Good morning on the cruelest day: Wednesday, January 27, 2021: National Chocolate Cake Day. It’s also Thomas Crapper Day, in honor of the sanitary engineer (he did make improvements in toilets), who died on this day in 1910. Finally, was on this day in 1945 that the Red Army arrived at Auschwitz, making it the day of remembrance: Liberation of the remaining inmates of Auschwitz, with related observances Holocaust Memorial Day (UK), International Holocaust Remembrance Day , and Memorial Day (Italy).
27 January 1928 | A German Jewish girl, Marion Ehrlich, was born in Berlin.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) January 27, 2021
Here are some liberated prisoners with the Soviet soldiers:
News of the Day:
I have recovered from my second Pfizer jab after a rough night.
There was little hope from the outset that Trump’s second impeachment would yield a conviction, but now it’s a certainty. In a preliminary vote, all but five Republican Senators voted in favor of Rand Paul’s bill maintaining that the impeachment was unconstitutional. We’d need 12 additional Republicans to vote for conviction. It’s a lost cause for sure, but I think the procedure needs to go forward just to show that Presidents are accountable for their actions.
Oy! According to The Hill, Trump has set up an “Office of the Former President” in Palm Beach, Florida:
“The Office of the Former President” will manage Trump’s correspondence, public statements, appearance and official activities, according to a press release from the office.
“President Trump will always and forever be a champion for the American People,” the release said.
No, he’ll always and forever be a champion for himself. Here’s one snarky reaction:
I imagine the Office of the Former President to be stacked with boxes of stolen appliances and electronics and old beer posters with half naked ladies like the one they had at the Bad-a-Bing. Also, no one does anything-they just eat deli all day and swear. https://t.co/bjzFf6tBhG
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) January 26, 2021
This is unusual: the Baseball Hall of Fame failed to elect any of the 25 candidates nominated this year, including stars like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling. Some of these candidates will be elected, but they’re usually allowed to mature, like a fine wine. The next election will be in December, and A-Rod will be on the ballot. If he’s not elected, it will be a crime.
Over in the tiny village of Dobrzyn, Andrzej got his first coronavirus shot: the Pfizer vaccine. He wrote an article about it in Listy, “I was vaccinated against a nasty virus.” (you can get Google to translate it into English). It’s illustrated with Andrzej getting his jab:
The CDC has declared that in-person schooling is not likely to promote substantive number of new infections. According to Reuters, the CDC says “there has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission.” One would think that that would promote the reopening of schools, but teachers are rebelling, with some saying they’re not going back to in-person teaching until all teachers are vaccinated. The Chicago School District (the third largest in the U.S.) has ordered teachers back into the classroom by tomorrow, but the Teachers Union is refusing. If they fire the teachers, it will be a disaster, but it will also be a disaster if the teachers strike. It’s a deadlock.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 425,208, a big increase of about 4,200 deaths over yesterday’s figure. We may pass half a million deaths in less than a month. The reported world death toll stands at 2,169,344, an increase of about 18,200 deaths over yesterday’s total, or about 12.6 deaths per minute (more than one every five seconds).
Stuff that happened on January 27 includes:
- 1606 – Gunpowder Plot: The trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators begins, ending with their execution on January 31.
- 1785 – The University of Georgia is founded, the first public university in the United States.
- 1820 – A Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev discovers the Antarctic continent, approaching the Antarctic coast.
- 1880 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for his incandescent lamp.
Here’s the successful patent application:
- 1944 – World War II: The 900-day Siege of Leningrad is lifted.
- 1945 – World War II: The Soviet 322nd Rifle Division liberates the remaining inmates of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
- 1967 – Apollo program: Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee are killed in a fire during a test of their Apollo 1 spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
Here are the charred remains of the capsule interior after the bodies were removed.
- 1983 – The pilot shaft of the Seikan Tunnel, the world’s longest sub-aqueous tunnel (53.85 km) between the Japanese islands of Honshū and Hokkaidō, breaks through.
- 1996 – Germany first observes the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1603 – Sir Harbottle Grimston, 2nd Baronet, English lawyer and politician, Speaker of the House of Commons (d. 1685)
I just like the name! Here’s Sir Harbottle:
- 1756 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian pianist and composer (d. 1791)
- 1832 – Lewis Carroll, English novelist, poet, and mathematician (d. 1898)
- 1836 – Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Austrian journalist and author (d. 1895)
Sacher-Masoch was of course the origin of the term “masochism,” which he practiced. Here’s the author of Venus in Furs, the title of a Velvet Underground song as well (the book is a compilation of his writings):
- 1921 – Donna Reed, American actress (d. 1986)
- 1948 – Mikhail Baryshnikov, Russian-American dancer, choreographer, and actor
- 1956 – Mimi Rogers, American actress
Those who breathed their last on January 27 include:
- 1901 – Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer (b. 1813)
- 1910 – Thomas Crapper, English plumber and businessman (b. 1836) [see above]
- 1922 – Nellie Bly, American journalist and author (b. 1864)
- 1940 – Isaac Babel, Russian short story writer, journalist, and playwright (b. 1894)
- 1967 – crew of Apollo 1
- Roger B. Chaffee, American pilot, engineer, and astronaut (b. 1935)
- Gus Grissom, American pilot and astronaut (b. 1926)
- Ed White, American colonel, engineer, and astronaut (b. 1930)
- 1972 – Mahalia Jackson, American singer (b. 1911)
- 2010 – J. D. Salinger, American soldier and author (b. 1919)
Here’s a rare photo of Salinger (a recluse for most of his adult life) with his daughter Margaret on his shoulders:
Here are Woody Guthrie’s “antifa guitar” and Pete Seeger’s banjo:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is fed up with the news. As Malgorzata explains, “She is bored with all the bad and depressing news and would like to hear something bright and interesting.”
Hili: Did you read today’s news?A: Yes, why do you ask?Hili: Because maybe, finally, something interesting has happened.
Hili: Czy czytałeś już dzisiejsze wiadomości?Ja: Tak, czemu pytasz?Hili: Bo może wreszcie stało się coś ciekawego?
Another Bernie meme from Divy, who lives in Florida and says, “Welcome to Florida!”
From Nicole we get another Bernie, this time soaking up the sun with Pauli Walnuts of The Sopranos:
And one from Ant:
Titania highlight a real tweet from Twitter, in which the company’s trying to be lighthearted about a very serious issue: censorship. Whales my tuchas!
This is SO important. ✊
Once all the false information has been eradicated from Twitter, we can get back to explaining how boys can have periods, conservatives are fascists, Islam is a feminist religion, cancel culture doesn’t exist and all white people are inherently evil. https://t.co/ZV49jYYfkU
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) January 25, 2021
From Luana: Out in Oregon, equity clearly outweighs mortality.
The committee responsible for determining who next gets vaccinated in Oregon is explicitly endorsing a racial test: BIPOC would get the vaccine before those with serious underlying conditions.
This will kill people, is unconstitutional and highly immoral.https://t.co/gp67b3Q2HA
— Yascha Mounk (@Yascha_Mounk) January 25, 2021
From Ginger K.: a Russian gives advice about how to pretend you’re an American tourist if you’re about to get arrested in a demonstration. I love the part about “gonna”! ΓAHA!
Omg it’s amazing. First one: how to pretend you are an American tourist when the police try to arrest you on Saturday: pic.twitter.com/0fPfSPGSIv
— Tanja Maier (@tanjamaier17) January 21, 2021
From Barry: Indy is taking a huge risk here!
Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Tum pic.twitter.com/xLHmNHqCNs
— Tom (@TomHeartsTanks) January 23, 2021
From Simon, who’s seen the big trees:
A man and a Sequoia. pic.twitter.com/doFj2kXZZH
— Amanda (@AmandaLeftCoast) January 24, 2021
My mistake, there are three men in this photo! Here is a short video about the photo shoot: https://t.co/waX71hhpn8
— Amanda (@AmandaLeftCoast) January 24, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. If you’ve watched “The Sopranos,” as I did recently, you’ll recognize the reference to the “Pine Barrens” episode:
You guys got any ketchup packets?
— Aaron (@BobbyBigWheel) January 26, 2021
Cat owners: GET ONE!
i put eyes on the cat’s bed and could not be happier with the result pic.twitter.com/0D72nyc0aq
— towler (@HeyitsTowler) January 25, 2021