It’s Hump Day: Wednesday, September 23, 2020, and National Pancake Day. I could use one, as I haven’t had a flapjack in ages (make mine blueberry buckwheat with real maple syrup). Another thing I haven’t had is a good pot pie, celebrated today during National Great American Pot Pie Day. It’s also National Snack Stick Day, which I suppose celebrates stuff like Slim Jims, beef jerky, and string cheese, National Checkers Day, and Celebrate Bisexuality Day.
We’ve passed the once-unimaginable figure of 200,000 Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. (see below).
There’s a Google Doodle today, the winner among five K-12 finalists (click screenshot to see them all) entered on the theme of “I show kindness”. 9TO5Google explains the winner:
The winning Doodle, which will appear on the Google.com homepage for the entirety of September 23, 2020, comes from Sharon Sara, a 4th grader from Frisco, TX. Entitled “Together as One,” Sharon’s Doodle shows a group of girls with different hair styles, body types, skin colors, and clothing styles holding hands as friends.
As for the “Google” portion of this Doodle, not only do each of the girls have a letter of “Google” on their clothing, the letters are also included in each girl’s hairdo in a fun way.
The message is one that I like, and comports well with Dr. King’s message about the content of one’s character, but flies in the face of identity politics:
“People have not wanted to be my friend because of how I look, so I decided to draw what I do!” [Sara] told Google. “No matter what people look like, you look on the inside and then decide if you want to be their friend.
“Kindness means to not look at someone from the outside, but look at their personality, and being open to their friendship,” she added.
News of the Day: Cindy McCain, the widow of Republican John McCain, has endorsed Biden for President. Here’s one of her tweets; there are two others on her page (h/t Ken)
My husband John lived by a code: country first. We are Republicans, yes, but Americans foremost. There's only one candidate in this race who stands up for our values as a nation, and that is @JoeBiden.
— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) September 22, 2020
The Supreme Court nomination issue is officially over since Mitt Romney said he’d vote for, well, whoever Trump nominates. He cited a precedent that doesn’t exist:
“The historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party’s nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own,” Mr. Romney said in a statement on Tuesday.
And isn’t it weird that the GOP is vowing to confirm Trump’s nominee before one is even chosen? I thought vetting the nominee is what hearings are for. Of course, it doesn’t matter this time, as no matter who Trump nominates, including Amy Coney Barrett, a strongly pro-life Catholic who will lie during hearings about her willingness to objectively re-adjudicate Roe v. Wade.
Furious (and rightly so) that they can’t stop the Trump/Supreme Court juggernaut, Democrats acted a bit childish yesterday, disrupting Senate business. From the NYT:
On a day of partisan acrimony on the Senate floor, Democrats refused to give the routine consent needed to allow committees to meet more than two hours after the chamber convenes, cutting short a closed-door meeting of the Intelligence Committee and a cybersecurity hearing.
“We can’t have business as usual when Republicans are destroying the institution, as they have done,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader.
. . . Top Democrats conceded that their objections would have no effect on the ultimate vote.
This doesn’t seem to be either smart or efficacious.
Here are the results of yesterday’s two polls on the Supreme Court nomination fracas. The readers opined that the Dems would do the same thing the Republicans are with respect to the President’s nomination, and almost all predicted (accurately, I think) that the Senate would vote, and would do so to confirm Trump’s nominee.
Here’s Carly Simon’s new anti-Trump ad, which is great. “Your face it was apricot. . .” (h/t Randy)
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 200,731, a big increase of about 1,000 deaths over yesterday’s report. We finally passed the grim figure of 200,000. The world death toll now stands at 969,429, an increase of about 5,700 deaths from yesterday. And we’re approaching a million deaths worldwide., which might happen within a week.
Stuff that happened on September 23 includes:
- 1338 – The Battle of Arnemuiden, in which a French force defeats the English, is the first naval battle of the Hundred Years’ War and the first naval battle in which gunpowder artillery is used.
- 1642 – The first commencement exercises occur at Harvard College.
- 1806 – Lewis and Clark return to St. Louis after exploring the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
- 1845 – The Knickerbockers Baseball Club, the first baseball team to play under the modern rules, is founded in New York.
- 1846 – Astronomers Urbain Le Verrier, John Couch Adams and Johann Gottfried Galle collaborate on the discovery of Neptune.
- 1932 – The unification of Saudi Arabia is completed.
- 1962 – The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts opens in New York City.
- 1986 – Houston Astros’ Jim Deshaies sets a record, striking out the first eight batters he faces against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This record was tied by Jacob deGrom of the Mets in 2014. Here’s a very short video showing Deshales last strikeout of the streak:
- 2002 – The first public version of the web browser Mozilla Firefox (“Phoenix 0.1”) is released.
- 2019 – The British travel company, Thomas Cook Group, declares bankruptcy, leaving employees without jobs and 600,000 customers stranded abroad. Hotels throughout the world are stuck with £3.5 million (U.S. $4.3 million) in unpaid bills.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1215 – Kublai Khan, Mongolian emperor (d. 1294)
- 1865 – Suzanne Valadon, French model and painter (d. 1938)
Valadon modeled for many famous painters, painted herself (see a specimen below) and was also Toulouse-Lautrec’s and Erik Satie’s lover. Here’s her photo:
From Wikipedia: “Valadon is depicted dancing in Pierre-Auguste Renoir‘s 1883 painting, Dance at Bougival”. It does look like Valadon!
And one of Valadon’s own paintings, “Joy of Life”:
Those who crossed the Great Divide on September 23 include:
- 1889 – Wilkie Collins, English novelist, short story writer, and playwright (b. 1824)
- 1939 – Sigmund Freud, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist (b. 1856)
- 1968 – Pio of Pietrelcina, Italian priest and saint (b. 1887)
This is Padre Pio, famous for his stigmata. Here he is celebrating Mass with gloves covering his self-inflicted wounds:
- 1973 – Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet and diplomat, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1904)
- 1987 – Bob Fosse, American actor, dancer, choreographer, and director (b. 1927)
Here are six of Fosse’s signature dance moves that appeared in the musical Chicago:
- 2013 – Ruth Patrick, American botanist and immunologist (b. 1907)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is being a hardass editor, spying on Andrzej though the window:
Hili: I can see what you are doing.A: What?Hili: You are reading stupid articles instead of working.
Hili: Dobrze widzę co robisz.Ja: Co?Hili: Czytasz głupie artykuły zamiast pracować.
Here’s a picture by Paulina of Kulka and Szaron up a tree:
From Mary. I don’t think this is real as I haven’t been able to find it on the Internet. Well, you might say nobody would use it anyway, but I found a recipe for homemade pumpkin-spice ranch dressing. Gag me with a spoon!
Trick or tweet! From Charles: a nice Stephan Pastis cartoon:
Terence sent a meme of a Killer Kat:
Titania explains intersectionality:
For those of you who are confused about how intersectional activism works, here’s a diagram to make everything nice and clear. pic.twitter.com/HY8rmymHTy
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) September 22, 2020
A children’s climbing frame gets adopted by a bunch of wildlife, including a badger who tries (and fails) to climb the rope. Sound up.
When the badger tries to climb the rope 💚 pic.twitter.com/y4yGlJBDhb
— The Dodo (@dodo) September 22, 2020
From Barry, who says this sums up Republicans quite nicely:
Sums up Republicans quite nicely https://t.co/6l4YqWrpQq
— Dr Jodi Ruiz Duval (@DrVanHelsingPhD) September 21, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. The cuckoo, as you may well know, is a nest parasite, laying its eggs in other species’ nests (one per nest). The baby cuckoo hatches, kills all the offspring, and proceeds to be the sole occupant, garnering the food that the mother brings. Apparently this wren, like most parasitized species, doesn’t recognize the much larger chick as “not her own”, and feeds it until she’s exhausted. It’s a maternal instinct gone wrong.
That is tragic. The poor wren loves its giant baby so much. The cuckoo looks smug and idle, but maybe it loves its step-parent too. It doesn’t know any better. https://t.co/gaZbG0bDil
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) September 22, 2020
Wombats mowing grass from both ends!
A unique dual grass-munching feature gives you the ultimate in marsupial mowing performance.
Choose Wombats™. pic.twitter.com/9QidSv3orQ
— Dick King-Smith HQ (@DickKingSmith) September 21, 2020
Sporulation (sound up):
— Biohacking Space Peshawar (@biohackersPew) September 22, 2020
Okay, if this is true, how did he get the cat’s prescription?
Lincoln Journal Star, Nebraska, June 28, 1934 pic.twitter.com/eOA52uuzix
— Diane Doniol-Valcroze (@ddoniolvalcroze) September 22, 2020
And I thought I had too many mallards!
— Dave Grant (@gullman1066) September 21, 2020