Braham was named the “Homemade Pie Capital of Minnesota” by Governor Rudy Perpich in 1990, and the first Braham Pie Day was held in July of that year. It was a pie and ice cream social that was funded by a Celebrate Minnesota tourism grant. In 1992, the date for the event was changed to the first Friday of August, where it has remained since. Why was Braham chosen as the pie capital? In the 1930s and 1940s, Braham started becoming known for their pie, when people driving from the Twin Cities to their lake homes near Duluth started stopping at Braham’s Park Cafe for pie and coffee.
Pity I’m not in Braham today.
Further, it’s International Beer Day, Farmworker Appreciation Day, National Gossip Day, National Fresh Breath Day. In Japan it’s Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony, commemorating the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima this day in 1945 (see below).
News of the Day:
The NYT asked seven legal scholars and writers how they would change the Constitution. Answers (which have further explanation as well as a fully-written amendment for each answer) run from “International law shall be part of American law” to “the Supreme Court shall be expanded and its powers limited” to “The word ‘person’ shall apply to all human life—born or unborn.” Guess which was written by a Republican?
CNN reports that U.S. scientists have come across a “treasure trove” of genetic data from the Wuhan virus lab that may help us track down the origins of the Covid-19 virus. Sadly, the article doesn’t reveal how we got the genetic data or how they could tell us about the origins of the coronavirus (a good science reporter would at least do the latter). An excerpt:(h/t Paul)
Investigators both inside and outside the government have long sought genetic data from 22,000 virus samples that were being studied at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. That data was removed from the internet by Chinese officials in September 2019, and China has since refused to turn over this and other raw data on early coronavirus cases to the World Health Organization and the US.
The question for investigators is whether the WIV or other labs in China possessed virus samples or other contextual information that could help them trace the coronavirus’ evolutionary history.
Investigators are now using supercomputers to analyze the data, which, says the article, may tell us which animal was the reservoir for the virus, and whether it escaped the Wuhan lab. The latter issue was declared decided in the “no” direction a while back, but science has a way of overcoming ideology. If six months ago you expressed the doubts in the paragraph below, you were labeled a conspiracy theorist:
For now, senior intelligence officials still say that they are genuinely split between the two prevailing theories on the pandemic’s origins, or some combination of both scenarios. CNN reported last month that senior Biden administration officials overseeing the 90-day review now believe the theory that the virus accidentally escaped from a lab in Wuhan is at least as credible as the possibility that it emerged naturally in the wild — a dramatic shift from a year ago, when Democrats publicly downplayed the so-called lab leak theory
Diversity isn’t enough, at least when it comes to the famous Sports illustrated swimsuit issue. The models now include transgender women, women with alopecia, overweight women, and models wearing burkinis. But that doesn’t satisfy the author of the article below, for the models are often shown posing in “abnormal” (i.e., alluring) ways. Read the short and weigh in below (click on screenshot). I can understand using a broader array of women, but the bit about posing rubs me the wrong way; I’m not sure why, but perhaps because it denigrates sexual desire itself, something the woke left seems to be against.
Have a look at the Washington Post these days; it’s getting more and more like HuffPost.
Activists are fleeing Belarus like rats from a sinking ship. Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, a Belarusian swimmer, cleverly used Google Translate on her phone to seek asylum in Poland before being forced to board a plane to return home. (She’d criticized her team’s managers, which I suspect is a capital offense in her godforsaken country.) The Poles granted her asylum, as they’ve done for other Belarusian activists.
If you want to fly Virgin Galactic into space, you’ll have to be rich to purchase that few minutes of weightlessnes—but now you’ll have to be even richer. Branson raised the price of the 15 minute flight from $250,000 to at least $450,000—nearly a doubling of price from the 2014 fee that obtained when ticket sales were frozen. (Branson originally envisioned flights beginning in 2008, but there were repeated delays.) Still, I suppose there are enough people with that kind of dosh that he’ll have no trouble selling seats.
And the best soccer player in the history of the universe, Lionel Messi, has announced that he’s finally leaving the Barcelona club, having spent his entire and illustrious career with the team (he first played in 2004). The problem is twofold: he’s not getting any younger, and what other team could afford him? Barca hasn’t done particularly well lately, but Messi scored 672 goals for the team: the most of any player in history with a single club. It’s hard to imagine Messi playing, for example, in the English Premier League.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 615,408, an increase of 439 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,481,716, an increase of about 10,400 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on August 6 includes:
- 1787 – Sixty proof sheets of the Constitution of the United States are delivered to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
I’m not sure what happened to the proof sheets, but here’s the first page of the original document, inscribed on parchment by Jacob Shallus (you can see it at the National Archives in Washington, D. C.). Like the Declaration of Independence, it’s faded badly with time. Both documents are now preserved in argon-filled cases at 40% relative humidity and 67°F (19.4°C). In case of nuclear attack, the documents are automatically lowered deep underground.
- 1890 – At Auburn Prison in New York, murderer William Kemmler becomes the first person to be executed by electric chair.
This was a botched execution; you can read the grim details at Kemmler’s Wikipedia page.
Here’s a silent newsreel film of her swim (accompanied by a band in a boat); there’s also a parade in NYC at the end:
- 1942 – Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands becomes the first reigning queen to address a joint session of the United States Congress.
- 1944 – The Warsaw Uprising occurs on August 1. It is brutally suppressed and all able-bodied men in Kraków are detained afterwards to prevent a similar uprising, the Kraków Uprising, that was planned but never carried out.
This massive effort by the Polish resistance failed. Here’s an armored car they put together to fight the Germans; the caption is from Wikipedia:
- 1945 – World War II: Hiroshima, Japan is devastated when the atomic bomb “Little Boy” is dropped by the United States B-29 Enola Gay. Around 70,000 people are killed instantly, and some tens of thousands die in subsequent years from burns and radiation poisoning.
Here’s a Today video of the bombing with interviews of some of the participants, victims, and commentators:
- 1962 – Jamaica becomes independent from the United Kingdom.
- 1965 – US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 didn’t really explicitly address the issue of racial discrimination in voting, but the Voting Rights act, urged on Congress by Lyndon Johnson, did. Its precursors, however, included those famous marches from Selma to Montgomery, including the “Bloody Sunday” march of March 7, 1965, when peaceful civil rights marchers were violently attacked and beaten by Alabama cops. The violence of that day helped galvanize Americans, and led to subsequent marches and then to the bill. Here’s a video about the Bloody Sunday march:
- 1991 – Tim Berners-Lee releases files describing his idea for the World Wide Web. WWW debuts as a publicly available service on the Internet.
- 1996 – The Ramones played their farewell concert at The Palace, Los Angeles, CA.
- 2012 – NASA‘s Curiosity rover lands on the surface of Mars.
Did you know that, nine years later, the Curiosity (below) is still active on Mars? It was designed for only a two year mission, but today celebrates its ninth anniversary of sending back data:
Notables born on this day include:
- 1809 – Alfred, Lord Tennyson, English poet (d. 1892)
- 1881 – Alexander Fleming, Scottish biologist, pharmacologist, and botanist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1955)
- 1902 – Dutch Schultz, American gangster (d. 1935)
Schultz was a Jewish mobster whose real name was Arthur Simon Flegenheimer; his mugshot is below. Like most of his profession, he died young from a sudden and unexpected infusion of lead:
- 1911 – Lucille Ball, American actress, television producer and businesswoman (d. 1989)
- 1917 – Robert Mitchum, American actor (d. 1997)
- 1928 – Andy Warhol, American painter, photographer and film director (d. 1987)
- 1970 – M. Night Shyamalan, Indian-American director, producer, and screenwriter
- 1973 – Vera Farmiga, American actress
I love this scene from the absorbing movie “Up in the Air”, in which George Clooney and Farmiga start their affair by comparing the mileage cards in their wallets:
Those who took up residence on their cloud on August 6 include:
- 1637 – Ben Jonson, English poet and playwright (b. 1572)
- 1660 – Diego Velázquez, Spanish painter and educator (b. 1599)
I always forget Velázquez when making lists of the world’s great painters, for he’s surely one of them. Here’s his famous and influential “Las Meninas”, which features a d*g but not a cat:
- 1931 – Bix Beiderbecke, American cornet player, pianist, and composer (b. 1903)
Beiderbecke was, like his contemporary Louis Armstrong, important in creating the concept of the jazz solo. Sadly, he died of the constitutional affliction of jazzmen—alcoholism—at only 28. Here’s perhaps his most famous cornet solo, from “Singin’ the Blues“, recorded in 1927 with Frank Trumbauer and His Orchestra:
- 1991 – Harry Reasoner, American journalist, co-created 60 Minutes (b. 1923)
- 2012 – Marvin Hamlisch, American pianist, composer, and conductor (b. 1944)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili found some vegetables:
A: What are you doing?Hili: I’m eating a diet supplement.
Ja: Co ty robisz?Hili: Zjadam suplement diety.
From Ali Rizvi:
From Facebook via reader Lenora; the best excuse yet!
From John (I may have posted this before):
A tweet from Titania, and as far as I know the data are true (see here for the poll). Why, then, do white people insist on using “Latinx” to refer to Hispanics? Aren’t you supposed to call members of groups what they prefer to be called?
This poll claims that 5% of Hispanic Americans prefer the term “Latinx”.
The other 95% are suffering from internalised racism and should be classified as white.
Therefore, 100% of Hispanic Americans prefer the term “Latinx”.
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) August 5, 2021
Here’s a perfect 10 for a 14-year-old Chinese diver in the Olympics:
— Johnathon Hadi Hart Harris (@That_Duude_John) August 5, 2021
Tweets from Dr. Cobb, still on hols. First, Gene Hackman is still with us, but with a small clarification (and no, he’s not picking his toes in Poughkeepsie). (The tweet seems to have disappeared.)
I was informed that this pic is 2 years old, when he was a young, strapping 89 — 😁– and I can't edit the post, so I am adding this tweet to clarify. Still great that Mr. Hackman is alive and well, and has so many supportive fans.
— James L Neibaur (@JimLNeibaur) August 2, 2021
Your etymology for the day:
As a word for a taxi, CAB comes from ‘cabriolet’, a type of horse-drawn carriage.
CABRIOLET comes from ‘capriole’, a French word for a jaunt or caper.
CAPRIOLE comes from ‘capriola’, an Italian word for a leap in the air.
CAPRIOLA comes from ‘capra’, a Latin word for a goat. pic.twitter.com/03oJkhBqAz
— Haggard Hawks 🦅 (@HaggardHawks) July 22, 2021
An extremely duplicitous tweet:
This is what sand looks like under a microscope pic.twitter.com/sxcwX1PElh
— Moose Allain Ꙭ (@MooseAllain) August 2, 2021
How could your day not improve?
A bashful young wombat trots up to you…
Your day improves. pic.twitter.com/D6eaBKfcgc
— Dick King-Smith HQ (@DickKingSmith) March 6, 2020
I can’t verify that this story is real, but there you go:
🚨 | NEW: A builder has caused almost half a million pounds worth of damage to a block of flats after claiming he’d not been paidpic.twitter.com/N54gCyLPJC
— News For All (@NewsForAllUK) July 30, 2021
And some interest felid research:
Adult cats remember the smell of their mother, it says. “In total, 58 mixed-breed short hair kittens from 15 litters of eight mothers participated in the study. They were from a free-ranging colony based in a private house in Mexico City.” https://t.co/07f1Mlwfj0
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) August 2, 2021