Top of the morning to you on this Hump Day (“Kambar Günü”, as they say in Turkish), September 14, 2020. It’s National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day, though the chances that you’ll find a doughnut filled with actual cream or its derivatives is virtually nil. Now they’re filled with “creme” or “kreme”, probably petroleum byproducts that never saw the inside of a cow. “Creme” the dairy equivalent of the odious “krab.”
A hoagie is the Philadelphia term for a submarine sandwich, also called a “grinder” or a “hero”, depending on where you are in the U.S. (some claim these are actually different, but they’re not). In New Orleans they’re called “po-boys”, because they were a filling mill for the impecunious. Here’s a lovely Italian hoagie:
Stuff that happened on September 14 includes:
- 786 – “Night of the three Caliphs”: Harun al-Rashid becomes the Abbasid caliph upon the death of his brother al-Hadi. Birth of Harun’s son al-Ma’mun.
- 1226 – The first recorded instance of the Catholic practice of perpetual Eucharistic adoration formally begins in Avignon, France.
Well, the Eucharist is the wine-and-wafer ceremony but I had no idea what “perpetual adoration” of that was. Here’s what Wikipedia says:
When the exposition and adoration of the Eucharist is constant (twenty-four hours a day), it is called perpetual adoration. In a monastery or convent, it is done by the resident monks or nuns and, in a parish, by volunteer parishioners since the 20th century. In a prayer opening the Perpetual chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope John Paul II prayed for a perpetual adoration chapel in every parish in the world
And there are livecams of this because it’s perpetual! Here’s a livestream from Melbourne, 24/7. Nothing changes but the candles; but GOD KNOWS it’s there.
- 1741 – George Frideric Handel completes his oratorio Messiah.
- 1752 – The British Empire adopts the Gregorian calendar, skipping eleven days (the previous day was September 2).
I always wonder how this worked: what about appointments that were made during the skipped period?
- 1812 – Napoleonic Wars: The French Grande Armée enters Moscow. The Fire of Moscow begins as soon as Russian troops leave the city.
- 1975 – The first American saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, is canonized by Pope Paul VI.
The deed for which she was canonized was founding the American parochial (Catholic) school system. But of course that’s not enough: you need two miracles to become a saint. I could find only one, but I couldn’t be arsed to look for the other. This is the first one that leads to the minor leagues of sainthood: beatification:
In 1952, a miracle involving the healing of 4 year old Ann O’Neil from leukemia was attributed to the intercession of Seton after a nun prayed for the girl to Seton. The miracle was a factor in the beatification of Seton and Seton was beatified by Pope John XXIII on March 17, 1963.
A portrait of the saint, to whom you can now pray for intercession to Jesus or God, is below; the Wikipedia caption is tortuous:
This portrait of Elizabeth Ann Seton is a reproduction of a portrait painted by Amabilia Filicchi. The reproduction was sent to the Daughters of Charity by Patrizio Filicchi in 1888. It’s based on an engraving by Ceroni from the 1860s, which in turn was based on a 1797 engraving by Charles Balthazar Julien Fevret de Saint-Mémin.
I couldn’t find a video of that, but Kittinger, who had a remarkable career (and is still with us at 94) made the first “space jump” ever in history: a parachute jump from a balloon from beyond the edge of space (conventionally, 100,000 feet). A YouTube video gives the details:
On August 16, 1960, Joseph Kittinger jumped his last Excelsior jump, doing so from an air-thin height of 102,800 feet (31,334 meters). From that nearly 20 miles altitude, his tumble toward terra firma took some 4 minutes and 36 seconds. Exceeding the speed of sound during the fall, Kittinger used a small stabilizing chute before a larger, main parachute opened in the denser atmosphere. He safely touched down in barren New Mexico desert, 13 minutes 45 seconds after he vaulted into the void. The jump set records that still stand today, among them, the highest parachute jump, the longest freefall, and the fastest speed ever attained by a human through the atmosphere. Somewhat in contention is Kittinger’s use of the small parachute for stabilization during his record-setting fall. Roger Eugene Andreyev, a Russian, is touted as holding the world’s free fall record of 80,325 feet (24,483 meters), made on November 1, 1962.
And here’s Kittinger describing that jump.
- 1994 – The Major League Baseball season is canceled because of a strike.
- 2015 – The first observation of gravitational waves is made, announced by the LIGO and Virgo collaborations on 11 February 2016.
You remember this. Here are the confirming data with the caption from Wikipedia. Look at the match between expected and observed. (The expected comes from applying the theory of relativity to the merging of two black holes. These “ripples in space-time” are so small that even Einstein doubted they could be detected. Thus they build two huge detectors far apart (below) to find them. It was a remarkable discovery.
The method, as described by Wikipedia, was capable of detecting extremely small events:
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a large-scale physics experiment and observatory designed to detect cosmic gravitational waves and to develop gravitational-wave observations as an astronomical tool. Two large observatories were built in the United States with the aim of detecting gravitational waves by laser interferometry. These observatories use mirrors spaced four kilometers apart which are capable of detecting a change of less than one ten-thousandth the charge diameter of a proton
Here’s one of the two observatories, the one in Hanford Washington. I’m still gobsmaked that this was possible:
*Professor Ceiling Cat’s Prediction: We’re heading into a recession. Here’s Tuesday evening’s headline from the WSJ (click to read):
and a big article in the NYT:
Been to the grocery store lately? That $4 for a dozen eggs isn’t going to suddenly go back to $1.00, which was the on-sale price where I shop. From the NYT:
Inflation remained uncomfortably rapid in August despite a decline in gas costs as prices continued to soar across a broad array of other goods and services, evidence that the sustainable slowdown the Federal Reserve and White House have been hoping for remains elusive.
Prices rose 8.3 percent from a year earlier compared to 8.5 percent in July, a fresh Consumer Price Index report released Tuesday showed, a still-rapid pace of increase and not as much of a moderation as economists had expected. The disappointing data came even as falling gas prices pulled inflation lower, with rapidly rising costs for rent, health care, restaurant meals and goods such as furniture offsetting the relief consumers were feeling at the fuel pump.
Compounding the bad news, a core index that strips out gas and food to get a sense of underlying inflation trends accelerated by more than was expected.
For policymakers at the Federal Reserve, who have been raising interest rates to slow the economy and try to tame recent rapid inflation, the report was a fresh sign that price increases have yet to come back under control — and that continued aggressive action may be needed to wrestle them lower.
It may be too late, at least for the hopes of the Democrats this fall. I hope I’m wrong, but I smell the “r” word in the distance.
*Those scrappy Ukrainian soldiers are right up the butts of the fleeing Russians, and while none of us knows how this will end, I’m delighted to read that the Russians are skedaddling towards home like rabbits. The pressure is on, as the Associated Press reports:
Ukrainian troops piled pressure on retreating Russian forces Tuesday, pressing deeper into occupied territory and sending more Kremlin troops fleeing ahead of the counteroffensive that has inflicted a stunning blow on Moscow’s military prestige.
As the advance continued, Ukraine’s border guard services said the army took control of Vovchansk — a town just 3 kilometers (2 miles) from Russia seized on the first day of the war. Russia acknowledged that it has withdrawn troops from areas in the northeastern region of Kharkiv in recent days.
Russian troops were also pulling out from the southern city of Melitopol, the second-largest city in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region, the city’s pre-occupation mayor said. His claim could not immediately be verified.
Melitopol has been under Russian occupation since early March. Capturing it would give Kyiv the opportunity to disrupt Russian supply lines between the south and the eastern Donbas region, the two major areas where Moscow-backed forces hold territory.
. . .It was not yet clear if the Ukrainian blitz, which unfolded after months of little discernible movement, could signal a turning point in the nearly seven-month war.
But the country’s officials were buoyant, releasing footage showing their forces burning Russian flags and inspecting abandoned, charred tanks. In one video, border guards tore down a poster that read, “We are one people with Russia.”
Momentum has switched back and forth before, and Ukraine’s American allies were careful not to declare a premature victory since Russian President Vladimir Putin still has troops and resources to tap.
Just remember that Putin is a mean and evil man, and is capable of any kind of killing if his back is to the wall. I predict a nefarious attack on Ukrainian civilians.
*Matthew’s been keeping me abreast (excuse the bad pun; see below) of how England is mourning the late Queen. Some of it is dignified and touching—the pile of marmalade sandwiches at Buckingham Palace was cute, albeit messy— but much of it seems not only senseless and an over-the-top flaunting of grief, but also but maladaptive. Look at this tweet:
wife's breast cancer appointment cancelled Monday, which means all breast cancer appointments are cancelled on Monday. She has a new one in a month. I'm sure she'll be fine, but that's a wait that will almost certainly cost lives. This is an obscenity, in the name of the monarchy
— matt (@matted1) September 13, 2022
And now, because of the Queen’s funeral, they’re also canceling funerals of nonroyal people throughout Old Blighty. Matthew sent me this link to the Daily Mirror, adding “Many other funerals have been cancelled, either because the family wants to (fair enough) or because the crematorium or parlour are closed.”
But as the subheadline states, other people are angry because they have their own loved ones to bury, and have to wait until the Queen is in the ground. That’s unfair.
However, the decision to cancel funerals has been slammed by the public, with many already having been “arranged many weeks ago”.
People have taken to Twitter to share their grievances and heartbreak regarding this decision.
One person wrote: “No one can be buried (or cremated) on Monday 19th September except for the Queen,” to which another confirmed that this is true, saying “My family have had a funeral cancelled for that day. They’ve been told no funerals ever go ahead on a Bank Holiday”.
Another explained that many funerals taking place on September 19 will be moved to a different date. They said: “Although work is still ongoing, some funerals will go ahead, others are moving to a different date – led by the needs & wishes of the bereaved families involved.”
They also added: “Most funeral services booked for 19 September will have been arranged many weeks ago, so funeral directors and cemeteries/crematoria are working with families to find the best approach for each one.”
The article also mentions that surgeries are likely to be canceled on Monday, in line with what Matt tweeted above, and with long waits at the NHS, that could be really bad. Is that what the Queen would have wanted?
Residents of Sydney, Australia, are caught in a battle of wits with cockatoos, as they try to stop the crafty birds raiding their rubbish bins for food.
As fast as they come up with new ways to stop the sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) from opening the bins, the birds are working out ways to defeat them. It is a classic example of an arms race in cultural evolution, says Barbara Klump at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Radolfzell, Germany.
The saga began when cockatoos discovered that people’s bins often contain food, with bread and fruit being particular favourites. The lids are heavy, but a few birds found they could pry them open at the front, grip the lid in their beak while walking around the rim towards the hinge, and flip the lid over.
The trick was seen in only three suburbs of Sydney in 2018, but by 2019 it had spread to 44 suburbs as cockatoos learned the trick by copying each other, Klump’s team reported previously. The behaviour is a nuisance for residents since the birds often toss rubbish over their front yards and streets.
. . . Some residents started putting bricks and other items on top of their bin lids, but some of the hungry birds figured out they could nudge the bricks off with their heads.
The humans are ahead, but only temporarily. I love the learning clusters in both birds and humans:
A more sophisticated tactic – which hasn’t yet been defeated – is to wedge a stick or a pair of trainers between the hinges and the bin to stop the lid from flipping over.
“Bricks seemed to work for a while, but cockies got too clever,” one resident told the researchers. “Neighbours on [the] other side of [the] highway suggested sticks. They work.”
The researchers found that protection tactics tended to cluster among neighbouring houses, leading them to conclude that they are copying each other’s tactics just like the birds do.
*But there’s good news, too: CERN announced the discovery of three new particles, courtesy of the LHC (h/t Malcolm)
The international LHCb collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has observed three never-before-seen particles: a new kind of “pentaquark” and the first-ever pair of “tetraquarks”, which includes a new type of tetraquark. The findings, presented today at a CERN seminar, add three new exotic members to the growing list of new hadrons found at the LHC. They will help physicists better understand how quarks bind together into these composite particles.
Quarks are elementary particles and come in six flavours: up, down, charm, strange, top and bottom. They usually combine together in groups of twos and threes to form hadrons such as the protons and neutrons that make up atomic nuclei. More rarely, however, they can also combine into four-quark and five-quark particles, or “tetraquarks” and “pentaquarks”. These exotic hadrons were predicted by theorists at the same time as conventional hadrons, about six decades ago, but only relatively recently, in the past 20 years, have they been observed by LHCb and other experiments.
. . . The discoveries announced today by the LHCb collaboration include new kinds of exotic hadrons. The first kind, observed in an analysis of “decays” of negatively charged B mesons, is a pentaquark made up of a charm quark and a charm antiquark and an up, a down and a strange quark. It is the first pentaquark found to contain a strange quark. The finding has a whopping statistical significance of 15 standard deviations, far beyond the 5 standard deviations that are required to claim the observation of a particle in particle physics.
As for their significance, well, judging that is above my pay grade, but I always like it when they find new particles.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Szaron walks warily:
Hili: Are you afraid of me?Szaron, No, I’m applying the precautionary principle.
Hili: Boisz się mnie?Szaron: Nie, stosuję zasadę ostrożności.
And a photo of baby Kulka:
From Seth Andrews. Is it Euromart in France?
And another from Facebook. This sounds like a song title:
Lagniappe. This is true, and Buckingham Palace has requested that no more marmalade sandwiches and Paddington Bears be left in front of the fence.
The Tweet of God, who, like a schmear, is on a roll:
I aborted My own son when he was 33.
— God (@TheTweetOfGod) September 13, 2022
From Malcom, a FB video:
Via Simon, a cat attack:
I’ve seen this cat before 🤔 pic.twitter.com/GZIGtDCpUR
— ⒿⓇ ✪ (@_JR_55_) September 11, 2022
A screenshot of a tweet sent by Bruce:
Entranced kitties from Barry:
Good Morning it’s Sunday 😊💟
Who doesn’t like to watch Cartoons on Sunday Morning? 😊🐱❤️ pic.twitter.com/etoZ7IhyZi
— RAOK 🇺🇦💙🌻More Love❤️Less Hate🖐🏽💯☮️ (@EvolvingEmpathy) September 4, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial, a boy gassed at six:
14 September 1937 | A German Jewish boy, Günther Willi Aron, was born in Essen.
He arrived at #Auschwitz on 5 November 1943 in a transport of 1,000 Jews deported from ghetto in Riga. He was among 850 of them murdered in gas chambers after the selection. pic.twitter.com/GShJU8t3ZU
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) September 14, 2022
Tweets from Matthew. The first one shows punishment for holding up blank signs in two cities. The cops are IMAGINING what’s on the paper!
— Gabriel Gatehouse (@ggatehouse) September 13, 2022
What are Trump and his cronies doing?
They're not golfing. I don't even see golf clubs. This is the equivalent of Tony Soprano meeting his boys at Satriale's. https://t.co/HMmNNnveac
— Randi Mayem Singer (@rmayemsinger) September 12, 2022
The mystery deepens!
No he has not been photographed golfing. He’s photographed with McCarthy, Nunes, Eric, Trusty, Hannity and others standing in the rain on a golf course with no clubs and no golf shoes. pic.twitter.com/gbQprRVAR8
— FloridaKaren (@KarenInSoFlo) September 12, 2022
And this one just arrived from Ken. It’s the Tweet of the Week
Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Subpoena pic.twitter.com/Nhw5K4HzMq
— Mr. Newberger (@jeremynewberger) September 12, 2022