It’s JUNE! Tuesday, June 1, 2021, to be exact, and It’s National Hazelnut Cake Day, but also the entire month is dedicated to these foodstuffs:
National Candy Month
National Dairy Month
National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month
National Iced Tea Month
National Papaya Month
It’s also National Olive Day, World Milk Day, Dinosaur Day, National Go Barefoot Day, International Children’s Day, Say Something Nice Day (here’s mine: “Nice shirt!” ), National Nail Polish Day, and Heimlich Maneuver Day (do you know it? It’s pretty much outmoded, though, as the Red Cross recommends a new procedure involving alternately striking the victim between the shoulder blades and then compressing the abdomen). Finally, it’s the one-month anniversary of Dorothy’s ducklings jumping into Botany Pond. In two more weeks they should be doing some rudimentary flying.
Wine of the Day: I discovered that, as summer approaches, I am woefully short of white wines. I found the bottle below in my disorganized pile of wine boxes, and decided it was just the ticket to have with chicken tortillas, made with shredded pullet, slice green peppers, hot sauce, and a bit of hoisin sauce. This south Australian Riesling must have been inexpensive, though I have no record of what I paid for it. I suspect it was around $12-15.
It’s a light, low-alcohol (12%) Riesling, a good quaffing wine that would go, I think, with spicy Mexican or Chinese food. It’s turned a golden straw color after 6 years but shows no sign of being over the hill. The fragrance is floral and fruity, with overtones of lemon, though the flavor lacks the guts of a good German Riesling (this one is pretty dry, like a German Kabinett). It was a decent buy, but I’d spring for the extra $5 to get a good German Kabinett.
News of the Day:
Texas was poised to pass a restrictive new voting-rights bill (promoted by the GOP, of course), which included the ability of some judges to overturn election results without evidence of fraud. Enter the canny Democrats, who stalled the passage by simply walking out of the legislature, creating a situation where there was no quorum to vote. But Texas governor Greg Abbott, who wants to sign the bill, will likely call for a special session of the legislature, which, forced to convene, will pass the bill.
As the Taliban slowly reclaims Afghanistan after U.S. troops began withdrawing, there is no sign that they’ve tempered their brutality. As the Wall Street Journal reports:
Yet accounts from Kamaluddin and others living under Taliban rule, as well as insurgents themselves, suggest that the group’s governance is as ruthless as ever and, with decades of experience, also more adept.
The Taliban still ban music, force men to grow beards, limit girls’ education and forbid women from leaving home without a male relative or burqa. Residents of areas they control say beatings and executions of those accused of crimes—with the bodies of the offenders put on display as warnings—are still commonplace. In one instance, men accused of kidnapping were publicly hanged, shot and left for all to see, their clothes bloodied.
You can’t have a smartphone, either, because you could use it to play music, which is godless and un-Islamic. Such is the nature of theocracy. That sounds like an apartheid regime to me.
You’ve probably heard that the Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka, ranked #2 in the world, has withdrawn from the French Open and is taking some time away from tennis. This was after she was fined $15,000 for refusing to give interviews after her first win at the Open, saying that it was detrimental to her “mental health.” And indeed, she’s been despondent in public interviews when she lost, and reported that she suffers from depression and anxiety. What I don’t understand is why someone should be required to give interviews or face a big fine (she could also have been suspended had she persisted). If it’s terribly stressful for her, let her be! She’s there to play tennis, not answer reporters’ questions.
Her announcement is saddening but I wish her luck:
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 31, 2021
I should have figured out that dogs might be able to detect the smell of coronavirus, which, after all, should be more odiferous than cancers, which some dogs can also detect. The New York Times reports that dogs can detect the infected with remarkable accuracy:
. . . three Labradors, operating out of a university clinic in Bangkok, are part of a global corps of dogs being trained to sniff out Covid-19 in people. Preliminary studies, conducted in multiple countries, suggest that their detection rate may surpass that of the rapid antigen testing often used in airports and other public places.
“For dogs, the smell is obvious, just like grilled meat for us,” said Dr. Kaywalee Chatdarong, deputy dean of research and innovation for the faculty of veterinary science at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.
The hope is that dogs can be deployed in crowded public spaces, like stadiums or transportation hubs, to identify people carrying the virus. Their skills are being developed in Thailand, the United States, France, Britain, Chile, Australia, Belgium and Germany, among other countries. They have patrolled airports in Finland, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, and private companies have used them at American sporting events.
These tests are less sensitive that tests that amplify viral nucleic acids, but are useful for rapid screening. I would imagine that if one wants to go, say, on an Antarctic cruise, a dog sniff combined with a vaccination record should be sufficient to pronounce you “clean”.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 594,201, an increase of 392 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,565,891, an increase of about 8,400 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on June 1 includes:
She was beheaded three years later.
- 1779 – The court-martial for malfeasance of Benedict Arnold, a general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, begins.
- 1812 – War of 1812: U.S. President James Madison asks the Congress to declare war on the United Kingdom.
- 1857 – Charles Baudelaire‘s Les Fleurs du mal is published.
Here’s a first edition with the author’s notes (I couldn’t find a first edition for sale), followed by a picture of Baudelaire, who died at 46 of opium and poverty:
Here’s Brandeis in about 1900:
- 1950 – The Chinchaga fire ignites. By September, it would become the largest single fire on record in North America.
The first occurred in Alberta and British Columbia and, according to Wikipedia, burned between “1,400,000 hectares (3,500,000 acres) and 1,700,000 hectares (4,200,000 acres).” It’s still the largest fire in recorded North American history.
- 1962 – Adolf Eichmann is hanged in Israel.
- 2001 – Nepalese royal massacre: Crown Prince Dipendra of Nepal shoots and kills several members of his family including his father and mother.
- 2004 – Oklahoma City bombing co-conspirator Terry Nichols is sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of a parole, breaking a Guinness World Record.
Nichols is serving his sentence in ADX Florence in Colorado, the toughest prison in the U.S.
- 2011 – Space Shuttle Endeavour makes its final landing after 25 flights.
Here’s that final landing:
Notables born on this day include:
- 1801 – Brigham Young, American religious leader, 2nd President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (d. 1877)
Here’s Young in 1870.
- 1926 – Andy Griffith, American actor, singer, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2012)
- 1934 – Pat Boone, American singer-songwriter and actor.
- 1937 – Morgan Freeman, American actor and producer
- 1947 – Ronnie Wood, English guitarist, songwriter, and producer
- 1950 – Charlene, American singer-songwriter.
Charlene is the singer of what I consider the worst pop song ever recorded. Voilà: “I’ve Never Been to Me” (released 1977 and 1982). Listen to those lyrics, which include, “I’ve been undressed by kings and I’ve seen some things that a woman’s not supposed to see.”
Those who pegged out on June 1, include:
She was acquitted and died, right in the town where she was accused of murdering her father and stepmother: Fall River, Massachusetts. Here’s a photo:
- 1952 – John Dewey, American psychologist and philosopher (b. 1859)
- 1960 – Paula Hitler, German-Austrian sister of Adolf Hitler (b. 1896)
Here’s Hitler and his sister Paula. Do you see a resemblance?
- 1962 – Adolf Eichmann, a German Nazi SS-Obersturmbannführer (b. 1906)
- 1968 – Helen Keller, American author and activist (b. 1880)
- 1971 – Reinhold Niebuhr, American theologian and academic (b. 1892)
- 2008 – Yves Saint Laurent, French fashion designer, founded Saint Laurent Paris (b. 1936)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili wanted to post against the multicolored lilacs:
A: Why did you stop?Hili: I was searching for the right background.
Ja: Czemu się tu zatrzymałaś?Hili: W poszukiwaniu właściwego tła.
A cartoon from Jean:
A meme from Nicole:
. . . and another cat meme, this time from Bruce.
A tweet from Barry. I’ve never seen a video quite like this one. How lovely!
Gorgeous footage of a dragonfly wiping raindrops from its eyes.
(They have 5 eyes: 2 massive globular ones with 1000s of lenses each & 3 simple eyes. More amazing is that is that have btw 11-30 opsins, light-sensitive proteins. We have 3 in our eyes…)pic.twitter.com/WsoPurjTrr
— 🦖 Charleen Danielle Adams (@_cdadams_) May 31, 2021
From Ginger K. There’s a reason this cat hasn’t been adopted (see the thread), but it’s not a good enough reason. What a great old curmudgeon! I hope somebody takes him!
— Animal Rescue Network / Réseau Secours Animal (@MtlARN) May 29, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. Here’s Bubbas, a carrier pigeon of a cat!
Cat comes home with a special note on his collar 💛 pic.twitter.com/fwI52aAmb6
— The Dodo (@dodo) May 31, 2021
Spot the Amur leopard. It’s one of the rarest cats on earth (it’s a subspecies of the leopard): only about 20 remain in the wild.
Translation:”Wonderful! A rare image of a mother of #Leopardo of the Amur and her cubs just caught by the cameras of our fellow WWF Russia! Only 100 remain in the wild, 30 more than 20 years ago but it is still critically endangered.”
Una rara imagen de una madre de #Leopardo del Amur y sus cachorros recién captada por las cámaras de nuestros compañeros de WWF Rusia!🐆
Sólo quedan 100 en libertad, 30 más que hace 20 años pero sigue en peligro crítico de extinción.
— Juan Carlos del Olmo (@jcdelolmowwf) May 30, 2021
Beautiful female birds:
It's #FemaleBirdDay! Here are a few of my favorite female birds to watch: Wood Duck mamas protecting their ducklings, a Red-winged Blackbird mama feeding tiny babies and a shy Rose-breasted Grosbeak visiting my yard. pic.twitter.com/aviHT2n0Zi
— Get To Know Nature (@GetToKnowNature) May 29, 2021
A capybara riding a fish:
— 犬付 (@mstktksr) May 28, 2021
I may have just posted this, but you can’t see it often enough. The head stabilization of this bird (and many other birds) is remarkable; it’s almost as if the bird’s head had been nailed to something.
This Falcon using wind and thermals to stationary hover while barely using it's wings..
Look at the head stabilization.. 😲 pic.twitter.com/4y5H4Z69xB
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden_) May 29, 2021
These kind of joke phrases used to be known as “Tom Swifties,” after the adverb that frequently accompanied Tom’s statements:
“You’re not quite good enough to get an A grade” he berated me.
— Moose Allain Ꙭ (@MooseAllain) May 29, 2021