News of the Day:
The Department of Homeland Security has issued a rare alert warning of domestic terrorism. They weren’t specific, but warned that terrorists, emboldened by the Capitol siege, will pose a threat for at least several weeks to come. My own guess is that some loon will try to kill one or more Democratic politicians.
Cloris Leachman died yesterday at 94. She was in many good shows, but I liked her best in my favorite American movie, “The Last Picture Show” (1971), in which, playing Ruth Popper, the long-suffering wife of a boorish high-school coach, she has an affair with the young Timothy Bottoms. For that role she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
Here’s her soliloquy at the very end of the movie, when Sonny comes back to see her after a long absence when he was dallying with Jacy (Cybill Shepherd).
This famous Bernie Mittens crocheted doll, created by Tobey King, just sold for $20,300 on eBay after the auction began at 99. Awesome, for all the money went to Meals on Wheels America, one of Bernie’s favorite charities. Here’s the famous doll, which came complete with the bench:
Meanwhile, over at HuffPost, here’s what you need to know:
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 429,312, a big increase of about 4,100 deaths over yesterday’s figure. We are likely to exceed half a million deaths in less than a month. The reported world death toll stands at 2,186,400, an increase of about 17,000 deaths over yesterday’s total, or about 11.8 deaths per minute.
Stuff that happened on January 28 includes:
- 814 – The death of Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, brings about the accession of his son Louis the Pious as ruler of the Frankish Empire.
- 1521 – The Diet of Worms begins, lasting until May 25.
That is a long time to subsist on worms!!!
(I’ll be here all year, folks!)
- 1547 – Edward VI, the nine-year-old son of Henry VIII, becomes King of England on his father’s death.
Here’s King Edward at age 13:
Have a look at the story and how they found her “devil’s mark”.
- 1754 – Sir Horace Walpole coins the word serendipity in a letter to a friend.
- 1813 – Jane Austen‘s Pride and Prejudice is first published in the United Kingdom.
A first edition of this great novel, in three volumes, will run you $40,000:
- 1896 – Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent, becomes the first person to be convicted of speeding. He was fined one shilling, plus costs, for speeding at 8 mph (13 km/h), thereby exceeding the contemporary speed limit of 2 mph (3.2 km/h).
Remember that a decent walking speed is 3 mph; you could be ticketed for driving faster than you walk!
- 1909 – United States troops leave Cuba with the exception of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base after being there since the Spanish–American War.
- 1933 – The name Pakistan is coined by Choudhry Rahmat Ali Khan and is accepted by Indian Muslims who then thereby adopted it further for the Pakistan Movement seeking independence.
- 1935 – Iceland becomes the first Western country to legalize therapeutic abortion.
- 1956 – Elvis Presley makes his first national television appearance.
The appearance was on the program “Stage Show”, and heeeeere’s Elvis performing “Shake, Rattle and Roll”:
- 1958 – The Lego company patents the design of its Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today.
Here are copies of the patent drawings; you can buy this reproduction on Etsy:
- 1965 – The current design of the Flag of Canada is chosen by an act of Parliament.
Here ya go, eh?
- 1986 – Space Shuttle program: STS-51-L mission: Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts on board.
Here’s the explosion (it begins at 1:36). I remember watching it live:
Notables born on this day include:
- 1873 – Colette, French novelist and journalist (d. 1954)
- 1912 – Jackson Pollock, American painter (d. 1956)
- 1929 – Acker Bilk, English singer and clarinet player (d. 2014)
- 1929 – Claes Oldenburg, Swedish-American sculptor and illustrator
- 1954 – Rick Warren, American pastor and author
- 1968 – Sarah McLachlan, Canadian singer-songwriter, pianist, and producer
Here’s the Divine Sarah (Sarah Silverman’s been demoted) singing one of her most famous songs. It’s a terrific live performance:
- 1972 – Amy Coney Barrett, American jurist, academic, attorney, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Those who croaked on January 28 include:
- 814 – Charlemagne, Holy Roman emperor (pleurisy; b. 742)
- 1547 – Henry VIII, king of England (b. 1491)
- 1939 – W. B. Yeats, Irish poet and playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1865)1986 – Space Shuttle Challenger crew
- Gregory Jarvis, American captain, engineer, and astronaut (b. 1944)
- Christa McAuliffe, American educator and astronaut (b. 1948)
- Ronald McNair, American physicist and astronaut (b. 1950)
- Ellison Onizuka, American engineer and astronaut (b. 1946)
- Judith Resnik, American colonel, engineer, and astronaut (b. 1949)
- Dick Scobee, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1939)
- Michael J. Smith, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1945)
- 1996 – Joseph Brodsky, Russian-American poet and essayist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1940)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, editor Hili is getting in the way on Andrzej’s desk:
A: Could you find another place for yourself?Hili: I’ve already been in another place and now I have to sit here.
Ja: Czy możesz poszukać sobie innego miejsca?Hili: Byłam już w innym miejscu, teraz muszę tu siedzieć.
From Nicole, yet another Bernie meme, and one of the cleverer ones. Soon he’ll pupate and become a curmudgeonly Berniefly:
From Stash Krod:
Another Bernie meme, this time from Diana MacPherson:
Ilhan Omar, who pretended she didn’t support BDS when running for office, has apparently changed her mind (e.g., finally told the truth). But she’s still pretending that the organization doesn’t want to eliminate the state of Israel:
This is a lie. @DemMaj4Israel are either ignorant of the movement's positions or purposely misrepresenting them.
BDS opposes Israel's denial of Palestinian rights & dignity.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 26, 2021
Here’s when she was lying before she took office, and then issued the new Big Lie. Below that, one of the founders of BDS lets the mask slip.
And here’s BDS Co-Founder Omar Barghouti: "Most definitely, we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. No Palestinian — rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian — will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine."pic.twitter.com/CAiWpNNbuR
— Democratic Majority for Israel (@DemMaj4Israel) January 26, 2021
From Facebook, Indy does a risky move:
Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Tum pic.twitter.com/xLHmNHqCNs
— Tom (@TomHeartsTanks) January 23, 2021
People have a lot of time on their hands during the pandemic. Too much time. (h/t: Barry)
If you’ve already seen a Hamster Rocket today just keep on scrolling… pic.twitter.com/gq6FgCwNlk
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) January 25, 2021
From Simon: a cool illusion:
— Lionel Page (@page_eco) January 26, 2021
Two tweets from Matthew: Sound up to hear the froggies call!
For a brief period after the first heavy rains in December, a sea of bull frogs gathered on Liuwa’s flooded plains in Zambia to mate. Turn your sound up to hear their incredible chorus. pic.twitter.com/w2FwGxxRn0
— African Parks (@AfricanParks) January 15, 2021
And look at this amazingly cryptic spider:
— iNaturalist (@inaturalist) January 27, 2021