Greet the weekend! It’s Saturday, October 10, 2020: National Angel Food Cake Day. One of my favorite cakes, Angel Food is rarely seen these days. When I was a tyke, on my birthday my mom used to make me either a strawberry angel-food cake with strawberry icing, or one with coffee icing. I haven’t had those treats in decades.
It’s also World Porridge Day, National Cake Decorating Day, National Chess Day, National Metric Day, International African Penguin Awareness Day, World Day Against the Death Penalty, and World Mental Health Day.
The African Penguin, celebrated today, is in fact a species of penguin rather than just penguins living in Africa: Spheniscus demersus. It’s now endangered, but you can see some at Boulders Beach near Cape Town. Here are some photos:
News of the day: I forgot to write yesterday that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded, as you undoubtedly know already, to the UN’s World Food Programme for its ongoing “efforts to combat hunger” and its “contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas.”
As Roger Cohen pointed out in the New York Times, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had initially agreed to participate in a virtual memorial on October 20 to Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister who, 25 years ago on November 4, was killed by an assassin who deplored Rabin’s desire to compromise with the Palestinians and Rabin’s peace initiative with Yasser Arafat. It wouldn’t do, after all, to have anybody on “The Squad” celebrate anything to do with Israel. Remember, one hallmark of the “progressive” Democrats is their unstinting celebration of all things Palestinian and the demonization of all things Israeli and Jewish.
Reader Charles calls attention to an NBC news article revealing that doctors at Walter Reed were asked to sign nondisclosure agreements before they could be involved in Trump’s treatment in 2019, when he made that mysterious visit to the facility long before he got coronavirus. Charles thinks that this may indicate that Trump has a serious undisclosed medical condition (by law, doctors can’t real anything about the President’s health without permission, so nondisclosure agreements aren’t even needed).
Speaking of Trump, the second debate, originally scheduled for next Thursday, is definitely off now, with the “President” refusing to participate in a virtual debate. The October 22 debate schedule to be non-virtual in Nashville, is apparently still on.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 213,593, an increase of about 900 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll remains at “1.0 million +”, with 5,648 deaths reported yesterday.
Stuff that happened on October 10 includes:
- 1845 – In Annapolis, Maryland, the Naval School (later the United States Naval Academy) opens with 50 students.
- 1871 – Chicago burns after a barn accident. The fire lasts from October 8–10.
- 1913 – U.S. President Wilson triggers the explosion of the Gamboa Dike, completing major construction on the Panama Canal.
- 1933 – A United Airlines Boeing 247 is destroyed by sabotage, the first such proven case in the history of commercial aviation.
- 1938 – Abiding by the Munich Agreement, Czechoslovakia completes its withdrawal from the Sudetenland.
- 1973 – U.S. Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns after being charged with evasion of federal income tax.
Here’s Agnew explaining his resignation. Talk about dreadful Vice Presidents! Nattering nabob, indeed.
- 2018 – Hurricane Michael makes landfall in the Florida Panhandle as a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane. It kills 57 people in the United States, 45 in Florida, and causes an estimated $25.1 billion in damage.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1731 – Henry Cavendish, French-English chemist, physicist, and philosopher (d. 1810)
- 1813 – Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer and philanthropist (d. 1901)
- 1825 – Paul Kruger, South African soldier and politician, 5th President of the South African Republic (d. 1904)
- 1861 – Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian explorer, scientist, and humanitarian, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1930)
Nansen may be the only explorer to ever win the Nobel Prize. He was a polymath, and wickedly handsome to boot. Here he is in polar gear, looking like a fierce Viking:
Yours truly in a replica parka, in a photo taken to advertise my presence on the MS Roald Amundsen as a lecturer in Antarctica. Photo by Andrea Klaussner, the ship’s photographer. (I believe I put this up when I was aboard the ship).
- 1900 – Helen Hayes, American actress (d. 1993)
- 1917 – Thelonious Monk, American pianist and composer (d. 1982)
- 1946 – John Prine, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2020)
- 1959 – Julia Sweeney, American actress, comedian, producer, and screenwriter
- 1963 – Daniel Pearl, American-Israeli journalist (d. 2002)
- 1969 – Brett Favre, American football player
Those who departed this life on October 10 include:
- 1963 – Édith Piaf, French singer-songwriter and actress (b. 1915)
Here’s my favorite Piaf song, “Les Amants d’un jour” (“Lovers for a day”). It’s ineffably beautiful, but the subject is sad: two lovers who commit suicide in a hotel. This song is obscure, but shouldn’t be. Her others, like “La Vie en Rose” and “Non, Je ne Regrette Rien” are far more popular, but I like this one better.
- 1985 – Yul Brynner, Russian actor (b. 1920)
- 1985 – Orson Welles, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1915)
- 2005 – Wayne C. Booth, American educator and critic (b. 1921)
- 2013 – Scott Carpenter, American commander, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1925)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili isn’t excited about the latest crop:
Hili: Nuts again?A: Yes, but this year there are very few of them.
Hili: Znowu orzechy?Ja: Tak, ale w tym roku jest ich bardzo mało.
I stole this billboard from Andrew Sullivan’s weekly column, and he stole it from The Curious Brain. Very clever ad!
From Amy. Recognize the quote?
Trump is stimulating the economy, though in a roundabout way. Help small business by buying one of these Donald Trump toilet brushes. And yes, they’re real; I found a place that sells them for five bucks. (h/t Charles)
Titania pointed this out, and OMG has the UN has become überwoke!
YAAASSS @UN_Women!!! 👏👏👊
While women still live in constant fear of manterruption, we cannot claim to be living in an equal society. https://t.co/Qv9MwYlHmp
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) October 9, 2020
From Simon, a smart rodent! And the answer is correct.
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) October 9, 2020
From Jeremy. Yes, this is a real duckling, and probably from the Crested breed of domesticated mallard. It looks like Trump!
please everyone look at this duck pic.twitter.com/1rJlxT9oWl
— sarah (@heavenbrat) October 6, 2020
From Barry, a funny question to Joel Osteen’s prayer line. Will Jesus wear a mask if he returns?
— Dina Hashem (@dinahashem_) October 8, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. First, another fly meme. . .
Ricky Gervais has a new rescue tabby cat, and he got it from our Official Website Charity®, Feline Friends London! He named her Pickle.
If you want to support this fine organization, which is all volunteer and no kill, go here.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) October 8, 2020
And Pickle has already made herself at home!
Yeah, just use the antique cushion. pic.twitter.com/UF4ukNDJwL
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) October 9, 2020
Great shots of a Cooper’s Hawk attacking pigeons. (Enlarge pix for best view.) Good thing they didn’t go after our ducks.
Showed this #CoopersHawk attack shot from yesterday to my s/o and she said "if this doesn't win an award, i will kill the judges." 😂 LMAO! Anyhow, #urbanraptors and pigeons make for dynamic wintering partners – things are about to get serious out here! #eastcambridgeraptors pic.twitter.com/m4CrhpdAds
— brian neogonzo (@dontneedroads) October 9, 2020