Greet the Sabbath and get your shabbas goy in: it’s Saturday, November 14, 2020: both Pickle Appreciation Day and National Guacamole Day. It’s also National American Teddy Bear Day, World Diabetes Day, and Operating Room Nurse Day (a shout-out to those who helped in my recent hernia operation, including shaving my nether parts).
Today the Google Doodle (click on screenshot) goes to an animation celebrating the life of Maria Tallchief (1925-2011), a native American on one side (her father was from the Osage Nation), often considered America’s first star prima ballerina. It was on November 14, 1942, that Tallchief set out for New York City on her voyage to the Big Time. She danced first for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and then, after it was founded, for the New York City Ballet. Google has produced a nice video about her and the making of the Doodle.
News of the Day:
First, the good news. CNN reports an amazing hole in one by John Rahm at the Master’s. Rahm skipped the ball over the water, and it then took a tortuous course into the hole (see video below). When I wondered why he skipped the ball over the water, I found out that this was a practice round, and it’s a tradition to water-skip a ball at hole 16 during practice. (That sort of takes the shine off the achievement.)
— The Masters (@TheMasters) November 10, 2020
Cloned kitten!: A Chinese man, bereft after the death of his cat “Garlic,” paid $35,000 to have a somatic cell from the late cat put into an egg, the egg implanted into a surrogate mother cat, and, mirabile dictu, they produced a seemingly normal kitten that was a genetic clone of Garlic: (we shall see if it grows up okay). Although this is done fairly regularly with d*gs, it’s not done so often with cats. Meet Garlic 2.0 and its predecessor (there already appear to be some pattern differences):
In other news, Franco is still dead and Trump still hasn’t conceded the election. The President-Eject addressed reporters yesterday, but spoke mainly about the pandemic and the vaccine. He didn’t mention the election except very briefly (implying that it’s still undecided). And his team just lost two bids for election recounts, one (actually six separate suits) in Pennsylvania and the other in Michigan, where a judge proclaimed that Team Trump’s allegations of election fraud were unevidenced.
Here’s the NYT’s graph of newly reported Covid cases over time; the 163,402 new cases reported on Thursday set a record.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 244,250, a big increase of about 1,400 from yesterday’s figure. The world death toll is 1,311,047, a big increase of about 10,200 over yesterday’s report.
Stuff that happened on November 14 includes:
The source was of the “Blue Nile”, and comprised three small springs in the Ethiopian town of Gish Abay.
The first American edition will cost you a cool $65,000:
- 1886 – Friedrich Soennecken first developed the hole puncher, a type of office tool capable of punching small holes in paper.
- 1889 – Pioneering female journalist Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochrane) begins a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days. She completes the trip in 72 days.
Bly’s real name was Elizabeth Jane Cochran; here’s a photo from Wikipedia labeled, “A publicity photograph taken by the New York World newspaper to promote Bly’s around-the-world voyage.”
- 1922 – The British Broadcasting Company begins radio service in the United Kingdom.
- 1960 – Ruby Bridges becomes the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in Louisiana.
Bridges’ attending the school, where of course she was met with much hatred and bigotry (and had to be escorted by U.S. Marshals), was the subject of Norman Rockwell’s famous 1964 painting The Problem We All Live With. During his presidency, Obama had the painting hung outside the Oval Office, despite the presence of the n-word on the wall below:
- 1967 – American physicist Theodore Maiman is given a patent for his ruby laser systems, the world’s first laser.
- 1995 – A budget standoff between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress forces the federal government to temporarily close national parks and museums and to run most government offices with skeleton staffs.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1797 – Charles Lyell, Scottish geologist and lawyer (d. 1875)
- 1840 – Claude Monet, French painter (d. 1926)
Here’s Monet’s “Cat Sleeping on Bed” (1865):
The first Prime Minister of India, Nehru served for 18 years until his death. Here’s a photo of him with his daughter Indira (the first woman Prime Minister of India, later assassinated by her guards), and his grandsons Rajiv (assassinated in a separate incident), and Sanjay (killed in a plane crash).
Banting, who got the prize at 32 with James Macleod for the discovery of insulin, is still the youngest winner in Physiology or Medicine. He’s shown below (right) with his colleague Charles Best, co-discoverer who was snubbed at Prize time (Banting split his prize money with Best).
- 1900 – Aaron Copland, American composer, conductor, and educator (d. 1990
- 1906 – Louise Brooks, American actress and dancer (d. 1985)
- 1954 – Condoleezza Rice, American political scientist, academic, and politician, 66th United States Secretary of State
Those who bought the farm on November 14 include:
- 1716 – Gottfried Leibniz, German mathematician and philosopher (b. 1646)
- 1915 – Booker T. Washington, American educator, essayist and historian (b. 1856)
- 1997 – Eddie Arcaro, American jockey and sportscaster (b. 1916)
- 2016 – Gwen Ifill, American television journalist (b. 1955)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili begins her annual cold-weather kvetching. November is a grim month, weatherwise, in Dobrzyn:
Hili: And once again, Autumn has left all this litter.A: There is nothing to it, we’ll have to rake it all up before Winter.
Hili: I znów jesień naśmieciła.Ja: Trudno, trzeba to będzie przed zimą zgrabić.
In nearby Włocławek, Mietek, no longer a tiny kitten, muses. The title is “An Autumn Reverie”:
From Stash Krod:
Just to remind you that Iran still oppresses everyone, but especially women. Sound up to hear the illegal singing.
Now #YasamanAryani tests positive for Covid-19 in jail. She has been sentenced to 16 years prison. Her mother Monireh joined her to support her daughter, she received 16 years prison.
Their crimes? #WalkingUnveiled singing & protesting against Islamic Republic#WhiteWednesdays pic.twitter.com/iwtgjKkm07
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) November 13, 2020
Lox him up! pic.twitter.com/1HOawkW0Hd
— Marla Lambert (@mlamb701) November 13, 2020
From reader Ken who says, “If this courageous whistleblower isn’t proof positive of massive voting fraud, I dunno what is.” Unbelievable!
This is one of Trump’s biggest “whistle blowers” in Michigan.
— Republicans for Joe Biden 🇺🇸 (@RepsForBiden) November 12, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. First, a lovely flying fox. Don’t you just want to rub its tummy?
Megabat of the day. pic.twitter.com/3ot9eu3Z7v
— Dick King-Smith HQ (@DickKingSmith) November 13, 2020
Thomas, the ship’s cat, snug in his hammock:
— emo jeep guy 🦌 (@SMOKExDUST) November 11, 2020
A musical and educational video. Be sure to turn the sound up:
These are called Chladni patterns! The sand collects along nodes — points that don’t move up or down — in the vibrational modes of the table. Ernst Chladni demonstrated the effect for Napoleon using a violin bow to excite a metal plate. https://t.co/dEPoMdtLA9
— Alice’s Restaurant McNeesacre (@mcnees) November 13, 2020
The world's largest parasitic cuckoo, and possibly the loudest, is here in force this year. The local magpies and currawongs are not happy! #ChannelbilledCuckoo #WildOz #birding pic.twitter.com/HFMft6U3AU
— Carol Probets (@carolprobets) November 11, 2020
If you enlarge the drawing, you might be able to see the fish swimming to the left. There’s only one.
One is swimming to the left. https://t.co/FQZa9oiOVG
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) November 13, 2020