We’re past the apogee of the week, so it’s now Thursday, June 3, 2021, National Egg Day. Eggs are good for you! If you want something not so good for you, it’s also National Moonshine Day (in the U.S., “moonshine” is illegally distilled and usually vile whiskey. Further, it’s Chimborazo Day, celebrating the mountain in Ecuador that is actually the closest spot on Earth to the Moon, as well as World Clubfoot Day, Love Conquers All Day, National Itch Day, and World Bicycle Day.
Here’s the lovely mountain Chimborazo (I’ve seen it), which, because it’s located on the “equatorial bulge”, is Earth’s closest spot to the Moon:
News of the Day:
NYT op-ed: “How Joe Manchin could make the Senate great again.” You know the answer: his vote could ditch the filibuster (of course, this is the NYT’s construal of “great”). But has author Ira Shapiro forgotten about Kyrsten Sinema, also vowing to defend the filibuster rule?
An agreement reached yesterday between Israeli political parties almost surely will lead to the ouster of Netanyahu. This involves a delicate coalition of eight parties, including an Arab one.
And this is amazing: Biden is offering FREE BEER to anyone who gets a coronavirus vaccination. This ticks me off because I got bupkes when I got my shot. Not even a drop of brewski! From HuffPost:
One of the more eye-catching perks dangled by the White House is free beer from brewing company Anheuser-Busch, which is asking of-age people to upload a photo of themselves at their “favorite place to grab a beer” to this website in order to snag a free drink when the U.S. hits that 70% threshold.
“That’s right. Get a shot and have a beer. Free beer for everyone 21 years or over to celebrate the independence from the virus,” Biden said. It’s not yet clear how Anheuser-Busch plans to distribute the drinks.
Well, those of you who haven’t yet been vaccinated, you get your reward for dallying, while those of us who got a shot as early as possible go thirsty. Is that fair?
According to the Washington Post, there’s been an unusual use of Florida’s “stand your ground” law—one involving animal cruelty.
By the time an animal-control officer found the green iguana in September, blood was flowing out of its mouth and nostrils. Its head appeared to be injured. It was breathing, but unconscious, according to an arrest report accusing a man of torturing the creature.
He later employed an unusual argument in his defense: The iguana started it.
Patterson, who stands 6-foot-3, argued that the three-foot iguana had “viciously attacked” him and that he was immune from prosecution under Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which allows a person to use force against someone who poses an imminent threat. Circuit Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen on Friday rejected Patterson’s argument, the South Florida Sun Sentinel first reported.
While it’s legal to “humanely” kill iguanas in Florida because they’re invasive (I don’t like that law), you can’t beat them to a pulp like this guy did. Patterson faces five years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Animal cruelty is never punished as severely as it should be.
Big tomato purée in the UK! The Guardian reports that a crash between two trucks in England, one of which was carrying olive oil and tomatoes, left 23 miles of British highway “looking like a scene from a ‘horror film’ after a lorry crash spilled tomato puree across the tarmac on Tuesday. (h/t Jez). Here’s a tweet:
What looked like the set of a horror film was actually thousands of squashed tomatoes. The incident on the A14 at Godmanchester yesterday evening involved two jack-knifed lorries, including one carrying tons of olive oil and tomatoes. The road reopened just before 1pm today. pic.twitter.com/xRNJ7gMpxk
— Cambs Police 💙 (@CambsCops) June 2, 2021
According to the site Elder of Ziyon, because the Palestinian Authority criminalizes gay behavior—Israel, which is friendly to gays, is said by critics to do so merely as a form of performative “pinkwashing”—the PA will not permit LGBTQ groups to meet in the West Bank. Ergo, Haneed Sader, the head of AlQaws, the main organization promoting gay rights in the West Bank, has decided to live in Haifa while criticizing Israel for “pinkwashing.” It’s ironic that she can’t do any gay activism in Palestine. Why does the Progressive Left overlook this stuff? You already know.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 595,321, an increase of 397 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,707,585, an increase of about 13,800 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on June 3 includes:
His romance with Heloise is one of the saddest love stories of all time. Here’s a depiction:
- 1539 – Hernando de Soto claims Florida for Spain.
- 1839 – In Humen, China, Lin Tse-hsü destroys 1.2 million kilograms of opium confiscated from British merchants, providing Britain with a casus belli to open hostilities, resulting in the First Opium War.
- 1885 – In the last military engagement fought on Canadian soil, the Cree leader, Big Bear, escapes the North-West Mounted Police.
Big Bear, released from prison, died in 1888. Here’s a photo from 1885:
- 1889 – The first long-distance electric power transmission line in the United States is completed, running 14 miles (23 km) between a generator at Willamette Falls and downtown Portland, Oregon.
- 1937 – The Duke of Windsor marries Wallis Simpson.
Simpson was a divorcée, and royal rules said that the Duke couldn’t marry her. He gave up the throne to do so. Here they are about a year before King Edward VIII (already King in this photo) abdicated in favor of George VI. I don’t regard this as a great love story because I think Edward was a doofus:
- 1950 – Herzog and Lachenal of the French Annapurna expedition become the first climbers to reach the summit of an 8,000-metre peak.
It was a heroic climb as recounted in the mountaineering book Annapurna, but frostbite cost Lachenal all his toes and Herzog lost every one of his fingers and toes. Here’s Herzog on the summit and on his way back to France sans digits:
- 1965 – The launch of Gemini 4, the first multi-day space mission by a NASA crew. Ed White, a crew member, performs the first American spacewalk.
- 1989 – The government of China sends troops to force protesters out of Tiananmen Square after seven weeks of occupation.
- 2013 – The trial of United States Army private Chelsea Manning for leaking classified material to WikiLeaks begins in Fort Meade, Maryland.
Manning, now a trans woman, has had a tough life since she was released from prison:
- 2017 – London Bridge attack: Eight people are murdered and dozens of civilians are wounded by Islamist terrorists. Three of the attackers are shot dead by the police.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1726 – James Hutton, Scottish geologist and physician (d. 1797)
- 1808 – Jefferson Davis, American colonel and politician, President of the Confederate States of America (d. 1889)
- 1877 – Raoul Dufy, French painter and illustrator (d. 1953)
Here’s a nice Dufy Woodcut, “Cat on a Table with Flowers”, made for poem Le chat, from Le Bestiaire ou Cortege d’Orphee by Apollinaire:
- 1879 – Alla Nazimova, Ukrainian-American actress, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1945)
- 1879 – Raymond Pearl, American biologist and botanist (d. 1940)
- 1906 – Josephine Baker, French actress, singer, and dancer; French Resistance operative (d. 1975)
As I’ve said before, Baker had a pet cheetah named Chiquita. Here’s a photo from Lisa’s History Room with the caption “American entertainer Josephine Baker (1906-1936) often performed onstage in Paris nightclubs with pet cheetah Chiquita. Chiquita wore a diamond collar. Sometimes, during a performance, Chiquita would decide to jump off the stage and into the orchestra pit, causing quite a ruckus. ca. 1931. Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.”
- 1924 – Torsten Wiesel, Swedish neurophysiologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
- 1926 – Allen Ginsberg, American poet (d. 1997)
- 1936 – Larry McMurtry, American novelist and screenwriter (d. 2021)
Writer of the book that became the screenplay (which he also co-wrote) for what I consider the best American movie of the last century, “The Last Picture Show”. Once again, a scene from the movie: Sam the Lion’s soliloquy for his lost love:
McMurtry also wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for the movie “Brokeback Mountain.”
Those who ran down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ Choir Invisible on June 3 include:
- 1657 – William Harvey, English physician and academic (b. 1578)
- 1924 – Franz Kafka, Czech-Austrian lawyer and author (b. 1883)
Here’s Kafka at 23. He died of tuberculosis at age 40:
- 2001 – Anthony Quinn, Mexican-American actor and producer (b. 1915)
- 2011 – Jack Kevorkian, American pathologist, author, and activist (b. 1928)
- 2016 – Muhammad Ali, American boxer (b. 1942)
Here’s some scenes from Ali’s life:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is kvetching about the lack of yard work:
Hili: Poison these dandelions.A: Why?Hili: They make it difficult to catch mice.
Hili: Wytruj te mlecze.Ja: Dlaczego?Hili: Utrudniają mi łapanie myszy.
And here’s a tongue-y photo of Kulka taken by Paulina:
A meme from Nicole:
From Jesus of the Day (looks like fun to me!):
From Titania. This could be called “pitching to your local audience”, or, as I see it, “hypocrisy”. The catering of the “progressive” Left to homophobic Arab states (or rather, their ignoring that homophobia) is disgusting:
It takes real courage for major corporations to display the Pride rainbow colours in our homophobic and heteronormative culture.
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) June 2, 2021
From Barry, the scariest bird EVER! Sound way up!
When a shoebill comes to greet you, it sounds like a gunfight just broke out. 🔈on 💥 pic.twitter.com/hQrmkpsGD9
— Amazing Posts (@AmazingPosts_) May 31, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. He says “DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! (apparently the guy knows the animal, but still . . .
Meanwhile in Australia….
— Science girl (@gunsnrosesgirl3) June 2, 2021
Forget getting boxes or bags for your cat; just dig them a hole:
I see the “I got my cat a toy and they just wanted to play with the box” people and I raise them “we dug the cats a hole in the ground and they’re having the most fun they’ve ever had in their lives” pic.twitter.com/36BXmLvEYx
— Casey Johnston (@caseyjohnston) June 2, 2021
Frogs had teeth, but lost them repeatedly over evolutionary time. I guess their diet doesn’t require choppers, whose development requires unneeded metabolic energy.
Now published @eLife! Rampant tooth loss across 200 million years of frog evolution. Using #oVertTCN CT data for over 500 amphibian genera, we demonstrate that frogs have completely lost teeth over 20 times, more than any other vertebrate group! https://t.co/3m54N05Uk7 pic.twitter.com/4lNPaRqDr4
— Daniel J Paluh (@danpaluh) June 1, 2021
Simultaneous polyamory in the Hymenoptera. I had no idea that this occurred in any animal:
— Alpine Entomology (@AlpineEnto) June 1, 2021
Jays can be fooled by sleight of hand, but not exactly in the same way as humans. From the paper’s abstract:
While we know that humans are often deceived by magic effects, little is known concerning how nonhuman animals perceive these intricate techniques of deception. Here, we tested the susceptibility to be misled by three different magic effects on a sample of six Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius). We demonstrate that, similar to humans, Eurasian jays are susceptible to magic effects that utilize fast movements. However, unlike humans, Eurasian jays do not appear to be misled by magic effects that rely on the observer’s intrinsic expectations in human object manipulation. Magic effects can provide an insightful methodology to investigate perception and attentional shortcomings in human and nonhuman animals and offer unique opportunities to highlight cognitive constraints in diverse animal minds.
Did someone say magic for birds?
In our new paper in @PNASNews we performed three different sleight of hand effects to Eurasian jays and human participants and compared their responses
♠️🐦👐https://t.co/hij45a4EXl@Dr_AlexSchnell @CliveWilkins6 @nickyclayton22 @Cambridge_Uni pic.twitter.com/IXBLD01NBt
— Elias Garcia-Pelegrin (@EGarciaPelegrin) June 1, 2021