Welcome to August! It’s the first of that month, Tuesday (the Cruelest Day) and 2023, as well as National Raspberry Cream Pie Day, a dessert I’ve never had the pleasure to eat. And August is also:
National Catfish Month
National Panini Month
National Peach Month
National Sandwich Month
Here is the King of Sandwiches: a large pastrami sammy from Harold’s Deli in Edison, N. J. (Right off I-95; go if you’re in the area.). There’s a bread bar for extra bread and a pickle bar for those half sours.
It’s also American Family Day, National Girlfriends Day, Friendship Day, World Lung Cancer Day, Homemade Pie Day, Sisters’ Day, Statehood Day for Colorado, Swiss National Day (Switzerland), World Scout Scarf Day, and, of course,Yorkshire Day, which we’ll celebrate with this classic Monty Python video:
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the August 1 Wikipedia page.
There’s a Google Doodle celebrating the FIFA Women’s World Cup today. Click to access:
I just heard that the U.S. tied Portugal 0-0 in the match today. For what that means, go here.
*Obituaries first: Paul Reubens, known to everyone as “Pee-wee Herman,” died of cancer at age 70. Born Paul Rubenfeld, he entertained gazillions of kids with his movies and t.v. appearances, until he was arrested in 1991 for indecent exposure in an adult theater, and then later for weed possession. Nevertheless, he made a comeback. Here he is in the trailer for “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday” (2016).
*Oy! Though this is not surprising, a new NYT/Siena poll shows that Trump has a huge lead over DeSantis and his other rivals for the Republican Presidential nomination. We discussed this yesterday morning, but here’s the NYT’s take. First, the depressing stats again:
Mr. Trump held decisive advantages across almost every demographic group and region and in every ideological wing of the party, the survey found, as Republican voters waved away concerns about his escalating legal jeopardy. He led by wide margins among men and women, younger and older voters, moderates and conservatives, those who went to college and those who didn’t, and in cities, suburbs and rural areas.
The poll shows that some of Mr. DeSantis’s central campaign arguments — that he is more electable than Mr. Trump, and that he would govern more effectively — have so far failed to break through. Even Republicans motivated by the type of issues that have fueled Mr. DeSantis’s rise, such as fighting “radical woke ideology,” favored the former president.
Overall, Mr. Trump led Mr. DeSantis 54 percent to 17 percent. No other candidate topped 3 percent support in the poll.
Below those lopsided top-line figures were other ominous signs for Mr. DeSantis. He performed his weakest among some of the Republican Party’s biggest and most influential constituencies. He earned only 9 percent support among voters at least 65 years old and 13 percent of those without a college degree. Republicans who described themselves as “very conservative” favored Mr. Trump by a 50-point margin, 65 percent to 15 percent.
I just don’t get it. I can’t fathom the mentality of anybody who would vote for a lying, blustering authoritarian narcissist, a sexual predator, and probably a crook to boot. The man is a parody of himself: a living “It Can’t Happen Here.” Somebody please explain it to me!
Six people were killed and at least 75 injured in Russian strikes on a residential building and a university building in Kryvyi Rih.The head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Administration said one of the dead was found trapped in the rubble of a destroyed laboratory at the university.
This, and the strike in Kherson described below, may have been Putin’s retribution for the drone strikes in Moscow and Crimea the other day, no doubt coming from Ukrainian forces.
Ukraine says Russian shelling of the city of Kherson has killed at least 4 people and injured 17 others, the head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, Andrii Yermak posted on Telegram on Monday.
“The enemy is hitting residential areas,” Yermak wrote. “The Korabelny district and the central part of the city suffered the most. There are 4 dead and 17 wounded as of now.”
Local officials said Russia had intensified shelling on the city to provide cover for rotating troops.
In the meantime, a Russian official unwisely mentioned the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons:
The White House is criticizing senior Russian defense official Dmitry Medvedev’s comments suggesting Russia may resort to nuclear weapons if Ukraine is successful in its counteroffensive.
A National Security Council spokesperson called the rhetoric “reckless and irresponsible” on Monday. So far, the US has not seen any indications Russia is preparing to turn to nuclear weapons, the spokesperson added.“The use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine — or anywhere — would be disastrous for the world and would have severe consequences for Russia,” the spokesperson said.
“We continue to monitor this closely, but we have not seen any reason to adjust our own nuclear posture nor any indications that Russia is preparing to use a nuclear weapon,” they added.
This is probably a threat that’s merely bluster, but I wonder what the allies would do if the Russians did employ tactical nukes.
*The heat wave in the American Southwest continues, and scientists now say that July may have been the hottest month (worldwide) in the history of human civilization. That’s about 6,000 years.
Phoenix sizzled through its 31st consecutive day of at least 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 Celsius) and other parts of the country grappled Sunday with record temperatures after a week that saw significant portions of the U.S. population subject to extreme heat.
The National Weather Service said Phoenix climbed to a high of 111 F (43.8 Celsius) before the day was through.
July has been so steamy thus far that scientists calculate it will be the hottest month ever recorded and likely the warmest human civilization has seen. The World Meteorological Organization and the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service on Thursday proclaimed July beyond record-smashing.
The historic heat began blasting the lower Southwest U.S. in late June, stretching from Texas across New Mexico and Arizona and into California’s desert.
. . .Back in Phoenix, slight relief may be on the way as expected seasonal thunderstorms could drop temperatures Monday and Tuesday.
“It should be around 108 degrees, so we break that 110 streak,” meteorologist Tom Frieders said. “Increasing cloud cover will put temperatures in a downward trend.”
The relief could be short-lived, however. Highs are expected to creep back to 110 F (43.3 C) Wednesday with temperatures reaching 115 F (46.1 C) by the end of the week.
Phoenix has also sweated through a record 16 consecutive nights when the lows temperature didn’t dip below 90 F (32.2 C), making it hard for people to cool off after sunset.
I checked in with some friends who live near Phoenix, and of course heard that it was intolerable. They posted a photo of their indoor/outdoor thermometers and humidity measures, and told me that no matter how long you run the cold water tap, the water never gets cold. When I see this I’m glad I’m in Chicago!
*At the Women’s World Cup, co-host Australia smashed Canada 4-0, winning group B and advancing to the knockout stage.
The women’s World Cup continued Monday with the final round of matches in Group B. Co-host nation Australia advanced to the knockout stage with a convincing 4-0 win over Canada. The Canadians would have advanced with a win or a draw. In the other match that was played simultaneously, Nigeria and Ireland finished in a scoreless draw, and Nigeria advanced. Continue reading for highlights.
. . .Hayley Raso scored early in the first half. The Australian midfielder also did so late in the opening 45 minutes. Mary Fowler added a third and Stephanie Catley a fourth for emphasis in the second half as women’s World Cup co-host Australia advanced into the knockout stage following an efficient and comprehensive 4-0 victory over Canada on Monday at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.
The result, combined with Nigeria’s 0-0 draw against Ireland, put the Matildas atop Group B, setting up a round-of-16 match against the Group D runner-up in Sydney on Aug. 7.
The Aussie women’s team is called “The Matildas”! Here are the game highlights:
Portugal plays the U.S. today.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili wants to go out:
Hili: Are you coming?A: No, I have to water the flowers.Hili: First, open the door for me.
Hili: Idziesz?Ja: Nie, muszę jeszcze podlać kwiaty.Hili: Najpierw otwórz mi drzwi.
. . . and a photo of Baby Kulka:
From Nicole, an Elizabeth McNair cartoon:
From Divy, with the operant word blotted out (but it’s easy to guess):
From Amazing Stuff: “That awkward moment when you are working on Saturday projects around the house and are suddenly confronted by an ostrich.
Credit: Brian Hollingsworth”:
Masih’s daughter is apparently in Iran, though I’m surprised given that the government could take her hostage. But here’s the photo, and her daughter is, of course, sans hijab:
"This picture captures my daughter and her friends in our Iranian village. The spirit of this generation fills me with hope for the future. The promise of brighter days is near. #WomanLifeFreedom forever."
A message from Iran. pic.twitter.com/wbComLSExl
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) July 31, 2023
From Emma Hilton, mocking Jacqueline Rose’s New Statesman essay on why sex isn’t a binary. And yes, the first sentence is taken from Rose’s “argument.”
“Female” as understood today, was developed in the 19th century as a way of referring to black slaves.
^ These are deeply unserious people to whom we have devoted far too much attention and brainpower.
— Emma Hilton (@FondOfBeetles) July 27, 2023
Sums it up pretty well, huh? pic.twitter.com/8k5jTxoUYU
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) July 30, 2023
From Barry. Trust the science.
Darwin's Waiting Room. https://t.co/smoHX5V055
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) July 31, 2023
From the Auschwitz Memorial, marking the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising, which failed and led to the expulsion of the entire civilian population of Warsaw, many sent to the camps:
1 August 1944 | The 79th anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising | We remember today about 13,000 citizens of #Warsaw deported by the Germans to #Auschwitz during the uprising. Learn their stories: https://t.co/UVr5FOrviG #WarsawUprising #PW1944 pic.twitter.com/YNfu8QBHxc
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) August 1, 2023
Tweets from the clear-seeing Dr. Cobb. The first one will make you the life of the party:
Mercury is so dense an iron anvil floats in it.
— Wonder of Science (@wonderofscience) July 30, 2023
A recursion cat with a cat on its nose!
— place where cat shouldn't be (@catshouldnt) July 29, 2023
Matthew says the “pearls” are secondary sex characters. They’re bigger in males, and are apparently used in male-male fighting as well as during the weird way that the males bury fertilized eggs.
— John P. Friel, Ph.D. (@friel) July 30, 2023