‘Tis the cruelest day of the week: Tuesday, and September 15, 2020. It’s National Linguine Day: make mine with clams and lots of garlic, olive oil, and parsley. It’s also National Cheese Toast Day, National Double Cheeseburger Day, National Crème de Menthe Day, Butterscotch Cinnamon Pie Day (WTF?), Greenpeace Day (see below), Google.com Day, and International Day of Democracy. It’s also the beginning of both German American Heritage Month and National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot) honors Felicitas Mendez, who, along with her husband, brought an end to the legal segregation of whites and Hispanics in California schools. The case was Mendez v. Westminster, decided in 1947, and made California the first state America to end school segregation.
Don’t forget to vote for Clarence the Cat at this link; you can vote once daily through Facebook. If Clarence wins, his vet bills will be paid off with the $5000 prize. There are about 2.5 days left, and you can vote once every 24 hours. Clarence is still in first place!
News of the Day: High school parties in the northeast US are delaying the start of school in some areas, as students crowd together closely without masks. I saw this yesterday at a fraternity at my school, with a bunch of guys playing beer pong on the front porch, croweded together and without masks (and using the same pong ball). (A “defund the police” sign hung on the outside wall above the pong table.)
Two Los Angeles deputies who were ambushed and critically injured inside their patrol car will now be okay, it’s said, but the really disgusting part is the crowd that gathered outside the hospital, allegedly crying, “We hope they die”. More from ABC:
Video from outside St. Francis Medical Center shows authorities trying to clear the area. At one point, a few people were seen blocking the emergency exit and entrance to the hospital.
One witness said some of the demonstrators even tried to get inside the building.
“They were saying, ‘Death to the police.’ ‘Kill the police.’ And they were using all types of curse words and derogatory terms about the police, just provoking our police officers,” said Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez with Churches in Action. “(It’s) unacceptable behavior because the hospital should be a sanctuary. We should leave hospitals alone.”
Courtesy of reader Ken, we have the article below. Ken adds, “This may be the most unhinged thing I’ve heard yet. And it comes from the Trump administration’s assistant secretary of public affairs of (and official spokesman for) the Department of Health and Human Services (even though he, Michael Caputo, has zero experience in either public health or medicine).” Article is below; an excerpt:
The top communications official at the powerful cabinet department in charge of combating the coronavirus made outlandish and false claims on Sunday that career government scientists were engaging in “sedition” in their handling of the pandemic and that left-wing hit squads were preparing for armed insurrection after the election.
Michael Caputo, 58, the assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, said without evidence that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was harboring a “resistance unit” determined to undermine President Trump.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 194,317, an increase of about 400 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 927,905, an increase of about 4,500 deaths from yesterday. And we’re fast approaching a million deaths worldwide.
Stuff that happened on September 15 include:
- 1440 – Gilles de Rais, one of the earliest known serial killers, is taken into custody upon an accusation brought against him by Jean de Malestroit, Bishop of Nantes.
This is a sordid tale; read it at the link if you wish. de Rais was eventually caught and hanged.
- 1530 – Appearance of the miraculous portrait of Saint Dominic in Soriano in Soriano Calabro, Calabria, Italy; commemorated as a feast day by the Roman Catholic Church 1644–1912.
As Wikipedia says dryly, “The painting may no longer exist.” Here’s a painting by Francisco de Zurbarán (1626) that supposedly shows the miraculous artwork:
Notables born on this day include:
- 1789 – James Fenimore Cooper, American novelist, short story writer, and historian (d. 1851)
- 1857 – William Howard Taft, American lawyer, jurist, and politician, 27th President of the United States (d. 1930)
- 1876 – Bruno Walter, German-American pianist, composer, and conductor (d. 1962)
- 1894 – Jean Renoir, French actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1979)
- 1907 – Fay Wray, Canadian-American actress (d. 2004)
- 1929 – Murray Gell-Mann, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2019)
- 1945 – Jessye Norman, American soprano
Here’s my favorite song by Jessye Norman, “Beim Schlafengehen” by Strauss. I want this playing as I slip away from life, and I want to go out during the big crescendo.
- 1946 – Oliver Stone, American director, screenwriter, and producer
Those who went West on September 15 include:
- 1938 – Thomas Wolfe, American novelist (b. 1900)
Wolfe is one of my literary heroes, though he’s disdained by most literature critics as guilty of overwriting. Yes, he could turn on the purple ink, but some of his prose was among the best in American literature. On October 1 I’ll post my usual section of Wolfe’s “Hymn to October.” He died of tuberculosis at only 37. Here’s the big man:
- 2003 – Garner Ted Armstrong, American evangelist and author (b. 1930)
- 2006 – Oriana Fallaci, Italian journalist and author (b. 1929)
- 2017 – Harry Dean Stanton, American actor (b. 1926)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is kvetching:
Hili: It’s the same every day.A: What do you mean?Hili: One has to decide whether to go here or there.
Hili: Każdego dnia to samo.Ja: To znaczy?Hili: Trzeba się zdecydować, czy iść tu, czy tam.
Little Kulka has made it up to the high wicker shelf on the veranda.
Caption: Kulka is conquering more high shelves.
And here’s Matthew’s cat Pepper lolling about in the Indian Summer sun:
From Facebook. Surely you’ll guess the quote:
From Bruce. I get at least one of these calls per day (my car is twenty years old and clearly has no warranty, extended or otherwise):
From an excellent site (I recommend you subscribe), I am not a grammar cop. I am an English-language enthusiast. This burglar is gonna itch!
From reader gravelinspector. This isn’t from the real Sinead O’Connor (I call her “Skinhead O’Connor”), but it’s still funny: Trump as an Irishman.
Funniest thing ever. You won't understand it if you're not Irish pic.twitter.com/izYrs5CkeA
— Sinead O'Connor (AKA Shuhada Sadaqat) (@MagdaDavitt77) September 14, 2020
From reader Barry. I may have posted this before, but it’s good to hear that somebody will look after this golden seal pup if the colony rejects it. Sound up.
A super rare albino seal pup was born on Tyuleniy Island, Russia, and though it’s cute, it could be shunned by its colony. While the pup is currently getting fed, fed, scientists will come to his rescue if he starts getting rejected by his colony pic.twitter.com/avjVnTIHFt
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 14, 2020
From Richard. If you’re writing a novel, use this handy quality-assessment guide:
— Tom Gauld (@tomgauld) September 13, 2020
From cesar. The position of this duck is frightening, but I assume it could fly away if it went over:
Mentally, I'm here. pic.twitter.com/qqfMVLuPOy
— Isaac Fitzgerald🤞🏻🖤 (@IsaacFitzgerald) September 13, 2020
From Simon. Look how fast that thing swims!
Just a terrifying reminder that you physically cannot out swim a crocodile even if you tried… https://t.co/DGQQeCZpp1
— Tyus D. Williams 🐾🐅🐆 (@sciencewithtyus) September 12, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. Nope, this first one is for real. These people seem completely oblivious to the fact that masks don’t just protect them, but protect other people from them.
This has to be an SNL skit. It just has to be. pic.twitter.com/HURtVSr9DL
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) September 14, 2020
Matthew pronounces in animal behavior. I’m with him on this one: chickens are velociraptors in a feather suit:
The dog is clearly playing, but I sense a colder more serious attitude in the chicken. I could be wrong. https://t.co/NoQWt3lGS8
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) September 14, 2020
Spot the spider! (The answer is in the thread.)
Can you spot the spider in this picture pic.twitter.com/0GThEQbj1d
— Aleksandra Dolezal (@Ecology_forlife) September 14, 2020