Greetings at the start of a new work week: July 26, 2021. It’s National Bagelfest, so have a good bagel, some lox, and a schmear. Avoid the donut-shaped Wonder Bread that passes for “bagels” in most of America. It’s also National Coffee Milkshake Day, World Tofu Day, Aunt and Uncles Day (only one aunt celebrated?), and Esperanto Day (see 1887 below).
Read this to learn how to choose and eat a bagel properly. You want to avoid junk like the “bagel” below, or the dreaded “everything” bagel, almost as bad as the blueberry bagel.
News of the Day:
The latest news is thin. We have two deaths, civil rights leader Bob Moses (86), instrumental in pushing forward voter registration of blacks in the South, and comedian Jackie Mason (93), born Yacov Moshe Hakohen Maza, ordained as a rabbi but gave it up after three years for standup comedy and later for movie roles.
From CNN: an Algerian judo competitor won’t face an Israeli, so he withdrew from the Olympics. So much for international solidarity in athletics! I know of no Israeli athlete who ever withdrew from competition to avoid competing with an Arab, but this isn’t the first time an Arab athlete has withdrawn rather than contest an Israeli. Who’s the apartheid state now?
Algerian judo athlete Fethi Nourine says he has chosen to withdraw from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics rather than face an Israeli competitor.
Nourine told Algeria’s Echourouk TV that he “decided to withdraw out of conviction, because this is the very least we can offer the Palestinian cause.”“This is my duty,” he said, adding that he wanted to “send a message to the whole world that Israel is an occupation, a lawless country, a country without a flag.”Algeria does not officially recognize Israel.After announcing his withdrawal, the International Judo Federation (IJF) said on Saturday it was temporarily suspending Nourine and his coach, Amar Benikhlef.
In a statement, the IJF said that the judoka’s actions were “in total opposition to the philosophy of the International Judo Federation.”
The International Judo Federation suspended Nourine and he faces further disciplinary action.
Speaking of the Olympics, the German women’s gymnastics team, tired of being “sexualized” by wearing skimpy outfits during competition, has exchewed the traditional bikini-cut leotard for unitards that cover most of the body. Here’s the new garment. And more power to them. You’re supposed to be watching the performance, not ogling women’s bodies.
And speaking of gymnastics at the Olympics, the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, undoubtedly the best in the world, slipped up on Sunday, with even Simone Biles off her form. America finished second to Russia, but that won’t count in the finals, in which the competition is restarted with fewer teams. Nevertheless, if the U.S. is to take gold, they have to get their act in order An excerpt:
Perhaps what’s most concerning is that the United States wasn’t undermined by a single disastrous routine. Instead, persistent miscues culminated in an underwhelming outing. And the result is just as much a product of the Russians’ fantastic showing. The Russian Olympic Committee has a deep team that showcased its progress since it last faced the Americans at a major competition.
And another screwup: the U.S. men’s basketball team, which hasn’t lost a game at the Olympics since 2004, lost to France 83-76 on Sunday, blowing an eight-point lead in the game’s last four minutes. That doesn’t bother me as much as the women’s gymnastics, as I like the latter competition far more than basketball. Besides, now with their stupid three-on-three basketball competitions, who cares about the sport at the Olympics at all?
And now one more “disappointment”: swimmer Katie Ledecky finished second in the 400-meter freestyle swim, a race she’d never lost. Well, a silver medal is pretty damn good, but you know they all want gold.
For the first time, researchers have reported lethal attacks on gorillas by chimpanzees! If you wonder how chimpanzees can kill gorillas, read the link: there was an altercation between two groups, one of each species, but two gorilla infants were killed while the adults escaped. Gorillas are way stronger than chimps. (h/t cesar)
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 610,463, an increase of 269 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,176,208, an increase of about 6,600 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on July 26 includes:
- 1745 – The first recorded women’s cricket match takes place near Guildford, England.
- 1803 – The Surrey Iron Railway, arguably the world’s first public railway, opens in south London, United Kingdom.
- 1882 – Premiere of Richard Wagner’s opera Parsifal at Bayreuth.
- 1887 – Publication of the Unua Libro, founding the Esperanto movement.
Here’s the Unua Libro by by Polish ophthalmologist L. L. Zamenhof, who invented the language. I wanted to learn it when I was a kid, but gave up quickly when I learned that it would be useless, though it was envisaged as a universal language (it’s much like Spanish):
Here’s Naoroii, an imposing looking chap, who besides serving in Parliament until 1895, was also elected President of the Indian National Congress three times and was one of the first vigorous exponents of independence from Britain.
- 1918 – Emmy Noether‘s paper, which became known as Noether’s theorem was presented at Göttingen, Germany, from which conservation laws are deduced for symmetries of angular momentum, linear momentum, and energy.
Here’s Noether’s and below that the first page of her paper, which was extremely important in showing that if a physical system is symmetrical (“if the Lagrangian function for a physical system is not affected by a continuous change [transformation] in the coordinate system used to describe it”), then there will be a corresponding conservation law.
- 1936 – Spanish Civil War: Germany and Italy decide to intervene in the war in support for Francisco Franco and the Nationalist faction.
- 1945 – The Labour Party wins the United Kingdom general election of July 5 by a landslide, removing Winston Churchill from power.
Perhaps someone will explain to me why Churchill, who had led Britain to victory in the war, was unceremoniously dumped as PM right afterwards.
- 1948 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs Executive Order 9981, desegregating the military of the United States.
- 1953 – Arizona Governor John Howard Pyle orders an anti-polygamy law enforcement crackdown on residents of Short Creek, Arizona, which becomes known as the Short Creek raid.
About 400 Mormon fundamentalists were taken into custody, including children. Wikipedia notes that “The Short Creek raid was the largest mass arrest of polygamists in American history. At the time, it was described as “the largest mass arrest of men and women in modern American history.” I don’t know of any larger mass arrest in America, but perhaps readers are aware of some. The Utah Supreme Court ruled that the children could indeed be taken from their parents and put in state custody. But of course polygamy quickly revived, and it’s still out there in Utah.
Here’s a photo taken during the raid:
- 1956 – Following the World Bank’s refusal to fund building the Aswan Dam, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal, sparking international condemnation.
- 1971 – Apollo program: Launch of Apollo 15 on the first Apollo “J-Mission“, and first use of a Lunar Roving Vehicle.
Here’s that vehicle in its final resting place on the Moon. The Wikipedia caption calls attention to “the red Bible atop the hand controller in the middle of the vehicle, placed there by [Commander Dave] Scott.” Oy vey! There’s a Bible on the Moon!
- 1990 – The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.
- 2016 – Hillary Clinton becomes the first female nominee for President of the United States by a major political party at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1875 – Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist (d. 1961)
- 1894 – Aldous Huxley, English novelist and philosopher (d. 1963)
- 1928 – Elliott Erwitt, French-American photographer and director
Erwitt, a superb street photographer, is still alive at 92. Here are two of his pictures (he liked to photograph d*gs)
. . . and a cat
- 1938 – Bobby Hebb, American singer-songwriter (d. 2010)
Here’s a live performance of Hebb’s most famous song, “Sunny“, in 1972. It’s never been clear what the song, written in 1963, was about.
- 1943 – Mick Jagger, English singer-songwriter, producer, and actor
- 1945 – Helen Mirren, English actress
- 1959 – Kevin Spacey, American actor and director
- 1964 – Sandra Bullock, American actress and producer.
Who doesn’t love Sandra, the Girl Next Door? Here she is rapping to “Rapper’s Delight“, the first popular hip-hop song, on the Jonathan Ross show.
- 1973 – Kate Beckinsale, English actress
Those who found their final repose on July 26 include:
- 1863 – Sam Houston, American general and politician, 7th Governor of Texas (b. 1793)
- 1934 – Winsor McCay, American cartoonist, animator, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1871)
I’m a big fan of McCay, who was way ahead of his time in both cartoons and animation, using weird perspectives and angles. Here’s Nemo’s bed taking a stroll in Little Nemo in Slumberland, a cartoon from 1908.
Evita and Juan:
- 1971 – Diane Arbus, American photographer and academic (b. 1923)
Here’s Arbus at work; you can see a selection of her photos here.
- 2009 – Merce Cunningham, American dancer and choreographer (b. 1919)
- 2020 – Olivia de Havilland, American actress (b. 1916)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili detects the scent of deer, but doesn’t understand why she can’t see them.
Hili: Deer were here yesterday.A: And?Hili: They must’ve gone somewhere.
Hili: Wczoraj tu były sarny.Ja: I co?Hili: Musiały gdzieś pójść.
Anne-Marie sent another caricature from Serge Chapleu at the French-Canadian paper La Presse. Remember when Bezos thanked all the Amazon employees for making his space flight possible? The header says “Return to the Earth for Bezos,” and I think you can read what he’s saying:
Another superfluous sign from reader David. If you’re old enough to read, you’re old enough to not want to swallow a hanger:
Tweets from Barry, who says, “It’s not just the United States—it’s a whole thread.”. And so it is. Here are but two demonstrations against the Covid vaccination.
Australia is nearly as bad as the United States. It doesn’t help that they have a mindfucked prime minister. pic.twitter.com/q4B3OWWksm
— Jim Stewartson, QAnon Eliminator, #RIPQ 🇺🇸🏴☠️ (@jimstewartson) July 24, 2021
From Luana—a d*g who can’t paint! Is this for real? There’s also a cynical comment:
If this was for real he'd paint a sausage
— sumosu (@sumosu) July 24, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. Read more about Chusovitana here.
Standing ovation and not a dry eye in the house for the #ArtisticGymnastics legend Oksana Chusovitina 🇺🇿 as she takes her final @Olympics bow. The 46-year-old today became an 8⃣-time Olympian, competing on Vault for the last time at @Tokyo2020 ❤️#Tokyo2020 #Olympics pic.twitter.com/fjm3QNiK21
— FIG (@gymnastics) July 25, 2021
Ducklings at the University of Nottingham. I hope they found a pond or lake!
Why did the ducklings cross the road? 🦆
To get to the wide range of resources and study spaces, of course. 📚📝
— UoN Libraries (@UoNLibraries) July 23, 2021
Do you get this one? I got half but Matthew explained the last name to me.
Oh my God, just spotted the ex-president of France! pic.twitter.com/UejDCMosnu
— Phlegm Clandango (@Cain_Unable) July 24, 2021
These are honeypot ants, whose workers spend their lives filling their abdomen with liquid food and then regurgitating it to others on demand. They’re a living larder! Translation from Twitter: “Myrmecocystus nest. The queen of this nest is five years old, a colony that has been bred for many years and is often exhibited at events.”
— AntRoom 島田拓 (@AntRoom_taku) July 24, 2021