Are you all sated from Thanksgiving feasting? Are you going to live on turkey sandwiches for the next week? I won’t, but many will: it’s the day after Thanksgiving, i.e., November 27, 2020, appropriately, National Leftovers Day. It’s also National Bavarian Cream Pie Day, National Craft Jerky Day, Maize Day (what you call “corn”), Turtle Adoption Day, and Fur Free Friday. In the UK, it’s Lancashire Day, commemorating “the day in 1295 when Lancashire first sent representatives to Parliament, to attend the Model Parliament of King Edward I. Finally, it’s the infamous Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when Christmas shopping begins in earnest and there are supposedly great bargains to be had.
News of the Day: At last: in a real Q&A session with the press, President-eject Trump said that if the Electoral College makes Biden the winner—as it will—he, Trump, will step down, though he added he may never conced the election. He’s still arguing that he won!
Maureen Dowd, a diehard Democratic columnist at the New York Times, has turned her column over to her Trump-loving brother (seriously), who writes a loving elegy for Trump’s presidency in the column, “Oh, brother! Tears for Trump.” If you want to see what many on the Dark Side think, read it. (h/t Enrico)
Also at the NYT, where the pundits and analysts are out in force, columnist Bill Wilkinson has a lock on why Trump did so well:
However, Mr. Trump’s relentless campaign to goose the economy by cutting taxes, running up enormous deficits and debt, and hectoring the Fed into not raising rates was working for millions of Americans. We tend to notice when we’re personally more prosperous than we were a few years before.
. . . [Democrats] allowed Republicans to define the contrast between the parties’ approaches to the pandemic in terms of freedom versus exhausting, indefinite shutdowns.
Democrats needed to present a competing, compelling strategy to counter Republican messaging. Struggling workers and businesses never clearly heard exactly what they’d get if Democrats ran the show, and Democrats never came together to scream bloody murder that Republicans were refusing to give it to them.
From the Guardian: The Austrian village with the name shown in the picture below has had it, and has finally changed its old name, which dates to the 11th century, to Fugging, which takes effect January 1. I’m sure the 100 inhabitants will be much relieved, and tourism will plummet. (h/t Jez).
A good exercise in journalistic Wokeism is a NYT interactive article called The Myth of North America, in One Painting (The painting is “The Death of General Wolfe“, painted by Benjamin West in 1770). The article bloviates on and on and on to show how the painting fictionalizes history, shoehorning history into a classical Procrustean bed which is okay, but the real point of the article is for the author to preen by calling out colonialism at the end.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 263,336, an increase of about 1,200 from yesterday’s figure. The world death toll is 1,439,587, a big increase of about 11,000 over yesterday’s report.
Stuff that happened on November 27 includes:
- 602 – Emperor Maurice is forced to watch his five sons be executed before being beheaded himself.
- 1809 – The Berners Street hoax was perpetrated by Theodore Hook in the City of Westminster, London.
This one you have to look up!
- 1835 – James Pratt and John Smith are hanged in London; they are the last two to be executed for sodomy in England.
- 1895 – At the Swedish–Norwegian Club in Paris, Alfred Nobel signs his last will and testament, setting aside his estate to establish the Nobel Prize after he dies.
Here’s the will, and you can find the English translation on the Nobel Prize site:
- 1896 – Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss is first performed.
- 1924 – In New York City, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is held.
- 1978 – In San Francisco, city mayor George Moscone and openly gay city supervisor Harvey Milk are assassinated by former supervisor Dan White.
- 1999 – The centre-left Labour Party takes control of the New Zealand government with leader Helen Clark becoming the first elected female Prime Minister in New Zealand’s history.
- 2006 – The House of Commons of Canada approves a motion introduced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper recognizing the Québécois as a nation within Canada.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1701 – Anders Celsius, Swedish astronomer, physicist, and mathematician (d. 1744)
- 1874 – Chaim Weizmann, Belarusian-Israeli chemist and politician, 1st President of Israel (d. 1952)
- 1903 – Lars Onsager, Norwegian-American chemist and physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1976)
Onsager, who shared a bathroom with me when I was a grad student at Rockefeller University (he was visiting), got me booted out of the dorms because he complained that I had a woman in my room. Well, I could complain that he had false teeth, which he left in a glass in the bathroom. (UGH!)
- 1909 – James Agee, American novelist, screenwriter, and critic (d. 1955)
- 1917 – Buffalo Bob Smith, American actor and television host (d. 1998)
- 1940 – Bruce Lee, American-Chinese actor, martial artist, and screenwriter (d. 1973)
- 1942 – Jimi Hendrix, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (d. 1970)
Here’s The Jimi Hendrix experience performing “Foxy Lady” in Maui in 1970, the year he died:
- 1955 – Bill Nye, American engineer, educator, and television host
- 1957 – Caroline Kennedy, American lawyer and diplomat, 29th United States Ambassador to Japan
Here’s Caroline with her dad; the caption is from Wikipedia:
Those who decamped from life on November 27 include:
- 1852 – Ada Lovelace, English mathematician and computer scientist (b. 1815)
Here’s a daguerrotype of Lovelace in 1843. Often seen as the first computer programmer, she died at only 36 of uterine cancer:
- 1934 – Baby Face Nelson, American criminal (b. 1908)
- 1975 – Ross McWhirter, English author and activist, co-founded the Guinness Book of Records (b. 1925)
- 1978 – Harvey Milk, American lieutenant and politician (b. 1930)
- 1978 – George Moscone, American lawyer and politician, 37th Mayor of San Francisco (b. 1929)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Andrzej are discussing the latter’s new book, What Israeli Soldiers are Doing to Palestinian Children (in Polish):
Hili: I’m curious who will buy your new book?A: I’m curious as well, very much so.
Hili: Ciekawa jestem kto będzie kupował twoją nową książkę?Ja: Też jestem ciekaw, nawet bardzo.
Caption: “Hili is still recommending this.”
And here’s Kitten Kulka, who may well be related to Hili (photo by Paula R.):
From The Fabulous Weird Trotters. Look at the expression on that cat’s face!
From Atheist Views:
Rocky the saw-whet owl, a stowaway in the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, was rehabbed for a short while, fed and hydrated, and then successfully released, as shown below:
Rocky's release was a success! She's a tough little bird and we're happy to see her back in the wild. She will feel your love & support through her journey south.#RockefellerOwl Please help us continue our mission to help birds like Rocky for years to come https://t.co/Wg4S9kJZbb pic.twitter.com/AJZ5xPrVQt
— Ravensbeard Wildlife Center (@Ravensbeardorg) November 25, 2020
From Barry: a humiliating cat fail:
Me trying to get my life together pic.twitter.com/1CnKVtXsBU
— Rad Tasia, Powerful Moon Seer (@GroovyTasia) November 24, 2020
Also from Barry—an even more humiliating squirrel fail:
Five years ago today. Never forget pic.twitter.com/4MQlM8wtZK
— Lev Parikian (@LevParikian) November 25, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. I don’t know where he dug this first one up, but it’s a corker. The song is dreadful and I’m not that keen on the video (the full one is on Facebook), but the story is great.
Italian singer Adriano Celentano released a song in the 70s with nonsense lyrics meant to sound like American English, apparently to prove Italians would like any English song. It was a hit, and resulted in this: THE GREATEST VIDEO I HAVE EVER SEEN. pic.twitter.com/B3mQWmQgXq
— Harry (@HarrietMould) November 26, 2020
Another fantastic cake:
Happy Thanksgiving 2020.
What a year… pic.twitter.com/RAnEDOlNdP
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) November 26, 2020
This is lovely, and I’m glad the marmoset (how small it is!) didn’t hurt the insect:
— Adam J Calhoun (@neuroecology) November 26, 2020
As Matthew says of this commuting pigeon, “Hard to work out why it is doing this and how it learned it.”
Commuter of the day. pic.twitter.com/iBvVDGuLfc
— Dick King-Smith HQ (@DickKingSmith) November 26, 2020
I hope some of the readers who send in astronomy photos will give us a view of this:
On 21 December, Jupiter and Saturn will be so close in the night sky they'll appear as a single bright 'star'.@jamieacarter reveals how to see the #GreatConjunction of 2020.https://t.co/YrINIZW2hN pic.twitter.com/uwnG7Z5lai
— BBC Sky at Night Magazine (@skyatnightmag) November 24, 2020