Welcome to November!: it’s the first of November, 2021, and National Boiled Egg Day.
It’s also the beginning of these food months or weeks:
National Fun with Fondue Month
National Georgia Pecan Month
National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month
National Pepper Month
National Stuffing Month
National Raisin Bread Month
November 1-7: National Fig Week
On top of that, it’s World Vegan Day, National Calzone Day, National Deep Fried Clams Day, National Cinnamon Day, National Vinegar Day, National Author’s Day (but who is the one author they’re celebrating?), International Scented Candle Day, and National Brush Day, promoting good tooth-brushing habits in kids, especially after eating a lot of candy.
I haven’t had a calzone since I lived in Manhattan in the early Seventies, but I want one now. Back then it was always a choice between ordering two slices (see 1:50 here) or a calzone at the corner pizzeria.
There’s a Google Doodle today that’s an animated game (click on screenshot) featuring the late (1849-1896) We:wa (Whe’wa in Wikipedia), a Zuni artist Wikipedia describes this way:
Zuni Native American from New Mexico, a notable fiber artist, weaver and potter. As the most famous lhamana on record, We’wha served as a cultural ambassador for Native Americans in general, and the Zuni in particular, serving as a contact point and educator for many European-American settlers, teachers, soldiers, missionaries, and anthropologists. In 1886, We’wha was part of the Zuni delegation to Washington D.C.; during that visit, We’wha met President Grover Cleveland.
News of the Day:
*Today the Supreme Court, in an originally unscheduled hearing, will begin listening to arguments for and against Texas’s odious and restrictive new anti-abortion law. You know—the one that doesn’t allow abortion after the fetal heart starts beating (ca. 6 weeks) and makes no exception for rape or incest. This is followed by the Court’s hearing on December 1 about the Mississippi abortion law, banning the procedure after 15 weeks. Both of these conflict with Roe v. Wade. The Washington Post lays out the conflict and the worries of the Left:
“The outcome of this case will define the future of our constitutional democracy,” said Sam Spital, director of litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which is supporting abortion providers and a Justice Department lawsuit against Texas.
“Absent the Supreme Court’s intervention, S.B. 8’s [the Texas law] model for openly defying precedent set by the highest court in our land will metastasize — and not just with respect to abortion rights,” he said. “Many of our constitutional rights will be in grave danger.”
In a brief filed last week, more than 120 current and former prosecutors and judges concur. “S.B. 8 is perhaps the most blatant attempt to subvert federal authority since the Jim Crow era,” it says.
And remember this:
Pleas by abortion providers to have the Supreme Court step in before the law could take effect Sept. 1 were turned away on a 5-to-4 vote — the most tangible evidence yet of how the court’s conservative majority has shifted.
I predict Roe v Wade is circling the drain.
*White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, even though she’s been vaccinated. So has Biden (and I think he’s had a booster), so I’m not that worried. Psaki’s case is mild, but she begged off going to Europe with Biden and is in self-quarantine.
*Speaking of Uncle Joe, his approval rating is in the dumpster. An NBC News poll showed that the percentage of Americans who approve of his performance is only 42%, while the percentage of those disapproving is 54%. The slippage in the past few months is shown below. Further 71% of Americans, and 48% of all Democrats (!), think “the country is headed in the wrong direction.” I suspect that his ratings will rise when (or if?) the two spending bills pass.
*OK, Millennial. There’s a conflict in the workplace, but it’s described in this NYT piece by Emma Goldberg, “The 37-year-olds are afraid of the 23-year-olds who work for them.” I will not comment on the article lest I sound like a grumpy old man (even though that’s what I am). One word: entitlement.
*Dorian Abbot, the University of Chicago geoscience professor whose prestigious lecture at MIT was cancelled because of his videos and articles criticizing DEI initiatives, has written an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, “The views that made me persona non grata at MIT.” I disagree with him on the lack of a need for affirmative action, but do agree with this:
I believe we are obliged to reduce bias where it exists, where we can. That includes honest reflection on whether we are treating everyone equally. But you cannot infer bias based only on the ratios of different groups after a selection. A multitude of factors, including interest and culture, influence these ratios. I disagree with the idea that there is a right ratio of groups to aim for. Instead, the goal should be fair selection processes that give every candidate an equal opportunity.
*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 745,535, an increase of 1,346 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 5,016,880, an increase of about 4,500 over yesterday’s total. Remember when 200,000 deaths from Covid in the U.S. was regarded as an unimaginably horrible possibility?
Stuff that happened on November 1 includes:
- 365 – The Alemanni cross the Rhine and invade Gaul. Emperor Valentinian I moves to Paris to command the army and defend the Gallic cities.
Here come the barbarians!
- 1512 – The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, is exhibited to the public for the first time.
Some day I must see this, but I’m afraid of Italy because I don’t know how to order in a restaurant there (true!):
- 1520 – The Strait of Magellan, the passage immediately south of mainland South America connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, is first discovered and navigated by European explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the first recorded circumnavigation voyage.
Here’s Magellan’s route through the Strait. I’ll be going through the eastern part of this passage in just a few months! Twice!
- 1604 – William Shakespeare‘s tragedy Othello is performed for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.
Do not do it this way! The Globe theater was built in 1599, so I suppose they wanted to perform it for royals.
- 1611 – Shakespeare’s play The Tempest is performed for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.
- 1755 – In Portugal, Lisbon is totally devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunami, killing between 60,000 and 90,000 people.
Remember that in Candide, Voltaire used this earthquake as an example that all was not for the best in the best of all possible worlds.
- 1800 – John Adams becomes the first President of the United States to live in the Executive Mansion (later renamed the White House).
This is what the White House looked like then:
- 1870 – In the United States, the Weather Bureau (later renamed the National Weather Service) makes its first official meteorological forecast.
- 1894 – Buffalo Bill, 15 of his Indians, and Annie Oakley were filmed by Thomas Edison in his Black Maria Studio in West Orange, New Jersey.
Here’s some of that video; Annie shoots at targets and at coins tossed in the air:
- 1896 – A picture showing the bare breasts of a woman appears in National Geographic magazine for the first time.
You can see the photo and the magazine’s cover here.
- 1918 – Malbone Street Wreck: The worst rapid transit accident in US history occurs under the intersection of Malbone Street and Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, New York City, with at least 102 deaths.
The Wikipedia link, however, says that “at least 93 people died.” Later it says that there’s a range, between 93 and 102. Somebody fix it! The wreck occurred when a BMT subway train took a curve too fast, going 30 mph in a curve designed for only 6 mph, and derailed. Below is a photo of the inside of one of the cars. The 25 year old motorman left the scene of the wreck, and it was shown that he hadn’t applied the brakes. But nobody was ever convicted in this accident.
- 1928 – The Law on the Adoption and Implementation of the Turkish Alphabet, replaces the Arabic alphabet with the Latin alphabet.
Atatürk did this as one of his many reforms.
- 1938 – Seabiscuit defeats War Admiral in an upset victory during a match race deemed “the match of the century” in horse racing.
Here’s the great race, with Seabiscuit pulling out at the end to win by four lengths. You must read Laura Hillenbrand’s superb book, Seabiscuit: An American Legend, one of the great nonfiction page-turners of our time.
Seabiscuit was a small horse, shown here with trainer Tom Smith:
- 1941 – American photographer Ansel Adams takes a picture of a moonrise over the town of Hernandez, New Mexico that would become one of the most famous images in the history of photography.
‘Tis true, and how can I not show that image:
- 1950 – Pope Pius XII claims papal infallibility when he formally defines the dogma of the Assumption of Mary.
This is so bogus: the Pope simply made up the claim that Mary was bodily taken up to heaven. Well, as Archie Bunker said. . . listen for yourself (what a great show this was!):
- 1952 – Nuclear weapons testing: The United States successfully detonates Ivy Mike, the first thermonuclear device, at the Eniwetok atoll. The explosion had a yield of ten megatons TNT equivalent.
Look at this H-bomb!
- 1963 – The Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, with the largest radio telescope ever constructed, officially opens.
- 1968 – The Motion Picture Association of America’s film rating system is officially introduced, originating with the ratings G, M, R, and X.
- 1993 – The Maastricht Treaty takes effect, formally establishing the European Union.
Notables born on this day include:
- 846 – Louis the Stammerer, Frankish king (d. 879)
- 1757 – Antonio Canova, Italian sculptor and educator (d. 1822)
- 1880 – Alfred Wegener, German meteorologist and geophysicist (d. 1930)
Wegener, shown below on an expedition, was the first scientist to suggest that continental drift occurred. He was poo-pooed, but proven right in the 1950s and now by direct observation using GPS. Sadly, he died in 1930 and didn’t live to see his vindication:
- 1886 – Hermann Broch, Austrian-American author and poet (d. 1951)
- 1919 – Hermann Bondi, English-Austrian mathematician and cosmologist (d. 2005)
- 1935 – Edward Said, Palestinian-American theorist, author, and academic (d. 2003)
- 1944 – Kinky Friedman, American singer-songwriter and author
- 1957 – Lyle Lovett, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
Don’t forget that when Texas Traditions (Lee Miller’s shop where Pinker and I had our custom boots made) posted a picture on Instagram of an old pair of T. O. Stanley boots made and worn by the master himself, and later purchased by me from his factory boss, Lyle Lovett liked the photo! My fame:
And don’t forget that Lovett was married to Julia Roberts for two years.
- 1972 – Toni Collette, Australian actress
Those who entered eternal darkness on November 1 include:
- 1955 – Dale Carnegie, American author and educator (b. 1888)
- 1972 – Robert MacArthur, Canadian-American ecologist and academic (b. 1930)
- 1972 – Ezra Pound, American poet and critic (b. 1885)
- 1972 – Robert MacArthur, Canadian-American ecologist and academic (b. 1930)
MacArthur was a famous ecologist who worked at Princeton University and was part of the “young Turks” of population biology that included Richard Levins and Dick Lewontin. Sadly, MacArthur died at only 42 of kidney cancer. A photo:
- 1985 – Phil Silvers, American actor and comedian (b. 1911)
- 1993 – Severo Ochoa, Spanish-American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1905)
- 2006 – William Styron, American novelist and essayist (b. 1925)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili ponders her prey:
Hili: Can you eat a mouse and have it too?A: No.Hili: It’s a good thing that mice are a self renewable resource.
Hili: Czy można zjeść mysz i ją zachować?Ja: Nie.Hili: Dobrze, że myszy są zasobem samooodnawialnym.
Here’s a picture of Szaron by Paulina:
From Pyers: technology evolves!
From Titania; the sad fact is that many wokies adhere to this dictum. Whenever you see free speech referred to as “freeze peach,” you can be sure there’s a censor lurking:
Free speech is a fetish.
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) October 29, 2021
From Barry. Sound up!
Ok, this is amazing. pic.twitter.com/CWFnMf5gkQ
— Skeptic George (@Skeptic_George) October 31, 2021
Tweets from Matthew showing an insect whose males and females are very different. Here’s the Spanish translation of the second tweet: “Palaeococcus fuscipennis (pine mealybug), hemiptera of the Margarodidae family. The male has wings and flies, the female is apterous, almost blind, with short legs and remains motionless sucking sap from the pines. They are called scale insects. It is a pest of pines.”
Check this one out, here in Spain it's found on pine trees.https://t.co/G7nfQEquA3
— CEO of biology (@CEO_bichos) October 30, 2021
Well, only the sign gives this away as Poland, I think. Oh, I just saw the nun. . . .
Kraków in 1964 by Elliott Erwitt. I have never seen a more Polish photo than this one. pic.twitter.com/j4uVOA87Qg
— Davenant 📸 (@MarcDavenant) October 4, 2021
I missed it by a day:
— Phil Baty (@Phil_Baty) October 30, 2021
Translation: The Bangkok Post simply has the best overall caricature of Brexit.
Die Bangkok Post hat einfach die schönste Brexit Karikatur überhaupt gehabt pic.twitter.com/XGS9BpPewb
— Patrick (@wordklauberei) October 2, 2021
I may have posted this before, in which case I’m posting it again. (See more photos of these urchins here.)
Fire Urchin – Asthenosoma varium, Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia.
📷 Dick Beilby. pic.twitter.com/lsvdHBvr18
— Zoe Richards (@ZoeR_Coral) July 19, 2021
Tough French felids. They probably smoke Gauloises:
Édouard Boubat, Paris, 1947 pic.twitter.com/Ni2G8m8R2g
— Daniel_F_Brami (@Daniel_Red_Eire) October 2, 2021