DO NOT FORGET TO SET YOUR CLOCKS BACK IF YOU DIDN’T LAST NIGHT.
And it’s also a multiple food month, to wit:
National Fun with Fondue Month
National Georgia Pecan Month
National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month (again, implying only one peanut butter aficionado is being honored)
National Pepper Month
National Stuffing Month
National Raisin Bread Month
November 1-7: National Fig Week
As always, I start November by posting a lovely and appropriate poem by Wallace Stevens
Yillow, yillow, yillow,
Old worm, my pretty quirk,
How the wind spells out
Sep – tem – ber….
Summer is in bones.
Cock-robin’s at Caracas.
Make o, make o, make o,
Oto – otu – bre.
And the rude leaves fall.
The rain falls. The sky
Falls and lies with worms.
The street lamps
Are those that have been hanged.
Dangling in an illogical
To and to and fro
Fro Niz – nil – imbo.
On top of that, it’s National Calzone Day, National Deep Fried Clams Day, National Cinnamon Day, National Vinegar Day, National and World Vegan Day, and National Brush Day, celebrating the toothbrush.
Only two days remain until I get sliced like a porterhouse steak at Peter Luger’s: I report for slicing and dicing at 6 a.m. on Tuesday. I took my first COVID test yesterday morning (required before surgery) and it came back negative less than 24 hours later.
Today’s Google Doodles (click on screenshot) goes to a “how to vote” page:
News of the Day: According to a New York Times/Siena College poll, Biden is leading Trump by a “clear advantage” in four key states: Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, and (by a wide margin) Wisconsin. People are fed up with Trump, he’s going to lose, and I’ll win abut $400. (I also have a bet that if Biden wins, the election will not be taken to the Supreme Court.) I won big time in 2012 and 2008, winning two dinners and several hundred bucks betting on Obama. I lost on Hillary last time, but will recoup my losses this November.
Joseph R. Biden Jr. holds a clear advantage over President Trump across four of the most important presidential swing states, a new poll shows, bolstered by the support of voters who did not participate in the 2016 election and who now appear to be turning out in large numbers to cast their ballots, mainly for the Democrat.
Mr. Biden, the former vice president, is ahead of Mr. Trump in the Northern battlegrounds of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, as well as in the Sun Belt states of Florida and Arizona, according to a poll of likely voters conducted by The New York Times and Siena College. His strength is most pronounced in Wisconsin, where he has an outright majority of the vote and leads Mr. Trump by 11 points, 52 percent to 41 percent.
A journalism scandal at The Atlantic. A Washington Post story gives the link to the Atlantic piece and the “correction”. A quote from WaPo
The Atlantic’s widely read story on niche sports and ambitious parents took a strange turn late Friday night, when the publication appended a nearly 800-word editor’s note claiming that its fact checkers had been deceived — including by the author of the piece. According to the note, Ruth Shalit Barrett — the former New Republic writer who left journalism in 1999 after scandals over plagiarism and claims that she embellished quotes and exaggerated details — participated in a scheme to mislead the magazine about at least one detail relating to the story’s central character.
What I want to know is why Barrett was allowed to publish a piece in The Atlantic 20 years after she left journalism because of intolerable journalistic behavior. Once a journalistic miscreant, always a journalistic miscreant, as we know from Jonah Lehrer.
Oy! Well, this next story proves that all police training isn’t innocuous. The Manual (Kentucky) Redeye reports that, for a brief period, well, I’ll let the paper tell you: (h/t Saul)
A training slideshow used by the Kentucky State Police (KSP) — the second largest police force in the state — urges cadets to be “ruthless killer[s]” and quotes Adolf Hitler advocating violence.
Yes, it’s true, though they haven’t used that slideshow for a long time. See the site for the slides.
For the third day in a row, Illinois has set a daily record for new coronavrus cases: 7,899. I was tested yesterday as well, as all pre-surgery patients must be. It was painless, even though they said it would be “uncomfortable.” As I expected (see above), I was negative.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 230,494, an increase of about 800 from yesterday’s figure. The world death toll is 1,201,232,, an increase of about 6,600 over yesterday’s report.
Stuff that happened on November 1 includes:
- 1512 – The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, is exhibited to the public for the first time.
It took the old guy ten years (in two dollops) to paint that ceiling, and I must see it one day. Italy is the one European country that I’ve almost never visited. I’ve never been to Florence, Rome, or any of the great cities, having spent only three days in Padua (for a conference) and a month in Bellagio on Lake Como (for a writing stint).
- 1520 – The Strait of Magellan, the passage immediately south of mainland South America connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, is first discovered and navigated by European explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the first recorded circumnavigation voyage.
- 1604 – William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello is performed for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.
- 1611 – Shakespeare’s play The Tempest is performed for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.
- 1755 – In Portugal, Lisbon is totally devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunami, killing between 60,000 and 90,000 people.
One of the deadliest earthquakes in history, this disaster features in Voltaire’s Candide as an example of how this is not the best of all possible worlds (and, by extension, God isn’t doing a good job).
- 1800 – John Adams becomes the first President of the United States to live in the Executive Mansion (later renamed the White House).
- 1894 – Buffalo Bill, 15 of his Indians, and Annie Oakley were filmed by Thomas Edison in his Black Maria Studio in West Orange, New Jersey.
Here’s a short documentary of that first movie studio and a few film clips, including one of Annie Oakley doing some sharpshooting.
- 1896 – A picture showing the bare breasts of a woman appears in National Geographic magazine for the first time.
- 1928 – The Law on the Adoption and Implementation of the Turkish Alphabet, replaces the Arabic alphabet with the Latin alphabet.
- 1941 – American photographer Ansel Adams takes a picture of a moonrise over the town of Hernandez, New Mexico that would become one of the most famous images in the history of photography.
And of course I must reproduce that deservedly famous image (the link tells the story):
- 1952 – Nuclear weapons testing: The United States successfully detonates Ivy Mike, the first thermonuclear device, at the Eniwetok atoll. The explosion had a yield of ten megatons TNT equivalent.
A thermonuclear weapon differs from the Hiroshima bomb by using both fission and fusion reactions, with the fission reaction starting the fusion. These are also known as hydrogen bombs or “H bombs.”
- 1968 – The Motion Picture Association of America’s film rating system is officially introduced, originating with the ratings G, M, R, and X
Notables born on this day include:
- 1880 – Alfred Wegener, German meteorologist and geophysicist (d. 1930)
Beginning about 1912, Wegener proposed the “continental drift” hypothesis, and was poo-pooed by his colleagues. He was, of course, right: we now know of plate tectonics. Sadly, Wegener (pictured below) died before his hypothesis was confirmed (one of its opponents, curiously, was the famous paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson).
- 1886 – Hermann Broch, Austrian-American author and poet (d. 1951)
- 1935 – Edward Said, Palestinian-American theorist, author, and academic (d. 2003)
- 1944 – Kinky Friedman, American singer-songwriter and author
- 1957 – Lyle Lovett, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
One of my claims to fame is that the boot store Texas Traditions (in Austin) posted an Instagram photo of my ancient T. O. Stanley boots, made by T. O. for himself and acquired by me, and Lyle Lovett liked the boots:
Those who took the Big Nap on November 1 include:
- 1955 – Dale Carnegie, American author and educator (b. 1888)
- 1972 – Robert MacArthur, Canadian-American ecologist and academic (b. 1930)
- 1972 – Ezra Pound, American poet and critic (b. 1885)
- 1985 – Phil Silvers, American actor and comedian (b. 1911)
- 1993 – Severo Ochoa, Spanish-American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1905)
Ochoa and Arthur Kornberg shared the 1959 Medicine or Physiology prize for work on the synthesis of DNA and RNA.
- 1999 – Walter Payton, American football player and race car driver (b. 1954)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s arguing with Andrzej again. And Hili’s life is FAR from difficult!
Hili: Life is always difficult.A: Now it’s easier than it was in the past.Hili: These are objective data which have no impact on our subjective feeling.
Hili: Życie zawsze jest ciężkie.Ja: Teraz jest łatwiejsze niż dawniej.Hili: To są obiektywne dane, które nie mają wpływu na nasze subiektywne odczucia.
Here’s a formal portrait of Kitten Kulka:
From Charles, a tweet from Bette Midler:
From Jesus of the Day, some great Halloween costumes:
A tweet from Simon. Evolution of masks (but the end product is not on an adaptive peak).
Evolution is a tinkerer pic.twitter.com/uvtJbu5Lbg
— Oded Rechavi 🦉 (@OdedRechavi) October 30, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. Check out this fossil, which clearly represents a deformed embryo that didn’t thrive.
Okay, okay as it’s #Halloween here’s one of the spookiest fossils ever found, a 125 million-year-old TWO-HEADED reptile from China.
Yes, with TWO heads and TWO necks!
— Dr Dean Lomax (@Dean_R_Lomax) October 31, 2020
I got one of these in the head in Costa Rica in 1973. The larvae entered on a mosquito proboscis:
Human botflies are so noisy that they dont approach us but instead lay their eggs on other animals that do, such as this mosquito. Yep stuck on the side of this mosquito is an egg of Dermatobia hominis – TRES COOL #HappyHalloween pic.twitter.com/kDF3SXgPC2
— Dr Erica McAlister (@flygirlNHM) October 30, 2020
I wonder if this is true:
— Chris Stringer (@ChrisStringer65) October 31, 2020
The best carved pumpkin of 2020:
Behold, I present to you: Gourd of the Flies! This pumpkin features three beloved garden pollinators, a hoverfly, a bee fly, and a long-legged fly! pic.twitter.com/ppmjKCntXs
— Gwen C. Katz (@gwenckatz) October 30, 2020
This is a moth caterpillar, turned upside down in the first picture. In normal posture, it’s a stunning leaf mimic.
L3 of Salassa sp. on J. regia in the wild pic.twitter.com/bvM9pYMdBK
— Actias sp. (@ActiasSp) October 31, 2020
Matthew explains: Halloween in Japan involves people wearing placards around their necks describing their situation, adding “They imagine themselves in some trivial but slightly anxiety-inducing normal situation and then dress up appropriately (so in first tweet woman has a tray of food).”
“the Starbucks employee forced to smile through an exhausting Halloween” pic.twitter.com/B33ZCaVEI4
— Tony Lin (@tony_zy) October 31, 2020