Well, we’ve arrived at the week’s end, and the last Friday in this month: Friday, February 26, 2021. It’s National Pistachio Day, one of the Holy Trinity of Nuts along with cashews and macadamias. It’s also the Jewish holiday of Purim, a day to eat hamantaschen, even if the recipe is goyische.
When looking at the history of this garment, I found a court case that will anger you:
In Rome, Italy, in 1992, a 45-year-old driving instructor was accused of rape. When he picked up an 18-year-old girl for her first driving lesson, he allegedly raped her for an hour, then told her that if she was to tell anyone he would kill her. Later that night she told her parents and her parents agreed to help her press charges. While the alleged rapist was convicted and sentenced, the Italian Court of Cassation overturned the conviction in 1998 because the victim wore tight jeans. It was argued that she must have necessarily had to help her attacker remove her jeans, thus making the act consensual (“because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them… and by removing the jeans… it was no longer rape but consensual sex”). The court stated in its decision “it is a fact of common experience that it is nearly impossible to slip off tight jeans even partly without the active collaboration of the person who is wearing them.”
The ruling sparked widespread feminist protest. The day after the decision, women in the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans and holding placards that read “Jeans: An Alibi for Rape”. As a sign of support, the California Senate and the California Assembly followed suit. Patricia Giggans, the executive director of the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women (now Peace Over Violence) soon made Denim Day an annual event. As of 2011 at least 20 U.S. states officially recognize Denim Day in April. Wearing jeans on that day has become an international symbol of protest against such attitudes about sexual assault. As of 2008, the court has overturned its findings, and there is no longer a “denim” defense to the charge of rape.
From the Denim Day website in the U.S.; the date for last year was April 29.
News of the Day:
Former USA gymnastics coach John Geddert, who helped the team secure a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, committed suicide yesterday after he was charged with a number of crimes involving sex with his charges, including two counts of sexual assault against children between ages 13 and 16, and 20 counts of human trafficking vis the use of “force, fraud and coercion against the young athletes that came to him for gymnastics training for financial benefit to him.” He was an associate of the team physician Larry Nassar, now serving three life sentences for criminal sexual assault, child pornography, and related charges. One of his victims, Sarah Klein, said this:
“John Geddert’s escape from justice by committing suicide is traumatizing beyond words,” wrote Klein, now a lawyer specializing in sexual-abuse cases. “He tortured and abused little girls, myself included, for more than 30 years and was able to cheat justice. Geddert was a narcissistic abuser. His suicide is an admission of guilt that the entire world can now see.”
I can see why she’d be angry that the facts wouldn’t come out but, in a rough way, justice has been done. Geddert will never molest anyone again, and the evidence can still be revealed (at least, I think so).
Oy! Florida governor Ron DeSantis has ordered that all flags in the state be flown at half mast in memory of Rush Limbaugh’s death. Limbaugh was a long-time resident of Palm Beach. Democrats are appalled, and Palm Beach itself will not obey (h/t: Ken):
Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay tweeted late Tuesday that the flag at the courthouse would not be lowered on Wednesday. Other Palm Beach County and Town of Palm Beach officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Say goodbye to “Mr. Potato Head”! Hasbro, the company that makes the beloved toy (I had one) has announced the arrival of a gender-netural potato, even though there was already a “Mrs. Potato Head”. From the Associated Press (h/t: Jez):
Hasbro created confusion on Thursday when it removed the gender from its Mr. Potato Head brand, but not from the actual toy.
The company, which has been making the potato-shaped plastic toy for nearly 70 years, announced Thursday morning that it was dropping Mr. from the brand in an effort to make sure “all feel welcome in the Potato Head world.” It also said it would sell a new playset this fall that will let kids create their own type of potato families, including two moms or two dads. The announcements set off a social media frenzy over the beloved toy.
Later that afternoon, Hasbro clarified in a tweet that the Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters will still exist, names and all, but the branding on the box will say “Potato Head.”
To come: Tater Tot has Two Mommies. And there will be associated pronouns.
I just found that Titania beat me to the punch:
“Mr Potato Head” was a reactionary throwback to a time before we dismantled the gender binary.
His very existence radicalised children into believing that only heterosexual and cisgender potatoes could have fulfilling lives.
THIS is what progress looks like.
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) February 25, 2021
The black-browed babbler has been rediscovered after 180 years! (h/t Matthew) A live specimen of this beautiful bird was captured in Borneo. The single stuffed specimen differs from the real bird in eye, leg, and bill color, but these features are often “adjusted” by taxidermists.
Until this rediscovery, the only evidence this species ever existed was a #taxidermy bird in @Naturalis_Sci collected over 180 years ago (and we now know that specimen has the wrong coloured eyes, bill and legs).
Welcome back, black-browed babbler!https://t.co/2ZnXbdgTVY
— Jack Ashby (@JackDAshby) February 25, 2021
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 508,107, an increase of about 2,500 deaths over yesterday’s figure The reported world death toll stands 2,521,018, a big increase of about 10,400 deaths over yesterday’s total. Look at the big drop in new cases in the U.S:
Stuff that happened on February 26 includes:
- 1606 – The Janszoon voyage of 1605–06 becomes the first European expedition to set foot on Australia, although it is mistaken as a part of New Guinea.
- 1616 – Galileo Galilei is formally banned by the Roman Catholic Church from teaching or defending the view that the earth orbits the sun.
- 1815 – Napoleon Bonaparte escapes from Elba.
- 1909 – Kinemacolor, the first successful color motion picture process, is first shown to the general public at the Palace Theatre in London.
This process was crude, putting red and green filters, alternately, in front of a black and white movie. Here’s an example:
- 1919 – President Woodrow Wilson signs an act of Congress establishing the Grand Canyon National Park.
- 1929 – President Calvin Coolidge signs an executive order establishing the 96,000 acre Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
- 1971 – U.N. Secretary-General U Thant signs United Nations proclamation of the vernal equinox as Earth Day.
- 1993 – World Trade Center bombing: In New York City, a truck bomb parked below the North Tower of the World Trade Center explodes, killing six and injuring over a thousand people.
- 2012 – Trayvon Martin was shot and killed at the age of 17 in Sanford, Florida.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1802 – Victor Hugo, French author, poet, and playwright (d. 1885)
- 1829 – Levi Strauss, German-American fashion designer, founded Levi Strauss & Co. (d. 1902)
The world’s oldest dated pair of Levis, below, is from 1879, and is kept in a locked safe at the company’s archive for which only two people know the combination. Forensic examination of wear patterns suggests that at least three people wore this pair. The garment is worth at least $100,000; read more here.
Note the cinch at the waist:
“Buffalo Bill” Cody was mostly a showman though, participating in and running successful “wild west” shows in the U.S. and Europe. Here’s Buffalo Bill in 1875:
Did you know that corn flakes were created as an “anaphrodesiac,” designed to kill the libido? Here’s the puritanical inventor, who was a Seventh Day Adventist:
- 1916 – Jackie Gleason, American actor and singer (d. 1987)
- 1918 – Theodore Sturgeon, American author and critic (d. 1985)
- 1928 – Fats Domino, American singer-songwriter and pianist (d. 2017)
- 1932 – Johnny Cash, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (d. 2003)
- 1954 – Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish politician, 12th President of Turkey
Those who checked out on on February 26 were few, and include:
- 1989 – Roy Eldridge, American trumpet player (b. 1911)
Eldridge’s nickname was “Little Jazz,” and he’s an unappreciated trumpet player. Here’s my favorite of his works, “After you’ve gone” (1937). His solo work after the vocals is superb. There are only 298 views of this on YouTube.
Oh hell, here’s another great Eldredge solo: “Rocking Chair” with the Gene Krupa orchestra (1941). I can’t choose which of the two I like better.
Wapner below was the first of the “mean judge” reality arbitration shows. Here comes the judge:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is full of braggadocio today:
Hili: Sometimes I’m pleased with my achievements?A: Which achievements?Hili: All of them.
Hili: Czasem jestem zadowolona z moich osiągnięć.Ja: Z których?Hili: Z wszystkich.
Little Kulka, like her possible relative Hili, enjoys climbing the cherry and apple trees.
Caption: Kulka on the tree, Paulina on the ground.
From Ebaum’s World:
From Nicole: The latest photo from the Mars rover Perseverance:
From Jesus of the Day:
Andrew Doyle, Titania’s creator, has a new book out about free speech. Has anyone read it?
Given that hate speech is not possible without free speech, any defence of free speech is a form of hate speech.
BAN 👏 THIS 👏 BOOK 👏 https://t.co/vhJixmVFbS
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) February 25, 2021
From Simon, a response to that loon Boebert demanding that flags be flown at half mast for–get this–Rush Limbaugh:
SOUND UP 😌pic.twitter.com/UwmLkFvMgv
— Reesus Patriot™ (@ReesusP) February 20, 2021
From reader Mark: an Orthodox Jewish cat kisses the mezuzah!
מחנך א קעצי pic.twitter.com/MQLob6jUXU
— מפורשים (@mforshem) February 24, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. We still don’t know why woodcocks walk this way, and it’s plenty weird (If you want two papers that give theories, write me.)
American Woodcock (Scolopax minor)🐦🦜🕊️🎵🐤❤️🐤
Please watch it to the end.! pic.twitter.com/GvCpW06Bww
— World birds (@worldbirds32) March 21, 2020
Matthew says that some people in the thread didn’t get this:
The duck who lives here must be huge. pic.twitter.com/ckTHvaiOWY
— Tom Cox (@cox_tom) February 24, 2021
I owned a skunk for several years, and the girth of this one is more like that of a pet skunk than a wild one:
Mega skunk is back! 👑🦨
This is one seriously large skunk. Last time it was on camera (assuming same one) was November 2020. pic.twitter.com/UwTJ75E6oQ
— sue (@CameraTrapSue) February 24, 2021
A glittery salticid:
#RollCall Hi! It's #BlackInEnto week! I am an entophile/arachnophile. I especially love Salticids (jumping spiders) like this P. princeps. I'm a macro photographer & totally for sale if you have a club who'd like to learn macro photography. IG, Patreon, and website in bio. pic.twitter.com/ree8rwjHy3
— JDMonroe (@JDMonroe210) February 22, 2021
I may have put this up before, but if so, well, here it is again. It’s a Satyr Tragopan (Tragopan satyra), found in the Himalayan foothills. The males grow their wattles and feathery horns only during the mating season (be sure to watch the mating-dance video):
Sexual selection is bonkers. https://t.co/2rKEAyRfC1
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) February 20, 2021