Welcome to Thursday, June 23, 2022: National Pecan Sandy Day, celebrating a kind of dry cookie that some people like.
It’s also International Widows Day, National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism (in Canada), Saint John’s Eve and the first day of the Midsummer celebrations (these occur in Spain, Cornwall, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, Belarus. Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine), and United Nations Public Service Day.
Stuff that happened on this day include:
Here’s a short animated reconstruction of the battle, in which the stalwart Scots defeated the English despite being outnumbered by more than three to one:
- 1611 – The mutinous crew of Henry Hudson’s fourth voyage sets Henry, his son and seven loyal crew members adrift in an open boat in what is now Hudson Bay; they are never heard from again.
- 1794 – Empress Catherine II of Russia grants Jews permission to settle in Kyiv.
“Catherine II” was Catherine the Great, who ruled for 34 years as the last Empress of Russia. Here’s a portrait of her by Johann Baptist von Lampi the Elder, from 1780, presumably painted from life:
Here’s a model for the patent, which was very rudimentary. Sholes is also said to have invented, some time later, the QWERTY keyboard, which I’ve heard is less efficient than other keyboards. But it’s too late to change:
- 1887 – The Rocky Mountains Park Act becomes law in Canada creating the nation’s first national park, Banff National Park.
- 1917 – In a game against the Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox pitcher Ernie Shore retires 26 batters in a row after replacing Babe Ruth, who had been ejected for punching the umpire.
Shore pitched a nearly “perfect” game (one in which all 27 batters are retired without reaching first base). Here he (left) is with another baseball great:
- 1926 – The College Board administers the first SAT exam.
- 1940 – Adolf Hitler goes on a three-hour tour of the architecture of Paris with architect Albert Speer and sculptor Arno Breker in his only visit to the city.
Here’s Hitler with Speer (left) in front of the Eiffel Tower. On the right is sculptorn and architect Arno Breker:
- 1960 – The United States Food and Drug Administration declares Enovid to be the first officially approved combined oral contraceptive pill in the world.
- 1969 – IBM announces that effective January 1970 it will price its software and services separately from hardware thus creating the modern software industry.
- 1972 – Watergate scandal: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman are taped talking about illegally using the Central Intelligence Agency to obstruct the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the Watergate break-ins.
Here’s part of the smoking gun tapes, with subtitles. It’s pretty incriminating!
- 1972 – Title IX of the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 is amended to prohibit sexual discrimination to any educational program receiving federal funds.
- 2017 – A series of terrorist attacks take place in Pakistan, resulting in 96 deaths and wounding 200 others.
- 2013 – Nik Wallenda becomes the first man to successfully walk across the Grand Canyon on a tight rope.
A news report of that walk. You can hearing him praying to God to help him across:
*Ukraine is slowly falling into the hands of Russia. From the NYT’s summary:
Approaching a pivotal moment in their invasion of Ukraine, Russian forces have tightened their vise around two key eastern cities, raising the risk their slow, brutal advance will capture the cities and trap the Ukrainian troops defending them.
The fall of the two neighboring cities, Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, would all but complete Russia’s conquest of Luhansk Province, a major part of the Donbas region that the Russians are attempting to seize in the four-month-old war. That would give a strategic and symbolic victory to President Vladimir V. Putin, and open avenues for Russia’s military to advance deeper into Ukraine.
In my view, Putin could take the whole country if he has the will, and he does—Russian deaths be damned. The war will end only when Putin wants it to end, and on his terms. I don’t like that, but I think it’s true.
*One of the more odious Trumpisms that’s come out in the January 6 panel is that the Orange Man proposed sending fake electors to Washington to try to sway the vote towards him. But now the remit of the panel is widening, and some of those electors have been subpoenaed:
Agents conducted court authorized law enforcement activity Wednesday morning at two locations, FBI officials confirmed to The Washington Post. One was the home of Brad Carver, a Georgia lawyer who allegedly signed a document claiming to be a Trump elector. The other was the Virginia home of Thomas Lane, who worked on the Trump campaign’s efforts in Arizona and New Mexico. The FBI officials did not identify the people associated with those addresses, but public records list each of the locations as the home addresses of the men.
Separately, at least some of the would-be Trump electors in Michigan also received subpoenas on Wednesday, according to a person who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.The precise nature of the information being sought by the Justice Department wasn’t immediately clear; however, Arizonaand Georgia officials testified Tuesday to a House panel probing the Jan. 6 attacks about attempts by Trump and his inner circle of advisers to try to reverse Biden’s electoral college victories in those states.
“It’s certainly a possibility,” Mr. Powell said Wednesday during the first of two days of congressional hearings. “We are not trying to provoke and do not think we will need to provoke a recession, but we do think it’s absolutely essential” to bring down inflation, which is running at a 40-year high.
His remarks underscore the challenge facing the central bank as it raises interest rates at the most rapid clip since the 1980s to slow the economy and cool inflation.
My prediction, though I’m not pundit and know virtually nothing about economics, is that we will have a recession, for the balance of interest rates, employment, and inflation is a tricky situation, and certainly no science. Remember, I was the first person to call the last election for Biden, and got the electoral count exactly right. Surely I still retain the credibility to make some predictions!
*Uncle Joe has finally decided to give us a “gas-tax holiday,” lifting the federal tax on both gasoline and diesel fuel. But this is pretty pathetic given the taxes, which are low (see below). We’re paying $6 a gallon in Chicago, and not only will this make little inroads in inflation, but those taxes are used for infrastructure.
The Democratic president also called on states to suspend their own gas taxes or provide similar relief, and he delivered a public critique of the energy industry for prioritizing profits over production. It would take action by lawmakers in Washington and in statehouses across the country to actually bring relief to consumers.
“It doesn’t reduce all the pain but it will be a big help,” Biden said, using the bully pulpit when his administration believes it has run out of direct levers to address soaring gas prices. “I’m doing my part. I want Congress, states and industry to do their part as well.”
At issue is the 18.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on gas and the 24.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on diesel fuel. If the gas savings were fully passed along to consumers, people would save roughly 3.6% at the pump when prices are averaging about $5 a gallon nationwide.
But this is pretty much moot given Congressional resistance, even among Democrats, to this “holiday”. Even Nancy Pelosi is lukewarm about it:
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered a noncommittal response to Biden’s proposal, saying she would look to see if there was support for it in Congress.
“We will see where the consensus lies on a path forward for the president’s proposal in the House and the Senate,” Pelosi said.
Now that is a ringing endorsement, no? There will be little support for this in the Senate, that’s for sure.
*The Atlantic—to which I’m newly subscribed because it’s inexpensive for academics—reports that comedian Dave Chapelle, in a surprise announcement, turned down a big honor. The school from which he graduated and has donated to repeatedly, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, decided to name its theater after him. The naming was delayed from Nov. 1 after Chapelle’s Netflix show, “The Closer”, was criticized for homophobic and transphobic comments
The naming ceremony was rescheduled for last Monday, and guest after guest got up and praised the comedian. Then it was his turn:
. . . Chappelle spoke, telling his own story of the Ellington school’s influence on his life, his fond memories of faculty and classmates. The narrative slowly built toward the controversy that erupted last November. Then came a surprise plot twist.
Chappelle proposed that the theater be named the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression, and then said that his name would be added later, only when and if the school community was ready.
It was quite a moment. The audience rapturously applauded.
Author David Frum had two reactions. The first was positive:
The first was admiration for the bravado and ingenuity of Chappelle’s maneuver. So often in these debates over free speech, the adversaries of expression claim to represent the wave of the future. Major surveys have found that Gen Z and Millennial Americans are much more willing to suppress speech in the name of equity than older Americans. Chappelle took a bet here, as if to say: Let’s see who will look silly in five years’ time, you or me.
The NYT has a new article on how you can get a young duckling to imprint on you, though you don’t want to do this deliberately unless you’re prepared to care for the duck until it fledges. (h/t Robyn)
Hang around a duckling constantly, right after it hatches. Ducklings are most sensitive to imprinting 12 to 36 hours after they emerge from the egg (and the imprinting window lasts about 14 days). Place yourself where they can see you. Birds are visual creatures; a duckling opens its eyes and immediately starts looking for a caregiver. They prefer duck-size objects and S-curve-shaped necks, but they aren’t picky — they will imprint on humans, cats, dogs or, in the case of Martinho-Truswell’s lab research, brightly colored plastic balls or cardboard shapes suspended from a rotating boom on a string. Avoid wearing yellow; ducklings would rather not imprint on anything yellow-colored. “We think that’s to keep them from imprinting on their siblings,” Martinho-Truswell says. Don’t become a duck parent on a whim, though; it’s a big commitment. Imprinting is helpful if you’re a duck farmer, but otherwise might be a burden. Mallard ducks can live for more than 20 years. “You’re taking on something that is going to treat you as its mother for the first year and then as family for the rest of its life,” he says.
I rescued two orphans and slept with them on the day or day after they hatched, and both imprinted on me, following me around the house and peeping pathetically if I was out of sight or tried to put them to bed in a nice soft, padded box. They needed to be with me, and so I slept with them in my armpit or on my chest covered with my open palm (to mimic the mother’s protective wing). Or rather, the ducklings slept. Afraid of crushing them, I didn’t sleep a wink. Still, they were two of the greatest nights of my life.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s dialogue needs an explanation from Malgorzata:
In Poland when somebody cannot decide between the two courses of action he/she says “I’m fighting with my thoughts” [Biję się z myślami]. Hili took it literally and because she (as a Goddess) is a “dualist”, that’s the answer she came with.
Hili: I’m fighting with my thoughts.A: And?Hili: I’m winning.
Hili: Biję się z myślami.Ja: I co?Hili: Wygrywam.
And a photo of Kulka:
From Jez, a Dan Piraro cartoon:
Quarterback Tom Brady is apparently promoting a new line of underwear, and in this Instagram video, described here, he simply destroys the sign of a protestor with an precise football throw. But the article also shows that they made up. This is likely an advertising set-up (I can’t imagine otherwise why they’d pull a stunt like this), but it does show Brady’s passing abilities.
A groaner from Merilee:
Ricky Gervais mocking wokeness with a very ideologically incorrect couple of jokes:
It might work 😂pic.twitter.com/HeUUSV0IIc
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) June 21, 2022
These are brilliant; see the thread. But they left out the cat saying “Mrkgnao!”: my favorite part!
As has become a tradition on Bloomsday, here are 18 limericks by my friend, the cartoonist, artist and writer, Tom Mathews that brilliantly encapsulate each of the 18 episodes of the greatest novel. A @GrogansPub Notes of Ulysses, if you will 1/19
— Naoise Nunn (@naoisen) June 16, 2022
The nightmare of history past
Stephen shares dull experience vast
As Deasy scribe, critic
But collects his week’s wages at last.
— Naoise Nunn (@naoisen) June 16, 2022
It might work 😂pic.twitter.com/HeUUSV0IIc
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) June 21, 2022
Free talk by Pinkah tomorrow. All you have to do is register at the link:
“Is Music a Universal Language?” Conversation tomorrow in Cantor Gideon Zelermyer's series "A Night @ the Opera," Congregation Shaar Hashomayim. (Gideon did the solo in Leonard Cohen's You Want it Darker & often sings the anthem before Red Sox games) https://t.co/WlnfjSRMvM pic.twitter.com/wGzKotK3qu
— Steven Pinker (@sapinker) June 22, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial, one who survived:
23 June 1918 | A Polish woman, Jadwiga Cudzich, was born in Kuty. A university student.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) June 23, 2022
Tweets from Matthew. This first two are cool! There are other methods given in the thread.
This would be a close third… pic.twitter.com/JDrL1cz3GV
— Jonathan Hall (@StudyMaths) June 17, 2022
Parental care in beetles! Who woulda thought?
— Nick Porch (@InvertoPhiles) June 10, 2022
What a sight!
Hardly we see such sightseeing..! This is from central Indian landscape.
It’s like a ‘tiger march’ in jungle. pic.twitter.com/iURHzGZLT5
— Ramesh Pandey (@rameshpandeyifs) June 12, 2022
This guy comments on bad lighting. I may have shown this before, but here it is again. Whoever designed this should have immediately fixed it. Or maybe it was deliberate. . .
Just to ease you all back in gently, here is a stone cold classic from the spy acrhives. #badlighting #lightingfail #lightingdesign #lighting #lightingdesigner #whatweretheythinking pic.twitter.com/dy0OxydmkD
— Lighting Spy (@LightingSpy) June 16, 2022