Good morning on The Cruelest Day: June 7, 2022: National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. The best version I’ve had of this treat is the “rich chocolate” flavor at Dr. Mike’s in Bethel, Connecticut: one of the best ice cream shops in America. (Years ago, I once made a long detour to get there; it was worth it.) There’s a new owner now with new flavors, so report back to me if you’re near Bethel. (The chocolate lace flavor is also terrific.)
From Michael Stern at The Daily Beast:
The one flavor you can always count on. . . is rich chocolate, the most chocolaty food imaginable. It is a devastating concoction with an explosive Dutch cocoa taste carried in custard that is as smooth as iced velvet and as rich as clotted cream. Chocolate Lace and Cream, another daily flavor, is made of sweet cream (not vanilla) and chunks of brittle sugar candy sheathed in bittersweet chocolate.
Stuff that happened on June 7 include:
- 1099 – First Crusade: The Siege of Jerusalem begins.
- 1494 – Spain and Portugal sign the Treaty of Tordesillas which divides the New World between the two countries.
Here’s an original page of the treaty, which is written in Spanish:
- 1654 – Louis XIV is crowned King of France.
- 1862 – The United States and the United Kingdom agree in the Lyons–Seward Treaty to suppress the African slave trade.
- 1892 – Homer Plessy is arrested for refusing to leave his seat in the “whites-only” car of a train; he lost the resulting court case, Plessy v. Ferguson.
There are no authentic photos of Homer Plessy, but, sadly, he lost his case. The Supreme Court ruled that segregation was not unconstitutional so long as “separate but equal” facilities were maintained for different races. Of course, they were separate but never equal.
- 1899 – American Temperance crusader Carrie Nation begins her campaign of vandalizing alcohol-serving establishments by destroying the inventory in a saloon in Kiowa, Kansas.
Her real name was Carrie Moore but she used “Carrie Nation” as she wanted to “Carry the Nation” towards temperance. Here she is with her symbolic axe used to destroy booze:
- 1942 – World War II: The Battle of Midway ends in American victory.
The U.S. won, but it was a tough battle (and gave its name to Chicago’s smaller airport. Below is the ship Hiryū sinking, one of three Japanese carriers lost in the battle, and a severe blow to the Japanese navy.
- 1946 – The United Kingdom’s BBC returns to broadcasting its television service, which has been off air for seven years because of World War II.
- 1965 – The Supreme Court of the United States hands down its decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, prohibiting the states from criminalizing the use of contraception by married couples.
Black and Stewart dissented. Griswold was a member Planned Parenthood who started a birth-control clinic in Connecticut to directly challenge the law. The court rendered a 7-2 decision, with the majority opinion written by William O. Douglas (below).
- 1977 – Five hundred million people watch the high day of the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II begin on television.
- 1982 – Priscilla Presley opens Graceland to the public; the bathroom where Elvis Presley died five years earlier is kept off-limits.
Here’s the most famous room at Graceland, Elvis’s “Jungle Room,” which served as his “mancave.” The Atlas Obscura says this:
The Jungle Room also became the King’s final recording studio, where he recorded much of his last two albums.
Graceland could be considered the mecca of American mid-century kitsch, but the Jungle Room is truly its best signifier. Its tropical trimmings are reminders of a bygone trend in luxury, now largely considered silly and over-the-top. It was allegedly a favorite place of Elvis’ and his family’s, and the room’s tiki vibe is said to have reminded him of his time spent in Hawaii.
*The head of the violence-prone and right-wing extremist group the Proud Boys, Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, was indicted, along with four of his associates, for seditious conspiracy.
Tarrio, 38, was not in Washington that day, but allegedly guided the group’s activities from nearby Maryland as Proud Boys members engaged in the earliest and most aggressive attacks to confront and overwhelm police at several critical points on restricted Capitol grounds. One co-defendant, Dominic Pezzola, of Rochester, N.Y., broke through the first window of the building at 2:13 p.m. with a stolen police riot shield, authorities said.
*The results of our poll the other day on the future of Ukraine is below. As you see, most people think that after the dust settles, Ukraine will be partitioned into a smaller country, with (probably) a fair chunk going to Russia:
*The NYT has a funny video of Jonathan Pie trying to explain to Americans why the Brits consider PM Boris Johnson a wanker. (h/t David). Meanwhile, Johnson will face a no-confidence vote from his own party (I’m writing this Monday evening and may have results Tuesday), all stemming from his hosting a bunch of booze parties during the covid lockdown—a time when those parties were forbidden.
*As of 5 p.m., yesterday Boris survived the vote.
Johnson won the backing of 211 out of 359 Conservative lawmakers, more than the simple majority needed to remain in power, but still a significant rebellion of 148 MPs. With no clear front-runner to succeed him, most political observers had predicted he would defeat the challenge.
But the rebellion represents a watershed moment for him — and is a sign of deep Conservative divisions, less than three years after Johnson led the party to its biggest election victory in decades.
*I don’t know if this is an excuse for Elon Musk to back out of buying twitter, but he is kvetching about the secretiveness of the organization as a possible reason for him to give up. According to the Wall Street Journal,
Elon Musk threatened to terminate his deal to buy Twitter Inc. in a letter accusing the company of not complying with his request for data on the number of spam and fake accounts on the social-media platform.
Mr. Musk said Twitter has refused to provide the data necessary for Mr. Musk to facilitate his own evaluation of the number of spam and fake accounts. In April, Twitter accepted Mr. Musk’s $44 billion bid to take over the company and go private.
In a letter to Twitter Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gadde that was disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday, Mr. Musk’s lawyer Mike Ringler said Mr. Musk is entitled to the requested data, in part so that he can facilitate the financing of the deal.
It sounds to me that he’s had second thoughts about saying he was going to buy the entire company. Or perhaps Twitter is holding out, as they made the deal with Musk reluctantly.
*Remember this optical illusion that I posted the other day?
— Robert Buschel (@SkywriterEsq) June 6, 2022
The New York Times has an article about it that reveal, among other things, the following:
- The image is actually static, and has much to teach us about how our brains and eyes see the world. In a study published last week in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, psychologists tested this illusion on 50 men and women with normal vision, and, using an infrared eye tracker, found that the greater a participant’s response to the illusion, the stronger the pupil dilation response.
- They also discovered some people — perhaps even you — can’t see it.
- When you look at this illusion, the hole is not darkening. But the perception that it darkened was enough to make your pupils respond.
“There is no reason per se that the pupil should change in this situation, because nothing is changing in the world,” said Bruno Laeng, a psychology professor at the University of Oslo and an author of the study. “But something clearly has changed inside the mind.”
The researchers hypothesize that the illusion works because the gradient on the central hole makes it look as if the viewer is entering a dark hole or tunnel, prompting the participants’ pupils to dilate. They also found the illusion’s effect varied against different colors and was strongest when the black hole was atop a magenta background.
There’s more, including a bit about the evolutionary adaptations that foster such illusions.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has chosen her spot:
Hili: There are borders.A: Between what?Hili: Between the grass and gravel, on which it’s not comfortable to lie.
Hili: Są granice.Ja: Między czym a czym?Hili: Między zielenią, a kamykami, na których źle się leży.
From Divy: A cartoon by Sarah Anderson:
Bathtime for baby elephants! (h/t) Malcolm)
From Stash Krod:
A tweet of God:
My favorite word is “Amen” because when I hear it I know you’re finally done asking Me for stupid shit.
— God (@TheTweetOfGod) June 6, 2022
Two tweets from Barry: A real hero performs CPR on a goat! I’d do it, too, if I knew that CPR was needed.
Hero 💪 pic.twitter.com/nuDaZrAt3h
— A Dose Of Feel Good 😇 (@ADoseOfFeelGood) May 5, 2022
Bathtime for birds! A chicken getting blow dried after it had a bath along with a raptor in a birdbath!
I just captured this video of a juvenile Cooper hawk in our birdbath. There's 2 of them that come each day pic.twitter.com/I9QTNBbbkJ
— Hockey_jhon (@hockey_jhon) June 4, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial. She lived but a month after arrival:
7 June 1906 | A Polish woman, Zofia Piotrowska, was born in Tarnopol. A nurse.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) June 7, 2022
Tweets from Matthew. Queen Elizabeth does have a sense of humor, though it’s not often on display. Here’s one case where it was. I believe the first part of the anecdote is true, but not the big where she starts cursing.
royal anecdote 🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/IBJgYthKer
— alistair green (@mralistairgreen) June 5, 2022
Adam Rutherford is taking over the reins from Alice Roberts as President of the British Humanists. His “platform” doesn’t sound overly woke. . .
Here's our new President, @AdamRutherford, on what being part of Humanists UK means to him, & why you should join too!👇Adam takes the reins from @theAliceRoberts, who for the last few years has done a fantastic job of raising the profile of humanism. 👏 pic.twitter.com/fAUK9jRaiK
— Humanists UK (@Humanists_UK) June 6, 2022
A wryneck is one of a group of Old World woodpeckers, so named because they can turn their heads almost completely backwards. Sound up; the song is faint.
Ridiculous views of Wryneck in song now. Check out the tongue being flicked out towards the end. Sandemar, Sweden pic.twitter.com/6DdLeFAZVH
— Alan Dalton (@Blogbirder) June 5, 2022
Just to be clear: the hologram of the queen was inside a real carriage:
So a hologram of the queen drove through London in a golden carriage today. And people waved at it. They waved at a hologram. pic.twitter.com/hxRFzFp2N7
— Barry Malone (@malonebarry) June 5, 2022