Good morning at the start of a new week: Monday, September 27, 2021: National Chocolate Milk Day (my drink of choice at elementary school and junior high school lunch).
Today’s animated Google Doodle celebrates its “retroactive claim” that it’s 23 years old today (see below). Click on gif to go to the link.
News of the Day:
*All you covid-watchers should read a NYT op-ed that will surely be widely criticized (not by me, as I haven’t read the research and have nothing to lose by masking): “We did the research: Masks work, and you should choose a surgical mask if possible.” The three authors include a professor of economics at the Yale University School of Management, an assistant professor in environmental health sciences at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, and a professor of medicine in the infectious diseases division at Stanford University. A summary of the trial:
. . . we ran one of the largest and most sophisticated studies of mask wearing, using the “gold standard” of research design, a randomized controlled trial, to evaluate whether communities where more people wear masks have fewer cases of Covid-19.
Many people live in countries where vaccines are not yet widely available. Even in the United States, vaccines are available but used unevenly, and the weekly death rate from Covid-19 remains high. In both of these environments, masks are a critical and inexpensive tool in the fight against the coronavirus.
Our research, which is currently undergoing peer review, was conducted with 340,000 adults in 600 villages in Bangladesh and tested many different strategies to get people to wear masks.
The results of this test of voluntary mask-wearing?
Let us put this in concrete terms. Our best estimate is that every 600 people who wear surgical masks in public areas prevent an average of one death per year given recent death rates in the United States. Think of a church with 600 members. If a congregation learned that it could save the life of a member, would everyone agree to wear surgical masks in indoor, public areas for the next year?
Well, do you think they would? Probably, since it’s a church and everybody is part of the “family”, but perhaps not if you ask a random stranger in a city. Read for yourself.
*More on the pandemic: big trouble in New York City and New York State. On Friday, a federal appeals-court judge overruled a vaccine mandate for teachers, staff, and employees of NYC schools, where 82% of the subjects have been vaccinated. The order was to go into effect today, with employees required to show at least one vaccination. I don’t know why the judge suspended the mandate, except that this could lead to a severe shortage of teachers. On the other hand, a three-judge court could rule on the issue by the end of the week.
*As for New York State, the same mandate goes into effect today for hospital and nursing home employees. Between 77% and 84% of workers in these categories have had at least one vaccination. Here again we could have a massive worker shortage, which could lead to a declaration of a state of emergency in New York, including the use of medically trained National Guard workers.
*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 688,157, an increase of 2,031 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,763,052, an increase of about 4,068 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on September 27 includes:
- 1066 – William the Conqueror and his army set sail from the mouth of the Somme river, beginning the Norman conquest of England.
- 1540 – The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) receives its charter from Pope Paul III.
- 1590 – The death of Pope Urban VII, 13 days after being chosen as the Pope, ends the shortest papal reign in history.
- 1822 – Jean-François Champollion announces that he has deciphered the Rosetta Stone.
The Rosetta Stone, now behind glass at the British Museum. What Champollion deciphered was the hieroglyphics on this stone, which has the same message in demotic (ancient but non-hieroglyphic Egyptian) and Greek.
- 1908 – Production of the Model T automobile begins at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit.
The plant (below) is now a Museum, described by Wikipedia as “The oldest, purpose-built car factory building in the world open to the public.” It could make over 100 Model Ts per day.
- 1956 – USAF Captain Milburn G. Apt becomes the first person to exceed Mach 3. Shortly thereafter, the Bell X-2 goes out of control and Captain Apt is killed.
Here’s Apt about to embark on his first (and last) flight in the plane. He ejected the nose capsule when the plane was out of control, but the large parachute failed to open and he was killed. He had gone 3.196 times the speed of sound. This terminated the X-2 program.
The X-2 in flight showing “shock diamonds” in the exhaust, proving that it had gone supersonic:
- 1962 – Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring is published, inspiring an environmental movement and the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- 1998 – The Google internet search engine retroactively claims this date as its birthday.
Note that at least six days have been claimed as Google’s birthday, though it was founded on September 4, 1998. Here’s where Google stands in Kantar’s list of most valuable brands:
Notables born on this day include:
- 1924 – Bud Powell, American pianist and composer (d. 1966)
Bud Powell was one of the best jazz pianists ever. I usually put up “Night in Tunisia” to commemorate him, but here’s 4.5 minutes of his live playing. He died at only 41 of three classic maladies of jazz musicians: tuberculosis, malnutrition, and alcoholism.
- 1927 – Red Rodney, American trumpet player (d. 1994)
- 1934 – Wilford Brimley, American actor (d. 2020)
- 1947 – Meat Loaf, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actor
- 1957 – Peter Sellars, American actor, director, and screenwriter
- 1972 – Gwyneth Paltrow, American actress, blogger, and businesswoman
She’s still selling her jade egg, a bargain at $66. You know what you’re supposed to do with it.
- 1984 – Avril Lavigne, Canadian singer-songwriter, actress, and fashion designer
Those who shot their bolt on September 27 include:
- 1590 – Pope Urban VII (b. 1521)
- 1917 – Edgar Degas, French painter and sculptor (b. 1834)
Degas didn’t draw cats, so here’s Manet’s “Woman With a Cat” (1880):
Wagner-Jauregg won his Prize for one of those advances that was a bit dubious: giving those afflicted with neurosyphilis malaria, with the fever designed to eliminate the bacterium. Surprisingly, it worked a bit, but also killed 15% of the patients. It’s no longer used, as we have antibiotics now. (These won’t reverse damage already done.)
The main work pursued by Wagner-Jauregg throughout his life was related to the treatment of mental disease by inducing a fever, an approach known as pyrotherapy. In 1887 he investigated the effects of febrile diseases on psychoses, making use of erisipela and tuberculin (discovered in 1890 by Robert Koch). Since these methods of treatment did not work very well, he tried in 1917 the inoculation of malaria parasites, which proved to be very successful in the case of dementia paralytica (also called general paresis of the insane), caused by neurosyphilis, at that time a terminal disease.
- 1944 – Aimee Semple McPherson, Canadian-American evangelist, founded the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (b. 1890)
Sister Aimee. If you don’t know about her, find out:
Here she is in full swing, surrounded by choirs (1929):
- 1956 – Babe Didrikson Zaharias, American basketball player and golfer (b. 1911)
- 1960 – Sylvia Pankhurst, English activist (b. 1882)
Pankurst was an activist for many causes, the most famous being women’s suffrage. Here she is in 1932, giving a speech in Trafalgar Square about British policies in India.
- 1965 – Clara Bow, American actress (b. 1905)
The “It Girl”:
- 1993 – Jimmy Doolittle, American general, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1896)
- 2003 – Donald O’Connor, American actor, singer, and dancer (b. 1925)
- 2017 – Hugh Hefner, American publisher, founder of Playboy Enterprises (b. 1926)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s irritated by Andrzej’s foolish question:
Hili: I’m going to check out what’s under this walnut tree.A: What can be under it?Hili: But I’m saying that I’m going to check it out.
Hili: Idę sprawdzić co tam jest pod tym orzechem.
Ja: A co tam może być?Hili: No przecież mówię, że idę to sprawdzić.
And in nearby Wloclawek, Mietek is lazy:
Mietek: To get up or not to get up, that is the question.
I’ve always thought that candy corn, a noxious mixture of paraffin and sugar, was the worst candy ever invented, but this version, from Facebook, is even more dire:
From Jesus of the Day: Either this is anatomically correct or someone’s tumescent:
From Titania, who’s always ahead of the wave:
So I tweeted this over two years ago.
Only now my fellow activists are catching up.
I am a trailblazer… 💅🏻 pic.twitter.com/Pb0aUoKCva
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) September 26, 2021
Ricky Gervais’s cat (I think his name is Pickle):
3 billion years of evolution eventually produced the perfect furry sleeping machine. pic.twitter.com/996Z7m3G86
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) September 22, 2021
From the Auschwitz Memorial:
27 September 1937 | A French Jewish girl, Myriam Bloch, was born in Metz.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) September 27, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. The goalie didn’t look behind himself, a rookie move, and this was the outcome:
League One Highlight of the Day. Ipswich Town player hides behind Sheffield Wednesday keeper, and when the keeper sets the ball down, steals in and sets up a 90th minute equalizer. Liquid football. 🚜💙 pic.twitter.com/uWX5LukZdt
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) September 25, 2021
Two little cuties!
I've been hoping and looking for weeks to see a Water vole and today was the day 💚 pic.twitter.com/tb1tNqIseT
— Kay Fairest (@KayFairest) September 26, 2021
These look like bat wings:
Cormorant feet pic.twitter.com/2pkAIEQSdZ
— Simon Gillings (@simon_gillings) September 25, 2021
Check out the expression on that cat’s face!
"what kind of voodoo sorcery is this?" pic.twitter.com/2yNbNjaar9
— Paul Bronks (@slender_sherbet) September 26, 2021
Call me superstitious (as well as the U.S. gub’mint), but I retweeted this because I have at least ten days’ worth of sleep deficit.
The Good Vibes Black-bellied Whistling Duck has appeared to you.
1 Like = 1 day of good vibes
1 Retweet = 10 days of good vibes
Photo at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas, by Craig McIntyre. pic.twitter.com/YiAjYBz23C
— US Department of the Interior (@Interior) September 26, 2021