I have guests in town, so posting will be very light today and tomorrow, and back to normal Tuesday, the Crueliest Day. Bear with me.
Good morning on the faux Sabbath: Sunday, July 10, 2022: National Piña Colada Day. This is a drink for people who don’t like alcohol, consisting as it does of pineapple, coconut cream, ice, pineapple juice, and rum. It’s okay as a one-off on a hot day, but you don’t get a buzz from such things. When made, it’s about 13% alcohol by volume—the same as a German riesling. And look at this one: maraschino cherries? Where’s the umbrella?
It’s also National Iced Tea Day, National Black Cow Day (root beer and vanilla ice cream), National Herb and Spice Day, Nikola Tesla Day (he was born on this day in 1856) and Statehood Day in Wyoming (see below).
Stuff that happened on July 10 includes:
- 138 – Emperor Hadrian dies of heart failure at his residence on the bay of Naples, Baiae; he is buried at Rome in the Tomb of Hadrian beside his late wife, Vibia Sabina.
Hadrian’s Arch in Athens, likely build to honor the Emperor:
This is what she may have looked like, as the caption says “The Streatham portrait, discovered at the beginning of the 21st century and believed to be based on a lost contemporaneous portrait.”
She was executed by beheading at only 17. Here’s a scene from the movie “Lady Jane” starring Helena Bonham Carter. The scene is pretty accurate, at least
- 1850 – U.S. President Millard Fillmore is sworn in, a day after becoming president upon Zachary Taylor‘s death.
Mallard Fillmore (LOL), photographed by Matthew Brady between 1855 and 1865:
- 1890 – Wyoming is admitted as the 44th U.S. state.
- 1924 – Paavo Nurmi won the 1,500 and 5,000 m races with just an hour between them at the Paris Olympics.
That is a remarkable feat. Nurmi won 5 gold medals in those games, and here’s a short video:
- 1925 – Scopes Trial: In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called “Monkey Trial” begins of John T. Scopes, a young high school science teacher accused of teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act.
The Butler Act prohibited the teaching not of evolution, but specifically of human evolution. Here’s Scopes at the trial and me at his grave (hard to find!) at a cemetery in Paducah, Kentucky:
The plane was a Lockheed 14 Super Electra with a four-man crew. It took him 91 hours, nearly half as long as the previous record. His plane and Hughes’s arrival (he’s the guy by the door with a hat).
- 1942 – World War II: An American pilot spots a downed, intact Mitsubishi A6M Zero on Akutan Island (the “Akutan Zero“) that the US Navy uses to learn the aircraft’s flight characteristics.
Here’s the Akutan Zero, which was repaired and flown by American pilots. As the article on it in Wikipedia says:
As a result of information gained from these tests, American tacticians were able to devise ways to defeat the Zero, which was the Imperial Japanese Navy‘s primary fighter plane throughout the war.
The Akutan Zero has been described as “a prize almost beyond value to the United States”, and “probably one of the greatest prizes of the Pacific War”. Japanese historian and lieutenant general Masatake Okumiya stated that the acquisition of the Akutan Zero “was no less serious” than the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midway, and that it “did much to hasten Japan’s final defeat”. On the other hand, John Lundstrom is among those who challenge “the contention that it took dissection of Koga’s Zero to create tactics that beat the fabled airplane”.
Remember the eponymous song by the Tornados released in 1962? It hit #1 on both the U.S. and U.K. charts. I put it below.
And fun facts from Wikipedia:
French composer Jean Ledrut accused Joe Meek of plagiarism, claiming that the tune of “Telstar” had been copied from “La Marche d’Austerlitz”, a piece from a score that Ledrut had written for the film Austerlitz (1960). This led to a lawsuit that prevented Meek from receiving royalties from the record during his lifetime, and the issue was not resolved in Meek’s favour until three weeks after his suicide in 1967. Austerlitz was not released in the UK until 1965, and Meek was unaware of the film when the lawsuit was filed in March 1963.
Here’s “La Marche d’Austerlitz”. I don’t think it’s plagiarized at all, though the first three notes of the two songs are the same.
- 1985 – The Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior is bombed and sunk in Auckland harbour by French DGSE agents, killing Fernando Pereira.
The ship was sunk by French intelligence agents because it impeded French nuclear testing, and although one photographer was killed, two agents spent only two years in a French prison for manslaughter:
- 1991 – Boris Yeltsin takes office as the first elected President of Russia.
- 1992 – In Miami, former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega is sentenced to 40 years in prison for drug and racketeering violations.
- 1997 – In London, scientists report the findings of the DNA analysis of a Neanderthal skeleton which supports the “out of Africa theory” of human evolution, placing an “African Eve” at 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
- 2002 – At a Sotheby’s auction, Peter Paul Rubens‘s painting The Massacre of the Innocents is sold for £49.5 million (US$76.2 million) to Lord Thomson.
Here’s the painting, which now hangs in the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. It was once doubted whether this was by Rubens’s hand, but art experts now think so.
- 2019 – The last Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the line in Puebla, Mexico. The last of 5,961 “Special Edition” cars will be exhibited in a museum.
Here it is, a car made for 8 decades and is now back again:
The good news and the bad news. The good news is that there isn’t any bad news today. The bad news is that’s all the news there is.
As I’ve been busy, I’ll ask you to read the papers yourself, and we’ll have a discussion thread for you to highlight what news there is.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej ponders, “What is it like to be a cat?”
Hili: Is there any painter who can see the world as a cat sees it?A: Probably not, but if you could tell us how you see the world…
Hili: Czy jest jakiś malarz, który widzi świat oczami kota?Ja: Chyba nie, ale gdybyś umiała nam opowiedzieć jak widzisz świat…
From Ruthann, a Mike Lukovich cartoon:
A bear taking (and failing) the mirror test. From Facebook: