It’s Sunday, June 6, 2021: National GingerBread Day (I love the cake, but why does it have two capital letters?). It’s also National Applesauce Cake Day, National Frozen Yogurt Day, National Hunger Awareness Day, National Cancer Survivors Day, National Huntington’s Disease Awareness Day, Drive-In Movie Day (do any of these places still exist? They would have been popular during the pandemic), and Atheist Pride Day.
And, of course, it’s D-Day Invasion Anniversary (see below). In honor of the soldier who died during what I think is a just war, here’s the opening scene of “Saving Private Ryan”, showing the slaughter visited on American soldiers storming Omaha Beach. (From what I hear, this is pretty realistic.). WARNING: Gore and death.
News of the day:
The bad news first: a federal judge in California has overturned the states’s 30-year-old ban on assault weapons. From the WaPo’s article:
The judge then compared an AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife.
“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment,” Benitez said in the ruling.
In California, “assault rifles” are defined by their “code”. The AR-15, mentioned by the judge, is a semi-automatic weapon that has often been used in mass shootings. It baffles me that this gun would be seen as good for inself-defense (unless you’re attacked by an army), much less as something that the founders would regard as useful for “a well regulated militia”.
Swiss Army knife? What does that mean? The loons are out in force, including those who think that the Supreme Court or some other venue could actually enable Trump to re-assume the Presidency this August! Those who believe this nonsense apparently include Trump himself. Listen to Jim Acosta’s measured but scathing assessment at CNN (click on screenshot to go to the 6-minute video). One quote from Acosta: “You are not well, sir. You need to get over this.” I like his paraphrase of “Wasted away again in Margaritaville.”
My high school in Arlington, Virginia, Washington-Lee High (spawner of alumni like Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty) recently decided to change its name because Robert E. Lee was head of the Confederate Army. I didn’t weigh in, for I thought the name change was inevitable, but the loss of my alma mater “W and L,” as we called it, is a bit discomfiting. Now, however, Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia has decided not to change its name despite a lot of urging to do so. That surprises me, but the school is making changes to “separate itself from the Confederacy.”
The world’s oldest and longest-working disk jockey (DJ), Ray Cordeiro, has just retired at 96 after a 70-year career spinning records in Hong Kong (he’s of Portuguese descent). Among his honors are an MBE from Queen Elizabeth. Remember, 70 years ago was 1951, a few years before rock and roll got started, but during the years of Peggy Lee, Perry Como, and Dean Martin.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 596,967, an increase of 418 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,736,900, an increase of about 8,500 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened June 6 includes:
- 1822 – Alexis St Martin is accidentally shot in the stomach, leading to William Beaumont‘s studies on digestion.
After a gun accident, St. Martin healed, but there was a connection between a hole in the skin and the stomach, leading Beaumont to study the digestion. Here’s a diagram of St. Martin’s fistula. The round thing is his nipple:
- 1844 – The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is founded in London.
- 1889 – The Great Seattle Fire destroys all of downtown Seattle.
Here’s a Wikipedia photo of the fire labeled, “Looking south on 1st Ave. from Spring St. about one-half hour after the fire started.” It burned 25 city blocks, destroying all of downtown Seattle as well as the railroad station and much of the wharf district.
- 1892 – The Chicago “L” elevated rail system begins operation.
- 1933 – The first drive-in theater opens in Camden, New Jersey.
Here’s the first drive-in in the year it opened. Pity they didn’t last, as they would have been useful during the pandemic:
- 1942 – The United States Navy’s victory over the Imperial Japanese Navy at the Battle of Midway is a major turning point in the Pacific Theater of World War II. All four Japanese fleet carriers taking part—Akagi, Kaga, Sōryū and Hiryū—are sunk, as is the heavy cruiser Mikuma. The American carrier Yorktown and the destroyer Hammann are also sunk.
- 1944 – Commencement of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy, with the execution of Operation Neptune—commonly referred to as D-Day—the largest seaborne invasion in history. Nearly 160,000 Allied troops cross the English Channel with about 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participating. By the end of the day, the Allies have landed on four invasion beaches and are pushing inland.
A Wikipedia photo of the aftermath of the landing, with Allied troops having a foothold on the continent:
- 1985 – The grave of “Wolfgang Gerhard” is opened in Embu, Brazil; the exhumed remains are later proven to be those of Josef Mengele, Auschwitz‘s “Angel of Death”; Mengele is thought to have drowned while swimming in February 1979.
The fact that Mengele escaped and died in Brazil (drowned while swimming) is proof that either there is no god, or the existing god is unjust.
Notables born on this day include:
Here is a Velásquez with a cat!: “The Spinners”, c. 1657.
- 1875 – Thomas Mann, German author and critic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1955)
- 1902 – Jimmie Lunceford, American saxophonist and bandleader (d. 1947)
- 1918 – Edwin G. Krebs, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2009)
- 1936 – Levi Stubbs, American soul singer; lead vocalist of the Four Tops (d. 2008)
Stubbs was of course the lead singer of The Four Tops, and here he is in Paris in 1967 singing my favorite of the group’s songs, “Ask the Lonely.” This is surely one of the best live soul performances of all time.
- 1956 – Björn Borg, Swedish tennis player; winner of eleven Grand Slam singles titles including five consecutive Wimbledons
Those who “passed” (I hate that euphemism) on June 6 include:
- 1799 – Patrick Henry, American lawyer and politician, 1st Governor of Virginia (b. 1736)
- 1941 – Louis Chevrolet, Swiss-American race car driver and businessman, founded Chevrolet and Frontenac Motor Corporation (b. 1878)
- 1961 – Carl Gustav Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist (b. 1875)
Here he is, presented against my will:
- 1968 – Robert F. Kennedy, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 64th United States Attorney General (b. 1925)
- 1991 – Stan Getz, American saxophonist and jazz innovator (b. 1927)
Here’s a great 33 minutes of Getz, one of my favorite saxophonists:
- 2005 – Anne Bancroft, American film actress; winner of the 1963 Academy Award for Best Actress for The Miracle Worker (b. 1931)
- 2006 – Billy Preston, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actor (b. 1946)
- 2013 – Esther Williams, American swimmer and actress (b. 1921)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is taking it slowly:
A: What are you doing?Hili: I’m deliberating over my next step.
Ja: Co robisz?Hili: Rozważam następny krok.
A photo of little Kulka by Paulina:
A “meme” (not so mimetic) from Bruce:
From Jesus of the Day, an accidentally salacious Pooh:
From Nicole. I don’t even need to be sleepy to act like this; extreme logorrhea in someone talking to me will do it:
Two tweets from Ginger K., the first on hijabis:
Only one of these choices has the potential to be met with:
— Yasmine Mohammed #FreeLatifa 🦋ياسمين محمد (@YasMohammedxx) June 2, 2021
And the second on kitty behavior. I’d like to see David Attenborough narrating this one:
— Cats (@CatsCatsTv) June 2, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. Look at this cool stegosaur graph (Matthew’s favorite extinct animal):
— Oliver Johnson (@BristOliver) June 4, 2021
Oh dear; Richard has put his foot in it again:
Sounds like it really bugs you
— Hannah Jane Parkinson (@ladyhaja) June 5, 2021
Cathode the Adventure Cat! Be sure to watch this entire heartwarming video.
Cat always begged her dad to let her outside — so he built her a tiny helmet to ride on his motorcycle with him 💜 pic.twitter.com/WV6gnuBE1O
— The Dodo (@dodo) June 5, 2021
This is one of the most reprehensible people I’ve ever heard of. The thread contains more horrors.
Manas died Wed in a prison hospital. He got off lightly. In 2009, reporters Alan Morison & Chutima Sidasathian came to @SCMPNews with a tale so hideous it seemed impossible: The Thai military was secretly towing #Rohingya refugees out to sea on wrecks & casting them adrift… pic.twitter.com/g7oXlJFXfP
— Ian Young (@ianjamesyoung70) June 3, 2021
Q: What are you studying? A: How much and how often do sheep pee?
How often and how much do sheep wee? In our @UplandsN2O study led by @Dr_K_Marsden (https://t.co/IVEqrQDFeM) @MovingAnimals estimated this from 35,946 Welsh Mountain sheep #WeeEvents. This is important for modelling/measuring N losses from sheep-grazed agroecosystems. pic.twitter.com/ZgIMBzPQ9x
— Andrew King (@SHOALgroup) June 5, 2021