Good morning on Monday, March 8, 2021: National Peanut Cluster Day. It’s also Be Nasty Day (characterized as “On this day everyone has an excuse to be nasty by displaying these attributes to others in both word and action.”) and International Women’s Day.
Google has an animated Doodle for Women’s Day: click on screenshot to go to Google and play it:
News of the Day:
As I predicted when the second accuser came forward, Andrew Cuomo is approaching the state of “toast” as New York’s governor. Now other people associated with him have claimed he created a toxic workplace, and the head of New York’s state senate has said that it’s time for him to step down. That, combined with the accusation that his administration finagled nursing-home figures during the pandemic, means that we will soon be speaking of him in the past tense. (Remember, you’re hearing from the guy, moi, who called the election, down to the precise electoral vote count, before any of the media!)
Have you followed the big squabble about the British royals, with Harry and Meghan on one hand the the Queen and the Firm on the other? It’s even on the evening news, with H&M’s interview with Oprah scheduled for this evening, which, if you are a Royal watcher, promises some juicy tidbits. And, on the other side of the Pond, the Firm is investigating Markle for “bullying.” My response: SO FRICKING WHAT? Who cares whether this group of uninteresting people are squabbling among themselves.
If you must, here is a short abstract from the two-hour interview.
On my walk today, I noted significantly more people walking around without masks, many coming only one or two feet away from me as they pass (I am masked). In Florida, spring break is being celebrated by huge crowds without masks, who fought with the cops when the law came. I understand people are restive, but how hard is it to wear a mask for two more months or so? Apparently, too hard for these people in Idaho:
Parents encouraging kids to burn masks on Idaho Capitol steps pic.twitter.com/VOYfOYqwwt
— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) March 6, 2021
Demonized Smith College employee Jodi Shaw has done well in her GoFundMe campaign, with donations up to nearly $300,000—about twice her original goal. It’s a blow to the gut of Smith College, and I’m glad. Click on the screenshot to go to her GoFundMe page and see the updates:
Annoying language section: Two bits. First, the annoying phrase “getting shots into arms” is spreading, and has now become the au courant version of “getting shots” or “getting vaccinated.” For crying out loud, who doesn’t know where on your body you get the shot? One reader objected to it last week, and now that I hear it all the time, it twists my shorts as well. What if the shot was given, as gamma globulin used to be, in the rump? Would they say, “companies are providing enough material to get 50 million shots in the butt by April?”
More: I always harp on the mis-placement of the word “only”, and tell everyone to learn how to use the word. Those who need to know is the company and advertisers of One A Day Multiple Vitamins, whose ad I heard tonight. It said this:
“You only get one body”
NO! NO! NO! The correct usage is “You get only one body.” (If Pinker says otherwise, I don’t care!)
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 524,652, an increase of only 700 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll stands at 2,606,590, an increase of about 5,400 deaths over yesterday’s total. These increases are slowing markedly!
Stuff that happened on March 8 includes:
- 1010 – Ferdowsi completes his epic poem Shahnameh.
- 1775 – An anonymous writer, thought by some to be Thomas Paine, publishes “African Slavery in America”, the first article in the American colonies calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery.
You can see the text of that article here.
- 1782 – Gnadenhutten massacre: Ninety-six Native Americans in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, who had converted to Christianity, are killed by Pennsylvania militiamen in retaliation for raids carried out by other Indian tribes.
Good god!: read about the massacre on Wikipedia:
The next morning on March 8, the militia brought the Lenape to one of two “killing houses,” one for men and the other for women and children. The American militia tied the Indians, stunned them with mallet blows to the head, and killed them with fatal scalping cuts. In all, the militia murdered and scalped 28 men, 29 women, and 39 children. Two Indian boys, one of whom had been scalped, survived to tell of the massacre. The militia piled the bodies in the mission buildings and burned the village down. They also burned the other abandoned Moravian villages.
- 1817 – The New York Stock Exchange is founded.
- 1910 – French aviator Raymonde de Laroche becomes the first woman to receive a pilot’s license.
Here she is in her plane, with the caption: Raymonde de Laroche in her Voisin aeroplane in 1909. A good photo for International Women’s Day:
- 1917 – International Women’s Day protests in Petrograd mark the beginning of the February Revolution (February 23 in the Julian calendar).
Yes, Women’s Day was already a going thing back then, and women were protesting rationing.
- 1971 – The Fight of the Century between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali commences. Frazier wins in 15 rounds.
Here are the highlights of the fight TRIGGER WARNING: Grown men punching each other for others’ entertainment
- 1979 – Philips demonstrates the compact disc publicly for the first time.
- 1983 – Cold War: While addressing a convention of Evangelicals, U.S. President Ronald Reagan labels the Soviet Union an “evil empire“.
Here’s most of the speech (minus two minutes); note Reagan’s religiosity. He mentions the “evil empire” at 4:19:
- 2014 – In one of aviation’s greatest mysteries, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, carrying a total of 239 people, disappears en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The fate of the flight remains unknown
- 2017 – The Azure Window, a natural arch on the Maltese island of Gozo, collapses in stormy weather.
Here’s the window before and after collapse; photo from Wikipedia:
Notables born on this day include:
- 1841 – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., American lawyer and jurist (d. 1935)
- 1879 – Otto Hahn, German chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1968)
- 1931 – John McPhee, American author and educator
McPhee turns 90 today, and I’ve read his many books and New Yorker pieces with great pleasure. I noticed that he bears a strong resemblance to my paleobiology colleague David Jablonski, who’s quite a bit younger but still has a similar physiognamy:
- 1947 – Carole Bayer Sager, American singer-songwriter and painter
- 1948 – Jonathan Sacks, English rabbi, philosopher, and scholar (d. 2020)
Those whose time was up on March 8 include:
- 1723 – Christopher Wren, English architect, designed St. Paul’s Cathedral (b. 1632)
- 1869 – Hector Berlioz, French composer, conductor, and critic (b. 1803)
- 1874 – Millard Fillmore, American lawyer and politician, 13th President of the United States (b. 1800)
- 1930 – William Howard Taft, American politician, 27th President of the United States (b. 1857)
- 1941 – Sherwood Anderson, American novelist and short story writer (b. 1876)
- 1993 – Billy Eckstine, American trumpet player (b. 1914)
- 1999 – Joe DiMaggio, American baseball player and coach (b. 1914)
- 2016 – George Martin, English composer, conductor, and producer (b. 1926)
Martin was a great talent, called “The Fifth Beatle” because his production and advice truly helped the group achieve greatness. Here’s Martin in 1999 discussing the songs “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “A Day in the Life” in 1999. The bit about the second song is especially fascinating.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hli rejoices at the coming of Spring:
Hili: Spring is coming.A: How do you know?Hili: The birds are looking tastier and tastier.
Hili: Idzie wiosna.Ja: Skąd wiesz?Hili: Ptaki wyglądają coraz smaczniej.
From Facebook: Bernie’s mittens make another appearance:
I retweeted a tweet I got from Matthew. The behavior of this fish is truly stunning:
LOOK AT THIS FISH! And look how fast it can hide itself in the sand. I timed it 0.73 seconds from first wiggle to complete covering. https://t.co/uyPzqDnUqn
— Jerry Coyne (@Evolutionistrue) March 7, 2021
Tulsi! Remember her?
I’m glad some of my former colleagues in Congress are speaking out against the recent unconstitutional airstrikes in Syria—but they’re ignoring the bigger issue: the regime change war the US continues to wage in Syria using al-Qaeda/al-Nusra/HTS terrorists as our proxy… pic.twitter.com/Oekn0aPgS8
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 1, 2021
From Jez and Lyn, who tell us us that these goats in Wales are probably wild, citing this link.
The Llandudno Goats raiding a petrol station and Spar yesterday 😂😂🐐🐐 pic.twitter.com/FzK04veQHF
— Ian Hardie (@IanHardie9018) March 6, 2021
From Simon. I give this moggy a 9.8/10:
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) March 7, 2021
From Barry. OMG this dog is such a wimp! And I didn’t think a noise like that could come out of a dog!
Volume up.. pic.twitter.com/ymXIEV9RaJ
— Tea Room Betty (@TeaRoomBetty) March 6, 2021
From Ken: What is up with Mike Pence? He’s speaking to the Moonies and giving them fulsome praise. . .
Mike Pence declined to speak at CPAC, but he was more than happy to participate in the "Rally Of Hope" organized by the Unification Church, where he heaped praise upon its leader, Hak Ja Han Moon. https://t.co/Rtr2ONpJTY pic.twitter.com/NYr7i3CH6q
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 5, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. This first one is almost too amazing to believe:
Incredible footage of the Earth rising over the Moon captured by the Japanese lunar orbiter spacecraft Kaguya.
— Space Explorer Mike (@MichaelGalanin) March 7, 2021
No, sound UP to hear the Big Raccoon Kerfuffle:
Sound down ⬇️🔉
Tense times at the water bowl this morning.
This raccoon spat woke my dogs up. Typically, the raccoons are very quiet even when there are a few around.
Actual temp: 45F. pic.twitter.com/ARSIDHyJMC
— sue (@CameraTrapSue) March 7, 2021