Welcome to Monday, June 21, 2021: National Peaches and Cream Day. That means that you can not only eat this dish, but that things will be fine. It’s also Take Your Cat to Work Day (if you’re working from home, that’s okay, otherwise forget it!), National Selfie Day, World Giraffe Day, and, most important, Atheist Solidarity Day.
It’s the first full day of summer (the summer solstice started just before midnight last night) and today’s Google Doodle celebrates this with an animated gif (click on screenshot; there’s a different Doodle for the Southern Hemisphere, where winter just began).
Finally, it’s also these holidays (the solstice was at about 11:30 pm yesterday):
- Go Skateboarding Day
- International Yoga Day (international)
- National Aboriginal Day (Canada)
- Solstice-related observances (see also June 20):
- World Humanist Day (Humanism) That was also listed YESTERDAY.
- World Hydrography Day (international)
News of the Day:
The Bidens still don’t have a cat. I will report daily until they get one.
The shootings and killings continue to escalate in Chicago: I know when it’s bad when I drive to the grocery store early on Saturday or Sunday morning and pass the University of Chicago Emergency Room. When there are more than two cop cars outside, and when there are a bunch of cops milling about in front of the ER door, I know it was a bad weekend. That’s what I saw this morning and, checking up, I found that five people were killed and 40 hurt in this weekend’s shootings. And that report was filed at 9 a.m. Sunday morning! (Note: the total hasn’t yet been updated.) The shootings thus occurred between Friday evening and early Sunday morning. It’s not over yet as I write this on Sunday evening. No wonder there were news trucks and live reporters from local stations also stationed outside the ER.
According to the Washington Post, scientists are still fighting about whether Covid-19 came from a natural host transmitting it to humans or a leak from a Wuhan lab. Both scenarios have problems—for the former it’s that the animal host has still not been identified. I suspect this will eventually be settled, though I don’t have a dog in this fight.
Also from the WaPo, click on the screenshot to watch a 5½-minute video on whiteness. I gave in and watched how I’ve failed in many ways. Be my guest by clicking on the screenshot below. It’s pure Kendi-and DiAngelican ideology, with not a word of dissent. The Washington Post is no longer an organ of objective journalism; like the New York Times, it’s become a vessel for social engineering and for purveying ideology, even to schoolchildren.
According to the narrator, this is only the first in a series of videos on the invidious nature of whiteness.
Via the Toronto site BlogTO, Diana MacPherson tells us that Toronto is installing “duck platforms” in its harbor to prevent ducklings from drowning. Ducklings have to get out of the water several hours a day to dry off as they have no way to waterproof their feathers (they get feather oil from their mother sitting on them). To prevent waterlogged babies, Toronto is installing these platforms that ducklings can climb onto and dry off:
🦆 🦆 🦆 Four new #ducklingdocks are now in place at water level at Portland, York, Yonge & Jarvis slips. These will provide an accessible floating rest area for young ducklings still growing their waterproof down.
Learn more: https://t.co/kNsU40nLwk#topoli #waterfront pic.twitter.com/J7kNJpbdiO
— PortsToronto (@PortsToronto) June 18, 2021
Speaking of rescues, reader Debra sent this sign photographed by her cat-loving friend Paul in the New York City subway yesterday:
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. 601,442, an increase of 300 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,882,633, an increase of about 6,400 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on June 21 includes:
- 1900 – Boxer Rebellion: China formally declares war on the United States, Britain, Germany, France and Japan, as an edict issued from the Empress Dowager Cixi.
- 1915 – The U.S. Supreme Court hands down its decision in Guinn v. United States 238 US 347 1915, striking down Oklahoma grandfather clause legislation which had the effect of denying the right to vote to blacks.
- 1942 – World War II: A Japanese submarine surfaces near the Columbia River in Oregon, firing 17 shells at Fort Stevens in one of only a handful of attacks by Japan against the United States mainland.
Nobody was hurt and no damage was done to the Japanese target, Fort Stevens.
- 1945 – World War II: The Battle of Okinawa ends when the organized resistance of Imperial Japanese Army forces collapses in the Mabuni area on the southern tip of the main island.
The Japanese used child soldiers, aged 14-17, as front line combatants on Okinawa. Here’s a photo of some of them:
- 1964 – Three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, are murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, United States, by members of the Ku Klux Klan.
Here’s the FBI’s wanted poster before they found the killers: seven men, including KKK members, were convicted (maximum sentence was ten years in jail!), and one additional killer was not convicted until 2005 (see below).
Their remains uncovered on August 4. 1964:
Here’s a famous picture of two defendants who got off. The caption: “The main suspect were the local sheriff, Lawrence A. Rainey (above right), his deputy Cecil Price (above left) and 16 other men, all of whom were allegedly members of the Ku Klux Klan. They were charged with violating the civil rights of the victims.” Rainey is dipping a chaw of tobacco.
- 1973 – In its decision in Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15, the Supreme Court of the United States establishes the Miller test for determining whether something is obscene and not protected speech under the U.S. constitution.
The Miller test for obscenity. It’s now of course violated regularly.
- Whether “the average person, applying contemporary community standards”, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest,
- Whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions specifically defined by applicable state law,
- Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
- 1982 – John Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
- 1989 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397, that American flag-burning is a form of political protest protected by the First Amendment.
As I wrote five days ago, some Republican Senators are trying to get a Constitutional Amendment through Congress to prohibit flag burning (it would then have to be approved by 3/4 of the states). This will not stand.
- 2005 – Edgar Ray Killen, who had previously been unsuccessfully tried for the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner, is convicted of manslaughter 41 years afterwards (the case had been reopened in 2004).
Killen, Jailed in 2005, died in prison in 2018.
- 2009 – Greenland assumes self-rule.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1892 – Reinhold Niebuhr, American theologian and academic (d. 1971)
- 1921 – Jane Russell, American actress and singer (d. 2011)
- 1948 – Ian McEwan, British novelist and screenwriter
- 1953 – Benazir Bhutto, Pakistani financier and politician, 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan (d. 2007)
- 1957 – Berkeley Breathed, American author and illustrator
- 1982 – Jussie Smollett, American actor and singer
This bit by Dave Chapelle on Jussie Smollett (said to be a French actor pronounced “Juicy Smole-yay”) is one of his funniest pieces. Trigger warning: strong language including n-word.
The unfortunate but endearing cat carried several mutations. Here’s a photo from the WaPo:
Those who “passed” on June 21 include:
- 1652 – Inigo Jones, English architect, designed the Queen’s House and Wilton House (b. 1573)
- 1874 – Anders Jonas Ångström, Swedish physicist and astronomer (b. 1814)
- 1908 – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian composer and educator (b. 1844)
- 1964 – James Chaney, American civil rights activist (b. 1943)
- 1964 – Andrew Goodman, American civil rights activist (b. 1943)
- 1964 – Michael Schwerner, American civil rights activist (b. 1939)
- 2001 – John Lee Hooker, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1917)
Here’s Hooker with “Boom Boom”, live at Montreaux in 1990:
- 2015 – Gunther Schuller, American horn player, composer, and conductor (b. 1925)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili is full of herself, as usual (her views are always correct, so she’s made a tautology):
Hili: I’m proud of my correct views.A: Which ones?Hili: All of them.
Hili: Jestem dumna z moich słusznych poglądów.A: Których?Hili: Wszystkich.
From Bruce. BYU is “Brigham Young University” in Provo, Utah, a Mormon school. When I was younger and collected college tee-shirts, I went into the BYU bookstore to get one of theirs, but was kicked out because I had a beard and mustache. Jesus couldn’t go to BYU!
A photo from Barry, which he labels, “Cut your own fucking grass!” Let’s hand it to the Scots, though: they mowed a couple of feet into England!
From Jesus of the Day:
Masih talks about the new election for Iran’s President, won by a hard-liner. You may not agree with her on the boycott of Iran, which Biden is going to soften considerablyu, and I dislike imposing hardships on the Iranian people, who by and large oppose their theocracy, but if you don’t want Iran to have the bomb, what does one do? I am convinced that any Biden deal may marginally stall Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, but won’t by any means stop it.However, I don’t agree that foreign heads of state should be barred from entering the U.S. unless they’re liable to arrest.
On BBC, I talked about the victory of boycott campaign: Now Iranians call on Biden administration to bar Ebrahim Raisi from entering the US like the way they banned Austrian president Kurt Waldheim. Iranian lives matter more than the nuclear deal. pic.twitter.com/fhqz50LUXF
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) June 20, 2021
Tweets from Matthew, who, like me, loves ferrets and stoats, even though they’re voracious predators. Here’s Moose the Ferret having a great time.
One of my favorite videos of Moose ever. His hops through the field are my happy place ❤️ #ferret #ferretgram #ferrets #instaferret #ferretism #ferretsofinstagram #フェレット #ferretlove #хорек #ferretlife #furet #frettchen #huron #fuzzbutt pic.twitter.com/gm2Q2tJTG2
— The Modern Ferret (@TheModernFerret) June 7, 2021
Bats, whales, and now add tree mice to the groups of mammals who use echolocation! Mice in the genus Typhlomys have very small eyes and are nocturnal.
This is really cool – a completely novel evolutionary line of echolocators! Echolocation in soft-furred tree mice https://t.co/JhGlppu796
— Smulders Lab (@SmuldersLab) June 20, 2021
Of this tweet, Matthew notes, “n.b.: the cladogrm isn’t quite right (e.g., “marine mammals”) but the variety of vaginas, etc. is”. Can you spot the phylogenetic errors?
I spent most of this weekend making a figure for a BioEssays review. What do you think? pic.twitter.com/6iVOl4wBWA
— Craig Smith (@Smith_CraigA) June 20, 2021
I got this too late to put up yesterday, but by gum, FIFTY FIVE YEARS? Sunrise, sunset. . . .
HAPPY 55TH ANNIVERSARY to #BobDylan's seventh studio album 'Blonde on Blonde' originally released June 20, 1966 | Read our retrospective tribute by @j_ducker + listen to the album here: https://t.co/GHRH9y5UDq pic.twitter.com/UXzWvOzbTA
— Albumism (@Albumism) June 20, 2021
A while back, I went through a few days when I was obsessed with watching watch restoration videos. As it says at the end, “Watch again.” The original video with the restorer is below the first one. I can’t fathom the dexterity, patience, and skill required to do this kind of work.
Sound up, please.
Could have linked. https://t.co/8fcCyutWEH
— Oren Shevlin🇪🇺🇬🇧🇩🇪 (@OrenShevlin) June 20, 2021
A whole thread of medieval cats licking their butts! They observed the behavior fine, but the depiction of the moggies, as usual, leaves a lot to be desired. There are more in the thread:
— Across the Ages Podcast (@_AcrossTheAges) June 18, 2021
— Across the Ages Podcast (@_AcrossTheAges) June 18, 2021