Hone) September 6, 2020
Nevertheless, she persisted:
Enjoy this video of a kitten’s 3rd attempt to jump on the counter. pic.twitter.com/EEbuIm9GGl
— The Feel Good Page ❤️ (@akkitwts) September 5, 2020