Yes, it’s Monday again, June 6, 2022, and summer vacation has started at the University of Chicago. It’s also National GingerBread Day (why the capital “B”?), and also the D-Day Invasion Anniversary (also my late parents’ anniversary), as well as National Huntington’s Disease Awareness Day in the USA and Queensland Day in Australia (see below).
Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot below) honors the life and caffeine-related accomplishments of Angelo Moriondo (June 6, 1851-1914), who invented the first patented espresso machine. (He never made them commercially.)
As Wikipedia says,
Angelo Moriondo, from Turin, is often erroneously credited for inventing the beverage, since he patented a steam-driven coffee beverage making device in 1884 (No. 33/256), probably the first Italian coffee machine similar to other French and English 1800s steam-driven coffee machines. The device is “almost certainly the first Italian bar machine that controlled the supply of steam and water separately through the coffee” and Moriondo is “certainly one of the earliest discoverers of the expresso [sic] machine, if not the earliest”.
60 ml (measured) of espresso and heated milk (later steamed to create a bit of froth):
The final product (I’m drinking it as I type):
Here’s Morindo and my own espresso machine having produced 30 ml of coffee for my morning latte. I find this machine the best quality for value, though you can spend a lot more for incremental improvements in quality:
Stuff that happened on June 6 includes:
- 1822 – Alexis St Martin is accidentally shot in the stomach, leading to William Beaumont‘s studies on digestion.
St. Martin, a fur trader accidentally shot with a musket, was left with a permanent hole into his stomach (a “gastric fistula”) when the edges of the skin wound healed to the edges of the stomach wound. The “science”:
When the wound healed itself, the edge of the hole in the stomach had attached itself to the edge of the hole in the skin, creating a permanent gastric fistula. There was very little scientific understanding of digestion at the time and Beaumont recognized the opportunity he had in St-Martin – he could literally watch the processes of digestion by dangling food on a string into St-Martin’s stomach, then later pulling it out to observe to what extent it had been digested. Beaumont continued to experiment on St-Martin off and on until 1833, performing an estimated 200 experiments in 10 years.
St-Martin allowed the experiments to be conducted, not as an act to repay Beaumont for keeping him alive, but rather because Beaumont had the illiterate St-Martin sign a contract to work as a servant. Beaumont recalls the chores St-Martin did: “During this time, in the intervals of experimenting, he performed all the duties of a common servant, chopping wood, carrying burthens, etc. with little or no suffering or inconvenience from his wound.” Although these chores were not bothersome, some of the experiments were painful to St-Martin, for example when Beaumont had placed sacks of food in the stomach, Beaumont noted: “the boy complained of some pain and uneasiness at the breast.” Other symptoms St-Martin felt during experiments were a sense of weight and distress at the epigastric fossa and slight vertigo and dimness of vision.
Here’s a drawing with the hole. St. Martin lived to be 78:
- 1859 – Queensland is established as a separate colony from New South Wales. The date is still celebrated as Queensland Day.
- 1892 – The Chicago “L” elevated rail system begins operation.
- 1912 – The eruption of Novarupta in Alaska begins. It is the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century.
For many years, the June 1912 eruption was mistakenly attributed to Katmai, which is 10 kilometers (6 miles) away. But in fact, the event at Novarupta—the name means “new eruption”—stole its contents from beneath the neighboring volcano. Most of the magma had been stored beneath Katmai, so when the new hole in the Earth opened to the northwest, the magma drained away and actually caused Katmai to collapse dramatically. The resulting caldera is now filled with a 200-meter-deep lake.
In the aftermath, a nearby river valley was filled with up to 600 feet of ash, pumice, and other volcanic debris. The debris around Novarupta seethed with heat and steam emissions from fumarole vents for more than a decade, leading scientist Robert Griggs to call it the “Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.”
Here’s the location (my arrow) and a photo of Novarupta’s lava dome in 1987:
- 1933 – The first drive-in theater opens in Camden, New Jersey.
Here it is, and there are a few of these left:
- 1942 – The United States Navy’s victory over the Imperial Japanese Navy at the Battle of Midway is a major turning point in the Pacific Theater of World War II. All four Japanese fleet carriers taking part—Akagi, Kaga, Sōryū and Hiryū—are sunk, as is the heavy cruiser Mikuma. The American carrier Yorktown and the destroyer Hammann are also sunk.
- 1944 – Commencement of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy, with the execution of Operation Neptune—commonly referred to as D-Day—the largest seaborne invasion in history. Nearly 160,000 Allied troops cross the English Channel with about 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participating. By the end of the day, the Allies have landed on five invasion beaches and are pushing inland.
Perhaps the best idea of what it was like to be on the beaches that day (researched by interviewing survivors) was portrayed in Spielberg’s movie “Saving Private Ryan”. Here’s part of the D-Day invasion scene from both Allied and German points of view. Warning: it’s gory:
- 1985 – The grave of “Wolfgang Gerhard” is opened in Embu, Brazil; the exhumed remains are later proven to be those of Josef Mengele, Auschwitz‘s “Angel of Death”; Mengele is thought to have drowned while swimming in February 1979.
Here’s Mengele’s skull, admitted as such by his son and later confirmed by DNA testing:
*From the Washington Post: “How the White House lost Joe Manchin, and its plan to transform America.” As you know, Manchin’s failure to support the Build Back Better bill largely killed Biden’s biggest initiative since he was elected. The cause? Crossed wires about a White House statement:
The statement drafted by White House aides two days later named Manchin as the focus of negotiations. White House aides sent a draft of the statement to Manchin’s office ahead of its release. Manchin’s chief of staff responded by asking the White House legislative director either to remove the senator’s name, or to add Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).
The White House issued the statement anyway. The president had personally signed off on it. ButManchin exploded, texting a senior Biden aide that the decision was “unconscionable and extremely dangerous” at a time when liberal activists were targeting Manchin’s family with protests.
Three days later, Manchin declared his opposition to the legislation on Fox News. The negotiations never recovered, and Build Back Better — encompassing years of Democratic policy aspirations to reduce child poverty, transform the nation’s housing system, enact new early education programs, tax the rich, and more — was effectively dead.
Sure, Biden should have paid attention, but Manchin seems to have acted like a petulant child, and in so doing killed a chance for the Biden administration to have done immense good.
*It’s already the 50th anniversary of the Watergate breakin and the 48th of the book All the President’s Men by Woodward and Bernstein. Steve Pinker called our attention to their new preface of the anniversary edition of the book, though it came out in 1974, not 1972, so it’s not really a 50th anniversary. The link to their article is below (also here), and it’s well worth reading.
Extraordinary essay by Woodward and Bernstein, the foreword to the 50th anniversary edition of All the President's Men. They thought Nixon defined corruption. Then came Trump. https://t.co/DAp29terO4
— Steven Pinker (@sapinker) June 5, 2022
A great book and a great movie. A snippet from W&B’s new essay:
As reporters, we had studied Nixon and written about him for nearly half a century, during which we believed with great conviction that never again would America have a president who would trample the national interest and undermine democracy through the audacious pursuit of personal and political self-interest.
And then along came Trump.
. . . By legal definition this is clearly sedition — conduct, speech or organizing that incites people to rebel against the governing authority of the state. Thus, Trump became the first seditious president in our history.
. . .Both Nixon and Trump have been willing prisoners of their compulsions to dominate, and to gain and hold political power through virtually any means. In leaning so heavily on these dark impulses, they defined two of the most dangerous and troubling eras in American history.
As Washington warned in his Farewell Address more than 225 years ago, unprincipled leaders could create “permanent despotism,” “the ruins of public liberty,” and “riot and insurrection.”
*From several sources, including ABC News 4 from Charleston, we hear that things are dire in Norway. A feminist named Christina Ellingsen and a representative of the global feminist organization Women’s Declaration International (WDI), has been questioned by police, and faces jail for committing gender heresy. It’s one thing to be uncivil and rude, another to suppress one’s speech by government threats of jail.
[Ellingtsen] criticized the Norwegian trans activist group Foreningen FRI in October for teaching children that males can be lesbians.
Ellingsen also called out one the group’s advisers, who is a biological male identifying as a lesbian woman.
That adviser, Christine Marie Jentoft, filed a police complaint that prompted law enforcement to question Ellingsen, according to news outlet Reduxx.
. . . In January 2021, Norway introduced “gender identity” into the bounds of its current hate crime laws. Around that time, WDI Norway (formerly WHRC) warned the adjustment of hate crime laws could lead to persecution for stating biological facts.
If Ellingsen is charged with a hate crime for her comments, she could face up to three years behind bars.
. . .In another tweet, Ellingsen blasted FRI’s advisor Christine Jentoft for identifying as a lesbian despite being a biological male.
“Jentoft, who is male and an advisor in FRI, presents himself as a lesbian – that’s how bonkers the organization which supposedly works to protect young lesbians’ interests is. How does it help young lesbians when males claim to be lesbian, too?” Ellingsen reportedly said.
Jailing of others has already happened. According to one site:
In 2021, a Norwegian man was jailed for three weeks and a substantial fine for being found guilty of misgendering and insulting a person who identifies as trans on Facebook.
Amnesty International, which has become irreversibly woke, is also accusing Ellingsen of “harassment.” This is ridiculous. Yes, it’s offensive to misgender someone, but a hate crime? No way? What crime has been committed? Free speech that some people find offensive! Norway, buck up and adopt the U.S.’s interpretation of the First Amendment! (h/t Anna)
*I reported yesterday that the original Gerber baby model had just died at 96. But now they have a new one, the result of a long search. Meet Isa Slish, 8 months old.
The little one has a medical problem:
On the “Today” show, Isa, who was born without a femur or a fibula in her right leg, a condition known as congenital limb difference, delighted the hosts while her mother, Melissa, said that the money would be “set aside” for her daughter’s surgeries.
Of course social media is grousing, as the NYT reports, and for no good reason except people like to kvetch. Best of luck to Isa!
*Finally, though I’m not an action-movie fan, I think I may see the new sequel to 1986’s movie “Top Gun”. It’s cleaning up like gangbusters, and the fans are not from the usual demographic.
The sequel to the 1986 classic featuring Tom Cruise as a veteran fighter pilot raked in an estimated $86 million in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, following a record-breaking debut over the Memorial Day weekend of $156 million. The figure is unusually strong for the second weekend of a high-grossing film, suggesting that a swath of moviegoers is returning to the theaters following a two-year drought caused by the pandemic.
Other Covid-era theater releases have shown that younger audiences will return to cinemas in droves. The blockbuster superhero film “Spider-Man: No Way Home” set records in December.
But Top Gun’s good showing is noteworthy because it has been driven by older viewers—a group distribution executives say has been one of the trickiest to lure back to cinemas during the pandemic, and one that is key to getting the industry back to pre-Covid levels. More than half of Top Gun’s ticket buyers were over the age of 35 years for the second weekend in a row, according to Paramount Pictures.
One reader emailed me this:
Go see Top Gun, especially in IMAX….fantastic movie and emotionally resonant in addition to being visually spectacular. Tom Cruise is arguably a movie star on the order of Clark Gable or Humphrey Bogart or Joan Crawford or Bette Davis
If you’ve seen it, weigh in below.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, there’s an argument about indigenous possession. Hili needs to make a “sofa claim”:
Hili: Szaron okupuje moją sofę.Ja: Ma do niej takie samo prawo jak ty.Hili: Nie, on w tym domu nie jest rdzennym kotem.
From Donna: Helpful advice from Republicans:
A tweet from Earthling (Ziya Tong):
— Earthling (@ziyatong) June 3, 2022
And one from God:
Dance like no one's watching. It's much funnier for Me that way.
— God (@TheTweetOfGod) June 5, 2022
From Ginger K., a Stuart Smalley Cat giving his daily affirmation:
— MilliePeoKitty (@MilliePeoKitty) April 3, 2022
From Barry: Look at these newborn cheetahs!
— Iranian Cheetah Society | انجمن یوزپلنگ ایرانی (@IranianCheetah) May 1, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial, the only Scot recognized as Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem in Israel (these are non-Jews who saved or helped Jews during the Holocaust). She died in Auschwitz.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) June 6, 2022
Tweets from Matthew Cobb, deep in writing his new biography of Francis Crick. I don’t think Matthew likes Elon, as he spells his last name M*sk:
Kind of amazing that you can be that rich and still be way more stupid than rich. https://t.co/lPyEkIkxxL
— Paraic O'Donnell (@paraicodonnell) June 5, 2022
There are a gazillion languages prison guards don’t know! What about Esperanto?
Michigan prison officials have banned dictionaries in Spanish and Swahili, saying "if certain prisoners all decided to learn a very obscure language, they would be able to then speak freely in front of staff" and could organize without their knowledge.https://t.co/rwnMKv0tEP
— NPR (@NPR) June 2, 2022
Matthew had to deal with a Bad Cat Accident:
Tfw your long-haired cat has beshat himself and you have to shower him to try and get rid of it.
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) June 4, 2022
And tweet of the year!
steal his look pic.twitter.com/fePvP6kKKh
— Paige Byerly, PhD (@paigebyerly) June 2, 2022