We are predicted to have freeze-thaw cycles every day for the next week, when the temperature goes above freezing during the day but mostly below at night. What this means is ICE FORMATION on the streets and sidewalks. First, the predictions for this week in Fahrenheit and Celsius respectively:
Yesterday afternoon was warm, but then it snowed a tad last night and the temperatures dipped below freezing. When I walked out of my building door this morning, I stepped straight onto the sidewalk, my legs flew out in front of me, and I landed flat on my back. OOF! But though I’m old, I’m also tough, and no harm was done.
The sidewalks all the way to work were covered with a thin sheet of ice; no walking on them was possible. So I hied myself into the street. The streets were covered with ice, too, but there was a thin center strip of snow where the car tires don’t touch the road and melt the snow, so I gingerly picked my way to work down that center. It’s dire today, and there will be a lot of falls and accidents. Here’s one street. I walked on the thin, crenulated strip of snow in the middle, for treacherous ice lay on either side.
Welcome to the new week: Monday, February 22, 2021: National Margarita Day. I like them okay, but I prefer a good daiquiri. It’s also National Sweet Potato Day,
George Washington‘s Birthday, Walking the D*g Day, Be Humble Day (theologians love this one), and National Wildlife Day.
Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot) honors Zitkála-Šá (1876-1938; Lakota for “Red Bird”), a Native American polymath and activist. Wikipedia describes her as
. . . a Yankton Dakota writer, editor, translator, musician, educator, and political activist. She wrote several works chronicling her struggles with cultural identity and the pull between the majority culture she was educated within and her Dakota culture into which she was born and raised. Her later books were among the first works to bring traditional Native American stories to a widespread white English-speaking readership, and she has been noted as one of the most influential Native American activists of the 20th century.
Working with American musician William F. Hanson, Zitkala-Ša wrote the libretto and songs for The Sun Dance Opera (1913), the first American Indian opera. It was composed in romantic musical style, and based on Sioux and Ute cultural themes
With her violin in 1898 at 22:
News of the Day:
By now many of you have heard of the ginormous electricity bills that some Texans, who subscribed to private energy firms, have been saddled with after the winter storms. One poor schmo got a montly bill of $16,752, which was taken directly out of his bank account. That’s 200 times what he normally pays! He’s had to dip into his retirement savings to pay the bill. The mayor of Houston, one of the hardest hit cities, has called for Texas to pay these astronomical bills. That seems fair. (h/t Jez)
Preliminary investigations of the blown-out engine of United Boeing 777 plane that was trying to fly from Denver to Hawaii show that one or two fan blades might have broken off. An expert on last night’s NBC Evening News, however, says that such an event would not have caused the engine cowling to break off. In the meantime, United, the only carrier that uses this type of engine in the U.S., has grounded some of its 777s for inspection.
The New York Times, in its “movie’ section (?), has published a timeline of the Woody Allen/Mia Farrow case in which Allen was accused, years ago, of molesting his 7-year old adopted daughter Dylan. There’s never been enough evidence to convict or even try Allen, especially in light of other claims that Mia Farrow, enraged at Woody’s affair with Farrow’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi, coached Dylan with her accusation. The new timeline doesn’t add much to what we know already, and I’m not sure why the NYT is even doing this story, except that a new HBO “docuseries,” Allen v. Farrow, has been released. NPR says it paints a damning picture of Woody Allen but adds this:
What Allen v. Farrow doesn’t have: original interviews with Allen or anyone close to the family who might take his side. That includes Mia Farrow’s two children who have spoken in support of Allen — adopted son Moses Farrow, who has accused his mother of abuse, and Mia Farrow’s daughter who became Allen’s wife in 1997, Soon-Yi Previn. (The series notes that Allen and Soon-Yi didn’t respond to interview requests and Moses declined to participate.)
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. 498,650, an increase of about 1,200 deaths over yesterday’s figure We are likely to exceed half a million deaths within two days. The reported world death toll stands 2,479,067, an increase of about 5,600 deaths over yesterday’s total. The death rate continues to drop worldwide.
Stuff that happened on February 22 these things:
- 1371 – Robert II becomes King of Scotland, beginning the Stuart dynasty.
- 1632 – Ferdinando II de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, the dedicatee, receives the first printed copy of Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems .
- 1797 – The last Invasion of Britain begins near Fishguard, Wales.
The Brits who guarded the fish were ready, though, and fought off the French in two days.
- 1819 – By the Adams–Onís Treaty, Spain sells Florida to the United States for five million U.S. dollars.
- 1862 – Jefferson Davis is officially inaugurated for a six-year term as the President of the Confederate States of America in Richmond, Virginia. He was previously inaugurated as a provisional president on February 18, 1861.
- 1942 – World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines as the Japanese victory becomes inevitable.
- 1943 – World War II: Members of the White Rose resistance, Sophie Scholl, Hans Scholl, and Christoph Probst are executed in Nazi Germany.
See below for more information. These resisters are heroes—imagine opposing the Nazis as a German in 1943! They were caught throwing leaflets into a lobby from the floors above, and executed on the same day that the Nazi kangaroo court found them guilty. Here are Sophia and Hans (right):
From Alabama Chainin Journal:
In February of 1943, the [White Rose group] was apprehended when leaving pamphlets in suitcases all across the University of Munich. Sophie took to a balcony that overlooked a courtyard and scattered reams of flyers as students exited classes. Her action was witnessed by the school’s janitor, who reported Sophie and Hans to the Gestapo. After being interrogated for nearly 24 hours, Sophie emerged from questioning with a broken leg but a steely spirit. She was quoted as saying, “I’ll make no bargain with the Nazis.”
The students’ hearing began a mere four days after their arrest and, because all pled guilty, they were not allowed to testify. Still, Sophie did not sit quietly throughout the proceedings. She interrupted the judge throughout, with statements like: “Somebody had to make a start! What we said and wrote are what many people are thinking. They just don’t dare say it out loud!” and “You know the war is lost. Why don’t you have the courage to face it?”
She was allowed one official statement: “Time and time again one hears it said that since we have been put into a conflicting world, we have to adapt to it. Oddly, this completely un-Christian idea is most often espoused by so-called Christians, of all people. How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone who will give himself up to a righteous cause? I did the best that I could do for my nation. I therefore do not regret my conduct and will bear the consequences.” She and her fellow defendants were sentenced to death by execution, which was carried out within hours of the decision. On the back of Sophie’s indictment, she wrote the word “Freedom”. Her reported last words were, “Die Sonne scheint noch”—”The sun still shines.”
You can hear those words in the video clip below:
- 2011 – New Zealand’s second deadliest earthquake strikes Christchurch, killing 185 people.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1732 –
George Washington, American general and politician, 1st President of the United States (d. 1799)
- 1788 – Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher and author (d. 1860)
Here’s the lugubrious and pessimistic old philosopher:
- 1819 – James Russell Lowell, American poet and critic (d. 1891)
- 1857 – Heinrich Hertz, German physicist, philosopher, and academic (d. 1894)
- 1892 – Edna St. Vincent Millay, American poet and playwright (d. 1950)
- 1914 – Renato Dulbecco, Italian-American virologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2012)
- 1925 – Edward Gorey, American illustrator and poet (d. 2000)
Gorey was a well known ailurophile, and reader Jon sent a lovely photo attesting to that:
- 1932 – Ted Kennedy, American soldier, lawyer, and politician (d. 2009)
- 1942 – Christine Keeler, English model and dancer (d. 2017)
- 1944 – Robert Kardashian, American lawyer and businessman (d. 2003)
- 1950 – Miou-Miou, French actress
- 1962 – Steve Irwin, Australian zoologist and television host (d. 2006)
Those who began pining for the fjords on February 22 include:
- 1512 – Amerigo Vespucci, Italian cartographer and explorer (b. 1454)
- 1875 – Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, French painter and illustrator (b. 1796)
- 1942 – Stefan Zweig, Austrian journalist, author, and playwright (b. 1881)
- 1943 – Christoph Probst, German activist (b. 1919)
- 1943 – Hans Scholl, German activist (b. 1918)
- 1943 – Sophie Scholl, German activist (b. 1921)
Sopie Scholl and her “conspirators” Probst and brother Hans were guillotined with the day after she’d been found guilty of treason. Here’s a tribute to her from the Auschwitz Memorial (h/t Mtthew).
22 February 1943 | Sophie and Hans Scholl & Christoph Probs were executed in Germany for their public resistance against the Nazi regime. They were members of White Rose movement called for active opposition to the Nazi party. https://t.co/4AMOXwj209 pic.twitter.com/yB3Yhbaa8v
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) February 22, 2021
Here’s a fairly accurate video of her last farewell to her brother and Probst, the pronouncement of her sentence, and her immediate execution (no gore). From the movie “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days” (2005). The full film is free on YouTube. This ending is very moving.
- 1965 – Felix Frankfurter, Austrian-American lawyer and jurist (b. 1882)
- 1980 – Oskar Kokoschka, Austrian painter, poet and playwright (b. 1886)
Here’s Kokoshka’s “Katze” (“Cat”), 1910:
- 1987 – Andy Warhol, American painter and photographer (b. 1928)
- 2002 – Chuck Jones, American animator, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1912)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is prognosticating:
Hili: If I see correctly, tomorrow will be the next weekday.A: It’s possible.
Hili: Jeśli dobrze widzę, to jutro będzie kolejny dzień tygodnia.Ja: To jest możliwe
And in nearby Wloclawek, Leon is hibernating, which is why we haven’t had a monologue from him in a while.
Leon: Is it spring yet?
From Titania. Coca-Cola has obviously been learning from Robin DiAngelo:
Which is the best ever @CocaCola advertising slogan?
▪️Taste the Feeling
▪️It’s the Real Thing
▪️Life Tastes Good
▪️Try to Be Less White https://t.co/2zxdAX2jMe
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) February 19, 2021
A tweet from Isabelle, who points out that this woman is worth $850 million, yet she’s kvetching about oppression by The Patriarchy:
The Patriarchy continues to try to crush my neck with their heavy boots, cut off my life force and take away my voice—Even those who call themselves artists…………..You know who you are!!! DEATH TO THE PATRIARCHY! Now and Forever. #riskwhatyouvalue #valuewhatyourisk pic.twitter.com/A5BtfIIFNR
— Madonna (@Madonna) February 20, 2021
Ginger K. asks, “Why would anybody throw a book in the trash?” Good question.
Garbage collectors in Ankara open a library with books rescued from the trash. "The only regret the men have, is that they didn't start collecting sooner."https://t.co/wWpWAeFA2H pic.twitter.com/hDNEUhuMNt
— Caroline de Gruyter (@CarolineGruyter) February 19, 2021
A tweet from Barry. What a great video!
— Sanho Tree (@SanhoTree) February 20, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. Look at this demon cat!
— heɪz(ə)l (@cisgenderhaver) February 20, 2021
I was glad to hear that the Perseverance Rover is okay and that its silence didn’t mean that something was wrong. Here’s NASA’s explanation along with some photos (one of the rover’s tire):
As @NASAPersevere instruments come online, we are using processes and lessons learned from @MarsCuriosity. Thanks for all your interest and your patience! It will be worth the wait! pic.twitter.com/3iAa70WQqO
— Thomas Zurbuchen (@Dr_ThomasZ) February 21, 2021
Sunday morning Narnia. Mandarin ducks in Richmond Park are transporting us through a gate to an oriental garden.
If 2 minutes is not enough, twice as long video on YouTube https://t.co/5o8zlL5UwQ pic.twitter.com/txAGDq5Aex
— Nikon Photographer (@Astrid_Tontson) February 21, 2021