Welcome to Sunday, May 2, 2021, National Chocolate Truffle Day. It’s also World Tuna Day, Lemonade Day, International Scurvy Awareness Day, Brothers and Sisters Day, and National Play Your Ukulele Day.
News of the Day:
Actress Olympia Dukakis, who you may remember from the 1987 movie “Moonstruck” (both she and Cher won Oscars for their performances in the film) died yesterday at 89.
DANGER! Everybody to get from street! Space News announces that Long March 5B, a Chinese booster rocket, is going to enter the Earth’s atmosphere in an uncontrolled manner:
. . . this core stage is now also in orbit and is likely to make an uncontrolled reentry over the next days or week as growing interaction with the atmosphere drags it to Earth. If so, it will be one of the largest instances of uncontrolled reentry of a spacecraft and could potentially land on an inhabited area.
I don’t think it will (I think the vast amount of the Earth’s surface is uninhabited (think of the oceans), but still. And if somebody gets hurt (this being America), who do they sue? (h/t Ken).
What’s Bill Nye the Science Guy up to? Well, he’s pitching Bombay Sapphire Gin since he likes that brand for his martinis. I’m not a fan of Nye, but I won’t comment.
Meanwhile, India set yet another world record with over 400,000 new covid cases reported yesterday.
In India’s capital, New Delhi, a hospital treating coronavirus patients ran out of oxygen on Saturday. It took an hour for fresh supplies to arrive. In the meantime, at least eight patients died, among them one of the hospital’s own doctors, said S.C.L. Gupta, the medical director of Batra Hospital.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 576,337, an increase of 691 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,207,581, an increase of about 11,800 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on May 1 includes:
- 1536 – Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, is arrested and imprisoned on charges of adultery, incest, treason and witchcraft.
- 1559 – John Knox returns from exile to Scotland to become the leader of the nascent Scottish Reformation.
- 1611 – The King James Version of the Bible is published for the first time in London, England, by printer Robert Barker.
Here’s the first page of the first version of the King James Bible with the Wikipedia caption:
The title page’s central text is: “THE HOLY BIBLE, Conteyning the Old Testament, AND THE NEW: Newly Translated out of the Original tongues: & with the former Translations diligently compared and revised, by his Majesties speciall Comandement. Appointed to be read in Churches. Imprinted at London by Robert Barker, Printer to the Kings most Excellent Majestie. ANNO DOM. 1611 .” At bottom is: “C. Boel fecit in Richmont.”.
A 1616 small illuminated edition will cost you about $300,000.
- 1945 – World War II: The Soviet Union announces the fall of Berlin.
Here’s a photo of a meeting of the Russian and American armies
- 1945 – World War II: The US 82nd Airborne Division liberates Wöbbelin concentration camp finding 1000 dead prisoners, most of whom starved to death.
Citizens of a nearby town were ordered to inspect the concentration camp; here’s a photo of that. Did they know what was going on?
Wikipedia caption: “Citizens of Ludwigslust inspect the concentration camp under orders of the 82nd Airborne Division.”
- 1945 – World War II: A death march from Dachau to the Austrian border is halted by the segregated, all-Nisei 522nd Field Artillery Battalion of the U.S. Army in southern Bavaria, saving several hundred prisoners.
I think it was a good move for the Army to force civilians to confront what their military was doing (I’m sure many of them knew). Here are some inspecting the dead from a death march. Wikipedia caption:
“German civilians, under direction of U.S. medical officers, walk past a group of 30 Jewish women starved to death (Czechoslavkia) 1945”
- 1952 – A De Havilland Comet makes the first jetliner flight with fare-paying passengers, from London to Johannesburg.
Here’s the flight deck of an early Comet 4:
- 1955 – Tennessee Williams wins the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
- 1986 – Chernobyl disaster: The City of Chernobyl is evacuated six days after the disaster.
- 2000 – President Bill Clinton announces that accurate GPS access would no longer be restricted to the United States military.
- 2011 – Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind the September 11 attacks and the FBI’s most wanted man, is killed by the United States special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Here’s Obama’s announcement of the killing:
Here’s a short reconstruction of the killing. Although it’s said that the Navy Seals had instructions to either kill or capture him, and Bin Laden wasn’t armed when confronted (he could have been wearing a suicide belt, though), the guy below says that it’s clear it was always a “shoot a shoot-on-sight/kill mission.” I think that’s true, but I always wonder if they couldn’t have captured the guy without harm to the soldiers. I always prefer life without parole to simply killing a guy like Bin Laden, who was apparently unarmed.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1860 – Theodor Herzl, Austro-Hungarian Zionist philosopher, journalist and author (d. 1904)
- 1892 – Manfred von Richthofen, German captain and pilot (d. 1918)
Richthofen, the “Red Baron”, wearing his “Blue Max”, Prussian’s highest military award. He was shot down at 25; by that time he’d had 80 victories in combat.
- 1903 – Benjamin Spock, American rower, pediatrician, and author (d. 1998)
- 1921 – Satyajit Ray, Indian director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1992)
Ray was a very great director, and you might want to see his films. Here he is with Ravi Shankar recording the music for Pather Panchali (1955), the first movie of his famous Apu Trilogy
- 1946 – Lesley Gore, American singer-songwriter (d. 2015)
- 1969 – Brian Lara, Trinidadian cricketer
- 1975 – David Beckham, English footballer, coach, and model
Those who died on this day include:
Here’s my favorite Leonardo, “St. John the Baptist” (1613-1616, said to be his last painting).
- 1957 – Joseph McCarthy, American captain, lawyer, judge, and politician (b. 1908)
- 1972 – J. Edgar Hoover, American 1st director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (b. 1895)
- 2011 – Osama bin Laden, Saudi Arabian terrorist, founder of Al-Qaeda (b. 1957)
- 2014 – Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., American actor (b. 1918)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Malgorzata explains Hili’s thoughts:
Hili is full of disdain for all people who make prognoses about the future of humanity, from Malthus to the Club of Rome to Paul R. Ehrlich and his successors. So she is asking what new predictions such people have produced.
Hili: What are the predictions?A: Predictions of what?Hili: Of things which cannot be predicted.
Hili: Jakie są prognozy?Ja: Czego?Hili: Tego co jeszcze daje się przewidzieć.
And “another batch of Paulina’s pictures” (“Jeszcze jedna porcja zdjęć Pauliny.”) We see both Kulka and Szaron, as well as a snail:
Several readers sent me this cat meme:
From Jesus of the Day. At last—a tattoo with practical value!
Also from Jesus of the Day:
From Simon, and this animal-botherer deserves what he gets!
Let sleeping dogs lie 😭 pic.twitter.com/PcRAtlAk6p
— Theo Shantonas (@TheoShantonas) May 1, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. A klepto cat and the attendant reparations (be sure to watch the video):
Woman sets up hidden camera to catch her cat stealing things from the neighbors — and finds a way to give everything back 😹 pic.twitter.com/xewAiAw5LN
— The Dodo (@dodo) May 1, 2021
Matthew says this: “A of nice encounters with strangers, often involving wildlife.” Here are a few:
Taking my garbage out, dark alley, late at night. Shared the alley w. a dive bar. 3 drunk young men started yelling at me: "Hey! HEY!" I looked up, bracing myself. "There's an owl behind you!!" I looked up just in time to see the owl swoop by silently. A+ interaction.
— Margaret Shawver (@Magreader) April 30, 2021
OY! The second tweet has a link to the story.
https://t.co/w2Xjv6JnGU amazing that it's a real thing
— Yaniv Yaakubovich (@yaniv_y9h) April 30, 2021
You should be able to spot the error here:
There’s an anatomical mistake in this “Echidna Crossing” sign – who knows what it is? pic.twitter.com/HHJOBdbZKn
— Dr David Hamilton (@davidghamilton1) April 29, 2021
I love this tweet but why are they entertaining cows?
— Petroc Trelawny (@PetrocTrelawny) April 30, 2021
An evicted skink.
"look at me. this is my house now"
— Paul Bronks (@SlenderSherbet) April 29, 2021