It’s Caturday, January 16, 2021: National Hot and Spicy Food Day. I’m had some of these last night as a preprandial snack with leftover bubbly, which was just just the right libation. I discovered Trader Joe’s Jerk Style Plantain Chips while investigating what else I should look for up when i went to TJ’s to get my coffee beans (the cheapest source for good espresso beans in bulk). This site rated the plantain chips highly, and they were right. They are quite spicy, not too unhealthy, and only about two bucks per bag. You don’t need to eat many to get satisfied.
It’s also National Fig Newton Day, Prohibition Remembrance Day, celebrating (?) the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment in 1919, Book Publishers Day, and National Religious Freedom Day. Remember that Fig Newtons were invented as a digestive aid and were named not after Isaac Newton, but after the town of Newton, Massachusetts, where they were once made. I love them (the UK equivalent is the “fig roll”). But I just learned that they are now called simply “Newtons”—not because they eliminate the fig paste, which remains in one version—but because there are other kinds of Newtons now, like strawberry. At least this isn’t duplicitious, like changing “Vanilla Wafers” to “Nilla Wafers” when they removed the vanilla:
News of the Day:
I think everyone’s heart skipped a beat when we hard that QShaman, aka Jacob Anthony Chansley, had provide the feds with information that led them to conclude that some of the Capitol rioters were bent on immobilizing and then assassinating people in Congress. But I wondered, given the clear insanity of QShaman, how anything he said, with his marination in conspiracy theories, could be credible. It turns out that it was not. According to CNN:
Justice Department prosecutors have formally walked back their assertion in a court filing that said Capitol rioters sought to “capture and assassinate elected officials.”
A federal prosecutor in Arizona asked a magistrate judge in a hearing on Friday to strike the line in a recent court filing about defendant Jacob Anthony Chansley, a man who is alleged to have led some in the crowd in the first wave into the Capitol with a bullhorn while carrying a spear and wearing a fur headdress.
The entire line the prosecutors want to omit from their court filing is: “Strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States Government.”
The New York Times reported that some chucklehead had written “Trump” on a manatee (an endangered species); at first it looked as if the word had been carved into the skin, but now it seems “Trump” was written in algae (or rather, by scraping off algae). Still, it’s illegal to touch one of these wonderful creatures. Trumpies, keep your hands off the damn manatees!
Some relevant tweets (h/t Matthew):
This is horrifying and shameful. It shouldn’t have to be said but please protect manatees & don’t use them as makeshift yard signs, for anyone or anything: https://t.co/obWNxrXDx6
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) January 14, 2021
Dave is correct. As Governor, I stated that the manatee was my favorite mammal. I was criticized since humans should be a governor’s top mammal. Watching what goes on in DC these days, makes me wonder. Long live the manatee! https://t.co/3JZnliY6aq
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) January 14, 2021
Important manatee update. It'll probably be okay.
If the people get caught, though…they will now.
Also, apparently manatees can really mess you UP if they want. They just don't want. https://t.co/O826Z059pe
— Bethany Brookshire (@BeeBrookshire) January 15, 2021
I can’t help but think, cynical as I am, that if the word written was “Biden,” people wouldn’t be so incensed. Amirite?
At last India has started inoculating its population, which is a formidable task since that involves jabs for 1.3 billion people. The first people to get their shots, on Saturday, were healthcare workers. Unfortunately, they are using two Indian-manufactured vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, that lack any clinical evidence that they work. I hope they do! (“Puja” below is a Hindu act of worship. The doctor has had henna designs put on her hands and arms.)
Dr. Rajashree Patil at Kamala Nehru Hospital in Pune, India, survived Covid-19 in May and was excited and apprehensive to be among the first to receive a dose of Covishield, one of two vaccines made in India. https://t.co/ekK36qYoR8 pic.twitter.com/UrLZ55UhOX
— emilyschmall (@emilyschmall) January 16, 2021
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 392,529, a big increase of about 4,000 deaths from yesterday’s figure, or about 2.8 deaths per minute. In about two days we’ll pass 400,000 deaths: double what the most pessimistic pundits thought we’d have. The world death toll is 2,019,857, a big increase of about 15,400 deaths over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on January 16 includes:
- 1412 – The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy.
- 1605 – The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid, Spain.
Here’s the cover of the first edition:
- 1707 – The Scottish Parliament ratifies the Act of Union, paving the way for the creation of Great Britain.
- 1786 – Virginia enacts the Statute for Religious Freedom authored by Thomas Jefferson.
- 1909 – Ernest Shackleton‘s expedition finds the magnetic South Pole.
Here are three members of the team, Douglas Mawson, Alistair MacKay and Edgeworth David, at what they thought was the South Magnetic Pole, but they didn’t really find the spot (read about it here). At any rate, the spot does change its position over time.
- 1920 – The League of Nations holds its first council meeting in Paris, France.
- 1945 – Adolf Hitler moves into his underground bunker, the so-called Führerbunker.
Here’s the bunker (foreground) in 1947 before it was razed by the Soviets. I’ve visited the site, now a grassy plot:
- 1979 – The last Iranian Shah flees Iran with his family for good and relocates to Egypt.
- 2003 – The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one. Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.
And, one year ago today. Let’s hope the next impeachment results in a convication, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
- 2020 – The first impeachment of Donald John Trump formally moves into its trial phase in the United States Senate.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1900 – Edith Frank, German-Dutch mother of Anne Frank (d. 1945)
- 1902 – Eric Liddell, Scottish runner, rugby player, and missionary (d. 1945)
You’ll remember Liddell as the “muscular Christian” depicted in the film Chariots of Fire. Here’s the real Liddell winning at the British Empire versus United States of America (Relays) meet held at Stamford Bridge, London on Sat 19 July 1924:
- 1910 – Dizzy Dean, American baseball player and sportscaster (d. 1974)
- 1933 – Susan Sontag, American novelist, essayist, and critic (d. 2004)
- 1948 – Ruth Reichl, American journalist and critic
- 1974 – Kate Moss, English model and fashion designer
- 1980 – Lin-Manuel Miranda, American actor, playwright, and composer
Those who hopped the twig on January 16 include:
- 1794 – Edward Gibbon, English historian and politician (b. 1737)
- 1901 – Arnold Böcklin, Swiss painter and academic (b. 1827)
Here’s Böcklin’s “Isle of the Dead” (Die Toteninsel), one of many of his paintings drawn from mythology:
- 1936 – Albert Fish, American serial killer, rapist and cannibal (b. 1870)
- 1942 – Carole Lombard, American actress and comedian (b. 1908).
Lombard was married to Clark Gable, and when she died in a plane crash in 1942 at only 33, Gable was inconsolable. He soon joined the Air Force, something that Lombard had repeatedly asked him to do. .
- 1968 – Bob Jones Sr., American evangelist, founded Bob Jones University (b. 1883)
- 1986 – Herbert W. Armstrong, American evangelist, author, and publisher (b. 1892)
- 2009 – Andrew Wyeth, American painter (b. 1917)
You remember Wyeth’s famous painting “Christina’s World,” right? Well, here’s “Christina’s Bedroom” (1947), painted a year earlier, and it has a cat in it:
- 2017 – Eugene Cernan, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1934)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili still dislikes Szaron (the only animals she’s ever gotten along with are d*gs):
A: What are you doing here?Hili: I’m waiting for Szaron so I can jump on him.
Ja: Co tu robisz?Hili: Czekam na Szarona, żeby na niego skoczyć.
And we have a picture of adorable Kulka in the snow:
Caption: “And a picture of Kulka (of course, taken by Paulina).”
From Jesus of the Day. How many of us get our dreams fulfilled so easily?
Titania’s busy erasing Trump:
All records of Donald Trump’s existence must be eliminated without delay.
I shudder to think how many people have already been radicalised by watching Home Alone 2. pic.twitter.com/M5l2Rjlpmv
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) January 14, 2021
From Barry: a puppy seeks a down comforter:
oh my god pic.twitter.com/ldKgmr896Y
— Ad Infinitum (@Ad_Inifinitum) January 13, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. It’s a long video (6.5 minutes), and the cats are a handful, but they’ve given meaning to the staff’s life.
Cat who keeps destroying his dad's apartment gets a kitten brother — who grows up to be a terror! 😹 pic.twitter.com/hljNROutYv
— The Dodo (@dodo) January 15, 2021
Loons are EVERYWHERE. Listen to this one!
Right-wing pastor and QAnon conspiracy theorist Johnny Enlow says the final score of the college football national championship game contained a prophetic sign that Trump will remain president.. https://t.co/0W6LdAJHCU pic.twitter.com/6wFLjqbFlN
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) January 15, 2021
Cat: “I approve of this post.”
— Elizabeth Erickson (@Elizabe57257512) January 15, 2021
I asked my friend Andrew, who spends a lot of time in Turkey, what this crazy housing development was about. Here’s his response:
I think it was an attempt by a Turkish developer to bring in Arab money. Someone had presumably come to conclusion that the route to the Arab soul (well, wallet) is via fake mini Disney castles. Seems a good idea to me. But I seem to recall that the whole thing has been a bit of a disaster economically; either the market research on Arab preferences wasn’t entirely sound or other economic factors intervened.
There's a place in Turkey called the Burj Al Babas and it looks like someone went hog wild with copy and paste on a small castle ` pic.twitter.com/kIPJvMum6C
— hedgewitch 🌿 (@pylonfan) January 15, 2021
A great correction!
And today's Correction of the Day award goes to CNN pic.twitter.com/wKm5NHF5Ty
— Nick Cohen (@NickCohen4) January 15, 2021
Oy! The digger on the Mars rover is having trouble getting soil samples. They’ll miss all that life! (not)
One phase ends, and another begins…
Last weekend, the mole made a final attempt to dig farther underground on Mars. Even with all the steps we’ve taken to #SaveTheMole, it seems there’s just not enough friction in this soil to keep it moving downward. (1/4) pic.twitter.com/ZevtiAvS36
— NASA InSight (@NASAInSight) January 14, 2021