Good morning on Tuesday, August 24, 2021: National Peach Pie Day, and now’s the season to eat one. It’s also National Waffle Day, Shooting Star Day, Can Opener Day, National Knife Day, International Strange Music Day, and International Day Against Intolerance, Discrimination, and Violence Based on Musical Preferences, Lifestyle, and Dress Code. The latter deserves some explanation:
On August 24, 2007, Sophie Lancaster died after previously being beaten in Rossendale, Lancashire, in England. Along with her boyfriend Rob, she had been beaten simply because of the way she looked, having been part of the “goth” subculture. Her mother Sylvia did not want her death to be in vain, and wanted to help young people understand that everyone should be treated with respect and dignity, no matter what they look like or what type of music they listen to. She created the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. The foundation has worked with young people in schools, and has also enlightened adults with training about hate crime awareness, victim impact, equality, diversity, and inclusion.
See more about Sophie Lancaster here. A photo:
Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot to play) is a repeaat of the animated interactive game series, “The Champion Island Games,” originally celebrating the Olympics but now the Paralympics, which begin today in Tokyo and extend through September 5:
Wine of the day: I don’t often drink Chianti, but when i do it’s a Chianti Classico (look for the black rooster on the label) from Monsanto. This one is oldish—12 years, to be precise, but a good Chianti can age well, and the experts say this one’s not over the hill. Let us see: we shall essay it with chicken breast, rice (with a bit of hoisin sauce for flavor) and green beans.
. . . the “opulent fruit” has faded a bit, but the richness and elegance, as well as a dark garnet color, remain in this wine It is nowhere near over the hill, and it on the gutsy rather than “delicate” side of Chianti Classico. I probably paid about $20 for it, and at that price it’s a bargain. I’d say that now is about the apogee for this wine, but I’d like to try it in three or four more years. (Sadly, this is my only bottle.)
Look for the black rooster to be sure it’s Chianti Classico:
News of the Day:
There’s more trouble in the offing in Afghanistan. Biden’s pull-out date of August 31, which looks increasingly untenable (Uncle Joe is waffling, too), is being taken by the Taliban as a hard date—a “red line”. A spokesthug for the Muslimofascists have said that attempts to take people out after that date will “provoke a reaction.” Well, we’ll see in seven days, because there’s no way we’re getting this thing done by the end of August. I read in the news this morning that Biden asked for an extended deadline, but the Taliban rejected it.
In the meantime, the U.S. is going to great lengths to retrieve its citizens. The AP reports that the U.S. military rounded up 16 Americans at a location two hours away from Kabul.
The officials, who commented only on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations, said the rescue missions that go beyond the walls of the Kabul airport require the approval of a four-star officer and are handled on a case-by-case basis.
The Taliban aren’t going to like this. I smell trouble.
And this NYT headline reports more dispiriting news (click on screenshot):
The Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19 (technically, the “Pfizer-BioNTech” vaccine”) has finally been given full approval by the FDA. This means two things. First, it’s now legal to require people to get the vaccine, and they can’t beef about it. As the NYT reports:
The decision will set off a cascade of vaccine requirements by hospitals, colleges, corporations and other organizations. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III will be sending guidelines to the country’s 1.4 million active duty service members mandating that they be vaccinated, the Pentagon announced on Monday.
United Airlines recently announced that its employees will be required to show proof of vaccination within five weeks of regulatory approval.
Oregon has adopted a similar requirement for all state workers, as have a host of universities in states from Louisiana to Minnesota. In New York, the F.D.A.’s approval also brought into force a requirement announced in May that all students attending in-person classes at State University of New York and City University of New York schools be vaccinated.
House Democrats are tied up in knots about which of the two big spending bills to pass first: the $1 trillion infrastructure bill or Biden’s $3.5 trillion “budget blueprint” bill. Pelosi and the “progressives” want the budget bill to go first, while 9 centrist Democrats aren’t having it, and want infrastructure first. This could mean trouble. . . Fortunately, I’m too dumb to understand this fracas, which means I don’t have to investigate it.
Second, those who continue to beef can’t say they are guinea pigs in an experimental drug trial. The experiment is over. Those who beefed were the controls, and the results were clear—as they are with the new data.
But there’s good news tonight! After brushfires devastated Kangaroo Island off Australia in 2019 and 2020, conservationists managed to locate a Tasmanian pygmy possum, a rare mammal in normal times and thought to have become extinct after the fires. But they’re still there! Look at these things! (h/t Malcolm)
The Catholic News Agency reports a huge screw-up: At the funeral of the young Chicago police officer Ella French, killed during a traffic stop (she also had a young child), a police chaplain mistakenly gave communion to our mayor Lori Lightfoot. But Lightfoot isn’t a Catholic: she belongs to a Methodist church. No biggie, right? Well, apparently it is:
Fr. Brandt added that he is deeply apologetic toward those who were offended by the mayor receiving Communion.
“I apologize for any scandal that my absentmindedness may have caused. It was certainly not intentional and wish I had my wits about me. Or better yet I wish the Cardinal had just given out Communion because I was planning on going back and sitting for the next portion of the Mass and procession,” he said.
“I can’t apologize enough for anyone who’s upset by the fact that she received the Eucharist. That is totally on me and I own it,” he said. “And it was an honest mistake and I pray that your readers have the same mercy that I hope the Lord gives me.”
Catholic canon law permits non-Catholic Christians to receive Communion only in limited circumstances and in the case of a “grave necessity.” Neither the archdiocese nor the mayor’s office responded to multiple inquiries from CNA seeking comment Friday.
I suspect the Lord will not look kindly on this transgression. (h/t GInger K)
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 629,644, an increase of 1,057 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,455,250, an increase of about 9,500 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on August 24 includes:
- 79 – Traditional date of Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD
Remarkable body casts showing the positions in which people died (more here):
- 1215 – Pope Innocent III issues a bull declaring Magna Carta invalid.
- 1349 – Six thousand Jews are killed in Mainz after being blamed for the bubonic plague.
A drawing of some of the murders of Jews (caption from Wikipedia):
- 1690 – Job Charnock of the East India Company establishes a factory in Calcutta, an event formerly considered the founding of the city (in 2003 the Calcutta High Court ruled that the city’s foundation date is unknown).
- 1814 – British troops invade Washington, D.C. and during the Burning of Washington the White House, the Capitol and many other buildings are set ablaze.
- 1932 – Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the United States non-stop (from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey).
Here’s a very short video of Earhart’s accomplishments (I can’t find a video of her coast-to-coast flight):
- 1941 – Adolf Hitler orders the cessation of Nazi Germany‘s systematic T4 euthanasia program of the mentally ill and the handicapped due to protests, although killings continue for the remainder of the war.
Here’s Hitler’s letter that began the euthanasia program two years earlier. The English translation is from Wikipedia: “Reich Leader Bouhler and Dr. Brandt are entrusted with the responsibility of extending the authority of physicians, to be designated by name, so that patients who, after a most critical diagnosis, on the basis of human judgment [menschlichem Ermessen], are considered incurable, can be granted mercy death [Gnadentod]. — A. Hitler”
The mentally ill were also considered “incurables.”
- 1967 – Led by Abbie Hoffman, the Youth International Party temporarily disrupts trading at the New York Stock Exchange by throwing dollar bills from the viewing gallery, causing trading to cease as brokers scramble to grab them.
A video about Hoffman’s stunt, which I remember well.
- 1981 – Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon.
- 1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
- 2006 – The International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefines the term “planet” such that Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet.
This decision is planetary ableism. Pluto is a planet, and if you must describe it you can call it a “differently abled planet” or a “size challenged planet.”
Notables born on this day include:
- 1872 – Max Beerbohm, English essayist, parodist, and caricaturist (d. 1956)
- 1947 – Anne Archer, American actress and producer
- 1960 – Cal Ripken, Jr., American baseball player and coach
I had the honor of watching this great shortstop play (we lived in the D.C. area and my dad took me to Baltimore to see a game. His most famous feat: “Ripken holds the record for consecutive games played, 2,632, surpassing Lou Gehrig‘s streak of 2,130 that had stood for 56 years and that many deemed unbreakable.”
Here’s Ripken breaking the record. Remember, a baseball season was 154 games, so he played the equivalent of 17 full seasons without missing a game.
- 1965 – Marlee Matlin, American actress and producer
Matlin is not only the sole deaf person to win a Best Actress Oscar, but also the youngest, being 21.5 years old. The movie? Children of a Lesser God. Here’s a scene from the movie, in which she pursues a difficult romance with William Hurt:
Those who became a fatality on August 24 include:
- 1680 – Thomas Blood, Irish colonel (b. 1618)
The King not only pardoned Col. Blood for his crime (he and his accomplices were caught in the act), but gave him a piece of land in Ireland.
- 2014 – Richard Attenborough, English actor, director, producer, and politician (b. 1923)
- 2020 – Gail Sheehy, American author, journalist, and lecturer (b.1936)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is getting increasingly peevish. And no wonder!
Hili: I see absurdity.A: Where?Hili: Everywhere I look.
Hili: Widzę absurdy.Ja: Gdzie?Hili: Gdzie nie spojrzę.
Mietek, on holiday in the mountains, has a soliloquy. (How he’s grown!)
Mietek: To run or to lie down; that is the question.
From Scott Metzger Cartoons:
From Facebook via Richard, who says “Best paper title ever.” Well, it’s a contender. . .
From Facebook, the consequences of an unclear antecedent:
Masih interviews another Afghan woman, who breaks down two minutes in and says she’s having suicidal ideation.
After conducting this interview, my entire body was shaking. I burst into tears. I felt hopeless as I wanted to help her leave Afghanistan. I’m in touch with many Afghan women. Most want to flee or commit suicide. Some want to fight against the Taliban
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) August 23, 2021
From Titania. The Brits are good at trying to end hate with cute but useless gestures like this:
These new rainbow police cars will strike fear into the hearts of bigots everywhere.
If this doesn’t end homophobia, nothing will. pic.twitter.com/fk85eQvd4K
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) August 23, 2021
From the Auschwitz Memorial. One thing I noted when I visited the camp was how short people stayed their after arrival before they died. It wasn’t on the day of arrival, but often a few weeks later:
24 August 1871 | A Pole, Józef Kopijasz, was born in Brzeszcze.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) August 24, 2021
This is an interesting (and disturbing!) citation pattern sent by Luana. Her theory, which is hers,
I suspect this is because the ones that do not replicate are far fetched and interesting.
“We show that published papers in top journals that fail to replicate are cited more than those that replicate. This difference doesn't change after publication of failure to replicate. 12% of postreplication citations acknowledge the replication failure.”https://t.co/LHiXcU3rJJ pic.twitter.com/WGt0q5wqkO
— Simon E. Fisher (@ProfSimonFisher) May 22, 2021
Tweets from Dr. Cobb. This incredibly cute agouti is burying a banana and then covering the cached fruit with a leaf to hide it even better:
Ñeques/Agoutis do a wonderful ritual after they have eaten a certain amount, where they will start burying food. They dig tiny holes they punch with cute fists, then always gently cover it up with a leaf to be extra secret! Nobody knows where this banana could be! @APPC_Panama pic.twitter.com/0OHY3pZeld
— Digital Naturalism (@HikingHack) July 15, 2020
Awww. . . the poor babies don’t want to cross the water:
Behold mamma coati and her six coati kittens roaming a Sky Island mountain range at the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona. The Sky Islands Archipelago is a world biological diversity hot spot as well as hot spot for total cuteness. pic.twitter.com/ksnEZm2Swr
— Russ McSpadden (@PeccaryNotPig) August 23, 2021
Silly pelican! This is the Tweet of the Week:
YOU CAN’T EAT A WHOLE CAPYBARA pic.twitter.com/GlmJoOpiNA
— CAPYBARA MAN (@CAPYBARA_MAN) August 16, 2021
And speaking of capybaras (the world’s largest rodent), why is this invasion considered a bad thing??
Meanwhile in Argentina, capybaras have infiltrated one of the richest gated communities – "who have destroyed manicured lawns, bitten dogs and caused traffic accidents" https://t.co/4B1pm8XqIj
— Corrie Chen 🌈 (@corriechen) August 23, 2021