Another damn week is here, but summer is approaching: it’s June 7, 2021: National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. It’s also Daniel Boone Day, celebrating the day when he supposedly first saw the land that would become part of Kentucky, and National “Thank God It’s Monday” Day, a holiday with no rationale at all. That’s it for holidays:a very poor day for celebrating.
Wine of the Day: First, notice the match between the wine label and my countertop. Second, this is a superb wine. I’ve lately been on a winning streak drinking the fancier wines I bought, and I think I need treats. This wonderful syrah is redolent of black pepper, black olive (like a good Rhone), and, of all things, beef jerky.
I have no record of when I bought it (the cork was crumbly and required careful extraction) or what i paid for it, but it appears to go now for about $45. I needed a treat, a good red to drink with good Tilamook Aged Sharp Cheddar, homegrown tomatoes drenched in great Italian olive oil, and all accompanied by a crispy baguette. As Hemingway would have written: “I took a bite of the cheese and then the bread, and washed it down with the red wine. It was good.” The wine showed no sign of being over the hill despite being 13 years old.
News of the Day:
As of Sunday evening at 6 p.m. Chicago time, our town has had 47 shootings since Friday evening and 5 deaths. None of those killings were in self-defense. How many more people have to die before the gun madness stops? (Death toll update Monday morning should the violence continue.) UPDATE: 55 shot as of 5 a.m. Monday, with no more deaths.
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, one of two Democratic supporters of the 60-vote filibuster law, has announced that he’s not budging, despite strong Democratic arm-twisting to do so. Without his and Sen. Sinema’s vote, the Democrats will get precious little done in the next year and a half.
An AP story details promising new methods of gene therapy for rare diseases based on mutations in single genes. By injecting the fixed, engineered gene into an affected organ, or into the body as a whole, a panoply of diseases can be cured or ameliorated. One issue is how to use viral vectors to carry the “good” gene into cells; curiously one such vector is the HIV virus, which has been used to give 48 babies born without a working immune system one that functions.
United Airlines has purchased 15 supersonic jets from Boom Technology that promise to revive the days of the Concorde. And like the Concorde, they can fly from New York to London in about 3½ hours. But don’t think for a minute that tickets will be cheap; the planes are small and fuel consumption is high: a transatlantic trip could cost $5000 or so. To see a Wall Street Journal video summarizing this new (or rather revived) means of travel, click on the screenshot below.
The debate about ditching the “common” names of birds that are “eponyms,” honoring a real person, continues. Some birders think that all such names should be ditched, others only “problematic” names like Audubon’s Warbler or Wallace’s Owlet (named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who “frequently used the n word.” The Washington Post describes the debate. A quote:
But overcoming those barriers will be daunting. As with the wider field of conservation, racism and colonialism are in ornithology’s DNA, indelibly linked to its origin story. The challenge of how to move forward is roiling White ornithologists as they debate whether to change as many as 150 eponyms, names of birds that honor people with connections to slavery and supremacy.
The Bachman’s sparrow, Wallace’s fruit dove and other winged creatures bear the names of men who fought for the Southern cause, stole skulls from Indian graves for pseudoscientific studies that were later debunked, and bought and sold Black people. Some of these men stoked violence and participated in it without consequence.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 597,219, an increase of 436 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,744,513, an increase of about 7,600 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on June 7 includes:
A painting, which could have been called “Hallelujah! Jesus helped us kill thousands of Muslims and Jews!”
- 1892 – Homer Plessy is arrested for refusing to leave his seat in the “whites-only” car of a train; he lost the resulting court case, Plessy v. Ferguson.
This ruling stood until it was overturned in 1954 by Brown v. Board of Education. There are no known photos of Homer Plessy.
- 1899 – American Temperance crusader Carrie Nation begins her campaign of vandalizing alcohol-serving establishments by destroying the inventory in a saloon in Kiowa, Kansas.
The woman who axed a thousand barrels of booze. Wikipedia says this about her: “She described herself as “a bulldog running along at the feet of Jesus, barking at what He doesn’t like”, and claimed a divine ordination to promote temperance by destroying bars.” But if Jesus doesn’t like booze, why did he turn water into wine?
- 1917 – World War I: Battle of Messines: Allied soldiers detonate a series of mines underneath German trenches at Messines Ridge, killing 10,000 German troops.
- 1942 – World War II: The Battle of Midway ends in American victory.
- 1946 – The United Kingdom’s BBC returns to broadcasting its television service, which has been off air for seven years because of the Second World War.
- 1965 – The Supreme Court of the United States hands down its decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, prohibiting the states from criminalizing the use of contraception by married couples.
The decision was 7-2, with William O. Douglas writing the majority opinion.
- 1971 – The United States Supreme Court overturns the conviction of Paul Cohen for disturbing the peace, setting the precedent that vulgar writing is protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Some facts from Wikipedia behind the Cohen case: “On April 26, 1968, 19-year-old Paul Robert Cohen was arrested for wearing a jacket bearing the words “Fuck the Draft” in a corridor of the Los Angeles Courthouse. Cohen was reportedly at court to testify as a defense witness in an unrelated hearing, and had removed his jacket on entering the courtroom. An officer who had noticed his jacket in the corridor requested that the judge hold Cohen in contempt of court, but the judge did not take any action. The officer then waited until Cohen exited the courtroom and arrested him for disturbing the peace.
- 1977 – Five hundred million people watch the high day of the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II begin on television.
- 1982 – Priscilla Presley opens Graceland to the public; the bathroom where Elvis Presley died five years earlier is kept off-limits.
I’ve never been to Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee, but it’s on my bucket list. Here’s the outside:
Notables born on this day include:
- 1778 – Beau Brummell, English cricketer and fashion designer (d. 1840)
- 1848 – Paul Gauguin, French painter and sculptor (d. 1903)
Here’s “Flow and Cats” by Gaugin:
- 1917 – Dean Martin, American singer, actor, and producer (d. 1995)
One of my favorite songs by Deano: “Inamorata”, performed here with Dorothy Malone and Shirley MacLaine from the movie “Artists and Models” (1955).
- 1952 – Liam Neeson, Irish-American actor
- 1959 – Mike Pence, 48th Vice President of the United States, 50th Governor of Indiana
- 1981 – Anna Kournikova, Russian tennis player
- 1990 – Iggy Azalea, Australian rapper, singer, songwriter, and model.
Those who left the land of the living on June 7 include:
- 1329 – Robert the Bruce, Scottish king (b. 1274)
- 1937 – Jean Harlow, American actress and singer (b. 1911)
- 1967 – Anatoly Maltsev, Russian mathematician and academic (b. 1909)
- 1967 – Dorothy Parker, American poet, short story writer, critic, and satirist (b. 1893)
Parker, famed for her wit, was a member of the Algonquin Hotel Round Table group; here’s a photo of some of them:
- 1980 – Henry Miller, American novelist and essayist (b. 1891)
Miller in 1940:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s impressed by Kulka! The story from Malgorzata: “Kulka (not visible in the picture) was in the process of climbing down from the veranda’s roof and was poised to jump on the window sill just next to Hili.”
Hili: I’m astonished by Kulka’s bravery.A: Why?Hili: She may have stopped respecting me.
Hili: Zdumiewa mnie odwaga Kulki.Ja: Czemu?Hili: Chyba przestała mnie szanować.
A cartoon from Divy:
From Bruce, a difference between natural selection (well, selection in urban areas) versus artificial selection:
From Stash Krod (this looks like a Bansky mural):
From Barry. I didn’t know starlings could mimic this well:
— Steve Stewart-Williams (@SteveStuWill) June 5, 2021
A tweet from Ken. Milo is even loonier than we thought. He’s no longer gay, but says that his abnegation of homosexuality made dogs stop barking at him. Still, he’s barking mad.
Milo Yiannopoulos says that as soon as he became "ex-gay," dogs stopped barking at him, which he believes is a sign from God. pic.twitter.com/AgDrmFka2h
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) June 4, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. Apparently Mr. Lumpy doesn’t like olives. But I do!
I’ve been asked to post this video once again of Little Humbug trying out an olive 🫒 😳🤢
I feel the exactly the same 😆🐾🐾❤️ pic.twitter.com/SAUWXthm6x
— Mr Lumpy & Friends (@LumpyandFriends) June 5, 2021
A peaceful lakeside tweet with geese and DUCKS!
Morning traffic by the pond pic.twitter.com/pZUbTCVjk0
— Nikon Photographer (@Astrid_Tontson) June 6, 2021
This is the culmination of years of studying the Talmud:
Phoenix is kosher. Just saying. pic.twitter.com/nz9bQG1vLr
— Adam Roberts (@arrroberts) June 6, 2021
Look at the male of the world’s most beautiful wild duck, and notice that the female is lovely as well:
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)🐦🦜🕊️🦆🎵❤️ pic.twitter.com/l24Tru6wg4
— World birds (@worldbirds32) November 24, 2020
It looks as if Trump does have his pants on backwards. No fly! If this is a fake video I’ll be mad.
. . . and, I’m wrong again! Snopes reports that other photos show that at the same event show the pants with the zipper in front. Duped by the Internet again!
Others are noting this, but it can't be shared enough: Donald Trump gave his big speech today with his pants on backwards. Look close and tell me I'm wrong.pic.twitter.com/sRsoJVfyf8
— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) June 6, 2021