News of the Day:
I was surprised to learn that Covid is a serious problem in Japan, a country where, you’d think, they’d take serious action against serious problems. Yet only 2% of Japanese have been vaccinated against the virus I1/20th the proportion of the U.S.), and some big-city health systems are seriously strained. With the already-postponed Olympics about to begin, most Japanese people are against holding the games this summer, the U.S. State Department has warned Americans not to travel to Japan, a major Japanese newspaper (itself a sponsor of the Games) has called for their further postponement, and Japanese medical authorities say they’re not equipped to handle an Olympic-fueled outbreak. Nevertheless, Japan will invest over $15 billion in the Games, and to them the dosh outweighs the risk.
According to the evening news, this is the 61st mass shooting in the U.S. this year. This time an apparently disaffected worker in a rail yard, using multiple guns, killed 8 people before he took his own life (he also burned down his house before the shooting. As the shootings mount and states continue to relax gun laws, I can only imagine what the rest of the world—the civilized part—thinks about America’s gun mania.
Yes, Bret Stephens is a conservative, but that doesn’t mean you should write off everything he says. In light of the American “progressive” Left’s increasing anti-Semitism, which I predict will hurt the Democrats, Stephens’s new column, “Anti-Zionism isn’t Anti-Semitism? Someone didn’t get the memo,” is worth a read. An excerpt:
But if there’s been a massive online campaign of progressive allyship with Jews, I’ve missed it. If corporate executives have sent out workplace memos expressing concern for the safety of Jewish employees, I’ve missed it. If academic associations have issued public letters denouncing the use of anti-Semitic tropes by pro-Palestinian activists, I’ve missed them.
It’s a curious silence. In the land of inclusiveness, Jews are denied inclusion.
Palestine is far more of an apartheid state than is Israel, and those who characterize the Israeli government as “right wing” blithely ignore the fact that the Palestinian government is far more right wing. In Palestine there are no LGBTQ rights, women are deeply oppressed, Jews are not allowed to live or buy property, Palestinian gays seek refuge in Israel, abortion is illegal, and religious fanaticism is rife. Why is that not “right wing”, and why don’t we ever hear of Hamas described as “right wing”? Because, I guess, the U.S. press didn’t get the memo.
Two new studies reported in the NYT contain good news: it looks as if cells with a “memory” of coronavirus persist in the bone marrow for a long time: possibly a lifetime. The bottom line is this:
Together, the studies suggest that most people who have recovered from Covid-19 and who were later immunized will not need boosters. Vaccinated people who were never infected most likely will need the shots, however, as will a minority who were infected but did not produce a robust immune response.
The article is detailed, and you’ll want to read it if you’re interested in the science behind this conclusion.
All during the pandemic, authorities I trusted argued that there was no way that the coronavirus could have been released from a Chinese lab. Now, it seems, that theory has become a bit more credible. In fact, it’s become credible to the extent that Joe Biden, who was leaving the investigation of that possibility to the WHO, has now ordered a government investigation of the possibility. (The alternative, of course, was transmission via an animal vector.) I don’t know the evidence, and have no dog in this fight, but the reversal of the administration is curious.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 591,593, an increase of about 522 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,513,651, an increase of about 12,800 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on May 27 includes:
- 1703 – Tsar Peter the Great founds the city of Saint Petersburg.
- 1919 – The NC-4 aircraft arrives in Lisbon after completing the first transatlantic flight.
This flight was not nonstop (Alcock and Brown did that two weeks later), but was made in a flying boat; here’s its photo: (Lindbergh, of course, was famous because his 1927 crossing was solo.)
- 1927 – The Ford Motor Company ceases manufacture of the Ford Model T and begins to retool plants to make the Ford Model A.
The Model T is to the left, the Model A to the right:
- 1933 – The Walt Disney Company releases the cartoon Three Little Pigs, with its hit song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?“
Here’s the cartoon; the song is starts at 1:56:
- 1937 – In California, the Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic, creating a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County, California.
- 1942 – World War II: In Operation Anthropoid, Reinhard Heydrich is fatally wounded in Prague; he dies of his injuries eight days later.
The results of Heyrich’s assassination are notorious; as Wikipedia says: “Nazi intelligence falsely linked the Czech and Slovak soldiers and resistance partisans to the villages of Lidice and Ležáky. Both villages were razed; all men and boys over the age of 16 were shot, and all but a handful of the women and children were deported and killed in Nazi concentration camps.” Heydrich, pictures below, was a main architect of the Holocaust:
- 1967 – Australians vote in favor of a constitutional referendum granting the Australian government the power to make laws to benefit Indigenous Australians and to count them in the national census.
- 2016 – Barack Obama is the first president of United States to visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and meet Hibakusha.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1819 – Julia Ward Howe, American poet and songwriter (d. 1910)
- 1837 – Wild Bill Hickok, American police officer (d. 1876)
Here’s Hickock in 1869. Many of his exploits were fictitious:
I could find no Roualt paintings that included cats, but here’s a nice 1911 painting of his: “Clown Tragique”:
- 1911 – Hubert Humphrey, American journalist and politician, 38th Vice President of the United States (d. 1978)
- 1912 – Sam Snead, American golfer and sportscaster (d. 2002)
- 1923 – Henry Kissinger, German-American political scientist and politician, 56th United States Secretary of State, Nobel Prize laureate
Those who hied themselves below ground on May 27 include:
- 1564 – John Calvin, French pastor and theologian (b. 1509)
- 1840 – Niccolò Paganini, Italian violinist and composer (b. 1782)
- 1910 – Robert Koch, German physician and microbiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1843)
- 2017 – Gregg Allman, American musician, singer and songwriter (b. 1947)
What a loss to music! Although my favorite Gregg Allman performance is “One Way Out,” this acoustic version of “Melissa” is also excellent, and the song was written by Gregg. There’s also a great solo by Dickie Betts.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, the interfeline animosity in Dobrzyn has settled down, but Hili still likes to cut loose once in a while:
Szaron: Don’t even think about it.Hili: I will just scare Kulka a bit.(Photo: Paulina R.)
Szaron: Nawet o tym nie myśl!Hili: Tylko trochę Kulkę wystraszę.(Zdjęcie: Paulina R.)
From Bruce. If you don’t get this, you’re too young!
From Jesus of the Day. I’m hoping that this photograph is real; I think it is:
Titania shows us wokeness infecting the pages of Nature. An ad like this would probably be illegal in the U.S.:
Thank you @Nature!!! 👏👏✊
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) May 26, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. How the deuce did this fox get into a washing machine? Was it dirty?
Honestly, guys. I’ve got a fox stuck in my washing machine. WHAT THE ACTUAL FOX pic.twitter.com/dyVBTiTEXn
— Natasha Prayag (@NatashaTP) May 25, 2021
The world’s most helpful ferret:
The story of Felicia, the ferret who was hired to clean the Fermilab accelerator, running through the tubes with a cleanser-dipped swab attached and being rewarded with hamburger meat [read more: https://t.co/amdKqMCxyA] pic.twitter.com/rUtmtap1bL
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) May 25, 2021
A man in a hurry:
I do like the way he keeps walking, man gotta bus to catch https://t.co/3V35t6CnFI
— Peter Fenn (@peterfenn99) May 26, 2021
This is, in fact, true to some extent, but doesn’t hold in rural or semirural areas:
We're frequently told that Americans drive so much because US cities were built differently, or later, or something, compared to cities elsewhere.
Actually we drive so much because we systematically decimated neighborhoods that were walkable & replaced them with freeways. https://t.co/NeK9yysRGJ
— Yonah Freemark (@yfreemark) May 26, 2021
Speaking of foxes (which are Honorary Cats®), what a delight to find this in your garden!
— Fiona Batchelor (@fibatchelor) May 10, 2019
Matthew and I both think this mouse probably has toxoplasmosis, a parasite that makes the mouse behave in a way to facilitate its getting eaten, whereupon it undergoes the next stage of its life cycle inside the cat:
Two useless cats for sale
I'll take any offer pic.twitter.com/rjZbmQUZ4e
— De Goede Volger (@VolgerGoede) May 24, 2021
What a cool video!:
My plane happened to be flying by Cape Canaveral during the Atlas V launch yesterday#space #atlasv #spaceforce #ula #unitedlaunchalliance #sbirsgeo5 #capecanaveral #delta644 #satellite #gto pic.twitter.com/eOjrZuOMpW
— Andy Lin (@otromundialista) May 19, 2021