Welcome to Wednesday, June 23, 2021: National Pecan Sandy Day (this is a cookie, or, to Brits, a “biscuit”). It’s also National Hydration Day, Pink Flamingo Day, Typewriting Day, United Nations Public Service Day, and International Widows Day
News of the Day:
The Bidens have still not acquired a White House cat. A campaign promise broken!
Although Democratic Senator Joe Manchin has bent in his opposition to the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to pass a bill, and now favors the Democratic For the People Act, which walks back some of the GOP’s race-motivated “voting rights restrictions”, the Democrats are gonna lose this one. According to the NYT, all 50 Republican Senators are opposed to the bill, and that makes it pretty futile. A key test vote on the legislation wound up with a 50/50 split, and that spells trouble with a capital “T”.
According to the Times of London, Oxford students have voted to establish a board of “sensitivity readers” to vet Oxford’s two student newspapers. Vetting appears to be only at the request of the editors, and was instituted because of this:
The motion put to the students’ union cited a Cherwell article defending the music of Richard Wagner, which was taken down after students complained it was antisemitic. It said: “The need for better editing in student papers but also in JCR [junior common room] affairs, society publications, and other areas of Oxford life is clear from the amount of ‘scandals’, that is, problematic articles being published. These could represent a certain group of people unfairly or inaccurately, be implicitly racist or sexist, or just generally inaccurate and insensitive.”.”
When you see the word “problematic”, run like hell! Of course the NYT and WaPo, along with other liberal media, already have a group of sensitivity readers. They’re called “the editors”. (h/t: Stash Krod)
Remember the name Richard Scott William Hutchinson, the world’s more premature baby who has survived. (That’s a Guinness world record.) Hutchinson, who just celebrated his first birthday, weighed less than a pound at birth and was said to “fit in the palm of your hand”. He was born in Minnesota 131 days (over 4 months!) before his due date (that’s a gestation half the normal length), weighed 11.9 ounches, and doctors gave him a 0% chance of living. But he’s still here after having spent his first six months in the neonatal intensive care unit. Here’s the little fighter:
Read this WaPo editorial by Colbert King explaining why we should worry less about prompting Breyer to retire from the Supreme Court and worry more about holding the Senate in the midterms.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. 602,163, an increase of 308 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,899,018, an increase of about 9,600 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on June 23 includes:
- 1314 – First War of Scottish Independence: The Battle of Bannockburn (south of Stirling) begins.
- 1812 – War of 1812: Great Britain revokes the restrictions on American commerce, thus eliminating one of the chief reasons for going to war.
- 1865 – American Civil War: At Fort Towson in the Oklahoma Territory, Confederate Brigadier General Stand Watie surrenders the last significant Confederate army.
- 1887 – The Rocky Mountains Park Act becomes law in Canada creating the nation’s first national park, Banff National Park.
- 1917 – In a game against the Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox pitcher Ernie Shore retires 26 batters in a row after replacing Babe Ruth, who had been ejected for punching the umpire.
Shore did not pitch a perfect game since he didn’t retire all 27 batters in a row, and there have been several perfect games since then. Only one, though, was thrown in a World Series game. Can you name the pitcher?
RIP, SAT: a tool of the meritocracy.
- 1940 – Adolf Hitler goes on a three-hour tour of the architecture of Paris with architect Albert Speer and sculptor Arno Breker in his only visit to the city.
Here’s the photo of the trio and the caption from Wikipedia:
- 1942 – World War II: Germany’s latest fighter aircraft, a Focke-Wulf Fw 190, is captured intact when it mistakenly lands at RAF Pembrey in Wales.
I don’t know how a German pilot could mistake Wales for the European mainland, but here’s a speciment of the single-engine fighter:
Our family traveled to Europe on this liner when my dad was stationed to Athens, Greece in the mid Fifties. In those days, Army officers were given luxurious travel! Here she is as I remember her (not well!). It was, at the time, the fastest ocean liner in the world.
- 1959 – Convicted Manhattan Project spy Klaus Fuchs is released after only nine years in prison and allowed to emigrate to Dresden, East Germany where he resumes a scientific career.
Fuchs (below in his Los Alamos ID badge) was convicted and imprisoned in England, which is probably why he wasn’t executed.
- 1960 – The United States Food and Drug Administration declares Enovid to be the first officially approved combined oral contraceptive pill in the world.
- 1961 – The Antarctic Treaty System, which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and limits military activity on the continent, its islands and ice shelves, comes into force.
- 1969 – IBM announces that effective January 1970 it will price its software and services separately from hardware thus creating the modern software industry.
- 1972 – Watergate scandal: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman are taped talking about using the Central Intelligence Agency to obstruct the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the Watergate break-ins.
- 1972 – Title IX of the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 is amended to prohibit sexual discrimination to any educational program receiving federal funds.
- 2012 – Ashton Eaton breaks the decathlon world record at the United States Olympic Trials.
Eaton garnered 9,039 points, but his record was beaten in 2018 by Kevin Mayer with 9,126 points—still the world record.
- 2013 – Nik Wallenda becomes the first man to successfully walk across the Grand Canyon on a tight rope.
Here are highlights of Wallenda’s Canyon walk. I don’t see a safety line. Note his many prayers and thank yous to Jesus!
It’s the fifth anniversary of Brexit! I am not a UK citizen, but I would have voted “stay”. Pity, pity, too late. . .
Notables born on this day include:
- 1894 – Alfred Kinsey, American entomologist and sexologist (d. 1956)
Here’s Kinsey and his coworkers at the Institute for Sexual Research. He’s the creepy-looking guy in the middle:
- 1912 – Alan Turing, English mathematician and computer scientist (d. 1954)
Turing, who killed himself at the age of only 41 (some say he was murdered).
Here’s Fosse and his habitual partner, Gwen Verdon, dancing in Damn Yankees (see more videos here).
- 1929 – June Carter Cash, American singer-songwriter, musician, and actress (d. 2003)
Here’s June and her husband singing their well known song “Jackson“:
- 1940 – Wilma Rudolph, American runner (d. 1994)
- 1940 – Stuart Sutcliffe, Scottish painter and musician (d. 1962)
- 1957 – Frances McDormand, American actress, winner of the Triple Crown of Acting
Notables who departed this life on June 23 were few, and include:
- 1995 – Jonas Salk, American biologist and physician (b. 1914)
- 2009 – Ed McMahon, American game show host and announcer (b. 1923)
- 2011 – Peter Falk, American actor (b. 1927)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili aspires to be a rodenticide:
A: Where are you going?Hili: I have to check that no rodent is gnawing on your wild strawberries.
Ja: Gdzie idziesz?Hili: Muszę sprawdzić, czy jakieś gryzonie nie podgryzają waszych poziomek.
Another cat meme, this one from Lenora:
A tweet sent from Luana with the official logo of the Chicago Dyke March. Remember when they wouldn’t let Jewish lesbians parade with their rainbow “Jewish Pride” flag in 2017? Now they burn the American flag in one hand, the Israeli flag in the other, and they use the initials for “All Cops are Bastards”. This is a nasty piece of work (and art)!
Obergefell and Bostock took away the central rationale(s) for LGBT activist groups. So to justify its continued existence, LGBT activism must cease to be about LGBT issues. https://t.co/L9QHnXmSxO
— Aaron Sibarium (@aaronsibarium) June 21, 2021
From Simon. Drosophilists and those who work on its nematode “model organism” equivalent, Caenorhabditis, are friendly opponents. It really wouldn’t get this bad!
— Oded Rechavi 🦉 (@OdedRechavi) June 22, 2021
From reader Barry, who says, “That’s impressive work!” Indeed it is. Do you suppose it’s an evolved, stereotyped behavior or a learned behavior? (It could be a combination of both.)
Look how this lovebird strips the leaves removing each midvein to tuck amongst its feathers for safe keeping…
rather than taking each piece home separately, this is a more efficient way of gathering and transporting nest building material pic.twitter.com/gQPCsQA00j
— Science girl (@gunsnrosesgirl3) June 22, 2021
From Ginger K. Install pet tracking software on your computer!
Thanks. Humbled. pic.twitter.com/sTcdVWHs7E
— The bad ass kicking new atheist (@atheist_bad) June 20, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. First, a great bug dad. Not many insects show paternal care.
#HappyFathersDay to this ferocious water bug (Abedus spp.)
Several females cemented their eggs on his back then bounced. He now dutifully aerates, cleans & defends his clutch from danger in New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness.pic.twitter.com/hhTf2suD0I
— Russ McSpadden (@PeccaryNotPig) June 20, 2021
Live and learn! I had no idea:
The Chesapeake Bay Crater is the largest crater in the United States, and yet we didn't even have the vaguest notion that it existed until the mid-1980s and only confirmed it in1993. Al Gore's Internet predates the discovery by 2 years. https://t.co/24DglwWiXX pic.twitter.com/KtnMqthE5a
— Andrew Thaler (@DrAndrewThaler) June 22, 2021
A new letter to Nature from Matthew Cobb and Bob Pollack on the limitations of acceptable research.
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) June 22, 2021
Race insinuates itself into cosmology at Cornell University. Read the article to see one take on this course, which confers science credit.
Cornell ‘Black Hole’ Class Racializes Astronomy | City Journal https://t.co/8QyRgEg2TE
— Adrienne Mayor (@amayor) June 21, 2021