Happy Fourth! Good morning on Sunday, July 4, 2021, the Fourth of July holiday and appropriately celebrated by National Barbecue Day. The holiday: Independence Day, celebrates the Declaration of Independence of the United States from Great Britain in 1776 (United States and its dependencies). There’s a Google Doodle gif with a parade of eagles (click on screenshot):
It’s also National Barbecued Spareribs Day, National Caesar Salad Day (hold the anchovies!), Jackfruit Day, National Country Music Day, and Alice in Wonderland Day, celebrating the Day in 1862 when Lewis Carroll first told the story to ten-year-old Alice Liddell and her two sisters.
As it’s a holiday (and tomorrow is also a federal holiday), posting is likely to be light. PCC(E) needs a break once in a while!
News of the Day:
It’s been 165 days since Joe Biden took office, and there still is no White House Cat, despite repeated promises and even vetting the remaining family dog with a shelter cat (they got along). Is the First Family dissimulating? Say it ain’t so, Joe!
In view of impending tropical storms in Florida, authorities have agreed to bring down the rest of the condominium whose collapse killed 24 people with 124 still missing. The building is also shifting, and the search-and-rescue mission (effectively a recovery mission) will pause until demolition experts collapse the remaining structure. This will likely happen within the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile in Massachusetts, a gaggle of eleven heavily armed men (with unlicensed firearms) wearing military-style uniforms was apprehended when one of their cars ran out of gas on a highway. It took 8 hours of negotiation to get them to lay down their arms and surrender. An excerpt:
In a video posted to social media Saturday morning, a man who did not give his name, but said he was from a group called Rise of the Moors, broadcast from Interstate 95 in Wakefield near exit 57.
“We are not antigovernment. We are not anti-police, we are not sovereign citizens, we’re not Black identity extremists,” said the man who appeared to be wearing military-style equipment. “As specified multiple times to the police that we are abiding by the peaceful journey laws of the United States.”
The website for the group says they are “Moorish Americans dedicated to educating new Moors and influencing our Elders.”
They also said they didn’t recognize the laws of the United States. Let them ponder that while they’re sitting in jail.
Only someone toxically woke—in this case Philip Kennicott, the art and architecture critic of the Washington Post—could write an opinion piece called, “Maybe it’s time to admit that the Statue of Liberty has never quite measured up.” It turns out, of course, that it’s not the statue that’s failed, but America:
That fragility [of liberty and freedom] is seen not just in direct attacks such as the coordinated terrorist strikes in Paris in 2015, and the 9/11 assault on New York, but the continuing efforts by populists and demagogues in both countries to leverage issues of race and immigration against liberal democracies. Indeed, if the statue has had any kind of stable meaning over its lifetime, it is not as a symbol of liberty, but as a symbol of the misuse of liberty — as a hollow promise, unequally distributed and limited in its application to certain groups.
This piece says nothing, accomplishes nothing, and is more waste of space paper increasingly circling the drain. There are no good newspapers left in America, and by that I mean papers that give you straight, unbiased news and whose editorial slant infects the news section, as well as offering little diversity of opinion.
Since 2008, the winner of every American spelling bee has been of South Asian descent (“Indian-American”). That’s a remarkable record, and the NYT explains why. It’s a combination of cultural pressure and lots of practice.
Meanwhile, back at HuffPo:
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 604,715, an increase of 224 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,988,216,, an increase of about 7,100 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on July 4 includes:
- 1054 – A supernova, called SN 1054, is seen by Chinese Song dynasty, Arab, and possibly Amerindian observers near the star Zeta Tauri. For several months it remains bright enough to be seen during the day. Its remnants form the Crab Nebula.
Here’s the Crab Nebula today; isn’t it a beaut?
- 1776 – American Revolution: The United States Declaration of Independence is adopted by the Second Continental Congress.
It was largely written by Jefferson, and had it not been adopted, Americans would be drinking tea and eating biscuits instead of cookies. Also, there would be no free refills of coffee in restaurants. But the beer would be better, and we’d have PUBS. Here’s a painting:
- 1803 – The Louisiana Purchase is announced to the American people.
- 1826 – John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, respectively the second and third presidents of the United States, die the same day, on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence. Adams’ last words were, “Thomas Jefferson survives.”
I find that one of the most remarkable coincidences in American history. Sadly, when Adams spoke his last words, Jefferson was already dead.
- 1832 – John Neal delivers the first public lecture in the US to advocate the rights of women.
- 1845 – Henry David Thoreau moves into a small cabin on Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Thoreau’s account of his two years there, Walden, will become a touchstone of the environmental movement.
- 1862 – Lewis Carroll tells Alice Liddell a story that would grow into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequels.
A first edition (second printing) of the 1866 book will run you over $53,000:
- 1910 – The Johnson–Jeffries riots occur after African-American boxer Jack Johnson knocks out white boxer Jim Jeffries in the 15th round. Between 11 and 26 people are killed and hundreds more injured.
Here’s a brief account of Johnson’s victory, which led to race riots because black people favored the winner and disaffected whites were angry when Jeffries lost:
Here are the recovered remains of the Tsar and his family interred in the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg. Photographed by me on August 1, 2011. Tsar center left, Tsarina center right, and the children to their sides.
Here’s the family before they were butchered:
- 1939 – Lou Gehrig, recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, informs a crowd at Yankee Stadium that he considers himself “The luckiest man on the face of the earth”, then announces his retirement from major league baseball.
Here’s the existing footage from Gehrig’s farewell speech. He died on June 2, 1941.
- 1943 – World War II: The Battle of Kursk, the largest full-scale battle in history and the world’s largest tank battle, begins in the village of Prokhorovka.
- 1951 – William Shockley announces the invention of the junction transistor.
- 1954 – Rationing ends in the United Kingdom.
Note that it took nine years for the culinary effects of the war to wear off in the UK. In the U.S., all rationing ended right after the war save that of sugar, whose rationing ended in 1947.
- 1976 – Israeli commandos raid Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing all but four of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by Palestinian terrorists.
- 2009 – The Statue of Liberty’s crown reopens to the public after eight years of closure due to security concerns following the September 11 attacks.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1790 – George Everest, Welsh geographer and surveyor (d. 1866)
Everest didn’t ever see the mountain that bears his name, but he did hire the guy who discovered it.
- 1804 – Nathaniel Hawthorne, American novelist and short story writer (d. 1864)
Here’s Hawthorne in 1848:
Foster’s more than 200 songs include “Oh! Susanna”, “Hard Times Come Again No More”, “Camptown Races”, “Old Folks at Home” (“Swanee River”), “My Old Kentucky Home”, “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair”, “Old Black Joe”, and “Beautiful Dreamer”. He died at only 38, perhaps via suicide. Here he is:
- 1872 – Calvin Coolidge, American lawyer and politician, 30th President of the United States (d. 1933)
- 1883 – Rube Goldberg, American sculptor, cartoonist, and engineer (d. 1970)
Here’s a “Goldberg machine” that reminds you to mail a letter (click on screenshot to enlarge). His British equivalent was Heath Robinson.
Eppie Lederer, first photo below, wrote as the advice columnist Ann Landers. Yet she had a twin sister, Pauline Phillips, who did the same thing but wrote as “Dear Abby” (second photo below). Both prospered, but their relationship was always acrimonious.
- 1937 – Thomas Nagel, American philosopher and academic
- 1938 – Bill Withers, American singer-songwriter and producer (d. 2020)
Those who died on July 4 include three U.S. Presidents, two on the exact same day (see above):
- 1826 – John Adams, American lawyer and politician, 2nd President of the United States (b. 1735)
- 1826 – Thomas Jefferson, American architect, lawyer, and politician, 3rd President of the United States (b. 1743)
See above. This was the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
- 1831 – James Monroe, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 5th President of the United States (b. 1758)
- 1934 – Marie Curie, French-Polish physicist and chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1867)
- 2003 – Barry White, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and producer (b. 1944)
The silken voice Barry White was featured in this episode of the t.v. show Ally McBeal; his presence was a surprise birthday present from Jane Krakowski to her boyfriend, Richard Fish.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is trying to be useful as a gardener:
A: What are you doing here?Hili: I’m guarding the roses to keep aphids from eating them.
Ja: Co tu robisz?Hili: Pilnuję, żeby mszyce nie zjadały róż.
From Pet Jokes and Puns:
Andrew Sullivan is angry at an article from the Brookings Institution, though, to be fair, I don’t think the piece claims says that Stonewall was “led” by trans women of color.
Lies. Lies. Lies. From Brookings! No, Stonewall was NOT led by trans women of color. No they have not been erased from history. They have been shoe-horned into a narrative of the far left.https://t.co/1DhghPaWhC via @BrookingsInst
— Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) June 30, 2021
From Luana. The figure shown, which accompanied a school lesson, is unbelievable:
Breaking: @SLF_Liberty has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Evanston School District. The school engaged in racial segregation, depicted “whiteness” as a devil, and taught that whites are inherently oppressive.
Read more here: https://t.co/dsLTfPzoLJ
— Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR) (@fairforall_org) June 30, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. The first one, on termination of copulation, elicited this comment from him: “Amazing species-specific behaviours. The last one is rather sad.”
Twisting to Freedom: Some sepsid males invented a “twist“ for efficient termination of copulation. Others stick with “back off” or “pull” and risk dying attached to the partner. Long live comparative biology even when shy flies make life difficult. https://t.co/pZUI3l1ldQ pic.twitter.com/bwpL6UQfHl
— Rudolf Meier (@RudolfMeier15) July 2, 2021
Matthew says I need one of these shirts, but with ducks on it. Indeed I do.
True story pic.twitter.com/W4qVxzzLLS
— Dr Mark Carey (@muttonbird_boy) July 2, 2021
This is true; the story is here, though the fire is out now.
The Gulf of Mexico is literally on fire because a pipeline ruptured pic.twitter.com/J4ur5MNyt1
— Brian Kahn (@blkahn) July 2, 2021
A cat will either love this or hate it:
honestly not entirely sure this is a cat? perhaps some sort of weasel instead pic.twitter.com/GxjTlbSmQy
— 𝚊 𝟷𝟻.𝟻 𝚘𝚣 𝚌𝚊𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚌𝚑𝚒𝚌𝚔𝚙𝚎𝚊𝚜 🦖 (@chelsesaurusrex) June 30, 2021
Could this horse have a career like Nora the cat?
I have no joke this just made me happy
— ✨🌛M O O N🌜✨ (@moonstrologyy) June 30, 2021