I woke up to find that there is now an active shooter at the University of Chicago. From our email bulletin:
This update is in regards to the security event at or in the Medical Center.Be advised shots were fired OUTSIDE the Adult Emergency Room. CPD and UCPD is both on scene and the Hospital is currently on LOCKDOWN.
Good morning (?) on Monday, July 5, 2021: National Apple Turnover Day. And since it’s still a holiday, what’s more American than apple turnover? It’s also National Graham Cracker Day, Bikini Day, Mechanical Pencil Day, and National Workaholics Day (I should be sleeping now). It’s also Independence holidays in these countries: Independence Day (Algeria), celebrating the independence of Algeria from France in 1962, Independence Day (Cape Verde), celebrating the independence of Cape Verde from Portugal in 1975, and Independence Day (Venezuela), celebrating the independence of Venezuela from Spain in 1811; also National Armed Forces Day.
News of the Day:
It’s been 166 days since Joe Biden took office and there’s still no litter box in the White House. What gives?
Dick Lewontin, my once and forever Boss (Ph.D. advisor), died yesterday morning in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was 92, and his beloved wife Mary Jane had passed away only three days before. I’ll will cobble together a memoriam this morning, but it will be hard. The world isn’t the same without The Boss in it. (Yes, that was the name we always called him.)
Here’s a tweet Matthew sent me with a quote from a piece he wrote after hearing one of Dick’s lectures.
— Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom) July 5, 2021
Like Dick and Mary Jane, who married before they were 20, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have had a terrific and close relationship, and on Wednesday will celebrate their 75th anniversary. Jimmy is 96, Rosalynn 93. On the NBC news last night, Carter declared that asking Rosalynn to be his wife was the best decision he ever made. Here’s a photo from the NYT:
The Washington Post has an anodyne description by By Samuel Hoadley-Brill of Critical Race Theory (CRT), which claims that everyone agrees what it is and it’s nothing to be afraid of. (The CRT movement, says Hoadley-Brill, is “a collection of activists and scholars interested in studying and transforming the relationship among race, racism, and power.”) Ross Douthat of the NYT, on the other hand, describes why many Americans are afraid of CRT. What I’m wondering is whether even if there is a scholarly consensus on the nature of CRT, that’s even relevant given that what’s being taught in some schools does bear resemblance to what Douthat describes. In fact, the Post‘s piece winds up nearly saying that opponents of CRT are racists:
It’s plain. Today’s attacks on critical race theory aren’t meant to rebut its main arguments. They’re meant to paint it with such broad brushstrokes that any basic effort to reckon with the causes and impact of racism in our society can be demonized and dismissed.
Pope Frances had surgery, though it doesn’t sound as if it was a very serious operation. He was treated for a stenosis (narrowing) of the large intestine, and seems to have come through with flying colors.
A University of Chicago student died after having been shot in the neck Thursday while riding the Green Line CTA train on 51st Street near the University. The student was identified by the Provost’s announcement as Max Solomon Lewis, a “rising third-year student”. Lewis was presumably an innocent bystander of one of the many shooting incidents that plague the South Side.
Once again Nathan’s annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest was won by Joey Chestnut, who broke his own world record by downing 76 hot dogs (and buns!) within just ten minutes. You don’t have to watch the video below if you have issues with this type of contest:
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 604,752, an increase of 214 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,994,310, an increase of about 6,100 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on July 5 includes:
Here’s the cover of the first edition:
- 1841 – Thomas Cook organises the first package excursion, from Leicester to Loughborough.
- 1937 – Spam, the luncheon meat, is introduced into the market by the Hormel Foods Corporation.
You’ve certainly seen this Monty Python skit on Spam, but it never gets old:
- 1948 – National Health Service Acts create the national public health system in the United Kingdom.
- 1950 – Zionism: The Knesset passes the Law of Return which grants all Jews the right to immigrate to Israel.
- 1954 – The BBC broadcasts its first television news bulletin.
- 1954 – Elvis Presley records his first single, “That’s All Right“, at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee.
Sun Records was not a big studio, but oy, the influence it had!
The “million-dollar quartet” assembles in the one-room recording studio for a jam session: Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis:
Here they are singing “Just a Little Talk with Jesus”. The influence of Southern gospel music on early rock is evident.
- 1971 – The Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 years, is formally certified by President Richard Nixon.
- 1975 – Arthur Ashe becomes the first black man to win the Wimbledon singles title.
Some highlights from Ashe’s Grand Slam Title:
- 1989 – Iran–Contra affair: Oliver North is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell to a three-year suspended prison term, two years probation, $150,000 in fines and 1,200 hours community service. His convictions are later overturned.
- 1996 – Dolly the sheep becomes the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.
Dolly lived 6½ years, only about half a sheep’s normal life span. Here she is postmortem, stuffed and mounted:
- 2009 – The largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever discovered in England, consisting of more than 1,500 items, is found near the village of Hammerwich, near Lichfield, Staffordshire.
Here’s a bracelet or cuff from the Staffordshire Hoard, dating to the 6th or 7th centuries AD:
- 2015 – The United States women’s national soccer team defeated 2011 champions Japan 5–2 at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final.
Here are highlights of the final: the most-watched match ever on t.v., including both men’s and women’s soccer. You’ll have to click on “Watch on YouTube”
Notables born on this day include:
- 1805 – Robert FitzRoy, English captain, meteorologist, and politician, 2nd Governor of New Zealand (d. 1865)
They might have mentioned that he captained the second Beagle voyage, and that Charles Darwin was enlisted to be FitzRoy’s companion! (FitzRoy was prone to depression and needed a hired friend. FitzRoy later killed himself with a razor). Here’s Fitzroy around 1855:
- 1810 – P. T. Barnum, American businessman, co-founded Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (d. 1891)
- 1853 – Cecil Rhodes, English-South African businessman and politician, 6th Prime Minister of the Cape Colony (d. 1902)
- 1889 – Jean Cocteau, French novelist, poet, and playwright (d. 1963)
- 1904 – Ernst Mayr, German-American biologist and ornithologist (d. 2005)
Mayr was a huge influence on my becoming an evolutionary biologist, and his works, especially the 1963 Animal Species and Evolution, certainly steered me towards work on speciation. He was a curmudgeonly mentor of mine at Harvard, and I wrote an obituary for him in Science and a summary of his achievements in Evolution. Here he is on his youthful expedition to collect birds in New Guinea for the Rothschilds, and then later as I knew him:
- 1950 – Huey Lewis, American singer-songwriter and actor
- 1963 – Edie Falco, American actress
Notables who succumbed on July 5 were few, and include:
- 1826 – Stamford Raffles, English politician, founded Singapore (b. 1782)
- 1969 – Walter Gropius, German architect, designed the John F. Kennedy Federal Building and Werkbund Exhibition (b. 1883)
- 2002 – Ted Williams, American baseball player and manager (b. 1918)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is idling away the hours outdoors.
A: What do you see over there?Hili: Nothing interesting so far, but something may come up.
Ja: Co tam widzisz?Hili: Jeszcze nic ciekawego, ale może się coś pokazać.
From Bruce, and you’ll have to guess the answer:
An explanation of evolution from John:
A sign sent by David:
Did your animals get scared last night from the firecrackers and fireworks? One person had a clever solution:
This is Joey. He’s scared of the fireworks, so his human put on some dog videos for him. 14/10 all better nowpic.twitter.com/auZwfIZ6JF
— WeRateDogs® (@dog_rates) July 4, 2021
A tweet from a Presidential historian sent by reader Barry, who comments, “Yep, this is straight-up fascism.”
“If you say it enough and keep saying it, they’ll start to believe you.” — Ex-President tonight in Sarasota
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) July 4, 2021
Tweets from Matthew:
she's using the frog as a WEAPONpic.twitter.com/ykaWK1LIty
— Living Morganism 🌱 (@ok_girlfriend) July 3, 2021
Trouble with cows!
— YorkshireShepherdess (@AmandaOwen8) July 4, 2021
The call of the wild. Japanese translation from Google: “Courage jumping spot-billed duck chick.”
— mochi(o (@mochico251) July 4, 2021
This fly is two inches long, and it’s in Chicago! How come I haven’t seen one? I met Allen Drummond this week at Botany Pond; he’s a professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and also he makes fantastic metal models of arthropods, some of which you can see here.
Mydas fly, Mydas clavatus. Massive. About the most fly per cubic meter I’ve ever seen. Chicago, USA. (~2 inches long) 1/2 pic.twitter.com/t1mMZYQR5c
— D. Allan Drummond Art (@dadrummondart) July 3, 2021
A bee-eater going after a bat, presumably without success. Google translation: “Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) tries to eat a bat, exceptional prey, photo captured in Palestine / Israel. Shuki Cheled.”
Abejaruco (Merops apiaster) intenta comer un murciélago, presa excepcional , foto captada en Palestina/ Israel.
📷 Shuki Cheled. pic.twitter.com/hHfYpbCdyd
— Matar para Vivir (@jrngbcn) July 2, 2021
You may have to ponder this for a second:
Ah, Beethoven. pic.twitter.com/YErj8M7F9l
— Andreas Fellner (@FellnAndreas) July 2, 2021