Top o’ the week to you, as it’s Monday, May 17, 2021: National Cherry Cobbler Day. It’s also National Walnut Day, Income Tax Day (pay up!), International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, National Mushroom Hunting Day, Pinot Grigio Day, World Hypertension Day, and World Information Society Day.
News of the Day:
Well cut off my legs and call me Shorty! China has just landed its own rover on Mars; I had no idea they were trying to do this. The Rover, named Zhurong, is said to resemble Perseverance, and here’s a photo:
According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel shared intelligence information with the U.S. about Hamas activities in the building that also housed Al-Jazeera and the Associated Press in Gaza. The building was bombed with sufficient warning to enable all to evacuate, so there were no casualties. An excerpt:
Israel shared intelligence with the US showing how Hamas operated inside the same building with the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera in Gaza, officials in Jerusalem said on Sunday.
Officials in more than one government office confirmed that US President Joe Biden’s phone call to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday was, in part, about the bombing of the building, and that Israel showed Biden and American officials the intelligence behind the action.
“We showed them the smoking gun proving Hamas worked out of that building,” a senior diplomatic source said. “I understand they found the explanation satisfactory.”
The Hamas operations in the building are said to have involved military intelligence and weapons manufacturing as well as an Islamic Jihad office. Now how did the AP and Al-Jazeera not know about that? And now that they do, why are they still arguing (as Jen Psaki implied) that Israel was trying to destroy journalism? It’s ridiculous to think that Israel would bomb the building with that end.
Oy! In case you thought Bill Gates was a paragon of philanthropy and rectitude, think again, or at least read the accusations against him in a NYT article about his divorce from his wife Melinda. He was apparently a wannabee philanderer, a close buddy of Jeffrey Epstein who met Epstein repeatedly (this is apparently what precipitated Melinda’s divorce proceedings), and deficient in how Gates handled a sexual harassment claim against his money manager. I guess this is tabloid stuff, but it shows that nobody is perfect and that people are complex and multidimensional.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 585,572, an increase of 610 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,394,311, an increase of about 9,600 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on May 17 includes:
- 1536 – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s marriage is annulled.
I can’t seem to find a picture of this horse.
A first edition of this book will cost between 30,000 and $100,000:
This mechanism, shown as found and in a reconstruction, was used to predict astronomical phenomena like eclipses decades in advance. It dates roughly to 70 BC. Here’s the original as found:
And a reconstruction:
- 1915 – The last British Liberal Party government (led by H. H. Asquith) falls.
Here’s a report of that first televised game with a few scenes:
- 1954 – The United States Supreme Court hands down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, outlawing racial segregation in public schools.
- 1973 – Watergate scandal: Televised hearings begin in the United States Senate.
Here’s the beginning of the hearings. Remember this?
- 1984 – Prince Charles calls a proposed addition to the National Gallery, London, a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend”, sparking controversies on the proper role of the Royal Family and the course of modern architecture.
And here’s that first same-sex marriage (see caption):
Notables born on this day include:
- 1749 – Edward Jenner, English physician and microbiologist (d. 1823)
- 1866 – Erik Satie, French pianist and composer (d. 1925)
Here’s Satie, who was born in Normandy:
- 1903 – Cool Papa Bell, American baseball player and manager (d. 1991)
- 1918 – Birgit Nilsson, Swedish operatic soprano (d. 2005)
- 1936 – Dennis Hopper, American actor and director (d. 2010)
Those who cashed in their chips on May 17 include:
Here’s a fine Botticelli (“The Birth of Fluffy,” I believe) that I found on the Internet:
- 2012 – Donna Summer, American singer-songwriter (b. 1948)
As a student at Rockefeller University, where Edelman won his Prize, I used to play touch football with my fellow first-year grad students against the Edelman Lab (we called them “The Edelman Boys”). They played rough and, as I recall, a bit dirty!
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili makes the rounds of the property:
Hili: We have a guest.A: Where?Hili: There is a lizard on the rock over there, but I don’t know whether it’s male or female.
Hili: Mamy gościa.Ja: Gdzie?Hili: Tam siedzi na kamieniu jaszczurka, ale nie wiem, czy to samiec, czy samica.
Little Kulka is having a whale of a time climbing:
I lost the email from the person who sent me this, who said it was a judgment call if I used it, but I decided to:
No need to police our culture, for that’s Titania’s job. To wit:
I’ve just discovered this disgustingly transphobic book called the “dictionary”.
Is there any way we can issue some kind of fatwa against whoever wrote this trash? pic.twitter.com/TcV4T0wfPc
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) May 16, 2021
A tweet from Frank. Kitten wrestling, and not a fake sport like human professional wrestling.
Cat wrestle.. 😅
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden_) May 16, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. For this one he wrote me, “This would be you if you had a cat.” Well, I wouldn’t quite be that extreme. . .
Cat eats dinner at the table with Dad every single night 😸❤️ pic.twitter.com/PxqcaS3e02
— The Dodo (@dodo) May 16, 2021
Wally the Walrus got lost and is tootling around Wales. I was afraid for him, but at least he seems to be getting plenty of noms:
A trip to Tenby in South Wales was well worth it with some fantastic views of Wally the Walrus – a beautiful animal but sadly far from home. pic.twitter.com/WJW2tTg9sg
— Stuart Green (@StuartPlym17) May 14, 2021
Vonnegut couldn’t have been righter! So it goes.
I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
— Kurt Vonnegut (@Kurt_Vonnegut) May 16, 2021
Beautiful turtle and tortoise shells, and the second tweet gives a key:
Top L to R eastern box turtle, pancake tortoise and Bell’s hingeback tortoise
Middle row L to R radiated tortoise, Florida box turtle and Burmese star tortoise
Bottom row L to R spotted turtle, Bourret’s box turtle and European pond turtle. Source https://t.co/eGApt6AYDA
— Science girl (@gunsnrosesgirl3) May 16, 2021
I do worry that this sculpture will be interpreted as “Sieg Heiling Cats” and get canceled:
— #WOMENSART (@womensart1) May 16, 2021