It’s Friday, July 1, 2022, and the end of work today (many will leave early) will mark the beginning of a three-day holiday, for July 4 is American Independence Day (see below). It’s also National Gingersnap Day, and July marks these food months:
National Baked Bean Month
National Culinary Arts Month
National Hot Dog Month
National Ice Cream Month
National Picnic Month
National Pickle Month
That’s a good passel of months: not a dog in the lot (except for the hot dog, a culinary specialty of Chicago). It’s also Bobby Bonilla Day (see here), Canada Day, (in Canada, of course), International Tartan Day, International Chicken Wing Day (I prefer thighs), International Reggae Day, and Second Half of the New Year Day (today’s the 182nd day of 2022, so we’re halfway done).
Stuff that happened on July 1 includes this:
- 1770 – Lexell’s Comet is seen closer to the Earth than any other comet in recorded history, approaching to a distance of 0.0146 astronomical units (2,180,000 km; 1,360,000 mi).
Here’s a 1½-minute video about the comet:
- 1858 – Joint reading of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace‘s papers on evolution to the Linnean Society of London.
Here’s the first page of the back-to-back publication, a way of avoiding a priority fight over who thought of natural selection. You can read both papers here.
And a relevant tweet (from Matthew); read the sentence.
If you are feeling a bit unloved by science, spare a thought for Wallace & Darwin, whose work was read into the records of the Linnean Society on July 1st 1858. The single most important breakthrough in all of the Life Sciences IMHO. Thomas Bell, President of the Society wrote: pic.twitter.com/smQb2eQEHP
— James McInerney (@jomcinerney) June 30, 2022
- 1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Gettysburg begins.
The Confederates lost, of course in what is considered to be the turning point of the Civil War. On November 19 of that year, Lincoln gave the famous Gettysburg Address, one of the finest pieces of American rhetoric. And there’s a photo! Here it is, and I’ve circled Old Abe. The Wikipedia caption is below it. But how could those people hear him? There were no microphones.
You can read the text of the Address here; there are five copies of the speech in Lincoln’s hand, and we’re not sure which one he delivered.
- 1874 – The Sholes and Glidden typewriter, the first commercially successful typewriter, goes on sale.
Here it is, and it had the QWERTY keyboard. Unfortunately, it could produce only capital letters and wasn’t popular at first. But then typewriters caught on, and the rest is history, though almost none of them are used any more.
One of the units of the U.S. Army, the “rough riders”, or !st Volunteer Cavalry, was led by Theodore Roosevelt. It was a victory for the Americans, but a bloody one. Roosevelt became famous (and later President), and was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor for his deeds. Here’s a cropped photo showing Roosevelt (I’ve circled him) and the Cavalry:
- 1903 – Start of first Tour de France bicycle race.
- 1908 – SOS is adopted as the international distress signal.
- 1915 – Leutnant Kurt Wintgens of the then-named German Deutsches Heer’s Fliegertruppe army air service achieves the first known aerial victory with a synchronized machine-gun armed fighter plane, the Fokker M.5K/MG Eindecker.
Here’s the plane Wintgens used in his victory, and then a photo of him decorated for eight victories in the air:
- 1958 – Flooding of Canada’s Saint Lawrence Seaway begins.
Here’s a map of the connection between the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes, with the St. Lawrence Seaway in the purple box:
Wikipedia describes the origin of the name:
The term ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan; it was chosen to suggest that the mail travels more efficiently and quickly (zipping along) when senders use the code in the postal address. The term ZIP Code was originally registered as a service mark by the USPS; its registration expired in 1997.
Philby (below) defected to Moscow in 1963, worked for the KGB for a while, and died in 1988. Here’s a photo and his grave in Kuntsevo Cemetery, Moscow:
- 1979 – Sony introduces the Walkman.
Here’s the original Walkman, a TPS-L2 model. Did you have one of these devices? (I didn’t but don’t know why.)
Here’s a bilingual version of the song in which Canadians extol what they like about their country:
- 1990 – German reunification: East Germany accepts the Deutsche Mark as its currency, thus uniting the economies of East and West Germany.
- 1999 – The Scottish Parliament is officially opened by Elizabeth II on the day that legislative powers are officially transferred from the old Scottish Office in London to the new devolved Scottish Executive in Edinburgh. In Wales, the powers of the Welsh Secretary are transferred to the National Assembly.
Here’s the official opening of the Parliament. Lots of ceremony, which I like, and lots of kilts!
That reminds me of a kilt joke:
A shifty-looking guy in a kilt walks into a London pub. He orders a pint and very very carefully puts down the plastic bag he is carrying.
The bartender asks “What’s that?”
The guy answers “6 pounds of explosives”
“Thank God for that” says the barman, “I thought it might be bagpipes.”
- 2007 – Smoking in England is banned in all public indoor spaces.
*Crikey, another damn 6-3 Supreme Court vote against reality. Reader Ken let me know:
The Court handed down its decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency today, sharply restricting the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.You can access the majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions here.
Here are the live updates from the NYT (click on screenshot to read):
The Supreme Court on Thursday limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, dealing a blow to the Biden administration’s efforts to address climate change.
The vote was 6 to 3, with the court’s three liberal justices in dissent, saying that the majority had stripped the E.P.A. of “the power to respond to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.”
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the majority, only glancingly alluded to the harms caused by climate change. Justice Elena Kagan began her dissent with a long passage detailing the devastation the planet faces, including hurricanes, floods, famines, coastal erosion, mass migration and political crises.
The question in the case, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, turned on the scope of the language of the Clean Air Act. Under it, he wrote, Congress had not clearly given the agency sweeping authority to regulate the energy industry.
And now Congress can’t do that because legislation won’t pass without some R*p*bl*c*n approval! Trump may be gone, but his legacy is the new Supreme Court, which will destroy this Republic. 6-3 vote by 6-3 vote.
*The good news is that Ketanji Brown Jackson has been sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The neutral news is that she’s replacing liberal Stephen Breyer, so the votes will still be 6-3. More good news is that this is the first time four women have ever served simultaneously on the Supreme Court. The horrible news is that one of them is Amy Coney Barrett. But even if she (or any conservative on the bench) were replaced by a rational and liberal Justice, the vote would still be 5-4.
Oh well, have a nice photo:
*On the other hand (knock me over with a feather!), the Supreme Court just sided with a Biden Administration decision: his decision to end Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy—a policy that forced asylum seekers arriving at our Southern border to wait in Mexico while their cases were considered. From the NYT:
The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a challenge to the Biden administration’s efforts to end a Trump-era immigration program that forces asylum seekers arriving at the southwestern border to await approval in Mexico.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and the court’s three liberal members. Justice Amy Coney Barrett agreed with much of the chief justice’s analysis.
The challenged program, known commonly as Remain in Mexico and formally as the Migrant Protection Protocols, applies to people who left a third country and traveled through Mexico to reach the U.S. border. After the policy was put in place at the beginning of 2019, tens of thousands of people waited in unsanitary tent encampments for immigration hearings. There have been widespread reports of sexual assault, kidnapping and torture.
Soon after he took office, President Biden sought to end the program. Texas and Missouri sued, and lower courts reinstated it, ruling that federal immigration laws require returning immigrants who arrive by land and who cannot be detained while their cases are heard.
How is it possible that Kavanaugh, Barrett, and Roberts could join the three liberal justices? Don’t tell me that the conservatives are going to split sometimes and vote with the liberal Justices?
*The Wall Street Journal reports that Biden now endorses making an exception to the Senate’s filibuster rule, which requires 60 votes to stop debate on a bill and bring it to a vote. This requirement prevents the Senate from approving nearly all Democratic legislation. (If it were overruled, and Dems voted as a bloc, there would be a 50/50 tie which would be broken by the vote of our Democratic Vice President.)
What Biden has in mind is a new Congressional law that will reinstate the Roe v. Wade situation:
President Biden endorsed making an exception to filibuster rules to pass legislation codifying Roe v. Wade into law, an effort that would face obstacles because of key Democrats’ opposition to the move.
“The most important thing to be clear about is we have to codify Roe v. Wade into law and the way to do that is to make sure Congress votes to do that,” Mr. Biden told reporters during a press conference in Spain. “And if the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, it should be provided an exception for this…to the filibuster.”
Changing the filibuster rules of the Senate would allow legislation protecting abortion access to pass the chamber with 51 votes rather than the 60 votes usually required for bills to advance. Mr. Biden had previously backed an exception to filibuster rules to pass long-stalled election bills. It was the first time that the president publicly backed changing the filibuster rules to pass legislation codifying Roe v. Wade into law.
The filibuster could be changed with a simple majority vote, but not all Democrats in the 50-50 Senate are on board with such a move, saying it would fundamentally change the nature of the Senate and could backfire if the GOP takes control of the chamber.
The problem is that two Democratic Senators, Sinema and Manchin, oppose overturning the filibuster rule, so the Dems won’t get the 50/50 vote they need to get pro-choice legislation moving. In other words, two Senators are all that stands between the horrible situation just created by the Supreme Court and reinstating the Roe v. Wade principles as a federal law that applies in all states.
*Finally, a bit of humor to leaven all the anxiety. The AP reports that Putin, famous for riding not bareback but barechested, has created a “Chestgate” situation by mocking those Western leaders who laughed at his half-naked riding. He was stung by remarks by Justin Trudeau and Boris Johnson at the G7 summit.
Russian President Vladimir Putin shot back at Western leaders who mocked his athletic exploits, saying they would look “disgusting” if they tried to emulate his bare-torso appearances.
Putin made the comment during a visit to Turkmenistan early Thursday when asked about Western leaders joking about him at the G7 summit.
As they sat down for talks, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson jested that G7 leaders could take their clothes off to “show that we’re tougher than Putin” amid Russia-West tensions over Moscow’s military action in Ukraine.
Canadian premier Justin Trudeau joked that Western leaders could try to match Putin’s naked torso pictures with a “bare-chested horseback riding display,” one of his widely publicized athletic adventures.
Speaking to reporters, Putin retorted that, unlike him, Western leaders abuse alcohol and don’t do sports.
“I don’t know how they wanted to get undressed, above or below the waist,” he said. ”“But I think it would be a disgusting sight in any case.”
He noted that to look good “it’s necessary to stop abusing alcohol and other bad habits, do physical exercise and take part in sports.”
Putin looks a bit soft in the tum in this photo, though:
Me: Are you laying here?Hili: Yes, I’m devoted to considering beauty.
Ja: Tu leżysz?
Hili: Tak, poświęcam się rozważaniem na temat urody.
A cartoon from Private Eye sent in by Matthew:
And a Frank and Ernest cartoon by Bob Thaves, sent in by reader Tom:
I found this tweet, and you will not regret watching it!
Please watch these baby burrowing owls being Weird Little Guys. I promise you will not regret it
Shared with permission from @/avianbehavior on IG pic.twitter.com/flrcSL3zBh
— Kaeli Swift, Ph.D. (@corvidresearch) June 30, 2022
The real Twitter account of God is BACK and I’m putting up two excellent new tweets:
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is six bastards with gavels.
— God (@TheTweetOfGod) June 27, 2022
The people who think life begins at conception also think it began 6,000 years ago.
— God (@TheTweetOfGod) June 26, 2022
Reader Scott found a fantastic Twitter site: “Why you should have a duck,” and here’s one specimen. No ducks were harmed in the making of this video!
He didn’t expect that.. 😅 pic.twitter.com/1BlfADrSRa
— why you should have a duck 🦆 (@shouldhaveaduck) June 30, 2022
From Simon, who says, “This is cute—so long as Mom doesn’t object.” Oh to be that guy! (Sound on.)
Baby elephant cuddle.. 😊 pic.twitter.com/yl8yCir2gU
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) June 26, 2022
And an unusual form of art, also sent by Simon. Too bad it’s ephemeral.
Dirty art.. 👌 pic.twitter.com/8z7Ba3Iatz
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) June 29, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial: (via a retweeter):
Every day @AuschwitzMuseum tweets pictures of Holocaust victims, always heart-breaking but usually formal, Sunday-best shots from a different era; today’s looks as if it could have been taken last week… impact even greater… https://t.co/6Zj2uRDZz3
— Simon McDonald (@SimonMcDonaldUK) July 1, 2022
Tweets from Matthew. Does this one represent “English Life”?
— Anne-Sophie De Baets (@catwithmuztache) June 10, 2022
— Silent Movie GIFs (@silentmoviegifs) June 11, 2018