We’re nearly at month’s end: it’s Sunday, May 30, 2021: National Mint Julep Day. Wouldn’t one of these taste good right now—or at leastlater in the day? (Especially when made with one of my favorite bourbons, shown in the background.)
It’s also Indianapolis 500 Day, though the race will actually be run tomorrow), World MS Day, Water a Flower Day, and Neighbor Day (won’t you be my neighbor?) By the way, the 2018 documentary about Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is an excellent movie and well worth seeing. Check out the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s the trailer:
News of the Day:
I can’t believe that the biggest item on the NBC News last evening was the death of Gavin MacLeod at 90. MacLeod played Captain Merrill Stubing of “The Love Boat”—of television’s ghastlier shows, God’s waiting room for D-list stars. He also played part of the news team in a much better show, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. Still. . . . slow news day.
As a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, I thought that CO status (formally I-O) no longer applied these days, since one sought that status when there was government conscription. And the draft is gone. But one can still become a conscientious objector if you’re contracted for military service, as the New York Times reports with respect to a Marine pilot who decided he was a CO. And the difficulty of getting that status is about the same as it was in my day. If you are granted I-O status because you have a sincere objection to killing, you’re allowed to leave the military.
Matthew is bummed out because his favorite team, Manchester City, lost the Champions League title yesterday by a score of 1-0, with Chelsea getting the single goal. You may tender your sympathies to Dr. Cobb in the comments below.
Can employers require that their employees be vaccinated against COVID? My gut reaction is “yes, they should be able to, as a means of ensuring that the workplace stay healthy.” After all, public school children must be vaccinated against several diseases to go into the classroom (there are exceptions for children with, get this, “religious objections”). Yet 117 employees of a Houston hospital have sued their employer, objecting to its mandatory-vaccination requirement. However, the grounds for the suit sound wonky:
The complaint, filed in state court, says Houston Methodist’s vaccine mandate violates a set of medical ethics standards known as the Nuremberg Code, which was designed to prevent experimentation on human subjects without consent. The code was created after World War II in response to the medical atrocities Nazis committed against prisoners in concentration camps.
“Methodist Hospital is forcing its employees to be human ‘guinea pigs’ as a condition for continued employment,” the complaint states. It adds that the mandate “requires the employee to subject themselves to medical experimentation as a prerequisite to feeding their families.” Elsewhere, it falsely characterizes the coronavirus vaccines as an “experimental COVID-19 mRNA gene modification injection.”
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 593,920, an increase of 457 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,549,576, an increase of about 10,900 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on May 30 includes:
- AD 70 – Siege of Jerusalem: Titus and his Roman legions breach the Second Wall of Jerusalem. Jewish defenders retreat to the First Wall. The Romans build a circumvallation, cutting down all trees within fifteen kilometres.
- 1431 – Hundred Years’ War: In Rouen, France, the 19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal. The Roman Catholic Church remembers this day as the celebration of Saint Joan of Arc.
- 1588 – The last ship of the Spanish Armada sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel.
That must have been something to see: 130 ships sailed from Spain; a third failed to return. Here’s one painting of the battle (artist not given)::
- 1842 – John Francis attempts to murder Queen Victoria as she drives down Constitution Hill in London with Prince Albert.
Victoria was assaulted four times with intent to murder her, but escaped every time.
- 1899 – Pearl Hart, a female outlaw of the Old West, robs a stage coach 30 miles southeast of Globe, Arizona.
Here’s Hart’s mugshot at the Yuma Territorial Prison, where she served three years:
- 1911 – At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the first Indianapolis 500 ends with Ray Harroun in his Marmon Wasp becoming the first winner of the 500-mile auto race.
Here’s Harroun’s Marmon Wasp, which won the race with an average speed of about 75 miles per hour. It’s preserved in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
- 1922 – The Lincoln Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C..
- 1943 – The Holocaust: Josef Mengele becomes chief medical officer of the Zigeunerfamilienlager (Romani family camp) at Auschwitz concentration camp.
After the war, Mengele lived in Brazil, successfully hiding until 1979, when he died of a stroke. Here’s a selection of HungarianJews at Auschwitz/Birkenau in 1944, selections that he supervised. The losers, of course, were immediately gassed. The survivors died more slowly
- 1958 – Memorial Day: The remains of two unidentified American servicemen, killed in action during World War II and the Korean War respectively, are buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
- 1972 – In Ben Gurion Airport (at the time: Lod Airport), Israel, members of the Japanese Red Army carry out the Lod Airport massacre, killing 24 people and injuring 78 others.
- 2012 – Former Liberian president Charles Taylor is sentenced to 50 years in prison for his role in atrocities committed during the Sierra Leone Civil War.
Taylor (below) was convicted of 11 war crimes, including rape and sexual slavery. He’s serving a life sentence in Durham, England:
- 2020 – The Crew Dragon Demo-2 launches from the Kennedy Space Center, becoming the first crewed orbital spacecraft to launch from the United States since 2011.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1909 – Benny Goodman, American clarinet player, songwriter, and bandleader (d. 1986)
Here’s Goodman doing his famous “Sing, Sing, Sing” with his band in 1937 (from the film “Hollywood Hotel”. Gene Krupa’s on the drums. (This is only a small part of the song.):
- 1912 – Julius Axelrod, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2004)
- 1964 – Wynonna Judd, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actress
Those who donned their halos on May 30 include:
- 1431 – Joan of Arc, French martyr and saint (b. 1412)
- 1911 – Milton Bradley, American businessman, founded the Milton Bradley Company (b. 1836)
- 1960 – Boris Pasternak, Russian poet, novelist, and literary translator, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1890)
- 2000 – Tex Beneke, American saxophonist and bandleader (b. 1914)
Beneke, who played sax in Glenn Miller’s band, performs his most famous song, “Chattanooga Choo Choo” in the movie “Sun Valley Seranade” (1941). Look at that geeky outfit! There’s a cameo here by Milton Berle.
- 2015 – Beau Biden, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 44th Attorney General of Delaware (b. 1969)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili hustles to her victuals (she’s fed by both Paulina and Malgorzata, which accounts for her widening girth):
Paulina: The meal is served.Hili: I’m running.(Photo: Paulina R.)
Paulina: Podano do stołu.Hili: Już biegnę.
From Facebook, an oldie but a goodie:
From Meanwhile in Canada, via Reese:
From Facebook; you’ll have to be of a certain age to get it:
A reader sent me this chart from reddit that surprised me, though I’m not quite sure why. It compares the salaries of elementary school teachers and cops in various U.S. states.
Time to revisit My Stealthy Freedom to see real misogyny in action—in Iran, where women are forbidden to sing. This is what happened to one who did:
We call on media to be the voice of this 18-year-old female rapper.
Her name is Sara.
This young woman was arrested in #Iran simply for being a rapper/singer. Her friends are so worried about her situation and they call on media to be her voice.
— My Stealthy Freedom (@mystealthyorg) May 27, 2021
Tweets from Matthew: This is a spider (count the legs) that imitates an ant. Note the fake “eyes” and the white patch that makes the spider look as if it had a separate head and thorax (spiders don’t: they have a fused “cephalothorax”).
— 眼遊 GANYU (@ganyujapan) May 23, 2020
A tweet from Matthew himself. I would have thought he would have bought himself a stegosaur:
Tempting display at the garden centre. The man behind me bought a pterosaur hatching from an egg. pic.twitter.com/iWDEOUg1m0
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) May 29, 2021
The sound of a galaxy:
This might be the most unusual type of music you hear anywhere. NASA Blueshift translated the light captured in this gorgeous Hubble image of a galaxy cluster into sound pic.twitter.com/qJSIo0MZWi
— Universal-Sci (@universal_sci) May 29, 2021
Angry lamp burns the grass:
— Matthew Blackman (@UniverseAndMore) May 28, 2021
A comic from 115 years ago, and one of my favorite strips of all time (and one of Matthew’s): Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McKay.
Little Nemo in Slumberland from May 27, 1906. pic.twitter.com/nOBS9KoyM2
— ComicsintheGoldenAge (@ComicsintheGA) May 27, 2021
This is absolutely adorable!
Fox cubs playing a game of hide-and-seek in our front garden at 1am in the morning (with their mother keeping a close eye on them). Priceless! 😂 #Springwatch #nature #SolaceInNature pic.twitter.com/4zYk2rdL6k
— VenetiaJane's Garden (@VenetiaJane) May 26, 2021
And a bodega cat. I’d totally take that shopping basket!
— Bodega Cats (@Bodegacats_) May 26, 2021