It’s also National Doughnut Day (now you’re talking!), National Cognac Day, International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression, National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and two great holidays in one: Hug an Atheist Day and Hug Your Cat Day.
Wine of the Day: Lord knows what possessed me when I laid out two double sawbucks and a fiver for this wine, but I sure don’t regret it. It’s one of the finest Cabernets I’ve ever had, and, after a week or so of eating no meat, as well as eating very little in general, I defrosted a big T-bone steak and then craved something big and gutsy to wash it down.
This was just the ticket. It was HUGE: dark purple, jammy and plummy, smooth as a duck’s bottom, and even a tad sweet. I probably drank this puppy a few years too early, as it appears to have ages to go. I suspect it will be much better on the second day, but we’ll see. At any rate, after a lot of duck farming and its attendant tsouris, I deserved a treat. This is a very special wine, and if I were constrained to drink only one California cabernet for the rest of my life, this would be the one.
News of the Day:
Famed criminal attorney F. Lee Bailey, whose clients included O. J. Simpson, Patty Hearst, Sam Sheppard, Capt. Ernest Medina, and the Boston Strangler, has died at 87. Read the New York Times obituary about this colorful man. Here’s one bit:
He was a riveting courtroom performer, a stocky badger-like man with a cleft chin, intimidating blue eyes and a widow’s peak that refused to recede with the rest of his hairline. He had the ventriloquist’s trick of directing questions at the witness box but throwing his points at the jury box. He had an actor’s voice, by turns bullying, cajoling, sarcastic or sympathetic, searching for seams of doubt. Under his reductions, a prosecutor’s “fact” could be whittled down to a probability, then to a mere possibility or just a silly idea.
Do read the NYT’s story of Tomoaki Kato, an accomplished surgeon in New York who contracted Covid-19 and came close to death many times. Nobody thought he would make it, but he did, and is now back doing his good work. Read about what he learned from his experience.
According to yahoo!finance and other sources, Google’s head of “diversity strategy”, Kamau Bobb, is a rabid anti-Semite, once posting on Twitter that Jews “have an insatiable appetite for war and killing.” And that’s only part of his idiocy. Google, who fired James Damore, will of course keep Bobb on, just moving him off the diversity team. (h/t Ben)
The Biden administration is taking flak for its failure to have yet put the portrait of Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, a pledge it made a while back. (Tubman was of course a black abolitionist who rescued many from slavery.) This failure to follow through is mysterious for a “can do” administration. As the Washington Post reports,
Despite the growing national push to honor the contributions of women and people of color — and Biden’s personal promise to do so — Tubman is still not set to appear on the $20 by the end of Biden’s first term, or even a hypothetical second term. If the current timeline holds, it will have taken a full 16 years to realize the suggestion of a 9-year-old girl whose 2014 letter to then-President Barack Obama publicly launched the process.
That strikes some as an embarrassment.
A big cat kerfuffle in Scranton was reported by WPTV in Philadelphia. A tailless cat was reported as a bobcat in a Scranton high school, causing evacuation of the school. It turned out to be a regular housecat, and was chipped. Kashi, who was missing for three months, will be returned to its staff. (h/t: Paul)
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 595,935, an increase of 428 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,717,731, an increase of about 10,200 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on June 4 include:
- 1411 – King Charles VI granted a monopoly for the ripening of Roquefort cheese to the people of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon as they had been doing for centuries.
- 1561 – The steeple of St Paul’s, the medieval cathedral of London, is destroyed in a fire caused by lightning and is never rebuilt.
Here’s St. Paul’s when it had a steeple:
- 1783 – The Montgolfier brothers publicly demonstrate their montgolfière (hot air balloon).
- 1896 – Henry Ford completes the Ford Quadricycle, his first gasoline-powered automobile, and gives it a successful test run.
Here’s Henry Ford in his Quadricycle in 1896:
- 1912 – Massachusetts becomes the first state of the United States to set a minimum wage.
- 1913 – Emily Davison, a suffragette, runs out in front of King George V‘s horse at The Derby. She is trampled, never regains consciousness, and dies four days later.
Here’s the famous video of Davison being hit by the King’s horse, and after that a photo of her:
- 1917 – The first Pulitzer Prizes are awarded: Laura E. Richards, Maude H. Elliott, and Florence Hall receive the first Pulitzer for biography (for Julia Ward Howe). Jean Jules Jusserand receives the first Pulitzer for history for his work With Americans of Past and Present Days. Herbert B. Swope receives the first Pulitzer for journalism for his work for the New York World.
- 1919 – Women’s rights: The U.S. Congress approves the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees suffrage to women, and sends it to the U.S. states for ratification.
- 1939 – The Holocaust: The MS St. Louis, a ship carrying 963 Jewish refugees, is denied permission to land in Florida, in the United States, after already being turned away from Cuba. Forced to return to Europe, more than 200 of its passengers later die in Nazi concentration camps.
Here are some of the refugees, and many of these surely died in the camps. The note above doesn’t mention that the ship was also turned away from Canada.
- 1975 – The Governor of California Jerry Brown signs the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act into law, the first law in the U.S. giving farmworkers collective bargaining rights.
- 1986 – Jonathan Pollard pleads guilty to espionage for selling top secret United States military intelligence to Israel.
Sentenced to life in prison for passing documents to Israel, Pollard served 30 years before he was freed and eventually emigrated to Israel. Here’s a photo of him stealing classified documents. Pollard is the only American ever given a life sentence for passing classified information to a U.S. ally.
- 1989 – The Tiananmen Square protests are suppressed in Beijing by the People’s Liberation Army, with between 241 and 10,000 dead (an unofficial estimate).
- 1998 – Terry Nichols is sentenced to life in prison for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.
- 2010 – Falcon 9 Flight 1 is the maiden flight of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40.
Here are some highlights of that flight:
Notables born on this day were few, and include:
- 1926 – Robert Earl Hughes, American who was the heaviest human being recorded in the history of the world during his lifetime (d. 1958)
No longer: Hughes is only the 12th heaviest human to be recorded. You can see the record holders here; the current #1 is Jon Brower Minnoch, who weighed 1,400 lb (635 kilograms or 100 stone). He died at 41. As one expects, most of the record holders died in their thirties or forties.
- 1937 – Freddy Fender, American singer and guitarist (d. 2006)
- 1944 – Michelle Phillips, American singer-songwriter and actress
- 1975 – Russell Brand, English comedian and actor
Remember when Brand was married to Katy Perry? That was a marriage doomed to dissolution:
Those who ceased respiring on June 4 were also few, and include:
- 1922 – W. H. R. Rivers, English anthropologist, neurologist, ethnologist, and psychiatrist (b. 1864)
Rivers is famous for treating cases of “battle fatigue” (now PTSD) at Craiglockhart (near Edinburgh) during WWI. One of his patients was Siegfried Sassoon. Read Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy for a fascinating look inside Rivers’s treatments and the lives of his patients. I can’t recommend this series highly enough; one volume won a Booker Prize. Here’s Rivers:
- 1968 – Dorothy Gish, American actress (b. 1898)
- 2014 – Don Zimmer, American baseball player, coach, and manager (b. 1931)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej tries to discourage Hili from hunting:
Hili: Something is there.A: Live and let live.
Hili: Tam coś jest.Ja: Żyj i daj żyć.
A meme from Nicole (likely a conservative cat):
A tautological sign (unless you’re a zombie) from Barry:
From Jesus of the Day:
A tweet from Ginger K.:
— Cats of Instagram (@catsofinstagram) June 2, 2021
Tweets from Matthew; I may have posted this one before, or perhaps the cat was in the left box:
A rare photo of Schrödinger's cat 📸 🐈📦 🤣 pic.twitter.com/jT4NPLRzr3
— Jo Berry is Writing 🖋✨ (@J_WBerry) June 2, 2021
I would absolutely love to have this duck bracelet? Isn’t it gorgeous? And it was worn by a Pharaoh!
Ducks, depicted more than 3,000 years apart ~ gold bracelet, probably worn by Ramses II, with deep blue of lapis lazuli framed by twin long-billed ducks at top & fanned duck tail below (photo Mazzatenta, https://t.co/6mKFjoGVYV) ■ Joseph Crawhall’s White Drake, 1895 pic.twitter.com/L9njii4FJI
— Journal of Art in Society (@artinsociety) June 3, 2021
August 1943 at the British naval base at Scapa Flow, Orkney, and aboard HM Godavari, the ship's mascot, a Persian kitten, finds a quiet spot in a special hammock. pic.twitter.com/vlSizz6coz
— Anne Louise Avery (@AnneLouiseAvery) May 28, 2018
Matthew calls this “an oldie but a goldie”:
This dog and deer racing each other in the backyard is just what I needed today… pic.twitter.com/nKFWP7of2A
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) June 2, 2021
I don’t agree with Itzhak here, as you’re diluting the pure meat flavor with a bunch of junk. Note the confirmation bias: he “proves” he’s right by tasting his own steak!
Itzhak Perlman swaps out his violin for his grill and shares his best steak marinade recipe: https://t.co/PI0jGO753p
— Itzhak Perlman (@PerlmanOfficial) June 3, 2021
This is perfect:
Pretty sure I've found the 18th century version of that meme pic.twitter.com/7GdKZEyQoC
— Dr Lily Hawker-Yates (@gwenofmonmouth) June 2, 2021
This is what’s known in the trade as a “groaner”:
a horse walks into a bar and says to the barman, "on a right angled triangle with sides x, y and z, if x and z are perpendicular which side is opposite the right angle?", and the barman says "y, the long face"
— joe (@mutablejoe) June 3, 2021