Good morning on Monday, November 9, 2020: National Greek Yogurt Day, another day of cultural appropriation. It’s also National Scrapple Day, celebrating an indigenous American foodstuff, created by the Amish. I happen to like the stuff: it’s the northern equivalent of grits. Here it is (Wikipedia notes that it’s ” a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and wheat flour, often buckwheat flour, and spices. The mush is formed into a semi-solid congealed loaf, and slices of the scrapple are then pan-fried before serving.” It’s better than it sounds!
Finally, it’s World Freedom Day, curiously, an American holiday, but one celebrating the opening of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 (see below).
News of the Day
Well, Trump is still not conceding the election, and if you expect him to I think you’ll be disappointed. Indeed, he’s still ranting on Twitter about the “stolen election”. Only two states remain to be called: North Carolina, which will go for Trump, and Georgia, where Biden is leading by about 10,000 votes out of five million.
Look at this:
….how these ballots were authenticated, because if there’s a problem in the system about authentication, that would seriously affect the ENTIRE ELECTION – And what concerns me is that we had over a hundred million mail-in ballot in cites like Philladelphia…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2020
Man, Philly has become a lot more populous since the last time I looked! The thing is, even if Trump wins all of his legal challenges, he still won’t get enough votes to win the election. It’s time for him to call it quits and go play gold.
If you want a very short precis of Biden’s policies on stuff like the pandemic, the economy, taxes, and healthcare, the New Woke Times has a useful summary.
A few Republicans are urging Trump to concede (ex-President W. even called Biden to congratulate him), but most are keeping mum or even urging Trump to keep up his futile fight.
Meanwhile, Uncle Joe and Kamala have prepared the executive transition website, which you can see here.
Alex Trebek, the beloved host of the quiz show Jeopardy, died yesterday at 80. He’d been terminally ill with pancreatic cancer for a while, but taped his show right up to the end.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 238,031, an increase of about 500 from yesterday’s figure. The world death toll is 1,263,1111, an increase of about 5,700 over yesterday’s report.
Stuff that happened on November 9 includes:
- 1620 – Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower sight land at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
- 1851 – Kentucky marshals abduct abolitionist minister Calvin Fairbank from Jeffersonville, Indiana, and take him to Kentucky to stand trial for helping a slave escape.
Fairbank served 19 years in prison for helping slaves escape via the Underground Railroad.
- 1906 – Theodore Roosevelt is the first sitting President of the United States to make an official trip outside the country. He did so to inspect progress on the Panama Canal.
- 1907 – The Cullinan Diamond is presented to King Edward VII on his birthday.
What a present! The original diamond, the largest ever found at that time, weighed 3,106 carats (nearly a pound and a half), and was cut into about 100 smaller stones. Nine of the largest were given to the British Royal family. The pictures below show the whole rough diamond, Dutch cutter Joseph Asscher cleaving it in one mighty blow, and some of the royal geegaws containing bits of the Cullinan:
- 1913 – The Great Lakes Storm of 1913, the most destructive natural disaster ever to hit the lakes, reaches its greatest intensity after beginning two days earlier. The storm destroys 19 ships and kills more than 250 people.
- 1918 – Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany abdicates after the German Revolution, and Germany is proclaimed a Republic.
- 1923 – In Munich, police and government troops crush the Nazi Beer Hall Putsch.
- 1938 – The Nazi German diplomat Ernst vom Rath dies from gunshot wounds by Herschel Grynszpan, an act which the Nazis used as an excuse to instigate the 1938 national pogrom, also known as Kristallnacht.
- 1985 – Garry Kasparov, 22, of the Soviet Union becomes the youngest World Chess Champion by beating fellow Soviet Anatoly Karpov.
- 1989 – Cold War: Fall of the Berlin Wall: East Germany opens checkpoints in the Berlin Wall, allowing its citizens to travel to West Berlin.
The opening of the Wall on the evening of this day in 1989 was actually a mistake—a mis-announcement by an East German official. But it was too late: East Berliners poured through the wall to West Berlin. This short documentary tells the tale:
- 1998 – Capital punishment in the United Kingdom, already abolished for murder, is completely abolished for all remaining capital offences.
- 2004 – Firefox 1.0 is released.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1818 – Ivan Turgenev, Russian author and playwright (d. 1883)
- 1914 – Hedy Lamarr, Austrian-American actress and inventor (d. 2000)
- 1918 – Spiro Agnew, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 39th Vice President of the United States (d. 1996)
- 1922 – Dorothy Dandridge, American actress, singer, and dancer (d. 1965)
Dandridge was the first black woman nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, for her performance in Carmen Jones (1954). Here’s a clip from the movie; you might recognize her co-star Harry Belafonte. Dandridge had a rough life, and died, probably of suicide, at 42.
Frank was a great street photographer. Here’s one of his famous photos, “Streetcar, New Orleans, 1955,” showing a segregated trolley:
- 1928 – Anne Sexton, American poet and academic (d. 1974)
- 1934 – Carl Sagan, American astronomer, astrophysicist, and cosmologist (d. 1996)
- 1936 – Mary Travers, American singer-songwriter (d. 2009)
Those who found eternal rest on November 9 include:
- 1924 – Henry Cabot Lodge, American historian and politician (b. 1850)
- 1940 – Neville Chamberlain, English businessman and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1869)
- 1953 – Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet and author (b. 1914)
Here’s are photos I took ten years ago of Thomas’s house and his grave in Laugharne, Wales:
- 1970 – Charles de Gaulle, French general and politician, 18th President of France (b. 1890)
- 2003 – Art Carney, American actor and comedian (b. 1918)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili once again proves that she needs to always be right.
Hili: Admit that I was right.A: What about?Hili: About everything.
Hili: Przyznaj, że miałam rację.Ja: W jakiej sprawie?Hili: We wszystkich sprawach.
And in nearby Wloclawek, Mietek, a long way from kittenhood, recounts his odyssey. About a year ago he was a very sick stray kitten, not expected to live. Elzbieta and Andrzej the Second took him in, got him to the vet, and now look at the moggy!
Mietek: And a year went by… or how I changed from the sick stray into a sybarite.
From Jesus of the Day. Doesn’t anybody know what a Pez is any more?
Also from Jesus of the Day: God’s recipe for cats:
From Charles, a meme of futile hope:
Two “museum” cats: on from the Colosseum and an ancient Egyptian cat ring.
— Agnes Crawford (@understandrome) November 7, 2020
— Pythika (@Pythika) November 7, 2020
Interspecies love, one of Grania’s favorite themes:
— Happy Cat (@HappyCatCentral) November 7, 2020
From Barry: art imitates life:
— Sanho Tree (@SanhoTree) November 5, 2020
From Peter. You probably heard about how Team Trump scheduled a press conference at the “Four Seasons”, thinking it was a hotel. It wasn’t.
Donald Trump’s increasingly desperate bid to hang on to the White House crossed into abject farce on Saturday, after his campaign staged a purportedly major press conference at a Philadelphia landscaping business situated between a crematorium and sex shop.
On Saturday morning, as Trump played golf and continued to baselessly accuse the Democrats of stealing the election for Joe Biden, the president announced, in a tweet that was subsequently deleted, a “big press conference” at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia.
Trump quickly altered his statement, revealing that the press conference venue was not a Four Seasons hotel, but Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a suburban business between a crematorium and an adult book store on the outer edges of the city.
This is not over. For we shall mount our righteous stand at Four Seasons Total Landscaping. Next to Fantasy Island Adult Books. Across the street from the Delaware Valley Cremation Center. Between the fire extinguisher and yellow hose. #MAGA pic.twitter.com/hxuAsbEjXi
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) November 7, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. Before we forget The Nightmare that Was Trump, have a gander at this: it was real!
Tell us what you are seeing.
Report a case: https://t.co/HHioyh1DC6
Call: (888) 503-3526 pic.twitter.com/1hCL1BqByw
— Rudy W. Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) November 6, 2020
Tenrecs, weird mammals that are endemic to Madagascar, are often very cute. And they occupy their own familY:
Lowland streaked tenrec! My 2016 video from Andasibe, Madagascar. Winter lockdown evening therapy. pic.twitter.com/BTI66HZ8ya
— Maria Vorontsova (@vorontsovams) November 8, 2020
A beautiful video of a beautiful euglossine bee:
— ムサシ (@mu3sii) November 8, 2020