Good morning on Hump Day: Wednesday, April 21 2021: National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day. It’s also National Banana Day, Tuna Rights Day, Thank You for Libraries Day (indeed!), and Keep Off the Grass Day. And we have two non-American holidays: National Tea Day in the UK and, for Rastafarians, Grounation Day, celebrating the date in 1966 when Haile Selassie (a divine figure to Rastas) visited Jamaica.
Jah meets a Rastafarian on that visit:
News of the Day:
It was no surprise that Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges in the death of George Floyd, especially when the jury reached a verdict after only 10 hours of deliberation. The video was crucial here: had that not existed, Chauvin might well have gone free. I think the outcome is just, but I hope they keep Chauvin away from the other prisoners in jail. As an ex-cop in a state prison, his life isn’t worth a plugged nickel.
The judge revoked Chauvin’s bail, so he’s in stir now, and will be sentenced in eight weeks.
And yet. . . another black person, a 16-year-old girl this time, was killed by police, who say the girl was lunging at other girls with a knife. This happened yesterday in Columbus, Ohio.
The Washington Post has an absorbing article about Mary Ann Vecchio, the girl in the “Kent State Photo”, wailing over the body of Jeffrey Miller, a student she’d been talking to moments before, who was summarily shot through the mouth by the National Guard during the Kent State University protests. It was 1970, and she was just 14 at the time. Three other students were shot as well: four dead in Ohio.
The photo won the Pulitzer Prize for student photographer John Filo, and is an icon of the unrest (and governmental injustice) in the Vietnam War era (the protest was over the invasion of Cambodia).
Here’s Vecchio today. Read what she has to say, and what her life was like then and now. She’s given very few interviews, as the memory of that day still haunts her.
The word “marijuana” is apparently now racist. HuffPost says this, recommending that we say “weed” or “cannabis” instead:
The term “marijuana” originates from Mexican Spanish, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, but it was used by “racist politicians who first criminalized cannabis … precisely because they wanted to underscore that it was a Latino, particularly Mexican ‘vice,’ and that word, with all its implications, has become the most common name for cannabis in the United States today.”
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 568,131, an increase of 729 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now at 3,059,987, an increase of about 15,400 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on April 21 include:
- 753 BC – Romulus founds Rome (traditional date).
- 1506 – The three-day Lisbon Massacre comes to an end with the slaughter of over 1,900 suspected Jews by Portuguese Catholics.
- 1509 – Henry VIII ascends the throne of England on the death of his father, Henry VII.
- 1836 – Texas Revolution: The Battle of San Jacinto: Republic of Texas forces under Sam Houston defeat troops under Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.
“Remember the Alamo” was the supposed battle cry of the Texans. Here’s their leader, Sam Houston:
- 1898 – Spanish–American War: The United States Navy begins a blockade of Cuban ports. When the U.S. Congress issued a declaration of war on April 25, it declared that a state of war had existed from this date.
- 1918 – World War I: German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as “The Red Baron”, is shot down and killed over Vaux-sur-Somme in France.
His plane fell in Allied territory, and was ripped apart by people who wanted a keepsake. Here’s a photo from Wikipedia with the caption, “Australian airmen with Richthofen’s triplane 425/17 after it was dismembered by souvenir hunters.”
- 1934 – The “Surgeon’s Photograph”, the most famous photo allegedly showing the Loch Ness Monster, is published in the Daily Mail (in 1999, it is revealed to be a hoax).
Here’s the photo; read Greg Mayer’s post from 2015 about the fakery of this photo, which was really of a toy submarine with a putty head affixed to it:
- 1960 – Brasília, Brazil’s capital, is officially inaugurated. At 09:30, the Three Powers of the Republic are simultaneously transferred from the old capital, Rio de Janeiro.
- 1972 – Astronauts John Young and Charles Duke fly Apollo 16‘s Apollo Lunar Module to the Moon’s surface, the fifth NASA Apollo Program crewed lunar landing.
Here’s a quiz for you: how many people have walked on the Moon. Answer at the bottom of this post?
- 1982 – Baseball: Rollie Fingers of the Milwaukee Brewers becomes the first pitcher to record 300 saves.
Fingers went on to accumulate 341 saves, but that record has long been surpassed. The current record holder is Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who accumulated an astounding 652 saves. And here’s a short video of Rivera’s career. Here’s Rivera’s last turn on the mound:
- 1989 – Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: In Beijing, around 100,000 students gather in Tiananmen Square to commemorate Chinese reform leader Hu Yaobang.
- 2014 – The American city of Flint, Michigan switches its water source to the Flint River, beginning the ongoing Flint water crisis which has caused lead poisoning in up to 12,000 people, and 15 deaths from Legionnaires disease, ultimately leading to criminal indictments against 15 people, five of whom have been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1816 – Charlotte Brontë, English novelist and poet (d. 1855)
- 1838 – John Muir, Scottish-American environmentalist and author (d. 1914).
Here’s Muir, who has been largely canceled because of his racist sentiments:
- 1932 – Elaine May, American actress, comedian, director, and screenwriter
Here’s May handing out the “Mediocrity Award” at the 1959 Emmys. She attended classes at the University of Chicago, where she met Mike Nichols (the award recipient; his real name was Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky), but never enrolled here:
- 1939 – Sister Helen Prejean, American nun, activist, and author
Those who ventured into the Great Beyond on April 21 include:
- 1699 – Jean Racine, French playwright and poet (b. 1639)
- 1910 – Mark Twain, American novelist, humorist, and critic (b. 1835)
You may know that Twain was a great lover of cats:
- 1918 – Manfred von Richthofen, German captain and pilot (b. 1892)
- 1977 – Gummo Marx, American vaudevillian and talent agent (b. 1893)
- 1978 – Sandy Denny, English singer-songwriter (b.1947)
- 2003 – Nina Simone, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and activist (b. 1933)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili isn’t keen on her walkies today:
Hili: Are you going to the river?A: Yes.Hili: Have a nice walk.
Hili: Idziecie nad rzekę?Ja: Tak.Hili: Miłego spaceru.
Little Kukla is up in the trees. She’s a climber like Hili; are they related?
A cartoon sent by Matthew:
From BobonBooks; I’m proud to say I’ve read most of these:
A cartoon by Will Santino from Jesus of the Day:
From reader Ken, who says “Attorney Lin Wood going full batshit at this past weekend’s Health & Freedom Conference in Tulsa”:
Lin Wood stating Q is the truth and that the Clintons, the Obamas, the Bidens, and the Bushes are all involved in sex trafficking. pic.twitter.com/aoip6cpgYw
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) April 18, 2021
From Luana, who says that this “is for people who think that animals don’t have emotions like humans.” (I haven’t read the paper.)
The cutest jealousy documented to date:
Doggos pull more forcefully to approach their owner when they believe their owner is petting and praising another dog than when they believe their owner is petting an praising a fleece cylinder: https://t.co/CDx0rNUY0N pic.twitter.com/J8xjKzfujw
— Cory Clark (@ImHardcory) April 20, 2021
Tweets from Professor Cobb. I love this first one:
me: I can't decide what to have
waiter: what about the duck?
duck: I'll have lasagna
— john (@mrjohndarby) April 3, 2021
To all the renowned geneticists out there yelling WELL ACTUALLY CHEESEBURGERS CAME FIRST!!. You have answered NOTHING. There are still hamburgers too
— Ted McCormick (@mccormick_ted) April 20, 2021
I remember this from my days of buying Day-Glo pigments to mark fruit flies. Re the second tweet, do check out this link to scientists reviewing products on Amazon.
— Gregor Kalinkat (@gkalinkat) April 20, 2021
This is pretty amazing:
Morning all. Tersit Asefa bounce juggling seven balls with a pirouette.
— Samuel West 💙 (@exitthelemming) April 20, 2021
Platypus! Will I ever see one in the wild?
Hello Kevin, you’re not shy at all!! And you’ve been in a good paddock too 😁
We recaptured Kevin in last night’s surveys in MacKenzie River. We first met Kevin in 2019 when he was a juvenile. He’s grown into a healthy, robust young adult! @VicEWH @platypusSPOT pic.twitter.com/18E7XHIc3S
— Wimmera CMA (@wimmeracma) April 20, 2021
Quiz question answer: An even dozen people, all men, have set foot on the lunar surface.