It’s the last day of the month: September 30, 2022, and October will come again. In Virginia, the chinkapins are falling. It’s National Mulled Cider Day, which of course is a harbinger of Fall.
It’s also German Butterbrot Day, Extra Virgin Olive Oil Day (get it at Costco, which has the pure stuff at a reasonable price), Chewing Gum Day, Hug a Vegetarian Day, National Bakery Day, International Blasphemy Rights Day, International Translation Day , National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada, and Save the Koala Day.
Stuff that happened on September 30 include:
Suleiman is usually shown with a big white turban. Here is is as painted by Titian (attribution not certain) in 1530, when Suleiman was still alive:
- 1791 – The first performance of Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute takes place two months before his death.
- 1888 – Jack the Ripper kills his third and fourth victims, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes.
What a monster! Here’s what he did to Edowes’s body after he slashed her throat:
Eddowes’s body was found in a corner of Mitre Square in the City of London, three-quarters of an hour after the discovery of the body of Elizabeth Stride. Her throat was severed from ear to ear and her abdomen ripped open by a long, deep and jagged wound before her intestines had been placed over her right shoulder, with a section of intestine being completely detached and placed between her body and left arm.
The left kidney and the major part of Eddowes’s uterus had been removed, and her face had been disfigured, with her nose severed, her cheek slashed, and cuts measuring a quarter of an inch and a half an inch respectively vertically incised through each of her eyelids. A triangular incision—the apex of which pointed towards Eddowes’s eye—had also been carved upon each of her cheeks, and a section of the auricle and lobe of her right ear was later recovered from her clothing. The police surgeon who conducted the post mortem upon Eddowes’s body stated his opinion these mutilations would have taken “at least five minutes” to complete.
- 1935 – The Hoover Dam, astride the border between the U.S. states of Arizona and Nevada, is dedicated.
Here is a short video of the highlights of Hoover Dam:
- 1939 – NBC broadcasts the first televised American football game.
- 1941 – World War II: The Babi Yar massacre comes to an end.
Nearly 34,000 Jews were shot over two days in a ravine (photo below). If done over 48 straight hours, that would be 708 people per hour or about 12 per minute.
The loss of life in Ukraine today is our primary concern. We are also outraged at the damage inflicted on the Babyn Yar memorial by Russia’s attack today. #BabynYar was the site of one of the largest mass shootings during the Holocaust. It is sacred ground. Learn more.
— US Holocaust Museum (@HolocaustMuseum) March 1, 2022
Here’s a natty Meredith in 1962:
- 1968 – The Boeing 747 is rolled out and shown to the public for the first time. It could hold 366 passengers.
Here’s the rollout.
Surprise! Wikipedia shows the drawings at the link, but I dare not reproduce them here or Pakistan will have the post taken down.
- 2016 – Two paintings with a combined value of $100 million are recovered after having been stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in 2002.
These aren’t particularly good van Goghs, but given his name they were worth a lot. Here they are:
*All Americans know the details of hurricane Ian, which has wreaked havoc across Florida, knocking out power throughout the state. Now, out at sea, it’s predicted to turn landward again and inflict itself on South Carolina. The NBC Evening News devoted its entire program last night to the hurricane, but it’s a pretty bad one.
But here’s some good news from the bad: KITTEN RESCUE. Reader Darrell wrote this (names and words posted with permission):
Thought you might like this story, given the nature of most news these days. Last night as [Hurricane] Ian was brushing past us my daughter, Brianna, found a very young kitten huddled on the side of the road. He was in pretty bad shape. Cold, wet, emaciated and with wounds on his face and belly.We’ve taken care of him and he has improved a good deal in the past 12 hours so I think he will make it. We will be taking him to our vet tomorrow morning to have him thoroughly checked out. Hoping for the best!
Tomorrow’s Vet Day but he’s doing pretty well, all things considered:
*Man, Putin didn’t know what he was in for when he drafted a bunch of Russian reservists to fight in the Ukraine. As the Washington Post reports, not only are Russian men fleeing the country in droves, but protests are breaking out everywhere.
Through angry protests, acts of violence and an exodus of more than 200,000 citizens, Russians are rebelling against the prospect of further escalation of the war and the steep price they will probably pay.
Kremlin officials have downplayed the turmoil but the scenes coming out of Russia tell a different story, one of widespread opposition against a government known for quashing it. Dissent has been documented across the country even in areas that were previously quiet.
Here’s a map: yellow dots are protests, green ones are attacks against military recruiting centers. There are a lot of dots!
Rather than engaging in attacks or protests, many more young men seeking to avoid the war have opted to flee the country. Social media posts and satellite imagery showed miles of cars lined up at Russian border crossings as neighboring nations reported influxes of Russian migration.
Lines of cars stretched back at least nine miles from the Upper Lars checkpoint on the border with Georgia, far longer than the usual backup, according to Stephen Wood, senior director at Maxar Technologies. The traffic jams are visible both in satellite images and videos posted online.
You can leave, as these people did, so long as you haven’t gotten your summons to serve. Once that comes, you’re toast.
*Speaking of protests, nearly 80 people, nearly all of them civilians, have died in clashes with Iranian authorities as protests against the theorcratic regime and its headscarf mandate continue. The situation has gotten so bad that the Iranian government was condemned even by the do-nothing United Nations:
The violence drew strong condemnation from the UN on Tuesday.
Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in Geneva that the office was “very concerned by the continued violent response by security forces”. She urged the authorities to restore internet access and release those who had been detained.
Iran is stepping up arrests of protesters and journalists in a clampdown on the unrest, activists have said. Iranian riot police and security forces clashed with demonstrators in dozens of cities on Tuesday, state media and social media reported.
Iranian authorities’ official death toll remained at 41, which included several members of the security forces.
Officials said on Monday they had arrested more than 1,200 people.
Ms Shamdasani said there was no reason for security forces to use live ammunition to disperse protesters.
Radio Free Europe reports that, along with the clashes, Iranian women are simply taking off their headscarves as a protest.
Such acts of civil disobedience have increased in Iran, where the country’s “hijab and chastity” law requires women and girls over the age of 9 to wear a headscarf in public, since the death of a young woman in the custody of the morality police on September 16.
The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini has triggered over two weeks of angry protests in dozens of Iranian cities. During the ongoing rallies, some women protesters have removed and burned their headscarves, in a direct challenge to the clerical regime.
. . .A woman in Tehran who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution told RFE/RL that “things won’t go back to the way they were.”
“I used to remove my headscarf in some restaurants where I knew the owners,” she said. “I’m now determined to do it more often in public, it’s the least I can do after the death of Amini and the [state] violence,” she said.
Here’s a protestor, hair flying free. She knows she’s risking jail and even death doing this, but she does it anyway. My admiration for these women, who aren’t going to take it any more is unbounded:
— Golnaz Esfandiari (@GEsfandiari) September 27, 2022
*A radiation of jawed fish, the first vertebrates with jaws, appeared in the fossil record about 419 million years ago. The NYT reports on four new publications that push back the origin of jaws by about 14 million years, and suggest that they could have originated 485 million years ago. Where did they come from? We’ve long known that jaws evolved from the first pharyngeal arch, which in other species develops into a gill arch, a strut of bone supporting the gills. One pair moved forward and, voilà, jaws! (We don’t have the intermediate fossils, but we can see this happening during development.)
Jaws originated in “jawless fishes,” and the earliest ones are seen in the chondrichthyans, cartilaginous fish that include modern sharks and rays. But clearly jaws originated before that group split from the bony fish. Here’s one reconstruction of one of the earliest jawed fish:
*We now know what killed Queen Elizabeth and when she died:
Queen Elizabeth II died of “old age,” according to her death certificate, which was released on Thursday by the registrar general of Scotland. The certificate, which lists her occupation as Her Majesty the Queen, also notes that the queen died at 3:10 p.m. on Sept. 8 at Balmoral Castle.
The first fact is indisputable, given that the queen was 96. But the report offers no further details about the cause of her death, which came two days after she was photographed standing and smiling as she greeted Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss.
The time of death, just after 3 p.m., is more revealing, coming more than three hours before Buckingham Palace announced it at 6:30 p.m. That indicates none of her family saw the queen just before her death, aside from King Charles III and his sister, Princess Anne, who were both already in Scotland on official duties.
Her two other sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, and her grandson Prince William arrived at Balmoral, in the Scottish highlands, shortly after 5 p.m., while Prince Harry, who traveled separately, did not get there until just before 8 p.m.
I’m not a doctor (I just play one at college), but can you really die “of old age”? Isn’t there something that just shuts down and does you in, or, if that happens, is it undetectable. Physicians, help me out here!
* Sent in by a reader: the form required for a their kid to get a flu vaccine. Note that there are three sexes, “male,” “female,” and “nonbinary”. The last one is not a human sex. And how does giving your gender identity promote the quality of your vaccination experience?
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is worried about the “value added tax” that applies to all EU countries:
Hili: Do we pay VAT tax on caught mice?A: No if they are for private consumption.
Hili: Czy od złapanych myszy płaci się VAT?Ja: Nie, jeśli są do własnej konsumpcji.
Several readers sent me this SMBC cartoon by Zach Weinersmith. It’s very clever, for it uses memes to arrive at the concept of replicators in biology—the reverse of how Dawkins presented it.
Re the first panel: not all evolution occurs by natural selection, so evolution rather than “evolution by natural selection” is more “fundamental.”
A Tweet of God, making fun of an American politician (can’t remember who), was removed this morning, so I’m substituting these two, retweeted by God, as He is now supporting the women of Iran in a big way.
— RUMI (@itsshadiaa) September 29, 2022
And since Joan Baez was shown in that tweet, I went to her site and found this:
In case we had all forgotten what courage is… https://t.co/u5741ZP1PJ
— Joan Baez (@joancbaez) September 28, 2022
From Simon. What is that fish biting as bait???
Bro caught the fish 🐟 pic.twitter.com/PcPvBUPl8v
— Because men live less (@Shit_vidz) September 28, 2022
More heartening scenes from Iran:
Unprecedented scenes in Iran: woman sits on top of utility box and cuts her hair in main square in Kerman to protest death of Mahsa Amini after her arrest by the morality police. People clap their hands and chant “Death to the dictator.” #مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/2oyuKV80Ac
— Golnaz Esfandiari (@GEsfandiari) September 20, 2022
Hello freedom-loving people of the world. This female protester in Tehran went out without wearing compulsory hijab. She’s risking her life for freedom, but freedom isn’t free. Will you support Iranians? Together, we’re stronger.#MahsaAmini #مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/daol1xRP2B
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) September 29, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial:
30 September 1929 | A French Jewish boy, Robert Malack, was born in Paris.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) September 30, 2022
Tweets from Matthew. I share his kvetching about the lack of book reviews, especially because I used to write them for both Science and Nature. Philip Ball is an editor of Nature and also writes for it.
Long (and sorry) story, Matthew.
— Philip Ball (@philipcball) September 28, 2022
It’s amazing how animals can live with injuries or deformities. Look at this fossil!
This badass Jurassic croc lived with a broken jaw.
The presence of a massive bony callus shows that the fracture healed, suggesting it lived for some time with this downturned jaw. Living crocs can survive for years with parts of their jaws damaged or missing.@Paleocreations. pic.twitter.com/WjWHpfb7ru
— Dr Dean Lomax (@Dean_R_Lomax) September 28, 2022
They don’t make cartoons like they used to. Be sure not to miss the duck instrument!
More weird moments from 1920s Disney cartoons pic.twitter.com/gQ1xV3sP9G
— Silent Movie GIFs (@silentmoviegifs) September 29, 2022