We’ll have a truncated Hili today as I prepare most of this the day before, and yesterday I was busy. That be said, readership seems thin on these posts, and I may cut them back to the original form: just the Hili dialogue.
But welcome to the beginning of the “work” week: Monday, July 11, 2022: National Blueberry Muffin Day—the State Muffin of Minnesota.) These are the best muffins, especially when warm and buttered, but oy! are they laden with calories. A “large” blueberry muffin (3.25 inches in diameter and 2.75 inches high) has 385 calories, and face it, that’s really a “small” blueberry muffin these days. We’re really talking about 500+ calories. But even a smaller blueberry muffin takes this much exercise to burn off its calories:
But of course nearly all muffins are loaded with calories. Still. . . .
It’s also Corn on the Cob Day, National German Chocolate Cake Day, World Gin Day, National Rosé Day (the wine), Free Slurpee Day (at participating stores of the 7-Eleven chain in North America; go here to learn how to get yours), and World Population Day.
Stuff that happened on July 11 include:
A note on that:
Six of the voyages occurred during the Yongle reign (r. 1402–24), while the seventh voyage occurred during the Xuande reign (r. 1425–1435). The first three voyages reached up to Calicut on India’s Malabar Coast, while the fourth voyage went as far as Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. In the last three voyages, the fleet traveled up to the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa.
The Chinese expeditionary fleet was heavily militarized and carried great amounts of treasures, which served to project Chinese power and wealth to the known world. They brought back many foreign ambassadors whose kings and rulers were willing to declare themselves tributaries of China.
- 1576 – While exploring the North Atlantic Ocean in an attempt to find the Northwest Passage, Martin Frobisher sights Greenland, mistaking it for the hypothesized (but non-existent) island of “Frisland”.
- 1804 – A duel occurs in which the Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr mortally wounds former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.
- 1893 – The first cultured pearl is obtained by Kōkichi Mikimoto.
After a ton of effort, Mikimoto learned to produce cultured pearls by inserting a piece of “mother of pearl” covered with a bit of mantle membrane into an oyster shell, which the oyster would cover with nacre. Below is a photo of Mikimoto is doing just that. His pearls were often indistinguishable from the real thing, and are still sold at fancy prices in Tokyo:
- 1897 – Salomon August Andrée leaves Spitsbergen to attempt to reach the North Pole by balloon.
After realizing that they wouldn’t get near the Pole, the men landed and then crossed the pack ice to an uninhabited island, where they died of unknown causes. They did recover the photographic plates, though. Here’s one showing the stranded balloon and two of the three men on the team.
- 1906 – Murder of Grace Brown by Chester Gillette in the United States, inspiration for Theodore Dreiser‘s An American Tragedy.
Brown, 20 (phot below), was drowned by her boyfriend after she told him she was pregnant. Based on the circumstances and the letters they exchanged before her death, Chester was convicted of murder and executed:
- 1914 – Babe Ruth makes his debut in Major League Baseball.
The Babe was a pitcher then (a good one!), and, pitching seven innings, led the Boston Red Sox to a 2-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians. But he had no hits during two times at bat. (Babe’s contract was later sold to the Yankess, and the rest is history. Here’s the Bambino pitching for the Red Sox:
- 1921 – Former president of the United States William Howard Taft is sworn in as 10th chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming the only person ever to hold both offices.
That’s a great trivia question to ask people. Here’s Taft as Chief Justice; he served until 1930:
- 1924 – Eric Liddell won the gold medal in 400m at the 1924 Paris Olympics, after refusing to run in the heats for 100m, his favoured distance, on the Sunday.
You’ll remember this if you saw the excellent movie “Chariots of Fire.” Here’s a video of Liddell winning the gold medal in the 400. This “muscular Christian” became am missionary and died at 42 of a brain tumor while interned in China by the Japanese. Watch the video below by clicking on the “Watch on YouTube” line below. A note:
Eric Liddell, also known as the Flying Scotsman, was an unlikely Olympic champion. With a unique style of running – with his head back and mouth open – he was even ridiculed by his opponents. Still, he overcame all of that in the Paris 1924 Olympic Games. Liddell’s first Olympic final took place in the 200 metres competition where he won the Olympic bronze medal with a time of 21.9 seconds. However, his most impressive performance would come later in the 400m, where he covered the first 200m in an astonishing 22.2 seconds. During the second half of the race, he was still able to increase his lead against his fellow competitors to win the Olympic gold medal. His time – 47.6 seconds – was now the new Olympic record.
The ship carried “4,515 Jewish migrants from France to Mandatory Palestine. Most were Holocaust survivors who had no legal immigration certificates for Palestine. The Royal Navy boarded her in international waters and took her to Haifa, where ships were waiting to return the migrants to refugee camps in Europe.”
The migrants wound up in Germany! Nobody wants the Jews.
Here’s a trailer for the 1960 movie “Exodus”, which featured the ship:. Paul Newman played a Jew who could pass for a goy because of his looks. Here his physiognamy is inspected for Semitic features.
A first edition and first printing of this classic, unsigned, will cost you about $22,500 (below):
- 1972 – The first game of the World Chess Championship 1972 between challenger Bobby Fischer and defending champion Boris Spassky starts.
- 2015 – Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán escapes from the maximum security Altiplano prison in Mexico. It’s his second escape.
Guzman, below in a mug shot, is serving life plus thirty years at America’s toughest prison, ADX Florence. He won’t escape again.
- 2021 – Richard Branson becomes the first civilian to be launched into space via his Virgin Galactic spacecraft.
Only one bit of news: The Washington Post reports on a Duck Lawsuit. A Texas couple has put their home up for sale because their homeowners association were feeding local ducks!
In June, the Lakeland Community Homeowners Association decided it had had enough of the Rowes feeding the waterfowl despite what it said were repeated warnings not to. The association filed suit against the couple in Harris County Civil Court, asking a judge for a “permanent mandatory injunction requiring Defendants to cease from feeding any wildlife” in the neighborhood.
Feeding the ducks “runs afoul of the general plan and scheme of Subdivision” and has caused “imminent harm and irreparable injury to the Plaintiff,” the lawsuit reads. The lawsuit asks the court for permission for the HOA to foreclose on the property if the Rowes continue to feed the ducks.
Imminent harm and irreparable injury? I doubt it: if they fed the ducks only a little, and there wasn’t leftover food, and it didn’t attract more ducks, then what’s the harm. Of course I am not a biased observer!
But wait; there’s more. Many of these aren’t wild mallards:
“I’m a board-certified real estate attorney, and this lawsuit is truly the silliest lawsuit I’ve ever seen in my practice,” Weaver said. “This attorney has essentially claimed that feeding ducks is either noxious or offensive — I think that’s an incredible statement.”
Weaver said ducks are common in the neighborhood and are even visible on Google Maps street view in front of the Rowe’s home. Kathleen decided to start feeding the ducks because many of them were raised in pet stores and purchased by families for events such as Easter, then released into the wild, according to Weaver.“They’ve never had a mother,” Kathleen told the Houston Chronicle. “I feel like I’m just stepping in.”
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is accusing Szaron of perfidy:
Hili: Stop reading and look at Szaron.A: What happened?Hili: I think that he is changing settings on your computer.
Hili: Przestań czytać, spójrz na Szarona.Ja: Co się stało?Hili: On chyba ci zmienia ustawienia w komputerze.
And a photo of Szaron:
From Science Humor: “The best support ever.”
Two duck tweets to start the week off right:
Nothing for today…just good vibesssss 😎 pic.twitter.com/V3s4IUY3dD
— why you should have a duck 🦆 (@Haveshouldduck) June 24, 2022
You’ve got mail!
— why you should have a duck 🦆 (@Haveshouldduck) July 4, 2022
From Malcolm: a giant Flemish bunny (there is no sound)
The male Flemish Giant rabbit can weigh up to 22 pounds (10 kg) and the female can get up to 20 pounds (9 kg). At most, they grow to be 2.5 feet long (70 cm) [read more: https://t.co/RFkeSsINPl] [source of the gif: https://t.co/CdiiM4DKru] pic.twitter.com/KwONsF5c4J
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) July 10, 2022
Yes, the pelican is trying, but it won’t succeed:
Pelican trying to eat a capybara.. 😅 pic.twitter.com/H7hFZMd8iB
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) July 9, 2022
From Simon: A tweet by Margaret Atwood:
— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) June 30, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial: three days of mass slaughter:
10-12 July 1944 | After selections made by SS at the BIIb sector of #Auschwitz II-Birkenau (a so-called family camp for Jews deported from #Theresienstadt ghetto) some 3,000 people were transferred to other camps & the remaining some 7,000 were murdered in gas chambers. pic.twitter.com/6HHAaCyl2v
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) July 11, 2022
Tweets from Matthew. Tony Sirico, who played Paulie Walnuts on “The Sopranos”, died on Friday at 79. Here’s an anecdote about his role in the show:
looooool. king! pic.twitter.com/ChoQWmv49H
— Aleš Kot (@ales_kot) July 10, 2022
Two things to note in this one:
— Rabih Alameddine (@rabihalameddine) July 10, 2022
Two excellent of good advice for posterity from Bertrand Russell:
Everybody *EVERYBODY* Could do with hearing this. So much timeless wisdom in two short pieces of advice. pic.twitter.com/vgkXiBEmj4
— Demagogue_Bingo 🇺🇦🔶🌍🇪🇺🥛⚖️⚔️🦉🐝💀🎯☸️ (@BingoDemagogue) July 10, 2022