Good morning on Cat Sabbath: Saturday, September 4, 2021: National Macademia Nut Day. It’s also International Bacon Day, Eat an Extra Dessert Day, National Tailgating Day, National Hummingbird Day, World Beard Day, Newspaper Carrier Day, and National Wildlife Day (to celebrate, I’ll tend wild mallards).
News of the Day:
The death toll in New Jersey due to the effects of Hurricane Ida has reached 25; many of these people were trapped in their cars or swept away by torrents of water. Who would have thought such a thing was possible?
The infamous “QAnon Shaman”, whose real name is Jacob Chansley, famous for his fur hat and horns, has pleaded guilty to a single count of “obstructing an official proceeding before Congress.” It’s a felony, and prosecutors have recommended that he spend 41-51 months in jail. That seems to me to send the appropriate message. (He’ll no doubt demand organic meals, as he did when being held earlier.) Remember this?”
Thinking about your booster shot for Covid? Officials of the FDA and CDC have suggested that boosters will probably be available to Americans by late September, but will be limited to those who got the Pfizer-BioNTech shot. But no worries: the others will be available soon thereafter.
I’ve often thought of going to Bali, and my investigations have included the Sangeh Monkey Forest, a reserve that harbors gray long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) as well as other wildlife. Now, however, the macaques have lost one of their main sources of food—bananas and peanuts given by tourists. The hungry primates have taken to storming nearby villages in search of noms, and people are worried about a full-scale macaque assault (if you’ve encountered these beasts in the wild, you’ll know they’re not shy!). Villagers are donating fruit and nuts, but it’s not enough. It’s dire!
Frequently, monkeys wander into the village and sit on roofs, occasionally removing tiles and dropping them to the ground. When villagers put out daily religious offerings of food on their terraces, the monkeys jump down and make off with them.
“A few days ago I attended a traditional ceremony at a temple near the Sangeh forest,” Gustu Alit said. “When I parked my car and took out two plastic bags containing food and flowers as offerings, two monkeys suddenly appeared and grabbed it all and ran into the forest very fast.”
OY! Here’s a local distributing donated food (they neat $60/day for vittles):
CNN reports that the skeleton of the world’s largest Triceratops is going on sale. The skeleton, 60% complete, with a 75% complete skull, is 8 meters long and was found 7 years ago in South Dakota. Dubbed “Big John”, the skeleton will be auctioned off in Paris this October, and is expected to bring between 1.2 million euros ($1.4 million) and 1.5 million euros ($1.7 million). A photo of the restored specimen is below (h/t Barry):
How can anyone not love Juliette Binoche? But that’s the theme of her latest movie, “Who you think I am”, in which she plays a 50-ish woman, abandoned by her husband for a younger woman, who resorts to online dating. (In real life she’s 57, but her beauty is timeless.) But she then pretends to be 24 online, predictably leading to a bunch of trouble.
The Wall Street Journal gave it a positive review (a quote: “Social media is not an inherently cinematic subject, but Ms. Binoche is, and in the hands of director Nebbou and cinematographer Gilles Porte the story of Claire becomes, both visually and psychologically, a bridge between worlds, ethereal, tragic and more than a little scary”); and it has an 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I’ll see it for sure, and here’s a trailer:
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 647,361, an increase of 1,550 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,568,655, an increase of about 10,000 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on September 4 includes:
- 1607 – The Flight of the Earls takes place in Ireland.
- 1666 – In London, England, the most destructive damage from the Great Fire occurs.
- 1781 – Los Angeles is founded as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels) by 44 Spanish settlers.
- 1862 – American Civil War Maryland Campaign: General Robert E. Lee takes the Army of Northern Virginia, and the war, into the North.
- 1882 – The Pearl Street Station in New York City becomes the first power plant to supply electricity to paying customers.
The electricity was generated by dynamos powered by coal fire; here’s a photo of one:
- 1886 – American Indian Wars: After almost 30 years of fighting, Apache leader Geronimo, with his remaining warriors, surrenders to General Nelson Miles in Arizona.
Here’s Geronimo in 1898 (he was 69) and then a photo of his warriors with an instructive caption:
- 1888 – George Eastman registers the trademark Kodak and receives a patent for his camera that uses roll film.
Here’s a copy of that patent:
This is because Robeson was black, a communist, a trade-union advocate, and of course a great performer. He gave two concerts: after the first one, he was lynched in effigy, a cross was burned, 13 people were seriously injured, and Klan membership in Peekskill skyrocketed.
- 1951 – The first live transcontinental television broadcast takes place in San Francisco, from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference.
Here’s a 44-second snippet of President Harry Truman speaking at that conference:
- 1957 – American Civil Rights Movement: Little Rock Crisis: The governor of Arkansas calls out the National Guard to prevent African American students from enrolling in Little Rock Central High School, resulting in the lawsuit Cooper v. Aaron the following year.
In Cooper v. Aaron, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Arkansas, which was dragging its heels on desegregating public schools, would not be allowed to delay desegregation for a requested 30 months.
Here’s one of the “Little Rock Nine”, black students who enrolled in the school. Her name was Elizabeth Eckford, and in this famous photo by Will Counts you can see the jeering she endured just to go to class. This was, however, only the beginning of the abuse she and the eight other suffered. Read more here about the Nine, about Eckford, and what she endured in school. She spent only a year there, later attempted suicide, and was diagnosed with PTSD. But she’s still with us!
Spitz with his medals:
This is a soccer-ball shaped sphere of carbon (“buckyballs”) that, while cute, has no use in the real world. A model:
- 1998 – Google is founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University.
Notables born on this day include:
Two future Nobel Laureates in genetics: Delbrück (left) and Salvator Luria at Cold Spring Harbor, 1953:
- 1908 – Richard Wright, American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet (d. 1960)
Wright’s masterpiece is the novel Native Son, set near where I live. Here’s Wright doing a screen test for the movie based on that novel, playing the protagonist Bigger Thomas. YouTube says this:
A screen test for “Native Son” with Richard Wright as Bigger Thomas in three scenes, two takes each and a running time of approximately seven and a half minutes, from 1948.
In fact Thomas (twice Bigger’s age) played the boy in the first of three movies made from the novel:
Native Son has been adapted into a film three times: once in 1951, again in 1986 and a third released in 2019. The first version was made in Argentina. Wright, aged 42, played the protagonist despite being twice the age of 20-year-old Bigger Thomas. The film was not well received; Wright’s performance was a particular target of critics.
I’ve seen the 1986 version, with Oprah Winfrey as Bigger’s mother, and it was pretty good. But none of these, I suspect are even close to the quality of the book, which is a must-read.
- 1913 – Mickey Cohen, American mob boss (d. 1976)
Cohen, a member of the Jewish mafia, was convicted for tax evasion à la Al Capone and sent to Alcatraz in 1961. He was later moved to another prison and released in 1972, dying four years later.
Cohen also owned a heavily armored Cadillac, more secure than even the U.S. Presidential limousine (below); it was confiscated by the feds (he had no permit to drive an armored vehicle) and is now on display in New Zealand:
- 1920 – Craig Claiborne, American journalist, author, and critic (d. 2000)
- 1981 – Beyoncé, American singer-songwriter, producer, dancer, and actress
Those who abandoned their earthly existence on September 4 include:
- 1907 – Edvard Grieg, Norwegian pianist and composer (b. 1843)
- 1965 – Albert Schweitzer, French-Gabonese physician, theologian, and missionary, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1875)
- 1993 – Hervé Villechaize, French-American actor (b. 1943)
Remember this? “Da plane! Da plane!”
- 2014 – Joan Rivers, American comedian, television host, and author (b. 1933)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Szaron knows that summer is ending:
Szaron: Autumn is coming.Hili: It’s still warm.Szaron: But the nights are cold.
Szaron: Zbliża się jesień.Hili: Jeszcze jest ciepło.Szaron: Ale noce są chłodne.
From reader John:
From Jesus of the Day:
From Facebook: an ad for a personal injury cat lawyer:
From Masih: The women of Afghanistan aren’t having any of the Taliban’s notorious sharia-based regulations. They’re brave as hell given that you could be killed for demonstrating like this. You can read about this demonstration here; the Taliban were nearby, but didn’t stop it.
"Equal rights for women"
These are the slogans chanted by Afghan women in a demonstration they staged in Kabul today. Afghan women refuse to be erased from social and political life by the Taliban. Their bravery is awe-inspiring. They took to the streets despite facing violence. pic.twitter.com/PhE1D10kjR
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) September 3, 2021
From Ginger K. This will put a smile on your family’s faces. Do it (but where do you get googly eyes?)
cutting bell peppers and adding googly eyes is bound to heal your soul a little, give it a try pic.twitter.com/E8DWRY2D8S
— Rob N Roll (@thegallowboob) August 19, 2021
Today’s Auschwitz Memorial tweet. This is a day late, but I wanted to show a Zyklon-B container (it was used first on Soviet prisoners of war). “GIftgas” means “poison gas”:
3 September 1941 | 1st mass attempt of killing people with pesticide Zyklon B took place in the basement of camp arrest of the German Nazi #Auschwitz camp (Block 13, later Block 11).
650 Soviet POWs and 260 Polish prisoners were murdered. pic.twitter.com/hXSalDvIzt
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) September 3, 2021
From Barry; How does the guy do this trick? The answer is here.
CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN THIS PLEASE?
via RexChapman pic.twitter.com/9YFEYK9PKa 02
— Tomthunkit™ (@TomthunkitsMind) September 3, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. Sound up to revel in the awesomeness of badgers. There are fifteen species of badger, but these are European badgers (Meles meles).
The best minute you’ll spend today!#badger gorgeousness in all its full glory.
Best viewed with the volume up.#projectbadger #gopro #gardenphotography @BBCSpringwatch @BadgerTrust @Mammal_Society @Natures_Voice @MeganMcCubbin @ChrisGPackham pic.twitter.com/k4Wmr4Dm2G
— Andy Howard (@highland_andy) September 2, 2021
Is this really “incredible”?
i witnessed something incredible today at work pic.twitter.com/ogCUsU4wPB
— kenji (@orengijyusu) September 3, 2021
75 years making movies. Read more about Lillian Gish here; she lived to be 99.
The first and last film roles of Lillian Gish: An Unseen Enemy (1912), with her sister Dorothy; and The Whales of August (1987), with Bette Davis pic.twitter.com/HjvdzlTctc
— Silent Movie GIFs (@silentmoviegifs) September 3, 2021
If your prospective college tells you this, go to another school:
I am informed by my university DEI office today that every student has a fundamental right to "feel safe."
The way I would describe doing philosophy is feeling like the ground is moving out from under you. Nobody "feels safe" doing philosophy if they are doing it correctly.
— Jennifer A. Frey (@jennfrey) September 3, 2021