Greetings on Tuesday, July 20, 2021: National Lollipop Day (Americans also call them “suckers”). It’s also National Anisette Day, World UFO Day, International Chess Day, and National Fortune Cookie Day:
The tweet is now two days old but I’m putting it up because it shows what a breath of fresh air Biden is after the horrors of the last four years. Joe has always loved his cones! (Sadly, he had two scoops of vanilla with chocolate chips on top.)
Happy National Ice Cream Day, folks. pic.twitter.com/YsIgUzlrgO
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 18, 2021
And, of course, the Pecksniffs tore into Biden for his “tone deaf tweet.” Even I got some pushback just for retweeting it.
I’m going downtown to get my six-month tooth (teeth?) cleaning today, so posting will be light. It takes a long time to get down there and back, and the cleaning takes an hour. Bear with me.
News of the Day:
This is a first in what I hope are many similar rulings. A federal judge of the U.S. District Court of Northern Indiana has ruled that Indiana University in Bloomington can indeed require that all students, faculty, and staff be vaccinated before going back to campus. (Presumably, those with legitimate medical issues would be exempted.) However, it’s an honor code pledge; you just attest that you’re vaccinated and needn’t provide proof. But I approve of the ruling. If children must be vaccinated to attend public schools, why shouldn’t students be vaccinated to attend public univerities?
I have once again acquired swimmer’s itch (also known as cercarial dermatitis) from rescuing those six ducklings a week ago. Just like last year, the eruptions seem to take a week to come on, and then they itch like hell. I swear I have not scratched any of these lesions so I haven’t made them worse, but they are driving me mad. I’m using 2.5% hydrocortisone cream.
The condition is supposed to develop within a couple of days after exposure, but, just like last year, it took about a week. It’s caused by being infected by a stage of a flatworm whose primary hosts are snails and, of course, waterfowl. The lesions are allergic reactions to the parasites which, I guess, bore into my skin.
This is what I get for rescuing ducklings (as well as a scalp laceration that’s almost healed), but you know I’d do it again to save the lives of those little guys.
Here are the results of yesterday’s poll on whether the Manchester Museum (a science museum affiliated with Manchester University) should construct a “multifaith space” for prayer (and also for meditation). The “no”s outnumbered the “yes”s by nearly 17 to 1, though the comments were not quite that lopsided.
According to CNN, and in line with the Zeitgeist, Apple is introducing pregnant man emojis. They come in several colors, and with or without facial hair. But how can you tell they’re pregnant rather than fat?
Is Wikipedia “at war with the Jews”? So maintains David Collier on his website, where he claims that there’s an editing war on the site about all Jewish issues, with those who hate Jews vastly outnumbering those who are either pro-Jewish or want a more balanced presentation:
But Sanger [the co-founder of Wikipedia] only gets part of the picture. He assesses a Wikipedia environment in which two sides – both powerful are battling – with one having the upper hand. This leads to an inevitable and clear bias and editorial domination – which is what Sanger references. But Sanger fails to comprehend the true scale of the problem. For example – in a situation in which one side is vastly numerically superior to the other.
The Jews are the quintessential minority group. The enemies of the Jews far outnumber them. Islamists. far-left activists and neo-Nazis are all out there writing Wikipedia edits. The pages on Wikipedia that relate to the Jews or Israel are often the target.
. . . Every Wikipedia page that deals with the history of Jews or Israel – is tainted. The website spreads ‘fake news’ and provides legitimacy to antisemitic arguments. Toxic academics like David Miller provide written source material, extremist websites such as Electronic Intifada produce conspiracy theories and an army of Islamist / hard-left Wikipedia editors spend all their time reworking history.
A few examples he cites:
Just a few examples. Take the ‘massacre at Balad al Shaykh’ in 1948. It is an event that source documents prove never happened – but despite numerous protests – Wikipedia is still telling everyone that it did. Or the events during the 1920 Nebi Musa festival. It was an anti-Jewish riot, fuelled by anti-Jewish rhetoric of religious Islamic leaders. Yet Wikipedia’s page – which originally told a version much closer to the truth – has been edited by Israel’s enemies until the truth can no longer be seen.
An Ohio woman, with her daughter in the car, and not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, let go of the steering wheel because she “wanted God to take the wheel” as a test of faith. God failed: her car ran a red light and then crashed into another car, a utility pole and then a house.
The woman told police that she intentionally drove at that high rate of speed and through the red light to “test her faith with God,” according to the report.
She told police she’s been going through some “trials and tribulations” and was recently fired from her job.
The woman said she “let go and let God take the wheel,” according to the police report.
Neither the woman nor her daughter were injured, but she was charged with felony assault, endangering a child, and driving under suspension.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 608,811, an increase of 324 deaths over yesterday’s figure. Remember when 200,000 deaths was an unimaginable figure? With the high proportion of unvaccinated people and the new variants, we may get to a million. The reported world death toll is now 4,113,943, an increase of about 7,300 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on July 20 includes:
- 1807 – Nicéphore Niépce is awarded a patent by Napoleon for the Pyréolophore, the world’s first internal combustion engine, after it successfully powered a boat upstream on the river Saône in France.
Here’s a diagram by Niépce and his brother of the Pyrélophore:
- 1848 – The first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, a two-day event, concludes.
- 1903 – The Ford Motor Company ships its first automobile.
The first car shipped was imaginatively called the “Model A”; here’s one of them. Unlike the Model T, it came in colors other than black.
- 1938 – The United States Department of Justice files suit in New York City against the motion picture industry charging violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act in regards to the studio system. The case would eventually result in a break-up of the industry in 1948.
- 1940 – California opens its first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway.
- 1941 – Soviet leader Joseph Stalin consolidates the Commissariats of Home Affairs and National Security to form the NKVD and names Lavrentiy Beria its chief.
Beria was an extremely nasty piece of work, not only ordering the killing of prisoners of war, but orchestrating purges and kidnapping and raping many women. He met his own end when, begging and pleading, he was executed with a shot through the head. He had been “convicted” (if that’s the word) of treason and terrorism. Here he is with Stalin and Svetlana (Stalin’s daughter) on his lap.
- 1944 – World War II: Adolf Hitler survives an assassination attempt led by German Army Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg.
Here’s Stauffenberg’s death certificate. He was shot, but there’s no indication of “cause of death”:
- 1960 – Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) elects Sirimavo Bandaranaike Prime Minister, the world’s first elected female head of government.
She served three terms: 1960–1965, 1970–1977 and 1994–2000. Here’s Bandaranaike around 1981:
- 1968 – The first International Special Olympics Summer Games are held at Soldier Field in Chicago, with about 1,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities.
The Wikipedia entry says “intellectual and physical disabilities”, though perhaps this first event concentrated on the intellectual ones (it’s not clear from the entry)
- 1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 11‘s crew successfully makes the first manned landing on the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility. Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first humans to walk on the Moon six and a half hours later.
I well remember watching this live at a friend’s house. If you’re old enough to remember that, you’ll remember what a thrill it was. All Americans were glued to their television sets:
She was once a hero of mine; now I disdain her because of her silence over the persecution (indeed, genocide) of the Rohingya Muslim minority. I don’t know what happened.
- 1997 – The fully restored USS Constitution (a.k.a. Old Ironsides) celebrates its 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.
You can still see the ship in Boston Harbor. Here she is firing her cannons:
- 2005 – The Civil Marriage Act legalizes same-sex marriage in Canada.
- 2015 – The United States and Cuba resume full diplomatic relations after five decades.
- 2017 – O. J. Simpson is granted parole to be released from prison after serving nine years of a 33-year sentence after being convicted of armed robbery in Las Vegas.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1804 – Richard Owen, English biologist, anatomist, and paleontologist (d. 1892)
- 1822 – Gregor Mendel, Austro-German monk, geneticist and botanist (d. 1884)
Mendel is 199 today! Peas be upon him
- 1919 – Edmund Hillary, New Zealand mountaineer and explorer (d. 2008)
Here’s Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first people to step on the highest spot on Earth. Here they are after returning from the summit of Everest:
Here’s the ice axe Hillary used when making his climb; I photograped it in the Te Papa Museum in Wellington in 2017:
- 1933 – Cormac McCarthy, American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter
Read him; he’s a fabulous writer.
- 1971 – Sandra Oh, Canadian actress
Those who knocked on Heaven’s door on July 20 include:
Villa on horseback. Do not wear this costume on Halloween:
- 1945 – Paul Valéry, French author and poet (b. 1871)
- 1973 – Bruce Lee, American actor and martial artist (b. 1940)
- 2007 – Tammy Faye Messner, American Christian evangelist and talk show host (b. 1942)
Yes, that’s Tammy Fay Bakker, who remarried after her husband’s disgrace. Here they are in “better” times.
- 2011 – Lucian Freud, German-English painter and illustrator (b. 1922)
Here’s Freud’s “Girl with a Kitten” (1947) from the Tate. It apparently depicts his first wife, who looks as if she’s strangling the poor beast.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, all the cats are convening in the orchard, but little Kulka (whom Hili still doesn’t much like) is worried she won’t fit in:
Hili: The orchard is huge; we can share it.Kulka: With me as well?Photo: Paulina R.
Hili: Sad jest wielki, możemy się nim podzielić.Kulka: Ze mną też?(Zdjęcie: Paulina R.)
Reader David sent a series of superfluous signs. Here’s the first:
From Jesus of the Day, with the caption, “It is shark week and they are often vilified. Let’s set the record straight.”
A tweet from reader Ken, who asks, “Aren’t these the same people who called others ‘snowflakes’ and shout facts don’t care about your feelings’?”
— National Review (@NRO) July 17, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. First, a cat faked out with a drawing that’s analogous to the red laser dot:
— Adam J Calhoun – Bay Area this week (@neuroecology) March 10, 2020
It’s amazing that this guy caught the photo given the speed of the transit and the narrowness of the path. Note that this is from last year. Do watch the video below to show how clever the photographer was to get this shot.
The ISS and Mars cross paths above San Diego on Sept. 14, 2020 at 05:15:47PDT. Transit line was ~90m wide on the ground.
Stills: https://t.co/t9EcOTQttL pic.twitter.com/VzSP4xfdgP
— Tom Glenn (@thomasdglenn) September 22, 2020
. . . and here’s the video:
Two coincidences (or were they miracles?)
— Ted Scheinman (@Ted_Scheinman) July 19, 2021
A scuba dolphin. But Matthew says, and he’s surely right, “It’s cute but it’s either been trained or, more likely, it is just utterly bored.” No marine mammals or penguins in captivity! Close the zoos and most of the aquariums!
— Strangest Videos Online (@StrangestMp4) July 18, 2021
Two of Matthew’s three cats are occupying his chairs:
Nowhere for me to sit. pic.twitter.com/LQvtZezxLE
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) July 19, 2021
And what was this all about?
Model pig on display at a Soviet parade, somewhere late 1920s. pic.twitter.com/yySBwa5JHn
— Anton Jäger (@AntonJaegermm) July 18, 2021