Welcome to Sunday, October 17, 2021: National Pasta Day. Submitted for your approval: pasta carbonara:
News of the Day:
*The vaccine reporting mandate for Chicago police started at midnight Friday, but, as the local ABC News reports, it might take the city days to sort out which cops have been vaccinated and which haven’t. And until that happens, nobody will be sent home on unpaid leave or fired. Given that this delay in counting was predictable, I’m not sure why there was so much teeth-gnashing in the past few days that we’d lose half our police officers yesterday. Still, the war continues between Mayor Lightfoot, who insists that the mandate be enforced, and the police unions, who hate the mandate. The mayor has filed suit suit against the four police unions and vice versa. But there was a minor victory for the city:
[A Chicago] judge granted a temporary restraining order banning Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara, Jr. from making any further public statements urging his members not to comply with the vaccine reporting mandate. City attorneys said that amounted to “sedition and mutiny.”
*There was a strike in the offing between the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees and Hollywood studios that looks as if it was going to happen, shutting down all movie and t.v. productions (the workers are looking for better salaries and working conditions). We’d all have to be watching reruns, but as of this evening (Saturday) it looks as if the two sides may strike a deal. If not, an industry already hit hard by Covid will suffer an additional shock.
*Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten adopted young twins in August, and Secretary Pete has been on four weeks of paid paternal leave, which is legal and fine with me. The problem that his opponents have raised is of course there are huge cockups in the area Buttigieg controls: the funding bills and the supply-chain crisis. Further, there is no federal provision for paid paternal or maternal leave, but that’s one of things in Biden’s $3.5 trillion social safety-net bill. This has caused Republicans to lash out at Buttigieg (I can’t believe that his being gay has nothing to do with it). Here’s a CNN report on the dustup, which also involves criticism of Buttigieg by Fox’s Tucker Carlson:
*I wonder if the Taliban in Afghanistan, who said they weren’t going to stop ISIS (or IS, as it’s also known) from terrorist activities, might not want to rethink things. On Friday an ISIS suicide bomber killed 47 people and wounded many more in an attack on a Shiite mosque in the southern part of the country Shiites are a minority in Afghanistan, while ISIS is Sunni and the Taliban is neither (ego the Taliban and ISIS are also enemies). I wonder how that country can hold together with two warring Islamist and terrorist organizations coexisting.
*The Washington Post has an article about the “latest reckoning over language in the puzzle world”, dealing with how makers of word games deal with words that are offensive to some, like “lynching” or could be offensive to some, like “illegal”. Should a word that is a “good” word, but could be upsetting, not be used in, say, Scrabble? Read and reach your own conclusions.
*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 724,317, an increase of 1,570 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,910,629, an increase of about 4,100 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on October 17 includes:
Actually, according to Wikipedia this was the day that Kepler began to study the supernova, the first exploding star known to be observed by humans. The supernova itself was first observed (by Kepler among others) on October 9. Here’s a “X-ray, Optical & Infrared Composite of Kepler’s Supernova Remnant”:
- 1660 – The nine regicides who signed the death warrant of Charles I of England are hanged, drawn and quartered.
Here’s the death warrant of Charles I, who was beheaded, along with the signatures and seals of 59 commissioners who signed it. Nine of them met their own horrible end.
- 1771 – Premiere in Milan of the opera Ascanio in Alba, composed by Mozart at age 15.
- 1781 – American Revolutionary War: British General Charles, Earl Cornwallis surrenders at the Siege of Yorktown.
And that brought an end to the fighting.
A 22-foot tall vat burst, and the pressure caused other vats to open, releasing the contents of other vats and flooding the surrounding area with what’s estimated to be between 580,000 and 1,470,000 liters of beer. A vat of the time is shown below (this accident caused breweries to stop using the big boys), and below that a drawing of the St. Giles Rookery, the slum area around the brewery where people drowned in beer.
- 1907 – Marconi begins the first commercial transatlantic wireless service.
- 1931 – Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion.
Here’s Capone’s FBI record from 1932. Note that in nearly all cases, the charges were dismissed. Curious, eh? But he got 11.5 years for the income tax charge.
- 1933 – Albert Einstein flees Nazi Germany and moves to the United States.
The NYT article, showing Einstein carrying his violin:
- 1956 – The first commercial nuclear power station is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in Sellafield, England.
- 1969 – The Caravaggio painting Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence is stolen from the Oratory of Saint Lawrence in Palermo.
I love Caravaggio, and this is a splendid painting. It’s still missing and nobody has any idea who took it or what happened to it. This being Palermo, the involvement of the Mafia has been suggested.
- 1979 – Mother Teresa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
- 1992 – Having gone to the wrong house, Japanese student Yoshihiro Hattori is killed by the homeowner in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Hattori (below) was going to a Halloween party and simply approached the wrong house. The resident woman alerted her husband, who came out with a gun and shot Hattori in the chest. The shooter was acquitted. What would Hattori’s parents think of America after their loss?
- 2018 – The recreational use of cannabis is legalized in Canada.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1903 – Nathanael West, American author and screenwriter (d. 1940)
- 1915 – Arthur Miller, American playwright and screenwriter (d. 2005)
- 1918 – Rita Hayworth, American actress, singer and dancer (d. 1987)
Hayworth was THE pin-up girl for GIs in World War II. But besides being an actress, she was a good singer and a great dancer. Both are on display in her dance below with Fred Astaire in the 1942 film “You Were Never Lovelier“. Also see this fantastic clip, which I’ve shown before; it’s perhaps my favorite Astaire dancing duet.
- 1933 – The Singing Nun, Belgian singer-songwriter, guitarist, and nun (d. 1985)
Her real name was Jeanne-Paule Marie “Jeannine” Deckers (below) and despite her 1963 musical hit, “Dominique“, she met an unhappy end. From Wikipedia:
Owing to confusion over the terms of the recording contract, she was reduced to poverty, and also experienced a crisis of faith, quitting the order, though still remaining a Catholic. She committed suicide with her lifelong partner, Annie Pécher.
- 1938 – Evel Knievel, American motorcycle rider and stuntman (d. 2007)
- 1942 – Gary Puckett, American pop singer-songwriter and guitarist
- 1968 – Ziggy Marley, Jamaican singer-songwriter, guitarist, and voice actor
- 1969 – Wyclef Jean, Haitian-American rapper, producer, and actor
This gives me an excuse to put up a great live performance: “Hips Don’t Lie,” with Wyclef Jean and Shakira (she’s credited with co-writing the song):
- 1972 – Eminem, American rapper, producer, and actor
Those who reached their terminus on October 17 include:
- 1586 – Philip Sidney, English courtier, poet, and general (b. 1554)
- 1849 – Frédéric Chopin, Polish pianist and composer (b. 1810)
- 1910 – Julia Ward Howe, American poet and songwriter (b. 1819)
- 1958 – Paul Outerbridge, American photographer (b. 1896)
Outerbridge was a pioneer of color photography, and also photographed nudes that couldn’t be show during his lifetime, but here’s a black and white one that I like:
- 1979 – S. J. Perelman, American humorist and screenwriter (b. 1904)
- 1991 – Tennessee Ernie Ford, American singer and actor (b. 1919)
- 2008 – Levi Stubbs, American singer (b. 1936)
And that gives me an excuse to put up one of Stubbs’s great performances: “Ask the Lonely“, performed with the Four Tops in Paris in 1967. It’s one of my favorite Four Tops songs, and if any one song could be said to represent “soul music”, it’s this rendition. Look at the sweat pouring off Stubbs! This is one of the greatest live performances of any soul song.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili still defies the approach of winter, and exits through the kitchen window.
Hili: It’s getting colder and colder.A: You can stay at home.Hili: I have my fur.
Hili: Robi się coraz chłodniej.Ja: Możesz zostać w domu.Hili: Mam futro.
From Cat Lovers Community:
A tweet from the UK Humanists, with Stephen Fry explaining what humanism is and how there is no single “meaning of life.” I like this!
We've launched our new #thatshumanism campaign with @stephenfry! In this video: 'How can I be happy?', Stephen explains the humanist approach to finding happiness lies not in searching for 1 universal meaning, but in creating multiple (countless, even) meanings for ourselves. RT pic.twitter.com/m1WIhWmlyq
— Humanists UK (@Humanists_UK) October 12, 2021
Reader Barry says that “This is just a demo reel. There is no word about a forthcoming movie.” I’d like to see a biopic of Robin Williams, though the 2018 documentary, “Robin Willams: Come Inside My Mind” was wonderful. I’ll put a trailer for the documentary below the tweet.
It’s a good impression of Williams but I’m not as impressed as Bob Cesca:
This isn't just the best Robin Williams impression I've ever seen, it's one of the best impressions ever — of anyone.https://t.co/UEYelWtpjO
— Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) October 13, 2021
Here’s the trailer for the 2018 documentary (see it, by all means!):
From Simon. Every beginning science professor with a lab has heard this during their first year of employment:
“It’s only a temporary space until we renovate a place for you” pic.twitter.com/y5qFBSXKCx
— Oded Rechavi 🦉 (@OdedRechavi) October 14, 2021
From the Auschwitz Memorial, an event from October 16, 1943
16 October 1943 | Raid of the Ghetto of #Rome. 365 German security & police forces sealed off the #ghetto. 1,024 Jews were arrested & two days later deported to #Auschwitz. Only 16 of them survived the war. #16ottobre #Roma pic.twitter.com/YHu90DF2Y5
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) October 17, 2021
Tweets from Dr. Cobb, who’s in Oslo for a few days. Look at this old British git keeping fit by riding tiny bicycles!
— BBC Archive (@BBCArchive) October 14, 2021
It better snow soon or this hare is toast!
Just nipped outside to watch the Aurora and walked round the corner to see a snow hare 🙂 no snow yet so easy to see! pic.twitter.com/o0WdgTAYy9
— Oliver C Wright (@OW_Photography) October 11, 2021
This is a true story about a lunatic judge in Tennessee who regularly (and illegally) jails kids. There was a piece on it on NPR yesterday, and you can read about it here or in the thread on Twitter.
Three police officers went to an *elementary* school in Tennessee & arrested four Black girls.
One girl fell to her knees. Another threw up. Police handcuffed the youngest, an 8 yo with pigtails.
Their supposed crime? Watching some boys fight — and not stopping them. (THREAD)
— Ken Armstrong (@bykenarmstrong) October 8, 2021