Welcome to Monday, October 11, 2021: National Sausage Pizza Day (much better than pepperoni!).
Wine of the Day: I have no information about when I bought this bottle of 2010 Calendal Cotes du Rhone “Plan de Dieu”, but I assumed it wasn’t expensive and was worried that, at 11 years old, it might be over the hill. Looking it up, however, I found it was given a terrific score (94 out of 100) by my wine guru Robert Parker, with another person at the same site saying the wine “can be can be enjoyed now or cellared for many years, drink now or store until 2020+” Parker heaps a lot of praise on it:
“The personal project of the visionary and genius oenologist Philippe Cambie and his partner Gilles Ferran, this equal part blend of Mourvedre and Grenache has produced an allocation of 400 cases for the United States market. Move fast! This is a great effort, and the best Calendal produced to date. Dense bluish purple in color, with notes of graphite, blueberry, black raspberry, roasted mushrooms and meats, the wine has great intensity, full-bodied opulence, beautiful purity, texture and a multi-dimensional mouthfeel. Again, this is a superb effort, with the Mourvedre providing structure, delineation and aging potential, and the Grenache providing generosity, opulence, and hedonism.
The prices now range between $24 and $34, but I’m sure I paid less than $20, as this bottle was way back in the older part of my wine “cellar” (a bunch of boxes). Well, I guess I should have tried it way back when, for when I cracked the bottle to accompany a modest meal of turkey chili over rice, I tasted an absolutely splendid wine: rich, full, and nowhere near its peak. I cant speak about “roasted mushrooms” and “notes of graphite” (graphite?), but it’s full of rich, berry flavors and gutsy enough to accompany the most robust of foods. I’d say “buy it” but it’s unavailable—also for me, as this was my only bottle. It clearly could age well for at least five more years.
Drink more Rhones!
News of the Day:
*It’s now been 264 days since Biden took office, and we still don’t have the promised White House Cat.
*The war of words is heating up between China and Taiwan. Taiwanese President President Tsai Ing-wen vowed that the country will keep its sovereignty and democracy. This was in response to China’s President Xi Jinping promising the other day that his country will “fulfil reunification”. In the meantime, the U.S. is selling military equipment to Taiwan and there are reports that a group of U.S. Marines is on the island training Taiwanese troops. Sound familiar? I have a bad feeling about this situation.
*I thought the widespread claim that Instagram was harming girls (giving them impossible role models, causing anorexia, etc.) had been substantiated, but an op-ed in the New York Times says that actually there is no convincing evidence for the claim this. Dr. Laurence Steinberg, a professor of psychology at Temple University, and a specialist in childhood and adolescent psychiatry, says this:
Amid the pillorying of Facebook that has dominated the latest news cycle there is an inconvenient fact that critics have overlooked: No research — by Facebook or anyone else — has demonstrated that exposure to Instagram, a Facebook app, harms teenage girls’ psychological well-being.
Last month The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook’s “own in-depth research shows a significant teen mental-health issue that Facebook plays down in public.” That story turned into an even bigger one when Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee who had leaked internal company documents to The Wall Street Journal, revealed her identity on “60 Minutes” and then gave testimony before a Senate subcommittee.
One of Ms. Haugen’s most serious claims was that Facebook had purposely hid research showing that teenagers felt worse about themselves after using its products. It is easy to assume that this damning research was reliable. But that assumption is unwarranted. A review of the Facebook documents, now available online, reveals that the findings of that research are inconclusive.
The Facebook study has numerous problems that Steinberg discusses. Among them are the lack of a control group and the use of self-report.
*The Nobel Prize in Economics, which is really a faux Nobel, has been awarded to three economists in the U.S.: David Card, Joshua D. Angrist and Guido W. Imbens. The Prize is for dissecting causes by analyzing “unintended experiments.” The NYT reports:
All three winners are based in the United States. Mr. Card, who was born in Canada, works at the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Angrist, born in the United States, is at M.I.T. and Mr. Imbens, born in the Netherlands, is at Stanford University.
“Uncovering causal relationships is a major challenge,” said Peter Fredriksson, chairman of the prize committee. “Sometimes, nature, or policy changes, provide situations that resemble randomized experiments. This year’s laureates have shown that such natural experiments help answer important questions for society.”
The odd thing is that nobody at my University got one, but I think every economics professor here already has a Nobel Prize.
*William Shatner, 90, is set to have one of those “tourist launches” into space aboard Jeff Bezos’s “Blue Horizon” rocket. If he goes, he’ll be the oldest person ever to cross the boundary of space (ca. 100 km). The launch, with four passengers, was set for Tuesday but has been postponed until 8:30 a.m. (eastern U.S. time) Wednesday because of wind.
*The “progressive” Democrats in Congress appear to number over 100, according to a Washington Post report titled, “The liberal Democrats have become the mainstream of the party and less willing to compromise with dwindling moderates.” They’ve apparently learned the lesson not to break ranks, at leasts publicly, but I can see Trump waiting in the wings, rubbing his hands together and grinning maniacally.
*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 713,806, an increase of 2,000 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,868,657, an increase of about 4,500 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on October 11 includes:
Although historically the line is considered as separating the northern from the southern U.S., it didn’t originate as having anything to do with slavery: it settled a border dispute (Pennsylvania and New Jersey had slavery when the line was drawn). Here’s the original line:
- 1852 – The University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest university, is inaugurated in Sydney.
- 1865 – Hundreds of black men and women march in Jamaica, starting the Morant Bay rebellion.
Hundreds of blacks were hunted down, or tried and executed on the Governor’s orders, arousing a furor in the UK. The governor of Jamaica was indicted, but nothing happened to him, though he was replaced.
- 1910 – Piloted by Arch Hoxsey, Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. president to fly in an airplane.
Here, from the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, is a photo of that first flight, which looks a bit dangerous. I don’t see any seat belts, either.
And here’s a video. TR had some moxie with Hoxsey. Look at the swoops and maneuvers:
- 1937 – The Duke and Duchess of Windsor tour Nazi Germany for 12 days and meet Adolf Hitler on the 22nd.
The Duke, somewhat neuronally deprived, was said to be sympathetic to Germany. From Wikipedia:
The Duke and Duchess, who were officially invited to the country by the German Labour Front, were chaperoned for much of their visit by its leader, Robert Ley. The couple visited factories, many of which were producing materiel for the rearmament effort; the Duke inspected German troops. The Windsors were greeted by the British national anthem and Nazi salutes. They dined with high-ranking Nazis such as Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Göring, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and Albert Speer, as well as having tea with Adolf Hitler in Berchtesgaden. The Duke had a long private conversation with Hitler, but it is uncertain what they discussed as the minutes of their meeting were lost in the war. The Duchess took afternoon tea with Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess. Hitler was sympathetic to the Windsors and treated the Duchess like royalty.
- 1954 – In accord with the 1954 Geneva Conference, French troops complete their withdrawal from North Vietnam.
- 1976 – George Washington is posthumously promoted to the grade of General of the Armies.
- 1984 – Aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan becomes the first American woman to perform a space walk.
Here’s a short interview with Sullivan with video of her spacewalk
- 1987 – The AIDS Memorial Quilt is first displayed during the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
Here’s the quilt, the subject of a moving piece by Andrew Sullivan in his latest book of collected writing. Each square memorializes someone killed by AIDS. Wikipedia notes, “Weighing an estimated 54 tons, it is the largest piece of community folk art in the world as of 2020.”
- 1991 – Prof. Anita Hill delivers her televised testimony concerning sexual harassment during the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination.
Here are some Senators asking Hill some outrageous and embarrassing questions (one of them appears to be Biden):
Notables born on this day include:
- 1844 – Henry J. Heinz, American businessman, founded the H. J. Heinz Company (d. 1919)
- 1884 – Eleanor Roosevelt, American humanitarian and politician, 39th First Lady of the United States (d. 1962)
- 1918 – Jerome Robbins, American director, producer, and choreographer (d. 1998)
- 1946 – Daryl Hall, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
Daryl Hall is an avid collector of cowboy boots. Here he is with part of his collection:
Wie, a golfing prodigy, seems to have retired from playing, or at least I haven’t heard anything about her lately:
Those who “fell asleep” on October 11 include:
- 1779 – Casimir Pulaski, Polish-American general (b. 1745)
- 1896 – Anton Bruckner, Austrian organist, composer, and educator (b. 1824)
- 1961 – Chico Marx, American comedian (b. 1887)
- 1963 – Jean Cocteau, French author, poet, and playwright (b. 1889)
- 1965 – Dorothea Lange, American photographer and journalist (b. 1895)
Lange was most famous for her documenting Depression-era poverty for the Farm Security Administration. Here’s one photo: ““Broke, baby sick, and car trouble!” (1937)”, but also see her iconic photo of Florence Owens Thompson, “Migrant mother.”
- 1971 – Chesty Puller, American general (b. 1898)
Puller was the most decorated Marine in American history. His real name was Lewis Burwell Puller, but doesn’t he look like a “Chesty”? Wikipedia explains the nickname:
His nickname was related to the way his barrel chest stood out due to his aggressive stance, with legends claiming that a steel plate had been inserted by surgeons to treat a battle wound.
There was no steel plate, but he was “chesty”:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili made a pun:
A: How are you?Hili: I’m trying to be woke.
Ja: Co słychać?Hili: Próbuję być przebudzona.
From Lorenzo the Cat:
From Facebook; I have no idea if this groaner is true:
From Jesus of the Day. This loon reminds me of the Dr. Bronner’s Soap label. And I guess I also have an implanted “nano chip”, but only for cat addiction.
From Barry. Okay, how come this isn’t a perpetual-motion machine?
— Ŧɭเק (@Flip5ide666) October 9, 2021
An animated tweet from Simon, who says, “If only the vaccine uptake had been quicker, we could have avoided the Delta wave.”
the spread of COVID-19 visualized pic.twitter.com/zIaSkQrqr2
— John B. Holbein (@JohnHolbein1) October 9, 2021
From the Auschwitz Memorial:
11 October 1937 | A French Jewish girl, Monique Preigher, was born in Neuilly.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) October 11, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. It’s not much like a purr. . .
I purr like a tiger 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/ri1OhDF8b9
— Ravenmaster (@ravenmaster1) September 21, 2021
Matthew says, “Never mind the joke—these are some TOUGH CATS! Indeed they are, especially the one who goes after the gator! Jebus!
That person who always asks the hardest questions at every conference pic.twitter.com/fjQrqHvLZO
— Oded Rechavi 🦉 (@OdedRechavi) October 10, 2021
Check out the rodent teeth! Lovely beast, though.
— CAPYBARA MAN (@CAPYBARA_MAN) October 9, 2021
I just happened to come across the oldest surviving castle doors in Europe. In Chepstow. pic.twitter.com/5Ev1QVSFOm
— Glyn Coy (@Glyndle) October 9, 2021
Who remembers Charles Addams?
By Charles Addams. pic.twitter.com/1Y0LSHIbKf
— ComicsintheGoldenAge (@ComicsintheGA) October 9, 2021