Welcome to Tuesday: the Cruelest Day, November 10, 2020. It’s been one week since they slice me like a lox, but all is well. It’s National Vanilla Cupcake Day, which couldn’t be more lame, as well as Sesame Street Day, Area Code Day, World Science Day for Peace and Development, and World Keratoconus Day.
News of the Day: First, a sign of the times from reader Charles. And “everything” includes, of course, Trump.
It’s no surprise, of course, that Trump hasn’t conceded the election, and he may never do so. It’s a bit more surprising that a lot of Republicans, won’t, either. Mitch “666” McConnell is also backing Trump’s refusal to concede. The NYT attributes the truculence to Republicans’ unwillingness to alienate Trump supporters given the two crucial Senate seats being contested in Georgia.
According to the BBC, militant Islamists beheaded more than 50 villagers in Mozambique, and then chopped up the bodies.
Amazingly in this political climate, a referendum requiring sex education in Washington state’s public school passed by a substantial margin, with over 60% of the state’s voters approving it. The Seattle Times‘s columnist Danny Westneat attributes this to the rapidly increasing secularism in the state:
In surveys of state voters released for the 2020 election, the group answering “none” to the question of “what is your religion?” easily forms the largest religious group in this state. The “Nones” made up 34% of the state electorate this year, according to the Votercast survey of 110,000 voters by AP and other news organizations in all 50 states (including about 2,400 here).
That’s far higher than evangelical and born-again Christians at 19%, or Catholics at 14%. It’s quite different here than nationally, where both Protestants and Catholics outnumber the Nones.
Also 45% of Washington voters answered “never” when asked how often they go to church.
The campaign to repeal the sex ed law was energized by churches and anti-abortion groups, and backed by the Washington State Catholic Conference.
Too bad, Catholics and evangelicals: your kids will learn the truth about sex, not that it will send them to hell. (I predict increased enrollment in religious schools.) h/t Kleinknecht
And here’s The Big Question posed by David Pakman (h/t Woody):
Why have Trump and Republicans accepted the results from House and Senate elections, but not Presidential? Everything was on the same ballots.
— David Pakman (@dpakman) November 8, 2020
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 238,776, an increase of about 740 from yesterday’s figure. The world death toll is 1,270,573, a big increase of about 7,400 over yesterday’s report.
And yesterday the U.S. passed the total of ten million cases of coronavirus. 42 out of 50 states have an increasing infection rate. But Uncle Joe is on the case, having appointed a crack pandemic team of 13 people. What with that and the news that a highly effective vaccine may be in the offing from Pfizer, things are looking up.
Stuff that happened on November 10 includes:
- 1775 – The United States Marine Corps is founded at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia by Samuel Nicholas.
- 1793 – A Goddess of Reason is proclaimed by the French Convention at the suggestion of Pierre Gaspard Chaumette.
- 1865 – Major Henry Wirz, the superintendent of a prison camp in Andersonville, Georgia, is hanged, becoming one of only three American Civil War soldiers executed for war crimes.
- 1871 – Henry Morton Stanley locates missing explorer and missionary, Dr David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika, famously greeting him with the words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”.
- 1918 – The Western Union Cable Office in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, receives a top-secret coded message from Europe (that would be sent to Ottawa and Washington, D.C.) that said on November 11, 1918, all fighting would cease on land, sea and in the air.
Tomorrow is Armistice Day (11/11 and the hostilities ended at 11 a.m. Paris time)
- 1951 – With the rollout of the North American Numbering Plan, direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service begins in the United States.
- 1969 – National Educational Television (the predecessor to the Public Broadcasting Service) in the United States debuts Sesame Street.
- 1975 – The 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board.
That wreck, of course, was turned into an eponymous song by Gordon Lightfoot.in 1976, a #1 hit in Canada and #2 in the U.S. Here’s the ship and the song, with the song showing videos of the ship before and after it was wrecked:
- 1975 – Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the United Nations General Assembly passes Resolution 3379, determining that Zionism is a form of racism
- 1983 – Bill Gates introduces Windows 1.0.
- 1989 – Germans begin to tear down the Berlin Wall.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1483 – Martin Luther, German monk and priest, leader of the Protestant Reformation (d. 1546)
- 1880 – Jacob Epstein, American-English sculptor (d. 1959)
- 1925 – Richard Burton, Welsh actor and singer (d. 1984)
Here’s a photo I took of Burton’s grave when I visited Céligny, Switzerland in 2007. It’s been adorned with a memento from an admirer. Burton drank and smoked himself to death at the age of 58: he was said to have smoked 3-5 packs of cigarettes per day and, at his peak, consumed 3-4 bottles of hard liquor per day.
- 1949 – Ann Reinking, American actress, dancer, and choreographer
- 1960 – Neil Gaiman, English author, illustrator, and screenwriter
Those who bought it on November 10 include:
- 1891 – Arthur Rimbaud, French poet and educator (b. 1854)
Rimbaud died at 37; here he is at 17. Three years later, he stopped writing completely.
- 1982 – Leonid Brezhnev, Ukrainian-Russian general and politician, 4th Head of State of the Soviet Union (b. 1906)
- 2001 – Ken Kesey, American novelist, essayist, and poet (b. 1935)
- 2007 – Norman Mailer, American novelist and essayist (b. 1923)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s trying to get Kulka in trouble:
A: Hili, where is my blue pen?Hili: Kulka took it.
Ja: Hili, gdzie jest mój niebieski długopis?Hili: Kulka go zabrała.
In nearby Wloclawek, Leon is jealous of Mietek’s first birthday:
Leon: What did Mietek get for his birthday?
And here is little Kulka, who now looks exactly like Hili!
A meme from Nicole:
Are New Yorker cartoons getting less funny? In the last few issues I’ve had precious few chuckles. Here’s one that I found totally lame!
Titania joins the American call for unity:
It is time for unity.
It is time for healing.
So let’s make a list of everyone who voted the wrong way and deal with them as soon as possible. #Election2020
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) November 9, 2020
From cesar: Harvard Medical School’s Continuing Education site goes completely woke, unable to write the word “woman”. It’s now “pregnant and birthing people”.
Globally, ethnic minority pregnant and birthing people suffer worse outcomes and experiences during and after pregnancy and childbirth. These inequities have been further highlighted by #COVID19. Watch this panel discussion on #MaternalJustice. https://t.co/RcflQQapQo pic.twitter.com/N5m2s2SRdi
— Harvard Med Postgraduate and Continuing Education (@HMSPostgradCE) November 8, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. I hope you know what this first one is about:
Trump's Presidential Library pic.twitter.com/vgtaFjCY75
— Social Distance Warrior (@fofalex) November 9, 2020
Two notables, one opinion:
Best Stephen King short story yet! https://t.co/hPBZXd6oFk
— Morgan J. Freeman (@mjfree) November 8, 2020
Look at this gorgeous snail!
Another cute and hilarious snail: Callonia ellioti pic.twitter.com/tW6kXAjT70
— 💀🍄ArtofMaquenda🌱🦊 (@ArtOfMaquenda) November 18, 2019
“Whaat? What is happening? Trace, we’ve called it!”
Fox News pundit refuses to admit Joe Biden won the election.
The anchor reacts but doesn't realize she's live on air. pic.twitter.com/dCuh5anCku
— Strictly Count All The Votes (@christoq) November 9, 2020
They gave them a home—where the buffalo roam. Lovely video of bison getting full freedom.
— World Wildlife Fund (@World_Wildlife) November 7, 2020
Notice how polite the donkeys are! Sound up, please.
We can't stop watching this! 🐴🐐🐎😂
Alex from Oldham got a bit of a surprise when he got home… pic.twitter.com/ost93QoyB9
— BBC North West (@BBCNWT) November 9, 2020