Well, it’s Slice and Dice Day: November 3, 2020, and as you read this I’ll either be under the robot (or the knife), or lying in some godforsaken cubicle, an IV in my arm, waiting for the dreaded “wheeling into the OR.” That part always freaks me out. Wish me luck. If all goes well, I’ll be home by the late afternoon.
It is, of course, Election Day, and many are tense about what will happen. I’ve bet a few hundred on Biden, and have already voted. I’m not as worried as others about the outcome, but, given that several states are counting mail-in ballots up to several days after the election, I do worry a bit about Trump’s reluctance to surrender power should he lose.
News of the Day:
21 states allow counting of ballots postmarked by election day, but some will arrive after the election, and expect Trump to raise a fuss about this if he loses. At any rate, steel yourself for the possibility that the final certification won’t take place for a few days—or weeks.
After Anthony Fauci praised Biden’s coronavirus plan and implicitly criticized Trump’s “plan,” the “President” has been dissing Fauci in public. The Associated Press reports some of this:
Speaking at a campaign rally in Opa-locka, Florida, Trump expressed frustration that the surging cases of the virus that has killed more than 231,000 people in the United States this year remains prominent in the news. That sparked his supporters to begin chanting “Fire Fauci.”
“Don’t tell anybody but let me wait until a little bit after the election,” Trump replied to thousands of supporters early Monday, adding he appreciated their “advice.”
Like firing Fauci is going to halt the pandemic! Let’s hope The Big Orange Deplorable is tossed out of office tomorrow, or at least is shoved towards the door.
If you’re still in fear about the election results, read Henry Olsen’s WaPo op-ed which has two different titles. The one on the front page is this (click on screenshot):
A quote (the numbers are in the article):
Democrats need not fear. This, my sixth published biennial election prediction essay, is perhaps my easiest: Former vice president Joe Biden will win comfortably unless we experience the greatest polling failure in modern history. Democrats will also gain control of the Senate and expand their majority in the House. While not the landslide that some hope for, Democrats will simultaneously control the presidency and both houses of Congress for only the third time since Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980. That alone is a historic achievement that will give them the upper hand to determine the next stage of our ongoing national crisis.
There’s an excellent op-ed by David Kaplan in yesterday’s New York Times explaining why the Supreme Court should stay a million miles away from this election.
A Dutch metro train crashed through the “stopping” barrier, but the lead car was saved from falling 32 feet to the ground because a conveniently placed whale sculpture caught the car on its tail. Photos below: (h/t: Jez):
Science news: Platypus fur is biofluorescent, glowing blue-purple under UV light. Why? (A few other mammals are like this, too). Who knows. The link gives some adaptive speculation, but it may simply be an epiphenomenon. Here’s a photo of the top and bottom of the monotreme (h/t Nicole):
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 231,470, an increase of about 500 from yesterday’s figure. The world death toll is 1,212,500, an increase of about 6,400 over yesterday’s report.
Stuff that happened on November 3 includes:
- 1493 – Christopher Columbus first sights the island of Dominica in the Caribbean Sea.
- 1534 – English Parliament passes the first Act of Supremacy, making King Henry VIII head of the Anglican Church, supplanting the pope and the Roman Catholic Church.
- 1838 – The Times of India, the world’s largest circulated English language daily broadsheet newspaper is founded as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce.
- 1908 – William Howard Taft is elected the 27th President of the United States.
- 1936 – Franklin D. Roosevelt is re-elected President of the United States.
- 1957 – Sputnik program: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2. On board is the first animal to enter orbit, a dog named Laika.
Poor Laika, a stray found in Moscow (the Russians thought strays would be able to endure temperature extremes better), died from overheating within a few orbits. Here’s her picture:
- 1964 – Lyndon B. Johnson is elected to a full term as U.S. president, winning 61% of the vote and 44 states, while Washington D.C. residents are able to vote in a presidential election for the first time, casting the majority of their votes for Lyndon Johnson.
- 1986 – Iran–Contra affair: The Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa reports that the United States has been secretly selling weapons to Iran in order to secure the release of seven American hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon.
- 2014 – One World Trade Center officially opens. It is the replacement for the World Trade Center Twin Towers, in New York City, after the towers were each destroyed by airplanes during the September 11 attacks.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1618 – Aurangzeb, Mughal emperor of India (d. 1707)
- 1794 – William Cullen Bryant, American poet and journalist (d. 1878)
Bryant’s most famous poem is “Thanatopsis“, and my father used to recite the final verse to me at bedtime. I still know it by heart:
So live, that when thy summons comes to joinThe innumerable caravan, which movesTo that mysterious realm, where each shall takeHis chamber in the silent halls of death,Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothedBy an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,Like one who wraps the drapery of his couchAbout him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
Here’s Bryant in 1876:
- 1918 – Bob Feller, American sailor, baseball player, and sportscaster (d. 2010)
- 1933 – Michael Dukakis, American lawyer, academic, and politician, 65th Governor of Massachusetts
- 1933 – Amartya Sen, Indian economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
- 1943 – Bert Jansch, Scottish-English singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2011)
Here’s Jansch in later life playing “Angie” (originally written by Davy Graham as “Anji”), perhaps Jansch’s most famous song:
- 1949 – Anna Wintour, English-American journalist
- 1987 – Colin Kaepernick, American football player
Those who began pushing up daisies on November 3 were few, including these three, one of whom I never heard of (but he may be a distant relative):
- 1926 – Annie Oakley, American entertainer and target shooter (b. 1860)
- 1957 – Wilhelm Reich, Ukrainian-Austrian psychotherapist and author (b. 1897)
- 2013 – William J. Coyne, American lawyer and politician (b. 1936)
I always put in Coynes, though I don’t know who any of them are. This one served for 22 years as a Pennsylvania congressman. There is no resemblance:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s still helping with the apple picking:
Hili: Get the ladder and come here.A: There are still many apples here.Hili: Yes, but the ones here are nicer.
Hili: Weź drabinę i chodź tutaj.A: Ja: Tu gdzie jestem jest jeszcze dużo jabłek.
Hili: Tak, ale tu są ładniejsze.
From Bruce. I note with satisfaction that the cat has rejected the candy corn:
From Andrew Sullivan. I’m immensely heartened by this, but I doubt that he is:
Hard to absorb the significance of this. And the speed. https://t.co/z3NDvOGHCW
— Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) November 2, 2020
From Ken: 56 years ago today, MLK endorses LBJ over Goldwater; the tweet is from MLK’s youngest child:
A thread of a speech my father gave about voting in the 1964 United States Presidential Election.
So powerful, timely and relevant. Even the date is consistent: Election Day in 1964 was November 3.
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) October 30, 2020
Tweets from Matthew: First, a science tweet you didn’t know about:
Happy #MosquitoMonday! 🦟
Sabethes albiprivus mosquitoes don’t just lay their eggs… They **catapult their eggs out of their butts** while flying!! 😮😮 (Vieira et al 2020)
Score: 12/10 for motherly love pic.twitter.com/L80K1wL8qQ
— Lisa Baik (@LadyLordOfFlies) November 2, 2020
He made it!!!!!
Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless. 🔊
(Gilbert K. Chesterton)
📹: Imgur user OctopussSevenTwo pic.twitter.com/HNDTRkDelN
— Paul Bronks (@SlenderSherbet) November 1, 2020
Matthew sent me this with the header, “This will cheer you up.” He was right:
No comment..!🐦🦜👼👶🐤🐥❤️❤️🐥🐤👶👼🦜🐦 pic.twitter.com/RM2QHRNtey
— World birds (@worldbirds32) December 19, 2019
Have a look at this weevil:
When a dead tree falls in a tropical forest and is cut through to remove it from a trail within minutes the freshly exposed surface will be covered by many species of beetle such as this Straight-snouted Weevil, (Brentus anchorago), the larvae of which feed on the rotten wood. pic.twitter.com/jYko8zVzJn
— Philip Davison (@VeridionTours) November 1, 2020
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose:
enjoy these newspaper headlines from 1918 pic.twitter.com/HmICAmKoR1
— ren (@kiieeren) October 31, 2020
And Matthew’s really worried about the election:
Remind me again why the founding fathers set up the absurd and anti-democratic electoral college? Oh yes, it was supposedly to stop demagogues and rabble rousers from manipulating the system for their own ends. How’s that working out?
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) November 1, 2020