Greetings on Tuesday, September 7, 2021: National Beer Lover’s Day. (This site needs to learn to either leave out the apostrophe or put it after “lovers”, for this implies that only a single beer lover is having a day.)
It’s also National Acorn Squash Day, Salami Day, Google Commemoration Day (Larry Page and Sergey Brin officially started it on this day in 1998), the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, and, in Australia, National Threatened Species Day.
Below, in honor of Salami Day, is one of my favorite photos of food. It was shot, I believe, during WWII, and was intended to prompt doting Jewish parents to send their son a good kosher salami. Since then it’s always in the window of Katz’s Delicatessen on Houston Street in New York City.
News of the Day:
The NBC News last night reported that four Americans made it out of Afghanistan overland, by a route the U.S. wouldn’t reveal (I suspect the U.S. helped). But over 100 Americans remain in Afghanistan, and four planes holding many of them, along with Afghans who helped the U.S. military, have been sitting on the ground in chartered planes at Mazar-e-Sharif airport. The Taliban, who won’t let the planes take off, say the Afghans don’t have proper visas, but that doesn’t apply to the Americans or Afghans with proper documents. I suspect, as I predicted, that the Taliban are holding valid refugees and Americans as hostages, and NBC News suggested as much. My prediction: demands will be forthcoming to let the planes take off.
CNN reports that a Republican has inside information to that effect:
Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he has received classified briefings that American citizens and Afghan allies are stuck at the Mazar-i-Sharif airport in Afghanistan.
“(The Taliban) are not clearing the airplanes to depart. They’ve sat at the airport for the last couple of days,” McCaul said on Fox News Sunday. “We know the reason why is because the Taliban want something in exchange. This is really Chris, turning into a hostage situation where they’re not going to allow American citizens leave until they get full recognition from the United States of America.”
In light of the odious and unconstitutional Texas law against abortion, the U.S. Gubmint is taking action. According to the Washington Post, Attorney General Merrick Garland (who should be on the Supreme Court) “vowed to provide support to abortion clinics that are ‘under attack’ in the state and to protect those seeking and providing reproductive health services.” The article adds this:
“We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction or property damage in violation of the FACE Act,” said Garland, referring to the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, a 1994 law that prohibits threats and the obstruction of a person seeking reproductive health services or of providers.
But really, what can the executive branch do in light of a law cleverly designed to withstand legal challenges? At least we know that the feds are on the right side, even if they’re toothless. The Wall Street Journal suggests two possibilities:
[The vigilante-enforcement] provision could also make it more difficult for the federal government to challenge the law, said University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck. The Justice Department could contemplate ways to sue Texas, he said. The department could also seek ways to restrict federal funding or try to determine whether there are federal medical facilities in Texas that can provide abortions after the six-week period, he added.
There are several deaths to report:
Jean-Paul Belmondo, star of Breathless, dies aged 88 https://t.co/8jl9FB3rKM
— The Guardian (@guardian) September 6, 2021
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 648,779, an increase of 1,385 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,590,265, an increase of about 7,200 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on September 7 includes:
- 878 – Louis the Stammerer is crowned as king of West Francia by Pope John VIII.
- 1695 – Henry Every perpetrates one of the most profitable pirate raids in history with the capture of the Grand Mughal ship Ganj-i-Sawai. In response, Emperor Aurangzeb threatens to end all English trading in India.
- 1776 – According to American colonial reports, Ezra Lee makes the world’s first submarine attack in the Turtle, attempting to attach a time bomb to the hull of HMS Eagle in New York Harbor (no British records of this attack exist).
Here’s the Turtle submarine with its detachable mine, but it didn’t work (the screw for attaching the mine couldn’t bore through the ship hull), nor did it work the second time it was used. It was then abandoned:
- 1822 – Dom Pedro I declares Brazil independent from Portugal on the shores of the Ipiranga Brook in São Paulo.
- 1857 – Mountain Meadows massacre: Mormon settlers slaughter most members of peaceful, emigrant wagon train.
The Mormons killed 170 non-Mormon settlers, including women and all children under the age of 7, and then tried to make it look like Native Americans did it. Nine people were indicted but only one was convicted, John D. Lee in the photo below. Lee chose to be shot, and in the second photograph you can see the prelude to that shooting::
The caption from Wikipedia: “The scene at Lee’s execution by Utah firing squad on March 23, 1877. Lee is seated, next to his coffin.”
- 1909 – Eugène Lefebvre crashes a new French-built Wright biplane during a test flight at Juvisy, south of Paris, becoming the first aviator in the world to lose his life in a powered heavier-than-air craft.
Here’s Lefebvrre in his biplane, the same month he crashed:
- 1921 – In Atlantic City, New Jersey, the first Miss America Pageant, a two-day event, is held.
And here she is, Miss America of 1921, Margaret Gorman. I remember when the Pageant was a big deal, and everybody watched the show on t.v.. Now nobody cares, as beauty contests, despite their attempts to be more relevant, are pretty much passé:
- 1936 – The last thylacine, a carnivorous marsupial named Benjamin, dies alone in its cage at the Hobart Zoo in Tasmania.
Benjamin was the last individual of what was known as the “Tasmanian tiger”. Reports occasionally surface of tracks or sightings of the species, but it’s pretty much gone. Here’s Benjamin:
His story was sad. Wikipedia says this:
The thylacine died on the night of 6–7 September 1936. It is believed to have died as the result of neglect—locked out of its sheltered sleeping quarters, it was exposed to a rare occurrence of extreme Tasmanian weather: extreme heat during the day and freezing temperatures at night. This thylacine features in the last known motion picture footage of a living specimen: 45 seconds of black-and-white footage showing the thylacine in its enclosure in a clip taken in 1933, by naturalist David Fleay. In the film footage, the thylacine is seen seated, walking around the perimeter of its enclosure, yawning, sniffing the air, scratching itself (in the same manner as a dog), and lying down. Fleay was bitten on the buttock whilst shooting the film.
Of course you’ll want to see the video. It’s also sad, with the tylacine pacing back and forth in its cage:
- 1940 – World War II: The German Luftwaffe begins the Blitz, bombing London and other British cities for over 50 consecutive nights.
- 1978 – While walking across Waterloo Bridge in London, Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov is assassinated by Bulgarian secret police agent Francesco Gullino by means of a ricin pellet fired from a specially-designed umbrella.
Markov died five days after the attack, and doctors extracted a 1.7 mm pellet with two holes drilled in it. It’s only speculation that the poison was ricin.
- 1986 – Desmond Tutu becomes the first black man to lead the Anglican Diocese of Cape Town.
- 1996 – Rapper and hip hop artist Tupac Shakur is fatally shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. He succumbs to his injuries six days later.
- 2017 – Equifax announce a cyber-crime identity theft event potentially impacting approximately 145 million U.S. consumers.
Notables born on this day include:
Kekulé is famous for having discovered the structure of benzene, a six-carbon ring with alternating single and double bonds. The story that he thought of it after having a daydream of a snake seizing its own tail appears to be true, though we’re not 100% sure. Here’s benzene and the tail-nomming snake, an ancient symbol known as the ouroboros.
- 1860 – Grandma Moses, American painter (d. 1961)
Grandma Moses painted many pictures, but I cannot find a single depiction of a cat. Here’s one with a horse and a d*g, though they’re hard to tell apart!
- 1923 – Peter Lawford, English-American actor (d. 1984)
- 1930 – Sonny Rollins, American saxophonist and composer
- 1936 – Buddy Holly, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1959)
- 1951 – Chrissie Hynde, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
Hynde is 70 today. Here’s my favorite Pretenders song, which Hynde wrote.
Those “fell asleep” on September 7 include:
- 1601 – John Shakespeare, father of William Shakespeare (b. 1529)
- 1962 – Karen Blixen, Danish memoirist and short story writer (b. 1885)
Blixen is one of my literary heroes, all for her fantastic book Out of Africa, written in 1937 in English though her native language was Danish. Here she is with her brother Thomas on the coffee farm that’s the main locale for the book. This photo was taken in the 1920s:
A first edition and first printing of that book (below) will run you about $6000:
- 1978 – Keith Moon, English drummer (The Who) (b. 1946)
- 1981 – Christy Brown, Irish author, poet, and painter (b. 1932)
Brown was played by Daniel Day-Lewis in the acclaimed movie “My Left Foot” (the only part Brown, who had cerebral palsy, could control). Brown both wrote and painted with that foot; here’s one of his paintings:
- 2003 – Warren Zevon, American singer-songwriter (b. 1947)
Aooooooooh! Here’s a live performance a year before Zevon died:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili spots a bird:
A: What do you see over there?Hili: Food, but it’s not accessible.
Ja: Co tam widzisz?Hili: Pokarm, ale niedostępny.
From Leonora. This is excellent.
From Patricia Churchland:
From Simon. There’s a big argument in the comments about the explanation, and it’s above my pay grade. Perhaps a reader will enlighten us.
Can you Explain the Physics behind this
— Physics-astronomy (@Physicsastronmy) September 5, 2021
From the Auschwitz Memorial and the diary of one who died there. She lived about eleven weeks after arrival.
"Every atom of hate that we add to this world makes it sill more inhospitable" (from Etty Hillesum's diary)
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) September 7, 2021
From Ginger K.
When the archaeologists opened the ancient vase, little did they know what primeval dark power they had unleashed. pic.twitter.com/7AMc8GYx8A
— Thinkwert (@Thinkwert) August 19, 2021
Here, we provide evidence for vocal learning in a member of a basal clade of the avian phylogeny: the Australian musk duck (Biziura lobata). A hand-reared individual imitated a slamming door and a human voice, and a female-reared individual imitated Pacific black duck quacks.
The musk duck (Biziura lobata) is native to southern Australia, and the males (one is shown below) have a leathery protuberance under the bill that is missing in females.
Listen to an Australian duck say ‘You bloody fool’ like a human https://t.co/on1jfFQwPt
— New Scientist (@newscientist) September 6, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. I don’t understand what’s going on here, unless these dogs have been trained to walk flanking each other.
The naysayers said it could never be done… pic.twitter.com/yF6fRYolP8
— Dick King-Smith HQ (@DickKingSmith) September 6, 2021
More duck drama, but it all works out fine at the end:
Duck drama of the day. pic.twitter.com/YXsPEfuOXZ
— Dick King-Smith HQ (@DickKingSmith) September 6, 2021
Could you do this?
“Draw a cat using only straight lines.”
From the book “Design in theory and practice” 1910. pic.twitter.com/Bd4Fa0wGc6
— Diane Doniol-Valcroze (@ddoniolvalcroze) September 6, 2021
Belmondo, who just died (see above) like to do his own stunts. Here’s a pretty dangerous one:
— Jimmy_VdV🎥 (@TheJimeister) September 6, 2021