Good morning on the TCCIF Day: Friday, June 24, 2022. It’s National Praline Day, celebrating the Southern confection that is the sweetest and most cloying of all candies (I love ’em!).
Stuff that happened on June 24 include:
- 1314 – First War of Scottish Independence: The Battle of Bannockburn concludes with a decisive victory by Scottish forces led by Robert the Bruce.
- 1497 – John Cabot lands in North America at Newfoundland leading the first European exploration of the region since the Vikings.
We’re not sure where he landed, but Canada has designated this spot in Bonavista Bay as the Official Landing Site (see caption). It’s marked with a statue of Cabot:
She was queen for 24 years; here’s a painting from 1580:
- 1880 – First performance of O Canada at the Congrès national des Canadiens-Français. The song would later become the national anthem of Canada.
- 1916 – Mary Pickford becomes the first female film star to sign a million-dollar contract.
Here’s Pickford in the year she signed that contract, and she has a cat!
- 1939 – Siam is renamed Thailand by Plaek Phibunsongkhram, the country’s third prime minister.
- 1947 – Kenneth Arnold makes the first widely reported UFO sighting near Mount Rainier, Washington.
The details: “On June 24, 1947 Kenneth Arnold claimed that he saw a string of nine, shiny unidentified flying objects flying past Mount Rainier at speeds that Arnold estimated at a minimum of 1,200 miles an hour (1,932 km/hr).” The story gets quite complicated, but seems likely it was either a fraud or a mistake.
- 1950 – Apartheid: In South Africa, the Group Areas Act is passed, formally segregating races.
Ironically, exactly 45 years later there was a moment of reconciliation, involving (of course) the great Nelson Mandela.
- 1995 – Rugby World Cup: South Africa defeats New Zealand and Nelson Mandela presents Francois Pienaar with the Webb Ellis Cup in an iconic post-apartheid moment.
And here’s a video of the moment of victory and the presentation of the trophy. As Wikipedia says, “During the remarkable post-match presentation ceremony Nelson Mandela, wearing a Springbok jersey bearing Pienaar’s number, presented him with the Webb Ellis Cup. During his acceptance speech, Pienaar made it clear that the team had won the trophy not just for the 60,000 fans at Ellis Park, but also for all 43,000,000 South Africans.”
- 2010 – At Wimbledon, John Isner of the United States defeats Nicolas Mahut of France, in the longest match in professional tennis history.
How long was it? Over 11 hours! From Wikipedia (my emphasis):
The match began at 6:13 pm (British Summer Time, or 17:13 UTC) on Tuesday, 22 June 2010, on Court 18 at Wimbledon. At 9:07 pm, due to the fading daylight, play was suspended before the start of the fifth set. After resuming on Wednesday, 23 June, at 2:05 pm, the record for longest match was broken at 5:45 pm. Play continued until the final set was tied at 59 games all, at which point the daylight faded again, and so play was suspended once more at 9:09 pm. Play resumed again at 3:40 pm on Thursday, 24 June, and eventually Isner won the match at 4:47 pm, the final set having lasted for 8 hours, 11 minutes.
In total, the match took 11 hours, 5 minutes of play over three days, with a final score of 6–4, 3–6, 6–7, 7–6, 70–68 for a total of 183 games. It remains, by far, the longest match in tennis history, measured both by time duration and also by number of games. The final set alone was longer than the previous record for longest match.
Here’s a 9-minute summary of the match (the end is at 2:55):
- 2012 – Death of Lonesome George, the last known individual of Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii, a subspecies of the Galápagos tortoise.
Because this is a subspecies (all Galápagos tortoises are considered members of the same species, C. nigra), it may be possible to resurrect this genetically differentiated population because individuals highly related to George’s population (perhaps discards from sailors over a century ago) have been found on Wolf Island.
Here’s a photo of Lonesome George at Galápagos National Park headquarters in 2006. He was probably 101 or 102 years old.
- 2021 – The Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida suffers a sudden partial collapse, killing 98 people inside.
Here’s a photo clearly showing the partial collapse. It doesn’t seem like this happened a year ago, does it?
*The Senate passed the bipartisan gun bill, assuring it will become law. The vote was 65-33, and even Mitch “666” McConnell voted with the Dems. The stipulations:
It would enhance background checks for prospective gun buyers ages 18 to 21, requiring for the first time that juvenile records, including mental health records beginning at age 16, be vetted for potentially disqualifying material. The bill would provide incentives for states to pass “red flag” laws that allow guns to be temporarily confiscated from people deemed by a judge to be too dangerous to possess them. And it would tighten a federal ban on domestic abusers buying firearms, and strengthen laws against straw purchasing and trafficking of guns.
It also includes hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for mental health programs and to beef up security in schools.
Don’t expect the Republicans to allow tighter regulations to be passed in the future.
*I haven’t seen the January 6 hearings in Congress today, but I’ve been reading about them. And the noose is tightening around Trump’s neck. Today’s hearing apparently centered on the way Trump tried to manipulate the Department of Justice into overturning the election. This may be the straw that brings the indictment, as he apparently pressured several officials. Here’s a bad one:
“The president didn’t care about actually investigating the facts,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who helped lead the hearing, said Thursday. “He just wanted the Department of Justice to put its stamp of approval on the lies.”
Rosen testified Thursday that the Justice Department “held firm” against political pressure to take sides over the 2020 election results. Rosen said he told Trump that the department could not seize voting machines from the states because there was nothing wrong with the machines; Trump grew agitated.
Rosen wasn’t the only DoJ official pressured by Trump.
The GOP was dead wrong that nobody would pay attention to the hearings. It’s revelations like this one that are turning the public against Trump.
*But wait! It gets worse! The feds searched the home of Jeffrey Clark, a DoJ official whom Trump decided to designate as “acting Attorney General” in hopes that Clark would help overturn Biden’s election. Searches imply warrants and warrants could lead to charges.
Federal investigators searched the home of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark this week, according to a person familiar with the matter, in an escalation of an inquiry into efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Investigators searched Mr. Clark’s suburban Virginia home on Wednesday, said the person, who declined to say what specific items investigators were trying to obtain. The search came in advance of Thursday’s hearing by the House Jan. 6 select committee focusing on Mr. Trump’s efforts to enlist senior Justice Department officials, including the acting attorney general, into a wide-ranging effort to stop Joe Biden from becoming president.
The Justice Department is conducting its own parallel investigation of Jan. 6 separate from the House committee. The raid of Mr. Clark’s house is the clearest indication yet that prosecutors have moved beyond the violence at the Capitol itself and are examining the actions of senior officials involved in Mr. Trump’s efforts to stay in office.
I swear: Merrick Garland is going to hand down some indictments.
*In another 6-3 ruling (get used to that vote), the Supreme Court has struck down New York State’s law that a citizen who wishes to carry a concealed handgun in public must show a special need to do so. (The opinion, written by Clarence Thomas, is here. Guess who dissented!)
The 6-3 ruling, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, is the court’s first significant decision on gun rights in over a decade. In a far-reaching ruling, the court made clear that the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right “to keep and bear arms” protects a broad right to carry a handgun outside the home for self-defense. Going forward, Thomas explained, courts should uphold gun restrictions only if there is a tradition of such regulation in U.S. history.
The state law at the heart of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen required anyone who wants to carry a concealed handgun outside the home to show “proper cause” for the license. New York courts interpreted that phrase to require applicants to show more than a general desire to protect themselves or their property. Instead, applicants must demonstrate a special need for self-defense – for example, a pattern of physical threats. Several other states, including California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, impose similar restrictions, as do many cities.
The lower courts upheld the New York law against a challenge from two men whose applications for concealed-carry licenses were denied. But on Thursday, the Supreme Court tossed out the law in an ideologically divided 63-page opinion.
*The NYT reports an explanation by Thomas that appears buy the widest possible interpretation of the Second Amendment:
Justice Thomas wrote that citizens may not be required to explain to the government why they sought to exercise a constitutional right.
“We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need,” he wrote.
The federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals sitting en banc has reversed an earlier 2-1 panel decision holding that an Arkansas law requiring that state contractors pledge not to participate in the BDS boycott of Israel violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause. The en banc court’s rationale is that such boycotts constitute mere “economic activity” rather than “speech.”The decision runs contrary to a long national tradition of treating political boycotts as speech. It also seems inconsistent with the US Supreme Court’s holding in Citizens United v. FEC (2010) that spending money on political causes constitutes protected free speech.I expect this issue may require resolution by SCOTUS.
*You know of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, the state’s premier college (“The Buckeyes”). Well, did you know that its official name is really “The Ohio State University”, and the school just patented the word “The”? (Even the schools the Wikipedia entry is under “Ohio State University” without the article.) They need to protect their brand!
The Ohio State University has successfully trademarked the word “THE,” in a victory for the college and its branding that is sure to produce eye rolls from Michigan fans and other rivals.
Stating the full name of the school has become a point of pride for Ohio State’s athletes when introducing themselves on television during games. The three-letter article “THE” has also become an important part of the school’s merchandise and apparel.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved Ohio State’s application Tuesday. The trademark applies to T-shirts, baseball caps and hats.
. . .For Ohio State, the university doesn’t have an absolute right to use the word “THE” on apparel, Mr. Gerben said. There are numerous other trademark registrations that include the word “THE” in clothing as part of a phrase.
The trademark, however, could stop another party from using just the word “THE” as the name of a brand, he said.
LOL!!! The wags immediately emerged on Twitter:
Still, THE most pretentious thing in sports.
— Sick Of It All Roy (@Sickroy6) June 22, 2022
Reactions from a patent attorney:
Shocked @Apple hasn’t tried for a stand-alone lowercase “i” yet. Maybe that is next
— Ryan Schneer 🧪⚖️ (@schneeriplaw) June 22, 2022
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili apparently foraged for her own wild dinner:
A: Breakfast?Hili: I already had my breakfast on the grass, now I will have a nap.
Ja: Śniadanie?Hili: Już jadłam śniadanie na trawie, teraz się prześpię.
A groaner from Bruce:
From Merilee. And yes, you can buy one for your d*g:
From Gregory. I’d ask what the Mormons had been drinking when they made this code, but they don’t drink. “BYU” is, of course, Brigham Young University.
New Israeli fighter pilots:
Meet Lt. N, Lt. N and Lt. N.
We can't tell you their full names.
We also can't show you their faces.
But we can tell you that they graduate from the IDF's elite Pilots Course today and will now start defending Israel's skies. pic.twitter.com/VO525FdzOg
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) June 23, 2022
Irrefutable proof that rock and pop music have gone way downhill!
August 1965. Nothing close to a dud in the bunch.
And don’t let me hear you talk trash about Gary Lewis & the Playboys. pic.twitter.com/Gziy9uQ7Vd
— Nancy Franklin (@nancyfranklin) June 21, 2022
Really cool animal living in the skin of another. Phronima (note spelling) is a genus of deep-sea amphipod. Watch the video!
Oh awesome check it out:
This is actually two creature, the wiggling thing at the top is a crab-like creature called Phronema. It ate the insides of a tube-shaped animal called a salp & is now living in the salp’s hardened skin, where it will lay its eggs. #HighSeasLife https://t.co/Fbsi1szrdQ
— Open Ocean Exploration (@RebeccaRHelm) June 23, 2022
From Simon: Raptors are really good at this:
Precision.. 👌 pic.twitter.com/3PknhGH5mB
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) June 22, 2022
Do I have to say again that cats are smart? Remember the tweet the other day when a cat feigned a leg injury so he could get inside?
The easiest way.. 😂 pic.twitter.com/AjrPpY6LJM
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) June 23, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial: a sad tale of escapees:
24 June 1944 | Jewish woman Mala Zimetbaum (b. in Poland, deported from occupied Belgium) & Pole Edward Galiński tried to escape from #Auschwitz. It ended tragicly for both of them. Read their story below ⬇️ & in our @googlearts exhibition: https://t.co/iHtfx6fjuM pic.twitter.com/Cut65F611y
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) June 24, 2022
Tweets from Matthew. Sound up to hear the baby sloth:
Bebé perezoso te dice buenos días 😍
baby sloth says good morning to you 😍
*Sound on* pic.twitter.com/Q3FVktJTNl
— Digital Naturalism (@HikingHack) June 23, 2022
RIP Mr./Ms. Clam! How did they now it was dead, and, most important, how do they know it died of “natural causes”?
Waikīkī Aquarium's giant clam dies https://t.co/nmty0bS1fP This is one of the first times I've seen an announcement of the death of a 'beloved' public aquarium exhibit that is an invertebrate.
— Samantha Muka (@aquariumglass) June 23, 2022
An invasive species. How did it get here?
Polistes dominula, the European paper wasp, photographed in Saint Louis.
Smaller than our native paper wasps. Probably has better healthcare and public transportation, too, but I didn’t get close enough to ask. pic.twitter.com/UZNnBatA6t
— Alex Wild (@Myrmecos) June 23, 2022