Welcome to Sunday, November 21, 2021: National Cranberry Day. Cranberries have two uses: in cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and, most often, in cranberry juice drinks. Whoever came up with the latter idea did the industry a great favor, as otherwise the demand for cranberries would be small and seasonal.
It’s also Pumpkin Pie Day, National Stuffing Day (HuffPost says don’t eat stuffing because of calories) Mother Goose Parade Day, an annual event in San Diego County, National Gingerbread Day, World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, and a UN holiday: World Television Day.
Here are two minutes of The Mother Goose parade in 1966; it already looks antique! Mother Goose, who looks more like a duck, appears 41 seconds in:
News of the Day:
* Although Kenosha, Wisconsin was relatively peaceful after Kyle Rittenhouse’s “not guilty” verdict, there were protests and rioting in other towns. From CNN:
In New York, demonstrators shut down the Brooklyn Bridge, and in Portland, Oregon, they forced open a jail gate, prompting the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office to declare a riot.
The crowd, which was described as hostile, launched urine, alcoholic beverages, water bottles and batteries at deputies during the event,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release early Saturday morning.
The Portland Police Bureau said that vandals broke the windows of the city government’s print shop.
Additional vandalism was done to the Justice Center building,” the PPB said. An image released by police showed spray-painted graffiti, including the message, “All Cops Are Kyles.”
As you see, these are mostly people who thought from the outset that Rittenhouse was guilty, and were declaring with their actions that Rittenhouse, the judge, and the jury were racist, although they weren’t in the courtroom. Some of them used violence, inimical to their cause.
*Fortunately, Joe Biden gave the right response by an official:
“I stand by what the jury has concluded. The jury system works and we have to abide by it,” Biden told reporters on the White House lawn.
And unfortunately, Kamala Harris, who seems to have done almost nothing since the election, decided to criticize the jury and verdict in a tweet:
Today’s verdict speaks for itself. I've spent a majority of my career working to make our criminal justice system more equitable. It’s clear, there’s still a lot more work to do.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) November 20, 2021
*The whereabouts of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai are still uncertain, despite the two videos of her in a restaurant and pictures at home appearing on social media sites. After she accused a top government official of sexual assault, she vanished, and her social media presence has been scrubbed. She has not been heard from save the videos, which are undated and dubious, and the tennis world is up in arms.
Peng, in a social media post this month, accused a former top government official of sexually assaulting her. After the allegation, the Chinese government removed almost all references of Peng on social media within the country, and Peng disappeared from public life. Her absence prompted outrage across the world, especially from top officials and stars in tennis.
Here’s one of the videos (below) showing Peng in a restaurant, wearing a white blouse.
From the NYT:
The video clips were posted on the Twitter account of Hu Xijin, the chief editor of The Global Times, an influential Communist Party newspaper, who described them as showing Peng having dinner with her coach and friends on Saturday.
He wrote that he had “acquired” the clips but offered no explanation of how, and the clips appeared staged to establish the date.In the first clip, the man said to be Peng’s coach is discussing plans with her and asks, “Isn’t tomorrow Nov. 20?” A woman sitting next to Peng corrects him and says it will be Nov. 21. He then repeats the date twice.
I acquired two video clips, which show Peng Shuai was having dinner with her coach and friends in a restaurant. The video content clearly shows they are shot on Saturday Beijing time. pic.twitter.com/HxuwB5TfBk
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) November 20, 2021
Here’s the second clip purportedly showing Peng walking into a restaurant:
In the second clip, a woman wearing a mask, presumably Peng, is shown walking into a restaurant. The camera pauses on a sign indicating the date of the last cleaning, a common sight in Chinese buildings since the SARS epidemic. But only the month, November, is visible; the date appears to be obscured.
This is the second clip. pic.twitter.com/BWzdBkIJ94
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) November 20, 2021
And the photos:
On Friday, a journalist for another Chinese media entity released pictures said to be of Peng in what appeared to be a bedroom, surrounded by stuffed animals. In those photos, Peng appeared younger than she did in more recent images of her and there was nothing to verify when they had been taken.
Peng Shuai’s WeChat moments just posted three latest photos and said “Happy weekend”.
Her friend shared the three photos and the screenshot of Peng’s WeChat moments. pic.twitter.com/tut8CEH6gu
— Shen Shiwei沈诗伟 (@shen_shiwei) November 19, 2021
This is all deeply suspicious suggesting that Peng may be the victim of foul play: either killed or in prison. People are right to be concerned.
*WOKE QUACKERY ALERT: Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, which advertises itself as “the #2 undergraduate research university in Canada,” just received $1.2 million to study cancer prevention through traditional healing of First Nations People. Get a load of the last sentence (my emphasis; h/t Larry and Jeff).
A Lakehead University professor and her research team in partnership with traditional knowledge holders and Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig Health Access Centre (WNHAC) are receiving $1.2 million in CIHR funding to explore the efficacy of using traditional healing to prevent cancer.
Dr. Lana Ray, Assistant Professor in Indigenous Learning at Lakehead and the University’s Indigenous Research Chair in Decolonial Futures, will work with WNHAC, traditional knowledge holders, and researchers from Lakehead University, Nipissing University and the University of Toronto to carry out the work over five years.
This project will implement traditional healing activities to address the impacts of colonialism in WNHAC’s service area. It will evaluate the impacts of the intervention through a pre- and post-design that will explore and measure risks and protective factors.
Using an Indigenous mixed methods research approach, this study will privilege Indigenous ways of knowing and doing and tangible outcomes for Indigenous communities through the implementation of medicine camps and traditional health practitioner visits.
Dr. Ray explained the importance of examining cancer prevention using traditional healing methods.
“We need to stop framing prevalent risk factors of cancer as such and start thinking about them as symptoms of colonialism,” Dr. Ray said.
Well, perhaps the money will have been worth it if it shows that “ways of knowing” and “traditional medicine” don’t work. (No, actually people will disregard negative results.) Lord knows the NIH has tested similar nostrums in itsNational Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, and none of them—NONE—have ever worked. Check out this Wikipedia list of outcomes (including use of “traditional Indian remedies to cure type 2 diabetes”). BUPKES! Defund them! “No results reported” usually means, “we got nothing and didn’t want to write about it.”
*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 769,643, an increase of 1,115 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 5,165,873, an increase of about 7,400 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on November 21 includes:
- 164 BCE – Judas Maccabeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restores the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah.
Hanukkah begins a week from today, and Coynezaa is coming up next month.
This was the organizing document of Plymouth Colony, signed by 41 men (no women allowed!) on the Mayflower. Here’s a transcript of the document by William Bradford in 1646; the original has been lost. Bradford was governor of the Colony for three decades.
- 1676 – The Danish astronomer Ole Rømer presents the first quantitative measurements of the speed of light.
His method was very clever (read the bio to see), and he calculated the speed of light to be 212,000 km/sec; it’s actually 299,792 km/sec. Not too shabby!
- 1877 – Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph, a machine that can record and play sound.
Here’s Edison photographed with his second phonograph in 1878:
- 1905 – Albert Einstein‘s paper that leads to the mass–energy equivalence formula, E = mc², is published in the journal Annalen der Physik.
As I wrote before about this paper,
The paper is here (it’s only three pages), and I couldn’t find the equation in that form, but I believe it’s on the page below in the fourth paragraph from the bottom [I’ve highlighted it]: “Gibt ein Körper die Energie L in Form von Strahlung ab, so verkleinert sich seine Masse um L/V².”
My rough German translates this as “If a body gives off the energy L in the form of radiation, then its mass will be reduced by L/V²”.
Rearranging, if mass is M, then the energy accompanying that loss of mass, where I use “m” to stand for mass, is L = mV². Clearly Einstein was using “V” instead of “c” to stand for the speed of light, and, as he says, energy is “L.” If you use “E” and “c”, then E = mc². (I probably screwed up something here, but this is the best I can do at 6:00 a.m.)
- 1918 – The Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918 is passed, allowing women to stand for Parliament in the UK.
- 1920 – Irish War of Independence: On “Bloody Sunday” in Dublin, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) assassinated a group of British Intelligence agents, and British forces killed 14 civilians at a Gaelic football match at Croke Park.
Michael Collins started it, by planning an IRA assassination of British undercover agents. After that, the British fired into the crowd at a soccer match, killing innocent civilians, and the game was on. Here’s Collins (the eponymous movie about him starting Liam Neeson is very good):
- 1922 – Rebecca Latimer Felton of Georgia takes the oath of office, becoming the first female United States Senator.
Felton, however, was not elected, but was a temporary appointment that lasted a day. Wikipedia describes this:
In 1922, Governor Thomas W. Hardwick was a candidate for the next general election to the Senate, when Senator Thomas E. Watson died unexpectedly. Seeking an appointee who would not be a competitor in the coming special election to fill the vacant seat and a way to secure the vote of the new women voters alienated by his opposition to the 19th Amendment, Hardwick chose Felton, on October 3, to serve as senator. Congress was not expected to reconvene until after the election, so the chances were slim that Felton would be sworn in. However, Walter F. George won the special election despite Hardwick’s ploy. Rather than take his seat immediately when the Senate reconvened on November 21, George allowed Felton to be sworn in. This was due in part to persuasion by Felton and a supportive campaign launched by the white women of Georgia.
She was 87 when she was sworn in. Here’s Felton is at her desk as Senator for A Day. She was also a diehard white supremacist:
- 1953 – The Natural History Museum, London announces that the “Piltdown Man” skull, initially believed to be one of the most important fossilized hominid skulls ever found, is a hoax.
The forged skull was made of a human skull from the medieval era, a 500-year-old lower jaw of an orangutan, and fossil teeth from a chimp. We still don’t know who made it; suspects include Teilhard de Chardin, Charles Dawson and Arthur Conan Doyle. Creationists gloated for years that biologists had been deceived, but, as the video shows below, the hoax was discovered by scientists:
- 1985 – United States Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard is arrested for spying after being caught giving Israel classified information on Arab nations. He is subsequently sentenced to life in prison.
- 1998 – Finnish satanist Jarno Elg kills a 23-year-old man and performs a ritual-like cutting and eating of body parts in Hyvinkää, Finland.
Elg was paroled in 2014, and the details of the case were sealed for 40 years, so we still don’t know what happened.
- 2012 – At least 28 are wounded after a bomb is thrown onto a bus in Tel Aviv.
- 2019 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is indicted on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1694 – Voltaire, French historian, playwright, and philosopher (d. 1778)
- 1898 – René Magritte, Belgian painter (d. 1967)
Here’s a fine Magritte: “La vocation” (1964):
- 1902 – Isaac Bashevis Singer, Polish-American novelist and short story writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1991)
- 1904 – Coleman Hawkins, American saxophonist and clarinet player (d. 1969)
Here’s what many regard as Hawkins’s finest work: “Body and Soul” (1939).
- 1912 – Eleanor Powell, American actress and dancer (d. 1982)
- 1920 – Stan Musial, American baseball player and manager (d. 2013)
Musial, who was the star of the St. Louis Cardinals, is my favorite ballplayer of all time. He was a fantastic player and a gentleman on the field: I’m told he never once questioned an umpire’s call. My father saw him play many times; I saw him play but once, in the twilight of his career. [Below is] a short video about Stan the Man (or “the Donora Greyhound”)—clicking will take you to the YouTube video.
Musial batted .331 over the course of his career and set National League (NL) records for career hits (3,630), runs batted in (1,951), games played (3,026), at bats (10,972), runs scored (1,949) and doubles (725). His 475 career home runs then ranked second in NL history behind Mel Ott’s total of 511. His 6,134 total bases remained a major league record until surpassed by Hank Aaron, and his hit total still ranks fourth all-time, and is the highest by any player who spent his career with only one team. A seven-time batting champion with identical totals of 1,815 hits at home and 1,815 hits on the road, he was named the National League’s (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) three times and led St. Louis to three World Series championships. He also shares the major league record for the most All-Star Games played (24) with Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.
Here’s a 5-minute video of Musial’s career highlights (click “Watch on YouTube”:
- 1945 – Goldie Hawn, American actress, singer, and producer
- 1965 – Björk, Icelandic singer-songwriter
Björk in her swan dress at the 2001 Oscars:
Those whose lives concluded on November 21 include:
- 1695 – Henry Purcell, English organist and composer (b. 1659)
- 1996 – Abdus Salam, Pakistani-English physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1926)
- 2017 – David Cassidy, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1950)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili and Szaron are looking out:
Szaron: Do you see what I see?Hili: And what do you see?Szaron I see the same as you see.
Szaron: Czy ty widzisz to co ja widzę?Hili: A co ty widzisz?Szaron: To co ty widzisz.
A cat-shaming picture from Ginger K.:
From Facebook. It should have been “sine of pi” or sin(π). Well, they can’t all be gems!
From Pradeep, reminding us of the bad old days:
Kitten pwns d*g:
— Dave (@SpotTheLoon2010) November 18, 2021
From Barry: A wild fox stops to listen to banjo music.
Wild fox stops to listen to banjo player. A moment plucked from Aesop. An interaction that foregrounds the inner lives of other animals and hints at the kinds of interspecies relationships we may have lost, neglected, or not yet discovered
— Ferris Jabr (@ferrisjabr) November 14, 2021
A tweet from God Himself (or Theirselves):
At this point the idea I would ever "bless America" is so absurd it's funny.
— God (@TheTweetOfGod) November 20, 2021
From the Auschwitz Memorial, showing how few arrivals at Auschwitz were temporarily spared instead of being immediately gassed. Note that there’s a link to a short lesson on the Holocaust and Dutch Jews:
21 November 1942 | A transport of 726 Jews deported from #Westerbork in German-occupied Netherlands arrived at #Auschwitz. After the selection 44 men and 35 women were registered. 644 people were murdered in a gas chamber.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) November 21, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. First, a groaner:
Early human clothing was wrinkled until The Iron Age.
— Ian McMillan (@IMcMillan) November 20, 2021
Art in Portugal made from trash. I think the first one in the first tweet is a fox, not a cat:
Some more of his amazing ‘Trash Animals’ from around Lisbon on our last visit👍 pic.twitter.com/SqZy9GQCae
— Mark Youd (@MarkYoud2) November 20, 2021
I thought badgers were supposed to be mean. This one is bested by a dog otter (i.e., a male otter):
The dog otter leaps out to nip the badgers bum! Its the same young badger from the previous clip & the same otter. I've monitored otters & badgers for many years & filmed interaction before but never quite like this!!
Its pretty unique & unusual footage! 🦡🦡🦡🦡 pic.twitter.com/A5fiN2YvNi
— Mal Ingham (@ingham_mal) November 19, 2021
I love this one!
"SLOW DOWN, DAD, YOU'LL GET US BOTH KILLED" pic.twitter.com/syc8kSEicK
— Paul Bronks (@slender_sherbet) November 16, 2021