Good morning on Saturday, March 13, 2021: Chicken Noodle Soup Day. I consider this anti-Semitic because matzoh ball soup, which is basically chicken soup but greatly improved by using matzoh balls instead of noodles, does not have its own day! Further, a good bowl of that soup has at least two matzoh balls, which means killing an entire matzoh:
It’s also National Coconut Torte Day, Ken Day (the Ken doll was introduced on either March 11 or March 13, 1961, so this day was chosen as a compromise), Donald Duck Day (celebrating his birthday), and International Fanny Pack Day (the world’s ugliest carryall; also, I think the word “fanny” is obscene in the UK).
News of the Day:
TiME CHANGE: Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, so before you go to bed tonight, set your clocks forward an hour. This means that you lose either an hour of sleep or an hour of waking.
The NYT has a history of daylight saving time, which may have begun with a suggestion by Benjamin Franklin. Now a group of U.S. Senators are starting a movement to abolish it. Can you guess whether that group is Democratic, Republican, or both? See here for the answer (and the history).
The calls for Andrew Cuomo to resign have intensified, with both Senators from New York, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillebrand, joining the chorus calling for him to step down. There are now claims that his office workplace was toxic for young women, and we now have another claim of sexual misconduct, this time with a reporter saying that when Cuomo was photographed with a her, he kept his hand around her waist a little too long and also didn’t let go of her hand. He’s toast.
Here’s an example of HuffPost circling the drain after it was acquired by BuzzFeed. Don’t they know that “apiece” is one word?
And the NYT is circling the drain as well. Is this really a good op-ed to publish in The Former Paper of Record? Click on screenshot to read, if you must, how Taylor Swift uses “nature-themed words” far more often than other songwriters.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 532,058, an increase of 1,707 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll stands at 2,653,390, an increase of about about 9,700 deaths over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on March 13 includes:
Oldest college in the U.S. But a close second is William & Mary (1693). I went to both, which makes me special.
Uranus is actually quite complex, and did you know it has rings? Here’s an image from Wikipedia:
- 1845 – Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto receives its première performance in Leipzig with Ferdinand David as soloist.
- 1862 – The Act Prohibiting the Return of Slaves was passed by the United States Congress, effectively annulling the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation.
- 1930 – The news of the discovery of Pluto is announced by Lowell Observatory.
Pluto was discovered on the same date as Uranus. Here’s a picture of the planet (yes, I decree it a planet) that you don’t often see. The Wikipedia caption is this:
Pluto’s image taken by New Horizons on July 14, 2015, from a range of 22,025 miles (35,445) kilometers. The striking features on Pluto are clearly visible, including the bright expanse of Pluto’s icy, nitrogen-and-methane rich “heart,” Sputnik Planitia. The natural-looking colors result from refined calibration of data gathered by New Horizons’ color Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC). The processing creates images that would approximate the colors that the human eye would perceive, bringing them closer to “true color” than the images released at the time of the encounter. The source single-color MVIC scan includes no added data from other New Horizons imagers or instruments.
- 1943 – German forces liquidate the Jewish ghetto in Kraków.
Here’s a group of Kraków Jews being herded out of the town by SS men. They are heading for a concentration camp (Auschwitz is nearby), and many will die within a few days:
- 1988 – The Seikan Tunnel, the longest undersea tunnel in the world, opens between Aomori and Hakodate, Japan.
The tunnel spans this gap; the undersea bit (there’s also a railway bit) is 23.3 km long (14.5 miles). But I think the Channel Tunnel, which has an undersea section of 38 km., is longer, so the Wikipedia entry above is WRONG. Could an editor correct this?
- 1996 – The Dunblane massacre leads to the death of sixteen primary school children and one teacher in Dunblane, Scotland.
- 2003 – An article in Nature identifies the Ciampate del Diavolo as 350,000-year-old hominid footprints.
Here are the footprints in northern Italy; there are three sets of tracks, presumably of hominins walking down the slope of a volcano 350,000 years ago:
Notables born on this day include:
- 1855 – Percival Lowell, American astronomer and mathematician (d. 1916).
Lowell started the effort that led to the discovery of Pluto, which was announced on his birthday after he’d been dead for 14 years.
- 1884 – Hugh Walpole, New Zealand-English author and educator (d. 1941)
- 1911 – L. Ron Hubbard, American author (d. 1986)
How many cultists have had their lives warped by this man?:
- 1914 – Edward O’Hare, American lieutenant and pilot, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1943)
- 1939 – Neil Sedaka, American singer-songwriter and pianist
- 1956 – Dana Delany, American actress and producer
Those who crossed the Great Divide on March 13 include:
- 1842 – Henry Shrapnel, English general (b. 1761)
- 1901 – Benjamin Harrison, American general and politician, 23rd President of the United States (b. 1833)
- 1906 – Susan B. Anthony, American activist (b. 1820)
- 1938 – Clarence Darrow, American lawyer and author (b. 1857)
Here are Darrow (l.) and William Jennings Bryan at the 1925 Scopes Trial. Bryan died a few days after the trial ended (he won, but the decision was overturned by an appeals court on a technicality):
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej is exercised about the dire state of education in Poland:
Hili: You are writing about education, again.A: How do you know?Hili: You look as if you wanted to strangle somebody.
Hili: Znowu piszesz o edukacji.Ja: Skąd wiesz?Hili: Wyglądasz jakbyś chciał kogoś udusić.
From Bruce: It took me a while to get this one:
From Jesus of the Day. The “reveal” is below:
What it really is:
From Barry: A caracal asking for noms, followed by an update:
— tao (@tao_0712) February 23, 2021
From Simon: another tweet and response. Barry Moore is a US Representative from Alabama (and of course a Republican).
— P. D. White (@whitepatrick) March 12, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. Has anybody read this book?
— The Royal Society (@royalsociety) March 12, 2021
Duck calls I’ll have to try: Bid, bid, bid! Diddle! Dill, dill! Wid! Wheetie! (Do they like cereal?)
late nineteenth century calls for herding animals pic.twitter.com/DiDbhrGdTx
— John Clegg (@John_Clegg_37) March 11, 2021
This is a clever tweet, and I haz a screenshot, but the account has mysteriously vanished:
Now this is a color morph I’ve never seen or heard of:
— Dan Baldassarre (@evornithology) March 11, 2021
Okay, I said this couldn’t have been a video from a real drone, but I was wrong. It was the tenth take, as you’ll see from the linked New York Times article. Amazing!
A drone operator shot a short video in a Minneapolis bowling alley to rally support for the business. It was viewed hundreds of thousands of times on social media and won high praise from Hollywood directors. https://t.co/1hzsXQa7ev pic.twitter.com/1SHY1HDy1d
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 11, 2021