It’s Friday again! Hallelujah for June 15, 2018, and National Lobster Day. Don’t eat one; just pet one! In the UK it’s National Beer Day, celebrating the day the Magna Carta was signed, which mentions beer in clause 35:
Let there be throughout our kingdom a single measure for wine and a single measure for ale and a single measure for corn, namely ‘the London quarter’
In its honor, you Brits should have a decent pint—and if you want to drink in my honor, have a Tim Taylor’s Landlord, my perennial favorite.
For those who inquired about the absence of yesterday’s duck report, let me assure you that all is well: the eight ducklings are healthy, vigorous, and growing fast, and even Honey seems to be putting on some weight. Hank and Frank remain, with Frank being the usual pain in the butt at feeding time, but my Super Soaker seems to have driven the other two intruding drakes away for good. There will be a duck report this afternoon.
On this day in 1215, King John of England affixed the royal seal to the Magna Carta, explaining National Beer Day. On June 15, 1648, Margaret Jones was hanged in Boston for witchcraft; it was the first of fifteen such executions in a crazed furor that lasted from 1648 to 1693. Jones was convicted using a list of evidence for witches compiled by an English “witch-finder”, Matthew Hopkins. Here’s a scary drawing (c. 1647) of Hopkins identifying the Satanic “imps” of a witch. There appears to be a cat without a name, but the other names are weird. Do you recognize “Pyewackett”?
On this day in 1752, Ben Franklin (according to tradition) proved that lightning was a form of electricity. On June 15, 1846, a treaty established the 49th parallel as the border between the U.S and Canada, extending from the Rocky Mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
On June 15, 1878, Eadweard Muybridge, the famous motion photographer, proved, using a series of photos of a horse and rider, that all four feet of a horse do indeed leave the ground when it runs. It’s hard to believe that that hadn’t been established before, but of course all “proof” before that would be hearsay. Here is real proof—one of Muybridge’s photos:
On this day in 1919 John Alcock and Arthur Brown completed the first nonstop transatlantic flight (not solo), landing in Galway, Ireland. How far aviation had come since the Wright brothers’ first flight in 1903! On this day in 1970, Charles Manson went on trial for the murders of Sharon Tate and her friends in Los Angeles. Finally, exactly six years ago today, Nik Wallenda became the first person to successfully walk a tightrope directly over Niagra Falls. He had to wear a safety harness (not needed in this case), and here’s a video of his feat:
Notables born on this day include Edvard Grieg (1843), Erik Erikson (1902), Saul Steinberg (1914), Erroll Garner (1921), Waylon Jennings (1937), Harry Nilsson (1941), Johnny Hallyday (1943, died last year), Helen Hunt (1963), Courteney Cox (1964), and Leah Remini (1970). Those who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on this day include James Knox Polk (1849), Ella Fitzgerald (1996), and Casey Kasem (2014).
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is house-shaming his staff. Yes, their house does have that name (it’s on the plaque over the door), and the name comes from the eponymous Bergman movie.
Hili: So what is the name of our house?A: Smultronstället, or “Where The Wild Strawberries Grow.”Hili: Somebody’s lost his mind.
Hili: To jak się ten nasz dom nazywa?
Ja: Smultronstället, czyli tam gdzie rosną poziomki.
Hili: Ktoś zwariował.
Some tweets contributed by Dr. Cobb. This first video is fantastic.
Bilby! You may remember that Aussies make chocolate bilbies during Easter.
A new finding of ancient and well-preserved frogs in amber; the link is in the tweet:
99-million-year-old rain forest frogs beautifully preserved in Cretaceous amber from Myanmar https://t.co/9zTSQf35M9 Image: CHEN HAI-YING pic.twitter.com/rLhVpJnEnu
— The Ice Age ❄️🌞 (@Jamie_Woodward_) June 14, 2018
And a 3-D model of that find:
Check out a 3D model @sketchfab of the new amber frog fossil that we published today in @SciReports (https://t.co/NLDRQ34FKS): https://t.co/RfaD6J64bS pic.twitter.com/meXSZtfe2m
— David C. Blackburn 🐸 (@davidcblackburn) June 14, 2018
A gaggle of geese, young and old, living in perfect harmony:
A proper gaggle of geese!! 💚#Springwatch pic.twitter.com/xmvu3CuAtX
— BBC Springwatch (@BBCSpringwatch) June 14, 2018
A cryptic black cat:
The problem with having a black cat is they sometimes go missing and 90% of the time they're sitting in front of the TV screen pic.twitter.com/MB2hl3Kam5
— Meg (@MegVClark) June 13, 2018
You might look up the link about a blood-drinking Mexican cult:
File under "Wikipedia entries on things about which I had no previous knowledge, but which work as brilliant almost-short-stories in their own right". I challenge you to get to "Guerrero and Martinez were never seen alive again" without gasping. https://t.co/epL4qbzjO7
— Adam Roberts (@arrroberts) June 14, 2018
And once again Trump chews on his metatarsals. Listen to this nonsense!
Trump tells Fox that parents of soldiers killed in the Korean War asked him on the campaign trail to bring their sons home. (Absolute minimum age of such a parents is 101 years old. Probable age 110 to 120.) pic.twitter.com/coIjMAekrg
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) June 14, 2018
Tweets from Ann German via Heather Hastie:
My husband just snapped this at CERN. pic.twitter.com/QfQCPvFueQ
— Eva Hanna (@edshanna) June 10, 2018
Here’s how religionists’ views have become more tolerant of politicians committing immoral acts. Only the unaffiliated remain unforgiving (if that’s the word!):
When you treat politicians like religious figures, there is no principle you won't sacrifice to blindly defend them and the things they do that are so clearly wrong and immoral. pic.twitter.com/1pcGKO2xAv
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) June 10, 2018
Sound up for this one: a mistake that happens to be true:
Fox & Friends accidentally said this about the Singapore summit: "regardless of what happens in that meeting between the two dictators."
This gaffe is probably the most honest thing ever said in the program's history. pic.twitter.com/eooBanu9b2
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) June 10, 2018